Rabbis Expelled, Suspended, or Censured with Publication

The CCAR is fully committed to the sanctity, safety, and security of our communities and the people our rabbis serve. As rabbis, we expect one another to abide by the highest moral values of our Jewish tradition and as members of CCAR, we hold each other accountable. In keeping with the high traditions of the rabbinate, the members of the Central Conference of American Rabbis established its Code of Ethics. As our communities and the society change, the CCAR members have amended the Code of Ethics to adapt to these changes.

The CCAR has provided information about rabbis who were expelled, suspended, and censured (with publication) from the CCAR for ethical misconduct—including resigning in the face of charges of ethical misconduct—to its members and to the Reform Jewish community. In recent years it has become clear that in our mobile and changing society, the larger community also has an interest in having this information. Accordingly, the CCAR members amended the Code of Ethics to list rabbis expelled, suspended, and censured (with publication) on the CCAR website; to recite that an expelled rabbi is no longer a member of the CCAR; and to identify a suspended rabbi or a rabbi censured with publication, who may not perform any rabbinic services until the suspension or censure is lifted.

While the CCAR does not have the power to “defrock” or remove someone’s rabbinic title or status, we believe that an expelled person is unfit to serve as a rabbi under the Ethics Code of the CCAR.

Expelled Rabbis:

  • Jon Adland had been charged with violating Code Sections V.B.2 (Sexual Boundaries-Sexual Misconduct, Type 2 (“unwelcome physical contact or conduct”) and VI (Minors)) at a time when he was subject to limitations on rabbinic service and the TRaC process arising from a prior Code violation. He resigned during the pendency of the ethics process, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Section VII.M.4), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Arthur Baseman had been charged with violation of Code Section V (Sexual Boundaries). He refused to comply with the CCAR Ethics Code, resigning during the pendency of the ethics process, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Section VII.M.4), pursuant to which he was expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR. 
  • Bruce Block was suspended under Section I.B (Social – first paragraph) and Section V (Sexual Boundaries) and prohibited from providing any rabbinic services to individuals or communities. He resigned during the pendency of his suspension, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Section VII.M.4), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Terry Bookman had been suspended under Section I.A. (Family), Section I.B. (Social), and Section V. (Sexual Boundaries).  He resigned during the pendency of his suspension, which is itself a violation of the Ethics Code (Section VII.E.2.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Jerald Brown has been suspended for violation of Code Section V (Sexual Boundaries).*** He resigned during the pendency of his suspension, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Section VII.M.4), pursuant to which he was expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Hillel Cohn has been suspended under Sections II(B)(2)(a, b, and f) of the Code (Rabbi and Rabbi Emeritus) as well as for violations of Section VII.E.2.f. (failure to cooperate). He resigned during the pendency of his suspension, which is itself a violation of the Ethics Code (Section VII.E.2.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Jacques Cukierkorn had been suspended for violation of Code Section I.C. (Financial). He resigned during the pendency of his suspension, which is itself a violation of the Ethics Code (Section VII.E.2.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Bruce Diamond had been suspended for violation of Code Section V. (Sexual Boundaries). He resigned during the pendency of his suspension, which is itself a violation of the Ethics Code (Section VII.E.2.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Steven M. Fink had been suspended under Section I.B. (Social), Section II.A. (Congregational Staff) and Section V. (Sexual Boundaries)* and was prohibited from providing any rabbinic services to individuals and communities.  He was subsequently expelled for failure to comply with the terms of the suspension, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Sections VII.E.2.d.1. and VII.E.2.f.3.).  He  is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Ethan Franzel had been suspended under Section I.A. (Family), Section I.B. (Social) and Section V. (Sexual Boundaries) and was prohibited from providing any rabbinic services to individuals and communities. He resigned during the pendency of his suspension, which is itself a violation of the Ethics Code (Section VII.E.2.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Jonathan Gerard had been suspended under Section VII.E.2.c.1.d. for Failure to Cooperate with an investigation into allegations of violations of Section V. (Sexual Boundaries). He resigned during the pendency of his suspension, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Sections VII.E.2., VII.E.2.f.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Ronald Kaplan had been suspended for violations of the Code, Section I.C. (Financial), Section II. (Rabbinic Relationships), and Section V. (Sexual Boundaries).* He resigned during the pendency of his suspension, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Section VII.E.2.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • David Kaufman was charged in an ethics complaint alleging violations of Section V (Sexual Boundaries – Sexual Misconduct, Type 2 (“unwelcome physical contact or conduct”)). Subsequently, he was convicted in Criminal Court, Lucas County, Ohio, for gross sexual imposition, a felony, and unlawful restraint, a misdemeanor. Under Section VII.J.4.b of the Code, which provides for expulsion where a rabbi has been convicted of a felony, David Kaufman was expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Eugene Levy was censured under violations of Section II.C (Relationships between Rabbis in Different Communities, Congregations or Organizations), paragraphs 1, 3, and 4, and was required to receive permission from the Ethics Committee to officiate at any life cycle events or make pastoral visits to members of Congregation B’nai Israel (Little Rock, AR). During the pendency of the EC’s resolution of the complaint, another and separate complaint was filed alleging violations of Code Sections III (Confidentiality) and V (Sexual Boundaries). Those charges were under investigation when Rabbi Levy resigned from the CCAR. Pursuant to Code Section VII.M.4, resignation during the pendency of an ethics investigation or while a rabbi is under censure results in an automatic expulsion.  Rabbi Levy is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Jerrold M. Levy had been charged with violation of Code Section V. (Sexual Boundaries). Following a vote of the Ethics Committee for expulsion, but prior to final adjudication, he refused to comply with the CCAR Ethics Code, resigning during the pendency of the process, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Sections VII.E.2., VII.E.2.f.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Martin Levy had been suspended for violations of Code Section V. (Sexual Boundaries). He resigned during the pendency of his suspension, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Section VII.E.2.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • David Lipman had been charged with violation of Code Section V. (Sexual Boundaries).* Following a vote of the Ethics Committee for expulsion, but prior to final adjudication, he refused to comply with the CCAR Ethics Code, resigning during the pendency of the process, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Sections VII.E.2., VII.E.2.f.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Jonathan (Yosef) Magidovitch had been charged with violation of the Code, Section I C. (Financial) and Section II. C. (Relationships Between Rabbis in Different Congregations). He refused to comply with the CCAR Ethics Code, resigning during the pendency of the process, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Sections VII.E.2., VII.E.2.f.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Dennis Math had been suspended for violations of Code Section V. (Sexual Boundaries).* He resigned during the pendency of his suspension, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Section VII.E.2.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Fred Neulander had been charged with violation of Code Section V. (Sexual Misconduct), Section I.A. (Family), and I.B. (Social). He refused to comply with the CCAR Ethics Code, resigning during the pendency of the process, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Sections VII.E.2., VII.E.2.f.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Mark Peilen had been charged with violation of Code Section V (Sexual Boundaries). He refused to comply with the CCAR Ethics Code, resigning during the pendency of the process, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Sections VII.E.2., VII.E.2.f.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR
  • Ari Rosenberg had been suspended under the violation of Section I (Introductory Paragraph – “Family, Social and Financial Affairs”) and I.B. (Social – “Exploitative Practices” and “Sexual Misconduct”).  He resigned during the pendency of his suspension, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Section VII.E.2.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Daniel Sikowitz had been suspended for violations of Code sections I.A (Family), I.B (Social), and V (Sexual Boundaries). His suspension was lifted subject to ongoing restrictions under the supervision of the Ethics Committee. He resigned from the CCAR prior to the lifting of these conditions. Pursuant to the Ethics Code (Sections VII.E.2, VII.E.2.f), he was automatically expelled from membership in the CCAR.
  • Eric Siroka had been charged with violations of Code Section V. (Sexual Boundaries).* He refused to comply with the CCAR Ethics Code, resigning during the pendency of the process, which is a violation of the Ethics Code (Sections VII.E.2., VII.E.2.f.), pursuant to which he was automatically expelled and is no longer a member of the CCAR.
  • Sheldon Zimmerman was suspended in 2000 under Section A,2 (Social) under the 1998 Code (now Section I.B, paragraph 1)** and reinstated in 2005. A complaint was filed in 2021, which raised new information concerning his having violated the terms of his t’shuvah in connection with his 2000 suspension. After investigation and a new adjudication on this information, he was expelled for violations of Section I.B (“exploitive practices,” “bullying, harassment, intimidation”), Section V (“power differential”), and Section VII.E.2.f (now Section VII.M) (failure to cooperate with terms of suspension).  He is no longer a member of the CCAR. 

Suspended Rabbis:

  • Larry Bach has been suspended under violations of Section I A. (“Ethical Responsibility” and “Family”), I.B. (Social – “Exploitative Practices” and “Sexual Misconduct”), and Section V. (Sexual Boundaries – “Sexual Misconduct”) and is currently prohibited from providing any rabbinic services to individuals or communities.
  • Richard Shapiro has been suspended under Section I.A. (“Ethical Responsibility” and “Family”), Section I.B. (Social – “Exploitative Practices” and “Sexual Misconduct”) and Section V. (Sexual Boundaries – “Sexual Misconduct”)* and is currently prohibited from providing any rabbinic services to individuals or communities.

Censured with Publication:

  • Erin Boxt has been censured under violations of Section I.B (Social — bullying, harassment, intimidation), I.C. (Financial Impropriety), and IV.C (Gerut/conversion), and is currently prohibited from meeting one-on-one with conversion students. 
  • Alex Kress has been censured under violations of Section I.B (Social – “appearance of sexual misconduct”), and Section V (Sexual Boundaries — failure to “honor the sanctity and fidelity of committed relationships,” “recognize the power differential,” and fulfill his “obligation to maintain appropriate boundaries”). 
  • Gersh Lazarow has been censured under violations of Section I.B (Social – “bullying”), I.D (Intellectual Honesty), and Section II.B 1(a),(b), and (f)(Relationships between Rabbis within the Same Congregation).
  • Allen Secher has been censured under violations of Section I.B (Social – “sexual misconduct”), and V (Sexual Boundaries, Type 2, “requests for sexual favors”).

The CCAR takes ethical misconduct of any kind extremely seriously and we are pained to see any misconduct by a rabbi in the Jewish community. If you have questions about the ethics code or reporting of an ethics complaint, please email Ethics@ccarnet.org.

*In accord with the Code of Ethics, as amended in March 2021, Section VI (Minors) would now be applicable.

**In accord with the Code of Ethics, as amended in March 2021, Section V.B.2 (Sexual Boundaries) and VI (Minors) would now be applicable. 

*** In accord with the Code of Ethics, as amended March 2021, Section V.B.2 would now be applicable.