My parents were Teaneck JCC members from the early 1950s. As a child of that decade, I was turned off by the sexism of Judaism long before I’d heard of the word “feminist.” Even the impressive Rabbi Judah Washer told my parents not to push Hebrew school as I clearly wasn’t interested.
The 70s provided greater options for women in Jewish life. My first cousin in New York (female) became a rabbi.
Some Conservative synagogues embraced a larger role for women. The Teaneck JCC did not.
Could that possibly be one of the reasons its numbers began to dwindle? Recently the Center tried to solve its problems by putting up dividers. Conservative women left. Not enough Orthodox families came.
So, now ask yourself “Why should the board of the Jewish Center sell the building to Holy Name Hospital? ”
Answer: Because Holy Name will do more for the health of all women than either of the two other options.
Expected outcome: Jewish men will look after themselves.
Predictable backlash: Jewish men will condemn any Jewish woman who suggests the option that puts women’s health first.
Predictable outcome: Another recent Pew survey will show increasing numbers of Jewish women who intermarry, or identify as “cultural” or as having “no religion at all.”
Final outcome: Jewish men will look after themselves.