Letter to the Editor

Women in the rabbinate

Conservative Rabbi Scott Perlo [“Why all the kvetching about female rabbis?” Outlook, Dec. 16] and I are living in different universes.  

 Since 1985, I have served a large Reform congregation in Washington, always with a female rabbinic colleague. Now there are three female rabbis (and one male) and a female cantor serving our congregation. Yet I barely can remember a disparaging comment; in my universe, we passed that milestone a generation ago.

Many years back, my female colleague visited a class in our nursery school. When I visited a few weeks later, one of the students asked who I was. The teacher said I was one of the rabbis. The student said, “I didn’t know boys could be rabbis, too.”

That class has now graduated from college, and the time has come for us to graduate from perpetuating the canard that women are somehow inadequate clergy. 

Fred N. Reiner, Washington

The writer is rabbi emeritus at Temple Sinai.

 
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