Penn State

Rabbi Lamm Cites His Mistakes As He Retires From Yeshiva University

06/30/2013 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Nearly seven decades after he first entered Yeshiva University as a student, five decades after he began teaching at the school, 37 years after he became its president and a decade after he stepped down from that post, Rabbi Norman Lamm this week retired from his last, mostly ceremonial, positions at YU.

Rabbi Norman Lamm: Says mistakes were well-intentioned. Photo courtesy Rabbinical Council of America

Penn State, Revisited

07/18/2012 - 20:00
jewish Week Online Columnist

With the release of former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s scathing report on the scandal and cover-up involving the Penn State football program, all of those issues that had once been in the category of “alleged” are now pretty much resolved. 

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Fallen Halos And The Perils Of Silence

I came across an upsetting story last week, the latest in a series of stories on an upsetting topic. Some respected community leaders were accused of molesting children. Their superiors failed to act on the accusations or go to the police. They feared the financial or public relations consequences. They did not limit the accused pedophile’s access to children. Trust us, the superiors cautioned.

I’ve read such stories far too often in recent years in connection with the Orthodox community, both the Modern Orthodox and so-called black hat sections.


Breaking Down The Culture Of Silence

From Penn State to Brooklyn and Too Many Places In Between
06/13/2012 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist


When Henry David Thoreau wrote that “most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them,” he could not have been talking about men who, as young boys, suffered sexual abuse at the hands of supposedly trustworthy adults.  Their song, I think, has been robbed from them.  And their desperation is heart wrenching.

 Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

The Shame of Penn State

11/10/2011 - 19:00

There are many things in this world that are sad, and there are some things that are sadder than others.  But within that hierarchy, there is nothing sadder, in my humble opinion, than the willful abuse of children.  When those who are least able to defend themselves physically and emotionally are allegedly subjected to the most horrific kind of victimization, then we intuitively know that we have reached the bottom of the barrel of human behavior.  No child should have to suffer that indignity, and live with that shame and psychic pain.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is spiritual leader of Forest Hills Jewish Center, and Vice-President of the Rabbinical Assembly.
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