Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yeshivah of Flatbush threatened to have funds cut off for not allowing gay couples to attend ten year reunion 

Tensions are high among alumni at the Yeshivah of Flatbush after the administration barred alumni from bringing same-sex partners to a high school reunion in December.

Before the 10-year reunion for the class of 1997, the high school division of the Modern Orthodox yeshivah – located at 1609 Avenue J – sent a letter to former students it suspected would bring same-sex partners back to the reunion.

Posted on the blog Jvoices, the letter read, in part:

“As previously stated to you, we welcome your attendance and look forward to your participation. However, your partner cannot attend.”

The stance did not sit well with many alumni of the prestigious private Yeshivah, who believe the policy to be an intolerant and selective interpretation of Jewish law.

Opponents hope that the school realizes that it is risking its respected name because of the policy. If the policy persists, they hope, many alumni will threaten to withhold financial contributions.

“We’re hoping that it makes enough of a financial impact that it might make sense [for the Yeshivah to chance its policy.] Part of the name of the school is how it’s represented outside of the school,” Rothstein said.

Rothstein said that one of the reasons for the school might have taken such a strong stance against same-sex couples is because its student body has a more conservative bent than it has in the past.

“Nowadays, the large majority of the student body is members of the Syrian-American Jewish community living in Brooklyn. When it comes to homosexuality, they’re very clear on not accepting it whatsoever. That’s certainly an influence,” he said.

Another factor, many believe, is the recent controversy surrounding the school’s former principal, Rabbi Alan Stadtmauer, who resigned in 2005 after coming out as a gay man. Stadtmauer said he no longer considered himself Orthodox. He recently signed the petition.

“I personally think [the Stadtmauer incident] is why they took such a strong stand against homosexuality. They don’t want to be labeled as the gay Yeshivah,” Rothstein said.

Rothstein said that in addition to being a selective interpretation of Jewish law, the school’s position on gay couples contradicts the primary tenets of Judaism.

“We learned important values in our education,” he said.

“If you embarrass someone, it’s as if you’ve shed their blood. And it’s important to welcome guests. These values go back to Abraham – his tent was open on all sides.”


People should mail in donations, however small, just to alert the administration that you support their actions.


Any Yeshivah has the obligation to keep people from openly showing outright disregard for a clear statement in the Torah, that acting on your gay inclination is an abomination! Anyone who has a problem with this is themselves showing intolerance and insensitivity to the religion that the Yeshiva represents. We have nothing to hide. Enough with this stupid PC!




"open on all sides"


I agree with the Yeshiva, homosexuality is against the Torah, and therfore must bot be tolerated by any organization that considers it self to be Orthodox.



Chareidi Jews worldwide are with you.

One Who despises G-d and Whom G-d despises does not fall into the category of "embarrassing someone". These filthy sick people are an embarrassment for Jews worldwide and for humanity.


duhhh- who's being selective? The Torahb clearly states that male same sex anything is an "abomination". Every Truly Orthodox Jewish institution should take the same stance, no matter what its past, no matter what its present.


the yeshiva will not give in. they are currently controlled by syrians and not ashkenazi liberals.


Avraham's tent was hardly open to child pedophiles and adulterers. This is hardly different. Don't besmirch the name of a Nasi and Tzaddik Gamor for your own twisted agenda.


Why do all you ignorant people assume that when I want to come with a guy friend that it is because I am having Gay Sexual relations with him. Did it ever occur to u that maybe I am an old bachlor, and I enjoy the company of a male friend rather than a girl at my side. I can come to the reunion with whomever I please to. If the school thinks they can do something about it, just wait and see!!


Can someone explain - is there only a small number of elite Modern Orthodox Yeshivas in the Ny area, and many lesser schools? Is this like the Ivy League of schools? Not being from NY, can you provide some details so that I understand the background a little more. Thank you for your replies.


What are you going to do if one of your family members comes out of the closet? Disown him/her, kill him/her or sit shivah? I know of many instances where chassidishe rabbaim come on to their boy students. Is that ok?


Where is the outcry from Rothstein and others like him for the "embarrassment" of criminals who are taken to jail?

At the time of the Sanhedrin, gays - after being warned - were executed in the “center” of the city. The Torah considers them criminals where "embarrassment" is not of even a matter to be concerned about.

Actually, gays, according to Torah, are worse than murderers and thieves. The Torah states they are an abomination to G-d.


In response to: "I know of many instances where chassidishe rabbaim come on to their boy students. Is that ok?"

Two "wrongs" don't make a "right"!

It is unfortunate but there are homosexual perverts and other types of criminals in all segments of (our) society. "Kol Yisroel Areyvim Zeh B'Zeh" We are responsible for each other. Remember, "Naaseh comes BEFORE "Nishma". We must DO Mitzvahs not just sit and learn about them! We should educate the ignorant perverts & criminals that their anti-Torah ways are wrong AND also show them by exmple.


what does it mean that it is due to our interpretation of the torah? Rubbish. how else can you interprate the words dont sleep with a man it is an abomination kill him.


They want to avoid Noah Feldman-type publicity (remember, guy shows up at yeshiva high school reunion w/ shiksa girlfriend).



There is a story that either, in the Congress and/or Senate, they were discussing allocating money for AIDS research. So, a Senator, from the South, got up and said, "Now, you guys have it all wrong. AIDS is not a disease. The disease is homosexuality and promiscuity. AIDS is the CURE!!!!"


The Syrian Community will not stand for Homos in its schools.They have and edict prohibiting marrying Gerim, as a fence againgst intermarriage and it has worked very well for 70 years.If Homos come into Flatbush Yeshiva they will Ban the School, and it will close because they are the student body today.


that's actually pretty disgusting of flatbush. we expect everyone to accept US as jews and yet we don't accept people as they are?? wake up - this is AMERICA


Anonymous 9:55

Disgusting of Flatbush? Disgusting means revolting, repulsive, sickening, filthy. What's more revolting, repulsive, sickening, filthy than such acts which even the Torah considers abominable?

If you don't accept yourselves as Torah true Jews, why should the rest of the world?


To: Anonymous January 28, 2008 9:55 PM see comment of Anonymous January 28, 2008 5:06 AM Are you suggesting acceptance after execution?


In the linked article, but not in the Chaptzem version, it mentions that YOF has allowed non-Jewish spouses to attend previous reunions, as well as boyfriends and girlfriends. This is why so many are upset. It just goes to show, a yeshiva needs to have a consistent hashkafa.


Bringing a same gender "spouse" with you is very "IN YOUR FACE" spitting at God's Torah and His commandments. The other things are less "in your face." Also, maybe they realized that they need to do a better job of keeping blatant sin out of their functions.

Good Job Flatbush.


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