With Love From Susan Rosenbluth - Editor of Jewish Voice and Opinion
I have never made it a secret that I am a survivor of child sexual abuse, nor have I hidden the fact that I appeared on several television and talk radio shows back in the 1980's sharing my story in hopes of reaching out to other survivors and educating the general public about the issues and ramifications child abuse plays on its victims.
Back on May 1, 1989, I appeared on the Oprah Show. I shared the fact that I am a survivor of ritual abuse. The truth is that Oprah originally agreed not to mention that I was Jewish, yet it slipped out. What outraged me the most was not the mistake Oprah made, yet the reaction from the Jewish world that I would speak my truth -- that I would share the fact that Jews also abuse their children at the same rate as those who are non-Jewish.
One out of every 4 children will be sexually abused by the time they reach their eighteenth birthday. That means a quarter of the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu communities and all Anti-Semitic groups are survivors of child molestation.
As many of you are aware, Susan Rosenbluth has been a supporter of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler for years. Back in 2003, The Awareness Center first heard of the allegations made against this alleged sexual predator. We did what we could to assist those who stated they were survivors. We also listed him on our web page (see below for link).
I am sick and tired of the games being played by those in the Jewish orthodox world who are attempting to discredit myself and The Awareness Center. Their hope is to continue to silence those who deserve to have their voices heard. It's important for us all to become educated consumers, and for the truth to be made public so we can learn, heal and grow.
Vicki Polin, Founder/CEO
The Awareness Center, Inc.
This case of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler started during the question-and-answer session of a Makor forum on rabbinic abuse, (back in December, 2003) several female health-care professionals in the audience spoke with passion and frustration about a well-known rabbi in their local community whose affairs with women in his office, they said, have gone on for years.
The speakers said they felt stymied as to how to take action against the unnamed rabbi, who is highly respected, and help the women involved, who are too embarrassed to speak out.
Several sources have informed the Forward newspaper that a number of women have told friends and Jewish communal figures that Rabbi Mordechai Tendler, who is married with eight children, had propositioned them while serving in his role as either rabbinic counselor or religious arbiter."Rabbi Tendler denies all of the allegations that are being made in their entirety," the spokesman wrote in a statement sent to the Forward. "No misconduct was committed by him."
Rabbi Tendler is the founder and religious leader of Kehillat New Hempstead, a Modern Orthodox congregation near Monsey. According to the Foward article: Sources familiar with the situation say that the RCA has solicited the services of a private investigations firm from Texas to probe the allegations against Tendler."We take all these allegations very seriously and certainly don't want to whitewash it," said Rabbi Kenneth Auman, president of the RCA. "On the other hand, we also have to bear in mind the protection of the accused, and therefore I would prefer to wait with a statement, until we hear the final report."
According to sources of The Awareness Center the RCA hired Praesidium, Inc, which is a risk management company that was also used by the catholic church.
Rabbi Mordechai Tendler is a a grandson of the late Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the Orthodox world's most respected religious arbiter for much of the 20th century
From: (NAME REMOVED)Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2009
Subject: Rally To Protect Children Against Sexual Abuse: Tuesday, April 21We need your help! You can make a difference!
Help protect children! Attend the Protect Children Lobby Day this Tuesday, April 21!
Who: Survivors of child sexual abuse, their family members and friends, supporters, child advocates, social workers, religious leaders, therapists, psychologists, teachers, leaders of organizations.
What: Child sexual abuse victims and advocates will lobby New York State lawmakers urging them to pass a bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Marge Markey and Senator Thomas Duane that protects children and helps survivors. They will also hold a news conference to highlight the broad support for the bill. This bill will help protect our children from sexual molestation by extending the statute of limitations for 5 years. Until now, an abused child could only sue until age 23. This bill will increase the age limit t o 28. More importantly, it would open a one year window in which survivors of sexual abuse could sue their molesters fom years ago. Studies show that only after years of maturity and healing can a survivor have the emotional strength to bring a lawsuit against his or her molester. In other states like California, the "window" allowed law enforcement to identify more than 300 child molesters who would otherwise have remained unknown.
Leading rabbonim around the world, including Rav Elyashiv shlita, and Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlita, have ruled that sexual molestation according to Jewish law has no statute of limitations at all. The Markey bill will help prosecute sexual predators. It will also allow prosecution of those who protect molesters fom facing justice and tolerate their continuing to molest.
Where: Albany State House, at the corner of Washington and State in Albany.
How to get to Albany: You can get a ride! The Jewish Coalition is chartering buses from New York City - (email or call for times and pick up locations: firstname.lastname@example.org, 3470415 3799
When: Tuesday, April 12, 2009
Why: To show support for the Markey bill!
The Goal: Have as many groups represented as possible and have as many folks attend as possible
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Help reform New York's predator-friendly laws! Survivors are often desperate for justice, parents need information to protect their children and communities deserve to know if a sexual predator is living in their midst. Change comes when people demand it, when they take action. How often do you have a chance to become part of history? To save a child from rape? This is your chance to take a stand and make a difference!
9:30 - 10:45 am Meet in the large Cafeteria (a section of tables will be put together) next to the Albany Room and by the Liberty Café. Meet each other, strategize for the day, break into smaller groups to lobby, info on which lawmakers to target, muffins, snacks and coffee.
11:00 am Press Conference LCA Room 130
11:45 am - 5 pm. Go in smaller groups to visit lawmakers offices.
Tell our stories and ask for their support.
4:30-5:30 pm Report to Assemblywoman Marge Markey's office.
(Room 654 in the Legislative Office Building)
When finished visiting lawmakers each small group should have a least one member give a20report including which lawmakers' offices visited, who you spoke to, what questions they asked, how they responded to you (need accurate details for polling) Please don't forget to give this report before you leave the Capitol!
Even if you cannot attend you can help,
- Contact groups who might be willing to support this legislation. Ask them to attend or write a one page letter of support on their groups' letterhead. This could be groups like rape crisis centers, child advocacy groups, etc.
- Write a short letter of support for this bill including a photo of yourself at the age you were when you were abused and bring 30 copies with you to Albany. Be sure to include your name, address and contact info. If you cannot attend send the statement to SNAPadmin1@gmail.com by 2:00 p.m. on Friday, April 17.
RSVP: Please let us hear from you!
If you are willing to make a statement at the Press Conference, attend the Lobby Day or want to receive planning updates please send an email to: SNAPadmin@gmail.com.
- Please bring childhood photos of survivors (preferably blown up to 8"X10" to hold during the press conference and to show to lawmakers.
- Each group should have at least one sign giving name and/or logo o f the group (about 14"X 16")Dress code is business attire
Elliot Pasik, Esq.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO YOUR FRIENDS and ASSOCIATES
Sent: Sunday, April 19, 2009 11:25 AM
To: (NAME REMOVED)
I received the information below and was about to put it up on our website as well as send it out to our considerable mailing list (we reach just slightly over 20,000 target-marketed households by snail-mail), when I saw that Vicki Polin is involved in this effort and listed as one of the contact people.
Ms. Polin and her notorious “Awareness Center” website have, in my opinion, done enormous damage to a very important cause. Without any evidence at all, she has attempted to—and, I believe, in a few cases, succeeded in—ruining the lives of innocent people. She publicly informed a meeting of Jewish Women International that once she lists an individual on her site as an abuser (without any proof beyond a report, sometimes only one that exists on another website, which she may or may not have placed herself), it is nearly impossible to be removed. She sets herself up as the arbiter as to whether or not he (the vast majority are men, but there are some women) has sufficiently repented. Even then, she said, she might keep the individual on her site, simply, as she said, to make sure he doesn’t stray again—in her opinion.
Her own history includes a television appearance on the Oprah Winfrey program in which she discussed “Jewish Satanic” groups which, she said, breed infants for sacrifice. She claimed she had been abused in a synagogue “with a ritual object” on the bima. It was Ms. Winfrey who abruptly ended the segment.
I do not believe anyone can take this effort seriously as long as Ms. Polin is involved.
Thanks for sending me the information--
The Jewish Voice and Opinion
Please know that the bill being proposed will help a large number of victims get the opportunity to expose their perpetrators and get their day in court. This bill will also help identify predators so that children today in New York can be protected. Assemblywoman Marge Markey and Senator Tom Duane sponsored the bill several times before and have not been successful. This year it seems there is a good chance the bill could pass. I don't believe that Markey or Duane have contact with Vicki and/or the Awareness Center and don't believe that Vicki has had any influence on them sponsoring the bill. I was the one who put Vicki down as a contact person because I contacted her and asked her to tell her members about the Lobby day. She herself is not able to attend the Lobby Day but did agree to spread the word to others who might be able to be there. Please reconsider and send the notice to your members. Please remove Vicki's contact info and/or mine or anyone else you don't feel comfortable with and add yourself as a contact person. Please spread the word about this important legislation. Please encourage your members to support this bill. Any help you can offer will be appreciated by the victims who will get their day in court but even more importantly by children who won't get abused because a predator who works or lives near them will get exposed in court and then not be able to hurt them. Thanks for all you do for the survivor community!
All the best,
--- On Sun, 4/19/09, Susan Rosenbluth <email@example.com> wrote:
From: Susan Rosenbluth <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: Rally To Protect Children Against Sexual Abuse: Tuesday, April 21
To: (NAME REMOVED)
Date: Sunday, April 19, 2009, 10:19 PM
I very much appreciate your principled position and your passion for this important issue. Goodness knows, I support this bill and hope that it passes, not only to protect New York children, but also so that it can serve as an example for other states.
When Ms. Polin’s name is removed as a member of this coalition (and not just by me, which would simply be silly), I will be happy to participate formally.
The Jewish Voice and Opinion