Aussie group: Same-sex unions still taboo

Some 50 mostly Australian Orthodox rabbis reaffirmed that same-sex ceremonies have no place in Judaism.

A resolution stating that the rabbinate welcomes all Jews to synagogues across the continent, but that the “flaunting of sexuality” is unacceptable, passed unanimously Wednesday in Sydney at the biennial conference of the Organization of Rabbis of Australasia. It includes a pledge to help facilitate young Jews to meet.

The measure comes just two weeks after a Reform rabbi in Sydney confirmed that he will officiate at the first Jewish same-sex ceremony in Australia for two lesbians later this year.

Orthodox rabbis from as far as Perth, in Western Australia, and Wellington, on New Zealand’s North Island, participated in a two-day conference at the Yeshiva Centre in Bondi.

Most of the rabbis hailed from Melbourne and Sydney, while others came from smaller communities, including Adelaide, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Rabbi Chaim Dovrat of the Wellington Hebrew Congregation was the only representative from New Zealand.

Dovid Freilich, the chief rabbi of Perth, was elected president of the Organization of Rabbis of Australia, the umbrella group for rabbis in the region. Freilich succeeds Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick of Melbourne, who served in the post for two years.

Australia is home to about 110,000 Jews and New Zealand to approximately 8,000.

 

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