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Conservative Jews in Israel OK gay rabbis


JERUSALEM -- The Conservative Jewish seminary in Israel has voted to allow gays and lesbians to become rabbis, overcoming years of opposition by many of its own leaders.

The Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, affiliated with Israel's Conservative Jewish movement, announced it would begin accepting gay and lesbian rabbinical students this fall.

The seminary's dean said it is committed to both Jewish law and pluralism, a reference to various branches of Judaism.

The decision late Thursday ends a rift with the U.S. branch, which has allowed gay and lesbian rabbinical students since 2007. It ordained its first openly lesbian rabbi last year.

The Conservative movement interprets Jewish law more strictly than the liberal Reform movement, but its ordination of female rabbis and other practices are not accepted by more stringent Orthodox Jews.


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