Culture, Identity, Religion, Sex & Gender

Honoring Joe Wernik (The Conservative Movement Fails Again)

From the official daily update on the Conservative rabbis’ convention in Mexico City:
* Joe Wernik and his etrog box (blah blah blah): three sentences.
* The morally, halachically, culturally critical vote on procedural matters relating to the homosexuality decision: barely four sentences.
It strikes me as a near-perfect picture of Conservative Movement’s values.
But more importantly, the new resolution is not a victory, at least on the homosexuality issue. While it’s all fine and good that the threshold for passing a takanah (which I’m still not sure is even a word that appears in the RA’s constitution) has been lowered from 20 votes to 13 (a simple majority), it’s basically irrelevant. Is there anyone out there who believes Rabbi Gordon Tucker’s teshuva as written has even a prayer of getting 13 votes? Unlikely. And this new resolution doesn’t seem to prevent the law committee from turning a teshuvah into a takanah against its author’s will.
Yashar koach, though, to Barry Leff and all those who fought to get the first version of the resolution passed.
Does anyone approaching the issue from a pro-change perspective think this resolution is a good thing in any way at all?
“At the business session, Alan Silverstein honored Joe Wernik on the occasion of his retirement as executive director of Masorti Olami. We presented him with an etrog box inscribed with the pasuk, “Lo Alekha Hamlakhah Ligmor” for his tireless efforts. He responded in Hebrew about his experiences in trying to establish a world-wide presence for Masorti Judaism. Our president, Alvin Berkun, turned over the business session to our past president, Perry Rank. Joel Meyers reviewed the history of the process and procedures of the CJLS and their relationship to the Executive Council, and CJLS chair Kass Abelson spoke specifically about the recent meeting in Baltimore. After Kass spoke, the floor was turned over to Barry Leff, the author of resolution #13. After a period of discussion, a move was made to table the resolution. The motion to table carried. Then a motion was passed stating that the threshold to pass a Takanah by the CJLS requires 13 votes of those present and voting at a CJLS meeting voting to overturn the 80% threshold for passing a takkanah set by the Executive Council.”

3 thoughts on “Honoring Joe Wernik (The Conservative Movement Fails Again)

  1. Is there any official procedure for how something gets designated as a takanah? And how many times did the meeting include the phrase “up-or-down vote”?

  2. What’s wrong with honoring Joe Wernik? Joe Wernik is a mentsch and a tzaddik; I love that man! Why should his kavod be apposed to Barry Leff’s resolution? What does one have to do with the other? I don’t get it.
    Ya’ll should have lived throught the enfranchisement of women. That one kept getting tabled until people died!

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