Resolution Adopted by the CCAR

Women in Reform Judaism

Adopted by the CCAR at the 86th Annual Convention of
the Central Conference of American Rabbis

WHEREAS the Central Conference of American Rabbis is a professional organization we address ourselves to special concerns of the rabbinate as a profession, and

WHEREAS the Reform movement has ever affirmed the religious equality of women, and

WHEREAS the Central Conference of American Rabbis has expressed its support of the Equal Rights Amendment, and

WHEREAS we firmly believe that women should be full and equal partners in all areas of synagogue and community life,

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that we express our concern that, despite the basic principles of our Movement, there are still Reform congregations in which family memberships are listed by the man's name only. We call upon all members of the CCAR to review all policies and programs of our synagogues and communal institutions to insure that men and women share equally in responsibilities and opportunities.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge all our members and congregations to nominate, elect and appoint qualified women to positions of leadership within the synagogue and community, to invite women to participate in every aspect of synagogue ritual including Aliyot and the privilege of carrying the Torah during the Hakafot . We call for greater sensitivity to the feelings and needs of women in liturgical language and practice. We stress the need to provide customs and ceremonies which are meaningful to both men and women. We urge our congregations to institute a Bat Mitzvah ceremony which is comparable in every way to the existing Bar Mitzvah ceremony and to introduce other life-cycle ceremonies for females equivalent to those now conducted for males. We emphasize the importance of encouraging young girls to participate in the life of the synagogue.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call upon all our members and congregations to review their religious school curricula and textbooks to be certain that traditional stereotypes are not being reinforced without presentation of new role models and that young girls are not being made to feel that their place is solely in the home. We direct the Commission on Jewish Education to develop new materials which stress the numerous contributions women have made to Judaism and humanity and which emphasize the possibilities that exist for female participation within the Jewish community.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we express once again our total support of the ordination of women. We call upon the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion to continue to seek qualified female candidates for the rabbinate and cantorate, and we urge our congregations and all others who employ Rabbis and cantors to choose their spiritual leadership not on the basis of sex but in terms of individual ability and competence.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call upon the HUC-JIR, the UAHC the WUPJ and the CCAR to nominate, elect and appoint more women to their governing bodies in keeping with the historic commitment of our Movement to the religious equality of women.