On July 21, Pardes facilitated a day-long Women in Israel track at the Onward Israel Connections conference at Ramat Rachel, which brought together over 200 college and post-college participants interning and learning in Jerusalem for the summer.
The first session, entitled Women in Israel – Challenges and New Horizons, featured a panel with four inspiring figures working to create societal, cultural and legal change in the spheres of Motherhood & Career, Prostitution, Women’s Prayer Spaces, and the Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) sector. The second session, entitled Women in Modern Israeli Life and Jewish Tradition – What’s the Connection? featured interactive learning sessions with Yaffa Epstein (Marriage & Divorce) and Nechama Goldman Barash (Sexuality), both of which helped to frame the larger discussion about the interplay of religion and state in Israel. Throughout the day, participants were challenged to examine commonly-held stereotypes and assumptions. They left inspired by the empowered women they met, and excited by their encounters with Jewish text and the possibility of future learning opportunities with Pardes.