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Reconstructionist Judaism selects gay leader

Timothy Kincaid

March 13th, 2013

As best I can tell, this is a really really big deal. (Haaretz)

The newly elected leader of the Reconstructionist movement’s rabbinic association will be the first openly gay man to lead a national rabbinic association in the United States.

Rabbi Jason Klein, a Hillel rabbi at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, was elected to lead the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association at the group’s annual meeting taking place this week in New Orleans.

There have been gay and lesbian priests and pastors and rabbis and even bishops, and of course the Metropolitan Community Church was founded by a gay man, but I don’t think there has ever been a major denomination of any faith – in the US – headed by an openly gay individual.

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Gus
March 13th, 2013 | LINK

Originally an offshoot of Conservative Judaism/Masorti Judaism, Reconstructionism retains warm relations with both the Conservative/Masorti movement and Reform Judaism. Orthodox Judaism, however, considers Reconstructionism to be in violation of proper observance of interpretation of Jewish law.[12] The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation is a member of the World Union for Progressive Judaism.

Robert
March 13th, 2013 | LINK

You would be wrong on this being the first heading of such a group by a gay person. This same group was headed by a lesbian, Toba Spitzer in 2007. He wasn’t the first openly gay person to head such a group, but this group IS the first to be headed by an openly gay person.

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/city_region/breaking_news/2007/03/first_openly_ga.html

Timothy Kincaid
March 13th, 2013 | LINK

Robert,

Thank you for that clarification. Still a pretty big deal either way

Robert
March 13th, 2013 | LINK

Yes, it’s a big beal. I just thought it important to note the Lesbian who held the honor of being that “First”. So often we see “first openly gay man” and it’s assumed that we are the only “gay” individuals. It was important in 2007 when Toba held the position as well.

I believe it always a mistake to assume the phrase “The first openly gay man” means the individual was the first openly homosexual to hold a position, it does a huge dis-service to our Lesbian sisters and makes me understand male privlidge just a little bit more.

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