Rabbis lawsuit against synagogue dismissed

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Rabbi Ira Book's lawsuit against his former congregation has been dismissed before heading to trial.

Book was terminated in May 1996 amid allegations of misconduct.

He had served Beth Sholom for 18 years.

He and his wife, Sharon, filed the lawsuit in September 1996 against Temple Beth Sholom in San Leandro and 19 congregants, mostly board members.

The suit's claims included breach of contract, slander, libel, infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.

His lawsuit denied allegations made by congregants that the rabbi "improperly used monies from the Discretionary Fund" and "engaged in improper relations with a female member of Temple Beth Sholom."

The suit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, officially ended a month ago.

"The case has been resolved and it's dismissed," Philip Ross, an attorney for the synagogue, said last week.

He would not release any further information, explaining that the details were confidential.

"There is an agreement by the parties to really not discuss this with the media," he said.

Book's attorneys, Lee Archer and Mark Coon, did not return phone calls.

A related lawsuit filed against Book and the synagogue in June 1996 is still active, though it has not gone to trial yet. The plaintiff, a former congregant and part-time employee, accuses Book of sexual harassment and other misconduct.