Anti-gay rabbi reinstated

February 2, 2012

Amsterdam's Orthodox Ashkenazi community has reinstated its Chief Rabbi, Aryeh Ralbag, who was suspended two weeks ago for signing an online declaration calling on homosexuals to try to overcome their inclinations.

The community's action against the New York-based rabbi, who travels to the Netherlands several times a year, had prompted a torrent of protests from across the Orthodox rabbinic wo


I'm gay, but I want a Jewish life

By Gemma Hersh, January 27, 2012

I swore I'd never tell anyone. Least of all my parents. The embarrassment. The awkwardness. The shame. I wondered if people would simply stop talking to me.

Five years on, my world hasn't come crashing down. My parents haven't disowned me. I haven't lost any friends. I'm one of the lucky ones.


Anti-gay Dutch rabbi: 'I now fear for my life'

By Simon Rocker, January 26, 2012

The Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam's Orthodox Ashkenazi community, suspended by his community last week after signing a declaration against homosexuality, says he fears for his safety in Holland.

New York-based Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag, who had been due to visit the community this week, told a Dutch newspaper that he had strong evidence to suggest that it would be better not to go to the Netherlands for t


Former JFS pupils concern over 'gay cure'

By Jessica Elgot, January 26, 2012

Former Jewish school students and religious leaders have expressed "deep concern" about references to "homosexual cure" group JONAH in a JFS Jewish studies lesson, and have called for schools urgently to address the teaching of homosexuality.

Former JFS head girl Alma Smith has written to the school's headmaster, Jonathan Miller, saying that not making reference to lesbian and gay organisations


Dutch decision on chief rabbi suspension criticised

By Simon Rocker, January 20, 2012

The Conference of European Rabbis has criticised Amsterdam’s Orthodox Ashkenazi community for suspending its Chief Rabbi over his views on homosexuality.

Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag was relieved of his duties on Monday after signing an online rabbinical statement decrying same-sex marriage and suggesting that homosexuals should seek therapy to overcome their inclinations.


Jewish school pupils taught how to 'cure gays'

By Jessica Elgot, January 19, 2012

JFS has provoked anger from parents and pupils by teaching sixth formers that homosexuality can be "cured".

As part of the school's Jewish studies curriculum, pupils are shown a website from the American group JONAH - Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality.


Dutch Jews suspend their rabbi over homosexuality views

By Simon Rocker, January 19, 2012

In a further controversy over the US 'gay cure' group JONAH, the Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam's Orthodox Ashkenazi community was suspended this week after signing a declaration that homosexuals should learn to overcome their inclinations.

New York-based Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag, who visits the Netherlands a few times a year, put his name to a declaration, signed by 180 Orthodox rabbis, educators and psyc


Scottish plea not to force same-sex ties

By Simon Rocker, December 8, 2011

Religious bodies should not be forced to conduct same-sex partnership ceremonies, the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities has told the Scottish Government.

New laws came into effect in England and Wales on Monday, which allow same-sex unions to be held on religious premises.


Well-groomed wedding date

By Simon Rocker, December 1, 2011

American Steve Greenberg made history a decade ago when he came out as the first openly gay, Orthodox rabbi.

Now he has just become the first Orthodox rabbi to conduct a same-sex marriage.


Why gay sex is not immoral

By Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, October 28, 2011

Orthodox Rabbis opposed to gay marriage - hardly worth a headline. But two prominent British Orthodox rabbis recently went further. Dayan Lichtenstein, head of the Federation Beth Din, suggested the Prime Minister's desire to sanction gay marriage was "a sign of moral decay," while Rabbi Alan Plancey seemed to suggest the government's plan was a sign of "standards of morality dropping".