Emory University law professor and Orthodox rabbi Michael Broyde is being accused of assuming a false identity and joining a rabbinic group under false pretenses. Broyde allegedly assumed the identify of a Rabbi Hershel Goldwasser, who claimed to live in Israel, and gained access for 20 years to the International Rabbinic Fellowship, an association of liberal Orthodox rabbis. Broyde is accused of then lying when confronted about the deception and denying that he was in fact Goldwasser who penned a variety of letters and directed people to Broyde’s own scholarship.
In addition to being a law professor and Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Broyde is a member of the Rabbinical Council of America and a judge Beth Din of America, the largest Jewish law court in America.
Broyde was confronted by a reporter for the Jewish Channel and denied that he was the same person. He was asked why his personal Internet Protocol addresses matched those of correspondence from Goldwasser, Broyde simply said that he didn’t know what IP addresses were. That is now obvious. When evidence was presented linking him to the deception, he later owned up to being Goldwasser.
The question is how Emory should handle such deception and denials from a law professor and ethicist. While this could be viewed as something occurring in his private life, Broyde reportedly used the false identity to push his own scholarship. However, there remains the question whether such conduct should lead to his loss of tenure as opposed to his reparation from the Jewish court.
What do you think?