The Jewish Week
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 of Bergen County after the Rabbinical Council of America announced yesterday that it is convening a new conversion committee with five female members.
The new conversion committee, composed 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.
In a statement posted on his personal blog, Pruzansky accused the RCA of bending to media pressure and promoting “the agenda of feminists.”
“The committee consists of six men and five women, bolstering the trend on the Orthodox left to create quasi-rabbinical functions for women,” he writes. “What role can they [women] play in ‘review[ing]’ the GPS conversion process?” He concludes the paragraph by calling the conversion process a “purely rabbinical role.”
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