Rabbinic group rejects proposal to admit women


(JTA) — A liberal Orthodox rabbinic group in the United States voted down a proposal to admit women members.

The International Rabbinic Fellowship, founded by Rabbis Avi Weiss and Marc Angel of New York, voted down by what is being called "a close vote" a proposal to admit women as full or limited members, The New York Jewish Week reported.

The Dec. 20 vote came after what the president of the organization, Rabbi Barry Gelman of Houston, told The Jewish Week was a “wonderfully healthy and passionate discussion.”

The 3-year-old IRF, which has 140 member rabbis, is considered the most liberal Orthodox Jewish rabbinic organization in the United States.

Weiss has been pushing for increased synagogue roles for women, trained a woman as a rabbi — Rabba Sara Hurwitz — and gave her a rabbinic role in his Hebrew Institute of Riverdale amid great controversy in January 2010.

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