Rabbi Gil Steinlauf
Gil Steinlauf, senior rabbi at Adas Israel congregation in DC, makes public announcement following High Holy Days.
Rabbi Gil Steinlauf
Rabbi Gil Steinlauf.. (photo credit:screenshot)
Rabbi Gil Steinlauf struggled for decades with an identity that he only acknowledged publicly this week.
On the Monday after Yom Kippur, Steinlauf, the married senior rabbi at Adas Israel - a large and historic Conservative synagogue in Washington, DC - announced that he is gay.
In a letter sent to congregants, Steinlauf
Even as a child, Steinlauf
recognized a "difference" in himself, he
wrote, but never let that difference define him or his
choice of a spouse.
Steinlauf has been married for 20 years to Rabbi Batya Steinlauf, Director of Social Justice and Interfaith Initiatives at the Jewish Community Relations Council.
A letter of support from the congregation's president, Arnie Podgorsky, accompanied Rabbi Gil Steinlauf's letter.
Together with the other officers of Adas Israel, I stand with Rabbi Steinlauf.
Our synagogue is strong, large, and inclusive-a big tent with room and respect for all.
Rabbi Steinlauf, along with the rest of the clergy, will continue to advance new paths to Torah, making Judaism and its tools for a beautiful life more accessible for more Jews.
We will continue our diverse approaches to worship, from the traditional to the innovative.
At the same time, we understand that Rabbi Steinlauf will be undergoing a challenging personal transition in the coming months, and we extend to him patience and a generous spirit.
Podgorsky said that Rabbi Steinlauf shared his news with the officers of Adas Israel earlier this fall.
Steinlauf has been the senior rabbi at Adas Israel since 2008, having served previously as a rabbi at Temple Israel in Ridgewood, NJ, and Congregation Tifereth Israel in Columbus, Ohio.
He graduated from Princeton, studied at Pardes Institute in Jerusalem and was ordained in 1998 at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Foer, Goldberg wrote, noted that "Rabbi Steinlauf has just discovered the most dramatic possible way to break the Yom Kippur fast."