Rabbi Michael Sternfield has stepped down from his pulpit at one of Chicago's most prominent Reform synagogues following a years-long battle with gambling addiction.
"If I've learned anything from these years of struggling, I've learned how terribly painful addictions of all kinds are and how incredibly difficult many are to get rid of," Sternfield said in a recent interview with the Tribune. "This is a chapter of my life that I regret so very deeply and which is painful for those close to me."
Temple President Michael Mannis called Sternfield's departure a big loss for Chicago Sinai but otherwise declined to discuss what he called a confidential matter.
Sternfeld served in his role for nearly two decades. He has been a rabbi for 44 years.
Sternfeld had been arrested in an Indiana casino for identity theft and trespassing in June 2011.
- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com