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"Women’s leadership options in religious organizations and spiritual communities have often been limited due to doctrine, tradition, practice and bias.”

Diverse panel to discuss women’s leadership in religious and spiritual life

'Breaking The Stained-Glass Ceiling' event to explore gender, leadership and faith

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"Women’s leadership options in religious organizations and spiritual communities have often been limited due to doctrine, tradition, practice and bias.”

Diverse panel to discuss women’s leadership in religious and spiritual life

'Breaking The Stained-Glass Ceiling' event to explore gender, leadership and faith

Leaders from Northern Nevada’s diverse faith communities join together to explore the impact of women’s inclusion in or exclusion from prayer, practice and positions of power during a program presented by the University of Nevada, Reno's College of Liberal Arts, Temple Sinai Library Committee and the Northern Nevada Women's Leadership Initiative.

“Women’s leadership options in religious organizations and spiritual communities have often been limited due to doctrine, tradition, practice and bias,” Debra Moddelmog, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said. “This panel of prominent local women with diverse religious affiliations will explore these limitations as well as what happens when women break through long-standing barriers or have a history of being assigned positions of power within their spiritual community. This promises to be an exciting evening of conversation with amazing women leaders who have blazed paths within religious and spiritual settings.”

The event, titled “Breaking The Stained-Glass Ceiling,” will take place from 5-7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 5, at Temple Sinai Reno on 3405 Gulling Road in Reno. Admission is free and registration is required. Beginning at 5 p.m., attendees can view a special photography exhibit and enjoy hosted refreshments and beverages provided by Creme Caterers. Free, on-premise, licensed childcare will be available to children of attendees on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“As part of Temple Sinai Reno’s mission to be inclusive, one of the Library Committee’s foremost goals for the event has been to remove any barriers for participation, so all members of the greater Reno area can participate,” said Flanzraich, chair of the Temple Sinai Library Committee, said. “Thanks to the support of generous sponsors this objective has been met.”

The panel begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be moderated by Erin Stiles, an associate professor at the University and the Graduate Program Director for the Department of Anthropology. Stiles’ research focuses on the intersections of religion, law and gender.

In choosing panelists for the event, organizers endeavored to select a cross-section of women to reflect a variety of beliefs, backgrounds and experiences. Panelists include:

  • Terri Domitrovich, Associate Chaplain at Renown Health, Interfaith Seminarian at The Chaplaincy Institute, Berkeley, and a new member of the Reno Buddhist Center
  • Dina A. Elshabrawy, Northern Nevada Islamic Center
  • Shelley Fisher, Resident Priest Reno Buddhist Center
  • Patricia Meidell, Director of Public Affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and President of the Nevada Interfaith Association
  • Rabbi Sara Zober, Temple Sinai Reno

“Our panelists will be discussing gender and women’s roles in leadership and spiritual practice in different religious traditions,” Stiles said.

The exhibit, featuring photographs by Steve Davis, honors the 10th anniversary of 24 female members of Temple Sinai showing solidarity with women in Israel who fight to have an equal place to pray at Judaism’s most holy site.

“Issues of gender marginalization are still alive today, both in religious spaces and our secular world,” Rabbi Zober said. "Highlighting them through this exhibit and panel puts a spotlight on the work we still must do to achieve equity."

The event is presented by the Temple Sinai Library Committee and co-sponsored by:

The program is funded in part by a grant from Nevada Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Reception music will be provided by Ben Pratt Studio.

Register for Breaking the Stained-Glass Ceiling

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