Update 10/9/13: Jewish Week reports Kaye’s history of rape and other abuse known on 4 continents for decades, and yet no official action till this month. Kudos to Rabbis Yosef Blau and Mark Dratch for acting now.
In July, the website, AdKan, put Rabbi Yeshaya Dovid Kaye (also using the LinkedIn name, David Isaiah Kaye) on its Wall of Shame as an alleged sexual offender who posed a risk to the community. At the time he was rabbi of Congregation Ahavath Israel in Liberty, New York. He was forced out following the public exposure and moved in with his parents in W. Orange, New Jersey, longtime members of that community. Leaders in that community were approached about the allegations and finally acted to publicly inform their members and ban him from their facilities.
Rabbi Kaye had a long history known to leaders in many communities of exploiting young women who trusted him as a rabbi. It seems to have involved adults and in most cases was not prosecutable because the laws about exploiting professional trust do not apply to clergy. It is disappointing that it took decades for rabbis to finally publicly expose him. I commend rabbis Zwickler and Spivak for stepping up to the plate and for the ways in which balanced the safety of their community with sensitivity to Rabbi Kaye’s parents, who are long time members of the community.
Note: This Rabbi Dovid Yeshaya Kaye is not to be confused with Rabbi David Kaye who was banned from a liberal synagogue following his child sex offense conviction. I do not know if they are related.
The full text is below, with email addresses redacted.Subject: IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO THE WEST ORANGE COMMUNITY
To: xxx [email address of Rabbi Zwickler] From Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler and Rabbi Marc Spivak
Date: September 18, 2013
At the outset, we wish to make it clear that the decision to disseminate to the members of our congregations the information contained in this message was made in consultation with, and with the concurrence of, several well-recognized rabbinic authorities.We were also advised that, against the factual background of this matter, it is our responsibility to inform members of our community of the presence of a potential perpetrator in order that they may protect themselves and their families.
Serious allegations have recently come to our attention concerning a member of our extended community, Rabbi Yeshaya Dovid Kaye, who has recently taken up residence in our community. The allegations relate to Rabbi Kaye having allegedly exploited his title as a Rabbi to enable him to take or to attempt to take liberties with various females in past years.
The activities are reported to have occurred in locations in Israel, Germany, South Africa and the United States. A number of women involved have submitted to very reputable and prominent rabbis written statements recording the occurrences. If found to be true, the facts recounted have potential serious implications.
We must emphasize that no formal legal proceeding has been instituted with regard to any of the matters and, therefore, no determination or finding has been made by any court or other official agency. A series of recent incidents with one woman has been reported to law enforcement in the United States.
We have met with members of the Kaye family with whom we have discussed the matter. We have also consulted with behavioral professionals and we have advised the Kayes of professional services that they may wish to consider.
Due to the seriousness of these matters, we have concluded that it would not be appropriate for Rabbi Kaye, at this time and for the foreseeable future, to attend or be present in our respective shuls for any purpose and have so advised him. We suggest that each family take appropriate measures to caution its members concerning the potential risks.
Lastly, everyone should remember that Rabbi Kaye’s parents, xxx and xxx Kaye, have been respected and beloved members of this community for decades. This is a very trying time for them, and we all should do our best to assure them of our love and regard for them and to rally around them and support them during this very difficult period of their lives.