Richard Joel was unequivocal: one strike and you should be out.
The head of the Jewish campus organization Hillel, and chairman of the commission convened to look into the Orthodox Union’s mishandling of the misdeeds of former youth leader Rabbi Baruch Lanner, said any religious leader behaving in a sexually or physically abusive manner should be kicked out of whatever position he inhabits.
“It’s a no-brainer,” said Joel. “Leadership is a right, not a privilege.”
As a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary in the 1990s, Carie Carter was plagued by a feeling that she was “hiding, denying something.”
Rabbi Carter spent many years struggling with her sexual orientation before finally realizing she was a lesbian. Once she did, she struggled over whether she should keep it a secret to remain in rabbinnical school.
Only now, with the announcement this week that the Conservative seminary will ordain openly gay rabbis, is she willing to have her sexual orientation discussed in print.
In a renewed effort by the Orthodox movementís Rabbinical Council of America to prevent future instances in which husbands refuse to grant their wives a get or religious divorce, the organization has adopted a resolution asking members to refuse to officiate at weddings at which the couple has not signed a prenuptial agreement. Rabbi Basil Herring, executive vice president of the RCA, said that about five years ago 60 percent of his organization's more than 950 members said they would make every effort to encourage couples to sign a prenuptial agreement.