Friday, April 20, 2012

Gay Masorti Rabbis in Israel

The Israeli branch of Conservative Judaism (known as Masorti Judaism) has announced it will begin ordaining gay Rabbis, following a similar decision by the American branch several years ago. This is important, for several reasons (beyond the obvious advance for gay equality).

For starters, that this is happening in Israel has significant symbolic value. But moreover, Jewish organizations outside the US tend to be more traditional than their American counterparts (that is to say, Conservative Judaism in the US is more liberal than its analogue, Masorti Judaism, outside the US). Hence why the decision by American Conservative Jews to ordain gay Rabbis was both pathbreaking and lonely -- the non-US groups notably refused to follow along. But now they're catching up, and that's no small thing.

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