The OU Owes Baltimore an Accounting of Their Handling of Krawatsky

The OU claims they notified Beth Tfiloh about their decision to terminate Rabbi Shmuel Krawatsky as the leader of their Yachad Program because of suspicions of child sexual abuse. Beth Tfiloh denies it. The OU should publicly support their claim by providing phone or email records demonstrating the relevant contact.

But there is something more they owe the public: an explanation of how he came to be hired in the first place. A check with Maryland’s protective services would have shown there were allegations of abuse. Continue reading

Job Openings at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School- SATIRE

The Beth Tfiloh (BT) Dahan Community School seeks qualified applicants for the following four positions.

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER OF JEWISH STUDIES with no confirmed reports of child sexual abuse that can be reported in newspapers. No need to worry about actions of other organizations like the Orthodox Union of Jewish Congregations of America (OU) as long as we can claim never to have heard them. Besides our competitive pay and benefits package, employees unfairly charged can count on the school to secure funding for legal costs which will bludgeon false accusers into submission Continue reading

Is NCSY Following Up on Rabbi Menachem Chinn’s Molesting


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.

OU Featured “Sauna Bonder” Rosenblatt at Rabbinic Mentoring Events

Rabbi Steven Weill

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).

Continue reading

The Baruch Lanner Expose Is the Grandaddy of Exposes of Orthodox Sex Abuse

Gary Rosenblatt

Gary Rosenblatt

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.


A Guide to the Perplexed About Leniency Letters

Imagine a letter written on behalf of a rapist we will call Hershel Shvantz.

letters illustrationTo 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

William rapfogel sheldon silverAlright, 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