The accusation that feminist Orthodoxy is Conservative Judaism in disguise might lead some to see my defense of “partnership minyanim” as proof. But I take seriously the notion that leaders from every Jewish stream can speak to and regarding each other without being marginalized nor conflated. The very framing of this issue by The Jewish Week (“Your Semicha Or Your Wife,” Feb. 26) is troubling.
Partnership minyanim are not in existence because rabbis’ wives have “asked for them,” but rather because Jewish Orthodox leaders see them as both possible within Orthodox halacha and necessary on moral grounds. It is also problematic to advocate, as the article does at its close, for partnership minyanim by virtue of the fact that “the people who came like it.” People like many things. That doesn’t make them normative or advisable.
Yeshiva University has made a serious mistake in threatening this rabbinical student, and the understanding of the issue in Jewish conversations is shoddy at best. In short: Integrity and openness are good for the Jews.
Congregation Netivot Shalom Berkeley, Calif.
Editor’s Note: The Jewish Week did not advocate for or against “partnership minyanim” in its story last week. The story quoted the rabbinical student in question, who said of the minyan, “The people who came like it.”