A new initiative is paying Orthodox synagogues in the United States to hire female spiritual leaders.
The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance announced Sunday that it is giving grants of up to $10,000 per year to synagogues that hire women in newly created positions as spiritual leaders.
Synagogues can receive a matching grant equaling half of the money that they commit, meaning that they would have to commit $20,000 to receive the maximum $10,000 grant per year. Synagogues can receive funding for two years.
The funds for the project were donated by Ann and Jeremy Pava of West Hartford, Connecticut.
The ordination of women as rabbis and spiritual leaders is fraught in the Orthodox world.
A decade ago, Yeshivat Maharat opened in New York as the first Orthodox institution in North America to ordain women as clergy members. The institution has faced pushback from many in the establishment Orthodox world, including the Orthodox Union.
The Conservative and Reform movements have been ordaining women as rabbis for decades.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.