I read with interest Gary Rosenblatt’s column on the 10th anniversary of The Jewish Week’s breaking of the Rabbi Baruch Lanner story (June 18).
More than 15 years ago, I was a high school senior at Maimonides School in Brookline, Mass., and an active member of the NCSY youth group. It was in that capacity that once I met Rabbi Lanner, who made an appearance at the New England Region’s Spring Regional in West Hartford, Conn., I believe.
If there is one consensus issue that unites an increasingly frayed American Jewish community — and is also overwhelmingly supported in both Jerusalem and Washington — it is the need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and energy, particularly from Iran and OPEC.
But the gap between recognition of the problem and active efforts to solve it is frustratingly wide, even as the vast oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico dominates the headlines and demands our attention.
Asher Lipner |
Special To The Jewish Week |
As someone who has worked with numerous survivors of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community over the past 10 years, I have been privileged to bear witness to the stories of people who, after having their voices taken away from them, become able to speak for the first time, in the course of their healing, about the horrors they have endured.
The tenth anniversary of the public exposure in these pages of the “Lanner scandal” provides an opportunity to reflect on, and appreciate, how much has changed for the better in the last decade in responding to rabbinic sexual abuse.
With it all, though, communal vigilance is still vital because the problem remains, as do the impulses to overlook or cover up allegations of wrongdoing in high places. And there are voices in the community calling for putting ethical standards in place in synagogues, schools and camps.
Re: “Israel’s Delegitimizers Are Gaining,” (Editor’s column, June 4), it is dismaying to see that, yet again, Israel’s rapidly growing unpopularity in the world being attributed to that hoary bugaboo, “bad hasbara” (i.e., public relations), rather than to its actual causation – Israel’s disastrously wrong-headed and self-destructive occupation of the West Bank and its blockade of Gaza.