Monday, June 17, 2013

A Step for Forward for Orthodox Women!

The Hadassah Foundation attended the inaugural ordination ceremony at Yeshivat Maharat, the first institution to train Orthodox women for religious leadership.   All three women ordained yesterday have jobs--mazel tov!  And a hearty mazel tov to Rabbi Sara Hurwitz, Yeshivat Maharat's Dean and this year's winner of the Foundation's Tannenbaum Prize--she was positively kvelling yesterday.  

Attendees included Rabbi Jackie Koch Ellenson, the former Board Chair of the Hadassah Foundation; her husband, Rabbi David Ellenson, the President of Hebrew Union College--Jewish Institute of Religion; and Rabbi Sally Priesand, the first woman to be ordained by HUC.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rabba Sara Hurwitz Receives Hadassah Foundation's Tannenbaum Prize

The Hadassah Foundation presented Rabba Sara Hurwitz, the Dean of Yeshivat Maharat, the first Orthodox institution to train women for religious leadership, with the Bernice S. Tannenbaum Prize on June 11.  The Prize honors an outstanding young leader who advances the status of women and girls in Israel or the United States. 

Named in honor of Bernice S. Tannenbaum's lifetime of service to Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, the Tannenbaum Award connects the recipient to the accomplishments of Tannenbaum, who served as Hadassah National President from 1976-80. In the late 1990s, Tannenbaum chaired Hadassah's Strategic Planning Committee that proposed the creation of the Hadassah Foundation, and she now serves as the National Board's liaison to the Hadassah Foundation. The Prize was conceived and implemented through generous contributions from Joan and Leonard Leiman with additional funding provided by The Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation.   

Mazal tov, Rabba Hurwitz!

The Hadassah Foundation Board, with Rabba Sara Hurwitz, center.
Rabba Hurwitz and Bernice Tannenbaum

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Women to Have Voice in Selection of Israel's Rabbinical Judges

Yesterday, two Hadassah Foundation grantees--the Rackman Center and the Center for Women's Justice, celebrated a great victory: a 'Law of Rabbinical Judges' was passed in Israel, ensuring that women are included on the selection committee for rabbinical judges. According to the new law (initiated by Rackman,
together with other women's organizations), at least 4 out of 11 members of the selection committee have to be women.

Prof Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, Director of The Rackman Center said, "We are so happy about the historical passing of this law with the parliamentarian work of [Israeli Knesset Members] Shuli Muallem, Aliza Lavie and Zahava Gal-on. Given the power of the rabbinical courts in Israel--and their monopoly
over Jewish marriage and divorce cases--it is critical that women play a role in the selection process, especially since the (Orthodox) judges are all men."

Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, released a statement praising the development.  You can read it here.