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March 11: Reconstructionism’s Gay-Affirmative Policies

March 11, 2013
rabbi-toba-spitzerRabbi Toba Spitzer became the first openly gay person to lead a rabbinical association on this date in 2007 when the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association elected her as its president. The Reconstructionist movement's long history of supporting LGBTQ people includes an open-door policy at its seminary since 1984; a 1985 resolution welcoming gay-majority congregations into the movement; a 1993 resolution encouraging its rabbis to perform marriage rituals for same-sex couples; and several other affirmative actions for full equality and inclusiveness for LGBTQ Jews and their partners. Rabbi Spitzer, ordained in 1997, is a thoughtful writer and teacher on economic and social justice and on creative contemporary theology. She serves on the advisory board of J Street and has led workshops about how congregations can conduct civil and constructive conversations about Israel and the Middle East. To follow her blogs, click here. "We regard the Jewish values that affirm the inherent dignity, integrity and equality of human beings as having primacy over historically conditioned attitudes... It is our duty to correct the misunderstandings and resulting injustice of the past and to fulfill the Jewish obligation to seek justice." —"Homosexuality and Judaism: The Reconstructionist Position," 1993 JEWDAYO ROCKS! Mark Stein, vocalist and keyboardist for the psychedelic cover band Vanilla Fudge, was born in Bayonne, NJ on this date in 1947. Also, Lisa Loeb, the singer-songwriter who was the first person to achieve a number one hit without a record contract, was born in Bethesda, MD on this date in 1968.