I’d only ever been to one protest before I met Rabbi Avi Weiss. Since then, I’ve been to many more and I’ve even sat at home waiting while my husband got arrested protesting the UN (as chronicled in Presentense magazine) with Rabbi Weiss. By the time I actually met Rabbi Weiss personally to discuss having him marry us at the wedding, the stuff I had heard about him seemed the stuff of legend. That’s how I learned that Rabbi Weiss is always fighting for some just cause no matter where it takes him in the world.
Most recently, Rabbi Weiss has been featured in the news for fighting for rabbis and for converts. He and Rabbi Marc Angel have both spoken out against the way the new RCA conversion guidelines create a centralization of power and question the authority and ability of the congregation rabbi while hurting the convert no less. His recent decision to create the International Rabbinic Fellowship has people talking about the growing rift between right-wing Modern Orthodoxy and well, everyone else.
And so this time, is Rabbi Weiss’s fighting not just about who gets to decide who’s a Jew but also who gets to decide who’s a rabbi?
From Jewish Week, for more on this story take a look at “Taking On The RCA? New rabbinical group launched to counter rightward shift in Modern Orthodoxy.”