Friday, April 07, 2006

Case of Rabbi Aron Boruch Tendler

Case of Rabbi Aron Boruch Tendler
(AKA: Ahron Tendler, Aron Tendler, Aaron Tendler)

Ner Israel - Baltimore, MD
 Project Genisis - Baltimore, MD
Past Rabbi - ShaareyZedek Congregation - North Hollywood, CA
Past Chairman - Yeshiva Principals Council, Los Angeles, CA
Past Executive Board Member - Rabbinical Council of California (RCC)
Past Principal - Yeshiva University High School for Girls(YULA) - Los Angeles, CA
Past Dorm Supervisor - Ohr Hamidbar (From 1977 to 1980), Phoenix AZ
Past Teacher - Kerem Yeshiva, Santa Clara, California
Please Note: There is more then one individual with the name of  Rabbi Aron Tendler.  This page is about Rabbi Aron Boruch Tendler, who was born on January 15, 1955, and is the son of Rabbi Moshe Tendler. 

Rabbi Aron Tendler was accused of sexually abusing teenage girls. He recently resigned as principal of Yeshiva University High School for girls in Los Angeles, CA; and also as Rabbi of Shaarey Zedek Congregation in North Hollywood, CA; after allegations of professional sexual misconduct were brought up against him.

Disclaimer:  Inclusion in this website does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement. Individuals must decide for themselves if the resources meet their own personal needs. 
Table of Contents:  
  1. Rabbi Aron Tendler Resigns (01/21/2006)
  2. Early-20th Century American Yeshivas (06/16/2004)
  3. Survivor of Aron Tendler Speaks Out  (01/2006)
  4. Leadership - Shaarey Zedeck Congregation  (01/22/2006)
  5. Rabbinical Council of California - Contact the RCC (01/22/2006)
  6. Call To Action  (01/26/2006)
  7. Community Briefs (01/26/2006)
  8. Call To Action: Contact Shaarey Zedek and the RCC executives  (02/20/2006)
  9. What is a Mandated Reporter in California? (02/20/2006)
  10. Rabbi Expelled From Shul  (03/01/2006)
  11. Another Tendler Steps Down (04/07/2006)

Other Cases Involving Past Students From Ner Israel Yeshiva (Baltimore, MD):
  1. The Case of the Students of Ner Israel Yeshiva in the 1950's
  2. Case of Rabbi Ephraim Bryks
  3. Case of Rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau
  4. Case of Rabbi Benyamin Fleischman
  5. Case of Rabbi Israel Kestenbaum
  6. Case of Rabbi Aron Boruch Tendler
  7. Case of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler
  8. Case of Rabbi Matis Weinberg

Rabbi Aron Tendler (Los Angeles, CA) Resigns
The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter - January 21, 2006
Confessed Sex Offender - Rabbi Aaron Tendler
Many of you may or may not know that over the last several years there have been serious allegations of professional sexual misconduct (with minors) made that Rabbi Aron Tendler of North Hollywood, CA. Last night I was informed that Rabbi Aron Tendler was offered the opportunity to resign from his position as rabbi at Shaarey Zedek Congregation, instead of being fired. He chose to resign.
Please follow the is link to read an article that may be helpful to the friends and extended family members of both Rabbis Aron and Mordecai Tendler.  "When A Family Member Molests: Reality, Conflict, and The Need For Support"
If you or anyone you know has been abused by Rabbi Aron Tendler, and need resources please do not hesitate to contact The Awareness Center, Inc. or your local rape crisis center.


Early-20th Century American Yeshivas
Letters to the Editor
Jewish Press - June 16, 2004
  In his front-page essay "Rabbi Avigdor Miller: His Early Years" (Jewish Press, April 30), Dr. Yitzchok Levine inaccurately stated that during the 1920's, Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan was "the only yeshiva in America at that time with a beis medrash."

The context of this statement is that Rabbi Avigdor Miller learned at Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan under Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik before moving on to study at the yeshiva in Slabodka, a transfer done at the request of Rabbi Isaac Sher, son-in-law of Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, the famed Alter of Slabodka.

William B. Helmreich in his monumental work The World of the Yeshiva describes the history of the formation of the advanced  yeshiva movement in the United States, listing Yeshivas Etz Chaim, founded in 1896, which then merged with Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan in 1915, as the earliest still established advanced yeshiva in the United States. Helmreich then lists the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, started as a rabbinical seminary in 1922, as the second advanced yeshiva established in the United States.

Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan and the Hebrew Theological College were not the onlytwo existing yeshivas with batei medrashos in the United States; in 1923, Rabbi Yehuda Levenberg founded the Bais Medrash LeRabbonim in New Haven, Connecticut. However, due to factors related to the Great Depression and internal dissension within the yeshiva, Rabbi Levenberg relocated to Cleveland, Ohio in 1928. While the Bais Medrash LeRabbonim ultimately closed in 1938, members of the yeshiva, led by Rabbi Yaakov Ruderman, moved to Baltimore in 1933 where they established Yeshivas Ner Yisrael.  (Rabbi Yaakov Ruderman was the maternal grandfather of alleged sex offenders Rabbi Matis Weinberg and Rabbi Simcha Weinberg).
Other prominent students and faculty members of the Yeshiva of New Haven included Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (the 20th century's foremost American halachic authority and rosh yeshiva of Manhattan's Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem); Rabbi Dr. Samuel Belkin (rosh hayeshiva of RIETS and second president of Yeshiva University); Rabbi Baruch Kaplan (father of the Bais Yaakov movement in America); Rabbi Menachem Zvi Eichenstein (chief rabbi of St. Louis, Missouri); Rabbi Alexander Linchner (builder of Boys Town Jerusalem); Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg (rosh yeshiva of Torah Or, and spiritual leader of Yerushalayim's Mattesdorf community); and Mr. Charles Batt (the late prominent and distinguished lay leader in the New England Jewish community). (Rabbi Moshe Feinstein is the grandfather of two alleged sex offenders –– Rabbi Mordecai Tendler and Rabbi Aron B. Tendler).
Another yeshiva of the time was Torah Vodaath, founded in 1917 as an elementary school.
In 1926, Reb Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz established a high school there, followed in 1929 by a beis medrash with Rabbi Dovid Leibowitz at its head. In fact, concerning the longstanding, and perhaps integral, relationship between Reb Mendlowitz's Torah Vodaath and Rabbi Levenberg's Yeshiva of New Haven, biographer Yonoson Rosenbaum wrote of a pioneer trip by Reb Mendlowitz to the Yeshiva of New Haven. "He wanted his students to experience a real Beis Medrash on the European model, so he took them on Lag Ba'Omer up to New
Haven, Connecticut where Rabbi Yehuda Heschel Levenberg, the rav of the city, had founded the first advanced yeshiva in America" (Reb Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, p. 80).

Notwithstanding the memorable beginning of the Beis Medrash LeRabbonim, very little has been written in English regarding Rabbi Yehuda Levenberg and his Yeshiva of New Haven. Rabbi Ari Zivitofsky's recent article in the Jewish Observer (December 2003) was quite informative in describing an oft-forgotten chapter in American Orthodoxy.

As an undergraduate student at both Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan and Yeshiva College who is fascinated with Jewish history, I take pride in the history of the yeshiva that I attend, as one should. I appreciate the effort The Jewish Press has demonstrated in presenting the history of American-born gedolim. Rabbi Avigdor Miller truly was, as Dr. Yitzchok Levine
stated, "one of the foremost proponents of Orthodoxy in the United States."

Menachem Butler
Jamaica Estates, NY
Dr. Yitzchok Levine Responds: My statement about Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchok Elchanan was based on the following sentence from "Remembering Rabbi Avigdor Miller," an article, written by Rabbi Shmuel Brog, one of Rav Miller's sons-in-law, that appeared in the November 2001 issue of the Jewish Observer (see In this article Rabbi Brog wrote, "His love of learning led him to a second galus. At age 17, after graduating high school, he left Baltimore for Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan in New York, the only yeshiva in America at that time with a beis midrash."

I thank Menachem Butler for pointing this error out to me and your readers. I also thank him for providing us all with some interesting history about the yeshivas that were in existence in the first part of the 20th century.

Survivor of Aron Tendler Speaks Out
By (Name withheld)
Edited by Levi Ford
Rabbi Aron B. Tendler (1996)
He served as teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal at the (girls) Yeshiva University of Los Angeles High School.
Rabbi Aron Tendler was replaced as principal of the girls YULA circa 1990 after reports that he molested teenage girls. The principal of secular studies at YULA at the time, Dr. Bruce Powell, was adament that Aron had to go.
Instead of calling him "Rav Aron," his students was at YULA, behind his back, called him "Rub Aron."
Rabbi Aron Tendler has told people, including women he was intimate with, that he was molested as a boy.
"We were at an all-girls school," says a former student. "Our hormones were going nuts. And Aron Tendler was there. He was flirty. He had two or three buttons of his shirt unbuttoned, walking up and down the hallway. He provoked it. Kids bored in school were flirting with him. I can't say he touched people unwillingly. I think they did it and then afterwards asked, ohmigod, what happened?
"He wasn't someone who was going to force himself him on you. Years later the girls woke up later and said, this was wrong.
"Before he'd have an affair, he'd discuss the halacha [Jewish law] about wasting sperm.
"Whenever it gets down to it, Aron gets afraid and removes himself. I heard he removed himself from the RCC. I'm surprised he isn't resigning from Sharei Tzedek. He has to be crazy to want this all to go public.
"He was very careful in the girls that he picked. He always picked girls who came from troubled homes, so that if we went public, he could say that we're crazy.
"I don't judge anyone, but when you stand on a podium and portray yourself as better than everyone else, and you say that we're crazy, that's the issue I have. He's living a double life. He's been cheating on his wife for 20 years.
"When you're in the Jewish world and you look at Aron Tendler, you might think he's sexy, but when you're in the outside secular world, and you look at him again, it's like night and day.
"Aron told one of the girls that he had had an affair while his wife Esther was pregnant and she miscarried, and he always felt it was punishment for cheating on her.
"He told me stories about a woman in Beverly Hills and when her husband was away, he would go over to her house and they would just lie in bed naked together. He was all into the halacha against spilling your seed.
"He shouldn't be running a shul. If two adults want to have an affair, then have an affair. It's morally incorrect but not worth tattling about.
"[For several years after high school], I couldn't be at an event where he didn't approach me. There could be 500 people in the room. He would make it straight to me and ask me if I wanted to go outside and talk. I thought, aren't people wondering what we're talking about? I realized he was telling people I had problems and I needed to talk to him. But really, he was flirting with me.
"When he'd walk away, he'd be standing with some single guy and they'd be looking back at me and laughing. I remember saying to him once, 'Were you talking against me?' I was so naive. I thought, he's not going to talk lashon hara [evil speech]. He's a rabbi. I must be imagining it.
"Then [fellow student and friend] would tell me things he would tell her about me, and he would tell me things about her, so finally I realized he was talking against me. When I'd bring this up to him, he'd say, 'You know I love you.'
"SSS was much more damaged by him than me. She confronted him recently. He said to her, 'I'd talk to you about it but I'm still sick.' He admits it.
"If I was him, I'd say, 'I need help.' Play the victim. Just stop telling people that we're crazy and lying. That just forces people to tell their stories.
"The Sharei Tzedek board was told two years ago these stories and all they did was blame the women.
"A letter was written to his wife Esther two years ago with everybody's story in it. Esther got it and almost had a heart attack.
"The wife had to know that what was in the letter was true because it was filled with intimate details about their marriage that he had told all of us. Even a girl who stayed in their house and the situation she had with him."
There's been a lukewarm investigation of Rabbi Aron Tendler by the RCC (Rabbinical Council of California) for charges that he sexually molesting under-age teenage girls, many of whom were under his rabbinic authority (either at YULA, NCSY or elsewhere). The stories about his behavior have gone on for years. Every major Orthodox rabbi knows about the complaints against Rabbi Aron Tendler, including Rabbi Best, Rabbi Nahum Sauer, Rabbi Fassman, Rabbi Avraham Union, yet Rabbi Aron Tendler maintains his pulpit.
Now women in their 30s (and some younger) who say they were molested by rabbi Tendler in their teens are coming forward.
No civil lawsuit has been filed against Aron Tendler in this matter (due to its nature, the women who say that Rabbi Aron Tendler molested them don't want to go public as most of them have familes of their own, and communities tend to rally around their leaders and stigmatize those who accuse the leaders of sexual misconduct).
Aron is popular with his peers who are loathe to discipline him. Aron is a "nice guy." He's "humble."
From a Tendler perspective, one could view Rabbi Aron's behavior as bagging trophies of the virgins under his care. He did it out of love. He initiated them and prepared them for a mature relationship with their later husbands.
A Tendler could argue that these girls had emotional problems, and Rabbi Tendler was curing them through bodywork and helping them appreciate the physical dimension of life. This is what God intended in creating the world.

Leadership - Shaarey Zedeck Congregation
Rabbi Aron Tendler
Shaarey Zedeck Congregation - January 22, 2006
Rabbi Aron Tendler has been teaching high school since 1976. His first position was in Phoenix AZ. as Dorm Supervisor for Ohr Hamidbar. From 1977 to 1980 Rabbi Tendler taught in Kerem Yeshiva, Santa Clara, California.
He moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and has been a teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal at Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles. This past June (2005), Rabbi Tendler retied from YULA to assume the position of Senior Rabbi at Shaarey Zedek Congregation. This past December, Rabbi Tendler was awarded the coveted Miliken Foundation's Distinguished Educators Award.
In 1985, Rabbi Tendler became the Associate Rabbi at Shaarey Zedek Congregation in North Holiywood, California, the oldest and largest Orthodox congregation In the San Fernando Valley.
In 1996, Rabbi Tendler's position was advanced to Rabbi of Shaarey Zedek, and this past July he became the Senior Rabbi.
For the past nine years, Rabbi Tendler has been the Chairman of the Yeshiva Principals Council.
For the past six years, he has been a member of the Executive Board of the Rabbinical Council of California and currently holds the position of Chairman of the Vaad Hakashrus of the RCC.
Rabbi Tendler is author of the very popular Rabbi's Notebook and Parsha Summary, a weekly essay and review of the Parsha that is posted on the Project Genesis website (which is ran by alleged sex offender, Rabbi Yaakov Menken). More than 11,000 subscribers receive his weekly presentations via e-mail.
Rabbi Tendler was featured in eight segments of Mysteries of the BibIe, a program that is produced by Roos Films and aired on the A&E cable station.
More recently, Rabbi Tendler has received national recognition as a champion and voice combating domestic violence.
He is a member of the Jewish Family Services Domestic Violence Task Force. The nationally distributed video, "To Save A Life" produced by the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence features Rabbi Tendler's passionate and encouraging views.
Rabbi Tendler was married to (Name Removed) in 1976, and has raised their (number removed) children here in Valley Village.
1976 - Smicha - Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Rabbi Moshe Feinstein is Aron Tendler's grandfather)
1976 - BS Political Science, Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
1976 - BA Talmudic Law - Ner Israel Rabbinical College (Baltimore, MD)
1986 - MA Guidance and Counseling - Loyola

Rabbinical Council of California - Contact the RCC
RCC web page - January 22, 2006

Several members of the Tendler family were involved with RCC back in 2006.


CALL TO ACTION: Please note that there was no mention in the following article that Rabbi Aron Tendler was asked to resign or be fired from his position as rabbi for alleged sexual abuse charges. 
Does the community in LA know about the allegations? I heard rumors that many are unaware.
The article below mentions board member - Brad Turell, who is the Executive Vice President of Network Communications of a major news media group. At one time Turell was hired by CNN to deal with the "Israel issue". This was back when I ran a media watch group called CNN-WATCH. 
I wonder if Brad Turell joined the NEW board of directors at Shaarey Zedek Congregation in Valley Village, to deal with the "Aron Tendler" issue.
I think we should advocate for honesty in reporting on the real issues why Aron Tendler was let go. By doing this we could be protecting a future, potential victims from being harmed. Please let the board of directors at Shaarey Zedek and also the Jewish Journal know how you feel. Tell them to "STOP HUSHING UP THE TRUTH!"

      Shaarey Zedek                                  Jewish Journal of LA
      Phone 818-763-0560                              213-368-1661
      Fax 818-763-8215                                 Fax: 213-368-1684       

Community Briefs
By Amy Klein, Nancy Sokoler Steiner, David Finnigan, Marc Ballon, Norma Zager
Jewish Journal - January 26, 2006

After 22 years as head rabbi of Shaarey Zedek Congregation in Valley Village, Rabbi Aron Tendler resigned last weekend.
"It is with mixed emotions that I write you today to let you know of my decision that, after 22 wonderful years, I have decided to step down as rabbi of Shaarey Zedek," Tendler wrote in a letter to the 400-member families of the Orthodox synagogue.
"This has been a decision I have contemplated for some time, and after great soul searching and deliberation and with the full support of Esther and the family, I decided that it was time to explore other opportunities and embark on a new aspect of my personal and professional life."
Tendler wrote that he intends to stay in the community but wants to spend more time with his family and pursuing writing, teaching and other projects.
"On occasion, I would like to sleep for more than four hours. Selfishly put, I want more time, and if not now when?" he wrote. Tendler will stay on through the High Holidays and help the search committee in its quest to find a new rabbi.
"Rabbi Tendler turned innumerable lives around, and it will be a great loss for us," Brad Turell, Shaarey Zedek's communications director, told The Journal. "He's very talented and we wish him the best."  –- Amy Klein, Religion Editor

Call To Action: Contact Shaarey Zedek and the RCC Executives
Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speak Out - February 20, 2006
1) Respectfully ask them about these serious allegations that are being made and ask that they address them publicly and either defend alleged child molester Aron Tendler as an innocent man wronged OR defend his alleged victims from their predator, provide them with legal and counselling resources and ENSURE THERE NO MORE VICTIMS OF THIS PREDATOR.
2) Ask the Shaarey Zedek Officers and Board of Directors what their personal financial liability would be at this point if Aron Tendler does anything untoward. Ask them if they are covered any longer by any sort of liability insurance. Ask them if they have checked with their insurance carrier and ask them for the name of their insurance carrier.
3) Ask all of the Board Members of Shaarey Zedek and the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC) if they are mandated reporters under California law, and then ask if they made a report of the allegations. Remember according to the law, if you suspect a child is at risk of harm YOU MUST REPORT. It is not up to the synagogue or the RCC to investigate. It's up to law enforcement.
3) Ask members of Shaarey Zedek and of the General Community to contact the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC) and Shaarey Zedek and do the same.
Officers and Board of Directors - Shaarey Zedek Congregation
(as of June 21, 2005)
  1. Yakov Yellin - Chairman
  2. Jim Kapenstein - President
  3. Dr. Joshua Levy - Vice President Building Fund
  4. Brad Turell - Vice President Communications/Marketing
  5. Andrea Yekutiel - Vice President Education
  6. Robert Schacht - Vice President Facilities
  7. George Lintz - Vice President Finance
  8. Herman Muhlstein - Vice President Membership
  9. Michael Harris - Vice President Religion
  10. Dr. Martin Kay - Vice President/Secretary
  11. Ben Fried - Vice President Treasurer
  12. Rick Brown - Vice President Youth
Executive Officers/Executive Board
  1. Dr. Allen Ardestani
  2. Dr. Bruce Greenfield
  3. Michael Halpern
  4. Yisrael Hirsch
  5. Dr. Harvey Kasdan
  6. Norm Kurnick
  7. Marty Nachimson
  8. Jennifer Niman
  9. Sandy Roessler
  10. Joe Silver
Please note that Rabbi Aron Tendler is still listed as the chair of the Kashrus Services of the RCC

Shaarey Zedek Congregation
12800 Chandler Blvd.
Valley Village, CA 91607
Phone 818-763-0560
Fax 818-763-8215

Rabbinical Council of California
617 S. Olive St. #515
Los Angeles, CA 90014
ph. (213) 489-8080
fax. (213) 489-8077

What is a Mandated Reporter in California?
February 20, 2006

In the scope of their employment, a Mandated Reporter has a special relationship or contact with children or the home. (The California Penal Code defines a "child" as a person under the age of 18 years.)
A Mandated Reporter Is legally required to report if they know of or have "Reasonable Suspicion" of child abuse and neglect, encountered in the scope of their employment.
Employers of Mandated Reporters are required to inform them of their responsibilities.
Prior to commencing employment and as a prerequisite of that employment, Mandated Reporters must sign a statement to the effect that he or she has knowledge of the provisions of the Mandated Reporter Law, and will comply with those provisions.
Legal Obligations of a Mandated Reporter in California if Child Abuse is Known or Suspected
The Mandated Reporter must call a "Child Protective Agency" as soon as possible to make verbal report of "Reasonable Suspicion."
Then, the Mandated Reporter must file a written report on Department of Justice Suspected Child Abuse Report Form SS 8572 within 36 hours of their verbal report.
Mandated Reporters are required to give their name.
What is "Reasonable Suspicion" as defined by the California Penal Code?

"Reasonable Suspicion" occurs when "it is objectively reasonable for a person to entertain such a suspicion, when based upon the facts that could cause a reasonable person in a like position, drawing when appropriate on his or her training and experience, to suspect child abuse." (California Penal Code 11166[a])

Child Abuse Report Form—Department of Justice Form SS8572

Mandated Reporters and/or their employers should keep blank copies of the form on file at all times.
If a blank form is not available when a report is made, the Mandated Reporter can request that the agency to whom the report is being made, send a blank form to them immediately.
Copies of the form are available from your local Child Protective Services Agency or by writing to:
California Department of Justice
Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information
P.O.Box 90317
Sacramento, CA 94203-4170

Record Keeping

Good record keeping or documentation is important and helpful in recognizing child abuse...Why?
  • Helps refresh memories
  • Bolsters testimony of witnesses
  • The child's history stays behind if you change jobs
  • Helps build a "case" for reporting and CPS's response
  • Documentation of reasons when the decision is made to not make a report
Who are Mandated Reporters in California?

  • Child Care Custodians
  • In Public and Private Schools
  • Teachers
  • Instructional Aides
  • Teacher's Aides
  • Teacher's Assistants
  • Classified Employees
  • School Bus Drivers
  • Administrative Officers
  • Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance
  • Certificated Pupil Personnel Employees
  • School District Police or Security
  • Administrators, Presenters or Counselors of Child Abuse Prevention Programs
  • Social Workers
  • Law Enforcement
  • Fire Fighters
  • Probation Officers
  • Parole Officers
  • District Attorney investigators, inspectors and family support officers
  • Public or Private Day Camp, Youth Center, Recreation Program or Organization Administrators
  • Administrators and employees of child day care facilities
  • Headstart Teachers
  • Licensing Workers
  • Public Assistance Workers
  • Foster Parents
  • Employees of Child Care Institutions:
  • Group Homes
  • Residential Care Facilities
  • Health Practitioners
  • Physician
  • Surgeons
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Psychological Assistants
  • Mental Health and Counseling Professionals
  • Dentist
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Registered Dental Assistants
  • Residents
  • Interns
  • Podiatrist
  • Chiropractors
  • Licensed Nurses
  • Optometrist
  • Marriage, Family and Child Counselors, Interns and Trainees
  • State and County Public Health Employees
  • Clinical Social Workers
  • EMT's and Paramedics
  • Coroners and Medical Examiners
  • Clergy
  • Priest
  • Minister
  • Rabbi
  • Religious Practitioner
  • Or similar functionary of a church, temple or recognized religious denomination or organization.
  • Other
  • Animal Control Officers
  • Film and Photographic Print Processors

Penalties—California Penal Code Section 11172[e]

A Mandated Reporter who fails to make a report of known or suspected child abuse:
Is guilty of a misdemeanor crime, which is punishable by up to:
  • six months in the county jail
  • and/or up to $1000 in fines  
  • May lose their license or credential

Safeguards for Mandated Reporters in California

  • Mandated Reporters cannot be prevented from reporting nor lose their job for making a report
  • Identity is kept confidential (see more below on confidentiality issues)
  • Employers are required to inform Mandated Reporters of their responsibilities
  • May photograph or X-ray child without parent's consent
  • Physician- and therapist-patient privilege does not apply
  • Is not required by law to inform parents of report
Confidentiality—California Penal Code Section 11167

A Mandated Reporter's name is to be held confidential at all times and can only be shared:
  • Between Child Protective Agencies
  • Child Protective Agency's Council
  • The Child's Council
  • District Attorney in cases of:
  • Criminal Prosecution
  • Parental Rights Termination
  • Licensing Agencies in Abuse Cases in Out-of-Home Care
  • By Court Order
If the Mandated Reporter Waives Confidentiality
Never to Mandated Reporter's employer except by consent or Court Order

Any violation of the confidentiality provided in California Penal Code Section 11167 is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed six month, by a fine of $500 or both.

Rabbi Expelled From Shul
New York Post - March 1, 2006

A prominent New York rabbi has been booted from his shul in the wake of a scandalous sex suit, The Post has learned.
Rabbi Mordecai Tendler - Monsey, NY
Disgraced Rabbi Mordechai Tendler — scion of one of the world's most prominent Modern Orthodox families — was suspended late Sunday by the board of Kehillat New Hempstead, the Rockland County synagogue he founded.
Tendler, claiming a conspiracy to wreck his career and embarrass his family, refuses to acknowledge the suspension and has summoned 10 "insurgent" opponents to a special rabbinical court with the Union of Orthodox Rabbis.
The KNH board has reportedly also frozen Tendler out of a shul bank account — a charge that Tendler also denies.
The stunning blow comes after a December lawsuit, first reported in The Post, by a former KNH member who alleges Tendler claimed to be the "Messiah" and gave her "sex therapy" to help her find a husband during counseling.
Last year, Tendler was expelled from the highly respected Rabbinical Council of America amid allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct by several women in the community.
The rabbi's suspension comes just weeks after his brother, Rabbi Aron Tendler, announced he would step down from his Los Angeles synagogue amid speculation — reported on Internet sites — that he had been moved from a teaching position at a girls school because of misconduct.
Announcing Mordechai Tendler's suspension, the KNH board, in a letter yesterday to members, noted it had previously asked Tendler to take a leave of absence and recommended "rehabilitation" — neither of which the rabbi would pursue.
"Since the inception of the controversies, the Rabbi has failed to acknowledge or resolve the breadth of these issues," the board wrote.
The board cited the lawsuit, declining membership, falling finances, Tendler's "continuing lack of responsibility" and the board's own inability to determine the "accuracy" of some of his statements.
Rabbi Hillel Tendler
Tendler, who has publicly denounced the rabbinical council's ruling and has moved to dismiss the "scurrilous" lawsuit, continues to lead the shul, said his brother, Hillel Tendler.
"This is not a legal board . . . they're nothing," Hillel Tendler said, adding that the suspension letter "is void. It has no effect."
Hillel Tendler also rejected the suggestion that KNH attendance is down, saying that Sabbath services are drawing more congregants and that a majority of the shul has signed a petition backing his brother.
Tendler opponents said at least a dozen people have left KNH.
Rabbi Moshe Tendler
On Monday morning, Tendler — son of leading Yeshiva University Professor Rabbi Moshe Tendler and grandson of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the Modern Orthodox world's leading religious authority — turned up for morning prayers at the synagogue.
Tendler has declined to speak to reporters. Approached last week for comment about the growing tension in town, the rabbi's wife, Michelle Tendler, insisted, "Nobody has left!" and added, "You're not welcome here!"


Rabbi Tendler Suspended From Monsey Synagogue
Staff Report
Jewish Week (NY) - March 1, 2006

Rabbi Mordechai Tendler was suspended Sunday by the boards of his Rockland County synagogue as a result of longstanding allegations about his sexual behavior, but the rabbi has refused to leave.
According to several congregants, the board of directors and the board of trustees of Kehillat New Hempstead acted to cut off the rabbi's salary and prevent him from serving as their spiritual leader, apparently shaken by a lawsuit filed recently by a woman against the rabbi and the synagogue charging him with giving her "sexual therapy" to increase her chances of finding a husband. Some say that board members were shown physical evidence to bolster charges against the rabbi.
Rabbi Tendler has denied all wrongdoing and insisted that he is the victim of an effort to undermine his reputation, though he has refused to speak to the press.
One of the synagogue's six members of the board of trustees told The Jewish Week that Rabbi Tendler was "suspended indefinitely, until his innocence is proven in a court of law." The board member, who asked not to be named, said the rabbi has a life contract with the synagogue and that terminating it would be complicated.
Rabbi Tendler is seeking to take the synagogue to a bet din of his choosing, but the board member said the synagogue would not agree, believing the bet din would be biased in favor of the rabbi.
The synagogue has been divided over the rabbi for some time. Allegations about his personal activities led to his membership in the Rabbinical Council of America being terminated last year for "improper behavior."
The board of trustees member said synagogue membership has declined from about 200 families to about 35, and Shabbat attendance has fallen dramatically.
Rabbi Tendler continued to attend services this week, and members said they do not know what will happen on Shabbat when he usually offers a sermon.
Rabbi Tendler's brother, Ahron Tendler, recently announced that he would soon step down as spiritual leader of his large Orthodox congregation in Los Angeles. That community has been shaken by allegations that Rabbi Ahron Tendler acted improperly with young women in his charge as a teacher in a local yeshiva in years past.


Tendler Resigns Under Cloud
by Amy Klein, Religion Editor
Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles - March 7, 2006

Rabbi Aron Tendler has stepped down six months early from the pulpit of Shaarey Zedek, an Orthodox synagogue in Valley Village, because "it was no longer appropriate for Rabbi Tendler to continue," shul officials said.
Tendler, 51, first announced his resignation in a January letter to congregants. At the time, he said he planned to remain leader of the synagogue until the High Holidays in September. But in a March 6 letter to congregants, shul president Jim Kapenstein and board chair Yacov Yellin wrote that Tendler would be stepping down immediately in light of "new matters which had recently been brought to our attention."
The letter offers no specifics and shul officials declined to elaborate.
Separately, The Journal has learned that Tendler was once accused of inappropriate conduct at the Yeshiva of Los Angeles (YULA), an Orthodox high school in Pico-Roberston where he had worked from 1980 through June 1999, first as a teacher and then also as a principal. The 1987 investigation was inconclusive, but Tendler transferred from the girls school to the boys school, which is located on a separate campus.
Allegations against Rabbi Tendler surfaced on Jewish blogsweb logs — more than a year ago, citing anonymous sources who alleged the rabbi had behaved inappropriately toward women and girls. These rumors were alluded to briefly in articles published in two East Coast newspapers about problems facing the rabbi's brother, Mordechai Tendler, who is currently defending himself against accusations of sexual misconduct.
Aron Tendler could not be reached for comment. In January, when he originally announced his departure, Tendler declined to be interviewed, referring The Journal to his resignation letter. This week, he did not return calls or e-mails.
In his Jan. 18 letter to the congregation, Tendler characterized his resignation, after 22 years of affiliation with the synagogue, as voluntary.
"This has been a decision I have contemplated for some time, and after great soul-searching and deliberation and with the full support of [my wife] (NAME DELETED) and the family, I decided that it was time to explore other opportunities and embark on a new aspect of my personal and professional life."
Tendler wrote that he intended to stay in the community but wanted more time with his family and to pursue writing, teaching and other projects: "On occasion, I would like to sleep for more than four hours. Selfishly put, I want more time, and if not now, when?"
Tendler is regarded as a charismatic leader and an inspiring teacher and speaker — someone who could turn around troubled youths, leading them to more religious, more successful lives. In 1999, he received an educator's award from the MilkenFamily Foundation.
This week's letter to congregants notes that the stepped-up departure was agreed upon by Tendler, board chair Yellin and president Kapenstein just prior to Tendler's recent trip to Israel: "At that time we agreed that current circumstances [which include new matters that had recently been brought to our attention] have caused us to conclude that it was no longer appropriate for Rabbi Tendler to continue with his previously announced rabbinic transition."
When Tendler returned from Israel on March 2, he and the two shul leaders briefed the synagogue's executive board, and the letter went out to congregants the following Monday.
"In short, the decision was made that, in the best interest of the shul, Rabbi Tendler's resignation should be accelerated and Rabbi Tendler agreed it was prudent to do so," the letter said.
At the same time, an unofficial source close to synagogue leadership said that no congregation member had made any first-hand allegations about improper conduct against the rabbi.
For their part, YULA officials declined to speak for attribution, but a source close to the administration recounted events surrounding the 1987 Tendler investigation in a prepared statement provided to The Journal.
While Tendler was at YULA "there was a charge regarding inappropriate behavior, not sexual relation[s]," the source said.
"Immediately upon receiving the report," according to the statement, "the school administration requested that a nationally renowned investigatory lawyer come to Los Angeles and conduct a thorough investigation." The results of the three-day investigation were "inconclusive."
"It was unclear what happened and the version of events and the motives of the participants were contradictory. There was no corroborating evidence," the statement said. "Immediately after the investigation, [the] school administration, to remove any doubt, and to be careful and mindful of the students' well-being, permanently removed Rabbi Tendler from his position at the girls school, and Rabbi Tendler replaced those hours with more hours at the boys school. Rabbi Tendler had no further official contact with the girls school. After his transfer to the boys school there were no more reports of any kind concerning Rabbi Tendler's behavior."
The source added that the school has a zero-tolerance policy regarding misconduct toward students.
Students and parents were never informed of either the accusations or the investigation. Some alumni family members, not speaking for attribution, said they were outraged that the issue had been concealed.
YULA was founded in 1977 by Rabbi Marvin Hier. It's affiliated with The Wiesenthal Center and the Museum of Tolerance, which Rabbi Hier also heads.
Jewish schools have emphasized a "zero-tolerance policy" against sexual abuse and other forms of misconduct since the widely publicized case of New York-area Rabbi Baruch Lanner, who went to prison after leaders in the Jewish community had, for years, brushed aside allegations of inappropriate behavior against him.
"We intend to uphold appropriate conduct not only in sexual abuse but other types of conduct," said Rabbi Avrohom Union, the rabbinic administrator of the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC).
The RCC oversees the rabbinical court and matters such as kashrut, or Jewish dietary law. Union said it was against the organization's policy to comment on whether the RCC was conducting an investigation. "We expect rabbis who are spiritual leaders in the community to behave not only in a manner appropriate of their position but also in a way becoming Orthodox Jews."
Rabbi Aron Tendler comes from a prestigious rabbinic family. His grandfather was the illustrious Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, one of the de facto heads of the Orthodox community in the 20th century until his death in 1986. His father, Rabbi Moshe David Tendler, is the rabbi of The Community Synagogue of Monsey, an ultra-Orthodox community in Rockland County, New York, and an expert on Jewish medical ethics.
The New York Post reported that Aron's brother, Rabbi Mordechai Tendler, was suspended by the leadership of his synagogue, Kehillat New Israel, which also is located in Rockland County. In December, a former congregant sued Mordechai Tendler, alleging that he claimed to be the "Messiah" and gave her "sex therapy" to help her find a husband during counseling, the Post wrote, citing court documents. Mordechai Tendler has denied any wrongdoing, challenges the validity of the suspension and has taken his case to religious court.


by Amy Klein, Religion Editor
Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles - April 7, 2006

The longtime principal of one of Los Angeles' largest Jewish high schools is leaving to start a new school. Rabbi Sholom Tendler resigned last week as Hebrew principal of Yeshiva of Los Angeles (YULA) and as rabbiof Young Israel of North Beverly Hills. He said he plans to open a new yeshiva boys' high school elsewhere in Los Angeles.
Tendler's resignation comes shortly after his nephew, Rabbi Aron Tendler, resigned under pressure as rabbi of Shaarey Zedek Congregation in Valley Village. Meanwhile, Tendler's other nephew, Rabbi Mordechai Tendler was suspended this year by the board of his New York City-area synagogue as a result of longstanding allegations about alleged sexual misconduct.
Sholom Tendler, 61, says his departure is a matter only of his desire to start a new high school.
Sholom Tendler has been YULA's rosh yeshiva, Hebrew for principal, for the last 26 years, including in 1987, when the school hired attorneys secretly to investigate allegations of inappropriate behavior against Aron Tendler. The internal probe yielded inconclusive results, but Aron Tendler was moved from the girls school to the separate boys school.
"I was aware of that investigation," Sholom Tendler told The Journal, adding that he recused himself from the situation because his relative was involved.
After news of the investigation came to light in recent months, YULA alums and parents expressed outrage that the school dealt with the matter privately. Some clamored for "accountability." Sholom Tendler's resignation, so soon after the disclosures, has inevitably invited speculation that his departure is, in effect, the school's response to community pressure.
Not so, Sholom Tendler said.
"There is absolutely no connection whatsoever between [what happened with his nephews] and my decision to build this new school," he said. "It's unfortunate how unfounded rumors can blacken even the most beautiful of endeavors."
Sholom Tendler also expressed sympathy for his nephews' ordeals: "It's very painful, and I'm supportive of them and their families in this terrible time of agony that they're going through."
Aron Tendler has declined interview requests; Mordechai Tendler has been more vocal, denying any wrongdoing.
YULA officials also emphasized that Sholom Tendler's exit is voluntary.
"He helped create YULA," said Rabbi Meyer May, the executive director of YULA's boys division. "He could have stayed at YULA for his entire career."

So why is Sholom Tendler leaving?
Rabbi Sholom Tendler
He replied that there is a shortage of yeshiva high schools in Los Angeles.
"Anybody will tell you there are not enough high school desks in Los Angeles. It's a healthy sign, but a serious problem," Sholom Tendler said.
His added that his new school will fill a niche for the more "ultra" side of the Orthodox community, while also stressing a serious academic curriculum.
Sholom Tendler is calling his new high school Mesivta Birkas Yitzchok — named for his father, Rabbi Yitzchok Tendler, a rebbe who inspired "a joy of learning," as Tendler put it. He plans to open in September for about 10 to 15 ninth-graders. He said he is currently scouting for a location in the Pico-Robertson or La Brea area.
The school will provide both serious Torah study and strong secular academics.
"People who are observing the demographics in the Jewish community see that there are a growing number of people who are very serious about religious observance and at the same time want to live in the professional or business world, rather than the rabbinate. We want parents to have the opportunity to prepare their sons for either way of life," he said.
Because of the labor involved in starting a school, Sholom Tendler also is stepping down from heading Young Israel of North Beverly Hills, where he has served as rabbi almost since its inception 13 years ago. He will stay on until the search committee finds a new rabbi. He said he expects to remain involved in the community, possibly as rabbi emeritus.

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