Ezrat Nashim, "Call for Change," (Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative Movement: 14 March 1972).
It is not enough to say that Judaism views women as separate but equal, nor to point to Judaism's past superiority over other cultures in its treatment of women. We've had enough of apologetics: enough of Bruria, Dvorah, and Esther; enough of Eshet Chayyil (woman of valor)! It is time that: women be granted membership in synagogues women be counted in the minyan women be allowed full participation in religious observances women be recognized as witnesses before Jewish law women be allowed to initiate divorce women be permitted and encouraged to attend Rabbinical and Cantorial schools, and to perform Rabbinical and Cantorial functions in synagogues women be encouraged to join decision-making bodies, and to assume professional leadership roles, in synagogues and in the general Jewish community. women be considered as bound to fulfill all mitzvot equally with men. For three thousand years, one-half the Jewish people have been excluded from full participation in Jewish communal life. We call for an end to second-class status of women in Jewish life. [Jewish Women's Archive, jwa.org/feminism)

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. How has the Jewish feminist movement transformed Judaism according to these guidelines and demands since the 1972 publication of this memo?

2. How has the Jewish feminist movement paralled or contrasted the general feminist movement?

3. What does it mean to be a Jewish feminist?

Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)