Recent comments

  • Reply to: Riverdale’s ‘Open Secret’ Goes Public   3 hours 41 min ago

    Open Letter to the President and the Board of Trustees of the RJC:

    I am writing to you to express my deep concern with regards to the situation involving Rabbi Rosenblatt. From my understanding, there is no doubt that in the past Rabbi Rosenblatt has taken young boys to the sauna and has disrobed in front of them and has prodded them to disrobe. That is not appropriate behavior of a grown man, especially that of a man in an influential position, not now or ever. The Rabbi was warned and asked to stop this behavior. However, he continued this behavior by taking young men and interns to the sauna and disrobing in front of them or having them disrobe in his presence. He made many people feel more than uncomfortable. The above facts are undeniable.

    Now I understand that you have a lot of support for the Rabbi citing all the good things he has done in the past. I do not deny this. Unfortunately, the Rabbi’s good deeds to people during their time of need has somewhat blinded these people from seeing right from wrong. Perhaps, you received many letters of support from individuals who went to the sauna with the Rabbi and felt he did nothing wrong. Those people are certainly entitled to that opinion. It comes back to the fact that he put many people of various ages in an extremely uncomfortable situation and acted in an immodest way that is not becoming of any man, and certainly not an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi. People have called this a witch hunt. A witch hunt according to the dictionary is “an intensive effort to discover and expose disloyalty subversion, dishonesty, or the like, usually based on slight, doubtful or irrelevant evidence.” This is not a witch hunt or a smear campaign, because the evidence of inappropriate behavior over a long period of time is incontrovertible.

    Rabbi Rosenblatt would not be the first person who has done many good things in his life but at the same time acted inappropriately on numerous occasions. There have been many CEO’s who have helped their company grow and made billions, but when they acted inappropriately and it shined a bad light on the company, they were let go. Similarly, there is no denying that Rabbi Rosenblatt has shined a negative light on the RJC and he should be let go.

    The whole world is watching how the RJC proceeds in this situation. The RJC could set the example showing a zero tolerance/strict liability policy when it comes to actions dealing with kids. The Catholic Church tried to ignore and hide issues involving inappropriate behavior of priests and they are still paying the price for their inaction. If the RJC Board fails to act, I believe there will be serious negative consequences. I have spoken to many people and simply put they are disgusted by what has been going on and feel very uncomfortable having their children deal with Rabbi Rosenblatt in their Jewish upbringing. Many people have told me they plan on leaving the synagogue/community if the Board fails to act.

    Most importantly, the shul must address the community in some way immediately. The shul was well aware that Rabbi Rosenblatt's actions of impropriety would be publicized. The Board has an entire community looking for answers.

    I understand it is not an easy situation to navigate. I implore you to make up for the bad decisions of previous Boards and ask the current Board to take appropriate and necessary action and stand up for what is right. Regardless if his actions were illegal, there is an appearance of impropriety here that cannot be ignored, especially now that this is all out in the public now. No one man is bigger than a shul. The future of the RJC is in your hands.

  • Reply to: Riverdale’s ‘Open Secret’ Goes Public   3 hours 47 min ago

    It does not matter one bit if the rabbi committed no "technical" crimes.

    There are very serious ethical issues in play here...and when you add the fact that it's a rabbi that's involved with much younger and more vulnerable congregants, even more.

  • Reply to: Lower Insider   3 hours 57 min ago

    You can soitenly write, Mishter! I thoroughly enjoyed the article.

  • Reply to: Riverdale’s ‘Open Secret’ Goes Public   4 hours 9 min ago

    Rabbinic compulsion or self-justifying conceit? We'll never know. More to the point:The Rabbi was warned by the Board and nevertheless disregarded their warning while continuing with same errant behavior.

    From a legal standpoint, it would have been better had the Board issued their warning in written form with a statement to effect that continuing with the proscribed action is a dismissible offense. However, one can readily understand why nothing was put down in writing.

    Just the same, the Board failed to act responsibly here as it appears that it did not monitor the situation and subsequently force the Rabbi out of office.

    Now both the Rabbi and the Board must suffer the consequences. Both the Board, as well as the Rabbi should tender their resignations. They disgraced the Congregation and the wider Jewish Community. Time to clear the deck and move on.

  • Reply to: Riverdale’s ‘Open Secret’ Goes Public   4 hours 33 min ago

    Blaming Rosenblatt for behavior conducted in broad daylight - in violation of his agreement with the RCA and despite the (woefully inadequate) sanction of YU withholding interns - is compeletely acceptable if disastrously late. Yehuda Kurtzer's response was triggered by his own 6th-grade son's group meeting with RJR - which is exactly the timing and reaction one would expect of someone who experienced this kind of trauma in his teenage years. The lesson here is that had the community had cut RJR's tenure short anytime over the past 30 years, this inevitable next-generation, triggered-trauma wouldn't have happened, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.