Judaism-Conservative

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Paula Hyman

Within several months we determined that if any Jewish issue required political action, it was this one, the status of women.

Sally Gottesman

Like my mother and her father, my grandfather, I was both a committed Jew and a feminist.

Amy Eilberg

As it turned out, in the spring of 1985, I was to be the first woman so ordained.

Tamara Cohen

We knew that Jewish feminism needed to be suffused through all of Jewish practice so that it would be impossible to ignore.

Rebecca Lubetkin Celebrating her 60th Bat Mitzvah Anniversary

Rebecca Lubetkin's 60th Bat Mitz-versary

by  Deborah Fineblum Raub

“It’s funny how practices that seem way out in one generation become so commonplace in another that people wonder what took so long.

Bernice W. Kliman, 1933 - 2011

She found that her feminism conflicted with the synagogue practice of denying women a place on the bimah. Only later did she [find] a sympathetic rabbi and a group of congregants who also believed in women’s equality.

Paula Hyman, 1946 - 2011

We should hear her when we need courage to oppose sexism, whether political, historical, or unconscious; when we strive to balance family commitments with demands of career; and when we seek to follow in her footsteps to chart new paths in making and writing Jewish history.

Unit 3, Lesson 4 - Moving Inward: bringing liberation movements into the Jewish community

Act out, through tableaux vivants, the ways Jews took what they had learned from the Civil Rights Movement and other liberation movements and used these insights to change the Jewish community.

Unit 2, Lesson 6 - Jewish clergy in the Civil Rights Movement

Unpack the roles, motivations, and challenges of Southern and Northern rabbis during the Civil Rights Movement.

JTS Faculty Senate votes to admit women

October 24, 1983

Following a lengthy and intense debate within the Conservative movement, the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) faculty senate, on October 24, 1983, voted 34-8 to admit women to the JTS Rabbinical S

Jewish Women Watching declare "Sexism is a sin"

September 21, 2001

"Jewish women/girls hold your community accountable. Sexism is a sin.

Amy Eilberg ordained as first female Conservative rabbi

May 12, 1985
Amy Eilberg became the first woman ordained as a Conservative Rabbi at the Jewish Theological Seminary's commencement exercises in New York City.

Judith Kaplan celebrates first American Bat Mitzvah ceremony

March 18, 1922

Judith Kaplan, at age 12, became the first American to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah on March 18, 1922.

Ezrat Nashim presents manifesto for women's equality to Conservative rabbis

March 14, 1972

A small New York study group, founded in 1971 to study the status of women in Judaism, presented Conservative rabbis with a manifesto for change at the Rabbinical Assembly convention on March 14, 1

Creation of Women's League of the United Synagogue

January 21, 1918

Five years to the day after the creation of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, Conservative synagogue siste

Mathilde Schechter

Mathilde Roth Schechter, founder of the Women’s League For Conservative Judaism and the wife of Solomon Schechter, the well-known Jewish scholar, was born in Guttentag, a small town in Silesia, and orphaned at an early age.

Marjorie Wyler

Marjorie Wyler was a pioneer in the presentation of Judaism to the American public. Her involvement in religious broadcasting, coupled with decades of public relations work, has made her an advocate for the ethics of social justice inherent in Judaism.

Women's League of Conservative Judaism

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism is the national organization of Conservative sisterhoods established by Mathilde Schechter in 1918 as the National Women’s League of the United Synagogue. Schechter continued the work begun by her husband, Solomon Schechter, who had called for women to assume a role in the newly established United Synagogue of America. As founding president (1918–1919), she envisioned an organization that would be the coordinating body of Conservative synagogue sisterhoods and inspired Women’s League to promote an agenda whose mission was the perpetuation of traditional Judaism in America through the home, synagogue, and community.

Dora Spiegel

Dora Spiegel rendered distinguished service in many fields: in the organization of league sisterhoods, in education, and in publications that stimulated women’s loyalty to the synagogue and the Jewish home. She helped found the Women’s Institute of Jewish Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and influenced the lives of countless Jewish women and children.

Rabbis in the United States

Jewish women’s recent entrance to the brotherhood of the rabbinate masks a lengthy history of the question of women’s ordination.

Leaders in Israel's Religious Communities

Since the late twentieth century women have begun to assume leadership positions that are undoubtedly “religious” in both content and form. Religious leaders, like any other leaders, guide their followers towards achieving goals and purposes, and can do so by influencing their followers’ motivation. Religious leaders guide their followers towards religious goals and derive their authority to do so from the strength of their own religious characteristics. What therefore distinguishes them from secular leaders is that even in democratic societies their authority does not emanate solely from the public, but also from a religious source—in the case of Judaism, the Torah she-bi-khetav: Lit. "the written Torah." The Bible; the Pentateuch; Tanakh (the Pentateuch, Prophets and Hagiographia)Torah. Hence, a crucial criterion for religious leadership in the world of Jewry is “knowledge of the Torah,” by which is meant the ability to refer to the canonical texts in an unmediated manner.

Rebekah Bettelheim Kohut

Rebekah Bettelheim Kohut made her mark on the American Jewish community in the areas of education, social welfare, and the organization of Jewish women. Grounded in her Jewish identity as the daughter and wife of rabbis, Kohut had a public career that paralleled the beginnings of Jewish women’s activism in the United States.

Francine Klagsbrun

Author of more than a dozen books and countless articles in national publications, and a regular columnist in two Jewish publications, Francine Klagsbrun is a writer of protean interests. She has succeeded in making an impact on both American and American Jewish culture.

Lillian Kasindorf Kavey

Lillian Kasindorf Kavey was a banker, a community activist, and an advocate for Conservative Judaism and Ethiopian Jewry. She was born in New York City on July 19, 1889, and married Abraham H. Kavovitz, an itinerant clothing merchant and shoe salesman, in 1908. They settled in Port Chester, New York.

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