November 2015

Topic of the Week: Reaction to RCA Ruling

November 6, 2015

Talia Lakritz Intern a Yeshivat Maharat, student Barnard College, Digital Content Creator

Dear RCA, an original song

“You can’t take us down
With some scary little words that you write on a page
When there are facts on the ground
That Orthodoxy needs more women
In leadership positions
Because there already are”

Rabbi Avi Weiss - Founding rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale – the Bayit, founder of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Yeshivat Maharat

Women Can be Rabbis, In Keeping with Tradition

Why, for many, is women’s learning, Zionism and secular studies compatible with the mesorah, while the ordination of women is not? What does it say about our community when a central unchanging value of our mesorah is the exclusion of women from religious leadership?”

Rana Bickel - high school senior at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

 Do You Want Me to Leave? An Open Letter to the RCA

"Do you want 17-year-old girls who care about Judaism to leave Orthodoxy? Do you want them to leave Judaism altogether? Because that is what is going to happen if you don’t give us a seat at your table."

Rabba Sara Hurwitz - Dean of Yeshivat Maharat and a clergywoman  at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale

With Resolution Against Hiring Women Rabbis RCA Votes For Confrontation

“Our graduates are continuing to do what they’ve always been doing, which is to teach and to serve and to do what they were trained to do,” Hurwitz said. “We’re continuing to train women, and synagogues are hiring our women. We’re creating facts on the ground.”

Avrohom Gordimer, a kashruth professional, a member of the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America, and a member of the New York Bar. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author

The New RCA Resolution About Women Rabbis: What It Is and What It Is Not

"It is thus with disappointment that some segments around the Orthodox orbit have rejected the RCA’s resolution, and have done so not by turning to halachic authorities greater than those upon whose decisions the resolution rests (the truth is that there are no greater or equal authorities who rule otherwise), but by resorting to extremely non-halachic means. Although the RCA resolution was worded respectfully and factually and is based on clear halachic directives, opponents have resorted to name calling, mud slinging, delegitimizing, satirical/mocking entertainment, popular petition, threats/guilt trips and non-halachic reasoning in an effort to demand halachic recognition of the ordination of women."

Ranana Dine, former HBI Intern, senior Williams College

"The RCA ruling is that it did not come as a surprise but was a disappointment. At this point I believe that the momentum for women's ordination in an Orthodox or traditionally halachic context is unstoppable. The RCA needs to decide whether it wants to be part of that momentum and the creative adaptation of traditional halacha to modern contexts, or wants to remain entrenched in a more reactionary environment. Either way they are likely to offend sensibilities, but I think the reaction to the ruling shows that there is a large population for whom the RCA, if it continues on this path, will no longer speak."