For the first time in the 125-year history of the Central Conference of American Rabbis – the rabbinical arm of the Reform Judaism movement– an openly LGBT person will serve as president of the organization. Longtime leader in the LGBT community and founding member of the HRC Religion Council, Rabbi Denise Eger has been appointed to lead the oldest and largest rabbinic organization in North America.
“This could not have happened to a more worthy faith leader among our esteemed colleagues in Judaism,” said Rev. MacArthur Flournoy, HRC Foundation’s Director of Faith Partnerships and Mobilization, congratulating Eger.
Rabbi Eger is a founding member of the HRC Religion Council, a group of national spokespeople committed to equal rights for all Americans who provide a prophetic voice on the critical issues affecting the LGBT community from marriage, to adoption, to reclaiming the inclusive foundations of religion. She is also only the second openly-LGBT rabbi to lead a rabbinical organization; in 2007, Rabbi Toba Spitzer, an openly lesbian rabbi, was appointed president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.
The Jewish Reform Movement has been at the forefront of religious progressivism in the United States, taking steps as early as 1977 towards LGBT inclusion, and continuing to promote a deeper understanding of what it means to be an LGBT person of faith, and distinguishing itself as one of the leading voices for LGBT Equality.