Monday, November 13
Radical Grace Screening at JCC Manhattan
Join us for a special Center for Jewish Living screening of Radical Grace, a feature-length documentary that follows three feminist nuns as they pursue justice, navigate Church hierarchy, and maintain their faith in the face of persecution by their own religious institution. The film will be preceded by an interfaith panel about the role of women's leadership across faith and justice movements. Confirmed panelists include Reverend Neichelle Guidry, Sister Theresa Kane, and Rabba Sarah Hurwitz.
Cohosted with Auburn Seminary, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, the Muslim American Leadership Alliance, Sojourners, and the Women's Ordination Conference.
The first JOFAton
The first JOFA Shabbaton id coming! Save the date for March 9-11, 2018. Details coming shortly!
JOFA Journal Book Clubs: Are you interested in discussing the articles in the newest issue—and future issues—of the JOFA Journal with people in your own community? Partner with JOFA to host a reading group (think: book club) in your home! We’ll provide discussion guides to get the conversation going, tips for facilitating groups, and a sample e-vite. Questions are very open-ended, and you can choose which you want to discuss! You will decide which issues resonate most strongly for your group.
In addition to inviting your own friends, fellow shul members, and neighbors, you can ask JOFA to help you advertise and identify people who might be interested in joining your group! For more information about this new initiative or to volunteer your home, please contact JOFA Program Manager Rivka Cohen at [email protected].
November 20-Oped Event
JOFA is proud to present an op-ed writing workshop for women, featuring Hannah Dreyfus, staff writer at the Jewish Week and Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt, Life/Features editor at the Forward! This interactive event will teach you how to construct a compelling pitch, what makes an interesting story, how to find a fitting publication for your story, how to connect with editors, and more!
This event will be on November 20, at 6:00 PM at 520 8th Avenue. The event was first open to members of JOFA's Women's Leadership Initiative and is now open to all women leaders and lay-leaders, on a first-come first-served basis. There are limited spots available, so sign up now!
Mesorah blogcast, Nov 27-29
The term Mesorah, or tradition, is regularly used within Orthodoxy to both include and exclude. Halakhic and hashkafic positions that might seem insufficiently grounded in texts may be deemed acceptable because they are “part of the mesorah”; positions that reasonably interpret texts may be rejected because they are “not part of the mesorah”. While “the mesorah” seems like an inherently exclusionary term, Orthodoxy also recognizes the legitimacy of multiple mesorot, and the right of those who bear even a minority mesorah to maintain their distinctive ways.
The concept of mesorah resembles the concept of “canon” in the humanities; and the Orthodox mesorah is prima facie even more subject than Western culture to the critique that it excludes the thoughts and experiences of women, LGBTQ people, and others. Because the Judaism conveyed through mesorah is so powerful however, both intellectually and experientially, serious Jews increasingly seek to participate in rather than repudiate that tradition, while at the same time maintaining their identities and voices as members of communities they see as marginalized by the masoretic past. Some of them focus on the Masoretic future, while others seek to create a “usable past”, a mesorah (re)constructed rather than transmitted.
This online panel is meant to explore the extent to which those efforts can and should succeed. There are no predetermined outcomes. Each participant is taking a risk by entering the dialogue; there is a chance that things precious to them will be appropriated or devalued by their interlocutors in painful ways. But there is also a chance that the conversation will increase mutual understanding in ways that will enable mesorah/bearers to be inclusive of more Jews, and more Jews to be open to identifying with mesorah. JOFA sponsors it in that hope.
Rabbi Aryeh Klapper
Rabbi Aviva Richman
Rabbi Noah Gradofsky
100 Years of Women's Learning and Beis Yaakov!
100 years ago, Sara Schenirer founded the first Jewish girls school, "BaisYaakov." This began a movement to support and encourage educating Jewish women for the next century!
In honor of 100 years of women's learning, we want to know what you are learning in recognition of the anniversary, and for any stories you have about a meaningful educational you've experienced as a Jewish woman.
Take the survey here.
And stay tuned for our Bais Yaakov Centennial webinar on November 30th!
Monologues of the Makom
“Makom” literally means "place" in Hebrew, but is also the most popular Talmudic euphemism for "vagina." Sara Rozner, inspired by Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, created Monologues from the Makom, an all-women's space to share and listen to self-authored creative pieces related to sexuality, body image, gender, and Jewish identity. There have been three such Monologues from the Makom events, including at the 2017 JOFA Conference -- and now we are going to compile these creative pieces into a book, to share with a much wider audience!
We encourage you to submit your written pieces, in the form of traditional monologues or other modalities, such as poetry, short story, or visual art. Monologues from the Makom is an affirming, positive space and while not all submissions will make it into the book, all voices are warmly welcomed.
If you have any questions or want to discuss an idea, please reach out to us at [email protected]! We would love to speak to you about your ideas and act as a sounding board.
Submit your piece by December 1st: https://goo.gl/forms/CB2Pxtez5QBnj0jW2.
"A Bigger Tent"
The Fall 2017 JOFA Journal focusing on families is now available online!
JOFA means so much to you. JOFA is the place where you share ideas with like-minded people. JOFA is where you find the tools for advancing social change in your community. Being a member of JOFA enables you to connect with people, like you, who are working to make the religious world a better place for women -- and men. JOFA is you. It’s who you are. It’s your identity, your voice, and your community. Become a member and stay connected to people just like you. JOFA is where you belong.