The Hamptons’ “rabbi to the stars,” Marc Schneier, really loves thy neighbor a little too much.
Schneier, 57, has been married and divorced five times.
Now he’s flitting about the Jewish social circuit with Simi Teitelbaum, a 30-something blond Israeli party girl and former flight attendant who led to the demise of his fifth marriage.
His congregation, which had shrugged off his indiscretions for years, has had enough.
The randy Orthodox rabbi, who did not respond for comment, resigned earlier this month, under pressure from well-heeled synagogue members threatening to withhold pledges and payments until he was off the pulpit.
“He is not fit to be the rabbi of our congregation,” Lloyd Landow, 76, a Long Island architect and longtime synagogue member who led the crusade, wrote in an e-mail to more than 100 synagogue members.
Schneier, the 18th generation of an esteemed rabbinic dynasty, caved to the pressure and, to save face, announced his resignation on April 14 in an e-mail sent to members.
“This summer will be my final season as your congregational rabbi,” wrote the philanderer, who founded the tony synagogue in 1990 and was the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. “Measure of a Man” award from the NAACP in the ’90s. “I will continue to be a part of our community, as you all have a very special place in my heart.”
The trouble was, Schneier has had a “special place” in the hearts of too many women over the years.
In January 1981, while a 21-year-old rabbinic student at Yeshiva University, he married Brooklyn native and Barnard College student Elissa Shay, then just 20. The chief rabbis of Israel and Romania officiated, but the marriage lasted less than a year and did not produce any children.
“I was young,” Schneier told Tablet magazine of the failed union in 2011. “We make mistakes when we’re young.”
He went under the chuppah again a few years later with Esther Melamed. The union lasted until 1992, but it wasn’t a happy one.
“They obviously didn’t have a good marriage,” says an old friend of Schneier’s, who asked to remain anonymous.
“They were one of those couples who have no energy.
I always thought Esther was a sweet, nice person I’m guessing she wanted the divorce.”
He quickly bounced back, marrying Toby Gotesman, the arty daughter of a prominent Orthodox family from Portland, Ore., in the summer of 1993.
It was a “very exclusive” 90-person Gracie Mansion affair complete with Champagne, strawberries and violins Gotesman, one of two of the rabbi’s ex-wives to respond to requests for comment, tells The Post.
Outsiders thought this was the Schneier marriage that would finally stick. “She seemed enamored of him and the whole lifestyle — they entertained people in the Hamptons, on the Jewish party circuit in New York, they traveled a lot,” says the Schneier pal. “From outside appearances they had a nice life.”
But after more than a decade of marriage and the birth of a son, Brendan, now 17, a sexy worshipper came between the couple. The pair divorced amid rumors that Schneier had cheated with Tobi Rubinstein, a flamboyant divorcée and fashion designer.
“She wanted to be me,” says Gotesman, who filed for divorce in 2005 and went on to publish a fictional memoir about her failed marriage called “Bad Charisma.”
In 2006, after splitting from Toby G. (wife No. 3), Schneier married Tobi R. (wife No. 4) in an intimate 25-person wedding at the now-closed New York Synagogue, which Schneier also helmed.
The couple quickly became the toast of the Jewish world. For her then husband’s 50th birthday in 2009, Rubinstein made the grandiose gesture of donating a 400-pound endangered Asian lion to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo (where the beast was renamed “Rabbi Marc”). But it wasn’t long before Tobi R. got a taste of her own medicine.
In 2010, she hired a private investigator who turned up explicit photos of her husband and Gitty Leiner, a then-30-something worshipper, getting hot and heavy in the Holy Land on what Schneier had told his wife was a routine business trip. Marriage No. 4 ended in divorce soon after.
Cringing congregants had long suffered through the rabbi’s sordid trysts, but they began to cry out. Some fled for other synagogues, but many stayed put.
Schneier explained away his unholy extramarital hookups by saying he was mentally ill and seeking treatment.
“He stopped people on the street and said, ‘I’m bipolar,’ ” recalls a longtime friend, who says the rabbi infuriated one female congregant whose son is bipolar. “He’s a clever, manipulative person . . . I think he’s bipolar like I think the pope is Jewish.”
The longtime friend, who said, “I don’t want my name associated with Rabbi Marc Schneier,” proffers, “I think he has a genius, very similar to Donald Trump, in identifying with his audience — giving them precisely what they want to hear. He identifies their needs and what they want to hear.”
Still, many congregants shrugged it off.
“People at shul accepted his adulterous affairs and outrageous behavior,” says the friend who wants to distance himself from Schneier. “It’s like, ‘Marc cheated on his wife again, what’s new?’ It became a running joke: the annual Marc Schneier wedding.”
Conveniently, Schneier had appointed his own board of mostly men who were apparently willing to look the other way — and to compensate him well. (In most synagogues, the congregation — not the rabbi — chooses the board.)
“That’s the whole key,” ex-wife Gotesman tells The Post. “When I left him, he was making $800,000.” She says that included a $500,000 salary, plus hundreds of thousands in additional compensation, including mortgage payments on his 5,000-square-foot Westhampton Beach home, said to be valued around $3 million.
Morality — or lack thereof — wasn’t a big concern for many synagogue-goers.
“The congregation was out to party. They come for the 3 F’s — fun, food, and f - - king,” says Esther Muller, a Columbus Circle resident who works in real estate and has known Schneier for decades.
The weekly Saturday kiddish a celebratory meal after services — was legendary.
“Twelve different kinds of herring — for the 12 tribes,” says Irwin Graulich, 64, who works in communications and lives in New Rochelle. “Every week it’s something different — Chinese, Italian, hot-dog car, bartender. It’s like a club you go to at night in Manhattan. It’s 1 p.m. and there’s a ruach [spirit] and a beat. People think it’s snotty because it’s the Hamptons, but it’s the nicest people, and the rabbi is the leader. He’s the draw. He’s the heart of it,” gushes Graulich.
So the party continued, with Schneier marrying Leiner, now 44, in the fall of 2013 at his home base, the Hampton Synagogue. The couple had a child, Brooke, in the summer of 2014, but then, in 2015, Schneier was caught dining out in Queens with sexy young Simi Teitelbaum.
“He’s not a George Clooney — I don’t know what they see in him,” says an Upper West Side friend of Leiner’s who asked to remain anonymous. She sympathizes with her friend, now a single mom to an almost-2-year-old girl, but concedes: “She’s not innocent. None of them are innocent.”
Schneier’s divorcing a wife with a young child seemed to be the final straw.
“It’s time the public is aware of this — for years he’s gotten away with murder.
He doesn’t represent the Orthodox community, let alone any Jews at all,” says Stephen Stout-Kerr, 92, a synagogue regular who summers in the Hamptons. “It’s a very wealthy congregation. He benefits from that completely. There’s no proper board — [just] a handful of rich people.”
And some ladies say having a rabbi who’s gotten frisky with worshippers makes them uncomfortable.
“It’s an abuse of power,” says Sara Shulevitz, a 30-something criminal-defense attorney who splits her time between Miami and New York and has been to services led by Schneier. “A lot of women admire and look up to rabbis, especially in [Orthodox Judaism], because there are no female rabbis. It’s horrible for a rabbi to abuse that trust, [but] a lot of people look the other way because he’s a powerful man.”
But some loyal followers are still drinking the Manischewitz.
“Look, he obviously has a weakness; his attention span for a mate is different from others’,” says Jeff Wiesenfeld, 58, who works in private-wealth management and has known the rabbi for 35 years. “But in terms of what he’s done [for the shul], he’s a phenomenon.”
“He’s the greatest — he built this from nothing,” says Graulich, the acolyte from New Rochelle, who praises the rabbi’s successful turnaround of the Jewish-averse Hamptons back in 1990, when there was scarcely any Semitic life there, let alone a haute spot for the monied class to mingle. “They wouldn’t allow Jews to join the country clubs.”
He happily drives the two hours each way every Saturday to hear his unimpeachable leader, who can do no wrong.
“He’s married, he’s divorced big deal . . . King Solomon had 20 wives. Five is nothing,” says Graulich.
Plus, he says: “I like controversy. I don’t like a boring shul. I want Peyton Place as a shul; if I wanted a boring shul, I’d go to Westchester.”