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Sunday, January 15 • 9:00am - 10:10am
From Vision To Reality: Orthodox Women Rabbis and the Woman Who Willed it Into Being

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This plenary highlights the fruits of the labor and wisdom of our founding president, Blu Greenberg. In honor of Blu Greenberg, we are launching a Festschrift which includes scholarly pieces from our community thought, lay and rabbinic leaders. Blu dreamed the dream and laid the groundwork for the Orthodox feminist movement when she authored On Women and Judaism. This plenary will share various perspectives of how her vision has become a reality including the challenges and opportunities that were met along the way. Please see the following excerpt from the editor, Devorah Zlochower's introduction to this momentous work

שלנו ושלכן שלה הוא – What is ours is hers.

This festschrift, and this plenary, honors Blu Greenberg, whose moral leadership, tenacity and gentle hutzpah have shattered the traditional limits for women and created undreamed of possibilities. We live in an unprecedented moment in Jewish history, when access to talmud Torah, tefillah be’tsibbur, and religious leadership are recognized as the rightful inheritance of Jewish women. This festschrift dedicated to Blu on the occasion of her 80th birthday gives us the opportunity to publicly acknowledge our debt to Blu.

שקמתי אם בישראל – You arose, a mother in Israel.

The festschrift takes its name from the Song of Devorah (Judges, chapter 5), in which Devorah, previously described as prophet, judge, and leader is here depicted as mother. The fierce advocacy, compassion, and persistence that mark her political, moral, and religious leadership are also traditional hallmarks of motherhood. As Rifka Rosenwein a”h wrote, “At its heart, it [feminism] is an effort by mothers willing to take risks in order to make life better for their children.” Creating a life that encompasses both private and public spheres, models strength and warmth, and attends to tsarkhei tsibbur, without compromising the needs of one’s family, is an accomplishment that seems unattainable. Blu does it every day.

avatar for Rabbi Herzl Hefter

Rabbi Herzl Hefter

Founder and Rosh Beit Midrash, Har’el Beit Midrash in Jerusalem
Rabbi Herzl Hefter is the founder and Rosh Beit Midrash of The Har’el Beit Midrash in Jerusalem, a beit midrash for advanced rabbinic studies for men and women. In June of 2015, the beit midrash was the first to grant orthodox smikha to men and women together.  Rabbi Hefter is a graduate of Yeshiva University where he learned under the tutelage of Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveichick זצ”ל. He received smikha from Rav Aharon... Read More →
avatar for Rabbi Lila Kagedan

Rabbi Lila Kagedan

A dual Canadian and American citizen, Lila Kagedan is the first Orthodox woman to adopt the title of rabbi. Rabbi Kagedan holds degrees and certificates from Midreshet Lindenbaum, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The University of Toronto, Harvard University, The Medstar Washington Hospital Center and Massachusetts General Hospital and is a Shalom Hartman Institute RLI fellow.  She is also a Hadassah Brandeis... Read More →
avatar for Pamela S. Nadell, PhD

Pamela S. Nadell, PhD

Pamela S. Nadell is Professor of History and holds the Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History at American University, where she directs the Jewish Studies Program.  Her honors include AU’s highest faculty award, the Scholar/Teacher of the Year, and the American Jewish Historical Society’s Lee Max Friedman Award for distinguished service.  Her books include Women Who Would be Rabbis: A History of... Read More →
avatar for Devorah Zlochower

Devorah Zlochower

Devorah Zlochower has taught gemara and Halakha for over two decades. She served as Rosh Beit Midrash at Drisha Institute for over a decade where she taught gemara and Halakha and headed the full-time fellowship programs. She has also taught gemara at SAR High School in Riverdale, Yeshivat Maharat, and most recently, at Yeshivat Hadar where she was a senior faculty member. Devorah serves on the advisory board of JOFA and on the parent board of... Read More →

Sunday January 15, 2017 9:00am - 10:10am
Roone Arledge Auditorium
  • Subtitle Plenary and Festschrift

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