Lady Rabonim Can't Get No Lovin'

The JTA reports,

It’s not easy for a rabbi to find a rebbetzin — especially if the rebbetzin is a man.
That finding was part of a new survey on the Conservative rabbinate that reported that female rabbis in the movement are about half as likely as their male counterparts to be married with children, and nearly three times as likely to be single as male Conservative rabbis.

Full story.

16 thoughts on “Lady Rabonim Can't Get No Lovin'

  1. When the Conservative movement agrees to ordain (openly) gay women, I think that some of this will make more sense…

  2. Lesbian Rabbits?? What does that have to do with the conservative movement?
    Lebanese Rabbis, who would have thought that all those women were from lebenon…
    hmm, do I have any more stupid gay jokes? DOnt think so.

  3. A word from the inside — it’s true that there is a substantial number of lesbians among the female rabbis ordained at JTS. I can’t say anything about the University of Judaism, but apparently even “closeted” students there are pretty open about this kind of thing.

  4. There are at least 3 openly gay lesbian rabbis in San Francisco. Two reform, and one renewal. I can also think of a few gay rabbis in the East Bay. No one who identifies as conservative though.
    Course this being SF, no one should be surprised.

  5. Anyway, I should make another, more personal point, which is that identifying as a moderately religious Jewish woman seems to scare men away, at least in my experience in the non-upper-west-side circles in which I tend to run.
    I have often thought about going to rab school, but one thing that scares me off, and this is a painful personal admission that I am not making lightly to you folks, is that I fear that it’s hard enough for me to find men to date now…if I go to rab school I feel like it’s all over for any dreams of a family. I recently got dumped by a guy who can’t deal with the possibility of my becoming any more of a Jewish leader than I already am. It’s amazing.
    I know this is a problem of the men I date, and not mine, but it haunts me anyway.

  6. “a large percentage” is a vague number implying a majority, which that article does not back up … like, yes, i’m aware that there are quite a number of lesbian rabbis. but “a large percentage”? an article about an anthology of essays by lesbian rabbis doesn’t prove that statement.

  7. Mobius:
    The article may not back up such a claim (because it ostensibly dealt with “marriage rates”) but experience does. I wrote:
    “A word from the inside — it’s true that there is a substantial number of lesbians among the female rabbis ordained at JTS.”
    I’d say it’s about 40% and that’s a “conservative” estimate (at least for current students and recent graduates). That’s substantially higher than the proportion of lesbians in the mainstream population.

  8. As a rab student at the UJ, I gotta say that “substantial number” and “large percentage” are highly inaccurate ways to describe the situation. There are people here who are queer and closeted (and NB “queer” does not always mean “never dates men”. In fact, every single one of the queer Conservative rab students that I know identifies as something other than a Kinsey 6.) And in terms of numbers, even a generous estimate puts the queer rab student body at about 12% of the whole rab school. And remember that every single one of that 12% (save the two who are in committed relationships) is open to and/or actively seeking an opposite-sex partner, in part b/c the closet sucks and in part b/c sexuality can be and often is a more complex and fluid thing than just “straight” or “gay”.
    In short: a) queer does not mean Kinsey 6 and b) another 88% or so of the student body is not queer-identified, and the single women at the UJ are definitely facing a lot of the issues that study describes.
    The real issue of the study was addressed in the article: a horrible job description plus the need to find someone who is both religiously traditional and politically progressive creates a difficult, difficult situation. This one is actually, really about sexism. If you want rampant lesbian lust, you’ll have to go to a more traditional Orthodox girl’s yeshiva…..

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