Rabbi Goldstein will meet the Adath Jeshurun community at 7:30 p.m. Thursday evening, November 15 in the Social Hall. His topic is: “Pluralism & Pride: Judaism of Tradition and Change.” Rabbi Goldstein will discuss LGBT, marriage, and Jewish conversion issues in Israel. All are invited to attend this event. Rabbi Goldstein’s visit to our congregation is sponsored by the Adath Israel Committee and is free of charge. Questions about the event can be directed to Kim Gedan at [email protected].
Rabbi Goldstein has personal experience with LGBT issues in Israel because he was the first openly gay rabbi to serve a Masorti congregation there. He is married to Isi Yanouka, who is a veteran diplomat and currently heads the department for UN Agencies at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Rabbi Goldstein will share his personal journey, growing up Zionist in Liverpool, England, making Aliyah to Israel in 1989, graduating from rabbinical school at JTS, and becoming the rabbi of the Masorti synagogue in Rehovot in 2014.
Rabbi Goldstein considers his sexual orientation as “irrelevant” to his decision to become a rabbi in the Masorti (Conservative) movement. After making Aliyah, he was influenced to pursue the rabbinate after observing the number of secular Israeli who was seeking another way to experience Jewish life in Israel. While he got his degree from JTS, his intention was always to return to the Jewish homeland to serve as a congregational rabbi for Masorti.
In a Times of Israel article, dated December 7, 2014, Rabbi Goldstein explained: “I’m interested in the millions of Israelis who are turned off completely from Judaism. I want to make sure they at least have the chance to feel at home inside a synagogue, be it in the shul or in the library. I don’t want people to feel threatened to cross that threshold, and right now many people do.”
Rabbi Goldstein does not believe being openly gay himself makes his synagogue more attractive to LGBT people, in particular. He notes that any of the over 70 Masorti synagogues in Israel will be welcoming and inclusive to LGBT people. And many LGBT people have become members of Masorti congregations in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem already.
Instead, Rabbi Goldstein adds: “I’m interested in the religious spirituality of anyone who walks through my front door. It doesn’t matter what their affiliation is. They’re welcome.” Adath members and friends will experience Rabbi Goldstein’s personal warmth and insights as a leader of our movement in Israel. Please join us to ask questions and to meet another of the outstanding Masorti rabbis in Israel today.