web analytics
August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A search team in the Jerusalem Forest looking for Aharon Sofer
Body Found in Jerusalem Forest Being Examined On Site by Abu Kabir Experts
Latest News Stories
A search team in the Jerusalem Forest looking for Aharon Sofer

Searchers for missing yeshiva student Aharon Sofer have found an unidentified body in the Jerusalem Forest.

Chief Hezbollah terrorist Hassan Nasrallah.

Drug dealers suspected of aiding Hezbollah make inroads into Israel; smuggling attempts also included Jordan, Syria

No longer the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in as President of Turkey today. As a result, Erdogan will continue driving Turkey down his Islamic path for another 5 years, as Erdogan consolidates the power under the presidency. His foreign minister and ally, Ahmet Davutoğlu, will be taking over as Prime […]

IDF soldiers fired warning shots at a group of Gazans who approached the border fence near Nachal Oz. The group distanced itself from the fence, and there are no reports of injuries.

Only time PLO seems interested in justice for Palestinians is when Israel is involved

The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) has come under increasing fire in recent weeks for aiding Hamas in the terror group’s war against Israel, with one advocacy group lodging a formal complaint against the organization. As evidence seems to continue to emerge of the use of the agency’s schools and clinics as Hamas storehouses, […]

Jews in Mariupol, Ukraine are trapped as rebels, Russians and Ukraine forces advance towards their city to fight for control.

One Arab tried to infiltrate Israel and dozens stoned IDF troops over the Gaza security fence Thursday, as Gazans celebrated their “victory” over Israel by initiating low-level clashes near Kibbutz Nahal Oz. IDF forces responded with warning shots in the air. No injuries or property damage were reported.

Uzi Arad launches ferocious attack on Netanyahu, DM Ya’alon. Praises home front but says pols giving nothing but marketing spin.

For the third time in a week, an Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was shot down, this time in Iraq, near the Baghdad Airport.

An advocacy group has lodged a formal complaint claiming UNRWA has far exceeded its mandate by aiding and sustaining the psychological and physical assault on Israeli civilians and infrastructure.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations is demanding the world body take action against Hamas for its use of human shields.

A Spanish Islamic cleric near Madrid is calling for the ‘destruction of the Jews’ and prays God will “not spare a single one of them.”

Two people were wounded after numerous mortar shells were fired into northern Israel from Syria on Wednesday in 3 separate attacks.

Overnight another rocket or shell was launched at Israel from Syria.

More Articles from JTA

Nearly 200 Hollywood elite, including Sylvester Stallone and Seth Rogen, signed a statement condemning Hamas as its conflict with Israel continues.

Police entered the apartment after relatives were unable to contact the couple.

If you are worried about your child marrying a non-Jew, and you should be, then move to Israel.

If “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” Diaspora Jews are in big trouble.

Al Qaeda wants the US to free terrorists in return for freeing Warren Weinstein.

At least six Haredi protesters were arrested and a police officer was wounded in demonstrations in at least three Israeli cities Sunday following the arrest of a yeshiva student for ignoring a draft notice. Hundreds of protesters blocked busy intersections in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Modiin Illit and Beit Shemesh. The yeshiva student has been arrested […]

Police in Melbourne arrested seven pro-Palestinian protesters who stormed the roof of an Israel-based company.

Violent assaults on Jews are becoming more common around the world.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: