Are You An Orthodox Youth Struggling with Existential Questions?

A Video Connection to Female and Male Rabbis Provides Multiple Answers for You!

The Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avoda organization has launched a video project in Israel called “Room For Questions” which showcases modern religious leaders providing guidance to some of the most important questions that Orthodox youth in Israel and the Diaspora face.

Until now Orthodox youth turning to the internet for questions might find an abundance of answers from a fundamentalist Orthodox perspective or, on the other end, from a secular perspective.  The project aims to address the gap by bringing a fresh angle, with multiple voices in video format answering the questions, in order to reach Orthodox youth struggling with existential dilemmas.  The project is revolutionary in that it combines both modern Orthodox female and male religious leaders, and also combines answers from both English and Hebrew speaking rabbis and rabbanits.

Those who virtually enter the “Room for Questions”, can select a question such as: “I am attracted to someone of the same-sex.  Can I remain Orthodox?”  Or one can select the question of “Why should I keep the law of Negiah, which prohibits me from touching someone of the opposite sex?” or, “What does Orthodox Judaism say about gender equality?”  There are currently 13 figures in the “Room” who provide answers for 12 questions.

In the past, it might have been hard for an Orthodox youth to have the courage to ask these questions or perhaps difficult even to find a courageous rabbi or female leader who would answer these types of questions in a public forum.  With “Room for Questions” this enormous gap in religious education will be addressed as modern Orthodox religious leaders provide different meaningful answers to big questions.

Among those who currently provide answers in the English section are Rabbi Dov Linzer, the President and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Dr. Julie Goldstein, the Head of School at Amudim Seminary, and Rabbi Ysoscher Katz, the Chair of Talmud at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.  Additional videos have been prepared by English speaking religious leaders.  Among those providing answers in Hebrew are four Rabbanit leaders, or female rabbis as it were.

The prevalence of female teachers in the “Room for Questions” is evidence of the growth of female religious Orthodox leadership.  In addition to providing important answers, the video project may provide the first encounter for some Orthodox youth to experience personal lessons from female Orthodox rabbis.

 The story about the “Room for Questions” has been featured on YNET.  Click here for the full article.  Ne’emanei Torah Va’avoda is a liberal Orthodox organization that promotes democracy and equality in the Orthodox community in Israel.