Weekly roundup – Vayera

Members of Ezras Nashim.

In Alma, Paige Shoshannah reflected on her experience of the Halle synagogue attack on Yom Kippur, and reminds us of the great history of Jewish life in Germany:

To remember German Jews as victims, and only victims, dishonors the legacy of tradition, innovation, and life that happened before the Holocaust and that has continued to happen since.

In New York, Orthodox ambulance service Hatzolah have attempted to block Ezras Nashim, an all-female emergency services organisation, from gaining an ambulance licence. In this article Kalanit Taub, a female Hatzolah paramedic in Israel, explains why having frum women as emergency service workers is so important: ‘Female EMTs save lives. That’s the reality.’

On the Times of Israel, Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll describes how frum women are failing to receive appropriate care for serious diseases such breast and ovarian cancer due to modesty concerns:

“The threat to women’s health is real. We cannot allow the idea that women’s bodies are shameful, and the discussion of their health taboo, to flourish.

Sh’ma Now, a journal hosted by the Forward, announced that it would be ceasing publication. Its last issue features a reflection by Alice Shalvi on ageing, time and questioning.

Last week the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance announced grants of up to $10,000 USD to Orthodox synagogues that hire women as spiritual leaders.

Shayna Abramson, a Rabbinical student at the Orthodox , uses parashat Vayera to reflect on her experience of studying to be an Orthodox rabbi while female:

“I have realized that the moment for the laughter of doubt is gone. It is time to move on to the new laughter: the laughter of faith and rejoicing — faith in God, who gave us a Torah that espouses human dignity and equality, faith in my community that they will accept me, and faith in myself, that I have the ability to travel on my chosen path.

Finally, Alma published a beautiful story by Rachel Malaga on converting to Judaism with her mother:

Going through a conversion to Judaism is not an easy process. But going through it with my mom is something I am so happy I got to do.”

Shavua tov.

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