Embattled Rabbi Michael Broyde resigns from RCA rather than face inquiry
Broyde, a leading Modern Orthodox figure, confessed to using a fake persona to infiltrate a rival rabbinic organization and herald his own work in scholarly journals.
Rabbi Michael Broyde, a leading Modern Orthodox figure who admitted to identity deception, has resigned from the has resigned from the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) rather than face an internal inquiry, the Jewish Channel reported Thursday.
According to the report, Broyde – who confessed to using a fake persona to infiltrate a rival rabbinic organization and herald his own work in scholarly journals – Broyde submitted a letter of resignation to the RCA to forestall an inquiry by the Vaad Hakavod, an ethical inquiry panel established by the RCA.
Last April, a lengthy exposé on The Jewish Channel detailed how Broyde, 48, who once was said to be on the short list of candidates to become the next chief rabbi of the United Kingdon, used the fake persona "Rabbi Herschel Goldwasser." As Goldwasser, Broyde joined the International Rabbinic Fellowship, a rival to the RCA, heralded his own scholarship and corresponded with other rabbis.
Broyde at first denied the allegations, but then confessed. “I realize that being an IRF member through a pseudonym was inappropriate,” Broyde wrote in an e-mail to the IRF posted on The Jewish Channel's website. “I am sorry. Please understand that no malice was intended and my participation was not intended to interfere with the growth or success of the IRF.”
In his apology letter, Brodye claimed that the fakery ended three or four years ago and that recent posts under the Goldwasser pseudonym were authored by someone else.
Broyde spoke to Haaretz after the news broke, and downplayed the seriousness of his deception. “I don’t understand the issue. That’s the truth,” he said.