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.
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.
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.
I have attended most of the JOFA conventions and always brought back important insights to my smaller community. Their classes and brochures help those of us outside the NYC area remain involved and informed about issues affecting women in the Jewish community.
I live on the West Coast, far from NY, the most active center of Jewish learning. I very much appreciate receiving JOFA's drashot. I share them with family and friends at holiday gatherings. I work full-time, so the arrival by email of the drashot fits in with my day and is always a highlight.