Open Orthodoxy

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Haskama: I endorse ye

Rabbis of "Open Orthodoxy", go forth and preach pluralism, feminism, relativism, and open Torah for all closed by radical Orthodox fundamentalist theology.

I was working on a series of blog posts when someone informed me that some of my blog readers may have the impression that certain YCT musmachim referenced at my blog are not endorsed by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Other people have said to me, "Rabbi Avi Weiss (dean of YCT) and Rabbi Dov Linzer (rosh yeshiva of YCT) must not know what is going on with their "controversial" musmachim, they would never accept it." My response to both of those items: au contraire mon frere (to the contrary, my brother).

YCT implicitly endorses their graduates by proudly listing pictures and bios of their alumni on a web page titled "Bringing Open Orthodox Rabbinic Leadership to a Community Near You". Every YCT rabbi referenced on my blog is listed on that page. The bios showcase the accomplishments of YCT graduates. For example, Rabbi Darren Kleinberg's bio states:
"...he [Rabbi Kleinberg] is a faculty member of Kol-El – The Kollel for living Judaism, a multi-denominational learning program headed by [Reform] Rabbi William C. Berk."
Rabbi Avi Weiss has explicitly stated support for specific YCT graduates in an interview for Canonist:
Rabbis Kleinberg and East are developing communities where there was no Modern Orthodoxy in effect, certainly, no Orthodoxy that we would call ‘open’ and inclusive. Development of new open Modern Orthodox congregations is an important aspect of YCT’s vision. In fact, the yeshiva [YCT] finds it so critical that we assist by financially supporting these new communities [e.g. Kidma].
There are other instances where YCT has shown support of specific graduates. As stated in an earlier post, Rabbi Saul Berman lectured at the Open Orthodox Kidma congregation. So has Rabbi Weiss. YCT musmachim I have blogged about have been featured in the YCT newsletter. Take a look at the full page Community Profile of Kidma, "YCT Alumnus Brings Open Orthodoxy to the Southwest" (YCT Fall 2006 newsletter, p.7).

Concerning what the YCT administration "knows" about their graduates, I have sent emails to both Rabbi Avi Weiss and Rabbi Dov Linzer discussing musmach concerns. I also sent them a link to my blog. Neither Rabbi Weiss or Linzer has responded to me.