Just ask

Just ask

Just ask
We were disappointed and saddened to open the Jewish Chronicle to an article where four male rabbis of varied denominations were interviewed about Jewish mourning customs (“What to expect at a shiva,” July 12). When you present only men as experts on Jewish tradition in this newspaper, you are fostering a perception that female rabbis are less valued and less authoritative than our male colleagues.

Almost 10 years ago, large numbers of Jewish male colleagues joined the Men As Allies program with Advancing Women Professionals and Shifra Bronznick in a pledge to refuse to participate in all-male panels. Most recently, the head of the National Institutes of Health issued a statement that he would refuse to participate in a setting where only males were given voice as experts. Also noteworthy, in 2014, leaders in Global Policy on Peace and Security adopted similar measures to ensure the inclusion of women’s voices on the global stage as it relates to peacemaking. We expect the Jewish Chronicle to assume a similar stance, and move away from all-male conversations to conversations that include women’s voices in articles that discuss Jewish ritual, law, custom and tradition.

Pittsburgh is blessed to have 11 ordained female rabbis. Turn to any of us for comment in an article about shiva, and you will find pearls of wisdom gleaned from our combined 150-plus years of service in the rabbinate. Together we have conducted hundreds of funerals and shiva minyanim, and taught thousands about the customs of mourning.

Next time, ask us.

Rabbi Amy Bardack
Rabbi Doris Dyen
Rabbi Keren Gorban
Rabbi Amy Greenbaum
Rabbi Sharyn Henry
Rabbi Cheryl Klein
Rabbi Danielle Leshaw
Rabbi Jessica Locketz
Rabbi Emily Meyer
Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Rabbi Barbara Symons

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