RCA Condemns “Maharat” Ordinations


avi-weissThe following statement was released by the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA): “In light of the recent announcement that Yeshivat Maharat will celebrate the ‘ordination as clergy’ of its first three graduates, and in response to the institution’s claim that it “is changing the communal landscape by actualizing the potential of Orthodox women as rabbinic leaders,” the Rabbinical Council of America reasserts its position as articulated in its resolution of April 27, 2010, that:

“In light of the opportunity created by advanced women’s learning, the Rabbinical Council of America encourages a diversity of halachically and communally appropriate professional opportunities for learned, committed women, in the service of our collective mission to preserve and transmit our heritage. Due to our aforesaid commitment to sacred continuity, however, we cannot accept either the ordination of women or the recognition of women as members of the Orthodox rabbinate, regardless of the title.

“The RCA views this event as a violation of our mesorah (tradition) and regrets that the leadership of the school has chosen a path that contradicts the norms of our community.”

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Outside the pale. Any woman that would masquarade as some sort of rabbinical authority is effectively identifying herself as either conservative or reform. Clergyman Weiss has earned himself a place of honor in reform and conservative camps. There, he is deservedly glorified. We hope he stays there.

  2. Well worded but, the statement should been more emphatic that any synagogue that employs such persons can no longer be a member of the OU nor any Rabbi employing such persons can remain a member of the RCA.

  3. One of the three candidates was hired by a shul in Montreal whose rabbi, Adam Scheier, a product of Rabbi Avi Weiss’ Chovevei Torah, recently invited the local woman reform “rabbi” to give a Torah lecture in his shul. This woman “rabbi” is “married” to another reform woman “rabbi!” Rachmana l’zlan! These are the products of Chovevei Torah. Need I say more?

  4. Just to clarify, I meant Rabbi Adam Scheier, when I said “These are the products of Chovevei Torah. Obviously, I wasn’t referring to the two women “rabbis” who are reform.

  5. “Open orthodoxy” is like “open marriage”. Just like “open marriage” is not a marriage, “open orthodoxy” is not orthodoxy”. I may be slightly more right wing than the RCA, but Yiddishkeit is not monolithic and can have differing opinions. However there are standards of Mesorah and Halachah that RCA maintains and Avi Weiss and Co. do not. Rememebr the arguments he makes are the same ones the conservatives made back in the 1950’s when they still masqueraded as a “halachic movement”

  6. Really now. Where was there condemnation of a Weiss when he started it in his orthodox conservative school.

  7. Who needs Romans, Greeks, Persians, Babylonians, Russians, Nazis, Palestinians, or Iranians? We have the strongest enemies right here among us!!

  8. “Who needs Romans, Greeks, Persians, Babylonians, Russians, Nazis, Palestinians, or Iranians? We have the strongest enemies right here among us!!”

    Indeed ,If the CAMP is truly holy from Impurity then will extenal forces submit and be subjugated

    (cf.Ki Seitzai,also Be’chukosai)

  9. Rav Hershel Schachter shlit’a of YU denounced Avi Weiss dozens of times for his ignorant innovations.

  10. ‘From within your own midst will come your worst enemies’. Says it all. Rabbi Weiss and his strange yeshivah is just that strange. Strange to Torah, Jews and Yahadut, in general.