Page 1

join the conversation Sunday March 14 28 Adar 5770 Columbia University, NYC

www.jofa.org

A Vest of Prayers by Andi Arnovitz

The JOFA Conference


Social Justice • Ritual Inclusion • WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP • SPIRITUALITY

EXHIBITS

Eishet Chayil Series Eliyahu Sidi

Hanging Out The Laundry

1st Floor–Auditorium North Lobby

Rivkah Lubitch

King Solomon viewed women as productive citizens of his kingdom and sang their praises in Proverbs not only as wives and helpmates but also as purveyors of wisdom and accomplished businesswomen. French-born Israeli artist Eliyahu Sidi confers a healthy dose of color, shrewd observation and whimsy on his Eishet Chayil series, bringing to life the poem written by a lover of a thousand wives.

2nd Floor Lounge

Ladies Guild Collection Jacqueline Nicholls 5th Floor “R. Eliezer says: A woman’s wisdom is in her spinning…The words of the Torah should be burnt rather than be given over to women.” Rabbinic literature is peppered with such unflattering portraits of women as simpletons or whores from whom the Torah should be kept sacred. In this series of unabashed papercuts, London-based artist Jacqueline Nicholls carves both these misogynist pronouncements and her correspondingly provocative illustrations into the delicate paper doilies traditionally placed by British women under postsynagogue petit fours.

Standing Prayer Tamar Ettun 5th Floor In this video installation, Israeli artist Tamar Ettun creates a powerful retort to the age-old rebuke of women desiring a more active role in Jewish ritual: “But women need only look to the sky to find God.” Ettun walks the road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, climbing bridges, cell towers and olive trees to perform her version of the Amidah prayer. In this piece, Ettun literally transcends the often troubling voices that define Jewish women, and attempts to communicate more directly and meaningfully with God.

(Center for Women’s Justice)

The exhibit displays the white shirts of men (rabbinic judges), upon which Rivkah has printed excerpts taken from the judgments of the Israeli rabbinic courts. Rivkah chose texts that encapsulate the full texts from which they have been taken, and which represent certain current trends of the rabbinic courts. Among these texts are decisions that: call for the nullification of a get (Jewish bill of divorce); retroactively invalidate a conversion; accept a recalcitrant husband’s terms for the divorce; display contempt for the secular courts. The message of the exhibition is that shirts of the rabbinic judges are soiled by the harsh decisions that they choose to write. These decisions are like “stains on the clothes of the talmid chacham” (T. Bavli Shabbat 114a) and these stains cannot be easily removed. Many complaints made against the rabbinic courts over the years have fallen on deaf ears. No one is listening to the complaints. No one is making the necessary changes. It is for this reason that the Center for Women’s Justice has chosen to “air the dirty laundry in public.” The texts and dates that appear on the shirts are all accurate and are taken from the original decisions.


join the conversation

WELCOME Welcome to this year’s JOFA Conference. As we gather for our seventh conference, we will tackle a wide range of issues, exploring our roles and responsibilities as feminists and Orthodox Jews. We mark JOFA’s 12th anniversary—our Bat Mitzvah year—by asking difficult, but essential, questions. We challenge ourselves to find solutions to injustices that continue to affect Orthodox women, as well as for those who are oppressed in the world beyond our community. Each of the four pillars of this year’s Conference speaks to these goals: • Promoting women’s leadership in Orthodoxy • Incorporating a social justice perspective within Orthodoxy • Increasing women’s participation in ritual and life cycle events • Pursuing a more spiritual modern life. And while each pillar stands alone, each is clearly linked by the lofty ideals that bring us all here today. All of us are seeking to enhance our own spirituality by finding leaders who share our views, creating and participating in rituals that do not exclude us and assisting those who lack the capacity to fight on their own behalf. Each of you is a partner in this valiant effort. JOFA’s work is your work, and we thank you for being a part of it.

Sincerely, Judy Abel and Allie Alperovich Program Co-Chairs

LUNCH DISCUSSION GROUPS Facilitated lunch discussion groups give participants a chance to network informally on topics that matter to them. These groups are intended to be casual in nature, so grab your lunch and meet others who share your interests.

book and CD sales 1st Floor–Auditorium North Lobby PRE-PUBLICATION SALE OF Women and Men in Communal Prayer: Halakhic Perspectives A Publication of JOFA and K’tav Publishing Communal prayer has always been a central component in Jewish life. In this book introduced by Tamar Ross, Rabbi Daniel Sperber presents a halakhic justification for expanding the role of women in communal prayer services building on work by Rabbi Mendel Shapiro (included in the volume). Two articles that express opposition to Rabbi Sperber’s position are also included—one by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and one by Professor Eliav Shochetman. This anthology represents an example of a vibrant dialogue between scholars on a current issue and highlights the dynamic nature of the halakhic process.

Books: CDs:

A selection of Jewish Books of interest to participants: J. Levine Books & Judaica

Megillat Esther CDs

THE JOFA CONFERENCE I 1


join the conversation

Schedule at a Glance 8:00 am – 9:00 am Registration Breakfast

West Auditorium, 1st Floor

Middle School Registration and Breakfast

Balcony Overlooking Party Space, 1st Floor

9:00 am – 10:15 am

Opening Plenary

Auditorium, 1st Floor

10:30 am – 11:30 am

Session 1

1:45 am – 12:45 pm

Session 2

12:45 pm – 2:00 pm

Lunch Discussion Groups & Text Study

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Session 3

3:15pm – 4:15 pm

Session 4

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Session 5

5:30 pm – 6:00 pm Mincha Snack & Schmooze

9:00 am – 5:30 pm

Middle School Track

North Auditorium, 1st Floor

Broadway Room, 2nd Floor

1st Floor- Auditorium North Lobby

Room 477, 4th Floor

Pillars at a Glance Social Justice Women of the Wall • Should our Sister be Made a Harlot? • Women Unchained: The Making of a New Agunah Documentary • Speaking in Language Rabbis Understand • Halakhic Justice for the Agunah • Jewish Women Doing Justice • The RCA Prenup • What Should We Talk About When We Talk About Women’s Leadership?

Ritual inclusion A Foot in Both Shuls • Bat Mitzvah and Beyond • Assembly Required • Ta Shma: Kiddush • Women in Midrash • Creating and Recreating Jewish Rituals • Ta Shma: Torah Scroll • Reclaiming Women’s Names • Honoring the Community • Mechitza • Fixed Prayer, Spirituality and Inclusiveness • You are Hereby Renewed Unto Me • Ta Shma: Kaddish

Women’s leadershIP Why the Rambam was Wrong • Separate but Equal? • Meet the New Boss • The “Be an Orthodox Man” Box • Reaching Higher • Turning All the Boys’ Heads • The Feminist Mystique • A Rabbi by any Other Name • Orthodox Women on Campus • Jewish Camping • The Rabbinic Team • “Torah Im Shivyon”

SPIRITUALITY “Lama Zeh Anochi”: A Con-textual Life • Women on the Edge • Morning Prayer • When the Women Refused to Strip Off Their Finery • What do We Mean When We Talk About God? • Rediscovering Mikveh • The Revelation of Esther

Experiential Quilting as Prayer • Jewish Self-Reflection • Work-Life Navigation and Negotiation • Quill in Hand • Our Own Stories

Other issues We Care About Akara Hilchatit • Raising Sexually Healthy Children • The Tent, the Field, and the Battlefield • Isaac’s Mother, Itsik’s Muse • Reading In • The Orthodox Baby Boom • I’m Not a Feminist, But I Play One on TV • How is this Commentary Different from All Others? • As if You Yourself Left Egypt 2 I THE JOFA CONFERENCE


Schedule

10:30-11:30AM Session 1

11:45AM-12:45PM Session 2

12:45-2:00 PM Lunch Discussions &Text Study

Auditorium- 1st Floor

Women of the Wall, 2010

Reaching Higher

JOFA in Your Community (west end) Social Justice (east end)

Party Space- 1st Floor

Akara Hilkhatit

Morning Praise

Partnership Minyanim

Why the Rambam was Wrong

Assembly Required

Feminism for Men

“Lama Zeh Anochi” (Part 1)

“Lama Zeh Anochi” (Part 2)

Agunah Advocacy

A Foot in Both Shuls

Ta Shma: Kiddush

Raising Feminist Children

Turning All the Boys’ Heads

Women in Midrash

Arledge Cinema- 2nd Floor Broadway Room- 2nd Floor West Ramp - 2nd Floor East Ramp - 2nd Floor

Jewish Self-Reflection

Ferris Booth (lower)- 3rd Floor Ferris Booth (upper)- 4th Floor

Bat Mitzvah and Beyond

College Students

Room 477

Middle School Track

Middle School continued

Middle School continued

Satow Room- 5th Floor

Separate but Equal?

Work-Life Navigation and Negotiation

High School Students

Room 501

Women on the Edge

Quill in Hand

Spouses of Clergy

Room 502

Quilting as Prayer

Our Own Stories

JOFA Advisory Council

Room 555

Meet the New Boss

Being Gay in the Orthodox World: Next Steps, New Directions

Room 568

Should our Sister be Made a Harlot?

Alternative Families— Single Mothers by Choice

Room 569

The “Be an Orthodox Man” Box

Women Unchained

When the Women Refused to Strip Off Their Finery

2:00-3:00 PM Session 3

3:15-4:15 PM Session 4

4:30-5:30PM Session 5 Mechitza

Auditorium- 1st Floor

The Feminist Mystique

Halakhic Justice for the Agunah

Jewish Women Doing Justice

What Do We Mean When We Talk About God?

What Should We Talk About When We Talk About Women’s Leadership?

The Rabbinic Team

Raising Sexually Healthy Children

Ta Shma: Torah Scroll

The Revelation of Esther

Creating and Recreating Jewish Rituals

Isaac’s Mother, Itsik’s Muse

How is This Commentary Different From All Others?

Speaking in a Language Rabbis Understand

Reclaiming Women’s Names

Fixed Prayer, Spirituality and Inclusiveness

A Rabbi By Any Other Name

Rediscovering Mikveh

You are Hereby Renewed Unto Me

Middle School continued

Middle School continued

Middle School continued

The Tent, the Field, and the Battlefield

Reading In

Ta Shma: Kaddish

Room 502

Our Own Stories

Quilting as Prayer

Room 555

Orthodox Women on Campus

Honoring the Community

The RCA Prenup

The Orthodox Baby Boom

As if you Yourself Left Egypt

I’m Not A Feminist, But I Play One on TV

“Torah Im Shivyon”

Party Space- 1st Floor Arledge Cinema- 2nd Floor

Broadway Room- 2nd Floor West Ramp - 2nd Floor

East Ramp - 2nd Floor

Ferris Booth (lower)- 3rd Floor Ferris Booth (upper)- 4th Floor Room 477 Satow Room- 5th Floor Room 501

Room 568 Room 569

Jewish Camping

THE JOFA CONFERENCE I 3


Social Justice • Ritual Inclusion • WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP • SPIRITUALITY

8:00 am–9:00 am REGISTRATION

10:30 am –11:30 am SESSION ONE

West Auditorium –1st Floor

BREAKFAST North Auditorium –1st Floor

MIDDLE SCHOOL REGISTRATION and BREAKFAST

A Foot in Both Shuls: Partnership Minyan and the Orthodox Synagogue Rabbi Martin Lockshin and Sally Mendelsohn Presiding: Andrew Mendes West Ramp- 2nd Floor

Carol Kaufman Newman, President

Happily, successful partnership minyanim are found now in more than a dozen cities in the US and Canada. Each member in one of these minyanim has to negotiate her or his relationship with neighbors and institutions in the “standard” Orthodox community. In this session, members of different partnership minyanim will have an opportunity to share their experiences, and consider the relationship between the partnership movement and the rest of Orthodoxy.

OPENING PLENARY Opening the Conversation: Four Voices

Akara Hilkhatit: Halakhic and Medical Perspectives on Early Ovulation

Rabba Sara Hurwitz, Lisa Schlaff, Laura Shaw-Frank and Erin Leib Smokler Moderator: Audrey Axelrod Trachtman

Rosh Kehillah Dina Najman Presiding: Belda Lindenbaum Party Space–1st Floor

Auditorium –1st Floor

When halakhic guidelines make it impossible for a woman to become pregnant due to early ovulation, how does halakha balance the value of having children with the importance of maintaining the shiva y’mai n’kiim—seven clean days of the niddah cycle? We will explore the halakhic texts and various responsa literature which present possibilities for women committed to taharat hamishpaha to achieve pregnancy despite early ovulation.

Balcony overlooking party space–1st Floor

9:00 am–10:15 am Auditorium –1st Floor

WELCOME

Throughout the day, our sessions will focus on four “pillars” of JOFA: women’s leadership, spirituality, expanding ritual opportunities for women, and social justice. Interspersed with these crucial themes are opportunities for creative learning and text study. At this plenary, we will come together to hear four women—Rabba Sara Hurwitz, Lisa Schlaff, Laura Shaw-Frank and Erin Leib Smokler— share their visions and reflections on each of the core ideals represented in our “pillars.”

4 I THE JOFA CONFERENCE

Bat Mitzvah and Beyond Judy Heicklen, Daniel Rothner and Aliza Sperling Moderator: Beth Goldman Ferris Booth Upper–4th Floor How do we ensure that the Bat Mitzvah is not the pinnacle of a girl’s participation in religious life? At this session, we will explore the Bat Mitzvah as an opportunity for deepening involvement in ritual, learning and chesed with the goal of lifelong engagement in Jewish life.

“Lama Zeh Anochi”: A Con-textual Life (Part 1) Reb Mimi Feigelson Presiding: Erin Leib Smokler Broadway Room- 2nd Floor This session is a double session, but please feel comfortable to join for either half or at any time! Could it be that Rav Kook, Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev, the Talmudic Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi and the Chernobler and Ishbitzer Rebbes were talking to you when claiming a space for your authenticity, your existential questions, and your desire to manifest in your true complexity, in God’s world? They have been my textual-spiritual mentors on my journey as an Orthodox Rabba and Rebbe for the last fifteen years. What are your covenantal texts? What teachings define you and demand of you to stand in your greatness?


join the conversation

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: Will Women’s Leadership Change the System? Dr. Ronit Irshai Presiding: Rabbi Alexander Kaye Room 555 Why remain Orthodox if Orthodoxy as an ideology continues to discriminate against women in almost every field of Jewish religious life? The only way to reconcile between Orthodoxy and feminism is by working to change the system from within by creating a new kind of Orthodoxy. Would women who become poskot be able to do so? This session will answer this question with yes, no, and especially, it depends.

Quilting as Prayer Heather G. Stoltz Room 502 Using a specific prayer or transformative experience as inspiration, design and create your own piece of fiber art. Discover the power art has to express that which words cannot fully articulate and create a piece which conveys what is deep within our souls. No sewing or quilting experience is necessary! (Limited to first 30 participants) This session is also offered at 3:15 pm.

Separate but Equal? Exploring the Issues of All-Girls Learning Panel of High School Students Moderator: Ilana Gleichbloom Satow Room–5th Floor Modern Orthodox schools in America deal with the issue of co-education in a variety ways. Some schools are completely co-ed, others completely separate the sexes, while others separate boys and girls for Judaic Studies classes only. There is a fear that if girls are taught separately, they will not be taught the same material at the same level as their male counterparts, but does this have to be the reality? Is there a value in reclaiming girls-only space and teaching all-girls classes? What does this all mean for girls learning? What is the value of girls learning together without boys? What is gained and what is lost in this endeavor? These questions and others will be discussed by a panel of students from different schools.

Should our Sister be Made a Harlot?: A Jewish Response to Sex Slavery and Human Trafficking Gilah Kletenik Presiding: Miriam Schachter Room 568 In what way do Scriptural and Rabbinic texts shed light on the plight of modern-day sex slavery? What is the state of the commercial sex industry and the global trafficking network? How many millions of women and children are currently enslaved? How might our canonical texts and philosophical writings help us to move towards an understanding of the responsibility placed on our shoulders to respond to this horrific reality? Are there practical steps each of us can take to bring freedom to women enslaved throughout the world today?

The “Be an Orthodox Man” Box Dr. Elana Sztokman Presiding: Morton Landowne Room 569 The Orthodox community sends messages to boys and men about what it means to “be a man.” Understanding these messages is vital for developing a healthy identity and for creating a vibrant community that is reflective, sensitive, and aware of the social and emotional needs of its members. The talk is based on independent qualitative research among Orthodox men.

Why the Rambam was Wrong: Women in Leadership Rabbi Daniel Sperber Presiding: Dr. Amy Fox Griffel Arledge Cinema–2nd Floor Many Orthodox poskim reject, out of hand, the possibility of women in positions of communal authority, be it synagogue president or rabbi. Basing their argument on the Rambam’s concept of srarah (governance) and modesty, little consideration is given to important and relevant historical figures such as Devora or Bruriah, or to social context. Is the Rambam’s view appropriate in today’s world of learned and serious women?

Women of the Wall, 2010: Prayer, Pluralism, Prejudice, Police and Politics Rabbi Jackie Koch Ellenson, Blu Greenberg, and Rivka Haut Moderator: Gary Rosenblatt AUDITORIUM –1st Floor The panel will deal with the the halakhic and spiritual issues of women in prayer at the Kotel, the agreement between WOW and the courts, the reaction of the haredi community to the presence of women’s tefillah at the Kotel, and possible resolutions to the current political situation.

Women on the Edge — The Call for Divine Intervention Dr. Rachel Adelman Presiding: Michael Feldstein Room 501 We will compare three midrashic narratives on women who cry out, in moments of crisis, to bring about divine intervention: Plotit, daughter of Lot, before the destruction of Sedom, Rahel daughter of Shutelah, before the Exodus from Egypt, and Rahel the matriarch, as the Israelites are sent into exile. Why does the woman’s voice, uniquely, have the power to transform God’s will?

THE JOFA CONFERENCE I 5


Social Justice • Ritual Inclusion • WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP • SPIRITUALITY

11:45 am –12:45 pm SESSION 2

Our Own Stories: A Writing Workshop Alieza Salzberg Room 502

Assembly Required: Building and Fostering a Partnership Minyan Dr. Alanna Cooper, Jonathan Stein and Dr. Chaim Trachtman Moderator: Dr. Laurel Mayer Hecht Arledge Cinema–2nd Floor Creating a Partnership Minyan, and working to sustain it, can be daunting and time consuming, but, ultimately, tremendously gratifying. What does it take to start a minyan, and to insure its continuity? What particular challenges are involved in fostering a minyan that is dedicated to traditional halakhah and to creating a prayer space that belongs to both women and men? These questions will be addressed by our panel members, who have each been instrumental in founding a Partnership Minyan.

Jewish Self-Reflection: Stretching the Spirit Nancy Siegel Ferris Booth Lower–3rd Floor A yoga-inspired experiential workshop using breathing and relaxation techniques as a spiritual opportunity for selfreflection. These exercises (not yoga poses) will serve as an invitation inward. The use of the breath will serve as a bridge between our body and soul, offerering an opportunity to feel the body/mind/soul connection. (Maximum 20 people)

“Lama Zeh Anochi”: A Con-textual Life (Part 2) Reb Mimi Feigelson Presiding: Erin Leib Smokler Broadway Room–2nd Floor This session is a double session, but please feel comfortable to join for either half or at any time! Could it be that Rav Kook, Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev, the Talmudic Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi and the Chernobler and Ishbitzer Rebbes were talking to you when claiming a space for your authenticity, your existential questions, and your desire to manifest in your true complexity, in God’s world? They have been my textual-spiritual mentors, on my journey as an Orthodox Rabba and Rebbe for the last fifteen years. What are your covenantal texts? What teachings define you and demand of you to stand in your greatness?

Can a male narrator do justice to a woman’s story? We will examine the portrayal of women leaders in the Tanakh and rabbinic literature, and question whether the male story-tellers have endowed them with adequate power and independence. Our writing exercise will encourage participants to translate these characters into fully-liberated women or tell modern stories based on the heroines of the Tanakh. This session is also offered at 2:00 pm.

Quill in Hand: Soferet Workshop Jen Taylor Friedman Room 501 If one writes a sefer Torah, say the Sages, it is as if he had himself received it on Mount Sinai. How can the simple act of writing take someone to such heights? By transcribing small amounts of text, we will explore how writing Torah can be experientially very different from reading or learning or leyning; how the pace of transcription can give one fascinatingly different perspectives on the text, and how the act of transcription can cause one to process it differently. Session capacity is limited. (This session will not include halakhic discussion.)

Reaching Higher: Jewish Education for the Next Generation YU President Richard Joel Moderator: Dr. Norma Baumel Joseph Auditorium –1st Floor When educating our children, we must always strike a balance between our timeless Jewish heritage and the constant flux of the modern world. Today, the Jewish community needs our best and brightest to take active leadership roles motivated by their sacred covenant with the Divine and infused with the most up-to-date skills and ideas. Only through the combination of these pursuits can we reach higher to ensure a strong culture of values for the Jewish future.

Ta Shma, JOFA’s Halakhic Source Guide Series, presents:

Shamor V’Zakhor B’debor Ehad: Women and Kiddush on Shabbat An In-depth Halakhic Text Study

Rahel Berkovits Presiding: Judie Boim

Morning Praise: How to Greet Each Day with Gratitude to the Creator— Even When You Can’t Stop Worrying Nessa Rapoport Presiding: Rachel Pineles Party Space–1st Floor Explore in conversation with writer Nessa Rapoport the experience and possibility of daily morning prayer.

6 I THE JOFA CONFERENCE

West Ramp–2nd Floor Do the traditional gender roles around the Shabbat table stem from legal necessity or societal norms? Are women obligated in the mitzvah of kiddush? May they recited kiddush on behalf of a man and fulfill his obligation? Is there a difference between kiddush during the day or night or if one has already prayed or not? Through a serious text study of sources from the Talmud to modern legal Rabbinic literature we will examine the issues surrounding this weekly occurrence.


join the conversation

Turning all the Boys’ Heads: A Model of Educating Towards Greater Inclusivity in Israel Yeshiva Programs Rabbi Todd Berman Presiding: Nechi Shudofsky East Ramp–2nd Floor In this session we will examine the impact of post-high school yeshivot in Israel on their male students. We will strive to understand the hurdles and view curriculum examples of where yeshivot can inculcate greater halakhic observance while opening the minds of male students to greater involvement of women in Judaism.

12:45 pm – 2:00 pm LUNCH PICK UP 1st, 2nd and 5th Floors

LUNCH DISCUSSION GROUPS Agunah Advocacy Batya Levin Broadway Room- 2nd Floor

Alternative Families–Single Mothers by Choice Judy Heicklen Room 568

“Women Unchained” – How Can We Protect Our Daughters? The Making of a New Agunah Documentary Narrated by Mayim Bialik

Being Gay and Lesbian in the Orthodox World: Next Steps, New Directions Josh Teplitsky

Darryle Gillman and Beverly Siegel Presiding: Daniela Bellows Schreiber

Room 555

Room 569

College Students

After laboring to move heaven and earth to get her daughter a get, Darryle Gillman resolved to go public to help other woman avoid a similar fate. She enlisted writer/director Beverly Siegel who teamed up with editor Leta Lenik and they produced “Women Unchained,” a soon-to-be-released documentary chronicling six women’s experiences and featuring internationally known experts. Exposing the impact on children — and on parents who pay for their chained daughter’s freedom — “Women Unchained” takes an irreverent look at the process by which some women must “negotiate” their way out of a Jewish marriage. The session will feature preview clips and a discussion with the producers.

Laura Shaw-Frank

Work-Life Navigation and Negotiation: Stories and Solutions Rabbi Joanna Samuels and Deborah Grayson Riegel Satow Room–5th Floor In the first part of this one-hour workshop, we will hear from panelists as they reflect on navigating work and home life. In the second part, each of the participants in the workshop will identify a goal related to work-life and sketch out an action plan to address it with the help of Deborah Grayson Reigel, a personal coach.

Ferris Booth Upper- 4th Floor

Feminism for Men Josh Getzler and Michael Kellman Arledge Cinema–2nd Floor

High School Students Ilana Gleichbloom Satow Room–5th Floor

JOFA Advisory Council Dr. Idana Goldberg Room 502

JOFA in Your Community Dr. Amy Fox Griffel and Devorah Zlochower Auditorium–1st Floor (West End)

Partnership Minyanim Dr. Alanna Cooper Party Space–1st Floor

Raising Feminist Children Abigail Tambor West Ramp–2nd Floor

Social Justice Hannah Schacter Gampel Auditorium–1st Floor (East End)

Spouses of Clergy Sharon Weiss-Greenberg Room 501 continued >>>

THE JOFA CONFERENCE I 7


Social Justice • Ritual Inclusion • WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP • SPIRITUALITY

LUNCH TEXT STUDIES “When the Women Refused to Strip Off Their Finery” (Why Rosh Hodesh is a Woman’s Festival)

Jewish Camping: Women, Leadership and Empowerment

Dr. Rachel Adelman Presiding: Ann Pava

Room 569

Room 569 The story of the women’s refusal to participate in the worship of the Golden Calf is well known, but why their piety is linked to the reward of Rosh Hodesh demands further inquiry. In this session we will look at midrashic sources that link their piety with Matan Torah, and ultimately, to Eve’s transgression in the Garden of Eve. Rosh Chodesh is seen as a tikkun for the role of the First Woman in “the Fall.”

Women in Midrash: Inclusion and Exclusion of Women Avital Campbell Hochstein Presiding: Ronda Angel Arking East Ramp–2nd Floor We will look at the halakhic midrash (midrashei halakhah), analyze the language and thus the ways in which women are included in halakhah and whether that means inclusion or exclusion from social, religious and other realms of life.

2:00 – 3:00 pm SESSION 3 A Rabbi by Any Other Name… Rachel Kohl Finegold, Rabba Sara Hurwitz and Rosh Kehilla Dina Najman Moderator: Dr. Idana Goldberg Ferris Booth Upper–4th Floor Has the glass ceiling truly been shattered? What does the future hold for women in Orthodox communal leadership positions? Hear what today’s female leaders have to say about the expanding halakhic, spiritual leadership roles available to women today.

Creating and Recreating Jewish Rituals Dasee Berkowitz and Dr. Elana Zion Golumbic Presiding: Joan Sadinoff Katz West Ramp–2nd Floor Come and hear about the process by which women are creating and recreating rituals to mark significant life passages for themselves and their families. Through a ceremony to mark a simhat bat, a young girl’s third birthday, and a ceremony created for a new grandparent, we will explore the ways in which new Jewish rituals are developed in dialogue with Jewish tradition.

8 I THE JOFA CONFERENCE

Sharon Weiss-Greenberg Presiding: Rachel Rosen Summer camp can be an empowering and eye-opening experience for staff members and campers. This session explores how Jewish camping can shape religious values and perspectives that can endure for a lifetime. We will discuss the process of instituting policies and practices that help female campers gain a deeper understanding of what it means to take leadership roles in rituals and beyond.

Orthodox Women on Campus Panel of College Students Moderator: Laura Shaw-Frank Room 555 How are Orthodox college women defining their roles within their campus communities? What is the impact of the “year in Israel” on gender roles in college communities? How are campus rabbis responding to college women’s initiatives and concerns? Through a panel discussion with students from different campuses in America, this session will explore these and other opportunities and challenges facing Orthodox college women today.

Our Own Stories: A Writing Workshop Alieza Salzberg Room 502 Can a male narrator do justice to a woman’s story? We will examine the portrayal of women leaders in the Tanakh and rabbinic literature, and question whether the male story-tellers have endowed them with adequate power and independence. Our writing exercise will encourage participants to translate these characters into fully-liberated women or tell modern stories based on the heroines of the Tanakh. This session is also offered at 11:45 am.

Raising Sexually Healthy Children in an Orthodox World Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus Presiding: Dr. Valerie Altmann Broadway Room–2nd Floor We will address some of the major issues facing parents trying to raise children in the Orthodox community with a positive, healthy attitude towards sexuality, their own and others. How do you respond to issues of tzniut, masturbation, introduction of taharat hamishpacha and sexual identity? How do you function within the confines of a community, school or synagogue that may be introducing messages other than what you intend?


join the conversation

Speaking in a Language Rabbis Understand: Preventing Agunah Rachel Levmore Presiding: Carolyn Hochstadter Dicker East Ramp–2nd Floor Persuading an insular and resistant community, such as the rabbinate, to make use of innovative ideas in general is a challenge, all the more so when it comes to solving the agunah problem. A method which has been effective in disseminating the concept of prenuptial agreements for the prevention of get-refusal amongst the highly resistant group of Israeli rabbis, has been “speaking to them in their own language.”

The Feminist Mystique: A High School Educator’s Perspective Shira Hecht-Koller, Amanda Newman and Lisa Schlaff Presiding: Debbie Pine Party Space –1st Floor Join three high school educators to discuss how feminism is dealt with in each of their schools, both in the actual and hidden curriculum. This panel will address both the positive strides made by schools in incorporating feminism, as well as the challenges and areas that still need improvement. We will also discuss the general level of interest in feminism, or lack thereof, in their schools.

The Tent, the Field, and the Battlefield: The Dynamic Face of Biblical Motherhood Judy Klitsner Presiding: Seth Winberg Satow Room –5th Floor What do the infertile, tent-dwelling mothers of Genesis have in common with the military and spiritual leaders of the Book of Judges? We will examine the stories of a range of biblical women, noting common themes as well as striking literary inversions of matriarchal and patriarchal language and roles.

What Do We Mean When We Talk About God? Dr. Tamar Ross Presiding: Dr. Michelle Friedman Arledge Cinema–2nd Floor The pre-Socratic philosopher Xenophon suggested that if horses and lions had hands, horses would draw pictures of gods like horses and lions like lions. Is our God a person, only more so? If not, who or what is He (or She)? A brief look at the history of Jewish mysticism and particularly a few passages written by Rabbi A.I. Kook will reveal some radical and unexpected insights, significantly diminishing the gap between religious belief and heresy.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm SESSION 4 Halakhic Justice for the Agunah: A 40 Year Retrospective Blu Greenberg Presiding: Batya Levin Party Space –1st Floor Despite 40 years of efforts and a flurry of interest in recent years, the burning problem of suffering agunot in our community remains to haunt our collective conscience. Scholars, ancient and modern, clash over possible solutions, and we will try to assess these conflicting positions. A variety of communal and organizational efforts have been built up in our times, and these too will be critically evaluated in our session. Is it time for an agenda that will not keep us waiting another 40 years?

Honoring the Community: Women’s Participation in Public Torah Reading Wendy Amsellem Presiding: Josh Getzler Room 555 We will study together some of the halakhic issues that arise in partnership minyanim, specifically looking at questions surrounding women’s participation in public Torah readings. We will utilize both classical rabbinic texts as well as modern-day responsa.

I’m Not a Feminist, But I Play One on TV: Media & Gender in Srugim Shayna Weiss Presiding: Jenny Fisch Room 569 Srugim is an Israeli television show that focuses on the lives of religious Zionist singles living in Jerusalem, but the main focus of Srugim is the most universal of subjects: love and dating. What can we learn about religious Zionist attitudes towards sex and dating by watching a fictional television show? How are observant Jews challenging the status quo via new media production? Is there a “religious” way to create television? Clips of Srugim will be screened and discussion will follow.

Isaac’s Mother, Itsik’s Muse Professor Miriam Udel Presiding: Marilyn Stein Mantz West Ramp–2nd Floor This session will examine the figure of Biblical Sarah through midrashic eyes, both classical and modern. Taking in both rabbinic midrash and lyrical poetry by the twentieth-century Yiddish poet Itsik Manger, we will consider some of the central tropes in the depiction of the first Jewish woman, especially as she related to others in her family.

THE JOFA CONFERENCE I 9


Social Justice • Ritual Inclusion • WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP • SPIRITUALITY

Quilting as Prayer

Ta Shma, JOFA’s Halakhic Source Guide Series, presents:

Heather G. Stoltz

Can Women Touch a Torah Scroll?

Room 502

An In-depth Halakhic Text Study

Using a specific prayer or transformative experience as inspiration, design and create your own piece of fiber art. Discover the power art has to express that which words cannot fully articulate and create a piece which conveys what is deep within our souls. No sewing or quilting experience is necessary! (Limited to first 30 participants) This session is also offered at 10:30 am.

Devorah Zlochower Presiding: Pam Greenwood

Reading In: A Conversation About Women, Orthodoxy and the Writing Life Dr. Sylvia Barack Fishman and Tova Mirvis Presiding: Jennifer Breger Satow Room –5th Floor Novelist Tova Mirvis and Professor Sylvia Barack Fishman will talk about contemporary Jewish fiction by and about women. Mirvis offers a unique window into the novels that have inspired her and other writers and will talk about why Jewish themes resonate in current fiction. Together, Mirvis and Fishman will analyze new directions in fiction, and discuss the role multiculturalism has played in Jewish literature.

Reclaiming Women’s Names Lynn Kaye Presiding: Gloria Nusbacher East Ramp–2nd Floor Jewish names not only identify us, but express our family history by including the names of one or both of our parents. We will examine forms of names used in Jewish legal documents like ketubot and gittin, the custom of brides signing ketubot, and styles of names on gravestones. Our focus will be halakhic opportunities to include women’s names in these enduring texts.

Broadway Room –2nd Floor Despite the incontrovertible textual evidence that tum’ah, often translated as ritual impurity, has relevance only to the Temple and sacred foods, there is a popular notion that women, while in the state of niddah, should not touch a Torah scroll. We will examine the texts countering and supporting these practices. Are there prohibitions barring women in niddah from touching Torah scrolls? What are the sources for the popular practices that caused women in niddah to remove themselves or be removed from synagogues, studying Torah, and praying? What is the halakhic weight of these practices?

The Orthodox Baby Boom: How Did it Happen and Can it Go On? Viva Hammer Presiding: Ann Scherzer Room 568 Observant Jewish women are having some of the largest families in America. But it hasn’t always been so. Why are religious women having more children than their mothers? Can families and the communities afford these blessings? Is the trend a nine-day wonder, or a permanent fixture in the religious world?

What Should We Talk About When We Talk About Women’s Leadership? Dyonna Ginsburg, Rori Picker Neiss and Alana Newhouse Moderator: Rachel Rosenthal Arledge Cinema –2nd Floor

Rediscovering Mikveh: Creating a New Construct in Thinking about Mikveh Carrie Bornstein and Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus Presiding: Orly Lieberman Ferris Booth Upper–4th Floor Once upon a time, mikveh was presented to young brides as the panacea to all the problems in a marriage. More recently, the pendulum has swung the other way and mikveh-bashing is the rage. This session will attempt to find a moderated, sophisticated view of mikveh through a feminist lens.

10 I THE JOFA CONFERENCE

In recent years, women’s leadership has become one of the hottest topics in the Orthodox movement. However, there is extensive debate about how we should view the challenges presented by trying to better empower our women. Is women’s leadership a social justice imperative, where the failure to make progress is a violation of the rights of half of the (Orthodox) Jewish community? Should we see it as a socio-cultural issue, which requires further examination of the larger communal constructs before we can seek to make major changes? Or is it an education issue, where certain grassroots realities have to change before we can make change from the top? Join a conversation that explores these issues and helps us envision a community that is more open to everyone.


join the conversation

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm SESSION 5 “As if You Yourself Left Egypt”: Learning Shmot with New Eyes Tammy Jacobowitz and Judith Talesnick Presiding: Ronnie Becher Room 568 The authors of JOFA’s Shmot curriculum will introduce the curriculum to participants by learning the Shmot narrative of the midwives together. Building upon participants’ learning and questions, we will present the approach of the curriculum to participants and discuss the process used to develop each unit. We will also discuss how our schools can be encouraged to use the curriculum in the classroom.

Fixed Prayer, Spirituality and Inclusiveness: Can Creative Liturgy Fit in the World of Halakhic Boundaries? Dr. Adena Berkowitz and Rivka Haut Presiding: Rabbi Jeff Kobrin East Ramp–2nd Floor Does the traditional siddur integrate women among those who pray? How do the newest siddurim deal with this issue? In this session we will explore the daily and Shabbat liturgy, and discuss halakhically acceptable ways to incorporate the spiritual needs of women, singles, and those with and without children. We will examine the delicate balance between inclusiveness and adherence to halakhah, and how to create a welcoming prayer environment for all. Special attention will be paid to women’s participation in lifecycle events and in birkat hamazon, with analysis of sources dealing with women’s zimmun of three, and zimmun of ten, along with general ways to increase kavannah in tandem with the keva of prayer.

How Is This Commentary Different From All Others? An Introduction to The Torah: A Women’s Commentary Dr. Andrea Weiss and Dr. Wendy Zierler Presiding: Arlene Agus West Ramp–2nd Floor Dr. Andrea Weiss, Associate Editor of The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, and Dr. Wendy Zierler, a contributor, will teach from this award winning volume, highlighting Pesah related biblical passages. The Torah: A Women’s Commentary brings together the research and insights of over a hundred Jewish women: scholars, rabbis, and poets from around the world and from all segments of the Jewish community. We will discuss how this commentary was created, what makes it unique, and why it is relevant for an Orthodox audience.

Jewish Women Doing Justice Debbie Appel, Ruth Balinsky, Dyonna Ginsburg and Adina Mermelstein Konikoff Moderator: Allie Alperovich Party Space–1st Floor What are social justice organizations doing in America and Israel? How does the Jewish imperative to make change influence and shape our views of domestic and global responsibility? Come join women leaders from Bema’aglei Tzedek, American Jewish World Service, Jewish Funds for Justice, and Uri L’Tzedek, to learn about the work that they do, and how you can support and join their efforts to repair the world.

Mechitza: Meaning, Marginalization and Membership Rabbi Dov Linzer Presiding: Nathan Lindenbaum Auditorium–1st Floor Some are high, some are low, some are make-shift and some leave women sitting closer to the ceiling than the Torah. The mechitza does more than physically divide the sexes, it also determines our perceptions about women’s presence in the synagogue. In this session we will look at three different explanations for the role and function of the mechitza, and explore how these different models impact not only the physical realities of the mechitza, but also the degree to which poskim, rabbis, and we ourselves see women as members of the prayer community, or as marginal to it.

Ta Shma, JOFA’s Halakhic Source Guide Series, presents:

Voices from Behind the Mechitza: Women and Kaddish An In-depth Halakhic Text Study

Rahel Berkovits Presiding: Sue Kahnowitz Satow Room–5th Floor During the critical time of mourning, women often encounter opposition to their desire to honor their deceased loved one by reciting kaddish. Is there precedent within the halakha for women saying kaddish? May she say it alone or only accompanied by a man? Can her voice be heard from the women’s section or should she enter the men’s section to be in the presence of a minyan? Through a serious text study of responsa and legal rabbinic literature we will examine the issues surrounding this emotional topic.

The Rabbinic Team: A New Model of Leadership Rabba Sara Hurwitz and Rabbi Steven Exler Moderator: Leora Tanenbaum Arledge Cinema – 2nd Floor As women join the ranks of synagogue rabbinic leadership new questions are asked: do women and men serve different populations, or serve differently? What are the strengths and weaknesses of a collaborative model? Join Rabba Sara Hurwitz and Rabbi Steven Exler of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale as they discuss division of labor and their varying roles. Help envision alternative models for women and men clergy to effect community.

THE JOFA CONFERENCE I 11


Social Justice • Ritual Inclusion • WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP • SPIRITUALITY

The RCA Prenup: $10,000 and Counting? Dr. Susan Aranoff Presiding: Rabbi Elie Weinstock

MIDDLE SCHOOL TRACK

Room 555

Room 477

In this session, the legal/halakhic and procedural issues underlying several real, precedent-setting cases with the RCA Beit Din will be discussed. In one case, a former agunah whose spouse had signed a pre-nup agreement was awarded $10,000 in a Din Torah. In another, an annulment was obtained. Why did these cases have successful outcomes?

The Revelation of Esther: Listening For God in Our Times Erin Leib Smokler Presiding: Tamar Major Broadway Room–2nd Floor We stand between Purim and Pesah, two holidays with very different portrayals of God in the world. In this session, we will explore the models of revelation that each holiday represents and think about what it could mean to experience revelation today.

9:00 am –10:00 am Shivim Panim Amy Newman Take a close look at the faces — of rabbis, teachers, parents, friends, even celebrities—that influence your life and your choices.

10:15 am –11:00 am Mischief-making, Creativity and Empowerment Nancy Siegel A fun and creative experience where mischief is encouraged in the name of finding an empowered voice.

11:00 am –11:30 am Ask the Rabba Session

“Torah Im Shivyon:” A Vision of Orthodox Feminist Education

Rabba Sara Hurwitz

Dr. Elana Sztokman Presiding: Leora Shudofsky

11:45 am –12:45 pm Your “Inner Voice” is Speaking. Can You Hear It?

Room 569 The changes in Orthodoxy over the past three decades have failed to find parallel expression in the Orthodox school system. From preschool on, schools continue to send the message that women are predominately charged with the home, and men are in charge of prayer and ritual. Dr. Sztokman will discuss her vision of Orthodox day school education that incorporates the values of equality, feminism and social justice intertwined with Jewish life and tradition – with perspectives on feminism for girls and feminism for boys.

Aaron Steinberg, Moving Traditions

12:45 pm–2:00 pm Lunch, and Social Action—in Action! Daniel Rothner, Areyvut

2:00 pm–3:00 pm Heal the World Dyonna Ginsburg, Bema’aglei Tzedek

You Are Hereby Renewed Unto Me: Orthodox Women Challenge the Wedding Ritual Dr. Irit Koren Presiding: Michael Kellman Ferris Booth Upper–4th Floor This session will consider the ways in which women who identify as Orthodox feminists challenge, resist and adapt the traditional wedding ritual. We will discuss the problematic structure of the traditional wedding ritual and how it affects the Jewish divorce laws and specifically the issue of the agunah; examine the ways women create different strategies of interpretation for the wedding ritual acts and how they accordingly change and undermine the wedding ritual; and finally refer to the different legal and halakhic solutions that can be used to “redeem” the wedding ritual.

5:30 pm – 6:00 pm MINCHA Broadway Room –2nd Floor

SNACKS & SCHMOOZE 1st Floor–Auditorium North Lobby

12 I THE JOFA CONFERENCE

Explore social justice opportunities and learn how you can help.

3:15 pm–4:15 pm Tzniut Amy Newman It’s not just a girl thing! It’s not just a dress code!

4:30 pm–5:30 pm Can You Be Your Own Boss? Wendy Amsellem If you receive conflicting messages from your school and your family, how do you decide whom to listen to? We will study the story of the education of Eliezer ben Horkanos, a man who navigated this issue and became one of the great scholars of the Mishnah.


join the conversation

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE President:

Carol Kaufman Newman Conference Chair:

Audrey Axelrod Trachtman

WE WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE FOLLOWING CONFERENCE SPONSORS JOFA FILM FESTIVAL The Etzioni Charitable Foundation: Ray and Matthew Lindenbaum, Rebecca and Bennett Lindenbaum, Shari and Nathan Lindenbaum, Victoria and Ben Feder, Abigail and Shai Tambor

Program Co-Chairs:

Judy Abel Allie Alperovich Film Festival Chair:

Judy Heicklen Middle School Track:

MIDDLE SCHOOL TRACK Amanda Newman and Josh Getzler, Diana Newman and Isaac Corré, Marisa B. Newman and Tali and Josh Newman In honor of our mother and JOFA’s President, Carol Kaufman Newman, for leading the way into the future

Amy Newman Daniela Bellows Schreiber

CONFERENCE PILLARS Women in Leadership Fanya Gottesfeld Heller

Logistics:

Pam Scheininger

Spirituality Suzan and Fred Ehrman

Exhibits:

Social Justice The David Berg Foundation

Debra Katz Lunch Discussion Groups:

Rose Landowne Nechi Schudofsky Program Committee Members:

Ilana Gleichbloom Dr. Idana Goldberg Beth Goldman Shoshi Lockshin Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus Rori Picker Neiss Rachel Rosenthal Lisa Schlaff Laura Shaw-Frank Erin Leib Smokler Abigail Tambor Executive Director:

Ritual Inclusion Bethia Straus and Paul Quintas In Honor of Judy Heicklen

MINCHA/MA’ARIV BOOKLET Dedicated in Memory of Fred Hochstadter Carolyn Hochstadter Dicker and Adam Dicker, Michal, Shimshon and Yehuda

EXHIBITS Dedicated in honor of Bracha Jaffe, Geela Naiman, and Ricki Heicklen

SPECIAL THANKS TO Skyview Wine & Liquors for providing the wine for the Saturday evening Film Festival The Milburn Hotel for the Carry-All Bags Tali and Josh Newman and Josh Blechner for Photography & Videography

Robin Bodner Program Director:

Karen Klieger Sponder Executive Assistant:

Tamima Wyszkowski

THE JOFA CONFERENCE I 13


Social Justice • Ritual Inclusion • WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP • SPIRITUALITY

We thank all of those whose generosity supports our conference, projects and programs Founder

Guardians

Ambassadors

Zelda R. Stern

Dr. Amy Fox Griffel and Dr. Martin Griffel Phyllis Hammer Gail Katz and Mayer Bick Vered and Jeremy Kaufman Bat Sheva Marcus and Elliot Schwartz Gail Propp Rachel Rosen and Mickey Rosen

Lollie and Hertzie Bak Dr. Jayne Beker Jill and David Blumenthal Adrienne Goldfeder Turok and Michael Turok Dr. Marcy Goldstein and Eran Bellin Dr. Sylvia Barack Fishman and Phillip Fishman Sally Gottesman Pam and Matt Greenwood Rachel Neumark Herlands and Jonathan Herlands Rena G. Hoffman Susanne V. Kochan-Lorch and Steven Lorch Shannon Love Gladys and Matthew J. Maryles Evelyn Musher Barbara Rascoff Judy and Gary Rosenblatt Raquel and Aryeh Rubin, Targum Shlishi Miriam Schachter and Benjamin Gampel Elaine Schreiber Linda and Morris Shamah Nechi Shudofsky Diane Troderman

The Harry Stern Family Foundation Pacesetter

Belda and Marcel Lindenbaum Grantors

Judy Heicklen Abbie and Moshe Greenberg Carol Kaufman Newman and Melvin Newman

Supporters Benefactors Etzioni Charitable Foundation:

Victoria and Ben Feder Ray and Matthew Lindenbaum Rebecca and Bennett Lindenbaum Shari and Nathan Lindenbaum Abigail and Shai Tambor Monique C. Katz, M.D. Barbara Duberstein Messer and David Messer Patrons

Dr. Laurel Mayer Hecht and Jonathan Hecht Abigail and Shai Tambor Sponsors

Anonymous Giti and Jack Bendheim David Berg Foundation Carolyn Hochstadter Dicker and Dr. Adam Dicker Suzan and Fred Ehrman Tamar and Eric Goldstein Susan and Jacques Gorlin Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Rose and Morton Landowne Batya and Ezra Levin Dinah and Andrew Mendes Ann and Jeremy Pava Bethia Straus and Paul Quintas Audrey and Dr. Chaim Trachtman Ina and David Tropper Ellie and David Werber Donors

Judy Abel and Michael Brill Allie Alperovich and Dr. Jeremy Simon Lili Goldberg Blu and Rabbi Yitz Greenberg Daniela Bellows Schreiber and Laurence Schreiber

14 I THE JOFA CONFERENCE

Robin and Allen Bodner Tamara Charm Miriam and Eric Feldstein Ileana Flics Charles Gold, David, Seth and Steve Farber and their families Eva G. Haberman Dr. Lloyd Hoffman Alexandra Leichter and Michael Maroko Amanda Newman and Josh Getzler Diana Newman and Isaac Corré Tali and Josh Newman Rita Poretsky Memorial Fund Laura Shaw-Frank and Rabbi Aaron Frank Rachel T. and Michael Stein Serafina Bier Weiner Contributors

Andi and David Arnovitz Lottie and Ludwig Bravmann Tova and Norman Bulow Dobkin Family Foundation Yvette Edidin Kathleen Peratis and Richard Frank Lee Amin Furman Phyllis and Stanley Getzler Rena Septee Goldstein and Mark Goldstein Malka and Paul Herman Joan Sadinoff Katz and Henry Katz Ruth and Daniel Krasner Sally Mendelsohn and David Lowenfeld Gloria Nusbacher Joyce and Daniel Straus Dr. Linda Belfer Weiner, Barbara Belfer Weinblatt and Dr. Michelle Friedman Ariel Groveman Weiner and Josh Weiner

Friends

Ronnie and Michael Becher Jennifer and Marshall Breger Marcia Baum Cohen Frayda Gonshor Cohen and Yonatan Cohen Judith R. Feder Jenny and Menachem Fisch Darryle Gillman Idana Goldberg and Michael Kellman Janet B. Goodvach Esther Gross Kremer Laurie Dorn Margolies Rabbi Rim Meirowitz, Temple Shir Tikvah Marisa B. Newman Rebecca and Barry Rosenstein Pam Scheininger and Joseph Spraragen Erica Schwartz Karen Klieger Sponder and Marc Sponder Rachel Steinberg Warschawski Devorah Zlochower and Rabbi Dov Linzer


join the conversation

NOTES:

THE JOFA CONFERENCE I 15


Social Justice • Ritual Inclusion • WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP • SPIRITUALITY NOTES:

16 I THE JOFA CONFERENCE


join the conversation

Andi Arnovitz is an artist living in Jerusalem, Israel. Working primarily in etchings and printing processes, she creates fine art prints, artist books and large scale pieces that deal with contemporary issues of Jewish, Feminist and Israeli content. She has had many solo exhibitions and participated in group shows in Europe and the United States. Recently she was selected to be the Brandeis Artist-in-Residence where she installed her newest works titled: “Tear/Repair.” This show is currently on display at the Kniznik Gallery and will travel in the spring to Yeshiva University Museum, New York, where it will be on display through the fall. Her web site is www.andiarnovitz.com Vest of Prayers This Vest of Prayers was created out of old, discarded, moldy and worm-eaten prayerbooks purchased on the streets of Mea She’arim. As an artist, I am attracted to old books, especially old prayerbooks and Gemaras because of the many hands who have touched the books before: the multiple moments of need, gratefulness, fear and mourning experienced between the very pages of those books. As a woman, I found it ironic that I could easily purchase these books, books that by all rights should have been taken to a Geniza. Religious men happily took my money, never asking questions of what I, obviously a non-Haredi woman, would be doing with such worn-out books. I felt I was rescuing them, giving them another life. The Vest of Prayers is both a comment on the role of the individual in terms of the community, as well as a political statement. The vest is meant to offer a dramatic alternative to a suicide vest worn by terrorists. A suicide vest carries as many nuts, bolts, screws and shards of metal to inflict as much harm on as many people as possible. This, the Jewish counterpoint, carries the ultimate Jewish tools: words, paper and string. It contains hundreds and hundreds of prayers; as many as can be packed into the vest.

Photography and Videography Release By registering or appearing at the JOFA Conference and Film Festival, participants grant to JOFA, its representatives and employees the right to take photographs and /or video in connection with the Conference and publish the same in print and/or electronically, including for example such purposes as publicity, illustration, advertising, and Web content. conference material design: winerdesign/julie farkas


let’s keep the conversation going… join us on our blog at www.jofa.org

www.jofa.org 520 Eighth Avenue Fourth Floor New York, NY 10018 212.679.8500

JOFA  

Conference Program

Advertisement