"As Reform Jewish women, we have the resolve and the courage to support one another to create the change we want to see in our communities."
- Shoshana Dweck, WRJ Vice-President, Social Justice
Leading with the principle of tikkun olam (repairing the world), WRJ mobilizes collective action on various causes to create a more just and compassionate world for people of all backgrounds and identities. We empower women to use their voices and cultivate the next generation of leaders who will continue advocating for women's rights in secular and religious life. We also partner with other organizations to further key advocacy issues, including abortion access and reproductive health measures, equal pay, and climate change, among others.
In 2022, singer-songwriter Kyra Goldman was commissioned to write a social justice anthem for WRJ. We debuted it right before the Civil Rights Journey. This anthem represents our commitment to WRJ's advocacy work. Watch it below.
WRJ Women Attended Abortion Access Rallies
For more than 85 years, WRJ has been a leading advocate for reproductive rights and healthcare. WRJ also speaks out for reproductive rights in Canada, where there are no restrictions on rights, but the economic realities nonetheless severely impact access in some parts of the country.
Following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, WRJ Executive Director Rabbi Marla J. Feldman said, “We are outraged that the Supreme Court has stripped women and others who can become pregnant of the fundamental right to make essential health care decisions free of governmental interference. We will not be silent as the Court tries to turn back the clock fifty years.”
After the Dobbs decision, WRJ members around the U.S. came out in large numbers to protest the decision and fight for abortion access and reproductive freedom for all. For more information about this important work, visit our website.
WRJ Women Say STOP to Sexual Harassment
WRJ says STOP: An Initiative Against Sexual Harassment and Assault addresses discrimination many of us have experienced or witnessed. As the Reform Movement reckons with the troubling ethics report that brought to light cases of sexual harassment, abuse, and misconduct in Reform institutions, WRJ stepped up to empower congregational lay leaders to work with their professional partners to create a safe, respectful, and affirming culture – all through a series of powerful webinars and resources.
The “I Wear Teal Because…” social media campaign raises awareness and helps people become advocates and instruments of positive change in their congregations and communities. The campaign includes a social media toolkit, guides, and much more.
WRJ Women Fight for Equal Pay Through the Reform Pay Equity Initiative
In October 2022, the Annual Reform Pay Equity Initiative (RPEI) Meeting took place. RPEI is coordinated by WRJ and Women’s Rabbinic Network (WRN). This initiative aims to close the gender wage gap in the Reform Movement. For seven years, RPEI has been working towards this goal by conducting aggregated salary studies for the Movement, providing education sessions and training, and instigating policy changes to align with best practices. RPEI includes the participation of all arms of the Movement. At the annual meeting, representatives from organizations throughout the Reform Movement convened to share their efforts to work towards closing the wage gap in the past year.
WRJ continues to be a leader in the fight for pay equity. As an organization, we are conducting training on DEI and implicit bias, sexual harassment/assault (WRJ says STOP), and equitable hiring practices. In partnership with WRN, we conducted a four-part training series with National Association for Temple Administrators (NATA) on pay equity and are planning to work with educators and clergy in 2023.
WRJ Embraces Its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Values
The WRJ DEI Committee formed in 2021 after months of thoughtful discussion and organizing. WRJ is committed to prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organization and in the work that we do. Our goal is to position WRJ as a place where all members and supporters experience a sense of belonging as their authentic selves. WRJ will continue to work to ensure that diverse identities and voices are reflected and included in all that WRJ is and does. We also will work to increase access, resources, and opportunities for all who wish to engage with WRJ onwards.