Conversion, Rabbinic Authority, and Power Imbalance in Orthodoxy

Conversion, Rabbinic Authority, and Power Imbalance in Orthodoxy Part 2

December 7-11, 2014

During the conversion process, rabbis serve as gatekeepers, determining converts' access and entry into Judaism. This power imbalance between rabbi and congregant/student is pervasive in many areas of Orthodox ritual and life. In the aftermath of recent events, we will evaluate this fundamental power imbalance that exists between congregants  and the rabbinate. How can we use recent events as an opportunity for exploring rabbinic authority and the nature of authority in the Orthodox community. Are there opportunities for reform, dialogue, transparency, and oversight?

Cast Members:

  • Rabbi Mark Dratch, Rabbinical Council of America
  • Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School
  • Dr. Elana Stein Hain, Shalom Hartman Institute of North America

Moderator: Laura Shaw-Frank, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance

Part 1 of this panel was held at the JOFA UnConference on November 23, 2014. Click here for a video recording of that panel.

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