Yeshiva of Flatbush Considering Allowing Girls to Wear Tefillin


tefillinOpen Orthodoxy’s corrupted influence is spreading following the revelation that young women in two Modern Orthodox high schools in New York asked for and received permission to don tefillin during their school prayer services.

SAR High School in Riverdale, New York, is now allowing girls to wrap tefillin during Shacharis. Two girls – who, incidentally, both come from Conservative homes – were granted permission to wear tefillin and a tallis at the school’s daily all-girls prayer meeting, with the approval of Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, head of SAR’s high school.
A month later, in January, Manhattan’s Ramaz School stated that it would allow girls to wear tefillin even during coed prayer.

This week, Rabbi Seth Linfield, the executive director of Yeshivah of Flatbush, another Modern Orthodox institution, told The Jewish Week that his school is currently debating the issue but has not reached a decision. Rabbi Linfield said he would not comment further.

The Jewish Week reports that even at Avi Weiss’ Yeshivat Maharat, where Modern Orthodox women study to become spiritual leaders, not a single one of the school’s current students or graduates wears tefillin, according to “Rabba” “Maharat” Sara Hurwitz, the school’s dean.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. THE leaders are slumbering

    ‘Conservative’ ideas exist independently of the hemorrhaging Conservative movement, so left liberal-Orthodox innovations are a concern to Orthodoxy as a whole.

    For example, in the December, 2013 Jewish Review of Books, Prof. Noah Bickart of JTS wrote in response to Daniel Gordis that, “It may be an unpopular opinion to my many friends and colleagues, but when the fundamentalist voices of the haredi press excoriate the “Open Orthodox” Yeshivat Chovevei Torah as in fact “Conservative,” I am offended by their mean-spiritedness, but the truth is that I fundamentally agree”.

    In the November, 2013 Times of Israel article titled, “Conservative Judaism may be failing but its ideas are not” , Judah Skoff wrote, “What should be obvious is that this new Liberal (or “Open”) Orthodoxy, and the traditional-egalitarianism nurtured by Yeshivat Hadar, have far more in common than right-wing Orthodoxy and left-wing Conservative Judaism, respectively… If the Conservative brand must fade, then let Conservative ideas re-assert themselves in new forms, with new movements and in new ways…”.

    In an article titled “Conservative Movement’s Impact On The Left And Right”,(1/14 Jewish Week), a Conservative rabbi wrote, “I am sanguine that Conservative Judaism lives because much of its take on tradition and change has leaked into Reform and Orthodoxy.

  2. what is the girls’ purpose in putting on t’fillin, to be m’kadesh shem shamayim or to blur the distinction between male and female gender? HaShem did create two distinctly different forms of humans with two distinctly different functions. are these schools saying they know better?

  3. I have a daughter in Yeshiva Of Flatbush. If this is true I will pull her out of this school right away!!! As will many of my friends who send here. I am appalled by this news.

  4. after stumbling upon this website i was shocked and dismayed to read such utter rubbish in terms of the comments. many of them make no sense at all, many are puerile yet cloaked in mock sophistication and many sound like a typical new york yankees fan. is this standard for your readership ? isn’t their anyone overseeing these comments and editing out the trash? you do yourselves a disservice communally by producing such infereor quality. of course you have the occasional brilliance, most notably “beethoven’s friend” and “albert Einstein” but the vast majority are banal at best and weird to plain stupid.

  5. I believe co-ed davening means there are in fact women on the other side of the mechitza at shacharis at the school (this is usually not the case in a non-school based shacharis minyan, where only men generally attend).

  6. Yes like your shul men and women daven together with a machiztercbetween them. Your comments truly show where you are coming from
    If that is all you picked up from this article

  7. ” not a single one of the school’s current students or graduates wears tefillin”

    I have been attending the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale for almost nine years. I have yet to see a single female member of the congregation bring tefillin to morning minyan. Nor have I seen it in any of the other orthodox synagogues in Riverdale.

    Had the people who are using this as a hammer to blast Open Orthodoxy just ignored SAR, this would likely have been forgotten.

  8. I wonder how Jewish Mothers got thru Judaism for so many years without wearing tefilin…..

    This is not about Tefilin is about people making a new religion because Judaism is not “confortable” for them.

    No real Jewish future will come from this women.

  9. The Press is making a much bigger deal about this then it is worth. Out of thousands or tens of thousands of girls who are in Modern Orthodox schools, there are 2 girls from SAR that have requested to put on Tfillin. Both of them are from Conservative homes and both are very sincere about their Yiddishkeit (although midquided). There is no epidemic of girls running out and begging to put on Tfillin, only 2 girls. Halevai that all our boys should be just as exuberant to put on Tfillin every day

  10. At Maimonides School in Brookline, Mass. They had a female student who’s father, Rabbi Jacobs, was a conservative rabbi in Quincy, Mass.
    This was in the 1970’s. This girl wore a Tallis every morning during Davening at Maimonides School. Nobody ever said a word to her?

  11. What are we coming to? This is and has gone to far. What are they trying to accomplish exactly? What is it that they’re missing that they feel the need to go so far? Obviously they are not satisfied where they are, therefore they feel a need to go to such an extreme. If they would only do everything they’re supposed to properly, this wouldn’t of even started in the first place.

  12. This is really nothing new – as #31 said – there have always been females every generation who want to cause a scene – just let them be & dont give them the attention. Thats all they want.

    As a Rov recently said – females who want to put on tefillin, also needs to wear it on shabbos! You need two “Ois”, shabbos & bris – since they are missing Ois bris, the need tefillin!

  13. If us men would begin to treat our tefillin with proper respect, this epedemic would never happen. There is a clear message frame above that is being missed in frum communities around the globe.

  14. Did you know rashis daughters wore tfilin?
    And Rabbenu Tam, Rashi’s grandson, ruled that a woman doing any mitzvah that she is not obligated to, including tefillin, must make the appropriate bracha.
    I think we should all focus on ourselves and stop focusing on others and how they communicate with Hashem!

  15. Thanks #39!
    What is the big deal gentlemen? These young women are davening.
    If they need to roll up a sleeve for their tfilin, they are without doubt on the other side of an impermeable mehitsa. May their tfillot ascend on high, and resonate with the tfilllot of the imaot, and of Hanna, of so many of our pious and foremothers, who ensured that we wiuld exist today through their unwavering spirituality.

  16. I worry when people say “Hashem should Judge”! Hashem put Judges Prophets and Rabbis to keep us in line. It is easy to say “as long as I’m good with G-d” Goyim use it all the time…..because off course there is no way to get information from Hashem except what has been given to us in Har sinay, as soon as any of these ladies are ready to be in the level of Rashis daughter we will analize it on individual basis just as it happened with her. the rest is just excuses for “reforming” Judaism.

  17. 11 – georgi – “I have a daughter in Yeshiva Of Flatbush. If this is true I will pull her out of this school right away!!!”

    Georgi, where will you send her instead? Is there another MO yeshiva day school in Flatbush?