JOFA fills an important role in the Jewish world by striving to bridge the gap between men and women in traditional Judaism while understanding the importance of tradition and the slow processes of change within that tradition.
JOFA is a very empowering organization for traditional Jewish women. They lead the way in curriculum development, Jewish ritual practices, and scholarship that promotes gender equality within halacha.
As a fairly new observant Jewish woman, coming from a Progressive, feminist background and orientation, I consider JOFA often to be a port in the storm. Smart, active, and generous to newcomers like me, it's an inspiring and essential organization.
JOFA's newsletters and on-line insights are very informative. Conferences are a great learning experience and provide a forum for networking otherwise not available.
JOFA is a voice for Jewish women. Their support of scholarly work by women gives me resources to share with my students. JOFA conferences gave me the opportunity to learn more about how the Jewish community is addressing issues that affect me as a Jewish woman. JOFA's very existance testifies to the vitality of nurturing the next generation of Jewish women. In some way it empowered both me and my daughter so we could pursue and realize dreams of leadership in the Jewish community.
Innovative and compelling programs in general. Leadership amongst Orthodox women. Always good movies and panel discussions. Awesome literature to supplement study around the holidays too:)
I am not Orthodox, but it has helped me learn to chant Megillah Ester by providing a CD ram. Also, it has sent booklets and thoughts for Pesach and offers more services than I need to or can utlize. I am so proid of their Agunah service, although I do not need that help. I found them while seeking the Megillah, and it has been worthwhile being involved as a recipient. I DO FEEL A BIT GUILTY ABOUT NOT BEING ORTHODOX, BUT THEY DO NOT JUDGE ME.
Great organizations spreading Feminism and inclusion into the Jewish community. As a Rabbi at an all-women's college, I use their materials regularly and share them with my students.
JOFA is a unique organization in the Jewish community. It provides intellectual, emotional and spiritual support and refreshment to Jewish women who are both committed to Jewish tradition and practice and also engaged with the larger world. The conferences, publications and speakers are of the highest quality. It is a truly outstanding organization!
I live in a small community. The woman are professionals,traditional religiously, kind, generous and good people. BUT most are lacking in religious introspection. JOFA has given me a venue where I can share my conflicts between Orthodoxy and my feminism. The conferences have shown me that there are many other women (and men) who feel as I do and validate my frustrations and encourage me to work through them. Their monthly and holiday bulletens and divrei torah have fed my intellect and encouraged my spirituality. I have used these lessons at the seder table, Friday night shabbat dinners, and in conversations as I walk the boardwalk. I now say the motzei and when applicable the Zimun, and read the siddur more carefully.
I don't have any one special experience with JOFA. I have attended their conferences from the start and find them to be dedicated, bright women from a variety of backgrounds who are looking to help women all over the world find their religious Jewish voice--and ways to express it. It is comforting to have somewhere to turn to as a resource and support.
Jofa has an excellent Newsletter which keeps their donors informed and inspired. There is a creative spirit to this organization that gives you a feeling of vibrancy and deep caring about their mission. I am a proud beneficiary of Jofa's enthusiasm and dedication and thoughtfulness to this most important cause.
JOFA has made me feel: empowered, optimistic, spiritually engaged, uplifted and happy to be alive during this time of jewish feminism. It has helped me parent my son as well as my daughter, and has facilitated my own participation in a gratifying life of jewish observance and prayer
JOFA has served an essential role in my personal and religious growth. I attended my first conference while in college, 2003, and the organization's philosophy and passion has guided me ever since. I am grateful to the founders, scholars, and leaders that contribute to the way I think about myself as an orthodox Jewish woman. Specifically, JOFA has shown films such as "Tehora" and "Mekudeshet," which spurred fascinating conversations with articulate panelists. I have come to see issues such as family law and divorce law from a new, more critical perspective. I enjoy reading the journals and the holiday publications that JOFA sends out. I find the content stimulating, and I am impressed by the authors' scholarship. I organized an interfaith panel of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian woman for the 2007 tenth anniversary international conference to discuss their experiences as feminists in their religious communities. I found this planning experience exciting, and I learned a great deal about broader issues for religious women across faiths. My hope for JOFA is that it will continue to thrive and to strengthen the voice of orthodox women in the Jewish community and beyond. Having recently moved away from New York, I hope that JOFA will continue to create programming for other communities in the country.
I have been involved with JOFA almost from the beginning because it was the only organization that met the needs of intellectual and bright women in Orthodox Judaism. It was also an excellent source for fightinig the battle to free women whose husbands refuse to give them a "Get". The resources, the contacts, and the intellect of the people involved was a major help for me on the West Coast to connect with like-minded, helpful individuals. There are not too many of those in California.
JOFA provides a thrilling and unusual sense of community for Orthodox Jewish women and families who are also committed to the values of feminism.
JOFA is an organization that is based around the assumption that just because Judaism proscribes certain gender roles, that does not mean women have to be second class citizens. As an Orthodox woman who is studying to be a leader, I very much appreciate JOFA's thoughtfulness and commitment to furthering important conversations in the community.
My deepest ongoing experience is as a reader of the JOFA Journal and a person using their printed resources (unique in the field) downloaded from the Internet, and JOFA's excellent website. JOFA printed materials give thoughtful, informed info not available anywhere else. Whenever I've contacted JOFA staff, they've been absolutely wonderful.
As an Orthodox woman living in a smaller and less diverse Jewish community, JOFA is my connection to people, information, and resources that nourish my soul, replenish my spirit, and stimulate my intellect as a woman seeking opportunities for serious engagement with our texts, traditions, and rituals. From the thoughtful drashes for the Chagim by learned female scholars, to the halachic resources on the JOFA website detailing the contours of a partnership minyan, to JOFA's advocacy on behalf of agunot (women whose husbands refuse to provide a divorce), JOFA is a crucial voice for our community.
The JOFA conference's high school program allowed us to return to our high school and begin serious and valuable reflection on issues like sexual harassment and gender inequality within our Yeshiva High School's walls. The openness allowed was due to the legitimacy provided by the JOFA conference. We were able to have a school-wide Shabbaton dedicated to the theme of sexual harassment, for some a very shocking, but ultimately very rewarding experience.