Baruch Lanner, a former yeshiva high school principal and religious youth group counselor who was convicted in 2002 in New Jersey of sexually abusing two teenage girls, appears no longer to be on the New Jersey, Florida or national sex offender registries.
Lanner, 59, an ordained Orthodox rabbi, was sentenced to seven years in prison, but did not begin serving his sentence until 2005, after his conviction was upheld on appeal. He was released on parole in January of 2008. According to the New Jersey Department of Corrections, Lanner’s parole ends next month.
At the sentencing last week of a bar mitzvah tutor and social worker convicted of sexually molesting two boys in Brooklyn, a New York State Supreme Court judge lashed out at the offender’s Orthodox community for “a communal attitude that seems to impose greater opprobrium on the victims than the perpetrator.”
With his stinging critique, Judge Gustin Reichbach placed himself at the center of a fierce debate in the Orthodox community over how best to police the problem of pedophilia.
A married Jew with peyos and a black hat, Stefan Colmer used to spend hours, according to reports, reading the Talmud in the main study hall of the Mirrer Yeshiva on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. While there, he also befriended some boys in and around the yeshiva and, on occasion, invited a few of them to his nearby home.
And, according to a source close to the case, Colmer allegedly sexually abused several of them — in addition to other young boys from the “general neighborhood” near the yeshiva, a law enforcement source believes.
In the week since gay-friendly Conservative rabbis organized themselves, for the first time, into a public group (called Keshet Rabbis) their numbers have nearly doubled.
Last week, 75 members of the movement's Rabbinical Assembly signed up to offer counseling and consultation to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Conservative Jews. This week the number stands at 137, just under 10 percent of the RA's 1,500 members.
There' s a new girl in town (four girls actually) ready to face off against the enormous popularity of American Girl dolls and other models that come baring too much plastic skin.
Gali Girls (two blondes, a brunette and a redhead) are 18 inches high like the American Girls but come with Jewish values expressed through modest dress, Star of David bracelets, Hebrew/English doll name certificates and Shabbat toy kit.
After listening to news accounts of Palestinian homicide bombers and Israel's military response, Eddy Ehrlich feels ready "to explode."
Then Ehrlich, a self-described political centrist, goes to his monthly Jewish-Arab dialogue circle and comes away feeling like a changed man.
"Thirty souls have opened up and the humanity flows," Ehrlich says. "I go out so relieved."
On a cold April night two years ago, Alan Dutka stood on the roof of his Teaneck, N.J., apartment building and jumped.
The suicide of this bright, devout former Yeshiva University student who for eight years had suffered from schizophrenia belied the belief that religious Jews don't suffer from psychiatric illness, that it is a scourge of "the outside world."
A new survey of executive compensation at non-profits shows that top professionals at federations and other Jewish groups are among the best-paid communal, human-services and international relief fund-raising organization leaders in the country.
Fort Dix, N.J.: Juda Mintz may look like an ordinary guy (middle aged, medium height, with a comb-over and thick glasses) yet there is something about the Modern Orthodox rabbi that makes him stand out among the 4,500 inmates at the Fort Dix Correctional Institution, a federal prison in southwestern New Jersey.
Under the glaring fluorescent lights of the large cinder-block walled prison visiting room, Rabbi Mintz walks calmly over to greet a visitor. He is dressed in the same beige work-shirt and pants that every inmate wears from the day he arrives until the day he is freed.
Fort Dix, N.J.: The residents who traverse the blue cinderblock wall hallways, decorated only by stenciled warnings not to loiter and to "keep your hands out of pockets," are focused on two things: getting through each day and the date they will be released.
But on a recent Monday afternoon, two dozen men in dun-colored uniforms are bent over worksheets on their desks in a pair of windowless rooms at the Midstate Correctional Facility here focusing on something larger than themselves: the heroes in their lives.