Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Where in the World is Hershy Worch?

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Rumors have it that Rabbi Hershy Worch has left Istanbul, Turkey and is back in the United States, residing in Chicago.

Worch fled to Istanbul earlier this year instead of showing up at custody hearings regarding his own children.

Back in May, 2005, Worch was "banned by local Turkish religious authorities from taking any pulpit".

Jeremy Hershy Worch was born in Manchester, England, on May 20, 1954. He recieved his smicha (ordaination) from Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach in 1992.

There have been several serious allegations made claiming Reb Hershy's behavior as being predatory, manipulative and sexually abusive. Allegations have been made in while residing in Chicago; from a group from the Hamakom Synagogue in Melbourne, Australia; and from other locations.

Rabbi Worch has been accused of utilizing a mixture of kabbalah, hypno-eroticism and other manipulative techniques to enagage his potential victims prior to sexually assaulting them.

There have been allegations that Reb Hershy creates a cult-like devotion to himself utilizing trance-like-states, guided meditation, hypnosis; all under the guise of kabbalah teachings. Allegedly his MO (modus operandi) has been to use such techniques on women with histories of childhood abuse, so that he can lead them into BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sadism, Masochism). activities with him.

Rabbi Worch has allegedly written a "BDSM-Kabbalah" and finds his "students" over the internet, primarily through his Livejournal "Kabbalah_101" community.

For more information regarding the allegations made against him go here: Rabbi Jeremy Hershy Worch and here The Case of Rabbi Hershy Worch.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Quotes For Today

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.

Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings.

Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.

Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.
Total absense of humor renders life impossible.

If we couldn't laugh, we would go insane.

Laughter is inner jogging.

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.

If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.

There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.

Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.

When it comes to getting things done, we need fewer architects and more bricklayers.

You must do the things you think you cannot do.

Never mistake motion for action.

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.

Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Zwi Migdal - Rio de Janero, Buenos Aires, and New York City

Bodies And Souls: The Forced Prostitution Of Jewish Women At The Turn Of The CenturyIn the news this week is the book: Bodies And Souls: The Forced Prostitution Of Jewish Women At The Turn Of The Century
de Isabel Vincent

The Awareness Center's page on the Case of Zwi Migdal Society
Dedicated to the memory of the women of who were obducted and forced into prostution, According to reports there were members of the Society who were rabbis

From the 1860s to the beginning of the Second World War, thousands of naive, impoverished Jewish girls from eastern Europe were sold by Jewish mobsters into sexual slavery. This hugely profitable (annual revenues of $50 million in the 1890s) commerce in flesh was operated by the Zwi Migdal, a criminal association It was centred in Buenos Aires, with branch offices in Brazil, South Africa, India, China and Poland.

Forced by poverty and despair to leave their homes, the girls, as young as 13, were shipped off to various locations. This kidnapping, rape and forced prostitution of young Jewish women lasted from the end of the 1860s until the start of the Second World War.

Despite their lost lives, many of the women found strength in each other. Banned from the Jewish community, they formed an "extraordinary religious and charitable organization," the Society of Truth. Denied access to Jewish culture, religion and burial grounds, they pooled their meagre resources to build a synagogue and to provide a ritual Jewish burial and cemetery for their members.

How Safe is JSAFE for Survivors of Sexual Violence?

I was just looking over the web page for Rabbi Mark Dratch's organization. I was really shocked to see that it doesn't list The Awareness Center, Inc. on the Links Page.

I've also noticed on the home page of Rabbi Dratch's organization it states the following:

JSafe: The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse-Free Environment works to promote a Jewish community in which all of its institutions and organizations conduct themselves responsibly and effectively in addressing the wrongs of domestic violence, child abuse and professional improprieties, whenever and by whomever they are perpetrated.

Do you notice that no where does it even mention the words sexual abuse, sexual assault or professional sexual misconduct? Is Rabbi Dratch under so much political pressure that his organization can't mention the term "sex" or specifically mention marital rape, or incest or other forms of childhood sexual abuse on the site?

Remember The Awareness Center is the only organization that is dedicated to addressing sexual violence in all Jewish communities. I personally think that JSAFE should have a link from their organization to The Awareness Center.

How can anyone take JSAFE seriously, if they continue to avoid specifically addressing the topic of sexual violence in Jewish communities?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Lakewood, NJ Ban on the Internet

The following comments are from The Awarenes Center, Inc. as a response to the rabbis of Lakewood's ban on the internet.

One of the many problem with a ban on the Internet in observant communities (or any insulated community), is that individuals who are seeking help from sexual violence, will have limitations in finding it. I'm sure the goal is to deter individuals, yet the end result can be just as harmful.

Some rabbis urge faithful to unplug
Lakewood leaders: Web too dangerous for homes with kids
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Star-Ledger Staff

Like so many Americans, Mesh Gelman relies on the Internet for work. But in a move that's likely to complicate his business in international trade, the Lakewood man plans to unplug his home computer from the wired world, shutting out all that's good -- and bad -- about the Web.

Gelman's reasoning is simple: His religious leaders have told him to do so.

The father of four is a member of Lakewood's tight-knit Orthodox Jewish community, whose leaders have declared that Internet access should be removed from homes with school-age children to better protect them from the bounty of sexual images online.

It is more than a suggestion. The community's policy -- formed with the principals of the area's 43 yeshivas, or Jewish private schools, and unveiled in late September -- decrees that any student with home access faces suspension or expulsion on the grounds that even one Internet-corrupted student could sway others.

Rabbi Moshe Weisberg
, who has long discussed the dangers of the Web with other Lakewood rabbis, said children are not mature enough to use the Internet and are susceptible to sites sexual in nature, either openly or subtly so.

"Kids can become addicted to the point where it's almost like a drug addiction or an alcoholic addiction," said Weisberg, who runs a social services agency in Lakewood. "Even though there might be some value -- research, schoolwork -- the negatives so far outweigh the positives."

While figures were not available, rabbis said many parents among the Ocean County community's 6,500 Orthodox families have already canceled their Internet subscriptions.

Gelman, who dropped off his 6- and 8-year-old boys at Yeshiva Bais HaTorah yesterday, said he's still trying to figure out how to work at home without the Internet. But, he said, he will, praising the rabbi's policy as "smart."

"The Internet is not a bad thing, but people use it for the wrong reasons," Gelman said. "As a parent, it's hard when kids start asking you things and watching their innocence fall away. You wonder what they can learn on the Web. I know that with one little stroke of the key, you can end up in the wrong place."

While strict, the policy is not absolute. The community's rabbis may make exceptions for parents with e-mail-only access or with home businesses if computers are kept in a locked room or cabinet.
A different section of the policy forbids students from using Palm Pilots, cell phones and/or other hand-held devices with Internet access, though yeshiva principals are not required to expel students if they violate this part.

In a community in which few people have televisions, the rabbis' concerns extend beyond fears about children meeting sexual predators in chat rooms. They also worry about pictures.

"The issue of extramarital sex ... extends to even looking at ladies for pleasure, thinking about other ladies for pleasure," said Rabbi Netanya Gottlieb, principal of Yeshiva Bais HaTorah. "We really ... don't want children to see ladies who are dressed inappropriately ... If that one image goes into a child's head, it can wreak havoc with all the religious instruction."

Elsewhere, attempts to limit Internet use often are criticized as censorship. But Lakewood's Orthodox Jewish leaders said they do not expect any lawsuits.

Indeed, rabbis and people interviewed in Lakewood said there is widespread support for the rules, with little outward opposition save some blogging on the Internet. And they said similar policies in Israel have worked well.

Still, the ban drew some disapproval outside Lakewood.

"I think it's doing a great disservice to the students by prohibiting them from using what is essentially the primary communications medium of our time," said Kevin Bankston of the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation. Bankston hadn't heard of the policy until contacted by a reporter.
Lakewood's Jews comprise about a third of the township's population, community leaders said. The community began growing in the 1940s with the establishment of Beis Medrash Govoha, a yeshiva that has blossomed into one of the world's most prestigious schools for studying the Talmud.

"This is a self-selected group of people that choose to live in Lakewood," Weisberg said. "Being subject to rabbinic leadership here is completely voluntary ... If you're sending your kid to a private school, you've already made a choice. You want to guide your child in a certain direction."

The rabbis acknowledged that children know more about computers than do adults. When they unveiled the policy Sept. 27 at a large meeting, they had Internet experts on hand to teach parents about Wifi and Bluetooth. About 3,000 people attended.

"This was an education for the vast majority of people there, who had no idea what a (wireless) router was," or that a child could take any computer with wireless capacity around the block and use an unsuspecting neighbor's signals, Weisberg said.

Lakewood's Jewish leaders have been warning the community about perils of the Internet for nearly five years.

"Any practicing rabbi has his handful of cases where really good families, good marriages, have been broken up" because of time spent online, Weisberg said.

If the scene at Lakewood's public library is any indication, the rabbis will not get 100 percent compliance. Last Friday afternoon, six boys in traditional Jewish clothing were surfing the Web.

But the rabbis say 100 percent compliance is not the point; they do not plan midnight raids. Instead, they said they expect community members to use the honor system and sign written pledges that if they do need the Internet at home for work, they will ensure that kids cannot use it.

"I'm definitely concerned about my children, about spiritual development and well-being," said Rachel Rappaport, who just canceled the home Internet access she used for her child-care business. "The community is trying to keep itself a safe place for parents to live with families."

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Surviving Thanksgiving: Jewish Survivors of Incest and Childhood Sexual Abuse

© (2005) The Awareness Center, Inc.

Please say a bracha (blessing) for the children who are being abused this Thanksgiving.

This is a reminder that we all have a responsibility to do what we can to keep them safe, and make sure their families get the help they need!

For many Jewish families in the United States who celebrate Thanksgiving, it is time of year filled with wonderful memories of families getting together.

Unfortunately, for survivors of childhood abuse (emotional, physical and sexual abuse), this can be a time for painful memories to reemerge. When this happens a survivor may find it safer to retreat, then to participate in holiday functions. It is important for each individual survivors to find what works best for them to stay emotionally healthy. It is vitally important each person to be kind to themselves with what ever decisions you make regarding holiday services. We all need to respect their decisions, especially if they decide not to participate.

If you know someone who is a survivor of childhood abuse (emotional, physical and sexual abuse), it might be a good idea to check up on them a few times over the holidays. Make sure survivors have invitation to thanksgiving dinner. If they say no, it is important to let them know they can always change their mind and come at the last minute.

Thanksgiving (like any other holiday) often mean that families get together, routines are changed, there is also the added stress of cleaning and preparing meals. These issues alone can be extremely stress producing. Unfortunately the reality is that there are parents who are already inclined to use their children as an outlet for emotions and urges. They are even more likely to do so when under the pressure of increased anxiety. Many survivors of childhood abuse report that they were abuse became more intense around and over holidays.

This is written as a reminder to all survivors: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

It is not uncommon for symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) to emerge after times of relative remission and/or intensify in those already struggling. You may experience an increase in disturbing thoughts, nightmares and flashbacks. Thoughts of self-harm, even suicide, may be an issue. The important thing to remember is these feelings are about the past, that the abuse is over, and that it is of utmost importance for you to be kind to and gentle with yourself.

Over the years we have spoken to many adult survivors who find it very painful to even consider going to anyone's home for the holiday. This is OK. Someday you may feel different, but if the pain is too intense, it is important that you do things that can be healing, that you set boundaries to do what feels safe for you.

One survivor shared that she felt uncomfortable not doing anything for the holidays, so she'd rent the movies that had a healing theme to them. Another survivor would invite other Survivors over to her home and they would create a ritual that seemed healing for their holiday meal.

It's important to remember that whatever works for you is ok --know that you are not alone, not wrong, not bad for having second and third and forth thoughts about how to celebrate and if to celebrate the holiday. Look into yourself and see what you need, then do what you can to do it, and be kind to yourself for needing to make these adjustments.

Todah Rabah for Surviving!

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Incest Loophole

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by ANDREW VACHSS, Op-Ed Contributor
The New York Times
November 20, 2005

WHAT if I told you that a father who was regularly raping his 8-year-old daughter could reasonably expect to avoid prison if he were discovered? You'd be outraged, right? But this is a fact of life in New York, thanks to the "incest loophole." And nobody in the Legislature is even trying to change this reprehensible law.

Most citizens agree that child molesting is one of the foulest crimes imaginable. Yet New York's law - much like that of most other states - allows the possibility of privileged treatment for a special class of offender: the perpetrator who is related to his prey. In other words, the penal code gives a discount to child rapists who grow their own victims.

Anyone who believes this to be hyperbole needs only to compare New York's penalty for those who molest an unrelated child with the penalty for those who molest children to whom they are related.
In New York, sex with a child under the age of 11 is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison. The law is indexed appropriately, in the chapter on sex offenses. If, however, the sexually abused child is closely related to the perpetrator, state law provides for radically more lenient treatment. In such cases, the prosecutor may choose to charge the same acts as incest. This is not listed as a sex offense, but instead as an "offense affecting the marital relationship," listed next to adultery in the law books. It is a Class E felony, for which even a convicted offender may be granted probation.

Probation is available because the law considers incest with a child to be a nonviolent crime. But the fact that physical force is rarely required for a parent to violate a child does not make the crime nonviolent. Incest is, most typically, rape-by-extortion, with parents abusing their position to induce compliance from victims whose every aspect of life is under the perpetrators' control. Entitling those who commit such crimes to a legislative get-out-of-jail-free card is indefensible.

In New York, district attorneys are elected officials, so maintaining a high conviction rate is an important political tool. But giving prosecutors the option of bargaining a child sexual abuse charge down to incest invites exploitation and mocks the vaunted principle of justice for all, making children mere property. Even if one chooses to believe that prosecutors would never actually use such a loophole, how does this excuse leaving it on the books? Why should prosecutors and judges have the discretion to give special treatment to those who sexually abuse their own children?

The current law has a curious history. It has been virtually unchanged since it was originally enacted in colonial New York. As with similar laws in other states, it was adopted, virtually intact, from a 16th-century British statute

When they were first written, laws against incest were founded on biblical prohibitions and intended to prevent the conception of genetically impaired children. The paradigm was first cousins marrying, not parents raping their children. The New York incest statute pre-existed by decades any public recognition of child sexual abuse. It has never evolved in recognition of the unsavory but indisputable reality that the overwhelming majority of sexual crimes against children are not committed by strangers.

If New York's "incest loophole" ever went to public referendum, it would be doomed. In fact, most people feel strongly that violation of one's own child should result in an increased punishment, not a reduced one. But this is a stealth law, flying below the radar of public attention. It is evoked only in backroom deals between defense lawyers and prosecutors, never covered by the press.

Any politician who openly supported such a law would be committing career suicide. But because its primary victims cannot contribute to political campaigns, hire lobbyists or vote, no natural constituency to change this law has emerged. Getting legislation passed or changed without an exchange of benefits is nearly impossible.

If we are to finally add reality to the rhetoric of child protection, now is the time. The current statute in New York says that someone is "guilty of incest when he or she marries or engages in sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with a person whom he or she knows to be related to him or her." By simply replacing "person" with "adult" in that reference, we would be able to keep the original intent of New York's incest prohibition - as an "offense against the marital relationship," while closing the loophole that now protects a special class of deviant offender.

We're going to elect a new governor soon. We should demand that each candidate pledge to make changing this law a top priority of his administration. Our children's lives depend on it.

Andrew Vachss, a lawyer whose practice is limited to the representation of children, is a member of the advisory boardof the National Association to Protect Children.
For more information go to:

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Interesting Statistics from one of The Awareness Center's volunteers

The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter - June 28, 2005

Are you aware that there are roughly 50 individuals of the Christian faith in the US for every Jewish person?

When visiting one of the Christian organizations that focus in on clergy abuse (in the Christian faith), you will notice they have just over 4,000 alleged and or convicted sex offenders.

On June 28, 2005, The Awareness Center, Inc. had 67 cases of alleged and or convicted clergy cases (284 cases in total of all cases) .

The equivalent (in Christian terms) in our community of 67 X 50 = 3,350 clergy (284 X 50 = 14,200 offenders) cases.

When you stop to think about it, what The Awareness Center is doing is an incredible feat for an organization that has extremely limited funding.

Can you imagine the work The Awareness Center could do if they had adequate financial resources?

Why not make a difference and send a donation check to them?

The Awareness Center, Inc.
(Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault)
P.O. Box 65273, Baltimore, MD 21209

Friday, November 18, 2005

What do we do with Rabbis who are Alleged and or Convicted Sex Offenders and their Smicha's (Ordination)?

The following is a repeat from March 5, 2005. Considering everything in the news today, I thought it was appropriate to republish it.

I was recently having a conversation with someone regarding the topic of having a rabbi's ordination overturned/revolked.

I was told the only way that can happen in orthodox circles (RCA or Agudath Israel of America) is if the rabbi who gave the ordination takes it back.

There's a problem though; If the rabbi who gave an offender his smicha dies, then there is nothing anyone can do. I think about how rabbis can decide all sorts of things, but I don't understand why they haven't had a summit to change this practice? Do they care more about thier image, then they do about protecting innocent potential victims?

I either read somewhere or was told that Marc Gafni almost had has his ordination revoked. But right before that happened he gave it back to Rabbi Shlomo Riskin. Gafni still has ordinations by other rabbis. My question is that with all the information that's available, why hasn't those other rabbis also revoked his ordination?

I've also been told it's highly unusual for a rabbi to revoke an ordination. I'm really confused with the Gafni case, why hasn't every Jewish news paper didn't pick it up? Wouldn't you think it would be headline news?

I also think about all the smicha's Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach has given. Off the top of my head I automatically think of Rabbi Hershy Worch, who was living in Chicago, and now resides in Istanbul, Turkey.

I heard that because Hershy Worch doesn't belong to any rabbinical organization, meaning there is nothing any can do.

So the Worch saga continues. He is still considered an orthodox rabbi. So the odds are he is continuing his Kiruv work (Jewish outreach), and practicing S & M form of Kabbalah. Luring more victims in.

If an orthodox rabbi is an alleged or convicted sex offender, they will remain being a rabbi. Think about it. If you can't revoke a smicha, and all you can do is kick someone out of a rabbinical association, then does it really make a difference what can you do? The alleged or convicted offender can continue using their title of rabbi to lure in innocent victims and continue offending.

Maybe everyone needs to contact the rabbinical associations (RCA or Agudath Israel of America) and see if public pressure will get them to change?

Click on the photos below to learn more about the following minyon of "Rabbis".

Once a rabbi, always a rabbi - Kaye quits rabbinic assn.; retains title

by Eric Fingerhut, Staff Writer
Washington Jewish Week
November 17, 2005

Rabbi David Kaye has resigned from Conservative Judaism's rabbinical association, but the title of "rabbi" cannot be taken away from him.

Such a designation is earned when one graduates from rabbinical school, according to leaders in the Conservative and Reconstructionist movement.

Kaye submitted his resignation to the Rabbinical Assembly a few days before the airing of the Nov. 4 Dateline NBC hidden camera investigation of sexual predators on the Internet in which he was ensnared.

A former rabbi at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac, Kaye also resigned his position with the teen educational group Panim: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values due to the Dateline program.

Rabbi Joel Meyers, the R.A.'s executive vice president, said that giving up membership in the organization essentially means that Kaye is "no longer a member of the Conservative rabbinate" and "can't function as a Conservative rabbi."

The Awareness Center
, an organization advocating for the rights of sexual abuse victims in the Jewish community, has been urging its supporters to ask that Kaye's s'micha, or rabbinic ordination, be revoked. But Meyers said that "we can't take his s'micha away" because he "earned his degrees," and "unless fraud was found in achieving the degree, he has the degree."

Kaye was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College two decades ago before joining the Conservative movement's rabbinical association after he was hired at the Conservative Har Shalom. The president of the RRC, Rabbi Dan Ehrenkrantz, said revoking one's ordination "is not something we ever do, nor do I think it's doable."

"You can't take away the fact that he successfully fulfilled the requirements for graduation," said Ehrenkrantz.

He noted that rabbinical groups like the R.A. act as licensing-type organizations, and losing membership in such a group effectively tells the public that a rabbi has not conducted himself properly.

He compared the situation to a doctor who engages in misconduct ‹ the physician does not lose the title doctor, but can lose his or her license.

Kaye, however, would still, for example, be able to officiate at a wedding if a couple desired.

The rabbi also has left his teaching position at B'nai Israel Congregation's Hebrew high school, according to the Rockville Conservative synagogue's Rabbi Jonathan Schnitzer.

Kaye had been teaching a Tuesday evening class for the post-confirmation class of 11th- and 12th-graders and had led the Shabbat teen minyan since the beginning of the school year. He resigned those posts three days before the Dateline program aired, Schnitzer said this week.

Schnitzer said that the teen sessions were "always in a group" and that the shul had not received any complaints about his conduct.

Criminal charges are still not expected against Kaye. A Montgomery County Police Department spokesperon said that it has not received any criminal complaints or been provided with other information that would trigger an investigation of the rabbi, although an inquiry could be opened in the future if such facts did arise.

The Fairfax County Police Department said once again this week that it still does not anticipate filing charges because of both jurisdictional issues and reservations about the methods of Perverted Justice, the group that partnered with Dateline in the investigation. The group's volunteers pose as children on the Internet in order to expose potential predators.

Fairfax County police have noted that even though the alleged predators were lured to a house in Virginia, the Perverted Justice volunteer chatters were based in Michigan and Kaye and many of the other alleged predators lived in Maryland. With the alleged crimes crossing state lines, it is unclear if the FBI could get involved in the case.

A spokesperson for the FBI's Baltimore field office could not say at this point whether it would be investigated.

The Awareness Center's Call For Action

Pregnancy and Sexual Violence

The following comes from The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter:
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Stats: Pregnancies Resulting from Rape

In 2002, according to the 2002 National Crime Victimization Study, 86,290 women were raped. According to medical reports, the incidence of pregnancy for one-time unprotected sexual intercourse is 5%. By applying the 5% pregnancy rate to 86,290 women, RAINN estimates that there were up to 4,315 pregnancies as a result of rape.

This calculation does not account for the following factors which could lower the actual number of pregnancies.

• Rape, as defined by the NCVS, is forced sexual intercourse. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object such as a bottle. Certain types of rape under this definition cannot cause pregnancy.

  • Medical estimates of a 5% pregnancy rate are for one-time, unprotected sexual intercourse. Some victims of rape may be utilizing birth control methods, such as the pill, which will prevent pregnancy. Additionally, some rapists may wear condoms in an effort to avoid DNA detection.
  • Victims of rape may not be able to become pregnant for medical or age-related reasons.
  • This calculation does not account for the following factors which could raise the actual number of pregnancies.
  • Medical estimates of a 5% pregnancy rate are for one-time, unprotected sexual intercourse. Some victimizations may include multiple incidents of intercourse.
  • Because of its methodology, NCVS does not measure victimizations of Americans age 12 or younger. Rapes of these young people could result in pregnancies that are not accounted for in RAINN estimates.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Rabbi Mark Dratch on the case of Rabbi David Kaye

A Safer Torah
By Rabbi Mark Dratch

David Kaye, rabbi and educator, was exposed on the television news magazine “Dateline NBC” as a pedophile and sexual predator.

Rabbi David Kaye is the newest member of a notorious group of rabbis, cantors and teachers who have violated the principles of their faith, exploited the confidence of their students and betrayed trust of their communities. David Kaye, rabbi and educator, was exposed on the television news magazine "Dateline NBC" as a pedophile and sexual predator. The program recently aired a videotape it made of Kaye as he attempted to rendezvous with who he thought was a thirteen year old young boy that he had solicited on the internet. In fact, it was a setup, orchestrated by, a civilian watchdog group which maintains a website dedicated to exposing predators in internet chatrooms.

The limelight of his television debut as a sexual predator once again shines a spotlight on the need for the Jewish community, and all communities for that matter, to confront a seedy and sordid reality. We must actively and vigilantly carry out its responsibility to care for and protect its most vulnerable. The sad reality is that while most members and leaders of our community are decent, ethical and trustworthy, some of them are not. But none of them wears a sign around his neck that proclaims, "I'm an abuser" or "Watch Out. I'm a Predator� Unfortunately, a cursory glance at the headlines of Jewish papers during the past few years reveals that ostensible piety, seeming scholarship and perceived compassion are not safeguards against indecency and impropriety. Too often they are used as masks to fool, trick and entrap. And all too often they enable unscrupulous individuals to manipulate the vulnerable and to devastate the innocent.

Ego, arrogance, sexual urges and dysfunction, poor impulse control, rationalization, power and control, personal issues and interests and a host of other factors, psychological and theological, may contribute to the type of antisocial predatory behavior that we are witnessing. But as far as innocent victims are concerned, all of that is irrelevant.

As distasteful and disillusioning as it is, Kaye's case reminds us that we must be a bit guarded in all of our relationships. The rabbinic bon mot, chabdeihu vechashdeihu, respect yet suspect, must be the policy of the day. We no longer have the luxury of always being dan lekaf zechut, judging favorably and giving the benefit of a doubt, no matter who the person is.

I don't know if in Kaye's case there were any red flags, any warning signs that former congregants, employers or students could have picked up. And with no prior police record, a background check would have come up with nothing. But with some of the others, there were such red flags and background checks and appropriate hiring policies may have been helpful. Education and awareness programs for all of the members of our community, especially for our children, that educate and empower them in dealing with such issues as sexual predators, internet hazards, child abuse, boundary issues and the like will go a long way in making our community a safer place.

Unfortunately, the Torah that Kaye preached was not the Torah that he practiced. And while no matter how educated and vigilant we are, we may never be able to guarantee a safe Torah, but we have a religious and moral obligation to give our community a safer Torah � one that does all that it can to protect all of its members, even from its own.

Don't forget to read about The Awareness Center's Call to Action on this case

Quotes For Today

  1. Don't be afraid of tomorrow.
  2. No one should fear the truth.
  3. Sometimes the truth is not simple.
  4. It is no disgrace to fall down -- the disgrace is in not getting up and going ahead.
  5. You can change your attitude.
  6. Worry gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere.
  7. An imagination can make reality far more enjoyable.
  8. Drive away fear.
  9. A genius needs to think differently from the masses.
  10. Make full use of what happens to you.
  11. Brush away criticisms made from fears.
  12. Your mind can either free or imprison you.
  13. Admire people who succeed at living life on their own terms.
  14. Success rarely comes without a struggle.
  15. You may have to forgo wealth and power if you want to attain happiness and freedom.
  16. Try to make a living engaging your passion.
  17. You cannot live if you are always sleeping.
  18. Fight for just causes

Discussion on Forward Article on the Case of Rabbi David Kaye

There is a discussion going on the Canonist Blog regarding Jay Michaelson and the Forward's Article "Disabuse Community of Intolerance". This is regarding the Case of Rabbi David Kaye of Maryland. Please note there are a few rabbis with the same name.

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What About the Boys? Sexually Abused Boys Likely to Face Problems as Adults

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NEW YORK, Nov. 2 (AScribe Newswire) -- The William Alanson White Institute today released the following commentary by
Richard B. Gartner, Ph.D.

Now that Michael Jackson has gone to find a new Neverland and renegade priests are yesterday's news, the public may mistakenly assume the problem of childhood sexual abuse has vanished as well.

But what about the boys? By age 16, as many as one in six boys in America has had unwanted sex with an adult or older child (some statistics state one in five). And what about the millions of men, abused as children, who continue to live with the debilitating effects of shattered trust?

Unfortunately, the media did little to explore the lasting effects of boyhood sexual abuse, instead focusing mainly on the daily tribulations of a wayward pop star and the crises of a church that harbored predators. But at least those scandals brought boyhood abuse into the public discourse - at least we can talk about it now.

It's disturbing to think about what it means to a boy when he's sexually abused by someone he trusts. Uncomfortable as we feel, however, we must either face the reality of his experience or continue to live with its aftermath.

Abusers use their age or authority to satisfy their own needs without regard to those of their victims. Seemingly unbreakable bonds are broken when treachery is introduced into these relationships. Consequently, many sexually abused boys grow up distrustful, considering people dishonest, malevolent, and undependable. They often become frightened of emotional connection and isolate themselves. This may alternate with merging with loved ones so they hardly know where they end and others begin.

Confusing affection with abuse, desire with tenderness, sexually abused boys often become men who have difficulty distinguishing among sex, love, nurturance, affection, and abuse. They may experience friendly interpersonal approaches as seductive and manipulative. On the other hand, they may not notice when exploitative demands are made on them - they've learned to see these as normal and acceptable.

Believing sexual closeness is the way to feel loved but experiencing love as abuse, some of these men solve their dilemma by engaging in frequent, indiscriminate, and compulsive sexual encounters. These are not free, joyous expressions of erotic passion. Sex is pursued incessantly, but with little chance for intimacy. Although strongly desiring love, these men have no sense of feeling loved once the sex act is concluded. They're left feeling empty and lonely, while the idea of fully pursuing relationships fills them with dread. Many believe sexually abused boys almost inevitably become sexually abusive men. But, while a significant proportion of male abusers were victims themselves, there's evidence that relatively few sexually abused boys actually become abusers. Because of the myth, however, many men fear they'll become abusive or worry that if they disclose their history, others will consider them predators.

Sexually abused boys are also troubled if they were aroused while being abused. Teenagers have little control over the hormones surging through their bodies. But if they're stimulated by aspects of their experience, they may feel they participated in or even invited the abuse. This confuses a boy who also knows he was repelled by the experience. Feeling guilty about any sexual pleasure he felt during his molestation, he may become ambivalent about all sexual pleasure.

Also, masculine gender expectations teach boys they can't be victims. Boys are supposed to be competitive, resilient, self-reliant, and independent, but certainly not emotionally needy. "Real" men initiate sexual activity and want sex whenever it's offered, especially by women. For many men, these qualities define masculinity.

As a result, boys may not even recognize their sexual victimization. They may assert that they weren't abused, weren't hurt, or were in charge of what happened. For them, acknowledging victimization means admitting they're weak or "not male."

Finally, when the abuser is male (and even sometimes when she is female), many boys - whether straight or gay - develop fears and concerns about sexual orientation. Conventional wisdom says sexual abuse turns boys gay, although there's no persuasive evidence that premature sexual activity fundamentally changes sexual orientation. Nevertheless, a heterosexual boy is likely to doubt himself, wondering why he was chosen by a man for sex. A homosexual boy may feel rushed into considering himself gay, or may hate his homosexuality because he believes it was caused by his abuse. Whether boys are gay or straight, these manipulative introductions to sexuality can set lifetime patterns of exploitation and self-destructive behavior.

These aftereffects are ugly. They're not only painful for victims but also costly to our society. Boys who grow up without coming to terms with their childhood abuse often struggle as men with addictions, anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide as well as the inability to develop or maintain relationships.

The good news: healing is possible. A first step is acknowledging abuse occurred and articulating what has been silenced. Putting the experience into words is freeing for many men, whether they tell a loved one, a professional, a confidant, or simply write in a journal. Beyond that, there are several options. Knowledgeable professionals can help, as can healing retreats, some 12-Step programs, and men's groups focused on victimization and masculinity. The Internet offers several options, including web sites for sexually abused men such as, where men can find one another and talk, anonymously if necessary, about their common dilemmas.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Updated - CALL TO ACTION: Demand Action on the Case of Rabbi David Kaye

From: The Awareness Center, Inc.

Rabbi Kaye was originially video taped back in August, 2005 by Dateline NBC. Since then nothing has been done regarding this case

Please contact the following individuals and agencies:

1) Telephone and write Rabbi Joel H. Meyers. Demand that the Rabbinical Assembly make a public statement regarding Rabbi David Kaye's behavior. The Awareness Center was notified that Rabbi Kaye resigned his membership to the Rabbinical Assembly right before the Dateline episode was shown. The problem is that David Kaye still holds the title "rabbi". The Awareness Center believes that Rabbi David Kaye's smicha (ordination) should be revoked. According to halacha (Jewish Law), the only way this could occur is if the individual rabbi or the institution who gave him smicha (ordinatiion) revokes it.

Rabbi Joel H. Meyers

Executive Vice President

(212) 280-6000

2) Contact the Virginia Attorney General's Office and the Fairfax Police Department, the Maryland Attorney General's Office, the Montgomery County Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. It appears none of the above law enforcement agencies are denying jurisdiction in these cases.

Part of the problem is that the organization Perverted Justice is based in the state of Michigan. Rabbi David Kaye resides in the state of Maryland, and the video tape occurred in the state of Virginia. Since these alleged crimes crossed various state lines, the FBI may need to be the investigative agency.

Without there being public outcry, no criminal charges will be pressed against the nineteen individuals who were discussed in the Dateline NBC episode. Rabbi David Kaye needs to be held accountable. Please see the contact information provided below:

Please mention that the organization called Perverted Justice sent the chat transcripts and information about Kaye to them, and also after witnessing the dateline episode, and reading the transcript below, you feel that there is enough evidence for an indictment.

Judy Jagdmann - Attorney General of Virginia



Northern Virginia Regional Office - Office of the Attorney General

Rosemary C. Foreman - Community/Outreach Coordinator



Ken Hughes - Chief of Police

Fairfax Police Department


Fax: 415-457-8769


J. Joseph Curran, Jr. - Attorney General for Maryland


TDD: (410) 576-6372


J. Thomas Manger - Chief of Police

Montgomery County Police Department



Douglas M. Duncan - Montgomery County Executive

Montgomery County Council

240 -777-2500

Robert Mueller - Director

Federal Bureau of Investigations

FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

202 - 324-3000

Rabbi David Kaye was featured on "Dateline NBC" for seeking a sexual encounter with an underage boy in a chat room. NBC News conducted a sting in August, (2005) working with a group called "Perverted Justice." Members of the group, posing as underage boys and girls, entered Internet chat rooms and waited for adults to engage them in conversations.

Kaye was one of many who allegedly spoke to the presumed children about sex, and suggested meeting them. Kaye allegedly sent one individual naked pictures of himself, said he was gay and arranged a meeting at a Northern Virginia home where the "boy" said he lived, which NBC had equipped with hidden cameras.

Rabbi David A. Kaye has been a Jewish educator for 30 years. He has been a pulpit rabbi for 17 years serving Congregation Har Shalom, Potomac, MD and Congregation Agudas Achim, San Antonio, TX.

Rabbi Kaye is currently a member of the Rabbinical Assembly, He has staffed numerous USY conventions and retreats. As a leader in the Washington Federation, he was instrumental in the creation of several innovative youth and Jewish educational initiatives.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Call To Action: Cantor Assembly and Allegations Professional Sexual Misconduct

Please Forward

The Awareness Center, Inc. has been made aware of a situation in which a Cantor was fired from a synagogue last year. This Cantor remains a member in good standing of a professional Cantorial organization.

The Awareness Center has had many communications with the Cantor Assembly, regarding this case.

As we all know, Cantors do not have the education, training or experience in investigating allegations of sexual abuse, sexual assault, professional sexual misconduct, and or sexual harassment. For that reason The Awareness Center, Inc. has been asking the Cantor Assembly to hire an individual, organization or agency to conduct a professional investigation into the serious allegations.

Today The Awareness Center received a letter from the Cantor Assembly's attorney.

Please follow this link and read the letter, and then either call or write the President and Executive Vice President of the Cantor Assembly, and their legal representative.

We ask that everyone tries to help educate these individuals of the importance of hiring an organization that has the education and experience to conduct the official investigation. We also ask that you help explain to them the ramifications of allowing an individual who might have violated halacha (Jewish Law) and the Cantor Assembly's own code of ethics remain a member in good standing.

Below you will find contact information, and also a section of the Cantor Assembly's Bylaws that address the process for termination.

(FYI: Other Cantors who have been in the news)

Cantor Stephen Stoehr - President
(847) 498-4100

Cantor Stephen Stein - Executive Vice President
(330) 864-2105

Herbert S. Garten - Attorney at Law
(410) 539-2800

Cantor Assembly - Bylaws

IV Termination of Membership

4.1 Continual Compliance to Standards
A member once elected must continue to meet enunciated standards for membership and comply with such standards of ethical, moral and professional conduct promulgated by the Executive Council.

4.2 Violations of Ethical, Moral and/or Professional Standards
When a member is accused of having violated standards of ethical, moral and/or professional conduct, such violation will be investigated by the Ethics Committee which will report its findings to the Executive Council.

4.2.1 All Charges involving ethical, moral and/or professional misconduct must be made in writing to the President of the Cantors Assembly.

4.2.2 Members accused of having violated standards of ethical, moral and/or professional conduct shall have the opportunity to defend themselves before the Ethics Committee and shall have the right to representation by legal or other counsel.

4.2.3 If disciplinary actions are deemed necessary, the Ethics Committee will make a recommendation to the Executive Council. If, in the judgment of the Executive Council, the charges have been substantiated, the Council, upon two-thirds vote, shall impose appropriate discipline or penalty, including "suspension" or "expulsion" from membership.

4.2.3 (1) "Suspension without prejudice" may be recommended by the Ethics Committee. A member suspended without prejudice may be reaccepted upon meeting the requirements for membership once again, and must apply for readmission by addressing a letter to the President stating the reasons for such request. The President will report to the Executive Council for approval or rejection of the request for readmission. A member who has been suspended without prejudice for longer than two years may be required to submit to the examination by the Membership Committee. Outstanding debts to the Cantors Assembly must be paid at the time of application for readmission to membership.

4.2.3 (2) The term "expulsion" shall apply to a member who has failed to comply with the standards of the calling of the Hazzan. A member who is "expelled" may apply for readmission not earlier than one year from the date of expulsion. Such a member shall follow the procedures for application for membership as set forth in Article III of these bylaws. In addition, such member shall address a letter to the President stating the reasons for such a request. A member who has been "expelled" for two years or less may be readmitted without examination. A member who has been "expelled" for longer than two years may be required to submit to examination by the Membership Committee. Outstanding debts to the Cantors Assembly must be paid at the time of application for readmission to membership.

4.2.3 (3) A member who wishes to temporarily leave the Assembly to pursue another career may ask for a "leave of absence." This member may be reaccepted upon meeting the requirements for membership once again, and must apply for readmission by addressing a letter to the President stating the reasons for such request. The President will report to the Executive Council for approval or rejection of the request for readmission. A member who has been "on leave" for longer than two years may be required to submit to examination by the Membership Committee. Outstanding debts to the Cantors Assembly must be paid at the time of application for readmission to membership.

4.2.4 Any member who has failed to pay dues for a period of twelve (12) months may be suspended from membership by the Executive Council until satisfactory settlement is made.

No charges expected against rabbi'Dateline' reaction one of sadness

by Eric Fingerhut, Staff Writer
Washington Jewish Week - November 11, 2005

Sadness and shock seem to be the most common reactions to the news that Rockville Rabbi David Kaye was ensnared in a Dateline NBC hidden camera investigation of sexual predators on the Internet.

A former rabbi at Potomac's Congregation Har Shalom, where he had worked for 16 years, Kaye resigned last week as vice president of program after three years at the Rockville-based teen educational group Panim: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values.

Leaders of both groups say that they never received a complaint about his behaving inappropriately with a child during his employment with their organizations.

The Dateline program, which aired last Friday evening, reported that Kaye had set up a meeting over the Internet with someone he thought was a 13-year-old boy Æ with the intent of having a sexual encounter. The rabbi was then confronted on camera by a Dateline reporter at the Herndon house where the meeting was scheduled to take place (see sidebar, page 25).

Despite the impression left by the report, though, Kaye does not appear to be in legal jeopardy. A spokesperson for the Fairfax County Police Department said Monday that the department does not anticipate filing any charges against Kaye or many of the other men identified as potential predators in the NBC broadcast.

Officer Bud Walker, public spokesperson, said that while it is a felony in Virginia to use the Internet to solicit sex with a minor, the commonwealth would not have jurisdiction in Kaye's case.

Dateline used people affiliated with an organization called Perverted Justice, whose volunteers pose as children online in order to expose potential Internet predators. But those volunteers were based in Michigan, said Walker. Kaye and many of the others caught up in the sting lived in Maryland, leaving Virginia without the ability to prosecute.

Walker called Perverted Justice's methods problematic.

The self-styled "watchdog group" says that it turns over chat logs and other information it gathers to the police. Critics, and even Dateline, have labeled the organization a group of vigilantes.

Walker said the organization uses tactics that Fairfax police officers are not permitted to employ when going undercover as children on the Internet. For instance, Walker noted that the Fairfax police can "never make initial contact" with a potential predator, but must "wait to be contacted," and can "never suggest any meeting."

He also pointed out that cases using Perverted Justice information are difficult to prosecute in court, since the police cannot guarantee that Perverted Justice has provided the complete transcripts of the alleged conversations.

Walker said that Fairfax County would be making referrals to other jurisdictions.

The Montgomery County Police Department is aware of the Dateline sting, but as of Tuesday afternoon had not received any information from other jurisdictions, nor been contacted by any potential victims of Kaye, said Lucille Baur, public information officer for the department.

Kaye could not be reached for comment this week. Both his home phone number and a cell phone number posted on the Perverted Justice Web site have been disconnected. Reached last week, he had no comment.

His most recent employer, Rockville-based Panim, said in a statement this week that it "never received a single complaint by any participant" about Kaye's conduct and it has a "zero tolerance policy" on such behavior.

Panim's executive director, Rabbi Sid Schwarz, would not make himself available for an interview this week, referring calls to high-powered defense attorney Abbe Lowell, who is representing former American Israel Public Affairs Committee staffer Steve Rosen and scandal-plagued lobbyist Jack Abramoff, among others.

Lowell said that Panim will evaluate its hiring procedures to see if "more can be done" to check prospective employees' backgrounds.

He expected the review to "take as long as it takes," but said it was likely to be "weeks, not months."

Lowell added that Kaye had been a rabbi in the Washington area for more than a decade and "not an unknown quantity" when he was hired in the spring of 2002.

The attorney also said that Kaye primarily worked on programming and had "less contact directly" with teens than other Panim staffers.

Based on the lack of complaints about Kaye, said Lowell, the organization believes that "the issues [Kaye] had in his own [personal] life never crossed over" into Panim.

As for the chat transcripts in which Kaye writes that he is at work, Lowell said that "we don't accept those statements at face value," considering that the Dateline report demonstrated that Kaye had been misrepresenting himself to Panim and the community.

Lowell said that the controversy has had no effect on Panim's supporters, and that no schools have canceled scheduled programs with the organization.

Among them are the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, which sent an e-mail to the parents of juniors and seniors at the school on Monday saying that it would be sending its 11th graders to a Panim program designed exclusively for JDS students next month.

The statement said the school was "proud of its association with Panim" and "confident in the integrity and leadership of Rabbi Schwarz and the Panim leadership.

At Har Shalom, Rabbi H. David Rose said the congregation feels "great shock" at the revelations.

"For people who put their trust and faith in him, it hurts," said Rose, who said he has been listening to congregants express their concerns.

Synagogue president Debbie Schapiro mailed a letter to congregants early this week, emphasizing that the congregation's "utmost concern has and always will be care of our families" and that "we are here for them."

The letter also pointed out that there have been no allegations of such inappropriate behavior in the 40-year history of the shul, but that the synagogue would be undertaking an inquiry to be certain.

Other congregants said they were shocked and sad, expressing sympathy in particular for Kaye's two grown daughters and saying they never saw any indications of inappropriate actions during his Har Shalom tenure.

"There was no sign at all" of such behavior when Kaye was at the synagogue, said Barry Perlis of Potomac, who noted his three children had gone through Hebrew school at the synagogue and had no problems with the rabbi.

One person who worked at the synagogue, however, said that Kaye had an anger management problem, often yelling and humiliating staffers. The person noted, though, that he could also turn around and be someone's best friend if he needed something Æ almost like he had a "split personality."

Young adults who grew up as congregants at Har Shalom were taken aback by the report, but did not recall Kaye's behaving inappropriately.

Shawn Eskow of Potomac said that the news was "extremely surprising."

"Rabbi Kaye was one of my favorite rabbis," said the 22-year-old. "He always seemed friendly, comforting and welcoming, but I never would have suspected anything like this."

"I still can't believe it. You'd never believe something like this would happen to Rabbi Kaye," said Randi Mininsohn, who was confirmed at Har Shalom and now lives in New York City.

"It's a real shock to see that the rabbi that you grew up with, learned and received mentorship from, could be involved in such offensive actions," said Jared Adler, 22, of Chicago, who said he was "filled with disappointment and anger" when watching the program.

In San Antonio, where Kaye spent less than six months as rabbi at Congregation Agudas Achim in 2001-02, executive director Jo Halfant said there were no reports of sexually inappropriate behavior while he was there.

She said that Kaye's quick departure came after that the congregation and the rabbi "mutually agreed it was not a good fit," noting that South Texas is a "different lifestyle" than the East Coast.

Meanwhile, the executive vice president of the Conservative movement's Rabbinical Assembly, Rabbi Joel Meyers, did not return messages left for him requesting comment.

Kaye's biography, which was quickly removed from the Panim Web site after his resignation last week, said that the rabbi had been a "leader" in the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and had been instrumental in creating a number of youth and Jewish educational initiatives.

A federation spokesperson said that Kaye's work for the federation "did not entail any direct work with teenagers." The rabbi served "as a member and later chair of both the Israel Quest committee and the Jewish educational division" of the federation," which "recommended policy and allocations related to formal and informal Jewish education," she said.

The Panim bio also said Kaye had staffed "numerous USY conventions and retreats." United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism officials said they were not aware of Kaye's participation in any USY activities in recent years, and said that "tough guidelines" are in place on the issue of sexual conduct.

Meanwhile, the Dateline report also flashed a picture on the screen of Kaye with about a dozen other rabbis, two of whom are convicted sexual offenders. The photo comes from a fall 2000 newsletter published by The HealthCare Chaplaincy and was taken after a two-week "reflection and study program of suffering, healing and hope" organized by the chaplaincy's Jewish Institute for Pastoral Care.

Vicki Polin, executive director and founder of The Awareness Center, a victims' rights organization for victims of sexual abuse in the Jewish community that has the photo posted on its Web site, said the picture could be just an very odd coincidence, but that sexual offenders often tend to find each other.

WJW intern David Silverman contributed to this report.

(For more information on this case go to:

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Helpful Links

Update: Case of Rabbi David Kaye - Rabbi caught in Internet sex sting

For more information on this case click here: The Awareness Center, Inc.

Rabbi caught in Internet sex sting
by Stephanie Siegel, Staff Writer
The Gazette - November 9, 2005

Rabbi David Kaye served at Congregation Har Shalom for 15 years until 2001.

Parents at Congregation Har Shalom synagogue in Potomac — shaken by the revelation that their former rabbi allegedly used the Internet to arrange a meeting with an underage boy for sex — will get a lesson in online safety this week.

Rabbi David Kaye was the rabbi at Har Shalom for 15 years until 2001. ‘‘Dateline NBC” reported Friday that Kaye and several other adults were caught in an Internet sting.

‘‘People were shocked and saddened,” said Har Shalom President Debbie Schapiro.

In reaction to the ‘‘Dateline” program, Schapiro said the congregation is holding a meeting this week with parents of children in seventh through ninth grades with experts who will discuss how to talk to children about being safe on the Internet.

‘‘We’ve learned as parents that we have to be careful with our children,” she said. There were never any allegations of inappropriate behavior with minors at the synagogue, Schapiro said.

Kaye, 55, of Potomac, was caught in an investigation of online child predators by NBC correspondent Chris Hansen and watchdog group Perverted Justice in August. Members of Perverted Justice posed as children ages 12 to 14 in online chat rooms.

Kaye allegedly sent naked pictures of himself over the Internet to one member of the watchdog group and arranged to meet him at a house in Northern Virginia, where the NBC crew and Perverted Justice group were waiting.

Kaye was one of 19 men who showed up at the house after arranging online to meet children there for sex.

The Montgomery County Police Department Family Crimes Division is following up with the Fairfax County Police and with members of Perverted Justice to get more information and to determine if there will be any charges, said Lt. Eric Burnett, director of the Media Services Division for Montgomery County Police.

‘‘It’s very disheartening,” Schapiro said. ‘‘A lot of people are just feeling very sad.”

During his time at Har Shalom, Kaye served as an associate rabbi. He had broad responsibilities at the 1,100-family synagogue, including leading services and teaching adult education and children.

Kaye resigned last week from his position as vice president for program at PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values, an education program for teenagers in Rockville.

‘‘Rabbi David Kaye ... informed me of certain personal conduct that took place outside of our organization, that may soon be aired as part of a larger news story on national television,” PANIM President Rabbi Sid Schwarz said in a statement on the group’s Web site dated Oct. 31. ‘‘He immediately tendered his resignation, which I accepted.”

In his statement, Schwarz said that the group is investigating to make sure there has been no misconduct at PANIM. There have been no complaints, allegations or evidence of improprieties, the statement said.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

CALL TO ACTION: Demand Action on the Case of Rabbi David Kaye

Rabbi Kaye was originially video taped back in August, 2005 by Dateline NBC. Since then nothing has been done regarding this case.

Please contact the following individuals and agencies:

1) Telephone and write Rabbi Joel H. Meyers. Demand that the Rabbinical Assembly make a public statement regarding Rabbi David Kaye. The Awareness Center believes that Rabbi David Kaye's smicha (ordination) should be revoked. (Rabbi David Kaye has already resigned his membership from the Rabbinical Assembly)

Rabbi Joel H. Meyers

Executive Vice President

(212) 280-6000

2) Contact the Virginia Attorney General's Office and also the Fairfax Police Department and demand that criminal charges be pressed against Rabbi David Kaye. Please mention that the organization called Perverted Justice sent the chat transcripts and information about Kaye to them, and also after witnessing the dateline episode, and reading the transcript below, you feel that there is enough evidence for an indictment.

Judy Jagdmann - Attorney General of Virginia



Northern Virginia Regional Office - Office of the Attorney General

Rosemary C. Foreman - Community/Outreach Coordinator



Ken Hughes - Chief of Police

Fairfax Police Department


Fax: 415-457-8769

Rabbi David Kaye was featured on "Dateline NBC" for seeking a sexual encounter with an underage boy in a chat room.

NBC News conducted a sting in August, (2005) working with a group called "Perverted Justice." Members of the group posed as underage boys and girls, entered Internet chat rooms and waited for adults to engage them in conversations.

Kaye was one of many who allegedly spoke to the presumed children about sex, and suggested meeting them. Kaye allegedly sent one individual naked pictures of himself, said he was gay and arranged a meeting at a Northern Virginia home where the "boy" said he lived, which NBC had equipped with hidden cameras.

Rabbi David A. Kaye has been a Jewish educator for 30 years. He has been a pulpit rabbi for 17 years serving Congregation Har Shalom, Potomac, MD and Congregation Agudas Achim, San Antonio, TX.

Rabbi Kaye is currently a member of the Rabbinical Assembly, He has staffed numerous USY conventions and retreats. As a leader in the Washington Federation, he was instrumental in the creation of several innovative youth and Jewish educational initiatives.

I believe everyone should help support The Awareness Center, Inc. (the international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault). It is a wonderful (tax-exempt) organization. You can do so by sending a check to:

The Awareness Center, Inc.
P.O. Box 65273
Baltimore, MD 21209

Monday, November 07, 2005

Call to Action: Asking Herzlia-Adas Yeshurun Synagogue to have the plaque removed honoring Rabbi Ephraim Bryks

Contact Information:

Rabbi Tzvi Muller at Herzlia - Adas Yeshurun Synagogue

620 Brock St., Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3N 0Z4

Phone: (204) 489-6262 Fax: (204) 489-5899


This past Yom Kippur will mark the 12th anniversary of the suicide of Daniel Levin an alleged victim of Rabbi Ephraim Boruch Bryks.

It is a difficult time in particular for his family and friends as Daniel's alleged abuser has never been brought to real justice (if such a thing is even possible at this point) and continues to thrive and work with women and children, not in some small Jewish community but in the New York Orthodox Jewish community.

The Winnipeg Jewish community and Bryks' former Orthodox Union affiliated synagogue, Herzlia Adas Yeshurun (the site of Daniel's abuse), continue to refuse any acknowledgment or responsibility. No apology, no compassion.

A plaque honoring Rabbi Ephraim Boruch Bryks remains on the synagogue's "Tree of Life." All Daniel has is a tombstone in a cemetery.

The Awareness Center Has A Call to Action asking everyone to contact Herzlia Adas Yeshurun and ask them to remove the plaque, and perhaps replace it with a plaque honoring the memory of Daniel Levin (see contact information above). For more information regarding the Bryks case, go to: