Orthodox Union to Enforce Ban on Women Rabbis

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by R. Gil Student

Even organizations have to follow rabbinic guidance. Last week, the Orthodox Union (OU) announced it would enforce its ban on women rabbis in member synagogues.

Current member synagogues that are not in compliance have three years while all other current and new member synagogues may not have women in clergy positions.

The OU is a 120-year old synagogue organization that transformed American Orthodoxy by, among other things, making kosher food widely available, maintaining vibrant youth programs, pioneering Jewish outreach, bringing joy and accomplishment to disabled Jewish children, lobbying for Orthodox political concerns including day-school relief, and serving at the forefront of Birthright follow-up. The organization’s recent announcement follows multiple developments over the past few years.

In 2009, Rabbi Avi Weiss ordained a woman and established Yeshivat Maharat to train more women for the rabbinate. In response, the Modern Orthodox community gathered its leading Torah scholars to discuss the issue and decide whether this move was consistent with the Torah tradition as understood and accepted in the Orthodox community…

Continued in the Jerusalem Post: link

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

One comment

  1. So let’s say a shul disobeys and gets kicked out of the OU, or leaves the OU rather than comply. Are there any consequences for the shul?

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