Bina’s Netiv Aryeh Tries to Minimize Its Connection to Alleged Child Pornographer Rabbi Jonathan Skolnick

UPDATE- 11/13/19- Jewish Week published a story confirming some of my suspicions that he was also doing his thing while at Netiv Aryeh.

As the saying goes, “Success has a thousand fathers but failure is an orphan.” That goes doubly when the institutional failure involves hiring a child pornographer as a religious educator. SAR and the Yeshiva of Flatbush have issued the usual statements about not having a clue about his years of using fake online identities as a teen girl to try and engage their students, and in at least one case, succeeding in getting a boy to send a nude pic.

The latest entrant is “tough love” Rabbi Aharon Bina’s gap year yeshiva, Netiv Aryeh. For starters, readers should know that tough love in his case is a misnomer for brutal control employed against students considered incorregible by their parents. In the interests of space I refer readers to “Has The ‘Tough Love’ Rebbe Gone Too Far?” published in the NY Jewish Week (2012) by Yedidya Gorsetman and Gary Rosenblatt. There is also a website devoted to reports of his abuse. Bina has his defenders, including some of his “reformed” students who swear by him with all the passion of cult inductees.

Back in 2009, around this time of the year, the Netiv Aryeh newsletter (YNA Newsletter – Parshat Nitzavim-Vayelech, p2) proudly reported, Continue reading

Pelcovitz and Leading Orthodox Rabbis Line Up Behind Sex Offender Evan Zauder (From the archives- 3/31/14)

Update (9/20/19) Dr. David Pelcovitz spoke to SAR parents in the aftermath of the arrest of their teacher, Rabbi Jonathan Skolnick, for child porn production involving a student. He is scheduled to speak at other schools. That is a terrible choice. Parents, after you read this post, please contact your school’s administrators and urge them not to invite Pelcovitz as a speaker. Follow the pattern of a number of other schools who disinvited him.  — Yerachmiel Lopin

Guest Post by David Cheifetz

David Cheifetz

David Cheifetz

David Cheifetz is a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey. He is also the founder of a new non-profit organization, Mi Li – Who Is For Me, designed to educate the Jewish community about sexual abuse of children and provide support to victims and their families.

About a year ago I came forward in the pages of The Jewish Week and shared my experience as a victim of sexual abuse by a senior member of the staff at Camp Dora Golding in 1979. I also had the opportunity to address the annual conference of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) on the topic. In both instances and in other articles and venues, I spoke about the challenge that we face in the Orthodox community regarding a pervasive tolerance of sexual abuse of children.

This is not limited to any corner of the Orthodox community – It exists in the Modern Orthodox world just as it exists in the Ultra-Orthodox world. And while there is a growing recognition of this scourge, there has been little progress in addressing the underlying culture that tolerates abuse and excuses Orthodox pedophiles. Indeed, when someone is accused of abuse, and even found guilty of committing heinous acts of sexual abuse against minors, many communal leaders continue to bend over backwards to show Rachmunus (mercy and empathy) to the perpetrators, and little regard to the victims.

Evan Zauder

Evan Zauder

The terrible phenomenon has been highlighted once again this past week, coinciding with the scheduled sentencing of Evan Zauder. Evan Zauder, was a teacher at the Modern Orthodox day school Yeshivat Noam located in Paramus, New Jersey. Zauder also had a long history of working with Jewish youth, including as a synagogue youth director and participant in numerous youth related programs. In 2012, Zauder was arrested for possessing child pornography, and was subsequently found by the US Government to have distributed child pornography as well. He was also found to have engaged in illicit sexual relationships with underage males that involved graphic discussion, mutual masturbation Continue reading