Oct 30, 2014

Rabbi Pruzansky stepping down is a loss

In light of the scandal with Rabbi Freundel of the RCA and the changes being implemented by the RCA in response to it, Rabbi Pruzansky has announced that he will be stepping down from his position as head of the RCA's conversion court.

Despite the fact that I did not always agree with his opinions, I feel bad he is stepping down and I feel it will be an overall loss for the RCA.

It seems to me, and I never heard otherwise, that Rabbi Pruzansky is an honest and hard working rabbi with great integrity. I don't have to agree with everything he says, but it is a shame to lose someone like that from the system. He surely has given it honor and prestige and has done what he could to make sure the conversion court worked  well.

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  1. 'Head of the RCA's conversion court' sounds misleading to me. Rav Pruzansky was the head of a local conversion court (RCBC) which operated with RCA approbation and acceptance. The RCA did not run the court in any way. That is how conversion courts around the country operate with RCA approval. The RCA has no hand in running the court; rather the court is run according the RCA's standards and the converts are thereby validated by the Beit Din of America as needed. Technically, the BDA is also independent of the RCA; though the RCA resorts to the BDA's services for many issues.

    In fact, the RCA has no beit din at all.

  2. thanks for the clarification.
    so, what does it mean he is stepping down from? he is stepping down from his own private beis din? he just doesnt want to work with the RCA anymore? if it is not an rca beis din, why does he feel he needs to step down from it?

  3. The beit din is committed to working solely according to the RCA standards. By the present standards, that was fine with him. As he noted in his blog, he fears that the announced 'review' of standards and protocols may compromise the integrity of the process. He doesn't want to have to then fight over it, and resist pressure to conform to 'new' standards that he doesn't agree to. (In this case, he is afraid they will be too lenient.)

    Rabbinical Council of Bergen County isn't "his own private beis din". It is a beit din run by a regional vaad, and he was the av beit din. But not 'private', ad hoc, or small-time at all.


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