CCAR Newsletter January/February 2021 - 1


‫אדר תשפ''א‬-‫שבט‬-‫טבת‬
Publication of the Central Conference of American Rabbis
January * February 2021 | Volume 68 - Issue 3

‫איגוד הרבנים המתקדמים‬
From The Chief Executive

From the President
As our son prepared to return
to college the Sunday after
Thanksgiving for the remaining
weeks of his virtual, pre-recorded
fall semester classes, our familiar
litany of parental requests
ensued: " Stay safe. " " Make
good decisions. " " Work hard,
grades matter... " However, our charge elicited an
unusually sullen and irregular response: " Honestly,
it no longer even feels like college at this point. Do
you know how hard it is to stay motivated right
now? " Long after Ben's departure, with a sense of
sadness for the precious moments and experiences he
and other students are missing still lingering in the
air, I soon realized I was not only feeling a sense of
disappointment for our son. Rather, his words had
also struck a personal, disquieting chord: " Do you
know how hard it is to stay motivated right now? "
Actually, I think I might. In fact, I suspect countless
rabbis appreciate how difficult is it to stay motivated
right now. How difficult is it to remain energized
by another day glued to a monitor largely devoid of
the enriching, interpersonal moments that-until
ten months ago-characterized our rabbinates?
How difficult is it to remain spiritually inspired
and nourished by Shabbat services conveyed
in technological formats where ours is the only
audible voice when offering a prayer or reading or
in sanctuaries where few, if any, members of our
community are able to join us? How hard is it to
fulfill the responsibility and sincere desire to care for
others when we must remain distant from a grieving
spouse clearly aching to be supported and held,
or separated by plexiglass from a floundering bar
mitzvah student who lost his place while chanting
Torah, unable to offer assistance as he becomes more
and more upset, or masked and distant from an
overjoyed couple beneath the chuppah looking to
you to gently guide and help inform this priceless
and sacred moment in their lives? How difficult is
it to remain enthusiastic about teaching Torah

Dear friends,
Since March, disruption has been one of the words we've probably all heard more
than we ever want to hear again. As we continue forward in this challenging time, I
want to take this opportunity to talk about a different kind of disruption, that of the
CCAR's Task Force on the Experience of Women in the Rabbinate. Even as we've
had to adjust goals, change plans, and re-envision, the work of the Task Force has
continued to move ahead.
The Task Force was intended to be a three-year process of study and exploration, culminating in the
development of resources, policy changes, and recommendations all in the name of creating culture change
within the CCAR and within the Movement. This month should have marked the end of these three years,
but because of the pandemic we have pushed it up by a few months. However, the work has still been going
on even with the necessary interruptions and refocusing. As we head toward the culmination of these three
years, I want to share some highlights of the work of the Task Force.
The Task Force has created resources, available for free to rabbis and communities. These include:
 set of " off-the-shelf " Implicit Bias Training materials, which are available with training tracks and
facilitator guides for search committees, boards, and rabbis as employer, and an introductory video.
These can be found on the CCAR website in the Placement Documents section.
* Th
 e Clergy Monologue program, first introduced at the Cincinnati Convention and then at Biennial, is in
the process of being made into a professional video. It will be available at no cost, along with a discussion
guide, for community programming.
There have been some changes to policies in the placement area. These include:
 ongregations in placement must now list salary ranges for all candidates on the search applications.
 ongregations in placement are being urged to do implicit bias training and must indicate if they have,
or have not, on their applications.
We have created a robust page on the CCAR website containing related articles, research papers, rituals, a
bibliography, and more, enabling communities to undertake their own course of study or conversations on
gender equity.
The Compensation Study, which we undertake every 3-4 years with URJ, is almost ready to be released.
There is a gender component of the study that will be a stand-alone piece connected to the ongoing work of
gender equity and the work of the RPEI (Reform Pay Equity Initiative).
One of the outcomes of the Task Force is the convening of a Gender Summit, which will take place this
February with representatives of all of our Movement partner organizations in attendance. The goal is to
create shared commitments across the Movement to embed the value of gender equity in our ongoing work.
These are just some examples of what the Task Force has done. There is a great deal of work that is still
happening at this time. These include best practice recommendations and a story collection project that got
put on hold due to the pandemic. Given that one of the top-line goals of the Task Force has been to create
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CCAR Newsletter January/February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CCAR Newsletter January/February 2021

CCAR Newsletter January/February 2021 - 1
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2021 - 2
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2021 - 3
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2021 - 4
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2021 - CRE1
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2021 - CRE2
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2021 - 5
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2021 - 6
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2021 - 7
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2021 - 8