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  • RCA Post-Convention Release: No Women Rabbis

    by Steven I. Weiss

    The full release is below. The meat of it is a resolution declaring, in part:

    In light of the opportunity created by advanced women’s learning, the Rabbinical Council of America encourages a diversity of halakhically and communally appropriate professional opportunities for learned, committed women, in the service of our collective mission to preserve and transmit our heritage. Due to our aforesaid commitment to sacred continuity, however, we cannot accept either the ordination of women or the recognition of women as members of the Orthodox rabbinate, regardless of the title. [Emphasis added]

    What’s the difference between this passing as a resolution, and not as one of the proposed amendments to the RCA’s constitution? That’s a question we’ll be asking the RCA today. You’ll know when we do.

    Full release is after the jump.

    Important Policy Decisions Taken at
    the Annual Convention of the
    Rabbinical Council of America
    Members of the Rabbinical Council of America from all over North America gathered this week in Scarsdale NY for the 51st annual convention of the world’s largest organization of Orthodox rabbis. As always, the gathering was an opportunity for rabbis in pulpits, education, academia, Jewish organizational life, and the health care/military chaplaincies to strengthen their personal and professional skills and connections, via major plenary presentations, workshop sessions, and multiple networking settings.
    This year’s convention deliberations were informed by a number of high profile issues confronting the Jewish people at large, and the religious community in particular. While numerous sessions were devoted to Israel, Iran, US-Israel relations, conversion issues, rabbinic boundaries, Orthodox teens, counseling, dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease, death and burial, family conflict, and others, a central topic generating sustained discussion by convention delegates involved rabbinic views on the parameters of appropriate women’s communal roles.
    Having heard from a broad spectrum of members, leading congregational rabbis, and a number of respected halachic authorities, a committee headed by Rabbi Leonard Matanky of Chicago, IL, submitted a resolution on appropriate communal roles for women. Rather than delineating a specific menu or roadmap of appropriate or inappropriate roles and positions, the resolution sought to articulate the broad dimensions and values that, from an Orthodox perspective, should inform and shape the discussion and implementation of this defining issue in months and years to come. These include the importance of appropriate sensitivity to tradition, communal sensitivities, as well as the desire of both men and women to enhance Torah and mitzvoth, personally and communally. So too, is the need for a thorough foundation in appropriate halachic and communal precedent and process.

    With these considerations framing the convention discussion, the convention resolution as adopted, stated as follows:
    Resolution on Women’s Communal Roles
    in Orthodox Jewish Life
    Presented to the 51st Convention of
    The Rabbinical Council of America
    April 26th 2010

    1) The flowering of Torah study and teaching by God-fearing Orthodox women in recent decades stands as a significant achievement. The Rabbinical Council of America is gratified that our chaverim have played a prominent role in facilitating these accomplishments.
    2) We members of the Rabbinical Council of America see as our sacred and joyful duty the practice and transmission of Judaism in all of its extraordinary, multifaceted depth and richness – halakhah, hashkafah, tradition and historical memory.
    3) In light of the opportunity created by advanced women’s learning, the Rabbinical Council of America encourages a diversity of halakhically and communally appropriate professional opportunities for learned, committed women, in the service of our collective mission to preserve and transmit our heritage. Due to our aforesaid commitment to sacred continuity, however, we cannot accept either the ordination of women or the recognition of women as members of the Orthodox rabbinate, regardless of the title.
    4) Young Orthodox women are now being reared, educated, and inspired by mothers, teachers and mentors who are themselves beneficiaries of advanced women’s Torah education. As members of the new generation rise to positions of influence and stature, we pray that they will contribute to an ever-broadening and ever-deepening wellspring of talmud Torah, yir’at Shamayim, and dikduk be-mitzvot.
    ______________________

    The full complement of convention resolutions can be accessed through this link: http://www.rabbis.org/news/index.cfm?type=policies

    April 27, 2010 | Read more Newsdesk posts. 2 Comments »

    Comments

    2 Comments »

    1. [...] [hat tip: TJC Newsdesk] [...]

      Pingback by Jewess » RCA Resolves: No Women Rabbis — April 27, 2010 @ 9:16 am

    2. [...] 43-minute call revealed that, according to the RCA, the resolution banning women from positions in the rabbinate: a) “passed without any opposition”; b) is binding upon all members not only as [...]

      Pingback by Full Audio of RCA Conference Call Re: Orthodox Women Rabbis Resolution - TJC Newsdesk — April 27, 2010 @ 11:51 am

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