Wednesday, May 23, 2007

CALL TO ACTION: "Defrocking" of Rabbi Alan Horowitz

Rabbi Alan Jay Horowitz
(AKA: Shneor Altar, Mike Sonkin, Alan Horowitz, Alan J. Horowitz, Shneur Horowitz, Elisha Horowitz, The NAMBLA Rabbi)

Rabbi Alan Horowitz
From: The Awareness Center, Inc.
(The Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault)

Calling for the "Defrocking" of Rabbi Alan J. Horowitz - Convicted Sex Offender

The Awareness Center, Inc. is demanding that the Orthodox Union (OU), the Rabbinic Council of America (RCA) and Agudath Israel of America make a public statements denouncing the actions and behavior of Rabbi Alan J. Horowitz. By not doing so is condoning this serial child molesters criminal behavior.

The Awareness Center, Inc. is also demanding that rabbis around the world find a way to remove Alan Horowitz's rabbinical ordination and that of other known sexual predators (who are ordained rabbis).

After Rabbi Alan Horwitz's 1983 conviction for child molestation he was placed on probation. Arrangements were made for him to live on the Ohr Somayach campus in Monsey, NY. Ohr Somayach is a Yeshiva serving young male students. Horowitz was treated by Dr. Joseph F. Chambers MD (Maryland) and Dr. Yitzhak Twersky (Monsey, NY).

At this time we are unaware where Rabbi Horowitz received his rabbinic ordination, yet it is known that it was from an orthodox source. The only way to revoke an ordination is for the rabbi who granted the title to revoke it. In some circles they see ordination as a degree that can never be taken away. According to Jewish tradition once an individual becomes a rabbi, halachicly he/she can ordain another individual.

In the past both the RCA (Rabbinical Council of America), Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America have stated that there is nothing they could do regarding Rabbi Horowitz since was he not a member of their organization.

Rabbi Horowitz is a convicted sex offender. Be aware that it takes a village to raise a sex offender and to enable them to continue molesting children or raping adults. Rabbi Horowitz is everyone's responsibility, including all rabbinical organizations, rabbis and Jewish communities.

It is time for all of us to stop passing the buck. Do the right thing, publicly denounce this man and remove his rabbinic ordination!

Contact Information:
Rabbinical Council of America (RCA)
Rabbi Marc Dratch - Chairman of the RCA's Task Force on Rabbinic Improprieties
Phone: 203-858-9691

Rabbi Basil Herring, Executive Vice President
Phone: 212-807-7888 x 5

Orthodox Union
Rabbi Hershy (Tzvi) Weinreb
Agudath Israel of America
Rabbi Shmuel Bloom, Executive Vice President
Rabbi Avi Shafran,
(212) 797-9000

Photo of Rabbi Avi ShafranThe image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Avi Shafran /Mark Dratch /Basil Herring/Hershy Weinreb
Updated Background Information on Rabbi Alan J. Horowitz
© (2007) The Awareness Center

Rabbi Alan J. Horowitz, MD, is a convicted sex offender who is also an ordained Orthodox rabbi. As a psychiatrist, Horowitz specialized in working with adolescents. His resume also includes volunteering time as a Boy Scout leader and being a writer for NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) publications. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University; and received his Ph.D. and medical degree from Duke University.

Alan Horowitz was married with one child of his own and seven stepchildren.

In the past Horowitz was licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina and Maryland. He never obtained a license to practice in the state of New York.

Alan Horowitz was first convicted back in 1983 in Maryland of performing an unnatural sexual act on the 12-year-old boy who was his patient and his eight year-old little brother. At the time Horowitz was sentenced to five-year probation.

The probation agreement included allowing Alan Horowitz to move to New York so that he could live study Torah at Ohr Somayach, Monsey, NY. He was court ordered to live on campus. Ohr Somayach is a Yeshiva serving young male students.

Dr. Horowitz was also court ordered to be in counseling under the care of Dr. Joseph F. Chambers (Maryland) and Dr. Issac Twersky (Monsey, NY). As like many others who thirst in learning Torah, Alan Horowitz ultimately ending up studying abroad in Israel.

Alan Horowitz twice violated his probation from the sentencing in 1983. There is no documentation of how he violated it the first time, yet the second time was in November 1985, was when he made aliyah and moved to Israel. He returned to the United States in November, 1990 when he learned new charges were being investigated relating to him allegedly molesting children in the West Bank (Israel).

Past newspaper accounts stated Rabbi Alan Horowitz picked Schenectady in hopes of securing a rabbinical appointment. Apparently each time Horowitz moved he changed his name, using the alias Shneor Altar in Israel, Alan Horowitz in New York and Mike Sonkin in Iowa.

Not much time pasted for there to be new allegations made of child sexual abuse. In 1991, allegations were made that Horowitz molested three boys under the age of fourteen and a 14-year-old girl in Eastern Parkway and Niskayuna, New York. It was around this time that authorities in New York contacted Interpol and learned that the investigation in the West Bank (Israel) was still being investigated.

Upon Horowitz learning that new charges in the US were being made against him, he attempted to elude the authorities by moving. This time to Woodward, Iowa. Once located he was extradited back to New York.

During the new police investigation, the New York officials found a trail of sexual abuse of patients dating back to the late 1960s when Horowitz worked for a community organization that helped impoverished, inner-city children.

On August 27, 1991, Rabbi Alan J. Horowitz, MD was charged in the Supreme Court in the state of New York on 34 counts of sodomy in the 1st degree. He was also charged with two counts of Sodomy in the 2nd degree, one count of sexual abuse in the 3rd degree, and 4 counts of endangering the welfare of a child. During these court procedures a North Carolina man showed up during the court proceedings claiming he was sexually abused by Horowitz as a child. It is also mentioned that Horowitz molested children in the state of Arizona, yet no more information about those allegations is known.

On June 29, 1992 , Rabbi Alan Jay Horowitz, MD pled guilty to one count of 1st degree sodomy.

In a county Probation Department report Horowitz admitted that he was a pedophile, but a "normal pedophile," which Horowitz defined as someone who has consensual sex with children.

During August, 1992, Alan Horowitz made the news one more time. This time was regarding a complaint that the county jail diet did not provide for his religious needs. He asked a state Supreme Court judge to direct the sheriff to provide more kosher food.

There were many attempts to stop Rabbi Horowitz being released on conditional parole on November 1, 2004 (Oneida Prison, NY), yet these attempts failed. At the time of his release he was Designation: Sexually Violent Offender and Predicate Sex Offender level three sex offender).

In 2006, Horowitz illegally left the United States violating his probation. At first it was believed he was in Israel, yet instead flew to Japan and on to Hong Kong, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India -- leaving a trail of newly sexually victimized children along the way.

In India he used his title of "rabbi" in his attempt to give himself credibility This is one of the reasons why The Awareness Center implemented it's "CALL TO ACTION" to have his rabbinic ordination revoked.

On May 22, 2007, Rabbi Alan Horowitz was caught in India. Horowitz was in violation of his parole since June, 2006. He will be extradited back to the US soon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't Horowitz go to Ner Israel?

May 24, 2007 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To think that the RCA is some kind of Halachik body that has authority over non-member rabbis is absurd. Judaism doesn't run like the Catholic Church (there's a great example!) where rabbis are accountable to a central ordaining body.
However, it sounds like this guy is going to be out of circulation until he dies in jail.
Based on his age, it is possible that the rabbi who granted him ordination is long dead.

May 25, 2007 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If our rabbis can figure out how to make food kosher, igure out if genetic testing or stem cell research is kosher -- I'm sure they can find a way to take a smecha away from rabbis who molest.

May 25, 2007 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More and more absurdity.
The scholars of which you speak are looking at things like genetic testing and stem cell research and trying to define exactly where these things are categorized in Jewish law.
They have no "power" to take someone's semicha away.
Sadly, the proficiency that one demonstrates in Jewish Law may be the only factor in granting someone semicha. In larger yeshivos the character of the individual may not be considered OR more likely, things such as a proclivity towards child molestation may be either well hidden or not have had an opportunity to express itself.

When a physician abuses his position and molests a patient, they don't take away his degree. He does however, lose his license and is accountable to the law.

A rabbi's authority comes from the people he leads. If he

a. Has been certified as an expert in Jewish Law by a recognized rabbinic authority or Seminary (Semicha)

b. Has people who follow and respect his rulings.

then he is in effect, a rabbi.
There is no licensing involved.

What can be done is to expose his actions, hold him accountable to the law. I believe that should be sufficient to remove any level of authority he might have.
Who wants to listen to a convicted child molester who fled his parole for China?

May 25, 2007 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that all rabbinical organizations need to make a public announcement denouncing Horowitz. I think they all should keep a list on line of rabbis who should not be respected due to sexual offenses.

By doing this it allows the public to know that this individual should not be trusted. There are too many cases out there where a rabbi is kicked out of one community and moves to another. Just look at both Mordechai Gafni and Hershy Worch. Who's warning the unsuspecting public that both these men are a danger to women and in Gafni's case to teenage girls.

May 25, 2007 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect his "semicha" is probably not real. Anyway, it doesn't mean anything in the orthodox world, its just an exam in certain sections of traditional law, particularly with regards to kashrut, etc. Its in the Conservative and Reform world where it has some kinds of professional and congregational meaning.
And Gafni's semicha, from Rabbi Riskin, was in fact "recalled", as it were, by Rabbi Riskin.
I think Heshy Worch has a Carlebach semicha, which certainly has no organizational legitimacy. Anyway, "revocation" of semicha did not stop Gafni, who actually parlayed it for a while into a sign of his being "post-denominational". So its kind of an absurd request.

May 25, 2007 1:20 PM  
Anonymous No Longer Observant said...

Here's a list of rabbis I think should be "Defrocked".

1. Alan Horowitz
2. Hershy Worch
3. Yaakov Menken
4. Elieizer Eisgrau
5. Matis Weinberg
6. Aron B. Tendler
7. Mordecai Tendler
8. Aryeh Blaut
9 Ephraim Bryks
10.Moshe Eisemann
11.Yehuda Kolko
12.Ben Zion Sobel
13.Jonathan Ginsburg
14.David Kaye
15.Israel Kestenbaum
16.Avraham Leizerowitz
17.Baruch Lanner
18.David E. Lipman
19. Mordecai Magency
20. Richard Marcovitz
21. Juda Mintz
22. Michael Ozair
23. Yisroel Shapiro
24. Tzvi Wainhaus
25. Yaakov Weiner
26. Don Well
27. Mordechai Yom Tov

Too many to go on listing. . .

May 26, 2007 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong, wrong,wrong.

The Artscroll version of the Bavli Talmud cites in its notes that in rare circumstances the titular assignment "rabbi" may be revoked and cites a specific occurence mentioned in an old famous halachic work to that effect.

Funny how everyone here has worked up a frenzied discussion while ignorant of the halachic facts. But then many rabbis have cited the presumed and incorrect inability to remove this once-honored title as a defence for not doing what V. Polin has recommended for years.

May 27, 2007 5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what does the Artscroll version of the Bavli Talmud cites in its notes that in rare circumstances the titular assignment "rabbi" may be revoked? What does it cite?

Can you be more specific? Let's get the facts here out in the open. I say it's too late for game playing. It's time to demand our rabbis follow protocol to revoke sex offenders ordination!

May 27, 2007 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't that a hoot. Just take a look at the list of Artscroll authors that the publisher calls "rabbi" and praises to no end.

"Rabbi" Moshe Eisemann

"Rabbi" Leib Pinter, a convicted felon & ex-con who is again on trial, this time for a $44 million ponzi scheme / mortgage fraud. Pinter was also confronted by Congresswoman Holtzmann for selling meat & cheese sandwiches to unsuspecting consumers as "kosher." UOJ has posted the NY Times archives account of the treif story.

A third "rabbi" related to Pinter whose wife and 5 children left him after years of psychological & emotional abuse. The beis din has the letter in which he admits to it.

May 27, 2007 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Horowitz is also an Ivy League-educated psychiatrist.

So is Dr. William Ayres, the California child psychiatrist recently arrested for molesting many boys in his practise. Many of Ayres' victims are Jewish....
I am told by law enforcement that professionals who are pedophiles, like Ayres and Horowitz, very often know each other and exchange info on their victims. Would like to hear from others if they have any evidence of this.

June 03, 2007 8:08 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home