When I first moved to San Francisco, there was a huge outcry in the Orthodox community — a positive outcry, that is. Apparently, out of all the synagogues (Reform, Orthodox, Renewal, independent, and otherwise), only one had a female president — the Orthodox synagogue. The local Jewish paper had called her the first female president of an Orthodox synagogue, which, the old folks at the Saturday night seudah shelishit said, was incorrect. “Why, our synagogue had women presidents back before the U.S. government did,” one particularly ancient man testified to me. I didn’t want to let him down, but hey, what do I know?
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