Jewish Journal

A Blog, A Rabbi, Ashley Madison & a Miracle

by Ilana Angel

May 10, 2011 | 12:47 pm

For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, you know I have written several articles about the AshleyMadison.com website.  I interviewed its founder and CEO Noel Biderman, and even spoke with his wife in an attempt to understand how a site like this exists, is so popular, and more importantly, who is the man behind it all.

I wrote that I thought it was disgusting.  Mr. Biderman read the blog and let me know that I was clearly angry and bitter, and did not understand him or his site.  That email led to several more, a few conversations, and an invitation to come to Los Angeles and have an open discussion about infidelity and faith with a Rabbi.  And so the nightmare began.

JewishJournal.com was more than willing to sponsor an event as they thought it was provocative and interesting.  They have always allowed my voice to be heard.  By allowed of course I mean fought for me to able to speak my mind on a variety of topics, some not always kosher.  They reached out to several Rabbis in Los Angeles to join in the conversation.

Everyone that they invited said no.  They did not want to welcome Noel into their shul, or have their congregations involved in the conversation.  For me, it was embarrassing that the leaders of my faith were not willing to welcome Noel, himself a Jew, into their places of worship and stand on the side of God for what was right.  It angered me enough to take action.

I contacted Rabbi Mark Borovitz of Beit T’Shuva, which is both a temple and a recovery program.  He is a Rabbi with a past unlike any other, and when I asked him if he would talk to Noel, his response was fast and solid.  He told me, “Noel is welcome here”.  He was the only one to agree to the conversation, and I am happy to say that conversation is happening tonight.

I am proud of the Rabbi for saying yes, proud of Noel for sticking to his promise to come, proud of the Jewish Journal for helping to pull it all together, and proud of myself for not letting it go when people told me it was not going to happen.  This interesting and provocative discussion is not only happening, but being filmed.

The evening is by invitation only and is being filmed by a documentary film crew that is producing a film about adultery in the United States.  There are a few seats left, so if you live in Los Angeles and would like to attend, you can email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  It is going to be civil and decent, and at the same time I’m sure buttons will be pushed.

I can take criticism of my blog, but nobody can tell me that in the off chance I happen to find my beshert, he is guaranteed to cheat on me, and should I share the sorrow with God, he will not care.  I like Noel Biderman.  He is a mensch who offers a service I do not approve of, but he is not Ashley Madison.  However, he has me fired up and for tonight, so he should keep the faith.

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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