Culture, Identity, Religion, Sex & Gender

More from Mexico City

The official word from Rabbi Jan Kaufman, Director of Special Projects for the Rabbinical Assembly:
There were two matters concerning the Law Committee which were discussed during the course of the convention. On Wednesday, as previously requested, the convention voted that to establish a takkanah, the CJLS would require thirteen positive votes instead of the 80% previously required. (The Committee has twenty-five voting members.)
Today, at an early morning Executive Council meeting, a second Law Committee matter, left over from yesterday’s Convention business session, was also discussed. A motion was raised at the meeting to increase the number of votes within the Committee to declare a paper a takkanah (a legislative like decision) instead of a teshuvah. The Executive Council decided to maintain the current policy of a majority vote of those present at a CJLS meeting. The chairman of the CJLS was asked to review this policy with the Law Committee at its next meeting in June and report its deliberations and recommendations back to the Executive Council.
As mandated in the RA Constitution, six votes remain the required number of votes necessary for a teshuvah to be considered a valid halakhic opinion of the CJLS.
Kass Abelson, our CJLS chairman, reported to the convention that the CJLS was following its standard and usual procedures regarding the papers before it considering the subject of homosexuality. The papers are currently being revised and will go through a second committee reading with a vote anticipated in December.
Alvin Berkun, our newly installed RA president, has urged all of us to continue to help educate our congregants and communities about our deep commitment to halakhic pluralism as we await the CJLS deliberation on this significant issue.
The Convention concluded with a Wednesday night gala concert with Neshama Carlebach where we were hosted by Comunidad Bet El and this morning with a closing plenary on the place of halakhah in our movment.

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