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.
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 medieval times in the Middle East, translators in synagogues would render the reading of the weekly Torah portion from Hebrew into the vernacular Arabic or Aramaic.
Something similar took place in Manhattan this week.