An Open Letter to Rabbi Efrem Goldberg of the Boca Raton Synagogue

One of your congregants submitted a comment to this blog because he does not feel able to get open responses from you directly. Rabbi Goldberg, I would encourage you to address the points raised.

Thank you for posting the link to R. Goldberg’s letter. There are so many things about the letter that concern me. He criticizes the silence in the rabbinate about orthodox pedophiles and the rabbis who protect them. R. Goldberg uses 3 examples of orthodox rabbis who protect child molesters. Yet, R. Goldberg remains silent about who these rabbis are. He doesn’t even identify the convicted sex offenders even though their names are public record. Also, R Goldberg is silent about what he and R. Brander knew about Rick Andron.

Nevertheless, R. Goldberg pledges “I will be transparent with you regarding what I know and how and why I did or didn’t act”. However, he will only discuss it privately, i.e. in secret.

The only way that this controversy can be dealt with is if he has a meeting open to the public where anyone can question him about what he knew and when he knew it. Those present can then challenge his account. We can find out why he did or did not act and make a decision for ourselves as to whether he acted appropriately. Having private meetings with individuals to discuss this only ensures that no others with knowledge of what happened will be present to contradict his statements. So many people have claimed that R. Goldberg and R. Brander knew about Andron long ago. Do these rabbis deny this? What steps did R. Goldberg and R. Brander take to protect the thousands of children that Andron has had access to at Boca Raton Synagogue for the last 30 years?

He pledges “I will always put the safety, security and protection of our children first.”. Rick Andron still lives here. What is he doing to protect our children from him right now? Has the BRS community been warned about him? Has a decision been made to try to force Andron out of here?

Several years ago, to Rabbi Goldberg’s credit, he organized weekly protest meetings outside the office of a local man who refused to give his wife a get. Why isn’t he organizing weekly protests outside Rick Andron’s house until he leaves?

Are there other people in the BRS area who are suspected of being pedophiles? Who are they and how do we take appropriate measures to protect our children from them?


21 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Rabbi Efrem Goldberg of the Boca Raton Synagogue

  1. I have known Rick Andron over the past 40+ years. When he moved to Boca in the mid 80’s it wasn’t because of a dispute with his employer over not working on Shabbat. At the time he held a high level position at Mobil Oil Co.

  2. Rabbi Goldberg, I read your 2 page letter regarding the sexual abuse coverups and just shook my head in disbelief. You are so clearly over your head in all of this. You lack the sophistication to handle any of this in an effective way. You have lost so much credibility with so many congregants. It is also well known that there is another molester in our midst and your answer is “no comment”. When you lead us on Rosh Hashanah…..your mussar speeches are empty. When you look in the mirror say ,”I have met the enemy….it is myself” . Shame on you

    • Numerous people have also said that there is another molester here. I posted in the Kenny Brander satire thread about a man who has been seen frequenting the play areas around BRS and leering at young boys. Are you referring to the same person?

      If not, can you at least tell us where this person is believed to molest kids, where this person works or anything that can help those of us who don’t know who you’re talking about keep our kids away from?

      Does R. Goldberg know who this person is? Has he done anything to alert the community or has he told the police what he knows? Have you called the police and told them what you know?

      • I don’t understand why in a modern orthodox community there is any debate about calling the police. Avail yourself of the services you pay for with your taxes. Internal orthodox community responses should be a second layer of response.

      • Yes, Rabbi Goldberg knows who the current molester is…..Just go ask him….he’ll tell you “No Comment”. Yet I saw this molester receive recent honors for an engagement of his daughter and sponsoring a kiddish. There is a devil amongst us. G-d help us all

    I have a thought on the Andron matter. It seems to me that it all boils down to this question: which of the four psachim is correct?

    The first psach came from Rav Brander. He was informed of Rick’s past, investigated, referred Rick to a psychiatrist, and determined that Rick had changed. He let the matter rest at that.

    The second psach came from Rav Goldberg. He was informed of Rick’s past, investigated, and
    determined that Rick had changed. He let the matter rest at that.

    The third psach came from the BRS Board of Directors. They were informed of Rick’s past, discussed it, and determined that Rick must be expelled.

    The fourth psach came from Rav Rabovsky. He was informed of Rick’s past, investigated, met with Rick, and determined that Rick had done tshuva. He welcomed Rick to Young Israel.

    Which of the above four psachim is correct?

    Which of the above four authorities is qualified and authorized to render psach halachah?

    To those of you who have rendered your own judgment of Rick, or who have benefitted from Sue’s kindness over the decades, yet have abandoned her in her hour of utmost need, I wish you a chasiva v’chasima tova, and may you receive a Judgment from Heaven that is more generous, less cognizant of your own misdeeds, than the judgment that you have rendered.

    There is still time for each of us to do tshuva before Rosh Hashana. And time to ask forgiveness of anyone we have wronged.

    • You are trying to defend Kenny, Effie, and Rabovsky but you are implying that they are either ignorant of the essentials of repentance or scoffers and heretics who are willfully indifferent to its requirements. Teshuvah requires not just expressions of regret to the community fixer but admissions of wrongdoing to those they offended, attempts to repair the damage and begging of forgiveness. Moreover, as Rabbi Eidensohn pointed out in a post on his blog, Daastorah, sexual abuse victims could quite possibly deny that mechilah. I know for a fact that most if not all of these requirements have not been made by “no comment” Rick, who like YU is acting on the advice of his lawyer, not his religion.

      Let me say this bluntly, if Effie, Kenny, and Rabovsky claim Rick has “done teshuvah” just because he saw a therapist, all three are rabbinical frauds who should have their smichah stripped and should resign their pulpits before the High Holy Days. Otherwise they will be choteh umachti (sin and lead others to sin).

      The timing of the board is suspicious. For almost thirty years, nary a peep, and one day after Andron’s history of abuse surfaces they go the whole mile and get him to agree to complete banishment.

      • When rabbis including YU’s own musmachim demanded that YU revoke the semicha of Steve “gay avek” Greenberg for publicly lecturing around the country that abomination is compatible with Orthodox Jewish philosophy, the decision was taken by YU’s top brass to do nothing in case Greenberg sues them.

        There is about as much chance of YU revoking Kenny Brander’s semicha as there is Richard Joel announcing he will work for one dollar a year instead of $1 million.

        • There may come a day, after Richard Joel has been deposed, that he will long for that one dollar a year. Bimhera B’Yameinu.

    • Rabbi Rabovsky did no investigation. Rabbi Rabovsky has no education whatsoever. He can barely learn a gemorrah and has no secular education whatsoever.

      He just decided he could forgive Rick Andron for having sex with children. The children Rick Andron had sex with have not forgiven him.

      Rick Andron has never asked the children for forgiveness. Please let me know what source you say there is in the Torah for any Rabbi to forgive an adult for having sex which children.

      Rabovsky generally condemns anyone who isn’t Chofeitz Chaim haredi. Certainly he has always laughed at the idea anyone would consider either Brander or Goldberg a real Rabbi given they went to college not yeshiva. Yet on the issue of sexual perversion he suddenly becomes a liberal. Pleading guilty in court to being a pervert has never been a problem for him.

      What of course is unforgivable to Rabbi Rabovsky would be for a board member to ask to see the books of the shul and see where the money is being spent.

    • When I spoke to Elliot Rabovsky he never claimed Andron did teshuva. He simply said that he forgave him.

      Andron to this day has not publicly asked for forgiveness from those he abused. The fact the Rabbis are happy to give him their forgiveness tells you more about them than about him.

  4. BRS has become a closed club more than ever. I read that Jeffrey Klein…appointed to look into future molesters… is in charge of rescinding any of our memberships if we bother Rabbi Goldberg. What has this shul become ???? Honoring molestors and kicking out members who ask too many questions ????????

    • If the shul is really into threatening to rescind memberships it is in trouble. Only a leadership desperately afraid of being exposed resorts to such measures. A respectable leadership knows it can admit some mistakes made in good faith and retain the loyalty of most of its members. Something sounds rotten in Boca

    • I think I know why Effie likes to do everything one-on-one in private. He gets to deny hearing the same thing from several people. He also gets to drop his nice guy mask and do some intimidating and screaming. He learned a few things from his boss and mentor, Kenny Brander.

  5. i was researching Jewish communities in Boca Raton, where i was considering a teaching position. after reading all the posts on this blog, i put in ‘R. Ephraim Goldberg, Boca Raton’ in google …. this came up: i believe this might be the same ‘Rabbi Ephrem Goldberg’ cited on this blog. it seems that R. Goldberg has some serious issues himself. clearly, he is not capable of properly protecting children from the sexual predators in his community.

  6. Ephraim Goldberg is a member of the board of directors of the Torah Academy of Boca Raton and a member of the Young Israel of Boca Raton. He is a good personal friend of both Rabbi Rabovsky and Rabbi Efrem Goldberg. He has only been convicted for soliciting sex in a bathroom with adult homosexuals but has not been accused of behavior with children.

    • A Tsaddik, a veritable tsaddik. Thank you Boca Jew for differentiating for the rest of us. Ephraim Goldberg will thus be recorded as a Jew in good standing. And, his kids can still get shidduchim, preferably with Palestinaim.

      • Kids are good kids no matter what you think of him. And there is a big difference between ones personal behavior among adults and abuse of children.

        With all these Rabbi’s no matter what their sins no one should fault their children.

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