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Gay students to study at conservative rabbi school

Rachel Charman March 16, 2007
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A Los Angeles college of Conservative Judaism has accepted openly gay applicants for the first time since the ban on gay ordination was lifted.

A spokeswoman for The Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies (L.A. University of Judaism) announced on Tuesday that a gay man and a lesbian will enrol at the school in the autumn.

At the Conservative movement’s beacon school, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the policy is still being debated.

The Ziegler School has long been supportive of gay and lesbian ordination.

In 1992 Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson wrote a paper advocating gay ordinations and unions. The paper also advocated lifting the ban on gay sex.

The school stated on several occasions that once the ban was lifted, it would begin accepting gay applicants.

Last December, the Committee for Jewish Law and Standards, the law-making body of the Conservative movement, lifted the ban, voting to allow seminaries to accept gay and lesbian applicants if they saw fit,

Four of the twenty-five members of the panel resigned over the issue.

However the Committee left synagogues that believe homosexuality is contrary to Jewish law the right to ban gay clergy.

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