Tuesday, September 03, 2019

My public apology to Rabbi Angela Buchdahl

I was thoroughly rebuked by a reader of this blog, and rightly so:  "You can't call out someone without checking first!"

My rebuker was referring to my assumption, seen in this post of mine, that Rabbi Angela Buchdahl had never converted to Judaism.

I told my rebuker the truth, which isn't much of an excuse:  Since the Reform Movement accepts patrilineal descent, it never occurred to me that it would matter to Hebrew Union College (the Reform seminary for rabbis, cantors, and Jewish educators) whether or not a person with a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother actually converted to Judaism before becoming a member of the Reform clergy.  I have since checked, and found that, while HUC will not admit persons to the rabbinical or cantorial programs if they are involved in a serious relationship with a non-Jew, their stipulation regarding Jewish status is a rather vague statement that the person must "identify as Jewish."  (Click here and scroll down to "Do you have an intermarriage policy?" and  "Do I have to be Jewish to be admitted to HUC-JIR?")

That said, had I looked, I could easily have seen for myself that Rabbi Buchdahl chose to convert to Judaism.

I apologize to Rabbi Buchdahl for any embarrassment and/or upset that I may have caused.

This is the month of Elul, when we pay particular attention to trying to improve our behavior.  I commit myself to doing a better job of guarding my tongue--and my keyboard--in the future.


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