JOFA Australia, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, seeks to expand the spiritual, ritual, intellectual and political opportunities for women in Australia within the framework of Halakha (Jewish law).
We do this by advocating meaningful participation and equality for women in family life, synagogues, houses of learning and Jewish communal organizations to the full extent possible.
1. To shape Australian communal discourse to actively invite orthodox women’s participation in Jewish ritual, learning and leadership;
2. To orient Australian Jewish communal discourse in light of the question: “How do we best ensure a vibrant, relevant Orthodox Judaism for people of all genders?”
3. To empower women to ask questions of their rabbinic leaders and initiate positive changes in their communities;
4. To change the Orthodox community’s attitude towards women from ‘allowing’ or ‘admitting’ to actively ‘inviting’ and ‘valuing’ Orthodox women’s participation out of recognition that investing in women and their skills benefits the entire Australian community;
5. To shift the expectations of Orthodox girls and women in the sphere of Jewish education and practice; and
6. To empower Australian Orthodox women through education about women’s ritual obligations and the possibilities for ritual participation based on interpretations within Halakha.
What We Do
As part of this work we provide:
1. Education and Scholarships;
2. Leadership and guidance for Orthodox Jewish life-cycle events;
3. Advocacy through social media and events to highlight Orthodox feminist issues in the Australian community and Jewish world;
4. Ritual training for Orthodox Jewish women;
5. Advice and cooperative dialogue with existing Jewish women’s Organisations across Australia and the world; and
6. The first ever Australian Jewish women’s speakers bureau.