‘Huge’ Moment For Advocates Of Orthodox Women Rabbis

YU centrist named successor of Shlomo Riskin’s pioneering seminary in Israel; move could impact direction of U.S. Orthodoxy.

by Gary Rosenblatt 10/10/2017

 

Rabbi Kenneth Brander

With the powerful Orthodox Union poised to vote on whether to expel several member congregations for employing women in rabbinical roles, and with a new poll of Modern Orthodox Jews showing 53 percent support for giving women expanded clergy roles, the issue of women rabbis in Orthodoxy is reaching a pivotal moment.

And this week, the Orthodox community here is considering the intriguing implications of the handoff of power at Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s pioneering network of religious schools in Israel, some of which grant women the equivalent of a rabbinic ordination.

Rabbi Riskin, 77, an innovative figure in the Modern Orthodox community in the U.S. and Israel for more than five decades, is seen as anchoring the religious left, in part for his outspoken advocacy on women’s issues.

But his hand-picked successor, Rabbi Kenneth Brander, 53, is viewed as a leading mainstream centrist. An outgoing vice president of Yeshiva University, he secured a national reputation for his success as senior rabbi of the Boca Raton Synagogue in Florida before joining the YU administration in 2005. …Click here to read the article on the Jewish Week website