In a first for L.A., B’nai David adds female clergy

In a first for L.A., B’nai David adds female clergy

Alissa-Thomas Newborn outside B’nai David Judea

By Noah Rothman

Many students at Shalhevet School, and their families, belong to local synagogue B’nai David-Judea. The synagogue is only the seventh in the country, and the first in Los Angeles, to appoint a female clergy member. In an in-depth article, Noah Rothman at the Shalhevet Boiling Point discusses the impact of this on the Orthodox community:

“We believe that women can bring something to the table that men cannot and vice versa,” said Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky of B’nai David-Judea Congregation, a shul where many staff and Shalhevet families are members. “There is a certain redundancy to having two of the same, and a supplementary power of having two different members.”

With that in mind, B’nai David has added Ms. Alissa Thomas-Newborn, a fourth-year student at the Yeshivat Maharat yeshiva in New York, to its clergy staff as what the shul is calling a “kehilla intern,” kehilla being the Hebrew word for congregation. She is the shul’s fourth clergy intern, the other three having been rabbinical students who went on to become rabbis.

Read the full article, as well as other articles related to this topic, right here.