Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

There are minyanim who self-identify as "partnership minyanim". Wikipdedia gives this definition of a partnership minyan:

[A] prayer group that is both committed to maintaining halakhic standards and practices and also committed to including women in ritual leadership roles to the fullest extent possible within the boundaries of Jewish Law. This means that the minyan is made up of 10 men, men and women are separated by a mechitzah, and the traditional liturgy is used. However, women may fully participate in kriyat ha'Torah (Torah reading), including layning (chanting the text) and receiving aliyot, and may lead parts of the prayer service such as psukei d'zimrah and kabbalat Shabbat, which do not contain d'varim she bikedusha.

In terms of praxis, what differentiates these minyanim from an ordinary Orthodox minyan? Which of these factors are ubiquitous among partnership minyanim and which only exist in some partnership minyanim? What justification is given for these differences?

share|improve this question

I attended a partnership minyan Friday night. This is something new in my city and the organizers are still working out details. Here is what I learned there.

The group formed after a conference session about (maybe organized by) JOFA. Their intention is to follow the guidelines/precedents from that organization. The service I attended was a normal Orthodox service (from the Koren siddur) without any liturgical alterations. (For example, they did not insert the imahot into the amidah or anything like that.) There was a mechitzah. A woman led kabbalat shabbat and another woman gave a d'var torah; men led mincha and ma'ariv. One of the organizers told me that in the future they might allow women to lead ma'ariv (it's done elsewhere, he said), but he didn't feel the local community is ready for that yet. The vast majority of the attendees Friday night were from a few local Orthodox synagogues. I believe I was the only Reform Jew present.

This group has not yet held a Shabbat morning service, but the organizer told me that women will be able to lein. I didn't ask, but I understand that women having aliyot is also done. We talked about Shira Chadisha in Jerusalem, where I've seen women have aliyot, and he said I should expect about the same as what they do.

I didn't ask the organizer of this minyan about sources or justifications. At Shira Chadisha some years ago I was given an explanation that pretty much matches the Wikipedia passage quoted in the question. There I saw a woman lead p'sukei d'zimra, and I saw women lein and receive aliyot. The rest of the Shabbat morning service was led by men.

share|improve this answer

Partnership minyanim give women aliyot or let them lein, based on the Gemara in megillah (stressing the "women can ..." part, but not the "...but they shouldn't" part.)

They wait for ten women's presence because, well because it feels nicer that way.

And they let a woman be chazan for any part that you could skip altogether if you were in a rush.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.