In response to mikvah scandal, committee urges sensitizing rabbis to conversion students’ concerns.
Two months after the sentencing of mikvah-voyeur Rabbi Barry Freundel, the Orthodox community’s leading rabbinical council has released what it calls the new “gold standard” for preventing rabbinic abuses of power during the conversion process.
Cites failure of Orthodox rabbinic group to admit Chovevei Torah graduates.
Rabbi Avi Weiss, the maverick Modern Orthodox spiritual leader who has distanced himself from that movement in recent decades by forming his own “Open Orthodox” rabbinical school and ordaining women, this week cut his ties with Modern Orthodoxy’s mainstream rabbinical group in protest.
I want to share a secret about American Orthodox rabbis: We have no power. We serve at the pleasure of lay leaders who sign our paychecks. We often live in homes we do not own. With relatively few exceptions, we are employed under contracts that must be renewed every few years. If we make a few false moves or anger the wrong laypeople, our contracts can be bought out or it can otherwise be made clear that we are no longer wanted, that our time here is up.
RCA says Teaneck leader's use of ‘Der Sturmer’ to criticize The Jewish Week ‘crosses the line of decency.’
The president of the Rabbinical Council of America this week issued a rebuke to a colleague for making comments that appeared to compare The Jewish Week to Der Sturmer, the official and virulently anti-Semitic Nazi newspaper.
New conversion roles for women provoke pro and con responses within Orthodox community.
Last Thursday night, a meeting at Drisha Institute, a local program of advanced Jewish textual study for women, attracted an eclectic crowd of 45 community members, clergymen and women rabbinical students. The topic du jour was boundaries on rabbinic authority, and the mood was upbeat.
Even a well-intentioned system can be abused; responsible action must be taken to maintain its integrity.
Rabbi Shmuel Goldin
Special To The Jewish Week
Much public comment and debate have been generated in the wake of the shocking arrest of Rabbi Barry Freundel on deeply disturbing charges of voyeurism, including upon conversion candidates. For its part, the Rabbinical Council America (RCA) promptly moved to announce the formation of a committee that I will chair to review its Geirus Policies and Standards (GPS), the guidelines that govern its network of conversion courts. As this committee begins its deliberations, it is important to provide the greater Jewish community with appropriate context and perspective for this important initiative.
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky resigns from Bergen County Beit Din one day after RCA announces new conversion committee.
A member of the executive committee of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) has resigned as head of the conversion court of Bergen County, NJ following the RCA's appointment of a new conversion committee, which consists of six men and five women.