Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Conservative Judaism on Decline II

Confirmed to be false:
Steven Weiss posted a shocking news release from JTS. Some important items:

As a part of our ongoing support for pluralism and forward-thinking, the Conservative Movement will begin ordaining Gay and Lesbian rabbis by 2010... The Seminary eagerly awaits the outcome of the Committee on Jewish Laws and Standards' discussion next month on the place of gays and lesbians in our movement. In anticipation of the Committee‘s decision, the Seminary commits to welcoming all students with open arms, regardless of sexual preference.
In other words, JTS is bypassing the Conservative movement's Halakhah committee and unilaterally deciding to ordain homsexuals. (insert sarcastic remark here)
The Conservative Movement is committed to dignity and respect for all persons, and by 2010, all institutions affiliated with the Conservative Movement will be required to be fully egalitarian...
And thus ends the Conservative Movement in which I was raised.

I expect to see, in the near future, some more obituaries for the movement by disgruntled former-Conservative rabbis, some of the most interesting people with whom to speak.

Here's a thought. As Prof. Halivni approaches retirement, maybe one of his former students from JTS will follow his lead, resign in disgust, and take over the Talmud department in Columbia. However, these types of politics include a good deal of personality issues from which I am too distant to evaluate. But it makes for interesting speculation.

UPDATE: Steven Weiss reports that this might be a hoax.
UPDATE: This press release may be a scam. While a related event is scheduled for tonight, it appears that this release may have been an intentional attempt to deceive Jewish news outlets from someone not officially affiliated with JTS. The individual responsible for the release, a Lisa Goldberg, maintains that this will still take place at tonight's JTS event. Whether it will have the sanction of JTS remains to be seen.

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