Study finds widespread inequities for women rabbis in Conservative Judaism

Posted: Friday, August 06, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) Women rabbis in the Conservative branch of Judaism earn less than their male counterparts and hold fewer top jobs in synagogues, according to a new study on gender equity.

The research by the Rabbinical Assembly, an association of about 1,600 Conservative rabbis, was conducted as the movement prepares to mark its 20th anniversary of women's ordination next year. There were 177 Conservative women rabbis when the study was conducted over the last year.

Male rabbis on average earn $119,000 in salary and benefits, compared to women's average of $77,000, the survey said. A salary gap persists when a more direct comparison is made between men and women rabbis in comparable jobs.

The study also found no women rabbis leading the biggest congregations of 500 families or more. In fact, an overwhelming majority of the women head synagogues of fewer than 250 families.

The Rabbinical Assembly said it would use the results to push for reforms including providing more support for women rabbis as they search for jobs, and encouraging organizations that employee rabbis to address gender inequities.

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