Three additional women certified as halakhic and spiritual leaders

The women join 19 previous graduates of the WIHL who are already providing halakhic and spiritual leadership throughout Israel and the Jewish world

June 10, 2024

%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%91%D7%A0%D7%99%D7%95%D7%AA %D7%90%D7%91%D7%99%D7%92%D7%99%D7%9C %D7%94%D7%99%D7%9C%D7%94 %D7%95%D7%A2%D7%99%D7%93%D7%99%D7%AA %D7%9E%D7%A1%D7%99%D7%99%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%AA %D7%9B%D7%95%D7%9C%D7%9C %D7%93%D7%A2%D7%94Yesterday (June 9th), Ohr Torah Stone held the annual graduation ceremony of the Susi Bradfield Women’s Institute of Halakhic Leadership (WIHL), furthering opportunities for women to contribute significantly to the Jewish community professionally.

Rabbanit Avigayil Unterberg Nouriel, Rabbanit Idit Mevorach-Shaag & Rabbanit Hila Naor, completed an intensive five-year program spanning a wide range of topics in Jewish law, including Shabbat and festivals, kashrut, mourning, family purity, and Jewish marriage and divorce. They have been certified as Morat Hora’a and Manhiga Ruchanit, (spiritual leaders qualified to provide guidance in matters of Jewish law), having passed exams on these topics and more.

“There is a rupture of leadership paradigms in the world. We have seen the failure of top-down leadership and the heroic activity on the battle and home front of bottom-up leadership,” noted Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, President and Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone in his address to the graduates. “We see bottom-up leadership creating transformative change in our country, soldiers and citizens are defining our generation. The demand for your Torah – the demand for women Torah scholars – is coming from the bottom up, from the people in Israel and in the diaspora. You have the ability to make a dramatic change in the world of Torah and within the nation, to illuminate the people with your Torah and your energy, and we are already witnessing this.”

%D7%A1%D7%99%D7%95%D7%9D %D7%A2%D7%9E%D7%99%D7%AA%D7%95%D7%AA %D7%9B%D7%95%D7%9C%D7%9C %D7%93%D7%A2%D7%94 2 scaled e1718525038343The evening started off on a somber note with prayers for the State of Israel, IDF soldiers and for the return of the hostages. Yehudit Mevorach, sister of current hostage Avinatan Or (Noa Argamani’s boyfriend) and sister- in-law of celebrant Rabbanit Idit Mevorach-Shaag was due to attend as a special guest, but with family commitments related to the rescue of Argamani the previous day, she had to send her good wishes instead.

Recognizing the varied needs of Jewish communities worldwide, the WIHL program also includes training in pastoral care and leadership skills, ensuring that graduates are well-prepared to address the multifaceted challenges and opportunities they will encounter in their roles. As leaders, these women can educate their communities, offer spiritual guidance, motivate others, and provide impactful leadership to the entire Jewish community, while also offering essential role models for young women and girls.

“We are living in a time that makes connections difficult, especially now in the post-Corona era, political upheavals and during the war where there is a feeling of fear and dread in the air,” said Rabbanit Devorah Evron, WIHL Director. “That is why during this period it is even more important for women to fight for their sisters and for their colleagues.”

%D7%A1%D7%99%D7%95%D7%9D %D7%A2%D7%9E%D7%99%D7%AA%D7%95%D7%AA %D7%9B%D7%95%D7%9C%D7%9C %D7%93%D7%A2%D7%94 3 scaled e1718525200596In addition to Rabbi Brander and Rabbanit Evron, each of the graduates also shared words of Torah and inspiration – garnering spirited fanfare from their students in the audience.

“Together with the great privilege of studying Torah, we must also place great importance on renewal – bringing new melody to the world,” said Rabbanit Hila Naor, who heads up Ohr Torah Stone’s Maaminot Bemadim institute which which provides halakhic and spiritual guidance to religious women soldiers in the IDF. “Since we entered the gates of the beit midrash, we experienced a global pandemic, a great rift in the Jewish people, a massacre and a terrible war that continues until today. In the face of all this, for me the need is clear that we must shed and strip away what has been until now and strive toward revival and renewal. This renewal will come from within the world of Torah; that is what will create the new melody – a melody of action and focusing upon the good, of listening and openness, of healing fissures and uniting hearts.”

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