It would be in dubious taste to sing...

Saturday, April 23, 2016

It would be in dubious taste to sing...

..."Ding dong," but those were the first words which oc­curred to me with the announcement on 27East:

Hampton Synagogue Founding Rabbi Announces Plans To Leave Parish At Summer's End

"After nearly three decades, Hampton Synagogue Founding Rabbi Marc Schneier has announced that this summer will be his last at the Westhampton Beach house of worship."

I can't even say I read this with mixed emotions, so di­vi­sive was Rabbi Schneier's presence in Westhampton Beach from the moment more than 25 years ago he set up shop in Martha Bergeron's rented private residence at 75 Mill Road and turned it into a place of public assembly, the first "Hampton Synagogue."

Instead of recognizing that the prohibiting Fire Code was in place for safety reasons, the Rabbi reached out to political contacts and in short order New York City Mayor David Dinkens and Suffolk County Executive Patrick Halpin were placing personal 'phone calls to Mayor Arma Andon want­ing to know, in Ham's words at the time, "what the hell are you doing out there?"

This resulted in uncomplimentary-to-the-Village stories in the NYC tabloids, and caused Fire Marshal Dennis Corcoran unwarranted grief, all because of his supposed "religious intolerance."

It was not the last time Rabbi Schneier purposefully gave Westhampton Beach a black eye, all in service to his massive ego, seemingly exceeded in prodigiousness by only a libido so rapacious that the Rabbinical Council of America tossed him out on his steatopygian rump.

Also from the story:

"In an email sent last week to members of his congre­gation, Rabbi Schneier called his decision to leave the synagogue as 'deeply personal'"

Let it also be said that the enmity expressed here for the Rabbi's actions is "deeply personal" as well... Westhamp­ton Beach is my mother's birthplace and my home for eight decades, and I don't appreciate how Marc Schneier has used the Village over the past quarter of a century.

Not that his actions have all been bad... my friend Glenn Dorskind likes to remind me that in the dark days following the near fatal beating of Shane Daniels, Schneier reached out to Reverend Al Sharpton and asked the notorious rabble-rouser to keep his planned march/demonstration in front of Club Marakesh under control.

(It went off without untoward activity.)

So, Marc, g'luck and good-bye... I wish you nothing but respite from your proclaimed bi-polarity.


1. Fromm Emmes said...

If you were a member of the Jewish community, you might not judge Rabbi Schneier so critically. I've always found him to be a wonderfully warm and compassionate human, and that human quality probably accounted to his personal foibles. I will miss him, as will many others, Jews and Gentiles alike, and I hope over time your bitterness will lighten to the degree you can be a little more objective about our Founding Rabbi.

Facts speak for themselves, and you cannot gainsay the history I recounted... it's a matter of record, including his being defrocked by the RCA.

But let it come down to this: on balance, what has Marc Schneier done for the Village compared to what Westhampton Beach done for him?
– Dean

2. Scarlett said...

I had heard last Fall that he was leaving Hampton Synagogue, so this seems to have been some time in coming.

Right! Phil Grossman mentioned that as "hot news" last year one night after a Village meeting, then came back in a week or so and said that something had changed and now it wasn't going to happen.

O, well....

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