Voices in the Wilderness: Emerging Roles of Israel Clergywomen
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Edited by Jonathan L Friedmann and Meeka Simerly
This is an amazing book about Jewish women’s rights in the traditional world of religious practice. This is an important ongoing debate in the Jewish world. Women are increasingly claiming the right of religious practice equal to men. In Israel traditional religious practice does not allow women in roles of religious leadership. In this book nine Jewish Reform clergywomen describe their experiences of becoming religious professionals, either rabbis or cantors. Some were born in Israel and others in the United States or Russia, but all found their way to Israel where Orthodox practice is the primary state-supported form of Judaism. Although Orthodox Judaism does not permit women to lead regular services, Reform and Conservative Judaism do. In these nine narratives women tell their personal stories of religious practice within the background of their families and social contexts.