Yosef Goldman

Israeli-U.S. Conservatives Still Split On Gays

Departure of two openly gay rabbinical students and three straight friends
from Machon Schechter highlights lingering differences.

05/11/2010
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — When, in 2007, the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary decided to admit openly gay students for the first time, the decision presented these students with a dilemma: where to study during their mandatory third year in Israel.

Traditionally, JTS rabbinical students have spent their Israel year at Machon Schechter, the Israeli Masorti movement’s rabbinical seminary, which does not ordain openly gay students.

This worried Ian Chesir-Teran and Aaron Weininger, JTS’ first two openly gay JTS students.

Chesir-Teran, a 39-year-old father of three from East Meadow, L.I., above

Galvanized By Their Love Of Israel

05/11/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

Far from letting recent events in Israel dampen his mood or keep him away from this year’s Salute to Israel Parade, Marc Fein, a senior at Yeshiva University, suggested that now was an especially important time to show his love and support for the Jewish state.

Standing in front of the General Motors Building at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, near the start of the parade route, Fein said that, if anything, he believed that concerns over Israeli security “galvanized support to a certain degree. People have realized the existential threat to Israel.”

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