Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has announced an educational initiative for women that he hopes will set a new tone within the British Jewish community, writes Jenni Frazer.

The Neshama Festival, described as “groundbreaking” by the organisers, will take place in January and will be a unique women’s learning event, aimed at attracting women from all levels of religious observance.

Michelle Bauernfreund from the Chief Rabbi’s Office said the festival, scheduled to take place after Shabbat on 27 January, would offer learning for women in the UK in a uniquely creative way.

She said: “The sessions will span a wide variety of topics, through the media of film, music, art and dance, in addition to traditional learning
options.”

All rabbis, rebbetzen and educators have been notified and asked to encourage their community’s women to attend the festival.

The Chief Rabbi wants Neshama to inspire a much greater enthusiasm for learning among women. He said: “Our objective is for Neshama to create a paradigm shift in the provision of Jewish educational experiences for women in our communities.

“We are bringing together some of the most talented female educators and presenters from around the world for a one-of event in London.

“My hope is that it will act as a catalyst for similarly innovative and creative events to be held at a local level, right around the country.”