Rabbi initiates women-friendly synagogue
New plan formulated by Rabbi Yuval Sherlo aims to turn synagogues into 'places of worship for all' by increasing women's participation in the life of the congregation
Kobi Nahshoni • Ynet
Rabbi Yuval Sherlo, head of the Petah Tikva hesder yeshiva, has recently formulated an elaborate halachic document aimed at facilitating the integration of women into prayer services and the life of the congregation, while striving for the maximum level of equality allowed by the Halacha.
In the plan, which was presented at a conference at the Lander Institute in Jerusalem Wednesday, Sherlo calls for renovating synagogues in order to adjust them to women's prayers, to encourage women to dance with the Torah scroll and allow orphaned women recite the kaddish prayer alongside men.
He also advoctaes having women conduct Torah lessons to all members of the congregation, male and female alike.
The rabbi stressed that the initiative should not be construed as capitulation to the demands of religious feminists. It was motivated by a desire to turn the synagogue into a place of worship for the entire community, "which is a clear interest of men," as he stated.
Sherlo suggested founding a rabbinical body, made up of both men and women, to discuss these ideas.