Rosenblatt relinquishes senior role at RJC


Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt is "stepping aside from the Senior Rabbinate" of Riverdale Jewish Center (RJC), according to a Wednesday email from the president of the synagogue to congregants obtained by The Press.

The move follows a 2015 report in The New York Times that described the rabbi's years-long habit of taking boys to a sauna naked, prompting some members of RJC to leave the institution.

It was not immediately clear what role, if any, Rabbi Rosenblatt would maintain at RJC. The email from RJC President Samson Fine reads in full:

"Update Regarding Rabbi Rosenblatt's Plans

"Dear Congregants,

"Rabbi Rosenblatt has today informed RJC's leadership that he intends to step aside from the Senior Rabbinate of the RJC. The Shul's Board of Trustees was informed at this evening's Board meeting and we anticipate discussing transition details with the Board in the next two weeks.


"Samson Fine, President"

Today, the rabbi directed an inquiry to lawyer Meyer Koplow. Asked whether it is possible the rabbi will continue in some capacity at RJC, Mr. Koplow said in a phone interview, "Yes, but that's something to be discussed with synagogue leadership. I think we're hoping to work things out within the next two weeks."

Story updated at 5:20 p.m. to include comment from Meyer Koplow.