"The problem with the Jewish Renewal movement is that no one knows anything," says a former insider. "It's like putting a talis (prayer shawl) on Buddhism."

Zalman wants no legacy. He wants no one to succeed him. He wants to be everything to the community.

It takes a nanny to raise a future promiscuous rabbi

JWB writes:

From a story told by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi:

In Europe, when Zalman Schachter (no hyphen Shalomi at that point, no title Rabbi) was growing up, his parents had a non-jewish nanny who took care of Zalman. While taking care of Zalman and running errands she would frequently take him into the church where he would see her light candles. Apparently, Zalman tells of how beautiful he found this and the deep and profound impression it made on him. This is where he claims he discovered the deep connection between spirituality and women (and apparently sexuality) that has "guided" his life.

Of course this story may just be another pick up line. Either way, that's where the foundation for what would become Jewish Renewal began, in a European church with a nanny.

"Celebrating your Seder with Reb Hershy Worch's Haggadah will get you to experience the soul dawn of " Rabboteynu - the time for the morning Shma' has arrived." - Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Renewal Judaism Is Where The Sex Is At

"Arthur Waskow, of the Jewish Renewal Movement, who has suggested that every couple must make its own decision to whether their particular ketubah requires monogamy."

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (recovering sex-addict) on what he teaches to his bar mitzvah boys:

I ask my Bar Mitzvah boys, “Do you masturbate?” And first they are a little sheepish about it and then they say, “Yes,” and I say, “You know what? It is a good thing to do on the Sabbath! Take your time, put on some music, and explore your body and what feels good for you, and most important, let God in."

Jewish Whistle Blower writes about Renewal leader rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi:

1) Multiple marriages, some quite short.

2) Has ended up living with women he was converting.

3) Wrote article about using drugs to get a spiritual high which got him fired from one pulpit.

4) Has advised people to live together before marriage.

5) Has been known to bring additional women home for group sex.


Jewish Renewal Leaders Rabbi Arthur Green Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Write The Jewish Week

1) On [Mordecai] Gafni

Although a month has passed since the original revelations concerning Mordechai Gafni and his deceptive, abusive relationships with women, we remain deeply concerned about the harm he has caused and the effect on its victims. ("Deconstructing The Gafni Case," Editor's Column, June 9)

Although we are glad to hear that Gafni, whom each of us had at one time befriended and supported, has admitted his illness and committed himself to a course of therapy, we do not see the issue as fully resolved. We ask ourselves how we could have been so deeply deceived and allowed ourselves to be lied to and manipulated as we were. We should have seen more and listened better. Perhaps we were too zealous in not wanting to listen to what we considered lashon ha'ra [gossip], and that kept us from hearing the outcry of women who were suffering real harm. Perhaps we were too taken up with seeking out the good in a person to notice the presence of evil.

We are particularly disturbed at the thought that there might be women who let themselves fall under Mordechai Gafni's sway partially because they saw our names associated with his, and thus trusted him in part because of us. To them we offer our most humble and profound apology. If it is any consolation, be assured that we have learned a great deal from this experience, and will be better listeners in the future.

Jewish Whistleblower responds:

Once again the Jewish Renewal leadership minimizes their role in protecting Gafni and attacking the brave survivors who came forward and their supporters. Apparently, teshuvah in their goofy religion doesn't involve apologizing to any of them. Perhaps Jewish Renewal should have read David Sosnowik's letter (reproduced below): "Molesters are sick individuals. Few would dispute that. But those rabbis and religious institutions that would cover-up the behavior of such individuals are much worse than sick. They are criminals who should face the full wrath of community, law enforcement, and true religious leaders. And after being held to account here for their actions, they might then be better prepared to face the same Almighty we all serve, the protector of the weak and the true judge."