Jewish Day School Rejects Boy Scouts Policy Towards Gays and Lesbians

October 26, 2012 12:14 pm 7 comments

Boy Scouts of America emblem Photo: Wikipedia

The Gold Ochs Academy is taking a stand for the rights of gays and lesbians. According to a report on the New Jersey Jewish News website, the conservative Jewish day school in West Orange will not renew its Boy Scouts charter for 2013 because of the organization’s policy to ban gays and lesbians from their group.

The school has acted as charter organization for Boy Scout Troop 118, started in 1995, and Boy Scout Pack 118 for younger boys, which began a few years earlier.

After a confidential, two-year review, the Boy Scouts reaffirmed their ban on gays and lesbians in July, citing support from most scout members and their families. The Scouts’ national spokesman, Deron Smith, told The Associated Press at the time that the decision “is absolutely the best policy” for the 102-year-old organization.

The NJJN reports that head of school Joyce Raynor wrote in a letter to parents, dated Oct. 17, “[T]he scouts represent a problematic image for many families.” She also said the policy of the BSA “to exclude same-sex families from membership and adult volunteerism is in direct contradiction of School policies, which place high value on inclusion […] It has been decided that GOA cannot act as the sponsor organization until that national policy changes.”

The article also notes that “Scout master Mike Schatzberg and assistant Scout master Rabbi Lisa Vernon, who head up Troop 118 and Pack 118, were not critical of the school’s decision. GOA leaders ‘have been above board with us the whole time and told us they were seriously considering this step,’” said Vernon. In an interview, both referred to BSA’s policy toward homosexuals as “terrible” and “egregious.”

7 Comments

  • Excluding homosexuals is discrimination and if you were gay, you would feel that way. I wonder how selfish political activism feels for those who are put down, and made to feel their sexual preferences are wrong? I wonder whether it isn’t a good idea for children to learn to celebrate diversity and not put labels on each other that become divisive and hateful and worse. I wonder at times what’s good for children vs. what we teach them that has to do with closing doors to learning about others, that is judgmental, unkind, and worse. We have a huge bullying problem in our society, and those who are marginalized feel it. Many young people commit suicide over issues like this, as in, being made to feel less than, somehow wrong, when their bodies just aren’t made the same way, as the majority, that denigrates their choices.

  • Please don’t confuse homosexuality with pedophilia. They are unrelated phenomena.

  • As someone who believes in scouting was an adult leader for 12+ years in a troop that averaged 15 to 20 new Eagles per year (140 scouts), and who is the father of an Eagle Scout, I am proud of the Academy for taking a stand. I would rather they gave BSA a 1 year notice though for the boys.
    However, those who are saying that they are effectively shutting down the troop give little credit to leaders tho could easily find another charter org among the many Rotary, Kiwanis, Lyons Clubs or churches in that town.
    Secondly I applaud Gold Oachs for its principles and for setting an example in the world. I wish, hope and encourage other charter orgs would give notice to the National BSA that they too will be dropping the program unless the policy is changed.
    BSA has and continues to dumb down the program in ways which eliminate a lot of accomplishment. I have been a merit badge counselor for many badges and the changes which they continue to make are reflective of a society which does not require the best from its citizens.

  • Bowing to political pressure, the Ochs Academy is depriving boys of a program that’s designed to teach them, while they’re having fun, the leadership, self-reliance, and moral values skills they’re going to need in their adult lives.

    Excluding homosexuals is not discrimination. There is simply no basis for the assertion that no gays is the same thing as no Blacks.

  • I see the liberals are punishing the children. The Boy Scouts, as a private origination, has the right to admit who they please.
    I am sure these children will find another Troop and Pack that will be happy to have them.

  • David Gottenberg

    Thanks to Gold Ochs Academy (Solomon Schechter High School of West Orange)selfish political activism has effectively shut down the Boy Scout Troop 118.

  • rodney allsworth

    there cant be better hunting grounds for homosexuals than the scouts, I applaud those who made these decisions in favour of banning the prowling of homos among such vulnerable age groups both boys and girls.

    rod qld aust

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →
  • Analysis Arts and Culture Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    JNS.org – One of the most controversial operas in recent memory, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” debuted Oct. 20 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The Met has scheduled seven more performances through November. The first staging did not occur without protest, as about 400 demonstrators—including Jewish communal and nationally recognized leaders—came to Lincoln Center to denounce the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel opera. “Klinghoffer,” the creation of composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman, premiered in 1991—with few additional stagings. The opera is based [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot is in negotiations to take on the female lead role in the remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the deal is finalized Gadot will play Esther, a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. Actor Jack Huston will star as the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his childhood friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur fights for his freedom and vengeance with the help of Morgan Freeman’s character, who trains Ben-Hur how to win at chariot-racing. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    JNS.org – Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie are the American dream. So why do two young men who have built their lives in Israel have a GoFundMe crowd-funding webpage with the urgent message that they need $3,000 to travel to the U.S. to watch the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles square off for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League championship? Brothers Naftali and Yoni Schwartz, 27 and 25, respectively, are Kansas City natives. Even though they made aliyah with their [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Some 3,000 years ago, King David probably never imagined cars racing at 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour) through the ancient capital of the Jewish people. But on Monday and Tuesday, October 6-7, thousands of Israelis lined the streets to watch Porsche, Audi, and Ferrari race cars fly through the capital against the backdrop of the Tower of David, the Old City Walls, and other city landmarks. The second annual non-competitive Jerusalem Formula One Road Show had been [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James expressed interest in visiting Israel someday, local news site Cleveland.com reported on Sunday. Speaking to Israeli reporters before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason debut against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the NBA star said he had never visited the Jewish state but “I want to look forward to going there if I get an opportunity to.” When asked by an Israeli reporter if there was “any chance that LeBron James and Cleveland comes to Tel Aviv,” the athlete said [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    A Florida-based Chabad rabbi put former basketball star, U.S. Congressman Curt Clawson to shame on the court when the two faced off one-on-one recently. A YouTube video, posted online on Tuesday, shows Rabbi Fishel Zaklos of Chabad of Naples shooting hoops with the Florida politician, who played basketball in high school and at Purdue University in Indiana. The game took place in the parking lot of the Chabad Jewish center run by Zaklos. During the 1-minute clip, Zaklos scores two impressive [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Rout Maccabi Tel Aviv, 107-80

    David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Rout Maccabi Tel Aviv, 107-80

    JNS.org – Less than five months after leading Maccabi Tel Aviv to its sixth European basketball title, David Blatt, now the head coach of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, routed his former team in an exhibition game on Sunday, with the Cavaliers dominating Maccabi 107-80 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The 20,562 fans in attendance witnessed Lebron James’s first appearance in a Cavaliers uniform since he left the club in free agency for the Miami Heat four years ago. [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.