Jews not All-the-Way on E.R.A

Fifteen states, as of this writing, have failed to ratify the proposed ERA amendment. They are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

The following Jewish organizations have committed themselves not to hold conventions in unratified states: American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Association of Jewish Family Services and Children’s Agencies, B’nai B’rith Women Mid-Atlantic Region, International Conference of Gay and Lesbian Jews, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC), and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. (Source: National NOW Times.)

In a related action, Audrey Friedman Marcus, Editor of Alternatives in Religious Education (San Jose), spearheaded a successful move to have the National Association of Temple Educators cancel their December 1978 conference in Chicago because Illinois is an unratified state.

The International Council of Jewish Women, of which the NCJW is one of 32 affiliates in 30 countries, held its convention in Atlanta, GA in May.

Six Jewish organizations supported extending the deadline for ERA ratification: B’nai B’rith Women, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish Peace Fellowship, NCJW, NCJRAC, National Jewish Welfare Board.

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America submitted testimony in August to a Senate Committee opposing the extension. The UOJCA opposes the ERA on religious grounds, saying it “would mandate that the separation of the sexes in such facilities as parochial schools and houses of worship be disallowed.”