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ACTIONS » The Conservative Movement: Facing the Future with Two Faces?

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jewish Women Watching at 347-393-2307 or

JEWISH WOMEN WATCHING HOAX STIRS UP JTS CELEBRATION OF WOMEN RABBIS
Conservative Movement Angrily Disavows Message of Equity and Non-Discrimination

New York, NY (March 30, 2005) – Jewish Women Watching (JWW), the anonymous collective of feminist rabble rousers, has claimed responsibility for infiltrating last night’s Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) event celebrating twenty years of women as Conservative Jewish rabbis. Unsuspecting attendees at a public panel discussion entitled “A Movement Transformed: Women's Ordination and Conservative Judaism” enthusiastically greeted a press advisory announcing JTS’s plan to accomplish gender and sexual equity in the Conservative Movement by the year 2010. The press advisory was a fake created by Jewish Women Watching.

“JTS has been talking for so long about their intention to fully incorporate women in the rabbinate, we thought they might just need some creative thinkers to figure out a plan to make it happen,” said JWW’s Adah Menken. The three-step plan detailed in the press advisory committed the Conservative Movement to ending exclusion of gays and lesbians from the rabbinate, closing the $10,000+ pay gap between male and female rabbis, and dismissing non-egalitarian synagogues from its roster. “If JTS had wanted to claim the plan and commit to the actions outlined in it, JWW would have been happy to step back and let them take the credit,” said Clara Lemlich, a JWW member.

In reality, the panel’s moderator dissociated JTS from any proposal to comprehensively embrace egalitarianism and equity. “The Conservative Movement has a lot of chutzpah to celebrate 20 years of women’s ordination when they continue blatantly sexist and homophobic practices in the rabbinate,” said JWW’s Sophie Tucker. “It’s time for JTS to match action to their rhetoric.”

Jewish Women Watching aims to rouse the public to challenge and change the sexist and other discriminatory practices in the American Jewish community. We use biting satire and real-life facts to criticize our community's narrow-minded priorities. Jewish Women Watching remains anonymous to focus attention on the issues - not ourselves. For more information, visit our web site at www.jewishwomenwatching.com

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