The International Rabbinic Fellowship (IRF) never denied membership to Rabba Sara Hurwitz, IRF co-founder Rabbi Marc Angel told TJC Newsdesk, refuting the assertion in a recent New York Jewish Week article that it had. The NYJW article by Jonathan Mark claimed:
In a twist, one Rabbi Weiss school, YCT, won’t recognize the rabbinic credentials of the other Rabbi Weiss school, Yeshivat Maharat, with Rabba Hurwitz being denied membership in the International Rabbinic Fellowship, also founded by Rabbi Weiss and primarily composed of YCT rabbis.
In an email message, Angel wrote, “The article in the Jewish Week has a number of falsehoods, including the comment that Sara Hurwitz was denied membership in the IRF.”
In fact, the IRF is open to the idea of women joining its membership, Angel told TJC Newsdesk:
At the spring conference of the IRF, we discussed at great length whether to admit qualified women, even if they do not have formal rabbinic ordination. The general consensus was that we should, and a committee was appointed to come up with a specific resolution with guidelines for eligibility for membership. This resolution is to be brought to the IRF’s convention in June. It is quite likely that women will then be eligible for membership, and Sarah (and possibly other [women]) will then be able to apply for membership and be accepted as members.
Regarding those other “falsehoods” in the NY Jewish Week article, and the reaction to Rabbi Avi Weiss changing Sara Hurwitz’s title from Maharat to Rabba, we’ll have more soon.