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February 22, 1985 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-02-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

8

Friday, February 22, 1985

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS.

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Women Rabbis

Continued from Page 1

"in the slightest" and that he,
like Rabbi Rosenbaum, cast a
"yes" vote on the amendment
to the Assembly's constitution
despite his reservations.
Others, like Rabbi Efry
Spectre, of Adat Shalom
Synagogue, were less flinch-
ing in their support for the
measure. "Because we are Suf-
fering so much from lack of
participation in Jewish life, to
use the best minds we have,
whether they belong to men or
women, is paramount.
"Nowhere does it say, speci-
fically, that a woman cannot
be a rabbi. All 'rabbi' means is
Rabbi Spectre:
teacher — and I always felt
Staunch supporter.
that women should be able to
teach."
tive movement to ordain rab-
The change in the bylaws bis and since women have
passed by 636-267. (A two-
been admitted to the school, it
thirds vote is required for ap- is incumbent for the members
proval by the Rabbinical As-
of the RA to act on this deci-
sembly on mail ballots.) Of the sion and accept the fact that
ten local Conservative rabbis
there are going to be women
contacted by The Jewish News rabbis heading up Conserva-
six said they voted in favor of tive synagogues in the near fu-
the proposal, one voted ture."
against it, two refused to re-
Although the local rabbis
veal their vote and one said he
who supported the measure
did not participate in the bal- did not go along with Rabbi
loting.
Arm's contention that female
The most strident opposi- rabbis represent a "violation
tion to the amendment came of Halachic principles," they
from Rabbi Milton Arm, of agreed that there were some
Cong. Beth Achim in South-
duties expected of male rabbis
field. The .rabbi fears that the
that, according to most in-
Assembly's acceptance of terpretations, would be closed
women rabbis will cause
by Jewish law to females: giv-
further damage to a branch of ing testimony before a reli-
Judaism that is badly splin- gious court or, serving in a tra-
tered on a number of critical
ditional, male minyan, for
religious
issues.

_ example.
"The Conservative move-
However, Rabbi Spectre
ment has veered far from its said, a woman rabbi "can
original principle of maintain- choose not to take part in those
ing an identity with historical areas. But those kinds of pro-
Judaism," Rabbi Arm said. hibitions alone shouldn't be
"It's getting to the point where enough to disqualify women
it isn't -really a movement from the rabbinate."
anymore. The institutions are
In the Detroit area, the
there, but there are very few status of female participation
Conservative Jews practicing
at Conservative synagogues
on a daily basis."
breaks down into two
. 'Many of the supporters said categories — lay leadership
that they felt the acceptance of and religious practices. All the
female rabbis by. the Assembly congregations allow women to
was a foregone conclusion run for offices, sit on boards
since the women were already and chair committees. But
allowed to enroll in the New religious participation for
York seminary, the country's women varies widely from
primary institution for the shul to shul.
training of Conservative rab-
At Beth Abraham Hillel
bis. "j felt we were at a point Moses, which is considered a
where the issue was already "traditional" synagogue, there
decided," Rabbi Rosenbaum is virtually no ritual partici-
said. "It would be an injustice pation by women, according to
to accept them in the semi- Rabbi A. Irving Schnipper. At
nary, ordain them and then Adat Shalom, bat mitzvah
not allow them to function."
girls are accorded the same
Rabbi Irwin Groner, of rights as boys marking their
bar mitzvahs and called up to
Cong. Shaarey Zedek, who
the Torah.-But, Rabbi Spectre
also voted for the amendment,
said, women are not allowed to
echoed those feelings. "Since
take part in the minyan.
the seminary is the institution
At B'nai Moshe, which re-
authorized by the Conserva-

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