Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Rabbinical Assembly suspends Cleveland rabbi charged with attempted sexual contact with a minor

Expulsion is likely to follow if Weiss is found guilty of soliciting oral sex from an officer posing as a 15-year-old.

The Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly has suspended Cleveland Rabbi Stephen Weiss, who was arrested on April 18 and charged with attempted sexual contact with a minor.

His name now appears on the Assembly’s public website, the newest addition to a page that lists rabbis who have been suspended or expelled. Those with knowledge of the process say expulsion will be a likely next step, but that can’t happen before the legal case against the rabbi has concluded. County prosecutors have yet to present the case to a grand jury. If convicted, Weiss faces up to 3.5 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Weiss spoke with an undercover officer of the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children task force and arranged to meet. According to court records, the officer pretended to be a 15-year-old boy, and talked about oral sex with the rabbi. When Weiss showed up for the meeting, he was arrested. Condoms were found in the rabbi’s car, along with medication for erectile dysfunction.

Weiss’ synagogue, B’nai Jeshurun, suspended him the day after his arrest. He resigned from his job on April 21.

Suspended, Weiss may not be considered for a post within the Conservative movement, and he can’t serve in any leadership position.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.