Rabbinical Council of America

Rabbinical Council of America

The Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) is one of the world's largest organizations of Orthodox Jewish rabbis; it is affiliated with The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, more commonly known as the Orthodox Union, or OU. Most rabbis of the RCA belong to Modern Orthodox Judaism.


The roots of the organization go back to 1923 when it was founded as the Rabbinical Council of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. Its purpose was to perpetuate and promote Orthodox Judaism in the United States of America.

Its members attempted on a number of occasions to merge with other Jewish groups, for the purpose of developing a unified traditional rabbinate for the American Jewish community. A number of attempts were made to join with groups such as Agudat Israel, but all such attempts were rebuffed. A merger took place in 1935 between the Rabbinical Council of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations and another Orthodox rabbinical group, the Rabbinical Association of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, a part of Yeshiva University. With this merger the combined group took the name Rabbinical Council of America, known in the Jewish community as the RCA. In later years the RCA attempted to merge with another Orthodox rabbinical group, the Rabbinical Alliance of America, but this attempt failed.

Most of its members are actively working as pulpit rabbis; a significant minority are working in Jewish education.

For many years, the RCA was led by Rabbi Steven Dworkin, who served as Executive Vice-President and who passed away in January 2003. Since 2003, the RCA has been run by Rabbi Basil Herring, who previously served as director of the Orthodox Forum.

In recent years, complaints have surfaced within the Orthodox Jewish community about a lack of leadership and direction by the RCA and that the RCA has failed to meet the challenges posed by recent changes within the Orthodox Jewish community.

It publishes an English quarterly journal, "Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought", which began in 1958, and a Hebrew journal, "Hadorom", which began in 1957.

The RCA is also affiliated with two Yeshivas in Israel – Yeshivat HaDarom and the Gan Yavneh Youth Village.

ee also

*Orthodox Judaism
*Modern Orthodox Judaism

External links

* [http://www.traditiononline.org Tradition Journal (official website)]
* [http://www.rabbis.org Rabbinical Council of America (official website)]

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