Ravs say no to ‘Open O’


Leading rabbis in Agudath Israel of America moved Monday to further distance what has been referred to as Open Orthodoxy from normative Orthodox Judaism.

The Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of America (Council of Sages), Agudath’s highest rabbinic body, proclaimed that Open Orthodoxy “reject[s] the basic tenets of our faith, particularly the authority of the Torah and its Sages.”

It “is not a form of Torah Judaism,” they said.

While the statement targeted three specific institutions —Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Yeshivat Maharat, and International Rabbinic Fellowship — it is not limited to them.

Open Orthodoxy is frequently associated with Rabbi Avi Weiss, who recently retired as spiritual leader of the Hebrew Academy of Riverdale and established the two yeshivot censured in Monday’s proclamation.