This from JTS Chancellor-elect (yes, amazing that all of this happens before he’s officially even the chancellor) Arnie Eisen, via a JTS press release:

“I believe, along with the great majority of my colleagues on the JTS faculty, that the CJLS, by voting in equal numbers for two teshuvot, provided halakhic authorization for the ordination of gay and lesbian rabbinical and cantorial students. That permission having been given, I believe that the nature of our communities in contemporary America, the moral convictions we hold, and the mission of JTS, argue strongly for accepting gay and lesbian students for ordination.”Moreover, the decision to ordain gay and lesbian clergy at JTS is in keeping with the longstanding commitment of the Jewish tradition to pluralism. That commitment has been all the more central to Conservative Judaism. Pluralism means that we recognize more than one way to be a good Conservative Jew, more than one way of walking authentically in the path of our tradition and of carrying that tradition forward. It means, too, that we respect those who disagree with us and understand that in the context of all that unites us, diversity makes us stronger.”

Chancellor-elect Eisen also stated that JTS has no plans to take up the question of gay and lesbian commitment ceremonies or marriages–that issue will be up to the CJLS and individual rabbis and congregations.

Eisen’s complete letter is here.

The application deadline for the September 2007 incoming class has been extended until June 30, to accommodate any new applications that may be submitted as a result of this announcement. Application information is available by contacting: The Rabbinical School at (212) 678-8817 or and the H.L. Miller Cantorial School at (212) 678-8036 or

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Esther Kustanowitz

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