Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Forward on Rabbi Mordecai Tendler (Law Suit)

Orthodox Rabbi Sued by Former Congregant
By Rukhl Schaechter
Forward - December 30, 2005

A former congregant has filed a lawsuit against Rabbi Mordecai Tendler, the religious leader of an Orthodox congregation in Monsey, N.Y., accusing him of giving her "sex therapy" when she went to him for counseling.

In the lawsuit, which was filed December 20 in Manhattan and reported December 25 in the New York Post, (name removed), 43, claims that Tendler, a father of eight, promised her that he would help her find a husband with whom to raise a family if she slept with him. She is also alleging that Tendler threatened to "have her placed in a straitjacket" if she told anyone about the sessions. The sexual liaisons were allegedly conducted in his rabbinical study in the years 2001 to 2005.

"He had a tremendous amount of power over her," said (name removed)'s lawyer, Lenore Kramer.

Tendler, the scion of a prominent rabbinical family, was expelled from the Rabbinical Council of America in March, after a months-long investigation of allegations that he sexually harassed women who came to him for spiritual guidance. When asked by the Forward whether (name removed) was one of the women interviewed during the RCA investigation, Rabbi Dale Polakoff, president of the organization, declined to comment, citing the advice of counsel.

Last week the Brooklyn-based Jewish Press published an open letter from Rabbi Moshe Faskowitz announcing his resignation from the RCA in connection to the Tendler controversy. Faskowitz quit the RCA after a Jerusalem regional rabbinical court characterized the organization as being in violation of its rulings.

Tendler had filed a complaint with the Jerusalem court in July, claiming that the RCA had violated rabbinic law by expelling him without bringing the charges to an independent rabbinical court. The RCA has responded that according to rabbinic law, a summons is not to be sent from one city to another if both litigants live in one city, and that therefore the Jerusalem court has no jurisdiction in the matter.

Polakoff said that his office had received no notice of an official resignation from Faskowitz or anybody else.

RCA sources say that Faskowitz is actually a cousin of Mordecai Tendler's wife, Michelle. Faskowitz could not be reached for comment.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read this article and was wondering if Sharon Tendler is related to Mordecai?

Brit Jew marries dolphin
Unusual wedding: British woman marries her beloved dolphin in Eilat ceremony
by Joe Kot - December 29, 2005,7340,L-3191923,00.html

Till death do us part? An unusual wedding ceremony was held in the southern resort town of Eilat on Wednesday, as Sharon Tendler, a 41-years-old Jewish millionaire from London married her beloved Cindy, a 35-years-old dolphin, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday.

The groom, a resident of the Eilat dolphin reef, met Tendler 15 years ago, when she first visited the resort. The British rock concert producer took a liking to the dolphin and has made a habit of traveling to Eilat two or three times a year and spending time with her underwater sweetheart.

"The peace and tranquility underwater, and his love, would calm me down," the excited bride said after the wedding.

After a years-long romance, Tendler decided to embark on the highly unusual path of tying the knot with her beloved dolphin. Last week, she approached Cindy's trainer Maya Zilber with the extraordinary request.

Zilber accepted the challenge and "talked the idea over with the fellow," who apparently consented.

'I'm not a pervert'

And so on Wednesday afternoon, the thrilled bride, wearing a white dress, walked down the dock before hundreds of astounded visitors and kneeled down before her groom, who was waiting in the water.

Cindy, escorted by his fellow best-men dolphins, swam over to Tendler and she hugged him, whispered sweet nothings in his ear, and kissed him in front of the cheering crowd.

After the ceremony was sealed with some mackerels, Tendler was tossed into the water by her friends so that she could swim with her new husband.

"I'm the happiest girl on earth," the bride said as she chocked back tears of emotion. "I made a dream come true, and I am not a pervert," she stressed.

Tendler said she and her newly wed husband will probably spend their wedding night bowling.

"But what kind of children would they have?" one of the children in the crowd asked his father.

December 29, 2005 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's next? People legally adopting their pets and marrying their puppies?

Before many were worried about same sex marriages. Now we have to be concerned about cross-species marriages.

December 29, 2005 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story raises many questions:

Dolphins know how to bowl? ("Tendler said she and her newly wed husband will probably spend their wedding night bowling.")

This story brings tears to my eyes -- thinking about whether Tendler's dress got ruined.

I also can't help but wonder how many times the dolphin (Cindy? Is this a lesbian marriage?) visited her in England. I have a feeling the courtship was one-sided.

How does Ms. Tendler know that Cindy was not already spoken for by another dolphin?

Unless Sharon Tendler moves to Eilat and resides in the waters of the aquarium (It's not clear where Cindy actually lives) with Cindy, I suspect this is only a marriage of convenience.

I don't know. I don't think I would want to marry anyone who needs to have a trainer speak for him.

December 29, 2005 9:57 AM  

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