The rabbi of the Technion synagogue, Rabbi Dr. Elad Dukov, has provoked a storm of controversy after writing a post seen as critical of the Technion's LGBT community on the synagogue's WhatsApp group. The post referred to a party organized by the LGBT community on Tuesday evening, immediately prior to Holocaust Memorial Day.
The Yediot Aharonot newspaper quoted Rabbi Dr. Dukov as writing: "The decision to hold this party was crass and insolent and in the opposite spirit to that which should prevail on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, a day when we remember the dreadful Holocaust during which the Jewish People gave up their lives and fought against those who tried to destroy us. Our ancient and long-standing determination to preserve our Jewish spirit has not been easy, but thank G-d throughout the years we have merited to preserve this Jewish spirit on the campus, as far as possible. To my regret, they are taking a very aggressive position, one that silences all opposition, but I am convinced that the majority of those on campus, even those who are not religious, are uncomfortable with this insolent party involving between 50 and 80 people, especially given its timing."
Rabbi Dukov also expressed his support of a student group calling itself, "Preserving the family," which was established by Technion students in opposition to the "pride" group.
Representatives of that "pride" group responded: "The wording of the rabbi's post should disturb everyone. Defining a party of a group of students as insolent, crass, and aggressive simply because of their sexual orientation is a homophobic and racist crime. The rabbi supports joining this other group and thereby exploits his influence on campus to create divisions between students. This is incitement against the LGBT community. At a time when there are those who seek to divide, we will continue to work to attract people and bring people closer to one another. At a time when others try to work against us in the name of religion, we will continue to cooperate with religious and non-religious organizations."
The administration of the Technion was also critical of Rabbi Dukov, issuing a statement saying: "His words are in complete contradiction to the spirit of the Technion which prides itself on supporting equality and accepting everyone regardless of his social, national, religious, or sectoral identity. His statements represent his personal opinion which we categorically reject. The Technion rejects any organization of students designed to oppose other students, and is determined to continue to serve as an example of tolerance in Israeli society."