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Ordination of Women As Rabbis Advocated at Reform Judaism Convention

April 30, 1957
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A plea for the ordination of women as rabbis and for their wider participation in the leadership of Jewish religious affairs was made here at the 44th general biennial convention of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, as it went into its second day of a full week of deliberations.

Jane Evans, executive director of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, an affiliate of the UAHC, told more than 1,000 women delegates that “women are uniquely suited by temperament, institution and spiritual sensitivity to be rabbis. If women can serve as teachers, they can serve as preachers, too,” she declared. “Not a few women in Biblical times rose to the greatest heights of spiritual leadership, and their examples stand to this very day as inspiration not merely to their own sex but to all humanity,” she added.

Endorsement of the stand taken by Miss Evans was given later in the day by Rabbi Barnett Brickner of Cleveland, past president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, which represents the Reform rabbinate. Rabbi Brickner expressed the belief that “many women would be attracted to a career in the rabbinate” and stated that “the Reform movement, which was the first to pioneer the equality of women in the synagogue, must take the next necessary steps to make this complete.”

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