Annette Gross

Conservative Jewish leader backs ordaining gay rabbis

Filed By Annette Gross | May 02, 2006 10:48 PM | comments

Filed in: Living

I learned tonight that the Jewish Theological Seminary, which is the organization that ordains rabbis within the Conservative movement, has chosen a new Chancellor, Professor Arnold M. Eisen. It seems he is open to ordaining gay and lesbian rabbis. Eisen said he was not an expert in Jewish law, but his opinion is based on "knowing gay and lesbian people, friends, students, coworkers - and the sense that Judaism has always adapted itself to changing circumstances. Not every change is good, but this is one in which I think it's time."

This news lifted my heart and it seems like a positve step. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.


Religion News
Conservative Jewish leader backs ordaining gay rabbis

Apr. 22, 2006

NEW YORK--A prominent conservative Jewish leader last week called on his branch of Judaism to lift its ban on gay rabbis, the New York Times reported. Arnold M. Eisen, a Stanford University professor newly named to lead the Jewish Theological Seminary, said he hoped to see out gays admitted to the institution, which is at the heart of Conservative Judaism in the U.S. "My personal position, I'd like to see it possible for gay and lesbian students to be ordained," Eisen told the newspaper in an April 10 interview. He declined to take a stance on whether conservative Jewish rabbis should be allowed to preside over same-sex union ceremonies, an issue that leaders of the branch have been debating this year. "I'm going to leave same-sex ceremonies to the rabbis," he said, noting that some conservative rabbis were already doing them. The issue of ordaining openly gay rabbis has been bogged down in debate for three years among the Conservative movement's Committee on Jewish Law & Standards and a final recommendation isn't due until December, at the earliest.

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