Orthodox Synagogue Forced To End Same-Sex Wedding Announcements

The liberal synagogue was pressured by the Orthodox Union to stop congratulatory messages.

The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale (HIR) in the Bronx was forced to change its practices after receiving flak from institutional higher-ups, who disapproved of the synagogue’s congratulating same-sex newlyweds in its newsletters.

Following a complaint from the Orthodox Union, the highest order of Orthodox synagogues in the U.S., HIR will no longer announce or celebrate same-sex nuptials, which it had begun doing earlier this year.

“The institutional endorsement or encouragement (implicit or explicit) of any conduct that is contrary to [Orthodox Jewish law] is activity that no Orthodox synagogue should allow,” the OU wrote in a statement.

The Bronx synagogue never actually performed same-sex weddings, which are forbidden by Orthodox judaism.

“HIR is a wonderful [organization] and it treats LGBT people wonderfully,” Jewish Queer Youth director Mordechai Levovitz told The Jerusalem Post. “It’s the OU that’s deciding to focus on congratulatory wording—and not children and teens who are physically and mentally at risk.”

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