Women’s League for Conservative Judaism strongly condemns the recent incidents in Israel demeaning women. We were shocked by the news that an 8-year-old girl was terrified to walk to school, by the missing images of women removed from advertisements, by women being forced to sit in segregated areas on buses. The list goes on.
As women, and as Conservative/Masorti Jews, we are outraged. We refuse to accept that this is the way it has to be or that a segment of Israel’s population can be allowed to so demean and demonize women, no matter their religious affiliation.
We are proud that our sisters and brothers in the Masorti movement are at the forefront of the protests in Israel. They toil daily to ensure that Conservative/Masorti Judaism’s egalitarian and compassionate view of all Jews achieves its legitimate place in Israeli society. As they held aloft Masorti banners in protest of haredi campaigns for gender separation we were encouraged that their voices are beginning to be heard.
At a movement event in January, Israeli President Shimon Peres reinforced our hopefulness when he spoke about the need for law enforcement agencies to stop the extremists and enforce the laws that enable people to live together. This was a particularly historic moment since it was the first time that an Israeli president addressed the Masorti movement. We laud President Peres’ sentiments when he declared: “I came here this evening to hear women singing…”
We urge all the members of Women’s League to help in this effort by supporting the Masorti kehillot. Each region has a special relationship with communities in Israel. Now is the time for us to come forward, let our voices be heard, and show our support. Please make sure that your sisterhood is counted among those helping to ensure the rights of women and Masorti Jews in Israel.