Thursday, January 22, 2004

Case of Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg

Case of Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg
(AKA: Jon Ginsburg)
THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION


 Rodfei Kodesh Congregation (Online educational programs) - Skokie, IL
Congregation B'nai Chai of Chicago's North Shore - Skokie, IL
Esynagogue - Evanston, IL
BigSight - Evanston, IL 
Ezra Habonim/Niles Township Jewish Congregation - Skokie, IL
Temple Aaron - St. Paul, MN 
Baith Israel Anshei Emes - Brooklyn, NY

Served as coordinator of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association
Nominations and Professional Development Committee of the International Rabbinical Assembly. 

 Masters and Rabbinic Ordination - Jewish Theological Seminary
B.A. in religion - University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 


A noticed was published by the Rabbinical Assembly on August 13, 2013 that Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg's conversion bet din is NOT recognized by their organization.

Back in 2004, a former female member of the Temple of Aaron in St. Paul filed a civi suit that Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg sexually exploited her while counseling her for more than two years. The woman accused Ginsburg of sexual exploitation, intentionally inflicting emotional distress, sexual battery and 12 other charges. The suit claimed sexual contact between the two occurred between December 1999 and April 2002, during which time the woman said she was seeing Ginsburg for counseling. The case was settled out of court. Rabbi Ginsburg resigned from his position at Temple Aaron after 17 years of service.


The synagogue conducted an internal investigation, as did the Rabbinical Assembly in Conservative Judaism New York. Ginsburg sent what was essentially a letter of apology to the congregation.

Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg moved to Ezra Habonim/Niles Township Jewish Congregation in Skokie, IL., on Sept. 1, 2004.  According to a source that wishes to remain annoymous Ginsburg resigned from Ezra Habonim in 200?  after it was learned he was having an affair with one of his congregants.  His second wife soon divorced him after learning of the affair.

Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg, is a native of Chicago, Rabbi Ginsburg received his B.A. in religion from the University of Chicago where he was the valedictory orator and received his Masters and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary where he received the Krasne Award for outstanding student. He was a National Merit scholar and 1974 National High School Debate Champion. Rabbi Ginsburg is senior Rabbi at the Temple of Aaron, a 1400-family Conservative synagogue, and adjunct faculty of St. Catherine College and Metropolitan University. He currently serves on the National Rabbinic Cabinet, United Jewish Appeal, as Associate Chair of the State of Israel Bonds Rabbinic Cabinet Executive Committee and on many Boards of Jewish Institutions. He has served as coordinator of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association, and on the Nominations and Professional Development Committee of the International Rabbinical Assembly.
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Disclaimer: Inclusion in this website does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement. Individuals must decide for themselves if the resources meet their own personal needs.

Table of Contents: 

2004


  1. Days of awe: Meeting with President Bush (Background information  (09/30/2004)
  2. Woman sues St. Paul rabbi, temple alleging sexual exploitation (01/22/2004)
  3. Woman Sues Rabbi and St. Paul Temple for Sexual Misconduct (01/22/2004)
  4. COURTS: Former student sues rabbi  (01/22/2004)
  5. Woman sues rabbi, temple  (01/27/2004)
  6. Former Temple of Aaron congregant files lawsuit alleging sexual (01/29/2004)
  7. Rabbi, woman settle lawsuit (06/08/2004)
  8. St. Paul rabbi settles lawsuit with woman (06/09/2004)
  9. Temple of Aaron, former congregant to settle lawsuit:  Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg has announced his resignation from pulpit position of 17 years (06/12/2004)
  10. Ginsburg to lead Skokie synagogue  (08/16/2004)
  11. CALL TO ACTION: Let Your Voice Be Heard  (09/12/2004)

2007

  1.  Call To Action: Let Your Voice Be Heard (06/05/2007)

2008
  1. CALL TO ACTION: Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg Running A Singles Event at Ezra-Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation, Skokie, IL (02/28/2008)
  2. HELP NEEDED: The Case of Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg (Skokie, IL) (10/28/2008)

2013


  1. Chicago Conversion Bet Din Not Endorsed by the RA (08/13/2013)


Related Cases:

  • Case of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
  • Case of Rabbi Tobias Gabriel
  • Case of Cantor Steven Joel Levin
  • Case of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler
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Days of awe: Meeting with President Bush (Background information)
Powerline Blog - September 30, 2003

On Sunday night I wrote that our rabbi (Jonathan Ginsburg of St. Paul's Temple of Aaron) would be meeting with the president on Monday afternoon. Here is Rabbi Ginsburg's account of his meeting yesterday with President Bush, retaining Rabbi Ginsburg's subject headings:

"It started with a phone call from Senator Coleman the Monday night before Rosh Hashanah telling me that the President wanted to meet with a few rabbis right after Rosh Hashanah, and asking me if I could go to Washington to meet with him. Senator Coleman told me that I could expect a call from the White House.

"I came into the synagogue office on Tuesday morning, and the secretarial staff was excited because the call had come in from the White House. They told me that there would be a meeting with the President on Monday. There were going to be eighteen people around the table -- [16 rabbis and] the President and an aide. I asked what rabbis were going to be there, and they told me that they were a broad distribution, Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox, Military, Hillel and Pulpit. They gave me the time and the place.

"I announced [from the pulpit] on Rosh Hashanah that I was going to go see the President. I thought it would provide interesting material for the Rosh Hashanah dinner table conversations. As we were walking around in the Torah procession, some congregants stopped me and gave me agenda items that they asked me to talk about with the President.

"It seemed a little strange to spend eighteen hours traveling for a one-hour meeting. On the other hand, I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to have this once in a lifetime experience. The toughest decision I had to make was which kepah [skullcap] to wear. I decided on the one I have which has alternating American and Israeli flags. I was so curious as to what the President had in mind to talk about, and also what other colleagues would there be, and whether I know any of them. We went through security and arrrived in a very nice, small room with a conference table. There were 18 chairs around it, with the rabbis and the president.

"I could not believe I was sitting literally across the conference table from the President of the United States. One rabbi mentioned something that another rabbi had said to Lyndon Johnson once, which was that the President of the United States rules over more Jews than any other leader in history, including the President of Israel or Moses.


BEING LATE
President George Bush and Jonathan Ginsburg

"When I was in Orthodox Day School, as a kid, when we were late for the services the headmaster would say to us, 'Would you be five minutes late if you were meeting the President of the United States?' And guess what, we were. Somehow they left us standing at the tent, and so they rushed us in, and I walked into the room, and a man reached out to shake my hand. He says, 'Here's a good fellow, Rabbi Ginsburg.' I looked up and it was President Bush, already there and waiting.


CONVERSATION

"He was utterly charming, eloquent, gracious and humble. President Bush covered a large range of topics in his opening fifteen minute talk, emphasizing war on terror, support for Israel and fighting anti-Semitism worldwide. Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, recession, working hard to pull the country out of the impact of September 11th, and of the negative impact the war has on the economy. He spoke about his need to stand firm, the need to support the forces for peace in the world, but that there are cold blooded murderers he has to deal with. He said he's not anti-Muslim, he's not anti-Palestinian. He does believe there should be a Palestinian state someday, but he's anti-Palestinians who are terrorists. He ended by saying, 'This is not a political event. Keep your politics close to your vests. I just wanted to talk with rabbis during the ten days of awe' (or close to that).


WHAT DID I SAY?

Jonathan Ginsburg and President Barak Obama
"I told him that I had met him one time before when he was running for election when he came to Minnesota for a fundraiser, and former Senator Rudy Boschwitz invited me to this estate at Lake Minnetonka where this fundraiser was held. President Bush gave a speech inside a room that housed an indoor pool. The room itself in this house held hundreds of people. I happened to be just a few feet away from the podium and when then Governor Bush came off, he walked right past me, stopped for a minute, saw my kepah, and I said, 'I'm Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg. It's good to meet you.' He said, 'Oh, Rabbi, I'm so glad you're here. I want you to know that I'm going to do everything I can to help Israel. Israel is our friend, and we stand by our friends,' and he walked on by. And I do believe he's lived up to that ever since...

"I mentioned that to him, and I said, 'The Jewish people believe you have, and thank you.' And then I told him a story that I told over Rosh Hashanah about an elderly volunteer for an Israel organization who said that his passion for volunteering for Israel was driven by the fact that he had been part of a l iberating group at at one of the concentration camps. An inmate came up to him and saw his name tag and saw that he was Jewish, and said, 'Are you Jewish?' in Yiddish. Expecting a hug from this recently freed inmate, the soldier said, 'Yes.' Instead of a hug, he got a slap, and the former inmate said 'You're too late.'

"The President looked at me in the eye and said, 'Part of my job is to make sure we'll never be too late.'


THE TIME TOGETHER

"A large part of the conversation was about Israel. One rabbi asked him about the security fence. He said that, if he were the Prime Minister of Israel, he would absolutely think pessimistically, but hope for the best and plan for long-term security. He said that you always have to leave open the opportunity for peace, and so there's a fine line between security and closing off the options for peace. He said that when he disagrees with Prime Minister Sharon, whom he considers a close friend, he tells him in private. The one example he gave was feeling Sharon made a mistake surrounding Arafat's compound with tanks, telling him that 'we're trying to marginalize the guy. We're on the same page. Help us out here, you made him into a hero and martyr again.'

"He told a very moving story about being in Israel with his wife when he was Governor of Texas. Netanyahu was the Prime Minister, and Sharon was the tour guide of a helicopter flight over the West Bank. When Bush woke up in the morning, he looked out of his hotel window, and it was Jerusalem in its golden hue. He talked about how humbling it is to know that millions of people pray for him every day, and the sacred responsibility that entails. We mentioned that in our synagogues every Shabbat, we offer a prayer for him and for the government of the United States. He said he prays every day that God blesses him with patience, wisdom and strength, and 'I'm weak enough to know that I need God's strength and support.'


ANTI-SEMITISM

"He talked about his concern of increasing anti-Semitism in Europe, and how he's trying to work with them to eradicate it. He said that we have to fight hard all the -isms. Then the Hillel rabbi there talked about the swatiska that Rutgers had recently and the shouting down of pro-Israel speakers on various campuses. He said that he knows about some of that, and that he is keeping abreast of it, that it's a concern. He spoke often about peace and freedom, the importance of optimism and the love of America. He mentioned several times the speech he gave June 24, 2002, where he laid out his principles of fighting terrorism and said the key is to continue to stick to our values and not deviate from them.

"A rabbi mentioned a book he was reading about how the Saudis have continued to profess to be our friends, but support radical Islam all over the world. He asked the President what he thought about it. The President said, 'You basically stated the question. It's not just the Saudis. We're dealing with every country in the Middle East that way except the one democracy, Israel. We have to try to reform them and help them be true democracies.'

"He had us laughing several times. He talked about the politics of the Israeli cabinet. He said that in Israel, the constituents elect the ministers, but he gets to appoint his ministers and cabinet members. He said that the elbows are very sharp in the Israeli cabinet, and he understands the political concerns and the political dynamics in Israel, and how complicated that makes things sometimes.

"The aides were trying for half an hour to rush him out to sign the no telemarketing bill but he stayed and chatted awhile.


OVERALL
"We're such a small people, and we have been controlled, restricted and murdered by the greatest empires in history. We have arrived at this period of history, still a time of danger for our people, but we are living in the freest country in history.

"I was just stunned to be sitting across the table from the most powerful person in the world, a man of true humility and belief in one God, who spent much of this hour and a quarter, speaking from the depth of his heart about his concern about anti-Semitism and his understanding of Israel's predicament. I know many disagree with policies of his. I'm sure every rabbi there had some disagreements. But there was no denying the moment, the genuineness, the power of the experience. It felt surreal.

"When I left I went across the street to the park and cried. I had so much emotion about being there. After all we have gone through as a people for 4000 years, so many tyrants under whom we have lived who have brutally mistreated us, to live in an an age when the leaders of the most powerful nation of the world care so deeply for this small people, as many presidents have, is amazing. It had a feeling of holiness to it -- of feeling God's words that 'those that bless the childen of Israel will be blessed.'"
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Woman sues St. Paul rabbi, temple alleging sexual exploitation
By Paul Gustafson
Star Tribune (St. Paul, MN) - January 22, 2004



A former female member of the Temple of Aaron in St. Paul charged Wednesday in a lawsuit that Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg sexually exploited her while counseling her for more than two years.

The Maplewood woman alleges that Ginsburg knew that she was an emotionally vulnerable person because he learned while counseling her that she was recently divorced, and had been sexually and emotionally abused in the past.

Philip Villaume, her attorney, said she has been "extremely traumatized" by Ginsburg's conduct, and feels that temple officials "did virtually nothing" when she complained to them.

Betty Sue Lipschultz, the temple's board president, said an investigation of Ginsburg was done after the woman complained about him that "did reveal an error in judgment" by the rabbi.

"We have not stood idly by. . . . We investigated the charges fully, and we took and are continuing to take appropriate remedial steps. The Temple of Aaron is a wonderful, caring congregation, and it cares deeply both about its congregants and its staff," she said.

Ginsburg, who is the temple's senior rabbi, could not be reached for comment.

The suit, filed in Ramsey County District Court, seeks damages in excess of $50,000 for sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and sexual exploitation by a member of the clergy.

Temple of Aaron is also named as a defendant in the suit, which alleges that it failed to supervise Ginsburg properly or take appropriate actions against him.

The woman said she complained to temple officials in May 2002. In June 2002 the congregation received letters from Ginsburg and the temple's board informing it that he had had an inappropriate relationship with a female former congregant. Ginsburg apologized for what he called "an admittedly regrettable incident," according to the suit.

The woman alleged, however, that the letters did not disclose the full scope of Ginsburg's sexual misconduct toward her.

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Woman Sues Rabbi and St. Paul Temple for Sexual Misconduct
Associated Press - January 22, 2004


Governer Jesse Ventura and Jonathan Ginsburg
A Maplewood woman has sued a rabbi and a St. Paul temple, accusing the rabbi of sexually exploiting her during counseling for more than two years.

The woman alleges that Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg knew that she was an emotionally vulnerable person because he learned while counseling her that she was recently divorced, and had been sexually and emotionally abused in the past.

The woman's attorney says she has been "extremely traumatized" by Ginsburg's conduct, and feels that officials at the Temple of Aaron "did virtually nothing" when she complained to them.

The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $50,000 for sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and sexual exploitation by a member of the clergy.

A temple spokeswoman says an investigation of Ginsburg was done after the woman complained about him that "did reveal an error in judgment" by the rabbi. She says the temple took the charge seriously and has taken appropriate remedial steps.

The lawsuit alleges that the temple failed to supervise Ginsburg, the temple's senior rabbi, properly or take appropriate actions against him.
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COURTS: Former student sues rabbi
By Phillip Pina
Pioneer Press - Thu, Jan. 22, 2004

(Please note the name of the alleged victim has been removed from the article)

A former member of the Temple of Aaron accused the St. Paul congregation's senior rabbi of sexual exploitation, intentionally inflicting emotional distress, sexual battery and 12 other charges in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court.

(NAME WITHHELD), who lives in Maplewood, claimed Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg had inappropriate sexual contact with her for three years. The contact took place while Ginsburg was counseling (NAME WITHHELD) and serving as a mentor for her rabbinical studies.

(NAME WITHHELD) has complained of her treatment in the past and now says she is being shunned by the Jewish community, her lawyer said. She has given up her plans of becoming a rabbi.

"When he is a member of the clergy, he can't do this," attorney Philip G. Villaume said Wednesday. Those seeking guidance and counseling are vulnerable to clergy members and those who are helping them, Villaume said.

Ginsburg leads the 1,400-family synagogue on Mississippi River Boulevard. He serves on many boards of Jewish institutions and as associate chair of the State of Israel Bonds Rabbinic Cabinet Executive Committee.

Neither Rabbi Ginsberg nor (NAME WITHHELD) could be reached for comment on the lawsuit, which seeks damages in excess of $50,000.

According to the lawsuit, (NAME WITHHELD) met Ginsburg in 1996 when she took classes to convert to Judaism, her husband's faith. Ginsburg officiated at her conversion service in 1997, counseled her through the break-up of her marriage that same year and helped her as she earned a bachelor's degree in Jewish Studies in August 1999 from Metropolitan State University.

The lawsuit claims their first sexual encounter took place on Dec. 13, 1999. As she studied to become a rabbi and continued to go to him for counseling, the sexual relationship continued through April 15, 2002, the lawsuit claims.

About a month after their last sexual encounter, (NAME WITHHELD) filed complaints with local and national Jewish leaders. On June 26, 2002, Ginsburg and Temple of Aaron leaders wrote letters to the congregation. Ginsburg apologized "for an admittedly regrettable incident." The synagogue's board of directors said the rabbi "frankly acknowledged his errors in judgment and expressed his profound and deeply felt apologies."
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Woman sues rabbi, temple
Grand Forks Herald (St. Paul, MN) - Tue, Jan. 27, 2004


A Maplewood woman has sued a rabbi and a St. Paul temple, accusing the rabbi of sexually exploiting her during counseling for more than two years.

The woman alleges that Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg knew that she was an emotionally vulnerable person because he learned while counseling her that she was recently divorced and had been sexually and emotionally abused in the past.

The lawsuit, filed in Ramsey District Court, seeks damages in excess of $50,000 for sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and sexual exploitation by a member of the clergy.

Betty Sue Lipschultz, the temple's board president, said an investigation of Ginsburg was done after the woman complained about him that "did reveal an error in judgment" by the rabbi.


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Former Temple of Aaron congregant files lawsuit alleging sexual
By Mordecai Specktor
The Jewish World - January 29, 2004

A former congregant of the Temple of Aaron Synagogue in St. Paul filed a lawsuit last week charging that she was sexually exploited during the course of counseling by Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg, the synagogue's senior rabbi.

In the 40-page complaint filed Jan. 20 in Ramsey County District Court, (NAME REMOVED), of Maplewood, states that counseling sessions with Ginsburg developed into a sexual relationship beginning in December -1999 and extending through April 2002.

In May 2002,
(NAME REMOVED) filed an eth¡¾ics complaint with the Rabbinical Assembly, the New York-based umbrella organization for Conservative rabbis, which brought the matter to the attention of the Temple of Aaron board of directors.

The Temple of Aaron, which is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, investigated (NAME REMOVED)'s complaint and decided to retain Rabbi Ginsburg, conditional on his undergoing therapeutic counseling and accepting a revised employment agreement.

In a June 26, 2002, letter sent to Temple of Aaron congregants, Ginsburg apologized for "an admittedly regrettable incident, which occurred during the course of a one ¡¾month period..." He characterized his relationship with (NAME REMOVED) "as wholly voluntary and consensual."

Regarding the actions of the Temple of Aaron in dealing with (NAME REMOVED)'s complaint in 2002, Betty Sue Lipschultz, president of the Temple of Aaron congregation, told the AJW this week that the "Temple of Aaron made no attempt to sweep this under the rug, dealt with it im¡¾mediately ... conducted its own investigation, and came up with a plan for the board to decide on. So, there was never any attempt to hide anything, and there has always been tremendous concern for the congregant, or the former congregant,
that was involved and the staff."

Philip G. Villaume, the attorney for (NAME REMOVED), told the AJW last week that his
client was treated in a "horrific" manner by Ginsburg and that the Temple of Aaron engaged in "a cover-up." The lawsuit seeks damages of $50,000 for sexual battery, infliction of emotional distress, negligent supervision of an employee and sexual exploitation by a therapist.

Villaume also mentioned that (NAME REMOVED) has filed a criminal complaint against Ginsburg with the St. Paul Police Department. Sgt. Steve Koll, of the St. Paul Police Department's sex crimes unit, told the AJW that (NAME REMOVED) filed a complaint last September and that the matter is being investigated.

In 1985, Minnesota passed the first law in the nation making psychotherapist-client sexual contact a felony offense, explained Gary Schoener, executive director of the Walk-In Counseling Center in Minneapolis. Schoener, who is a na¡¾tionally known expert in the area of clergy abuse, told the AJW that the Minnesota law is also the first one to include clergy in the list of "psychotherapists."

"After a Protestant pastor was acquitted of [sexual exploitation by a therapist] in the early 1990s, using a defense that he was doing `spiritual counseling' and not therapy," said Schoener, "the Min¡¾nesota legislature expanded the law to include spiritual counseling by a member of the clergy.  As a result, sexual contact with a counselee by a clergyperson is a felony in Minnesota. Under some circumstances, sexual contact with a former client
is also a felony."

Bruce J. Douglas, of the Larkin, Hoffman law firm in Bloomington, is the Temple of Aaron's attorney. He told the AJW on Monday: "Our formal response to the allegations in the complaint will be made to the court, but what we have said in the past to the congregation, and what I can tell you, is that our investigation and our information does not support [(NAME REMOVED)'s] allegation that there was a counseling relationship at the time of the alleged sexual exploitation."

Rabbi Ginsburg's attorney, Robert Weinstine, of the Wirithrop and Weinstine law firm in Minneapolis, declined to comment for this story.

One count of (NAME REMOVED)'s lawsuit invokes the Minnesota law that has made it much easier for clients to sue sexually exploitive counselors.

What constitutes the beginning and end of a counseling relationship is sometimes difficult to establish, Schoener said. If a member of the clergy and a client discuss "either mental health or spiri¡¾tual issues, it does not matter if they were formal sessions held in an office. They can still be seen as a continuation of the counseling relationship," according to Schoener.

Regarding litigation of the lawsuit brought by (NAME REMOVED) against Rabbi Ginsburg
and the Temple of Aaron, Bruce Douglas said that lawsuits can take various courses. He mentioned that in some cases the parties "sit down and attempt to resolve disputes informally. We've been attempting to do that [regarding (NAME REMOVED) complaint] for the last year and a half. We would hope that there is still some possi¡¾bility of an amicable
resolution."
  
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Rabbi, woman settle lawsuit
By Stephen Scott, Religion Editor
Pioneer Press (St. Paul) - June 08, 2004

Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg appears set to resign as senior rabbi at Temple of Aaron, shortly after reaching an out-of-court settlement with a former congregation member who accused him of sexual misconduct. A criminal investigation into the case also is being closed, with no charges forthcoming.

Ginsburg's attorney, Robert Weinstein, said Monday the rabbi has decided to resign after 17 years at the Conservative synagogue in St. Paul's Highland Park.

"Over the past several months he's given a lot of thought of what to do with his future,'' Weinstein said. "I think he was looking for all of this to be concluded.''

Congregation president Phillip Kibort said Monday synagogue officers had not received a notice of resignation, though discussions had taken place with Ginsburg "about the future leadership of Temple of Aaron.''

In a civil suit filed in January in Ramsey County, a Maplewood woman accused Ginsburg of sexual exploitation, intentionally inflicting emotional distress, sexual battery and 12 other charges. The suit claimed sexual contact between the two occurred between December 1999 and April 2002, during which time the woman said she was seeing Ginsburg for counseling.

The suit also named the synagogue, on Mississippi River Boulevard, as a defendant.

Weinstein and Philip G. Villaume, the attorney for the accuser,
(NAME REMOVED), each confirmed Monday that a settlement with all parties had been reached. Citing confidentiality agreements, they released no details.

St. Paul police spokesman Paul Schnell said Monday that a criminal investigation conducted since last fall was being closed, and that no charges would be filed.

It is a felony in Minnesota for a counselor to have sex with someone he or she is counseling, and the statute includes clergy as "counselors," according to abuse counselor Gary Schoener of Minneapolis.

"The authorities have indicated they are not going forward on anything, and the civil and any related issues are done,'' Weinstein said. "Having gone through all of this to a 100 percent successful conclusion, the rabbi just wants to get that part of it behind him and get on with his life.''

Ginsburg, 48, is well known in Minnesota's relatively small Jewish community, which numbers about 42,000. He was a highly honored undergraduate at the University of Chicago and at seminary in New York. Last September, at the invitation of U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, Ginsburg was one of 16 U.S. rabbis to attend a private meeting with President Bush at the White House.

After
(NAME REMOVED) brought allegations against Ginsburg in May 2002, the synagogue conducted an internal investigation, as did the Rabbinical Assembly in Conservative Judaism New York. Ginsburg sent what was essentially a letter of apology to the congregation, and the synagogue's executive committee voted to retain Ginsburg on a 60-day, renewable contract for three years, synagogue attorney Bruce J. Douglas said.

Temple of Aaron's investigation concluded that the relationship between Ginsburg and the plaintiff was consensual and that they had little interaction after January 2000, Douglas said.
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St. Paul rabbi settles lawsuit with woman

By Heron Marquez Estrada
Star Tribune - June 9, 2004 

The senior rabbi at the Temple of Aaron in St. Paul has settled a lawsuit that claimed that he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a Maplewood woman he was counseling, lawyers said Tuesday. 

Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg, 48, also has decided to resign from the temple, but his departure is not related to the settlement, according to his attorney, Robert Weinstein.
"That has absolutely nothing to do with it," Weinstein said. 

Weinstein and Philip Villaume, the attorney for (NAME REMOVED), the woman who sued Ginsburg, confirmed the settlement but refused to release details. The attorneys said they and their clients are bound by confidentiality agreements. 

"We're just glad it's over," Villaume said. 

Weinstein said the settlement will be filed within the next few days. He did not know when Ginsburg would submit his resignation. 

"He plans to resign; he doesn't know exactly when," Weinstein said. 

Ginsburg has been at the temple for 17 years. The temple, located on Mississippi River Boulevard in St. Paul's Highland Park neighborhood, also was named as a defendant in the suit filed by (NAME REMOVED) in January in Ramsey County District Court.
Temple officials did not return calls seeking comment. 

(NAME REMOVED) accused Ginsburg, who was counseling her at the time, of sexual exploitation, emotional distress, sexual battery and other charges because of a relationship they had from 1999 until 2002. 

In the suit, (NAME REMOVED) said she told Ginsburg about her history of physical and emotional abuse during the counseling sessions and during their relationship. Ginsburg, who was married to another rabbi at the temple, has since divorced. 

St. Paul police also conducted a criminal investigation because it is a felony for a counselor to have sex with a client. Police said that the investigation is closed and that no charges were filed. 

The temple also investigated the matter and determined that the relationship was consensual. After the investigation, Ginsburg sent a letter of apology to the congregation. The temple's executive committee voted in June 2002 to keep Ginsburg. 

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Temple of Aaron, former congregant to settle lawsuit:  Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg has announced his resignation from pulpit position o f 17 years
American Jewish World (AJW) - Jan. 30, 2004

As the AJW went to press this week, a tentative settlement agree¡¾ment was reached on a lawsuit brought by a former congregant against the Temple of Aaron Synagogue in St. Paul and Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg, the synagogue's senior rabbi.

(NAME REMOVED) of Maplewood sued the rabbi and synagogue in January, charging that she was exploited by Ginsburg during the course of a sexual relationship that began in 1999. The synagogue was also named in the lawsuit filed in Ramsey County (1-30-04 AJW).

"The parties have tentatively reached a settlement of the lawsuit, and we do expect it will be finalized this week," said the Temple of Aaron's attorney, Bruce Douglas, of the Larkin Hoffman law firm in Bloomington. Douglas added that the "terms of the settlement agree¡¾ment are confidential."

The synagogue's board of directors was scheduled to review the settlement agreement at its Thursday evening meeting.

Dr. Phillip Kibort. the congregation a newlv elected president. said that it would on the on the agenda along with another major item.


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Ginsburg to lead Skokie synagogue
BY STEPHEN SCOTT
Pioneer Press - Mon, Aug. 16, 2004

A St. Paul rabbi who has served Highland Park's Temple of Aaron congregation for 17 years has been hired as senior rabbi at a suburban Chicago synagogue.

Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg will move to Ezra Habonim/Niles Township Jewish Congregation in Skokie, Ill., effective Sept. 1.

Ginsburg in June reached an out-of-court settlement with a former congregant, a woman who two years ago accused him of sexual misconduct. No charges were filed in the case following a police investigation, and Ginsburg remained at Temple of Aaron upon the recommendation of the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism in New York.

"He's been very successful in St. Paul, and when we found out his availability we immediately wanted him," said Shom Klaff, executive director of Ezra Habonim. "We feel he could make it a metropolitan synagogue."

Ginsburg, 48, is a native of Chicago, has family there and attended the University of Chicago. He will replace Rabbi Neil Brief, who retired after 33 years at the 400-member Skokie synagogue.
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Call To Action - Let Your Voice Be Heard:
The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter - August 16, 2004  


Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg has recently been hired in a Conservative Synogogue in Skokie, IL. Please feel free to contact the board of directors of Ezra Habonim/Niles Township Jewish Congregation, and let them know how you feel about them hiring Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg to be their spiritual leader.

Ezra Habonim/Niles Township Jewish Congregation
4500 W. Dempster
Skokie, IL 60076
847-675-4141

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Call To Action - Let Your Voice Be Heard:
Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg was hired back in 2004 by a Conservative Synagogue in Skokie, IL. After being let go by a synagogue in St. Paul, MN.  


Please feel free to contact the board of directors of Ezra Habonim/Niles Township Jewish Congregation and the Rabbinical Assembly and let them know how you feel about Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg appearing on YouTube.


Ezra Habonim/Niles Township Jewish Congregation
4500 W. Dempster
Skokie, IL 60076
847-675-4141

Rabbinical Assembly
Rabbi Joel H. Meyers
Executive Vice President
(212) 280-6000
jmeyers@rabbinicalassembly.org

January, 2004 -- A former member of the Temple of Aaron accused the Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg of sexual exploitation, intentionally inflicting emotional distress, sexual battery and 12 other charges in a lawsuit.  The survivor claimed Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg had inappropriate sexual contact with her for three years. The contact took place while Ginsburg was counseling her and serving as a mentor for her rabbinical studies.

The survivor stated that Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg knew that she was an emotionally vulnerable person because he learned while counseling her that she was recently divorced and had been sexually and emotionally abused in the past.  According to a Pioneer Press article, Ginsburg remained at Temple of Aaron upon the recommendation of the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism.

June 08, 2004 Rabbi Ginsburg resigned as the senior rabbi at Temple of Aaron, shortly after reaching an out-of-court settlement with a former congregation member who accused him of sexual misconduct.

On June 26, 2002, Ginsburg and Temple of Aaron leaders wrote letters to the congregation. Ginsburg apologized "for an admittedly regrettable incident." The synagogue's board of directors said the rabbi "frankly acknowledged his errors in judgment and expressed his profound and deeply felt apologies."

Just a few months after leaving the St. Paul synagogue, Rabbi Ginsburg was hired by Ezra Habonim/Niles Township Jewish Congregation in Skokie, IL.

Now it appears Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg is telling his favorate jokes and teaching Torah on Youtube.

http://youtube.com/profile?user=rjhgins



Videos from Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg
jhgins
Joined: February 12, 2007
Last Login: 42 minutes ago
Videos Watched: 59

Subscribers: 61
Channel Views: 1,022
A wide variety of educational videos about Judaism
Name: Jonathan
Age: 51

Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg, Rabbi of the Ezra-Habonim, Niles Township Jewish Congregation of Skokie, is a native of Chicago. Rabbi Ginsburg received his B.A. in religion from the University of Chicago where he was the valedictory orator and received his Masters and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary where he received the Krasne Award for outstanding student. He was a National Merit scholar and 1974 National High School Debate Champion. Rabbi Ginsburg, before returning to Chicago, he was the senior Rabbi at the Temple of Aaron, a 1400-family Conservative synagogue for 17 years, and adjunct faculty of St. Catherine College and Metropolitan University. Prior to that, he served as senior Rabbi at the Kane street Synagogue in Brooklyn for 5 years. He is now President of the Niles Township Clergy Association. He is married to Gail Nord Ginsburg and they have four children
 

Country: United States
 

Occupation: Rabbi
 

Companies: Ezra-Habonim, Niles Township jewish Congregation
 

Website: http://www.jonathanginsburg.net
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CALL TO ACTION: Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg Running A Singles Event at Ezra-Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation, Skokie, IL
The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter - February 28, 2008

Back in 2004, a former female member of the Temple of Aaron in St. Paul filed a civi suit that Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg sexually exploited her while counseling her for more than two years. The woman accused Ginsburg of sexual exploitation, intentionally inflicting emotional distress, sexual battery and 12 other charges. The suit claimed sexual contact between the two occurred between December 1999 and April 2002, during which time the woman said she was seeing Ginsburg for counseling. The case was settled out of court. Rabbi Ginsburg resigned from his position at Temple Aaron after 17 years of service.

The synagogue conducted an internal investigation, as did the Rabbinical Assembly in Conservative Judaism New York. Ginsburg sent what was essentially a letter of apology to the congregation.

Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg moved to Ezra Habonim/Niles Township Jewish Congregation in Skokie, Ill., on Sept. 1, 2004.

Considering all of the above due you feel it's appropriate for Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg to be running a "singles event" where single women around his age would be present?

The goal of this CALL TO ACTION is to prevent another vulnerable woman from becoming the next victim of a sex crime. There are no board members of Ezra Habonim/Niles Township Jewish Congregation listed on their web page, the only contact person provided below is the executive president of the Rabbinic Assembly, Rabbi Joel H. Meyers.

Contact:

The Rabbinic Assembly
Rabbi Joel H. Meyers - Executive Vice President
3080 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
(212) 280-6000
Fax: (212) 749-9166
jmeyers@rabbinicalassembly.org

Pionner Press - February 28, 2008
http://www.pioneerlocal.com/815673,ev-commcalendar-022808-s1.article

The Chicago Area 50+ Jewish Singles will hold a Shabbat evening singles-only service conducted by Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg plus a catered kosher dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 28 at Ezra-Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation, 4500 Dempster St. in Skokie. The cost is $14. The deadline for advance payment is March 25. For more information, call Gail Ginsburg at (847) 675-4141 or send an e-mail to or Dee@ehnt.org.


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HELP NEEDED: The Case of Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg (Skokie, IL)
The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter - October 28, 2008

Back in 2004, a former female member of the Temple of Aaron in St. Paul filed a civi suit that Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg sexually exploited her while counseling her for more than two years. The woman accused Ginsburg of sexual exploitation, intentionally inflicting emotional distress, sexual battery and 12 other charges. The suit claimed sexual contact between the two occurred between December 1999 and April 2002, during which time the woman said she was seeing Ginsburg for counseling. The case was settled out of court. Rabbi Ginsburg resigned from his position at Temple Aaron after 17 years of service.

The synagogue conducted an internal investigation, as did the Rabbinical Assembly in Conservative Judaism New York. Ginsburg sent what was essentially a letter of apology to the congregation.

Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg married one of the women he converted.  Rumors have been going around that he as dating her during the conversion process.  Since his current wife's conversion she received semicha (rabbinic ordination through Rabbinical Seminary International, a non-denominational Jewish seminary.  I'm told that all one needs to do is to pay a fee to recieve ordination.

Ginsburg is now trying to recreate him self as being a rabbi who performs conversions either in person or on line.  He also has started a "para-rabbinical" program.  He has many youtube videos in his attempt at attracting new students.  The fear is that he's using these programs to lure in new potential victims. 

For this reason, The Awareness Center created the following film that is located on Youtube.  We are asking that you click on the link as often as you can so that way it is ranked at the top and we can warn unsupecting women of any potenital danger.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1LZTgJofbA


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Chicago Conversion Bet Din Not Endorsed by the RA

Rabbinical Assembly - August 13, 2013


 
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 "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

--Margaret Mead
 

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