Rachel Keren

Feminist Orthodox organization receives humanitarian award

Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) recognizes feminist Orthodox group ‘Kolech’ for annual human rights award. ‘Jewish faith has deep commitment to human dignity,' says group's chairwoman

The feminist Orthodox ‘Kolech’ Organization, whose name literally means ‘your voice’, was awarded the annual “human rights distinction” Sunday, by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel(ACRI).


The ACRI noted the group for its deep commitment to “activism, gender equality, as well as to Torah and halacha.”


Commanding the organization for its ongoing efforts, the ACRI especially noted its efforts to aid women who are denied divorce, victims of sex-crimes in the Orthodox community, as well as its commitment to making public the feminine Jewish agenda: “The ‘Kolech’ organization has utterly revolutionized the Orthodox agenda, and has altered the mindset of an entire generation of observant Jewish women,” they said.


"Women’s public contributions are, unfortunately, oftentimes spurned in the Orthodox world, unintentionally debasing Orthodox women and relegating them to a subordinate status,” said Rachel Keren, chairwoman of the feminist Orthodox organization ‘Koelch’ Sunday, at an awards ceremony recognizing the group for its human rights achievements.


At the heart of Jewish thought there is equality between the sexes, explained Keren, but various halachic rulings “intentionally silence women and make mute their voice,” she said.


Keren reiterated the organization’s deep commitment to sounding the feminine voice at the awards ceremony: “By exempting women from certain positive commandment halacha has effectively expelled Jewish women from the public realm… Where has women’s equal status gone? To where have our rights as people disappeared? Where are the feminine voices that have been intentionally silenced?”


Addressing allegation that ‘Kolech’ undermines the very tenets of the Jewish faith and its traditions, Keren said: “On the contrary, we are strengthening the Jewish faith, as Judaism has always had a deep founded commitment to human rights and human dignity. We are acting as a voice for those that need to be heard.”


פרסום ראשון: 12.18.07, 10:16
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