Forward Thinking

No Bibi, No Women?

By Jane Eisner

  • Print
  • Share Share

The Jewish Federations of North America earlier this week had a somewhat awkward task: To explain to its many members that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasn’t going to attend the 2011 conference next month in Denver after all.

“As in any conference, program changes arise,” read the October 24 memo, which went on to explain that the Prime Minister regretfully had other obligations on his busy calendar.

That’s understandable. What’s a little harder to understand is another absence: women headliners.

Here’s how the official JFNA release describes the big names attending the three-day conference:

“Among the headliners scheduled to appear are global political leaders such as Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren and the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro; top journalists Peter Beinart (author of a much-debated article on American Jewry), James Carroll (author of “Jerusalem, Jerusalem”) and Aluf Benn, editor of the leading Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz; leading-edge business thinkers such as the retired president of Starbucks, Howard Behar; the founder of the magazine Fast Company, Bill Taylor; and many other fascinating figures.”

You’ll notice not a single woman on this list.

Continuing the theme, the agency is touting a massive social action event that will culminate in a party starring three hip Jewish musicians. Yep, all men.

Surely, there are prominent and talented women active in the federation system, including the current chair of the JFNA board. Can it really be that the largest meeting of the organized Jewish community in North America can’t find a single female to put in its official announcements? At a time when women remain sorely missing from the American Jewish establishment leadership, this oversight is telling.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.