The Zionist Conspiracy
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
JTS Chancellor Arnold Eisen
Today's New York Times has a report about the selection of Arnold Eisen as the new chancellor of the Conservative movement's Jewish Theological Seminary.
In the report, Eisen is quoted as saying that he supports rabbinical ordination of gay and lesbians. He says that his opinion on the matter comes from "just knowing gay and lesbian people, friends, students, co-workers; and the sense that Judaism has always adapted itself to fit changing circumstances."
In other words, the new chancellor of JTS supports gay and lesbian ordination, but doesn't even purport to offer a halachic basis for that kind of radical change.
Some have compared JTS's selection of Eisen to YU's selection of Richard Joel as its president.
But while Joel may be to the left of YU's roshei yeshiva, he is clearly an observant Jew. Eisen is not ordained as a rabbi, but it would be interesting to know how religiously observant he is. Does he go to shul every shabbos? Does he put up on tefilin in the morning, and daven three times (or even once or twice) each day? Does he drive to the supermarket on shabbos? Does he keep kashrus in some form?
In other words, does Eisen observe Judaism according to the stated standards of the Conservative movement?