Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Who besides Yehuda Levin is in the Rabbinical Alliance of America?

This Levin guy is very embarrassing, acting like a Christian evangelical, and this time he's not just doing it on his own.

I mean, it was bad enough when he blamed the Haiti earthquake on gays in February like he was Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell or something.

But at least that was not a major media thing. Now he's gone and made national news with the speech he wrote for Carl Paladino to give at his shul, with such nice media events as

“nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual.”

“I don’t want [children] brainwashed into thinking homosexuality is an equal valid and successful option,”

Also, they didn't let women journalists into the shul because apparently Mea Shearim has come to America, and water was poured on women journalists waiting outside.

But what is this Rabbinical Alliance of America (Igud Harabbonim in transliterated Ashkenazi-pronounced Hebrew, or אגוד הרבנים in actual Hebrew)? Humorist Heshy Fried said it "sounds like the Kennedy Fried Chicken version of the RCA" (Rabbinical Council of America, affiliated with the Orthodox Union), and that he had not heard of it.

So I decided to do some Googling,

Their website claims 800+ rabbis but lists 3 (none of whom are Yehuda Levin).

They include Abraham B. Hecht, who had spoken approvingly about the possible assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres after the Oslo Accords; online archive articles refer to him as president of the organization as early as July 1980.

Hershel Kurzrock, rabbi at the Young Israel of Kensington, NY; nothing interesting about him on the Internet.

Gershon Tannenbaum, who apparently has been found guilty of Securities Fraud, and is/was rabbi at B'nai Israel of Linden Heights in Brooklyn.

Searching Google archives led to the following rabbis. Note that these rabbis may no longer be alive and may no longer be members. There is no point in linking because only scraps of the articles show up without paying for them.

From Kashrus Magazine

A long list, at the end of this newsletter, of member rabbis participating in their conference

Rabbi Noach Bernstein, Commission on a Moment of Silence
Rabbi Shaul Bick, Congregation Agudas Achim
Rabbi Mayer Birnhack
Rabbi Herbert W. Bomzer, listed as a member by the Forward (via Failed Messiah)
Rabbi Dov Brisman (then head of the beth din of Philadelphia), listed as a member in August 2003
Rabbi Michoel Chazan, Director of Chaplaincy Services at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center
Rabbi Samuel I Cohen, listed as a member in 1960
Rabbi Rafoel Yochanon Davis, IDT Beis Midrash
Rabbi Herman Eisner z"l
Rabbi Saul Eisner, Igud Executive Vice President
Rabbi Hanania Elbaz, Ahi Ezer Congregation
Rabbi Mosha Epstein, Rabbi of Agudas Achim in Bridgeport, CT
Rabbi Mallen Galinsky, listed as a member in 1966
Rabbi Bernard Goldenberg, listed as a member in 1950
Rabbi Leibish Goldstein, Tefila V'rina L'achynu Merusya
Rabbi Meyer Greenberg z"l, mentioned as having been president in the early 1960s in his 2008 obituary
Rabbi Avrohom M. Greenhut, Beth Israel Hospital
Rabbi Abraham Gross, mentioned as president in April 1970
Rabbi Meir Grunberg z"l, listed as a member in his 1993 obituary
Rabbi Joseph Grunblatt of Canada, listed as a member in 1956
Rabbi Philip Harris z"l, listed as a member in his 2006 obituary
Rabbi Abraham B. Hecht, Igud President
Rabbi Eli Hecht, listed as vice president in April 2001
Rabbi Sholom Hecht, Hecht’s Religious Articles
Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht
Rabbi David Hollander, mentioned as president in September 1973.
Rabbi Shlomo Isaacson
Rabbi Nachum Josephy, listed as vice president in August 1993
Rabbi Michael Kakon, Ahavas Achim of West Orange
Rabbi Sholom B. Kalmanson (a Chabad rabbi)
Rabbi Pinchos Karr
Rabbi Avrohom Dovid Katz, Congregation Mishkan Avrohom D’Porgibisht
Rabbi Yechiel Kaufman
Rabbi Brian Kent
Rabbi Eliyahu Kirsch
Rabbi Sholom Klass z"l, listed as a member in his 2000 obituary
Rabbi Yaakov Klass, Torah Editor of the Jewish Press
Rabbi Leibish Koenig
Rabbi Yehuda Korczak
Rabbi Herschel Kurzrock, Igud Rosh Beth Din;
Rabbi Rachmiel Liberman
Rabbi Yitzchok Liebes is listed as head of beit din,
Rabbi Yaakov Neiman
Rabbi Avrohom Niyazov, Congregation L’maan Achai Bukhorim
Rabbi Dovid Niyazov
Rabbi Shlomo Chai Niyazov, Congregation L’maan Achai Bukhorim
Rabbi Ralph Pelcovitz, listed as president in July 1952
Rabbi Hershel Pollak, Semihyer Beis Midrash
Rabbi Yisroel Popack is implied to be a member as it says he was cleared of wrongdoing by them in an abuse case
Rabbi Abraham Poupko z"l, listed as having been a member in his 1964 obituary
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, from his bio
Rabbi Harry Rabinowitz
Rabbi Joseph Rosenbluth, Young Israel of Vanderveer Park;
Rabbi Joseph Salamon, Yeshiva Ohr Torah
Rabbi Dr. Zecharia Senter
Rabbi Immanuel Schochet, listed as a rabbi in Toronto and as a member in February 1985
Rabbi Shmaryahu Shulman, author of Meiresh B’Birah
Rabbi Yidel Stein, Congregation Tiferes Israel Brisk
Rabbi Aryeh Steinberg; Kashrus Supervision
Rabbi Peretz Steinberg
Rabbi Avrohom Stone, Congregation Adas Yeshurun of Flatbush
Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, B’nai Israel of Linden Heights
Rabbi Yitzchok Tenenbaum
Rabbi Samuel Turk, mentioned as president in July 1958
Rabbi Dovid Wachholder, Kollel Emek Halacha
Rabbi Bernard Weinberger, mentioned as president in January 1969
Rabbi Moshe Y. Weiner, Kosher Information Center
Rabbi Luzer Weiss, NYS Kosher Law Enforcement.
Rabbi Marvin Zelkowitz

This is all I could find, but the Internet may well not be all-knowing when it comes to the Rabbinical Alliance of America

A July 2000 article from the New York Daily News noted in an article about Dr. Laura being attacked for support from Abraham Hecht, said the following:

The Rabbinical Alliance is the same group that told Congress in 1997 that it would boycott the Holocaust Museum because it included information about Hitler's homosexual victims.

Later in the article, Rabbi Pesach Lerner of the National Council of Young Israel, who himself has been a tireless advocate for Jonathan Pollard, defended Dr. Laura by telling the Daily News that "I am sure Dr. Laura didn't know any of the other stories about the Rabbinical Alliance;" i.e. even Rabbi Lerner, not a "moderate" (whatever that may mean), thinks that the RAA is pretty extremist.

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