NEW YORK (Jul. 31)
About 10 percent of the Reform rabbis who are members of the New York Board of Rabbis have resigned since the NYBR approved a resolution June 29 barring membership to rabbis who either perform mixed marriages or refer to colleagues couples seeking a rabbi for that purpose, Rabbi William Berkowitz, NYBR president said today.
He estimated the number of Reform rabbis who had resigned in protest against the adoption of the resolution as between 25 and 30 The NYBR has about 250 Reform rabbinical members he said. Rabbi Berkowitz noted that there was no way of knowing whether the fact that the resolution had been adopted at the start of the summer might be a factor in the small number of resignations.
Rabbi Berkowitz’ estimate was in line with that of Rabbi Joseph Glaser, executive vice-president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the association of Reform rabbis. Rabbi Glaser also told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that a number of NYBR members who opposed the June 29 resolution were planning to present an appeal to the 50-membered NYBR board of governors, asking that the resolution be overruled or, if that was not possible, to have the matter brought up for another vote.
Rabbi Glaser, who had said at the June 29 meeting that he would challenge the resolution in court, told the JTA today that plans for such an approach had been suspended in favor of the appeal to the NYBR board.