Israel’s first gay Rabbi to lead congregation

Israel’s first gay Rabbi to lead congregation

Rabbi Mikie Goldstein

Israel’s Masorti Jewish movement has passed a law allowing the ordination of homosexual rabbis in an historic move.

Rabbi Mikie Goldstein, is an Englishman that has lived in Israel since 1989, before he came out as Gay.

He is now the spiritual leader of Adat Shalom Emanuel in Rehovot, which is the only non-Orthodox synagogue in the city.This highlights the dominance of Orthodox judaism in Israel, institutionally

 With a background in diplomacy, he felt that “ the Orthodox establishment in this country has hijacked Judaism” and decided to tackle this by studying to become a Rabbi through the Masorti movement.

According to The Times of Israel, Goldstein was prevented from studying at the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary in 2010, and subsequently, went to New York.

In America, he gained rabbinical ordination and an MA in Talmud and Halacha from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Despite the significance of his sexuality in terms of challenging barriers of discrimination in Israel, Goldstein said that his sexuality is ‘irrelevant’.

His motivation was “the millions of Israelis who are turned off completely from Judaism. He continues to say that “I’m interested in the religious spirituality of anyone who walks through my front door. It doesn’t matter what their affiliation is. They’re welcome”.  

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