Rabbinical Council of America

‘Rabba’ Appearance Stirs Up Controversy

06/30/2010

Rabba Sara Hurwitz of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, who was invited to speak at the Young Israel of Hewlett on a Shabbat several weeks ago, has come and gone. But a flare-up over her title continues to reverberate in the Five Towns community, prompting rabbis and others there to lash out at each other.

Accused Pedophile To Resign From Queens Rabbinical Board

In agreement with Vaad, Rabbi Ephraim Bryks to leave in October; officials decline to state reasons.

06/29/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

A Queens rabbi who has been dogged by allegations of sexual abuse against children, but never charged with a crime, has reached a negotiated agreement to leave the Rabbinical Board of Queens in the fall, The Jewish Week has learned.

Rabbi Ephraim Bryks: Leaves Vaad under a cloud.

Jewish Activists Sail Flotilla For Shalit To UN’s Backyard

06/24/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

Waving Israeli and U.S. flags and posters of Gilad Shalit, hundreds of Jewish activists on eight ships sailed up the East River to the United Nations on Thursday to call for action on behalf of the Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas for four years.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations organized two large passenger boats and several groups joined the flotilla on sailboats and other pleasure craft as it rounded lower Manhattan from the West Side. The flotilla set sail on the eve of the fourth anniversary of Shalit’s capture.

Photo: Michael Datikash

Jewish Community Still Behind On Confronting Abuse

06/22/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

As someone who has worked with numerous survivors of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community over the past 10 years, I have been privileged to bear witness to the stories of people who, after having their voices taken away from them, become able to speak for the first time, in the course of their healing, about the horrors they have endured. 

Ms. Maimonides: How Orthodox Women Will Be Accepted As Rabbis

06/08/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Some Jewish community leaders expressed disappointment over the recent resolution of the Rabbinical Council of America, the leading Modern Orthodox rabbinic association, opposing the ordination of women. By contrast, I was greatly encouraged by the RCA resolution that called for the creation of “halachically and communally appropriate professional opportunities” for women scholars.

Slippery Halachic Slope

05/25/2010

Francine Klagsbrun (Opinion, May 14) both misunderstands Orthodox Judaism and unintentionally strengthens the Rabbinical Council of America’s rationale for stating that “regardless of title” a woman cannot be a member of the Orthodox rabbinate.

Judaism, in the eyes of Orthodox Jews, has always encompassed much more than codified laws. It includes the judgments of a broad consensus of rabbinic leaders about what is Jewishly proper, particularly when Jews are faced with new social or political circumstances and movements.

Women Rabbis: A Conservative View Of An Orthodox Decision

05/11/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

In the book of Genesis, God allows Adam to create names for all the beasts and birds in existence. With that powerful act, the first man establishes the identity of every earthly creature. From then on the image and function of a whale or a dove would always be tied to its name.

The Dirty Truth About Orthodox Women Rabbis

The rejection of women rabbis and "rabbas" by the Rabbinical Council of America is "chilling," feminists tell us.

Really? In what way? What exactly can't Modern Orthodox women do, according to the new understanding, that has anyone chilled?

Can Orthodox women publish books, essay and spiritual insights on religious life, and be a leader in that way? Yes.

Can they do pastoral work, visiting hospitals, teaching bat mitzvahs, and counseling anyone? Yes.

RCA Finds Consensus For Deepening Women’s Roles

But many questions left unanswered.

04/27/2010
Editor and Publisher

After much debate and despite predictions of a schism, the Rabbinical Council of America, the nation’s largest group of Orthodox rabbis, this week approved without dissent a carefully balanced resolution on women’s communal roles in Orthodox Jewish life.

The statement affirms a longstanding prohibition of women rabbis but allows congregational rabbis flexibility in determining appropriate roles for women in their synagogues and communities.

One Step Forward

04/27/2010

The leadership of the Rabbinical Council of America expressed great pride in passing a resolution this week among hundreds of member rabbis, without opposition, on the delicate and contentious issue of women’s leadership roles in the Orthodox synagogue and community. One could attribute the achievement to the two months spent by the committee in laying the groundwork for consensus; a cynic might argue the resolution was approved overwhelmingly because it was so pareve. There’s truth in both points of view.
 

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