Rabbis on HUC ordination decision: “Precisely the wrong direction”
June 24, 2024

Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 2,500 traditional, Orthodox rabbis in American public policy, today lamented the decision by Hebrew Union College (HUC), the flagship seminary of the Reform movement, to admit and ordain rabbinical candidates in interfaith relationships. This comes after the board of HUC dropped its ban prohibiting students from being in a relationship with a person of another faith.

“This is another step along the long, sad path towards oblivion for Reform, and all Jewish movements not guided by Torah and millennia of Jewish wisdom,” observed CJV Midwestern Regional Vice President Rabbi Ze’ev Smason. “They’ve proceeded from accepting patrilineal descent to officiating at same-sex unions, to ordaining rabbis in same-sex unions, to authorizing rabbis to conduct intermarriages. So this is merely the newest way that they have placed modern Western priorities ahead of Jewish values. It is no coincidence that these same movements provide us with rabbis who uplift Hamas supporters and condemn our brethren in Israel.”

The rabbis noted, too, that media outlets like the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) cover each new breach as if it were a newly-accepted standard for the Jewish community. The JTA wrote, regarding the HUC’s decision, that “within less than a decade, three of the largest Jewish seminaries in the United States will have all begun admitting students in interfaith relationships.” Several years ago, the JTA also claimed that “Orthodox” rabbis were beginning to bless same-sex unions.

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“This is outright mythology. All of the 50 largest rabbinical seminaries in the United States are strictly Orthodox, meaning Torah-observant; they produce more new rabbis every week than the withering seminaries of those who abandoned Jewish standards graduate in a year,” averred CJV Rabbinic Circle Chairman Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer. “As we wrote in 2020, ‘neither media outlets nor the public should be duped by messaging designed to mislead;’ that is as relevant to claims of an institution’s size or eminence as it is to the definition of ‘Orthodoxy’ within Judaism.

Photo Credit: Ajay Suresh at Wikimedia Commons 

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