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.”