Rabbi Dovid Weinberger
First posted on 2/27/2014. I was the first and primary source of this story on the Internet and it garnered over 30k views.
Rabbi Dovid Weinberger was fired by his shul in the Lawrence, NY, Shaaray Tefila, before Rosh Hashanah. They claimed he was on medical leave** but announced a search for a new rabbi shortly afterward.
Weinberger went off to Israel searching for another job but came back about a month ago. He should have been able to find a job because he is married to a granddaughter of the late “Gadol” Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg. That he failed to find a job, suggests both a bad reputation and marital estrangement. If the Scheinberg family wanted to help him, he would have found a job. In those circles, allegations of molesting are no obstacle to rabbinic employment.
His return provoked consternation in the 5 Towns Continue reading
Dovid Weinberger recently moved back into West Lawrence some two years after his abrupt departure from his position as rabbi of Congregation Shaaray Tefila in Lawrence, NY.
He quit in the wake of revelations that he was sexually exploiting women who sought his help for various kinds of counseling including marital counseling.
According to local sources some of the same rabbis who forced him to agree to quit the rabbinate, and publicly denounced him, are now divided about whether to advise their communities publicly.
In December 2013 he promised to stay totally out of the rabbinate when he signed the following statement:
To whom it may concern, I Rabbi Dovid Weinberger, formerly the Rabbi of Cong. Shaarei Tefilla of Lawrence, NY, do hereby acknowledge that I will retire from the Rabbinate effective immediately, and will never again serve in the capacity of Rov or Rabbi of any congregation or community, nor will I ever again be involved as a mechanech [teacher] in any venue of Chinuch [education]. Continue reading
Rabbi Dovid Weinberger
Last night (5/30/15) the members of Congregation Shaaray Tefila in Lawrence, NY approved the appointment of Uri Orlian as their rabbi. His appointment was approved by 84% of those voting at their Saturday night membership meeting. This ends a year and a half vacancy that started with a forced sabbatical of their previous rabbi, Dovid Weinberger. He was forced to resign following allegations of extensive sexual exploitation of women.
I have extensively documented the history of this case on Frum Follies starting with the post, Whither Goes Rabbi Dovid Weinberger? and including an image of his signed agreement to leave all aspects of work as a rabbi or educator. Continue reading
Rabbi Dovid Weinberger
In September of 2013, Rabbi Dovid Weinberger announced a one year sabbatical leave from his position as Rabbi of Shaaray Tefila in Lawrence, New York. He attributed it to health problems:
My physicians have strongly advised that I take a one year sabbatical in keeping with the torah mandate of “ushmartem es nafshoseichem” (“you should guard your health”). I am confident that this much-needed break will be beneficial in being able to give me the capacity, with Hashem’s help, to serve the klal (public) for many more years in good health.
The letter is ambiguous about which public he would serve. In fact, his understanding with the board was that he was going to get a paid year of sabbatical and that he would not be coming back to Shaaray Tefila. But they did allow him to face save face and they expected him to relocate.
Some would praise them for ridding the shul of a predator while others, myself included are critical because they were allowing him to relocate and prey on girls and women in other communities.
As word of his misdeeds spread, he began to minimize his misconduct and blame his accusers. This led to a confrontation between him and group of local rabbis on December 18, 2013 where they threatened to expose his misconduct unless he agreed to permanently give up any role as a rabbi or educator. He was confronted with the evidence, including an incriminating recording of very serious sexual misconduct. Rather than face more evidence, he stopped protesting and signed the following statement:
To whom it may concern, I Rabbi Dovid Weinberger, formerly the Rabbi of Cong. Shaarei Tefilla of Lawrence, NY, do hereby acknowledge that I will retire from the Rabbinate effective immediately, and will never again serve in the capacity of Rov Continue reading
Rabbi Yisroel Belsky
Rabbi Yisroel Belsky’s defense of disgraced former rabbi of Shaaray Tefila (Lawrence, NY) hurt Yeshiva Torah Vodaath when it angered rabbis and laity in the Five Towns and Far Rockaway and they pulled the plug on cooperating with a Torah Vodaath fund-raising weekend.
In explaining the decision, thirteen rabbis and yeshiva heads in the area issued a letter (3/28/14) stating:
Dear Fellow Members of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway Community,
… Unfortunately we are unable to host the Yeshiva [Torah Vodaath] at this time. This is due to a letter written by one of their Roshei Yeshiva [Yisroel Belsky], disseminated throughout our community, and critical of its Rabbonim, whose decision was made after much investigation and deliberation to protect the community from serious harm. It was clear from this letter that this Rosh Yeshiva was misled and misinformed. Continue reading