Rabbi Avi Weiss

My Teacher And Mentor: A Tribute To Rabbi Avi Weiss

03/24/2014

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?

01/28/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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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

01/27/2014
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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.

01/21/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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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

01/14/2014
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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.

Welcome To Our World: The Rabbinate Rejects Orthodox Jews, Too

01/09/2014
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It was inevitable. Once they came after Reform, Conservative and other progressive Jews, it was only a matter of time until the Chief Rabbinate turned on other Orthodox Jews.

Rabbi Steven A. Fox

Israeli Chief Rabbis Do Not Serve The People

01/08/2014
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Rabbi Avi Weiss is an unabashed iconoclast. Understandably, this makes some people uneasy, and others downright fearful. However, given the current state of the institutions that govern Jewish religious life, I would like to suggest that a little iconoclasm might not be such a bad thing.

Daniel Raphael Silverstein

Fresh Skirmish In ‘Who Is A Jew’ Wars

Chief Rabbinate rejects letter from leading U.S. Orthodox rabbi vouching for couple’s Jewishness.

10/16/2013
Israel Correspondent
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Jerusalem — In a slap in the face to diaspora rabbis, the Israeli Chief Rabbinate has rejected the word of one of American Jewry’s most well-known Orthodox rabbis, who in a letter was attesting to the Jewishness and single status of an American Jewish couple wishing to marry in Israel, The Jewish Week has learned.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Asher Lopatin To Succeed Avi Weiss At YCT

08/28/2012

Rabbi Asher Lopatin of Chicago is set to succeed Rabbi Avi Weiss next year at the helm of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, the liberal Orthodox rabbinical school founded by the noted Riverdale rabbi.

Erin Leib Smokler, Bringing a unique dimension to spiritual leaders’ training.

Staff Writer
05/22/2012

Erin Leib Smokler, 33

Erin Leib Smokler’s description of her life’s work is concise: She’s helping teach “the next generation of Orthodox spiritual leaders.”

Orthodox female spiritual leaders.

Erin Leib Smokler
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