Rabbi Avi Weiss

US Rabbi Calls On Pope Francis To Remove Church At Auschwitz II

07/28/2016 - 12:29

On the eve of Pope Francis’ visit to Auschwitz, a U.S. rabbi has called on him to remove a Catholic church from the premises of the Nazi death camp.

The railway track leading to the infamous “Death Gate” at the Auschwitz II Birkenau extermination camp in Oswiecim, Poland. JTA

In What Could Be A First, Orthodox Synagogue Elects All-Female Board

07/11/2016 - 11:14

An  Ohio congregation has become what is perhaps the first Orthodox synagogue to elect an all-female slate of officers.

The Oheb Zedek-Cedar Sinai Synagogue in Lyndhurst, Ohio, the first Orthodox synagogue to elect an all-female slate of officers.

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.

In Protest, Rabbi Avi Weiss Quits Rabbinical Council Of America

06/29/2015 - 20:00

Rabbi Avi Weiss is quitting the Rabbinical Council of America to protest its failure to admit as members rabbis whose sole ordination is from the rabbinical school he founded.

Weiss leads a vigil and march in New York City in remembrance of the three Israeli boys who were kidnapped and killed. JTA

Avi Weiss, Leading Modern Orthodox Rabbi, ‘Stepping Back’

Riverdale firebrand Avi Weiss ‘not retiring’ but handing HIR reins over to Steven Exler, 33.

10/20/2014 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The members of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale learned last week what the leaders of the prominent Modern Orthodox congregation had heard about a year ago — that Rabbi Avi Weiss, the only senior spiritual leader in the synagogue’s four-decade history, will be “stepping back” from his position next year.

Rabbi Avi Weiss. Courtesy of HIR

My Teacher And Mentor: A Tribute To Rabbi Avi Weiss

03/23/2014 - 20:00

The Yeshivat Chovevei Torah dinner March 23 in New York marked the first time Rav Avi Weiss has ever allowed himself to be publically honored.

I was one of the rabbis lucky enough to learn the rabbinate from him, having served as Rav Avi’s assistant rabbi for six years. Even today, 18 years after I left his professional side, there is not a single day that unaffected by what he taught me. So I’ll try to sneak this in now, alongside the many tributes to him.

Has RCA Become A U.S. Chief Rabbinate?

01/27/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel recently made headlines for the wrong reasons once again. Until a recent agreement was reached, it had refused to accept letters from Rabbi Avi Weiss and other American Orthodox rabbis attesting to the Jewishness of congregants seeking to wed in Israel. As a result, numerous organizations and prominent individuals, in Israel and the U.S., each with a plan to reform, weaken, improve, or dismantle the Rabbanut (Chief Rabbinate), stood up for Rabbi Weiss and called on the Rabbanut to accept him. Ultimately, the Rabbanut agreed to accept Rabbi Weiss’ testimony and also to accept automatically any letter of testimony that has been approved by the Rabbinical Council of America, the largest association of Orthodox rabbis in the world.

Elli Fischer

An Open Letter To My Role Model, Rabbi Avi Weiss

01/26/2014 - 19:00

Dear Rabbi Weiss,

While I was relieved to learn that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has revoked its claims against you, I have been deeply saddened by the entire episode. But I have not been surprised. In their book, “Leadership on the Line,” Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky define leadership as an act that involves “disappointing your own people at a rate they can absorb.” In order to make progress around issues that touch on people’s beliefs and values, it is often necessary to touch on very sensitive issues, challenging people’s understanding of what is true and right.

Rabbi Avi Weiss prays at a vigil for victims of a train derailment in December, 2013. Getty Images

Does The U.S. Now Have A Chief Rabbinate?

The RCA, a professional institution, must nurture its relationship with Israel's Rabbinate.

01/20/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel recently made headlines for the wrong reasons once again. Until a recent agreement was reached, it had refused to accept letters from Rabbi Avi Weiss and other American Orthodox rabbis attesting to the Jewishness of congregants seeking to wed in Israel. As a result, numerous organizations and prominent individuals, in Israel and the U.S., each with its own plan to reform, weaken, improve, or dismantle the Rabbanut [Chief Rabbinate], stood up for Rabbi Weiss and called on the Rabbanut to accept him. Ultimately, the Rabbanut agreed to accept Rabbi Weiss’s testimony and also to accept automatically any letter of testimony that has been approved by the Rabbinical Council of America, the largest association of Orthodox rabbis in the world.

Engel Goes To Bat For Rabbi Avi Weiss In Letter To Netanyahu

01/13/2014 - 19:00

Bronx Democrat Eliot Engel, who represents Rabbi Avi Weiss and his Riverdale congregation in Congress, expressed his concerns to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Chief Rabbinate’s decision to reject Jewish status letters written by the rabbi.

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