Rabbi Susan Talve

Meet the Rabbi Who Just Married One of Missouri’s First Legal Gay Couples

Rabbi Susan Talve’s favorite word is chutzpah: shameless audacity. This surprises no one who knows her. The spiritual leader of St. Louis’ Central Reform Congregation has spent the last three decades defying norms. She founded an LGBTQ-welcoming synagogue during the 1980s AIDS crisis; made headlines by offering her synagogue for the ordination ceremony of two Catholic Womenpriests (a move that horrified both the Jewish and Christian communities); and has performed hundreds of illegal same-sex wedding ceremonies in the state with the country’s oldest constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Now, Talve has done something bolder. After both conservative Utah and nearby Indiana toppled their same-sex marriage bans last month, she helped officiate the first four legal same-sex weddings in Missouri. The four marriages, which took place in the offices of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, represent a direct challenge...

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Jew vs. Jew

by Steven Philp In light of the fact that anti-Semitism exists within contemporary society, a large number of Jews devote their time and energy to organizations—like the Anti-Defamation League—that combat intolerance and bigotry. Yet rather than address hatred within our own community, there is a tendency toward finger pointing or—worse—ignoring the issue altogether. Every now and then a case of Jew-on-Jew violence comes to the attention of national media, such as the recent firestorm generated by the assault on Aron Rottenberg in the Skverer Hasidic enclave of New Square, NY. According to an article posted by the Associated Press, Rottenberg claims that Grand Rabbi David Twersky ordered his 18-year-old butler, Shaul Spitzer, to target Rottenberg after he started attending services at a nearby minyan rather than the main synagogue. The May 22 attack left Rottenberg with third...

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