Helping to find orthodox women with public speaking skills

July 26, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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After successfully launching in Melbourne in May 2021, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance Australia is establishing a national orthodox female speaker’s bureau.

“JOFA Australia will create a public resource that will be helpful for many Jewish community organizations seeking to better include women,” said JOFA Australia president, Nomi Kaltmann, “Many organisations and synagogues have expressed interest in having a centralized bureau that will allow them to find orthodox women who are qualified to speak at events or on panels and we hope that by creating this resource we will multiply the opportunities available for women in communities across Australia,” she said.

The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance Australia is the second international branch of the original Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, which was created in New York City in 1997, with the first international branch created in the UK in 2013.  JOFA Australia aims to provide Jewish women across Australia with opportunities to promote leadership and support women’s Torah learning, public speaking, teaching and engagement in all areas of Orthodox life.

The speaker’s bureau will be housed on the JOFA Australia website, and the expression of interest form has an option allowing people to both self-nominate or nominate other qualified women. Women from all states and territories across Australia are invited to apply,

“Sometimes women have a hard time putting themselves forward for opportunities,” said Chaya Herszberg, a member of JOFA Australia’s board who is taking the lead on the speaker’s bureau. “Overseas we have seen that the American JOFA speaker’s bureau has allowed many women to be considered for speaking opportunities and we are keen to replicate this success in Australia,” said Herzberg.

President Nomi Kaltmann noted, “Australia has shown itself to be ready for greater women’s involvement in all Orthodox areas of life with many women seeking to participate in learning and teaching Torah. JOFA Australia intends to promote existing initiatives as well as actively promote women to positions of leadership in Orthodox institutions across Australia.’

With the successful launch now behind it, the newly formed JOFA Australia is seeking to ensure its upcoming events and programming reflects many segments of the Orthodox community.

“We encourage anyone interested in participating in the Speaker’s Bureau to fill in the form, or visit the JOFA website, Facebook or Instagram page where they can find more information and join the alliance,” said Herszberg.

The link to register for the bureau is here:

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