Thursday, January 26, 2006

CALL TO ACTION: Jewish Journal on Rabbi Aron Tendler

I want to thank everyone who contacted the Jewish Journal with this call for action.

I've been told that the Jewish Journal is in the process of investigating this case, and should be publishing a story soon.

From The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter:

Please note that there was no mention in the following article that Rabbi Aron Tendler
was asked to resign or be fired from his position as rabbi for alleged sexual abuse charges.

Does the community in LA know about the allegations? I heard rumors that many are unaware.

The article below mentions board member - Brad Turell, who is the Executive Vice President of Network Communications of a major news media group. At one time Turell was hired by CNN to deal with the "Israel issue". This was back when I ran a media watch group called CNN-WATCH.

I wonder if Brad Turell joined the NEW board of directors at Shaarey Zedek Congregation in Valley Village, to deal with the "Aron Tendler" issue.

I think we should advocate for honesty in reporting on the real issues why Aron Tendler was let go. By doing this we could be protecting a future, potential victims from being harmed. Please let the board of directors at Shaarey Zedek and also the Jewish Journal know how you feel. Tell them to

Shaarey Zedek
Phone 818-763-0560
Fax 818-763-8215

Jewish Journal of LA
Fax: 213-368-1684

ommunity Briefs
by Amy Klein, Nancy Sokoler Steiner, David Finnigan, Marc Ballon, Norma Zager
Jewish Journal - January 26, 2006

After 22 years as head rabbi of Shaarey Zedek Congregation in Valley Village, Rabbi Aron Tendler resigned last weekend.

"It is with mixed emotions that I write you today to let you know of my decision that, after 22 wonderful years, I have decided to step down as rabbi of Shaarey Zedek," Tendler wrote in a letter to the 400-member families of the Orthodox synagogue.

"This has been a decision I have contemplated for some time, and after great soul searching and deliberation and with the full support of Esther and the family, I decided that it was time to explore other opportunities and embark on a new aspect of my personal and professional life."

Tendler wrote that he intends to stay in the community but wants to spend more time with his family and pursuing writing, teaching and other projects.

"On occasion, I would like to sleep for more than four hours. Selfishly put, I want more time, and if not now when?" he wrote. Tendler will stay on through the High Holidays and help the search committee in its quest to find a new rabbi.

"Rabbi Tendler turned innumerable lives around, and it will be a great loss for us," Brad Turell, Shaarey Zedek’s communications director, told The Journal. "He’s very talented and we wish him the best."
–- Amy Klein, Religion Editor


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The following is on Luke Ford's web page. I wanted to make sure everyone read it.

How's this for hard-hitting reportage about a predator they should've known about for years?

I particularly love how the Journal put this resignation in context and gave their readers the whole story.

Jewish Whistleblower emails Rob Eshman and Amy Klein at the Journal: "How did you manage to completely gloss over the fact that he resigned under the shadow of decades of serious allegations of sexual misconduct with women and children?"

Brad Turell, a wealthy man and professional publicist, was a big fan of Aron Tendler. Brad was a big wheel at CNN. He had interactions with Vicki Polin years ago when she ran this activist group about CNN's alleged anti-Israel bias.

Publicist is such an honorable profession. You lie for pay, though I'm sure Turell was not paid for his statement to the Journal or for his work for his shul. It's just that once you begin the habit of lying for a living, it takes on a life of its own.

Most of the members at Shaaray Zedek still support and admire Aron Tendler and they do not believe the accusations against him of sexual misconduct.

Amy Klein, Religion Editor of the Jewish Journal, emails JWB and myself Thursday afternoon:

Dear Bloggers,

Thank you for your interest on the Tendler story, which we have been investigating for some time.

Journalistically and legally, we cannot print unsubtantiated rumors or allegations. We do hope that, if there have been any wrongdoings, the people involved will come forward so that we can expose this story.

Should you be in touch with any of these people, please assure them that if they do come forward and their stories can be corroborated, The Jewish Journal will print the story. In addition, if there are any lawsuits or pending cases, the Jewish Journal will publish that as well.

JWB responds:

How can you possibly not be able to get this story?

It's no secret that victims are talking. Luke alone has posted several names of people with information. I've had confirmations from my sources going back over a year.

Have you:

1) Gone through YULA yearbooks, contacting staff and students?
2) Have you phoned current and past staff and board members at Tendler's shul?
3) Have you contacted past and current staff at the RCC?
4) Have you gone through membership lists for the past 2 decades at Tendler's shul contacting people?
5) Have you contacted people at the RCA? I can't possibly believe that no one will talk to you.

How is it possible that mere bloggers can get this story and you can't?

There is no cover-up that can't be exposed with some basic legwork.

January 26, 2006 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear JWB;
If you know any first hand information please let us know. I have personally spoken with at least fifty or more people from the Shaarey Zedek community and YULA as well as the RCC and none of these people had any first hand knowledge of any wrongdoing on the Rabbi's part.

We appreciate it, if you would not speak Lashon Hara until you have first-hand personal facts.

February 14, 2006 6:14 PM  

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