The Shir Tikvah Congregation executive board announced Sunday evening, Dec. 12, that Rabbi Michael Latz has been granted a three-month leave of absence, effective immediately.
“[Rabbi Latz] is not facing any kind of life-threatening physical condition, but … he recognizes the need for time and space to rest, as well as to do some critical, internal work and teshuvah,” the executive committee wrote. In a statement to TC Jewfolk Monday morning, the executive committee said: “This is an internal personnel matter involving no sexual impropriety. The congregation does not discuss such matters publicly.”
Latz, in a letter that went out to the congregation membership, acknowledged the burnout that the previous two years have caused led to the decision but indicated that he has a need to undergo some personal teshuvah.
“I understand that some of the underlying issues have been there longer” than the past two years, Latz wrote. “I also understand that the work I need to do goes beyond the places where I feel personally broken. They say that ‘hurt people hurt people.’ I understand that, while inadvertent, the manner in which I have been interacting with my colleagues and our extraordinary staff has sometimes hurt them.”
Latz has been the senior rabbi at the Reform synagogue in South Minneapolis since 2009 when he moved here from Seattle after serving as the founding rabbi of Kol HaNeshamah. He is also a former co-chair of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, and is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute.
“The first step in the process of teshuvah is to acknowledge and apologize for the harm done. I am deeply saddened and sorry that I have been a source of hurt to people I care for and respect,” Latz wrote. “Rabbis are not infallible. Part of the work during my leave will be to understand and change the behaviors that have caused harm so they are not repeated, and to engage deeply in the teshuvah process.”
I love you and I am so proud of you for knowing the help you need AND actually are getting it. You are my hero now and forever. Love you, Beanie
Thank goodness Rabbi Latz did the right thing and resign. He has been causing issues for years and gotten away with them. Finally, things have come to light. Too bad it happened after we left and his attitude and power affected many of us.
I am thinking of you, Michael; and remain gratefrul for our friendship. Bill Cutter
So some staff were unintentionally hurt non criminally and you publicly rake him through the coals?
He is a hero and a symbol of family in the face of lies and hatred, of democracy in the face of ever present fascism on the rise.
The executive board has zero honor—they will call him out in front of everyone and make him apologize when he meant no harm and the board has not the decency to even state the problem?
Jews sold other Jews into slavery in Egypt it has been said, and committed atrocities alongside the Nazis. Netanyahu was friends with Trump. And the executive board has shamed Rabbi Latz for nothing in particular.
Rabbi Latz protested Trumpers with AK47s at the MN capital before it was politically convenient, before Jan 6th—he is a hero.
Another gay Jewish local dude, Sven Sundgaard, shared Rabbi Latz’ post protesting fascism and was fired by Kare 11, a Third Reich station apparently.
So gay Jewish identity is under attack, the ban on the gay death penalty was removed during the time he speaks of burnout, and instead of being his strength you burn him alive in the town square?
Smells like misandry—man hating. No Jewish text ever spoke stoning to death, killing lesbians. Feminazi as a term rose in the 80’s as a backlash to gay power won. In the 70’s, gay culture made sense since it’s about men who want to he with men. Masculine portrayals were so pervasive we were called clones.
Then in the 80’s this man hating rose alongside AIDs. Again, society has never attacked lesbians or dishonored them the way gay men are continually symbolically annihilated. Yet while gay men were dying of AIDs and some lesbians were helping them as nurses, misandrists changed GLBT to LGBT.
Shir Tikvah’s non-straight congregants fall mostly into the feminine category—I would say this group is now the ones to be defensive and apologetic for their misandry.
I have spoken about why the word gay needs to mean just men there and felt mocked and discarded by the feminine souls listening.
When King David is our symbol and he said he loves Jonathan more than any woman?
This whole thing smells off and if it is some sort of man hating or anti gay agenda I will find out and there will be justice.
I will not allow this disrespect of Rabbi Latz, you can’t even say what he did?
Class action congregation-wide lawsuit could be in order.
My cousin is the president of Temple Israel and his step dad runs the top 20 law firm in America.
Rabbi Latz is a hero.
The executives must apologize—it is they who must repent.
Rabbi Latz taught me self respect in my worst days ten years ago when he was in the paper with his family after gay marriage was legalized. He gave me faith when I had none.
He made me feel safe these last four years when no one else did.
Let him rest but don’t send him off like this—the board is letting their evil inclination win obviously. Evil crouches at the doors…of Shir Tikvah.
Rabbi Latz has contributed and healed the world from the damage that Judaism itself sewed with the proven forged lies against manlove in Torah.
Rabbi Latz is karmically one of the only good things Judaism has going for us.
The board will apologize and repent or they will loose the whole congregation and a lot of money.