Jane Evans

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Jane Evans (1907–2004) was the Executive Director of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods (now the Women of Reform Judaism) from 1933 to 1976.[1][2][3] She was its first full-time Executive Director, as from 1913 until 1933 (its first twenty years) the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods was led by volunteer presidents.[4][5] Evans also became president of the National Peace Conference in 1950.[6] Evans supported ordination for women. On April 29, 1957, she spoke to 1,000 delegates at a biennial general assembly meeting of the Union for Reform Judaism (then called the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC)) in favor of ordaining women, a speech which the New York Times called a "strong plea," though the UAHC took no action.[7] While Evans was still Executive Director of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods in 1963, it approved a resolution at its biennial assembly calling on the UAHC, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion to move forward on the ordination of women.[8]

In 2003 Rabbi Adrienne Scott, who was then a rabbinic student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, wrote her thesis on Jane Evans, titled An Analysis of Dr. Jane Evans' Professional Contributions to the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods; it is the first and as of 2005 the only full-length study of Evans' life.[1]

The Jane Evans Papers are now held in the American Jewish Archives, where they were donated by the Union for Reform Judaism in June 2004.[9]

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