Rabbinic group’s resolution expands women’s roles


(JTA) — A small, liberal rabbinic group has expanded the definition of women’s roles in Orthodox Jewish life.

The International Rabbinic Fellowship, an organization of more than 150 American, Israeli and world Orthodox rabbis co-founded by Rabbi Avi Weiss and Rabbi Marc Angel, passed a Resolution on Women in Communal Leadership Roles during a conference last week.

The group adopted what it called in a news release" Orthodoxy’s broadest resolution yet outlining the role of and opportunities available for women working in Orthodox synagogues in Rabbinic capacities."

According to the resolution, Orthodox women who are learned, trained and competent" should be able to fully serve the community as teachers; as clergy in pastoral settings; as persons who can answer questions and provide guidance on questions of Jewish law; as spiritual preachers and guides delivering divrei Torah and teaching classes; as spiritual guides and mentors arranging lifecycle events; and "as presidents and full members of the boards of synagogues and other Torah institutions."

Weiss has been under fire for ordaining female rabbis, one of whom was dubbed "rabba."

The group also voted on and adopted several other policies, including establishing a conversion committee.

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