|Rabbi Aryeh Blaut's Facebook profile photograph|
Table of Contents:
- Outline of Events
- Va'ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle (08/15/2004)
- Letter To Parents of Seattle Hebrew Academy (09/24/2004)
- Anonymous E-mail #1 (10/04/2006)
- Congregation Shaarei Teshuvah: President, Rabbi Aryeh Blaut (07/17/2012)
- Convicted Sex Offender, Rabbi Aryeh Blaut on Facebook (07/17/2012)
- Convicted Sex Offender on Linkedin.com (07/18/2012)
Outline of Events
October 23, 2003 - Adminstration at Hebrew Acdemy
informed that Rabbi Blaut was the subject of a federal investigation for
possession of child pornography.
October 24, 2003 - Rabbi Blaut resigned from
his teaching duties at the Seattle Hebrew Academy
October and early November, 2003 - After learning
that federal authorities had seized two personal computers from Rabbi Blaut's
home. Seattle Hebrew Academy checked Rabbi Blaut's school computer and found
no illegal materials on it. Seattle Hebrew Academy conducted their own an
in-house investigation into Rabbi Blaut's history at SHA, including a review
of his personnel and other files. The Awareness Center, Inc. frowns upon
schools conducting their own investigations. Instead we ask community members
to demand that our schools work with law enforcement officials and allow
those trainned in collecting forensic evidence conduct the
July, 2004 - Rabby Aryeh Blatt pled guilty to
the federal charges.
September 24, 2004 - Hebrew Acedemy notified
parents by letter of the case of Rabbi Aryeh Blatt.
October 5, 2006 - The Awareness Center, Inc.
was sent anonymous letters from blogger Unorthodox Jew, regarding the case
of Rabbi Aryeh Blatt.
- October 6, 2006 - The Awareness Center, Inc. received confirmation from the federal probation department that Rabbi Louis Aryeh Blatt was a convicted sex offender.
|Rabbi Aryeh Blaut|
On October 23, 2003, I was informed that Rabbi Blaut was the subject of a
federal investigation for possession of child pornography. Upon learning
this disturbing news, I immediately had our former principal, Dr. Sam Hart,
sit in his classroom and then, before the end of the day, removed Rabbi Blaut
from his classroom and placed him on administrative leave.
On October 24, 2003, Rabbi Blaut resigned from his teaching duties at the
Seattle Hebrew Academy. We directed Rabbi Blaut to cease all contacts with
our students and at our direction and in cooperation with his lawyer, he
sent a letter to the families of children that he was tutoring stating that
he would no longer be tutoring their children. Rabbi Blaut was most cooperative
with the school in understanding that he should resign and not have further
contact with SHA students.
During this time, I learned that federal authorities had seized two personal
computers from Rabbi Blaut's home. We checked his school computer and found
no illegal materials on it.
In late October and early November, at my direction, we conducted an in-house
investigation into Rabbi Blaut's history at SHA, including a review of his
personnel and other files. We found no suggestions in any record of any
inappropriate behavior while Rabbi Blaut worked at SHA and have no such evidence.
Rabbi Blaut told me and other community rabbis that he had no inappropriate
contact with children, and, to the best of our knowledge, inappropriate contact
was never part of the investigation.
Immediately upon learning of these charges, we consulted a well known
psychologist who works on issues related to child pornography. Our school's
primary concern was and continues to be the well being of our children. During
this discussion we asked about the likelihood that one who views child
pornography might have inappropriate contact with children. We advised him
that we had conducted an in-house investigation with negative findings. It
was his professional opinion that absent a history of child molestation,
viewing child pornography is not necessarily associated with inappropriate
conduct with children. We also discussed whether we should immediately inform
the parents of the allegations, and he recommended that, given the stage
of the federal investigation, which consisted of allegations, and that we
had taken steps to remove Rabbi Blaut from his position, it could be unduly
alarming to do so.
Based on our internal review, the opinion of the expert whom we consulted,
and the fact we were dealing with allegations, not proven facts, SHA's leadership
decided that the best course of action was to report this situation to our
school community once all of the legal issues were resolved.
From October 2003 until today, we have remained in consultation with leading
Halachic authorities, our school attorney, and psychologists to make sure
that SHA's actions throughout this process were proper from all perspectives.
- Starting in July, 2004, following Rabbi Blaut's guilty plea, we renewed our review of this situation in greater depth and, with profound sadness started the process of developing a process to notify you, our parents.
First, shortly after Sukkot, our students will meet with Debbie Fox, LCSW,
Director of Aleinu Family Resources Center of the Los Angeles Jewish Family
Service. Mrs. Fox, along with Ms. Laura Freiman, MSW, specialize in increasing
children's awareness of rules for personal safety in any situation. The Aleinu
Family Resource Center Safety Program was established with the mission of
helping Orthodox day schools in Los Angeles prevent and, when necessary,
respond to serious problems of child abuse at schools and camps in the Los
Angeles area. It is a nationally recognized resource in the field of preventing
and treating child abuse. The Center is guided and endorsed by a panel of
Orthodox rabbis and is therefore completely consistent with halachic standards.
At SHA we will offer a comprehensive prevention program including staff education
and guidelines and an evening parent prevention and education workshop. Most
importantly, the program will include as a series of workshops designed to
help our students understand what is and is not inappropriate behavior, skills
they need to protect themselves and an understanding of the importance of
reporting any incident or concerns that they have.
- Second, we are in the process of amending our personnel policies and now will require all our faculty and staff to sign an addendum which clearly defines inappropriate behavior with students and includes the viewing or possession of child pornography.
Congregation Shaarei Teshuvah
|Rabbi Aryeh Blaut|
By Vicki Polin
View slideshow: Rabbi Aryeh Blaut on FacebookOnce again a convicted sex offender found his way onto Facebook (FB). This time the offender is Rabbi Aryeh Blaut’s, who plead guilty to charges of possession of child pornography back in 2004, and spent two years in a federal prison. What’s concerning is the fact that several of Rabbi Blaut’s FB friends appear to be high school and college aged students from around the globe.
Convicted Sex Offender on Linkedin.com
July 18, 2012
FAIR USE NOTICE