CCAR Newsletter January/February 2018 - 11

(Continued from page 10) Rabbi David Stern's Address to the URJ Biennial 2017

put the oxygen mask on yourself first, and Jewish
oxygen is no different. We will create the path
to nurtured Jewish children by nurturing Jewish
adults. As communities, we need to create
meaningful Jewish learning for adults, inspire
adults in prayer, challenge adults to justice, so
they can model learning and prayer and acts of
justice for our children.
There are no perfect recipes. But too often, when
we talk about kids as our future, our passing of
the Torah becomes a game of hot potato where

we can't wait to get it into the next set of hands.
Our challenge as adults might be to spend at
least as much time focused on embracing the
Torah as we do on passing it. As rabbis, we are
your partners in that sacred work.
So thank you: to the teens who make us better,
to the adults who learn and grow with them.
In this week's Torah portion, the brothers of
seventeen-year-old Joseph throw him into a pit-
they commit the grave sin of making a teenager
invisible. That can't be our way.

Thank you for seeing our kids-not just on the
screens and on the stage and in the halls of the
Biennial, but at your own kitchen tables, and
in your own Temple board rooms, and in your
own vision for what a community can be. Thank
God they are in our lives, and thank God we
are in theirs. Shout it from the rooftops: we have
company. And as any five-year-old at Shabbat
dinner can tell you, when we have company,
great blessing is sure to come.

TASK FORCE ON THE EXPERIENCE OF WOMEN IN THE RABBINATE
The CCAR is proud to announce the
formation of the Task Force on the Experience of
Women in the Rabbinate. This new task force has
been a focus of conversation and planning since
March. With Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus serving as
the chair and Amy Schwartzman as vice-chair,
the CCAR is now taking an active step toward
addressing the reality of life in the rabbinate as
experienced by women rabbis. The task force
will be a multi-year process, beginning with an
in-depth inquiry and study phase. The specific
outcome of the task force will be shaped in the
course of that process, but the overall goal is to
create tools and protocols that will help lead to a
culture change within the Reform Movement.
The conversation about sexual harassment and
sexual assault going on in our society at large
comes at a time when the CCAR stands ready
to launch this task force. The need for this task
force became evident from conversations that
emerged in the aftermath of the national election

of 2016, the publication of The Sacred Calling:
Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate, and
the CCAR member support study. We know
that women rabbis still encounter substantial
obstacles which require critical conversation and
examination. Women rabbis report experiencing
gender-based bias, inappropriate comments,
sexual harassment, sexual assault, lack of proper
institutional support, undermining behavior, and
issues related to contracts, pay equity (see WRN
column on p. 7), and parental leave. Intertwined
with these challenges are also issues of sexuality
and gender nonconformity. To some it is shocking
that this is still going on, given that women have
been Reform rabbis for going on 45 years, and
to others it couldn't be more obvious, a fact of
everyday life. The task force will engage our
membership and Movement partners to determine
support systems, resources, and learning
opportunities.

community and enhance the professional and
personal lives of Reform rabbis is central to the
mission of the CCAR-and it is our ethical and
professional mandate to address these deeply
troubling challenges. This newly created Task
Force will study the realities women face in
order to identify their root causes and potential
solutions. It will engage our membership, lay
people, and our partner Reform institutions.
Ultimately, it will create change for the good and
bring healing, hope, and greater strength to our
rabbinates and the communities we serve.
We look forward to sharing more with you as the
process gets underway.
David Stern, CCAR President
Steve Fox, Chief Executive

The responsibility to strengthen the Jewish

Task Force Members*:
Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus, chair

Lisa Greene

Karen Perolman

Amy Schwartzman, vice-chair

Hilly Haber

Sarah Reines

Ethan Bair

Jen Kaufman

Ron Segal

Carole Balin

Esther Lederman

Dean Shapiro

Lisa Berney

Ellen Lewis

Jonathan Singer

Josh Garroway

Jill Maderer

Kim Geringer

Ellen Nemhauser

David Stern
CCAR President, ex-officio
Steve Fox
Chief Executive
CCAR, ex-officio
Hara Person
Chief Strategy Officer
Staff Liaison to Task Force

*The CCAR is pleased that the members of the Task Force represent a diverse cross-section of people, including rabbis from different phases of their
careers, geographic locations, demographics, diverse rabbinates, and different personal backgrounds. The CCAR is also appreciative that many of
the people CCAR invited to be part of the Task Force are involved in other areas of leadership in the Movement including HUC-JIR faculty/staff as
well as a rabbinic student, a URJ lay leader and staff member, and members of WRN leadership.
11



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CCAR Newsletter January/February 2018

CCAR Newsletter January/February 2018 - 1
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2018 - 2
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2018 - 3
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2018 - 4
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2018 - 5
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2018 - 6
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2018 - 7
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2018 - 8
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2018 - 9
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2018 - 10
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2018 - 11
CCAR Newsletter January/February 2018 - 12
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