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Rabbi Goldman Claims His Phones Were Topped

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Rabbi A. Bruce Goldman, who faces trial on charges of disrupting a synagogue service, demanded in New York City Criminal Court today that the District Attorney’s office provide him with the transcripts of any wiretaps that may have been made on his telephone to obtain evidence against him. Rabbi Goldman said his move stemmed from the recent disclosure that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had made unauthorized taps of the phones of 10 of the 13 Jewish Defense League leaders charged with gun conspiracy. He told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he considered this “ample evidence” of tape on phones used by him in the carrying out of his rabbinical duties on behalf of the Radical Jewish Union on the Columbia University campus. But Rabbi Goldman’s attorney, Gerald Lefcourt, told the JTA separately that there was ” no factual evidence” of tape and that no evidence was supplied in today’s brief. He explained: “We don’t have to (supply it). The law provides that the government must disclose where it exists.”

Rabbi Goldman, who is also director of the Institute for Creative Jewish Living, and Victor Levin a graduate student at Columbia, are charged with disrupting the May 15 and May 29, 1970, services at Temple Emanu-El, their avowed purpose being to impress on the world’s largest Reform congregation the need for supporting RJU opposition to the Vietnam war and providing the RJU with temple space and facilities for antiwar organizers, Another defendant, Anne Rosen, a Barnard graduate, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge June 9 and was released, Rabbi Goldman faces sentences of up to four years and $2,000, and Levin of up to two years and $1,000, The rabbi has said that Miss Rosen’s conviction was the first ever of a Jew on charges preferred by a synagogue. Both the defendants and the prosecution agreed today to postpone the trial still another time until Oct. 18, after the High Holidays, when witnesses, some of whom are now in Israel, will be available, Judge Edward Pincus denied the motion and set trial for next Tuesday. Lefcourt told the JTA he will move next Monday to have the new date put off pending the witnesses’ return, or failing that, to have the case reassigned to a higher court.

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