US launches women’s guide to saying Kaddish
THEUNITEDSynagoguehasresponded to longstanding calls to do more for women mourners by publishing a booklet to help them say Kaddish.
The eight-page guide, produced at the instigation of the co-chair of US Women Jacqui Zinkin, is intended to make it easier for women to recite the mourning prayer in synagogue.
It makes clear that while reciting Kaddish is optional for women, the prayer can be recited by “any mourner who wishes to, be they men, women or children”.
Kaddish is generally recited for 11 months after the death of a parent and a month for other close relatives. In a US synagogue, it can be said only in the presence of a minyan of at least 10 men and a woman must say it along with another man.
Mrs Zinkin, who is a US trustee, said that she recited Kaddish herself after the death of her father 10 years ago. She said: “I found saying Kaddish provided a structure to my mourning.”
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: “It is important that women who would like to say Kaddish should feel comfortable and supported in doing so.
“I t is my hope that this guide will demystify the process of saying Kaddish, sorting the myths from the facts and will make a real difference to the grieving process for womeninour community.”
Women mourners in Israel