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August 19, 2013

Video: Kathy Lee Gifford Wants To Enroll In Yeshiva University And Become An Orthodox Rabbi

The 60-year-old Today Show host who was born to a Jewish father and a Christian mother (and who is apparently a practicing Evangelical Christian) Kathy Lee Gifford told her national audience Friday that she would like to enroll in Yeshiva University and become and Orthodox rabbi.

Now where's Rabbi Avi Weiss when Yeshiva University really needs him? Probably over at Yeshiva Maharat teaching, I suppose…




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Maybe she can get smicha from Madonna....

Actually, "Gifford's paternal grandfather was Russian Jewish from Saint-Petersburg and her paternal grandmother was of Native American ancestry." so technically her father wasn't Jewish either.

She would be better off going to J.T.S. - they take women, plus she'd get a better education.

Didn't anyone tell her she'd have to lengthen her skirt and restrict her drinking to kosher wine and spirits?

And Ryan Braun was the victim of an antisemitic Cubs fan who was the urine sample collector.


I was not aware that YU took women nor that Stern College offered a smicha program.

She first needs to be circumcised.

It would change the nature of the alleged sexual abuse on campus.

How would she look in the requisite Norman Lamm goatee?

..better than Norman Lamm for sure....

@Gevezener Chusid

JTS won't take her either being patralineal (twice removed) but I do agree about the quality of the education.


The story about Braun isn't true - but ONLY because we (long suffering Cubs fans) didn't think about it.

She and Dr. Laura. Kathy's rejection will be the same.

Once again Kathy Lee hurts my head.

If she wants to be an Ortho Rabbi, she wants to perform the mitzvahs. It might take some time but she get an Ortho conversion and go to the JTS.

Inasmuch as Kathie Lee is an Oral Roberts University dropout, maybe should she ought to give community college a try first.


You do know that JTS is Conservative - not Orthodox?

Does Hoda get to be the gabbai?

You do know that JTS is Conservative - not Orthodox?

I am well aware of it. What I was saying is an Orthodox conversion gives her unquestionable Jewish status. Right now, women are not being ordained as Orthodox rabbis, at least not openly. She can go to the JTS and be ordained as a Conservative rabbi. There's no reason why a Conservative rabbi can't be Orthodox in observance. If the Orthodox ever change their stand on women rabbis, she can switched over.

For the life of me, I can't believe no one else can see this for the publicity stunt that it is.

Since Yeshiva U. gets federal funding, they cannot discriminate based upon age, gender, religion, etc.

So now a 60 year old, non-Jewish woman wants to join one of their schools, and has made this announcement publically.

If YU lets her take her interview, etc, and turns her down, the door is open for other woman to request admissions, and denying all of them would lead to lawsuits.

Should YU just keep the application and not give a yes or no (as I heard they did years ago when some Stern girls wanted to join RIETS), such a maneuver can only go on for so long.

In short, if Kathy Lee follows through with this, YU is officially up the creek without a paddle.

Actually Maternal lineage is a joke in which most Jews today would be non-Jewish (since at some point some Jews did marry local gentile women in Europe but raised the kid Jewish) and Jews themselves don't follow as they themselves base Judaism on a person's last name. If Jews truly believe in Maternal Lineage they should take on the mothers name. In different times in Jewish history Jews sometimes did marry a local woman when they weren't any Jewish women to marry in an area they got work in and nobody figured it out to this day. It is sad Rabbinic Judaism has to play to liberal politics like others in organized religion for this maternal lineage and the father is basically the Rabbi. That is Greek Orthodoxy where they do call the clergy father and the head clergy the Patriarch. That is what Maternal lineage is based on. Us imitating the Greeks sadly in which the church or synogague leader is the de facto father and the father is not needed so as long as the mother practing the male Rabbis religion the kid doesn't need a father. But in reality a Rabbi has no right to tell a non-Jewish what to do and a Rabbi has no right to tell women to just ignore the man she decided to marry by her own free well which is the situation in most of the cases.

Little Tim

One problem with your theory.
She wouldn't qualify for acceptance as most Reb students from JTS and HUC would not qualify.

The knowledge requirements for entering the REITS program are far different than those of JTS and HUC. They also for the most part very different segments of the Jewish community and thus what and how much they need to learn..


You missed the main point which I was making. Obviously Kathy Lee wont pass the test for admission.

However, should they actually give the test, what is to stop 30 Stern girls/Brovenders Girls/Maharats etc from seeking admission (i.e. girls with the knowledge to pass any entry tests)?

You really think that YU can legally justify denying every female who seeks admission?

I don't

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