Friday, August 31, 2007

Stop The Promotion of Alleged Serial Sex Offender - Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

From The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter:

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CALL TO ACTION: Stop The Promotion of Alleged Serial Sex Offender - Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach

The following article regarding a fund raiser honoring Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach is nothing more then a slap in the face to all of the women who were sexually terrorized by a man who carried the title -- Rabbi. <>

There are so many other options that Meir Panim could have used for a fundraiser then to promote
Shlomo Carlebach and paint him as a saint.

Please contact the
Food distribution charity Meir Panim.

American Friends of Meir Panim
Director of Development - Judy Grossman
Toll Free 1.877.736.6283

Meir Panim Relief Centers in Israel
Director of Foreign Relations - Tamar Zuckerman
Phone: 972.2.501.1444

Call to Action: Accountability in the Portrayal of Shlomo Carlebach --
Tzadduk (saint)? Serial Sexual Predator?
Some of you may be aware of the fact that for the last 10 years there has been a movement to glorify the accomplishments of a man named Shlomo Carlebach. The Awareness Center firmly believes there is a problem in doing this. There have been numerous accusations that Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach sexually harassed and assaulted many young women, and sexually assaulted/abused a few teenage girls.

Shlomo Carlebach, was the popular Neo-Hassidic rabbi and singer, is the son of Rabbi Nephtali Hartwig and Paula Cohn Carlebach. He is the descendent of a family of rabbis, most of whom had aligned themselves with Hassidism, the mystical form of Judaism which emerged in central and eastern Europe in the eighteenth century.

Allegations of sexual misconduct against Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach can be dated back to the 1960's. Among the many people Lilith Magazine spoke with, nearly all had heard stories of Rabbi Carlebach's sexual indiscretions during his more than four-decade rabbinic career. Spiritual leaders, psychotherapists, and others report numerous incidents, from playful propositions to actual sexual contact. Most of the allegations include middle-of-the-night, sexually charged phone calls and unwanted attention or propositions. Others, which have been slower to emerge, relate to sexual molestation.

Rabbi Carlebach was seen as "being bigger then life", "He touched many people on a level that they have rarely been touched in their lives." Such idealization was only the beginning of a process of canonizing Rabbi Carlebach, a process that has continued since his death. A number of his followers told Lilith Magazine that Rabbi Carlebach, when alive, "walked with the humblest of the humble" and "never said he was a holy man." But with his death came an outpouring of love, and a degree of idolization that did not easily allow followers to recognize what others gently call his "shadow side.
Benefit Concert: Carlebach across the board
By Esti Keller
THE JERUSALEM POST - Aug. 30, 2007

An unlikely lineup comprising American star of ultra-Orthodox pop Avraham Fried, Israeli headliner Dudu Fisher, newly religious rocker Evyatar Banai, alternative Jewish music brothers Yonatan and Aaron Razel, and the Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra under Eli Jafe will evoke the spirit of beloved "Singing Rabbi" Shlomo Carlebach at a concert featuring his hits and narrative video from the late performer.

The event, taking place at Tel Aviv's Mann Auditorium on Wednesday, is the third in a series in Carlebach's honor - the first and second of which were held in New York and Paris - hosted by food distribution charity Meir Panim to mark its sixth anniversary. Proceeds will go toward improving the organization's Kiryat Gat facility.

"Carlebach is the ideal choice, because he embodied Meir Panim's motto," explains producer Danny Kazelre. "Through his music, Carlebach attempted to create unity and understanding between Jews from across the religious spectrum," which is something Meir Panim aims to achieve by providing for all segments of Israeli society. The services on offer, Kazelre continues, which include soup kitchens, children's meals and meals on wheels, create opportunities for volunteer work in different Israeli communities and are available regardless of background or religious affiliation.

Carlebach's desire to promote Jewish unity, says Kazelre, is reflected both in the varied choice of performers - all of whom, he enthuses, were excited about taking part in the concert, even though most are musically far removed from the late singer and will be performing their own interpretations of his works - and in the choice of venue.

"We decided to hold the event in Tel Aviv rather than the Carlebach stronghold of Jerusalem so as to attract audiences from across the religious spectrum and enable them to experience the beauty of Carlebach's music and messages."

Similar approaches, he says, proved successful in New York and Paris. "Our previous concerts received a very positive reaction from both secular and religious audiences, whether Carlebach devotees or those who were hearing his music for the first time."

The most original aspect of the event will be the orchestrated versions of Carlebach classics - an idea Kazelre says appealed to him precisely because of its novelty.

"I wanted to portray Carlebach's music from a different perspective and was lucky enough to obtain permission from his widow and daughters, who didn't even demand royalties, preferring that more money went to charity."

He admits that adapting the works for orchestra was sometimes difficult, owing to the simplicity of Carlebach's tunes. "Most of his songs are comprised of the same few chords; adding to the complexity of the music would erase its unique character, so the task of adapting was challenging and required talented musicians."

One such musician is alternative Jewish music performer Yonatan Razel, who will conduct two pieces which he arranged for orchestra.

"The simplicity of the tunes makes it difficult to create tension within the orchestrated adaptations and to involve all the instruments," Razel acknowledges. "But at the same time, this simplicity generates a clarity that complements the symphonic medium, creating a strikingly pure sound."

Wednesday, 8 p.m., Mann Auditorium; tickets - ranging from NIS 180 to 240 (discount for Isracard holders) - are available at (03) 604-5000 or *5000.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I was 16 years old when I met Shlomo. He made me feel like I was special so I spent some time alone with him. It was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made in my life. Almost 40 years later I'm still dealing with flashbacks and have spent years in and out of therapy.

When my daughter was 16 I had a very difficult time allowing her to go to concerts. I was so afraid that what happened to me would happen to her too.

August 31, 2007 5:46 PM  

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