Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner features in this piece in The Times where she notes that “we want to help people to meet other Jews, those who are interested in living a Jewish life. Both relationships, straight or gay, can have kedusha, holiness”.
“The Reform and Liberal synagogue movements have sanctioned gay marriage and the Senior Rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, believes there could be more. Yet Jewish gay men and women have difficulty finding a partner that share their faith, she says. Many are terribly lonely, she says.
The rabbi’s idea is to establish the first matchmaking service for gay people with herself as the “pink shadchan”. She is acting because she receives numerous requests from the Jewish gay community asking her to matchmake for them. She is now planning to formalise the service by launching a website”.
It will not have the blessing of the much larger Orthodox community. Rabbi Alan Plancey, former minister of Britain’s second-largest Orthodox synagogue, Borehamwood and Elstree, says: “I have great sympathy with gay people who are lonely, but there is no question that single-sex relationships are contrary to the Halachah, Jewish law”.
Rabbi Laura is unrepentant. “Halachah has always been changing. I believe that gay people have as much right to sanctification of their relationships as everyone else. But it is very difficult. People live in bubbles. The point to make is that we want to help people to meet other Jews, those who are interested in living a Jewish life. Both relationships, straight or gay, can have kedusha, holiness.”
She says she is speaking from personal experience. “My husband and I were introduced by a shadchan — and so were my parents. It’s part of a golden tradition but it shouldn’t be regarded as an old-fashioned thing to do. . . no one should think of gay people as being any different in that regard.