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Mordecai Tendler Part One

12/29/05


In light of this, residents of greater Monsey have formed The Committee for Rabbinic Integrity that strives to prevent Mordy Tendler from continuing on in capacity of "Rav", "dayan" or "mashgiach" and to warn the entire Jewish community against having any contact with him, especially women, many of whom he has abused as well as so many families for decades.

According to the Chafetz Chayim in his vital sefer Shmiros Halashon (klal 4 halacha 7-8) it is permitted and even obligatory to record and and even a mitzvah--good deed to publicize the information contained herein:

Additionally, in light of the express permission of a wide spectrum of foremost N.Y. Rabbanim, that includes the enclosed summary translation of an important t’shuvah-- responsa expressly written for this issue, this can and must be read by all adults.

1. Summary Translation Responsa of the venerable Rav Wosner, Shlit"a
2. Rabbinic Proclamation of Leading Monsey Rabbanim (with english translation)

Note: If any of the halachic material below is printed, please discard it properly in shaimos. Thank you.



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Summary Translation for the "Responsa" written by
Harav Hagaon Rabbi Benzion Y. Wosner Shlit"a
Rosh Beis Din Shevet Halevi
Monsey - Beit Shemesh


Please note: These are excerpts only from a lengthy and very thorough T'shuvah. This translation has been authorized by Harav Hagaon Rav Wosner, Shlit"a, but has not been translated by him. This is only a summary, not at all a complete translation. One must actually read and study the original Teshuvah in its original Hebrew to get a true understanding and appreciation of this psak (Halachic ruling). All Rabbis in Monsey retain a copy of the original Teshuvah and it is thus available for anyone to study.

Please note: While Rabbi Wosner is a Gaon in his own right, and one of the leading Halachic Authorities for the Monsey Kehilla Mikvah, he is also the son of the venerable Gaon, and world renowned Posek, the author of the multi-volume responsa, Shevet Halevi of Bnei-Brak. (The great Chazon Ish Z"l is known to have recommended the Shevet Halevi as the leading authority in Bnei-Brak 50 years ago.)

The reason this vital information was not presented publicly until now* is that the Rabbanim attempted to give Tendler many chances, with the latest attempts during the Yomim Noraim, to resign as Rav and Dayan before releasing both the t'shuvah and kol-korah proclamation and if needed other very compromising information. Their patient attempts went on completely deaf ears that included his father and brother. The time to declare the Torah view has come. No more chances.

A Short Translation Summary:

Introduction:

This is in regard to an issue whereas numerous Rabbanim in our town (Monsey) have requested that I rule Halachicly, how to deal with a certain Rabbi, who deals with divorces, marriages and kashruth issues.

Unfortunately, there have been rumors about him for years that he has deliberately violated many Torah prohibitions, particularly involving immoral relations with women. To be sure that this was in fact truthful, I summoned and interviewed many men and women who reside in both New Hempstead and who reside outside of New Hempstead, and found all of this to be unfortunately true!

The women testified on his total disregard of Torah prohibitions. For example, he would meet women one on one, on the pretense that he wants to teach them Halachos and counsel them on the ways of life. Once he wins their confidence, he would, for example, forget to bring his book and ask the woman he was seeing if they could learn together using her book, thereby giving him the opportunity to move physically closer to her where they would eventually touch. He would ultimately hug the woman and subsequently perform other immoral acts that I have great difficulty putting to print!

In addition, he has brazenly dealt in difficult Halachic marriage situations, annulling countless marriages (Hashem, protect us).

When asked by a group of Rabbis at a meeting, how he could take upon himself these halachic rulings, he answered that his grandfather Harav Moshe Feinstein Z”l also ruled this way! However, after having inquired from Harav Feinstein’s own children and students, we found that this was a total fabrication!

Now, the inquiry before us is:

What do we answer members of our community and our neighbors, who ask whether to continue under his leadership and teachings, or to leave him?

In addition, this inquiry notes the fact that this Rabbi was a member for many years of a Rabbinic organization, (RCA) and after doing their own investigation decided to oust him from their organization!

This Rabbi has summoned this same Rabbinic organization (RCA) to a (Rabbanut) Beit Din in Israel claiming that they terminated his membership in their organization under the violation of Halacha-Torah law.

For example, he claims that the Shulchan Aruch writes that one cannot remove a “Chazzan” from his position based on a rumor, unless there are actual kosher witnesses.

From his side he likewise claims:

a) there are only women witnesses and he claims women are not kosher witnesses
b) that these witnesses testified without him being present
c) the witnesses are biased
d) the rumors were spread by his enemies!


ANSWER:

This case has absolutely no resemblance to the case discussed in the Shulchan Aruch. The Shulchan Aruch talks about a Congregation that wants to remove a Chazzan from his employment in a synagogue, based on a rumor.

In our case this Rabbi was not employed by the organization (RCA), he was a member like other member Rabbis. We could not find one instance in Halacha that an organization cannot remove one of their members. In addition, every organization can set and change its own rules as they see fit! -- ( )

Every organization has a right to set rules that their members should not profane HASHEM’S great Name, certainly not to violate outright Halachic prohibitions .

Therefore, since this rumor has been ongoing and the Rabbis of the organization are ashamed and embarrassed of his actions, they not only have a right to oust him from their organization but they have a Torah obligation to do so!

With this action, the Rabbis of this organization are sanctifying HASHEM’S Name!

It is vital to know that, accordingly, his own Congregation has an equal obligation!

(a) In regard to his claim that only women testified:

As far as Halacha is concerned (see actual T’shuvah for elaboration), in a case where a Rabbi has a rumor that doesn’t stop ... (this rumor has been ongoing for multiple years) we do not need any witnesses to remove him.

In our case we actually do have witnesses ... men who have testified that they actually saw this Rabbi meet women one on one (flagrantly violating the prohibition of Yichud). There are, however, also women witnesses! The victims themselves who came to him for counseling to pour their broken hearts to him!

The Ramah in Choshen Mishpat (Siman 35, 14) rules that in a case where only women congregate or in a case (like ours) where only women could possibly testify, (since he meets women one on one behind closed doors) they can and should certainly testify. (Terumas Hadeshen Siman 353 and Agudah Perek 10, Yochasin)

This is also the ruling of the Mahrik, Radvaz, and the Mahr”i of Minz. Even those “Poskim” that would normally not rely on women witnesses, they would certainly agree that in our case ... where there is ample evidence that this Rabbi violated Torah precepts, then even children or women can certainly be kosher as witnesses, as the Chasam Sofer pointed out in his sefer (Orach Chaim T'shuvah 11)

(b) His claim that the witnesses testified without him being there:

There are many Responsa in regard to having witnesses testify, without the defendant being present. The Ramah has already ruled (Choshen Mishpat) that testimony taken without the defendant present is halachicly correct, especially in a case where the defendant has a history of intimidating witnesses (This Rabbi called and threatened many women who testified at the RCA hearing).

In addition, since we are dealing with a person who intimidates, curses and harasses anyone that dare oppose him including respected Rabbis...one may testify without the defendant being present.

The Ramah adds that in such a case (as ours) where we know that the defendant will certainly intimidate the witnesses, the Gaonim (Sages who lived during the years 900 C.E.) long ago established a Halachic rule that one may testify without the defendant being present!

c) He claims the Witnesses are biased: This claim is not true since:

(1) some of the witnesses were actually men who had no previous associations with him

(2) some of the women witnesses who testified, testified not what he actually did with them, but they testified what he did with other women who confided in them (and additionally brought them evidence of this). And even if his claim was actually true, the absurd claim of his ... that these women were biased, it would be irrelevant as far as Halacha is concerned.
According to Halacha, these women would still be believed.
(Please see sources).

Rumors that have not stopped (Kalay D'lo Pasak V'Sanu shomaneha):

In a case such as ours where rumors about this individual have been ongoing for years, the Ramah has already ruled () that in a case such as this, even if one individual of his congregation protests his behavior, this would be sufficient reason to remove this Rabbi from his position ... based on a rumor only! See also the Chasam Sofer (ibid)

Even in the case where the Rabbi claims that he is like a Chazzan, where the Shulchan Aruch says that based on one rumor one cannot be removed from his position, in this case even the Shulchan Aruch would agree that he should be removed since there are many people in his Congregation that have protested his despicable behavior (witness how many people left his shul).

The Aruch Hashulchan (Yoreh Dayah 119) writes a rule for all to know, that the Halacha requires his removal even if the rumor never reached a Beis Din!

The Bais Yosef in the name of the R"ash and Rabbeinu Yeruchum rule this way even if the rumor stopped !!

One may surmise from the Rambam’s ruling (source) that even in a case where we do not have clear kosher witnesses, but where we have some basis of fact, and a rumor that doesn’t stop that he has violated immoral prohibitions, one has an obligation to humiliate him in public! All of this without any witnesses testifying!

The Rambam therefore states regarding a person like this: (Sanhedrin chapter 24):

"The Congregation should taunt the one that is transgressing the Torah prohibition of arayos--immoral relations and, in addition, whoever hears about his evil behavior must embarrass him even in front of his own children" (See Rambam source above).

d) Claim ... that his “enemies” have spread the rumors:

All people who have claims against them, always argue that the witnesses are enemies and hate them ... we actually see this on a daily basis with people who go to court!

With this reasoning there would never ever be any court cases whatsoever!

Having said this, the definition of “enemies” is clearly defined by the Talmud (Yevamos 25a) and several other commentaries (e.g. HaHaishiv Moshe 60, Rambam Sanhedrin chapter 23, Otzer HaPairushim 11:33, etc...) and these sources talk about real enemies not people who had some disagreements between each other.

We can therefore reason that his claim that “enemies” spreading rumors about him are not only false, but absurd!


Ruling:

All Rabbis Have a Clear Obligation to Publicly Ostracize Him:

Rashi in Tractate Megillah 25b states that if there are rumors that one is an Adulterer, one may embarrass him!

Rabbis that are quiet and do not chastise this individual cause HASHEM’S Name to be profaned.

It is therefore an obligation on our town’s Rabbinic leaders to do whatever is in their power to ostracize him and separate him from his congregation. This Halacha is brought down by the Rif and this is the Halacha (Yoreh Dayah 334:42)!


No prohibition on speaking Lashan Harah (evil gossip):

The Chofetz Chayim (klal 7:65) rules emphatically that if an individual is a known rasha, for just an example, he is known to have had immoral relations (and is involved in Yichud repeatedly, etc.), one is allowed to listen and speak about this individual!


Prohibited from being a Dayan (Rabbinical Judge):

The Bais Yosef (Choshen Mishpat 34 in the name of the R"osh) rules that one who has been accused of illicit relationships including one who is m'yachaid (meets women alone on a one on one basis) ... is prohibited from ever being witness, and anyone who cannot be a witness can never be a Judge! (Ramah 25, Niddah 49b, Tur Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat Siman 7:69)...

Therefore it stands to reason that one who cannot be a witness or a Judge ... must immediately be stopped from officiating at weddings and divorces! See Responsa Rabbi Moses Feinstein Z"l (Yoreh Dayah Siman 1)!


Final Halachic Ruling Summary:

Numerous Rabbis sat together and heard audio tapes, where this “Rabbi” attempts to seduce married (and unmarried) women (Hashem, please protect us). On one particular tape one can clearly hear a married woman begging the “Rabbi” to leave her alone.

Accordingly, the RCA had every right to oust this Rabbi from their organization, and his own Congregation has the same obligation!

This Rabbi can no longer officiate at divorces, weddings, batei dinim, etc...

No one is obligated to give him any respect such as standing up for him, etc.

He can no longer be a Rav or Rabbi or Dayan amongst the Jewish People!

One should never allow their wives or daughters to go to his classes or to go to him at all including counseling... and all his rulings are null and void!

This ruling obligates all of us according to Halacha as per the ruling of his own grandfather Alah V'shalom, Z"l in his Sefer Igros Moshe ... (ibid).

By doing so we will fulfill the verse in our Holy Torah...

Destroy Evil Amongst Us.”

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Translation of a joint Rabbinic Kol Korah
“Denial & Clarification” letter
issued by 7 Leading Monsey Rabbonim
against R’ Mordecai Tendler of
New Hempstead, New York
Denial (of his claims) and Clarification!

We have gathered together to inform the public that since it has been publicly announced, written and printed that we investigated R’ Mordecai Tendler and that we were convinced of the truth of his statements. We are hereby forced to publicize that this is an outright Lie!


In addition, we want to publicize our opinion that after thoroughly investigating the matter in his presence and after a thorough examination of the issues, it is our opinion that one must not seek any advice in any area of zia mely, and certainly not in any Halachic matters pertaining to Divorce, Marriage or Conversions!

On this matter we are affixing our signatures on this the 20th day of the month of Iyar* in the year 5765. Here, in Monsey, New York

(In order of Hebrew Signatures)

Rabbi Moshe Green,
Rosh Yeshivah, Yeshivah D’Monsey
Rabbi Yisroel Hager
Son of the Grand Rabbi of Vishnitz
Rabbi Chaim Halberstam,
Rav, K’hal Yoel Moshe, Satmar, Monsey
Rabbi Chaim Shraga Feival Shnaybalg
Rav, K’hal Avreichim, Monsey
Rabbi Chaim Leibish Halevi Rottenberg
Rav, K’hal Netzach Yisroel,Monsey
Rabbi Sharaga Feivel Halevi Zimmerman
Rav, K’hal Bney Ashkenaz,Monsey
Rabbi Mordechai Ohrbach
Rav, K’hal Forshay,Monsey

You may comment and or share your confidential information with us via email: rabbisintegrity@optonline.net

Case Against Rabbi Mordecai Tendler - Supreme Court of the State of New York County of New York


Supreme Court of the State of New York County of New York
Filed: December 20, 2005
Index No: 05117629
Plaintiff designates New York County as the place of trial
Summons
The basis of venue is plaintiff's residence
Plaintiff resides at:
(Address removed)
County of New York

Survivors Name Removed, Plaintiff,
-against-
Kehillat New Hempstead: The Rav Aron Jofen Community Synagogue, and
Mordecai Tendler, Defendant

To the above named Defendants:
You are hearby summoned to answer the compliant in this action and to serve a copy of our answer, or, if the complaint is not served with this summons, to serve a notice of appearance, on the Plaintiff's Attorney(s) within 20 days after the service of this summons, exclusive of the day of service for within 30 days after the service is complete in this summons is not personally delivered to you within the State of New York); and in case of failure to appear or answer, judgment will be taken against you by default for the relief demanded in the complaint.

Dated: New York, New York
December 20, 2005

Yours, etc., Kramer and Dunleavy, LLP
Attorneys for Plaintiff

Lenore Kramer, Esq.
A Member of the Firm
350 Braodway, Suite 1100
New York, New York 10013
(212) 226-6662


Defendants Addresses:
Kehillat New Hempstead: The Rav Aron Jofen
720 Union Road
New Hempstead, New York 10977

Mordecai Tendler
653 Union Road
Spring Valley, New York 10977
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Supreme Court of the State of New York County of New York

Verified Complaint
Filed December 20, 2005
Index No: 05117629

Survivors Name Removed, Plaintiff,
-against-
Kehillat New Hempstead: The Rav Aron Jofen Community Synagogue, and
Mordecai Tendler, Defendants.

Plaintiff, by her attorneys, KRAMMER & DUNLEAVY, LLP., complaining of the defendants, respectfully alleges, upon information and belief, as follows:

1. That at all times hereinafter mentioned, defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE, was and still is a domestic not-for-profit corporation duly organized and existing pursuant to the Religious Corporation Law of the State of New York.

2. That at all times hereinafter mentioned, defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE held itself open to members of the public as a place of worship, guidance and sanctuary.

3. Defendant MORDECAI TENDLER was and still is the founder and leader of defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE.
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4. Upon information and belief, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER was and still is an employee of defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE.

5. At all relevant times, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER had a reputation as a scholar, educator and community leader within the Orthodox community.

6. At all relevant times, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER held himself out to the public and to the plaintiff as a counselor and advisor with an expertise in women's issues.

7. That the plaintiff (SURVIVORS NAME REMOVED) first became acquainted with defendant MORDECAI TENDLER and his work on behalf of women in 1994.

8. That beginning in 1994, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) consulted by telephone with the defendant MORDECAI TENDLER on various personal issues.

9. That beginning in 1995, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER began to actively recruit plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) to join his congregation at defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE.

10. That in September, 1996, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) began attending services at defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE.
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11. At all relevant times, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER took on the role of counselor and advisor to plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) and did counsel and advise her with respect to her personal, legal and financial problems.

12. At all relevant times, a relationship of confidence and trust existed between the plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) and the defendant MORDECAI TENDLER.

13. At all relevant times, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER represented to plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) that she was his "favorite" and his "closest."

14. At all relevant times, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER represented to plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) that he would "be there" for all of her needs.

15. At all relevant times, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER represented to the plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) that he would assist her in finding a prospective husband so that she would be able to marry and have children, as she wished.

16. At all relevant times, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER represented himself as an advisor, a father figure and a god to plaintiff (NAME REMOVED).

17. Beginning in November, 2001, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER began a sexual relationship with plaintiff (NAMED REMOVED).
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18. That from November 2001 through May, 2005, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER had an ongoing sexual relationship with plaintiff (NAME REMOVED).

19. That prior to and throughout the duration of the aforsaid sexual relationship, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER advised plaintiff (NAME REMOVED)
that she was "close to the possiblity of finding a husband" and that she would never find a husband in her current state.

20. That prior to and throughout the duration of the aforesaid sexual relationship, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER advised plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) to permit him to have sexual intercourse with her so that her "life would open up and men would come" to her.

21. That prior to and throughout the duration of the afordsaid sexual relationship, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER advised plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) that "Everything was closed" to her and that she should let him "open up her to the world."

22. At all relevant times, defendant "MORDECAI TENDLER advised plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) that, if she had sexual intercourse with him, "doors would open," she would be "open up to meeting men" and she "would get married and have children."

23. That from November 2001 through May, 2005, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER had sexual relations with plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) at
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various locations, including in his rabbinical study at defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE.

24. At all relevant times, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER told plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) that he "was as close to God as anyone could get."

25. At all relevant times, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER told plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) that he "talks to God all the time."

26. At all relevant times, defendant "MORDECAI TENDLER told plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) that he "was the Messiah."

27. That plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) was induced to engage in this physical relationship with defendant MORDECAI TENDLER as part of a course of sexual therapy which he represented would lead to her achieving her goals of marriage and children.

28. At all relevant times, defendant (MORDECAI TENDLER warned plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) that, if she told anyone about the sexual therapy, he "would have her placed in a straight jacket," "have her put in the penitentiary" and/or "have her thrown in jail."

29. At all relevant times, defendant "MORDECAI TENDLER warned plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) that, if she told anyone about the sexual therapy, he "would have her banned from the shul (synagogue)" and "would turn the community against her."
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30. At all relevant times, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER advised plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) that engaging in sexual relations with him, was her "only hope" to open her up to become receptive to men.

31. At all relevant times, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) believed the words, advice and threats of defendant MORDECAI TENDLER.

32. That once plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) submitted to his course of sexual therapy, rather than assisting her to reach her goals of marriage and children, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER physically and emotionally abused plaintiff for his own sexual pleasure and gratification.


AS AND FOR A FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION FOR FRAUD

33. Plaintiff repeats and reiterates each and every allegation contained in paragraphs 1 though 32 inclusive, with the same force and effect as in specifically set forth herein at length.

34. That the aforesaid representations made by defendant MORDECAI TENDLER to plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) were false and reckless.

35. That at the time he made the aforesaid representations, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER knew them to be false and reckless.

36. That defendant MORDECAI TENDLER made the aforesaid representations with the express intent to deceive plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) and induce her into a sexual relationship with him.
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37. That in knowingly making the aforesaid false and reckless representations to plaintiff (NAME REMOVED), defendant MORDECAI TENDLER took unfair advantage of his position as her counselor and advisor.

38. Plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) relied on the false and reckless misrepresentation of defendant MORDECAI TENDLER and engaged in sexual relations with him.

39. That had plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) known that the course of sexual therapy advised by defendant MORDECAI TENDLER was solely for his personal pleasure and gratification, she would not have engaged in sexual relations with him.

40. That as a result of the foregoing, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) was physically violated, had her reputation impugned, was ostracized from her synagogue and has lost her standing in the community.

41. That as a result of the foregoing, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) has been injured and damaged in a sum which exceeds the jurisdictional limitations of all the lower Courts that would otherwise have jurisdiction over this action.

AS AND FOR THE SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION FOR BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY

42. Plaintiff repeats and reiterates each and every allegation contained in paragraphs 1 through 41 inclusive, with the same force wand effect as if specifically set forth herein at length.
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43. At all relevant times, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER occupied a position as fiduciary to the plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) as her counselor, advisor and therapist and owed her a relationship of trust and confidence.

44. That as a result of the foregoing, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER breached his fiduciary duty to plaintiff (NAME REMOVED).

45. That as a result of the foregoing, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) was physically violated, had her reputation impugned, was ostracized from her synagogue and lost her standing in the community.

46. That as a result of the foregoing, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) was caused to and has suffered and sustained severe and serious personal injuries, severe and serious conscious pain and suffering, severe and serious mental distress and anguish and attendant economic losses.

47. That as a result of the foregoing, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) has been injured and damaged in a sum which exceeds the jurisdictional limitations of all lower Courts that would other wise have jurisdiction over this action.

AS AND FOR THE THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION FOR INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

48. Plaintiff repeats and reiterates each and every allegation contained in paragraph 1 through 47 inclusive, with the same force and effect as if specifically set forth herein at length.

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49. Defendant MORDECAI TENDLER encouraged his congregates at defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE, to harass, threaten and intimidate plaintiff (NAME REMOVED).

50. The congregates at defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE did harass, threaten and intimidate plaintiff (NAME REMOVED).

51. Defendant MORDECAI TENDLER engaged in a concerted scheme to embarrass, humiliate and diminish plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) in the orthodox community so as to injure her reputation and destroy her credibility.

52. Defendant MORDECAI TENDLER knew, or should have known, that his actions towards plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) in falsely inducing her into a sexual relationship, in physically violating and abusing her, in causing her to be harassed, threatened, intimidated and ostracized from the community and in intentionally injuring her reputation and standing in the community would result in serious emotional distress, pain and suffering to her.

53. In doing the actions hereinabove alleged, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER acted with willful, wanton, reckless, intentional and deliberate disregard for the likelihood that plaintiff would suffer severe emotional distress, pain and suffering as a direct and proximate result of his actions.

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54. The aforementioned wrongful conduct of defendant MORDECAI TENDLER was extreme and outrageous and went beyond all bounds of civility and decency.

55. That as a result of the foregoing, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) was caused to suffer severe mental and emotional distress, pain and suffering.

56. That as a result of the foregoing, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) has been injured and damaged in a sum which exceeds the jurisdictional limitations of all lower Courts that would otherwise have jurisdiction over this action.

AS AND FOR A FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION FOR NEGLIGENT INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

57. Plaintiff repeats and reiterate each and every allegation contained in paragraphs 1 through 56 inclusive, with the same force and effect as if specifically set forth herein at length.

58. At all relevant times, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER was aware that plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) trusted him, relied on him and placed her confidence in him.

58. At all relevant times, defendant MORDECAI TENDLER knew or should have known that his actions would cause her severe mental and emotional distress, pain and suffering.
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59. That as a result of defendant's actions, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) was caused to suffer severe mental and emotional distress, pain and suffering.

60. That as a result of the foregoing, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) has been injured and damaged in a sum which exceeds the jurisdictional limitations of all lower Courts that would otherwise have jurisdiction over this action.

AS AND FOR A FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION FOR NEGLIGENT RETENTION

61. Plaintiff repeats and reiterates each and every allegation contained in paragraphs 1 through 60 inclusive, with the same force and effect as if specifically set forth herein at length.

62. At all relevant times, defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE was aware of the aforesaid conduct and actions of defendant MORDECAI TENDLER.

63. At all relevant times, defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE knew or should have known of propensity of defendant MORDECAI TENDLER for the aforesaid conduct.

64. At all relevant times, defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE knew or should
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have known that defendant MORDECAI TENDLER used his rabbinical study at the synagogue to conduct his sexual therapy sessions with congregation members.

65. At all relevant times, defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE knew of facts that would lead a predent party to investigate the use by defendant MORDECAI TENDLER of his rabbinical study at the synagogue.

66. At all relevant times, defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE had notice of prior allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by defendant MORDECAI TENDLER.

67. That in spite of the aforesaid notice of prior allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by defendant MORDECAI TENDLER, defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE took no steps to warn or protect plaintiff and other female congregants, to adequately supervise defendant, to remove defendant from his position of authority or to make an appropriate investigation.

68. That defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE, was grossly negligent as follows: in failing to properly and adequately supervise the activities of defendant MORDECAI TENDLER; in failing to use reasonable care to correct the conduct of defendant MORDECAI TENDLER; in failing to remove defendant MORDECAI TENDLER was an employee; in failing to conduct an adequate and appropriate investigation; in
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failing to warn congregants of in failing to take the steps necessary to have prevented the fraud and assault on plaintiff; and, in further failing to exercise that degree of due care as a reasonable party under the same or similar circumstances.

69. That as a result of the foregoing, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) was physically violated, had her reputation impugned, was ostracized from her synagogue and lost her standing in the community.

70. That as a result of the foregoing, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) was caused to and has suffered and sustained severe and serious personal injuries, severe and serious conscious pain and suffering, severe and serious mental distress and anguish and attendant economic losses.

71. That as a result of the foregoing, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) is entitled to recover punitive damages from and against defendant KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE.

72. That as a result of the foregoing, plaintiff (NAME REMOVED) has been injured and damaged in a sum which exceeds the jurisdictional limitations of all lower Courts that would otherwise have jurisdiction over this action.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff demands judgment against defendants KEHILLAT NEW HEMPSTEAD: THE RAV ARON JOFEN COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUE and MORDECAI TENDLER for both compensatory and punitive damages in the sum which exceeds the jurisdictional limitations of all lower Courts that would.
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otherwise have jurisdiction over this action and is within the jurisdiction of this Court

Dated: New York, New York
December 20, 2005


Yours, etc.,
KRAMER & DUNLEAVY, L.L.P.
By Lenore Kramer
A Member of the Firm
Attorneys for Plaintiff
Office and Post Office Address
350 Broadway - Suite 1100
New York, New York 10013
(212) 226-6662
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VERIFICATION

STATE OF NEW YORK )
:ss
COUNTY OF NEW YORK)

I, the undersigned, an attorney admitted to practice in the Courts of New York State, state that I am a member of the firm of KRAMER & DUNLEAVY, L.L.P. attorneys for the plaintiff in the within action; I have read the foregoing verified complain and know the contents thereof; the same is true to my own knowledge, except as to the matters therein stated to be alleged on information and belief, and as to those matters I believe it to be true. The reason this verification is made by me and not by plaintiff, is because the plaintiff is not now within the County where deponent maintains her offices.

The grounds of my belief as to all matters not stated upon my own knowledge are as follows:

Conversations with plaintiff and a review of the file maintained at my office on this matter.

I affirm that the foregoing statements are true, under the penalties of perjury.

Dated: New York, New York
December 20, 2005

Lenore Kramer


3/1/06

Rabbi Mordecai Tendler Files Libel Suit in Rabbinical Court

Press release from the Committee for Rabbinic Integrity (Mordecai Tendler and friends) (hat tip to Yeshiva World):

NEW HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., March 1, 2006 -- Rabbi Mordecai Tendler filed a Rabbinical Court complaint on February 27, 2006, seeking unspecified damages against several individuals associated with Kehillat New Hempstead.

The suit alleges malicious interference with his contractual relations, violation of rabbinical rulings and libel. The suit names Shlomo Pomerantz, attorney David Graubard, attorney Bruce Minsky, attorney Nathan Losman and Shelly Karben, mother of local assemblyman Ryan Karben, and others. It alleges in part that the defendants conspired to interfere with existing rabbinical rulings and illegally interfered with Rabbi Tendler's contractual relations. The suit further charges that the defendants, with the intent of libeling Rabbi Tendler, conspired in, and contacted the New York Post and, upon information and belief, provided reporters with information as part of a conspiracy to destroy Rabbi Tendler's career, embarrass his family and injure the continued viability of Kehillat New Hempstead. The suit will seek to prove that the group has acted in concert so as to force the congregation into bankruptcy with the intent of voiding Rabbi Tendler's contract.

Rabbi Tendler was advised by members of his congregation that the New York Post was going to publish a three-part article, based upon the information provided in part by the defendants, later this week. The congregation has been strongly supportive of Rabbi Tendler and the defendant group could find no traction in their previous attempt at ousting Rabbi Tendler thus resorting to the use of the press.

He was further advised that a blog, New Hempstead News, carried a story on February 26, 2006, four days before the New York Post story appeared in print, that two reporters from the New York Post visited Rabbi Tendler on Friday February 24, 2006.

Rabbi Tendler stated that in the event the group failed to appear before the Rabbinical Court within the time provided by the Court, he intended to seek immediate and emergency authorization to file suit in New York State Supreme Court seeking damages and other relief. For further information please see http://www.ravtendlerdocuments.com.

Mordecai Tendler Suspended By His Shul

By JEANE MacINTOSH and DAVID HAFETZ Of The New York Post

A prominent New York rabbi has been booted from his shul in the wake of a scandalous sex suit, The Post has learned.

Disgraced Rabbi Mordechai Tendler — scion of one of the world's most prominent Modern Orthodox families — was suspended late Sunday by the board of Kehillat New Hempstead, the Rockland County synagogue he founded.

Tendler, claiming a conspiracy to wreck his career and embarrass his family, refuses to acknowledge the suspension and has summoned 10 "insurgent" opponents to a special rabbinical court with the Union of Orthodox Rabbis.

The KNH board has reportedly also frozen Tendler out of a shul bank account — a charge that Tendler also denies.

The stunning blow comes after a December lawsuit, first reported in The Post, by a former KNH member who alleges Tendler claimed to be the "Messiah" and gave her "sex therapy" to help her find a husband during counseling.

Last year, Tendler was expelled from the highly respected Rabbinical Council of America amid allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct by several women in the community.

The rabbi's suspension comes just weeks after his brother, Rabbi Aron Tendler, announced he would step down from his Los Angeles synagogue amid speculation — reported on Internet sites — that he had been moved from a teaching position at a girls school because of misconduct.

Announcing Mordechai Tendler's suspension, the KNH board, in a letter yesterday to members, noted it had previously asked Tendler to take a leave of absence and recommended "rehabilitation" — neither of which the rabbi would pursue.

"Since the inception of the controversies, the Rabbi has failed to acknowledge or resolve the breadth of these issues," the board wrote.

The board cited the lawsuit, declining membership, falling finances, Tendler's "continuing lack of responsibility" and the board's own inability to determine the "accuracy" of some of his statements.

Tendler, who has publicly denounced the rabbinical council's ruling and has moved to dismiss the "scurrilous" lawsuit, continues to lead the shul, said his brother, Hillel Tendler.

"This is not a legal board . . . they're nothing," Hillel Tendler said, adding that the suspension letter "is void. It has no effect."

Hillel Tendler also rejected the suggestion that KNH attendance is down, saying that Sabbath services are drawing more congregants and that a majority of the shul has signed a petition backing his brother.

Tendler opponents said at least a dozen people have left KNH.

On Monday morning, Tendler — son of leading Yeshiva University Professor Rabbi Moshe Tendler and grandson of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the Modern Orthodox world's leading religious authority — turned up for morning prayers at the synagogue. Tendler has declined to speak to reporters.

Approached last week for comment about the growing tension in town, the rabbi's wife, Michelle Tendler, insisted, "Nobody has left!" and added, "You're not welcome here!"

On Monday, February 27, attorney Daniel Schwartz sent out this email to the Forward and other places on behalf of the KNH board of directors:

It is with a heavy heart that we are compelled to write this correspondence. As you are all aware of the controversy and issues surrounding our Rabbi, Rav Mordecai Tendler, and the resulting harms on our community and Kehillah, the Board of Directors (”Board”) in accordance with its fiduciary responsibilities, has undertaken the necessary due diligence to determine the source, accuracy, extent and affect of those issues.

After months of extensive investigation and outreach, the Board pursued the input of many persons with knowledge of the underlying issues, as well as attempting to engage the Rabbi, and his representatives, in the appropriate dialogue to achieve a resolution of remedial and rehabilitative cures.

These issues concerned the following: (i) the accuracy of certain explanatory statements made by the Rabbi; (ii) a continuing spiritual deficiency in KNH; (iii) a related loss of membership; (iv) an associated overall decline of community support for KNH; (v) the lawsuit commenced by Adina Mermelstein; (vi) the failure to adequately apprise the Board of the Rabbi’s defensive efforts; and, (vii) a corresponding loss of financial funds and support for KNH.

To date, and since the inception of the controversies, the Rabbi has failed to acknowledge or resolve the breadth of these issues. This failure has been consistent and now affects the very manner in which the Kehillat needs to function.

Being unable to confirm and verify the Rabbi’s defensive positions, the Rabbi’s continuing lack of responsibility, aware of the worsening negative ramifications affecting the Kehillah, the growing chorus of controversies and issues, and being further convinced that a resolution of the above issues are highly unlikely, the Board has voted to suspend the Rabbi from his rabbinical duties, compensation and responsibilities, the suspension to commence on February 28, 2006 and remain until a final determination from either a court of competent jurisdiction or agreed beis din, or a final negotiated resolution. The decision comes on the heels of a prior recent request that asked that the Rabbi take a leave of absence, that being subsequent to many months of recommending remediation and rehabilitation, acts which were not pursued by the Rabbi.

Our decision to suspend, of course, took into consideration the Rabbi’s active participation in the birth and growth of our Kehillah, his long-standing commitment to our Kehillah and community and the extent of his outreach efforts.

While we are mindful of the range of anticipated member reactions, we believe that the Board’s decision is in the best interest of the Kehillah. To correctly communicate this stance, we are attempting to coordinate a forum to discuss the Board’s efforts, the Board’s decision herein, as well as our healing and rebuilding intentions.

Lastly, decisions that concern the very essence of our personal and spiritual relationships are never easy. Being exposed, though, to the harms which emanate from our awareness of the realm and breadth of the existing controversies, we are committed to providing the necessary contributions to ensure for the successful implementation of our rebirth. We are hopeful we will continue our community efforts in this regard.

May Hashem bless us to direct the correctness of our actions, bless our Kehillah in its spiritual growth and rejuvenation, and bless us with Shalom.

March 5, 2006

Randy Rabbi Reels

By DAVID HAFETZ and JEANE MacINTOSH of the New York Post, March 5:

Details of allegations by eight more female accusers have surfaced in the explosive sex scandal surrounding Mordechai Tendler, the Rockland County rabbi who allegedly called himself the Messiah to bed a synagogue member.

The women claim the disgraced holy man demanded sexual favors and made bizarre passes - all while offering them spiritual and marital guidance.

Tendler, scion of a preeminent Orthodox family, allegedly paid off one woman after an affair, advised another to have sex with him to "forget her problems," and begged a mother of five to let him bathe her.

Batye Seigel told The Post that as her marriage crumbled in the early '90s, she confided in Tendler, who she believed could help her obtain a "get," a Jewish divorce decree.

But during meetings, Tendler began "hitting on me, big time . . . He would always close the door and lock it - that is forbidden by Jewish law," Seigel said.

Gillian Sinclair, a former member of Tendler's shul, said she talked to the Rabbinical Council of America - which eventually expelled Tendler - "not to destroy a man or his family but to stop the abuse that was going on."

"He's calling, wanting to see me, wanting to come over, offering to bathe me," she said. "I couldn't say what I'd say to any other man pressuring me in that kind of situation - the rabbi was in a position of power."

New details of the embattled New Hempstead rabbi's alleged sexual escapades with women who came to him with marital and spiritual problems were made available to The Post through notes from an investigation that eventually led to Tendler's expulsion from the Rabbinical Council of America.

The prestigious group of 1,000 rabbis tossed Tendler last March, but has not publicly described the women's complaints, which were confirmed for The Post by two sources familiar with the council's investigation.

The women described Tendler, a father of eight, as a charismatic manipulator who offered counseling, but demanded sexual favors.

He allegedly rubbed up against one woman who sought advice, stalked another who displeased him, and asked a teenager to show him a bruise she had on her thigh. Some of the eight women said Tendler threatened and ostracized them if they refused him.

7/13/06

Defrocked Rabbi Drops Case Seeking Anonymous Bloggers' Identities

End of Suit Is a Victory for First Amendment Rights on the Internet

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rabbi Mordechai Tendler, the former leader of an Orthodox Jewish congregation in New Hempstead, N.Y., has withdrawn the proceeding he filed in Ohio in an attempt to subpoena the identities of four anonymous bloggers who wrote on the Web about his alleged sexual misconduct.

Public Citizen attorney Paul Alan Levy represented the bloggers, www.rabbinicintegrity.blogspot.com, www.jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com, www.jewishwhistleblower.blogspot.com and www.newhempsteadnews.blogspot.com.

The four bloggers had anonymously posted material on their Web sites describing the former rabbi's alleged misconduct and sexual harassment of female congregants whom he had been advising. Tendler had filed petitions to subpoena the bloggers' identities, both in Ohio and California district courts.

Public Citizen, which has been a strong defender of First Amendment rights on the Internet, has filed a motion that Tendler's California petition should be denied because it would violate the bloggers' constitutional right to free speech.

"This just goes to show the importance of protecting anonymity, because as soon as Tendler found out that we had filed a motion against him, he withdrew his petition," Levy said. "He was never prepared to prove that the allegations against him were false - he only wanted his critics' names so that he could go after them. The First Amendment demands this kind of protection for citizens using their right to free speech."

Mordecai Tendler Part One