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March 15, 1991 - Image 29

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-03-15

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Jacqueline Levine:
still After Equality

early two decades after jolting the
American Jewish communal world
with her well-documented claims of
wide-spread gender bias, Jacqueline Levine
remains frustrated with what she terms
the limited progress women have made in
both lay (volunteer) and professional roles.
It particularly rankles her, she said, in
light of the American Jewish commun-
ity's professed progressiveness.
"We who talk about justice and equality
and civil rights, we who are the prime
believers in justice — why have we lagged
so far behind? This is something that has
really bothered me over the years," she
There (has) been progress in the Jewish
world — but it's a very slow, upward mar-
ch, rather than (the) faster one I've seen
in the rest of society."
The bottom line, she said, is a signifi-
cant loss for the Jewish community.
"With the problems we have today,"
she said, "we need every person, every
resource. You can't write off half of the
community if you're going to successfully
deal with today's problems."
However, Mrs. Levine's extraordinary
career as a lay leader has been achieved
despite the bias she sees as endemic.
She has served as chair of the National
Governing Council of the American Jew-
ish Congress and president of the Council
of Jewish Federations Women's Division.
Her involvement with Soviet Jewry
goes back more than 25 years, and in



Jacqueline Levine:
Opened the debate.

1987 she served as national chair of the
Summit Mobilization for Soviet Jewry,
the gathering of more than a quarter-
million people in Washington.
She has also served in a number of roles
for the United Jewish Federation of
MetroWest in New Jersey. Mrs. Levine
lives in West Orange, N.J.
From 1983 to 1986, she was chair of the
National Jewish Community Relations
Advisory Council (NJCRAC), the um-
brella group for Jewish community rela-
tions councils around the country.

— J.D.B

When Volunteering Is
A Full•Time Job

Top lay leaders at most
Jewish organizations pay
their own way, which can be
a considerable expense.

volunteer work. Mrs. Cardin's respon-
sibilities as president of the National
Conference on Soviet Jewry and chair of
the Conference of Presidents of Major
American Jewish Organizations are simi-
lar to those of any top-level major
corporation executive.
But Mrs. Cardin does not get paid for
her efforts. She, like the top lay leaders at

"NS taught me about our community."

Dean Gould had just finished his junior year at
the University of Michigan when he was accepted
into the Jewish Occupational Intern (JOIN)
program at Jewish Vocational Service. For two
summers, Dean worked with Jewish community
professionals and participated in seminars
exploring issues of Jewish identity and culture.

"The experience gave me great insight into the
work of our Jewish agencies," says Dean, now an
attorney. "I came away with a lot of knowledge
and a sense of commitment."


olunteering can be a full-time "job"
— a fact that often makes it dif-
ficult to distinguish the "Lay
leaders" from the professionals in Jewish
communal life.
Some volunteers, like Baltimore's
Shoshana Cardin, have made careers of


most Jewish organizations, pays her own
way, which can be considerable since her
responsibilities often take her to
meetings around the world.
The term "professionals" refers to an
agency's paid employees; meaning every-
one from caseworkers and legislative
assistants to executive vice-presidents —
the term of choice in the Jewish world for
top paid professionals.
Lay leaders are elected by an organiza-
tion's members or by boards comprised of
other lay officials. Professionals are gen-
erally hired by the organization's top paid
staffers, under the broad supervision of
the lay leadership.
Directors are generally paid profes-
sionals. Presidents and chairmen (or wo-
men) are usually volunteers. (Baltimore
is an exception in that the top profes-
sional position at the Associated, the local
federation, is president; the top lay posi-
tion is chairman of the board.) ❑

Dean is now a member of the Board of Trust-
ees at JVS and is active on behalf of Kadima, Bar
Ilan University and efforts to help Soviet Jewry.
The JVS JOIN program has stimulated the Jewish
commitment of hundreds of young people who,
like Dean, are now taking leadership
roles in our community.

Since its founding in 194 I, JVS has helped
thousands of people find success and fulfillment in
their working lives. Now, as we celebrate our
50th anniversary, we invite the entire community
to share our pride in a half-century of service.


:-,411 1 11-1,e1 y11 1 11)

— J.D.B.



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