Sunday 29th June 2014
Rabbi Dr. Ben Elton
“Is Open Orthodoxy Orthodox?”
Maccabi Centre, Manchester
Click here to view handout from the lecture (1997 article by Rabbi Avi Weiss on Open Orthodoxy)
Open Orthodoxy was first used as a term by Rabbi Avi Weiss of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (Riverdale, New York) in an attempt to try to reconcile traditional Judaism with the demands of the present whilst staying within the scope of Orthodoxy.
The meaning of Open Orthodoxy has become distorted over time due to misuse on the left of Orthodoxy, leading to widespread criticism from the Orthodox right that it goes too far on matters such as women’s issues, biblical studies and interfaith relations. What is Open Orthodoxy today and does it have a future?
Ben Elton, Rabbinic Fellow and Director of Education at Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York who is a final year student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, presents an overview of the movement and its agenda, and gives a candid view of its prospects and challenges.
About Rabbi Dr. Ben Elton
Rabbi Dr. Ben Elton was born in Manchester. He was educated at Cambridge University (MA) and London University (PhD). He learned at Yeshivat Darche Noam in 2004 and is now in his third year at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.
After a first career in the Civil Service in London, he came to New York in 2011 and joined Lincoln Square Synagogue in September 2013. He received Semicha from Rabbi David Bigman, Rosh Yeshiva of Maale Gilboa, in February 2014.
In addition to Ben’s rabbinic activity, he is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. He has published and spoken widely on Jewish religious history.
Some of his writings can be accessed below:
Jewish Chronicle – Shavuot puts the meaning into mitzvah
Times of Israel articles
Morethodoxy Blog – The Boundaries of Orthodoxy
Morethodoxy Blog – Living by the Word of God