And in the Jewish world…changing attitudes on gays?

And how is the Jewish community faring when it comes to the Great Gay Question?

A new survey of 1,221 Jewish leaders from 997 congregations across North America seems to show movement toward a very general “acceptance” of gays and lesbians.

According to the Jewish Week, the author of the study, Caryn Aviv, a prof at the University of Denver’s Center for Judaic Studies, presented the findings last week in NYC.

Among the findings: Overall, 47 percent of rabbis said that their views toward gays and lesbians have “shifted favorably in the past 10 years.” (That’s 40 percent of Reform rabbis, 60 percent of Conservative, 43 percent of Orthodox.)

I can’t seem to find the actual study on the Web…yet.

Aviv, it’s worth noting, is the founder of a group called Jewish Mosaic, which promotes acceptance of gays and lesbians in Jewish life.

Paul Golin, associate executive director of the Jewish Outreach Institute, tells the JW: “The organized Jewish community is moving from rejection to tolerance to embracing. I think that the Conservative movement is the most interesting to watch right now because they’re in the middle, and they’re struggling between embracing and tolerating.”

Another finding: 41 percent of rabbis whose congregations reach out to gay and lesbian Jews reported gaining members as a result. 2 percent reported losing members.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.