Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 05/5/07
FREEHOLD — He was supposed to be a teacher, mentor and beacon of hope for the Marlboro
Jewish Center. Instead, Peter Light, the center's former rabbi, disappointed and betrayed the trust of congregants by stealing $86,000 from the center starting a month after his June 2004 hire.
"The trust they placed in him has been weakened and shattered by his conduct," Assistant Prosecutor John Loughrey told a judge.
On Friday, Light, 48, was ordered by Superior Court Judge Ira E. Kreizman to serve five years in prison and make restitution to the center.
Light, wearing jeans and a white shirt, declined to speak when offered the opportunity by Kreizman.
"The wounds you have inflicted have left, and will leave, real scars" on the community of Congregation Ohev Shalom, the Marlboro Jewish Center, Kreizman said.
. . .
In January, Light pleaded guilty to second-degree theft by deception. From July 2004 through July 2006, he pilfered $86,000 from the temple's discretionary fund — donations collected and used for congregants who face unexpected crises and request assistance.
The money was used for items such as a $5,000 ring for his mistress, her family's expenses, private school tuition for one of his children and trips to Israel, members have said.
. . .
Light, who is separated from his wife and currently works as a car salesman, is remorseful and has accepted responsibility, said his lawyer, David Glassman. Light plans to fully reimburse the center, Glassman said.[READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE]