Rav Eytan Feiner Calls on OU to Break from Open Orthodoxy

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This past Shabbos, Parshas Vayishlach, Rav Eytan Feiner, rov of Cong. Knesseth Israel, the White Shul, in Far Rockaway, spoke about the Orthodox Union’s non-response to Open Orthodoxy and the havoc that Open Orthodoxy is wreaking on Yiddishkeit.

Rav Feiner said that he is willing to break the White Shul’s OU affiliation if the OU continues to be non-responsive on this important matter.

The OU has continued allowing Open Orthodoxy synagogues to remain as members of its umbrella organization.

Rav Feiner spoke out strongly about Open Orthodoxy’s apikorsus.

His comments come on the heels of two Open Orthodox shuls wishing mazel tov to people who underwent unconventional marriage ceremonies. Congregation B’nai David-Judea of Los Angeles is led by a male Open Orthodox rabbi, Yosef Kanefesky, and a female “rabbanit,” Alissa Thomas-Newborn, the latter of whom was given semicha at Avi Weiss’ Yeshivat Maharat. B’nai David-Judea’s weekly bulletin for Shabbos Parshas Vayeira, 2017, wished mazel tov upon the birth of a baby to a couple who have an unconventional marriage.

Then, Hebrew Institute of Riverdale (HIR) wished mazel tov for another such unconventional wedding, as featured in the HIR weekly bulletin of Shabbos Parshas Vayeira, 2017. The regular clergy at HIR, the Open Orthodox congregation founded by Avi Weiss, who is now semi-retired and is currently listed as “rabbi-in-residence,” are two males who were ordained by Weiss at his Open Orthodox seminary, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT), and by two females who were ordained at his Yeshivat Maharat.

{CB Frommer-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Interesting. I’m not sure why the White Shul bichllal has to be currently affiliated with the OU. It’s not like they live in some far flung town where you can barely get a minyan. It’s right in the heart of Far Rockaway, across the street from the Agudah, so I don’t see what the issue is. What is there to gain, in todays day and age, from having your Shul affiliated with the OU or any other Organization for that matter? Every individual makes up his own mind as to which Shul he calls his own. Friday night and motzei Shabbos, you daven in the closest shul to your house anyway, so it’s only nogia Shabbos morning, so who cares about affiliations and labels? Grow up.

    • Its not about the white shul its about the ou associated with anti torah institutions. The white shul can and will show its disdain for this abomination or the Torah Hakidousha. And thank you rabbi feiner for speaking out

    • I was at Rabbi Feiner’s Drasha. This speech was not about the OU.
      Rabbi Feiner spoke out against Open orthodoxy’s violations of the torah,
      and their Treif philosophy. Any mention of the OU was only in passing.
      While Rabbi Feiner stood up against Open orthodoxy; I don’t beleive that he he actually launched a protest against the OU. As usual, Rabbi Feiner delivered a wonderful drasha.

    • Moshe
      Find the recording of rav gifter about lam (if you haven’t heard it yet) its on line if you search
      That will give you an “idea” of his reaction.
      Kudos to rabbi finer for saying what needs to be said
      I didn’t know that there are still people today that aren’t afraid to speak the emes.

  2. Is Rav Feiner also willing to call-out Satmar for their on-going public protests against the State of Israel, the members of the Israeli government, and the IDF, which cause massive Chillul HaShem?

  3. What Rav Feiner is asking is obvious. How can we even eat OU products if they support Open “non orthodoxy”??

    Rav Feiner is an adam Gadol and the OU should do what he says. Its very simple.

    Perhaps if they do not listen to Rav Feiner, a boycott of all OU products would be necessary.

    • Never going to happen. Every Chassidish hechsher relies on the experts at the OU for their own hechsher. You obviously don’t know how the multi million dollar Kashrus industry works. It’s no kuntz to just slop your own kashrus sticker over the automatic OU, OK, Star-K, Chaf-K, etc…that’s already on the package. Having a Shteeble in the basement of your million dollar home doesn’t make you an expert in Kashrus or ingredients.

  4. Shulem Duvid,

    Is Rav Feiner a Satmar member or is his shul a Satmar member shul?

    It is an OU shul.

    Perhaps this distinction is too fine for you, and that is why you made such an inane comment.

  5. I’m confused by the lack of awknowlgemnet on this anonymous panel of commentators. Is gay marriage allowed in orthodoxy? Yes or no? Did anyone say we shouldn’t respect them or love them as our brothers? No. In fact for those of you who did not hear this drasha live, let me fill you in. Rabbi Feiner did say we should show them kid and support, But to accept THIS arrangement in an orthodox Shul is hypocritical. What difference does is make if Rav Feiner does or does not speak out against the ongoing chillul Hashem of the protests against the idf (he does by the way). It DOES NOT NEGATE the fact that open orthodoxy is completely unorthodox.

  6. It is long overdue for the Orthodox public to demand that ORTHODOX UNION stop its mega-support for “Open Orthodoxy.” ORTHODOX UNION supports “Open Orthodoxy” aggressively by giving its hekhsher to the congregation in Riverdale where the Chovevei Torah seminary ordains guys and where the Maharat School ordains ladies. Both of those “Open Orthodox” seminaries operate out of the ORTHODOX UNION’s HIR congregation in Riverdale. Beyond that, ORTHODOX UNION gives a hekhsher to other Maharat congregations and to additional temples that flout mainstream halakhah. Scores of mainstream Orthodox rabbanim have been meeting with ORTHODOX UNION personnel like Allan Fagin for years regarding this, to no avail.

  7. Shulum dovid is confused what does Reb feiner have to do with Satmar? satmar also have a role in pointing out the evil of the Zionists like forcing men and women to sleep in the same room in the army, forcing kol isha, forcing young men to shave beards etc. Open orthodoxy is WORSE than conservative and they have one goal in mind is to bring all of us down. the OU must kick open orthodoxy out or we must not trust the kashrus of an organization that tolerates the promotion of toeiva.

  8. I call on Rabbi Feiner to call on Satmar & R. Yechekel Roth, Karlsburg Rav of Boro Park, to condemn and defrock Ysoscher Katz of the YCT faculty (who was given semicha by R. Roth when he was Satmar dayan, which is advertised on the YCT website), to call on Lubavitch to condemn and take action against Lubavitcher R. Chaim Rapoport of the UK, a longtime YCT faculty member.

    While he is at it, he can also call on Bobov to condemn Reb Avi Weiss, the son of a Bobover Hasid.

  9. R. Eyson – if you are such a shtarker – איתן – shtark, as the name means – you should not only speak such things to the O-U. Big deal. The O-U won’t throw something through your window.

    Let’s see you call on Satmar and R. Yechekel Roth to revoke the semicha they gave to Ysoscher Katz, leading YCT faculty member and OO advocate, and Lubavitch to take action against YCT faculty member the Lubavitcher Hasid R. Chaim Rapoport from England.

    If you are flexing your muscles I challenge you to turn them in the direction of Williamsburg, Boro Park, and Crown Heights as well. If you just take on easy things, that it is שוואכע מעשות.

  10. @SDG – Have you ever learned על הגאולה ועל התמורה? Divrei Yoel על שלש שבועות? Before stating the Satmar stance is a vile one, you likely do so.

  11. Chabad rabbis are beginning to scare me too. Local guy gets photo ops with female rabbis because the community of non-orthodox jews wants. Not a proper endorsement I think. The wrong is to support.

  12. The Lakewood yeshiva headed by the Roshei Yeshiva shlita recognize Horav Fiener shlita as the Odom Godol that he is. We the people should follow suit. As an aside anyone who has been fortunate enough to speak with Rabbi Feiner shlita is awed by his breath of knowledge, sincerity, and eidelkeit. May the Rov be marich Yomim vshonim ad bias goel

  13. Yasher Koach! We in Far Rockaway owe this brave man tremendous Hakaras hatov. Thank you Rebbe for taking a stand and showing that Yidishkeit is current and has a voice

  14. Thank you Matzav for exposing the open orthodox heretics. Keep up the good work. And the commentator who is ranting about satmar opposing the draft of Yeshiva boys. Wake up an army that’s really an indictrination center to destroy Torah Judaism. This is the opinion of all religious Jews.

  15. What’s with matzav’s writers and this “unconventional marriage” line? It makes it sound “not-so-bad”. Please call it what it is: Gay marriage, forbidden by the Torah with a chiyuv misas beis din.


  17. @SDG – Have you ever learned על הגאולה ועל התמורה, and the Divrei Yoel על שלש שבועות? Before stating the Satmar stance is a vile one, you would likely benefit from doing so.

  18. Another disappointment with the OU: They closed the OU Job Board, which provided job training and job placement to several thousand Jews worldwide. I wonder what they are doing with their Kashrus supervision revenues, which funded these essential activities?

  19. Thank you for answering my question, unconventional means gay. I didn’t understand how they could have a baby so I thought it meant something else. I never heard that expression before because I do live in Yerushalayim err hakodosh, and although they have the once a year הצעדה הגאווה (proud parade) ithere is very low key interest in this topic in the charaydee world and it is (almost) never talked about. When it is mentioned here people are still sensitive enough to want to throw up.


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