Showing posts with label Inappropriate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inappropriate. Show all posts

August 19, 2015

Part 2 - Birds Of A Feather

An open letter to the Board and members of the Riverdale Jewish Center (RJC) and the Bronx District Attorney's Office:

In my May 30th blog, G-d is Good, (Some) People Not So, I wrote about the accused Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt of the RJC, the now known "Sauna Rabbi," who the New York Times disclosed about having some unorthodox and usual practices of getting naked with children and young adults. 

Yesterday in the New York Times, I read the follow up to the story that Dr. Donald Liss, the Chairman of the Board, overruled the board who demanded that Rabbi Rosenblatt leave the synagogue, and now many of the board members are resigning over this travesty of justice and members are leaving the synagogue to start break-away prayer services. 

At the end of my last blog on this subject, I wrote: "One last thing I will say, there are others in that community that were involved."

One of the others involved, guess who?

Yes, the Chairman of the Board who overruled the community and is protecting Rabbi Rosenblatt. 

I grew up in Riverdale from the age of 10 when my family moved from the upper west side of Manhattan. I attended SAR Academy, the local yeshiva. My family had many lovely friends in this community and we attended the RJC where we were members for over 20 years.

Dr. Donald Liss significantly older than myself and my friends growing up frequently invited us to his house in Riverdale to "learn" Torah and for Shabbat meals, although the learning frequently turned into talk and banter and "wrestling." Dr. Liss, as a doctor of rehabilitative and sports medicine, claimed great interest in my physical fitness as a youth and my practice of martial arts. He started to run and workout with me and my best friend and this at times lead to more "wrestling" matches.

Later Dr. Liss provided me a Summer job in his and his brother's practice at Englewood Hospital. Dr Liss was quite well off and took advantage of me that my family was less so and I needed a job. He provided me the opportunity to work out there in their "gym" during lunch and then when I would change in the locker room, he would invariably show up to talk with me. 

Other times, he invited me to go on vacation with his family to the Poconos to babysit his kids.  I remember one particular time, I went running on the trail there, and he came.  When we got back to the house we were staying in, he dropped all his clothes in the kitchen area in front of me and his wife and totally nude just started talking. 

Other times, when I would work out in my apartment in Riverdale with weights or stretching for karate, even during the day, Dr. Liss would show up. And he would also invite my friend and I to his home to lift weights and more "wrestling".

As I got older and smarter, I realized Dr. Liss's behavior was not normal, and his interest in my workout and my Torah learning did not seem innocent any longer. I stopped getting together and taking his phone calls. His calling, hang-ups, and messages increased.

I met Dr. Liss one last time to put an end to his harassment, and I confronted him that I thought despite his being married with kids and his professing of religion that he had abnormal tendencies, and I wanted him to stay away from me.  He pretended to be shocked at my allegations as a Jewish man who sat towards the front of the synagogue and was learned. 

When I moved to DC, the only contact I had from Dr. Liss was when he tried to friend me on Facebook, which I promptly cut him off. 

That Dr. Liss would now protect Rabbi Rosenblatt and overrule the wishes of the Riverdale Jewish Center is a Chillul Hashem and travesty of justice. 

Every word in this blog is true, and I hope it helps the community and the victims to get over this tragedy and desecration of G-d. The good people who wish to grow up and pray without unwanted advances of some sick individuals hiding behind many veils of religion and family deserve their community back. 
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January 30, 2015

Going To War, In The Office

So occasionally in the office, people perhaps forget where they are...

And instead of working together to solve problems, they go to war with each other and make more problems. 

Yes, there are power politics and plenty of my slice of the pie versus your slice of the pie--whose slice is bigger, whose got more cheese and toppings, and whose slice is pipping hot. 

Most often these office controversies happen behind the scenes or closed doors.

Behind the scenes, you can't see the knives violently slashing and behind paper-thin closed doors you (usually) can't hear the screaming!

But every once in a while the "passion" of the work spills over into the public domain--sometimes in a meeting, hallway, cafeteria, or the even the company picnic. 

In all these cases, the professionalism goes out the window way too fast and out comes the drawing of lines in sand, the I'm right and you're wrong (including wagers for a good lunch or even maybe a nice crisp $100 bill), and threats to escalate (as if this wasn't ugly enough already).

What comes over people in the moment--perhaps they simply feel like they are in the right or that they are simply defending themselves, or maybe there is spillover from problems at home, ego at play, socialization issues, or even personality disorders.

Whatever the reason, as one of my best friend's fathers used to say, "When 2 people fight, they are both wrong!"

Or some people say that "they both end up with black eyes"--even if one comes away worse than the other...

And I think if you've ever had a car accident with another driver, you would know that the insurance companies agree with this principle, and attribute some portion of blame to each driver--whether 50/50 or 99/1--everybody plays a part whether in an accident, dispute, or an all out brawl.

What's interesting watching these unfold is how the participants are almost in their own world with everyone else as bystanders, sort of just fading into the distance--so they do everything wrong:

They speak emphatically in absolutes (and maybe even yell a little), cite chapter and verse (but from different books), name drop (ever bigger executives in the organization whether they really know them or their positions on the issues or not), name call and make personal digs, and perhaps--although it should absolutely never come to this--get physical (like slamming their portfolios, coffee mugs, and doors, or I heard one person who even threw something at their colleague).

Aside from these folks typically losing the argument and whatever they were after, what's worse is they lose everyone's respect, and maybe even their jobs. 

The arrow of the workplace fight shoots way up, and comes down hard and fast right in their behinds...it's a stupid, but endlessly painful and deserved ouch.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 10, 2014

Which Part of "Men's Room" Don't You Understand?

So after my swim, I'm in the men's locker room

There are dozens of folks showering and changing. 

All of a sudden in strolls a lady.

First she walks one way through the locker room--looking up and down the aisles.

Then she walks the other way through again--glancing this way and that way. 

The men are looking at each other like what in G-d's name is she doing. 

Some of the men start yelling at her to get out (maybe the others are sort of glad she's there)!

She sort of nods at them, turns unapologetically and strolls back out. 

The men are bantering back and forth now--like what was that all about?  Is she nuts or something?

On the way out of the facility, I stop by the front desk and ask innocently, "Do you know that their is a women walking around the men's locker room?"

One supervisor goes, "Oh, that happens. The men do that too--going into the lady's locker room."

Oh really--is this a professional swim club or a Roman orgy?

The other supervisor, a little more reasonable here, says if someone can point her out, he'll have a talk with her. 

The kid behind the desk says, "Thanks for letting us know."

The funny thing is there is a sign in the locker room that prohibits photos and videos--but, I guess in-person viewing is permissible--good to know. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 23, 2014

Six Internet Creepoids To Beware Of

There are a lot of basket cases out there--both in the physical world and in the virtual one.

The New York Times today has an article by Henry Alford about people who act or are mainly just perceived as creepy online. 

He gives examples of people who take out their smartphones (with cameras) in the locker room, who show their online photos and whoops there's an indecent doozie, who mistakenly send a critical email to the wrong person or distribution list, who say the wrong thing online because of autocorrect or autofill, and who act the detective looking up too much information about others. 

At the end, Alford calls for "more tolerance toward the gaffe-makers." 

And while we should be good people and forgive genuine mistakes, some things are not accidents and deserve the seal of "ick!"

Here's the list of 6 Internet Creepoids to seriously beware of:

1) Overly Cyber Friendly or Familiar:  People who chat, text, email, or comment in a way that portrays an inappropriate knowing or intimacy with others.

2) Cyber Stalkers: Those who unsolicitedly and unwanted or obsessively follow, friend, monitor, or harass others on the Internet.

3) Internet Trolls: Individuals who giddily sow discord with argumentative, inflammatory or extraneous messages online narcissistically or just to be jerks.

4) Cyber Exhibitionists or Voyeurs: People who inappropriately or compulsively expose themselves or watch others naked or engaged in sexual activity online. 

5) Cyber Impersonators or Identity Thieves:  Those who falsify their identities by exaggerating or masking their true selves, pretend to be someone else, or otherwise steal someone's online identity.

6) Cyber Freaks: Individuals who behave online in extreme unusual, unexpected, and frightening ways.

So while some things are innocent or accidentally creepy from otherwise nice and decent people, other actions are genuinely such from the real online creepoids. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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