|Access and Provenance||
A Finding Aid to the
Selig Salkowitz Papers
Manuscript Collection No. 725
1963-2000. 2.4 Linear ft.
ACCESS AND PROVENANCEThe Selig Salkowtiz Papers were donated to the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives by Selig Salkowitz in 2001. Additional materials were donated in 2008.
Property rights are assigned to the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives. All literary rights to materials authored by Rabbi Salkowitz are held by him. Literary rights to materials authored by others are held by the individual author or his/her heirs. Questions concerning rights should be directed to the Executive Director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.
Access to the Salkowitz Papers requires the permission of the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH top
Selig Salkowitz was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1929. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1950. He attended Hebrew Union College where he received a Bachelor of Hebrew Letters degree in 1952 and a Masters of Hebrew Letters degree in 1954. Salkowitz later earned a Doctorate of Divinity at the New York Theological Seminary in 1970. In addition, he did independent study at the Oxford Center for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies, and he obtained a Certificate in Pastoral Counseling from the Post Graduate Center for Mental Health in New York City.
Rabbi Salkowitz served as a Navy chaplain from 1954-1974, doing active duty in the Mariannas Islands from 1954-1956, and reserve duty in the U.S. from 1956-1974. He also served on the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) Chaplaincy Committee as well as on the National Jewish Welfare Board's Commission on Jewish Chaplaincy.
Salkowitz's other committee work for CCAR included chairing the important Committee on Homosexuality in the Rabbinate (1986-1990) and co-chairing the Committee on Human Sexuality (1993-2000). Both these committees explored questions of the place of gays and lesbians in the Reform movement, debating both inclusion in the rabbinate and whether to officiate and recognize marriages between same-sex couples. At the recommendation of the Committee on Homosexuality in the Rabbinate, the CCAR adopted a resolution in 1990 allowing openly gay and lesbian rabbis in the Reform rabbinate. In 2000, the CCAR adopted a resolution in support of rabbis who chose to officiate at same-sex ceremonies.
During his career as a pulpit rabbi, Dr. Salkowitz served Temple Beth El in Providence, Rhode Island (1956-1958), Temple Avoda, Fair Lawn, New Jersey (1958-1988) and Union temple of Brooklyn, NY (1988-1992). He was also interim rabbi at Temple Israel of Stockton, CA, (1992-1993).
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE top
The Selig Salkowitz Papers (1963-2000) consist of minutes, correspondence, reports, nearprint, and working papers associated with Salkowitz's service on several important committees of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) including the Committee on the Chaplaincy, the Committee on Homosexuality in the Rabbinate, and the Committee on Human Sexuality. The papers are organized into three series as follows:
SERIES A: CCAR COMMITTEE ON THE CHAPLAINCY
SERIES B: CCAR COMMITTEE ON HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE RABBINATE
SERIES C: CCAR COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SEXUALITY
SERIES D: ADDED MATERIALS 
Series A includes materials documenting Rabbi Salkowitz's service in the Navy as a Jewish chaplain from 1963 thru 1974. Records include general correspondence, correspondence with chaplains, reports, minutes of the CCAR Chaplaincy Committee, minutes of the National Jewish Welfare Board's Commission on Jewish Chaplaincy, surveys, and working papers. Salkowtiz was involved with recruitment of Jewish chaplains during the Vietnam War era and the records reflect some of the struggles and conflicts experienced by the Reform rabbinate during that time. Span dates for the series are 1963 thru 1975.
Papers in Series B document the work of the CCAR Committee on Homosexuality in the Rabbinate. Included are meeting minutes, extensive correspondence and e-mails, surveys, nearprint, journal articles, newsclippings, and working papers. The committee, formerly called Ad Hoc Committee on Homosexuality, was chaired by Salkowitz and was charged with studying, gathering background information, and presenting recommendations on the question of ordaining openly gay and lesbian rabbis in the Reform movement. Span dates are 1986-1990.
Series C includes materials from Salkowitz's work on the Committee on Human Sexuality, which he co-chaired. Records from this committee reflect work on the question of sanctioning same-sex unions in the Reform movement. Included are minutes, correspondence, survey responses, and nearprint. Also included in this series is a small amount of material from his earlier work with the Committee on Family Life and the Sub-Committee on Jewish Sexual Values. Span dates for the series are 1977-2000.
BOX AND FOLDER LIST topBox Folder Contents SERIES A: CCAR COMMITTEE ON THE CHAPLAINCY Correspondence, reports, minutes. 1 1 1963-1967. 2 1968-1969. 3 1970. 4 1971. 5 1972-1973. 2 1 1974-1975. 2 Responses to CCAR Chaplaincy Committee surveys. 1971. 3 Chaplaincy Commission of the Rabbinical Association of Bergen County (NJ). 1966-1975. 4 Liaison Committee. 1966-1967, 1975. 5 Correspondence with chaplains. 1971-1972. 6 Yodovin, Ira S. 1970-1971. 7 Lay Leadership Committee. 1972-1976. 8 Chaplaincy reports. 1970-1972. 9 Recruitment. 1969-1973. SERIES B: CCAR COMMITTEE ON HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE RABBINATE 3 1 Minutes. Ad Hoc Committee on Homosexuality. 1987-1989. 2 Correspondence. Ad Hoc Committee on Homosexuality. 1986. Correspondence, reports, minutes. Committee on Homosexuality in the Rabbinate. 3 Jan. - April, 1987. 4 May - Dec., 1987. 5 1988. 4 1 Jan. - June, 1989. 2 July - Dec., 1989. 3 Jan. - May, 1990. 4 June - Dec., 1990. 5 Undated. 6 Final report. 1990. 7 Nearprint re: Judaism and Homosexuality. 1987. 8 Newsclippings re: CCAR Resolution on Homosexuality in the Rabbinate. 1990. SERIES C: CCAR COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SEXUALITY 5 1 Committee on Family Life. 1977-1983. 2 Subcommittee on Jewish Sexual Values. 1978-1982. Committee on Human Sexuality. 3 1993-1995. 4 1996-1997. 5 1998-1999. 6 2000. 7 Breakout session responses. 1996. SERIES D. ADDED MATERIALS (2008) 6 1 Conference Responsum Committee on Homosexuality. Correspondence. 1977-1979. see Series B. 2 CCAR Committee on Homosexuality. Correspondence, Responsa. 1978. see Series B. 3 Committee on Family Life. Correspondence, Responsa. 1978-1980. see Series C. 4 Nearprint. Homosexual Clergy. 1979. see Series B. 5 Sexuality Questionnaire and Correspondence. 1979-1980. See Series C. 6 A Rabbi's Guide to Adoption. Inc. Correspondence. 1979. see Series C. 7 CCAR Conference on Judaism and Sexual Values. Pre- Conference Correspondence. 1981. 8 CCAR Conference on Judaism and Sexual Values. Correspondence. 1981-1982. 9 CCAR Conference on Judaism and Sexual Values. November 1981. Papers.* 10 National Conference on Jewish Population Growth. 1983. Correspondence, Minutes. 11 In-Service Training. Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, And Forgiveness. 1992. Correspondence, Nearprint. 12 National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Jewish Women's Domestic Violence Information Packet. 1993. *Papers Presented at the CCAR Conference on Judaism and Sexual Values. November 1981. Adolescent Sexuality - Sex Education. By Walter Jacob. Report of the Workshop on Adolescent Sexuality and Sex Education. Is there a Reform Response to Homosexuality? By Rabbi Rav A. Soloff. Homosexuality. By Dr. Sol Gordon. Marital Sex as Viewed by the Rabbis of the Talmud. By Bernard M. Zlotowitz. Our Declining Population - The Need for a Jewish Communal Response. By Judith E. Zimmerman. Jewish Population Growth. By Henry A. Roth. Talk given by Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Talk given by Dr. Sol Gordon. Sex outside of Marriage. By Rabbi Leonard Kravitz. Reading the Jewish Tradition on Marital Sexuality. By Eugene B. Borowitz. Jewish Sexual Ethics: A Bibliography of Periodical Literature for the Period 1975-1979. By S. Radwine. Understanding and Relating to Sexual Issues: the Rabbi's Role.top
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