Tradition is not monolithic, and its orthodox rabbinic leadership has never been more suspect, both in Israel and the United States. We don’t have to listen too closely to hear the loud grumbling in Orthodox circles. Change is afoot. But those addressing change – those in the progressive Orthodox camp – must take every opportunity to anticipate criticism and provide the critics as little controversial material to work with as possible. Are we who identify with the more progressive goals and practices within Orthodoxy portraying in our institutions a message that is both consistent and authentic? Based on the examples that Rabbi Rosenthal presents, one would have to answer with an emphatic “no.”
Progressive Orthodox institutions and their graduates must be exceptional – not simply as good as, but better than those of the more traditional yeshivas and seminaries against whom they compete for jobs and leadership roles. The proponents of the movement for change must be on message. They cannot afford to be undermined by even the occasional loose cannon in their midst.
Rick Arons, “Orthodoxy and Its Discontents”, The Torch (9 August 2016) [http://www.myjewishlearning.com/the-torch/orthodoxy-and-its-discontents/]