He was very influential on both my sons bar mitzvahs as teacher and mentor, said Kol Ami Emanu-El President Calvin Helitzer.
There is no one who I could imagine working with who is more professional, caring and innovative. My greatest wish is that Cantor Goldman will remain with our congregation until hes ready to call an end to his career.
Goldman said he sees Reform Judaism as the antithesis to many traditional kinds of religions that gay people shy away from. If you said the word religious its a dirty word almost in the gay community.
Reform Judaism has welcomed gay congregants for many years, and many Conservative congregations have begun embracing LGBT people.
Hebrew Union College, which is the training school for rabbis and cantors, has graduated transsexual rabbis, Goldman said. The movement is definitely cutting edge, forward thinking and its something Im very, very proud to be a part of, especially in terms of religious movements and organizations. They dont always get very good press in terms of the gay community.
Goldman said he has had many important life discussions with congregation members, including youngsters just coming out.
I felt very happy that I could be a good role model for the kids, he said. There are a number of kids who have come out, that Ive taught or spoken to over the years.
I suddenly think that my relationship, my openness about who I am to the congregation, to them and their families, has been a very positive influence to them. Also the way in which Ive been completely accepted by the congregation, to the point where my partner is recognized as my spouse and sits next to the rabbis wife.