(Cantor / Hazzen)
(1949) Lima, Peru
(1955 - 1959) Telzer Yeshiva (High School) - Cleveland, OH
(1966 - 1968) Yeshiva University (Cantorial School) - New York, NY
(1966 - 1968) MBA in International Marketing - City University of New York - NY, NY
(2002 - 2006) Jewish Theological Seminary (Rabbinical School) - New York, NY
President, Zionist Federation of Peru - Peru
Cantor, Religious Affairs Director and Bar Mitzvah Instructor - Peru
Bakery Business, Israel
(1990) Toronto, Canada
(1968 - 2006) Former Member - Cantor Assembly (CA)
(1990 - 1992) Former Cantor, Shaar Shalom - Thornhill, Canada
(1994 - Present) Cantor, Beth Tzedec - Toronto, Canada
(2006) Spiritual Director, Camp Ramah - Utterson, Ontario, Canada
(2006 - 2007) Former Member - Rabbinical Assembly (RA)
(2006 - 2008) Rabbi, Beth Tzedec - Toronto, Canada
(2008 - Present) Rabbi, B'nai Shalom North Congregation - Toronto, Canada
Early in 2007, the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) and the Cantor Assembly (CA) organized a tribunal headed by Rabbi Harold Kravitz of Adath Jeshurun Synagogue (Minnetonka, MN), to hold a hearing in Toronto as part of the investigation of the allegations. Beth Tzedic synagogue also conducted its own internal investigation, yet the results of that investigation were never been made public.
Upon hearing of the intention of the RA and the CA to come to Toronto to investigate the allegations, Rabbi Gabriel resigned from both organizations and is no longer a member of either. As past policy, upon Gabriel's resignation the tribunal cancelled its investigation.
June, 2007 - Rabbi Gabriel attempts to re-applied for admission to the Rabbinical Assembly and the Cantor Assembly, He was informed that he could not be re-admitted without them first completing their investigation.
October, 2007 - An out-of-c ourt settlemen was reached between Rabbi Tobias Gabriel, Beth Tzedec Synagogue and the two women who state they were sexually victimized. Neighter Gabriel or Beth Tzedec made admission of fault or liability in the settlement.
March 21, 2008 - According to an e-mail sent by Herbert S. Garten,Esq. - Counsel to Cantors Assembly, Inc., Tobias Gabriel is no longer considered a member.
If you or anyone you know feel they have been sexually manipulated or victimized by Rabbi Gabriel please contact The Awareness Center immediately: 443-857-5560.
Table of Contents:
- Background Information (06/16/2007)
- Beth Tzedec cantor is ordained as rabbi at age 62 (02/02/2007)
- Rabbi Tobias Gabriel (06/16/2007)
- Looking for more survivors of Rabbi Tobias Gabriel (08/29/2007)
- Rabbi, synagogue sued over seduction scandal (08/29/2007)
- Woman sues rabbi over alleged brief affair: Bathurst Synagogue (08/30/2007)
- Forest Hill synagogue, rabbi sued for sexual misconduct (08/30/2007)
- Richmond Hill woman suing Toronto synagogue (08/30/2007)
- Toronto Congregation Rocked by Allegation That Rabbi Had Illicit Affair (09/05/2007)
- Update: Case of Rabbi Tobias Gabriel (09/06/2007)
- Synagogue settles sex lawsuits (10/17/2007)
- Accuser settles out of court with rabbi, synagogue (10/17/2007)
- Synagogue settles sex suit (10/18/2007)
- Settlement reached in case of alleged sexual misconduct (10/24/2007)
- Rabbi Tobias Gabriel Expelled from the Cantors Assembly (03/21/2008)
- Tobias Gabriel on Linkedin (01/06/2012)
The Awareness Center - June 16, 2007
Rabbi Tobias Gabriel has been accused by more then one woman of clergy sexual abuse /professional sexual misconduct.
Early in 2007, the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) and the Cantor Assembly (CA) organized a tribunal headed by Rabbi Harold Kravitz of Adath Jeshurun Synagogue (Minnetonka, MN), to hold a hearing in Toronto as part of the investigation of the allegations.
Beth Tzedic synagogue has also conducted its own internal investigation, yet the results of that investigation have never been made public.
Upon hearing of the intention of the RA and the CA to come to Toronto to investigate the allegations, Rabbi Gabriel resigned from both organizations and is no longer a member of either. As past policy, upon Gabriel's resignation the tribunal cancelled its investigation.
Recently Rabbi Gabriel re-applied for admission to the Rabbinical Assembly and the Cantor Assembly . He was informed that he could not be re-admitted without them first completing their investigation. They are now scheduled to hold meetings in Toronto this coming August.
If you or anyone you know feel they have been sexually manipulated or victimized by Rabbi Gabriel please contact The Awareness Center immediately!
By RANCES KRAFT, Staff Reporter
Canadian Jewish News - February 2, 2006 (6 Shevat, 5766)
Congregants at Beth Tzedec Congregation are still getting used to referring to their chazzan sheni as Rabbi Gabriel, instead of the more familiar "Cantor Gabriel."
Rabbi Tobias (Tobi) Gabriel was ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary on Dec. 15, an accomplishment all the more impressive for the fact that he kept up with full-time synagogue duties while commuting by plane twice a week to classes in New York, just over 800 km away. Not to mention that, at age 62, the father of three and grandfather of seven is decades older than most of the students in his graduating class.
The new rabbi said there were a number of factors involved in his decision to enter rabbinical school, including "a thirst for learning," but above all he sees it as professional development.
"When you're building community and you are in a clergy capacity, you owe it to yourself to get as much knowledge as possible."
In a way, he is also returning to his roots. A native of La Paz, Bolivia, Rabbi Gabriel was raised in an Orthodox home in a small, tightly knit Jewish community by German immigrant parents who fled Europe in 1938. As a young teenager, his parents sent him from Peru (where they moved when he was 7) to New York to get a Jewish high school education.
A graduate of Yeshiva University where he attended cantorial school and also took some classes in the rabbinical school, Rabbi Gabriel distanced himself shortly afterward from an Orthodoxy that he felt left little room for questioning. "I found my niche in Conservative Judaism, which allowed me to learn and to query...in an an environment where I was still able to follow the halachic tradition."
He earned his MBA in International Marketing at the City University of New York in 1968 and embarked on a business career that took him and his family to Mexico, Peru and Israel before they immigrated to Toronto in 1990. A constant thread, however, was their involvement in local Jewish communities.
In Lima, Rabbi Gabriel served as president of the Zionist Federation of Peru for two years, and – in the absence of an Ashkenazi rabbi for almost 12 years – led services and served as cantor, religious affairs director and bar mitzvah instructor.
Following his arrival in Canada, he was involved in Shaar Shalom Congregation in Thornhill, volunteering as cantor, Torah reader and ritual committee member until he left the business world and took on the position at Beth Tzedec in 1994.
He credits family – Sara, his wife of 41 years, and their children – as well as Beth Tzedec congregants, friends and colleagues at the synagogue for making his studies possible, including scholarship funding from the synagogue and the donation of air miles by congregants.
Although it took "a bit of imagination and hard work" to convince JTS to accept him as a student while he was holding a full-time job, faculty members ended up being very supportive, he said.
Technology also "helped quite a bit," he added, referring to distance courses included in his curriculum and also his ability to use the Internet for research.
But his schedule was "brutal, to say the least," he said of the two-year endeavour. Although he was exempt from some courses because of his experience and background, he was considered a full-time student with courses two half-days a week, some distance courses, and a full-time intensive course load over his four-week summer vacation.
"There were a lot of sleepless nights and weekends," said Rabbi Gabriel. Occasionally, he noted, if a flight was delayed by weather, his colleagues at Beth Tzedec would cover for him. Likewise, faculty members at JTS were "very understanding" if he was snowed in and arrived late to class. If he couldn't make it at all, someone would tape the classes for him.
While he will maintain his ongoing duties at Beth Tzedec, where the clergy includes three other rabbis, "the congregation will dictate" any new directions Rabbi Gabriel may take in the synagogue. He will also become involved with Camp Ramah in his new capacity as a rabbi.
"It was hard going back to school," he admitted. "But I adapted rather quickly... I always loved doing research."
No matter what stage of life you're in, he said, "if you want to go for professional development, you can do it." The right attitude, time management, and "a little help from friends" ease the way, he added.
If you or someone you know has been sexually manipulated by Rabbi Gabriel please contact The Awareness Center immediately
By Sandro Contenta
Toronto Star - August 29, 2007
Woman who claims cleric pressured her into a sexual relationship wants $1.3M in compensation
A woman claiming she was coerced into a sexual relationship by a rabbi is suing the rabbi and a prominent Toronto synagogue for $1.3 million.
Richmond Hill resident (NAME REMOVED), is suing Rabbi Tobias Gabriel and the Beth Tzedec Synagogue for breach of fiduciary duty and the pain and suffering she claims the relationship caused her and her marriage.
The lawsuit highlights an issue that has pushed some religious institutions into writing codes of conduct that govern relationships between clergy and members of their congregations.
(NAME REMOVED) position is the rabbi abused the trust of a deeply religious woman, according to her lawyer Simona Jellinek.
Gabriel responded to a Toronto Star request for an interview by calling the allegations "groundless" and refusing further comment. His lawyer, Alf Kwinter, stressed none of the allegations have been proven in court. "He's going to vigorously defend this lawsuit," he added.
Kwinter described Gabriel's 13 years of service at the synagogue as "outstanding" and "exemplary." Beth Tzedec's website describes Gabriel as happily married.
The incident rocked the congregation Monday when a letter was sent to the synagogue's 6,000 members, three days after the Toronto Star made repeated requests to Beth Tzedec authorities for comment.
"Unfortunately, there is little doubt that the impropriety occurred," wrote Shep Gangbar, president of the Beth Tzedec Congregation, who called the situation "distressing."
While the synagogue "strongly affirms that such actions are improper and wrong," it is not legally liable for the actions of Gabriel, the letter states. "Beth Tzedec has never condoned or tolerated such behaviour and will never do so."
Beth Tzedec is prepared to provide financial compensation to (NAME REMOVED), the synagogue's lawyer, Michael Royce, said yesterday.
Gabriel, who was hired as a cantor by Beth Tzedec, has accepted an agreement with the synagogue that will see him resign at the end of the year, Kwinter said. He will be paid until then, he added.
Gabriel, who is not the synagogue's chief rabbi, has been suspended and will no longer work at Beth Tzedec, Royce said.
This week, representatives of the New York-based Rabbinical Association, of which Gabriel was a member when the incidents are said to have occurred, will come to the synagogue to investigate the claims. The group runs the cantor classes Gabriel taught in the synagogue.
Beth Tzedec, in the affluent Forest Hill neighbourhood, practises the Conservative stream of Judaism. One of the country's largest synagogues, it was recently the site of Ed Mirvish's funeral.
In July 2006, (NAME REMOVED) was the only female in Gabriel's class for student cantors at the Bathurst St. synagogue when Gabriel became "friendly and flirtatious," according to a statement of claim filed by (NAME REMOVED) and her husband (NAME REMOVED) at Ontario's Superior Court last month.
Gabriel kissed (NAME REMOVED) in his office at the end of the course after she gave him "a small token of appreciation," the statement alleges. She "fled" the office "confused and shaken," the statement adds.
Gabriel then called her repeatedly while she vacationed in Israel, the statement alleges. It claims he "pressured" her into seeing him when she returned.
When they met, "Rabbi Gabriel began to kiss (NAME REMOVED) and told her that he will take responsibility and that it would not be wrong to be intimate with him," the statement claims. He told (NAME REMOVED) "it is acceptable that she love two men," it alleges. The claim also alleges the relationship progressed to sexual intercourse.
"Did he use violence and rape her? No, he did not," Jellinek said. (NAME REMOVED)'s husband, who learned of the relationship last September, is claiming $100,000 for the damage it caused to his marriage.
The claim alleges the synagogue knew that Gabriel "had previously engaged in sexual relations with another married woman who was attending the Beth Tzedec Synagogue while she was grieving the loss of one of her parents."
The statement of claim says (NAME REMOVED) relied on Gabriel as "an authority figure to give advice to her, to guide her and to protect her from harm."
"Gabriel knew or ought to have known that (NAME REMOVED) would follow his instructions without resistance," it says. "Gabriel knew or ought to have known that he had (NAME REMOVED)'s absolute trust in all regards and that she would obey Gabriel's instructions and follow his advice in all matters."
(NAME REMOVED) refused to comment when contacted by the Star. Her husband, (NAME REMOVED) said: "There's been incredible grief and publicity would only cause more."
The experience continues to cause (NAME REMOVED) "physical and mental stress," including "inability to trust others ... suicidal behaviour ... sexual dysfunction ... (and) marital discord and breakdown," the statement of claim says. It calls the alleged incident a "sexual assault."
The synagogue does not have a written policy governing conduct between employees and members of the congregation. But the New York-based Rabbinical Association strictly forbids sexual relationships, Royce said.
Kwinter accused Beth Tzedec of convicting Gabriel although none of the allegations have been proven.
"We're not talking about young children. ... Nothing here is alleged to be illegal," Kwinter said. "The allegations are being made against adults."
Rabbi Michal Shekel, executive director of the Toronto Board of Rabbis, would not comment on the case but noted that adultery contravenes one of the Ten Commandments.
More modern concerns about the power a cleric may have over a member of the congregation, particularly one seeking counselling, has resulted in different branches of Judaism “ Reform, Conservative and Orthodox “ writing codes of conduct, Shekel said.
In the United States, windows are being added to rabbis' offices when old synagogues are redesigned. It allows for privacy while ensuring that others can witness the meeting, Shekel added.
In a teacher-student relationship, concerns are similar to those in universities, where a teacher has power over whether a student makes the grade, Shekel said.
In the Anglican church, it used to be common for a young cleric to fall in love with, or marry, a parishioner, said Archdeacon Peter Fenty, executive assistant to the Anglican Bishop of Toronto.
But recent reforms, including a "Sexual Misconduct Policy" for staff and volunteers adopted by the General Synod in 2005, resulted in the Toronto diocese banning romantic relationships between a cleric and a parishioner, Fenty said.
When that happens, the parishioner is asked to seek another parish. It avoids embroiling the parish into conflict that may arise if the relationship breaks down, and preserves the integrity of the pastoral relationship, Fenty added.
"When are you the person's priest and when are you the person's lover? It is in the interest of the cleric, the parishioner and the church community that there be clarity," Fenty said.
Rabbi Reuven Tradburks, president of the Toronto-based Council of Orthodox Rabbis, said his Judaic movement prohibits any man or woman being alone together in a room unless they're married or closely related.
Single rabbis are permitted to date and marry members of their congregations but sex is the reserve of married couples, Tradburks added.
People who go to rabbis for wisdom and guidance have a right to expect high ethical and moral standards from representatives of the Torah, Tradburks said.
"People will say, `Well, if a rabbi can behave that way, who needs the whole religion; it must not be worth much if he can act like that,'" he said.
"I'm a person like anyone else and I have my failings, but that's an expectation people have a right to make: a rabbi should do things differently," he added.
National Post - August 30, 2007
A Richmond Hill woman who is suing a Forest Hill rabbi for allegedly manipulating her into a sexual relationship hopes to settle the case out of court, her lawyer says.
(NAME REMOVED), alleges Rabbi Tobias Gabriel and the Beth Tzedec Synagogue, on Bathurst Street, breached their fiduciary duty leading up to and during a two-or three-month affair in which she claims she was "subjected to heinous sexual and emotional assaults" at the hands of her rabbi, Mr. Gabriel. She blames Beth Tzedec for allowing the relationship to start and continue and is claiming $1.3-million in damages.
Her husband, (NAME REMOVED), is claiming $100,000 for the damage to his marriage.
Beth Tzedec sent a letter to its 6,000 members this week informing them of the lawsuit and stating that the synagogue would no longer employ Rabbi Gabriel.
"It's a tragic situation for all concerned," Michael Royce, the synagogue's lawyer, said yesterday. He said Beth Tzedec only became aware of the alleged affair after the fact, when Ms. (NAME REMOVED) issued a complaint late last year.
Mr. Gabriel agreed then to resign by the end of this year. He has since been suspended from his duties, but will be paid until the end of the year, according to his lawyer.
Alf Kwinter said his client intends to "strongly challenge these allegations" and criticized the synagogue for issuing the letter to the congregation. He noted that when the complaint first surfaced, Beth Tzedec chose not to suspend Rabbi Gabriel.
Mr. Kwinter said his client has served the Beth Tzedec congregation in an "exemplary manner" for 13 years.
Ms. (NAME REMOVED), a devout Jew, began studying to become a cantor under Rabbi Gabriel in July, 2006, according to a statement of claim filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The rabbi was "friendly and flirtatious," it is alleged, and when Ms. (NAME REMOVED) gave him a token of her appreciation at the end of the course, he "closed the door of his office and kissed (NAME REMOVED)."
Ms. (NAME REMOVED) fled, shaken and confused, the statement claims.
Ms. (NAME REMOVED) claims that over the next few months, Rabbi Gabriel "kept almost constant contact" with her, convinced her that it is acceptable to love two men and that "it would not be wrong to be intimate with him." They eventually had sexual intercourse. Ms. (NAME REMOVED) describes it all as a "sexual assault" because she did not consent to it.
None of the allegations has been proven in court.
"When you've got a fiduciary relationship it is, in most situations, impossible for somebody to give consent because there are very, very unequal bargaining powers between the two," her lawyer, Simona Jellinek, said yesterday in an interview. The rabbi abused his position of trust, she alleged, adding that the ordeal has shaken the foundations of her client's marriage and her faith.
Ms. (NAME REMOVED) also alleged the synagogue had prior knowledge of another sexual relationship the married rabbi had with another married woman, an allegation refuted by Beth Tzedec's lawyer.
Mr. Royce said Beth Tzedec is anxious to sit down with Ms. (NAME REMOVED) and her husband "to hear what they have to say," but he has advised his client that they bear no legal responsibility for any impropriety because they were unaware of it while it was occurring.
Forest Hill synagogue, rabbi sued for sexual misconduct
Inside Toronto - August 30, 2007
A congregant of Forest Hill's Beth Tzedec Synagogue is suing her place of worship and Rabbi Tobias Gabriel for $1.3 million, alleging the rabbi coerced her into a sexual relationship.
The suit, launched by (NAME REMOVED), claims that Gabriel told (NAME REMOVED) that it "would not be wrong to be intimate with him," spelling out an alleged breach of trust from a man in a position of religious power. The claim goes on to say that the rabbi "knew or ought to have known that he had (NAME REMOVED) absolute trust in all regards and that she would obey Gabriel's instructions and follow his advice in all matters."
The allegations have not been proven in court.
The 52-year-old (NAME REMOVED) is married, as is the rabbi.
Gabriel's lawyer, Alf Kwinter, said the rabbi will challenge the charges in court. Kwinter cited Gabriel's 13 years working with the Beth Tzedec organization.
"You don't stay at one of the foremost synagogues in the world for that long if you don't do exemplary work," Kwinter said. "There are an awful lot of allegations in the statement of claim, and they're all subject to proof. Anyone can put anything they want in a statement of claim."
Beth Tzedec Congregation president Shep Gangbar sent a letter to synagogue members, in which he claims that, "There is little doubt that the impropriety occurred." Kwinter said the letter was "ill-conceived" and said that he and his client were shocked and disappointed that it was sent before any of the charges laid against Gabriel were heard in court.
"The letter convicts him without any kind of hearing," he said.
Kwinter added that Gabriel has reached an agreement with the synagogue in which he will no longer perform services at Beth Tzedec, but "he will continue to be paid for a certain period of time."
Calls to the synagogue and its lawyer, Michael Royce, were not returned as of press time Thursday.
Richmond Hill woman suing Toronto synagogue
By Michael Power
York Region - August 30, 2007
lawsuit against Beth Tzedec Synagogue is for "negligence, vicarious liability, breach of duty of care and fiduciary duty owed to the plaintiffs," says the statement of claim.
A Richmond Hill woman is suing a rabbi and a Toronto synagogue, claiming he manipulated her into a sexual relationship.
(NAME REMOVED), 52, is suing Rabbi Tobias Gabriel and the Beth Tzedec Synagogue for breach of fiduciary duty in the relationship, a situation that saw the rabbi "satisfying his own sexual needs to the detriment of (Ms Nadler)," according to her lawyer, Simona Jellinek.
(NAME REMOVED) is suing for $300,000 for pain and suffering, $500,000 for special damages, $250,000 for aggravated damages and another $250,000 for punitive damages for a total of $1.3 million.
The synagogue failed to properly screen Mr. Gabriel as an employee and breached its fiduciary duty "to ensure that Gabriel would not take advantage of Yona for his own sexual gratification," the statement of claim continued.
Her husband (NAME REMOVED) is also asking damages of $100,000.
Mr. Gabriel's lawyer, Alf Kwinter has stated his client plans to vigorously defend against the allegations. Mr Gabriel has called the allegations "groundless."
None of the claims against either Mr. Gabriel or the synagogue have been proven in court.
Toronto Congregation Rocked by Allegation That Rabbi Had Illicit Affair
By Sheldon Gordon
Forward - September 05, 2007
(NAME REMOVED), 52, brought the suit last month in Ontario Superior Court against Rabbi Tobias Gabriel and Beth Tzedec Congregation for breach of fiduciary duty and for the pain and suffering that the alleged sexual relationship caused her and her marriage.
(NAME REMOVED) is alleging that the synagogue failed to properly screen Gabriel as an employee and that it breached its fiduciary duty “to ensure that Gabriel would not take advantage of (NAME REMOVED) for his own sexual gratification.” The allegations have not been proven in court.
With 6,000 members, Beth Tzedec is Toronto’s leading Conservative congregation. Its membership includes much of Canadian Jewry’s professional and business elite. Gabriel was, until recently, one of five rabbis employed by the synagogue.
He has dismissed the allegations as “groundless,” and his lawyer insisted the rabbi will challenge them vigorously in court. In a letter sent last week, however, the congregation’s president told members that “the impropriety” likely occurred, but maintained that Beth Tzedec neither condoned the behavior nor bore legal liability for it.
The plaintiff’s statement of claim alleges that the synagogue had known that Gabriel “previously engaged in sexual relations with another married woman who was attending the Beth Tzedec Synagogue while she was grieving the loss of one of her parents.”
Gabriel, who was hired by the synagogue 13 years ago and is described on its Web site as “happily married,” has “resigned” from Beth Tzedec, according to his lawyer, Alf Kwinter.
“He was not dismissed,” Kwinter emphasized.
Both (NAME REMOVED) and Gabriel declined to be interviewed for this article.
Last week, a joint delegation from the Rabbinical Assembly, which is the international association of Conservative rabbis, and the Cantors Assembly, the world’s largest cantors’ organization, came to Toronto to meet with the parties involved and to conduct an investigation. At press time, their findings were not yet released.
The R.A. has a “zero tolerance” policy toward rabbinical impropriety, said its executive vice president, Rabbi Joel Meyers, “but the goal is not always to just say, ‘Sorry, you’re finished.’ As rabbis, we absolutely believe that teshuvah [repentance] is possible. The question is whether there is a commitment to changed behavior.”
According to the statement of claim, in July 2006, (NAME REMOVED) who was not a member of Beth Tzedec, was enrolled in a course for student cantors at the synagogue. She was the sole woman in the class given by Gabriel, and, according to a statement she has filed with the court, he became “friendly and flirtatious.” The rabbi kissed her in his office at the end of the course after she had given him “a small token of appreciation,” her statement of claim says. She then “fled” the office, “confused and shaken.”
The statement of claim alleges that the rabbi then phoned (NAME REMOVED) repeatedly while she was on a visit to Israel. He “pressured” her into seeing him when she returned. When they met, “Rabbi Gabriel began to kiss (NAME REMOVED) and told her that he will take responsibility and that it would not be wrong to be intimate with him,” according to the statement of claim. He told her that “it is acceptable that she love two men.” The statement of claim alleges that the relationship progressed to sexual intercourse.
When asked if Gabriel acknowledges that a sexual relationship occurred, his lawyer replied: “Absolutely not. He has acknowledged nothing.” Statements of defense from the rabbi and the congregation are not yet due to be filed.
In his letter to congregants, Beth Tzedec president Shep Gangbar wrote, “Unfortunately, there is little doubt that the impropriety occurred.” While the synagogue “strongly affirms that such actions are improper and wrong,” it is not legally liable for the rabbi’s actions, the letter said. “Beth Tzedec has never condoned or tolerated such behavior and will never do so,” it stated. Gangbar and other synagogue officials declined interview requests.
But (NAME REMOVED) is arguing that the synagogue is far from blameless in the matter. Her lawyer, Simona Jellinek, told the Forward that if the lawsuit goes to trial, she can elicit testimony from another married woman who “many years ago” was also seduced by Gabriel while he was employed by the synagogue. “Beth Tzedec was well aware of what was happening, and they failed to put an end to it. Our case against the synagogue for negligence is very strong,” she said.
Jellinek said that her client’s emotional state is “very, very poor.” (NAME REMOVED) and her husband, who is suing the defendants for $90,000, have gone for counseling, “but whether or not their marriage will survive is unclear,” the lawyer said.
Gabriel was born in Bolivia to parents who had fled Nazi Germany. He has lived in the United States, Peru, Mexico, Israel and, since 1990, Canada. A graduate of Yeshiva University’s Cantorial School, he was hired as a cantor by Beth Tzedec in 1994 and was ordained as a rabbi at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2006 at the age of 62. He and his wife, Sara, have been married for 31 years and they have two married sons and a daughter.
The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter - September 6, 2007
Rabbi Gabriel was accused by more then one woman of clergy sexual abuse / professional sexual misconduct.
Last night (September 5, 2007) the Vaad Hakavoad of the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) and the Cantor Assembly (CA) decided to recommend the expulsion of Rabbi Tobias Gabriel from both organizations. We are now waiting for the executive committee of the RA to make a final decision.
By Sandro Contenta
Toronto Star - October 17, 2007
Two women accusing a rabbi of sexual misconduct have agreed to an out-of-court settlement with the rabbi and a prominent Toronto synagogue, their lawyer says.
The defendants in the case – Rabbi Tobias Gabriel and Beth Tzedec Synagogue – make no admission of fault or liability in the settlement, Simona Jellinek, the women's lawyer, said yesterday.
Negotiations began after Richmond Hill resident (NAME REMMOVED), 52, filed a statement of claim in Ontario Superior Court last July, alleging she was coerced into a sexual relationship by Gabriel a year earlier.
Her lawsuit demanded $1.3 million from Gabriel and Beth Tzedec for breach of fiduciary duty and the pain and suffering she claims the relationship caused her and her marriage. The rabbi was accused of abusing the trust of a deeply religious woman.
Gabriel, who spent 13 years working at the synagogue, was Beth Tzedec's cantor at the time of (NAME REMOVED)'s alleged incident. He has rejected her claims as "groundless," and his lawyer has defended his work as "exemplary." He was suspended with pay until the end of the year, when he'll officially resign.
The allegations rocked the congregation when the Bathurst St. synagogue sent a letter to its 6,000 members last August stating that "the impropriety (had) occurred."
A second woman came forward with allegations similar to (NAME REMOVED)'s after the Star published a story about (NAME REMOVED)'s claim.
Jellinek said the second woman, who lives in Toronto and is in her early 50s, was mentioned but not named in (NAME REMOVED)'s statement of claim. The Toronto woman was married and became sexually involved with Gabriel "while she was grieving the loss of one of her parents," according to the statement.
Beth Tzedec officials knew of Gabriel's relationship with the Toronto woman before he became involved with (NAME REMOVED), the statement of claim says.
Asked if the women received financial compensation as part of the settlement, Jellinek said the agreement prevents her from revealing such details. "Everybody knows there's going to be money exchanged, but I can't tell you that that is in fact true," she said.
Beth Tzedec's lawyer, Michael Royce, told the Star in August that the synagogue was prepared to compensate (NAME REMOVED) financially. Royce was not available for comment yesterday.
Jellinek described (NAME REMOVED) and her husband as somewhat relieved by the settlement, but added: "It's going to take them a while to rebuild their marriage."
The New York-based Rabbinical Assembly, a world-wide association of conservative rabbis, is expected to bar Gabriel from membership at a meeting later this month, Jellinek said. That would make it difficult for him to get a job as a rabbi or cantor in North America, she added.
(NAME REMOVED) alleged she was pressured into a sexual relationship with Gabriel while she was the only female student in his class for cantors at the synagogue in July 2006.
Beth Tzedec recently said it would implement a code of conduct for its clergy, Jellinek said.
York Region - October 17, 2007
A Richmond Hill woman who accused a rabbi of sexual misconduct has agreed to settle out of court with him and the prominent Toronto synagogue where he worked.
The woman, (NAME REMOVED), had filed a statement of claim against Rabbi Tobias Gabriel and Beth Tzedec Synagogue on Bathurst Street last July.
In the settlement, neither party made any admission of fault or liability, said Ms (NAME REMOVED) lawyer Simona Jellinek.
In her statement of claim, Mrs. (NAME REMOVED), 52, alleged she was coerced into a sexual relationship a year earlier by Mr. Gabriel.
Mr Gabriel, who has rejected the claims as “groundless”, will resign from the synagogue at the end of the year. Mr. Gabriel’s lawyer has said his client’s work with the synagogue has been “exemplary”.
According to the statement of claim filed against Mr. Gabriel and the synagogue, Mr. Gabriel became “friendly and flirtatious” with (NAME REMOVED) while she was the only female student during a 2005 course for ritual directors at the synagogue. Mr. Gabriel was then acting as one of her technical instructors, the statement of claim alleges.
The relationship progressed to a sexual one, according to the statement of claim. Mrs. (NAME REMOVED) husband, (NAME REMOVED), learned of the relationship in September 2006, the document says.
In an interview with the Toronto Star, Ms Jellinek would not reveal whether (NAME REMOVED) — along with a Toronto woman who made similar claims against Mr. Gabriel and the synagogue — received financial compensation in the settlement, as the agreement prevents her from revealing such details.
But she did say it would take some time for (NAME REMOVED) and her husband to rebuild their marriage.
Durham Region - October 18, 2007
A Midtown Toronto synagogue has settled out of court with two women who accused a rabbi at the place of worship of sexual misconduct.
One of the accusers, 52-year-old (NAME REMOVED), said Beth Tzedec Synagogue Rabbi Tobias Gabriel coerced her into a sexual relationship, telling her it "would not be wrong to be intimate with him" while she was a student of his in July 2006. Her lawsuit also stated that her faith made her vulnerable to manipulation from someone in a position of religious power such as Gabriel.
Both (NAME REMOVED) and the rabbi were married at the time of the alleged sexual misconduct.
A second accuser surfaced with similar allegations after (NAME REMOVED) claim went public.
The allegations were shocking, given the Forest Hill synagogue's reputation and prestige.
(NAME REMOVED) filed a lawsuit for $1.3 million in late July, and Beth Tzedec Congregation president Shep Gangbar sent a letter to the synagogue's 6,000 members shortly thereafter in which he started that there was "little doubt that the impropriety occurred."
Beth Tzedec Synagogue and Gabriel settled with the accusers, though the settlement does not include any admission of liability or fault. The restitution (NAME REMOVED) and the second, unnamed accuser received in the settlement was not released.
Settlement reached in case of alleged sexual misconduct
Canadian Jewish News - Thursday, 25 October 2007
TORONTO — Beth Tzedec Congregation and one of its rabbis have settled a lawsuit with two women who alleged improper sexual conduct on the part of the clergyman.
Details of the settlement were not released and neither Rabbi Tobias Gabriel nor the synagogue admitted fault or liability.
(NAME and Age Removed), had alleged that Rabbi Gabriel pressured her into a sexual relationship after participating in a program offered by the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly to train shamashim, synagogue beadles who serve as attendants, caretakers or custodians. The course was offered last summer at Beth Tzedec, and Rabbi Gabriel was one of the instructors. (NAME REMOVED) was the only woman in the program.
The second woman, who is unidentified, says she became sexually involved with Rabbi Gabriel while grieving the loss of one of her parents. She was mentioned, though not named, in (NAME REMOVED) statement of claim, which demanded $1.3 million from the rabbi and synagogue for breach of fiduciary duty and for pain and suffering.
In a letter to members distributed when the allegations were publicized, Beth Tzedec President Shep Gangbar referred to allegations of "impropriety and abuse" stemming from an "inappropriate relationship between Rabbi Gabriel and a married adult woman who is not a congregant... Unfortunately, there is little doubt that the impropriety occurred."
The letter went on to distance the synagogue from the allegations, saying "it is not liable for the actions of Rabbi Gabriel" and it noted that the rabbi would no longer be involved with the synagogue in any capacity.
In New York, meanwhile, the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative rabbis, was considering disciplining Rabbi Gabriel.
Subject: RE: Tobias Gabriel
From: Herbert S. Garten
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2008
This is to advise you that Tobias Gabriel is no longer a member of the Cantors Assembly, Inc. and that he will not be eligible for readmission at any time in the future.
Herbert S. Garten,Esq.
Counsel to Cantors Assembly,Inc.
Tobias Gabriel on Linkedin
Linkedin - January 6, 2013
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