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Women from Across Judaism to Gather for Prayer Event in New York

NEW YORK — More than 350 women from four Jewish movements will gather in New York City (March 1) for an unprecedented dialogue on female spirituality in Judaism.
Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Jewish participants in the sold-out event, called “This Is My Prayer – Va’ani
Tefillati: Jewish Women in Prayer,” will come from all the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
The schedule includes a lecture on ritual baths by Anita Diamant, an author and president of Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh, and a performance by folk singer Debbie Friedman. The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Aliza Lavie, author of last year’s “A Jewish Woman’s Prayer Book,” which inspired the event.
The conference aims “to bring women from across the Jewish denominational spectrum together, something that does not happen frequently, to talk about a subject dear to all of us: the ways in which we feel a need to reach out to God in gratitude, pain, or even anger,” explained Dr. Anne Lerner, director and founder of the Jewish Women’s Studies Program of The Jewish Theological Seminary, one of the sponsors.
Other sponsors for the interdenominational dialogue include the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, Women of Reform Judaism, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, and the Kolot Center for Jewish Women’s & Gender Studies at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Abraham Joshua Heschel School, Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, and Lilith magazine.
The conference schedule is available at
By Nicole Neroulias
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

  • pagansister

    The conference sounds like it would be extremely interesting. IF I was a Jewish woman…I’d seriously consider attending.

  • nnmns

    A lecture on ritual baths?

  • Scott R.

    The mikveh (ritual bath) is a vital part of Judaism, to both men and women.

  • jestrfyl

    Faye Kellerman wrote an great crime novel about the mikveh, called (conveniently enough) “Ritual Bath”. It is my theory that David (of King David fame) was not simply guilty of being a peeping Tom (or peeping David) when he spied Bathsheba from his rooftop perch. His real guilt was denying her the privacy required for the mikveh – a sin against God as well as the woman. And that is why his troubles began to cascade around him.

  • nnmns

    So is her name, Bathsheba a literary device? And what does the “sheba” part mean, if anything?

  • Henrietta22

    The Ritual Bath or Milkveh is a time that only a jewish woman can partake of, no men. Even God knew that women should be left alone once in a while with no interruptions.

  • pagansister

    “Even god knew that women should be left alone once in a while with no interruptions.” Henrietta
    Good point!

  • pagnsister

    OOPS! “Even God knew…”

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