Shaarei Tefillah Ripped Apart Over Meir Kin Divorce Dispute?

Mark emails:

Dear Luke:

Regarding your article about Shaarei Tefila, Youve been mislead once again. There are about 5-6 disgruntled members of Sharrei Tefila who just come for the Shabbos Kiddush every week and dont even participate in the services. Aaron Kin singlehandedly cannot remove the Rabbi as it is done by a Vote from the Board of Directors. The Rabbi nearly lost his job 3 years ago as well and has been hanging by a thread for the past 3 years. The majority of the shul feels the same and want to move on to find a more likable Rabbi. Rabbi Kosofsky is a nice person but simply not a match to this shul. The rabble rousers enjoy mixing in Meir Kin into Shaarei Tefila affairs, but in reality it has nothing to do with his Divorce. Incidently, Meir Kin has been getting Aliyas in Shaarei Tefila and even honored to lead the Services because the RCC has removed his Seiruv months ago. Therefore those people who fed you this “news bulletin” were simply lying and looking to stir trouble. You can always find bitter, jealous and troublemakers in every Shul.

So why did the RCC drop its seiruv against Meir Kin?

Mark replies: “Because they realized they have no case. You have done a wonderful job in the past posting all of his supporting documents and the RCC saw that the community wasn’t buying the BS of Bnai David or Beth Jacob. See

Here’s another email:

It’s true that Rabbi Kosofsky has had a hard time obtaining the shul’s support these past seven years. He works hard and is a very nice gentleman and a real mentsch…however, he does not have the personality for a pulpit job.

On the other hand, Aaron Kin is not a mentsch [and the paragraph that follows details various complaints about Aaron Kin].

The bottom line is that this once proud shul has gone down the tubes. The only solution is to get rid of Kin immediately and offer the rabbi a part-time contract until he finds something else.

I wrote previous to these emails: The background to last night’s Shaarei Tefilah unofficial meeting about Aaron Kin, the president of Shaarei Tefilah, is the bitter divorce dispute of Aaron’s brother Meir Kin. Background.

The RCC has issued a seiruv (contempt order) against Meir Kin. They are ordering him to come to their Beit Din to give his wife a divorce.

The RCC has organized marches outside of Meir Kin’s residence (Meir’s parents home). They have denounced Aaron Kin publicly. They have engaged all the main Orthodox pulpit rabbis in Los Angeles in their fight, including Sharei Tefillah’s Rabbi Nochum Kosovsky.

In early May, 2009, this announcement went out to the members of Orthodox shuls around Los Angeles:

A follow-up demonstration will take place later that evening, at the back entrance of Congregation Shaarei Tefila, on Poinsettia Place near the corner of Beverly Blvd, from 7:15-8:15pm. We will stand in front of Shaarei Tefila to inform the members of the shul that it is intolerable to stand idly by while Lonna suffers as an agunah. We are not rallying against the shul; we are protesting Meir Kin and anyone who supports him or abets his behavior, especially his brother Aaron Kin who is the president of Shaarei Tefila.

Meir Kin sometimes davens at Shaarei Tefila. Because of the RCC seiruv against him, Rabbi Nochum Kosovsky instructed the gabbai not to give Meir an aliyah (call to the Torah). Aaron Kin did not react well to this and would like to eject Rabbi Nochum Kosovsky from the shul.

The only pulpit rabbi in Los Angeles who will ever buck the RCC is Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky (who has not opposed the RCC in this matter).

Aaron Kin seems in complete control of the board of Shaarei Tefilah.

I doubt that Aaron Kin will rest until he’s seen justice for the humiliation of his brother Meir. On the other hand, Rabbi Kosovsky is not going to side against the RCC.

This seems to be a battle between an unmovable object (Rabbi Kosovsky) and an irresistible force (Aaron Kin).

President Aaron Kin and Dr. Yossie Schames have ruled Shaarei Tefila for years.

What’s that old saw about academic disputes? The fights are so bitter because the stakes are so small?

All this over an aliyah?

Shaarei Tefilah is a slowly dying Modern Orthodox shul in the traditional Jewish neighborhood of Beverly and Fairfax Blvds. It’s average age of membership is about 50. Demography seems to doom the shul as a Modern Orthodox institution.

Last night, various RCC rabbis from the community gathered with some dissenters at Shaarei Tefilah to see what they could do about Aaron Kin.

Aaron Kin was not present at the meeting.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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