Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

RCA: No Position on Gay ‘Reparative Therapy’

The Rabbinical Council of America said it will not take a position on so-called reparative therapy for gays.

In a statement released Monday, the RCA, the main umbrella group of centrist Orthodox rabbis, said it will neither “endorse nor reject any therapy or method that is intended to assist those … struggling with same-sex attraction.” It further affirms that any therapy should be performed only by licensed practitioners.

RCA President Rabbi Schmuel Goldin told JTA that the statement did not represent a shift in the group’s position.

In the past, the RCA had listed Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, or JONAH, an organization promoting reparative therapy to Jews, as a resource on its website. JONAH has claimed that a 2004 blurb in the RCA newsletter amounted to a letter of support on behalf of its work.

“We are now tackling that,” said Goldin. “We want it taken down. [JONAH] said it was a letter of support, but if you read the letter it is not. They took an informational statement and reprinted it, and the use of that as an endorsement is an error.”

The RCA statement affirms the group’s opposition to same-sex unions and that any clergymen who officiates at such a union cannot “claim the mantle of Orthodox Judaism.” The statement further states that gay men and women “should be treated with the care … appropriate to all human beings.”

The RCA statement came just days after news broke of a statement, circulated mainly among haredi Orthodox rabbis, emphasizing that homosexual inclinations can be overcome and that only therapy and repentance are consistent with the mandates of the Torah.

“This is indicative of a shift in consciousness, sensitivity and understanding that Orthodox rabbis have about gay people growing up in their communities,” Mordechai Levovitz, co-excutive director of Jewish Queer Youth, said of the RCA statement. “People are going to be comforted by the RCA dealing with this community in a welcoming way; that’s what was missing.

“I applaud the RCA and Rabbi Goldin for their courage in standing up against pressuring gay youth into these kinds of therapies.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.