OU Offers Response To Its Affiliation With Open Orthodoxy


Dear Editor,

In response to inquiries and questions regarding the OU’s position regarding recent reports on your website, you should note the following:

It is the OU’s unequivocal position that support for, or celebration of, halachically proscribed conduct is fundamentally inappropriate. Accordingly, the institutional endorsement or encouragement (implicit or explicit) of any conduct that is contrary to halacha is activity that no Orthodox synagogue should allow.

With this principle in mind, we are currently in the process of reviewing our synagogue standards to determine whether further comment, or other action, is appropriate.


Allen I. Fagin

Executive Vice President / Chief Professional Officer

Orthodox Union



  1. Okay, nice, let’s now have reaction from Karlsburg, Satmar, and Lubavitch about their affiliations with Open Orthodoxy.

    Let’s hear from R. Yechezkel Roth of Karlsburg/UTA, who ordained Ysoscher Katz of YCT, about his hechsher (semicha) on Katz, one of the leading YCT/OO figures.

    Let’s have a statement from Lubavitch about the Lubavitcher Rabbi Chaim Rapoport (from UK), on YCT faculty for years.

    • There is no “affiliation” between Satmar and Katz, nor any between R’ Roth and Katz. You keep beating a dead horse, not sure what point you are trying to make.
      There is no one out there who would even think for a second that Katz or YCT has legitimacy because of where Katz learned before he went off. On the other hand, there are some (but few) people who look to the OU for the legitimacy of an institution, so it is important for the OU to clarify that these temples have nothing to do with authentic Judaism.

      • Look at the YCT website, it proclaims that their leading faculty member, Ysoscher Katz, has ordination from the dayan of UTA/Satmar, R. Yechezkel Roth, now Karlsburg Rav. It is advertised their in a high profile way. It is clear as day that they are using Satmar/UTA/R. Yechezkel Roth/Karlsburg to get legitimacy. Where is R. Yechezkel Roth and Satmar? They should deforock Katz, remove his ordination. They should announce publicly that they disown him. Aren’t Satmar/R. Yechezkel Roth/Karlsburg (allegedly) kanoim? How can they let YCT use their name to gain legitimacy?

        • They use R’ Roth’s name, he doesn’t use theirs!! When he proudly lists this former student on his distinguished list of alumni, you can start commenting…

      • The OU is not defending toeivah.

        The vehement attacks by some people here on the OU, while, at the same time, turning a blind eye to prominent Satmar and Lubavitch connections to OO, show that they have a hidden agenda against the OU.

  2. So why don’t they just knock off the bum shul from their membership?
    Like the moetzes has clearly written and Rabbi Feiner has stated and has been reported on your site?
    Knock em off, Fragin!

  3. Thank you for the non-response, OU. Your wishy-washy statement does not portray you as a defender of Torah yiddishkeit.

    You must IMMEDIATELY remove all churches who practice these abominations from the OU organization.

  4. Ok, OU. We are all waiting to see how you deal with “standards”….just hope that you do not employ the same “standards” in kashrus….

    • Are you also pointing the same finger at Satmar, Karlsburg, and Lubavitch kashrus for their OO affiliations as well, as the first comment points out?

          • hhagoen hurav roth doesnt troll websites…that he got smicha when he wasn soured yet what has it to do now? since he belongs to an chrch that denies g-d wrote the torah, mock chachmei yisreoel, hes already excluded from klall yisreo lso why need extra announcements?

  5. Again a bunch of words, we need action now! Kavod shomayim is at stake toeiva is a capital crime. Kick these “shuls” out now.

  6. Blah blah blah. Its a matter of time till someone opens a charedi hechsher. If we cant trust their standards, how can we eat OU food?

  7. What’s the big surprise? The leadership of the OU endorsed the pro gay marriage, pro abortion candidate, Hillary Clinton.

  8. Very pareve comment for a situation that is clear as day.
    OU act now!!! as not condemning them strongly and cutting ties, will be viewed by many or most as a show of support.
    This response to something TREIF like TOEIVAH makes me wonder if we can trust them with what we eat.
    It may be time that TORAH TRUE JEWS[ like Rav Gifter ZTL would say] should start a new Hechsher with torah true value. I shudder to think of the KULOS this organization uses, if they respond very Parvely to ISSUR D’eoraysah like TOEIVAH

  9. Rabbosai-as a Rav who deals with the OU, I can tell you there kashrus is 100% and run by Bnei Torah.
    BUT the synagogue branch does include a few Open “Orthodox” neo-Conservative mistaken shuls mostly misled by clergy from Weiss’s school.

  10. The OU as well as the Agudah are defunct and useless organizations which do nothing for our community outside the realm of kashrus and the siyum hashas every 7.5 years. Their leadership is weak and misrepresents our Torah values. Did you see this statement-it is a political non-commitment of neutrality. Toeiva is a abomination-period!!!!! We need to stand up against the tide of disengagement and stand up for our values. America has not had a Gadol in a leadership position since the untimely deaths of Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Rav Aaaron Kotler-whoa unto us with out strong leadership. It’s time to pack our bags and move to Eretz Yisroel so we can drink up the true Torah values of Rav Shteinman and Rav Chaim. Rav Berel Wein always said “if you want to know the future, look at the past. It always repeats itself”. Once a society accepts Toeiva it is all over-whether it be a fast or slow decline. I don’t know what the future brings with threats from all sides ie: North Korea, Iran, ETC…. but lets come together and stand up for what’s right and just and true under the umbrella of Torah true Judaism. For our sake, for our children’s sake and for all future generations of Klal Yisroel.

  11. To say that the OU and The Agudas Yisroel are “useless” orginizations, clearly shows your utter ignorance of the amazing essential work of these 2 amazing orginizations. Probably every religioud jew in the world has eaten a product that relied on the OU’s hashgacha, and most frum yidden in the US have benefited from The Aguda’s amazing klal work. Just visit their website http://www.agudathisrael.org to see some of the hundreds of recent “useless” activites they have done on behalf of YOU, and your community.

  12. To proud closed Jew who states that everyone should move to eretz yisroel because the gedolim are there and not here. First of all you have the same problem in eretz yisroel. The askonim leaders mislead many times people there as well.For 16 years a toeiva parade takes place in Yerushalayim. When it first began it was rabbi Chaim who sent messages to come out and protest. Had there been 100 thousand protesters instead of 10 thousand the police chief said he would of banned the parade due to security concerns. As the parade continued and grew in numbers there are less protests. This year there were NO chareidi protests other than the meir kahane followers of the Gopstein group that usually protests intermarriage. Where are the protesters. Where are the gedolim. So don’t think israel is different. Even the weekly shabbos protesters get a mere 20 protesters. If on third of Yerushalayim is chareidi why can’t they control the morality level. The other third are the Arabs who certainly oppose toeiva parades so what is the excuse. If one third of New Yorkers would be chareidim there would be way more religious values around in all aspects. When you walk into a bank in boro park the teller wishes you on Thursday and fridays a gut shabbos. The bank is open Sunday closed shabbos. A Mezzuzah is posted on the banks doors. Jerusalem’s chareidi elected a non religious mayor over a frum candidate and he continues to build housing suitable for secular Israelis. New fancy movie theatres. More stores open on shabbos. So don’t think it’s rosy in israel compared to America. We have big Chassidisha and Yeshivash gedolim. We are expanding all over. Every frum community is expanding be it crown heights,williamsburg or boro park. Lakewood population is exploding into nearby cities like Jackson,Toms river and howel. Williamsburg is expanding into east New York. Crown heights covers already three police station areas and is expanding rapidly towards williamsburg. Boro park is spreading out into Bensonhurst and flatbush. Monsey is taking the same scene into Airmont pamona. Monroe is exploding into various nearby towns like Bloomfield etc. too many to mention. Ou better wake up. Because there are many very talented people in the american chareidi community who could overnight defunct the ou group. All you need is every chassidisha Rebbe and every Yeshivash Rav to lend their names to a new chareidi style ou type kashrus organization and the ou would lose its financial backbone. The ou kashrus wing is a bit different than the ou political wing which had lefty leanings unfortunately. I have seen them support lefty type politicians in the past. They are made up of baalei baatim and compromise the security and values of our Torah communities. Ou shape up or ship out.

  13. “the ou political wing which had lefty leanings unfortunately. I have seen them support lefty type politicians in the past.”

    Chasidim in NYC are very closely tied to the leftist Democrat party. Closely tied to DeBlasio and others. Show me one Hasidic area represented by a non-Democrat.

    The place where Republicans won (startingly) in NYC was a few years ago in the ‘Flatbush’ area, when Republicans David Storobin and Bob Turner were elected (soon afterward, their seats were eliminated via Democrat redistricting). That was done in a Yeshivish area, not in Chasidic Williamsburg or Boro Park.

    • Yes. That’s because we vote for kvod shomayim. Not for whoever is going to win. We don’t throw out our moral$ for a few mea$ly dollar$.

  14. “All you need is every chassidisha Rebbe and every Yeshivash Rav to lend their names to a new chareidi style ou type kashrus organization”

    You are expecting such a thing before Moshiach? Personally, I am not holding my breath, holding your’s might be a health hazard, be careful.

  15. We are the thousands of grassroots frum Jews. We are simple people who want to see real leadership and standards.
    On behalf of the tens of thousands of baaleh batim like myself, we want organizations of leadership who represent our ideals.
    May you endorse gays and still remain in the orthodox community?
    O-U is thinking about it.
    But we know the answer. We are thinking about whether o-u represents us.

  16. To the poster who keeps decrying Lubavitch and Satmar and R’ Roth – what nonsense. YCT uses their names on YCT’s website, but none of the three pay that honor in reverse!! Having your name mentioned by an idiot or rasha or whatever, doesn’t make you into a same idiot or rasha. Many Choshuv people and organizations are quoted by individuals or organizations or institutions that they do not and would not return the affiliation with or endorsement of………

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