Accountability and transparency within our institutions and leadership.
posted by jewishwhistleblower @ 2:05 PM
Courtesy of and now confirmed to be authentic in the Awareness Center Yahoo group (posted earlier in the comments of several posts).Please feel free to write letters to the Jewish Press regarding their coverage of the Case of Mordecai Tendler. Please cc the letters to: email@example.com@jewishpress.comFor more information on the case of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler, please go to:http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/Tendler_Mordecai.html--------------------------------Statement Regarding the Jewish PressFrom: Rabbi Yosef BlauJewish Whistleblower - May 4, 2005http://www.jewishwhistleblower.blogspot.comhttp://jewishwhistleblower.blogspot.com/2005/05/new-jewish-press-on-rcarabbi-mordechai.html#commentsThe Jewish Press chose to interpret my denial of any involvement with the investigation as "narrow". I left a number in Israel for them to reach me before Shabbos or Monday. The reason that I was not reached on Tuesday is that I did not come home intil late in the afternoon and returned the call to an answering machine last night. At no point before Tuesday did anyone connected to the Jewish Press contact me to ask any questions about the investigation or anything else. This did not prevent them from the personal attack in an editorial, which followed an editorial about the need for a Beis Din procedure.I did finally reach someone at the Jewish Press late today and answered every question he asked. The names of those who gave them information were keeped confidential. One last correction, I have not been in contact with the Beis Din in Yerushalayim. I went to Israel in March as I do every year for Y.U. before knowing that a Beis Din had been approached by an Israeli rabbinical lawyer for Rabbi Mordechai Tendler and returned to Israel for Pesach so that my wife and I could spend the chag with our son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren living there.Yosef Blau
I some questions?What is the purpose of The Awareness Center and Jewish Whilstleblower?Is their goal to destroy Jewish Communities? or is their goal to prevent anyone else from being sexually violated?I remember telephone conversation I had with Vicki Polin a few years ago regarding my fears of The Awareness Center publishing names of alleged and convicted offenders on their web page. She basically referred me to an article that The Awareness Center had written to address these concerns. I suggest everyone go and read this excellent article."Anti-Semitism, Sexual Abuse, and The Jewish Community"http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/anti-semitism.html
Anti-Semitism, Sexual Abuse, and The Jewish Community© (2003) by Vicki Polin, MA, ATR, LCPC, and Na'ama Yehuda, MSC, SLP, APPOver the years there have been many reasons why the Jewish Community kept silent about sexual crimes committed by individuals in our community. To this day there is a legitimate reason why we may want to remain silent. We have to remember that there is a large number of hate groups that would love to promote their propaganda by posting information about Jews who molest on their web pages and publications. Their eagerness is a reminder that anti-Semitism is alive and thriving.Since the beginning of time, Jews around the world have been watched as if we were under a microscope. We can't ignore this fact. The question is what should we do? Can we afford to expose our vulnerabilities and show the rest of the world that we are also human? The truth is that we have a choice. We can choose to live in fear, or we can allow survivors of childhood sexual abuse a voice, so that we can take steps to make the necessary changes to heal our community.When it comes to sexual abuse in any community (Jewish or non-Jewish), "silence is NOT golden." Things will never change unless we bring attention to the problem and work as a community to come up with solutions. In the secular world there is often talk about all sorts of issues (i.e. civil rights, anti-Semitism, hate crimes, and other forms of violence). We need to remember that whenever anyone wants to make a difference, make changes to the status quo, there will always be someone or a group of people who will attempt to destroy the efforts. Look at slavery, women's rights, democracy. Without taking risks, nothing would have changed. Without taking risks, our children WILL continue to risk sexual abuse from within our community.When it comes to child molestation, we need to say and believe in our hearts --"NEVER AGAIN!" We need to do this in a public venue. It's the only way for things to change. Yes, anti-Semitic groups have, and will continue to use any information they can get their hands on to promote hate. Yes, they have used some of the information posted on The Awareness Center's web page. When this occurs, The Awareness Center's policy is to make reports to the FBI (http://www1.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp), and to encourage others to do the same. Don't forget—hate is a crime in the United States, as in many other countries. Hate is a topic we need to speak out publicly about, just as we do about childhood sexual abuse. We need to do our part by reporting all forms of violent behavior, including hate crimes on the Internet.So yes, hate groups will wave their supposed "proof for Jewish perversion." They will wave a twisted reality of our efforts. Still, we need to have faith that the rest of the world's communities have to deal with similar issues to our own (e.g. problems in the Catholic Church, issues of domestic violence in the Islamic world). That people of hate aren't everyone. We cannot let individuals who promote hate prevent us from healing our community.As Jews, we strive to live by the teachings of compassion and courage. Would we allow intimidation and other forms of violence to keep us silent? By keeping the secret that Jews are not immune to abusing their children, whose agenda would we be following? What opportunities for growth would we be missing?When Jews talk about sexual abuse within our community, you can bet that extreme Islamic groups, the Ku Klux Klan, and other Aryan groups will use this material for their benefit. However, keeping in mind the righteous attitude that most hate groups flaunt, one can still wonder about what the statistics are for the same various hate groups when it comes to sexually victimizing their own children. Until they show otherwise, there is no reason to believe that they are any more immune then any other group of people, any more immune than we are.The question for us is what do WE do? Do we continue to keep our eyes closed in hope that if we don't see something is wrong, others won't see it, either? Should we continue to force our children who were sexually abused to be silent? Or do we take a risk and expose sexual abuse in our midst, knowing full well that it will be used by some sick individuals to promote their agenda of hate?Let us remember the words of David Hamelech:"When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear, though war break out against me, even then I will be confident...for in the day of trouble Hashem will keep me safe...then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me... Teach me your ways, Hashem, lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of you, Hashem, in the land of the living. Wait for Hashem, be strong and take heart and wait for Hashem." (Psalm 27)
Why are we making this about Rabbi Blau ?As a former student of YU, I have the utmost respect for HaRav Blau. During the Lanner saga he battled the O-U MaChers, by himself, in order to get rid of Lanner. Rather, this is about a process that raised numerous questions.We could go back and forth on the issue of whether one needs a Bet Din in order to expel a member from an organization. However, once the RCA positions itself as the sole place to deal with claims of inappropriate conduct of a Rabbi, they need to realize the ramifications of their decisions and the effects it has on a Rabbi's entire career. Because the RCA positioned itself like this, their activity demands a Bet Din proceeding.
I don't know Rav Blau, and I therefore assume that he is a talmid chacham and a yirat shamayim.However, his affiliation with The Awareness Center sheds a negative light on him. It would be in his best interest to disassociate himself from them. He can still pursue his goals independently, without subjecting himself to being associated other Awareness Center individuals, who are known to be less than upstanding individuals (to be kind).
At the Jewish Women's International conference held recently in Washington DC, someone asked Rabbi Blau and Vicki Polin how they judge the veracity of allegations that are made against people prior to posting allegations on the website.The answer was that they do an "investigation".I think that for the sake of honesty the Awareness Center needs to disclose what steps they take in investigating allegations before posting them.They claim on the site that they have no paid employees and no money- do they have private investigators on retainer?While Rav Blau may be a great teacher and Mashgiach Ruchani and while Vicki Polin may be an MSW and art therapist- what are their credentials as investigators?Do they interview both the accuser and the alleged perpertrator to get a full view of the case prior to posting it?From what I have seen of the Board and Advisory board of the Awareness Center, it appears that they are shrinking in both number and credentials of the members.In addition to Rabbi Dratch, what happened to Rabbis Porter and Kahn?What happened to Naama Yehuda-who I felt was the rational voice of the Center?
Talk to Rabbi Blau, he will explain to you based on his actual experience why a bais din is not the appropriate place to deal with sexual predators. There are insufficient checks and balances to deal with perjury for example.
>The answer was that they do >an "investigation".Likely it is similar to what is done at other such websites:http://www.survivorsfirst.org/http://www.survivorsfirst.org/list_notes.htmlThey obviously are not referring to a forensic police/child services investigation.
How can you say that a Bet Din has insufficeint checks and balances for perjury ! Any Bet Din proceeding involves testimony and cross examination like a court room. Further, one can be brought to a Din Torah for perjury. What system of checks and balances did this RCA investigation contain ? They farmed this out to an outside company who, for the most part, merely took testimony, if at all, by telephone. In addition, Rabbi Tendler's documents, which explained his side, were prevented from timely reaching the intended recipient.
Widening the inquisition...guilt by association...Losing focus!The questions remain...was rabbi Tendler guilty/Is the RCA decision unfair/[there is no halachic impropriety here!]Are we all permitting a chilul haShem?Should Rabbi Tendler resign, even if innocent?Is his innocence believable?Where are those who decry the pursuit of Rabbi Tendler as a witch hunt and how dare they deflect this by being motzi shem ra on another Rav?Come on! Hamavin Yavin!Bite the bullet and resign!When did the Jewish Press take the place of the Shulchan Aruch?
Yet another of JWB's "anonymous" posts.
>From what I have seen of the Board and >Advisory board of the Awareness Center, it >appears that they are shrinking in both >number and credentials of the members.Most members of the AC's board and advisory board resigned a few months ago after its lack of credibility and many transgressions were revealed; they had no idea beforehand how Vicki Polin was operating, or how truly disturbing her history is.There is no checks and balance system, no oversight, and plenty of false and distorted material all over that site. It is truly a shanda in the Jewish community and should be shut down, or at least publicly discredited, with something more responsible to take its place to deal with the legitimate issue of sexual abuse.
Rabbi Blau is one of the few senior people with any credibility left in the YU Beis Midrash. Both him and Dr Blau are bastions of chesed and strive for shalom. He is a person who is humble and strives to fulfil ve-asita ha-tov ve-hayashar. Every day he clogs up 187th and never fails to daven in the minyanim of the yeshiva. He has fought the forces of darkness for a long time and he understands the threat they pose to us. The fact that the Jewish Press sought to malign him, speaks volumes for both the JP and our esteemed Mashgiah Ruhani. Rabbi Blau - chazak chazak v'nitchazek, you are a walking Sefer Torah.
I concur with the prior post regarding the shady history of The Awareness Center and the exodus of reputable individuals from their board.I believe that Rav Blau should resign in order to protect his reputation. Perhaps YU should even intervene.
"Most members of the AC's board and advisory board resigned a few months ago after its lack of credibility and many transgressions were revealed;"Which members are you referring to ? What are the "transgressions" that were revealed?
RAbbi Shlomo Porter- Rav of Eitz Chayim Congregation in BALTIMORE where the Awareness Center is based-no longer a member of the boardRabbi Ari Kahn- of Bar Ilan University in Israel. One of the shortest tenures on the board I have seen. It must have been less than 4 months.Most noteably, Na'ama Yehuda- one of the founders and author of several articles.Also, the only person actually sympathetic to the possibility of false accusations being a real phenomenon. Vicki Polin will admit that only 2-3% (sometimes it's only 1-2%) of false allegations are really false, when statistics from both police and FBI sources will tell you it is much higher.Where did they go?I agree that Rabbi Blau needs disassociate himself with the "Center"- but then again what is this "Center"?It's a website.It self admittedly has no funding and for well over a year has been "trying" to get tax exempt status. It seems to have no money for paper, or computers, and the site itself hasn't been updated since March 11, 2005.Vicki Polin manages to get herself involved in whatever visible causes she can (like the JWI conference) but her credibility is under some serious fire for her refusal to remove the old postings even in the face of open vindication. I am also told that she rejects people who are trying to subscribe to the Yahoo group if she feels they are a "threat".Rabbi Mark Dratch is apparently trying to start a real organization to act as a clearing house and help prevent sexual abuse in schools, shuls ,etc.He has the credibility and the experience. He also has something else, an honorable motive-to really help people.Ms. Polin, an admitted victim of abuse-unfortunate as it may be- her approach just wreaks of revenge. Not that it doesn't do good, but in the words of Rabbi Dratch "her job is just too important to be done irresponsibly"I hope that Rabbi Blau does resign.I also think his association is not going unoticed by his superiors at Yeshiva University like Richard Joel and others.I suspect he may be pressured into resigning in the face of these many issues with The Awareness Center. IF he is as big a Talmid Chacham as those who post here believe him to be, his seichel will guide him in the right direction.
>2-3% (sometimes it's only 1-2%) >of false allegations are really >false, when statistics from both >police and FBI sources will tell >you it is much higher.Please produce such statistics. As I stated before this question has been addressed before and the only law enforcement agencies we could find that kept such statistics were in Canada.Much of the literature and studies on BOTH sides of this issue are junk. The only proper statistics would be in reference to law enforcement investigations and determinations. I could not find US law enforcement agencies that kept such statistics. So I looked to foreign jurisdictions with similar characteristics.Canada keeps statistics as to false reports of sexual assault.The Province of Ontario reports that about 5.7 percent of all such allegations were false in the first four years of recording such statistics. The Province of British Columbia reports 6.7 percent of sexual assault allegations have turned out to be false. It also appears that a large portion of false allegations involve allegations where the victim makes allegations against an unknown abuser. A Toronto police squad that restricts itself to handling major rape cases where the assailant is unknown to the victim, reported that a whopping 30 percent of cases -- 69 out of 232 cases -- turned out to be false.So when you take the false allegations involving unknown abusers out of the statistics, the 2-3% statistic appears not to be unreasonable.But again these statistics relate to a much larger population than the examples we are discussing. The RMT case involves a known abuser with multiple victims/survivors over several decades, a much smaller population of abuse complaints.
It's incredible the nonsense people write concerning the Awareness Center.1) Produce actual statements of why people left rather that false "rumors" and "speculation".2) The Awareness Center does nothing different than other survivor organizations.Should Jewish women and children have fewer protections than the Catholic community? I say no.http://www.survivorsfirst.org/http://www.survivorsfirst.org/list_notes.html3) The Jewish Press is the organization that has a career criminal and former federal inmate running a column. The Rabbinical Alliance has a career criminal and former federal inmate as director. That man? Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum.Go clean up the Jewish Press and the RAA.
>How can you say that a Bet Din >has insufficeint checks and >balances for perjury !In the Lanner Bais Din, Lanner used his ex-wife to successfully solicit perjury during proceedings.>>The night before the bet din, >>Lenk, who was 23 at the time, >>says she received a call from >>Rabbi Lanner's wife, clearly at >>his request, tearfully urging >>Lenk not to testify. 'When she >>said, 'how could you do this to >>me?' I said, 'I'm not doing >>this to you, he did this to >>you.' ' ...>>One of the other judges, Rabbi >>Yosef Blau, also of Yeshiva >>University, later became >>convinced that witnesses had >>been tampered with, pressured >>not to appear and/or lied to >>the bet din. Rabbi Blau sought >>to reconvene the court and >>notify officials of the OU but >>without success. ...>>Hiller, who was not at the >>Sunday talk, said he is not >>looking for an apology from >>Rabbi Willig or the bet din. >>Rather, he would like Rabbi >>Willig to "make a clear >>statement to those who look up >>to him that Lanner is >>untouchable and should never be >>involved in communal life, and >>that the people who lied to the >>bet din should be looked into." >Any Bet Din proceeding involves >testimony and cross examination >like a court room. But unlike a real court of law, you can commit perjury, intimidate witnesses and interfere with the process without consequences.>Further, one can be brought to a >Din Torah for perjury. Good luck. Has yet to happen in regard to the Lanner Beis Din.>What system of checks and >balances did this RCA >investigation contain ? They >farmed this out to an outside >company who, for the most part, >merely took testimony, if at >all, by telephone. In addition, >Rabbi Tendler's documents, which >explained his side, were >prevented from timely reaching >the intended recipient. You're buying into RMT's spin. He was given every opportunity to defend himself and chose not to.
JWB appears to have deleted my earlier post of who resigned from the Awareness Center and why. JWB, what are you so afraid of?The list again is:Naama YehudaEllen BassLaura DavisRabbi Cindy EngerDebbie GrossRuth GuggenheimRebecca HoffbergerMike LewAri KahnRabbi Mark DratchRabbi Shlomo Porter
Again, let's see some actual statements.It's common with new organizations to have huge turnovers of directors.Frankly, how active or involved were many of the above anyway?As an aside, if it is the intention of anyone here to try and shut down the Awareness Center, I would note that there are others like myself, that if the Awareness Center ever disappeared would take it upon ourselves to create similar websites immediately (contigency plans are in place).Further, I guarantee the standards I would use (a belief in the truth of the allegations posted) would allow me to put up the name of several dozen community leaders that the Awareness Center with its standards cannot currently post due to a lack of documentation. A few of you posting anonymously should bear that in mind.
So, basically JWB is telling everyone that if we think that the Awareness Center lacks integrity, he/she/it will show us what a lack of integrity REALLY is?This is a truly twisted indivdual.I read the posted website-it was indeed a tough day for the Jewish Wind Bag.
Actually it was a good day.
>So, basically JWB is telling >everyone that if we think that >the Awareness Center lacks >integrity, he/she/it will show >us what a lack of integrity >REALLY is?No. The Awareness Center has integrity. I have integrity.But would you rather have an organization run by people like Polin and Rav Blau OR an organization run by me?I would chose the 1st over the later. But I want to make it clear we will not go back to the old days before such organizations existed. We will not go backwards. We will go forward.We're not going away.Get used to it.
Frankly, how active or involved were many of the above anyway?Good point. Then why were they on the board?Status?Make things look more credible?I'd like to hear why people left. And while in many organizations there is a turnover-this is not an organization-it's a website.And one purported to do honorable work. Yet these people left.And if in fact, they were so uninvolved, this strengthens the question-if all you are asked is to have your name used as a board member or advisory board member-then why resign?Also, now that Rabbi Reuvain Bulka has become the RCA director of rabbinic services, how much longer will he allow his name to be associated with this organization?
So, who's asking to go back to the "old days"? Real cases of sexual abuse in the Jewish community need to be exposed-I wouldn't argue that. It's the level of credibility that is at issue.If someone is exonerated, do you still keep the allegations on your site or do you remove them with a sigh of relief?Don't get so defensive "we're not going away"-good- but do your job responsibly and have the integrity to say "we were wrong" or at least post the "public" results of an investigation resulting in exoneration.A tag at each post "Case closed""case pending investigation results""Accused is deceased""Allegations closed as unsubstantiated"or"Convicted-awaiting sentencing"But to just leave things without any closure justs adds more fodder to the already overstuffed rumor mill.To me, that would have much more integrity than what the Awareness Center does now.
Every case has such a notation.See at:http://theawarenesscenter.org/clergyabuse.htmlFor example:2. Case of Rabbi Lewis Brenner (Brooklyn, NY) (Convicted of child molestation. The original charges included 14 counts of sodomy, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. He agreed to plead guilty to one count of sodomy in the third degree, a Class E felony, in exchange for a sentence of five years' probation.)
It's interesting how a few people will attempt to distract readers of this blog from the facts. Rabbi Mordecai Tendler who has been accused by over 10 women of rabbinical sexual misconduct.Why would 10 women want to do such a thing? Do they have a vendeta against Rabbi Tendler and the rest of the Tendler clan?Or do you think they might have actually been sexually victimized?Do you think that Rabbi Moshe Tendler would do just about anything to defend his son?Do you think he might be feeling guilty that he raised a son who would violate a sacred trust between a rabbi and his congregants?What's the real story here? It's not about Rabbi Blau, Vicki Polin, The Awareness Center,or anyone else.The discussion is about an alleged sexual preditor, the individuals he victimized, and trying to make Jewish communities safe for everyone.
Beware: JWB is deleting posts in this thread if he disagrees with you.
I was reading through all of the postings on this blog. Who ever is attacking The Awareness Center, it would be a good idea to get your facts straight.Vicki Polin is NOT an MSW. She has a MA. Just look on the center's site and you will get the facts straight. http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/boardAlso you said that Rebecca Hoffberger is no longer on their board. I just checked the site. Her name is still listed there.When I asked Vicki about why so many board members and advisory board members left, she suggested I call each individual myself and ask them. She was willing to supply me with contact information for all of them. Did you ever hear that saying about people who "assume"? Well I think it's important for you to think about it. Look at the way the word is written.When you "assume", you make an "ass out of you and me"
IT IS TIME FOR ALL RABBIS AND OTHER LEADERS OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY TO PUBLICALLY SPEAK OUT AGAINST TENDLER AND HIS MAFFIA; AND IN SUPPPORT OF THE RCA. IT IS TIME FOR KNH TO BOOT HIM OUT ONE WAY OR ANOTHER! IT IS TIME FOR EVERY SUBSCRIBER TO THE JEWISH PRESS TO WRITE OR CALL AND SAY THEY ARE CANCELLING THEIR SUBSCRIPTIONS DUE TO THE ABSURD COVERAGE OF THIS CASE!!! THE JEWISH COMMUNITY NEEDS TO GET ITS ACT TOGETHER ALREADY.
who is Mr. Karr? is that the Mr. Karr who is a lawyer in California? perhaps northern california? who could possibly have ties to northern california and be suspected of being JWB? anyone have any ideas? gosh jwb, who ARE you?
i just saw some posts on here and JWB must have deleted them! JWB DOES delete posts! JWB, you always say that you don't delete! Why do you lie?why do you delete posts?
This is soooo pointless.
JWB deletes posts!He is a liar (big news there)
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