The Jewish Week website reports today (January 12, 2011) that the most liberal Orthodox rabbinic group in the United States has voted against its first proposal to accept women members.
The International Rabbinic Fellowship (IRF) -- a group of about 140 rabbis formed three years ago -- held a discussion of the issue before "a close vote" on December 20, 2010, according to Rabbi Barry Gelman of Houston, the president of the organization. The result of the vote count was not revealed.
Rabbi Gelman said he personally opposed admitting women to the IRF, because "this is not the road for the IRF to go down at this time. We want to gain some traction and be seen as an educational leader."
He also emphasized that the IRF "has publicly stated that we are in favor of women serving in various forms of congregational and communal religious and spiritual leadership, in accordance with the halacha (interpretation of the laws of the Scriptures) and Orthodox practice."