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Maryland Rabbi Suspended By Reform Council For Ethics Violation

A Reform rabbi who led a congregation in Maryland for over a decade until resigning late last year has been suspended from his movement’s main rabbinical organization for violating its code of ethics, the Frederick (Md.) News-Post reported.

Rabbi Dan Sikowitz was suspended from the Central Conference of American Rabbis in May, the organization confirmed in a statement on Thursday. Sikowitz, a former financial analyst, began leading Congregation Kol Ami as a student rabbi shortly after the temple was founded in 2003, and was ordained as a full rabbi in 2007. He was the 120-family synagogue’s only ever full-time rabbi until last November, when he abruptly resigned after he admitted to violating the CCAR’s Code of Ethics — though the nature of those violations was never fully made public.

Joanna Sieger, president of the synagogue’s board of directors, wrote in an email to congregants after the resignation that Sikowitz’s ethics violations did not involve children and were not against the law, but were serious nonetheless.

Sieger wrote in the January/February congregational newsletter that Sikowitz had admitted to violating the CCAR ethics code and “was planning to continue to do so….There are systems in place, rules Rabbis agree to, and those rules were broken.”

Sikowitz’s suspension from the CCAR essentially means that he cannot be hired or perform rabbinical duties at a Reform temple.

Sikowitz and Sieger declined to comment to the Frederick News-Post on Thursday.

Contact Aiden Pink at [email protected] or on Twitter, @aidenpink.


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