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Voting With Their Feet

Young Jewish women, says Rebecca Metzger, 24, are quitting their jobs at Jewish nonprofits in droves. Part of that exodus was Metzger herself, who, in August 2000, left the organization (which she declined to identify) where she had worked for two years. The reasons for her departure? Not the low pay and 60-hour weeks, which are common to all nonprofits, Metzger writes in the latest issue of journey, published by May’an, the Jewish women’s project at the JCC of the Upper West Side in New York. Rather, it is the queasy truths that Jews as a community don’t like to acknowledge. Truths such as Jewish organizations* emphasis on raising big money rather than fostering grassroots social activism. Or blatant and sometimes paternalistic sexism, which takes such forms as inappropriate questions about dating, or one male boss’s commenting on how pretty his young female employees are, “

I remember sitting at a meeting at my old job while the executive staff wondered aloud how to involve more young Jews in the organization. He never once solicited my opinion. Did my involvement as a young Jewish staff member not count?” Metzger writes.