Sexual slander about the private life of leaders has long been the way people seek to express frustration, disappointment and even anger with our leaders….Mordechai Gafni

Gafni has been running from sexual misconduct to sexual misconduct. Would that we could remove the name “rabbi” from this completely undeserving and sick fellow. Hats on to Mobi for breaking the story.

When I wrote to Ynet News, after seeing that they publish his “divrei torah” I didn’t even get a courtesy email in reply. I stopped reading the Ynet, since they were giving a platform to a unrepentant lying manipulative and apparently criminal man.

Rabbi dogged by sex scandal
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.

That last line gets me. Yes, the allegations of abuse have been going on for 20 YEARS and still people hire this guy! Ynet News, shame on you!

Two groups in the Renewal movement, Aleph and Elat Chayyim, looked into the allegations against Gafni and found “no evidence of wrongdoing,” according to Rabbi Arthur Waskow. (The three women with whom [Gary Rosenblatt spoke with] said they were never contacted.) And Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the acknowledged leader of the Renewal movement, said he is aware of the allegations against Gafni but supports him.

“If you want to find fly specks in the pepper, you can always find them,” Schachter-Shalomi said. “But I’ve watched him teach. He is learned, exciting and charismatic. A good teacher is one who gets people excited.”

Zalman, the problem is that HE gets excited, gets off, or rather gets on forcibly to women. I’ll let those words hang the Renewal movement.

And now the finale. Gafni always claimed to be imperfect, that he had relations with underage women etc. but that the real problem was not him, but that he is a “victim” of a longstanding “witch hunt,” motivated primarily by several Orthodox rabbis jealous of his success. Hmm. I smell a hypocrite of the highest order… In Gafni’s last column in Ynet he writes about the slander:

And of course slander usually revolves around the personal life of others.

Sexual slander about the private life of leaders has long been the way people seek to express frustration, disappointment and even anger with our leaders….

Their life is somehow at my expense. So I ‘cut them down to size’ with slander. The deeper source of the problem though is me and not them. I am disconnected from my own life.

Any Jewish orginization that hired him should be held liable for all his wrong-doings for enabling him to prey on women. The facts were always there for anyone who cared to look.

About the author


struggling. emotional. help.


  • have you seen the discussion on jewschool? the tenor is a lot different. you know that they did look into it and gafni was never convicted of anything. maybe that’s why they should press charges now, so that he will not be able to later say that this time was nothing. i think that art green should issue a response, and aleph has fired him. they were obviously duped by him as well. you can’t fault them for believing his lies, he was very persuasive… they may have been gulible, but i don’t think that that makes them culpable.

  • Excuse me… He said that when he was 19 he slept with a 13 year old girl.

    Since then the accusations have followed him everywhere.

    They were culpable, because he even admitted he had a problem years ago and said publicly he would not counsel women in private.

  • The renewal movement is an easy target. But I’ll tell you something, I was recently at work, humiliated by one of these bearded frummies, in a way that profoundly hurt me, as never ever before.

    I can’t even talk to this dirtbag anymore.

    Perhaps my reaction has some added shock, that a frim person would act this way towards another human being.

    That is, if he wasn’t decked out in their clothing, I wouldn’t feel as bad.

Leave a Comment