I can understand being afraid of Rabbi Yisroel Belsky. He is a thug who allegedly orchestrated the kidnapping of a man to compel a divorce, an action widely condemned. (See here for Newsday articles and rabbinic criticism as well as an account attributing his actions to the interests of a wealthy family).
When Nechemya Weberman was convicted of child sexual abuse, the RCA, the rabbinical arm of the Orthodox Union (OU) came out with a statement the same day. This time around, in the aftermath of Yosef Kolko’s conviction, they are both being held hostage by the OU’s Senior Posek for OU Kosher, Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, who slandered the father of the victim, denounced him as a moser (snitch) and called on others to pressure him out of pursuing the case in the criminal justice system.
If you object to the shocking silence of Modern Orthodoxy’s most important organizations, learn some more about the issues by reading about Rabbi Belsky’s role in the Kolko case, and my first, and more extended call, for a letter writing campaign as well as allegations about his violations of halachic rules against ruling when there are conflicts of interest (negius) in the Los Angeles Doheney Meat Market kosher scandal.
If you are already convinced, just continue on to the lists of addresses below.
The people to whom you should direct your letters include:
- OU President: Mr Martin Nachimson firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chair of the Board of OU, Mr. Steven Savitsky email@example.com
- OU Executive VP, Rabbi Steven Weil firstname.lastname@example.org
- OU Executive VP Emeritus, Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, email@example.com
- CEO of OU Kosher, Rabbi Menachem Genack <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Executive VP of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), OU’s rabbinical arm, Rabbi Mark Dratch email@example.com
- President of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), Rabbi Shmuel Goldin firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chair of the Board of OU Kosher and President Emeritus, Mr. Harvey Blitz (I have no address for him so I would direct it through their Chief Communications Officer, Mayer Fertig email@example.com. Indicate that you wish to have it forwarded to Mr. Blitz
If you favor snail mail or fax, contact:
Rabbinical Council of America, 305 Seventh Avenue, 12th Floor, New York, New York 10001 Phone: 212-807-9000 Fax: 212-727-8452
Orthodox Union, 11 Broadway, New York, New York 10004 Phone: 212-613-8101
When you send these emails, BCC to anyone else you know in the RCA or OU orbit that is, or ought to be, interested in protecting children from sexual abuse. But please be careful to respect email address privacy by putting these recipients into the BLIND CC (BCC) field.
To establish a record, please share copies of your letters and their replies on this site and as many other places as possible including websites, Twitter, email lists, local newspapers and bulletins and physical bulletin boards (Comments are moderated so it may be a few hours before you see your submitted comment appear- but that is still a hell of a lot quicker and transparent than the OU/RCA response).
Warning– you will probably not get a substantive email reply. Instead you will probably be given a number to call. Apparently folks are skittish about leaving a written record. If you are satisfied by all means thank them and publicize the reply. If you feel you were given evasive replies, please follow up by explaining your dissatisfaction and sharing it with all those to whom you originally wrote. Let’s make sure there is a feedback loop!
PS- If you have any energy left you might want to write to Rabbi Belsky’s other employer, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas where he is a Rosh Yeshiva. Address mail to Chaim Leshkowitz, President, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas – 425 E. 9th Street. Brooklyn, NY 11218-5209 (I suggest certified mail and send a copy to Rabbi Belsky at the same address.)