Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Gets $3 Million From Jim Josef Foundation

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avi-weissKnown for its “Open Orthodox” curriculum and for its founder’s ordainment of Ms. Sara Hurwitz as a “Maharat,” Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School (YCT) has received a large grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation.

The sum of the grant is $3 million, to be disbursed over a 5-year period. $2.5 million of the grant will be matched on a one-to one basis with the yeshiva‘s own fundraising. The grant is designed to enable YCT to dramatically increase its impact within the Jewish community, r”l.

The JJF gift to YCT marks the first time that the foundation has given a grant directly to a rabbinical school.

Since it appeared on the Jewish landscape in 2001, YCT has represented a pushing-of-the envelope of sorts, led by its founder, Rabbi Avi Weiss. YCT moved to its new facility in Riverdale in December, 2009.

“I am deeply grateful to the JJF for their belief and trust in YCT. This important gift reflects their respect for the extraordinary impact that we believe our graduates are having in synagogues, universities, schools, camps and campuses all over the country,” said Rabbi Weiss.

“We are deeply honored to have been awarded this significant sum of funding from the Jim Joseph Foundation, which will enable us to deepen and expand our mission to educate and train rabbis who embody a Judaism which is authentic, inspiring and empowering,” said Rabbi Dov Linzer, dean and rosh hayeshiva of YCT.

Howard Jonas, Chairman of the Board of IDT and former Chairman of the Board of YCT, termed the JJF grant “transformative.”

“Only one decade after its inception, it has profoundly changed the face of Modern Orthodox leadership. I cannot praise the Jim Joseph Foundation enough for their commitment and vision. They are truly helping to change the very essence of the global Jewish community by giving YCT golden wings,” said Jonas.

May Hashem help those who work to protect our mesorah and hinder the efforts of those who wish to reinvent Torah Judaism.

{Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}

23 COMMENTS

  1. I knew you would have this story. BH now R’ Avi will be able to be yagdil Torah to thousands of more talmidim and talmidot. V’ Chein Yirbu.

  2. I respectfully urge the JJF to reconsider and withdraw its pledge. There are thousands of ways in which this money can be spent that would be a true and undisputed merit for the person for which your foundation is named.

  3. To Noam Amdurski.
    Don’t publish articles with hidden agendas. You are very transparent. Ask yourself what your motivation was for publishing this and then reflect on how sure you are that you have the only true way to G-d.

  4. #4 are you saying there is no zechus if the money is given to an institution you don’t like or whose hashkafos don’t match yours?

  5. This liberal foundation also gives gelt to the reform Hebrew Union College (Deformed Movement) and to the heterodox Yeshivat Hadar. YCT is anti-Judaism. It endorses the same agenda as all other theological liberals, Jewish, Christian, or otherwise:

    Feminism
    Environmentalism
    Socialism (Social Justice/Liberation Theology, which is what people like Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela hold by)
    Critical Studies (they employ people who teach “academic” methodologies, such as teaching that HaShem didn’t write the Torah, and who are concerned with teaching why they think the tanaim and amoraim were s*xually-repressed woman-haters, r”l)
    Interfaith Relations (They want a one world UN-style religion, through groups like the Elijah Interfaith group and the Parliament of World Religions)
    They support a J-Street-style pro-Palestinian “Zionism” which wants land for peace and other policies (R’ Menachem Froman, R’ Steve Riskin, etc.)
    They’re meikil in geirus
    They are Darwinists, pro-toeiva, pro-abortion.

    This is the yeneh machla these misguided liberals want to impose through Modern Orthodoxy, which is the weakest link in the Orthodox chain, due to its assimilationist tendencies, lax attitudes towards sexuality, dolce vita suburban lifestyles, and concern for making money rather than living holy lives. These communities lack a vision or profound commitment to mesorah, and as such, are very vulnerable and naive to the advances of the YCT crowd.

    I studied religion at a prominent Divinity School, and based on what I learned in classes such as the Sociology of Religion, Liberal Theology, Liberation Theology, Process Theology, etc., I can say that YCT and its associates are advocating ideas which are the embodiment of what you see in leftist churches like the UCC, Episcopal Church, etc., which do all kinds of leftist activism. YCT, Jim Joseph Foundation, Ethan Tucker, Marc Angel, Ohr Torah Stone, Shvil HaZahav, Synagogue Council of America, R’ Norman Lamm, Avi Weiss, Edah, R’ David ROsen, Prof. Alan Brill, Marc Gopin, etc. are all part of this leftist movement.

  6. Funny how #6(who is also #1) posed his/her question to #4, and not to #5.

    #5 already made the very same point, but used terminology from Chazal.

    Apparently, our “Baruch Hashem” who is an avid cheerleader of Rabbi Avi Weiss & his Open Orthodoxy, and who has very definite opinions about how to be “Magdil Torah,” is totally ignorant in the phraseology of Chazal, and therefore hopelessly clueless as to what #5 referenced here.

    Why, any 8th grader from any Charedi school would immediately understand the reference!

    Goes to show just whom Avi Weiss is attracting to his ideologies: Ignorant, albeit perhaps well-meaning people, who don’t know any better.

  7. Sorry, correction: My comment should read:Funny how #6(who is also #1) posed his/her question to #4, and not to #3.

    #3 already made the very same point, but used terminology from Chazal.

    Apparently, this avid cheerleader of Rabbi Avi Weiss & his Open Orthodoxy, who has very strong opinions about how to be “Magdil Torah,” is totally ignorant in the phraseology of Chazal, and therefore hopelessly clueless as to what #3 referenced here.

    Why, any 8th grader from any Charedi school would immediately understand the reference!

    Goes to show just whom Avi Weiss is attracting to his ideologies: Ignorant, albeit perhaps well-meaning people, who don’t know any better.

  8. #6 It might be a zchus, but I am sure that the
    grandparents would
    be happier if money would also be given to mosdos with the same hashkafos and mesora they had.

  9. Only adds to the list that Weiss will need to account for. Someone wants to do a mitzva and will be surprised on the Yom Hadin.

    Of course that is assuming much, as this person may have the same agenda of uprooting our heritage. But innocent until proven guilty. As our grdolim have paskened, a reform/conservative Yid can be counted in a minyan because they don’t know better. The ‘rabbis’, though cannot because they have learned otherwise.

    In discussions with rabbis of this ilk I have usually found a confusion of some half-known ‘fables’ and misunderstood quotes from Chazal and they are often tinokos shenishboo too. One, in fact chose to be a reform rabbi because, sadly, he was abused as a child by an ‘orthodox’ rabbi. The reasoning escapes me but he clearly wanted to be close to HKBH but couldn’t bring himself to the group associated with his tormenter. His theological knowledge, however, was non-existent as it is with many of these people. He is likely a tinok shenishbeh too.

    The ‘rabbi’ here, however, is one who claims to have studied enough to give semichah. There is no question that he is not acceptable to be part of a minyan, much less lead a congregation of any sort.

    Perhaps moshiach is waiting for us to be in the 49th level of Tumah? If so, Weiss is to be thanked.

  10. Your opinion on the matter is of course very welcome but factual mistakes are not. YCT did not confer Sara Hurwitz. Her conferral was done by Rabbi Avi Weiss, Rabbi Joshua Maroof and Rabbi Daniel Sperber.

  11. To #6,

    My opinion is besides the point. Let us grant that reasonable people can disagree as to whether this institution can still be considered Orthodox, or whether it has crossed the line too many times. It is undisputed, however, that the institution under discussion is highly controversial, and that, at least according to some, is acting in opposition to the Mesorah and cannot be considered Orthodox.

    Why not, instead, support a cause where your investment is a sure thing? There are thousands of Yeshivos which would be an undisputed Zechus to support, even according those who run this institution. There are countless Tzedakah organizations which help people who are literally destitute, again a definite Zechus. Why take a chance with such a large investment?

  12. Please make sure to post accurate information. Sara Hurvitz was not ordained as a Maharat by YCT Rabbinical School nor did she ever attend YCT which is only open to men.
    She received that title privately privately from Rabbi Weiss and R. Daniel Sperber afyter private Torah study over many years.

  13. This reminds me the story of this Baal ha’Kelev who wanted his Rabbi to make a MiSheberach for his sick dog. One Rabbi after another refused.
    At the end he found a MO Rabbi who was willing to do it.
    When the dog eventually died, the same dog left in his will a few Million $ for this MO Rabbi.
    Thereof the traditional Rabbi sighed: “If I would just have known that this dog was Jewish….”

  14. Yup! Absolutely! as number 3 so eloquently put it …

    I’m sure you think there is (at least as little) merit in supporting reform institutions too. ??”?

  15. Funny how #6(who is also #1) posed his/her question to #4, and not to #3.

    #3 already made the very same point, but used terminology from Chazal.

    Apparently, this avid cheerleader of Rabbi Avi Weiss & his Open Orthodoxy, who has very definite opinions about how to be “Magdil Torah,” is totally ignorant in the phraseology of Chazal, and therefore hopelessly clueless as to what #3 referenced here.

    Why, any 8th grader from any Charedi school would immediately understand the reference!

    Goes to show just whom Avi Weiss is attracting to his ideologies: Ignorant, albeit perhaps well-meaning people, who don’t know any better.

  16. One of the simanim of a farkumt “mosad” is that it has no financial problems.

    “Vayiga b’kaf yerech Ya’akov.”

    Perhaps their new found betzah will accelerate their departure from Orthodoxy.

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