Support for Inclusion of Lesbian and Gay Jews

God calls upon us to love our neighbors as ourselves. The prophet Isaiah charges us further: "Let my house be called a house of prayer, for all people..." (Isaiah 56:7). And, armed with the other teachings of our faith, we Jews are asked to create a society based on righteousness, the goal being tikkun olam, the perfection of our world. Each of us, created in God's image, has a unique talent which can contribute to that high moral purpose; and to exclude any Jew from the community of Israel lessens our chances of achieving that goal.

In consonance with these teachings, in 1977 the Union of American Hebrew Congregations resolved to support and defend the civil and human rights of homosexuals, and we have welcomed into the UAHC congregations with special outreach to lesbian and gay Jews. But we must do more.

Sexual orientation should not be a criterion for membership of or participation in an activity of any synagogue. Thus, all Jews should be welcome, however they may define themselves.

Service of lesbian and gay Jews as rabbis is currently under consideration by the Central Conference of American Rabbis. It has appointed a Committee on Homosexuality in the Rabbinate to consider all aspects of the subject. The committee is directed to present a final report at the 1989 CCAR convention. Representatives of the UAHC and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion are serving on the committee.

THEREFORE , BE IT RESOLVED that the Union of American Hebrew Congregations:

  1. Urge its congregations and affiliates to:
    1. Encourage lesbian and gay Jews to share and participate in the worship, leadership, and general congregational life of all synagogues.
    2. Continue to develop educational programs in the synagogue and community which promote understanding and respect for lesbians and gays.
    3. Employ people without regard to sexual orientation.
  2. Urge the Commission on Social Action to bring its recommendations to the next General Assembly after considering the report of the CCAR committee and any action of the CCAR pursuant to it.
  3. Recommend to the CCAR Committee on Liturgy that it develop language that is liturgically inclusive.