Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Does The Awareness Center "mix credible claims with distortions and unsubstantiated accusations against rabbis?"

I read the following comment on another blog,
I've heard mixed reviews of The Awareness Center -- that it mixes credible claims with distortions and unsubstantiated accusations against rabbis.

We all want the "monsters" put away, but we have to be careful about the truth. I've seen men's careers and reputations destroyed by accusations which turned out not to have happened.
I thought it was important for us to have an open discussion about the comment. Click on the following link and go through the list of alleged and convicted offenders: Clergy Abuse: Rabbis, Cantors and Other Trusted Officials

If you have a problem with a case that's listed, post a comment. Say the name of the person, and let us know why you have a problem with them being listed.

Also let us know if you are a survivor, rabbi, mental health professional, or someone else. Be specific, give concrete information why you think the individual should be removed.

Remember this is a blog for and about survivors. I'm not going to allow personal attacks against any individual. Just the facts!

I want to point out that if you look at The Awareness Center's page on alleged and convicted offenders, it lists more then just rabbis. There are teachers, doctors, lawyers, parents, grandparents, etc.

For those of you who are not familiar with The Awareness Center, they are the international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse and assault.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

" I've seen men's careers and reputations destroyed by accusations which turned out not to have happened."

I didn't know that The Awareness Center was so powerful. I'm rolling my eyes as I write that.

February 07, 2006 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the awareness center having an impact on Rabbi Marc Gafni's life?

Didn't he confess to having sexual relations with a 13 year old girl? Is that what the complaints are about?

Or could it be the good ole BSDM rabbi, Hershy Worch? Isn't he a buddy of Yori Yanover and Yudleson? Don't birds of a feather flock together?

February 08, 2006 8:58 AM  
Blogger Chavah5760 said...

I can verify that The Awareness Center, in creating a page for my abuser, told nothing but the truth. I was there and I remember every painful, traumatic second of my abuse. I also know that I was not his first victim. Jews have an obligation to warn others when there is a danger in our community. "Do not place a stumbling block before a blind man." The Awareness Center is providing a valuable public service by making others aware of abusers in places of authority and trust. What we need is more people like Vicki Polin of The Awareness Center and the Jewish Survivors team, willing to speak out against this issue. This problem will not be resolved until the Jewish Community no longer tolerates abusers on the Bimah and in our shuls. Until then - it's up to a few of us to get the word out. Baruch HaShem for these advocates.

February 08, 2006 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Gafni case provides just one example of how the Awareness Center distorts the truth.
Gary Rosenblatt of the Jewish Week interviewed Gafni many years ago and asked him about a relationship he had with a teenage girl. He said "I was a stupid kid and we were in love. She was 14 going on 35, and I never forced her." He emphatically did NOT admit to having sexual relations, but because Rosenblatt juxtaposed that quote with the woman's claims, which Gafni had not heard, it may have appeared as if he admitted to what she said.
From that point on, Vicki posted repeatedly on the Awareness Center website: "Gafni confessed to sexual relations with a minor," and continually refers to him as a "confessed child molester," which couldn't be further from the truth. I guess she believes that if you say something enough times, people will believe it.
She also includes on Gafni's page many demonstratable lies by Luke Ford on Gafni's page, including calling him a rapist numerous times, even though not one woman has ever accused him of rape.
I'm only bringing up Gafni because of the earlier comment on this page...there are many similar distortions on other rabbis' AC pages that are simply unfair and incredibly damaging, undermining the good work that the Awareness Center has the potential to do, if only it had some sense of circumspection and moderation.

February 08, 2006 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Rabbi Ephraim Goldberg of Boca Raton listed? There are no allegations he abused anyone. Why is he listed with sexual abusers? How unfair is unfair?

February 09, 2006 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I ask why you didn't post/what was wrong with my comment about Yeedle not belonging on your sexual abuse site?

Everyone who knows him knows he is a harmless gentlemen. Good-looking, popular (or used to be), but gentle and completely not what this site - by association - makes him out to be.

February 09, 2006 11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeedle (the famous one - don't want to write his last name here) should NOT be listed on your site at all. He is NOT a danger to anyone. On the contrary, it is well know that he was seduced/set up. And even if you say that not - It was a one-time fling. He is NOT a danger to society. He did not ABUSE anyone. It is not fair that he is grouped together with the most vile, vicious, perverted criminals that rape/abuse/harass victims.

This coming from a person that otherwise salutes the wonderful work you do!

February 10, 2006 7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had only recently met Rabbi Worch through his online Kabbalah community, when a friend of mine who knows one of his victims mailed me the links to the Awareness Center site and Luke Fords' site.

He had already begun to make me nervous by writing to me in email about how he was "so much like Hannibal Lector." He brought up his ex-girlfriend and tried to say she was psychotic. He was very clearly making the 'pity play' and I've run into these types too many times before.

Thank God The Awareness Center site and Luke Ford site has all the information up on him. I personally don't know the people involved but from what I read, it's all very credible, and he is clearly a sociopathic predator.

February 11, 2006 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

B'H' for the awareness center. I don't know what I would have done without them. They were the only organization that helped me with my case.

I had made so many phone calls before getting the resources I needed. Putting my abuser up on their site is the only way I know that gives others a chance not to be abused by him.

February 12, 2006 2:22 PM  

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