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Defrocked Rabbi up on Sexual Battery Charge December 15, 2006

Posted by usdiaspora in Criminal Justice.
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The name “Steve Berkson” has been all over the news of late. To whom does this name belong? In the 1970s and early 1980s, the man in question was a beautician in Queens. In 1986, he started on a religious path that would move him far outside of his Roots in Conservative Judaism. He left the Tribe in favor of following false prophet Herbert W Armstrong, being baptized into the Worldwide Church of God – a venomously anti-Jewish Anglo-Israelism cult on the fringes of the Church. In 1995, he segued into a splinter group of Armstrongites called the United Church of God. None of that made news.

In 1999, he moved to Apison, Tennessee to join Tony Robinson in the leadership of a Hebrew Roots Christian congregation which was starting up there. He remained there until 2003, when he stated in a debate with Hebrew Roots leader Moshe Koniuchowsky that “the New Testament and the Messiah it presents are invalid.” Robinson challenged him on this, and he was stripped of his right to use the title of rabbi. After this, Berkson quietly from the Hebrew Roots scene. That crisis of faith was not an issue outside of Robinson’s flock.

Berkson’s departure from Tennessee took him to Florida where things get dicey. He took on a new line of work as a masseuse while living there, and that was the start of his real troubles. In 2005, he was forced to leave that profession. His license was revoked after numerous clients filed complaints of inappropriate conduct. A police investigation ensued, resulting in his arrest in December 2006 on charges of Sexual Battery, a 2nd degree felony. Steve Berkson is presently behind bars awaiting his hearing.