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Jewish Woman Power Makes Impact on UAHC; More Women to Be Elected to Board

March 12, 1971
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

In a decisive step to increase women’s participation at all policymaking levels, the 98-year-old central congregational body of Reform Judaism set in motion the machinery that will bring a substantially higher percentage of women to its 180-member board of trustees. The action was taken yesterday by the executive committee of the board of trustees of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations when it adopted a resolution presented by Mrs. David Levitt, president of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, an affiliate of the UAHC, who serves as an ex officio member of the board. The only other woman on the board is Mrs. Clinton Long of Wilkes Barre, Pa., serving as a representative of the UAHC’s Pennsylvania Council. In her resolution, Mrs. Levitt urged that the executive committee of the UAHC board "demonstrate the sincerity of its intent to give greater representation to women by: immediately appointing women to its nominating committee; engaging in an active search to find suitable women to fill a portion of its at-large vacancies as they occur; and, promoting similar activity in their regions and member congregations."

Mrs. Levitt decried the fact that only two women now serve on the board and said that "American Jewish women power" represents a "vast, untapped reservoir of energy, concern and commitment." The next meeting of the entire board of trustees of the UAHC is scheduled for May, by which time the nominating committee will have met. It is expected that at least two women will be on the slate to fill anticipated at-large vacancies. Passage of the resolution was hailed by Rabbi Alexander, Mr. Schindler, vice-president of the UAHC, who pointed out that the organization earlier had taken steps to broaden the participation of young people in the decision-making processes of Reform Judaism. "Reform Judaism," Rabbi Schindler said, "has always affirmed the equality of the sexes in religious life, but the time has come to match our actions to our preachments, thus enhancing the vigor and integrity of the Reform Jewish movement. It is as hypocritical and patronising to believe that the place of Jewish women is only in the sisterhood as it is to believe that their place is only in the kitchen."

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