Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Case of Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro

Case of Rabbi Ephraim F. Shapiro
(AKA: Ephraim Shapiro, Frank Shapiro, Ephraim Frank Shapiro)

This page is dedicated to the memory of In Memory of Gabriel Kishner z'l

Rabbi - Congregation Agudas Achim, Baltimore, MD
Rabbi - New Rochelle, NY
Rabbi - Tifereth Israel Anshe Sphard Congregation, Baltimore, MD
Former Principal - Talmudical Academy (TA) - Baltimore, MD
Accused of molesting several boys for over a fifty year period.  Rabbi Shapiro was born in New York on July 22, 1916, and died April 7, 1989, in Baltimore, MD.  His name is listed on this web page as a way of validate and empowering those he allegedly sexually abused. There is at least alleged victim of Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro who committed suicide. It is unknown at this time how many more there are.
Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro was a graduate of the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School and Yeshiva University, New York, NY. He moved to Baltimore in 1941 to serve as the spiritual leader of Congregation Agudas Achim. In 1955 moved to New Rochelle, NY and then returned to Baltimore in 1957 to serve as rabbi at Tifereth Israel Anshe Sphard Congregation and also the principal of the Talmudical Academy until retiring in 1982.  While working at the Talmudical Academy, Rabbi Shapiro worked as a guidance counselor and dorm counselor.  Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro died in 1989 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. 


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. Jewish Museum of Baltimore   (03/14/1949)
  1. CALL TO ACTION:  Looking for Survivors of Rabbi Shapiro from TA of Baltimore (08/09/2006)
  1. Unnerving Touch   (03/16/2007)
  2. Jewish Museum of Baltimore   (03/19/2007)
  3. Traditions That Must Be Broken (03/19/2007)
  4. Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb - Sermon on Sexual Abuse in the Baltimore Community  (04/10/2007)
  5. Abuse in Our Community   (04/11/2007)
    • Regarding The Letter From The Vaad  (04/13/2007)
  6. Rabbi's Abuse Victims Suffer Years Later   (04/13/2007)
  7. Baltimore's Shalom USA talks about sexual abuse   (04/15/2007)
  8. Jewish Times: Rabbi was molester  (04/17/2007)
  9. Letter from Rabbi Moshe Heinemann  (04/18/2007)
  10. Baltimore Jewish Times-anonymous insider  (04/18/2007)
  11. Have Baltimore's Rabbis Learned Their Lesson? (04/18/2007)
  12. A Letter to Rabbi Heinemann From A Survivor Of Incest  (04/23/2007)
  13. "It takes a village to raise a sexual predator" (04/24/2007)
  14. Baltimore: A Time of Mourning and Healing (04/25/2007)
  15. Baltimore Roiled by Abuse Charge Against Late Rabbi  (04/27/2007)
  16. Rabbi Elan Adler - Sermon on Sexual Abuse in the Baltimore Community (04/28/2007)
  17. Rabbi Also Molested Girls  (05/04/2007)
  18. But He's Dead  (05/04/2007)
  19. Letter from Rabbi Moshe Heinemann (05/09/2007)
  20. Note From Phil Jacobs - Baltimore Jewish Times (05/14/2007)
  21. Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg - Sermon on Sexual Abuse in the Baltimore Community (05/24/2007)

  1.  Murray Levin's Testimony on SB 238 - Child Sexual Abuse (02/05/2009)

Related Cases:
  1. Case of Rabbi Yisroel Shapiro - Son of Ephraim Shapiro
  2. Case of Rabbi Matis Weinberg
  3. Case of Rabbi Moshe Eisemann

 Jewish Museum of Baltimore
The Awareness Center, Inc. - March 18, 2007
Up until recently those who are survivors of any form of childhood sexual abuse really had no voice -- especially those who were molested by those with any form of authority or power within a community.  The following information is to provide information on the political clout that surrounded Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro.
Rabbi Jacob Ruderman, Rabbi Herman Newberger, Rabbi Emmanuel Polliakoff, Rabbi Jacob Weinberg, and Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro entering the Bet Hamidrash, 1980.

Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro officiating at the wedding of Rabbi Simcha Shafran is marrying Pauline Kahn on March 13, 1949 at Agudas Achim at 4239 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD.

Wedding Annoucement 1
The Gettysburg Times - August 9, 1947
The ceremony will be performed by Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro, Baltimore and Rabbi David L. Silver, Harrisburg. The bride, who will be given in marriage by her ...

Wedding Annoucement 2
The Frederick News - June 12, 1952
(Frederick, Maryland) Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro officiated at the six o'clock ceremony. A re- ception followed in the Synagogue parlors with music by the Josef Neff orchestra. ...


CALL TO ACTION:  Looking for Survivors of Rabbi Shapiro from TA of Baltimore.
Unorthodox Jew - August 9, 2006
Contact: tavictims
In the mid 70's in TA Baltimore there was a Rabbi Shapiro (who lived with his wife in the TA dormitory building) who allegedly physically and sexually molested the boys that resided in the TA dorm.
This Rabbi Shapiro would french kiss the boys, insert his tounge into their mouths, or would physically force his fingers into their mouths, he would lie down beside the boys on their beds, or would lay down across the boys whistle constantly touching them all over their bodies.
If you are a survivor of Rabbi Shapiro, or know of anyone who might have been sexually victimized, please contact us at tavictims so that you can be included in our future lawsuit against TA.

Unnerving Touch
by Phil Jacobs, Executive Editor
Baltimore Jewish Times - MARCH 16, 2007
There was plenty of herring, whitefish salad, pastries and crackers to go around. There was coffee and for those that wanted, wine.
Blessings were said over food and drinks.
Collective "amens" responded.
About 10 men sat on chairs around two tables. They all seemed to be friends. They ranged in age from their 20s to 50s.
There was a D'var Torah given over the week's portion Ki Tissa. It was a chabura or gathering after shul in this Pikesville home.
Many of the men had something in common that made this group unique here. Several told about the sexual or physical abuse they had endured over the years as students at one of the area yeshivas. It wasn't a one-time get-together. Some of them have been friends since childhood. They know one another's stories almost by heart. Some tell their stories, because it feels good to know they weren't the only victims.
On this cool, sunny morning, with men in black hats and women pushing strollers just yards away on the street, a debate broke out.
A businessman with rabbinic ordination had a friendly confrontation with another friend, also a businessman. Both men, happily married with families, had been sexually molested while teens by a now-deceased rabbi (Ephraim Shapiro) of an area yeshiva and synagogue. It should be noted that men as old as their mid-60s have contacted the Baltimore Jewish Times about this man.
"He was a father figure to me," said one man. "How can we talk just about the bad when he also did some good?"
"You are a textbook case," answered his friendâ¤"â¤"as in "textbook denial."
Their stories were graphic, and might be too uncomfortable for some people reading this publication.
Finally, the question posed to the businessman who called the rabbi a "father figure:" Would he have permitted his own children to be alone with this man? The answer: an unqualified "no."
There were plenty of other discussions. Only the name of the rabbi would change. The stories of molestation, inappropriate touching and intimidating glaring was a commonality.
One man joked that he was given good grades sometimes for classes he never really took as long as he kept his mouth shut about being molested at both the rabbi's home and school. Another said that should the group write a book, it would be called "Touched by a Rabbi."
There was the issue of protectxia, Hebrew and Yiddish for "protection." Their parents, they said, sometimes went to community leaders, but little was done.
And then there was the hitting, a virtual black- and-blue-board jungle of hitting and humiliation.
One man told of being six years old and placed in a classroom trash can by his teacher.
Others spoke of being hit or poked. One man took his hand, put four fingers together like a wedge and showed how his yeshiva teacher would poke and hurt the students.
As lunch time approached, the crowd started to leave, guests rolling up the plastic tablecloths and crumbs swept into the trash can.
There was not much more to say today.
On the way home, the discussion turned to city politics. And when the walkers started splitting off, one person's parting words: "When I was in ninth grade, I was one of the smarter students. But then this happened, and I started on the way down."
Or as one man had said minutes before: "I held this in for 14 years until I was sitting in the car driving with my wife, and I told her. The more I thought about it, the more I understood what happened to me and to others. It's something that I think about now every day of my life."
The men went home to their wives and children.
They'd sing Shabbat songs, give words of Torah, entertain guests and return to shul for Mincha and Ma'ariv. The week would come and go.

Traditions That Must Be Broken
(2007) by Vicki Polin, MA, ATR, LCPC
Executive Director - The Awareness Center, Inc.
Recently the case of Rabbi Ephraim F. Shapiro has been made public.  It's not a new case it's one that's been kept as a deep dark secret in the Baltimore Jewish community for over fifty years.
Over the last five years I have spoken to several survivors of this alleged sex offender, many sharing their stories and struggles, yet many were too afraid to mention his name -- even to me, let alone publicly.   You see Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro was a highly connected and respected individual in the Jewish community of Baltimore.  Think about it -- who would want to believe a child claiming molestation by this great and powerful rebbe?
Most children who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse never go on to molest other children, yet those who molest children have often been victimized themselves.
Since the 1950's there have been new child molesters named that have had a connection to the Baltimore community (i.e. Rabbi Matis Weinberg, Rabbi Ephraim Bryks, Rabbi Mordecai Tendler, Rabbi Aron BoruchTendler, Rabbi Moshe Eisemann, Shmuel Juravel, etc.). I am not like many others who have wondered who molested these alleged molesters?  Could it have been Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro?  It's very possible that he had access to Matis Weinberg, Ephraim Bryks, Aron Boruch Tendler as children.  I don't have the answer to that question and I am not attempting to make excuses for alleged or convicted sex offenders.  I'm just trying to put a puzzle together that has been playing out in my head for years.
I too am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.  One of my offenders was also sent away to a boarding school when he was very young.  At one time this offender disclosed to me that he was gang raped several times by a group of older students at his school.  I am not unlike the survivors in Baltimore or from any other community.  I too am afraid of naming my offender.  I too am still in a place of protecting the identities of those who harmed me.
As strange as it may sound there are times I'm thankful to my offenders for what they did to me, without them I would not be doing what I do today.  I doubt that I would have been dedicated to my life to educating our communities and or protecting others.  I might have ended up being an interior designer instead.
I am not unlike many of the survivors of Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro.  I too ask myself, what will it take for me to publicly name my offenders?  I can't expect other survivors to do something that I myself still have not done, yet I totally honor and respect them when they do.
What's most important for us all to remember is that we can as a people stop these sorts of crimes from happening.  We need to honor and respect those who come forward and share their experiences.  We need to honor and respect those who advocate for the truth to be told.  We all need to be honest and caring.  We have all been victimized each and every time a child is abused. We all need to be kind to ourselves and do what it takes to protect one more child from being harmed.

Abuse in Our Community
Vaad Harabbonim (The Rabbinical Council of Greater Baltimore) - April 11, 2007
The following letter was originally created as part of an agreement between the administration at Ner Israel Rabbinical College and ta few of the "alleged" survivors of Rabbi Moshe Eisemann.  
Due to the knowledge that the Baltimore Jewish Times was going to continue with their series on sexual abuse in the Baltimore community, the administration at Ner Israel encouraged various rabbis on the Vaad Harabbonim (Board of Rabbis) to sign the letter.
There is no subject more painful for us to discuss than the issue of sexual abuse within our community. Yet at this point we believe it is the subject most necessary to address. We must acknowledge that this horrible form of abuse exists — and has existed for generations — in our community as well. This issue must be confronted directly and we believe that this discussion can be a first step towards the necessary and achievable goal of ridding our community of this scourge.
We feel it essential to discuss this matter directly with you, as the greatest allies of the abuser are ignorance and silence. The abuser preys on people who cannot understand that what he is doing to them is so very wrong. And the abuser thrives in an environment where he is confident that his victims will not report what they have experienced or where their reports of abuse will not be taken seriously. We therefore urge you to discuss this matter in a sensitive and non-alarming manner with your children so that they will clearly understand that they should forcefully refuse and immediately report inappropriate touch. They need to know that should, Heaven forbid, something like this ever occur to them, they will have somewhere to turn. And if they turn to you, you must respond compassionately, deliberately and with competent rabbinic and/or professional guidance, understanding that the thoughtful measure of your response will have enormous impact on your child's future.
We feel additionally compelled to discuss this issue openly in order to assist — in some small way — in the healing of survivors. Abuse often creates terrible confusion in the minds of its victims who may not understand the terrible wrong they have experienced, or who may blame themselves for the abuse. Addressing the issue clearly and definitively allows survivors of abuse to see that our contempt is reserved for those who violated them, whereas they — the survivors — are so richly deserving of our compassion and our respect.
We cannot speak with certainty to the prevalence of abuse in our community. It is clear however that any single abuser will often have many victims. Those who abuse within the family — and this horror absolutely does happen — often victimize numerous family members. A coach, camp counselor, teacher, principal or rabbi who abuses his charges throughout his career has had the opportunity to abuse hundreds of children. We can say without question that across the nation we have had prolific abusers in these positions, and consequently, we have hundreds of survivors in our communities.
The damage that abuse can cause is devastating and potentially life altering: it commonly ruins an individual's sense of self, their ability to trust others, and their ability to engage in a healthy intimate relationship. Furthermore, there is a growing consensus amongst mental health professionals serving the observant community that many of our "teens-at-risk" issues were generated by incidents of abuse, The risks of suicide, alcohol and drug abuse and other self-destructive behaviors are all increased dramatically by abuse.
As such it is already well established by our own Poskim that an abuser is to be considered a Rodef (literally, a pursue"), effectively poised to destroy innocent lives and, therefore, virtually all means may be used to stop him and bring him to justice. Communities and day schools — with the blessing of Gedolei Yisroel — have encouraged and facilitated the reporting of these crimes to the local authorities, who are most equipped to investigate and prosecute these complex claims.
In the past, many mistakes were made in handling these situations. Abusers were often not recognized for what they were, as it was too difficult to believe that otherwise good people could do such things, nor was it sufficiently appreciated what damage such acts could cause. It was often thought that if the abuser was spoken to or warned, and perhaps moved to a different environment, he would never do these things again. In responding this way many terrible mistakes were made arid tragic consequences resulted. We have seen too often the immediate or eventual failure of these "behind-the-scenes agreements" to keep the perpetrators away from others. Naïveté and a lack of understanding of the insidious nature of these perpetrators have allowed the toll of victims to rise. These failures haunt us — but they also motivate us to respond more effectively and wisely in the future.
An abuser is not simply a lustful person, plagued by a Taavah — a desire — that can be addressed with sincere Teshuva. He has a severe illness, that may be incurable, and that is at best enormously difficult to manage. Publicizing his status as an abuser — while causing enormous damage to his own family — may be the only way to truly protect the community from him.
Can we produce the same result — safety for the community — without going public? We do not know if we can. We do know that we as rabbis are not qualified to manage the behavior of such a person such that we can confidently say that he poses no threat to his community. Understanding, treating and managing this illness is a highly complex field that we are not properly trained in. There are specialized professionals in this area whose experience and expertise we must call upon to guide us. They — as experts in this most complex field — may consider specific situations to be safely manageable using a professionally designed — and consistently and vigilantly guided — protocol for the individual abuser. But in many cases the most effective method to protect the community will be in publicizing the abuser's identity. In all situations we must be mindful that our obligation to protect future potential victims of sexual abuse is paramount.
A final word about false accusations: We are very sensitive about the possibility of false accusations which, themselves, cause enormous pain and damage. This obliges us, therefore, to ensure at the outset that claims and counterclaims are investigated objectively and fairly by those most trained and equipped to do so.
The issues discussed here are most complex and very painful. But they must be discussed and this problem must be addressed.
Allow us to summarize with a few action points.
1. We must educate our children about inappropriate touch, so that they will clearly understand that they should forcefully refuse and immediately report inappropriate touch.
2. Credible concerns of abuse must be reported to the authorities who have the expertise, experience and wisdom to thoroughly and responsibly investigate them. We — as Rabbonim — are committed to facilitating and supporting this process.
3. We must have — and we are in the process of developing — a clear approach to protecting our community, both here and elsewhere, from established or strongly suspected abusers. This approach could possibly include a professionally designed — and consistently and vigilantly guided — management protocol for the individual. Many situations will require the drastic step of publicizing the identity and the dangers posed by the perpetrator.
Effective action can really go a long way. If we can begin to approach this issue wisely and confidently we can create a climate where abuse would rarely occur and where, if it does happen, it would always be addressed promptly.
We pray that Hashem spare us such tragedies in the future, and that He grant us the wisdom and the courage to responsibly address the threats we currently face.
1.   Rabbi Elan Adler, Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation
2.   Rabbi Reuben Arieh, Ohr HaMizrach Congregation
3.   Rabbi Menachem Goldberger, Congregation Tiferes Yisroel
4.   Rabbi Emanuel Goldfeiz, Congregation Beit Yaakov
5.   Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb, Cong. Shmorei Emunah
6.   Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion
7.   Rabbi Dovid Haber, KAYTT and Star-K
8.   Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, Agudath Israel of Baltimore and Star-K
9.   Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer, Sheiris Yisroel
10. Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan, Chabad Lubavitch of Baltimore
11. Rabbi Nesanel Kostelitz, Machzikei Torah Congregation and the Community Kollel
12. Rabbi Chaim Landau, Ner Tamid
13. Rabbi Elchonon Lisbon, Bais Lubavitch - Chabad of Park Heights
14. Rabbi Sheftel Neuberger, Ner Israel Rabbinical College and High School
15. Rabbi Gavriel Newman, Beth Jacob Congregation
16. Rabbi Shlomo Salfer, Winands Road Synagogue Center
17. Rabbi Jonathan Seidemann, Kehilath B'nai Torah
18. Rabbi Simcha Shafran, Adath Yeshurun and the Bais Din of Baltimore
19. Rabbi Mordechai Shuchatowitz, Agudath Israel of Greenspring and Av Beis Din of 
20. Rabbi Shmuel Silber, Suburban Orthodox
21. Rabbi Amrom Taub, Arugas Habosem Congregation
22. Rabbi Y. Zvi Weiss, Bais Haknesses of Baltimore
23. Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg, Beth Tfiloh

Additional signatures will be appended later, as not all of the Rabbis were available during the Pesach season.
Regarding The Letter From The Vaad
By Vicki Polin
The Awarenss Center's Daily News Letter - April 14, 2007
I want everyone to see the excellent letter that was sent out to the Jewish community of Baltimore. I was totally amazed when I read it.
There are some minor things that need to be address, yet on a whole the letter is what each and every Jewish community should be publishing.
I want to stress that the correct term that should be used when addressing those who commit sexual offences is either "sex offender" or "offender." This will help everyone from distinguishing the difference between those who abuse their spouses.
We also need to be aware that it is not just men who can be "offenders." The Awareness Center has worked with many survivors where the offender was a woman, including mothers. We have also had cases where the offender is a child or adolescent. An example of this is the case of Shmuel Juravel. When the offender is a minor they could be sexually reactive. Another words acting out what's happened to them. In these cases, if caught early enough a child stands a chance of learning new behaviors to cope.
If a parent would like some help in learning how to talk to their children about sexual abuse or if they want books for children to read on the topic, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to guide you in the right direction. The Awareness Center also posts suggested books on our web page:
I personally want to thank all of the rabbis in the Baltimore community who have signed the letter and also those who have not been given the opportunity yet to sign the letter yet want to. This is a major step in the right direction.
Click here to read the original letter

 Rabbi's Abuse Victims Suffer Years Later
By Phil Jacobs
Baltimore Jewish Times - April 13, 2007

This article is part of a continuing series on child molestation within the Jewish community.
Photographer Murray Levin has looked through his camera lenses countless times, capturing Jewish weddings, bar mitzvahs and other joyous events. The one "picture," however, he can't stop focusing on isn't in his camera but in his 64-year-old memory.
It's an image of a bar mitzvah lesson at the old Agudas Achim Synagogue. It's the shame that came along with his teacher, the now-deceased Rabbi Ephraim F. Shapiro, placing his hand down the 12-year-old Murray Levin's pants and fondling him.
With at least half a dozen maftir lessons came the rabbi's touch.
But it wasn't just Murray Levin.
The former Talmudical Academy principal, by one influential Baltimore rabbi's estimate, molested hundreds of times.
Bob Glickstein, 65, another survivor of Rabbi Shapiro's fondlings, figures it could be thousands. One thing that hasn't survived for Mr. Glickstein is any connection to Judaism. Living now in Vero Beach, Fla., this yoga instructor calls his bar mitzvah day "the worst day of my life, because I had to have Rabbi Shapiro there."
Mr. Glickstein married out of the faith, had a child and raised him as a non-Jew. He not so jokingly calls himself an "anti-Semite."
This was part of the cost of Rabbi Shapiro's actions.
Rabbi Shapiro, who died in April 1989, remains "alive" in the memories of so many. His collateral damage is everywhere. A weekly Kiddush of respected businessmen meets, and the topic invariably turns to the sexual molestation the rabbi heaped on many of them.
Several local rabbis recently expressed profound compassion for the victims, encouraging them to seek qualified, professional help. Indeed, at two major Orthodox synagogues on the last day of Passover, rabbis spoke from the pulpit on the issue of child molestation. The Vaad Ha Rabbonim in a meeting last week issued a statement to the community condemning sexual molestation and supporting survivors to seek help.
The following are interviews with three of the rabbi's "survivors."
If you are a survivor or if you know of someone who survived any sexual molestation, you have an audience here.
Murray Levin
The way Murray Levin sees it, sexual predators live in a world of "no risk and total reward."
Organized Judaism be it congregations, schools or community groups buries this news or distracts, he said.
"I don't think they see themselves getting apprehended," Mr. Levin said of predators. "They are bright people, great communicators and intellectual. And they will continue until we bring out the trauma they cause. We have to create an environment that shows them they can't continue without severe consequences."
Mr. Levin held his molestation in for decades. He does not want anyone else to hold back. Most of all, he sees it as a calling that older survivors must do what they can to protect all future generations, even if it means "teaching little children to speak out."
"Families," he said, "are going to have to speak up. We have to become the predator of the predators."
Mr. Levin was molested by Rabbi Shapiro and by one other person connected to the Agudas Achim Synagogue in the 3600 block of Reisterstown Road near Cold Spring Lane. He was studying for his bar mitzvah, which would take place at Shaarei Zion Synagogue.
"Rabbi Shapiro was grooming me with French kissing and masturbation," said Mr. Levin.
Mr. Levin kept it all quiet. He didn't know that there was a possibility of someone else involved until four years after his bar mitzvah. He was watching a football game on TV with a couple of friends. The friends pretended to tackle one another like football players, and one of them randomly said, "Rabbi Shapiro stuck his fingers in my ass."
That was Mr. Levin's first clue that he wasn't alone.
In between his molestation, Mr. Levin who would lead junior services in shul and who described himself as a gifted and talented child, captain of the safety patrol, and concert master of his high school orchestra began to fall internally. His image of self, his trust in boundaries and other people failed.
To this day, even though he makes a great deal of his living photographing the Jewish community, Mr. Levin wonders what might have been with his life had it not been violated.
"Many of us are still hiding," he said with a quiet voice.
"To me, anybody could be a pedophile," he said. "Everybody who works with or who is near our children need to be scrutinized. I want everyone to be aware of who you pass responsibility of your children to. I would like to see these predators at least be given an opportunity for rehabilitation, to be useful. But they have to be compelled to seek help. Also, people need to know who the pedophiles are, if they are alive or if they are dead. "
Bob Glickstein
He doesn't want much to do with Judaism.
He can still "feel" the texture of Rabbi Shapiro's mustache against his face when he was being kissed.
Bob Glickstein's Jewish "upbringing" ended during his bar mitzvah lessons with Rabbi Shapiro at Agudas Achim.
"He used religion to molest young boys," said Mr. Glickstein.
Mr. Glickstein talks candidly in a Vero Beach coffee bar called Cacophony. He has only told a couple of people about his molestation.
But he wants the word out there now.
"Rabbi Shapiro knew what he was doing," said Mr. Glickstein. "He had a boys group he called the Akiba Boys of Agudas Achim. They would do chores around the shul. But meanwhile, he was molesting them. He had a system of bar mitzvah lessons that would feed into his molestation. Everything he did was about molesting boys.
"It was a horrific experience," he added. "He would call me into his office. He'd start playing with you."
It was difficult for Mr. Glickstein to continue. He sat up straight, perhaps finding confidence in a yoga posture, and he remembered some more.
He called his bar mitzvah the worst day of his life, because Rabbi Shapiro was in attendance. The rabbi was also at his father's funeral.
Mr. Glickstein kept it to himself, yet he used it as part of his influence to start looking into other religions, such as Eastern religions. A short marriage to a non-Jew resulted in a son, whom he raised out of the faith.
There was nothing joking about this comment on his face. "I am basically anti-Semitic," he said. "I like Jews, but I just need to stay away from them [as a result of his molestations].
"There's always been a lot of fear and anger in my life that comes as a result of Rabbi Shapiro's actions," he said. "There's never a time that passes that I don't think about him. There's anger and there's fear."
Mr. Glickstein said that he's always had difficulty since the molestations, which happened four to six times, when it comes to authority figures and establishing close relationships.
David Framowitz
David Framowitz was an 11th-grade Talmudical Academy student from Brooklyn, N.Y., boarding in the school's dormitory. He said he was molested by Rabbi Shapiro on three separate occasions.
When Rabbi Shapiro attempted a fourth try, the high school junior threatened to kill the rabbi.
Mr. Framowitz, 49, remembers that Rabbi Shapiro was the dormitory counselor. He would lie in the beds of students, reaching to fondle them. And it was common he'd try to kiss them on the lips.
Mr. Framowitz, who now lives in Israel, was a major source for a New York Magazine article last year based on his $20 million federal lawsuit against Rabbi Yehudah Kolko and Yeshiva Torah Temimah of Flatbush in Brooklyn. (Mr. Framowitz said Rabbi Kolko molested him when he was around 12.)
"I became a student for seven months [at] TA in Baltimore," said Mr. Framowitz. "I had Rabbi Shapiro attack me three times. The last time I told him, ŨYou touch me one more time, I'll kill you.'
"He was the dorm counselor. He'd walk around and French kiss boys, poke them with his fingers. He'd lie across you when you were in bed. He'd play with you."
Mr. Framowitz would tell his mother, who insisted he leave TA immediately. None of the other boys he knew wanted to discuss Rabbi Shapiro.
He then gave several reasons why people stay so silent. "There's a fear factor," he said. "There's a worry over shidduchim [finding a match for marriage]. ŨWhat are the neighbors going to say? It can't happen to a nice Jewish family. A rabbi doesn't do these things, especially a frum rabbi. There's something wrong with the boy. It's not the Jewish way, it's not the frum way. It can't be.'"
Last September during a visit to Baltimore, Mr. Framowitz decided to pay an unscheduled visit to Talmudical Academy. It was his first time there since 1974.
He met with Rabbi Yehuda Lefkowitz, the school's executive director. "I told Rabbi Lefkowitz that I was a victim of Shapiro's," said Mr. Framowitz. "I told him I thought there should be some sort of monetary scholarship fund to pay for the therapy of the victims."
Rabbi Lefkowitz informed the school's board, and grimly said "nobody took it as a joking matter."
Mr. Framowitz said he thinks there are well over 1,000 people who were molested by Rabbi Shapiro.
"The guy was a real sicko," said Mr. Framowitz. "He was worse than Kolko. I've made it through my life, but this is something you don't forget ever. It's always with you, always there. And if I'm not busy or not doing things, my mind wanders back to those days."
Rabbi Shapiro Is Deceased. Why Print This?
"He can't defend himself."
"He's deceased, what difference does it make now?"
"This is an embarrassment to his family."
These are just three of the reasons why we were asked not to print the name of the deceased Rabbi Ephraim F. Shapiro. Pikesville area mental health professionals offer suggestions to several concerns.
"He can't defend himself."
He died in 1989. He was eulogized before 700 people as a "man of deep religious devotion, Torah scholarship and gentle kindnesses, to his family, his students and to many in the community."
There are estimates of hundreds of molestation victims who weren't able to "defend" themselves while the rabbi was alive. There are young men whose lives were changed forever because of his acts. Some of these men are more figuratively "dead" than Rabbi Shapiro will ever be. They need our help, compassion and therapeutic assistance. It wasn't their fault. They can perhaps heal now.
"He's deceased, what difference does it make now?
Survivors may find answers and empowerment if they know that their molester was actually a survivor of Rabbi Shapiro's. Mental health professionals are legally obligated to report deceased perpetrators to Protective Services. The ensuing investigations focus on all of the perpetrator's survivors, and the subsequent possibility that they have or are currently molesting children as well. Given the reality that survivors are vulnerable to molesting others, and the cycle continues to perpetuate itself, it is imperative that the names of all perpetrators dead and alive are disclosed.
"This is an embarrassment to his family."
The models of discussion and behind-the-scenes declarations against molestation are not working, suggest one therapist, especially in the Orthodox community. At best, a person is taken away from a setting of teaching children, or sometimes sent out of town. Arrests, the courage of a survivor to charge his molester, don't happen a great deal of the time.
Perhaps if a pedophile knows that this is now about names and his association to names of innocent relatives. Perhaps, just perhaps, that will keep another child safe for a day.
Who Was Rabbi Shapiro?
Rabbi Ephraim F. Shapiro was the former principal of Talmudical Academy. His April 1989 funeral services were held at the Old Court Road yeshiva.He was 72 when he died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
Rabbi Shapiro was the son of Russian immigrants. He was born on New York's Lower East Side. A graduate of the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School and Yeshiva University, Rabbi Shapiro came to Baltimore in 1941 as spiritual leader of Congregation Agudas Achim.
He left in 1955 to become rabbi of a congregation in New Rochelle, N.Y. Two years later, he returned here to become the rabbi at the Tifereth Israel Anshe Sphard Congregation on Dolfield Avenue. He held that position until 1968.
In addition, he served as principal of TA, as well as working as a guidance counselor and a dorm counselor. When he retired in 1982, he was honored for 25 years of service to the yeshiva.

 Baltimore's Shalom USA talks about sexual abuse
Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speaks Out - April 15, 2006
Early this morning Phil Jacobs, Murray Levin and Yacov Margolese spoke out on Shalom USA.
The Show starts off with Phil Jacobs, senior editor of The Baltimore Jewish Times coming out as a Survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Phil states that he had to wait until he was therapeutically ready to write about the topic. He said that he doesn't care about the issue of lashon hara. The issue is about children being protected, that's the real issue.
Murray Levin is know for his photography business. He was profiled on page 16 of the Baltimore Jewish Times as being survivor of Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro. What assisted him to go public is that there is people of a new generation being effected by the same offender.
Murray stated, there are people much, much younger then him going public. He had to fulfil his obligation of also coming forward. It's not just to address the issue of clergy sexual abuse, but every pedophile. It's our parents who have been effective, brothers effective. Murray said that he never told his family until a month ago. Murray is now 64 years-old.
DJ asked Murray, why couldn't he just move on with his life and let it go?
Murray stated his fear, embarrassment and shame were what kept him quiet. These are the same issues that keep other survivors quiet. He said he was not sure what to do when he was 11 or 12 years old. He then went on to talked about the statement put out by the rabbinical council of greater Baltimore. "The first sentence there is no subject more painful then the issue of sexual abuse."
Murray went on to say that the Rabbinical council only coming out now because there is shame on their side. Now we need to move past this and we need rehabilitation of survivors and the offenders.
DJ said that Murray looks like he's in fine shape.
Murray stated, what I've recognized in the last 6 months, we are effected in different ways. He was lucky. People abused in home never get a break. Every survivor is effective differently. It was burred deep inside me. I got a break because I wasn't being abused at home.
Yacov Margolese stated that, "I am a survivor of sexual abuse". Yacov got silent.
Murray said that Yacov is much younger then he is. This is a problem that is multi generation.
DJ said, Yacov earlier started to organize a group of survivors. attempting to bring this issue to others in the community.
Yacov said, My abuse started when I was 4 at the mikvah. I don't know who my first offender was. It happened in NY. I moved to Baltimore at 13. I was abused again in Baltimore. This time my perpetrator was a woman, and then again by someone else (Shmuel Juraval).
We went to rabbis to get things fixed. I myself personally did not go to all the rabbis, others also went and were met denial. Most of the rabbis stated it's not molestation, the perpetrators are going to get married, he's going to yeshiva -- he's going to be fine, he won't molest again. No one who went directly to the rabbis felt they were being taken seriously.
Yacov went on to say: Today there is a tremendous lack of education. My parents also were clueless in how to deal with this. When Shmuel Juravel was arrested and convicted. I knew it was time to bring it back to our community. I knew it was time for there to be a change. I reached out to other survivors.
Larry Cohen, Shalom USA asked: What about the enablers?
Phil Jacobs said, it seems to be the big elephant in the room. How could people not know about all of this. What about people in authority who refused to act?
Larry Cohen said, Should these rabbis and community leaders who refused to act still be in leadership roles today?
Yacov Margolese said, a year ago survivors told their stories to a group of rabbis. About 20 people telling their stories on a Sunday afternoon in Baltimore.
Phil Jacobs said, my abuse happened 30 - 40 years ago, you can't get the taste of fire out. In my case I can not go into a public bath room. My life Lisa practically has to walk in there with me. Who's a friend who's not a friend. Authority figures that's what it gets into.
Larry Cohen said, the Board of rabbi issued a statement. What about the non-orthodox movement. Is anything happening. This is not just an orthodox issue.
Phil Jacobs said, Children getting molested. Google Judge Hammerman. I wrote about him. He was connected to a reform synagogue.
Caller Rhonda: It took me a long time to say I was abused by my mom's friend. I was also abused by my husband while living in Monsey. My ex husband was molesting me. It was very hard for me to get it out.
Caller Rabbi Mark Dratch said, I have no idea how big the problem is. I talked to a woman was abused who was abused in the hallway of his synagogue. I deals mostly with halachic issues, which are important in the orthodox world. He continued on by saying lashon hara does not mean that we can never speak badly about anyone.
Yacov Margolese said: In the office of the Northwest Citizen's Patrol (NWCP), there is a wall with photographs of criminals, yet has no photos' of those who molest children. Instead they have been handling these cases in a quiet way. Yacov stated the letter from the Vaad is nothing more then a miracle. great step forward.
Murray Levin said: I want to mention that over the last Vicki Polin of The Awareness Center invited me to go to testify at a senate hearing. Ever since she's been mentoring me. the center. For anyone who needs help, the phone number of The Awareness Center is: 443-857-5560.
Caller Rabbi Dratch stated: Should someone go to the rabbis or the police first? This is a complicated question. I have a lot of respect with the rabbis I spoke to. I don't want to go against the rabbis of Baltimore. We have a letter from various rabbis saying that we are obligated to go to law enforcement first, prior to the rabbis.
Larry Cohen said: I'm very much confused with my feelings. Rabbi Ehraim Shapiro married me and my wife, got me my job. guided me in a positive way. People are torn on rabbis who do good to one, yet do horrible things to others.
Murray Levin: Briefly discussed a meeting with Phil Jacobs, Bob Glickstein and two of the sons of Ephraim Shapiro. During the meeting he asked the two sons if anyone in the family was molested. The sons said no, yet disclosed that one of their brothers had to take a new assignment away from teaching bar mitzvah lessions due to their brothers was molesting children.
Caller: Vicki Polin of The Awareness Center said that Murray Levin, Yacov Margolese, Bob Glickstein and Phil Jacobs should be seen as hero's for coming out and telling the story in the Baltimore Jewish Times. She continued on saying that when the four men walk into a room everyone should stand up and give them a round of applause.
Vicki went on to state that one out of every 3 - 5 women and one out of every 5-7 men are survivors of child sexual abuse. She stated a more recent study stated that 25% of all Americans are survivors of childhood molestation. Pedophilia is not about religion.
She said every parent should teach their children about good touch/bad touch. There are suggested books on The Awareness Center's web page for both parents and children of all ages. Parents need to teach their children that the parts of their bodies covered by a bathing suit are parts of their bodies that are private.
Caller: Rose said that the letter from the Vaad is just a paper. It has no meaning without an action plan behind it.
Caller: Max said the Jewish community is small. When we bleed on the tallis, everyone sees it. We are like the Catholic church. We all need to go you have to go to the authorities. We have got to get the predators out of the schools.
Caller: Moshe said my wife has been abusing our children for years. The rabbis of Baltimore, Child Protective Services, therapist and family courts have failed to protect my children. Last time my wife abused the children was on yom tov. She took a knife and cut his daughter. He's gotten no help from rabbis. Numerous cases of the abuse reported. The courts and the rabbis have been impotent. What am I supposed to do?
Murray Levin said, Moshe it doesn't take place in your family, call Jewish times, Vicki Polin at Awareness Center, Yacov Margolese.
Yacov Margolese said, if you have or think you were molested. reach out to myself or other here or other resources.
Phil Jacobs said, let's keep the conversation going. Let's keep coming back and talking about it.

 Jewish Times: Rabbi was molester
The Baltimore Examiner - Apr 17, 2007
by Luke Broadwater
(  Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro, who died in 1989, is accused of molesting hundreds of people but was never charged with a crime.
BALTIMORE (Map, News) - Baltimore Jewish Times Editor Neil Rubin knew his paper's Friday article detailing sexual abuse allegations against a deceased rabbi would be controversial. But running the article, he says, was the right thing to do.
In the April 13 article "Rabbi's Abuse Victims Suffer Years Later," investigative editor Phil Jacobs recounted the stories of three people who say they were abused by Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro, the former principal of Talmudical Academy. Shapiro died in 1989.
According to some estimates, Shapiro molested hundreds, the article states.
"He was never charged with anything," Rubin says of Shapiro. "To the best of our knowledge, he was never publicly accused of anything before this. We talked to many people on the record, many people who were not in the story. Many people knew about this. It was one of those unspoken things in the community."
Since the article ran, the Jewish Times has received some backlash, Rubin said.
"We can't say definitively whether they're true or not true," Rubin says of the allegations. "We anguished over it. I had relatives who grew up under this guy's tutelage. My mother said to me, `You broke my heart. I understand why you did it, but you broke my heart.' "
Jacobs first started reporting the article some seven years ago, but ramped up efforts within the past nine months, Rubin said.
"Meeting with family members, Phil felt very strongly that one of things that's not written about is the impact on the victims," Rubin said. "And he's given them a voice."
The Jewish Times included in its story a rebuttal to expected criticism, under the headline: "Rabbi Shapiro Is Deceased. Why Print This?"
"There are estimates of hundreds of molestation victims who weren't able to `defend' themselves while the rabbi was alive," the Jewish Times wrote. "There are young men whose lives were changed forever because of his acts. Some of these men are more figuratively `dead' than Rabbi Shapiro will ever be."
Rubin said he knew the story would upset some people.
"We have some very angry people now," he said. "We have some people who are quietly saying, `Way to go, me too.' People were coming up to me and asking me about this story. People are saying, `How dare you.' Nobody's saying it's wrong. "
Despite the criticism, Rubin says his paper is undeterred.
"We're going to be doing follow-ups," he said.
"This was not a hit-and-run. We're having the conversation that we need to have," Rubin said.

Letter from Rabbi Moshe Heinemann
Letter by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann - April 15, 2007
Note from Vicki Polin - April 17, 2007
The Following letter was posted in Agudath Israel of Baltimore by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann as a reaction to the Baltimore Jewish Times publishing a story regarding Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro. During a meeting with Rabbi Heinemann he disclosed that his issue with the Jewish Times was with the fact that Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro had passed away and that he could not be offered the opportunity to defend himself. He also added that over the years the Baltimore Jewish Times has been repeatedly "Orthodox bashing". He went to on to say that this was not fair to the family members of Shapiro who did nothing wrong, and it would hurt family members chances of getting a good shiddach (marriage partner). Please note that Phil Jacobs, author of the series on sexual abuse in the Jewish community and is the senior editor of Baltimore Jewish Times is an orthodox Jew.

Letter from Rabbi Moshe Heinemann Banning the Baltimore Jewish Times

 Baltimore Jewish Times - anonymous insider
By Anonymous Insider
April 18, 2007
Truth be told:
Up until the last minute, the Baltimore rabbis were hoping we would cancel the story, and they would therefore find no need to send out their letter.
We were urged not to go to press, but Neil decided to push forward. The final straw was UOJ's (blogger - Unorthodox Jew) publishing of the abridged version of the article. They knew they were in trouble and mailed out the letter right after yom-tov.
UOJ is indeed correct, the rabbis were coerced in to the mailing, they would never have mailed it out if not for the story being published.
Rabbi Heinemann's conduct exemplifies the worst of the rabbinate by posting the shameful note in his shul. He should be severely chastised for his double-speak.
We will continue to publish and publicize these crimes and will not be intimidated.


Have Baltimore's Rabbis Learned Their Lesson?
By Failed Messiah
Phil Jacobs of the Baltimore Jewish Times wrote a piece that detailed the years of rabbi-on-boy sexual abuse perpetrated by Baltimore's Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro. He interviewed many survivors and published their stories. This exposé is what many people believe provoked the haredi rabbis of Baltimore to issue the letter (found in a post a few below this one) that urges people to go to the proper "authorities" to report abuse, and notes rabbis are not trained to investigate claims or handle rehab.
Now Baltimore's leading rabbi, Moshe Heinemann of Star-K fame, who signed that letter, has written another letter and, The Awareness Center's Vicki Polin reports via email, posted it in his synagogue. Here is what that letter says:
"Based on last week's vicious article (regarding rabbi Ephraim Shapiro) in the Baltimore Jewish Times and other articles of the past, it is my opinion that it is totally inappropriate for this publication to be found in any Jewish home." -- Rabbi Moshe Heinemann
In other words, Rabbi Heinemann is punishing Phil Jacobs and the Baltimore Jewish Times for reporting on haredi criminal activity and the ensuing years of coverups.
Baltimore's Orthodox community is very large and influential. Rabbi Heinemann's ban, which surely will quickly spread beyond his synagogue to others and, more importantly, to advertisers – especially to those advertisers using Star-K supervision.
It is my opinion that – in light of Rabbi Heinemann's thuggish behavior – we should enact a ban of our own. From now on, do not eat any Star-K products. Tell your local supermarket not to buy products with Star-K supervision. Let's do everything in our power to teach Rabbi Heinemann the lesson he sorely needs to learn.

A Letter to Rabbi Heinemann From A Survivor Of Incest
Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speak Out - April 23, 2007

Dear Rabbi Heinemann,
I do not feel comfortable calling you on the phone or mailing my letter directly to you. I am hoping someone reading this will print out my letter and hand it directly to you.
I read the note you put up in your synagogue and have been reading on the various blogs that you do not feel that Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro's name should have been mentioned in the Baltimore Jewish Times article because Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro is no longer alive and can't defend himself and also because we should be protecting the family members of sex offenders.
I want to let you know that I am a family member of a sex offender. I am also an incest survivor. I tried many times growing up to get help and no one would listen. When I approached various rabbis asking for help, they seemed more concerned about protecting my father's good name then they were in stopping the insanity that was going on in my home. I was told over and over again that my father was a good person. That I should just try to get along with my family better.
No one cared that I was suicidal. No one cared that I often slept in a park as a way to prevent my father from raping me at night.
Rabbi Heinemann, I went to you twice trying to ask you for help and you told me you didn't believe me. The first time I was twelve. The second time I was over eighteen. Why is it that you care more about my father then you did about me?
Please remember every incest survivor is a family member of a sex offender. We also deserve to have a voice!
Sara Rivka Rachel Leah

 "It takes a village to raise a sexual predator"
By Jewish Survivors Blogger
Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speak Out! - April 24, 2007

Vicki Polin has said it a million times: "It takes a village to raise a sexual predator"
I think the rabbonim of New York, Baltimore, Chicago and Los Angeles need to be aware that the problem we have with sexual predators is on them. The warnings signs were there, yet they choose to lead our communities to ignore them. It's been much easier for them to blame survivors of sex crimes.
It's vitally important that all survivors and parents of survivors to make police reports on those who offend. It's not up to our rabbis to conduct investigations. It is also important that survivors of sex crimes file civil suits against those who offend and also those who enable them to continue to rape our men, women and children.
It is time for all Jewish survivors of sexual abuse, sexual assault, clergy sexual abuse, sexual manipulation to unite. There is power in numbers. Don't allow those who ignored our cries to divide and conquer us anymore. Start self-help groups in your community and start networking with others. We do not need to be alone anymore. Use the law of the land and not the politics of our religious leaders.

Baltimore: A Time of Mourning and Healing
by Vicki Polin, Executive Director
The Awareness Center, Inc. - April 25, 2007
Throughout the month of April, 2007 there has been a heightened awareness of child sexual abuse in the Baltimore Jewish Community.
On April 11th the Vaad Harabbonim's (Rabbinical Council of Greater Baltimore) published a letter that was sent to homes of many community members. Next came the Baltimore Jewish Times article exposing Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro's alleged past of being a serial child molester. Almost immediately after the publishing of the article, Rabbi Moshe Heinemann reacted by posting a sign in his synagogue banning the newspaper. The Awareness Center believes that The Baltimore Jewish Times is the only Jewish newspaper in Baltimore that has the courage to allow survivors of sex crimes an avenue to have their voices heard. The paper is helping to prevent any more children from being harmed.
With everything that has been happening in Baltimore, we cannot overlook the effect this is having on individuals who live in the community. The entire Jewish community of Baltimore has been put through a whirlwind of emotions.
I know for myself when a friend handed me a copy of the letter from the Vaad, my mood was immediately elated. I thought to myself, finally, the rabbonim of Baltimore are "getting it." I personally felt validated for the work I've been doing along with everyone connected with The Awareness Center for the last six years.
I went to bed that night with a smile on my face, but when I woke up the next morning with my joy turned to sorrow. I couldn't stop thinking of the survivors I know who have been sexually victimized. The number of years of pain and suffering they have been enduring by the lack of education and awareness in our community or any other community in the world.
I am not unlike other survivors, I felt like someone had died. I started wondering if the letter was just some sort of public relations stunt to show the world that our rabbis cared. I knew the article regarding Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro was coming out that week in the Baltimore Jewish Times. I also knew the rabbis knew it was going to be published. I hate being cynical, yet after working in the field for as long as I have -- it made sense not to trust the letter.
My reaction was to call all of the rabbis who signed the letter from the Vaad Harabbonim. I wanted to personally thank them for having the courage to sign and publish the letter. I wanted to meet with each one personally. I started leaving messages.
The first rabbi I made an appointment with was Rabbi Moshe Heinemann. The night before the meeting is when I learned of his letter, banning the Baltimore Jewish Times. When we met, I made it a point to discuss his letter along with many other issues. After the meeting I realized how much more education was needed in the community. This was just the beginning. At least the community finally admitted that there was a problem. That was a giant step in the right direction.
The most important issue we all seem to be neglecting is healing the community from the heightened awareness that there are individuals in our community that molest our children.
With the exposure of sexual abuse in the Baltimore community -- goes a loss of the innocence and a reality many of us wanted to hold on to. This is a major loss for everyone. The entire Jewish community of Baltimore is going through a period of mourning. The entire community has been traumatized. Many community members are in a state of shock.
Individuals, parents and families are now faced with the fact that there have been several community leaders they trusted who molested children. Many community members are also shocked to learn that many of their friends are survivors of criminal sex offenses.
The community is forced to be aware that many community leaders they loved and trusted helped to cover up these serious crimes. The community is also being forced to deal with the fact that some of the criminals may end up in prison, and could also end up on the national sex offender registry. All of this is a great deal to process in less then a month.
I've received phone calls and also various individuals have been stopping me on the street wanting to talk. I've been trying to explain that the reactions of the community is very similar to those who were hit by hurricane Katrina. Everyone is in a state of shock. It's almost as if a bomb went off and everyone is afraid that there may be another one. Many are experiencing what I like to call the "deer in headlights syndrome".
Several individuals in the Baltimore Jewish community have told me they are having difficulties sleeping at night or waking up from nightmares. Some are saying they are having difficulties concentrating, having difficulties making decisions, not being able to eat, etc.
When an individual and even an entire communities is traumatized it is vitally important for there to be an open dialog going on. It's important for each person to talk about what they are experiencing and to express their thoughts and feelings with those they trust. Everyone may have to do this many times over and over again -- for the next several months. The community is basically experiencing vicarious victimization (secondary Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
I am suggesting that community members in Baltimore have gatherings in their homes with friends and talk about what they are experiencing. The Awareness Center is more then willing to help in anyway we can. Please feel free to call us: 443___________.
Remember talking about it is HEALING!

Baltimore Roiled by Abuse Charge Against Late Rabbi
By Nathan Guttman
Forward - April 27, 2007
Baltimore - A series of exposés on sexual abuse at a well-known yeshiva is roiling the Baltimore Jewish community and inflaming the already strained relations between the local Jewish newspaper and the city's sizable Orthodox population.
The controversy revolves around allegations in the Baltimore Jewish Times that the late principal of the Talmudical Academy, Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro, may have molested Jewish students at the school and other youngsters who came to him for bar mitzvah classes.
In the wake of the allegations, local Orthodox rabbis have delivered sermons on the need to speak out against abuse and do a better job of responding to allegations that do arise. At the same time, the articles have upset members of the city's Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox population who feel that the paper crossed the line by identifying Shapiro — almost two decades after his death.
Case in point is Moshe Heinemann, perhaps the city's most prominent Orthodox rabbi and head of the Star-K kosher certification service. He signed on to a letter calling for more action in tackling abuse. Soon after, he also posted a separate letter in his synagogue calling on congregants to boycott the Baltimore Jewish Times.
"Based on last week's vicious article in the Baltimore Jewish Times," Heinemann wrote, "it is my opinion that it is totally inappropriate for this publication to be found in any Jewish home."
Baltimore's 100,000-person Jewish community is about 20% Orthodox — twice the national average. In contrast to other cities, the Orthodox in Baltimore — even those furthest to the right religiously — often engage the wider Jewish community and work closely with the local Jewish federation and its subsidiary agencies. The city has two Jewish Community Centers: one in the Orthodox neighborhood is closed on Saturday, the other remains open.
But the paper, with a circulation of 15,000, has become an increasing point of tension for many in the Orthodox community. Even before the sex-abuse controversy, Orthodox rabbis complained about the Jewish Times publishing marriage announcements of interfaith couples, advertising non-kosher restaurants and running ads with pictures of women whose outfits fail to meet Orthodox requirements for modest dress.
Now, in some Orthodox circles, with the publication of the recent articles on sex abuse, the sense of frustration is boiling over into anger.
"We were outraged by the way they dealt with the molestation case," said Rabbi Abba Cohen, a prominent rabbi living in Baltimore who heads up the Washington office of the ultra-Orthodox Agudath Israel of America.
"The person who is accused is dead," Cohen added. "We need to ask what good does publishing his name do and what harm does it cause his family."
The author of the articles, Baltimore Jewish Times executive editor Phil Jacobs, also published a subsequent column defending the decision to publish. Jacobs argued that just as Shapiro cannot defend himself now, his victims could not defend themselves when the acts were carried out. In addition, Jacobs argued that making the story public was a needed step in helping the victims achieve closure. "For the survivors, Rabbi Shapiro is still very much alive," Jacobs told the Forward.
One article quoted Murray Levin, 64, who took bar mitzvah lessons as a child with Shapiro. "Rabbi Shapiro was grooming me with French kissing and masturbation," Levin alleged. Another survivor of the rabbi's alleged sexual molestation, Bob Glickstein, told the Baltimore Jewish Times that even though decades have passed, he could still feel Rabbi Shapiro's mustache touching his face.
It was more than a year ago that Jacobs first learned of a regular group of 20 alleged victims of sexual abuse who held a regular Kiddush on Shabbat afternoons. When he met with the group, the stories burst out, including ones about the Talmudical Academy, a widely respected institution within ultra-Orthodox educational circles, but best known to the outside world as the home of high-school basketball phenom Tamir Goodman.
"It was gut-wrenching," Jacobs said, "there was a feeling that if we could have, we would kick open the window and gasp for air."
More research, including conversations with victims, rabbis and mental health professionals, led to a February 23 cover story, which told the story of "Steve," a survivor of sexual abuse in the synagogue.
The paper did not reveal the identity of the victim nor of the alleged abuser. According to Jacobs, the paper suspected that Shapiro was the rabbi in question but could not confirm it.
After the first article came out, a friend walked up to Jacobs and identified Shapiro as the rabbi in question.
Jacobs met with Shapiro's sons and with several Orthodox rabbis. No understanding was reached — and Jacobs decided to name Shapiro in print.
In its April 13 edition, the paper published three testimonies of victims who alleged that they had been abused by Shapiro. The allegations ran under the headline "Rabbi, Teacher, Molester," along with a large photo of the late Shapiro, who served as a rabbi at several local synagogues, in addition to his stint as principal and dorm counselor at Talmudical Academy.
The second story, which named Shapiro, ran inside the paper, with no mention on the cover. Still, it instantly became the talk of the city's Jewish community. The paper was flooded with letters. "About 70% were supportive and 30% were against us publishing the story," said Neil Rubin, the paper's editor. No one, he added, has canceled a subscription over the matter.
In a tightly knit community such as Baltimore, feedback comes from all sides, even during off hours. When Rubin and Jacobs sat at the local Goldberg's bagel shop, a person came up to them and said "me too." In another instance, Jacobs was walking home from synagogue and people on a porch applauded him for the article.
Yet not all reactions were as supportive. When shopping at the local grocery store, a woman came up to Jacobs and attacked him verbally. He also received an e-mail suggesting that he and his family leave town.
Many rabbis in the Orthodox community have refrained from speaking to the press about the issue. But Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb, of congregation Shomrei Emunah, delivered a sermon on the topic that appeared to shed some light on the thinking of the community's leaders. Gottlieb, as well as rabbis at three other Orthodox synagogues, devoted his sermon to the need to speak out against sexual abuse.
The sermons were followed by a letter on the issue from the Va'ad Ha'Rabonim, the community's main Orthodox rabbinical council. In the detailed appeal, titled "Abuse in Our Community," the Orthodox rabbis acknowledged that mistakes were made in the past and called on followers to be aware of the issue of abuse. The letter called for educating children on the issue and advocated referring cases to "the authorities who have the expertise, experience and wisdom." The rabbis also stated that they are in the process of developing a new approach to protect the community from sexual abusers. "We pray that Hashem spares us such tragedies in the future and that he grants us the wisdom and the courage to responsibly address the threats we face," the letter concluded.
Sources in the Orthodox community said the appeal was ground breaking and reflected a sincere desire to uproot such conduct. Though the rabbis' letter does not refer directly to the newspaper articles about Shapiro, sources said that the exposés were the trigger for taking on the issue.
Among those signing the letter was Heinemann, director of the Star-K kosher certifier. He did not respond to calls from the Forward. Several Jewish activists in Baltimore said that he has taken down the sign calling for a boycott of the paper.
As the Orthodox community in Baltimore struggles to adopt new procedures to address sexual abuse, other Jewish groups are also taking action. Shofar, a coalition of mental health and treatment providers in the Jewish community, convened Tuesday to discuss the new revelations about sexual abuse in the community.
Rubin and Jacobs estimate that more than 100 cases of abuse occurred, with more allegations pouring in about Shapiro and others in the community. As long as abuse allegations continue to flow, Jacobs said, the newspaper would keep running articles on a monthly basis.
The intensive coverage though has not sat well with everyone.
"What are they going to do next? Have a molester of the week feature?" Agudath Israel's Cohen asked.
Jacobs and his colleagues, however, say that they have no plans of giving up. "If it keeps a perpetrator away, then we go on with it for as long as we can," said Jacobs.

 Rabbi Elan Adler: Sermon on Sexual Abuse in the Baltimore Community
Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation - April 28, 2007
A terrible thing has happened in our Jewish community, something that has caught us off guard and sent us reeling. We found out, through publicity in the BALTIMORE JEWISH TIMES, that even the holiest of Jewish people are only human, and that the Jewish community is not immune to sexual abuse by clergy and other people of authority.
By now you must have read the article, which was a cover story a couple of months ago, about a young man the JEWISH TIMES referred to as Steve, who was sexually abused by Orthodox Rabbis.
A few weeks ago, the JEWISH TIMES editor wrote of a group of men who gather as friends, all of whom shared experiences of being molested by Jewish teachers.
And just last week came the news of a well known and respected Orthodox rabbi whose sexual abuse was corroborated by several victims, most of them while they were kids and who are now in their 50's or 60's. The article graphically described what is known clinically as predatory behavior, by a revered teacher and rabbi who fondled and molested his students, perhaps as many as hundreds of them.
Many of you, as well as many in our community, were incensed by the article, feeling that it is lashon harah, evil gossip about someone, and further, considering that the rabbi died almost 20 years ago, the article was a disgrace of a man who could hardly defend himself against the onslaught of accusation. And besides, many of you said, he was a kind and comforting man who had the finest reputation, a reputation now being tarnished in full view of the public.
I have to say that when the most recent article first came out, and it named names which the first one didn't, I was torn. On the one hand, one teaching of our Jewish tradition kept flashing in my mind, and it actually comes from the names of the Torah portions this morning, which are Acharei Mot and Kedoshim. On their own, they are just names of portions, but when you put them together, they are a statement: Acharei Mot means after the death, and Kedoshim means holy things. Put together, it says,

After the death, you say holy things, and this has been a guiding principle for centuries, the idea that after someone passes away, you find the nicest and most complimentary things to say. In rabbinic school, when learning about how to prepare eulogies, we were taught exactly this: once someone has died, focus on the positive and desirable attributes of the person, and let the rest be.
That's how part of me felt when the recent article came out.
The other part of me was not reserved for this particular rabbi, but for any rabbi or cantor, or teacher or person of authority who would use their power and intimidation to violate the bodies of children under their care and supervision. I felt anger towards anyone, especially a religious Jew, who would repeatedly molest a child, knowing that the child would be scared to tell anyone. I felt anger for the victims, who didn't know where to turn or who to tell, and who would likely carry their shame in silence, and whose lives would be forever affected by the brazen abuser.
The story of abuse in our community in not about a deceased Rabbi, or about one particular segment of our community, or even about what should be published and what should not. In my opinion, the story of abuse in our community is how it has been misunderstood, how it has been covered up, and how it will be dealt with.
Sexual abuse has been terribly misunderstood. I know that because of the many ways confirmations of abuse have been mishandled by people who should have known better.
Do you remember when the extent of this abuse first became publicized about the Catholic Church? I remember when bishops and cardinals and others in high authority were cross-examined about what they knew, and when they knew it, and how they handled known molesters in the church.
When being asked, over and over again we heard testimony that sounded something like this: We didn't know what to do about the allegations regarding Father Dawson, but then we heard several more, and we knew we had to do something about it. So what did you do? Well, we mandated Father Dawson to seek psychological help or maybe even psychiatric help, and we thought that would cure the problem, and perhaps a month of that was not enough.
And after that month, did Father Dawson still have contact with children? Well, yes, we thought he was over the problem, and that his sessions with the professionals had straightened him out. That what the testimony sounded like over and over again. At best, not understanding; at worst, minimizing the problem, sending Father Dawson to parish after parish, where he abuses more and more, and in the wake of the misunderstood lusts of Father Dawson lay the strewn and ruined lives of his victims.
What were they thinking? Didn't they read today's Torah portion as part of the Old Testament? Didn't they read chapter 18 of the book of Leviticus, the many verses that describe the various relationships forbidden by the Torah? These verses are read on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year during the mincha service, and they are unbelievable in what they forbid. Do not have relations with your mother, do not have relations with your sister, do not have relations with your uncle, do not have relations with your sister-in-law, if you are a male, do not have relations with another male as you would with a've probably read these or heard of these, and you may ask, why did you call them unbelievable?
I'll tell you why, because most people reading this list of forbidden relationships would have a one-word Yiddish reponse- Feh! Who would want to have relations with these people? What kind of sick mind would go there? And the answer is exactly what makes the list unbelievable, and this is why God had to say them- because people do have these desires and these lusts, and they need to be curbed. Why didn't the hierarchy in the church not understand this and remove the priests from the temptations? Why did they think that a few sessions with a shrink would obliterate and extinguish what God himself knows to be in the human mind?
And so they were sent from parish to parish, exponentially victimizing unsuspecting children and teens, knowing that ignorance and silence are two of the greatest allies of sexual abusers.
And, my friends, the leaders of the Jewish community may have misdiagnosed the confirmations of abuse as well. In last week's Torah portion, in speaking of the Metzorah, the one who had a leper's disease, the Torah says in Leviticus 14:54, Zot Hatorah lechol nega, this is the law for every affliction. But the Talmud in Eruvin 54a has this teaching: Zot Hatorah, this Torah, the study of Torah, Lechol nega, is good for every ailment. The teaching was a very traditional one, namely, that for whatever ails you, the Torah is the remedy- if you have a headache, study the Torah. If you have any pain or affliction, the Torah is the remedy.
I can relate to you at least a dozen times where I've heard a parent of a formerly religious child, who had severe psychological problems or who was dealing with drug and alcohol abuse, when asking their Rabbi for help, the Rabbi would say, "if he studied the Torah more, if he davened better, if he performed more commandments, everything would be fine."
It's a traditional teaching, but it's terribly misguided. Someone who is a sexual predator and abuser and molester needs heavy duty professional help over long periods of time. It doesn't matter if they're Orthodox, conservative or reform, reconstructionist, humanist, secular, Buddhist or Moslem, and to say that study or observance will take care of it is irresponsible and inexcusable.
So one story of abuse in our community is how it has been so gravely misunderstood and therefore minimized to the detriment of the innocent victims.
You may say, Rabbi, we didn't know then what we know now, about human behavior and how to treat people who abuse. That may be so, but another story of abuse in our community is those who knew, and continue to know, and who say nothing.
They say nothing because they don't want to shame or embarrass their institutions. They say nothing because they don't want to embarrass the family of the abuser, or because they feel it will affect the "marriagability" of the abusers children or even the abused. Or they say nothing because they think the problem will go away, or because they pity the abuser who can't control himself but who is otherwise a very nice person.
Those who know, and who don't report, are shameful accomplices to the shredded and humiliated lives of the victims. Are there such people in our community? You decide.
This is from a letter distributed by the Vaad Harrabanim to all Orthodox households prior to the JEWISH TIMES article:
"In the past, many mistakes were made in handling situations. Abusers were often not recognized for what they were, as it was too difficult to believe that otherwise good people could do such things, nor was it sufficiently appreciated what damage such acts could cause. It was often thought that if the abuser was spoken to or warned, and perhaps moved to a different environment, he would never do those things again. In responding this way, many terrible mistakes were made and tragic consequences resulted. We have seen too often the immediate or eventual failure of these "behind the scenes" agreements to keep the perpetrators away from others."
I was one of the rabbis who signed the letter. But I did not write the letter. Behind the scenes agreements is something I should have asked about prior to signing the letter. When were these agreements made? Twenty years ago when rabbis were more naive, or 20 days ago, when it could signal a coverup?
Are there Rabbis and principals and leaders in the know, who know, but won't say anything? This is something that needs to be investigated, and investigated with seriousness and speed. If there are abusive ticking bombs in our community, and we don't do everything we can to prevent another abuse, and people are being protected, it should make us feel tremendously uncomfortable.
So this story is not about a deceased rabbi, or just about one particular segment of our community, or about what should be published or what should not. It is about how it has been misunderstood, and how it's been covered up and may continue to be, and it's about a third area, how it will be dealt with from now on.
There is no question that if we know of a sexual predator, especially one who abuses children, Jewish law or halachah that this abuser is called a rodeph, literally a pursuer, one who is effectively poised to destroy innocent lives and therefore, virtually any means may be used to stop him and bring him to justice.
Not just from hearsay or innuendo, but once an abuser has been reported and corroborated by at least two other sources, we must speedily stop that person and expose him. In many cases, the most effective method to protect the community is to publicize the abuser's name.
Some may consider that a shanda, but we must be mindful that what the person has done, the crime committed and the shame borne is silence is an even bigger shanda. We have an obligation to protect not only current victims, but also all future victims, and these future victims are not only the future victims of the abuser, but also the victims of the victims themselves- there has been shown to be a significant correlation between being abused and then abusing others. Unless someone is stopped in his tracks, the ripple effect of abuse can be staggering.
Whether alive or deceased, the perpetrators must be exposed. Even the deceased are not entitled to go to their graves in peace while the pain and shame of their victims finds no rest or comfort. The deceased abuser cannot defend himself, but neither can he have the luxury of remaining guiltless in the eyes of humanity while so many of his victims continue to suffer a life of torment and pain.
And while we diligently root out the perpetrators of such heinous behavior, that takes advantage of the most powerless in society by the most powerful, we need to tell the victims that they can come forward to a receptive community that will hear their anguish, not be judgmental about how or why anything happened, and help them to be liberated from their nightmare and be supportive as they begin their healing.
Yes, a terrible thing has happened to our Jewish community. We found out that we are not immune to the same ills and disgraces that plaque our neighbors. We thought we were immune, and that our Torah study and Torah observance can protect us from such behavior. We thought that a religious personality couldn't possibly do such a thing. But if we did, we missed a critical teaching of our Torah portion today. Leviticus 19:1, Kedoshim Tihiyu, you shall be holy. This means not only in the letter of the law, but also the spirit of the law. Nachmanides made an insightful comment when he taught, "someone who only observes the letter of the law can easily become a degenerate with the permission of the Torah, for such a person can perform the technical requirements of the commandments, WHILE SURRENDERING TO SELF INDULGENCE, GLUTTONY AND LICENTIOUSNESS.
If you can keep strictly kosher, daven three times a day, keep every aspect of Shabbat, and meticulously observe the commandments, and then molest and abuse and scar an innocent child for life, whether living or deceased, you are not entitled to the mantle of holiness.
You are entitled to the contempt of the community which so faithfully put its trust in you.
May God help us to bring the perpetrators to justice and the victims to find their solace and strength from a community anxious to hear and help.
Rabbi Also Molested Girls
By Phil Jacobs Executive Editor
Baltimore Jewish Times - May  04, 2007
Part of a continuing series on sexual molestation in the Jewish community. Warning: This article contains graphic sexual descriptions that may be offensive to some readers.
It wasn't only boys. Since the Baltimore Jewish Times' April 13 account that the deceased Rabbi Ephraim F. Shapiro—former principal of the Talmudical Academy and spiritual leader of the old Agudas Achim Synagogue—molested young boys hundreds of times, at least three women have come forward to share their molestation stories.
Pedophiles, according to Lisa Ferentz, a Pikesville-based clinical social worker and creator of a certificate program in Advanced Trauma Treatment, are not necessarily attracted to one gender over the other.
"What matters the most to many pedophiles," she said, "is the age of the victim. They are attracted to, and interested in controlling and maintaining power, over a child—it can either be a boy or a girl. This is important for parents to understand as they work to protect their children from potential predators.
"If they have information about a pedophile molesting boys, they shouldn't assume that their daughters are any safer in the company of that person," said Ms. Ferentz. "All kids need to be educated about inappropriate touch, and they should be empowered to fight back whenever possible, and to immediately tell a safe adult."
The following are accounts of three women now ranging in age from 58-69. When molested by Rabbi Shapiro, their age range was 7-12. (One of the women contacted the newspaper anonymously.)
Annette Stadd-Wilson
She was 7 and in second grade when she was molested after a Sunday school class by her teacher, Rabbi Ephraim F. Shapiro. He would go on to molest her countless number of times.
Annette Stadd-Wilson is now 58 and living in Phoenix, Ariz. She is a yoga instructor.
"This was a married man with children," she said with anger in her voice. "This was a man of God. He got away with this his entire life, and nobody came forward to make him stop."
Rabbi Shapiro would call her into his office, she recounted. He would then unzip his pants and ask her to caress him, she said. "This happened many times, and he would press me against his private parts," she said.
For Mrs. Wilson, there was even a deeper double meaning. The two shared the same birthday.
"As a girl, I always thought that something was wrong with me, for this to happen to me. When you are a young child and this happens, you think it is OK because you are the child and he is the adult—and a rabbi as well."
Rabbi Shapiro also officiated at her late father's funeral. She remembered the rabbi giving her some advice about the grieving process. Ms. Stadd chose to ignore him.
"I chose to leave the Jewish religion and found Eastern religion and yoga," she said. "I thank God that I did. It gave me an understanding of life and religion that made sense. I have thought that what happened to me does affect my lack of trust and feeling good about myself. Human beings all have a right to grow up feeling happy and healthy about themselves, and molestation destroys this."
Mrs. Wilson said she rarely speaks about her experiences.
"It's so devastating," she said, "you can't even talk about it. We have to ask ourselves, 'How do we stop this?' I would like for Jewish people to stand up and come forward and face this. ... And I'm not sure I left Judaism because of this or not, but it probably had something to do with it. There's just way too much hypocrisy here."
E.J. Dopkin
Ellen Jane Dopkin was the only girl in her Agudas Achim Synagogue class.
She was post-bat mitzvah age, but her Hebrew school classroom achievements gave her the rare opportunity as a girl to be part of a special class studying the works of the Jewish sage Rashi.
She was the only girl in a class of about 15 young teens. One day, her teacher, the late Rabbi Shapiro, asked her to stay after class. They were alone. He placed his hands all over her body. He forced a kiss on her lips.
It happened over and over, she said.
Known to friends as "E.J.," Mrs. Dopkin sits in her beautiful Pikesville home with her husband, Michael. The events described above happened decades ago. Yet, they remain fresh for Mrs. Dopkin.
She was told about the April 13 Jewish Times story on Rabbi Shapiro and boys. She wanted to make sure that the community understood that girls were involved, too.
"Sometimes it happened in his office in the downstairs part of the school," she said. "Sometimes he had me come to his house. I never told anybody. I was a young girl. I didn't know what to do.
"It impacted me," she said. "It kept a block in front of me and my life. I felt that I wasn't able to accomplish as much as I could have because of what he did to me."
Mrs. Dopkin said she thinks of herself as a survivor. She said she's working to do what she can to get past her memories.
"Having an experience such as this makes you feel as if you don't want to trust people of authority, and then you don't want to trust anyone else, and then you don't even want to trust yourself," she said. "Then, the healing process is to say to yourself, 'I can try to get past this.'"
What would Mrs. Dopkin ask Rabbi Shapiro today if she could?
"How could you use religion as an entering point to your terrible behavior?"
An Anonymous Caller
The Jewish Times received a call on Wednesday, April 25, from another woman who claimed she was molested by the late Ephraim Shapiro.
She was 111/2 and taking private bat mitzvah lessons with the rabbi at Agudas Achim.
"He would cop a feel," said the 68-year-old woman, who asked for anonymity. "He'd try to get underneath my sweaters. I was a little skinny minnie. I didn't know from this stuff. We didn't talk about these things."
"I never thought about it all of these years, I never told anybody," she said. "That's the trouble with the Jewish people. We sweep everything under the rug.
"It's a shame this wasn't told while he was living."
The impact stayed with her for years. "I didn't want to have any more with Jewish learning," she said. "I was sick of the whole damn thing. I knew he should not touch me, but he did.
"I remember his grubby hands. But Agudas Achim was a second home to my grandfather. I hated it, but I had to go."

But He's Dead
Neil Rubin Editor
Baltimore Jewish Times - MAY 04, 2007
The critics have a point. And just like the allegations themselves, they should not be ignored.
As readers of this publication know, Executive Editor Phil Jacobs continues to write groundbreaking stories about the case of the late Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro, whom we are convinced sexually abused many children here from the 1940s possibly until the 1980s.
It is uncomfortable. It is controversial. And it should be done with sympathy particularly to the late rabbi's family members (whom we purposely have not named).
So why go on destroying the reputation of a beloved man who can no longer defend himself? Please, readers, enter our newsroom to hear our own questions and responses.
Why ruin a good name? In Judaism "a good name" is one of the greatest crowns. While the rabbi is praised by many, too many others have a sharply different view. This was not about one isolated incident. Also, this is not about one man, but about how a community would not speak out.
His victims want to be heard. They were too frightened, too embarrassed, to come forward until recently. We have reached, as one local therapist told me, "the tipping point."
Ultimately, the decision to publish came down to balancing the good with the bad. The good won.
Community rabbis, professionals and groups are now talking about something that was, and apparently could still be, much more widespread than I had imagined. Questions are being asked: Who knew? Who protected whom? How can we prevent this?
But he can't defend himself. Neither could the late President Harry Truman when we learned of his anti-Semitic statements, nor could the late President Thomas Jefferson when we learned of his child with a slave, and nor could the late President John F. Kennedy when we heard of his affairs in the White House.
Those cases pale in comparison.
Why not go after living abusers?  Who said we're not? Phil has worked on the Rabbi Shapiro story for a year. Current abusers and there are some here are put on notice: Get help. Now.
It's not popular to say, but while despising their actions I have sympathy for the abusers. They, too, need a path to recovery, and we all need to help them. That's because it's the best way to prevent future abusers, many perpetrators themselves having been victimized as children.
What about the communal price? My great fear: Our educators will be afraid to hug and give emotional support to our kids, including my own. But I trust our schools and synagogues to properly screen and train their staff. If not, now we know what can happen.
Also, very selfishly, will this become known as the sexual abuse Jewish Times? Our community is so much deeper than this extremely disturbing chapter.
Let the rabbis police themselves. Some rabbis are quite angry with us. But the old ways of dealing with this has failed miserably for the victims, their families and the community.
The Talmud instructs that to save a life is to save an entire world. I believe that the people brave enough to share their stories publicly literally could be saving lives. They must be encouraged, not demonized.
Is it Orthodox bashing?  Were that the goal, the approach and tone would be much different. In fact, the behind-the-scenes contact with Orthodox leaders on this a far from monolithic community on any issue has been intense. There were no surprises for them when this hit the pages.
I note that we have received both public and private support from some Orthodox rabbis.
By the way, it wasn't Orthodox bashing when we wrote about the late Judge Robert I. Hammerman, who was active in Reform circles.
Final thoughts: We don't take allegations lightly, nor do we rush to print everything we hear. We investigate and then decide. And not everything pans out.
We are not infallible, but we are extremely confident in the information brought forward. And we understand that as journalists we will take heat for doing what we think is right. Likewise, we are obligated to allow people who disagree to share their views.
We'll keep doing that, and we'll keep balancing the good with the bad.


Second Letter from Rabbi Heinemann
By Rabbi Moshe Heinemann
May 9, 2007
Can you believe Rabbi Heinemann wrote the following letter and post it in his synagogue (under glass) back on May 9th?
If the letter is authentic then it is another response to Phil Jacobs (Baltimore Jewish Times) series on alledged sex offender, Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro.
2. Rabbi Also Molested Girls - May 4, 2007
Writing letters like this makes it appear that Rabbi Heinemann is lacking the information and education needed to understand the life long struggles many survivors of sex crimes are faced with.
Please give Rabbi Heinemann a call and let him know what you think of his letters!
Rabbi Moshe Heinemann
Phone: 410-484-4110
Fax: 410-653-9294
I was told that the Hebrew in his letter translates to:
"The verse in Mishlei 26:11, which states, 'As a dog returns to its vomit, so does a fool return to his folly,' see Ibn Ezra there."

Second Letter Written by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann banning the Baltimore Jewish Times


Note From Phil Jacobs
Baltimore Jewish Times - May 14, 2007
It is strongly suggested before anyone speaks to a reporter that they consult with a therapist and an attorney. It is also suggested you download and read the article about going public.
During the investigation of the late Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro, the name coming up perhaps "second" in the conversations was more often than not that of Rabbi Moshe Eisemann.
I would like to move ahead with the investigation of this Ner Israel rabbi and teacher.
However, the sensitive, triggering nature of this sort of interview process is understandably difficult.
For anyone who would come forward and consent to an interview, I would guarantee anonymity. And as I have with the survivors of Rabbi Shapiro and Shmuel Zev Juravel, I have absolutely shared the articles giving the survivors license to edit prior to publication. That will continue with anyone who comes forward in the Eisemann case.
My concern is the safety of the survivors. Whatever it takes to tell their stories and maintain that safety is given highest priority.

 Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg - Sermon on Sexual Abuse in the Baltimore Community
Shavuot Yizkor Sermon
May 24, 2007
By Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg
The following sermon was given as a reaction to the case of Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro being published in the Baltimore Jewish Times and the letter that was created by the Vaad of Baltimore.
For 23 years not I've paused at this moment to say Yizkor for my father. And so many different memories of him are recalled. Today for the first time, I pause to say Yizkor for my mother, or blessed memory. What memories did she leave me? Well, this I can tell you: the memories that I will always have of my mother are going to be quiet different than the memories Ale Baldwin's daughter is always going to have of her father.
Even those of us who usually are not caught up in the latest Hollywood gossip or scandal could not help but take note of what recently took place with the actor, Alex Baldwin and his daughter. As upsetting as it was, it can serve a positive purpose in helping us better understand the strange rabbinic commentary and verse in The Book of Ruth we read this morning, will help us better understand the meaning of God and the giving of the Torah we celebrate on Shavous. It will also help us better understand the tragic affects of sexual abusers and will help us better understand the purpose of the Yizkor memorial service we are about to recite.
Alec Baldwin is divorced from his wife, actress Kim Bassinger. They have been involved in a bitter custody fight over their 11 year old daughter, Ireland. On April 11th Alec Baldwiin called his daughter and when she wasn't there to answer, he called her a "thoughtless little pig" and went on to say, "Once again I have made a ____ of myself trying to get you on the phone. . . I don't give a damn that you are 12 years old or 11 years old or a child, or that your mother is a thoughtless pain the ___ who doesn't care a your ___ out." It is a terrible thing for any father to say to a child under any circumstances. But here the circumstance made matters even worse because everything Alec Baldwin said to his child had been recorded on the phone's answering machine. And it is suspected that Baldwin's ex-wife, Ms. Bassinger, - atstaska in her own right -- made the recording available for the world to hear.
You have to wonder if Mr. Baldwin would have spoken differently if he had known that his words would go public. According to our sages, he most certainly would have! Our sages expressed this thought in commenting on an incident in The Book of Ruth we read every Shavuot. The story of Ruth is a beautiful, moving and touching one; a story exhibiting the goodness and devotion of plain and ordinary people. Ruth, a Moabite woman, widowed, was a devoted daughter-in-law, a righteous convert of our people. One day, searching for food in a time of famine, she meet a true gentleman named Boaz who generously gives of his own food to her, described by the Bible with the touching words, "Vayitzavat la koli v'tochal vatisba vatotar -- these words our sages in the Midrash, recognizing the generosity of Boaz, still go on to say, "Had Boaz known that the Bible would eternally record that he gave Ruth some parched grain to eat, he would have given her a royal banquet." Yes, Boaz, you didn't realize it but your actions were being recorded. Sure it was nice that you gave Ruth something to eat . . . but you would have given a lot more than "parched corn" if you knew people would be reading about it until the end of time. If only you had realized it, you would have acted differently. And that's what the Torah means when we are told, right in the beginning of Genesis: "Zeh sefer toldot ha-Adam-- this is the book of the story of man." Just as the story of adam and Abraham and Moses and Boaz are recorded in this book, so too all of our lives are being recorded. As we are told in The Ethics of the Fathers: "V'chol maasecha b'sefer nichtavim - all of your deeds are being recorded in a book." It's not just Alec Baldwin speaking to his daughter. . . it's all of us in our day to day existence whose words and actions are being recorded.
Many of our children, when asked to choose a reading for their Bat Mitzvah service, have recently started choosing a reading called "When You thought I Wasn't Looking":
When you though I wasn't looking, you hung my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to painting another.

When you thought I wasn't looking, you fed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be king to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, you baked a birthday cake just for me, and I knew that little things were special things.
When you thought I wasn't looking, you said a prayer and I believed there was a God and that I could always talk to.

When you thought I wasn't looking, you kissed me goo-night and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tars come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt -- but that it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking, you smiled and it made me want to look that pretty too.

When you thought I wasn't looking, you cared and I wanted to be everything I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked . . . and wanted to say thanks for all those things you did. . .

When you thought I wasn't looking,

The poem makes a very important point. . . whether we know it or not, we're no different than Alec Baldwin. Everything we say and do is being recorded by our children: the amount of charity we give, the excuses we offer for not giving, the comments we make behind the back of friends, our business ethics, our moral behavior, what we eat, drink and watch on TV . . . all of impact that had on us, she would look puzzled and say it was not big deal. But, God Almight, what a big deal it was! What it said to us, how it made us feel, what it meant to us. . . can never -- and will never -- be forgotten.
The poet-Laureate of our people, Chaim Nachman-Bialik, captures this feeling in his poem "Shirati" where he tries to trace the origin of the sigh, the sob, the krechts, so frequently found in his poetry. He describes the misery of his childhood; his father died when he was very young. His mother slaved in a little store supporting his brothers and sisters. Only inn the evening could she begin her cooking, cleaning and sewing. late one night the little boy rose from his bed and saw his mother cooking in the kitchen. In utter exhaustion she was weeping as she kneaded dough for bread. As she baked by candle light, her lips moved in prayer, "May I bring my children to be God-fearing. May they be true to Torah. May they never disgrace me." As she prayed, the tears rolled down her sweet, tired lonely cheeks. She did not realize it, but her tears mixed with the dough. Little Bialik saw this heart-rendering sight and returned to bed. The next morning he ate this very bread. "as I ate, I swollowed my mother's tears. Part of my mother was in that bread! And now I know why there are tears in my eyes, why there is a sigh in my breast."
I exaggerate not. A portion of our parents is implanted within us. Unbeknownst to them, they made indelible impressions on us that have been permanently recorded into our very beings. Their obituaries do not lie buried in some old newspaper. It is recorded and alive in our hearts and souls!
In describing death, the Bible frequently uses the phrase, "he was gathered into his people." that's were we wind up - in people. People wind up in people, not in the ground. This, then, is a basic truth of human experience. Whether we like it or not, we are being recorded all the time. Our obituaries are constantly being written and are opened for all of us to see. In the biographies of our loved ones and fellow human beings, in the record of the general community, in the chronicles of Judaism, we are constantly making entries.
In these moments before Yizkor when we remember the entries of those who preceded us, let us ask: "What entries are we making, what actions are being recorded in the lives of those that will follow us?" In the moments before Yizkor I remember countless moments of joy shared with my mother. . . the warmth and love she enveloped me with. What will my children remember? What are they seeing when I think they aren't looking? Yizkor beckons.

We pause to remember: "T'hey nishmosom tsurorom b'tsror hachayim - May the souls of our dearly departed be bound up in the bond of eternal life." And let us add the additional prayer: "T'hi nishmosi - God, allow my life to be bound up in the lives of others who are living so that after the fullness of my days, others will gather to bless my name for having lived and shared and given and cared." Amen.

 In Memory of Gabriel Kishner z'l

From shuls to locker rooms, stop the silent accomplices 
By Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner
Times Of Israel Blog - July 31, 2012, 9:55 am 2

David-Seth Kirshner is the rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, a Conservative synagogue in Closter, New Jersey, and a fellow at the Hartman Institute
Gabriel Kirshner z'l

My oldest brother Gabriel committed suicide. He was 36 years young and had his whole life ahead of him. Instead of living it, he poisoned himself with carbon monoxide and left his wife and two-year-old daughter to find his lifeless body slumped in the backseat of his Toyota. But while Gabe killed himself at 36, he really died 23 years earlier.

At the age of 13, Gabe decided he would attend a Jewish all-boys boarding school outside of Baltimore, Maryland. He went there to make friends, further his education and to have some stability since my dad moved our family around a lot. He did not get those things in Baltimore. Instead, he was sexually molested and raped repeatedly by the principal, Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro. This killed Gabe’s spirit and potential. His heart stopped beating 23 years later.

I learned more about Gabe after he died than I did while he was alive. Among the many things I gathered post-mortem, was that he was molested and raped from 1973 to ’75. He was not alone. Dozens of his classmates and hundreds of boys before and after Gabriel were sexually molested and raped by the “rabbi.” Gabe did not tell anyone he was molested. He only acted out. His abuse was one of many facts we learned after his suicide. I also learned that Gabe’s wicked temper, severe homophobia, fear of intimacy and physical contact, and the addictions that plagued him — all came from the abuse he endured, not from his DNA. His attendance at this school led to these behaviors, and ultimately, to his premature death.

I don’t intend to dedicate another word to the monster Shapiro, but I do want to focus on the pain that my brother endured for 23 years of his life, the agony my family lives with every day, and the excruciating anger I feel toward those who must have known of this abuse and chose to remain silent.

This week, the NCAA made an unprecedented ruling and found Penn State University guilty of a significant cover-up regarding the sexual abuse of young boys by its assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky. The NCAA found the silence of coaches and staff, including head coach, Joe Paterno, to be equally egregious, and worthy of the most severe penalties. In short, Sandusky is a twisted monster. Society is stuck with that. The people who ignored his behaviors for the betterment of the team, school or win column were called out loudly for their silence.

Pundits from all sides will weigh in on whether the penalties will bite or will change the course of the game. Frankly, I don’t care. I’m satisfied, though, that the NCAA said in a full-throated voice what our moral compass already knows: Silence in the face of crime is itself a crime. We learned that lesson in ancient history, we were reminded of it at Nuremberg, and it holds true in University Park, Pennsylvania, today.

Paterno was a god at Penn State. Joe-Pa were words spoken on campus like “baruch Hashem“ is uttered in Monsey. He was invincible; a legend and hero who lived modestly and strove to be a blue-collar everyman. His iconic image was bronzed, surrounded by his players, representing his wins and determination and longevity outside the stadium that could have borne his name.

In the wake of this scandal, we learned that his silence has squelched those deity-like references. His statue has been torn down and his 112 wins eradicated, evaporated as if they never happened, as if to say they do not count and they never will. And in the process, the crowds and cheers that surrounded his name and the university that was synonymous with his cardigan sweaters has quieted to an absolute hush, like a critical fumble with seconds left in the game that will surely cost the team a victory and its legacy.

There is a sliver of solace in this unfortunate saga. The details of the penalty are far less important than the overall magnitude of its message. The NCAA’s actions reaffirmed that silence is an accomplice. Sweeping things under the rug just makes someone an accessory, not a savior.

This move ought to be a very loud and stern church bell ringing (or shofar blast) to the priests, rabbis and others in the world of influence and access to kids that sexual predators will be prosecuted and so will those who hide it from others. Let those who think the church is stronger with the father in the parish or the community is better with the rabbi at the synagogue tremble. Let this be a cry to all of us to lift up the rug and check all brooms. We will no longer value the sanctity of people of the cloth at the cost of the souls they have raped; we will not save names and careers over lives and innocence.

If someone had broken their silence years ago, perhaps my brother would have had the fortitude and hope to pen this piece, instead of me in his memory. 


Murray Levin's Testimony on SB 238 - Child Sexual Abuse  
Child Victims Voice Maryland - Feb. 5, 2009
Murray Levin is a survivor of Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro.

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