This, Too, is the Face of Jerusalem: Serving the city’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community
Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, Forest Hills Jewish Center - March 2009 - The Jewish Week, New York
Among my friends and colleagues, I am occasionally chided for being a centrist. I am neither a leftist nor a partisan of the right, and I like to think that being open to the best thinking of all sides to an argument is the surest road to growth and wisdom.
And so it tends to be with me on social issues as well. Having been raised in the Orthodox world and only well into my college years gradually finding my way to Conservative Judaism, I was hardly the first to champion equality for women in Jewish ritual (although now I enthusiastically do), nor have I been on the barricades with regard to struggle for gays and lesbians to gain acceptance and equality within the Jewish world. I have come a very long way on that path; my thinking has changed significantly, particularly over the almost three decades of my rabbinate.
While in Jerusalem last week for the convention of the Rabbinical Assembly, a few friends encouraged me to attend a program at a place called the Jerusalem Open House. Not my first instinct, I am obliged to admit, for what to do with my very limited time in Jerusalem. So many places to go, so little time... Ultimately, though, as is so often the case, personal friendships with some of the people involved with the project brought me there, and I am equally obliged to admit that I am so glad I went-