Rabbi Dogged by Sex Scandal

JTA [Israel]
May 18, 2006

A U.S.-born rabbi was forced to resign from an Israeli synagogue following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Rabbi Mordechai Gafni had stepped down from the Bayit Hadash center in Jaffa after several female congregants filed police complaints against him, alleging that he had abused his position by seducing them. According to the report, Gafni, who is back in the United States, admitted his guilt and apologized.

In his apology, he said he would seek treatment for his "sickness."

Gafni, whose original name was Marc Winiarz, is a charismatic leader of the Jewish renewal movement.

He had been dogged by sexual abuse allegations in previous posts as well.


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