Open Orthodox Congregation Wishes Mazel Tov On “Marriage” of Two Men


For the second time in a matter of a few months, an Open Orthodox congregation has wished mazel tov to the “marriage” of two men.

On their website, the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, led by Avi Weiss, in their “Mazal tov” announcements in the Bayit Bulletin, wish a mazel tov to “Alisa & Michael Brown on the engagement of their son, Avidan, to Ari Schwartz-Weitz, adding “Mazal Tov to Grandma Renée and the entire family.”

Matzav has previously condemned this “shul” for its annual MLK Day church choir performance. This “shul” also has three “rabbas,”  or female rabbis, and its male clergy is all from the controversial Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, an Open Orthodox school. Its female clergy is all from Yeshivat Maharat, also founded by Avi Weiss, rabbi emeritus of this congregation.




  1. “Yeshivat Maharat”

    ישיבת מהר”ת – הם אומרים מהר”ת הוא ר”ת מנהיגה הלכית רוחנית תורנית אבל י”ל שמהר”ת פירושו מהרסי תורה

    ישיבת מהר”ת = ישיבת מהרסי תורה

    אוי שכך עלתה בימינו

    ה’ ירחם


  2. Why are you reporting this garbage. There is no reason why our children (and adults) need to read this. Matzav considers this to be a torahdik website.

  3. Vee Shain!
    How exactly, may I ask, are they going to build a BNB? Has Father unWise who heads this sham organization figured out a way for two men to bear a child? Perhaps they think BNB stands for Boy N Boy. But that still don’t make a baby.

    • That was my first reaction as well. How can you build a bayis neeman biyisroel with 2 men? They can never bear children. That statement is absurd. It’s like saying, the tree in my backyard will start to grow dollar bills. Absurd.

  4. There is another, very important aspect of this story that you missed. Even worse than the part you highlighted it seems to me.

    The Reform Temple of Avi Weiss has a “JQY Teen Outreach Coordinator”! A toeivah coordinator and promoter! Does even Temple Emanuel. old Reform, have such a thing?? Disgusting, outrageous!

    Weiss and his Reform Temple need to be spit out of Judaism ASAP.

  5. If they call it the ‘Bayit’, not Bayis, and they call it ‘Yeshivat’, not (chas vesholem, like the galut pronunciation) Yeshivas, why are they wishing a ‘bayis neeman beyisroel? it should be ‘bayit neeman biyisrael’ lishtatam!

    As Avraham Lincoln said, a house divided against itself cannot stand.

    • HIR did not post this on Facebook. Matzav misleadingly took a screenshot of a post from JQY’s Facebook page and cut off the top to make it seem like the post was from HIR. It is true that HIR and JQY use different language and pronunciations as they are not affiliated with each other.

      JQY tends to be more heimish in their language.

  6. Just a few questions?
    Who breaks the glass under the chuppa
    How long did the Aidim wait outside the yichud room?
    Who light the candles Friday night
    Who sings Aishes Chayil?
    Who’s their marriage counselor?
    Who washes the dishes? And laundry?
    Oy va voy

    • These are great questions and things that I think about all the time as a gay person! Fortunately, this is an opportunity it take a step back, reevaluate what we assume to be the norm, and pinpoint the parts of our system that need reevaluating. We don’t have all the answers yet, but I’m glad klal yisroel is finally beginning to ask these important questions together.

    • for your dishes and laundry question, the answer is very simple. THEY BOTH DO. In normal relationships, chores like that should be divided evenly. it’s just sexist jerks like you who ruin this.

  7. Reform has an ‘orthodox’ buddy! Every new day sees the open abomination. It is not a future!

    Forever anything not Torah orthodox goes down the same wrong path. Abomination.


  8. Medrash Rabbah: Rav Huna said in the name of Rav Idi, the fate of the generation of the flood was not sealed until they wrote marriage contracts between men and men, and between men and beasts.

    • and Reb Tzadok Hakohen ZT”L writes in Tzidkas HaTzadik that the neshomos of the doir hamabul will reincarnate just before the arrival of Moshiach. We see it and hear it nowadays…..

  9. How can the OU claim to be O, when they have such a congregation as part of there network? No doubt the challenges of such ppl need to be met with sympathy and we must help them, but not at the expense of or commitment to Torah.

  10. איזהו חכם הרואה את הנולד

    The gedolim saw through Weiss’ charade decades ago, and realized that he is totally treif, despite his Orthodox pronouncements. This latest development was just a matter of time, as are outright intermarriage, open chilul Shabbos, abrogation of hilchos nida, and, if the man actually believes in a higher power, some sort of a totally new religion.
    On the one hand – Jews only engaged in avoda zara to permit themselves arayos, just as in this case. On the other hand, Avi Weiss most probably is a non-believer, altogether.

    In his defense, Weiss will likely say that “at least both boys made sure to mary another Jew”.
    I am unsure of what is more disgusting – gay marriage, or open perversion of Torah, under the name of Open Orthodoxy. Therefore, a plague o’ both your houses!!

  11. I seriously don’t get why we call them open orthodoxy. Just because that’s what they call themselves that doesn’t mean they are orthodox in any way. If a fish called itself a elephant. We would call it a fishy elephant.

  12. Matzav; Why corrupt peoples minds to start thinking about tummah. The torah refers to this a s a toeivah, wouldn’t you think this article may propel people to think about things we shouldn’t be thinking about. I’m extremely disturbed.

  13. Oy, Dov Linzer! How are you have fallen when we were in a dira together in yerushalayim when we were both in …… Everyone warned you then not to go to Gush and YU but you knew better….Look how astray you have gone….I use to ask you how is that you are so smart and you can’t do simple things. To which you answered: “What do you want from me? Just because i am smart, it doesn’t mean i have common sense”. Yes, Dov, common sense was never your strong point. You got sucked up with this idiot weiss and now klal yisroel pays the price…..כל ת”ח שאין בו דעת נבילה טובה הימנה

    • The event is almost sold out with Orthodox families. The event is kosher (with an Orthodox catering company and Mashgiach) and kid friendly. If enough readers of Matzav buy table seats, they could even have a Matzav table with their logo on it, like most other Jewish Organizations. Tickets and more information about the JQY Chanukah Concert can be found at: JQYouth . Org

      • What happens by these events? You get together and learn Mesillas Yesharim, and discuss ways to overcome tour Yetzer Hara? Or do you get together and grumble about how inflexible the Torah is?
        Hopefully the first. ..

        • The event being referenced is a Concert with Matisyahu & Eli Schwebel. So I doubt there will be any grumbling (unless the food isn’t good).
          General JQY programs are lead by licensed mental health professionals and are geared to help youth navigate through feelings of familial and communal rejection. Sometimes Mesillas Yesharim helps.

  14. I’ve tried to maintain Ahavas Yisrael throughout the history of OO. There never was a “shul that I’d never set foot in”. Until now. What an embarrassment to Torah.

  15. Sick People.

    To institutionalize sin is evil.

    If a person has a Taiva for something wrong we don’t institutionalize it. It’s like encouraging Cheese Burgers for Lechem Mishna. Evil Sick people.
    What they do privately is their problem to institutionalize it and call it muttar is Evil.

    Leave the Jewish people alone from your disease. OO is Sheker on the highest order. Gay Aroise!!!

    • “It’s like encouraging Cheese Burgers for Lechem Mishna” …or like encouraging pedophiles just because they have a Taiva.

  16. Feh! They need to be condemned in public, the medrash says לא חרבה סדום אלא על שכתבו כתובות על משכב זכר

    For all those complaining about this being inappropriate for a frum site. Not saying anything is also not right. so if we cant do it in print at least on the web.

  17. Do the editors of this blog feel any responsibility to reject comments that are filled with sinat chinam of fellow Jews? The news article is informative, but the comments are truly lacking in ahavas yisroel as well as pure derech eretz.

    • Dr Bayme, this does not qualify as Sinat Chinam. It is for a reason and a purpose. No one here has vilified the two young men here but rather Rabbi Avi Weiss and his ilk (I would believe you fall under that category as you share many of his beliefs per the things you have published.) The point is that one is irresponsible at the very least to render decisions that are in conflict with Halacha and claim they are valid. Zaken Mamrei anyone?

    • If a person has an inner demon he/she is battling which isn’t in accord with the Torah and they seek help then by all means we must show that person love and kindness and help them overcome their desires at any cost. If they slip and fall that’s ok too, no one is perfect. But when they embrace their psychological issues and outwardly go against the Torah’s commandments and drag others down with them then there is no greater evil and it must be stopped at all costs including shunning them and cutting them off from our holy nation!
      And if you are so worries about the Goyim saying, “look at the Jews at how they treat each other and shun their brothers”, then think of the flipside on what the more intelligent Goyim like the Germans would say (Y’mach Shemam Vezichram): “Look at the Jews at how they have thrown away their Torah and are embracing the LGBT movement.” There is no doubt in my mind that if we show these unfortunate souls any signs of compassion then the latter comment would hit us in the worst way possible.

    • Steven Bayme, in the interest of proper disclosure, why don’t you tell the people here where you are coming from?

      Steven Bayme is on the faculty of ‘Yeshivat Chovevei Torah’ (, and an associate of Avi Weiss (

      This reminds me of what happened years ago, when another faculty member of YCT, a Lubavitcher from the UK who wrote a book advocating acceptance of toeivahniks, spoke out in defense of YCT after Yated criticized them, without revealing that he was a staff member.

  18. OnlySimchas also seems to be a faction of Open orthodoxy. They posted it as well.
    Yet. NOTHING.
    Nothing from the Orthodox media (such as Matzav) about that. Although many, many frum families use it to publicize their simchas.
    Just trying to point out our strange and stranger world.

    • It’s possible that #OnlySimchas in the text message (in the picture) is not from the site of that name but just referring to the usual wish people give at engagements. There’s no listing on the onlysimchas site of this…event.

  19. What’s interesting is that the Toeivadox think they are so smart and progressive, and that they are joining the future of society. Same as the Misyavnim thought. Same as the early talmidim of yoshka. Same as all the meshumadim throughout history. Same as all those who joined the Communists, thinking they were joining a movement on the verge of changing history. There is no doubt that the Toeivadox will be just like all those groups, they will fade away and be forgotten, while those who cling to the derech ha-emes will be around forever

    • Philosopher,
      Your post got me thinking…We should start to refer to them as “Open Toeivadox” since they are now in the open with their abominations. They don’t deserve the “orthodox” title with which they are trying to destroy klal yisroel. Chovevei Torah? My foot! Chovevei Toeiva ! Lovers of abominations!

      • Open Toeivadox. Yeshiva Chovevei Toeiva. Description is right on.
        Truly sad, though. These are acheinu b’nei yisroel, misled by the desire to integrate into the “greater” culture. We just have to daven that they will come back, all of them…

  20. Remove the picture please of these מתועבים ימ”ש. If it’s not b’geder of issur histaklus b’pnei adam rasha (maybe not b’geder adam at all), it is still b’geder vatiru es shikutzeihem etc. and chas vshalom can begin desensitizing us. V’dai lmeivin.

  21. I would allow my children to read matzav as thier news outlet as my filter only allowed matzav and yeshiva world. NO MORE. Posting this garbage just shows that we cant trust you level of torah jewish news.

  22. The truth is coming out…

    They are an agenda driven organization, they have personal desires and can’t control themselves so they are trying to make everyone believe that’s it’s ok

    Klal yisroel has a Torah, which will forever shine light upon us and protect those which are seeking the truth..

    May this corrupt organization wake up fast and join the ways of Hashem..

  23. These two young men are much braver than all the sad, confused naysayers here put together. Naysayers who are so learned that they save their best Toyreh for yentaing (on the internet! Rachmono litzlan) about fellow Jews and their families. Too bad courage isn’t something in the average yeshiva boy’s vocabulary. Sad!

    • Courage to do exactly what? Spit into G-ds face? You need to learn what real courage is. Real courage would be to abstain INSPITE of feelings!

      • Real courage would be to be sensitive to fellow Jews and their families, fellow children of Gd, even when it challenges your moral fiber. To first try to find a way we can help before we find a way to condemn. So many people here have suggested gay Jews should privately suffer, so that their suffering would never see the light of day and the community could wash its hands and continue to do nothing to help (and, in fact, ridicule and make life very harsh for the thousands such individuals in our community). So that others would never need to admit what has been done to them by a community that try clearly is more threatened by, than concerned for, certain of its fellow Jews. It is partially the fault of those same people when a Jewish gay couple from the frum world who has experienced alienation tries to have what they were taught to want above all else in a Jewish lifestyle — marriage to someone who cares, and acceptance by a rabbi/shul.

        Real courage is to find a way to believe Gd wants more from us than to foam at the mouth. For all you know, given the range of possible choices given to this couple by Gd (in light of ALL the facts), they are making the best choice for themselves, under the circumstances. Regardless of whether they are doing something wrong, WE are still commanded to be dan lcaf zchus. The only people spitting are here in the comments.

        • I guess you know what G-d want better than G-d himself. After all, he did write in the Torah (which you don’t seem to believe in) that this act is forbidden, a Toeiva. Yet somehow you believe that G-d is ok with this?
          And where does dan lvkaf zchus come in? These are 2 people who are publicly proclaiming their personal toeiva, there is no 2 ways about it.
          And what exactly do you mean about making the best of choices? To publicly commit a toeiva is the best of choices?
          It seems that some people are so concerned with fitting in with today’s concept of humanism, liberalism, etc., that you are willing to give up your core beliefs.
          No doubt, at some point this Sedomite culture that we live in will fade away, but thise of us who remained true to Torah will still be around.

        • Real courage would be to not kowtow to the popular isms of current society and to uphold the eternal truths opf the Torah.

          No one is saying that HIR has to publicly embarrass the parents for the sins of their children. However to actually post a Mazel Tov?

          You think that is courageous?

          The commenters are not commenting on this poor misled children who apparently were not educated well enough to realize the value of not succumbing so to their yetzer horah to actually announce an engagement. They are commenting on the blasphemy of a “synagogue” that purports to be Orthodox celebrating something that is defined as toeivah and that the commentators tell us were one of the reason for the destruction of the Mabul.

          No, it is feckless people like you who so kowtow to current popular, corrupted culture who are truly lacking courage.

        • “Regardless of whether they are doing something wrong, WE are still commanded to be dan lcaf zchus.”

          Not true. If people are clearly doing something wrong, we are not supposed to fool ourselves and pretend they are tzadikim.

          Maybe in the Avi Weiss, Steve Exler, and Steven Bayme Reform religion, they pretend that open sinners are tzadikim, but that should not be confused with proper Judaism.

  24. Very important for Matzav for posting this to expose the radical anti Torah platform of Weiss and his hatchlings .
    There are indeed people fooled by them and for the benefit of primarily the still hanging by a thread modern orthodox community we must introduce them to their destiny if they do not drop the word modern.

  25. I wonder if an Orthodox Rabbi would ever take a person who feels that he’s gay, but can fight that Taaveh like the Torah tells us, for his daughter?

  26. The issue is not weiss and his kofrim, which everyone who reads matzav understand is alien to torah Judaism , but the real threat is the toevah movement along with the rest of progresive left agenda which we as an Orthodox community supports. The fact is that we the orthodox jewish community allowed this movement for the past 40 years to take over America and thus infiltrate into our communities. We the orthodox jewish community allowed this trash to become law in NY, NJ and Maryland and are now just starting reaping it’s it fruits of destruction. Attacking Weiss and his ilk does nothing to stop this cancer from destroying the jewish community, only attacking the cancer cells themselves the LGBT movement. Attacking Weiss is like treating the symptoms of cancer while doing nothing to destroy the cancer.

    If we don’t stop caving into this agenda, next time it won’t be an “Open” but a mainstream one.

  27. I knew a HS who remained frum and was not oiver toeiva. He had no taivas nashim, lived with another hs who was of the same outlook, but without any kesuba or formalization of their relationship. Do you know what this ‘couple” does or does not do behind closed doors? Don’t jump to degenerate conclusions.

    • Do you know what they do behind closed doors to give a hechsher on them? Are you always with them? No.

      You are just repeating their claims and propaganda.

      • Soklin VeSomchin al HaChazakos.
        The mishna in Avoda Zara and paskened in SA rules that they cannot be beyichud.
        Do you need any other sources?

    • Just Sayin’,

      Total Sinful Garbage .
      What does that have to do with it?!

      There have always been, in all generations, those who lack Ta’avos for the opposite gender,
      Did they ever call themselves HS??
      Let them marry their shtender
      spend their efforts working for the klal

      Once, however,they join a rubric of rock bottom Choteh U’Machteh ,they are inherently Sinners of some of the worst sort.

      If they desist from any association with the evil pushers ,and fully control themselves they’ll merit Yeshaya 56:2-5

  28. While this certainly falls under Uveearto Horo Meekirbechah, as there are young children who read this page, this should not be published on Matzav as it opens a childs mind to Toiavoh. As such, this page should be removed from your chushiva web site

  29. So proud of these two wonderful men! I can’t wait to see what their future unfolds. I know it will be a home filled with genuine love, happiness and prosperity. MAZAL Tov!

  30. I agree with JD, and I think it’s a real shame that people are disagreeing that we should be sensitive to other Jewish peoples struggles. Why do the commenters think it’s necessary to justify calling these men toeivahs, which is a horrible thing to say about a Jewish person, when they have done nothing to them? It’s like if I would stoop as low as the commenters and call the commenters shandas, but I won’t do that because I’m sensitive to their predicaments.

    • it’s very logical, and moral to, I’m just referring to the way they refer to themselves.
      1. The reason is because these people choose to identify themselves based on their own averahs.
      I don’t go around and tell people I am a lashon harah, these people identify themselves based on an avera, that itself makes their cheit infinitely worse.
      2. The avarah that they identify themselves based on is the pinnacle toevah in the torah (many examples where chazal darshin toevah elsewhere in tanach, not a single drasha chazal that refers to shellfish)
      3. if they identify themselves based on a avarah there is nothing wrong with me identifying them based on the same avara with the torahs lashon, in fact one can say they gave me permission.

  31. FAKE NEWS! The picture of the Facebook Post in this article is from the JQY page, and the message is from JQY, not HIR or Rabbi Avi Weiss. JQY has no affiliation, partnership or any connection to HIR. Matzav is being purposely misleading by including this picture in this article. Notice how they sneakily cut off the top of the picture of this Facebook post, because it would reveal that the post and its message is from JQY not HIR. If you read the actual message of HIR, you will notice that they went out of their way NOT to wish Mazal Tov to the couple, but only to the parents of the couple. Perhaps this too, would not satisfy the Matzav audience, but regardless, the readers here are entitled to the truth not FAKE NEWS!
    I hope Matzav corrects this article and issues a retraction.

    • What Mazel Tov to parents? That their kid is commiting an aveirah described as Toeiva? That their kids will be chayiv Kareis? Levovitz and Weiss and co. all think they are so enlightened. Just like all those misyavnim back in time of Yavan. They are really small-minded people who can’t see past the current culture they live in, and are willing to trade eternal values for a transient fad. This won’t last, eventually this culture will fade away, but those of us who cling to the real Torah will always be around.

      • So someone who smokes cigarettes, and lets say gets engaged or has a kid. Let us not wish them mazal tov because they are killing themselves ?!?!?

    • “If you read the actual message of HIR, you will notice that they went out of their way NOT to wish Mazal Tov to the couple, but only to the parents of the couple.”


      I don’t think that is correct. I think they didn’t wish mz”t to the toeivahniks because they are not members of the BAYIT Reform Temple, and/or due to other technical/stylistic reason(s).

      Note that in the listing above that one, they wish mz”t to the parents of a bar mitzvah, but don’t wish mz”t to the bar mitzvah himself.

      • My point was that the HIR message was entirely different and unrelated to the message in the picture featured in the article, which is from a separate LGBTQ organization called JQY. HIR does not have a JQY outreach coordinator. The picture here is misleading. It’s one thing to criticize, but it’s a whole other thing to do while misrepresenting the truth. The picture, and its message should come down.

  32. Stop the bigotry and the hate! I went through the black hat Yeshiva world and can tell you the casualties of using religion to bash other people for fun. Why are all of you tzadikm being mevatel torah to read this and comment about this?

  33. I am familiar with JQY organization. Just to be clear that we are talking about the same one, the JQY organization is the one that saved me from wanting to end my life after my Rebbe said in middle of Gemarah shiur on more than one occasion things along the line of “being gay is like bleeping dead geese” and “gay people are mentally ill” and “yihareg v’all yavor”. How DARE you. Right now I am living the best shomrei Tora u’mitzvos life that I possibly can thanks to this organization. HOW. DARE. YOU.


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