Rabbis Go Good Cop, Bad Cop to Enforce Paying Synagogue Dues

Rabbis Go Good Cop, Bad Cop to Enforce Paying Synagogue Dues

Haley Abramson Junior, John Burroughs School

Editor’s note: This month’s teen page stories are intended solely as parody in the spirit of a Purim spiel and should not be taken as fact.

On a chilly winter morning this past Sunday, Rabbi Aviv and assistant Rabbi Goldberg of B’nai Shalom instructed children at religious school to stay inside during carpool. Unsuspecting parents came into the synagogue to pick up their children in the classrooms, but were drawn into Rabbi Aviv’s office by a welcoming sign that read, “FREE BAGELS.” There, the two rabbis used the common “good cop, bad cop” method to pressure congregants into paying synagogue dues.

“The sign mentioned nothing about lox, but I followed the arrows pointing to the rabbi’s office anyway. Little did I know [the rabbis] would interrogate me like that,” said Sarah Greenfield, a parent who witnessed first-hand the rabbi’s new tactic of pressuring members. 

Shortly after Greenfield’s interview, the synagogue’s policeman entered and wrapped her in a blanket to comfort the shock she inevitably experienced. Eighteen other stunned guardians sporting blue blankets shrunk into chairs in the front lobby. 

“When I got into the room, Rabbi Goldberg shut the door and turned on a bright lamp shining right in my eyes,” said Jeremy Levin, 17, who went to pick up his little brother at religious school. “Then he got really close to my face, and he told me I had something he wanted and would do anything to get. Luckily Rabbi Aviv nudged him away and politely asked for money.”

Although they released Jeremy after learning his parents, not him, paid the dues, others remained in the office until they wrote checks for great sums of money. The delay upset the children, as well.

“Mommy was late. I don’t want to stay at Sunday school any more, and I’m hungry,” Becca, 6, a religious school attendee who refused to release her last name, said of the situation.

One brave mother, Leah Bloomstein, broke up the interrogations by warning others who walked by and informing the residential policeman of the frightening event.

“The important thing is that we are all safe now,” Bloomstein said.

Punishment for the rabbis has yet to be determined, but they provided free bagels for all as an apology after getting caught.