The CJLS, the Conservative Movement's North American halachic authority, voted to endorse two proposals on this issue in December 2006: The decision that ordination of practicing gay and lesbian rabbis is not permitted by Jewish Law (Rabbi Joel Roth,), and the decision permitting the ordination of practicing gay and lesbian rabbis (Rabbi Elliot Dorff and two colleagues).
Since Conservative Judaism is a pluralistic movement, when the CJLS votes to approve two conflicting opinions in this way, each local rabbi is authorized to choose which opinion to follow.
Although the Israel branch of the Conservative Movement has long asserted its independence in matters of Jewish Law, Rabbi Ramon felt that in light of the discussions in North America generated by the split CJLS decision, it was important to clarify the policy of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary.
In doing so, she was acting on the authority vested in her by the school's Executive Committee, chaired by Rabbi Hanan Alexander, Professor and Chair of the Department of Education at the University of Haifa. In upholding the status quo, Ramon is in agreement with Rabbi Roth's opinion, which was also endorsed by Rabbi David Golinkin, President and Professor of Jewish Law at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.
Importance of heterosexuality
In a position paper that Rabbi Ramon distributed to the Executive Committee, she called attention to the historic centrality of heterosexual marriage in Jewish life.
"I have great respect for Conservative rabbis who have chosen to follow a different opinion," said Rabbi Ramon, "and for the Reform Movement in Judaism which has long admitted candidates to its rabbinical schools who are practicing gays and lesbians or who favor same-sex commitment ceremonies. However, Jewish Law has traditionally prohibited homosexuality and only sanctifies sexual relations between members of the opposite sex."