The job looked like a perfect fit. A Solomon Schechter day school had offered a Judaic studies teaching job to an experienced Conservative rabbi, and had wrapped up negotiations over salary and benefits. Signing the contract was all that was left.
But just before signing, the rabbi wanted to make sure the principal knew she was a lesbian.
The next day the school's rabbinic authority informed the rabbi that the job offer was being revoked on the basis of that information.
The Conservative movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards took up the debate over the status of gays within the denomination this week, restarting its formal discussion of the contentious issue that has fragmented the movement for the past decade.
Differing religious perspectives on the status of gays and lesbians in the Conservative movement, from maintaining the status quo to radical alterations, were offered last week at a special two-day meeting of the Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards.
“It went well, quite well, and we finished the meeting without anybody yelling at anybody else,” Rabbi Kassel Abelson, chairman of the law committee, said in an interview.