Tuesday, March 21, 2006

An Email Exchange With Jewish Voice & Opinion Editor Susie Rosenbluth About Rabbi Aron Tendler

Note from a friend:
I would note that Susan Rosenbluth demonstrates that she has malice to all Tendler's "enemies" when she states to Luke Ford "I was giving serious consideration to accepting your invitation to a phone interview addressing how I as "a Jewish journalist approach these types of matters." But, quite frankly, your association with JWB, Canonist, Vicki Polin, et al, requires me to decline."

An Email Exchange With Jewish Voice & Opinion Editor Susie Rosenbluth About Rabbi Aron Tendler
By Luke Ford
Tuesday, March 20, 2006

Bella writes Susie:

I know that the truth is of no great importance to you. But the victims of Aron Tendler (which include myself) have been going to the Rabbis of the community for over 20 years to tell our story. Rabbi Shalom Tendler, Rabbi Hier and Rabbi Bess have known for years. So to suggest that your situation in NY has anything to do with us, is abserd. The family is sick...Matis, Aron, Mordechai and their cousins who posed in Penthouse in 1960, are all sick. Stop blaming the victims. We don't even know Mordechai or any of his victims. We are all former students (and congregants) who he carried on relationships with for over 14 years. He molested a 16 year old girl boarding in his home as well as planned to have sex with another 16 year old, and that is why he was removed. He should have been thrown out of the school system but Shalom protected him. You don't care about the truth that is obvious, but we just thought you would like to know the "truth." And for the record, we are not anonymous, The RCC and SZ know our names and spoke with each of us directly. You should get them help instead of enbling them.

I wouldn't suggest anyone davening with Aron privately or they will probably be molested by him. He has admitted to us that he was molested as a child and that he masturbated all the time as a child. He has a huge problem. He needs help. He is running away because he is afraid to death that Esther will hear ALL the details of how he has been cheating on her for 20 years, not to avoid what his brother is enduring. Your paper is a disgrace.

Susie responds:
Anonymous letters like yours are usually as valuable as unsigned checks. I will keep note of your email address, however. I do not know Rabbi Aron Tendler. I never met him and spoke to him only once by phone in preparation for my article. I did speak to people at YULA and I did speak to members of his congregation. For the record, Rabbi Tendler sent me to no one. I found the folks to speak to on my own.

Child abuse is not a crime that should be reported only to rabbis. Molesting a 16-year-old should be reported to the police. Why weren't these cases reported to the police? Why was the District Attorney's sex-crimes unit not alerted?

When I searched for any reports of abuse against Rabbi Aron Tendler (abuse is what you are describing, not the silly civil case in which Rabbi Mordechai Tendler is currently embroiled in New York Superior Court), there were no reports that the police or District Attorney's office had.

The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles had no more luck than I had.

I am not for a moment suggesting that what you are saying did or did not occur. I am saying that a man is innocent until proven guilty, and, to date, the only accusations directed against either Rabbis Tendler, as far as I know, are anonymous, Internet nonsense. Accusations like those--like yours--are worthless.

Bella responds:
YULA covered it up. And I don't know who you spoke to but it they were both my friends and I saw first hand what happened...there was no investigation...they wanted to keep it quiet as do all jewish communities.

But over 15 people came forward to tell what happened (all those years back) all ontheir own with the same stories. You don't know our names but others do and to think I will tell "you" my name to prove a point is quite foolish. No one at YULA is even still there so they have no idea what happened. The JJ sat on this story for two months and once the letter was sent out they reported on it in a very weak manner...yet seemed to think YULA was responsible when I spoke to them. But no one ever takes responsibility in this community.

You obvisouly didn't speak to his victims at SZ. I hear from congregants daily thanking us for getting rid of him, so not too su e who you communicated with other than those who are pro Aron which seems to be the basis of your whole paper. They were scared and being threatened...who was going to belive them at 16? Dr. Powell wanted him out and made that very clear but Shalom protected him. Shalom spoke to one of Aron's victims 3 yeats ago after she tried to take her own life because of what Aron did to her...she didn't report it then because she was living in his home and he had a tremendous hold over her until about 5 years ago. Whatever I say will go in one ear and out the other and we don't care if you believe us. But perhaps you should get ALL the facts before you run such an article about a man who destroyed so many poeple's lives. It is quite irresponsible of you.

Again, The RCC and The Board @ SZ as well as The OU know exactly who I am and who we all are. This isn't about blogging, this is about a very sick man who manipulated women who came from broken homes and while trying to seduce us talked against us to anyone that would listen. It took us 20 years to get rid of him but we finally did. And we are very proud. Robert Schacht (A board member) told one of Aron's victims one month ago that "The amount of women coming forward is astonishing and we want him out"...so not sure where you are getting your info.

They are hardly "worthless", as The RCC fired him a year ago and he was just thrown from SZ. Look at the facts and take off your blinders. A guilty man has seen justice. And if we weren't credible then he would still have a job.

Susie responds:
I obviously did not speak to the hundreds of members at SZ. I spoke to whomever I could. I don't believe you because when a man has sex with a minor girl, and as many people as you say knew about it in fact were aware, the police get called somewhere along the line.

Until the police are called here, I'm afraid you don't have my ear.

I have also spoken with several people here on the east coast who have recently (last year or two) moved here from Los Angeles, where they were, according to their own stories, very close to Rabbi Aron Tendler. To a man and woman, these folks say he is wonderful and that they do not believe your story.

If your story is true, you must prove it. A man is innocent until proven guilty. If, as you say, he was fired because of verifiable accusations, give me names and I will interview people, ask the questions all of us who have healthy skepticism must ask, and write my story. If you ask me simply to trust you--an anonymous person who says, in effect, here I am, trust me--I say: forget it.

The story you ask me to believe, as you relate it, is something out of the 19th century (maybe 18th), not the late 20th. Sorry.

Bella responds:
I never said he had "sex" with a minor, I said he molested a minor and Dr. Powell knew what he was doing with a another 17 year old and tried to get rid of Aron...so stop saying it's me it' s over 50 women who all went public and that's why he's gone. Call the RCC and ask them why they fired him one year ago and why he quietly walked away from a position held for over 20 years. Even girls at YULA say they remember he used to flirt with them.

Everyone told me contacting you was a waste, you are probably being paid by The Tendlers...and for the record a huge law suit is in the works agianst Aron and YULA for enabling that bastard for all these years. I wonder how you would feel if he molested you or your daughter. Shame on you. I know my own sexual epxeriences with him and I have taken a lie detector test and I will show up in court to testify and even then, after you see over 50 women who have been telling their story for years testify, and he is found guilty as will Rabbi Hier, even then you won't believe us. To be honest, we are so happy he is out, what somene like you thinks (one of the sick sheep) is of no consequence to us. As a woman you should be ashamed to protect such a sick family. I wonder what hashem is going to say to you one day but that's your problem. Shalom knew, Powell knew, and Bess new, call them yourself. And you reported erroneously about YULA...I just spoke to an insider at YULA and she said they have been telling everyone that no one at YULA now was their at YULA 20 years ago...so you and The JJ are lying, but we aren't surprised. There is a very powerful lawyer who sued The Vatican who is taking this case...so lie and do what you have to do but we will have the last laugh.

Susan responds:
I hope, as you say, this will go to court. Because we have open courts in this country (thank G-d), the case will undoubtedly be covered by the free press. If the accusations can be proved, Rabbi Aron Tendler will be found guilty, and the consequences will be much more dire than simply walking away from a synagogue job, which, I understand, will be replaced, probably by members of the shul who want to stay with him.

If the accusations sound like yours (flirting--in whose opinion?--taken to be "molesting"), you'll be laughed out of court.

If Rabbi Hier is found guilty, it will shake up the entire country--his power base is significant throughout the Jewish, and non-Jewish, world.

I have no doubt Hashem would agree with me and the Constitution of this great country that we call home, that a man is innocent until proven guilty. That's what the beit din system is all about. Prove Rabbi Tendler guilty and we'll all cheer for you. If he is found not guilty, his supporters will cheer and you can gripe that it's O.J. Simpson redux.

I count myself in neither camp. I am a supporter of the truth. Thus far, Rabbi Aron Tendler's opponents have been anonymous (at least as far as the public is concerned) and have contented themselves with smear jobs geared to forcing him from jobs. The people you claim know who the accusers are will not make statements of any kind for or against Rabbi Tendler, so, for all intents and purposes, for the public at large, the anonymous accusers are on their own.

Your problem seems to be that you cannot accept the innocent-until-proven-guilty concept. Instead, you insist that anyone who holds by that principle is either in the employ of the accused (I am not) or cannot understand how a victim might feel (I do indeed and for reasons I have no interest in sharing with you). I just insist that victims be treated with respect, which means having to take responsibility for bringing the accused to court and not simply satisfying themselves with anonymous innuendo.

At this time, I have no reason to believe any part of your story and neither, it would seem, has anyone else in authority. The onus is on you and this "very powerful lawyer" to prove Rabbi Tendler guilty.

Like the rest of the world, I will watch with interest.

Be aware, you've given me enough in this email, should I desire, to take you to court, should your identity ever become known. You've called me a liar and an accomplice, and have accused me of taking bribes. I will save this email.

Unlike you, who takes name-calling so easily, I do not. As I said, I have no idea whether you are telling the truth or not.

While you are concerned about what Hashem thinks of me, if I were you, I would worry much more about what He thinks of someone who contemplates having "the last laugh," as though ruining a man is a cause for levity. Shame on who?

Bella responds:
I can't even read the rest of your e-mail...your a sick woman. If performing oral sex on a woman and getting into bed while Esther is in the next room, with another young girl, will be laughed out of court than you live in a jewish world I want no part of. I will make sure that every paper in town sees your e-mails to me. No one is going with Aron unless they are going to Israel where all the sickos in that family go. Your not a journalist, your a tendler cult member. DO NOT CONTACT ME AGAIN.

Susan writes:
One thing you should know about me: I ALWAYS have the last word, so if anyone will end this dialogue, it will be you.

My response to your email is, as things stand now: "Says you." If your accusations can be proven, I will cover that. As of now, all I have is your feverish prose, the word of an anonymous woman who is not only crudely accusing Rabbi Aron Tendler, she is accusing me.

I have never met Rabbi Aron Tendler--I spoke to him briefly to prepare for the article and I spoke to others in his community.

Please make certain that "every paper in town sees" my emails to you. I sign them because I am proud of them (which is more than one can say for you).

The operative phrase is: A man is innocent until proven guilty. If that qualifies to make me, in your words "a sicko" or a "Tendler cult member," then just who is the "sick woman" in this dialogue?

By the way, I didn't start the dialogue, you did, and I ALWAYS respond to folks who write to me at The Jewish Voice.

Jewish Whistleblower writes me:
Luke, it is a waste of time and breath to even get into a conversation or dialogue with Rosenbluth.

She is no different than any other koolaid drinker in the Catholic community that screamed and shouted down victims/survivors and their supporters with nonsense about the rights of child molesters and the piousness of Church leaders and doctrine.

The fact is that we have a Constituion that allows me to call Aron Tendler a child molester and Mordecai Tendler an exploiter of women because it is simply factually true.

The fact is halacha REQUIRES me to speak out and expose hypocrites like the Tendler brothers, see the article by Rabbi Dratch on the Jsafe website.

The fact is that Susan Rosenbluth was aware of child molester Rabbi Baruch Lanner in Teaneck, NJ. She saw the rabbonim there cover it up, she knew the allegations were credible and accurate and she remained silent for over a decade allowing more children to be molested and more lives to be destroyed.

A few months ago Susie published an article where she referred to Rav Moshe Tendler as a Halachic advisor she consulted as to publishing a story. That's the level of objectivity she has in reporting on the Tendler family, she followed their father's instructions in the past on what can and should be reported.

Susan's articles have all lacked basic fact checking and review. There are so many glaring errors and simply false statements, that it would be easier to state what she got right. She claims that bloggers tried to have Aron thrown out of the RCC. Well, Susie claims to have spoken to people in the know, how did she not discover that he hasn't been on the RCC for months? As to the failure of YULA to phone the police, isn't that exaclty what they said in their statement to the police? They clearly covered up the abuse by failing their moral and legal obligations to contact the police. The same style cover-up was conducted in NJ with Rabbi Baruch Lanner and Susie was happy to give her silence to that cover-up as it protected her precious advertising revenues. Mainly the only thing Susie is good at is spelling the names of people in her articles correctly.

Susan Rosenbluth is simply part of the problem in our community. She is a defender of the rights of the abusers. No other newspaper I know of makes hundreds if not thousands of copies available to the family of a sexual predators they defend in their pages so that they can distribute the smears in that newspaper as part of their campaign. Yet that is exactly what has happened for several months in Monsey. Susan is not a journalist, she is paid executioner, destroying the names of decent people and protecting the true rashas.

Susie responds to me:

A critique from an anonymous blogger? I've always said that an unsigned letter is worth about the same as an unsigned check. Do you know who JWB is? I don't, and, therefore, I have no interest in responding to him, her, it.

I will respond to anonymous people who write to me personally. I will not respond to anonymous publications, and especially not to those which allow all manner of disgusting posts. No one believes in freedom of speech more than I, but I also believe in decorum.

I was giving serious consideration to accepting your invitation to a phone interview addressing how I as "a Jewish journalist approach these types of matters." But, quite frankly, your association with JWB, Canonist, Vicki Polin, et al, requires me to decline.

Jewish Whistleblower writes:
Apparently, the only thing Susie is good at is brow beating a survivor of clergy abuse in some of the most high-handed and unprofessional series of emails that I have ever seen emanating from someone who claims to be a journalist. Susie manages to utterly distort the facts. Susie is clearly just cruel and uncompassionate. To treat a person like this just brings into clear focus the absolute lack of heart my community has towards the victims/survivors of abuse.

I know fully understand how one of Aron's survivors could try to commit suicide.

But be assured Susie, the community is changing and ancient dinosaurs like you are on the way out.

Bella, stay strong, Susie is not worth your time or energy. She is the past of a dark period in Jewish history, while you are our future. Focus your energy on the civil lawsuit. Bring midat din to this world, to the Tendlers of the world, we need it.


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