Sara Hurwitz Using Title of “Rabba” for Herself

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matzav_networkLess than two weeks after a declaration by Rabbi Avi Weiss that it is not his “intention or the intention of Yeshivat Maharat to confer the title of ‘Rabba’ upon its graduates,” it appears that Ms. Sara Hurwitz is still sticking to the newfound title, has discovered.

On a post on, an institution in Riverdale, NY, says it is looking for a “Youth/Education Director.” The contact person listed in the post is none other than “Rabba Sara Hurwitz.” The post was put up just two days ago, on Wednesday, March 17, 2010.

The full text of the posting (which at this time can be seen here) is as follows:

Youth/Education Director Large, vibrant Modern, Open Orthodox Synagogue in Riverdale, New York, seeks an experienced and dynamic Youth/Educational Director with creativity, warmth, and energy to design and coordinate shabbat and holiday morning youth programming, as well as a full schedule of exciting youth activities for all age groups within our synagogue, including directing our Jewish Youth Encounter Program (JYEP) Hebrew School. Responsibilities include creating and implementing curricula for weekly youth services (toddler through teen), designing informal educational programs, creating inclusive programming for special-needs children, planning social events and extensive Jewish holiday and chesed oriented programs throughout the year. Additionally, the Youth/Educational Director will be responsible for training, managing and supervising all youth group staff personnel and working with parents, congregation and rabbinical staff to meet the needs of the community’s youth. Offers competitive salary, commensurate with experience. Send resume and cover letter to Rabba Sara Hurwitz: sarahurw… (posted 3/17)

There is a possibility that the post will be pulled from the site or edited following this report, but a screenshot can be seen here.

The discovery of the posting comes two weeks after the leadership of Rabbinical Council of America and Rabbi Avi Weiss engaged in discussions concerning the issue of ordaining women as rabbis and the RCA said at the time that it is “gratified that during the course of these conversations Rabbi Weiss concluded that neither he nor Yeshivat Maharat would ordain women as rabbis and that Yeshivat Maharat will not confer the title of ‘Rabba’ on graduates of their program.”

The open use by Hurwitz, a protégé of Rabbi Weiss, of the title of “Rabba” demonstrates that the recent retractions to quell the criticism coming from the Orthodox community are of little value.

The RCA statement two weeks ago stated that “We strongly maintain that any innovations that impact the community as a whole should be done only with the broad support of the Orthodox rabbinate and a firm grounding in the eternal mesorah of the Jewish people.”

Since the ordination of women has been rejected by mainstream Orthodoxy, it is hoped that the RCA – and others – will be quick in responding to the public and blatant violation of Rabbi Weiss’ own committment with the use of the title “Rabba” to describe Hurwitz.

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  1. So now our time, energy, excitement is going to be fighting against an ad posted on luach?

    Did we ever take up arms against the hateful and ridiculous ad placed full page in the NY Times by our NK brothers? Where are our priorities?

  2. didn’t have too much say in this whole tumult. I thought it interesting that Rabbi Weiss and his schools/shuls want a Rabba, didn’t invite her presence or opinion at any meeting with the RCA, etc..
    I really feel sorry for her. She’s probably a very nice learned woman, devoted to chinuch who got caught up in the snafu.

  3. She will be regarded like another one of those queer Reform Rabbi women (the ones who voted for the current Muslim President in the U.S.).

  4. It is important to check facts in order to gain credibility in the world of Journalism. I suggest that in this case you check again.

    Rabbi Avi Weiss’s statement refers to graduates of Yeshivat Maharat, Sara Hurwitz is not a graduate of the the Yeshiva, but rather she is its founding director. There is no contradiction between Rabbi Weiss’s statement and the fact that Hurwitz still uses the title Rabba. Weiss has maintained that, henceforth, no one else will receive that title, but Hurwitz for the time being will maintain it. We will see what happens in the future as things unfold.

  5. It was clear from her speech at the “Orthodox” Feminist Alliance (JOFA) that she planned to continue using the title rabba.

  6. Avi Weiss said right away, in the statement following meeting with the RCA, that she will retain the title, but it won’t be conferred on anyone else.

  7. If this bothers you I seriously wonder if you’re the type of people who turn and stare because someone dangles a shiny object.

  8. Let The R.C.A and orthodox union expel Avi Weiss and his temple from there organization once and for all.Let Avi Weiss fire Sara Hurwitz, to make a statement to the world that he does not call or consider her Sara Hurwitz, Rabba.

  9. Because he’s intelligent and actually wants to do something. And I’m behind what he wants to do, which may or not succeed because of the manipulation of those who love partisan fighting better than anything improving.

    Yes, there are frum Jews out here who voted for him and are thrilled we did. If the election was tomorrow, we’d vote for him again. As would everyone I know who voted for him. Not one has changed his or her mind.

  10. The title of Rabbi for anyone non-Orthodox is in the same category as Rabba for an Orthodox woman is it not?…so we need to examine why we should not even call anyone non-Orthodox by title of Rabbi … if one is prohibited (Rabba) than so should the other be prohibited

  11. since the gedolim already publicized their disapproval hence making it clear that calling her “rabba” has nothing to do with judiasm, theres no more to be said, theres no reason to talk about it, just laugh and go on with life.

  12. Whether She is called “Rabba” or Maharit this is the same function and is a departure from Mesorah why has the RCA let this go on.


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