Park East Rabbi dismissed blocks from services at his former synagogue

This will be at least the second service hosted by Goldschmidt since he was fired from the wealthy Orthodox congregation on Manhattan’s Upper East Side on October 15. Last week, according to multiple sources, he organized Shabbat services in his apartment with dozens of attendees.

Since his firing, he and Rabbi Arthur Schneier, who fired him, have tried to tell the congregation their version of events via emails to the membership list. Schneier and his supporters have accused Goldschmidt of inappropriately sharing members’ email addresses and attempting to lead a “coup” at the synagogue.

In an email sent to members Oct. 29, Goldschmidt denied those allegations. He called them “completely unfounded and personally hurtful,” and wrote that he and his followers were trying to address concerns about the growth of the synagogue. He asked members to “remain committed to the synagogue to make sure it is a warm and welcoming place.”

Now, it appears that he has moved on and is inviting former parishioners to join him. He and his wife, journalist Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt, recently sent an invitation to a list that included some Park East members, inviting them to a Saturday morning service with lunch to follow at an elite event space a few blocks from Park East. A spokesman for the Goldschmidts asked JTA not to name the location, citing safety concerns.

New York’s Park East Synagogue during the memorial service for the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting CONSULATE OF ISRAEL IN NEW YORK

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned that so far, approximately 80 people have responded that they will go and that the event space was reserved sometime in the past week.

“We are embarking on a new journey,” says the invitation, before naming the weekly Torah portion. “Join us for Shabbat Parshat Toldot. We hope to see you! “

A Park East leadership member told JTA that the synagogue draws about 150 people on a regular Shabbat morning. Goldschmidt’s service is also being organized on a particularly hectic Shabbat at his former synagogue. On Friday night, Park East will host French Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy. On Saturday morning, the synagogue hosts a commemoration of the Nazi Kristallnacht pogrom, with the Austrian Consul General. Schneier is a Holocaust survivor.

Goldschmidt’s attorney, Daniel Kurtz, told JTA that Goldschmidt was organizing the service because he intended to continue his work in the community he has called home for 10 years.

He said Goldschmidt’s plans will be “week by week.” Regarding the proximity to Park East, he said: “This is not a horse race. No one is obliged to come. “

“This is where he lives and is a rabbi,” Kurtz said. “This is your natural constituency. He won’t move to Greenwich, Connecticut, and start inviting people. “

Hank Sheinkopf, a political consultant serving as Schneier’s spokesperson, told JTA that he feels Goldschmidt is trying to “undermine Rabbi Schneier and undermine the community. [for] your own interest. “

Over the past few weeks, both Schneier and Goldschmidt have hired attorneys and threatened to litigate their dispute. It is unclear if any legal action will be taken. But several members told JTA that the service Goldschmidt is organizing means the dispute is not over yet.

“I think what it means for Park East is that this still persists in the community,” said Jonathan Medows, a Park East member who attends services there regularly and is a rabbi himself. “It is an open wound, and this is the time for Park East to enter the post-Rabbi Goldschmidt phase.”

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