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Emory Law Professor Is Accused of Creating a Fake Identity to Tout His Work

Emory University is reviewing allegations by a Jewish-oriented television channel that a prominent professor at the university’s law school created a fake identity to join a rabbinical group and apparently used that persona to tout his own scholarship, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Those allegations stemmed from an investigation by the Jewish Channel, a cable-television channel that is distributed throughout the United States. According to a report the channel posted online last week, the investigation accused Michael J. Broyde, an Orthodox rabbi and Emory law professor who is a senior fellow at the university’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion, of creating a fake persona to publish letters in well-regarded journals that frequently praised his own work.

The channel reported that an individual known as Rabbi Hershel Goldwasser had been writing letters to journals, posting comments on blogs, and corresponding with others for about two decades. But the channel found no records to suggest that Rabbi Goldwasser existed, and traced the character’s online footprint back to Rabbi Broyde, who at first denied but later admitted to creating the fake identity.

Rabbi Broyde declined to comment to the Journal-Constitution but said he might do so in the future. Emory said the accusations were “concerning” in a statement cited by the newspaper, and said the university was reviewing the matter and would issue a statement when its own inquiry was complete.

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