Orthodox women study at Yeshivat Maharat in New York City Photo by Angela Jimenez
Rori Picker Neiss, a student from Brooklyn (Class of 2014) who will be completing her study remotely while serving in an assistant rabbi role (her title will not be "rabbi" or "rabba") at an orthodox synagogue in St. Louis, Missouri, introduces her newborn daughter Susanna "Suzi" Neiss, to visiting Reform Rabbi Sara Luria, left.
Rabbi Luria, founder of the organization ImmerseNY, was meeting with several of the Maharat students about the community Mikvah training program she is developing in New York City in collaboration with them and other female Jewish spiritual leaders.
The female students of Yeshivat Maharat, "the first institution to train Orthodox women as spiritual leaders and halakhic authorities," study at the Drisha Institute in New York City in preparation for the school's inaugural graduation on June 16, 2013.
Three women will be the first to graduate from the four-year school and will be given the title "Maharat", a Hebrew acronym for "Manhiga Hilkhatit Rukhanit Toranit" which translates to a teacher of Jewish law and spirituality.The school, which currently has 14 students, was founded by Rabbi Avi Weiss. Rabbi Wiess controversially ordained the first female Orthodox Rabba in history, Rabba Sara Hurwitz, who serves as the dean of the school.
Photo by Angela Jimenez