Rabbis in the News

NEW YORK (JTA) — Rabbi Avi Weiss, the founder of the liberal rabbinical school Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, will host a ceremony later this month for Sara Hurwitz, who currently holds the title “madricha ruchanit,” or spiritual mentor, at Weiss’ synagogue, the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in New York City. Invitations for the event, which marks Hurwitz’s completion of the same course of training and examination as male Orthodox rabbinical students, say it is a “conferral ceremony” at which Hurwitz will receive “a new title reflective of her religious and spiritual role.”

Liberal and feminist Orthodox circles have been buzzing that the r-word was being considered, with several sources telling JTA that in recent weeks they had discussed the option with Weiss, as well as several other possibilities, including morateinu (“our teacher”) and two feminized versions of rabbi (rabba and rabbanit).

FROM HAARETZ: The Haifa District Prosecutor’s Office filed an indictment on Tuesday against the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Bialik for sexually assaulting and harassing three women.

According to the indictment, between December 2003 and January 2004, Rabbi Aminadav Krispin allegedly committed lewd acts and sexually harassed a female housekeeper who worked in the Rabbinate’s office.

The indictment further reveals that Krispin was charged with a similar offense in June 2003, when a woman came to him for counseling with her husband. The rabbi allegedly asked the husband to leave the room and, once alone, kissed the woman’s head, claiming that he was giving her a special blessing, and made other sexual overtures.

FROM YNETNEWS: Baruch Goldstein was a righteous man, but what he did was wrong, Zionist Rabbi Shlomo Aviner said in a response to a question regarding the Jewish doctor who murdered 29 Palestinian civilians and injured another 125 at the Cave of Machpela on Purim eve 14 years ago.

Aviner replied to a reader’s question posted on the Ma’ale website. The reader was wondering whether Goldstein’s act was justified, "seeing that at the time many innocent Jews were murdered by Arab terrorists," or whether his act constituted "a heinous murder."

Rabbi Aviner agreed that the issue was complicated: On the one hand, Goldstein’s act could not be viewed separately from the man himself, who, according to Aviner lived during a time of multiple terror attacks and dedicated his life to saving Jews; and on the other hand, a man cannot act of his own accord on behalf of the nation.


The 27-year-old daughter of an Orthodox rabbi tearfully described in Brooklyn Federal Court the day 18 years ago when her father began sexually abusing her.

"I felt alone, scared, confused," the woman said as her gray-bearded father sat on the other side of the cavernous courtroom shaking his head.

She said her mother was heating chicken soup and the family was gathering in the kitchen when her father, Israel Weingarten, called the girl to a bedroom and assaulted her.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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