Reform Judaism is disappointed, although sadly not surprised, to read the latest comments
of Israel’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef regarding women’s Torah study and Reform Judaism. Whilst there are many differences in Jewish thought and practice around the world, as there have always been, we must remain one Am Yisrael
. We are proud of the immense contribution our female Rabbis and lay leaders make to our communities. They are a testament to the undeniable fact that women are just as capable as men in this and all fields. We are also proud of our role in bringing Judaism and Torah into the lives of our thousands of members. As we enter the three week period leading up to Tisha B’Av, the fast day marking many catastrophes in our history, we recall our sages’ teaching that the destruction of the Second Temple was brought about by baseless hatred in the community. It would appear, almost 2000 years later, we still have a lot to learn from this lesson.