Maybe Lucette Lagnado’s piece in The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 8) on how some high-profile Orthodox synagogues are drawing large crowds to their Shabbat morning services with expensive booze and elaborate catering at kiddush will prove embarrassing enough to tamp down this trend. But I don’t think so.
Ed Koch, New York’s most colorful mayor (1978-89), was always a step ahead of his admirers. When Koch was recovering from a stroke in 1987, Rabbi Arthur Schneier of Park East Synagogue came to see how he’s doin’.
“Say this Hebrew prayer after me,” the rabbi said.
Later came John Cardinal O’Connor. “Ed, if you like, I will pray for you in Hebrew.”
“Reverend,” Koch said, “I took care of the Hebrew. Can you say something in Latin?”
High-style rabbi declines RCA offer to resign; says bipolar condition to blame for unusual behavior.
Editor And Publisher
The Rabbinical Council of America, the largest organization of Orthodox rabbis, is likely to initiate an inquiry into alleged moral improprieties of its member, Rabbi Marc Schneier, the high-profile spiritual leader of The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton, L.I., and New York Synagogue in Midtown, whose success in drawing wealthy and loyal supporters and congregants is matched by his widely reported history of personal romances.