I'm to the right of the sign, in the blue shorts and white T. It was 1985. It was the year JTS ordained the first Conservative woman as a rabbi, the culmination of 15 years of work by Ezrat Nashim, a group founded to study the status of women in Judaism. As USYers we didn't know about that. For us, the status quo remained.
I was one of the few girls on the trip who could lead t'fillot. I'd never learned to read Torah, nor really haftarah, but I knew the prayers. (Thanks Mr. Werfel and USY.) This left me in the position of leading what girls could lead (anything that didn't require a minyan). After many mornings of waiting for 10 boys to get to t'fillot on time, I, with a group of other girls, argued for a women's only minyan. At the end of the summer our group, as all groups before and after, gave out summer awards. My group gave me the "Most Likely to Marry a Rabbi" award since I couldn't be a rabbi. It was the first time anyone suggested anything remotely connected to me becoming a rabbi, although it would be another 3 years before the idea would actually take hold. This finally occurred when my suite mate at Brandeis, Brian Meyers, suggested it to me after an evening of group soul-searching among us liberal arts majors. (We believed we were only suited for grad school.) But once the idea took seed it was settled. I knew it was the right decision.
This is the 30th anniversary of that historic event (both women's ordination and my award). Sean & I were proud to travel to New York for the celebration. I also attended a special women's conference to celebrate the 20th anniversary. I'm in the second row, middle, tweed jacket and black turtleneck with long blond hair.