Marc Schneier Gets Married (Again!) — and RCA May Move To Resolve Dispute

Rabbi-to-Stars Faces Questions About Last Breakup

We Do: Rabbi Marc Schneier poses for wedding photos with his fifth wife, Gitty Leiner (left).
youtube
We Do: Rabbi Marc Schneier poses for wedding photos with his fifth wife, Gitty Leiner (left).

By Hody Nemes

Published November 21, 2013, issue of November 29, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

In the past few months, Rabbi Marc Schneier, founder and president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and leader of a star-studded synagogue in the Hamptons, has been busy. The foundation launched a month-long series of programs in Jewish and Muslim houses of worship, while Schneier has been jetting around the globe engaged in his particular brand of multi-faith dialogue and promoting his new book, “Sons of Abraham,” written with Imam Shamsi Ali.

The Orthodox rabbi also found time to stand under the chuppah for the fifth time.

Schneier married Gitty Leiner, a speech pathologist and his longtime girlfriend, at an unannounced wedding on October 6 at his shul, The Hampton Synagogue, in Westhampton Beach, N.Y.

The wedding may lead to the resolution of one of the more unusual situations to face an Orthodox rabbi who has a worldwide reputation.

In 2010, the Rabbinical Council of America, representing modern Orthodox rabbis, announced that it was launching an inquiry into allegations that Schneier, an RCA member, had committed adultery with Leiner, a congregant, while still married to his fourth wife, Tobi Rubinstein Schneier.

At the time, Shmuel Goldin, then the RCA’s president, told The New York Jewish Week that at issue is whether Schneier’s actions represent a chillul hashem, or desecration of God’s name, in terms of “behavior of a public or private nature unbecoming a rabbi,” which the group views as grounds for discipline. Goldin, interviewed by the Forward on November 20, reaffirmed that statement.

But the RCA chose to suspend the investigation because Schneier was legally barred from testifying by a judicial gag order put in place during the bitter divorce negotiations between him and Rubinstein Schneier. The gag order stymied the efforts of the Vaad Hakavod, an RCA committee tasked with investigating ethical breaches of RCA members. “The Vaad Hakavod had been convened — and then we ran into this roadblock,” Goldin said.

“It would not have been fair for us to hold any kind of hearing without Rabbi Schneier having an opportunity to address [us],” Goldin said. “So we were stuck.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
  • From The Daily Show to Lizzy Caplan, here's your Who's Jew guide to the 2014 #Emmys. Who are you rooting for?
  • “People at archives like Yad Vashem used to consider genealogists old ladies in tennis shoes. But they have been impressed with our work on indexing documents. Now they are lining up to work with us." This year's Jewish Genealogical Societies conference took place in Utah. We got a behind-the-scenes look:
  • What would Maimonides say about Warby Parker's buy-one, give-one charity model?
  • For 22 years, Seeds of Peace has fostered dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian teens in an idyllic camp. But with Israel at war in Gaza, this summer was different. http://jd.fo/p57AB
  • J.J. Goldberg doesn't usually respond to his critics. But this time, he just had to make an exception.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.