Effective Immediately, the school will be accepting gay and lesbian Rabbiniacal and Cantorial students!
The decision comes three months after the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly approved a teshuva (responsum), permitting the ordination of gays and lesbians, thereby paving the way for JTS to consider the issue.
Immediately after these rulings were announced, JTS initiated a comprehensive process in which the views of a wide range of constituencies were solicited and seriously weighed, and likely consequences considered.
The process included faculty forums, student discussions with faculty and administration, meetings and/or lengthy discussions with the heads of the other Conservative Movement seminaries, consultation with the JTS Board of Trustees, and an international survey of Conservative rabbis, cantors, educators, lay leaders, and JTS students on the question. In addition, Chancellor-elect Arnold M. Eisen personally heard from hundreds of Conservative Jews on the matter during his travels around the country this year and through correspondence, email, and the JTS website.
"The immediate issue was the ordination of gay and lesbian students as rabbis and cantors for the Conservative Movement. But the larger issue has been how we can remain true to our tradition in general and to halakhah in particular while staying fully responsive to and immersed in our society and culture. How shall we learn Torah, live Torah, teach Torah in this time and place? Without these imperatives, the decision before us would have been far easier for many of those involved. That is certainly true for me," stated Chancellor-elect Eisen.
I wish them great good luck with their desire to "remain true to… halakhah" while ordaining gay rabbis. (and… I suppose… without admitting that halakhah is a flawed and mutable religious legal system, created within a specific, outdated, flawed historical context)
Anyone have any helpful thoughts on this?
In any case, YIP!