Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the congregational arm of Reform Judaism, has addressed the urgent need for the Reform Movement to look closely at the way in which sex education is taught from the perspective of Jewish ethics. "Our kids desperately need our direction in this area but too often we do not provide it," he says, "The issue is the ethics of relationship and sexuality."
On April 29, 2008, HUC-JIR/LA students participated in Teaching Inclusive Jewish Sexual Ethics, a lunch-and-learn program co-sponsored by HUC-JIR's Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation (IJSO) and the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health.
Rabbi Deborah Schuldenfrei, an HUC-JIR rabbinical, communal service, and education alumna, taught the program based on her rabbinic thesis, which dealt with teaching teenagers ethical decision-making. The IJSO updated a values document, created by the Central Conference of American Rabbis Committee on Jewish Sexual Values, to be explicitly inclusive of and welcoming to the LGBT community.
Rabbi Julie Pelc, Assistant Director for the Kalsman Institute, reports that Kalsman and IJSO staff will work with the HUC-JIR Pastoral Education Taskforce to integrateTeaching Inclusive Jewish Sexual Ethics into HUC-JIR curricula.