United Synagogue agrees new role to promote women’s participation
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United Synagogue agrees new role to promote women’s participation

Organisation's council agrees Women’s Officer role offering guidance and support in shul

Women at the inaugural Neshama festival, held by the Chief Rabbi

Credit: Blake Ezra
Women at the inaugural Neshama festival, held by the Chief Rabbi Credit: Blake Ezra

The United Synagogue Council has approved the creation of a new executive position with a remit to support the active participation of women in community life and religious services.

The new Women’s Officer role mirrors those already created in a number of member synagogues, whereby Women’s Officers act as a point of contact, offering guidance and support in the women’s section of the synagogue.

They tell wardens of women wishing to recite Kaddish or include a name for a misheberach for Cholim (prayer for the sick) and provide input and support in planning the ceremonial elements of a Bat Mitzvah and Simchat Bat.

“It’s a simple step for shuls to take in order to promote women’s engagement and involvement,” Yehudit Bauernfreund, who works in a similar role in the US community of Alei Tzion.

“It provides a framework for the organisation of women’s only services and enables us to create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for women who visit or join.”

Director of Communities and Strategy Jo Grose said: “This is a very positive development for us. I thank the Chief Rabbi for his ongoing guidance throughout the process.”

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