Religion & Jewish Life

Major pay gap for Reform women rabbis

(N.Y. Jewish Week) — Forty years after Sally Priesand became the Reform movement’s first woman rabbi, Reform women rabbis continue to dramatically trail their male counterparts in pay.

A study conducted by the movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis found that women earn as much as $43,000 less annually. The study also documented the relatively small number of women rabbis leading large Reform congregations.

Rabbi Priesand, who retired in 2006 after serving 25 years as spiritual leader of the 375-member Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton, N.J., said she had long been aware of pay disparities but until now did not have the precise data.

“We are fighting today for some of the same kind of issues I fought for 40 years ago — equal pay, [acceptance at] large congregations and maternity leave,” she said.