Diversity and Inclusion? Not in the Jewish Standard

In a state that recognizes civil unions, including same-sex marriages, the decision by the New Jersey Jewish Standard on not publishing same-sex wedding announcements has created a firestorm around the Jewish blog-o-sphere and media world. Now, according to The New York Jewish Week, the paper may be making another flip-flop.

N.J. Newspaper Controversy Pits Gays Against Orthodox

The decision by a major New Jersey Jewish newspaper to include the wedding announcement of two men in its “Lifecycle” section (and then to apologize, and reverse policy soon after) is fueling a debate about the role of Jewish newspapers in the communities they cover.

The uproar at the New Jersey Jewish Standard comes less than four years after the Conservative movement began permitting rabbinic officiation at same-sex unions, and as growing numbers of people in the Orthodox world are taking a more lenient position toward gay and lesbian Jews.

… The paper, following criticism that it said came from several rabbis in the heavily Orthodox area, issued an editorial this week apologizing for its decision to include gay marriages in its pages. The apology drew several hundred letters to its website, nearly all critical of its policy reversal.

… The paper may be having another change of mind.

“We did not expect the heated response we got, and – in truth – we believe now that we may have acted too quickly in issuing the follow-up statement, responding only to one segment of the community,” Publisher James Janoff said in a statement on Tuesday. “We are now having meetings with local rabbis and community leaders. We will also be printing, in the paper and online, many of the letters that have been pouring in since our statement was published.