Submit Your Questions to the Sauna Rabbi’s Q&A Session

Sauna TurkeyJonathan Rosenblatt has survived an attempt by his board to get him to resign following stories in the New York Times and the NY Jewish Week detailing his unconventional nude sauna and shower bonding with boys and young men. Now he is trying to refurbish his reputation in a congregation whose board voted 34-8 to seek his resignation.

His board has scheduled a members-only meeting tonight (Wed., 9/2/15). According to the notice:

Rabbi Rosenblatt announced his desire and intention to… serve and he provided a vision of the future of the congregation. At that time, members of the Board felt that it would be beneficial for the members to hear the Rabbi’s message directly from him… Continue reading

Winds of Change in Australia: Cover-Up Rabbi Telsner Resigns

Zvi Telsner

Zvi Telsner

Rabbi Tvi Telsner was finally forced to resign as head of Melbourne’s Yeshivah Centre. His misconduct over the years included helping accused molesters flee the country just ahead of the cops (e.g., Malka Leifer), threatening and shunning victims who went to the police, and orchestrating a barrage of abusive comments about victims who dared to go public with their charges.

ABC in Australia reports

Manny Waks, who went public in 2011 with allegations he was repeatedly sexual abused as a boy at Yeshivah College and accusations of a cover-up, said the rabbi was “at the heart” of the scandal, and said his position had been untenable for a long time.

“He has caused immense pain and suffering to the victims, to our families, but also to the broader Jewish community — not just to the Yeshivah community — because he has tainted all of us,” he said.

Zephaniah Waks and his son, Manny Waks

Zephaniah Waks and his son, Manny Waks

Continue reading

The Hucksters amongst Us

On August 14, 2014 the New York Times reported that ISIS was implementing a theology justifying the rape of non-believers and had a systematic program to separate them out and sell them to its followers. The opening of the Times article shocked me.

In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.

When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.

“I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God,”

Steve Maman Shaking Hands with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Steve Maman Shaking Hands with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

What revolted some of us was just a golden opportunity for one Steve Maman, a Moroccan Jew in Montreal. The very next day, the Toronto Star reported on his solicitations for months to ransom Yazidi women from ISIS. He claimed he had already ransomed 128 of these poor victimized women and appealed for more donations to sustain his efforts. His fundraising and narrative was months-old but till then he had only gotten attention in peripheral media outlets. Continue reading

Board Chair Liss who Protected Sauna-Bonding Rabbi Rosenblatt Is Accused of Inappropriate Conduct with Child

Dr. Donald Liss Board Chair, Riverdale Jewish Center

Dr. Donald Liss
Board Chair, Riverdale Jewish Center

Andrew (Andy) Blumenthal was a child in Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt’s Riverdale Jewish Center (RJC). According to Andy’s posting, during that time, Andy, from a less well-off family, was befriended and groomed by RJC member, Dr. Donald Liss, with home invitations, babysitting jobs, vacation invitations and a paid job in Liss’ hospital.

Dr.Liss repeatedly touched him, fawned over his developing muscles, orchestrated situations to be naked with him in a gym, and got naked before Andy while also in the presence of Mrs. Liss. Even as Andy got uncomfortable and tried to distance himself, Liss persistently tried to deepen and further the connection. Andy finally acted on his growing discomfort and terminated the connection. Yet Liss continued to pursue him for years. Whether or not this went still further, this is classic pedophile grooming and illegal as misdemeanor child endangerment, at a minimum.

Dr. Liss is now the Board Chair of the Riverdale Jewish Center. Together with President Samson Fine, he overrode the will of the majority of the board which voted 34-8 to buy out Rabbi Rosenblatt’s contract.  The majority sought the buyout to rid their synagogue of the scandal of Rosenblatt’s outrageous and persistent exploitation of his relationship to manipulate boys and young men to spend time with him while naked, all under the guise of bonding through sports. Continue reading

Rabbi Frankfurter Creates the Save a Mamzer Foundation – SATIRE (from my archives)

I first posted this satire to show how paranoia is stoked to ward off criticism. It is still relevant. Vihameyven, Yavin.
—  Yerachmiel Lopin

Rabbi Qadafi Protecting Tznius in Bengazi and Brooklyn

Special Report to YeshivishWeltNeias (YWN) by Hevel Hayofi Kornblue

Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter, editor of AMI Magazine, announced the formation of his new Save A Mamzer Foundation at a select invitational dinner in Boro Park last week. The dinner was graced by gedolei Yisroel who chose to give their support anonymously.

The first speaker, Rav Hagaon Ploni Almoni shlitah eloquently spoke on the closing lines of the Mishnah Haroiyois:

“A Cohen is before a Levi, a Levi before a Yisroel, a Yisroel before a mamzer . . . This applies when they are all equal. But if a mamzer is a talmud chacham and a Cohen Gadol is ignorant of the Law, the mamzer . . . precedes . . . the Cohen Gadol.”

Some people think this means a literal mamzer. Boruch Hashem, unlike the Reform, Conservative, and the Open Orthodox, we do not have literal mamzerim who are allowed to become roshei yeshiva. But we do have honorable Jews who the outside world wants us to treat like mamzerim. Some people think that if we give up on the Webermans and Helbranses, we can assuage our enemies and solve our image problems with the outside world. It does not work like that. Do you think the bloggers will stop if we give up a few sacrifices to prosecutors and the media. No! A thousand times no! They will just go after others. One day they prosecute someone for molesting a 12-year-old girl. Then it will be a molester of fourteen- or fifteen-year-olds. One day it will be the prosecution of an Eliyahu Weinstein who stole millions from frum Jews but Continue reading

An Open Letter to Camp Shalvah Parents Whose Children May Have Been Molested (from the archives)

Three years ago the Bobov Camp Shalva covered up an intrusion into their bunks by a registered sex offender, Yoel Oberlander, ordering children not to share their experiences with police investigators. In the aftermath, I wrote this letter to parents of those campers. It was also read by Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg as one of his weekly recorded voice broadcasts posted on his “hotline.” I still am proud of it as model of messaging to parents of kids who may have been abused. It was my attempt to get around the administration’s bubbe maise that nothing happened which might better be called in this case a Bobov Maise. —    Yerachmiel Lopin

As you know, Yoel Oberlander went through a bunk. This is a man on the sex offender registry because he seized an eleven year old girl and did something to her.

The hanhalah says nothing happened to the children. Their lawyer Scharf says he did not have enough time to do anything. I don’t believe them.

The police arrested Oberlander because the camp accused him of trespassing and signed a formal complaint. Otherwise Oberlander, who had permission to do a food delivery would have been let go. So parents, ask yourself, would the Bobov dayan allow mesirah just because he walked in the wrong area? After all his last criminal charge was ten years ago and he claims to have done tshuvah.

The camp’s lawyer, Scharf, thinks that molesting requires a whole hinei muchan umizuman and a long brachah achronah. But the 13 minutes he was in the bunk was plenty of time to fondle some boys.

Others will say his tayvah is for girls. But, like other pedophiles his tayvah may not be for men or women, just for children, whether they are boys or girls.

I agree that he probably did not have enough time to touch all the children or even most of them. But what if he touched your child? Continue reading

JTA Is Wrong: Elimelech Meisels Was Not Sued for Sex Assault, But… (from the archives)

newsboy

A year ago, today, I posted this story. You may want to go back to that original posting for the comments. 

JTA, which bills itself as “The Global Jewish News Source,” first neglected the Meisels story and then blew it. Their August headline, “Orthodox educator Rabbi Elimelech Meisels sued for sexual assault” is wrong. None of the plaintiffs is claiming they or their daughters were sexually assaulted by Meisels. Yet the JTA article starts: “Rabbi Elimelech Meisels, who runs four religious seminaries in Israel for young Orthodox women, is being sued for sexual assault.” The Forward piled on with a subhead, “Lured Teenage Girls to Late-Night Coffee Meetings” Continue reading