Thursday, April 06, 2006

RCA to make rabbinic decision

Forward: The main union of Modern Orthodox rabbis in America is preparing to vote on whether to admit graduates from an upstart Manhattan seminary.Most of the 1,000 members of the Rabbinical Council of America are graduates of Modern Orthodoxy’s flagship institution, Yeshiva University. But the RCA’s executive committee is scheduled to vote in June on whether graduates of the seven-year-old Yeshivat Chovevei Torah — which was founded as a response to Y.U.’s perceived rightward shift — would be allowed to join the rabbinic organization. Other than prestige, benefits for RCA members include placement assistance and a pension program.“The RCA is a very highly respected, and rightly so, rabbinic body,” said Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot, a YCT instructor and a member of the RCA’s executive committee. “As a Modern Orthodox institution,” Helfgot said, YCT should “be part of that.”The degree to which YCT would be welcomed by mainstream Orthodoxy has been a subject of significant discussion for years, seen primarily through the lens of its strained relationship with Y.U. At one point, rabbis connected to Y.U. attempted to block YCT students from getting jobs. The chairman of YCT, Howard Jonas, declared in a 2004 speech that Y.U. had been allowed to shift to the right through “a combination of the gutless and the spineless in a coalition with the mindless and the senseless.”In the past two years the tensions have lowered, with YCT students facing less resistance from pro-Y.U. elements in obtaining jobs. A decision by the RCA — an organization strongly linked to Y.U. — to accept graduates of the new school could mean an end to a feud that some thought could split the Modern Orthodox community.Since its creation, in addition to the standard Orthodox dedication to studying ancient and medieval rabbinic texts, YCT has displayed an emphasis on pastoral counseling, a liberal attitude toward Halacha, and a dedication to expanding the role of women in religious life — though it has stopped short of the ordination of women, which some assumed would be part of its mission.........
xmlns:dc="" xmlns:trackback=""> -->

<< Home