Last month I wrote a blog post about Rabbi Avi Weiss’ decision to grant a new title, Maharat, on an Orthodox Jewish woman, Sara Hurwitz. The post quoted Jonathan Mark, a columnist and blogger at the Jewish Week, saying that if graduates of Weiss’ yeshiva, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, weren’t getting hired by Orthodox Union synagogues, it wasn’t because of the Hurwitz thing.
Turns out, YCT grads ARE getting hired by O.U. shuls. Here’s a note we got from YCT’s director of continuing rabbinic education and community programming, Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot.
More than a dozen YCT graduates proudly serve as rabbis and assistant rabbis in OU synagogues throughout the country. These include such prominent synagogues as Congregation Kehillath Jeshurun (NYC), East Denver Orthodox Synagogue (Denver, CO), Congregation Beth Shalom, (Potomac, MD), Kehillat Kesher (Engelwoood,NJ), Congregation Shearith Israel (Nashville, TN),Congregation Beth Israel (Berkeley, CA) and Congregation Beth Israel, the only Orthodox synagogue in the reemerging city of New Orleans, LA. In addition, dozens of our graduates serve in other Orthodox pulpits, Hillel and day school positions. Moreover, two of our recent graduates are serving in the position of Jewish Learning Initiative (JLI) directors, a program sponsored by the OU for Orthodox students on campus, at Princeton University and Brandeis University. A 2009 YCT graduate will soon be taking on the position of director of JLI at Harvard University.
Our placement offices continue to receive more requests than we can fill as communities in the field recognize the outstanding qualities of our program and the many fine young YCT graduates who are entering the field to devote themselves to the Jewish people and Torah. These communities simply ignore misinformed and mean-spirited hearsay and gossip. A correction and an apology to the OU, YCT, its graduates and all those communities throughout the country is certainly in order.