The New York City's fire department didn't like the behavior of one of its chaplains, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi who as been with the Fire Department since 1988.
The chaplain, Rabbi Mayer Birnhack, defied repeated orders not to access employees' personnel files and to stop using the personal information he found in them to…wish FDNY employees happy birthday.
A rabbi and EMS chaplain who routinely phoned medics to wish them happy birthday was disciplined by the FDNY for accessing unauthorized personnel data.
Rabbi Mayer Birnhack, aka the "birthday rabbi," was suspended without pay for 15 days after ignoring orders from brass to stop looking at confidential employee files.
Birnhack got the mazel-toss in April after defying repeated instructions not to peek at birth dates, hire dates, retirement dates and other info that he culled so he could make his cheery congratulations calls.
The FDNY has gotten numerous complaints over the years from EMS members who don't appreciate Birnhack's intrusions into their personal lives.…
Not all recipients of Rabbi Birnhack's birthday calls are upset, and one told the Post Rabbi Birnhack is the only person in the FDNY who really cares.
But many others are reportedly spooked by his calls, and are troubled by how much personal information he knows about them, and how much information he knows about their careers.
In a 2002, Birnhack told the New York Jewish Week that a top fire department chief told him he was "too Jewish." Birnhack also complained that he wasn't allowed to officiate at FDNY events. Rabbi Birnhack wouldn't file an official complaint, though, and the FDNY denied his allegations.