Australian Sponsor of Brander Talk, COSV, Harbored Pedophile David Cyprys.

Rabbi Kenneth Brander

Rabbi Kenneth Brander

As reported over the last two days, Rabbi Kenneth Brander’s talk  in Melbourne was criticized by Tzedek (Australia) and Frum Follies because of his failure to properly address sex abuse problems in the Boca Raton Synagogue and at Yeshiva University where he is a Vice President.

Brander’s defenders attacked Tzedek for misjudgment and misstatement of the facts. In the forefront of these attacks was the Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Victoria (COSV). Tzedek responded, defending their position and pointing out the COSV is not in any position to certify the impeccable reputations of others given their own negligence, or even criminality, in keeping notorious alleged pedophile David Cyprys on their board for years after his misdeeds were known. Below is the full text of the Tzedek reply.

I would also add that COSV relies on claims about Brander’s superb record on abuse without citing any facts or sources.

Tzedek responds to COSV statement

Posted on August 6, 2013 by

Tzedek has issued the following statement in response to the statement that was issued by the Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Victoria (COSV) President Romy Leibler (5 August 2013):

In issuing our statement criticising the Melbourne invitation that was extended to Rabbi Kenneth Brander (3 August 2013), Tzedek undertook a significant process of research and consultation. In fact, we relied upon a wide network of US-based experienced and knowledgeable people in this area, most of whom are on our esteemed Board of Advisors. Our initial statement was based on widely reported facts:

  1. To date Rabbi Brander’s employer, Yeshiva University, has not properly addressed its own child sexual abuse scandal.
  2. Rabbi Brander has been accused of hushing up serious sexual abuse allegations in his previous employment.

Moreover, our extensive and highly reputable network has access to additional evidence to substantiate some of the reported allegations.

Tzedek undertakes rigorous research, conducts due diligence and consults widely before issuing statements of potential consequences. In this case we are proud to emphasise that this high standard was met. Tzedek fully stands by its initial statement.

We find the criticism emanating from the COSV to be somewhat disingenuous. It is ironic that this reputable organisation has accused Tzedek of not undertaking a rigorous level of research – had the COSV undertaken their own research, they probably would not have appointed accused serial paedophile David Cyprys as a member of the COSV over a period of a number of years starting in 2006. It should be noted that current COSV President, Romy Leibler, in fact sat on the same Board as Mr Cyprys for a number of years. Mr Cyprys only recently stepped down from his Board position. Mr Cyprys is currently facing 40 charges (including five of rape) allegedly perpetrated against 12 victims and is due to stand on trial next week (12 August).

Another public critic, publisher of the ultra-Orthodox Pitputim blog Isaac Balbin, has made similar accusations towards Tzedek. Clearly Dr Balbin does not hold himself to the same standard to which he holds others – had he undertaken his own rigorous level of research, he probably would not have served on the Elwood Synagogue Board of Management together with Mr Cyprys.

Tzedek once again emphasises that it fully stands behind its initial statement. We question the motivation behind the misguided criticisms of Tzedek and Manny Waks by some within the Orthodox community.

Tzedek acknowledges and values the great work of the COSV but is still dismayed and disappointed at its decision to host Rabbi Kenneth Brander. The Jewish community is blessed with leading experts in many fields whose reputations are indisputable. The COSV should have invited a more appropriate speaker.

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3 thoughts on “Australian Sponsor of Brander Talk, COSV, Harbored Pedophile David Cyprys.

  1. >in keeping notorious alleged pedophile David Cyprys on their board for years after his
    >misdeeds were known.

    I believe Failedmessiah is correct in adding:
    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2013/08/known-pedophile-was-hired-by-orthodox-synagogue-group-victims-advocates-say-345.html

    “What Tzedek fails to clearly state is that Chabad pedophile David Cyprys had already in effect pleaded guilty to abuse charges once before COSV hired him. That information was known to leaders in the Chabad and Orthodox community, but COSV hired Cyprys as director anyway.”

  2. >I would also add that COSV relies on claims about Brander’s superb record on abuse without
    >citing any facts or sources.

    How can they? All the public facts/sources confirm the contrary:

    http://forward.com/articles/180727/boca-raton-synagogue-demands-answers-on-accused-yu/
    Boca Raton Synagogue Demands Answers on Accused Y.U. Pedophile Richard Andron
    What Did Rabbis Know and When Did They Know It?
    Scandal Shul? Some congregants at the Boca Raton Synagogue are asking whether current or former rabbis knew of the allegations that followed accused pedophile Richard Andron to their community.
    By Paul Berger
    Published July 18, 2013

    One man who said that he was molested by Andron for three years told the Forward that he called Brander during the early 1990s.

    “I told [Brander], he’s definitely a pedophile,” the man said, referring to Andron. “[Brander said] he would look into it, and he never called me back.”

    Another man said he tried to warn Brander about Andron a little more than a decade ago.

    The man said he tried to call Brander “four or five times,” but Brander did not respond. So the man said he “had to leave a very uncomfortable message” with someone in the Boca Raton Synagogue office. Later, a “third party” from the synagogue contacted the man to say that the allegations against Andron were “rumors” and that “in any case, it’s behind him,” the man said.

    Yeshiva University promoted Brander to vice president for university and community life at the end of June. He did not respond to several requests for comment.

  3. http://pitputim.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/tzedek-shouldnt-be-in-the-business-of-besmirching-honourable-people/#comment-3138

    Balbin is turning into a caricature of himself with his latest diatribe that Waks is full of “piffle & poppycock”. Balbin keeps rattling his saber convinced that the big anti-Waks post he is planning for tomorrow will leave Waks hiding under his bed.

    What’s next for Balbin? A Saddam Hussein-esque “mother of all battles” threat?

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