JOFA Conference 2017


JOFA Conference 2017: Chart (Y)our Course



More pictures can be viewed here!


January 14th at the Kraft Center (606 W. 115th Street, New York, NY 10027)

January 15th at Lerner Hall (2920 Broadway, New York, NY 10027)

The Columbia / Barnard Hillel is a proud sponsor of this year’s JOFA Conference and the Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life will be hosting our Saturday night programming. 

Thank you to the many hundreds of people who joined us for an amazing conference! 

We welcomed over 1,200 participants from hundreds of cities in seven different countries to join in over 50 sessions on diverse topics including mikveh, sexual abuse, education, prayer, ritual, LGBT inclusion, marriage and divorce, Women of the Wall and more. It was, by all accounts, a huge success! The day long event, the ninth conference on feminism and orthodoxy since 1997, generated excited conversations about the status of women in religious life, and gave participants skills, resources and inspiration for promoting change in their communities.  

 RECORDINGS FROM THE 2017 CONFERENCE: Including the Opening Plenary, and select conference sessions!

Our generous thanks to the Jewish Broadcasting Service!








Orthodox Women Rabbis, Check. Now What??>by Hannah Dreyfus
"Sessions were packed, with participants frequently sitting on the floor to make it into crowded seminars. And it appeared that this year’s crowd was younger, about half male, and increasingly diverse."

After 20 Years, Orthodox Feminists Claim Big Victories — but Still Face Challenges?>by Debra Nussbaum Cohen
"Despite the continued obstacles facing Orthodox feminists, one thing is for certain: JOFA has galvanized a community."

JOFA conference highlights Orthodox women’s progress?>by Lori Silberman Brauner
"I agree that all segments of the Orthodox feminist community deserve to be acknowledged and addressed, and I was impressed that JOFA even held sessions relating to gay and lesbian couples and the experiences of those undergoing gender transition. It’s clear that Orthodox feminist leaders must continue to keep the tent wide open, ensuring that all the community’s stakeholders find a place for themselves."

Tablet Magazine's Unorthodox Podcast> moderated by Mark Oppenheimer - hear the shoutout to JOFA Conference 2017 at minute 2!

Can Orthodox Judiasm Be Feminist?>by Simi Lichtman 
"It was my first time attending a JOFA conference, and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew I wanted to be a part of the conversations going on that day. From sexual abuse in Orthodox institutions to the halachic and social implications of transitioning in the Orthodox community, the sessions were thought-provoking, inspiring, all those trite adjectives that will never fully capture the feeling I left with at the end of the day:"

Stronger Together> by Larry Yudelson
"Attendees at last week’s JOFA — that’s the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance — couldn’t escape the fact that there were very many of them. There were far more of them than anyone had expected. The evidence was in the people sitting on the floor and standing against the walls and spilling into hallways in session after session. "

Alternatives to kiddushin> by Larry Yudelson
"The way Jewish law mandates that marriages begin is no less problematic, according to presenters at one JOFA session. The session presented alternatives to kiddushin, the central marriage ritual, where the groom gives a bride a ring and says, “Behold, you are consecrated to me.”

Orthodox women Rabbis? It's a certainty?> by Miriam Shaviv
"At the opening plenary of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) conference in New York last week, a speaker asked any woman holding or studying for Orthodox rabbinic ordination to stand up. Around 20 women rose to their feet — one rabbi, several “rabbas” and many “Maharats”, which is short for Manhigah Hilchatit Ruchanit Toranit, or woman “leader of Jewish law, spirituality and Torah. It was hard not to be moved, and at least a couple of people around me were shedding tears."

YU Students React to the JOFA Conference> by Mindy Schwartz
"JOFA President Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus stressed the conference’s diversity in her speech at the introductory ceremony. She welcomed a diverse audience—women and men, an entire rainbow of religious affiliations including Modern Orthodox, Open Orthodox, Post-Orthodox, and even Yeshivish; people of all races and those of Ashkenazi and Sephardic heritage; young and old, from seniors to high schoolers to newborn babies; and members of the LGBT community."

On Orthodoxy and Feminism: JOFA Conference Reflections> by Miriam Zami
"I attended my first JOFA Conference last Sunday. I sat in an auditorium in Columbia University’s Lerner Hall among over a thousand other women and men, as we listened to opening remarks given by pioneers of the Orthodox feminist movement. Despite the many differences that set us apart from one another—some conspicuous, others not—we were all gathered for the same purpose: to support the advancement of women in the Orthodox world."

At Home on Foreign Soil> by Luz Toff
"Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend the international JOFA Conference in New York. I saw it as a valuable opportunity and I grasped it."

JOFA Conference Explores Orthodox Feminism on Campus> by Sara Weissman and Hannah Weintraub
"This month’s controversial OU ban on female clergy roles came on the heels of an Orthodox event advocating just the opposite – JOFA 2017."

The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance Conference> by Gabriela Geselowitz
"Get on your feminist hats, or tichels, or sheitels, because it’s time for the JOFA Conference 2017."