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“Knee-Jerk Feminist”

When Judy Yudof was recently chosen as the first woman president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, she assured The Forward in an interview that she wasn’t “a knee-jerk feminist.” “I never wanted my gender to be the reason for getting anything, and I don’t think it ever was,” she told the newspaper.

Her statement infuriated Susan Sapiro, who is on the staff of Ma’yan: The Jewish Women’s Project.

“While I am sure that Ms. Yudof was chosen for this prestigious position on her own merits,” Sapiro wrote in a personal e-mail that she circulated among feminist colleagues and friends, “she wouldn’t have even HAD her merits considered were it not for the work of ‘knee-jerk feminists’ in the Jewish community and in North American society.” Sapiro was speaking for herself, she told LILITH, not for Ma’yan.