"Bnei Brak at the Ponevezh Yeshiva" by Jeremy12201986 / Public Domain

New York Jewish Seminary Refuses to Ordain Gay Rabbinical Student

Apr 8, 2019

By Brandon Voss

A gay rabbinical student has been denied ordination at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, a liberal Orthodox Jewish seminary in New York City.

Daniel Atwood, 27, was in his fourth year at the Bronx yeshiva. Despite criticism from students, alumni, and Jewish LGBTQ groups, YCT leaders stand firmly behind their sudden decision to cancel Atwood’s ordination, or semicha, Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports.

“Four years ago I came out as gay during my first year at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, and it was decided that I would receive semicha as their first openly gay student,” says Atwood in a statement to The Jewish Week. “After four years of study and my completing almost all of the program’s requirements, YCT decided not to give me semicha, news delivered to me only a few weeks ago, three months before my graduation, without any prior conversation on the matter.”

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