JOFA zooms with a Rabbanit in Efrat

September 6, 2021 by Community newsdesk
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The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance Australia (JOFA) recently hosted Rabbanit Shira Marili Mirvis on ZOOM.

Rabbanit Shira Marili Mirvis was recently appointed as the first-ever sole female Rabbanit of Kehillat Shirat HaTamar, an orthodox congregation in Efrat, Israel. Prior to this, Shira had a fellowship with Midreshet Lindenbaum’s Institute for Halachic Leadership where she became certified in the topics of Shabbat, Niddah, Chuppah and Kiddushin, Brachot, and Issur V’Heter.

Titled “Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Q&A with Rabbanit Shira Marili Mirvis” the discussion centred on questions from the audience seeking advice about how to promote greater inclusion of women in orthodoxy with a special focus on Australia.

Due to lockdowns, many cities will not be hosting synagogue services this year over the high holidays, so Rabbanit Marili Mirvis also provided a pertinent Rosh Hashanah message. It was a real treat to hear from a gifted educator and leader in Israel at a time when travel is not possible.

Vice President of JOFA Australia Sharona Jotkowitz facilitated the Q&A. While JOFA in Australia is just a few months old, the event was joined by Daphne Lazar Price, the Executive Director of JOFA in the United States, who showed her support for the burgeoning alliance.

“Men and women in the Australian Jewish community were thrilled to be able to hear from Rabbanit Shira Marili Mirvis,” said Nomi Kaltmann, JOFA Australia president. “While Rabbanit Marili Mirvis has previously visited Australia many decades ago, this was the first time that the Australian Jewish community had the chance to hear from her firsthand. We were thrilled with the clever and relevant advice Rabbanit Marili Mirvis provided about how to advance progress for orthodox women,” said Kaltmann.

With a crowd of over 75 listening live to the ZOOM conversation, JOFA Australia hopes that this will be the beginning of a long and ongoing relationship with Rabbanit Marili Mirvis. “Based on the feedback we received from the event, Rabbanit Marili Mirvis’s words and wisdom were well received and many found her to be insightful and introspective,” said Kaltmann. “We hope that we will be able to welcome her back to Australia in person one day soon when borders re-open!”

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