New Zman Kodesh focuses on women’s involvement in designated prayer time

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photo by Izzy May

The new women’s involvement Zman Kodesh will offer CESJDS students a new religious setting for females, the first of its kind.

Izzy May, Opinion Editor

A women-only tefillah service is one of the many new Zman Kodesh options that CESJDS will offer in the upcoming school year and that was recently introduced to grades during registration meetings for next year. The women’s service will incorporate traditional prayer with contemporary Jewish ideology, according to Director of Jewish Life Stephanie Hoffman.

Hoffman decided to offer this new option after receiving feedback from students, parents and faculty who wanted a Zman Kodesh where women could take a more active role in the prayer service.

“It provides any female in this school the context in which they can take a leadership role in an all-female setting,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman said this Zman Kodesh is a good opportunity for female students who pray in a mechitza-style minyan where they can’t take up leadership positions, to fulfill those leadership roles.

The woman’s tefillah would be run and organized by “the women of this school,” according to Hoffman.

However, this Zman Kodesh option cannot be referred to as a “minyan” because women are not counted in a traditional minyan. Therefore, some prayers will not be said during the women’s tefillah service because they are to only be said in the presence of a minyan.

Eighth-grader Ella Shantel believes that this new minyan option will be a good opportunity for observant girls to practice leadership roles in a prayer setting where they ordinarily would not have been able to.

Shantel said that if she were Orthodox, she “would want to feel like [I] was really part of something, instead of just watching other people lead and do Torah.”

Hoffman is not certain that the woman’s Zman Kodesh option will be offered next year because she is not sure how many people have signed up and if there will be a faculty member available to oversee it.