Boy Scouts OK again at Reform synagogues

Reform Jewish leaders lifted a 14-year recommendation against synagogues having Boy Scout troops.

The change of heart announced Aug. 5 came in response to an announcement two days earlier by the Boy Scouts of America that it was canceling its policy of banning gay adults from being scout leaders and other employees.

In 2001, shortly after the Supreme Court upheld the Boy Scouts’ right to ban gay employees, the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism recommended that the nearly 300 Reform synagogues that sponsored or hosted Boy Scouts troops sever ties with the organization. The recommendation had remained in force until now.

According to the Religion Action Center, an advocacy group governed by the Commission on Social Action, the “vast majority” of American Reform synagogues parted ways with their Boy Scouts troops in line with its recommendation.

The commission, which is made up of Reform Jewish leaders and rabbis and based in Washington, D.C., issued a new policy saying that synagogues should feel free to re-affiliate with the Boy Scouts in light of the policy change. — jta