Hotel Denied us Torah Because of Mixed Service

While on a trip to Israel last month, a group of students from the Solomon Schechter School in Westchester, New York, which is associated with the Conservative Judaism movement, were denied use of a Torah scroll for their prayer service at a hotel because they were conducting a mixed-gender service.

The 66 students were in Israel on their senior two-month trip and spending Shabbat in Shefayim, located between Herzliya and Netanya.

Arrangements had been made to stay in the kibbutz’s hotel for a Shabbat in February and the group had requested that a separate room be made available for their prayer services.

On Shabbat morning, one of the group’s counselors requested the use of a Torah scroll from the hotel’s synagogue, but the hotel’s religious supervisor told them they could only use it if their service was not mixed and they would not call women up to the Torah.


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