Thursday, January 27, 2005

Rabbi Mordechai Gafni Series Part 12: Announces intention to hold public funeral for the Democratic Party


At 9:22 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

September 2, 1988

In response to a statement released by the Boca Raton Synagogue president on Monday regarding Rabbi Mordecai Winyarz's intention to hold a mock funeral for the Democratic party, the rabbi -- who was out of town when the statement was released -- has this to say:

''The mock funeral is clearly an event which is independent of the
synagogue, run by Mordecai Winyarz as a private citizen.

''The synagogue president, Dr. (William) Rand, was informed that the event is being run as an independent event without any relationship to the Boca Raton Synagogue.

''This fact was known and communicated both to the synagogue president and the Jewish World prior to the release of the synagogue statement. One can only assume that the synagogue statement was an error in communication.

''We have received significant grass-roots response and support for the mock funeral (Winyarz explained that by 'we' he meant he and several area Democrats.)

''The mock funeral is not for the Democratic party in any sense, shape or form. The mock funeral is for integrity in the 1988 Democratic national plank (platform) which refused a resolution against anti-Semitism.

''The mock funeral further protests the appointment of known (Rev. Louis) Farrakhan supporters to the Democratic National Committee. The mock funeral protests significant anti-Semitism which appears from the beginning of Jesse Jackson's political history to the present ...

'' ... Our purpose is not to hold a mock funeral. Our purpose is to educate the public to the issues, which is the essence of democracy.

''If the leadership of the Palm Beach Democratic party is willing to recognize in a public debate the very real and substantive issues (a debate against Winyarz), we believe that would sufficiently educate the public and obviate the necessity for a mock funeral.''

Winyarz had originally scheduled the debate or mock funeral for Sept. 7, but said he will wait until after the High Holy Days. He said he wants time to preach to his congregation about the issues involved and he also indicated that the local Democrats have some organizational bugs to work out before they'd be willing to participate.

August 30, 1988

BOCA RATON -- A young Orthodox rabbi who has drawn the ire of fellow rabbis for his unorthodox style of self-expression is now drawing some heat from his own congregants.

Rabbi Mordecai Winyarz's plans to hold a ''funeral'' in his synagogue to symbolize his feelings that the Democratic Party is dead have been thwarted by the synagogue's leadership. Leaders fear that the rabbi's involvement in political activity could jeopardize the synagogue's tax-exempt status.

Gary A. Lieber, corresponding secretary of the temple, on Monday released a statement on behalf of the congregation's president, Dr. William Rand.

''Please be advised that this event was scheduled without any knowledge of the president or the board of directors,'' the statement said of the funeral. ''The board of directors apologizes to all those who may have been offended by the sentiments expressed in the Jewish World article of last week....''

'' No representative of the congregation is authorized to use the name of the congregation or its facilities to further (political) ends. Inasmuch as we believe the 'funeral' is an inappropriate partisan political activity, the event is canceled,'' it said.

Winyarz could not be reached for comment on Monday. He had told the Jewish World that intended to hold the mock funeral three days before Rosh Hashana, which begins at sundown on Sept. 11.

Other rabbis have publicly criticized Winyarz's style of expressing
himself, but until now his congregation has not.

Winyarz was censured by fellow rabbis in May for ''denigrating'' other congregations, their rabbis and other branches of Judaism. The rabbis later agreed to try to work with Winyarz in their differences with him.


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