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Emory Concludes Law Professor Didn't Violate Policies with Pseudonym

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Emory University said Thursday that it concluded that a law professor and rabbi did not violate school policies when he used a fake identity to publish articles on Jewish law and public policy, promote his own work and join a rival rabbinical group's listserv.

The English-language version of Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, published an article this past spring outlining allegations against Rabbi Michael Broyde. According to Haaretz.com, he made up the name "Rabbi Hershel Goldwasser" to "laud work he had written under his own name."

Broyde repeatedly declined to comment on the allegations earlier this year. According to Emory's website, Broyde teaches classes on legal methods, family law and Jewish law. He earned his law degree from New York University and was ordained by Yeshiva University.

According to a news release, Emory convened a special committee of two law school faculty members and one faculty member from the College of Arts and Sciences, which interviewed Broyde and "other parties of interest" as well as reviewed documents including emails and news articles.

During the internal investigation, Broyde admitted creating the pseudonym Hershel Goldwasser and using it to submit letters to Jewish journals and gain access to the International Rabbinic Fellowship listserv, according to Emory University. He also acknowledged posting blog comments praising his own work under the false name, the university said.

However, Broyde denied creating a second pseudonym, David Keter, and communicating with reporters under false names.

"With regard to Professor Broyde's acknowledged use of a pseudonym, the [Institutional Review and Investigation] Committee found that Professor Broyde used a pseudonym exclusively for activities in his rabbinic capacities, not in his scholarly capacities connected with Emory University," the university's statement said. "Accordingly, the Committee concluded that the conduct did not violate Emory policies that govern allegations of research misconduct, and the University accepted the Committee's conclusions."

Broyde also issued a written statement on Thursday: "I wish to express publicly to my students and colleagues and to the officers of Emory Law School and Emory University that which I have already expressed privately to many at Emory: I deeply regret these actions, and I apologize that some of my rabbinic work has come to reflect adversely on Emory University, an institution that I have so proudly served since 1991."

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