Monday, May 02, 2005

While RMT and supporters avoid the civil court solution, Orthodox Rabbi Isaac Gottlieb sues his synagogue for reinstatement.


At 7:10 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

May 02, 2005

Rabbi, temple in legal battle
By Ramsey Al-Rikabi
Times Herald-Record

South Fallsburg – Rabbi Isaac Gottlieb wouldn't let the two men stop him from giving a sermon three Saturdays ago.

So what if one of them was the president of the synagogue?

So what if he was fired as the rabbi in December?

And so what if Gottlieb sued the synagogue in March to get his job back?

Gottlieb kept going, or, as the court papers put it, continued "to ramble."

On April 19, three days after that sermon, the South Fallsburg Hebrew Association filed its own lawsuit against Gottlieb.

It seems the rabbi won't stop being the rabbi.

The suit accuses Gottlieb of trying to ruin the reputation of the association and its members, and, among other things, creating, "animosity, dissension and confusion."

The association is suing Gottlieb for $260,000 in damages.

At the association's urging, state Supreme Court Judge Nicholas Clemente issued a restraining order against Gottlieb, barring him from entering the synagogue or representing himself as the association's rabbi.

A hearing is set for May 17 in state Supreme Court in Sullivan County.

"He is no longer welcome upon the premises," Steven Altman, the association's president, stated in an affidavit.

Since Gottlieb filed his suit against the association, which it calls "frivolous" and "malicious" in its own court papers, he has given sermons at the synagogue at least three times in the past two months and sent out letters on South Fallsburg Hebrew Association letterhead, the association's court papers allege.

No one involved in either lawsuit would comment.

The association's suit also alleges that Gottlieb's complaint, filed in a Jewish rabbinical court after his firing, was intended to "blackball" the synagogue in the Orthodox Jewish community.

And, the association claims, Gottlieb called the new rabbi, Yakov Barros, to say he was still the rabbi and no one could take his place.

The association is reportedly sending out a letter, which explains the situation with Gottlieb to its members, along with its April newsletter.

The three bold-letter items in the newsletter, in order, are "Happy Passover," "Isaac Gottlieb no longer associated with our shul" and "Yakov Barros comes on board as our new rabbi."


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