Rabbi Menachem Chinn
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.
Rabbi Steven Weil, Executive Vice President of the OU 2009-2014
The Rabbinical Council of America and Yeshiva University were critical of Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt’s practice of mentoring boys and young men in extended mutually nude interactions in showers and saunas. However, the Orthodox Union (OU) used Rosenblatt for rabbinic mentoring events starting in 2009 and 2010. These events ran through 2013 but it is not clear if he was used for all of the remaining events, though the OU did not claim otherwise when I inquired.
According to a 2010 email by OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Steven Weil,
In Toronto I attended a three-day conference for over 30 rabbis from large, medium and small shuls across North America. This is part of a regular series of gatherings organized by the OU, which occur on-site in numerous locations; last year, the rabbis met in Chicago, while next year’s conclave is planned IY”H for Kansas City.
Many of the rabbis who participate in this group are relatively new to the pulpit (within the past decade, but most newer). They are mentored by more experienced rabbis, foremost among them Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt of the Riverdale Jewish Center. This event was held at Shaarei Shomayim, following which, I was privileged to remain behind in order to serve as Shabbat scholar-in-residence. (emphasis added).
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.
Imagine a letter written on behalf of a rapist we will call Hershel Shvantz.
To the Honorable Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman,
I am writing you about Rabbi Hershel Shvantz who pleaded guilty to raping my daughter 3,000,000 times. I have known him for years and have seen nothing but good in his work on behalf of children in our community. Whenever I called him for help, he responded. I was shocked to learn he raped my daughter. That is not the Hershel I know. He admits he made some mistakes. But I believe you should also consider all the good he has done. Please be lenient in proposing his sentence. He has the potential to do a lot of good in the future.
Rabbi Keiyn Rachmonis
Alright, I realize some of you can’t buy the idea of someone raping three million times. But bear with me. Many orthodox Jewish leaders wrote letters to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman requesting leniency for William Rapfogel. He was a man with a $410,000 annual salary for running Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (aka Met Council) who stole over $3,000,000 from Met Council. This same clique raised over $3,000,000 so he could pay back the stolen money, thereby reducing his prison time without giving up his apartment or second home.
All the letters can be seen here. But let me save you the trouble and summarize their main points. Continue reading
Rabbi Yisroel Belsky
Rabbi Yisroel Belsky is notorious for collusion in kidnapping/torture, defending two generations of Kolko family molesters and Lawrence’s sex-abusing Rabbi (sic) Dovid Weinberger, libeling parents of victims of abuse who report the crimes to the police, and issuing a kosher ruling that benefited his son-in-law, Rechnitz. Nevertheless the OU retains him as a senior posek and is yet again sponsoring a talk in Passaic, NJ at 9:45 on Thursday, November 27. The event is co-sponsored by the Passaic Clifton Community Kollel in the building of the “more modern” of Passaic’s two yeshivas, YBH (aka Hillel). Continue reading
The OU reports:
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) today announced that the Orthodox Union (OU) has granted kosher certification to ELELYSO™ (taliglucerase alfa) for injection, an enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) for the long-term treatment of adults with a confirmed diagnosis of Type 1 Gaucher disease. ELELYSO is the first prescription medication to be certified kosher by the OU, a milestone for the brand which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2012……
Said Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher. “In a life or death situation, Jewish law clearly sets aside the kosher status of a prescription medicine, but in other cases, it is preferable and sometimes recommended that a medicine be certified kosher.
Huh? Gaucher disease is a life or death situation. Without the enzyme treatment it shortens life. According to the National Institute of Health:
Enzyme replacement therapy is available for most people with types 1 and 3 Gaucher disease. Given intravenously every two weeks, this therapy decreases liver and spleen size, reduces skeletal anomalies, and reverses other symptoms of the disorder, including abnormal blood counts. (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved taliglucerase alfa for long-term enzyme replacement in people with type 1 Gaucher disease.)
DovBear asks: “I honestly cannot understand why an item that cannot be eaten or drunk and is not for use in food preparation, serving, or clean-up needs to have a hechsher (rabbinic seal certifying that it’s kosher). If someone would kindly explain this to me, I’d appreciate it.” Continue reading
Rabbi Yisroel Belsky
Once upon a time, Rabbi Yisroel Belsky was the featured speaker at OU events. These days he is like the crazy uncle you try to hide in the attic.
The OU held its annual in-house conference for rabbinic coordinators and rabbinic field representatives. Below is their description of the speakers roster:
The opening remarks were delivered by Harvey Blitz, chair of the OU Kashrus Commission. The shiur was given by Rabbi Hershel Schachter, posek for OU Kosher, on Modern Technology Use for Kosher Supervision. A question and answer session was conducted by Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher, and Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of OU Kosher.
Rabbi Avrohom Juravel, OU Kosher’s director of technical services, delivered a lecture on kashrus concerns for mixed (dairy and pareve) factories. Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, posek for OU Kosher, gave a talk imparting words of inspiration. Edmundo Gabaldon, director of operations at Cargil Foods Mexico, was honored for his dedication and excellence in support of the OU’s programs serving the community worldwide. Rabbi Moshe Zywica, executive rabbinic coordinator for OU Kosher, gave an OU Direct session on Technology and Modern Tools for rabbinic field representatives.
New executive vice president of the Orthodox Union, Allen Fagin, gave words of thanks and encouragement to all of the attendees. Continue reading