The New Jersey Jewish Standard, a Jewish community newspaper in Central NJ, has announced that it will no longer publish any ads celebrating unions of Jews who are gay or lesbian.
On September 24, 2010, a gay Jew and his partner joined other happy couples in letting the world know of their civil union. The NJ Jewish Standard printed the piece without comment. It was an announcement of their union and they and their families wanted to celebrate and let the community know about it. They are both observant Jews and well known in the community.
Such civil unions are the law of the land in many parts of America including New Jersey. According to Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and some modern orthodox rabbis, they are quite acceptable for Jews.
The editor of the New Jersey Jewish Standard, Rebecca Kaplan Boroson, wrote that many letters were received, some of them condemning the publication of this announcement, others supporting it. She said that she met with orthodox rabbis who said that they were offended and hurt by the announcement.
“A group of rabbis has reached out to us and conveyed the deep sensitivities within the traditional/Orthodox community to this issue. Our subsequent discussions with representatives from that community have made us aware that publication of the announcement caused pain and consternation, and we apologize for any pain we may have caused.”
Her solution was to ban all such announcements in the future.
Thanks, Ms. Boroson, for caving into the bigots in your community. I suppose that will not cause “pain and consternation” for the rest of us, right? After all, gay, lesbian and the majority of Jews other than the few bigots in your community lack feelings.
The New Jersey Jewish Standard has set a new standard for the lowest common denominator in Jewish journalism.
Your newspaper serves the Rutgers University community where freshman Tyler Clementi, a victim of the homophobia which you allowed to intimidate you, killed himself. It is shocking that you would publicly ally yourself and your newspaper with such hateful people.
What a delightful way to enter the new year, 5771.
Here is the offensive announcement which caused such “pain and consternation”:
Simchas | Engagement
Avichai David Smolen, son of Robert Smolen and Barbara Schneider of New Milford, and Justin Taylor Rosen, son of Keith and Elizabeth Rosen of Coram, N.Y., plan to be married next month by Rabbi Joshua Gruenberg at North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, N.Y.
Smolen, 23, is a development and communications associate at the Manhattan office of Keren Or, the Jerusalem Center for Blind Children with Multiple Disabilities. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Rutgers University and worked as a Faiths Act Fellow in Washington, D.C., a joint venture between the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and the Interfaith Youth Core. His father is the principal at the Gerrard Berman Day School Solomon Schechter of North Jersey in Oakland and his mother is a medical technologist and high school biology teacher in New Jersey.
Rosen, 24, is a master’s degree candidate in public administration at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and at the Skirball Department of Hebrew & Judaic Studies for a master’s of arts in Jewish studies. He is a Wexner Fellow taking part in a leadership development program for emerging professionals in the Jewish community. He did his undergraduate work at List College, the joint program between Columbia University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, and Jewish Theological Seminary, where he received a bachelor’s in Jewish thought. His mother is a teacher at Longwood High School and his father is a computer software programmer in New York.
Let the NJ Jewish Standard know your thoughts. I am sure that they would appreciate it.