What real change has there been in British Orthodoxy within the past 60 years?
In marked contrast to the experiences of Louis Jacobs at Jews’ College in the 1960s, the efforts to marginalise Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz at the renamed London School of Jewish Studies in 2021 proved less successful. Following Taylor-Guthartz’s ordination as an Orthodox woman rabbi at New York’s Yeshivat Maharat, Chief Rabbi Mirvis stated that this placed her “beyond the boundaries of mainstream Orthodoxy”. Her supporters successfully battled to have her reinstated. Jacobs’ supporters, by contrast, failed in their efforts to defend the value of British Orthodoxy’s primary higher education institution from making appointments based on academic merit. What real change has there been in the intervening sixty years?
Miri Freud-Kandel is Fellow and Lecturer in Modern Judaism in the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford. Her research interests focus on the theological development of modern and contemporary Judaism, in particular examining Orthodox Judaism, British Jewry, and gender issues. Her latest book is a co-edited volume on Yitz Greenberg and Modern Orthodoxy: The Road not Taken (Boston, 2019).
JW3 is delighted to be partnering with the Oxford Centre for Jewish and Hebrew Studies and hosting this series showcasing the Fellows of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish studies.