Orthodox Judaism

Fresh Anger From Diaspora Over Bill On Conversions

Politics trumps unity as leaders here, Sharansky express sense of betrayal.
07/14/2010
Editor And Publisher

 It’s hard not to be cynical about the latest conversion controversy in Jerusalem that threatens to further divide an already fragmented Jewish People for no reason but one: internal Israeli politics.

Gary Rosenblatt

Yeshivat Maharat Gets ‘Seal Of Approval’

Bikkurim incubator to support Orthodox women’s seminary headed by Sara Hurwitz.
07/13/2010
Staff Writer

 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. 

Rabba Sara Hurwitz: “Validation for our work.”

Disaffected Synagogue Leaders Push For Change In Young Israel

Reps of 18 synagogues rally support to make national organization ‘more transparent, accountable and responsive.’
07/06/2010
Staff Writer

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.”

Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse

Young Israel Movement In Turmoil Over Upstate Shul

No-confidence vote in leadership sought after threat to expel Syracuse synagogue.
06/30/2010
Staff Writer

In the wake of an unprecedented move by the National Council of Young Israel to expel a member congregation in upstate Syracuse, a rebellion is brewing among some of the Orthodox congregations affiliated with the movement.

The challenge to the National Council surfaced during a conference call last Thursday with representatives of the organization’s nearly 150 member congregations.

‘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.

Time To Make Room for Women In The Orthodox Religious Hierarchy

06/29/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

One of the biggest challenges facing Orthodox Jewish communities is rarely spoken about publicly. By admitting women into the cadre of the religious hierarchy, those who traditionally hold this place must make room to allow new members to be part of their ranks. It comes as no surprise that those in power are reluctant to relinquish it and evoke women’s modesty, biology or formal position naming issues to hinder the negotiation between present demands and past traditions.

Discrimination Within Orthodoxy?

06/25/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Last week, thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews came out for mass protests across Israel. What was the contested issue: defense for Israel? Support of Agunot? Parents against child molestation? An end to violating business ethics and Israeli law? Not in the least bit. Sadly, this mass protest, the largest of its kind in years, was for the right to keep Sephardim out of Ashkenazi schools.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

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. 

World Zionist Congress: There Has to be a Better Way

06/18/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

I probably should wait a few days before writing this article. It would, undoubtedly, come out much less hot and bothered if I did. But deadlines being what they are, I am obliged to write it now. I apologize in advance- I think- if it offends certain sensibilities...

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

A Decade Later, More Willingness To Confront Rabbinic Abuse

‘Watershed’ Lanner expose has led to communal efforts to deal with improper sexual behavior.
06/16/2010
Editor and Publisher

The tenth anniversary of the public exposure in these pages of the “Lanner scandal” provides an opportunity to reflect on, and appreciate, how much has changed for the better in the last decade in responding to rabbinic sexual abuse. 

With it all, though, communal vigilance is still vital because the problem remains, as do the impulses to overlook or cover up allegations of wrongdoing in high places. And there are voices in the community calling for putting ethical standards in place in synagogues, schools and camps.

Gary Rosenblatt
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