AJWS Commends Rabbi David Wolpe’s Commitment to LGBTI Rights

LOS ANGELES, CA — American Jewish World Service Los Angeles Executive Director Allison Lee released the following statement today commending Rabbi David Wolpe’s recent decision to perform same-sex marriages at his Los Angeles synagogue.

“I applaud Rabbi David Wolpe’s decision to marry same-sex couples,” said Allison Lee, who directs AJWS’ office in Los Angeles. “More than 80 percent of American Jews support same-sex marriage and Rabbi Wolpe’s practice reflects that sentiment. As our ancestors taught us, to save one life is to save a world. If Rabbi Wolpe helps just one couple live a fulfilled married life or one person feel comfortable coming out in their community, then he will have made a real difference.”

“It is never easy to take bold positions that challenge the beliefs of members of one’s community,” said Lee. “The willingness to do so is the mark of a true leader. I applaud Rabbi Wolpe’s decision to perform same-sex marriages despite an unusually high degree of concern within his congregation. AJWS stands with Rabbi Wolpe, just as he stands with people who suffer needlessly simply because of who they are.”

As a partner of American Jewish World Service, Rabbi Wolpe works to raise awareness among American Jews about the inviolable nature of human rights for people of all sexual orientations worldwide. In October, Rabbi Wolpe will travel with an AJWS study tour to Thailand as the rabbi-in-residence, leading a group of American Jews in understanding how their traditions compel them to respect the essential dignity of every person.

AJWS is the eighth largest funder of LGBTI rights worldwide. AJWS has granted nearly $5 million to support advocates for LGBTI rights and currently funds 50 organizations promoting the rights of LGBTI people in 18 countries.

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