United Synagogue agrees new role to promote women’s participation

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

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.”

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

read more: