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Chief urges Orthodox synagogues to be more inclusive

Congregations should be more sensitive to the needs of LGBT Jews, says Chief Rabbi Mirvis

    Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has highlighted the need for Orthodox synagogues to take an inclusive approach towards LGBT people.

    Making the keynote address at his annual pre-High Holy Day conference for the rabbinate, the Chief Rabbi warned of the danger of inadvertently excluding single parents, women, the unaffiliated, LGBT Jews and those with special educational needs. 

    He urged more sensitive and more careful consideration of how Jewish communities could do more for such groups.

    Commenting after the event, he said, "As rabbis, we have now a responsibility to carry the inspiration we have taken from the last two days and use it build ever more engaging and inclusive communities, which would be inclusive of every person."

    His message is all the more pointed following the controversy that erupted earlier in the summer following a lecture on homosexuality by Rabbi Joseph Dweck, the senior rabbi of the S&P Sephardi Community.

    Rabbi Mirvis played a key role in defusing tensions after Rabbi Dweck came under fire from other Orthodox rabbis for speaking positively about homosexual Jews.

    Rabbi Dweck is to speak on Shabbat afternoon at Shomrei Hadath, a north-west London synagogue affiliated to the Federation of Synagogues.

    It is believed to be his first appearance at a congregation in the UK outside his own community following the controversy.

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