In the week since gay-friendly Conservative rabbis organized themselves, for the first time, into a public group (called Keshet Rabbis) their numbers have nearly doubled.
Last week, 75 members of the movement's Rabbinical Assembly signed up to offer counseling and consultation to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Conservative Jews. This week the number stands at 137, just under 10 percent of the RA's 1,500 members.
First came the dogs. At 5, two years after he was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor, Spenser Scharfman had developed a love for animals, and he told his parents he wanted a pet. “When you’re 7, we’ll get you a dog,” they told him. “We had no idea what that meant,” Stewart Scharfman says — they didn’t think Spenser would survive two more years.