For several years, a hoax Twitter account under the name “Rabbi Linda Goldstein” has plagued the platform. The account claims to be the “chief rabbi of Gaza” and regularly posts gutter smears against Jews, trans individuals, Black Lives Matter and others who support Palestinian rights. Among the juvenalia she offers is this bit of braggadocio about her “values”: “Iran, Trans Rights are Human Rights, and Nude Yogi.” It’s unclear whether the site is also meant to demean liberal rabbis as well. But the abuse and ridicule implied in the term “chief rabbi of Gaza” seems clear enough.
I decided to do a bit of sleuthing to determine who might be behind the account. It was a lot easier than I expected. When I googled for images of “Rabbi Linda Goldstein” the search displayed three versions of the same picture used as the Twitter profile photo. The right-hand image displayed above is hosted by an Instagram service called tellingly, InStalker. Other than the “Goldstein” Twitter account, a search of Google Images and TinEye shows no other pictures online claiming to be Rabbi Linda Goldstein. The InStalker account is the only one associated with a real person: Jordyn Tilchen.
Tilchen is the “celebrity news writer” for Bustle, women’s fashion website founded by a male Silicon Valley entrepreneur accused of misogyny. One of her articles features the ironic title, 10 Celebs Who Have Come Under Fire for Cultural Appropriation. Maybe I should contribute an article, 10 Pro-Israel Hacks Who Have Come Under Fire for Impersonation. The right-wing pro-Israel site Algemeiner, featured her in its Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2021. One wonders whether “positively influencing Jewish life” includes engaging in hoaxes that attack their fellow Jews…and Blacks, and BDS, and “anti-Semites…and the list goes on. On that note, it’s worth mentioning that she’s accused BLM in her Twitter account of “terrorism.”
Tilchen did us the favor of featuring her resume, which indicates she worked or freelanced for a number of teen/celebrity sites including MTV News. Her real Twitter account (@@JordynTilchen) is a litany of pro-Israel puffery and memes. Her profile boasts::
Iron dome stan account. Mossad dolphin trainer 🐬. Inventor of the Jewish Space Laser.✨
Some of her tweets are linguistically similar to what you’ll find at the hoax account. An additional tell-tale sign of their connection is that Tilchen’s Twitter account follows Goldstein’s account and Goldstein’s follows Tilchen. Though there is no smoking gun in this case, the evidence points to them being one and the same.
Hers is the same brand of hoax blogging represented by David Lange, whose latest “scoop” was disseminating a CAIR director’s speech, which Jewish media and Israel Lobby groups denounced as anti-Semitic. Not only wasn’t her speech anti-Semitic, but I’m featuring her in the online panel on March 1st on Islamophobia and Muslim-Jewish Relations. You can view it on YouTube, Facebook or LinkedIn. Lange too has created fake accounts and perpetrated hoaxes on unsuspecting individuals. For the sake of full disclosure: Lange used the pseudonym, Aussie Dave for some time, till I outed him and his real name some years ago. I must confess that this is precisely the sort of hoax Lange would do. But the slick jokey nature of the content is not really his style.
Tilchen/Goldstein too has had a bit of ‘fun’ at the expense of an African-American Congressional candidate, Imani Oakley. The latter’s campaign manager didn’t realize the Goldstein account was fake. When the hoaxster offered to host a fundraiser for Oakley in honor of Gaza, the staffer tweeted her gratitude. This was the extent of the ‘hoax.’ Yet the far-right Jewish press had a field day with that one. There’s nothing like a bunch of pro-Israel scammers hoaxing an African-American “Leftist” Democrat to bring out the juices. Leading the charge was Murdoch’s NY Post, with the headline, Woke New Jersey Dem fooled by fake rabbi’s parody Twitter account. The Kahanist Jewish Press and other far-right Jewish sites piled on. None of them noted that Oakley herself was not taken in by the hoax and never tweeted at all to “Goldstein.” After “Goldstein” began crowing about her feat, Oakley did tweet that nothing and no one would deter her from her candidacy, which the fraudster had been only too happy to sabotage.
The Post article claims the person behind the Goldstein account:
…Is the creation of a pro-Israel attorney named Michael, who declined to reveal his last name because he fears retribution.
Really, what sort of “retribution” could “he” fear? That he’d lose his position as ‘chief rabbi?’ That supporters of BDS would target him for elimination like his beloved Mossad does to Israel’s enemies? Or that a BLM fanatic would take a potshot at him? I believe this claim too is a hoax (after you’ve hoaxed once it’s far too easy to do it again). Tilchen’s content is far closer to Goldstein’s than anything an “attorney” could muster. If true, this means, of course, that the publications crowing about Rep. Oakley being hoaxed, were themselves hoaxed.
Tilchen responded to my tweet naming her as the person behind the Goldstein account by denying it. But then again, her protestations are likely a lie and everything tweeted “Rabbi Goldstein” it is a lie. So why wouldn’t she lie about her role in the hoax? After a few relatively feeble tweets protesting her innocence and attacking me as a journalist, she blocked me on Twitter. That of course is not proof of her being a hoaxster. But if someone accused me of that, I’d want to know what they were tweeting about me and not block them. She probably blocked me because she believed that my tweet exposing her was the last she would hear of me on this matter. But she was wrong. This post offers her her 20 minutes of internet infamy.
For all you Jordyn/Linda fans out there who plan to get up on their high horse in the comments about doxxing Tilchen, that’s not what I’ve done. Doxxing is revealing the personal private information of an individual (home address, phone number, social security number, etc). That’s not what this is. This is exposing the fraud, lies and hate of someone who’s run roughshod over decency and truth for years.