LGBT clergy in Judaism
|This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2015)|
Lionel Blue, who was ordained as a rabbi in 1960, was the first British rabbi to publicly declare himself a homosexual. Allen Bennett, a Reform rabbi, was the first openly gay rabbi in the United States. Linda Holtzman, a Reconstructionist rabbi, was the first openly lesbian rabbi.
Admission to rabbinical seminary and ordination for openly LGBT people began in 1984, when the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the seminary of Reconstructionist Judaism, voted to accept and ordain rabbis without regard their sexual orientation. The same year the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College admitted Jane Rachel Litman, who is bisexual, and she was ordained in 1989. In 1985 the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College graduated and ordained Deborah Brin, an out lesbian.
In the late 1980s the seminary of the Reform movement, the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, changed its admission requirements to allow openly lesbian and gay people to join the student body. In 1990, the Union for Reform Judaism announced a national policy declaring lesbian and gay Jews to be full and equal members of the religious community. Its principal body, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, which is the largest and oldest rabbinical organization in North America, officially endorsed a report of its own Ad Hoc Committee on Homosexuality and the Rabbinate. This position paper urged that "all rabbis, regardless of sexual orientation, be accorded the opportunity to fulfill the sacred vocation that they have chosen." The committee endorsed the view that "all Jews are religiously equal regardless of their sexual orientation."
In 1999 Steven Greenberg publicly came out as gay in an article in the Israeli newspaper Maariv. As he has a rabbinic ordination from the Orthodox rabbinical seminary of Yeshiva University (RIETS), he is generally described as the first openly gay Orthodox Jewish rabbi. However, some Orthodox Jews, including many rabbis, dispute his status as an Orthodox rabbi.
In 2003 Reuben Zellman became the first openly transgender person accepted to the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he was ordained in 2010. Elliot Kukla, who came out as transgender six months before his ordination in 2006, was the first openly transgender person to be ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Also in 2006, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, the body for Conservative Judaism, adopted two majority opinions, one allowing the ordination of LGBT clergy, as well as the blessing of same-sex unions, and lifting prohibitions on most (but not all) same-sex conduct (specifically not same-sex anal sex) and the other majority opinion retaining traditional opinions. The two primary seminaries for Conservative Judaism, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in response started allowing openly-LGBT students. Also in 2006, Chaya Gusfield and Rabbi Lori Klein became the two first openly lesbian rabbis ordained by the Jewish Renewal movement. They were both ordained at the same time in January 2006.
In 2007 Rabbi Toba Spitzer became the first openly lesbian or gay person chosen to head a rabbinical association in the United States when she was elected president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association at the group's annual convention, held in Scottsdale, Arizona.
In April 2009, Rabbi Ron Yosef became the first Israeli orthodox rabbi to come out, by appearing in Uvda ("Fact"), Israel's leading investigative television program. Yosef remains in his position as a pulpit Rabbi in Netanya. Yosef received death threats in the year leading up to the 2009 Tel Aviv gay centre shooting. Yosef said that he hopes that his coming out and his visibility as a homosexual rabbi in the orthodox community will be equivalent to participating in the pride parade, which he and the organization he founded (Hod) oppose.
Also in 2009 Juval Porat, who is openly gay, graduated from Abraham Geiger College and thus became the first person to be trained as a cantor in Germany since the Holocaust. In 2010 he became the cantor for Temple Beth Chayim Chadashim, a Los Angeles Reform synagogue.
In May 2011, Rachel Isaacs became the first openly lesbian rabbi ordained by the Conservative movement's Jewish Theological Seminary ("JTS"), which occurred in May 2011. She transferred to JTS from the Reform movement's Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in her third year of rabbinical school.
Also in 2011, the bisexual rights activist Debra Kolodny was ordained as a rabbi by the Jewish Renewal movement and hired as the rabbi for congregation P'nai Or of Portland, Oregon.[not in citation given]
In 2013, Rabbi Deborah Waxman was elected as the president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. As the President, she is believed to be the first woman and first lesbian to lead a Jewish congregational union, and the first female rabbi and first lesbian to lead a Jewish seminary; the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College is both a congregational union and a seminary.
Also in 2013, Rabbi Jason Klein became the first openly gay man chosen to head a national rabbinical association of one of the major Jewish denominations in the United States when he was elected president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association at the group's annual convention, held in New Orleans.
In 2014, Mikie Goldstein became the first openly gay man to be ordained as a Conservative Jewish rabbi. Later that year he became the Israeli Conservative movement's first openly gay congregational rabbi with his installation as spiritual leader of its synagogue in Rehovot (Congregation Adat Shalom-Emanuel). He was born in Britain and studied for the rabbinate in New York.
Together, Reconstructionist Judaism, Jewish Renewal, Reform Judaism, and Conservative Judaism make up 76% of Jewish Americans who belong to a synagogue. The remainder of synagogue-belonging Jews belong to either Orthodox Judaism, at 21%, who do not ordain openly LGBT Jews, and a remaining 3% belonging to either an unaffiliated synagogue or another Jewish denomination that may or may not ordain openly LGBT Jews.
- Deborah Stern (June 20, 2006). "Development of the Collection". RRC Kolot Center for Jewish Women's and Gender Studies.
- Anthony Weiss (March 20, 2008). "As Acceptance Grows, Gay Synagogues Torn Between the Straight and Narrow". The Jewish Daily Forward.
- Dana Evan Kaplan (2009). Contemporary American Judaism: transformation and renewal. Columbia University Press. p. 255. ISBN 02311 37281.
- "Our Roots". Shir Tikvah. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
- "Resolution on Same Gender Officiation". Central Conference of American Rabbis. March 2000. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
- Goodstein, Laurie (September 11, 2004). "Bishop Says Conflict on Gays Distracts From Vital Issues". The New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
Rocker, Simon (February 26, 2005). "Judaism and the gay dilemma". The Guardian. London. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
Neroulias, Nicole (July 7, 2010). "An Interview With Rabbi Steven Greenberg: Orthodox And Gay". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
Merwin, Ted (July 19, 2011). "Gay And Orthodox, According To Jon Marans". The Jewish Week. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
- "100 Orthodox Rabbis Issue Same Sex Marriage Declaration". Algemeiner Journal. December 5, 2011.
- Rebecca Spence (December 31, 2008). "Transgender Jews Now Out of Closet, Seeking Communal Recognition". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20130511235836/http://www.jewishmosaic.org/page/load_page/50. Archived from the original on May 11, 2013. Retrieved September 9, 2013. Missing or empty
- "Rabbi Zellman". Berkeley, Calif.: Congregation Beth El. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- "Spiritual Leadership". Kehilla Community Synagogue. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Radin, Charles A. (2007-03-13). "First openly gay rabbi elected leader". The Boston Globe.
- Axelrod, Toby (1999-11-30). "New Renewal cantor looks ahead". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20131112130252/http://www.vjmovement.com/truth/537. Archived from the original on November 12, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2014. Missing or empty
- Nissan Strauchler (February 16, 2010). "Gay with perfect faith". Ynetnews. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- Kobi Nahshoni (August 2, 2009). "Rabbis condemn anti-gay shooting". Ynetnews. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- Toby Axelrod (June 17, 2009). "Reform rabbis to be ordained in Berlin". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- Landsberg, Mitchell (June 26, 2010). "L.A. synagogue hires first cantor ordained in Germany since WWII". Los Angeles Times.
- "Glebe Minyan Synagogue". Facebook. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
Anna hosts Seudah Shlishit study sessions on the 3rd Shabbat of each month. Study the weekly Torah portion over coffee, tea, and treats with her, followed by a potluck dinner and havdallah.
- Amy Stone (Summer 2011). "Out and Ordained" (PDF). Lilith. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Debra Nussbaum Cohen (May 25, 2011). "JTS Ordains Its First Openly Gay Rabbi". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- http://www.jewishreview.org/special/Pnai-Or-hires-new-rabbi[dead link]
- "Debra Kolodny". the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender religious archives network. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- Naomi Zeveloff (July 15, 2013). "Emily Aviva Kapor: Creating a Jewish Community for Trans Women". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- "Reconstructionists Pick First Woman, Lesbian As Denominational Leader". The Jewish Week. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. October 10, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- Anne Cohen (October 9, 2013). "Trailblazing Reconstructionist Deborah Waxman Relishes Challenges of Judaism". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- "Gay Man Chosen to Lead U.S. Reconstructionist Rabbis". Haaretz. The Forward. March 12, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- Andrew Potts (September 8, 2014). "Conservative Judaism ordains first openly gay rabbi to lead synagogue in Israel". Gay Star News. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- Judy Maltz (September 7, 2014). "Israel's Conservative Movement Gets Its First Openly Gay Pulpit Rabbi". Haaretz. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- Caitlin Marceau (December 10, 2014). "Nehirim Puts On First Ever Retreat for LGBT Rabbis, Cantors & Students in San Francisco". Shalom Life.
- Drew Himmelstein (December 18, 2014). "At San Francisco retreat, LGBT clergy survey progress from closets to bimah". j. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- Tess Cutler (March 4, 2015). "Rabbi Denise Eger seeks to open doors wider to all Jews". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
- "Reform rabbis install first openly gay president, Denise Eger". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. March 16, 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
- National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS) 2000-2001, United Jewish Communities, February 2004 Archived December 3, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.