Statement of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah On Avi Weiss’ Radical Departure from Mesorah


avi-weissThe following statement has been released by the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of America:

Rabbi Avi Weiss has conferred “semikha” upon a woman, has made her an Assistant Rabbi at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale where she carries out certain traditional rabbinical functions, and has now given her the title of “Rabbah” (formerly “Maharat”). He has stated that the change in title is designed to “make it clear that Sara Hurwitz is a full member of our rabbinic staff, a rabbi with the additional quality of a distinct woman’s voice.”These developments represent a radical and dangerous departure from Jewish tradition and the mesoras haTorah, and must be condemned in the strongest terms. Any congregation with a woman in a rabbinical position of any sort cannot be considered Orthodox.


Rabbi Simcha Bunim Ehrenfeld
Rabbi Yitzchok Feigelstock
Rabbi Dovid Feinstein
Rabbi Aharon Feldman
Rabbi Yosef Harari-Raful
Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky
Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Kotler
Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Levin
Rabbi Yaakov Perlow
Rabbi Aaron Schechter

See here, here and here for’s continued and extensive coverage of Avi Weiss’ activities. See here for yesterday’s report regarding possible expulsion from the RCA.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. Is [deleted by moderator] still considered Orthodox? Meaning, is appointing a woman to such a position considered more negative than [deleted by moderator]?

  2. Credit goes to Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz and his newspaper, the Yosid Neeman, WHO WAS THE FIRST TO EXPOSE WEISS. Before then everyone was quiet. let us give credit where credit is do. Credit to R’ Pinny. And i believe the articles were written by R” Avrohom Birnbaum, so kudos to R’ Pinny and R’ Avrohom for exposing AVi Wiess and Chovevei T, which LED to this kol koreh

  3. Next should be about meshichists who “represent a radical and dangerous departure from Jewish tradition and the mesoras haTorah, and must be condemned in the strongest terms. Any congregation with a meshichist in a rabbinical position of any sort cannot be considered Orthodox.”

  4. Why change the subject when that is not whats being discussed. Its a completely different subject they are not condemning anyone who is a modern orthodox Rabbi just this particular move to appoint women “Rabbis”. Not everything is related to that discussion. The RCA has already done what you have asked yet they as of yet have not condemned this change in Mesorah within their own ranks.

  5. #2:

    Without even knowing what you said, I can answer, yes, Mr. Weiss is worse than whoever you wrote that got you deleted. People make mistakes, and do horrible, terrible things. But most of these people are not those who there is a real danger will influence people against our Mesorah. There is no danger that people will look at whoever you are referring to and say, “You know, maybe he’s right, and I should do like him.” Weiss is acting like the first Nachash – influencing people (even if not on purpose) to slowly move away from what has stood us for the last 5000 years, and this is something that cannot, and will not, ever be tolerated.

  6. The Gedolim felt this issue needed to be addressed why are people offering suggestions of what should have been talked about instead? As to comment number 10 I highly doubt this statement to be true being that Rav Weissmandel met with The Rebbe Rayitz Rav Yosef Yitzchock Scheerson ZY”A and I believe He recieved a bracha as well. This comment furthermore had nothing to do with the topic being discussed and is just trying to divert our attention and could create more division in Klal Yisroel R”L.

  7. Is it very sad that I could think of half a dozen names that would fit into the [deleted by moderator] blanks, based on news from the past couple of months?

  8. The Moetzes did what it had to do.Of course this is a break from tradition. But, Rabbi Avi Weiss is oneof the biggest baalei chesed and oskim b’tzorchei tzibur in the orthodox world. So love the man and condemn this one thing.

  9. Raboisai, this is truly something meaningfull from the gedoylei yisroel!! It is high time we focused on important things like this that have REAL meaning to klal yisroel.

  10. I had the pleasure to meet Rabbi Weiss several times. No other living American rabbi worked so hard for Soviet Jewry. He seeks to reach out to all Jews – he has had programs for years in his shul for the mentally handicapped. He has done more for Jonathan Pollard than any other American rabbi. I daven in a shul with a BMG trained rabbi. I get that what Rabbi Weiss has done crosses lines – BUT make no mistake someone was going to do this sooner or later. At least Rabbi Weiss is someone who has a Ahavas Israel as the center of his life and work.

  11. a women in a rabbinical position? does this include being a ‘raba macshir?[can she be a mashgiach for kashrus?