Posts Tagged: Conservative Results 8
There is a rumor going around that Orthodox feminists are just Conservative Jews in disguise, or perhaps in denial.
I was supposed to be a low-maintenance bride. I am usually “the easygoing one.” Our florist would disagree. As I stood in front of his 20 foot refrigerator and pointed to every type of flower, telling him which to put in our arrangements, and which should, under no circumstances , even come near our venue, it was clear that “easygoing” was long gone.
I have to disagree with Chanel Dubofsky’s Sisterhood post in which she contends that new interest in Jewish men’s clubs reflects male anxiety about a supposed women’s takeover of Jewish organizations and life. I think it’s great that a non-Orthodox Jewish organization is making progress in engaging Jewish men. The goal is to have everyone involved.
As far as I can tell, there hasn’t actually been a women’s takeover of Jewish organizations. As illustrated in this New York Times article a few years ago, and this more recent article in the Forward, it is true that, among teenagers, programming in the non-Orthodox community has attracted more female participation than male. And the Reform movement, for one, has been working to achieve more parity.
Elana Sztokman is a fabulous writer whose pieces are always an asset to The Sisterhood and the rest of The Forward (and I get a gold star for having made the shidduch). But in her new blog post, Jewish Feminists Launch RCA Protest, Elana gets a few important things wrong.
The first is that she calls the petition launched to convince the Rabbinical Council of America’s leadership that they should endorse women’s religious leadership a Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance campaign when it is not. In fact, the organization decided not to issue the petition itself and instead sent carefully-worded open letters to the RCA, stating:
Before leaving for Israel, where she will take part in the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations’ annual mission to the Jewish state, Rabbi Julie Schonfeld reflects on the recent debacle over women’s prayer at the Western Wall — responding both as the Rabbinical Assembly’s executive vice president and as the mother of two young boys. What follows are excerpts from her essay:
What will happen when my sons are old enough to accompany me to Israel, where I will attend the Conference of Presidents’ annual Mission next week? A highlight of every trip to Israel is a visit to the Kotel, the symbolic site of Jewish yearning for centuries. My boys are young enough to stand with me in the women’s section, where they would expect me to don the tallis and tefillin they are accustomed to seeing on their mom. How long until the heckling and threats of the ultra-Orthodox begin? How long until the police come to intervene and in front of the horrified gaze of my children do what is only done with “bad guys,” — to arrest me. This is what Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum has tragically coined, hatradah datit — religious harassment.