Synagogue Structure and Leadership

The following are practices that some Orthodox synagogues have introduced to make women feel more welcome. These ideas are based on the Summer 2000 JOFA Journal, a publication of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA). For further clarification of these innovations and for halakhic references, please call the JOFA office at (212) 752-7133 or email For more information about JOFA visit their web site at
  • Where structurally possible, mechitzot (dividers) are being placed down the center of the synagogue, with the bimah (lecturn) adjacent to the women's section.

  • Women serve on ritual committees, synagogue boards, as officers of the congregation and as synagogue presidents.

  • Women's tefilla groups are being increasingly offered space and made to feel welcome in Orthodox synagogues.

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