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March 16, 2015 2:09 pm

Reform Rabbinical Authority Appoints Openly Gay President

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Rabbi Denise Eger is the first openly gay president of the the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Photo: Paul Schreiber via Flickr.com.

JNS.org – Rabbi Denise Eger, the founding rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami in Los Angeles, is being installed Monday as the first openly gay president of the the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Reform movement’s rabbinical authority in the US.

Eger, 55, follows the footsteps of Rabbi Toba Spitzer, a gay clergywoman who was chosen to lead the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association in 2007.

“It really shows an arc of LGBT civil rights,” Eger told the Associated Press. “I smile a lot—with a smile of incredulousness.”

“It’s about human rights and human dignity,” she added. “If you can be a rabbi, if you can be a person of faith, if you can serve a community as their pastor, and you can have the opportunity to begin to reconcile all of those issues, it speaks volumes.”

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