Day After Moetzes Statement On Open Orthodoxy, YCT President Attends Agudah Breakfast and Issues Troubling Remarks


asher lopatinExclusive: The day after the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of America, Agudath Israel of America’s highest rabbinic body, issued a strong statement proclaiming that “Open Orthodoxy” is beyond the pale of Orthodoxy, the president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Open Orthodoxy’s flagship school, essentially mocked it.

Rabbi Asher Lopatin was writing after having been invited to, and attending, the Agudath Israel Legislative Breakfast this morning, where, he says, he “was warmly received.”

“It allowed me to put some recent statements by Agudath Israel and the Rabbinical Council of America in the context of our own commitment to unity and respectful dialogue in the Jewish and Orthodox community,” wrote Lopatin.

agudahLopatin goes on to say that Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School “has always stood for creating an inclusive, welcoming, open community, where passionate Jews can, and should, disagree, but should never seek to impose their own ideas on others. Our goal should be to empower each other to be the best Jews and human beings we can be.”

Lopatin, in response to the Agudah event, mocked the very essence of the Moetzes statement, which makes clear that Open Orthodoxy must be roundly rejected and the group’s inroads in the Torah community is not to be tolerated.

“After attending this morning’s Agudah breakfast, where Jews and non-Jews talked about acting together, in a unified way, to achieve mutual goals,” Lopatin wrote, “I feel even greater resolve  to redouble our efforts to enable our graduates, and the men and women who graduate from so many other Orthodox learning institutions, to continue to build an Orthodox community which brings us together rather than divides us. I am confident that as we reach a total of more than a 100 musmakhim this year, YCT can help lead the way.”

Lopatin’s last statement, again, completely ignores the Moetzes proclamation and may be viewed as tantamount to a mocking of the historic statement issued yesterday.

To top it off, Lopatin, concluding his post-Agudah event remarks, encouraged people to read statements from JOFA and the International Rabbinic Fellowship, “both of which support learning and leadership – for women and men – in the Orthodox Community, a core value of YCT’s.” He adds that people should “feel free to sign the petition regarding supporting women in Orthodox leadership roles.”

Lopatin’s remarks today are disingenuous, as he and his institutions promote values that undermine the Torah in so many ways. Unity is not the issue; tolerance and promoting ideals that contravene the Torah come first. Lopatin and other leaders of Open Orthodoxy often invoke unity and love in order to evade criticism of the numerous infractions of their movement.

{Gavriel Newscenter}


  1. Theres a policy of not acting jointly with conservative and reform personalities and organizations. I dont see why open unorthodoxy is any different.

  2. The so-called petition is not only about “leadership roles” for women, but support for smicha for women. Read the comments in support of petition, invoking egalitarianism, rights, threats of a woman’s brain drain, the corrupt male rabbinate, and weep! Someone even quoted “Torah Imecha” as a basis for support, when the meforshim say that this is referring to musar and providing a derech (not Torah learning).

    When are going to see the same petition in support of the removal of mechitzos, duchening for women, and such. What a complete shanda!

  3. to “trying to be fair” – #1
    You obviously either just came into this room, where Matzav is counting on many previous posts which demonstrate the otter falsehood of YCT premise, or you are really one of them. – Achdus has nothing to do with this at all.

  4. Let it be known that Avi Weiss officiated at a wedding this past Sunday November 1st in the Atrium Hall in Monsey.

    Some of the Hanhogos tat may be written without being “nichshal in wrongfull thouhghts and imaginations” ………………(Hirhurim asurim)

    The Chupah had a double ring ceremony. which disqualifies hte kidushin.

    5 woman were honored under the chupah. כלה בלא ברכה אסורה לבעלה כנדה

    Among the pritzus with the chosson and kalla before the chupa. and the actions of the audience. כל מקום שאתה מוצא עבודה זרה אתה מוצא זמה .

  5. Rabbi Asher LOwPArTicpatIoN majored in Heterim while he attended YCT-Yeshiva Chillul Torah.

    Maybe YCT should hire and overpay A pr GUY to bring it back into the good graces of the frum community.

  6. Rabbi Lopatin didn’t mock anything but instead was incredibly gracious to an organization that has treated him badly without giving him a chance to defend himself.

    Would that those on the Right would show such good midot.

  7. Lopatin has attended this breakfast before, so that is not a new thing.

    The breakfast was run by Ezra Friedlander, so the Agudah may not have known that he was coming, since RSVP’s were to be sent to Friedlander.

    Another group promoted by Friedlander, alongside Agudah, is the New York Board of Rabbis, which is a mixed group, with Reform and Conservative clergy. They (the Agudah and the NY Board of Rabbis) are listed next to each other on Friedlander’s website in his list of his clients.

  8. no one is saying “open orthodoxy”,conservative,reform aren’t jews,what the Moetzet is saying is that they’re not Orthodox,Torah-observant Jews.

  9. To #1 ahavas Yisroel has never been a tool to placate chillul Hashem. i suggest you study the topics in Shulchan Aruch in how one is to regard Kophrim/ heretics

  10. Wow, I am in awe of Rabbi Lopitan’s grace and powerful arguments. It is possible that his views are misguided, but on this point he seems to have a point. If someone is wrong on 99 issues it doesn’t follow that he is wrong on the 100th issue.