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World War XX

Some disheartening news for the fairer sex.

Adam Chandler
June 21, 2012
(Women of the Wall Facebook Page)

(Women of the Wall Facebook Page)

A sad confluence of stories today underscores the difficulty we (the royal we, the global we, the Semitic we) seem to be having with gender equality. Here’s a round-up of things that I wish I weren’t rounding up:

United States: A ground-breaking study by the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) revealed that the salary gap between female rabbis and their male counterparts reaches upwards of $43,000 depending on the size of the congregation.

Over at The Jewish Press, Yori Yanover downplayed the discrepancy before closing with this piece of narrow idiocy:

CCAR Chief Executive Rabbi Steven Fox told JTA that “the results were troubling but not surprising; it quantified that which we knew anecdotally. A salary gap in 2012 is unacceptable.”

Perhaps the good rabbi should read his own report more closely, because soon there’s likely to be a much better looking rabbi, probably in a pants suit, occupying his office and making about what he’s making.

Fox also said that “as the rabbinic voice of the Reform movement, we must take the lead on this issue. When we see data confirming that few women are serving large congregations on a full-time basis, we need to ask why and what we can do about that.”

But to this reporter it appears that those lady rabbis are quite capable of taking care of business all by themselves.

If you’d like to voice your displeasure, he can be found here.

Beit Shemesh: A woman who was shopping with her baby was attacked by Haredi men who threw stones at her. According to Haaretz, she was not dressed modestly enough.

Jerusalem: A woman was detained for wearing a prayer shawl at the Western Wall. She did have some back up:

A few dozen members of Women of the Wall began an impromptu prayer and song protest outside the police station where the woman was being held until officers declared the assembly an unlicensed gathering and ordered them to disperse.

Knesset: An anti-abortion initiative is worming its way into the political discourse in Israel thanks to a proposal by Nissim Ze’ev, a MK from Shas, whose bill to ban abortion during the last 18 weeks of pregnancy. According to the Israel Medical Association, “the amendment will cause more abortions in early stages of pregnancy of fetuses, some of which are healthy.”

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.

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