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Aaje to Study Why Few Jewish Women Have Top Positions in Jewish Schools

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The American Association for Jewish Education (AAJE) has undertaken a nationwide study to determine why so few women teachers in Jewish schools advance to administrative and executive positions.

“The study was initiated in light of the fact that while women comprise the vast majority of teachers in Jewish schools, less than 10 percent of them are engaged as principals, supervisors and education directors,” said Arthur Brody, president of the AAJE. “We want to attract more women into leadership positions in Jewish education. To aid our efforts, it is important to know whether the paucity of women in such jobs is attributable to career limitations they place upon themselves, or if de facto discrimination exists in the Jewish educational hierarchy.”

WILL SURVEY SOME 1000 WOMEN

The study will survey a representative group of some 1000 women teachers in congregational and day schools of all denominations throughout the country.

It will inquire if they have ever considered, applied for or occupied administrative positions and whether they have been discouraged from entering these areas. In addition, it will seek to ascertain if applicants who were rejected for such jobs believe discrimination was the major reason, and whether those who held and then left supervisory posts were accepted by their male colleagues.

At the same time, the AAJE will probe other possible reasons for the disproportionate representation of women in teaching as against administration, such as insufficient training and experience, conflicts with family life and obligations or their own personal preference to remain in the classroom.

The study is being conducted by the AAJE’s Department of Statistical Research and Information under the supervision of Dr. Murray Rockowitz and Dr. Gerhard Long, director and consultant, respectively, of the department. They will analyze data with respect to such variables as Jewish and general education, teaching experience, age, marital status, husband’s employment and ideological identification. Findings of the study are expected to be released this spring.

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