Open Orthodoxy

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

YCT-ordained rabbi joins "Conservative conversion bais din"

Updated 10/19/2008

The fall 2008 edition of Chosen magazine describes how Yeshivat Chovevei Torah graduate Rabbi Darren Kleinberg participated on a conversion bais din with a Conservative woman rabbi and Conservative male rabbi. Chosen magazine states,
[The girl] was immersed in the mikvah at [Reform] Congregation Beth Israel in a traditional conversion ceremony. A beit din of three rabbis, Robin Damsky of Congregation Or Chadash of the Northeast Valley, where the [adoptive family] are members; Mark Bisman, of Har Zion Congregation and Darren Kleinberg of KiDMa-The Southwest Community, officiated.
Wow. Will YCT publicly repudiate their musmach's participation in this? Is this grounds for revoking smicha? Does YCT or Rabbi Avi Weiss (founder and President of YCT) even care?

In various articles over the past two years Rabbi Darren Kleinberg, has supported interdenomination batei din. YCT has not once publicly condemned those positions or any others of Rabbi Kleinberg's. However, this is the first time I have seen evidence that Kleinberg (or any YCT musmach) has actually participated on an interdenominational bais din. Here are links to some of Rabbi Kleinberg's pluralistic writings about conversion:

- Getting pluralism back on track

(Much longer version of previous article by Kleinberg, promoting broad-based pluralism and an inter-denomination beis din)
- Getting Pluralism Back on Track: Conversion and the Challenge of Jewish Peoplehood

- Not-so-universal conversion

If anyone has any doubts why Yeshivat Chovevei Torah has not been and should not be admitted to the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), this should lay those doubts to rest...especially if YCT does not swiftly publicly condemn participation of it's musmachim on interdenominational geirus batei din. If YCT does not vocally condemn such participation, then it may be time for them to remove "Orthodoxy" from "Open Orthodoxy".