Level the Playing Field

Advancing Women in Jewish Organizational Life

Leveling the Playing Field is a guidebook for advancing women in Jewish organization life. If you believe that gender equity and shared leadership are vital to the health of Jewish communities, and you wants to turn your belief into action – this book is for you.

The result of a partnership among three authors – Shifra Bronznick, Didi Goldenhar, and Marty Linsky – and between two organizations, AWP and Cambridge Leadership Associates, this guidebook offers:

  • Strategies for creating gender equity
  • Stories and reflections from leaders of Jewish and other nonprofit organizations
  • Tools for assessing gender equity and shared leadership in your environment

Leveling the Playing Field is based on the principles of adaptive leadership – which differentiates between technical problems, which have known, logical solutions, and adaptive challenges, for which there are no easy answers. Adaptive challenges reveal the gap between what we say and what we do – compelling us to change hearts, minds, and behaviors, in order to make progress.

Learn the basics for launching a gender equity initiative

You don’t have to be a CEO or board member. You can be a change agent from wherever you sit in your organization or community. Get started by reading our guidebook’s four sections – Diagnosis, Intervention, Monitoring, and Accountability. You will learn:

  • Strategic options and practical resources to launch a gender equity initiative
  • Lessons from gender initiatives in Jewish organizations and other fields
  • Insights about the challenges and rewards of making change

Try the tools

Data Collection and Analysis – Build a gender profile of your organization, from staff and board leadership to career development and work-life policy.

Environmental Assessment – Learn how to think politically about conditions, trends, and stakeholders. Identify your allies, partners, and ambassadors.

Strategy and Action Planning – Whether you aim to add more women on your board or move your organization toward formal flexibility, our worksheets will help you set priorities, catalogue resources, and anticipate obstacles.

If you believe that gender equity is vital to the health of Jewish communities and want to turn your beliefs into productive action, then this guidebook is for you.

This book provides a treasure trove of practical guidance and insight as women seek to lead the renewal of Jewish communal life. — Ronald A. Heifetz, Founding Director, Center for Public Leadership, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and co-author, Leadership Without Easy Answers

Based on road-tested research and organizational experience and validated by moving testimonials, this book is a map to profound change that will take Jewish daughters and sons to a new Jewish world. — Marie Wilson, Founding President of The White House Project and author, Closing the Leadership Gap