Thursday, August 10, 2006

Is This Rabbi Mark Dratch's Influence on the FaithTrust Institute



The following letter was sent to several victim advocates of many faiths. I can't help but wonder if the change of policy with the FaithTrust Institute comes from Rabbi Mark Dratch. Is he really an advocate for sexual abuse and assault survivors? Does he really understand the issues?

All one has to do is look at JSAFE's web page list of resources. It's amazing that he does NOT list the ONLY Jewish advocacy group for survivors. His reason is because they list cases of alleged and convicted sex offenders.

Dear Friends,

Have you had contact with the FaithTrust Institute in Seattle?

Although I am a longtime friend and colleague of Rev. Marie Fortune who founded it as the Center for Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence, I just learned that AdvocateWeb is no longer listed or referenced. Ms. Alison Isler told someone that this is because the AdvocateWeb site has categories of offenders. Because of this the link had been removed.

I checked the website and noticed that The Awareness Center is not noted or linked, and also that the FaithTrust bibliography is missing stuff written by certain authors like John Gonsiorek. These omissions are surprising!

The strange thing is they do list SNAP, which also lists alleged and convicted offenders. I wonder if this is just an oversight on their part?

Please contact The FaithTrust Institute and ask them to list both AdvocateWeb and The Awareness center.
Call 206-634-1903, or for outside the U.S. call toll free 877-860-2255, or e-mail info@faithtrustinstitute.org.

Also contact Rabbi Mark Dratch at: 203.858.9691, or e-mail: info@jsafe.org

If you know of other faith based organizations or advocacy groups that have been removed from The FaithTrust Institute please post the information here.

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's an e-mail I got back from Rabbi Dratch when I asked him why The Awareness Center wasn't listed on his web page. I think this blog should remove any links on it to his web page.

I think Dratch is part of the problem. It seems he only represents buracracy.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Thank you for your eamil, and for visiting our site.

The Awareness Center is a very important resource for many people,
providing important information and, in many cases, important help. I
have had an ongoing conversation with its Director concerning the
standards that must be met before posting/removing certain articles. At this time, therefore, I do not feel that I can link to that website.

Thanks for your inquiry.

Rabbi Mark Dratch

August 10, 2006 8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a question? Why does he think he can influence what The director of The Awareness Center can do? Didn't he resign from their advisory board to create his own organization?

I could understand his comment if he was still on their board, but he's not. I think he's a bit of a control freak.

August 10, 2006 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure that he would want my father's web page taken off. B'H' for The Awareness Center. They are the only organization with "beytzim".

August 10, 2006 8:55 PM  
Anonymous HaShomer said...

Get your facts straight.

Rabbi Dratch resigned from his pulpit in Connecticut to pursue JSafe full time.

Rabbi Dratch is a man of halacha, honesty and integrity first and foremost.

While he sees the Awareness Center as a valuable resource, he recognizes the need for honesty and credibility.

He feels that there be greater due diligence on the part of the TAC before posting something and that greater consideration be given to the removal of certain articles under certain criteria upon which Rabbi Dratch and Ms. Polin do not agree.

Ms. Polin and Rabbi Dratch had worked together drafting the Rabbinical Council of America's policy on sexual harrassment. A number of Ms. Polin's suggestions were incorporated into the policy, but some were not.

Rabbi Dratch told me (and others) that in reaction to the policy not being COMPLETELY IN LINE with Ms. Polin's suggestions, she became extremely critical of the RCA policy as a whole.

It was at this point that Rabbi Dratch felt he had to sever his official connections with TAC.

I invite Ms. Polin to respond to this to either confirm or dispute its accuracy.

I think that it is important for her side of the story to be heard if it differs from that of Rabbi Dratch

August 11, 2006 12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder which web pages Dratch believes should come off The Awareness Center's page?

My bet is he would include:

Yudi Kolko - Never convicted of a crime

Avrohom Mondrowitz - Never convicted of a crime

Moshe Eiseman - Never convicted of a crime

Kenny Menken - Never convicted of a crime

Eliezer Eisgrau - Never convicted of a crime

Shlomo Carlebach - Never convicted of crime. (remember he's not with us anymore, and we should care about the fact his survivors will remember him the rest of their lives)

Hershy Worch - Never convicted of a crime (read Luke Ford's page on Worch).

Meyer Miller - Never convicted of a crime.

Yaakov Weiner - Never convicted of a crime.

Ben Zion Sobel - Never convicted of a crime.

Ephraim Bryks - Never convicted of a crime.

Mordechai Gafni - Never convicted of a crime.

Tzvi Wainhaus - Never convicted of a crime.

Jacob Frank - Excommunicated, no longer considered Jewish, also a very old case. Should be forgotten.

Michael Ozair - Says he's done teshuva.

Shlomo Aviner - Never convicted of a crime. It's also not PC (Politically Correct) to support the victims.


The list goes on and on. . .

August 11, 2006 12:55 AM  
Anonymous Victim of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler said...

Rabbi Dratch never supported the victims of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler; he in fact undermined the whole case and damaged victim’s lives. I posted about this long ago and the response was battling for him. It’s a sham and a maneuver which never should have been to have Dratch head any such Jewish organization for survivors or victims. From the start this needed to be fought against. When are women and the movement to help going to learn to stop selling out the need of victims to get so called rabbinical authority, profiled or known “leaders” to obtain validity and notoriety? There are enough of us, support each other; unfortunately our large group provides its own movement. It’s time for Rabbincal authority and all to catch up with our standards and not us theirs. Those who fall behind this generation are not for us. It’s time victims are taken seriously and the need for others to say that it should be taken seriously is over. We have us, we have speaking the truth.

August 11, 2006 5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I wonder which web pages Dratch believes should come off The Awareness Center's page?"

For starters, why not reread his article "Let Them Talk: The Mitzvah to Speak Lashon Hara" Uhttp://jsafe.org/pdfs/Lashon%20Hara%20and%20Abuse.pdf)which has been linked by this blog many times?

August 11, 2006 7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HaShomer said:
"Rabbi Dratch resigned from his pulpit in Connecticut to pursue JSafe full time."

I think HaShomer should get his facts straight. I don't want to attack Dratch, yet there is another reason why they decided not to renew his contract. It had absolutely nothing to do with him creating JSafe. All one needs to do is look at the number of shuls Dratch was "the rabbi" at.

Again, I'm not meaning to attack him. I'm just trying to point out some facts.

August 11, 2006 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm totally amazed that Polin and Dratch worked together drafting the Rabbinical Council of America's policy on sexual harassment. Did the RCA also come up with policies to address sexual abuse and sexual assault or even clergy abuse? Or were they only interested in creating policies on sexual harassment?

Can you believe that the RCA would incorporate anything that Ms. Polin would suggest? I think we should call for an immediate revision of the RCA policies and they should remove anything that Polin suggested.

"Rabbi Dratch told me (and others) that in reaction to the policy not being COMPLETELY IN LINE with Ms. Polin's suggestions, she became extremely critical of the RCA policy as a whole."

Wow you mean to tell me that the holly Rabbi Dratch practiced lashon hara?

Get real this is just another attempt to smear the wonderful work of The Awareness Center and Vicki Polin.

August 11, 2006 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did Rabbi Cindi Enger leave the faithtrust institute. She was great! It was a sudden move if I remember. Was there conflicts between her and Dratch?

August 11, 2006 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking into the back ground of Alison Iser. I think the problems may stem with her and not Dratch?

Iser's background is in DV, not in sex crimes.

Pursuing Truth, Justice, and Righteousness: A Call to Action
www.jwi.org/calltoaction/speakers.htm


Alison Iser, MA is the Crisis Line Advocacy Manager at Eastside Domestic Violence Program. She oversees a crisis line that receives over 9,000 calls per year, promotes individual and systems advocacy, and conducts training. Ms. Iser formerly worked for Seattle's Jewish Family Service's Project DVORA where she facilitated support groups and programs. Alison helped create a Passover seder for Jewish women who have experienced domestic violence and is an editor of the haggadah A Journey Towards Freedom.

August 11, 2006 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a bit confused about the fuss regarding Vicki Polin and The Awareness Center?

Acutally I could name a few more individuals who should be up on their site. I've sent Vicki the names, yet she told me there wasn't enough to be able to put them up.

I've been sending her things for months, and still the indiviuals are not on The Awareness Center's site.

August 11, 2006 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Judith said...

Did any of you listen to what Vicki said on that web talk show?


http://ethicalife.com/showsegment.asp?id=110

I am also confused. If Dratch and other rabbis are upset with what is on TAC site, and the biggest problem faced by organization is what a huge demand there is for services; and TAC is lack funds to hire staff to do the work that is needed demands -- wouldn't you think Dratch and other rabbis would help them financially so that things could be evaluated properly?

Once again our rabbis are putting the blame for the problems on the wrong people. I think they need to be holding a mirror up to their own faces.

August 11, 2006 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I think most of Vicki Polin's work is commendable, I think there is a problem that I am not even sure there is a solution to - with her site. Which is, verifying accusations before posting it - making sure that person is actually a menace to society, as opposed to randomly adding any accused with an article in a newspaper...

I personally know someone who shared with me her "secret weapon" to use that "strategy" to bring her (ex) husband down to his knees during a divorce case. It was in the news, she had some "rabbis" on her side. The works.

I could understand the hesitancy on the part of anyone not wanting to be directly associated/link to etc. with TAC, yet supporting mission of it, especially if you personally know of a particular case that was fabricated by someone out for revenge - and it being posted on TAC's site for all to consume... as that innocent person's life get's shattered over and over again.

Now, if you would pose the question to me: Would you rather know that a sexaul predator is part of the community and YOUR child is in danger - and too bad on the innoncent few that get dragged into this by mistake... or would you rather the innocent are protected AS WELL as the pedophiles? THAT is a difficult question to answer. Easy if the innocent person was me, or my brother, or mother/father/sister etc.

But to completely ignore this peril, is wrong.

And so, I agree with Rabbi Mark Dratch's email response.

August 11, 2006 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am wondering what R' Dratch did to the survivors of Tendler that was so damaging?
I think that Dratch wants very much to be seen as 'credible' and he is afraid that if he "names names" as the AC does he will turn off a lot of people and lose support. I don't think he and others who don't understand the issue realizes that the ONLY real way to fight this is to name names. He and others squirm at the thought of the allegations of these Jewish perps being made public.
I believe that everyone needs to know about allegations of ANYONE working with children and insist that these people are evaluated by trained proffesionals. If they are innocent then let them get evaluated and PROVE IT.
The Catholic Church adopted this policy why can't we??

August 11, 2006 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Avrohom said...

Anonymous said...
"I personally know someone who shared with me her "secret weapon" to use that "strategy" to bring her (ex) husband down to his knees during a divorce case. It was in the news, she had some "rabbis" on her side. The works."

Have you ever shared this information with The Awareness Center? My bet is no. Why don't you give them a call or email them with the facts.

August 11, 2006 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Chava Ariella said...

It seems like Dratch is more concerned with his image then he is with advocating for victims. He's just like any other politician. I'm sick and tired of his lip service.

He did nothing to help me with my case. He just a bunch of talk with no action.

Don't forget that shared confidential information with the RCA without the permission of the victim he spoke to. Once he did that all the information was turned over to Tendler. What a horror story. Dratch doesn't practice what he preaches. He's part of the system that is corrupt.

I'm sure he's a nice person, a wonderful husband and father. But when it comes to helping sexual abuse victims forget it.

August 11, 2006 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'm like everyone else who is reading this blog. I waiting to hear from Rabbi Dratch to learn which cases he thinks should come off of TAC's web page.

I think he should publish the list and then ask The Awareness Center to respond why they have the individuals listed. I think we all should know what the real issues are.

Let's get it all out in the open.

August 11, 2006 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dratch is more concerned about politics and image, not victims.

He had the nerve to write that essay about the dangers of exposing predators on the internet, when, in fact, he was ENCOURAGING of getting my abuser exposed on the internet!!!

What a hypocrite.

August 14, 2006 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Victim of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler said...

You asked, what Rabbi Mark Dratch did to the survivors of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler?

Some of them are:
Before case against Rabbi M. Tendler, plaintiff had Rabbi M. Dratch sign a confidentiality agreement which stated he was not to go forwarded with her information unless agreed upon. At that time, there was no plan from Rabbi Dratch of how he was going to proceed. And Plaintiff did not know the role of the RCA or how they would conduct themselves with victims. They were Tendlers’ peers. Rabbi Dratch a year later made calls and had calls placed to this victim requesting her at this time to come to a Beit Din-later to learn it wasn’t technically a “Beit Din” by Tendlers’ standards, to make and sign a statement in front of several Beit Din Rabbonim. At this time, Rabbi Dratch knew he had hand over her confidential signed report to their hired outside investigating team from Texas and the RCA with out the knowledge of this victim. He did not inform her at this time or at any time but insisted that she come make a statement at their “Beit Din” where Rabbi Tendler would be, his lawyer and the RCA lawyer. It was the plaintiff who now has a case who was the one to ask who was going to be there as they didn’t offer this information. When the victim asked why where lawyers from the RCA and Tendler going to be there the response was something like it was routine. When asked to be represented and the RCA should get a lawyer for her; as Dratch made statements initially that he would do everything to protect her and see this through even under such and such circumstances; at this juncture, the Plaintiff question was being directed to helping the case and lured off the topic. Upon insistence she was told they would not because Tendler would say getting a lawyer for her would be a conspiracy against him. Yet the RCA was planning to have their own lawyer there with out the victim being represented. The RCA was protecting them selves. And knowing Dratch and the RCA gave confidential information to the abuser they needed the victims to back themselves. As the RCA was being pressured to produce proof. Proof over the protection, rights, entitlement or support of victims; to violate ethical standards; the only interest and agenda they had was themselves. The victims learned of Dratchs' betrayal as Rabbi Mordecai Tendler contacted them. He threatened the plaintiff that he would lock her up and put her in the penitentiary if she spoke. He also committed other emotional abuses. When the victim called and confronted the RCA lawyer after she was harassed she was told that the RCA won’t protect her unless she signs and makes a statement with them which shows she is part of their team. So now she is blackmailed not only by her abuser but the RCA. That’s right folks, the RCA puts her in danger, causes her to be unprotected and won’t protect her unless she signs and makes a testimony with them. She never did. Afterwards the RCA expelled Tendler March 18th, 2005. Dratch later posted on JSS in response to victims of Tendlers’ post and the Forwards article; Mr. Dratch knew what he did and did it knowingly but he and the RCA had nothing to loose. Victims would be forced to protect themselves. As you see he heads a Jewish Survivors organization and only the victim’s voices in this case and many others are regarded as servitude so others can rise up the ladder. Most Rabbis have no training in sexual abuse and shun away those who survive and the abuse done to them. It is time victims consolidate and make available the information and experience in a way that others will come to us to lead and make changes and not give power to those who don’t represent us.

August 15, 2006 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone keeps forgetting that Rabbi Dratch represents the RCA (Rabbinical Council of America).

The Awareness Center represents those who have been sexually abuse and those who have been sexually assaulted. There's a huge difference.

The FaithTrust Institute is just a bunch of people getting together to say that those of various faith can work together. What do they really do anyway? Do they role up their sleeves and play in the mud?

August 17, 2006 8:29 AM  

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