Johannesburg, South Africa – Amid a growing scandal, Rabbi Lewis Furman of Johannesburg, who was also a family counsellor and international speaker , is believed to have left South Africa for Israel where he is undergoing “rehabilitation”. Allegations of improper conduct concerning Rabbi Furman were recently, and for the first time, brought to the attention of the office of the chief rabbi.
“The matter received swift and urgent attention, and after due hearing, and in consultation with senior members of the … Rabbinate, including his employers, he was requested to immediately resign from his congregational position, which he did.”
“It was also agreed that he will not hold any further position in the South African Rabbinate.”
A source close to the chief rabbi said Furman’s behaviour was “not criminal” and the Rabbinate’s comments were constrained by the Jewish prohibition on gossip, loshan hara. Literally translated, it means “evil tongue” .
But outraged members of the Jewish community, speaking on condition of anonymity, have accused the Rabbinate of “sweeping the matter under the carpet” and failing to be “transparent” about it.
Rabbi Fruman is the founder of Ohr Somayach, an influential teaching academy and outreach organisation, which now has campuses in Israel, the US, Canada, the UK and Australia. .
Furman lectured extensively in all five countries and was a frequent guest on radio and television. [Sundaytimes]