Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Taking on the RCA re women in leadership roles

Please pardon the usual formatting problems. Note that the change in font size is not deliberate. (Grumble.) :(

Thanks to Rabbi Gil Student for the link to this post on the Sisterhood blog. Here's an excerpt from the post, which discusses a recent letter to the Rabbinical Council of America from the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, and an independent petition to the RCA from three Modern Orthodox college women, advocating the advancement of women's leadership roles in synagogues and within the Jewish community:

“Herein lies the paradox in making change within Orthodoxy, and hence JOFA’s quandary. Women, by virtue of not being rabbis, are never considered true authorities on anything, and our decisions are always subject to the approval of male rabbis. Yet, as soon as a male rabbi declares support for women, he is labeled not Orthodox by his colleagues. As if the definition of an Orthodox rabbi is this: does not support women’s advancement.

[ ¶ ]

In order to give Orthodox women an equal role, Orthodox rabbis need to support it, but Orthodox rabbis cannot support it and be called Orthodox. In order for women to have a voice, they need to be called rabbis, but even suggesting such a thing gets a person evicted from the club. This is a catch-22 if there ever was one.”

[ ¶ ]

My sincerest wishes for the best of luck to all those hoping to level the playing field (Orthodox Judaism) while still remaining on the field.


Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

The right wing of the RCA is flexing its muscle with some proposals at the upcoming RCA Convention. :<(

Interesting to see how the right wingers are willing to allow for current deviationist rabbis, but not permit any more such to join the RCA, One pictures them sitting in the audience at a JOFA conference, interrupting the speaker from time to time to stand up and proclaim "Tomorrow belongs to me!".

Bitter, me? What gives you that idea?

Thu Apr 22, 10:56:00 AM 2010  
Anonymous jdub the grumpy said...

Well, I don't fully agree, since I am quite troubled by the approach Avi Weiss takes, but reading Shira's posts on the topic has made me want to seek out a Catholic blogger and start saying "why doesn't the Church ordain women? Huh, it's not fair!"

I kind of think you should turn the spotlight on yourself and your own movement. You're not Orthodox, you don't want to be Orthodox, you don't have any skin in the game, nor any standing to complain about it.

Thu Apr 22, 03:39:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

Shira makes plenty of posts about C Judaism as well, many supportive and some critical. As one who tries to promote Jewish unity, I'm pleased she cares enough to comment on all of 'Jewishdom'. Note that her comments on O are not uniformly critical either.

Thu Apr 22, 03:53:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Oh, cheer up, Grumpy, I kvetch/complain about the Conservative Movement, too. As Larry said, I see the good and bad points in both the Conservative and Orthodox communities.

Thu Apr 22, 08:37:00 PM 2010  
Anonymous Woodrow/Conservadox said...

Oddly enough, all of this may soon be relevant to my life. One of my synagogues is Orthodox or at least has historically been, but is starting to experiment with egalitarianism (though still w/mechitza). I'm not sure whether they've thought through their relationship with Orthodoxy.

Sun Apr 25, 02:47:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Woodrow, maybe they should consider becoming, or offering as an alternative service, a Partnership Minyan.

Mon Apr 26, 10:53:00 AM 2010  

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