List Of Open Orthodox Congregations That Are OU Member Shuls


YCT and Yeshiva Maharat graduates serving in OU Member Congregations


Rabbi Nissin Antine Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah — Potomac, MD           
Maharat Dasi Fruchter Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah — Potomac, MD           
Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman Ohev Sholom: The National Synagogue – Washington, D.C. –           
Morateinu Allissa Thomas Newborn Bnai David Judea (Los Angeles)
Rabbi Aviad Bodner Stanton Street Shul (Lower East Side)
Rabbi David Wolkenfeld Anshei Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation — Chicago, IL      
Rabbi Saul Strosberg Cong. Sherith Israel  — Nashville, TN           
Rabbi Jason Herman West Side Jewish Center – Cong. Beth Israel — Manhattan           
Rabbi Steven Exler Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
Rabba Sara Hurwitz Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
Rabbi Avi Weiss Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
Rabba Anata Sharbat Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
Rabbi Uri Topolsky Beth Joshua Congregation — Rockville, MD           
Rabbi Gabe Greenberg Congregation Beth Israel (New Orleans)
Rabbi Akiva Weiss OU-JLIC campus rabbi Binghamton, NY.
Victoria Sutton Beth Israel Berkley
Daniel Millner Tiferet Israel, Austin
Zachary Truboff Cedar Sinai, Cleveland
Max Davis Darchei Noam, Minneapolis
Josh Pernick Shaarey Tphiloh, Springfield, MA


Members of YCT’s advisory board serving in OU shuls


Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld (honorary graduate YCT) Ohev Sholom: The National Synagogue – Washington, D.C. –           
Rabbi Ben Greenfield Bais Abraham (St. Louis, Missouri)
Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky Bnai David Judea (Los Angeles)
Etan Mintz Bnai Israel in Baltimore


YCT President Rabbi Asher Loaptin:


Rabbi Avi Weiss on Shalom TV (2016):


The list goes on.  The previous rabbi in Potomac was the president of the Rabbinical council of America, it is an OU synagogue.  It is a 500 member synagogue Beth Shalom.  In Potomac is Rabbi Nissan Antine.  That’s my response.


From a Jewish Telegraph Agency article (2012):


Both Lopatin and Weiss cited Chovevei’s warm relationship with the Orthodox Union, which has hundreds of member synagogues (including Young Israel affiliates). Most Chovevei pulput rabbis are at OU shuls. However, the OU’s executive vice president emeritus, Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, went out of his way to note that the OU does not actually have any formal relationship with Chovevei.


The Jewish Week (2011):


Rabbi Weiss also downplays the acceptance issue. “It’s a narrow, parochial issue,” he said. “Many of our students are indeed on the OU [Orthodox Union] payroll [at member congregations]. I can’t say that’s one of our challenges because it’s not a reason why guys wouldn’t choose this program.”


Jewish Telegraph Agency (2009):


Here’s a note we got from YCT’s director of continuing rabbinic education and community programming, Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot

More than a dozen YCT graduates proudly serve as rabbis and assistant rabbis in OU synagogues throughout the country. These include such prominent synagogues as Congregation Kehillath Jeshurun (NYC), East Denver Orthodox Synagogue (Denver, CO), Congregation Beth Shalom, (Potomac, MD), Kehillat Kesher (Engelwoood,NJ), Congregation Shearith Israel (Nashville, TN),Congregation Beth Israel (Berkeley, CA) and Congregation Beth Israel, the only Orthodox synagogue in the reemerging city of New Orleans, LA.

In addition, dozens of our graduates serve in other Orthodox pulpits, Hillel and day school positions. Moreover, two of our recent graduates are serving in the position of Jewish Learning Initiative (JLI) directors, a program sponsored by the OU for Orthodox students on campus, at Princeton University and Brandeis University. A 2009 YCT graduate will soon be taking on the position of director of JLI at Harvard University.

Our placement offices continue to receive more requests than we can fill as communities in the field recognize the outstanding qualities of our program and the many fine young YCT graduates who are entering the field to devote themselves to the Jewish people and Torah. These communities simply ignore misinformed and mean-spirited hearsay and gossip. A correction and an apology to the OU, YCT, its graduates and all those communities throughout the country is certainly in order.



    • What about Chasidic-YCT connections?

      Since Satmar/UTA/R. Yechezkel Roth, Karlsburg Rav of Borough Park gave semicha to Ysoscher Katz, leading YCT faculty member, and hasn’t withdrawn it, does that mean that Satmar/UTA/Karlsburg Kashrus/ Psakim are not acceptable?

      Since Lubavitch has not disassociated itself from its Chasid R. Chaim Rapoport of the UK, who is a longtime honored faculty member of YCT, does that mean that Lubavitcher kashrus and rulings can’t be trusted?

    • Yes, it raises a serious question as to whether ORTHODOX UNION certification of food as kosher can be trusted, given that we see that ORTHODOX UNION certification of congregations is TREIF.

  1. These so called shuls that have lady rabbi’s, do they pasken shailos for men as well? After davening, do the men go up and shake the female rabbi’s hand? Are these so called shuls mixed seating? How does it work?

    • Yes, just like male Rabbis paskin shailos for women. If they know, congregants probably don’t, just like women going up to shake a male Rabbi’s hand.

      They are not mixed seating, the Maharat just gets up for the Drasha and sits on the women’s side.

  2. Not all ‘Open Orthodox’ are the same. There is a spectrum there.

    There are extreme radicals, whose names you may recognize from the news, but there are also others who are more moderate, who don’t make headlines. It is important to distinguish between the two, in the interest of fairness.

    It also should be noted that (all or most) of the congregations involved are peripheral – some in terms of geography, others in terms of ideology.

    Also, talking about people who are at OU congregations as being on the OU payroll seems quite misleading. The OU doesn’t pay rabbis/employees of its member congregations for their local work in the congregations (perhaps with rare exception, e.g. the college outreach workers) – the congregations themselves pay them.

  3. When will Satmar and R. Yechezkel Roth, Karlsburg Rav of Boro Park take action against Ysoscher Katz, leading faculty member at YCT, who advertises semicha from UTA Satmar/R. Yechezkel Roth (see YCT website)?

    When will Lubavitch break with UK Lubavitcher R. Chaim Rapoport, who has lectured extensively at YCT for years?

    When you attack the OU so extensively and vociferously, but, at the same time, give Chasidic offenders a free ride, such inconsistency and hypocrisy casts a great shadow of doubt on motives/hidden agendas of the attackers.

    • I hear what you’re saying but things are more complicated than you make it out to be. There are things being done shtiller heit. This is not the forum to bring these things out. The wrong people get the wrong ideas.

      • So maybe things are more complicated than made out here re the OU as well. And maybe things are being done shtilleh heit by it too.

    • Big difference is that R’ Roth doesn’t say that Katz is affiliated with him, and everyone understands that whatever Katz does is not representative of R’ Roth. He doesn’t need to “take action” against Katz, because there is no action to take. On the other hand, the OU has an affiliation with these temples, so it needs to (and will) take action.

      • 1) Ysoscher Katz advertises that he got semicha from R. Yechezkel Roth of UTA/Satmar (now Karlsburg). It is displayed prominently at the YCT website.

        2) The OU does not endorse Avi Weiss/YCT and their radical stances, that is clear to anyone with seichel.

        • Anyone who knows who R’ Roth is also knows that he has nothing to do with Katz. The fact that Katz learned by him before going off the derech doesn’t require R’ Chatzlel to release a statement, any more than he would have to if (when) Katz gives a heter to drive on Shabbos or to intermarry.

  4. The main thing right now is really for OU to drop the Open Orthodox congregations from River Dale that have been flouting halacha for a long time.

    When they wished mazal tov upon the engagement of two men, they crossed a red line that NOBODY in Orthodox Judaism is willing to tolerate. Are you for keeping halacha or not?

    I think OU is getting the message. They are a prestigious organization that has done tremendous good for Klal Yisroel and continues to do so. We all know that they will do the right thing.

  5. There are some communities that once you become a member you will not get expelled unless you are mechalel shabbos BeFarhesya or you intermarry or you don’t do a bris for a eligible child.
    ALL other Aveiros do not get you expelled even though, it goes without saying, that they do not approve of the ‘members’ actions.
    The OU may have rules, set by the original founders, as to when its members get expelled. If it does not fit the criteria
    they won’t get expelled. This does NOT mean that the OU or anyone else approves or agrees with what they are doing.

    The are many many other considerations to take into account before one expels anyone from any place (including but not limited to expelling a student from a school no matter what he or she did)

  6. the OU is going down the slippery slope of the conservative movement, soon they will tolerate mechalel Shabbos and intermarriage.

      • another posek BH who cannot quote a source. we don’t follow jewish law, we follow halakha and ethical values. as a matter of choice, but not halakha, i avoid many places where i would not be caught dead.

        • see mesechte shabbos perek kol kisvey and notation, ein mishpat, where in halacha ;mutev leilech lbais avodah zorah then to house of heretics…ok mr am aretz?

  7. Worth it to keep this list discussed. This conspiracy is very scary and we may wish not to dream ever that their plan is kosher. OU will you hear? We want a right consensus.

  8. How do you defend the Lashon Horah involved in posting this list. Nobody in the Matzav world is accidently Davening in these Ships, your only interest is to shame these Shuls and the OU and put them down. Pure Sinas Chinam.


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