In settlement of a lawsuit, an American rabbi, Chaim Seidler-Feller, has issued a public apology to Rachel Neuwirth over an incident that occurred at a UCLA Hillel event in 2003.
In a written statement headed "UCLA Hillel Rabbi Public Apology for Assault," the rabbi says that he is "deeply sorry that I hit, kicked and scratched you and called you a liar on October 21, 2003."
His "unprovoked actions," he writes, "contradicted the pluralism, peace and tolerance about which I so often preach. I also have violated the humanitarian teaching of Judaism regarding kindness and respect for others that I am bound to uphold."
The rabbi also expresses deep regret that, as a result of the incident, "various statements were made in the media which you feel mischaracterized the incident. I am accepting 100% responsibility for my actions on October 21, 2003. I had no right to do what I did."
The incident was cited in a December 4, 2003 article in The Jerusalem Post entitled "Rabbi has hearing for kicking journalist" and a December 5, 2003 article entitled "The return of poisoned discourse." The Post is happy to clarify that it has removed these two articles from its electronic archives and that it retracts those sections of those articles that inaccurately relate to the 2003 incident.
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