Following Shiur Cancellation, Rabbi Klapper to be Scholar in Residence on the Beren Campus
Following a controversial visit to YU last March and a shiur cancellation on December 20, Rabbi Aryeh Klapper is expected to return to Yeshiva University’s Beren campus as the scholar in residence for the shabbos of December 29-30, Parshat Vayechi.
Rabbi Klapper, who has a Masters in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School, and was ordained by RIETS in 1994, is returning to Yeshiva University for the second year in a row after a controversial reaction to last year’s visit. As reported in The Commentator, when it was announced that Klapper would be speaking on March 29, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a YU Rosh Yeshiva, was seen tearing down posters publicizing the event, which was sponsored by SOY. Schachter referred to Klapper as an “apikores” (which he later took back), explaining that his views did not coincide with the values and ideals of Yeshiva University. He was also quoted as having said that inviting Rabbi Klapper to speak at YU was “like inviting a Reform rabbi.”
The morning after the shiur, Rabbi Penner, Dean of RIETS, addressed students to try and ease some of the tension that had arisen as a result of the event. When asked to comment on the return of Rabbi Klapper, Rabbi Penner said he had no particular comments to make.
On Wednesday, December 20, Rabbi Klapper was scheduled to speak on the Wilf Campus in an event hosted by Kol Hamevaser, the Jewish thought magazine of YU. He was scheduled to speak about “Retzon Hashem, Human Experience, and Lomdus: A Philosophical Agenda for the Beis Medrash.” According to Doniel Weinreich, an organizer of the event, the Office of Student Life claimed that the event was only originally approved due to an overlook of details. Since the event required a lot more time and preparation than was allocated, it was cancelled.
“With the reaction so strong from students and Roshei Yeshiva, it is surprising to see that Rabbi Klapper is now being welcomed back less than a year later,” said SCW junior Miriam Cohen.
Rabbi Aryeh Klapper is the Dean of the Center for Modern Torah Leadership and Rosh Beit Midrash of its Summer Beit Midrash Program, Instructor of Rabbinics and Medical Ethics at Gann Academy in Waltham, Massachusetts, and a member of the Boston Beit Din. He has published in Tradition, Meorot, Dinei Yisrael, Beit Yitzchak, and other journals. Rabbi Klapper has been published in several newspapers and has given countless shiurim focusing mostly on issues of Jewish law. He also served as the head Rabbi at the Hillel of Harvard University for a decade.