Speaking of the New York Times, they had an interesting story about the new rabbi who took a three hour bus ride to the town of Greenport, NY to interview for a position leading the town’s only congregation. Now the congregation wants him gone but he has decided to open another synagogue not too far away…
Apparently, the problem with our dear rabbi Moskowitz is that he was too aggressive in his desire to bring the congregation to life. Uh, it seems it was kind of dead:
“We’ve been dead in the water,” said Stanley Rubin, 79, a longtime member who is one of the rabbi’s supporters. “They were very content to go along the old-fashioned way. As one of the board members told me, ‘We’ve been doing things the same way for 101 years, and there’s no reason to change things now.’ “
“We might as well just close it up,” Mr. Langhauser, 62, said of Congregation Tifereth Israel. “It’s a mausoleum. It’s time to try something different.”
Okay. So Rabbi Moskowitz thought he could bring the cadaver to life. First, he moved the furniture around in his residence. Apparently, he got scolded by the powers that be for doing this. OUCH! Then, they rejected his ideas to set up a community center for children of members (OUCH!); were averse to showing movies at the synagogue (OUCHY OUCH!!!); and refused to promote the synagogue by using media produced by local real estate agents (DOWNRIGHT MORONICALLY OUCHILICIOUS!).
So they did what any self respecting group of old Jews would do, they voted not to renew his contract and without telling him, changed the locks on the synagogue doors (and presumably his house doors). I’m not sure why they didn’t just ask him to leave nicely, but why ask when you can pay the locksmith to do the telling for you.
Anyway, the Rabbi is now opening a new synagogue in this little town with barely enough Jews to keep one synagogue afloat. He hopes to attract some families from his previous synagogue, but he is counting on some unaffilated and reform Jews, young families, and, of course, gays, to join his new congregation. In other words, he now feels deep sympathy for those who may not have found a place in the “traditional” house of prayer…
Hopefully, at his new synagogue he’ll be able to implement some of the ideas he had at Tiffereth Israel. Some of these ideas include a Jewish youth center, kosher catering, publicity in Jewish newspapers…and Sephardic cooking classes.
Let’s wish both congregations luck…