Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Should Mark Dratch's Organization Be Called J-UNSAFE?

It has recently been brought to my attention that Rabbi Mark Dratch who is the founder and executive director of the organization called JSAFE is also the committee head of the Rabbinical Council of America's Task Force on Rabbinic Improprieties. For some reason I see this fact as a conflict of interest. How can Rabbi Dratch really advocate for survivors of sex crimes when he also doing his best to protect the assets of the RCA? Remember that Rabbi Mark Dratch is the son-in-law of Rabbi Norman Lamm.

I've heard too many stories of survivors going to him for help and just feeling like they got the run-around. If you are a survivor and went to JSAFE for help, can you let us all know how helpful or unhelpful you found the organization?

I'm scared that JSAFE is really just another arm of the RCA. Please prove to me I'm wrong!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And by extension, isn't the RCA a division of the OU ?

The Forward broke the story this past week that the powers that be at the OU, like Steve Savitsky, are forcing out Rabbi Weinreb who was brought in to patch things up after the Lanner scandal. There seem to be mixed messages though because UOJ claims to have inside information that the OU is also moving to get rid of Rabbi Belsky, a key player in the Kolko cover up.

January 17, 2007 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be honest with you I think the only way all of this will ever be resolved is when survivors of the various sex offenders start suing their offenders and those who covered up the crimes.

You can't go to individuals for help who are part of the systems that are the problems. Mark Dratch is part of the system. He's using JSAFE as a cover.

January 17, 2007 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Isn't it Strange said...

Rabbi Dratch's father in law, Norman Lamm was in Torah Vodaas at the same time as Margulies. To the best of my knowledge, Rabbi Dratch has so far refused to acknowledge not only the names involved at Torah Temimah, but whenever he writes anything, he just cryptically and vaguely mentions a New York yeshiva.

January 17, 2007 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Years ago, there was at least one molester in the MTA high school and one molester in YU proper. Both of the cases that I know about were covered up. I wonder what power Norman Lamm had as a faculty member before becoming President / Chancellor. It's also possible that the MTA story (I'm not sure of the exact timeline), was during his early days at the helm.

The molester at YU proper, who had access to kids through a YU affiliated group, came from a non-religious background. The excuse of one of the roshei yeshiva to do nothing is that the molester "doesn't understand" due to his upbringing.

January 17, 2007 11:42 AM  
Anonymous 5 Towns said...

The OU's Steve Savitsky, who lives in Woodmere, is also a bigwig with the Vaad of the 5 Towns. A local blog called Unkosherkashrut, alleges that a mashgiach with the Vaad hakashrus of the 5 Towns has been harassing women and that the Vaad is covering it up.

January 17, 2007 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recently brought to your attention?It's on his website and is in every article about him. That is how he realized the need for something like Jsafe.

January 17, 2007 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Yosef Blau said...

This is either reflects lack of knowledge or personal animus against Rabbi Dratch. The task force which was chaired by Rabbi Dratch was set up by the RCA a few years ago to create proper procedures for investigating accusations of sexual abuse by rabbis in the organization. I was one of its members. The RCA subsequently passed a resolution implementing the proposal. Rabbi Dratch two years later left the pulpit and started JSAFE
What is the conflict of interest? What is problematic about being the son-in-law if Rabbi Lamm, the distinguished chancellor and rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva University.
Yosef Blau

January 17, 2007 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Dratch told me a few years back that it was a good idea to expose predators on the internet. Last year he told (Luke Ford?) that it was a bad idea.
Ask him if he's made up his mind yet.

January 17, 2007 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Yosef Blau said...

The task force completed its work three years ago more than two years before Rabbi Dratch started JSAFE. All this shows is that he was concerned about rabbinical abuse while in the pulpit rabbinate.
Yosef Blau

January 17, 2007 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Yosef Blau said...

I served on the taskforce and can report that the committee last met when it prepared the guidelines that were passed at the RCA convention May 2004 or 2005. As a typical Jewish organization the RCA probably never officially disbanded it. The fight against abuse in the Jewish community suffers when the few people who are trying to help attack each other.
Yosef Blau

January 17, 2007 7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear blogger,

There is almost no rabbi that has proper training. Rabbi Dratch needs to be commended for being one of the only ones who even stepped up to the plate to help. At least he has caring (I think) and experience in this issue. He is a far cry from others with no clue who plunge in like Gil Student or his friend without a license, Neuhoff, who Torah Temimah tried to pass off as school psychologist.

As far as JTA, I've found a number of inaccuracies in their articles. Even simple things they should know like that Haloscan is not a website but a comments service attached to blogs.

January 17, 2007 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a survivor of those who tried to do the right thing and never had the proper training. I'm so tired of being shamed by untrained people. I end up getting screwed!

If Dratch really wants to help he should go to seminars on sexual abuse. he should go for training to be doing what he's doing. I don't care if he's a rabbi. He is a smart man and should take special classes or something.

I don't appreciate someone just hanging up a sign saying I'm an expert now, because I want to be.

I think that's what he did and does.

January 17, 2007 10:35 PM  

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