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Impact of the Women’s Movement on the Jewish Community

July 19, 1977
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The women’s movement presents both religious and secular challenges to the Jewish community, according to Leona Chanin, president of the American Jewish Congress national women’s division. Speaking at the 13th annual American-Israel Dialogue entitled “The Individual Under American, Israeli and Halachic Law,” which was held in Jerusalem two weeks ago, Mrs. Chanin said she believed the women’s movement will serve to strengthen organized Jewish life.

“American Jewish women are seeking new interpretations of Halacha that will give recognition to women’s new role in society,” said Mrs. Chanin. But law alone cannot end social discrimination against women, she observed, adding; “only a strong women’s movement can do this. The women’s movement in the United States must serve as an example for Israeli women, Mrs. Chanin in said. She called the struggle for women’s rights “the great auto-emancipation movement of our day.”

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