In light of the great issues of racism and how we fight it, and the recent of loss of life here and in Europe because of hatred, I find an article making such a “tzimmes” out of “open” versus “modern” unfortunately timed (“Closing a chapter on ‘Open Orthodoxy,’” Aug. 17). Unity is what we want, and our goal in using terms like “Modern Orthodox” instead of other terms is to bring the Orthodox and Jewish community together, rather than further divide. Some inaccuracies in the article: Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) has been quite successful in placing students and graduates in OU and other Orthodox synagogues, and in fact, this year, YCT had three OU congregations competing to hire our graduates.
In the end, we placed four of our five students who wanted to go into the pulpit in OU synagogues. Of course, we’ve had many OU-JLIC placements over the years, where our graduates serve as Orthodox rabbis on college campuses. There are far more pulpits looking for YCT graduates than we can supply, even in a year like this past one when we graduated 12 students and five went into pulpit positions.
As a rabbinical school, we look forward to continuing to place all our students into positions which they find fulfilling and which serve the Orthodox and broader Jewish community.
Because of our successful placements, recruitment has also been strong, and we hope this year to replace all 12 graduating students with 12 more from the U.S., Israel, and the U.K.
I hope the Jewish media and community, and the rabbinate focus on an ethical and spiritual course encouraging diversity within unity, and that instead of constantly looking for divisions and battles that can divide us, we use the terms and the language which bring us together to appreciate our common cause.
Rabbi Asher Lopatin
President, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
I was the cochair of the search committee that hired one of YCT’s graduates to be our OU-affiliated synagogue’s rabbi. Rabbi Saul Strosberg has worked miracles in terms of revitalizing what was a dying congregation, building the unity of our community, supporting Israel, and bringing people to greater observance. He is thoughtful, committed, wise, and caring to all, not just to the people who have the ability to write big checks. He makes all who encounter him endeavor to be better people and better Jews.
I feel thankful every day that Rabbi Strosberg has been our leader for a dozen years.