Baltimore Man Becomes First Gay to Lead a Jewish Association

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Rabbi Jason Klein was elected president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, making him the first openly gay man to be the head of a rabbinic association.

Klein, who has been executive director of Hillel at the University of Maryland since 2006, said if it weren’t for the support of people in his life he wouldn’t be where he is today.

“Coming out and growing into my adult Jewish identity would not be the same were it not for affirming teachers, rabbis and other mentors along the way,” Klein told Jweekly after his election. “I am honored to be able to give back by supporting colleagues who are creating welcoming communities in hundreds of settings across North America and beyond.”

Klein’s colleague Rabbi Mychal Copeland told Jweekly having a gay man as the head of their movement is important for the Jewish future.

“Rabbi Jason Klein brings to this important role in our movement a unique blend of tradition and innovation,” Copeland said. “ possesses a keen awareness of where the next generation of Jews will find meaning and connection.”

According to Gay Star News, Reconstructist Judaism embraces the gay community as moral people fit to serve as clergy and has allowed its rabbis to perform same-sex marriages since 1993. Ryan Dixon