An interesting story which we have recently learned of involves excommunication from a community. That’s also public relations – there is the good, the bad and the ugly.
In the religious Jewish community, there is something which is called a Siruv (which roughly translates as a judgement.)
Wikipedia defines a seruv as “a form of contempt of court order issued by a beth din (rabbinical court) in an effort to compel action by an individual. The siruv has been described as a form of cherem (which combines characteristics of shunning or excommunication) for a party who refuses to appear before a beth din. Under the terms of a siruv, the individual is to be shunned by the community until the terms of the order issued by the beth din are addressed. “
Hence, basically religious Jews believe one should be excommunicated if they don’t follow the rules of a Jewish court. Theoretically, one should “….be excluded from membership, employment, elective and appointed positions in the synagogue; would be excluded from being called to the Torah or lead services. Synagogues would announce the non-compliant individual’s name monthly after shabbat services and would publish the person’s name in its bulletin, including a call to others to “limit their social and economic relations to such persons.”
One high-profile seruv has been executed by three Judges against Barry Septimus and Bonnie Septimus of Lawrence, New York. Bonnie Septimus, according to Reuters is an officer of Karat Platinum Inc (KRAT.PK). She is described as “a Director of Karat Platinum Inc. Previously, she had been Treasurer, Secretary, and Director of Sentra Consulting Corp. since its inception, July 6, 2006. Since November 2000, Ms. Septimus has been a principal and manager of Hirth Real Estate.”
One wonders if that means in the Five Towns Jewish Community, will people shun Bonnie & Barry Septimus in social and business forums? Unusual topic – but apparently important one for certain communities.