Stop Marc Gafni from Abusing Again

The following petition was posted to on December 30, 2015 by Rabbi David Inger and is signed by over one hundred fellow Rabbis and cultural leaders.

For the sake of the truth. For the sake of those whose voices have been silenced for too long. For the sake of those who have been needlessly hurt. For the sake of those who may be… if we don’t act now.

We, the undersigned, have been made aware of the many, repeated and serious allegations, both public and private, former and recent, against Marc (Mordechai) Gafni that violate the ethical standards and sacred responsibility which governs the relationship between religious teacher and student. The Jewish tradition teaches us that the pursuit of justice obligates us to not stand idly by when a fellow human being is in danger, whether that danger be physical, spiritual or psychological. We do not constitute a panel of judges nor do we seek retribution. As a group of religious and communal leaders, we are motivated by the obligation embedded in the belief that whoever saves a single life, it is as if they have saved a whole world.

Marc Gafni has left a trail of pain, suffering, and trauma amongst the people and congregations who were unfortunate to have trusted him. He has abused his extraordinary intellectual gifts and charisma to harm many who came to him in search of spiritual guidance and teaching. He has used professional alliances to legitimize himself by association, and thereby be able to continue creating more harm. As a result Marc Gafni is neither trusted, respected, nor welcome to teach virtually anywhere in Judaism.

In community after community, those who have trusted him have had their trust betrayed.  For decades now, Gafni has behaved in ways that violate every ethical and legal standard known to us; his misdeeds go far beyond what was reported in the New York Times.

Recognizing we are part of one humanity who must protect one another, we share this statement in order to prevent future harm to those who may be exposed to him, and as a protest against any individuals, organizations, or institutions that support or endorse him as a teacher or leader.

Complicity in giving Gafni a platform is a violation of our tradition’s highest ethical and moral standards: “Justice, Justice shall you pursue” and “Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.”

We, along with all who sign this petition, stand together with those who were his victims and call upon those who support Marc (Mordechai) Gafni to cut all financial and institutional ties with him.

Today, we stand together in saying ‘Enough! No More’ to the trail of pain and poison of one who teaches spirituality but acts with absolute disregard for those teachings.

Signed in solidarity,

Rabbi David A. Ingber

Eve Ilsen

Rabbi Tirzah Firestone

Rabbi Deb Kolodny

Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman

Noam Zion

Rabbi Mishael Zion

Rabbi Mordechai Bar-On

Rabbi Ruth Gan-Kagan

Michael Kagan

Rabbi Daniel Landes

Jacob Ner-David

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin

Rabbi Ebn Leader

Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson

Shir Yaakov Feit

Nigel Savage, CEO of Hazon

Adam Berman, Executive Director of Urban Adamah

Rabbi Arthur Waskow

Rabbi Phyllis Berman

Rabbi David Markus

Rabbi Rachel Barenblatt

Rabbi Dan Goldblatt

Rabbi Ohad Ezrachi

Dr.Yehuda Kurtzer

Stephanie Ives

Rabbi Owen Gottlieb

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum

Rabbi David Hoffman

Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie

Naomi Less

Rabbi Dr. Shaul Magid

Rabbi Mordechai Leibling

Rabbi Yosef Goldman

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

Rabbi Jill Zimmerman

Rabbi Laura Gold

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Rabbi Josh Feigelson

Rabbi Min Kantrowitz

Rabbi Gil Brociner

Shoshana Schechter-Shaffin

Rabbi Ben Goldstein

Steven Hassan

Rabbi Shai Held

Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein

Rabbi Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser

Rabbi Dr Elyse Elyse Seidner-Joseph

Esther Sadie Brandon

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster

Susan Berrin, editor-in-chief, Sh’ma

Rabbi Diana Miller

Rabbi Jill Jacobs

Rabbi Shaya Isenberg

Bahira Sugarman

Rabbi Aaron Alexander

Reb Zusha Kalet

Rabbi Michael Adam Latz

Rabbi Sam Kastel

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

Rabbi Mark Novak

Rabbi Jordie Gerson

Rabbi Sam Gordon

Basya Schechter

David Curiel

Rabbi Andy Shugerman

Rabbi Meredith Cahn

Meira Bracha Michele Stahl Sumka

Rabbi Karen Silberman

Rabbi Jeffrey Marker

Rabbi Ziona Zelazo

Rabbi Jason Miller

Rabbi Melissa Starr Wenig

Rabbi Noah Benjamin Bickart

Kay Magilavy, Treasurer, Afikei Ruah (Formerly American Friends of Bayit Chadash)

Rabbi Yael Ridberg

Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton

Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann

Rabbi Samuel Barth

Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Rabbi Brent Spodek

Rabbi Rachel Kobrin

Rabbi Jacob Herber

Rhonda Rosenheck

Rabbi Tova Dodi

Rabbi Zev-Hayyim Feyer

Rabbi Pamela Frydman

Rabbi Dale Schreiber

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin

Rabbi Debi Wechsler

Rabbi David Kalb

Rabbi Rebecca Lillian

Rabbi David Zaslow

Rabbi Jason Herman

Rabbi Martin Levson

Rabbi T’mimah Audrey Ickovits

Rabbi Paula Marcus

Rabbi Michael Ross

Rabbi Jonah Geffen

Rabbi Jen Newmark

Lorelai Kude

Rabbi Leana Moritt

Rabbi Claudia Kreiman

Rabbi Seth Wax

Rabbi Donna Friedman

Rabbi Adam Starr

Rabbi Dov Linzer

Rabbanit Devorah Zlochowe


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