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Fast Forward

Gay Rabbi Leads Conservative Effort To ‘Radically Reimagine’ Traditions

Gil Steinlauf, the prominent Washington, D.C. rabbi who made waves when he came out three years ago to his congregation, will leave his post as senior rabbi at Adas Israel to head up a new “innovation lab” for the Conservative movement.

Steinlauf described the initiative as “far reaching” and “designed to radically reimagine the ancient traditions of Judaism to meet the needs of future generations across the movement and the world,” in a letter to his congregants.

He added that the innovation labs, developed along with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Jewish Theological Seminary, would allow him to expand on his “passions in researching, writing, speaking, teaching, and collaborating with leading innovative Jewish thinkers and institutions.”

Steinlauf has led Adas Israel through a dynamic period in which it has grown and attracted high-profile visits from former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and several Jewish members of the Supreme Court.

His new position will put him at the center of efforts to revitalize the Conservative movement, which has shed hundreds of thousands of members and hundreds of synagogues since its post-war heyday.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

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