Accountability and transparency within our institutions and leadership.
posted by jewishwhistleblower @ 10:55 PM
It's time for the RCA to end this charade of an investigation. How much more out of control can this process become? Rabbi Mordechai Tendler has proven he does not belong in the rabbanut.Accept the Praesidium report and remove Rabbi Mordechai Tendler from the RCA publicly.I'm also making a public call for the removal of all the rabbonim from the RCA who were part of this fake RCA scam. They need to be named publicly. This is outrageous.1)http://www.thejewishweek.com/top/editcolcontent.php303/04/2005 At Last, An Attempt To Monitor Abuse Gary Rosenblatt - Editor and Publisher Five years ago, when I was researching allegations of sexual abuse made against Rabbi Baruch Lanner, I called an official at the Rabbinical Council of America, the rabbinic body of the Orthodox Union, who told me that his group did not have specific guidelines for dealing with members accused of abuse because it never happened. Much has changed since then. Rabbi Lanner is in jail for his crime, and the RCA, acknowledging reality, has adopted procedures for dealing with colleagues charged with misbehavior. But those procedures do not go into practice until later this year, and unfortunately, some of the shortcomings of the current RCA policy have become all too apparent during its current investigation into charges of sexual abuse against Rabbi Mordechai Tendler, a prominent Monsey rabbi (“Rabbinic Abuse Case Hits Snag,” Dec. 10, 2004). While the case has gone on for almost a year, the RCA committee heading the inquiry has been criticized for sharing with Rabbi Tendler information containing the identity of at least some of his female accusers, causing them to lose faith in the confidentiality of the process. More recently, there were reports that Rabbi Tendler helped arrange and took part in questioning, along with several Monsey colleagues, a non-Jewish woman who is a potential witness in the case. The woman was led to believe that she was summoned as part of the RCA investigation, which was not the case. The purpose of the meeting, it is said, was to dissuade her from testifying. Rabbi Tendler’s attorney, Arnold Kriss, strongly denies such a meeting took place. If it did happen, the RCA may decide to expel the rabbi for violating the procedures of the investigation. Such a move would satisfy those who want the rabbi removed from the RCA, but would not address whether he was guilty of the sexual improprieties he has been charged with. A detailed report commissioned by the RCA and prepared by an outside investigating firm includes phone interviews with some of the women accusers and a personal interview with Rabbi Tendler. It is now in the hands of the RCA, which is deciding its next move. Sources say the report sides with the women accusers. Even before its resolution, though, this troubling case alone underscores the need for clear policies and guidelines, and trained personnel to deal with allegations of abuse. That’s just what Rabbi Mark Dratch plans to do when he leaves his Stamford, Conn., pulpit this June and launches JSAFE, The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse Free Environment. It will be the first serious attempt in the Jewish community to establish and maintain standards and procedures dealing with child abuse, domestic violence and professional improprieties. Rabbi Dratch, a vice president of the RCA who led the effort to create its task force on rabbinic improprieties, is hoping that JSAFE, a non-profit organization, will be of service to schools, camps, synagogues and organizations across the denominations and around the country, a kind of “Good Housekeeping seal of approval,” he said, that will create awareness in the community, offer training, and provide oversight. Abuse is an issue “whose time has come,” Rabbi Dratch noted, and though he credited the community with taking steps to deal with the problem in the last several years, he believes “a lot more has to be done.” Denial is still a major concern, he said, particularly among Orthodox Jews whose worries about the stigma sometimes prevent them from contacting the authorities. As one who has been calling for the community to establish a mechanism to police itself more effectively in these areas, I applaud Rabbi Dratch’s ambitious effort and seriousness of purpose. A veteran of 15 years of writing about and dealing with abuse issues, he observes that “there are too many holes in the system” and that the problem is widespread, compounded by the fact that “there is no single hierarchy or unifying infrastructure that enables [the community] to set standards for training or to hold professionals responsible in these areas.” His plan is for JSAFE to create a certification program that will be “the gold standard” for training professionals and volunteers, establishing policies and guidelines for proper behavior, and offering guidance on dealing with abuse. Each organization certified by JSAFE will be responsible to manage its own compliance, but will give JSAFE the right of oversight. In addition, JSAFE, which will be based in the New York area, will offer seminars, newsletters, journals and books on topics related to protecting people and making the community aware of the issues. Rabbi Dratch has been in a difficult position during the RCA investigation of Rabbi Tendler, observing from the sidelines while his colleagues on the panel grapple with the complexities of conducting a sensitive probe. Rabbi Dratch helped craft the new RCA guidelines and believes some of the problems the committee encountered would have been avoided had policies for dealing with the role of outside investigators and the boundaries of confidentiality been in place. Reluctant to comment on the case, he simply said, “Many people have the best of intentions but not the best training.” Even the rabbis now dealing with the Rabbi Tendler case admit they lack professional training for such situations. Rabbi Dratch is hoping that JSAFE will not only help in terms of training, guidance and awareness, but become the standard that parents will look for and demand when his organization sets up operation over the next year. It couldn’t come a moment too soon.2)http://lukeford.net/archives/updates/050301.htmThe Rabbi And The MaidA non-Jewish maid is at the center of an investigation into of a prominent Orthodox rabbi who stands accused by various women as using his religious position to force them into sex with him.A maid supposedly overheard a taped conversation wherein the rabbi, about a decade ago, paid off one of his alleged victims.The maid was asked to testify about this before a Beit Din (a Jewish law court). She thought it was part of the RCA's (Rabbinical Council of America) investigation. She went to the Beit Din, got threatened, and found the whole thing a horrible experience. She vowed she would never testify again.Later, she was asked to testify before another Beit Din. She said she had already done that. Then she found out that the first Beit Din was set up by the rabbi who's being investigated.
Your headline screams "fire" when the articles make it clear that there is barely smoke here. That non-Jewish maid needs to present some evidence that the Monsey Bais Din presented itself as representatives of the RCA. Otherwise, there is no story here (aside from someone who was unsettled by her experiences in front of a Bais Din that she was not obligated to appear before in the first place).The Vaad HaRabbonim of Monsey (on which R' Tendler is a dayan) is a highly respected Bais Din with very respected members. Regardless of what you think of R' Tendler, I doubt that anyone would believe that the other members of the Monsey Vaad would participate in anything similar to what is intimated in these articles.
The whole investigation is a sham. First off they never offered the survivors legal representation. Each survivor should have been provided an attorney of their own to protect each individuals rights. The RCA is nothing more the "a good ole boys club" Did you really expect anything more?I am also extremely skeptical of the organization Rabbi Dratch is organizing. My bets are it's just an extension of the RCA, nicely packaged for more of the same of what has gone on in the past. To have a certifing organization, you need to have the people involved have NO connection with the RCA. They need a watchdog group to monitor them too.This just makes me sick. When will they really start to take sexual abuse seriously?
>Your headline screams "fire" >when the articles make it clear >that there is barely smoke here. This was direct interference with an investigation of Rabbi Mordechai Tendler by Rabbi Mordechai Tendler. He tricked a witness into believing she was testifying before the RCA. This is outrageous conduct by all involved.>That non-Jewish maid needs to >present some evidence that the >Monsey Bais Din presented itself >as representatives of the RCA.>Otherwise, there is no story >here (aside from someone who was >unsettled by her experiences in >front of a Bais Din that she was >not obligated to appear before >in the first place).This is grounds to expell him and anyone involved from the RCA.>The Vaad HaRabbonim of Monsey >(on which R' Tendler is a dayan) >is a highly respected Bais Din >with very respected members. If they were involved, they are not deserving of any respect.>Regardless of what you think of >R' Tendler, I doubt that anyone >would believe that the other >members of the Monsey Vaad would >participate in anything similar >to what is intimated in these >articles.That's the allegation as it stands and it's quite credible.
Rabbi Tendler sounds like an extreemly manipulative and experienced perp. He believes that absolutely nothing can touch him. I am praying for the day that he be brought to justice. He reminds me of other abusers I have had unfortunate experience with. Jewish whistleblower: please consider changing the style of your blog. It is a real turn off to me and others that you have your own comments in the comments spot. please save the comments spot for commenters! I stopped reading your blog because of this and was sent back by the jewishsurvivors blog to comment on this post.
I like the style (of having the articles in the comment section). It makes it easier to scan the many posts and be able to follow more of the commentaries.
I don't think the RCA has the "balls" to remove Mordechai Tendler from the organization. I think they are afraid of what it would mean to expell a man from such a well known rabbinical family. I guess that's more important then protecting innocent women from a manipulative "alleged" rapist.There's also another problem everyone seems to be ignoring. What happens if the RCA has the courage to expell him. Will he loose his smicha too? Or will he continue on like rabbi ephraim bryks?
You are Mark Dratch.
>You are Mark Dratch.Huh?
>You are Mark Dratch.If you are referring to me:You are Definately Wrong.
See my comment a few days ago at:http://www.canonist.com/archives/2005/02/jsafe_and_the_u.html#commentsCommentsSee my post:Agudath Israel of America Urges Activism: That's Funny I Thought They Were Busy Silencing Abused Women and Blocking Protections For Children http://jewishwhistleblower.blogspot.com/2004/12/agudath-israel-of-america-urges.html#commentsJsafe won't work for one simple reason, community denial of the problem.Posted by: jewishwhistleblower at February 23, 2005 10:07 AMI'm definately not Rabbi Mark Dratch.
> I guess that's more important then protecting innocent women from a manipulative "alleged" rapist.I was not aware that MT has been accused of rape. So far as I understand, the most severe allegation is that MT pressured women for sexual purposes. I am not aware of any women actually claim that he succeeded (i.e. had sex with them, either concensual or non-concensual).> What happens if the RCA has the courage to expell him. Will he loose his smicha too?There is no system in place for the community to remove someone's semicha, as far as I know. MT has semicha from Rav Moshe Feinstein, and probably others. (MT was in Rav Soloviechik's shiur in YU, but I do not think that MT has semicha from the Rav or YU.) Unless Rav Moshe were alive today to revoke his grandson's (MT) semicha, I can't see any way that MT's semicha could be removed.On the other hand, the community at-large (i.e. other Rabbonim) can choose not to accept his semicah. For example, they can refuse to sit on a Bais Din with him on account of the fact that they do not recognize his semicha and that therefore he is not qualified to sit on a Bais Din.Not only would MT not lose his semicha, but I doubt that he would lose his position of Rav of his kehilla. Too many people in the New Hempstead community know/knew the women who have made these allegations, and are familiar with their backgrounds. Even in the unlikely event that the RCA finds any proof of wrongdoing, the worst that is likely to happen is that some members of the kehilla would join a different shul.Of course, if the RCA finds him "guilty", then they will have no choice but to expell him. However, this is not much of a punishment, since I do not get the impression that membership in the RCA is particularly important these days.
My position as to such Rabbis is what the RCA used to claim (apparently the RCA hasn't applied this to the Rabbi Mordechai Tendler situation):PENALTIES VARY WHEN CLERGY CHEAT ON SPOUSES The Record (Bergen County, NJ); 3/1/2001; VERA LAWLOR, Staff Writer ...Rabbi Steven Dworken, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America, said his Orthodox denomination has zero tolerance for rabbis who commit adultery. "There's no question a rabbi who commits adultery would be expelled from the Rabbinical Council of America and would lose the ability to function as a rabbi or to teach in a classroom."...
"There's no question a rabbi who commits adultery would be expelled from the Rabbinical Council of America and would lose the ability to function as a rabbi or to teach in a classroom."Did Rabbi Dworken zt'l really believe that lacking membership in the RCA would prevent a Rabbi from working in a shul or yeshiva? Did he really believe that every yeshiva and shul in the world would follow the guidelines of an organization that they are not even affiliated with (i.e. RCA)? Let's face it, 90%+ of Orthodox rabbis are not members of the RCA, and that has not prevented them from leading shuls and yeshivos.The RCA policy has no way to be enforced, so therefore it is useless. Shuls/schools are not affiliates of the RCA, so the RCA has no way to "force" a shul or school to remove a Rabbi from their staff.On a separate note, you parenthetical comment "apparently the RCA hasn't applied this to the Rabbi Mordechai Tendler situation" is equally meaningless. MT has not been found guilty of anything (yet), and he is not even accused of adultry (see comment above). So, even if the RCA had any power (which it does not), it would not have "applied this to the Rabbi Mordechai Tendler situation" at this point anyhow.
>he is not even accused of >adultryHe is.
>>he is not even accused of>>adultry>He is.Just because you say it is so, does not make it so. MT has been accused of pressuring women for sexual purposes. No one claims that he succeeded (i.e. committed adultry).Your use of exaggeration and outright misinformation is quite clear in this thread. In addition, you have chosen not to respond to several items above where I challenged your exaggerated or untrue assertions.
>Just because you say it is so, >does not make it so. MT has been >accused of pressuring women for >sexual purposes. No one claims >that he succeeded (i.e. >committed adultry).I have a 12 page summary of the complaints before the RCA (not the actual report) and will correct any attempt by parties to minimize the allegations against him.>Your use of exaggeration and >outright misinformation is quite >clear in this thread.I disagree. I'm trying to be as accurate as possible.>In addition, you have chosen not >to respond to several items >above where I challenged your >exaggerated or untrue >assertions. I don't have the time to instantaneously respond. I do try to address question but don't expect instantaneous responses.
>I was not aware that MT has been >accused of rape.That's a legal question that may deal with a party's capacity to consent.To the best of my knowledge the legal opinions at this point indicate that there is no criminal complaint of that nature.
>So far as I >understand, the most severe >allegation is that MT pressured >women for sexual purposes.Not correct.>I am not aware of any women >actually claim that he succeeded >(i.e. had sex with them, either >concensual or non-concensual).Now you are.
>I have a 12 page summary of the>complaints before the RCA (not the >actual report) and will correct any>attempt by parties to minimize the >allegations against him.Post it!If you are so interested in the pursuit of justice (which means the actual factual truth, not the witchhunt that you seem to prefer), then you have every reason to want the information to be made public. Perhaps you should call Gary Rosenblatt. He'd surely love to publish it.I hope that the source of your 12-page document is more reliable than the "facts" that you post here. Again, you seem to think that just because you say someting is so, makes it so.Your insistence on making broad claims with no support severely undermine any credibility that you may have.>>So far as I>>understand, the most severe>>allegation is that MT pressured>>women for sexual purposes.>>Not correct.>>>I am not aware of any women>>actually claim that he succeeded>>(i.e. had sex with them, either>>concensual or non-concensual).>>Now you are.Once again, just because you say it is so, does not make it so.I can see that you are unable to respond with any factually-based information. Rather, you would just prefer to exagerate and spread misinformation and expect everyone to accept your words as fact.Please provide facts (yeah, I mean the real substantiated ones, not just the ones that you make-up) to the following items that you claim in this thread:1) MT impersonated the RCA (Note: the perception of the maid does not alone create fact. What did MT do to lead her to believe that he is the RCA?)2) Other members of the Vaad HaRabbonim of Monsey participated in impersonating the RCA3) MT is accused of rape (and if so, please explain why a criminal investigation does not exist)4) MT is accused of adultery5) MT has been found guilty of adultery (clearly implied from your 10:53AM post)6) The RCA has the ability to prevent a Rabbi from holding a position as a Rav or educator7) You have a 12-page list of charges against MT from a legitimate source (meaning, someone inside the RCA or the private investigation firm).8) You are Mark Dratch (just kidding)Just to be clear: Responding "because I said so" to any of the above items does not make your statement a fact (except, apparently, in your mind).
>Post it!If you are so interested >in the pursuit of justice (which >means the actual factual truth, >not the witchhunt that you seem >to prefer), then you have every >reason to want the information >to be made public. Perhaps you >should call Gary Rosenblatt. >He'd surely love to publish it.I believe Rosenblatt has similar information from the people he's interviewed (but not this document) and could publish it as well.I haven't made it public for one simple reason: it's very specific as to the allegations of individual victims and would identify them. I have and probably will post the information in a more general form.
>Once again, just because you say>it is so, does not make it so.Irrelevant, it's accurate and true.>I can see that you are unable to >respond with any factually-based >information. Rather, you would >just prefer to exagerate and >spread misinformation and expect >everyone to accept your words as >fact.Wrong.>Please provide facts (yeah, I >mean the real substantiated >ones, not just the ones that you >make-up) to the following items >that you claim in this thread:>>1) MT impersonated the RCA >(Note: the perception of the >maid does not alone create fact. >What did MT do to lead her to >believe that he is the RCA?)Read above articles.>2) Other members of the Vaad >HaRabbonim of Monsey >participated in impersonating >the RCARead above articles.
>3) MT is accused of rape (and if >so, please explain why a >criminal investigation does not >exist)Not my assertion. Addressed above.>4) MT is accused of adulteryThat is part of the allefations at the RCA. The maid has specific information as to those allegations.>5) MT has been found guilty of >adultery (clearly implied from >your 10:53AM post)He paid a settlement reported at 50-100k to a married woman to prevent her from suing in civil court with allegations to that effect (she has signed a confidentiality agreement). There were audio tapes that confirmed that relationship.
>6) The RCA has the ability to >prevent a Rabbi from holding a >position as a Rav or educatorNot my assertion.>7) You have a 12-page list of >charges against MT from a >legitimate source (meaning, >someone inside the RCA or the >private investigation firm).I don't reveal my legitimate sources.>8) You are Mark Dratch (just >kidding)If I were, I'd be more positive re Jsafe.>Just to be clear: >Responding "because I said so" >to any of the above items does >not make your statement a fact >(except, apparently, in your >mind). Just because you won't accept it doesn't mean it isn't true.
Your last few comments confirm that you post exaggerated and untrue claims, and refuse to substantiate your claims in any way. You simply point the finger elsewhere to sources that do not support your accusations.> I don't reveal my legitimate sources.Here is the crux of the issue. You expect all of us to believe you, because you claim to have the true scoop on this matter. However, you refuse to substantiate the source of your information. Therefore, your "facts" are worthless.< sarcasm on >By the way, I have a 12-page document with detailed proof that the case against MT is a conspiracy by PETA because MT eats kosher meat. Did you know that all of the accusers are vegetarians? - therefore the conspiracy must be true! And the best proof of all: I said it, therefore it is fact! By the way, I can't reveal my sources (snicker, snicker).< sarcasm off >>I haven't made it public for one >simple reason: it's very specific as >to the allegations of individual >victims and would identify them. I >have and probably will post the >information in a more general form.I respect your interest in protecting the alleged victims. However, unless you prove the source for your 12-page document, any generalized summary that you provide is equally worthless.
I believe my information is accurate.You may believe whatever you want.Rosenblatt isn't revealing his sources, either am I.
There is a major difference between you and Rosenblatt. He has journalistic integrity that he has proven over the years (even in the eyes of people who disagree with him). Furthermore, Rosenblatt is held accountable for his statements by his employers, the advertisers and subscribers.You, on the other hand, have proven yourself to lack that integrity by exaggerating and misrepresenting "facts". Besides, you choose not to reveal your name, which further makes it difficult to believe what you write since you cannot be held accountable for your words.Therefore, when Rosenblatt writes an editorial, people give him the benefit of the doubt. When you blog, you have to support your statements with hard facts (yeah, the real ones) and valid sources for anyone to believe you.
>There is a major difference >between you and Rosenblatt. He >has journalistic integrity that >he has proven over the years >(even in the eyes of people who >disagree with him).True. But, I have integrity too.>Furthermore, Rosenblatt is held >accountable for his statements >by his employers, the >advertisers and subscribers.As I am by my readers.>You, on the other hand, have >proven yourself to lack that >integrity by exaggerating and >misrepresenting "facts". I've done neither.
>Besides, you choose not to >reveal your name, which further >makes it difficult to believe >what you write since you cannot >be held accountable for your >words.Why?>Therefore, when Rosenblatt >writes an editorial, people give >him the benefit of the doubt. >When you blog, you have to >support your statements with >hard facts (yeah, the real ones) >and valid sources for anyone to >believe you. No one has to believe me.I would note that Luke Ford blogged the same story as Rosenblatt but over a week earlier.I've been posting about Tendler for some time before any news article came out.
Your arguments come down to this:You're more concerned about the form of my posts rather than their substance.I'm only concerned with their substance.
>>Furthermore, Rosenblatt is held>>accountable for his statements>>by his employers, the>>advertisers and subscribers.>As I am by my readers.Your readers have no recourse whatsoever, aside from posting critical messages (that you can delete, I presume) or not reading your blog. You are, clearly, able to do whatever you want with no accountability whatsoever.>>No one has to believe me.Yes, and apparently I am not the only one who shares that sentiment, based on the other threads on this blog.I am done with this thread. You have proven your worth clearly and I feel that there is no more to discuss.
how about the recent scandal involving a a chazzan at a shule?
>(that you can delete, I presume)Haven't.>I am done with this thread.>You have proven your worth >clearly and I feel that there>is no more to discuss. Good bye.>how about the recent scandal >involving a a chazzan at a >shule? More information please. Where, who, what etc. and I'll look into it.
you RULE JWB!!! Finally someone who tells the truth!!If I ever wanted to send you some potential information is this where to send it? I am a sexual abuse survivor of a Jewish person who is well connected in his community. I don't engage in Lashon Hara - and I see that neither do you.This blog is a mitzvah!
Anybody hear the buz in Monsey that Mordichai Tendlers wife left him last night?
does anyone have ing o on the chades mordichai tendler did in igros moshe?
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