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Conservative Rabbis Reject Discrimination Against Women

Ten years after the Conservative movement ordained its first woman rabbi, rabbis in the movement have passed a resolution rejecting discrimination against their female colleagues.

The resolution, passed Monday at the 95th annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly, acknowledges discrimination against women in their congregational jobs, including less pay for the same work.

The resolution rejects “any attempts at gender discrimination” and instructs the movement’s Joint Placement Commission “to provide equal access employment, to address the issue when raised by congregational members and to take appropriate action” when necessary.

Appropriate action outlined in the resolution includes: – Endorsing a policy called for equal pay for men and women in comparable positions. – Producing and disseminating educational material for congregations on the status of female rabbis. – Monitoring placement practices to ensure that no pattern gender discrimination takes place.

The convention, held this week at the Concord Hotel at Lake Kiamesha, N.Y., included a special ceremony on the opening night of the gathering to honor a decade of women’s work as rabbis.

Female rabbis lit 10 candles, each to represent an aspect of their work. Their achievements were applauded by all 260 rabbis in the room, who gave them a standing ovation.

The ceremony ended with the recitation of the Shehecheyanu, the prayer of thanksgiving for having reached a special time.

“We seek the same respect, rights, privileges and an equal hearing for our male and female colleagues,” said Rabbi Joel Meyers, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly.

“We want to create one class of rabbis, not two.”

This year’s class of rabbis being ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary next week will include 11 women, bringing the total number of female Conservative rabbis to 71.

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