Senior rabbi resigns from Temple Emanu-El

Editor’s note: As of Feb. 16, the Central Conference of American Rabbis reversed Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon’s suspension and reinstated him. See more details here: https://azjewishpost.com/2018/ccar-reverses-suspension-reinstates-local-rabbi/

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon has resigned from his position as senior rabbi with Temple Emanu-El as of Sept. 13.

Mona Gibson, president of Temple Emanu-El, emailed a letter to members Sept. 12 on behalf of the synagogue’s board of directors, saying Cohon’s resignation “follows his suspension effective September 10, 2017 by the Central Conference of American Rabbis Ethics Committee.” Explaining that “when a suspension is imposed, the CCAR requires the rabbi to take leave of his or her rabbinic work,” she added that “for the protection of the privacy of all involved, we will not be sharing any details related to this announcement.”

“We appreciate that this is tough news to process,” the letter stated, noting the board’s gratitude “for all that Rabbi Cohon has done for our wonderful Temple Emanu-El community.”

“At the same time, we have the utmost confidence in our sacred community’s ability to come together during this difficult time,” the email continued. “We are fortunate to be blessed by the continued leadership of Rabbi Batsheva Appel, our Rabbi Educator. At this challenging moment, we are confident that our community will continue to have truly outstanding rabbinic leadership.”

Working with the Union of Reform Judaism, Temple Emanu-El has engaged a guest rabbi for the High Holy Days, Jonathan Stein, rabbi emeritus at Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City.  In addition, the letter said, “Rabbi Appel and our Cantorial Soloist Marjorie Hochberg will each play an increased role in our High Holy Days worship services this year. Furthermore, additional clergy support after the High Holy Days will be arranged.”