(JTA) -- The Orthodox Union issued a statement saying women may not lead Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat services if men are present.
Last week’s decision by the group's board of directors is the latest setback for Orthodox Jews seeking greater roles for women in worship ritual.
“With regard to the matter of a woman leading Kabbalat Shabbat services before an audience of men and women, the position of the Orthodox Union is that such practice is improper and constitutes an unacceptable breach of Jewish tradition," the board said.
Rabbi Avi Weiss’ recent introduction of women-led Kabbalat Shabbat services in his synagogue has produced yet another kerfuffle among his rabbinical colleagues, albeit one significantly subdued when compared with the recent “Rabba” controversy. And Rabbi Michael Broyde, a noted rabbinic scholar, has once again responded with an article that purports to outline the “normative” Orthodox position on Rabbi Weiss’ latest innovation. Not surprisingly, that position is different than Rabbi Weiss’.
With the renewed seasonal outbreak of the Reform-Orthodox wars, I cannot see myself as a mere bystander, inasmuch as the letter by Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar, is addressed to me, as an official town rabbi. (See).
Maybe some Orthodox Jews are feeling “triumphalist” these days, with their high birthrates, high degrees of Jewish literacy and low assimilation rates, but to read the papers lately is to see Orthodoxy as a Palooka getting pummeled in a Pier 6 brawl. Between Chelsea Clinton’s intermarriage and the shelved conversion bill in Israel, the Orthodox are certainly getting the worst of it.
Three leading Modern Orthodox rabbis and personal teachers of mine (Nathaniel Helfgot, Aryeh Klapper, and Yitzchak Blau) recently released a statement of principles on how Orthodoxy can and must relate to homosexuals in our community.
Woman cantor at HIR praised, rapped in new round of Orthodox feminist wars.
This time, in the pitched battle between Rabbi Avi Weiss and the Orthodox establishment, the “rabba” was merely the undercard.
Sara Hurwitz is a spiritual leader at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, and her promotion in March to rabba, a member of the shul’s rabbinic leadership, by Rabbi Weiss set off a brushfire of criticism at HIR and across the Orthodox world. She was at shul as usual last Friday night, but she was hardly the main event.
While the Reform and Conservative movements here mounted campaigns to convince Israeli lawmakers to vote against the proposed conversion bill, the largest group of Orthodox rabbis here said American Jews should keep out of internal Israeli matters.
“The legislation is designed to change nothing regarding North American Jewish issues, a matter which in any event is far less significant to the State of Israel and its citizens than the undoubted benefits that the bill promises,” said the statement by the Rabbinical Council of America.
Bikkurim incubator to support Orthodox women’s seminary headed by Sara Hurwitz.
As the controversy surrounding Sara Hurwitz’s designation as “rabba” continues to swirl in the wake of her being named to Newsweek’s “50 Most Influential Rabbis in America” list, news that the yeshiva she runs to train Orthodox women as spiritual and halachic leaders has been chosen to get financial and nonprofit development support from the incubator Bikkurim was undoubtedly comforting.
Reps of 18 synagogues rally support to make national organization ‘more transparent, accountable and responsive.’
A group of disaffected leaders of 18 Young Israel synagogues has begun soliciting support for constitutional changes that they say would make the National Council of Young Israel “more transparent, accountable and responsive to member branches.”