Dr. Kaplan’s Congregation Decides to Include Women in “minyan” and Call Them Up to Torah

Breaking with centuries of Jewish religious tradition, the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, a New York congregation headed by Dr. Mordecai Kaplan–leader of the Reconstructionist movement–has decided to count women in a Minyan and to call them to the Torah during Sabbath services.

In an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Dr. Kaplan today confirmed the fact that the congregation voted "overwhelmingly, nearly unanimously" to include women among the traditional quorum of ten Jews–the minimum number needed to conduct group religious services. The issue had been discussed by members of the congregation and its board for months before the final vote, Dr. Kaplan said.

The congregation’s action was taken, he pointed out, in line with its desire to have Jewish women play a greater role in the advancement of the Jewish community and in Jewish education. Calling up women to the Torah, he stated, was seen by members of the S.A.J. as a token of responsibility for women for the continuation of Jewish unity, the Jewish future and Jewish education. He stressed the fact that Jewish education is symbolized in the Torah.

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