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February 08, 2007 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2007-02-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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24

February 8 • 2007

Gay ordination issue still open
despite survey results in favor.

Since 1972

Ben Harris

ting the ordination of gay clergy.
The committee also endorsed two
contrary opinions on the status of
New York
homosexuals within the movement,
eaders of the Jewish
leaving it to individual Conservative
Theological Seminary insist
institutions to decide their policy on
the ordination of gay rabbis
the question.
is not a foregone conclusion despite
On Jan. 29, the seminary named
the appointment of a rabbinical
Rabbi Daniel Nevins of Adat Shalom
school dean commit-
Synagogue in Farmington
ted to the move and a
Hills, one of three authors
recent survey show-
of the permissive teshu-
ing that a majority
vah, as dean of the JTS
in the Conservative
rabbinical school.
movement would
Rabbi Nevins dismissed
support the step.
the suggestion that his
The seminary's
selection made gay ordi-
incoming chancellor,
nation inevitable.
Arnold Eisen, said
"Don't overplay it,"
a survey of move-
Rabbi Nevins told JTA.
ment leaders released
"You might find yourself
Wednesday is just
surprised."
"one factor among
Within the movement,
many" in his decision Rabbi Nevins
though, preparations are
whether to admit
under way for the conse-
openly gay students to the JTS rab-
quences of a change in policy.
binical and cantorial schools.
Rabbi Jerome Epstein, execu-
The survey found that roughly
tive vice president of the United
two-thirds of Conservative rabbis
Synagogue of Conservative Judaism,
and cantors believe JTS should admit the movement's synagogue asso-
gay and lesbian students for rabbini-
ciation, told JTA he has enlisted a
cal study. Percentages in favor were
consultant to help his staff cope with
slightly higher among
synagogues that may
the movement's
choose to hire a gay rabbi.
professional and
In Canada, where the
lay leadership, and
survey showed that 82
slightly lower among
percent of clergy oppose a
student rabbis and
policy change, some syna-
cantors.
gogues are reconsidering
Similar margins of
their affiliation with the
support were found
Conservative movement.
when respondents
A seminary press
were asked whether
release highlighted the
Conservative rabbis
fact that consensus exists
should officiate at
on several key questions
same-sex commit-
believed to distinguish
Chancellor Eisen
ment ceremonies.
Conservative Judaism
Eisen com-
from other streams.
missioned the survey following a
By substantial majorities, respon-
December decision, or teshuvah,
dents said they believe the movement
from the movement's highest rab-
is "halachic," that rabbis should not
binical authority, the Committee on
officiate at mixed marriages, that
Jewish Law and Standards, permit-
patrilineal descent should be rejected

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

L

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