Rabbi Yona Reiss
Rabbi Yona Reiss, a noted Torah scholar, attorney, and jurist, is the Max and Marion Grill Dean of Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.
Rabbi Reiss is a summa cum laude graduate of Yeshiva College, YU’s undergraduate liberal arts and sciences college for men, and went on to receive his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was senior editor of the Law Journal. He received his rabbinic ordination from RIETS, where he also earned the distinction of Yadin Yadin.
Rabbi Reiss served as director of the Beth Din of America from 1998 to 2008. The Beth Din, which was founded by and is affiliated with the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) and sponsored by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (OU), is the largest rabbinical court in the country. It handles over 500 cases a year in the areas of Jewish divorce, commercial arbitrations, and mediation.
In his directorship of the Beth Din, Rabbi Reiss worked to resolve cases of agunot and popularize the use of the RCA pre-nuptial agreement as a protection against future agunah problems.
From 1992 to 1998, Rabbi Reiss worked as an associate at the international law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York City. He maintained an association with the firm until 1999. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, a certified mediator for the City of New York court system, and a member of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council for New York.
Rabbi Reiss serves on the editorial board of Tradition magazine. A frequent writer on a variety of topics relating to both Jewish and secular law, he has published widely in Jewish publications, as well as in the Wall Street Journal and New York Law Journal.
Rabbi Reiss and his wife Mindy have five sons and live in Riverdale, NY.