University of Dundee University of Dundee
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29 October 2004

Female Rabbi on leadership

Photo opportunity 5pm, Tuesday 2nd November, University Chaplaincy Centre, Dundee.

Scotland's first female Rabbi will address the history of women in Judaism and explore issues of women's leadership in religion in the annual Margaret Harris lecture on Tuesday 2nd November at the University of Dundee.

Rabbi Nancy Morris who is based at the Glasgow New Synagogue was ordained in 2002. She will deliver the annual University of Dundee Margaret Harris Lecture on Religion, giving an overview of the history of women in the rabbinate, and why it has been such a controversial issue.

Nancy explains: "Although it was commonly believed that women had only received rabbinic ordination for the last 32 years, it was discovered that a woman named Regina Jonas had been ordained in Germany in 1931."

In order to understand the historical resistance towards female ordination, Rabbi Morris will examine why women were not permitted to become rabbis. She will explain the Jewish communities' varying attitudes towards traditional Jewish law, general questions of sexuality, women, and women’s leadership.

She will also address the appropriateness of clergy performing same sex marriage and the role of gays and lesbians in religious leadership to illustrate just how relevant and diverse these attitudes still are.

Rabbi Morris is the latest lecturer in a lineage of eminent religious leaders and commentators to deliver the annual Margaret Harris lecture. Lecturers in recent years have included Terry Waite and Jonathan Porrit.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It will take place in the University Chaplaincy Centre at 5.15pm on Tuesday 2nd November.

By Jenny Marra, Head of Press 01382 344910, out of hours: 07968298585,