web analytics
July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Jewish Congressman Concerned over Rabbinate Boycott of Avi Weiss Flock

By: JTA

New York Rep. Eliot L. Engel sent a letter to Benjamin Netanyahu to express his concern over the Israeli Chief Rabbinate’s decision to reject Jewish status letters written by Rabbi Avi Weiss.

Engel, the senior Democratic member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote in the letter to Israel’s prime minister dated Jan. 10 that: “This trend of rejecting status letters written by Rabbi Weiss and others undermines the bond between Diaspora communities and the state of Israel, and I fear, may ultimately lead to the wholesale prohibition on community rabbis in the Diaspora from participating in the religious life of Jewish people in Israel.”

Weiss is one of Engel’s constituents. Both the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, which Weiss led for nearly 40 years, and the Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, which Weiss founded, also are located in Engel’s congressional district.

Late last year, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel rejected a letter vouching for the Jewishness of an American couple marrying in Israel written by well-known Weiss, as well as the letters of at least 10 rabbis in other cases,

A letter vouching for a couple’s Jewishness and singlehood has been required for decades from every couple wishing to marry in Israel.

The Chief Rabbinate decided several years ago that it would no longer automatically recognize conversions performed by Orthodox rabbis in the Diaspora, and agreed to accept those of a limited number of approved rabbinical courts, or batei din.

Engel said he is concerned that the Chief Rabbinate’s decision to reject Weiss’ letter “is simply the latest instance of the broader marginalization of the many diverse streams of Judaism in Israel. If Rabbi Weiss’ credentials are rejected – an Orthodox leader with decades of experience – what does that portend for other strands of American Judaism?”

Engel wrote that it is “profoundly inappropriate for the Chief Rabbinate to cast aspersions on any individual’s commitment to Jewish traditions simply because of differing religious customs and practices.”

Engel left for Israel Sunday as part of Vice President Joe Biden’s delegation to the funeral for former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Jewish Congressman Concerned over Rabbinate Boycott of Avi Weiss Flock”

  1. Lisa Kamins says:

    the Jewish congressman is then ignorant as to what is involved in what is makes a person a proper aide. the following article explains some of the issues with Avi Weiss:
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/14320#.UtLf1rTomSo

  2. it has nothing to do with being modern, open, or haredi, it has to do with belonging to their cliques and clubs – I'm "haredi" and I have had my letters rejected as well – and not even for Israel, but for attending synagogues in Latin America, or for attending seminaries in Brooklyn, all because they then asked the Rabbanut!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Vienna.
Iran Deal to Miss Fifth Deadline
Latest News Stories
Combat soldiers from the Golani Brigade's Egoz unit.

The IDF is placing its four elite combat units under a single commando brigade in the 98th Paratrooper’s Division. The combat units Egoz, part of the Golani Brigade; Rimon, part of the Givati Brigade; Duvdevan of the Central Command; and Maglan of the combat engineering force will be under the new command to be headed […]

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Vienna.

The European Union explains the deadline is not being extended. Negotiators simply are continuing to negotiate. Huh?

The avocado is the one on the left.

The “AvocadoFact” Twitter account launched a just-for-fun poll, and the fruit is trouncing “the Donald.”

Hamas terror tunnel uncovered by IDF in northern Gaza in August 2014.

The IDF says Gaza reconstruction is moving ahead with new Hamas terror tunnels being built.

The ISIS terrorists died after breaking their fast at their Iftar meal with poisoned food…

Europe’s low-fare airline will fly three routes to the Ovda Airport, northwest of Eilat.

Iran’s Expediency Council head says Israel, an “alien presence” will be “wiped off the map” some day.

Palestinian Authority police arrested 170 Hamas terrorists in a sting across Judea and Samaria.

Hollywood producer Branko Lustig says he will gift his Oscar for ‘Schindler’s List’ to Yad Vashem after his death.

Israeli researchers invent a cutting edge technique for stitch-free bonding in cornea transplant surgery.

The Temple Mount is closed to Jews and others for the next 10 days for Islamic observances.

Iran expert predicts there will be no signed deal because Iran already feels it can get all it wants without one.

Russian FM Lavrov met in Vienna with Iran’s Zarif in an unsuccessful bid to break a deadlock in nuclear talks.

When it comes down to it, it’s really about the milk. Minister Ariel just cut the price by nearly 5 percent.

The IDF plans to form a new elite commando unit.

Israeli leaders and families of fallen IDF soldiers gather to mark one year since Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

More Articles from JTA

More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas. The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood […]

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called on the Jewish community to attend the funeral of an assassinated New York police officer. “The brave men and women of the NYPD risk their lives every day to protect us. We value them and stand with them,” Hikind, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement […]

“Move Jew” scrawled on a Philadelphia home and slurs written on a synagogue and 10 garages in Chicago.

The Nazis nearly destroyed the 17th synagogue.

Cuba has “the largest pool of untapped baseball talent in the world, and Major League Baseball may tap and leave Cuba dry.

Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]

A fundraising campaign started quietly by two first graders two years ago to help find a cure for a rare genetic disease just passed the $1 million mark.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-congressman-concerned-over-rabbinate-boycott-of-avi-weiss-flock/2014/01/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: