Freehold, N.J.: She was 14 and an incoming freshman at a yeshiva high school in New Jersey. He was 45, a married rabbi with three children, and the principal of the yeshiva at the shore. He was also one of the most prominent Orthodox Jewish youth leaders in America.
Yet once a week, the rabbi would call the 14-year-old student at home, proclaiming his love and promising she would be his wife someday.
At school he would summon the teenager to his office, where he would grope her private parts while she sat powerless and disgusted.
Freehold, N.J.: Were the Venetian blinds open or closed? After nearly three weeks of court testimony, the question about the level of privacy in a yeshiva high school principal's office was at the crux of the defense's case in the trial here of Rabbi Baruch Lanner, the disgraced former national Orthodox youth group leader.
It is no secret that Rabbi Matt Tropp's job as director of the largest region in the country of the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) was on the line following allegations of teen abuse by Rabbi Baruch Lanner two years ago. Not only had Rabbi Tropp long called Rabbi Lanner his rebbe and mentor, but he was considered his "hatchet man," according to several former NCSY members.
New York City area clergy are in danger of burning out as they try to keep up with the unprecedented demand for spiritual counsel from hundreds of thousands of residents traumatized from Sept. 11.
And the mental health of both clergy and 9-11 survivors is expected to worsen in the coming months from the continued stress and delayed emotional reactions.
Freehold, N.J.: Marcie Lenk's first response on hearing of the guilty verdict last Thursday in the trial of her former mentor, Rabbi Baruch Lanner, on child sexual abuse charges was a sense of relief.
Lenk, a 36-year-old Ph.D. candidate in religion at Harvard University, has been part of an informal network of former National Conference of Synagogue Youth members who have been struggling for many years to convince Orthodox authorities to prevent the 52-year-old Rabbi Lanner from having any contact with children.
They still don't get it. That's what some critics are saying this week about the Orthodox Union's official "it's not us" reaction to the sex abuse conviction of its former national youth leader, Rabbi Baruch Lanner.
The rabbi, 52, a longtime senior official at the OU's National Conference of Synagogue Youth, was convicted last Thursday on six counts of sexual abuse of two teenage girls in the mid-1990s. The girls were students at the New Jersey yeshiva high school Rabbi Lanner served as principal, as well as members of the NCSY Etz Chaim chapter he led for many years.
The FBI is ignoring its own guidelines on terrorism in the July 4 El Al shootings, possibly undermining America's war against Islamic extremists, several experts told The Jewish Week.
The counterterrorism experts, both American and Israeli, say they are baffled by the FBI's continuing refusal to label as terrorism the Independence Day attack at the El Al counter at Los Angeles International Airport by an Egyptian gunmen that killed a female El Al ticket agent, an Israeli diamond broker, and wounded three others.
How does the State of Israel figure into the crisis for the soul of Islam?
These questions are raised, and more importantly answered, in an important double edition of Bill Moyers' critically acclaimed "NOW" weekly news show airing July 12 on PBS.
Charging that the FBI is being compromised by political concerns, activist Rabbi Avi Weiss is seeking a meeting with U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to discuss why the July 4 shootings at Los Angeles International Airport have not been classified a terrorist incident: in apparent neglect of the Justice Department's own guidelines.
Uri Tannenbaum hasn't seen or talked to his father in nearly two years.
Last week, he tried to get a message to his dad the only way he can: through the media.
"Dad, you must know you're with us. We love you. We miss you," Uri said, not knowing for sure whether Elchanan Tannenbaum will ever hear his words: or if he's even still alive.