Jewish seminary to allow gays, lesbians to apply

The seminary considered the flagship institution of Conservative Judaism said Monday it will start accepting gay and lesbian applicants, after scholars who guide the movement lifted the ban on gay ordination. Arnold Eisen, incoming chancellor for the Jewish Theological Seminary, said the decision was made after extensive discussion with faculty and students, a survey on views of the issue within the movement and a meeting of the school's trustees. "The larger issue has been how we can remain true to our tradition in general and to Jewish law in particular while staying fully responsive to and immersed in our society and culture," Eisen said in a statement distributed to the school community and its supporters. The Conservative branch holds the middle ground in American Judaism, adhering to tradition while allowing some change for modern circumstances.