Golda Och Academy has announced that it will not renew its Boy Scout charter for 2013 because of the national Scouting organization’s policy excluding gay and lesbian adults from leadership positions.
The Conservative Jewish day school in West Orange is the charter organization for Boy Scout Troop 118, started in 1995, and Boy Scout Pack 118 for younger boys, started a few years earlier. In July, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its ban on gays and lesbians.
“[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.”
The decision came after “many, many discussions,” Abby Finkel, GOA coordinator of community partnerships, told NJJN in a phone call. It was spurred by the publicity surrounding the reaffirmation of the policy this year and the growing number of same-sex families at the school.