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.