Open Orthodoxy’s Expanding and Dangerous Quest For Legitimacy


avi-weissYeshivat Chovevei Torah is currently on a mission to achieve recognition by the larger Orthodox community that it is a legitimate mokom Torah and that its Open Orthodox ideology is really kosher. Earlier this year, YCT sponsored an alternative Siyum Hashas, which included a non-Orthodox rabbinical seminary and mesaymim. YCT’s strategy was clearly to obtain a hechsher for itself, all the while holding fast to its validation of non-Orthodox rabbinic voices.


Read a report here.

{ Newscenter}


  1. Honestly, enough is enough already! The first line of the article says, “For several years, the Yated has (sadly) been the lone voice warning the larger Orthodox community of the dangers of “Open Orthodoxy,” the newly-minted movement associated with Rabbi Avi Weiss and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah that seeks to redefine Orthodox Judaism so as to include and accommodate that which is foreign to it on all counts. ”

    The Yated is the only voice because for some reason the Yated is the only one who sees it as a legitimate threat and addresses it. Pretty much everyone else just looks at it as a nuisance and ignores YCT! Nobody else thinks that YCT has any chance of changing mainstream Orthodoxy, so they don’t give them any credibility. By continuously writing about them, you only give them more exposure. Don’t even give them that! Everyone else just ignores them. Maybe you should be doing the same.

  2. Once the Ain Ated party falls apart, Chovevei should hire Dovy Lipman as Rosh Yeshiva & Shia Piron as Mashgiach. What a powerful 1 2 punch! That should attract a lot of Talmidim! Two grosser chachumim at the helm!

  3. So let me get this straight. There are Chareidim, Ultra Orthodox, Orthodox, Modern Orthodox, Conservatives, Reform, Humanistic, ReConstructionists, AND NOW WE ARE TO ADD: OPEN ORTHODOXY. WOW! What happened to the “ONE” people, standing united as ONE, 3325 years ago, Woe onto us, how far we have fallen.

  4. I was once at a lecture where Rav Ahron

    Solveitchik ZT”L referred to the above-

    pictured rabbi(however not by name)

    expressing his displeasure at the methods

    which the rabbi was then attempting to enact

    under the banner of orthodoxy.

  5. > “Open Orthodoxy’s Expanding and Dangerous Quest For Ligitimacy”

    >> To whom are the YCT crowd dangerous? Knowledgeable Orthodox Jews reject YCT and its sister institution Yeshivat Maharat; we will never offer them legitimacy because we are not fooled by them. To left leaning (so-called) “Orthodox” Jews, this is the derech that they freely choose to pursue. In their own minds they already are “legitimate.” So who are you afraid they will influence? and what exactly do you propose to do about it? Outlaw YCT? Picket their “semicha” ceremonies? Scream at the people going in to daven at a Maharat’s shul (chas v’shalom)? Fortunately for all of Klal Yisrael (the yeshivish world included), there is a constitutional right to freedom of religion in the U.S. The YCT crowd has the right to believe and religiously act in whatever way they like. They only danger they represent is to themselves, but there is absolutely NOTHING that anyone is able to say to them to convince them otherwise.

  6. Don’t you get tired of rehashing the same statements and indictments over and over. You are maaley Geira. It is boring and unimportant.

  7. Yasher koiach for the important update.

    There is also another YCT faculty member, Rabbi Chaim Rapoport from England, who is not mentioned in the Yated piece, who needs to be scrutinized, who is promoting an easing of barriers to and integration of toeivahniks into the community. He reportedly said at a recent forum in Manhattan that people with such an identity should adopt children.

    He became popular among the YCT and liberal crowd to a large degree due to an English book he wrote a number of years ago, which got wide publicity, promoting a soft line toward and acceptance of those people. By doing so, he became the darling of the ultra left wing ‘orthodox’ like YCT. They use him as cover for their unfortunate initiatives to soften the stand of frum Yidden against toeivaniks. His work gives them cover. They can point to him and claim that a Chasidic talmid chacham supports their lenient and compromising approach.

    May Hashem protect us from such people, who give YCT a fig leaf with the appearance of acceptance among the frummeh oilam.

  8. Does Open Orthodoxy include the Rebbetzins at the Kotel wearing tefillin and leining the Torah (those Women Off the Wall)?

  9. They are not aiming to gain legitimacy or members from the comfortably frum; they are seeking the less confident, the overlooked children, those who have otherwise been left out without us even knowing that those targets may be part of our own families….

  10. I don’t feel comfortable with what YCT is doing but its not a threat to me, or anyone I know. Let’s be careful with how we address other Jews who are acting a manner they truly believe to be lshem shamayim. None of them are getting rich off this, they are doing what they believe is best. If we don’t agree, let’s at least be civil.

  11. To Sheldon:
    “it is boring and unimportant”
    Do you mean that you consider YCT unimportant? Irrelevant? A blip? Good on you then 😉