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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

The Joy of Text Ep. 507: Mechitzah, Gender, and Transgender Activism

by Max Hollander (Posted on April 6, 2020)

One of the defining characteristics of an Orthodox synagogue is the mechitzah. But where does it come from and what is it about? On this episode, we discuss the ins-and-outs of mechitza. Is the goal to make women invisible, to create a gender-separate space, or something else? And does mechitza truly make for a better davening space? Then, we sit down with Rabbi Mike Mozkowitz, scholar in residence for trans and queer Jewish studies at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, to discuss his work, his Torah and his advocacy for LBGTQ+ members of the Jewish community.