FRONTLI N ES
Uri Bar-Ner has taken over
as Israel's Midwest representative.
U.S. labor unions and the State of Israel
have maintained a long, close relationship.
Hand and Glove
Southfield-Lathrup's baseball team
has its sights set on the state tourney.
Conservative Cantors Erica Lippitz (left) and Marla Rosenfeld-Barugel: Egalitarian zealots?
One Last Fork In The Road
For Conservative Judaism
RABBI RONALD PRICE
he vote by the Cantors Assembly,
the professional body of Conserva-
tive cantors, not to admit women to
its ranks stands in startling contrast to the
leftward march that has marked recent
history in the Conservative movement.
During the past decade, every institu-
tion of the Conservative movement has
publicly promoted identical ritual roles for
men and women as a religious ideal. In the
Rabbinical Assembly, United Synagogue of
America and the Jewish Theological
Seminary, some "egalitarian zealots" have
declared repeatedly that, when halachah
and egalitarianism conflict, egalitarianism
Until now, the only body to represent
the concerns of traditional Jews in the Con-
servative movement and expose the lack of
unanimity had been the Union for Tradi-
tional Conservative Judaism (UTCJ). As a
result of its honest, if unpopular, halachic
position, the UTCJ suffered both exclusion
and attack from the very movement that
gave birth to it.
Now the Conservative cantors have
added their voices to the cry for halachic
process in the Conservative movement.
While this one vote may not stem the tide
of radical change, it should give the entire
Rabbi Ronald D. Price is the executive director of
the Union for Traditional Conservative Judaism.
Jewish community pause and make some
leaders rethink their positions.
The specifics of the vote itself are in-
teresting. A two-thirds majority would have
been needed to admit women to the Can-
tors Assembly. Surprisingly, after the
chancellor of the JTS had unilaterally
decided to grant women students "in-
vestiture" as cantors, his position could not
even muster a simple majority among the
cantors. The vote showed an almost even
division, with 97 opposed and 95 in favor.
But these numbers do not indicate the pas-
sion and conviction that must have
motivated the 97 majority to stand up to
tremendous political pressures.
The main objection raised by the can-
tors against the admission of women was
that proper halachic procedure was not
followed by Chancellor Ismar Schorsch in
deciding to grant women investiture. He
consulted no authoritative body of Jewish
scholars within the Conservative move-
ment; not the Committee on Jewish Law
and Standards, not the Panel of Halachic
Inquiry. The cantors' objection is precisely
that of traditional Conservative Judaism,
which maintains that halachic procedure
is not a minor annoyance to be discarded
when inconvenient, but is the very heart
of traditional Jewish life and belief.
Halachah is what God expects of us as
Jews. For us, following halachic process in
answering questions of Jewish law is a
Continued on Page 10
of Ann Arborite
ARTHUR J. MAGIDA
A multi-national spy swap
is rumored to include the Pollards.
For comedienne Carol Leifer,
everything and everyone is fair game.
Adult bar and bat mitzvot
are becoming popular,
for those who misse
out at age 13.
May 27, 1988 8:39 p.m.