Ismar Schorsch: The Sacred Cluster



The Sacred Cluster was well received as a Conservative mission statement for its optimism, the prestige of its author, and the clarity of its message. However, The Sacred Cluster does not mention some extremely important issues, which resulted in a prolonged, controversial, and very emotional debate within the movement that began while Schorsch was still chancellor and did not end until after he stepped down. Schorsch’s silence has spoken volumes regarding his position on these issues—and the fact that his successor took a diametrically opposing stance on them indicates that Schorsch’s influence was not perceived as positive.

During the last two decades of the twentieth century, the issue of gay ordination and the related twin issues of same-sex marriage and homosexual intercourse received particular interest and attention among both the leadership and the rank and file of the Conservative movement. Opinions about these issues differed greatly. During the 2006 vote,...

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Jewish boy studying the Torah (Library of Congress)

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