Conservative Jewish School Ends Boy Scouts Charter Over Anti-Gay Policy
Golda Och Academy, a Conservative Jewish day school in West Orange, New Jersey, announced that they will not renew a charter agreement with the Boy Scouts of America in 2013 because of their policy excluding gay and lesbian adults from leadership positions. The school, which is currently home to Boy Scout Troop 118, wrote in a letter stating that the BSA’s discriminatory policy stands in direct contrast to those of the school’s:
[T]he scouts represent a problematic image for many families,” wrote head of school Joyce Raynor in a letter to parents dated Oct. 17. The policy of the BSA “to exclude same-sex families from membership and adult volunteerism is in direct contradiction of School policies, which place high value on inclusion,” wrote Raynor. “It has been decided that GOA cannot act as the sponsor organization until that national policy changes.
Scout master Mike Schatzberg and assistant Scout master Rabbi Lisa Vernon were uncritical of the school’s decision: “[The school has been] above board with us the whole time and told us they were seriously considering this step,” said Vernon. Meeting with NJJN. The scout couple also said called the current policy “terrible” and “egregious.” “There are lots of good people involved in Scouting who believe [the BSA’s] policy is wrong,” said Vernon, adding that she believes “it should be a unit by unit decision.” [NJJN]