On Tuesday 21 May, Year 12 Studies of Religion 2 Unit students were very fortunate to be given the opportunity to listen to Rabbi Cohen discuss some very important topics within Judaism.
One particular focus area was that of Jewish feminism. Rabbi Cohen provided students with insights about powerful women in the Bible, such as Ruth, as the Bible seems to be misrepresented when it comes to the overwhelming dominance of males within the sacred text. Rabbi Cohen also provided many examples of how contemporary Jewish feminists such as Rabbi Regina Jonas and Rabbi Sally Pries and have impacted Jewish practices and how their powerful voices have paved the way for Jewish women today. He also provided examples of women in Judaism being given the opportunity to engage in Bat Mitzvah ceremonies, read from the Torah and be ordained as rabbis. Many such areas that would not have been successful without the hard work and determination of women and their willingness to stand up for what they believed was right.
Students were also given the opportunity to ask Rabbi Cohen a range of different questions about Judaism that were of general interest to them, as well as ask specific questions relating to bioethical issues and marriage. This was a great way for both staff and students to engage with members of our wider religious community and a great way to respectfully understand faith and how it is expressed in different ways. It was a true example of interfaith dialogue.
I would like to thank Rabbi Cohen for providing the students with such thoughtful information. This opportunity not only gave students access to the curriculum, but allowed them to see how the powerful voice of women in the world can lead to significant changes.
Mr Jason Currao
Head of Religious Education