Conservative movement publishes list of rabbis it has expelled or suspended

Rabbinical Assembly says move part of review of its handling of misconduct allegations; 9 listed, including rabbi arrested in Israel for performing non-Orthodox wedding

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

The Conservative Movement's Rabbinical Assembly 2014 convention. (Screen capture/YouTube)
The Conservative Movement's Rabbinical Assembly 2014 convention. (Screen capture/YouTube)

The Conservative Movement has published a list of rabbis that it has expelled or suspended over allegations of misconduct, as it seeks to improve its handling of accusations against its spiritual leadership.

“The publication of the names of those who are in violation of our Code of Conduct is one more step in our ongoing commitment to transparency,” said Rabbi Daniel Pressman, who chairs the ethics committee of the movement’s Rabbinical Assembly.

“As a society we have learned the dangers when we fail to speak up and speak out. The work of revising and updating the RA Professional Code of Conduct is part of our sacred obligation to continuously improve our practices that help to maintain and create safe communities,” added RA senior engagement director Rabbi Sheryl Katzman in a statement issued Thursday.

The list, published Tuesday by the RA, includes nine names of living rabbis who have been reprimanded since 2004. They are separated into three categories: those who have been expelled for more serious offenses such as sexual misconduct, those who have been expelled for less serious offenses such as violations to the RA’s “standards of religious practice,” and those who have been suspended for ethical violations.

No specific details were provided explaining the offenses of each of the rabbis listed — only the date of the decision and a general description of the offense.

Among the rabbis expelled earlier this year for “financial and commercial matters” is Dov Haiyun.

In 2018, Haiyun was arrested by Israeli police for performing a non-Orthodox wedding. He was never charged and the Conservative movement ardently defended him, blasting Israeli authorities over the episode.

The list’s publication came roughly seven months after the RA announced the launching of a broader review of its code of conduct and how it has handled complaints against staff.

The Conservative Movement has found itself under intense scrutiny following allegations that senior staff members in its youth movement ignored allegations of sexual assault made against a former regional director.

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