Kingston — A candid glimpse into what it's like to be young, Jewish and female in the 21st century.
That's what was offered at Sunday's Jewish Women's Symposium. The event was sponsored by the Chabad Lubavitch of Ulster County and was open to the public. Non-Jews and Jews alike were welcome to join in the celebration at Congregation Agudas Achim.
A panel of Orthodox Jewish scholars tackled subjects such as homosexuality, gender reassignment surgery, cross-dressing and divorce, among others.
"You wouldn't have a session like this 200 years ago," said panelist Rabbi Berel Bell, a judge on a rabbinical court in Montreal called the Va'ad Hair's Beth Din. "And you also would not have a rabbi encouraging a group of young women to participate in Jewish study."
The event was attended by about 100 people, including dozens of visiting college students.
"In a way, the Jewish perspective on women is ahead of its time," said 23-year-old Samantha Kuchlik of Manhattan. She is attending Wurzweiler Graduate School of Social Work at Yeshiva University. For example, she said, the Talmud requires that men put their wives' interests first. FULL ARTICLE...