A Williamsburg community activist who has spoken out frequently against child sexual abuse in the Brooklyn Orthodox community claimed Monday that his life had been threatened multiple times as a result.
Rabbi Nuchum Rosenberg claimed that the threats culminated last month when he was “shot” on Berry Street, near the Williamsburg Bridge by unknown assailants.
State Assembly member Dov Hikind was subpoenaed Monday to provide testimony and files he has compiled about rabbis and yeshiva employees who have allegedly sexually abused children under their charge, and rabbinic leaders who may have protected the abusers.
The Brooklyn Democrat says he has assembled detailed dossiers on “hundreds” of such cases. But he said he would “go to jail for 10 years” rather than reveal the names of the alleged victims, whom he has guaranteed anonymity.
In a surprise move, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, the Brooklyn yeshiva teacher charged with having sexually molested his students, pleaded guilty Monday to two lesser counts of child endangerment and was sentenced to three years’ probation.
Under the plea agreement, Rabbi Kolko, 62, made no admission of sexual wrongdoing. He will not have to register as a sex offender, and pleaded guilty only to a misdemeanor — not a felony.
When Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb rose to speak before Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here last week, “You could hear a pin drop,” she said.
The only rabbi, and one of just a handful of Jews to attend a dinner dialogue between Ahmadinejad and a coalition of religious peace groups during his visit to address the UN last week, Gottlieb knew her words would weigh heavily in the air — not least with the Quakers, Mennonites and other peace churches that sponsored the gathering.
The recent rash of cases in which rabbis have allegedly molested young children going back decades has moved one group that usually bristles at government involvement in Orthodox schools to envision shifting its stance.
For Israel this week, the outbreak of war between Georgia and Russia has been all about Iran.
As Tblisi and Moscow agreed to a cease-fire Tuesday in their five-day conflict over two disputed territories, Russia was still bristling with anger over U.S. policies and statements on the issue. But thanks to Israel’s decision to limit its arms sales to Georgia, the Kremlin had only kind words for Israel, Washington’s closest ally, as the guns of war died down.
With some 53,000 residents in the state’s rural north-central flatlands, Monroe, La., is not the kind of town that would normally expect to play host to the mayor of Jerusalem. But in October 2002, Ehud Olmert came to the county seat of Ouachita Parish to urge 500 to 1,000 Evangelical Christians to give, and give generously, to support victims of terrorism in the Holy City he then governed.
Robert I. Friedman was a Jew. That inconvenient fact may have stopped fanatics like the extremist settlers who once beat him up on the West Bank from doing much worse, due to their concern about religious proscriptions against killing a fellow Jew. At one point, rumors circulated on the West Bank that he was not, in fact, Jewish. Robbie feared they were started by individuals who sought to remove for themselves this barrier to his elimination.
There will be no kosher meals. No Jewish holiday observances. And many — perhaps even most — of the students won’t be Jewish. But if philanthropist Michael Steinhardt has his way, New York City’s first publicly funded school devoted to Hebrew language and culture will open its doors in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, in September 2009.
They were neighbors once, in suburban Washington. Their wives were close friends. Their children played together. And both were senior staffers at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby.
But M.J. Rosenberg and Lenny Ben-David are now definitely on the outs over Israel. And it's up-close and personal.