Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Unorthodox Jew Blog Going Into Retirement?

I was just made aware that the Unorthodox Jew (UOJ) will be retiring.

I remember the first time UOJ sent me an e-mail regarding the Kolko case. This was prior to the famous New York Magazine article. I was apprehensive about what he was doing. He was a virtual unknown entity at the time. I had no idea if what he was saying for real or not.

As time progressed UOJ proved himself. He was definately doing what he could to advocate for those who were sexually victimized by Rabbi Yehuda Kolko.

UOJ definately is a HERO! Besides exposing the Kolko case, UOJ was instrumental in exposing the case of Rabbi Moshe Eiseman and advocating for him to be kicked out of Ner Israel. I don't think anyone else could have been so successful.

I wish there was a way of talking UOJ out of his retirement, yet I totally do understand his need to leave. This kind of work is extremely demanding, frustrating and sickening. UOJ will definately be missed. He is definately someone who deserves everyone's upmost respect. If he entered a room, he would definately be someone I would stand up for.

I just found the following comment on another blog that talks about UOJ's retirement, which you can find below?

The image “http://www.yutorah.org/_images/roshei_yeshiva/yosef_blau_o.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Rabbi Yosef Blau on UOJ
UOJ brought to the attention of the broader public the problem of sexual abuse, particularly from rabbis and teachers, in the Orthodox community. The rabbinical leadership has not been effective in dealing with serious accusations in the past. What is being done to protect the young and the vulnerable.

I agree that anonymous postings are a license for irresponsibility. That is no excuse for denying a real issue and for not developing serious mechanisms to prevent further abuse. Now that the establishment does not have to show that they are not responding to UOJ will they acknowledge that our community is not immune to a scourge that exists in all societies.

Will the response be again that there are no two witnesses to the abuse. Or that the boys or girls were not halakhicly minors. Anyone in contact with survivors of abuse is aware that they rarely get any support when they complain to rabbis. How many teachers have been fired from one school only to be hired by another. The true reason that they were let go was not revealed because the fellow needs to make a living and the scandal will hurt his family. Proper considerations but where is the concern for new victims and their families?

I am troubled by the gloating that perhaps would be in place if the real crisis had been resolved. The true losers are all of us as we allow the existing chillul hashem to continue.

Yosef Blau (my real name)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure it's Rabbi Blau...right.

September 19, 2006 11:35 PM  

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