Monday, December 10, 2007

Boycott Events Associated with Alleged Sex Offender, Rabbi Yaakov Menken

The following Call For Action Comes from The Awareness Center

CALL TO ACTION: Boycott Events Associated with Alleged Sex Offender, Rabbi Yaakov Menken
© (2007) The Awareness Center, Inc.
(You can download a pdf file of this call to action at:
http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/MenkenCallToAction.pdf)


Over the last few years The Awareness Center has shared information with you regarding the case of Rabbi Yaakov Menken (AKA: Ken Menken). Due to the issue of confidentiality we have been limited in what we have made public. The allegations against Menken include sexual harassment and clergy sexual abuse.

Yaakov Menken's alleged modus operandi is to become a father figure to vulnerable young women and eventually manipulating them into having sexual contact with him. Menken is married with children and in his forties. The alleged women he targets are usually in their late teens or early twenties. In 2005 Rabbi Yaakov Menken had a discussion with Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky and confessed to having sexual contact with a very young woman he counseled. He basically blamed the survivor, stating "she came on to me".

Since The Awareness Center became aware of the allegations made against Yaakov Menken we were able to gathered information which included conversations with various rabbonim in Baltimore. It appears that a national Jewish outreach organization which includes a relative of the Menken survivors were in a bet din dispute right before and during the time that Rabbi Yaakov Menken was sexually manipulating a young woman from an extremely insulated community.
The survivor was barely out of her teens at the time that Yaakov Menken started his grooming process on her.

When Menken got started the young woman had recently moved away from her family for the first time. Menken allegedly marked her as an easy target and began to provide rabbinical counseling to her. It's important to keep in mind that Rabbi Menken was very angry with the survivors relative during this time period and the woman was unaware of the bet din dispute. It is believed that this is part of the reason why Menken picked her as a target and began to lure her in.

Usually when someone goes searching for spirituality they are in a vulnerable state because of some sort of personal crisis in their lives. These are exactly the type of people that Menken allegedly preys upon.

Several Kiruv organizations are partnering up with alleged sexual predator, Rabbi Yaakov Menken, for a Jewish Outreach event that will be featuring Dr. Gerald Schroeder. The problem is that by doing so they are basically saying that Yaakov Menken is safe and someone both affiliated and unaffiliated Jews can trust.

The Awareness Center is asking that you boycott all events associated with Yaakov Menken, Project Genesis, Torah.org, Project Genisis, Cross-Currents, and TorahMedia.org. We are also asking that you to call and or write the following people and demand that they stop working with Rabbi Yaakov Menken.


Contact:

The Advertiser
E-mail: ads.theadvertiser@gmail.com
Phone: 410-764-3787

The Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore
Adam Rosenberg
E-mail: arosenberg@associated.org

The Center for Jewish Education

Larry Ziffer, Executive Vice President
Phone: 410-735-5000, ext. 5005
E-mail: lziffer@cjebaltimore.org

Gerald Schroeder, Ph.D.
HaHish 5, Jerusalem 93223, Israel
Phone 011-972-2-5671233
E-mail: gs@geraldschroeder.com
Background information on Rabbi Yaakov Menken From The Awareness Center's Web page

Kenneth Lloyd Menken was born in 1965. While attending Princeton University, Menken became observant and started using his Hebrew name, "Yaakov Menken". He received his undergraduate degree in 1986. Upon graduating, started a seven year sabatical studying in various yeshivas (seminaries), such as Yeshivas Ohr Somayach, Bais Medrash Gavoha in Lakewood and Jerusalem, and the Mirrer Yeshiva Jerusalem.

Yaakov Menken has always been a computer maven. One of his goals was to educate unaffiliated college students who didn't have access to shiurim (Torah teachings). At the age of twenty-eight he founded his first organization, Project Genesis. It has been reported that Yaakov Menken received his rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Moshe Silberberg, while attending Ohr Somayach. Silberberg also brought Menken his biggest client -- Compuplus.

Rabbi Menken is also the founder of TorahMedia.com, and a new journal of thought and opinion called Cross-Currents. Smaller Torah.org projects include Aveidah.org and more.

There have been many alleged and convicted sex offenders in Rabbi Menken's life. One of these individuals is Rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau, who is the prinicipal of Baltimore's Torah Institute. Both members of Shearith Yisrael also know as Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer's "Glen Avenue shul.

In the past Rabbi Menken stated that he felt the incest and molestation accusations against Eisgrau are ludicrous, as well as the sex abuse allegations against Rabbis Matis Weinberg and Mordecai Tendler. He also stated that the New York Jewish Week's editor, Gary Rosenblatt was wrong to expose rabbi Baruch Lanner, who was convicted and sent to prison for sexually abusing underage girls.

Rabbi Yaakov Menken has several computer businesses -- Project Genesis (which opperates several non-profit organizations and Team Genesis, which does commercial web development.

It's important to note that for several years Menken's organizations Team Genesis/Project Genesis had connection to convicted sex offender Rabbi Benyamin Fleischman, who was protected by the rabbonim of Baltimore until his conviction.

Some of the clients of Rabbi Benyamin Fleishman includes (click here to see the full list Rabbi Benyamin Fleischman's clients)

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Menken is sick. Why isn't the awareness Center demanding he be evaluated by a professional?

December 05, 2007 8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how the women are who he abused? Did any of them press charges against him?

December 05, 2007 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Friends of Yaakov Menken said...

Below is a list of individuals who are connected to Menken. They basically write for his blog. I think they should also be contacted and warned about how sick he is.


Yitzchak Adlerstein
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein is the Director of Interfaith Affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He also serves as a faculty member at Yeshiva of Los Angeles and its high schools, and holds the Sydney M. Irmas Chair in Jewish Law and Ethics at Loyola Law School.

Rabbi Adlerstein is a contributing editor of the quarterly Jewish Action, as well as its regular computer columnist. His essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Present Tense, Tradition, Shma, the Los Angeles Daily Law Journal, and a host of Jewish and general printed and electronic media. He was frequently heard on KABC’s Religion on the Line, and appears often in the printed media as a voice of traditional Judaism. He co-hosted Rabbis With Attitude, a weekly radio program. His Be’er Hagolah, the classic defense of rabbinic Judaism by Maharal of Prague, was published by Artscroll/Mesorah Publications.

Rabbi Adlerstein received his ordination from the Chofetz Chaim yeshiva in New York. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Queens College, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Harvey Belovski

Rabbi Harvey Belovski is the rabbi of the Golders Green Synagogue in London. In addition to his rabbinical duties, he lectures regularly at venues including J.L.E., Torah Way and the Oxford University Jewish Society. He is the New Chaplains’ Mentor for Jewish Chaplaincy, a relationship counsellor, dating adviser and popular speaker.

Rabbi Belovski is the author of two books published by Targum Press, contributes frequently to the Jewish Chronicle, and has written numerous articles for Hamodia and other publications. His areas of interest include Midrash, contemporary Halakhah, the thought of Sochaczev, pre-marital counseling and developing independent-minded students.

Rabbi Belovski received his ordination from Gateshead Yeshivah, and graduated in mathematics from University College, Oxford.

Emanuel Feldman

Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, presently living in Jerusalem, is one of the most respected and distinguished figures in the American rabbinate. He led Atlanta’s Congregation Beth Jacob for almost forty years, from its infancy until its current position as one of America’s finest Torah institutions. Ordained by Baltimore’s Ner Israel, with degrees from John Hopkins and a doctorate from Emory University, he has taught at Jerusalem’s Ohr Somayach Yeshiva, at Bar Ilan University, and at Emory University.

For many years, Rabbi Feldman served as editor-in-chief of Tradition, the journal of the Rabbinical Council of America. His many book credits range from the scholarly (Jewish Law and the New Reproductive Technologies, Ktav Pub., 1997) to the personal (Tales Out of Shul: The unorthodox journal of an Orthodox rabbi, Shaar Press, 1999), and he has written hundreds of articles in journals like The New Republic, Saturday Review, Judaism, and The Jerusalem Post.

Dovid Gottlieb

Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb is the rabbi of Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Baltimore, MD.

In addition to his weekly Torah classes, R. Gottlieb has delivered guest lectures at many of Baltimore’s synagogues and educational institutions and is currently a regular contributor of essays on the weekly Torah portion to the Baltimore Jewish Times. Many of R. Gottlieb’s classes can be heard online at yutorah.org and shomreiemunah.us. He is involved in a number of communal organizations and is a member of the Executive Board of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) as well as its recently reconstituted Vaad Halacha.

Rabbi Gottlieb received his ordination from the Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), where he was also a member of their prestigious Wexner Kollel Elyon. While a student, he published numerous scholarly articles on Torah topics and also co-edited two Torah publications. In the winter of 2003, he authored Ateres Yaakov, a book of essays about a wide range of halakhic topics which has been well received by both scholars and laymen alike.

Toby Katz

Toby Katz teaches Jewish History and Tanach at the Beth Jacob High School of Miami and also teaches adult education courses at CAJE (the Council for the Advancement of Jewish Education) and other venues. Her articles and stories have appeared in Jewish Action, the journal of the Orthodox Union, as well as published anthologies. She is a homemaker with three children; her husband, Rabbi Michael Katz, served congregations in Johannesburg, South Africa, Melbourne, Australia, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia—he now owns a Judaica store in Hollywood, FL.

She is the daughter of the late Rav Nachman Bulman, zt”l, who was one of the great Torah leaders and thinkers of his generation; and tibadel lechaim, of Rebetzin Shaindel Bulman, the Jerusalem writer, raconteur, rebetzen and great-grandmother extraordinaire. She studied at the Michlala in Jerusalem and has a degree in English and History from Brooklyn College.

Eytan Kobre

Eytan Kobre is an attorney practicing in Brooklyn, New York. He studied at the Yeshiva of Staten Island and Yeshiva Shaar HaTorah. A graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, he previously practiced law with two Manhattan firms and served for several years as associate general counsel at Agudath Israel of America.

A published author in both Hebrew and English, Mr. Kobre has written about the contemporary American Jewish scene for various print and electronic publications including The Forward, Sh’ma, Jewish Observer, Beliefnet, Jewish World Review and Aish.com. Mr. Kobre’s deep interest in Jewish education and outreach has found expression in his past role as a regional director of the Jewish Heritage Center of Queens and Long Island and as a current board member of the Mussar Institute. Mr. Kobre lives with his family in Bayswater, New York.

Gedalia Litke

Gedalia Litke is an attorney in private practice with a large New York City firm. He specializes in real estate finance and development and has lectured and published extensively in his field.

Mr. Litke is involved in a wide array of Jewish community activities. He is a founder of Kayama, which facilitates gittin, Jewish divorces, for unaffiliated Jews who are divorcing civilly. His activities have led to his being honored by or asked to serve on the boards of numerous organizations, including, at the national level, Agudath Israel, the Orthodox Union and Young Israel. He is also a Trustee of the Maks and Lea Rothstein Charitable Youth Trust and of the Yeshiva of Spring Valley. He has lectured nationally for Aish HaTorah and is now an adjunct lecturer at Ohr Somayach of Monsey. He is also heavily involved in various political issues and fundraising campaigns of interest to the Jewish community.

Mr. Litke attended Columbia Law School and Ner Israel Rabbinical College. He also has a Masters from Johns Hopkins University.

Yaakov Menken

Rabbi Yaakov Menken is the founder of Project Genesis, a pioneering program in the field of Internet-based Jewish Outreach and education. Project Genesis hosts Torah.org, the Internet’s premier Jewish learning web site, as well as Cross-Currents and other Jewish sites and programs. Both Yaakov Menken and his organization maintain open communication with Jews at all levels of learning and education, and Project Genesis is endorsed by Jewish leaders from across the Jewish spectrum.

Rabbi Menken is the author of The Everything Torah Book, a basic guide to Jewish thought and history. Rabbi Menken’s writing has appeared in the Jerusalem Report, the Baltimore Jewish Times, and elsewhere. He also hosted Torah Talk, a one-hour weekly radio program in the Baltimore/Washington region.

Yaakov Menken earned his Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in Computer Science, and then pursued Rabbinic studies in Yeshivas Ohr Somayach of Monsey, NY, Beth Medrash Govoha in Jerusalem, and the Mirrer Yeshiva Jerusalem, before founding Project Genesis in 1993.

Jonathan Rosenblum

Jonathan Rosenblum is a widely-read columnist for the Jerusalem Post’s domestic and international editions and for the Hebrew daily Maariv. He is also a respected commentator on Israeli politics, society, culture and the Israeli legal system, who speaks frequently on these topics in the United States, Europe, and Israel. His articles appear regularly in numerous Jewish periodicals in the United States and Israel. Rosenblum is also the author of seven biographies of major modern Jewish figures.

In 1999, Rosenblum founded Jewish Media Resources, a media organization dedicated to furthering an understanding of Torah Judaism. Jewish Media Resources works with foreign journalists stationed in Israel and with local journalists by providing access to leading figures within the Orthodox Jewish community in Israel, and with information and insights about the community. Rosenblum is also the Jerusalem director of Am Echad, a media outreach organization founded in the United States. A graduate of the University of Chicago and Yale Law School, Rosenblum lives with his family in Jerusalem.

Avi Shafran

Rabbi Avi Shafran serves as Agudath Israel of America’s director of public affairs, and as American director of Am Echad, an educational outreach effort and media resource. Copyrights for his contributions to Cross-Currents are held by Am Echad Resources.

He served as a high school rebbe for close to twenty years before assuming his current position, writes widely in the Jewish and general press and is the author of several books, most recently, Migrant Soul: The Story of an American Ger (Targum/Feldheim). He was ordained by Rabbi Yitzchok Yaakov Ruderman zt”l of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore,

Shira Schmidt

Shira Leibowitz Schmidt was raised in an assimilated Jewish home in New York, and became observant while studying at Stanford University in California. In June 1967 she told her engineering school professor she would miss the final exam because she was going to Israel to volunteer during the Six Day War. “That’s the most original excuse I have ever been offered,” he responded. She arrived during the war and stayed, receiving her BSc in absentia. She subsequently met and married the late Elhanan Leibowitz, and they raised their six children in Beersheba. Mrs. Leibowitz acquired a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning from the Technion, and an MSc in Civil Engineering from University of Waterloo. Today she lives with her husband, Dr. Baruch Schmidt, in Netanya.

Mrs. Schmidt is a member of the faculty of the Haredi College for Women, and also co-founded Voices of the Wall, a group of Orthodox women which was created to balance the distorted perception created by Women of the Wall, a Jerusalem-based organization agitating to abandon traditional custom at the Western Wall. Voices of the Wall represents the vast majority of the women who take advantage of the opportunity to pray at the wall regularly, who wish to preserve the traditional nature of that holy site.

December 05, 2007 10:55 PM  

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