Daniel Atwood was ordained in Jerusalem when his New York University refused to give him his ordination, reports “Haaretz”.
His ordination is historic. A homosexual pupil of a rabbinical school whose ordination had been refused by an American seminary was welcomed by the rabbinate of Jerusalem, reports Haaretz. The semikha – rabbinic ordination – was delivered to Daniel Atwood, Sunday May 26 in the evening, by Daniel Landes, Israeli-American rabbi. A first in the Orthodox Jewish community, where marriage between people of the same sex is prohibited, says Haaretz, noting that Daniel Atwood was engaged to a man a few months ago.
- “A rabbinical presence for LGBT people and all Jews”
While a student at Yeshiva Chovevei Torah New York (YCT) for several years, Daniel Atwood was informed earlier this year that he could not receive his ordination there. “I am delighted to receive a semikah and I am very grateful to Rabbi Landes and his organization Yashrut for taking me under their wing,” said the young rabbi, quoted by Haaretz, as saying his “sadness at not being surrounded by friends and teachers with whom I studied for many years at YCT “. Asked that he would now represent the Jewish LGBT community in orthodoxy, Daniel Atwood said he hoped to become “a rabbinic presence for LGBT people and all Jews, regardless of their orientation, who feel marginalized. “.
According to Haaretz, more sympathy has been shown to LGBT Jews in recent months, but the ordination of Daniel Atwood did raise some problems. The Dean of the YCT, quoted by Haaretz, explains that the student had come to them “at the end of his first year” and that they were ready “to give him his ordination, until a recent event”, surely his engagement. “Because it’s such a delicate matter, it took us a few months to make the decision we made. I was trying to see if there was a way forward. I came to the conclusion that it was not possible, “added the Dean. In 2018, several orthodox Israeli and American rabbis signed an open letter of support for the LGBT community, while two hundred Israeli Orthodox rabbis described its members as “perverts”.