Women as Orthodox Synagogue Presidents

In many Orthodox communities, the status quo prohibits women from becoming synagogue presidents. Sometimes this condition is laid out in synagogue by-laws, and other times it is an implicit and unwritten understanding. For whatever reason, there are many communities that prohibit women from entering the highest ranks in synagogue leadership, despite their authority in the secular world.      

Join JOFA in celebrating women who have served and currently serve as presidents of Orthodox synagogues by visiting our Presidential Wall of Honor.  We encourage you to share information about women synagogue presidents you know who are not yet on our list.  

We are confident that in the future we will see this list grow in length and look forward to many more opportunities to celebrate these women’s achievements.

Why aren’t more women presidents of Orthodox synagogues?  

Call to Action: Tell us about the current state of your synagogue’s policies on this topic by filling out a brief survey here.

To learn more about some of the halakhic discussions regarding women serving as communal leaders, read “A King… and Not a Queen” (from JOFA Journal, Winter 2004) here or listen to  Why the Rambam was Wrong: Women in Leadership by Daniel Sperber (JOFA Conference, 2010).