Live from the Lilith Blog

March 28, 2007 by

Jewish Theological Seminary to Ordain Openly Gay Students

From the JTA, Monday, March 26, 2007:
” The Jewish Theological Seminary announced Monday that it would change admission policies to accept openly gay students at its rabbinical school.

Arnold Eisen, chancellor-elect of the Conservative movement’s flagship institution, made the decision after consulting with the seminary community and conducting a movement-wide survey, both of which found strong support for the change.

In December, the movement’s legal authority, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, endorsed three opinions on the question of homosexuality. Two upheld the movement’s traditional stance barring gay clergy and commitment ceremonies, while a third opened the door to gay rabbis and commitment ceremonies while upholding the biblical prohibition on male intercourse.

The conflicting opinions enabled individual Conservative institutions to make their own policy decisions. In Los Angeles, the University of Judaism’s rabbinical school has already admitted two openly gay students for the fall term. The movement’s other seminaries – in Jerusalem, Budapest and Buenos Aires – are not expected to follow suit.”

All we can say here is: finally! (And kol hakavod to all those people who have worked so hard for this.)

You can read the JTS press releases here, and you can also read Chancellor Eisen’s letter to the JTS community.

Be on the lookout for LOTS of stuff on Jews, the Conservative movement and Jewish gender and sexuality in the upcoming spring issue, and please leave us your thoughts below!

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  • Lilith Magazine

    Yikes! Lilith experienced some technical errors–here are two thoughts we accidentally erased:

    At 6:44 PM, Ruth said…
    Excellent decision, Arnold Eisen! As you said, “diversity makes our cause all the stronger.” Judaism has always been known for our social conscience and this is further proof. Sign me, a Proud Jewess! – Ruth Z Deming

    At 8:02 PM, Annette44 said…
    As the mother of a gay son and someone who is working to secure GLBT rights in the State of Indiana, I applaud the JTS for taking this wonderful step! Their actions shows the Jewish community and the world that there is no place for discrimination within the Conservative Movement.

    We’re sorry for the error–thank you for your thoughts, and keep sharing!