The Susi Bradfield Women’s Institute for Halakhic Leadership (WIHL) of the Ohr Torah Stone network commemorated the graduation of its 2021 class, attended by hundreds of family and friends.

Three women—Rabbanit Dr. Hannah Hashkes, Rabbanit Shira Marili Mirvis and Rabbanit Chamutal Shoval—successfully completed the intensive five-year course.

The curriculum spans a range of topics on Jewish law, including Shabbat and festivals, kashrut, mourning, family purity, and Jewish marriage and divorce. Upon graduating from the institute, women are certified as spiritual leaders holding the title of Morot Hora’ah, authorizing them to provide direction in matters of Jewish law they mastered.

Each of the women will hold positions of spiritual influence in their individual fields, joining previous graduates who are already providing halachic and spiritual leadership in communities and in religious organizations around Israel.

Hashkes will be heading up the institute’s new International Halakha Scholars Program, Mirvis as the spiritual leader of the Shirat HaTamar community in Efrat, and Shoval will serve as head of the Women’s Beit Midrash in Gush Etzion.

Rabbanit Devorah Evron, director of the WIHL, who herself was recently selected to serve as a spiritual leader alongside the rabbi of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, said “there is a feeling of great hope coming out of this event represented by the enormous dedication our graduates have put into the study of Torah, as well as how we know they will take that learning and transform it into daily communal life.”

The WIHL empowers Jewish women with skills and credentials not only to achieve self-fulfillment and earn a livelihood but to educate, guide, inspire and provide leadership to the worldwide Jewish community.

Mirvis said, “Today, many women are learning Torah. We must teach our daughters that just as they can contribute to professional fields such as law and medicine, they can contribute to the world of Jewish spiritual leadership, where they can grow and give to those around them. We must remember that the words of the Torah were not written for someone else; they were written for us.”

JNS

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