Why Did Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz Leave Kehilat Israel?

President Steve Osman writes in the shul bulletin in 2013:

This article will formally announce to those who do not already know, that Rabbi Yanklowitz has resigned his position as
Senior Rabbi. On Friday, May 17 a verbal agreement was reached and was affirmed by a written letter of resignation. Those attending
Shabbat Services on May 18 heard me read the following letter:

4/26/2013
To the Board, Officers, Staff, and Congregants of Kehilath Israel
From: Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz
My dear friends,
It is with heavy heart that I inform you that I am resigning as Senior Rabbi of the congregation. Due to misunderstandings regarding the application of the synagogue’s policies and procedures as outlined in its Constitution and my Engagement Agreement, I believe I must move on.

Shoshana and I were very blessed to have had eight wonderful months with you. So many of you have touched our hearts and become true partners and friends. We are very grateful to you and will miss you very much. We wish you all good health, long life, growth, and happiness. You will always have a special place in our hearts.
With deep gratitude and appreciation, wishing you all many blessings,

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Do social justice and scandal go together? It would be funny if the rabbi did something unethical. Reading between the lines, it sounds like some sort of financial problem. I wonder if YCT moved in, paid money all over the place and had articles removed from the web to save him as he is one of their biggest stars.

In July of 2013, came this announcement from Phoenix:

Valley Beit Midrash hires one of ‘America’s top 50 rabbis’

Earlier this year, Newsweek named him one of “America’s Top 50 Rabbis” for the second year in a row. And now, starting in July, Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, founder and president of the social justice organization Uri L’Tzedek, will be executive director of Valley Beit Midrash.
Yanklowitz, 31, was described by Newsweek as “Orthodoxy’s most prominent voice on social justice” who “has a resume longer than many rabbinic leaders twice his age.”
This resume includes a master’s degree in leadership, moral development and psychology from Harvard University and a master’s in Jewish philosophy from Yeshiva University. He received ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School (the same school as his predecessor Rabbi Darren Kleinberg), as well as a second one from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin in Efrat, Israel, and a third from Rabbi Nathan Lopez Cardozo of Jerusalem. Last year, he received a doctorate in epistemology, moral development and developmental psychology from Columbia University.
He is also the author of “Jewish Ethics & Social Justice: A Guide for the 21st Century” and serves as CEO of the Shamayim V’Aretz Institute, which focuses on preventive health, kosher veganism, animal welfare, activism and preservation of the environment.
In the past decade, he has been the director of Jewish life and senior Jewish educator at the Hillel at the University of California, Los Angeles; a chaplain in the U.S. Army; a hospital chaplain; and a congregational rabbi.
Valley Beit Midrash, founded in 2007, describes itself on its website, valleybeitmidrash.org, as “a collaborative organization that brings new, exciting and relevant Jewish programming to the Greater Phoenix Jewish community in a diverse welcoming, engaging and pluralistic setting” and partners with a number of local synagogues and Jewish organizations to provide this programming.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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