Acrimony at Humble Hamptons Shtiebl

For those of you still not finished planning your summer shares (you’re late!) beware — all is not well in East Hampton. True, at a mere $25,000 for membership dues, the Jewish Center of the Hamptons is still a relative bargain (particularly if you plan on visiting during the off-season months as well), but the Rabbi situation is, at best, uncertain. In fact, the Times reports that this bastion of spirituality currently resembles a “demilitarized zone” because of controvery over the Rabbi’s contract, which, most inconveniently, expires in June. Fortunately, since this is a Reform congregation, the factions don’t have to pretend they are going to settle this at the bais din, but are proceeding straight to litigation. As the old joke goes, “one synagogue, two lawsuits,” but this is the Hamptons, and it appears there may be a third lawsuit filed by Rabbi Gelfand himself. There have been allegations “of plagiarizing parts of sermons” as well as “financial misconduct.” The Rabbi’s salary is a measly $350,000, though he does receive an additional $170,000 in other forms of compensation (obviously!).
I would like to take this opportunity to ask our readers to give turn their hearts and prayers away from Israel, Iraq, Katrina, and earthquake victims in Asia somewhere, and focus on this devastated community “demilitarized zone” which is truly in pain. Terrible pain.

“There isn’t one of us who wouldn’t resign and apologize publicly for any undue pain, if we were able to have these issues discussed,” said Mr. Liberman. Describing friendships interrupted by the conflict, he added, “It’s been very painful for everyone.”

More importantly, please make sure the situation is resolved before you finalize your Hamptons residence this summer. And use this as an opportunity to remember those less fortunate than yourself.
Full story.

3 thoughts on “Acrimony at Humble Hamptons Shtiebl

  1. That’s so embarrassingly ostentatious! It really clashes with my Protestant ideals like valuing austerity and spurning overtly material displays. All very disgustingly Levantine.

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