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Friday, July 25, 2008

Uri L'Tzedek leader to lecture at Young Israel

The Young Israel of Stamford, CT appears to be thumbing their noses at Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Director of the National Council of Young Israel. On Sept. 13th, Rabbi Ari Weiss, Executive Director of Uri L'Tzedek is scheduled to lecture there about "Ethical Issues and Kashrut". That's very interesting, since Rabbi Lerner blasted Uri L'Tzedek for their "ethical kashrut" activism against Agriprocessors. In Forward, Rabbi Lerner chastized Uri L'Tzedek's boycotting efforts against Agriprocessors by stating "'we’re a bunch of idiots' to be Jews boycotting other Jews". Rabbi Pesach Lerner "described Uri L’Tzedek’s organizers as being 'young kids who need something to put them on the map' who are taking advantage of Agriprocessor’s current problems".

Another concern might be that Rabbi Ari Weiss (class of '07) is a graduate of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah since it appears that the National Council of Young Israel is not very fond of YCT students. It has been speculated that the NCYI targeted Yeshivat Chovevei Torah graduates in its tightening of rabbinical candidate requirements to weed out YCT candidates. I wonder if that covers speaking engagements as well - especially ones that are potentially controversial.

I have contacted Rabbi Lerner for a statement. We'll see if he responds.