Even more surprising was the person suspected of doing it: a respected New York City and Westchester rabbi.
Rabbi Alfredo Borodowski, 49, clearly does not like people driving slow or cutting him off. Unlike other road rages, however, Borodowski has been arrested for allegedly impersonating a police officer to pull over offending drivers in his Camry. He would allegedly flash a badge and scream “Police! Police! Pull Over! in order to scream at drivers. To his credit, he appears to pulled over Goyum (non-Jewish) and non-Goyum drivers alike without prejudice in what could be a new reality series, “Road Rabbi: Life In The Fast Lane.”
Borodowski held a position at prestigious Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan, one of the world’s largest Jewish houses of worship. He also leads a congregation in Larchmont. He was fired from Temple Emanu-El.
When he was arrested in one case, Borodowski is quoted as saying “That girl was driving too slow, and I hate when people do this. The woman was going the speed limit of 20 miles an hour and Borodowski was irate that she wasn’t going faster. She refused to pull over and called police that there was a mad man honking and screaming at her.
Borodowski insists that he was not pretending to be a cop but was only saying that he would call the police. However, police confiscated a badge, which read: “Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Officer 1338.”
Borodowski’s attorney says that the rabbi is bipolar and a hearing was postponed to allow for hospitalization.
Borodowski’s lawyer, Andrew Rubin, acknowledged that the rabbi’s behavior has been “manic” and said he’s suffering from bipolar disorder. The lawyer said the rabbi will plead not guilty in court this week. A previous hearing was postponed because the rabbi was hospitalized.
Other people have come forward to say that they were pulled over by Borodowski. One, Peter Moses, says that he tailgated them to try to get them to go faster and then pulled them over claiming to be a cop. He says that the rabbi screamed “I can arrest you! I can have you arrested!” Moses called his bluff and told him to arrest him but the Rabbi sped off.
Another driver actually videotaped an encounter.
It is not clear how far the bipolar disorder claim will take the Rabbi as a criminal defense since he was able to function in society and allegedly leave scenes when drivers confronted him on his claimed identity.
Borodowski is still on the website of the Larchmont congregation. His bio states:
Rabbi Alfredo Borodowski was raised in Argentina, earned his law degree at the University of Buenos Aires Law School (1986) and was ordained as a rabbi at the Seminario Latinoamericano (1991). He received an MA in rabbinic literature and a doctorate in Jewish Philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (1997).
Rabbi Borodowski also studied at the Hebrew University Institute for Advanced Studies and is a graduate of Senior Educators program at the Melton Center for Education in the Diaspora – Hebrew University (1989-1990). In 1989 he was invited to spend a semester at the Hebrew Union College-Cincinnati as the first Conservative rabbinical student from the Seminario Rabbinical School. He is a graduate of the Metivta Institute for Contemplative Judaism (2000-2001) and is certified as an administrator and interpreter of the Myers Briggs personality type instrument specializing in organizational leadership and spirituality. He is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management for Jewish Leaders (2009).
Rabbi Alfredo also serves as the Executive Director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanuel in New York City. He also served for 5 years as the Executive Director of the Shalom Hartman Institute for North America.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment training allows for the measurement of psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. That would certainly seem relevant to Borodowski but he would seem more suited as the testee than the tester in this case.