Rabbi Menachem Chinn of East Windsor, NJ just accepted a plea bargain for molesting two boys under the age of 13, one in 2005 and the other in 2012. He got off without going to jail but has a long probation with what seems like house arrest with a monitoring bracelet. His ten years of probation also bar his working with kids or being in their settings. He will also be on the sex offender registry for life.
Chinn was working as a Yeshiva teacher and a youth leader on behalf of the National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) of the OU.
Based on his pattern there is good reason to suspect additional victims. As a yeshiva teacher and National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) leader he had loads of access to children. Based on talks with a well informed source, I am not convinced that NCSY is doing its best to support others who may have been abused or to facilitate reporting by additional potential victims.
It is now almost two decades since the shocking revelations of extensive abuse by their key employee, Rabbi Boruch Lanner. They then set all sorts of protocols in place, but somehow, I think they still haven’t gotten it. This is especially true for their part-time employees in smaller communities.
June 23rd will be the fifteenth anniversary of Gary Rosenblatt’s Jewish Week expose, Stolen Innocence. It was the first major journalistic treatment of an orthodox rabbi, Baruch Lanner who used his role working for the Orthodox Union’s (OU) National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) to brutalize and sexually exploit teen girls.
More important, the article copiously documented the OU’s failure to respond to numerous complaints about his misconduct. It is a must read for anyone interested in how bad cover ups can be and how much leaders can be complicit in the sexual abuse of an individual. Take the time to read it here.
This morning’s online Forward has more details about Richard (Ricky or Rick) Andron, an alleged molester named in the Yeshiva University (YU) sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit.
The latest Forward story raises facts which are familiar to those who read the comments in the Frum Follies article, “The Third Man- Richard Andron.” Andron was a regular at Baruch Lanner’s NCSY events and used that connection to molest other boys in their homes where he was given hospitality and in his apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where he invited boys to sleep over, plied them with porn, and then molested those he could.
The article also mentions that Andron taught martial arts classes to teens at the “Jewish Center.” This is the synagogue whose pulpit was once held by Rabbi Norman Lamm, President Emeritus of Yeshiva University. I have also received reports that Andron taught martial arts classes at the prestigious upper-east-side modern orthodox school, Ramaz. If so, Andron operated with impunity for years in four different key institutions of modern orthodoxy, Yeshiva University’s MTA high school, the Orthodox Union’s National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), the extremely prestigious upper west side synagogue, the Jewish Center, and the prestigious upper east side Ramaz school.
Andron’s career was enabled by two of MO’s most notorious molesters, Baruch Lanner and George Finkelstein. Continue reading →
When people talk about (Rabbi?) Baruch Lanner they immediately go to his history of sexually abusing girls and kicking boys in the testicles in NCSY and in his other roles as an educator and principal. They think of his decades of being allowed to continue until the Jewish Week expose and the OU Special Commission on NCSY. They think of his conviction, time in prison, and the mystery of how he got off the New Jersey sex offender registry though he is on the Florida registry.
I have also heard about another dark side to Lanner, his psychopathic trait of manipulating those he abused and many people he dealt with in NCSY and elsewhere. But for those traits, he could not have succeeded in his career as an abuser spanning over three decades, and probably hundreds of victims.
I feel it is important to better document his manipulations by describing his style and instances of him in action.
This post is a CALL FOR EXAMPLES OF BARUCH LANNER IN ACTION at any point, and about any manipulations, whether or not they involved physical or sexual abuse.Continue reading →
Tonight, on the eve of the 9th of Av many people will be mixing the ashes of mourning for the destruction of the Temple with their searing memories of innocence allegedly lost to Richard (Rick or Ricky) Andron at YU, NCSY, and perhaps, even the Boca Raton Synagogue where you are rabbi emeritus.
Rabbi Brander, how in G-d’s name, knowing his history as an abuser, could you give him access to youth by letting him regularly organize and work with children to lead the singing of Anim Zmiros and Havdalah? When individuals challenged you about this you would acknowledge his prior history but insist he was now cured. Did you also assign an alcoholic in remission to be the bartender at celebrations? Continue reading →
(Repost of 9/12/12 which I updated today to incorporate NCSY, Baruch Lanner, Richard (Rick or Ricky) Andron and the George Washington Bridge.)
I have said many insulting things about New Jersey over the years. I take them all back. When a menuval from Brooklyn takes a child to or through New Jersey to sexually abuse him or her it becomes an interstate federal crime. Now the victim can approach the FBI and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) will prosecute the case. All of us in the advocacy community are impressed by the Feds’ honesty and competence in investigating and prosecuting cases. Thanks to the Feds, Yisroel Moshe Weingarten will probably be taken away from jail by the chevrah kadishah (burial society).
This Sunday, June 30, 2013, I spoke to the Annual Meeting of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) as part of a panel on Child Safety. I shared my experience as a victim of sex abuse more than thirty years ago and why I am finally speaking out publicly (see Sharing the Secret that Haunted My Soul).
I also shared my concern that too many within the Jewish community are too willing to ignore abuse or even actively cover it up. I repeatedly referred to Baruch Lanner who was a teacher and later a principal in Jewish high schools. For decades he was also a leading figure in the Orthodox Union’s (OU) National Council for Synagogue Youth (NCSY) whose activities brought him into contact with thousands of teenagers. Baruch Lanner was eventually convicted and sent to prison for sexually assaulting a teen-aged girl, and remains a registered sex offender.
Most of Baruch Lanner’s notorious activities — sexual abuse of teenage girls and physical abuse of teenage boys – took place in Northern New Jersey. In 1999-2000 the OU investigated the crimes of Baruch Lanner and interviewed several dozen victims. People familiar with the facts believe Lanner abused several hundred teens over more than 20 years. Of course, no one knows the exact number. I live in Teaneck, New Jersey, ground zero for Lanner’s misconduct and home to many of his victims and survivors.