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JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington for July 13, 2012

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the voice of jewish washington Leadership changes Page 6 Our five favorite dentists Page 11 The London Olympics: Hope and disappointment Page 17july 13, 2012 23 Tammuz 5772 volume 88, no. 14

The Rabbis VisitIsraels former chief rabbi visits Seattle Page 8Joel magalnick

@jew_ish @jewishdotcom @jewishcal

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opinion

JTnews . www.JTnews.neT . friday, July 13, 2012

More women are needed as leadersMarcie NataN JTa World news ServiceNEW YORK (JTA) Pride and chagrin: Its rare that the two emotions are experienced simultaneously. But that is how we are feeling at Hadassah. We feel pride because women now hold three of our top professional positions: Janice Weinman is our new executive director and CEO; Osnat Levtzion-Korach is the new director-general of Hadassah University Hospital-Mount Scopus in Israel; and Rabbi Ellen Flax is executive director of the $10 million Hadassah Foundation. Of course, as a national womens organization, our national presidents all have been women, our legal counsel is a woman, our Israeli office is headed by a woman, and female doctors head numerous departments at both of Hadassahs hospital campuses. On Capitol Hill and in Israel, Hadassah continues to advocate strongly for women. Yet despite Hadassahs strong focus on women and the many of us who serve in high-level leadership positions, we also feel chagrin because 100 years after our founding, it remains all too unusual for women to hold top professional positions in any organization. We want to set the model, not to be the outlier. Salary-based and hiring discrimination against women in the workplace are still an issue, but there is another dynamic at play. The desire for a worklife balance we hear so often about of late demonstrates just how complicated it can be for women to take time away from their families to work or away from their jobs to raise their children. Women comprise 51 percent of the population, yet more than nine decades after we received the vote, and nearly five decades after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we still lag in leadership. Just 17 women hold seats in the U.S. Senate and 73 in the House of Representatives. Only six states have women as governors. The U.S. Conference of Mayors reports that of the 1,248 cities with populations exceeding 30,000, just 217 have female mayors. The Fortune 1000 list includes just 39 women as CEOs. Things are no better in the Jewish world, where only two of the 20 largest Jewish federations have women at the helm. The Forward newspapers most recent salary survey shows that women head just nine of 76 national Jewish organizations. A number of women have chaired their local federations and, finally, a great woman now leads the umbrella organization for the federations. But on the top staff level, its just not the same. We need women in every kind of leadership role, and even though many women have risen through the ranks in recent years, we are nowhere near where we should be. This is not to disparage the many excellent men who hold leadership positions in our Jewish and national life, but we take special pride when we see women in those roles. More important, we know that women often bring a different voice to the public square. It was, for example, only when women brought so-called womens issues to the workplace increased maternity leave, for example that men, too, rightfully demanded paternity leave. Women care about foreign policy, but we also want to help those in poverty in our own country. Women care that the United States has a strong military, but we also strive to ensure that health care and education top priority lists. Research has demonstrated that gender diversity matters. A 2007 McKinsey study found that companies with three or more women in senior management functions score more highly on average (on nine dimensions of company excellence). These criteria include accountability and innovation. A 19-year study for the European Project on Equal Pay, conducted by Roy Adler of Pepperdine University in the 1980s and 90s, found a strong correlation between profitability and the number of women in executive positions. A 2011 study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers found that if a group includes more women, its collective intelligence rises. Weve certainly seen that happen on our nonprofit boards, but we cant be truly effective until women hold more of our professional leadership positions. For years, women have had to buck a paternalistic society, particularly in the Jewish world. Yet we cant solely blame society for the low numbers of women in leadership positions. We have to hold ourselves accountable as well. If we want change, we must be its catalysts. We must demand that search committees try harder to find and recruit women to fill top jobs. We must insist that our nonprofit boards pay closer attention to the makeup of professional staff not just how many men and women are employed, but also the numbers of women in management and how their earnings compare with their male counterparts. If this sounds like affirmative action, or something that might have been written 30 years ago, so be it. It is only when it is no longer novel to point to the first woman in a given position or even the second or third that we will have begun to achieve equality.Marcie Natan is national president of Hadassah, the Womens Zionist Organization of America.

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friday, july 13, 2012 . www.jtnews.net . jtnews

OpiniOn

the rabbis turn

letters to the editorOuT AnD AbOuT

A refresher course on the Golden Rulerabbi alaN cook Temple De Hirsch SinaiI have been blessed to be involved in a number of opportunities for interfaith dialogue over the past several months. In a variety of settings, laypeople and clergy from a number of different religious traditions have discussed matters ranging from marriage equality to the epidemic of violence in Seattle to homelessness and poverty. Invariably, at some point in these discussions, a facilitator has asked the question, What brings you to the table? The question represents an attempt to explore what brings a person of faith to want to spend time and energy on such issues. As I consider the responses Ive heard at these various gatherings, they are frequently variations on a similar theme. I am here, the participants say, because my faith exhorts me to perform acts of social justice, because my scriptural tradition teaches that I must reach out to correct societal inequalities and assist the less fortunate and underprivileged in our community, because my religion abides by a golden rule that inspires my actions. The Golden Rule. An ancient construct, it is nearly as old as civilization itself. Early Chinese, Greek, and Roman writings all record versions of this precept, and every modern mainstream religious tradition has its own iteration. We all may have variant concepts of how to apply this ideal to our daily interactions with others, but at the end of the day, there would seem to be consensus about our human responsibility to act justly. This being the case, the question then arises: Why does inequity persist in the world? Discounting for a moment the fact that Seattle is deemed one of the most unchurched regions of the country, statistics suggest that our nation overall has a high rate of religious affiliation. If so many of us are people of faith, and all of us agree that our faith tells us to perform acts of loving kindness to do unto others as we would have others do unto us why are we not living in a messianic age? I dont think the blame for this lies in the laps of those who are secular or not deeply immersed in their chosen faith. Rather, I think we have gotten away from having the tenets of our faith inform our daily behavior. Rich Stearns, CEO of the evangelical social-service organization World Vision, writes in his book The Hole in Our Gospel that many Christians have lost sight of the true intent of Jesus ministry: To advocate for a renewed focus on attending to the welfare of the downtrodden in our communities. As Jews, we take our cues from the prophets of the Hebrew Bible, yet the message remains the same. Unless we can begin to make ethical decisions through the lens of our scriptural teachings, until we integrate the teachings of Amos, Micah, Isaiah, and their counterparts into our daily deliberations, we are not living to our highest potential. For the Golden Rule to have meaning in our lives, we must not merely pay it lip service. Once again I find myself writing my guest article for the JTNews while serving on faculty at the Union for Reform Judaisms Camp Kalsman in Arlington. This week, more than 100 campers, in the midst of their typical camping activities, are engaging in