A message from Rebecca Sirbu of Rabbis Without Borders:

On Wednesday, February 21st, a historic gathering of leaders of all of the denominations of Judaism and independent ordaining institution was convened in the Clal offices to discuss gender issues in the rabbinate which have been brought to the fore from the #MeToo Movement.

Represented were: The Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative), The Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform) The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Truah (Pluralist), Rabbis Without Borders (Pluralist), Hebrew College (Pluralist), Maharat (Modern Orthodox), Ohalah (Renewal and Pluralist) and the International Rabbinic Fellowship (Modern Orthodox)

Representatives from the Academy of Jewish Religion and the Rabbincal Council of America (Orthodox) will be joining the next meeting as well.

We outlined many issues pertaining to women in the rabbinate and will be focusing our efforts on a few areas. We named all the strengthens our organizations bring to the table and how we can employ them to make positive change in this arena. We will be meeting again in April to take the next steps on our agenda.

This is the first time a group spanning this many rabbinical associates has gathered. Many people in the room were meeting for the first time.

I am also proud to state that 4 of the 12 attendees are Rabbis Without Borders Fellows! This fact helped make this gathering happen. We have helped build real trust among rabbis in different denominations. Clal’s office was also an important neutral gathering place.

I organized the meeting along with Rabbi Elyse Wechterman, Executive Director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and Rabbi Mary Zamore, Executive Director of the Women’s Rabbinic Network of the Reform Movement. I am excited to lead this effort involving multi-denominational partners.