YU Withholding Semichah From Student Who Participated In ‘Partnership Minyan’


yeshiva-universityNew York – Yeshiva University’s rabbinical school appears to be withholding semichah next month from a student who participated in a “partnership minyan,” in which women lead certain elements of the Shabbos davening, The Jewish Week’s Gary Rosenblatt reports.

A source close to the case said the issue was not about participation in the service. Rather, it hinged on whether the student was willing to acknowledge that he should consult with his rabbinic authorities before participating in a minyan that is not acceptable to traditional halachic authorities.

While YU does not revoke semicha from its RIETS, graduates, the student in question is, in effect, in limbo. He has completed his five years of classes and tests, but he has not been conferred with semichah.

In a letter to the RIETS student, due to receive ordination at YU’s Chag Ha Semicha ordination ceremony March 23, Rabbi Menachem Penner, acting dean of RIETS, asserted that “not all individuals given the title of ‘rabbi’ are entitled to serve as decisors of Jewish law.” The letter says this is “especially true when breaking new ground in areas unforeseen to earlier generations or when taking public stances on matters of Jewish law that are in opposition to all recognized aposkim [halachic decisors].”

The RIETS student in question, who asked to remain anonymous at this point, told The Jewish Week that his intention had been to have a one-time partnership minyan in his home so that his wife, who had been ill, could be called to the Torah and recite a blessing of gratitude after her recovery.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. They are testing our determination to keep Judaism intact. What happened to these people is that they have been influenced by the goyim so badly that they cant reason like Jews do.

  2. partnership minyanim or not teaching secular studies and not serving in the army. which is a greater threat. in hope YU withholds semichah from all who exhibit any non-halakhic tendency.

  3. If this is true, then YU should be given a lot of credit for taking this stance.

    I am very sorry that the RIETS student’s wife has been ill. Nevertheless, anyone with a modicum of knowledge knows that that’s no excuse for having a partnership minyan. The last line is very telling. He wanted his wife to be “called to the Torah” to recite the blessing of gratitude.

    It goes without saying that if all she wanted to do was bentch gomel, then all they needed was to gather up 10 men. No need for a partnership minyan. True colors show quickly.

  4. To no2: you should surround yourself with better goyim when needing their interaction. It sounds like you only know ones that you can’t respect.

  5. what does that mean a “one-time partnership”? so he doesn’t think it’s o.k. but to please his wife “just this once” he will go against everything he spent the last five years learning about? this doesn’t sound to me like someone worthy of being able to pasken halacha as it should be without personal feelings!! we have a mesorah and it must be upheld even if our wives might get upset about it!!!!