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RabbiYitzhakMiller.org Rabbi Yitzhak Miller Rabbi Yitzi Miller RabbiYitzhakMiller.comInternet Harassment

Sidney Cohen's internet actions against Rabbi Yitzhak Miller clearly demonstrate the abusive ways that sites like Complaints Board can be used to defame innocent people.

When this reporter asked "Mr. Cohen" to verify the facts he claimed in his multiple postings on [redacted] and Complaints Board, Sidney Cohen of Riverside CA admitted to posting the claims, but was unable to provide any evidence to substantiate his allegations.

Asked what he had done to make Mr. Cohen so upset, Rabbi Yitzhak Miller, founder of RabbiYitzhakMiller.org and Executive Director of CyberJudaism.org replied: "I don't think it's anything personal. I was warned about Sidney Cohen when I arrived at Riverside Temple Beth El, and that he had been abusive to every Rabbi the synagogue had ever had. Unfortunately, the internet now provides tools for people like Mr. Cohen to use for abusive and slanderous purposes. Sidney Cohen is a troubled individual and I hope that he finds peace in his life soon."

Tony Glassman, one of the premier libel attorneys in the country, explains the challenge. Mr Cohen bases his claims against Rabbi Yitzhak Miller and RabbiYitzhakMiller.org on an article in the Riverside Press-Enterprise. The press has a statute of limitations on liability for false statements of 10 DAYS. What that means is that if a false statement is made in the press, but the person does not actually file a claim against the newspaper within 10 days, there is nothing the person can do to get the false information recanted. The internet creates an even greater problem because even if the newspaper itself recants the information, the original story remains stored at sites like Google.com and Yahoo.com. Then internet sites like RipoffReprt.com and ComplaintsBoard.com enable people like Mr. Cohen to post libelous information without even providing their name. All they have to do is click a box that says "I verify that this report is valid" and their perspective goes up on the internet as if it is verifiable fact.

We asked Rabbi Yitzhak Miller for evidence of the true facts behind this story. He was more than happy to oblige, providing letters from former board members of Temple Beth El, letters from current employers, and many other worthwhile pieces of documentation that shed great light on the veracity of Mr. Cohen's claims. This information is all publicly available at http://www.rabbiyitzhakmiller.org/About/Press-Enterprise-Coverage_52.html

Responses

  • Sh
    Shalom Jan 25, 2010

    Keywords Rabbi Yitzhak Miller Rabbi Yitzi Miller Rabbi Yitz Miller RabbiYitzhakMiller.org CyberJudaism.org RabbiYitzhakMiller.com
    I can’t believe that this so called “leader” has now set up shop on the internet… Do people have any idea what kind of havoc he caused in our community?

    Keywords Rabbi Yitzhak Miller Rabbi Yitzi Miller Rabbi Yitz Miller RabbiYitzhakMiller.org CyberJudaism.org RabbiYitzhakMiller.com


    By GREGOR McGAVIN
    The Press-Enterprise

    The spiritual leader of Riverside's oldest synagogue is stepping down, more than two months after he grazed a school psychologist with his truck during an argument over who was first in line at a drive-through ATM.

    No one was hurt in the Nov. 5 fracas at Altura Credit Union in Riverside, and a judge this month dismissed misdemeanor charges of battery and hit and run against Temple Beth El Rabbi Yitzhak Miller.

    Jory Yarmoff, president of the temple's board of directors, confirmed that the board has accepted the resignation.

    He said that since the credit union incident, individual congregants have come forward to complain about how Miller treated them.

    "The other issues predate the credit union incident. That just served to focus people's attention, " Yarmoff said.

    "Anger management was part of it. The other part of it was his ability to successfully partner with temple leadership."

    Miller resigned, effective June 30, in a letter to temple members dated Jan. 14, the day charges against him were dismissed. He has shaken hands and made up with his counterpart in the Nov. 5 incident, both sides said. That man, William Hendrick, a psychologist with the Riverside Unified School District, even wrote a letter asking temple members to forgive the rabbi.

    Yarmoff praised the work Miller has done since arriving in July 2006. He said the rabbi has strengthened Sunday programs and education for adults and children.

    Miller, who has been at the synagogue for a year and a half, said his problems there result not from his actions, but because Temple Beth El -- which serves more than 230 families -- is a small congregation with limited finances and volunteers.

    Yarmoff said he expects Miller's resignation to be a hot topic at the temple's annual congregational meeting Sunday.

    Yarmoff acknowledged a high turnover among rabbis but denied the temple has a problem holding on to clergy.

    Past Struggles


    Before arriving at Temple Beth El in July 2006, Miller served about five years as first a student rabbi, then community rabbi at Congregation Emeth in Gilroy.

    Michael Oshan, president of the Gilroy temple's board, said Miller "had a lot to offer, but there were some issues." He declined to be specific but said anger management was involved.

    Miller -- described in the police report on the ATM fracas as 6 feet tall and 275 pounds -- said in a Dec. 2 letter to the congregation that he has had "a compulsive eating addiction" since junior high school. He said he has been seeing a therapist for almost two years for his eating disorder and the therapist warned him that "previously unprocessed feelings would likely begin to come up in potent ways."

    Miller said he also had attempted to enroll in an anger-management program but had not yet found one that would accept someone not ordered to join by a court.


    Keywords Rabbi Yitzhak Miller Rabbi Yitzi Miller Rabbi Yitz Miller RabbiYitzhakMiller.org CyberJudaism.org RabbiYitzhakMiller.com

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