On August 6, the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco introduced the newest member of the school’s University Ministry, “Rabbi-in-Residence” Camille Angel. From the press release:
“For the first time in its 164-year history, the University of San Francisco has appointed a rabbi in residence. She can’t wait to get started.
‘I’m in a unique position to help foster more understanding between peoples who have historically greatly misunderstood one another,’ Rabbi Camille Shira Angel said. ‘In an era when more and more people identify as having no religion, I have the opportunity to introduce an alternative reality as to what religion can look like and include.’
Angel, a ninth-generation rabbi who has taught at USF since 2017, began this week as the university’s Rabbi in Residence, a new position that is shared by University Ministry and the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice.
‘Rabbi Angel’s joint appointment really models the spirit of inclusion, wholeness, and religious diversity that is at the heart of our work,’ said Julie Dowd, director of University Ministry. ‘Camille herself embodies the university’s values of hospitality, justice, and finding God in all things.’”
The appointment was also covered in the Jewish News of Northern California. In an article headlined “Lesbian rabbi is Catholic University of San Francisco’s first rabbi-in-residence” Jewish News reported “’Let me be your rabbi!’ declares Camille Shira Angel, the first rabbi-in-residence at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit Catholic institution, where she has been a longtime adjunct professor in the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice…. The ministry is USF’s religious resource center and makes nondenominational prayer rooms and mentorship opportunities available to students.
The ministry’s director, Julie Dowd, said the residency was designed for Angel, who has been teaching an ethics course called ‘Queering Religion’ for several years. The class covers the history of interaction between religious and LGBTQ communities….Angel seeks to ‘bring an intergenerational gift’ of LGBTQ Jewish knowledge into the classroom and ministry.’”
Jewish Weekly also quoted Fr. Donal Godfrey, SJ: “Father Donal Godfrey, the associate director for faculty and staff spirituality at USF, said Angel helped him explore LGBTQ activism through a Catholic lens, and vice-versa.
‘I learned from Rabbi Angel that I should continue to speak up and own this struggle within my own faith tradition as a Catholic priest,’ Godfrey wrote in an email. ‘Rabbi Angel inspires me to be the best Catholic I can possibly be!’”
Fr. Godfrey, a longtime homosexual activist, is the author of Gays and Grays, the history of San Francisco’s notorious Most Holy Redeemer Church, and from 2000-2015 Angel was on the staff of Congregation Sha’ar Zahav synagogue, San Francisco’s Jewish version of MHR. On December 4, 2007, Dr. Ora Prochovnick, then-President of Sha’ar Zahav, was the speaker at Most Holy Redeemer’s Advent Vespers service.
California Catholic Daily exclusive by Gibbons Cooney.