Fall/Winter 1985-1986

How the Wild West was liberating for Jewish women. How to break today’s male monopoly on Jewish leadership. Rabbi Amy Eilberg becomes the first female Conservative rabbi.

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Lilith Feature

Power Plays: Breaking the Male Monopoly of Jewish Community Leadership

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A Most Traditional Denial


I wanted to wrap my small arms round the Torah and parade with it down every aisle hugging the stories of my past; but you told me that it was very heavy and besides, that was the Rabbi’s job. And when after the Sabbath meal we’d start to stack dishes in the candles’ honey glow... Read more »

Exploring the Link between Womanhood and the Rabbinate: Lilith interviews the first woman ordained in the conservative movement


LILITH interviews Rabbi Amy Eilberg, the first woman to become a rabbi in the Conservative movement, and gets her views on the implications of the ordination victory for American Jews. Eilberg discusses how a woman’s perspective and experience may affect the rabbinate and Judaism in general and the conflicts she sees between tradition and feminism in dealing with liturgy and central aspects of Jewish law (such as divorce).

Riding High


Was the West liberating for Jewish women? Finally a historian focuses in on the pioneer Jewish women of the American West, revealing how they used their unique historical opportunities to shape their own lives and the embryonic Jewish communities they helped create.

The Counterpart System


Most of the Jewish community is organized according to a “counterpart” system in which the main organization is the men’s and there is a women’s auxiliary. The main board of the organization is a men’s board, with the women’s auxiliary generally having one slot on it. This system obtains for all the major religious organizations—... Read more »

The Professional Sphere


In contrast with the significant progress made by women volunteers in recent years, “the situation of women professionals in Jewish agencies is really deplorable,” declared Jacqueline Levine. • There were eleven female executive directors of Federations in the U.S. in 1984, all of them in small cities. • The first woman executive director of a... Read more »

The Volunteer Sphere


In December 1972, Jacqueline Levine, then president of the Women’s Division of the American Jewish Congress, called upon the General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations (CJF) to grant women access to the “highest levels of decision-and-policy-making” within the organized American Jewish community. In the nearly 15 years since her milestone address Levine, currently... Read more »

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