Showing posts with label Sexual Predators. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sexual Predators. Show all posts

September 23, 2019

Time To Mellow

Decided I needed a break from all the toxicity related to the 3rd major SAR Child Sex Abuse Scandal at this yeshiva,

This beautiful Japanese garden is way better to look at then the lies, denials, and cover-up that SAR and their public relations cronies are posting. 

Anyway, tired of their bullsh*t and you should be too. 

Enjoy the beautiful Japanese Garden. 

Compliments of one of the prior child victims of SAR Academy.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 20, 2019

SAR -- Safe Haven For Sexual Abusers, Not For Kids


SAR ACADEMY: SAFE HAVEN FOR SEXUAL ABUSERS

SAR has had at least 5 alleged and/or convicted sexual abusers on their rolls or associated with them that we know about:

1. Stanley Rosenfeld (1970s-1980s)
2. Rabbi Sheldon Schwartz (1970s-2018)
3. Jane Doe, female staff member in High School (-2012)
4. Rabbi Jonathan Skolnick (2018-2019)
5. Plus the "Sauna Rabbi" from the Riverdale Jewish Center (~1986-2016)

In my opinion, SAR has become a safe haven for child sexual abusers as they have kept hiring the perverts. SAR is what they call an open school, and in their attempt to literally tear down the physical walls inside the school, they very likely have opened up the school to the child sexual abusers who use their openness physically, socially, and technically to enable and facilitate sexual abuse. Perhaps after all this, word is out on the street that SAR is the place for sexual abusers who go for easy access to students in an open school system with a history of lax enforcement. SAR has got to do a better job in its vetting process and in ongoing monitoring for inappropriate contact. 


SAR'S NARCISSISTIC "RESPONSE" HANDLING AND AVOIDANCE OF RESPONSIBILITY

SAR's reaction has been heavily focused on the public relations to buttress themselves and in essence their very strategic messaging has been over and over that "they've done everything right," including from a Rabbi working for them for ~20-years that said self-servingly just that the other day for the Jewish Link NJ. However, from my perspective, the truth of the matter is that they have done virtually everything wrong.

From what I've seen and read, it's more like 90% of SAR's response has been about their "response." rather than on expressing any contrition or regret for what has happened under their watch, rather than on introspection for where they keep going wrong, rather than on working to fundamentally understand how they keep on hiring pervs and getting fooled for so long, and rather than genuinely strategizing on what they can do better to protect the children before it happens again. Is their policy and training working if the latest Skolnick incident happened just a few years after the prior incident in the high school and while they were still investigating the Rosenfeld/Schwartz one in the middle school? SAR's response that they have done everything right in responding and of course, patting themselves on the back is like a mortician praising themselves for a great job cleaning up the dead bodies that they themselves facilitated.

Further, why is everyone talking about SAR's response rather than prevention? And why is no one talking about the victims? For example, why is no one talking about the poor 14-old boy from SAR that was allegedly exploited by Skolnick or the other 20-25 victims? SAR is conveniently bringing in their own self-serving investigators and "experts" (supposedly one of these is alleged to have asked for leniency for the child abuser in a prior child sexual abuse case). It certainly seems like they are doing everything but holding themselves accountable for their mistakes of judgement and process.  Further, 1) why are they not cleaning house of any additional abusers that are still hiding in their ranks, and 2) starting with their leadership holding Rabbi Krauss accountable for the errors that were made with Skolnick's hiring. 

Moreover, rather than SAR taking responsibility, I've heard plenty of blaming the child victims from gaslighting pundits who in my opinion should absolutely have their licenses revoked. These reprehensible, morally vacant "child victim advocates" aren't holding the abusers accountable, but rather blaming the child victims with insane causative conclusions that it is because the children weren't empowered, assertiveness or strong enough that's why they were sexually abused. Truly, this is the age-old fraud of telling the rape victim that it's her felt that she was brutally gang raped because she didn't yell loud enough or fight back. Make no mistake, a little child is not ever going to be assertiveness or strong enough to fight off a perverted grown adult who has been patiently planning and grooming their victims. In fact, that's why they call them children! It's highly unfortunate that these people don't see what it's like until perhaps G-d forbid they are the victims themselves. I hope G-d open's people eyes so that positive change can finally be made and children don't have to suffer anymore from this.


WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD

From their response, it is clear to many that for SAR this is about their image and reputation and not truly about Jewish education and a safe learning environment. Unfortunately, as long as SAR is more focused on protecting the institution of SAR and their jobs, rather than on protecting the kids in creating a safe learning and true Torah environment then nothing will really change for the better or safety of these children. 


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September 17, 2019

SAR -- A THIRD Round of Child Sexual Abuse Scandals

What a NON-surprise from SAR in Riverdale.

The Judaic Studies principal (grades 6-8), Rabbi Jonathan Skolnick has been arrested for "production of child pornography."

This after numerous child sexual abuse scandals in the Jewish community in Riverdale, and at SAR in particular!
  • Now for a third time in 2019, SAR's 2018-2019 newly appointed Middle School Principal of Judaic Studies is arrested for production of child pornography and SAR's principal is stunned at how this could be happening: "It is shocking to know that someone who we have trusted with our children has been accused of harming them. Despite the practices in place to protect our children, we are not immune to breaches such as the one that seems to have taken place at SAR."

Clearly there is a PATTERN OF BAD BEHAVIOR AND NEGLIGENCE here (i.e. like a repeat offender) and at a certain point, the patience and excuses completely runs out!

This latest sexual abuse debacle with Rabbi Skolnick (where was the vetting process on hiring him?) occurring AT THE VERY SAME TIME that SAR was conducting and publishing the results of it's earlier sex scandal with convicted sexual offender Stanley Rosenfeld and SAR's statement in their October 5, 2018 message releasing their report that:

Continuing our conversations with our students and faculty on preventing and addressing sexual abuse. In 2014, SAR implemented an Anti-Harassment Policy:www.saracademy.org/antiharassmentpolicy. Training is done annually for all staff as well as appropriate training for high school and middle school students as part of their advisory program. Emphasis of the training is on awareness and reporting of any potential abuse as well as setting appropriate parameters for student-staff interactions. We are fully committed to the safety of our students and to continuing to implement best practices in these areas.  

As anyone can see that the words by SAR are nothing but cheap and empty as demonstrated by the facts of their now THREE TIMES REPEATED sexual scandals as reported!

How SAR could be "shocked" after three times the same types of sexual abuse occurring under their watch should be a complete mystery to any reasonable, thinking human being with a soul.  

Where is the outrage by the Riverdale community and by the current board of directors of SAR?  And where is the REAL action by them to correct their now half century HISTORY of abuse against the children in their completely negligent care?

Of course, let us also not forget the other sexual scandal allegations in the same community at the Riverdale Jewish Center and the chorus of denials and lack of accountability that went on with their prior "Sauna Rabbi" of thirty years who finally stepped down in 2016. 

Would the Riverdale community and SAR in particular like to offer up any new denials today and provide any more cheap words about their Anti-Harassment policy and phony "commitment to the safety of our students"? 

Less than two-weeks before the Jewish New Year 5780, will SAR finally take RESPONSIBILITY for the abuse to their past students and REALLY do what it takes to protect its current and future children.
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February 1, 2019

The Photo Every Man Fears

This was quite an interesting picture to put in the National Museum of Women in the Arts. 

That is one mighty large scissors that lady is holding.  

Uh, she looks a little commando-ish with the jump suit, cap, and sunglasses. 

Is she ready for war or for punishing some bad men?  

I don't believe there is a man out there that isn't spooked by this lady.  

My *** hurts just looking at this. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 5, 2018

Part 5 - Riverdale Sex Abuse

Please click the photo to enlarge or you can go straight to the link at the SAR website.

The summary findings from the investigation on the child sex abuse at SAR Academy found the following regarding Stanley Rosenfeld and "Rabbi" Sheldon Schwartz:

T&M uncovered the following regarding Rosenfeld's tenure and behavior while at SAR:
  • Rosenfeld was an administrator at SAR from 1974 to 1977 and he was also employed as a teacher by the school during the 1986-87 school year. The precise circumstances of his departure and rehire remain unknown.
  • Twelve former SAR students and one non-SAR student reported that Rosenfeld sexually abused them during his time as an SAR Academy faculty member.  
  • According to two victims, Rosenfeld's misconduct was reported to at least one member of SAR's administration at the time of these abuses.  
  • The investigation could not conclusively determine whether the administrators involved in the rehiring of Rosenfeld were aware of the nature of the allegations at the time of his rehire.  

T&M uncovered the following regarding Rabbi Schwartz's behavior while at SAR:
  • According to multiple victims, details of Rosenfeld's behavior were, at the time, raised directly to Rabbi Schwartz, who not only failed to act on the information appropriately, but was also alleged to have been present at and/or to have brought students to Rosenfeld's home for Shabbat visits during which abuse took place.
  • Separately, through the course of this investigative effort, several students came forward alleging Rabbi Schwartz had acted inappropriately with them.  

Rabbi Schwartz served as a Judaic studies teacher until he was suspended in January 2018, once allegations concerning his knowledge of Rosenfeld's behavior were brought to the attention of SAR. His employment has since been terminated.  Current members of the SAR administration were not aware of the allegations regarding Rabbi Schwartz until the commencement of the investigation.

T&M's findings and the fact that Rosenfeld appears to have worked at and abused children at multiple schools and camps in the New York area gives all of us reason to pause and consider whether we are truly doing enough to protect our children. 

For those of you who sincerely listened and believed the cries of the many victims, thank you.

For those of you who were complicit and even continued in the denials, I will just say to you that G-d sees all!
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May 20, 2018

Repeal The Statute of Limitations On Child Sex Abuse

We will never be a "civilized society " or a true "country of laws" as long as we don't repeal the statute of limitations on child sexual offenses.

Recently, South Africa and the state of Illinois repealed this outrageous law. 

Children can't be held accountable for coming forward on things they don't understand, are told didn't actually happen, they feel too ashamed of and have repressed, or haven't come to terms with. 

It is a travesty of justice that the animals who commit sexual crimes against children are given a get out of jail free card.

Not only that but by allowing these predators of children to escape justice, we are actually enabling and encouraging their violence against innocent children. 

A child cannot consent!

A child cannot fight off the grown-up!

A child is the absolute victim of the adults who traffick, abuse, molest, rape, and pimp them out. 

Often the children are unaware and from disadvantaged families or communities--they are sold or taken, used, abused, and often murdered and thrown in a ditch or some river. 

And why is there a statute of limitations on these crimes???

So I'll tell you one reason is that the people who are in power are often the same sick abusers, pedophiles, and sexual deviants. 

They carry child porn on their computers, they sext compromising images of their genitals, they visit the dark web to lure children to their lairs, and they buddy up with other creeps to move and f*ck up these poor kids. 

Sex is one of those areas where people are able to make every excuse in the book for what they do--it's an urge; it's a fetish; it's biological; it's a preference; maybe they're mad at their mommies or women in general--but never that they are sick f*cks who are abusing little children who cannot defend themselves!

Any politician that isn't standing up and working to immediately repeal the statute of limitation on sexual abuse against children--please ask them uncompromisingly why!  

Remember, you were once a child, you likely have children, and if you are a moral and upright person you have a duty to protect the innocent children who cannot protect themselves. 

G-d is watching and hearing them--are you?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)  

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April 29, 2018

The Evil That Is Child Trafficking



Please, please watch this short 4-minute video. 

It is very impactful!

EVEN...

- If you don't know what's going on with child sex abuse.

- If you are afraid to know.

- If you don't want to believe it.

- If you busy and generally haven't cared in the past. 

Here are some basic statistics:

💥There are at least 2 to 4 million cases of human trafficking annually!

💥It is estimated that 50% are children!

💥It's a $32 billion dollar industry and growing! 

Maybe (hopefully) you believe in G-d

We are G-d's children. 

Children are our children. 

We have a duty to protect children. 

How will you answer the call?

Here's where you can place a call:

- National Child Abuse Hotline: (800) 4-A-CHILD (422-4453)

- National Sexual Assault Hotline: (800) 656-HOPE (4673)

Finally, may Almighty G-d do justice to all the pedophiles and abusers out there. 

May the Earth and Heavens swallow them up and spit them out. 

So that the children, the pure children, may grow up in a better world, a much better world. ;-)
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April 28, 2018

Part 4 - Riverdale Sexual Abuse

So this part 4 of my posts about the sexual misconduct inflicted on the children in Riverdale. 

This is a follow-on to my post of January 10 regarding a message from Salanter Akiba of Riverdale (SAR) Academy about the exploits of one of its former teachers and administrators who "pleaded no contest to two counts of second-degree child molestation."

I agreed to be interviewed by the SAR investigator about my experience as a 7th-grade child who had been lured for a Shabbat to this monsters home. 

Rabbi Rosenfeld was never my teacher, and I would have never ended up at his home for Shabbat if not for this person, who invited me there, drove me there, and listened to my cries in the next room. 

It was extremely painful to recount in detail the childhood memories of sexual assault as she asked me question after question about every detail, and without malice, but basically forced me to relive the events of so long ago.

What is incredible to me is that the enabler/facilitator of that Shabbat invitation and course of events, I have come to understand, MAY STILL WORK IN THAT SCHOOL!

How many other children were lured to Rabbi Rosenfeld's home by this person--who was being paid and given benefits, as well as provided harbor and shelter, by this school (perhaps unknowingly) for decades and decades. 

But now if it is true, that this person is still there, the school has an ethical and I am certain, legal duty to protect the children that go there. 

No child should be abused sexually or otherwise or be part of such atrocities by former or current staff. 

I was one of the children who suffered in silence for too long. 

But now I understand that one of my purposes in this world is to help make things right. 

To the Riverdale community, to the board and leadership of SAR, I ask you, what is your role and responsibility?

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 2, 2018

The Hunted Becomes Hunters

I was on the treadmill and on the TV was the movie Rambo First Blood with Sylvester Stallone--he's incredible. 

There is an amazing scene where he is running, outnumbered, outgunned, and being literally hunted in the woods. 

But as he is a special forces trained warrior, he turns the tables on the bad guys. 

- The hunted become the hunter!

Life is not Hollywood.

Yet, miracles do happen, and good can overcome evil. 

Like the more than 150 brave women of the USA Olympics Gymnastics Team who testified and put the creep Larry Nassar away for the rest of his disgusting life. 

The hunted can be empowered through the justice system and do what is right and put the bad guys away--where they should stay and rot out their miserable days. 

The innocent women who suffered at his dirty hands prevail!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 10, 2018

Part 3 - One More Of The Abusers Caught

Above is excerpt from email (forwarded to me) sent out by SAR Academy (now with high school, but previously elementary and middle school only when I was growing up). 

It is incredibly horrible what this pedophile Rosenfeld did to the innocent children there and elsewhere. 

Now one more of the abusers has been caught and the truth has come out--even if after almost 40 years!

Here is a quote from blog of Luke Ford (2009) that sheds light on this evil creep:
"Stanely Rosenfeld is a former cantor and spiritual leader at Temple Am David who received a 10-year suspended sentence after pleading no contest to molesting a 12-year-old boy he was tutoring. He grew up in New York City and worked in the New York public school system for about 20 years, and worked about 10 years at a private Jewish academy in New York. In a recent lawsuit it was alleged that other Jewish synagogues had problems with Rosenfeld, but he was allowed to move from one to another and offend again. In previous probation reports Rosenfeld acknowleged constantly having to ‘fight his desire for boys.’ He said he often looks at children when driving and had ‘considered what it would be like to pursue a child’ but that he has never acted on this desire." The report also says that, "When asked if he had molested both male and female children, [Rosenfeld] responded that his ‘preferred prey’ is adolescent boys." Rosenfeld has acknowledged other victims within Rhode Islands well as victims in different states, demonstrating his clear propensity to commit these crimes against minors. Rosenfeld also told stated in past probation reports that he had molested boys when he was in New York, but he was never charged. Hopefully, this is the end of the line for pedophile Rosenfeld who will now rot in jail."

How was this allowed to continue for so long and no one did anything?

Victims in those days were questioned like they were crazy or told they just imagined it or "had a bad dream"!

But to the contrary, it was very real nightmare.  

#MeToo.

Fortunately, I wasn't harmed as bad as others--as thank G-d, I woke up in time!

Yes there were others who definitely seemed to facilitate it--was it knowingly or unknowingly? Not really sure how they couldn't have known.

People are beasts, although some have and exercise a moral conscience--others apparently don't have the integrity or inner strength to do the right thing--or they just don't care or dare to. 

For the victims--it's painful to see it again so real like it was just yesterday, but it's good to know that on some level truth and justice do come out, even if too little to late. 

There is much more work to do in our society to acknowledge what has gone on and been given a blind eye or even a wink and a nod instead of a resounding outcry and complete moral outrage.

It is long past time to demand the end of this ongoing evil in our communities, workplaces, and to our dear children. ;-)

(Source Email: SAR Academy)

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December 1, 2017

Sexual Acting Act

There is now a seemingly endless slate of sexual harassment allegations against some of the biggest shots from Hollywood to Washington, D.C. 

From the longest-serving Congressmen to the biggest star of morning television news, it seems that no one is sacrosanct.

Is it just that "absolute power corrupts absolutely"?

Or maybe it's more broadly to be stated, as the Rabbi noted on Shabbat, that: 
"G-d created man perfectly imperfect!"
Men and women are created with sexual urges to procreate, bond emotionally and physically, and enjoy each other. 

Men tend to be the stronger than women and are able to have children into old age, and perhaps, it can be said, have the bigger "urge to merge.

Sure, there are women who are normally sexually active, and also those who are perhaps hypersexual (nympomaniac, "cougars," etc.) and who commit sexual abuse too.

In fact, it was interesting that Wikipedia actually breaks rape down into 4 gender on gender categories:

- Rape of females by males
- Rape of females by females
- Rape of males by females
- Rape of males by males

Issues with physical intimacy and sexual harassment and violence span both sexes, however, it is also clear that:
"Rape affects women disproportionately, with the majority of people convicted being men."

In the U.S., the statistics show gross levels of sexual violence to women:

- 1 in 5 women will be raped in their lifetime (vs 1 in 71 men).

- 91% of victims of rape and sexual assault are female.

Also, particularly disturbing is the number of girls and boys targeted:

- 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before age 18. 

What type of society have we created, where women and children are not generally safe?

It's interesting to me in Judaism that there is a recognition of sexual impulse, and that some Hasidim actually wear a "gartel" belt when praying to physically and spiritually separate the upper half of the body with the head and heart, from the lower half with the more animal instincts.

In short, the head and heart need to control the animal part of people. 

Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be happening in so many cases. 

Stunned from the outpouring of sexual allegations nearly everyday now, I said to my wife: 
"What is wrong with these people? They have it all: position, power, and wealth; and yet, they throw it all away --including their integrity and reputations--for a five minute lay in the hay!"

Is the animal instinct too strong for the person to control? That just isn't going to cut it.

As a functioning society, it's got be completely unacceptable for people to act out sexually or otherwise violently hurt their neighbors. 

It's time for social reform and for the animals to be controlled by the people. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 24, 2017

The Long Arm Of The Law


This bird was hilarious running into and out of the ocean waves. 

Over and over again, it's little puttering feet running toward and then just escaping the water rushing to the shore. 

In a way, I thought that I'd like to be as playful and happy as this little bird running and having fun in the water. 

But when I showed the video to my wife, she got a different message from it. 

She said, "you can't outrun the long arm of the law!"

The (jail)bird runs towards trouble, but then running away, the waves of justice invariably catch up with it. 

I think with all the scandals in the news again lately from Hollywood to Washington D.C., we are all sort of stunned by the famous and hugely successful people who are now being caught up in inappropriate sex scandals and all sorts of abuse of women and men!

It's wrong that these people use their wealth, fame, and power to hurt other people, period. 

There are no excuses, no lapses of judgement, especially when it seems to happen over and over again to the same people. 

Put your "package" back in your pants, and behave like upright human beings and not like a bunch of wild animals.

Yes, perhaps it's one thing to be playful like the birds in the ocean waves, but it's another to be part of the list of scumbags--if true as accused--like Anthony Weiner, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Al Franken, John Conyers, and more. 

You can pay off the women with jobs and settlements, but you can't escape the rushing water of ultimate judgement for your unbridled play and tarnished souls. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 16, 2016

Bystanders Standing By

So I was on the Metro train coming home from the office. 

I was sitting on the left side of the car (riding backwards--which I hate) 

And a lady was sitting on the right side of the train (also riding backwards)

She was stylishly dressed, but also honestly a little seductive in a short skirt, knee-high boots, and bare legs. 

There was a older man sitting across from her (facing forward and facing her). 

At one point then some really weird stuff started to go down. 

This guy gets up and starts staring at this lady--but not just the lady, specifically at her legs.

But it get worse, he turns his head sideway--this way and that--very obviously trying to look under her skirt. 

These were not kids mind-you, but grown adults--and this behavior was not only unexpected, but completely shocking.

There are lots of other people around, and it seems like no one knows what to make of this guy or even cares.

Then he inches closer, as if to get a better look, and get this--100% true--he starts to sniff at her.

It was so scary to see this guy on the train acting all perverted--obviously some sort of serious sexual predator. 

My mind starts racing into whether I should get up and be prepared to confront him, so he doesn't hurt this women, or if there is enough time, can I call for the cops.

But before anything else could unfold, the train pulls into the next station, the double doors open, and he quickly hops off. 

I turn my head to look at the women to make sure she is okay, and I see her breath out a deep-sigh of relief. 

This could've been really bad--he could've tried to attack her in broad daylight or even follow her off the train. 

The funny thing was that I didn't see anyone say or do anything about it or even pay attention to the potentially dangerous situation unfolding that was obvious. 

The people were all around, but the bystanders were just that "standing (idly) by" and in no way seemed to pay any notice or they just didn't want to get involved--it was like complete apathy. 

I hope for everyone's sake--that people really do care and pay attention when there is danger about--and that it's not just everyone for themselves.  

We are much stronger together, than when everyone is apathetic or just looking out for themselves. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 30, 2015

Part 1 - G-d Is Good, (Some) People Not So

I am quite disabled after hip surgery, but I am livid. 

There was an article in the New York Times about a Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt who likes to take children and young adults naked to the sauna and Mikvah (Jewish ritual bath) and watch!

Some even reported that he "gawked at a naked 12-year old," "invited a 15-year old for intimate night time conversations during which he frequently put his hand on the boy's leg," and invited himself into a 17-year old's living room and tried repeatedly to persuade him to change into a bathrobe."

The article describes how this has been going on for around 30 years and the Rabbi was asked in various forms to stop by the Riverdale Jewish Center synagogue, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), and even investigated by Yeshiva University (YU). 

Interestingly, this is happening after the "2012 sex scandal involving top Rabbi's from Yeshiva University, another with Rabbi Baruch Lanner with "sexual, physical, and psychological abuse of scores of teens" in his charge in the National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), and most recently, the 6-year sentencing for "videotaping more than 150 women" (going to the Mikvah) of Rabbi Freundel of Kesher Synagogue (right here in Washington, D.C.). 

All of these sex scandals involved highly prominent rabbi's (and I feel sick to my stomach even using that esteemed word for them), and at the time this abuse was going on and for years after, no one wanted to believe this was happening!

A friend posted this article about Rabbi Rosenblatt on my Facebook page --we both know this Rabbi from Riverdale, NY where we grew up--and asked "What have you to say to this?"

Well let me tell you...many have come forward for the NYT's article and others on my Facebook page and behind the scenes to confirm knowledge of Rabbi's Rosenblatt's gawking and other inappropriate behaviors with children.

- "I refused to consider having him perform my marriage ceremony because of this and another of his 'unusual habits.'"

- "Not only was this common knowledge personally--it was known institutionally, by both YU and the RCA."

Yet others choose to continue the disbelief (some excerpts):

- "I believe these rumors to be vicious slander."

- "I want to believe some weird habits are being blown out of proportion."

So let me tell you that not knowing something is happening or not wanting to believe does not make it so. 

I and others I have spoken to remember children being invited to play racquetball as I remember it (squash in the article) and to go to the Sauna with the Rabbi afterward. 

As someone described for the NYT article about going to the Mikvah with the Rabbi, I can attest that this similarly happened to me PERSONALLY. 

Before I got married, the Rabbi accompanied me to the Mikvah for the ritual bathing which he said was needed before marriage, and just as the 15-year old victim in the article described, the Rabbi was "watching me" and I remember the Rabbi also telling me that he had to in order to see my whole body immersed.

I also remember feeling his look at me being off and feeling sick afterwards, like I just wanted to wash again and again. 

However for others referenced in the NYT article, it was much worse, "The routine was always the same: 'Always the hand on the shoulder or the leg, always the hand touching some part of your body'…The rabbi’s touch 'was very seductive and it was very manipulative in a way.'"

Unfortunately, as is typical, it is easier to blame the victims or disavow them, then acknowledge a deep-rooted sick and evil in our society by some who are at the top of the pecking order religiously and otherwise.

To be completely clear, the chilul Hashem is NOT with the victims, but RATHER it is with the man who for over 30 years continued this sick ruse, even after he was asked repeatedly to stop his inappropriate behavior with children and young adults. 

For those who choose to continue to look the other way, say how nice and scholarly these Rabbis are, and make every excuse in the book, rather than demand a FULL investigation and justice, all I can say is they are being complicit! 

One last thing I will say, there are others in that community that were involved.  

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 4, 2014

100 Times Harassed!


After my last blog on stopping sexual assault, a colleague brought this other video to my attention.

32 million views and 120 thousand comments and counting. 

This young lady walks around the streets of New York for 10 hours in jeans and a t-shirt and is verbally harassed a 100 times--not including winks and whistles. 


Women (and men) should not have to live in fear, shame, or be abused doing nothing but living their lives peacefully and respectfully. 

Darn, can the folks out there show some respect and decency.

This could be your mother, wife, sister, or daughter...think about it.

Video sponsored by IHollaback
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July 8, 2013

Rape Crisis Nation

I've been wanting to capture this in a photo for some time. 

I took this picture from a moving Metro train and one with incredibly dirty windows at that. 

It is the phone number for a 24-hour rape crisis hotline.

Underneath the phone number is a picture of a hand picking up a telephone to call. 

It is written as graffiti on the wall facing the train tracks. 

And around it are radio towers, telephone polls, what looks like transformers, and a barbed wire fence.

It is quite an ominous setting for the ad placement. 

To me, rape is one of the most horrendous and brutal crimes. 

Ironically, it physically and emotionally violates a person through the very means that most people make love and life. 

My first exposure to rape was in the opening scene to the movie Death Wish, where Charles Bronson's wife and daughter are brutalized--I saw this movie as a little boy and it left a huge imprint on me. 

Over the course of my life, I have known people who have been both raped and molested and it changed them forever. 

I found these rape statistics online, and even though rape is down 60% since 1993, 1 out of every 6 women in this country experiences a rape or attempted rape at some point.

Also, it means that 20 years ago, the percentage was about 26% or 1 out 4.

The Atlantic-2 years ago--reported similar numbers with 18.3% of women who were raped or where rape was attempted. 

Honestly, I think the numbers may even be higher, since so many cases go unreported, and according to the American Medical Association is one of the most unreported crimes. 

The numbers are outrageously high for a western, modern, civilized country or any nation!

What is even more shocking is that the U.S. is listed as the 6th highest country for reported rape. 

Perhaps a large part of this is because we report more frequently in this country, but also maybe because we are more free and affluent and thereby, people are able to partake of vices such as alcohol and drugs, which are associated with sexual violence. 

Rape is a horrific act and in medieval times, the crime of rape was often punished with castration or even death.

In Death Wish, Bronson became a semi-crazed vigilante and sought out his own form justice.

Today, in real life, we provide the victims a hotline number to call and the rapists--if they even get reported--and caught, prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced--may get some time or not, who really knows, but we should all care. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 15, 2012

That's The Last Straw

Our daughters and granddaughters are special. 

They deserve to be protected from sexual predators, such as those that spike drinks and take advantage of their unknowing victims. 

I was so pleased to learn about a new Anti-Date Rape Straw to help prevent this. 

The straw developed by Israeli inventors tests drinks for common date rape drugs. 

If the dangerous drugs are present, then the straw changes colors or becomes cloudy--providing a crucial early warning sign to those who might otherwise be drugged and sexually assaulted. 

We now have greater awareness of the prevalence of sexual abuse, especially by people we know and trust--such as dating partners, sports coaches, teachers, and even clergy--so we must remain ever vigilant.

We need to teach our daughters that they are beautiful and special and to protect themselves--and not to think that "it can't happen to me."

With these special straws, our daughters can be better prepared, aware, and hopefully safer.

I can see the potential growth and application of this technology to protecting government and private sector leaders, dignitaries, and other VIPs from potentially ingesting--intentionally- or accidentally-tainted food or drink. 

With a straw, eating utensil, or even toothpick like device that tests for the presence of dangerous pathogens and contaminants, we can provide a critical safeguard and prevent eating and drinking harmful elements. 

Potentially, these types of devices--maybe connected to an smartphone--could be used to provide other important measures and readings of food--such as ingredients, nutrition, and calories--of the actual servings we are about to eat.

This technology has incredible potential to help us not only eat safer, but also healthier. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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