Global, Justice, Politics, Religion, Sex & Gender

Jew=Julie first time for woman to head American Rabbinical association

This past Wednesday, Julie Schoenfeld was chosen to become the first female rabbi to lead a rabbinical association, serving in the chief executive position. She will be the new executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, the Conservative movement’s rabbinic group. The current executive Vice president, Rabbi Joel Meyers, will step down July 1.
Almost makes me think that the Conservative movement can be saved. If the election goes well this week, I could be thinking in terms of a whole new era of hope before us….Trying to overcome my usual cynicism…

5 thoughts on “Jew=Julie first time for woman to head American Rabbinical association

  1. odd that you don’t refer to Rabbi Schoenfeld with her title (as you do Rabbi Meyers). I think she’s deserved it.

  2. What is it about Rabbi Schoenfeld that inspires your optimism? I know nothing about her, but I sure do hope that it’s something more than her gender that inspires your confidence.

  3. No disrespect to Toba Spitzer- after all, some of my best friends are Reconstructionist rabbis- but R. Spitzer’s role and R. Schonfeld’s are very different.
    R. Spitzer was the chair of the board, if you will, of the RRA- a temporary volunteer post akin to being the “President of the Synagogue- whereas R. Schonfeld will be the Executive VP of the RA, a permanent professional position.
    Ergo, while taking nothing away from the RRA, it’s not quite the same thing.

  4. It’s not KRG’s fault if the press release said it, but Rabbi Julie Schonfeld is not the first, and not even the second, woman to serve as head of an American rabbinical association. Before Rabbi Toba Spitzer became head of the RRA, Rabbi Janet Marder became president of the CCAR (the Reform rab association, which is much akin to the RA) on March 26, 2003. (And on February 28, 2009, the CCAR is set to install its second female president, Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus… better known to some of us as BZ’s mom.)
    How could JTS and the Jewish press get their facts so wrong?! Gah.

  5. Hi again.
    Yes, Rabbi Marder was the President of the CCAR but R. Schonfeld will be the professional head of the RA. Different jobs with different titles and different responsibilities. These jobs are as different as being the rabbi of a synagogue and being the Board president.

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