Projections for the year 2000 indicate that citizens over the age of 65 will comprise more than 20% of the population of the United States. According to current statistics, life expectancy is an additional 15 years at 65, and an additional 10 years at 74. Moreover, those additional years are generally more vigorous and of better quality than in earlier generations. Because of a low birth rate, the median age for United States Jews is 37, compared with 28 for non-Jews.
Concerned with the need for providing an environment in which all age groups can flourish, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges its Sisterhoods to work for the right of senior citizens to:
Consistent with Judaism’s basic principles of equality for all people, we, as Jewish women, commit ourselves to the pursuit of equality in Jewish life.
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, therefore, urges its Sisterhoods to work actively for:
Equality of opportunity and the elimination of discrimination on, race religion, color, age, national origin, sex or physical disability are cardinal, principles of the Jewish community and a cornerstone of the American, democratic society.
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism is opposed to any discriminatory policies or quotas based on race, religion, ethnic background, sex or physical disability in employment or in admission to educational institutions, whether public or private. We urge our members to support any present or future legislation intended to enlarge and preserve equal opportunity employment and in education within the scope of this resolution.
There is no clear constitutional protection, which forbids discrimination based on sex. Therefore, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), the proposed 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which says “equality of rights under law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex,” should be ratified.
The movement for Equal Rights for Women has penetrated deeply into public acceptance. Cases charging sex discrimination have been successfully adjudicated. However, today in 1976, fifty-two years after ERA was first introduced, women in some states are still not recognized as legally responsible adults. For example, they cannot serve on juries, start a business, get a mortgage, and control their own paychecks, on the same basis as men. To become law, 38 states must ratify this amendment. It is imperative that women become conversant with the facts and work, for the ratification and enforcement of ERA in their individual states.
Therefore, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism supports ratification of the Equal. Rights Amendment.
Undaunted by the present failure of the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, Women’s League, consonant with Judaism’s basic principles of equality and dignity for all people, commits itself anew to work for equal justice and rights under the law for women.
Therefore, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges its Sisterhood members to work at the local, state and national levels, for: