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July 27, 1990 - Image 42

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-07-27

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

I NEWS I

EXTRA POINTE

oo

Gender Gap Is Found
In Reform Rabbinate Too

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he gender gap in the
world of commerce,
dramatized by the
battle cry of "equal pay for
equal work," seems to
characterize the Reform
rabbinate, too, according to a
recent study.
Rabbi Mark Winer, rabbi
of the Jewish Community
Center of White Plains,
N.Y., has reported on the
results of an ongoing study
of salaries and pulpit status
records of some 700 pulpit
Reform rabbis. For his most
recent annual survey, the
subjects included 123 women
rabbis.
Winer reported on the fin-
dings of the salary com-
mittee of the Central Con-
ference of American Rabbis,
the association of Reform
rabbis, in an article in the
current issue of Reform
Judaism, the official organ
of the Union of American
Hebrew Congregations, the
association of Reform syn-
agogues.
Winer reported that while
some women rabbis have at-
tained pulpit positions in
medium sized congregations,
none of the 123 women
Reform rabbis "has become
the senior rabbi in a UAHC
congregation larger than
350 families."
He explained in an inter-
view that there is a seniority
system in regard to place-
ment of the three categories
of pulpits — senior, assistant
and associate.
In the early years of the
10-year study, there were
not enough women Reform
rabbis to indicate any trends
in salary treatment and
pulpit advancement. But as
the number of women in the
Reform rabbinate and in
Reform pulpits grew, so did
the evidence of a gender gap,
Winer said.
The emergence of Conser-
vative and Reconstructionist
women rabbis is too recent to
indicate signs of a gender
gap.
Rabbi Gordon Tucker,
dean of the Jewish Theologi-
cal Seminary rabbinical
school, said that the move-
ment has ordained 29 wo-
men as Conservative rabbis
of whom 13 hold pulpits. He
said that number is sure to
grow as placements are
made of the 1989-90 or-
dainees.
He agreed there are not
enough Conservative women

rabbis to indicate any trends
in placement and salary.
A Reconstructionist Rab-
binical College source said
47 women had been ordained
as Reconstructionist rabbis
since 1974, and that 14 cur-
rently hold pulpits, again,
too small a number to in-
dicate any trends.
The Orthodox community
does not ordain women.
Winer undertook the
assignment of tracking
rabbis on the basis of a
background of research for
which he has a doctorate in
sociology from Yale Univer-
sity.
He reported, in his study,
that "males and females at-
tain similar positions and
receive similar salaries upon
ordination," but the Reform
rabbinate's "gender gap"

Rabbi Ellen
Weinberg of San
Diego declared
that in some cases
congregations do
discriminate.

widens increasingly "in the
years that follow."
The evidence shows that
"women do not move up the
placement ladder at the
same pace as men. In pulpits
of similar size and respon-
sibility, women receive
lower compensation.
Disproportionately, women
remain in part-time
pulpits."
Reform congregations are
categorized by the number of
family affiliates. In category
E are congregations with
over 900 member families.
In category D are congrega-
tions with 601 to 900
families. In category C, the
range is 301 to 600 families,
and in category B are 160 to
300 families.
The larger the number of
families, the larger the
number with more than one
rabbi, the larger the salary
and the longer the period of
pulpit service qualification
required.
In summary, Winer re-
ported, his data indicated
"there is not a single woman
rabbi of a Reform congrega-
tion in the E or D category."
There is a woman rabbi
who is senior rabbi of a con-
gregation of 600 families in
Brookline, Mass. But, accor-
ding to Winer, she is not a
true exception to his fin-
dings. He said it is true she

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