Friday, December 31, 2004

Rabbi sacked in England for alleged sexual misconduct with 2 women,crossed the ocean and found pulpit in Florida, also teaches Kabbalah classes (duh!)


At 3:22 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...
Temple Shalom (Conservative)
132 S.E. 11th Ave.
Pompano Beach, FL 33060
Tel: (954) 942-6410
Rabbi Ivan Wachmann

Kabbalah classes:
"1993, Rabbi Ivan Wachmann became our Temple's Spiritual Leader ten years ago."

Rabbi denies women's sex claims but refuses to attend hearing; Ivan Wachmann.
By Daniel Treisman
The Times (London, England) - July 12, 1990

A RABBI accused of having sexual relations with a woman attending his evening Scripture classes is being investigated in absentia by a Jewish ecclesiastical court.

Ivan Wachmann, aged 54, says the allegations were made by women who attended weekly readings from the Torah and discussions on religious ethics. He has been suspended from his Manchester synagogue since May while a commission of two rabbis and a senior Jewish judge investigate the claims.

If found guilty of ``serious conduct unbecoming of a rabbi'', he could be struck off the list of approved rabbis. His congregation at the Holy Law South Broughton synagogue, in Prestwich, would then have to decide whether to keep him. However, he is refusing to attend the court hearing, which began in Manchester three weeks ago and reopened in London yesterday, because he claims it is ``biased and unfair''.

``These accusations are crazy. I am totally innocent,'' Mr Wachmann, who also served as a chaplain at Strangeways prison, says. At the two-day hearing at Manchester's Jewish ecclesiastical court three weeks ago, he says, four women accused him of making romantic advances.

He accuses the court of failing to observe Jewish law, which requires that such complaints must be backed by two independent witnesses.

A personal adviser who serves as a senior Jewish judge has counselled him not to attend the proceedings. ``It's not because I don't respect the Chief Rabbi,'' Mr Wachmann says. ``Unfortunately, I feel I shouldn't attend because there's been prejudice throughout the case.''

He also denies rumours that he had participated in black magic rituals and faith healing and had used spoon-bending tricks to seduce women.

``The spoon-bending allegation is just laughable. I picked up a spoon and said that people were worshipping Uri Geller. I said this sort of worship was against Jewish law. But the whole incident has been twisted around.'' Dayan Berger, the senior judge presiding at the hearing, yesterday rejected allegations of bias or non-observance of Jewish law but said it would be inappropriate to comment further until the court finding in a few days. He said Mr Wachmann had been given a reasonable and fair opportunity to make his case and was still free to change his mind and choose to participate.

At the end of such cases the court makes recommendations to the Chief Rabbi, who can then strike a rabbi off the approved list after offering him another chance to respond. Mr Wachmann, who has served 33 years in the ministry and comes from an unbroken line of 13 rabbis, says he has had thousands of letters of support from his past and present congregations.

At his synagogue's annual general meeting in May, he says, more than 300 members voted unanimously to ask the Chief Rabbi to reinstate him.

``Rabbi Wachmann can give deeper learning to the common people,'' one man who regularly attended the weekly classes with his wife said. ``He has been denied the most elementary justice.''

Rabbi loses court fight against dismissal; Rabbi Ivan Wachmann.
Byline: Ruth Gledhill, Religious Affairs Correspondent
The Times (London, England) - February 7, 1991

A RABBI sacked for alleged sexual misconduct with two women from his Jewish community lost his attempt in the High Court yesterday to win his job back.

In the first case of its kind, Rabbi Ivan Wachmann challenged the Chief Rabbi's decision that he was morally and religiously unfit to remain in office. In a reserved judgment after a hearing on January 25, however, Mr Justice Simon Brown ruled that the court had no jurisdiction to intervene. He said that the court ``would never be prepared to rule on questions of Jewish law''.

Mr Wachmann, aged 55, of Prestwich, Manchester, said last night that there had been a smear campaign against him and added: ``Because I know I am innocent, I will fight until my dying day for justice.''

He denies any sexual misconduct and says that he was unfairly dismissed last August after complaints by two women who attended his evening lectures. He plans to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.


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