Once upon a time—maybe when many of us were growing up—Jewish leadership was overwhelmingly male. And almost entirely white. Well, the times they have a’ changed, at least somewhat. Increasingly women, all the while battling issues of pay equity, sexual harassment and more, have come into their own as communal leaders, taking their places as rabbis, authors, politicians, non-profit directors, business executives and more. Women have changed not only the face, but also the heart of the Jewish community for the better. When it comes to gender balance, there has been progress even as parity remains elusive.
Then there is that troubling matter of racial representation. Despite the growing recognition of the presence of African American, Asian, Latino, Mizrachi, and other Jews of Color (JOC), and the increasing visibility of a handful of Jewish leaders of color (mostly women), the leadership ranks of Jewish institutions do not reflect the diversity of the community.