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L’chvod Rav Avi, Rabbi Lopatin, Rabbi Linzer, Rabbi Love, Rav Katz and the rest of the faculty and staff, Obviously, we are grateful that you have created a holy place of learning for both Chai and Tzachi. But do you realize the profound influence you have had and continue to have in our lives? Thank you for helping us to create an open orthodox home where Torah is observed consciously. Thank you for modeling for us how to live the Torah that we learn. Thank you for helping us to raise our children with the knowledge that they could question anything that did not make sense to them, and that that is a proper and healthy attitude to apply to all aspects of Torah living. It brings us tremendous comfort and gives us strength knowing that Yeshivat Chovevei Torah is here to inspire and guide all of us.

With heartfelt thanks,
Estelle and Harvey Posner
Parents of Chai Posner (YCT ’10) and Tzachi Posner (YCT ’17)

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Teshuvah on Mikvah and Conversion by Rabbi Ysoscher Katz PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 01 December 2014
Two years ago, Rabbanit Dr. Michal Tikochinsky wrote an article in Hebrew, translated into English advocating the position that the three men on a Beit Din for conversion can stand outside of the mikvah room while a woman convert goes under the water in the mikvah as part of her conversion ritual. The standard practice in Orthodox conversions called for the three male members of the Beit Din to be in the same room as the woman - albeit with safeguards that protected the woman from being seen unclothed by the judges. With the recent arrest of Rabbi Freundel in Washington, D.C., and the revelation that there were many complaints against him by female converts over the years, reviewing the requirement of men being in the mikvah for female conversion has taken on an added urgency.
Rav Jeff Fox, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Maharat, was asked by Orthodox clergy in Washington, D.C. whether there was a halakhic way for the male judges not to be in the mikvah room for the conversion, while still maintaining the halakhic integrity of the conversion. Rav Jeff Fox has written a teshuvah on the matter, and he asked several prominent rabbis to review his findings and voice their own halakhic views on the matter. Among them was our very own Rav Ysoscher Katz, who, in addition to chairing our Talmud Department, is also the Director of the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies at YCT. Read his own halakhic findings, in the classic form of a teshuva, a halakhic responsum. The English translation of this teshuvah is also available. Through the Lindenbaum Center, YCT looks forward to continuing the halakhic conversation and to help provide a Modern Orthodox view on this question and on the critical questions of our times. 

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