The OU and RCA’s Failure to Confront Rabbi Belsky
For the last few weeks I have been blogging a lot about Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, Senior OU Kosher posek, who behaved like a gangster, slandering and trying to intimidate the family of the witness against his protege and musmach, Rabbi Yosef Kolko, just as he also worked to defend, his uncle, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko against charges in the past. Yosef Kolko pleaded guilty to multiple felony charge on May 15th. Yehuda Kolko pleaded guilty years ago.
I started out on May 17th reporting that Rabbi Belsky still claimed Kolko was innocent and followed with a longer post, Belsky is 0 for 2 on the Kolkos and Yet He’s the OU’s Posek. I was hoping the OU and its rabbinical arm, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), would either get him to recant or fire him. No dice! In fact his prominence inhibited them from even issuing the kind of statement they issued after Nechemya Weberman’s conviction.
Meanwhile they also ignored violations by Belsky of conflict of interest rules (negius) when he issued a ruling in Los Angeles that financially benefited his son-in-law (also here).
So, on May 30th I kicked off a series of posts with, Day # 16 Since Kolko Conviction and the OU and RCA Are Still Struck Dumb. That was followed with posts for Day #17, #19, #20, and #22. I tried to vary them but they all included a call on readers to express their outrage to the leaders of the OU/RCA.
The campaign led to a bizarre outcome. The OU, together with the RCA, issued a cockamamie statement that did not mention Kolko by name and made believe that Belsky actually supported the RCA position while it ignored Belsky’s role in witness intimidation and slander. That prompted my June 6 post, The RCA/OU Finally Responds to Kolko Conviction- Not With a Bang but a Whimper! It was an angry exasperated response. I followed on June 12th with more measured but forceful Open Letter to Rabbi Dratch, Executive VP of the RCA and someone who has worked hard to get the RCA to adopt an excellent policy position on child abuse.
I don’t know if my letter did the trick. But a few hours after I posted, the RCA (sans OU) came out with a statement that partially corrected the problems but still overlooked Belsky’s slander and witness intimidation. I lambasted their “clarification” with a serious posting and a parody. (Hint- don’t read the parody before the serious posting or you will miss a lot of the humor.)
For the record, this campaign is not over. Our children deserve policies and poskim who will protect them. Stay posted.
Also read an excellent series of posts about Rabbi Belsky on the Daas Torah blog of Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn.
Problems with the Brooklyn DA, Charles Hynes
The DA should be the friend of those who want to bring sex offenders to justice. Unfortunately, that is not the case in Brooklyn where Charles J (Joe) Hynes covets the votes of the large orthodox Jewish voting block and seem to keep muffing cases against orthodox molesters. I have written about it in the past. This was a busy week for more revelations about our ethically dubious DA.
- Hynes Has NEVER Sent a Haredi to Jail for Obstructing the Prosecution of Sex Abuse
- Charles Hynes is using his official position to give the Brooklyn Democratic Party get free labor by having folks fulfill community service sentences by working for the party on campaigns. Not kosher!
- TV viewers rejected Brooklyn DA, the CBS show that is being challenged in court as an in-kind infomercial donation by CBS to Joe Hynes. If the court rules in favor of Hynes’ challenger, Mr. Abe George, it would be a violation of the NYS campaign contribution limit of $5,000. It did so poorly in its Tuesday night prime-time slot that CBS shunted it off to a Saturday night slot. I hope Brooklyn voters will deliver the same verdict on Hynes, come the primary on September 10.
- According to the New York Times, the Brooklyn DA, ” Must testify about allegations of misconduct in his office,… a federal magistrate judge ruled on Wednesday. The ruling came in the case of Jabbar Collins, who has filed a civil rights lawsuit… Mr. Collins won his release after serving 16 years in prison for a murder he said he did not commit. He is seeking to prove not only that there was misconduct in his case, but also that Mr. Hynes’s office was engaged in widespread abuses that tainted other cases over a 20-year period.”
- I am hearing, off the record, that loads of reporters are buzzing around the Office of the District Attorney. Expect some more revelations of DA misconduct in the coming days. If ten days pass and I am wrong, I will eat humble pie and post an admission of error. If I am right, I will try not to gloat.
- According to Haaretz, “Indictments for sexual offenses in the Israel Defense Forces nearly doubled in 2012.” I think this reflects greater willingness to report offenses as women see the army taking their complaints seriously.
- DNA Info- Chicago reports about the cover-up of abuse by Rabbi Aryeh Leib Dudovitz who was arrest recently for sex abuse about seven years ago. Complicit parties included the meshichist wing of Chabad and Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, a prominent RCA posek, who may have failed to report the abuse to the authorities.
- Deputy District Attorney (Los Angeles) Benny Forer debunks the absurd claims of Neturei Karta propagandist Rabbi William (Hillel) Handler that abuse victims should only talk to gedolim because the civil authorities routinely try to take children away from their families and can’t get their facts right. Rabbi Yosef Blau wrote an excellent rejoinder published in the Jewish Press that should be read together with Benny Forer’s post.
- Jewish Community Watch has an EMES web page (Educating Mosdos on Eradicating Sexual abuse) to assist parents in selecting camps that have proper measures in place to protect children from abuse. As far as I can tell their list focuses on Chabad camps and is not so much able to confirm adequate policies as to confirm the absence of proof of good policies and practices. Hat Tip to GG.