Chabad: Why we cut ties with emissary over his COVID stance

Regional Chabad director responds to dismissal of Westborough, Massachusetts emissary of nearly two decades.

Tags: Chabad
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

770"  International Chabad Center in Brooklyn
770"  International Chabad Center in Brooklyn
Nati Shohat/Flash 90

The regional director of the Chabad movement in central Massachusetts responded to the recent dismissal of a veteran Chabad emissary, explaining Chabad’s decision to cut ties with the rabbi over his comments on the coronavirus pandemic and mass vaccination efforts.

Rabbi Mendel Fogelman, the director of Chabad’s efforts in central Massachusetts, penned a brief letter responding to the dismissal of Rabbi Michoel Green as the movement’s representative in Westborough, Massachusetts.

In his letter, Rabbi Fogelman said Rabbi Green was removed as emissary after he ignored repeated warnings to stop using his position to publicly voice controversial opinions on the pandemic and the coronavirus vaccines.

“Unfortunately, Rabbi Green’s activities and statements are contrary to the organization’s mission and a direct conflict with the sacred task for which he was appointed. Some of his public pronouncements were extremely reckless and potentially dangerous, and he has repeatedly been hostile and offensive to those who did not agree with him,” wrote Rabbi Fogelman.

“Our organization is about lovingly reaching out to every Jew, and creating meaningful opportunities, like Jewish educational programming, for them to celebrate their heritage. No one has the right to swap that mission for their own personal pursuits, no matter how passionately they may feel about a particular topic.”

“We were hopeful that this could somehow be resolved and that we all would be able to return our energies to our communal responsibilities. Over time and especially after the rabbi received multiple warnings, it became clear that dismissal was our only choice. This was not an easy decision to make, nor was it taken lightly. We wish Rabbi Green and the entire Green family only the best going forward.”

Among the controversial comments made by Rabbi Green was a claim last week that the COVID vaccines are being used for a “mass sterilization effort”.

“It’s NOT immunization. It’s pathogenic priming & mass sterilization,” he wrote.

Despite his removal as official Chabad emissary, Rabbi Green remains in charge of the Chabad of Westboro synagogue, which is an independently incorporated house of worship.