We live in a Jewish community which aspires to ethical leadership, yet our communal structures and actions are often found wanting. This is evidenced by persistent inequities around gender, race and class as well as by recurring scandal and misuse of power. These gaps between our values and our lived experience pose grave challenges to the thriving and moral integrity of our community. This reality demands new ways of both acting and thinking.
Created Equal: Gender and the Ethics of Shared Leadership is a research and education project which seeks to address these gaps by considering how Jewish ideas and experience can inform our struggle to pursue the ethical. What cases in Jewish thought and experience can help us consider the tensions involved in trying to actualize our values more consistently? Where is our cultural and intellectual inheritance part of the challenge we face and where does it hold tools for liberation? Our foundational assertion is that it is crucial for Jewish organizations and leaders to ask how Jewish wisdom should contribute to their thinking as they craft our communal environment.
Created Equal places gender inequity at the center of this discussion. The power imbalance between people of different genders in our community serves as the lens for this project’s investigations of power, ethics, leadership, and change more generally. We do this because we believe these issues are crucial in their own right, and because we understand many of the root causes of gender inequity in our community are windows into to what needs repair in our Jewish ecosystem more generally. We work to produce the best new Jewish thinking and teaching on the ethics of gender and power and get it into the hands of those leaders who can use it to change our community for the better.
We are grateful to the Safety Respect Equity Network for their partnership and support of our initiatives.