The Men’s Sec­tion: Ortho­dox Jew­ish Men in an Egal­i­tar­i­an World

  • Review
By – May 10, 2012
Recent years have seen a blur­ring of denom­i­na­tion­al lines and the growth of syn­a­gogues and minyan­im that do not con­form to prac­tices that are char­ac­ter­is­tic of the des­ig­na­tions Reform, Con­ser­v­a­tive, Recon­struc­tion­ist, or Ortho­dox. Among these groups are what researcher and activist Ele­na Maryles Sztok­man calls part­ner­ship minyan­im,” which large­ly fol­low mod­ern Ortho­dox prac­tices, but have found ways with­in a Halachic frame­work to enable women to play a greater role in ser­vices. This vol­ume looks at an unex­pect­ed con­se­quence of these minyan­im: a rework­ing of what the male role looks like in a tra­di­tion­al­ly obser­vant com­mu­ni­ty when men no longer dom­i­nate all pub­lic reli­gious roles. In explor­ing this issue, we are giv­en glimpses into the lives and out­looks of the men who have empow­ered their wives and daugh­ters, often risk­ing their own self-image or ridicule by oth­ers. Inter­views and case stud­ies give read­ers insights into these men, their fam­i­lies, and their communities.
Rab­bi Arnold D. Sam­lan is a Jew­ish edu­ca­tor and rab­bi liv­ing in Mia­mi, Flori­da. He serves as exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Orloff Cen­tral Agency for Jew­ish Edu­ca­tion of Broward County.

Discussion Questions