A former female member of the Temple of Aaron in St. Paul charged in a lawsuit that Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg sexually exploited her while counseling her for more than two years .
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."
Gail Ginsburg a Lutheran minister, was ordained in a long distance scheme as a 'rabbi' and NO movement of Judaism recognizes her as a rabbi. Now she pretends to be a Kabbalist and to run this conversion program. Her understanding of judaism and hebrew is less than any 10 yrs old Jewish child.
Some say that Jonathan Ginsburg was having inappropriate sexual relations with Gail Ginsburg at the time when he converted her.
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.
The Rabbinic Assembly
Rabbi Joel H. Meyers - Executive Vice President
New York, NY 10027
Fax: (212) 749-9166