The International Council of Jewish Women marked its centenary at
its 2012 European Regional Conference in Berlin, Germany, in May 2012. ICJW's
Executive Committee, meeting on May 1, passed three resolutions reflecting
current concerns about the status of Jewish women in Israel and around the
world, and the resurgence of anti-Semitism in parts of Europe.
The first resolution expressed ICJW's strong support for the
women of Israel who are experiencing discrimination in the public space. ICJW's
Executive Committee urges the Israeli authorities to ensure that all
legislation to prevent such discrimination is strictly enforced.
Reports were presented at the meeting from ICJW's affiliate in
Hungary about the growing problem of state-sponsored anti-Semitism in their
country. The Executive Committee recommended that all ICJW affiliates should
forward this report to representative Jewish organizations in their own countries,
and to their representatives at the European Parliament where applicable. ICJW
also plans to inform the World Jewish Congress of their concerns about the
situation in Hungary.
The plight of Agunot – women denied a religious divorce by
their husbands – is an ongoing priority issue for ICJW. The Executive Committee's
third resolution recommended that wherever there is a known Agunah in a
community, the local ICJW affiliate should employ appropriate social action to
draw attention to the problem, by such means as demonstrations and demands that
the husband be excluded from the community.
ICJW President Sharon Gustafson
welcomed these three resolutions as confirming the organization's renewed
commitment to activism on national and international issues of concern to
Jewish women, promoting a just society based on human rights and Jewish values.
Reviewing 100 years of activism by ICJW women throughout its history, she said
"The same “biblical imperative” which prompted our founders in 1912 to
embrace civil action is prompting many of our leaders today".