Leading Modern Orthodox Conversion Judge Steps Down

The Jewish Week

Hannah Dreyfus
Staff Writer

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, former vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America and dayyan (judge) on the RCA-supervised Beth Din of America, is stepping down from his position on the Beit Din after yesterday’s announcement that the RCA is convening a new conversion committee with five female members.

The new conversion committee, comprised of six male rabbis and five women of differing professions (including a litigation attorney, educator, psychotherapist and Yoetzet Halacha), was created in response to the arrest of Rabbi Barry Freundel of Congregation Kesher Israel on charges of voyeurism on Oct. 14.

The committee will review the current Geirus Protocol and Standards (GPS) conversion process (used by the Beit Din of America) and suggest safeguards against possible future abuses.

“With changes to GPS [Gerus Protocol and Standards] protocols contemplated, it is an appropriate time for new leadership,” Pruzansky wrote on his personal blog. He stressed that he is “not resigning because of any scandal” but because the “the GPS system that has worked so well for us is about to change.”

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