Shorts: U.S.

Conservatives don’t change gay policy

baltimore (jta) | The Conservative movement’s policy on homosexuality will remain unchanged until at least December.

During a two-day meeting of the Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, which ended Wednesday, March 8, the four authors seeking new rulings on the status of homosexuality in the movement were asked to make revisions to their proposal in advance of a vote on the issue in December.

Reform group wins WZO elections

new york (jta) | The Association of Reform Zionists of America easily won elections for the American slate to the World Zionist Organization’s 35th Congress of the Jewish People.

ARZA took home just over 38 percent of the 75,686 votes cast, garnering it 55 delegates to the June congress in Israel.

The group was followed by the Religious Zionist Slate, which won 24 percent and 35 delegates; Mercaz U.S.A., the Zionist organization of the Conservative Movement, which won 22 percent and 32 delegates; and the Zionist Organization of America, which won 3.4 percent and five delegates.

Rabbis press Bush on Hamas support

new york (jta) | Nearly 400 rabbis signed a letter to President Bush urging him to maintain indirect assistance to the Palestinians and “constructive engagement” with the Palestinian government.

The letter comes as Congress considers bills that would severely restrict aid to the Palestinians in the wake of the Hamas victory, a terrorist group, in Palestinian Authority legislative elections.

Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, a left-wing grass-roots group, organized the letter, which has garnered signatures from Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist rabbis.

Farrakhan provokes Illinois commission members to quit

chicago (ap/jta) | Five Jewish members of the Illinois Governor’s Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes have resigned rather than serve alongside Sister Claudette Marie Muhammad, aide to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Jewish and gay lawmakers have called for Muhammad to disavow Farrakhan’s comments or step down from the commission.

Muhammad recently invited commission members to a Nation of Islam event where Farrakhan said that “false Jews promote the filth of Hollywood” and homosexuality. He also predicted that Israel was “going to be cleansed with blood” because of a gay pride parade held in Jerusalem.