Minn. rabbi apologizes for drunk driving

A Minnesota rabbi apologized to her congregation after pleading guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Rabbi Amy Bernstein of Temple Israel in Duluth was pulled over the night of Nov. 27 on an icy road and cited for driving 73 to 74 mph in a 55-mph zone, according to the Duluth News Tribune. She told the arresting officer she had shared a bottle of wine with two others at the temple.

Bernstein, 42, apologized to her congregation this week in a letter she told reporters was the “most difficult thing” she’s had to do in her 11 years on the pulpit.

Begging their forgiveness for her “poor judgment,” Bernstein wrote, “We have got to be really attentive to our own inner lives and our own best practices and the need to slow down in general. Those of us who teach about that need to take our own advice.’’

The rabbi was fined $1,207. She is taking a three-month sabbatical to Israel that was planned before the DWI.

Michael Rosenzweig, the president of the Temple Israel Board of Directors, said the board and congregation stand behind her.

“No one has lost faith in her,’’ Rosenzweig said, adding that the congregation takes her arrest quite seriously.

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