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.
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.
Orthodox rabbis seek ‘consensus’ resolution at meeting; will it satisfy anyone?
Editor And Publisher
As the controversy over women’s roles within Modern Orthodoxy has roiled over the past few months, the leadership of the largest body of Orthodox rabbis in the U.S. has consistently pointed to its upcoming national conference as the time for sorting out, dealing with and resolving the thorny issue.
Now, on the eve of the Rabbinical Council of America’s convention — and with women edging closer to rabbinic duties in some high-profile synagogues — some members suggest expectations may be too high.
The RCA doesn’t like the way Avi has been spinning things, he’s been talking too loudly and defiantly, saying that he came away with a victory – about anything. So now the word “maharat” has to go, not just “rabba.” Both the RCA and Agudah are in agreement that Hebrew Institute itself will now have to decide if it is Orthodox or not. This is no longer about Avi alone.
A group of Jewish parents in Bergen County whose application to establish a Hebrew-language charter school was recently turned down by the New Jersey School Board has started discussions with its local Board of Education for a Hebrew-language track in a public school.
A no-frills day school is the third proposal by parents in New Jersey’s Bergen County this year to offer intensive but affordable Jewish education.
The initiative, outlined last week at an “exploratory meeting” in Englewood, would establish a day school with an annual tuition below $10,000, larger class size than at most day schools, and fewer costly expenditures like extracurricular activities and state-of-the-art technology.
In response to sharp criticism by some right-wing Orthodox rabbis who charged that the Wye accords violate Jewish law, a group of Modern Orthodox rabbis this week issued a counter statement saying that last month’s deal between Israel and the Palestinians is indeed religiously legal.
The group, Shvil Hazahav, gathered the signatures of 28 Modern Orthodox rabbis to support an unequivocal statement asserting that the Wye deal does not violate Jewish law, or halacha.
Striking out at a controversial new religious divorce court that says it has freed more than 150 women from recalcitrant husbands, a group of 31 mainstream Orthodox rabbis has denounced the bet din as illegitimate.
On a cold April night two years ago, Alan Dutka stood on the roof of his Teaneck, N.J., apartment building and jumped.
The suicide of this bright, devout former Yeshiva University student who for eight years had suffered from schizophrenia belied the belief that religious Jews don't suffer from psychiatric illness, that it is a scourge of "the outside world."