- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The leader of the District’s largest conservative synagogue has come out as a gay man.

Senior Rabbi Gil Steinlauf informed members of Adas Israel Congregation that after years and with the help of his wife, Batya, he came to understand “that I could walk my path with the greatest strength, with the greatest peace in my heart, with the greatest healing and wholeness, when I finally acknowledged that I am a gay man.”

In his email, Rabbi Steinlauf said that despite growing up “with a difference I recognized in myself,” it did not define who he was, and so he married a woman.

“Together, we have shared a love so deep and real, and together we have built a loving home with our [three] children,” he said. “But my inner struggle never did go away.”

Rabbi Steinlauf joined the synagogue in 2008 after serving as rabbi of Temple Israel in New Jersey. He’s a member of the Washington Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

“The truth is that, like anyone else, I have no choice but to live with the reality, or personal Torah, of my life,” Rabbi Steinlauf said in his letter. “I hope and pray too that I will be the best father, family member, rabbi, friend and human being I can be now that I have resolved a decadeslong struggle.”

In a statement posted to the synagogue’s website, Congregation President Arnold Podgorsky said Rabbi Steinlauf had his full support as well as the support of the congregation leadership.

“Our synagogue is strong, large and inclusive — a big tent with room and respect for all,” Mr. Podgorsky said.

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