Breaking News: Yeshivat Mahara”t

I just got a huge announcement in a tiny email:

We are pleased to announce the opening of Yeshivat Mahara”t, an Orthodox Yeshiva of Higher Learning, founded by Rabbi Avi Weiss of The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale.

Yeshivat Mahara”t (Manhiga Hilchatit Ruchanit Toranit) will train women to become Orthodox Spiritual Leaders– full members of the Rabbinic Clergy– in Synagogues, Schools, and on University Campuses.

Resumes and letter of interest should be emailed to Mahara”t Sara Hurwitz at, or call 718-796-4730, ext 107.

17 Responses to “Breaking News: Yeshivat Mahara”t”

  1. It’s great to see that Maharat Sara Hurwitz is continuing to find ways for women to be educated – and take on leadership roles – within an Orthodox religious framework. Yasher koach!

    I look forward to seeing how this develops…

    feygele · May 14th, 2009 at 7:57 pm
  2. Thanks for posting, RR. I’m torn on this: On the one hand, I think it’s fantastic that the school is being opened and the opportunity is being created. OTOH, Mahara’t, full spiritual leaders. Sounds an awful lot like Rabbi without being Rabbi. I understand that is the frame their working in, but still takes some rolling around in my head. Also looking forward to see how this develops, and am open to be convinced one way or the other…

    Ruby K · May 14th, 2009 at 8:30 pm
  3. Wow, this is awesome. Very unexpected (by me).

    Tovah · May 14th, 2009 at 8:43 pm
  4. With some prompting, I’ve been giving this more thought. Yeshivat Chovevei Torah was also founded by rabbi Avi Weiss, not too long ago. Will Yeshivat Mahara”t have a relationship with YCT? If so, what? If not, why not? Why didn’t Weiss just start a program for women at YCT?

    feygele · May 14th, 2009 at 10:07 pm
  5. The “opening” of the program? They’re open for business (or at least job applications) already? I’d be very interested to hear about the funding situation here–is there enough support for this that they have the dollars to make it roll (in this economy)?

    Danya · May 14th, 2009 at 11:00 pm
  6. And for pete’s sake, just call them rabbis already! (Yes, I know, this has been discussed to death already. But still.)

    Danya · May 14th, 2009 at 11:01 pm
  7. “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;?”

    CVBruce · May 15th, 2009 at 1:16 am
  8. Sounds like a hoax to me. Who gives Yeshivas names that rhyme?

    Amit · May 15th, 2009 at 11:26 am
  9. This is so, so awesome.

    Yonah · May 15th, 2009 at 1:18 pm
  10. Agreed on this yeshiva being a good thing…even if I don’t exactly like the title “Mahara”t”, I really feel like once the door is opened to women in the (orthodox) clergy in an official manner, it will be much harder to close.

    Phil W. · May 15th, 2009 at 3:02 pm
  11. It’s kind of ironic that R. Weiss sets up rabbinical schools when his own rabbis are dead. He will quote R. Soloveitchik and R. Elizer Berkovitz as those that would see things his way if they were alive. Great. Then he will say because he thinks what he is doing is correct and no other rabbi of any stature has the guts to agree with him about how he is creating new halachic facts on the ground that he can go it alone. Great. I got plenty of my own critical issues that I want answered my way right now but I can’t get a living rabbi of any stature to poskin my way so sign me up for a dead rabbi too who I can then tell everyone would have certainlly ruled according to my desires if he was living today. Maybe I can then set up my own rabbinical school as well to carry on this fabulous new spin on tradition that everyone else needs a living rabbi except for me. Fabulous idea.

    Jonathan · May 15th, 2009 at 6:08 pm
  12. Has anyone confirmed this is not a hoax?

    And Jonathan, I’m not sure where the anger comes from, but the fact that you list at least two gdolim without a z”l is striking and frankly, in conjunction with your repetition of “dead” over and over again, disrespectful.

    Let’s not forget that the great Rabbis of his day encouraged burning the Rambam’s (z”l) books in the streets and it took a generation to rectify that error. Relying on the proclivities of the gdolei ha dor on either side of a halachic issues has its drawbacks as well…

    Aaron · May 15th, 2009 at 7:45 pm
  13. Jonathan:

    Are you a fan of R’ Hershel Schachter?

    See here.

    Steg (dos iz nit der shteg) · May 15th, 2009 at 7:45 pm
  14. Mt. Hurwitz (note cool new abbreviation!) studied with R. Weiss; all the “program needs” is new bodies to study with R. Weiss. Additional training (if deemed necessary to actual smicha) could come in the form of course reqs. at a different institution (oh, perhaps, YCT?).
    This is also an advantage (and a great disadvantage, too) of “traditional” (i.e. pre-rabbinical-school) smicha: it is much, much cheaper.

    Amit · May 18th, 2009 at 12:05 pm
  15. Jonathan: the idea that you can never disgree with your teachers is a Charedi deviation from historic Judaism. What Rav Soloveitchik and Rav Berkowitz thought doesn’t constrain Rav Weiss’s own halachic & philosophical analysis of the issues. Even if they were opposed, it was a different time and no one Rabbi can determine psak forever. Rav Weiss can stand on his own two feet.

    chillul Who? · May 18th, 2009 at 7:24 pm
  16. [...] Just another weblog « Dilettante Yeshivat Maharat May 18, 2009 This looks absolutely amazing. Does it go far enough? Does it go too [...]

    Yeshivat Maharat « The Safeword is “Gemara” · May 19th, 2009 at 2:51 am
  17. I need to learn more Berkovits… I just flipped through a book by R’ Berkovits yesterday and WHOA he’s more radical than anything i’ve seen R’ Avi Weiss do lately…

    Steg (dos iz nit der shteg) · May 19th, 2009 at 9:03 am

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