What I Posted on Facebook About the Freundel Case
October 15 at 8:21am
If this is true — IF, of course — the implications here are enormous. Women in Orthodoxy have been complaining about rabbis who carry all kinds of patriarchal and misogynistic ideas with them into the community and into their work. If this story is true, it confirms women’s deepest pains in dealing with certain orthodox rabbis. Layers and layers of practices that hurt women….
October 17 at 8:31am
Take back the waters “In the summer of 1986, I wrote what many consider the first piece about non-Orthodox women using the mikvah…….”
[After reading this post by Rabbi Elyse Goldstein] This, exactly. The system that encourages women to use the mikvah is the same one that supports and enables the sexualization of women, that supports men like Freundel. Yes.
October 17 at 8:41am
And so apparently the RCA knew about Freundel’s predilections and did nothing. They sent the complaining women home. Same with the Washington rabbinical group. Needless to say, all these orthodox rabbinical groups are comprised of men only. Men who go out of their way to exclude women from every aspect of Jewish leadership, from every opportunity to have a voice. Are we still surprised that women who approach these groups are dismissed and discounted, that rabbis are more concerned with protecting one another than with supporting women? Are we surprised to learn that the RCA is little more than a men’s club, like every other men’s club throughout history, there to look after the power and prestige of its own ranks?
I think perhaps the only reason freundel was caught at all — why women were finally believed and heeded in this case — is because Kesher Israel has a woman president. Elanit Rothschild Jakabovics is without a doubt the hero of the day.
Let this be a lesson to the rest of Orthodoxy: The community needs more women in positions of power. PERIOD. http://forward.com/articles/207382/orthodox-group-probed-alleged-mikveh-peep-rabbi-ba/