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In Jewish thought and law, the word "mechitza’" can mean "partition" or "boundary", denoting in one sense a division; but in another sense it can mean an inclusive space of sanctity and intimacy. These two meanings both oppose and support each other - a boundary separates and provokes questions; but it also enables relationship. (Today, the word, "mechitza" is used mostly to refer to the Halachic separation in shul between the women and men's sides.)

Join the Academy, Gila Chitiz, Ilana Stein and guests, as they explore the Halacha (Jewish Law) as it pertains to Jewish women in community life. In particular, we will delve into the mitzvah (commandment) of learning Torah, from times when women couldn’t read, until today, when women stand at the forefront of Torah education. We will also explore a global understanding of some laws of community, such as women leaders, the synagogue, minyan, prayer and Torah reading.


By directly engaging with the halachic texts, thoroughly, honestly and in depth, we will strive to understand the nuances of obligation and exemption of a system that seeks to empower everyone, no matter on which side of the mechitza they find themselves, to deepen their relationship with their Creator.

The Other Side of the Mechitza

  • Ilana Stein with Gila Chitiz & Guests

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