US: Gay rabbi elected leader of his association for the first time in a national movement

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For the first time an openly gay man has been chosen to lead a national rabbinical association in the US.

Rabbi Jason Klein, Hillel rabbi at the University of Maryland, was elected leader of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association this week.

This marks the first time an openly gay man has headed a national rabbinical movement.

Reconstructionist, Reform, and Conservative seminaries all ordain gay priests, while Orthodox seminaries do not.

The Reconstructionists are the smallest of the non-Orthodox movements, but according to Haaretz they are “particularly influential, and graduates of its seminary, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Seminary, fill a wide range of positions throughout the Jewish community.”

Last year, the Conservative faction of American Judaism formally came out in support of equal marriage, nearly six years after lifting a ban on ordaining gay men and women as rabbis.