Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

Minyans, Synagogues In New Dynamic

Once at odds, the two groups now seen reinforcing each other.

04/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

His students have left, and Steven Exler is taking a moment to reflect. He’s just finished his session, presented to representatives of independent prayer minyanim, on how to comfort mourners. It’s a pastoral role that Exler, associate rabbi at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, has performed countless times.

Now, he wonders what’s next.

“There’s sort of a moment of fear,” said Exler, 29. “Am I teaching people to make myself obsolete? I struggle with that question.”

Hadar’s Elie Kaunfer: Cross-fertilization with synagogues.

RCA Finds Consensus For Deepening Women’s Roles

But many questions left unanswered.

04/27/2010
Editor and Publisher

After much debate and despite predictions of a schism, the Rabbinical Council of America, the nation’s largest group of Orthodox rabbis, this week approved without dissent a carefully balanced resolution on women’s communal roles in Orthodox Jewish life.

The statement affirms a longstanding prohibition of women rabbis but allows congregational rabbis flexibility in determining appropriate roles for women in their synagogues and communities.

RCA Set To Rule On Women’s Roles

Orthodox rabbis seek ‘consensus’ resolution at meeting; will it satisfy anyone?

04/20/2010
Editor And Publisher

As the controversy over women’s roles within Modern Orthodoxy has roiled over the past few months, the leadership of the largest body of Orthodox rabbis in the U.S. has consistently pointed to its upcoming national conference as the time for sorting out, dealing with and resolving the thorny issue.

Now, on the eve of the Rabbinical Council of America’s convention — and with women edging closer to rabbinic duties in some high-profile synagogues — some members suggest expectations may be too high.

Rabba Sara Hurwitz: Pioneering role.

Jewish Music That Doesn’t Kid Around

With her ‘Shir Fun’ classes and albums, singer Dafna Israel-Kotok
is at the forefront of a new type of Jewish children’s edu-tainment.

04/13/2010
Associate Editor

On a Wednesday morning shortly before Passover, in a sunny room overlooking the Henry Hudson Parkway, Dafna Israel-Kotok is in her element.

Joyously shaking her long, straight black hair as she plays guitar and sings for about 10 small children and their moms, the 30-something Sabra musician freely alternates between English and her native Hebrew.

Dafna Israel-Kotok: Kids music “you can grow with.” Photo courtesy of Shir Fun

Rabba’s Bat Mitzvah

04/07/2010

 I offer the following in response to your editorial regarding Rabbi Avi Weiss (“Orthodox Women Rabbis,” March 12).

Beyond The Rabba-Rousing

Lost in the furor over Sara Hurwitz’s title is the broader issue of women’s roles within Modern Orthodoxy.

03/24/2010
Staff Writer

 Dina Najman, rosh kehila (head of the congregation) at Kehilat Orach Eliezer on the Upper West Side, spends a majority of her day answering halachic questions, teaching classes expounding upon Jewish texts and counseling couples and individuals who are having personal difficulties. Her male rabbinic colleagues often consult with her on questions of bioethics, her area of expertise.

The bulk of the work that she does, she says, is not gender specific — and shouldn’t be viewed that way.

Rabba Sara Hurwitz: Fallout seen masking deeper concerns. jta

Avi Weiss vs Avi Weiss

 Avi Weiss’ main point for having a woman on his rabbinic staff at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale is that “90 percent” of what a rabba (woman rabbi) does is the same as what a rabbi does. In Avi’s shul, a rabba gives sermons from the pulpit, teaches classes, visits the sick, provides spiritual and halachic guidance, and works with bat mitzvah girls, and Sara Hurwitz does that all quite nicely. So why not give her honor equal to her colleagues who are men?

‘Rabba’ Hurwitz Mulling Retracting New Title

Tells JOFA conference that controversial title may be hindrance; her shul now reviewing the situation.

03/18/2010

 

 
Sara Hurwitz, the woman of the hour at this year’s international conference of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA), revealed here on Sunday that she is considering relinquishing her controversial and unique new title of “rabba.”
 

 Rabba Sara Hurwitz.

Avi Weiss - Like Butch Cassidy In Bolivia

In the end, all of Orthodoxy — RCA, YU, Agudah, YCT — was aiming its guns at Avi Weiss. To see him this past week reminded me of the end of Butch Cassidy down in Bolivia, with every policeman, every soldier, south of the Rio Grande ready to blow him away (along with his plans for women rabbis).

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