Symposium: Options for Egalitarian Marriage within Halakhah

Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, Pamela Barmash, Gail Labovitz, Jane L. Kanarek, David Ellenson, Ronit Irshai, David Greenstein, Haviva Ner-David, Karen Reiss Medwed, Gwynn Kessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In February of 2020, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative/Masorti Movement published two halakhic opinions (teshuvot), by Rabbi Pamela Barmash and Rabbi Gail Labovitz, responding to the question: "May kiddushin, the traditional form of Jewish marriage, and the Jewish marriage ceremony, be made into an egalitarian form for a male-female Jewish couple? Is there an egalitarian form for the ketubah?" Both opinions explore the history and meaning of kiddushin and offer recommendations for new marriage documents and rituals that address the gender inequality in ketubah and kiddushin. Rabbi Pamela Barmash's teshuvah argues for an egalitarian reinterpretation of kiddushin. Rabbi Gail Labovitz's teshuvah sees kiddushin as fundamentally inegalitarian and recommends the adoption of two alternatives to kiddushin. Seeing these opinions, drafted by two female-identifying rabbis, as an important development, Nashim invited Rabbis Barmash and Labovitz to reflect on the process and the nature of their disagreement, and we invited seven additional experts to respond to them as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-155
Number of pages57
Issue number43
StatePublished - Mar 2024

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