Last night at a Los Angeles area synagogue, Jewish Journal parent company editor-in-chief Rob Eshman moderated a panel discussion featuring Noel Biderman, founder and CEO of the controversial matchmaking service AshleyMadison.com, and Rabbi Mark Borovitz of Beit T’Shuvah. The online dating website allows anonymous users to facilitate extra-marital affairs and bills itself as “the most recognized name in infidelity.”
Biderman came to the event at the behest of Journal reporter Ilana Angel, who today reports on what went down. She applauds the Toronto based executive for accepting the invitation, but condemns his service and notes that the fact that he is Jewish seemed to add an extra layer of judgment to the proceedings:
There was hate in the room last night. You could feel the daggers digging into Noel and it was intense. I do not like the word hate, do not like to use it, and will not allow my son to use it. I don’t hate Noel, or hate AshleyMadison, but I was angered by the conversation…
Would we have been on such an attack last night if Noel had not been one of the tribe? I’m not sure… Rabbi Borovitz did a good job of talking about faith and infidelity, but even he got frustrated with Noel’s robotic answers.
Angel writes that some attendees equated Biderman’s work with that of a drug dealer, essentially getting rich off the misery of others. She also writes, as someone who has been cheated on by a former boyfriend, that she felt like hitting Biderman when he claimed AshleyMadison can be a tool to help “save” troubled marriages.