SOURCE: Central Conference of American Rabbis

Central Conference of American Rabbis

March 10, 2010 19:07 ET

Leaders of Largest Group of Jewish Clergy Applaud Call for an End to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), Which Represents Nearly 2,000 Reform Rabbis Around the World, Call Upon Congress to Grant Equal Opportunity to All Men and Women Serving in the U.S. Armed Forces

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - March 10, 2010) - The leaders of the Reform rabbinate, the world's largest group of Jewish clergy, have issued a statement supporting President Barack Obama's call to eliminate the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The statement was issued during the organizations 121st Annual Convention currently taking place in San Francisco, CA.

According to the statement, "...the Central Conference of American Rabbis has long advocated for full and equal rights for gays and lesbians in all areas of American society. The United States Armed Forces are not, nor should they ever have been, any exception... We are confident that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' can be ended swiftly and effectively, not only without negative impact on military readiness, but indeed with the positive impact of permitting all service members to serve our country honestly."

To arrange a conversation with Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus, President of the CCAR, or Rabbi Steven A. Fox, Executive Vice President, please contact Katarina Wenk-Bodenmiller of Sommerfield Communications at 212-255-8386 or Katarina@sommerfield.com.

Following is the full text of the statement from the CCAR leaders.

Central Conference of American Rabbis
San Francisco, California
March 9, 2010

Statement on Discrimination in the U.S. Armed Forces

Gratified that among our members are U.S. Military Chaplains, noting that hundreds of our members have served in the U.S. Military in days gone by, mindful of the thousands of young men and women from congregations and institutions who serve with distinction in our Armed Forces, and grateful for the U.S. military service of Reform Jews in past decades, the CCAR has a deep affinity for the United States Armed Forces.

Today, gathered with our colleagues in annual Convention, we pause to note that the Central Conference of American Rabbis has long advocated for full and equal rights for gays and lesbians in all areas of American society. The United States Armed Forces are not, nor should they ever have been, any exception.

We welcome President Obama's call for an end of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. We take note that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Frank McMullen, along with Gen. David Petraeus and others, have acknowledged that gays and lesbians have long served our country with distinction. We are confident that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" can be ended swiftly and effectively, not only without negative impact on military readiness, but indeed with the positive impact of permitting all service members to serve our country honestly.

In keeping with existing CCAR Resolutions on the matter, we call for swift congressional action to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," granting all American men and women equal opportunity to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, strengthening our great nation in the process.

Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus
President

Rabbi Steven A. Fox
Chief Executive

Central Conference of American Rabbis

About The CCAR

The Central Conference of American Rabbis, founded in 1889, is the oldest and largest rabbinic organization in North America. As the professional organization for Reform Rabbis of North America, the CCAR projects a powerful voice in the religious life of the American and international Jewish communities. Since its establishment, the CCAR has a rich history of giving professional and personal support to Reform rabbis, providing them opportunities for study, professional development and spiritual growth beginning while they are still in seminary, through mid-careers, and into retirement. The CCAR is uniquely positioned to meet the ongoing needs of its nearly 2,000 member rabbis (virtually the entire Reform rabbinate) and the entire Reform Jewish community. For more information please visit the CCAR's website at http://ccarnet.org/. For the latest news from the CCAR follow @ReformRabbis on Twitter.

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