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But the RCA may not be stuck for much longer. Schneier’s recent wedding is a sign that he and his fourth ex-wife have finally agreed upon a divorce settlement, which would mean the lifting of the gag order. Schneier did not return several calls from the Forward seeking comment. According to Raoul Felder, a prominent New York divorce lawyer, ex-spouses are barred under New York state law from remarrying until a divorce settlement is finalized. So Schneier would not have been able to marry Leiner until he reached a settlement with his ex-wife.
Rabbi Mark Dratch, the RCA’s executive vice president, was unaware of any change in the gag order’s status. He said he consulted recently with Schneier’s attorney, who assured him that “the gag order was in place.” (The respective attorneys for Schneier and Tobi Rubinstein Schneier did not return calls for comment.)
Goldin, who now serves as the RCA’s president emeritus, hinted that the gag order’s days might be numbered. “From my understanding, that may be coming to a resolution,” he said.
Goldin declined to comment further, but said he hopes the case moves forward. “It’s not good for the organization to have this hanging over us,” he said. “We would — and Rabbi Schneier would — rather bring this to some conclusion.”
The bad publicity has not diminished Schneier’s star power or slowed his work on interfaith relations. He was named one of the top 50 rabbis in America by Newsweek in 2012 and 2013. His Hamptons synagogue attracts some of New York’s wealthiest Jewish residents, among them Ronald Lauder and Steven Spielberg. Even New York City’s mayoral candidates made the trek to Westhampton Beach last summer, hoping to earn the support of the synagogue’s congregants.
Schneier continues to lead the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding with Def Jam Recordings founder Russell Simmons, working to improve relations between the Jewish community and the Muslim and black communities. The foundation’s recent sixth annual International Weekend of Twinning paired more than 300 synagogues and mosques around the world.