YU’s Rabbi David Bleich is Director for New Haven Yeshiva of Convicted Child Rapist Rabbi Daniel Greer

Rabbi Daniel Greer is serving a 20-year sentence in a Connecticut prison for repeatedly raping a boy in his Yeshiva of New Haven. Rabbi J David Bleich is a prominent YU Rosh Yeshiva. Starting no later than 2013 (according to IRS 990 forms) and continuing to January 2020 he has been listed as an officer of the Yeshiva of New Haven in the role of a Director. This is a scandal.

Bleich is not some joe shmoe. His Wikipedia entry includes the following:

Judah David Bleich (born August 24, 1936, Tarrytown, New York[1]) is an authority on Jewish law and ethics, including Jewish medical ethics…. He is a professor of Talmud (rosh yeshiva) at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, an affiliate of Yeshiva University, as well as head of its postgraduate institute for the study of Talmudic jurisprudence and family law. At Yeshiva University, he holds the Herbert and Florence Tenzer Chair in Jewish Law and Ethics. He also teaches at Cardozo Law School.

Bleich brings an Orthodox perspective to governmental deliberations on bioethics. For example, in 1988 he served on the NIH Human Fetal Tissue Transplantation Research Panel[2] and testified before Congress on the Pain Relief Promotion Act.[3] In 1984, New York Governor Mario Cuomo appointed Bleich to the Governor’s Commission on Life and the Law.

[Bleich] studied in Yeshiva Torah Vodaath and Beis Medrash Elyon, under Rabbi Elya Chazan. From 1958–1962 he attended the Kollel in Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim of Radun.[1] He received a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College in 1960, a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1968, and a PhD from New York University in 1974.[1]

Bleich is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, a postdoctoral fellow at the Hastings Center, and fellow of the Academy of Jewish Philosophy. He received rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, and advanced ordination (“Yadin Yadin“) from Rabbis Moshe Feinstein and Mendel Zaks.[4]

Bleich holds the position of rosh kollel for the Yadin Yadin Kollel (Institute for the Study of Jewish Monetary Law) in Yeshiva University. Additionally, he gives a Chullin/Yoreh Deah course (Jewish dietary laws) in RIETS, as well as a few courses in Jewish Philosophy in IBC. Bleich was a close student of the late Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky.

Bleich has been the rabbi (Jewish spiritual leader) of the Yorkville Synagogue, located in Manhattan for over 45 years.

Bleich may not have known about Greer’s serial child rape when he joined as a Director around 2013 but in May, 2016, a lawsuit was filed with the allegations of the abuse. In July 2017 Greer was charged criminally. In September 2019 Greer was convicted. Yet none of this prompted Bleich to disassociate himself from the yeshiva, one totally controlled by Greer.

Bleich is a great scholar, I and many others appreciate his excellent regular articles summarizing halachah and halachic developments. Alas, he is not a mensch.

update- Since posting I have read this on Bleich’s decision to stay on as a director: https://larrynoodles.com/rabbi-bleich-breaks-silence-defends-the-goat/. Noodles is an idiosyncratic blogger who long ago nicknames Greer “the Goat” and his wife, the “ewe.” In spite his weird flashes of humor I have found his reporting on Greer to be accurate.

3 thoughts on “YU’s Rabbi David Bleich is Director for New Haven Yeshiva of Convicted Child Rapist Rabbi Daniel Greer

  1. Where is YU, RCA, RAA in all this?
    DOes his Yorkville shule know about his (stubborn) involvement with greer’s institution ?

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