“I’ve turned gray waiting for UJA to make this conference,” said Shelly Weiss, a longtime LGBTQ activist. She was referring to UJA-Federation of New York’s first-ever conference focused on the Jewish gay, lesbian, transgender and queer community, which took place last month at the charity’s headquarters on East 59th Street.
The recent Chag HaSemicha (holiday of ordination) in Washington Heights, with 230 rabbinic graduates of Yeshiva University (classes 2011-14) taking center stage, was a much-needed shot in the arm for an embattled institution, and a reminder of its vitality and importance in the American Jewish community.
Rabbi Avi Weiss' recent essay distorts the Rav's position on centralized rabbinic authority.
Rabbi Menachem Penner
In his essay opposing central religious authority (“In the Legacy of the Rav,” Opinion, March 14), Rabbi Avi Weiss misuses the fact that the revered Rosh Yeshiva of Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik would occasionally ask young rabbis who came to him, “What do you think?”
On the streets of Washington Heights and inside the Nathan Lamport Auditorium on the Yeshiva University campus, the YU community on Sunday marked the largest number of rabbis it has ever ordained on one day.
Modern Orthodoxy is modern, but it is also Orthodox, writes a Yeshiva University professor.
Steven Bayme, whose devotion to serving the Jewish community over a long career deserves the highest regard, has written an Opinion piece (“Modern Orthodoxy at the Crossroads,” The Jewish Week, March 7) that requires the attention of everyone concerned about the future of this critically important movement.
The movement tries both to preserve rabbinic authority and allow for intellectual freedom and the expression of diverse viewpoints.
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Thankfully, the recent controversy at Yeshiva University over a rabbinical student who had held a private “partnership minyan” in his home has been resolved satisfactorily, and hopefully without harm either to the student or to the critically important institution that he attends. Cooler heads, fortunately, have prevailed. Yet the fact of the controversy itself raises broader questions concerning the future directions of Modern Orthodoxy and its role within the American Jewish community.
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