Gay Rabbis Strain Movement

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It’s Hebrew versus Hebrew in Jerusalem, where the conservative Schechter Rabbinical Seminary refused to recognize an American conservative branch’s queer inclusion.

New York’s Jewish Theological Seminary courted controversy last year when it agreed to include gay and lesbian students, a direct violation with more self-righteous conservative leanings.

Tensions came to a head this week when the brash Americans visited Schechter and attempted to commemorate their historic decision. The Israelis weren’t having it, and Schechter honcho, Rabbi Einat Ramon, insisted the Americans follow the universal conservative movement, which prohibits queer rabbis.

Those brash Americans refused, of course, and now the Schechter’s set’s pissed: “The students who approached SRS stressed that they were interested only in their own personal celebration with their friends, and that they had no interest in noting the second halachic ruling.” Despite their strong words, SRS compromised and let the students hold their commemorations in a park across the road.

Gay-friendly Rabbi David Laza of Ramat Aviv spoke out against the division, saying he’s surprised Schechter “suppressed opposing views” and lamented the conservative movement’s inner turmoil: “It does not speak well for an organization that claims to be pluralistic.”

Yes, we gays have a habit of turning things upside down.