THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Zionist Organization of America
Metropolitan Detroit District
New York (JTA) - Opponents
to the ordination of women as
rabbis - both within and outside
the Conservative movement -
have come forward to protest the
announcement last month by the
Rabbinical Assembly (RA) that it
had cleared the way for the ac-
ceptance of its first female
member, Amy Eilberg, upon her
graduation from the Jewish
Theological Seminary in May.
The Union for Traditional Con-
servative Judaism, a group of
rabbis and laity who oppose
women's ordination in the Con-
servative movement, said that the
passage of an amendment to the
RA constitution - which guaran-
tees the acceptance of women by
mandating the automatic admis-
sion of each entire JTS graduat-
ing class - "should not be seen as
a wholehearted endorsement" of
women as rabbis.
The group's co-chairman, Rabbi
David Novak, claimed that 30
percent of the RA membership
voted against the amendment. (In
the mail ballot, 267 members out
of 903 voted against the amend-
ment and 247 did not cast ballots.
Had this percentage of numbers
voted according to the original
procedure, which required a 75
percent vote for the acceptance of
individual members rather than a
two-thirds majority, "the admis-
sion of women into the RA would
have been precluded," Novak
The Union of Orthodox Jewish
Congregations condemned the RA
decision as representing a "radi-
cal and definitive break with
Jewish tradition, shattering all
claims and pretenses that the
Conservative movement is a
branch of Halachic Judaism."
Charging that the decision is
part of the movement's "continu-
ing breach with traditional
Judaism," Union President Sid-
ney Kewestel called it "religion by
popular demand, a pandering to
pressure groups" that "further ob-
literates the distinction between
the Conservative and Reform
movements" in the U.S.
The Union of Orthodox Rabbis
of the U.S. and Canada, whose
president is rabbi Moshe Feins-
tein, expressed the view that no
woman, "even an Orthodox one,"
can serve as a rabbi according to
Jewish law, he said in which Re-
form and Conservative move-
ments "have done everything to
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