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Thursday, December 18, 2014

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Rabbi, shul reach settlement in dismissal suit

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Shaar Shalom Synagogue

TORONTO — Rabbi Martin Berman and Shaar Shalom Synagogue have reached a settlement of the wrongful dismissal lawsuit he launched against the Thornhill congregation in January.

Neither the rabbi nor the congregation would discuss details of the settlement.

Rabbi Berman, 63, has led the congregation since 1994. He was informed in October that the shul’s board of governors and executive had decided not to renew his contract. He will remain spiritual leader of the congregation until his contract expires July 17.

Rabbi Berman had alleged wrongful dismissal and violation of his rights under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The rabbi told The CJN that the terms of the settlement, which was finalized outside of court last month, prevent him from discussing it, but that he would continue working full time and will be on vacation as of mid-May.

However, he will be at the shul for “a couple of celebrations” that take place on Shabbat, he added.

Shaar Shalom president Janice Shachter said the settlement was a “fair” one in terms of Ontario labour law and precedents, and that it was “roughly within” the shul’s original offer.

“We’re at a healing place” now, she said. “We’re all very pleased that it came to such a fast conclusion.”

The shul is in the process of looking for a new rabbi. “We have some good candidates that we are conducting second interviews with,” Shachter said


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