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Rabbi Marla J. Feldman


The author (on the left) with other Women of Reform Judaism members in Israel

Earlier this month an intrepid group of Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) leaders traveled to Israel to participate in the 30th anniversary celebration of Women of the Wall’s (WOW) gallant efforts to carve out a space at the Kotel for pluralistic women’s prayer. Sadly, what should have been a joyous celebration was instead a harsh reminder of the challenges faced by progressive Jews in our beloved homeland as we were confronted by a violent mob of extremists determined to block our prayer. We will be processing that experience for some time to come.

Despite that shocking and dreadful...

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A crowd at the Women's March

Over the course of the past several weeks, I have been part of numerous conversations about the upcoming Women’s March. Should we endorse or condemn? Should we march or sit on the sidelines? Is it best to engage or should we boycott?

These conversations have taken place in multiple spaces – among progressive Jewish organizations, women’s organizations, Reform Jewish leaders and, of course, among Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) members. These have been vibrant, challenging, and heartfelt conversations and, as one might expect, we are not of one mind.

Why the ambivalence? The...

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Two young girls with signs at the March for Our Lives

Had 18 college students been gunned down at the University of Texas in Austin (1966) but not 32 at Virginia Tech (2007)…dayenu. It should have been enough.

Had 49 been killed and 58 wounded at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando (2016) but not 58 killed and nearly 500 wounded at a Las Vegas concert (2017)…dayenu. It should have been enough.

Had 12 been killed and 58 wounded at a movie theatre in Aurora Colorado (2012) but not nine killed at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon (2015)…dayenu. It should have been enough.

Had nine worshippers been killed at a church...

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Young girl with blonde curls dressed in superhero costume with mask and boxing gloves

Equal Pay Day symbolizes the extra time women, on average, need to work each year to earn the same salary as men. This year, Equal Pay Day is Tuesday, April 4, 2017, marking the date on which a woman’s earnings finally catches up to what a man earned for the same job by the end of last year. Coming on a Tuesday, Equal Pay Day also marks the number of additional days each week a woman needs to work to earn what her male counterparts earned by the end of the prior week. 

In almost every occupation, women continue to earn less than men, with about 80% being the average in both the U.S...

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Women march behind a banner that says JUSTICE AND EQUALITTY FOR ALL

Dear Senators and Representatives,

I’m sure that you are aware that the recent Women’s March, held around the world, was among the largest unified gatherings in human history. Sadly, it is unlikely the administration was paying attention. Our new president seemed much more focused on measuring the size of his crowd than noticing the millions of women and their supporters speaking out for their rights and their values.

So now I turn to you, our elected representatives, to let you know that I am holding you accountable. Whether or not I vote for you or actively seek your...

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