Will Bnai David-Judea Follow Suit?

Bnai David is the most liberal Orthodox shul on the West Coast. I wonder if it will copy these developments in New York?

My yetzer hara says: “Do you remember Lamelle from when she was at Bnai David? She has a beautiful voice. And is easier on the eyes than the male baalei tefila. Maybe he’s on to something!”


In a move that apparently would make “history” for an Orthodox synagogue in the United States, the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale is scheduled tonight to have a woman lead a Kabbolas Shabbos service where both men and women are expected to be in the pews, according to the Jewish Week.

The Jewish week reports:

A one-page e-mail letter was sent Friday morning to members of the synagogue, which is led by Rabbi Avi Weiss. The rabbi was recently embroiled in a major controversy over assigning the title Rabba to an HIR spiritual leader, Sara Hurwitz. The letter states: “Kabbalat Shabbat will be led by a woman. This is a halachically acceptable practice, and models our values.” While some Orthodox synagogues have women’s tefillah groups, a woman leading a Friday-night service for both men and women has apparently not been done in an Orthodox shul.

Traditional interpretation of Jewish law bars women from such a public role in the prayer service for various reasons.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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