The disappointing Orthodox response to Hotovely

One of the most important and influential Modern Orthodox Jewish women in the world is under severe attack from Reform rabbis who want her to be denounced, humiliated, and fired from her job. So why aren’t the major U.S. Orthodox groups coming to her defense?

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely is the embodiment of everything that groups such as the Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America stand for. She has risen to the senior leadership ranks of the Israeli government without compromising her Orthodox religious observance. She partakes in worldly affairs while remaining true to Jewish tradition. She proudly completed her national service (sherut leumi), obeying the Chief Rabbinate’s ban on women’s army service, and this even though religious girls are not required to serve. She is an alumnus of the Bnei Akiva religious Zionist youth movement, one of the jewels in the crown of modern Orthodoxy.


Hotovely is an exemplary role model for young modern Orthodox women.
Hotovely is an exemplary role model for young modern Orthodox women. She completed both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law at Bar Ilan University, served as editor of Bar-Ilan’s Journal of Law, and practiced law with a major Tel Aviv firm before entering politics. And on top of all that, she’s a wife and mother of two young daughters. She is living proof to young Orthodox women that they truly can “have it all.”

Tzipi Hotovely is, in short, one of the most impressive and effective representatives that modern Orthodox Jewry has had in a long time.

Now, when she’s under vicious attack, Orthodox groups should be rallying to her side, not running for the hills.

In a television interview, Hotovely noted Jews in the United States do not face the same kind of dangers that Israeli Jews face. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, and some other voices on the left responded with hysteria. They said they were “insulted” and demanded that Hotovely be fired.

A number of prominent writers and thinkers have weighed in. Yossi Klein Halevi…

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