The Jewish Channel has learned that Rabbi Michael Broyde sent e-mails to the Atlanta Jewish community about an article that touted him as a leading candidate for the search for a new chief rabbi of England in 2012, an article that The Times of Israel now says was sourced, at least in part, to an alias connected to Broyde by a previous investigation by The Jewish Channel.
A new story at The Times of Israel reports that an alias that The Jewish Channel revealed as belonging to Rabbi Michael Broyde was used as a source to report on the goings-on in the search for a new chief rabbi of England.
The Times of Israel’s Miriam Shaviv reports the publication received 15 e-mails from someone identifying himself as “David Weissman.” The Jewish Channel previously reported that same name was used to comment positively on Broyde’s posts on the blog Hirhurim in April and July of 2012, with both Weissman comments coming from a Comcast subscriber IP address in Atlanta that The Jewish Channel confirmed matched with one used many times in Broyde’s signed correspondence, as well as on e-mails of an alias Broyde has admitting using, Rabbi Hershel Goldwasser. The Times of Israel piece does not contain any IP address information for the e-mails it received from the Weissman character, as those e-mails were sent from an account at Gmail, which does not include a sender’s IP address in e-mail metadata.
The Times of Israel repeatedly used the Weissman character as a source on articles regarding the search for England’s chief rabbi and quoted the e-mails for months, before becoming suspicious of the Weissman character and ceasing to cite his correspondence.
On August 9, 2012, Broyde sent one such article to the Atlanta Jewish community, warning “Stories like this come and go, and contain only some version of the truth — do not believe everything you read.”
The full text of the e-mail follows, with contact information redacted.
From: Michael J. Broyde
To: Michael Broyde
Sent: Thu, Aug 9, 2012 11:01 am
A few of you have emailed me to tell me that I am the subject of a story in the Times of Israel (http://www.timesofisrael.com/top-us-law-prof-and-dayan-emerges-as-frontrunner-for-british-chief-rabbi-broyde-soloveichik-sacks/ which is being widely shared on facebook (I do not yet have a facebook account). Thank you for alerting me.
Some have asked me how to respond even to media requests for comments, as you are almost without exception well known friends of mine. I can not tell you what to say or do, but I am not commenting at all, and I think that is the best approach for me now.
Stories like this come and go, and contain only some version of the truth — do not believe everything you read. In law school we say “average people believe all that they read, smart people believe only half, and brilliant people know which half to believe.” In this issue, I am at best only in the group of smart people.
All the best, and email me with thoughts as you think they can help.
Michael J. Broyde
Professor of Law
Emory University School of Law
Atlanta, GA 30322
V: XXXXX ; F: XXXXX; C: XXXX; E: XXXX@emory.edu .
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®