Guide to the Myron S. Geller Arbitration Files,
undated, 1974-1981
 
P-398

Processed by Shannon Struble

American Jewish Historical Society, New England Archives

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, Massachusetts

Phone: (617) 226-1245

Email: reference@ajhsboston.org

URL: http://www.ajhsboston.org

© 2017, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Shannon Struble as MS Word document, July 26, 2017. Finding aid was encoded by Shannon Struble on August 23, 2017. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Geller, Myron S.
Title: Myron S. Geller Arbitration Files
Dates:undated, 1974-1981
Abstract: The Myron S. Geller Arbitration Files record the arbitration process of a contract dispute between Rabbi Myron S. Geller and Temple B'nai Abraham of Beverly, Massachusetts. The collection contains correspondence between all parties involved in the dispute, as well as legal documents, such as exhibits, affidavit, depositions, hearing transcripts, judgments, briefs, and the claims themselves.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 2 linear feet (4 manuscript boxes)
Identification: P-398
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS Boston, MA
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Historical Note

A newspaper article dated December 11, 1979 documenting the suit and award.

The Myron S. Geller Arbitration Files pertain to the proceedings surrounding the arbitration of a contract dispute between Rabbi Myron S. Geller and Temple B'nai Abraham of Beverly, Massachusetts. Geller was the rabbi at Temple B’nai Abraham from 1970 until 1977, when his contract expired. The congregation of the synagogue had voted to renew his contract the previous year, but the resulting offer from the Negotiating Committee was not in line with standards set by the United Synagogue of America. Geller declined to renew under the terms set forth, and the committee initially rejected attempts at negotiation, so Geller began to seek other employment. Talks continued into early 1977 until a second congregational meeting resulted in a vote not to renew Geller’s contract.

Arbitration was requested by Geller through the United Synagogue of America Committee on Congregational Standards in June 1977. His claim included severance pay, as stipulated in his contract, as well as a settlement for suffering, anguish, and distress due to bad-faith negotiations, wrongful infliction of harm by violating minimum standards, and impairment of professional opportunities.

Over the course of a year, lawyers from both sides debated the need for arbitration, whether arbitration was compulsory or voluntary, and which matters should be included in any arbitration that might take place. The Committee on Congregational Standards found that it could not force the temple to choose an arbitrator, so Geller appealed to the Rabbinical Assembly, which gave its support towards Geller’s efforts to compel arbitration through civil proceedings. Geller filed a Demand for Arbitration in Massachusetts Superior Court in March 1979, and six months of depositions and hearings followed.

The three-member arbitration panel decided in Geller’s favor in December 1979 and awarded him $42,813. Temple B’nai Abraham first petitioned the Superior Court to vacate the award, which was denied, and then appealed the Court’s decision. On January 27, 1981, the Massachusetts Appeals Court upheld the decision.

References

Material in the collection.

Chronology

November 26, 1976The congregation of Temple B'nai Abraham votes to renew Geller's employment.
January 1977Geller receives the first offer from the Negotiating Committee and declines.
January 16, 1977Geller receives the committee's second offer.
January 20, 1977Geller offers a counter-proposal, which is rejected.
January 23, 1977Geller declines the committee's second offer.
February 1, 1977The Negotiating Committee is disbanded by the Temple Board.
February 1, 1977The congregation votes not to renegotiate Geller's contract.
February 8, 1977A special congregational meeting is called to reconsider negotiating Geller's contract.
February 1977Geller provisionally accepts the Negotiating Committee's second offer, with three open issues still to negotiate.
February 21, 1977Geller meets with the temple's president to discuss the contract.
February 23, 1977The temple's president sends a "Fact Sheet" to the congregation prior to the congregational meeting.
February 28, 1977The congregational meeting takes place, and the decision not to renegotiate Geller's contract is upheld.
March 3, 1977Geller's employment is officially terminated, though he remains in his position until the end of the contracted period.
April or May 1977Geller sends a request for arbitration to the United Synagogue of America Committee on Congregational Standards.
June 6, 1977The United Synagogue of America Committee on Congregational Standards refuses Geller's request for arbitration.
July 13, 1977The United Synagogue of America Committee on Congregational Standards reverses its decision of June 6 and asks both parties to choose arbitrators.
July 18, 1977Geller chooses an arbitrator.
July 31, 1977Geller's contract period ends.
October 12, 1977Temple B'nai Abraham refuses arbitration for all but Geller's claim of severance pay.
October 19, 1977A Restated Demand for Arbitration is submitted by Geller to the United Synagogue of America Committee on Congregational Standards.
February 24, 1978A First Amended Demand for Arbitration is submitted by Geller to the United Synagogue of America Committee on Congregational Standards.
April 14, 1978Temple B'nai Abraham again declines arbitration and refuses to name an arbitrator.
May 8, 1978The United Synagogue of America Committee on Congregational Standards declines to choose an arbitrator on behalf of Temple B'nai Abraham.
May 1978Geller files an Application for Appointment of Arbitrator in the Massachusetts Superior Court.
January 26, 1979Geller submits an Application for Appointment of Third Arbitrator in the Massachusetts Superior Court.
February 2, 1979A third arbitrator is appointed by the Massachusetts Superior Court.
March 1979Geller files a Second Amended Demand for Arbitration in the Massachusetts Superior Court.
April 9-October 16, 1979Arbitration hearings are held.
December 9, 1979The arbitration panel decides in Geller's favor.
December 18, 1979Temple B'nai Abraham submits an Application to Vacate Award of Arbitrators.
January 11, 1980The Massachusetts Superior Court denies the Application to Vacate Award of Arbitrators.
May 1980Temple B'nai Abraham appeals the judgments of the Superior Court in the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
January 27, 1981The Massachusetts Appeals Court confirms the judgments of the Superior Court.
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Scope and Content Note

The Myron S. Geller Arbitration Files consist of records of the arbitration between Rabbi Myron S. Geller and Temple B'nai Abraham in Beverly, Massachusetts. The collection contains correspondence between Geller’s lawyers, the selected arbitrators, the United Synagogue of America Committee on Congregational Standards, and the Rabbinical Assembly. Also included are legal documents, such as exhibits, affidavit, depositions, hearing transcripts, judgments, briefs, and the claims themselves.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into a single series as follows:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
email: reference@ajhs.org

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Related Material

Temple B’nai Abraham (Beverly, MA) Records, I-573

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Myron S. Geller Arbitration Files; P-398; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY, and Boston, MA.

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Acquisition Information

Donated by Joseph Greenberger, 1981, 1982.

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Access Points

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Click the box in the request column to learn more about viewing materials at the New England Archives of AJHS.

 

Series I: Myron S. Geller Arbitration Files, undated, 1974-1981

English.
Boxes 1-4.
Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content:

See Collection Scope and Content Note.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
11Defendant's Exhibits1974-1978request_box
12Exhibits and Affidavitundated, 1974-79request_box
13Exhibit 411977-1979request_box
14-6Correspondence Filesundated, 1977-1979request_box
17Second Amended Demand for Arbitration1979request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
21Hearing Transcripts (April 9, 1979)1979request_box
22Hearing Transcripts (April 24, 1979)1979request_box
23Hearing Transcripts (May 11, 1979)1979request_box
24Hearing Transcripts (May 15, 1979)1979request_box
25Hearing Transcripts (May 24, 1979)1979request_box
26Hearing Transcripts (May 29, 1979)1979request_box
27Hearing Transcripts (June 12, 1979)1979request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
31Hearing Transcripts (June 18, 1979)1979request_box
32Hearing Transcripts (June 25, 1979)1979request_box
33Hearing Transcripts (July 23, 1979)1979request_box
34Hearing Transcripts (July 26, 1979)1979request_box
35Hearing Transcripts (September 11, 1979)1979request_box
36Hearing Transcripts (September 25, 1979)1979request_box
37Hearing Transcripts (October 9, 1979)1979request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
41Hearing Transcripts (October 16, 1979)1979request_box
42Nathan Bornstein Deposition (August 17, 1979)1979request_box
43Allen Goldenberg Deposition (August 17, 1979)1979request_box
44Confirmation of Award1979request_box
45Appeal1980request_box
46Appeal (January 27, 1981)1981request_box
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