Not A Rabbi, But A “Religious Mentor”

Sara Hurwitz, 30, is the religious mentor at Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in New York. The paid position was created by the synagogue’s rabbi, Avi Weiss, to empower women in a maledominated structure where prayer is gender-segregated. Though women cannot lead prayers or chant from the Torah, the reader’s platform (bimah) is accessible from the women’s section. This unusual innovation allows Hurwitz to ascend the bimah to give a discourse on the reading to the entire congregation and then resume her place in the women’s section without walking through the men’s seats.

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