The Shul for Scandal: Where the Molesters Prey (Repost with YU Update)

Three years ago I wrote about a Hasidic Boro Park shul that was a hangout for molesters. Who knew that the most prominent known teen molester in the Modern Orthodox world, Baruch Lanner, would also retain some of his stature even after being convicted of molesting a young teen girl. And yet he does.

In a speech delivered yesterday to the Annual Meeting of the Rabbinical Council of America, David Cheifetz asked,

Taubes-2aHow is it possible that the current principal of MTA [Rabbi Michael Taubes], YU’s high school, regularly hosts Baruch Lanner in his shul, and even had him in his home at a community open house on Purim this year, as an honored guest, at the same time that YU is diligently investigating the accusations about George Finkelstein and others?

With that in mind, I invite you to read about the Boro Park shul where this also goes on.

The Shul for Scandal: Where the Molesters Prey (1st posted 2/2/10)

In Vilna there was a shul for tailors, another for shoemakers and so on. In this way working men got to pick their chazzan and President. Boro Park has a shul for molesters, Congregation Shomer Shabbos. For most folks in Boro Park it is like a fast food restaurant, a place to get a quick chassidish nusach minyan any time of the day. But for molesters it is more like an open house, a place to hang out, renew connections with their peers, refurbish their reputations as frum leit, and brush against boys and lure them to a private location.

The outstanding molester and swindler, Rabbi Yechiel (Jerry) Brauner led services this year on Tisha B’Av, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. He is also rumored to have keys to the closets. He is on the sex offender registry and is not supposed to be in the shul after 7:30. But he gets plenty done before then, especially in the dark days of winter.

Rabbi Boruch Lebovits also davens at Shomer Shabbos. These days he has not had as much time because he is on trial for molesting three boys. When he isn’t in court he is busy ducking the WPIX reporter who wants to interview him about allegations printed in the NY Post that he molested Motty Borger.  When Lebovits was last photographed at Shomer Shabbos, he was posturing in front of the paroches. You can see the words shevisi hashem lanegdi (before G-d) , but not the word tamid (always).

Lebovits sans tamid editedA newly identified member of the Shomer Shabbos club is Rabbi Dovid Greenfeld who is awaiting trial for assaulting a boy in a mikvah. A Boro Park resident reports that on Jan 24, “Dovid Greenfeld prayed mincha and maariv at Congregation Shomer Shabbos. Shmone esrei took him between fifteen and twenty minutes, he davened so farfrumt and yelled out “omein yehe shmei rabboh” like the biggest tzadik.”

This is not a new story. Chaptzem first revealed it in 2007. In December of 2008 they initiated a petition that got 145 signatures calling on the shul to exercise some responsibility. The shul  lowered Jerry Brauner’s profile for a while. But after a few months he was known to have keys to the closet and these days he leads important services and still carries on.

The Shul likes to claim that everyone needs a place to daven. But where does it say that someone like Jerry Brauner should become the shliach tzibur. The shliach tzibur should be person of good character acceptable to all. In truth not everyone is welcome at Shomer Shabbos. Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg is not welcome. His crime: attacking child molestation!

If they want to stay open they should take responsibility for monitoring the premises. Installing video cameras with tape backups would discourage molesters and assist in their prosecution. Alternatively, the shul should just declare it is not a safe place for minors.

Community residents should tell the administration that they will not support the shul unless it starts acting responsibly. I believe the shul will change course when attendance and contributions start dropping. You can contact the administrator at the address and phone number below and let him know you intend to cut back your contributions.

Moshe Metzger, Administrator
Congregation Shomer Shabbos
1280 53rd Street
Boro Park, NY 11219
(718) 438-9810/437-1428

If you contact the administrator, please share your experiences in the comments section.


9 thoughts on “The Shul for Scandal: Where the Molesters Prey (Repost with YU Update)

  1. There’s no limit to the depravity of the leaders of this community. Black is white and evil is good in the world of the frum.

    • I want to say amen but that is inappropriate obviously.
      there is no limit, and to whom was David speaking to , an audience with cognitive, difficulties, political difficulties, legal difficulties. May they all rot in Gennenom. I have a variety of solutions to the problem, on a temp. basis, but it seems that people of that school of thought are pariah’s . albeit effective kivyachol. would they fn mind if their wives and daughters wer raped, as was the standard behavior in the Torah given directly from Hashem, baruchhu t mosherabeinu, . would they care? expletive morons. would they expletive care if it wass their own sons and daughters and efshar the wives, although wivew are chattel and most of the abusers far fasr prefer prepubscent boys. toda la’el that, at least in the ortho world there are only a few “quasi psychologists” who get free access to females,
      thank you DC for your brave bold attempts. but, as they used ot say many yers ago when i was olah chadasha in eretz Yisrael, sometimes one needs to laharos et hakol v’l’hatchil me’chadash, how that translates to today issues is beyond my intellectual and existential capabilities. WHERE DOES DC
      GET THE kOACH TO CONTINUE neged such disgusting rebbaim, and where are the cement shoe guys i figure, if i say that enough online, i will be arrested. me, distaff at my age… but wth., i probably will be, they are protecting us from the Moslem radicals, ….

  2. The upside down world of the charedim. Which, btw, leaves a permanent upside down world in the mind of the abused.
    YL, the word, “prolific” to describe an abuser, causes cognitive dissonance, a word, usually used in the positive sense. But so appropriate…… and horrific, since it is accurate. A disease with no cure. Physical or chemical castration (but they can and do out RX themselves around the chemical version) or life imprisonment or death to a Rodef.
    Where are the Jewish cement shoe guys? NLOL.

  3. You’re mistaken in your thesis. You assume without any basis that Shomer Shabbos has more child molesters per capita than other shuls in Boro Park, Williamsburg, KJ, New Square or Monsey.

    You’re wrong. Shomer Shabbos is a minyan mill not unlike Munkacs (also heavily populated by molesters). Every chasideshe shul has more than its fair share of child molesters. You can probably separate the chasideshe child population by those who have been molested and those who have not yet been molested.

    And the parents are responsible. As long as they continue blindly following their corrupt immoral leaders and vote for people like DA Charles Hynes they condemn their children to a life of horror.

    • I am sure you are right that there are many others. I definitely would put Munkatch in Boro Park high on the list. However, even those molesters too notorious for Munkatch get the honors and the keys at Shomer Shabbos. Many shuls have molesters but this is a shul for molesters.

      I feel that the rapid turnover and the movement of many strangers through its doors increases the risk that molesting will happen there. That is why I feel either the management takes responsibility for what happens on premises or parents should be warned not to let their kids go there alone.

  4. Regarding Lanner, the same people who kowtowed to him in the 70s, 80s, and 90s are still doing it today, apparently. It’s hard to believe.

  5. I am a victim of “Rabbi” Brauner.This [DELETED OBSCENITIES] had the nerve to fondle my genitalia through my pants during shachris at Shomer Shabbos, while I was holding a sefer torah.


  6. Now We know why….So many people drop..the Orthodox Religion..of Judaic Nature..due to things that are so horrendous..shovelled under the rug..I know, I am one of them..and GOD knows I related this in letters as a Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE….to help me..and he did….I have seen my mother getting beaten with a belt by her SATMAR HUSBAND..NOT MY FATHERE.HER SECOND HUSBAND.. I have seen and witnessed Chassidim exposing themelves to young girls such as myself..never letting us forget..thE shock IT BRINGS…yes..this will go on forever..people need help..they may be observant Jews..or even Preists……be it a Pediphyle ..and or sexually sick person…now they cannot hide under their beards..and prayer shawls…..I for one..kept this quiet..for so ,long..that I have left the Luvbavitch Community and due to that am still being shunned…but this is the true reason…seeing such sickness. and experiencing it first why…I no longer …have any respect for any ultra.orthodox Hassidic persn, to me they are disgusting..people perhaps with the exception of a few…..that can be countes on one hand…….period……Miriam Gross……..not my real name now…..but then it was….

    • I have great compassion for you and I hope you are well! I believe that all religions foist oppression upon women and children. Take care and I hope you find happiness and can get out from under your early indoctrinations.

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