Lev­el­ing the Play­ing Field: Advanc­ing Women in the Jew­ish Orga­ni­za­tion­al Life

Shifra Bronznick, Didi Gold­en­har, and Mar­ty Linksy
  • Review
By – January 11, 2012
This extra­or­di­nary guide­book offers analy­sis and tac­tics to address gen­der inequal­i­ty in main­stream Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions so that women gain pro­por­tion­ate rep­re­sen­ta­tion, respon­si­bil­i­ty, access to pow­er, and pay, in for­prof­it and not-for-prof­it sec­tors. Refresh­ing­ly non-dog­mat­ic and prag­mat­ic, it dis­sects the nature and form of orga­ni­za­tion­al resis­tance and presents con­crete toolk­its for change: check­lists, exer­cis­es, self- assess­ments, and tar­get­ed goals. Part I explores adap­tive change, the resis­tance and per­cep­tion of loss that orga­ni­za­tion­al gen­der equal­i­ty cre­ates for those invest­ed in keep­ing women where they are. 

Part II, The Work Ahead: Diag­no­sis, Inter­ven­tion, Mon­i­tor­ing, and Account­abil­i­ty,” and Part III, Strate­gies for Change,” present case stud­ies illus­trat­ing process and progress towards gen­der equal­i­ty in real orga­ni­za­tions whose names you will rec­og­nize. Exam­ples cov­er why women leave the work­force, work­place flex­i­bil­i­ty, vol­un­teer net­work­ing and access to pow­er, mis­sion state­ments, board struc­tures, and pol­i­cy. The book con­cludes with exer­cise tem­plates, upto- date resources, and a well-devel­oped bib­li­og­ra­phy. High­ly rec­om­mend­ed for those seek­ing resources for women’s empow­er­ment and change in their Jew­ish organization.
Ellie Bar­barash is a writer, musi­cian, and dis­abil­i­ty activist liv­ing in Philadel­phia. Her non-fic­tion has been pub­lished in Bridges. Ordained as a Kohenet, she is work­ing on pro­duc­ing an anthol­o­gy, Clear­ing the Spring, Sweet­en­ing the Waters: A Renewed Call to Torah.

Discussion Questions