media follies

Jewish Standard: Gay Engagement Announcement Might Not Bring Lord’s Wrath After All

New Jersey’s The Jewish Standard thought they acted too quickly when they published a the engagement announcement of Justin Rosen and Avi Smolen, a gay couple marrying in the coming weeks (in New York, though the paperwork will be from Connecticut). So the editors quickly apologized, saying after hearing from Orthodox rabbis they would never run another gay relationship notice in the paper. Whoops, says James Janoff, maybe that was acting too quickly.

“We ran the wedding announcement because we felt, as a community newspaper, that it was our job to serve the entire community — something we have been doing for 80 years,” writes Janoff in a statement on Facebook. “We did not expect the heated response we got, and — in truth — we believe now that we may have acted too quickly in issuing the follow-up statement, responding only to one segment of the community. We are now having meetings with local rabbis and community leaders. We will also be printing, in the paper and online, many of the letters that have been pouring in since our statement was published. The issue clearly demands debate and serious consideration, which we will do our best to encourage.”

So fault the Standard for its initial idiocy, but give them credit for publicly acknowledging its knee jerk response was wrong — and for engaging in a dialogue about the proper way to move forward. So long as they reach the “right decision” (and you know what that is).

NB: Not only did the newspaper’s original decision to halt any gay engagement/wedding announcements completely ignore the gay community, it was a slight to respected members of its own: According to the paper’s original engagement announcement, Smolen works at Keren Or (the Jerusalem Center For Blind Children With Multiple Disabilities), while Rosen — with gigs at the Schusterman Foundation, The AVODAH: Jewish Service Corps, and The Foundation for Jewish Camp — has devoted much of his young life to the Jewish community.

[photo via Facebook]

Jewish Standard Promises Readers It Won’t Cause More Pain With Gay Engagement Announcements