Orthodox Rabbis’ Group Mandates Prenup To Prevent ‘Chained’ Wives

09/28/2016 - 11:31

The Rabbinical Council of America will mandate its member rabbis to require couples to sign a prenuptial agreement ensuring that husbands will not withhold a “get,” or Jewish writ of divorce, from their wives.

The agreement, commonly referred to as a “halachic prenup,” generally penalizes the husband financially for refusing to give the get.

Members at a RCA Conference in New York in 2014. JTA

On Rabbi Lookstein’s Judgment

07/18/2016 - 16:03

I was privileged to have Rabbi Lookstein as a teacher during my rabbinic studies at Yeshiva University. While his class met only one day a week for a year, the practical advice that he offered was based on Torah scholarship, his many years of experience and his desire to mentor a next generation of Jewish leaders.

Rabbi Shalom Baum

Teaneck Rabbi Downplays Campus Rape Problem, Prompting Anger

04/14/2016 - 10:47

An Orthodox women’s group is calling for the ouster of a Teaneck rabbi from a synagogue conference after he penned a blog post dismissive of the problem of rape on college campuses.

Weighing in on the debate about rape culture on college campuses, an Orthodox rabbi from New Jersey prompted controversy. JTA

RCA Bans Female Rabbis, Again; Agudath Goes Further

Moves come in wake of developments in Israel.

11/03/2015 - 19:00
Staff Writer

The Rabbinical Council of America, the largest group of Orthodox rabbis, reaffirmed its position against the ordination of women in a resolution issued last Friday that reiterated nearly identical statements made in 2010 and 2013.

Yeshivat Maharat awards smicha to its graduates in June 2015. Courtesy of Yeshivat Maharat

On Restating That Women Rabbis Are Taboo

11/02/2015 - 19:00

One can only wonder at the single-minded focus and dedication of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the largest body of Orthodox rabbis in North America, to passionately pursue, comment on and pass resolutions on the key issues facing Modern Orthodoxy, and perhaps American and world Jewry today.

Post-Freundel, New 'Gold Standard' For Conversion

In response to mikvah scandal, committee urges sensitizing rabbis to conversion students’ concerns.

07/07/2015 - 20:00
Staff Writer

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.

Mandel spoke of her increasing disillusionment with Orthodoxy.

In Protest, Rabbi Avi Weiss Leaves RCA

Cites failure of Orthodox rabbinic group to admit Chovevei Torah graduates.

06/29/2015 - 20:00
Staff Writer

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.

‘Behavior Unacceptable For A Rabbi’

Hamptons rabbi blames expulsion on mail snafu, not affair.

06/15/2015 - 20:00

If Rabbi Marc Schneier’s account of his expulsion from the Rabbinical Council of America is to be believed, he owes his ouster to failures of the U.S. Postal Service.

Rabbi Marc Schneier said he is “very, very hurt” by expulsion from the Rabbinical Council of America. JTA

You, Not Rabbis, Have The Power To Stop Rabbinic Abuse

06/09/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

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.

Rabbi Rebuked For ‘Nazi’ Reference

RCA says Teaneck leader's use of ‘Der Sturmer’ to criticize The Jewish Week ‘crosses the line of decency.’

11/10/2014 - 19:00

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.

Rabbi Leonard Matanky, right, president of the Rabbinical Council of America, and Rabbi Steven Pruzansky.
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