View Full Version : Change at your neighborhood Synagogue?
09-08-2006, 07:54 AM
NEW YORK - A key Conservative Jewish leader is organizing talks nationwide to tell synagogues that the movement will likely roll back its ban on ordaining openly gay rabbis by year's end.
09-11-2006, 03:23 PM
Daniel, I must tell you...
The Conservative Movement really makes me want to pull my hair out...but if I did that every time they did something, I'd have been bald years ago.
My husband is ordained through the Conservative movement, and I was trained as a Conservative Cantor. It is interesting to me that the article mentions those who have gone over to the Reform movement, but no mention is made of the Reconstructionist movement, based out of Gratts University in Philadelphia, and ordaining gays and lesbians right and left! If you are openly gay or lesbian, then you go to Gratts. And, interestingly enough, once ordained, you are eligible to become a member of the Rabbinical Assembly or the Cantor's Assembly, both of which are Conservative. Rabbi Epstein can posit all he wants about the admissions process at the seminary...but once ordained, the Conservative movement seems to turn a blind eye. And Rabbi Joel Roth? I've met him a few times, and he is not a nice man. My impression is that, unless he's being paid for it, he wouldn't give you the time of day. Rabbi Dorff is known to my husband, and he says he has always liked the things the rabbi has done, though he admits that, while Rabbi Dorff has been based mainly in LA, my husband has spent many of his rabbinical years here in the East.
Joel Roth, though...he's one of the reasons I grind my teeth! I much prefer the Reconstructionist movement, which has evolved from simple havurah groups to full synagogues, seminary and cantorial school. Much more straightforward, and much more honest.
That's my opinion, anyway...sorry so wordy!! :o
09-11-2006, 07:02 PM
Dawn- What an interesting backstory, as it were. Thank you for your post. I've only served as a paid singer in various synagogues over the years (I was once asked, rather pointedly, if my last name was Jewish- it is not- when serving for a time out in Queens in a conservative synagogue), so have no real knoweldge of behind the scenes dynamics and persons. And from what you relate, it really seems to come down to that: personal contact with the persons involved as the real and only means by which needed change can take place.
It sounds as thought all those gay graduates from Gratts are finally having an impact, yes?
Wonderful that music making is changing the world!
09-11-2006, 08:37 PM
Yes, thank G-d! I was amazed when I did some research last year on the Reconstructionist movement online. I have to wonder, though, why those ordained Reconstructionist feel the need to join the Conservative Rabbinical and Cantors Assemblies. Why put up with them? The running joke among Conservatives is that we sit on the fence so much on issues of law, we have splinters in our tushes!
I wholeheartedly agree with you, Daniel...It is indeed wonderful that music is changing the world.
BTW a wonderful artist who does a lot of liturgical music is Linda Hirschhorn. I have used a lot of her music in the pulpit. Her a capella group is called Vocolot, and she has a wide array of melodies and songs, Hebrew, Israeli, Yiddish and Ladino. I highly recommend her to all who are interested in life-affirming music and melody.
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