OU: Women May Not Lead Kabbolas Shabbos Davening


shul-daveningThe Orthodox Union issued a statement saying women may not lead Friday night Kabbolas Shabbos davening if men are present. The decision was made last week by the OU’s board of directors.

“With regard to the matter of a woman leading Kabbalat Shabbat services before an audience of men and women, the position of the Orthodox Union is that such practice is improper and constitutes an unacceptable breach of Jewish tradition,” the board said.

In April, the Rabbinical Council of America, the leading Modern Orthodox rabbinical body, came out against the ordination of women while encouraging more “halachically and communally appropriate professional opportunities” for female scholars. That RCA ruling was in response to the near ordination of a female rabbi in January. That was when RCA member Avi Weiss conferred the title of “rabba” – a feminized version of rabbi – on Sara Hurwitz, a member of the clerical staff of his New York synagogue, the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. Following a harsh rebuke from the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of Agudas Yisroel of America, and discussions with RCA leaders, Weiss said he would refrain from giving the title to other women, in the name of Orthodox unity.

In July, the International Rabbinic Fellowship, a liberal Orthodox association of some 150 rabbis founded by Weiss and Rabbi Marc Angel, declared its support for an expanded definition of women’s communal roles in synagogue life but stopped short of advocating female rabbis.

Hurwitz retains her title and continues in her position as dean of Yeshivat Maharat, which offers training and placement services to women similar to that available in Orthodox rabbinical institutions.

{See JTA/Matzav.com}


  1. Accoriding to you people, women cannot even be seen on your website, so of course they cannot lead Shabbos davening (as thought one would lead to another)

  2. This is a cowardly statement by the OU. They should come out and say that Avi Weiss is beyond the boundaries of Orthodox Judaism and his “Synagogue” should be removed from the roster of OU synagogues. Anything short of that proves that the OU has no standards and is a black eye to OU affiliated synagogues.

  3. These modeneh people can do what they want but true Torah of the holy yeshivas like Lakewood,Mir etc they cannot touch! The mesorah will continue from Moshe rabeinu thru the yeshivos hakedoshos vehatehoros. These modern ortohconservareformadox type are nothing, they will not and cannot touch the heiligeh tora and mesorah. We do not care for them, they are just one of the many nuisances that we have survived and ignored thruout our history.

  4. I davka DON’T give them credit – the very fact that they’re addressing this disgusting thing shows that they believe there’s some legitimacy to this foolishness.

  5. To: “wow”
    Rav Ausband, the rosh hayeshiva of Tells yeshiva in Riverdale gave a lengthly address concerning this topic; and this shul in particular.

  6. Shkoach Matzav once again for being at the forefrotn of publicizing the activities of the left-wings who are trying tto destroy yiddishkeit.

  7. The problem is that ‘rabbi” Avi Weiss is thought of by most people to be Orthodox. Therefore the OU had to make it clear that this was a non-Orthodox thing.