Jewish Leaders Protest the Exclusion of Gays from the Boy Scouts

January 10, 2001

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On January 10, 2001, The Columbus Dispatch reported that "Reform Jews nationwide are being urged to cut ties with the Boy Scouts because of the Scouts' refusal to admit homosexuals." A commission representing the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis issued a memo calling for the withdrawl. But even if they agree that the Scouts' position is a problem, not all Reform Jews agree with the suggested course of action. Temple Israel, which does not sponsor a boy scout troop, will "conduct an annual recognition ceremony for central Ohio Jewish Scouts, both boys and girls, on Feb. 2. At that event, [Rabbi Arthur] Nemitoff...will talk about inclusion in a 'child-appropriate way'" in the hopes of showing the scouts that more good comes of inclusion than exclusion. Reform rabbi Howard Apothaker of Temple Beth Shalom in New Albany, an adviser to the Central Ohio Jewish Committee on Scouting, "said he will continue working from inside the Boy Scouts to try to change the group's stance on gays. He said the action recommended in the memo 'will be totally ineffective and, I believe, unwarranted.'"