Efrem Goldberg in Boca Doth Protest Too Much

The Boca Raton Synagogue fell into the spotlight of the Forward’s series of article about sex abuse at YU when BRS’s long-time member, Richard Andron, was named as a serial, child molester.

After 30 years of abiding Richard (Rick, Ricky) Andron, BRS turned on a shekel and forced his immediate resignation and agreement not to enter their premises or events. Nice PR work, but they never explained why, knowing of his history as they did, they allowed him to conduct activities with children until shortly beforehand including havdalah, singing, and until two years ago, the matzoh shop. This was the misconduct of both Rabbi Emeritus Kenneth (Kenny) Brandon and his hand-picked, protegé/successor, Rabbi Efrem Goldberg. Continue reading

Why Am I Suddenly Getting More Blog Hits on Kenneth Brander and Richard Andron

Rabbi Kenneth Brander

Rabbi Kenneth Brander

It is sort of sad to write a blog post, even a very good one and know that the readership peaks and then rapidly tails off in a matter of days or at best weeks. Imagine my pleasant surprise when a post from July, “An Open Note to Rabbi Kenneth Brander about Richard Andron”  suddenly acquired new life in the last 4 days.In that post I reported that Brander, VP at Yeshiva University responsible for student matters, neglected the safety of his congregants in Boca Raton by giving youth work roles to a man he knew to have a history of sexually abusing children.

As you can see in the bar graph below Continue reading

An Open Letter to Rabbi Efrem Goldberg of the Boca Raton Synagogue

One of your congregants submitted a comment to this blog because he does not feel able to get open responses from you directly. Rabbi Goldberg, I would encourage you to address the points raised.

Thank you for posting the link to R. Goldberg’s letter. There are so many things about the letter that concern me. He criticizes the silence in the rabbinate about orthodox pedophiles and the rabbis who protect them. R. Goldberg uses 3 examples of orthodox rabbis who protect child molesters. Yet, R. Goldberg remains silent about who these rabbis are. He doesn’t even identify the convicted sex offenders even though their names are public record. Also, R Goldberg is silent about what he and R. Brander knew about Rick Andron.

Nevertheless, R. Goldberg pledges “I will be transparent with you regarding what I know and how and why I did or didn’t act”. However, he will only discuss it privately, i.e. in secret.

The only way that this controversy can be dealt with Continue reading

The Negative Reviews of YU’s Abuse Report Are Coming In

Yesterday I posted my reaction, YU Waits Eight Months to Issue a Report that Says Nothing

Others feel the same way.  Rather than summarize the reactions of others, I will pin this post for a while, and try to list articles I found significant. Here are some of my candidates (in the order I encountered them):

  • Report Faults Yeshiva U. on Sex Abuse ChargesInside Higher Ed (8/27/13). “Originally, the university said that the entire report would be released, but it provided only a summary, citing issues raised by suits filed against Yeshiva.”
  • Y.U. Report’s Three Paragraphs Fails To Do Justice to Abuse — or Jewish Ethics. Hiding Behind ‘Pending Litigation’ Is Tired Excuse” Rabbi Irwin Kula (Director of CLAL: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership) The Forward (9/29/13) [Kula identifies himself as another YU HS victim who first disclosed to his brother after the story came out in December 2012 and discovered his brother was another YU HS victim. He writes eloquently about the moral failings of YU’ approach to the unfolding revelations.]
  • Serious Allegations Against Yeshiva University High School” CBS 2’s Tony Aiello [Video footage of plaintiff’s lawyer] Attorney Kevin Mulhearn slammed the report released by Yeshiva University. “I think this is a whitewash. They’re trying to establish with the community the fact they’re being open and candid and this report indicates the opposite,” Mulhearn said. “We’re looking for the information that they promised to provide, but didn’t. We’re looking to get that through litigation,” Mulhearn said.
  • Yeshiva U., release the full report now!” Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld (of Ohev Sholom–The National Synagogue in Washington DC). Times of Israel (9/1/13) [He compares YU very unfavorably to Penn State, makes it clear they broke their promise to openly report about the abuse at YU, and did this at the behest of a Special Committee of the Board, in defiance of the full board of Trustees].
  • My Empathy Questions for Richard Joel” Yerachmiel Lopin, Frum Follies (9/3/13).

YU Waits Eight Months to Issue a Report that Says Nothing

At last, eight months and two million dollars later, Yeshiva University (YU) has issued its long awaited report on the scandal of molesting by its high school principal (Rabbi George Finkelstein) and another teacher (Rabbi Macy Gordon) which was first revealed by The Forward in December 2012. The “YU Investigation Report” goes by the ungainly title, “Report of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP Regarding Allegations of Abuse at Yeshiva University and its Affiliated Schools.”

YU Pres. Richard Joel &  Pres. Emeritus Norman Lamm

YU Pres. Richard Joel &
Pres. Emeritus Norman Lamm

Save yourself the trouble. It is not worth reading. Mostly, they document what the money was spent on but not what they found other than some unspecified abuse in their high school, by unnamed offenders and uncounted victims. Completely missing is any account of who was responsible for mishandling allegations and letting the dismissed rabbis go on to other positions of trust. Whoopee doo, I really feel enlightened.

Most of the report is devoted to their new detailed policies for dealing with abuse going forward. They adhere to both versions of Kol Nidre. It absolves them of past sins and their policies will absolve them in the future. Continue reading