CCAR Newsletter July 2012 - 1

C N F F R E N C E O AME C EC ET R A L LC O O N E E R E N C E O FF A M E R I C A N R A BBBBI IS S N NTRA A N R A

Founded In

‫תמוז-אב-אלול תשע״ב‬

July/August 2012

1889

NEWS
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Publication of the Central Conference of American Rabbis

‫איגוד הרבנים המתקדמים‬

volume 59 – Number 10
FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PROGRAM AND MEMBER SERvICES Deborah Prinz

FROM THE PRESIDENT Jonathan A. Stein Dear Chevrah, As we pause during the midsummer months of Tammuz and Av, just a brief update on some happenings within our CCAR. Your CCAR Board met in early June and considered a number of important issues. We adopted 5-year goals, the primary one being: “The CCAR leadership, staff, and structure will be accessible and responsive, recognizing that we serve a membership of diverse rabbinates and diverse needs, and will foster a culture that supports meaningful relationships between the CCAR and its members as well as among our members.” We recommitted ourselves to our responsibilities as Board members. We spoke at length about our relationships with our various partner organizations and especially those with the URJ and HUC-JIR. And we experienced the joy of worshipping with colleagues in traditional and creative ways, including a moving, personalized visual t’filah experience. Our colleague Rick Jacobs was officially installed as President of the URJ in mid-June in a touching and inspiring Shabbat minchah service during the URJ Board meeting. The URJ has been creating new paradigms of thinking about who we are as Reform Jews, what the role of our institutions should be, and how we should approach our rapidly changing Reform Jewish community. The Reform Pension Board also held a meeting in June, and produced a unanimous endorsement of the 18% pension standard. This is good news for all colleagues who continue to work towards a dignified and secure retirement. The annual convention of the American Conference of Cantors in Portland was filled with a spirit of renewal and joy. The vast number of rabbinic relationships with cantors are working well. I was able to bring greetings and speak about the cooperation and collaboration that Cantor Susan Caro has brought to the table. Together we engaged the cantors in the draft vision Statement that the Think Tank created
(Continued on page 3)

Women Rabbis: Then and Now
ark and I are about to accompany our son, daughter-in-law and grandson to the airport to help them juggle luggage for the coming year when Rachel begins her first year as a rabbinic student at HUC-JIR in Jerusalem. What new students think fits in and does not fit into the life of a rabbinic student and a rabbi these days is very different from my decisions of almost 40 years ago. While there were only three other women in my class and just three women ordained prior to me, Rachel starts school at a time when the number of women rabbis in the CCAR approaches six hundred. A recently-ordained class in LA was all women. When I started out, I felt that I had to prove that women could be rabbis; for me, that meant delaying a family for many years. (I also felt that I needed to work long hours and say yes to a lot of requests to speak about being a woman rabbi.) I could barely imagine being a rabbi with children. Rachel, on the other hand, submitted her application only weeks after Amiel was born. (Just before we went to press Rachel decided to defer HUCJIR for the year due to an unfortunate illness in the family.) Rachel, along with Noam, will figure out how to balance it all, with family integrated into her work in building sacred community. If she works in a congregation and elects to have children there, she will be able to begin the conversation about maternity leave on the foundation of the relevant policy in the Guidelines for Rabbinical-Congregational Relationships of 1984. Those guidelines affirm basic maternity leave. When I moved to my first solo congregation in 1981, the contract I was asked to sign specified that I would provide coverage should I have to be off the bimah for more than one month. I was told that that would protect the congregation should I become pregnant. No Reform movement guidelines existed at that time. They were published a year after our first child, Avigail, was born. During the over thirty years of my congregational work, there was anecdotal information about the stained-glass ceiling and salary inequities for women rabbis. I struggled with those barriers. As Rachel now enters the field, the CCAR has produced the first ever Study of Rabbinic Compensation by Gender so that finally there is real data to build on those stories. By the time Rachel will be ordained, advocacy and education in our communities and in the CCAR, such as our recent teleconference call (June 21) about the Salary Study by Gender, will have shifted those unfortunate realities toward more equity, fulfilling a value long held in the Reform movement and our society. Many other issues percolate around gender in the CCAR and our movement, as we heard at the Open Space session at the Boston Convention. These will inform the focus of our CCAR in-person seminar in December, Gender: Difficult Conversations. We look forward to continuing these full and challenging conversations.

“When I started out, I felt that I had to prove that women could be rabbis....”

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CCAR Newsletter July 2012

CCAR Newsletter July 2012 - 1
CCAR Newsletter July 2012 - 2
CCAR Newsletter July 2012 - 3
CCAR Newsletter July 2012 - 4
CCAR Newsletter July 2012 - 5
CCAR Newsletter July 2012 - 6
CCAR Newsletter July 2012 - 7
CCAR Newsletter July 2012 - 8
CCAR Newsletter July 2012 - 9
CCAR Newsletter July 2012 - 10
CCAR Newsletter July 2012 - 11
CCAR Newsletter July 2012 - 12
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