Below is a growing list of programmatic resources to aid congregations in their pursuit of Tikkun Olam, organized by issue, and type of resource.
The initial issues included are:
These represent the most common issues being addressed by Congregation Based Community Organizing (CBCO) groups throughout the country.
The Jewish Theological Seminary (J.T.S.) announced on March 26, 2007 that it will begin accepting openly gay and lesbian candidates into its rabbinical and cantorial schools, and extend application deadlines to allow for prospective students impacted by the decision. read more »
The announcement comes on the heels of the decisions expressed in December by the Conservative movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (C.J.L.S.), ending their movement’s ban on ordaining openly gay and lesbian rabbis and on sanctioning same-sex unions. Those teshuvot (rabbinic opinions) gave individual Conservative congregations and academic institutions the theological latitude to stake out their own positions.
Rabbi Daniel Brenner has graciously submitted his short story, Oy Vey, the Rabbi is Gay to our resources library.
The story is designed for children, including young children. A closeted gay rabbi's sexual orientation becomes known to two of his members, one of whom is an angry Mr. Birnbaum. After some soul-searching and a heart-to-heart talk with the rabbi, Mr. Birnbaum realizes that the struggles he faced as a result of his choice of a life-partner were similar in many ways to what the gay rabbi faced.
Ed. Rabbi Liz Bolton is the spiritual leader of Reconstructionist Congregation Beit Tikvah in Baltimore, MD.
Is it possible to deplore something and celebrate it at the same time? If so, then I suppose it would best reflect how I feel about the recent decision of the Conservative movement’s Committee on Jewish Laws and Standards, and particularly about the celebratory discussion of the Dorff-Nevins-Reisner paper. read more »
What is there to celebrate, from a queer/Jewish/rabbinic perspective? I can celebrate that the hard work over the years of my Conservative rabbinic friends has borne fruit; that their diligent activism and willingness to speak out and focus on this issue from within their movement provided the necessary impetus for the discussions, and this outcome. Yet the fact that the outcome will allow talented queer folk who wish to serve the Jewish people to do so as Conservative rabbis is just one of the aspects of this decision, and the years of discussion and activism, that leave me queasy.
Ed. note: Rabbi Rick Brody serves Temple Ami Shalom in West Covina, CA. He is a 2002 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
As a member of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association I stand in proud and joyful solidarity with the more progressive members of the Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative rabbis' group) who have won a major victory for Judaism and humanity. More specifically these beneficiaries include: read more »