The Awareness Center closed. We operated from April 30, 1999 - April 30, 2014. This site is being provided for educational & historical purposes.
We were the international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault (JCASA); and were dedicated to ending sexual violence in Jewish communities globally. We did our best to operate as the make a wish foundation for Jewish survivors of sex crimes. In the past we offered a clearinghouse of information, resources, support and advocacy.
(the international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault)
P.O. Box 65273, Baltimore, MD 21209
MEDIA ALERT - Confessed Child Molester Becomes Board Member of "High Road For Human Rights"
Marc Gafni (AKA: Mordechai Winiarz)
June 2, 2009
Over the last few years The Awareness Center has been attempting to warning the public and various rabbinic organization that confessed child molester, Rabbi Marc Gafni (AKA: Mordechai Gafni, Mordechai Winartz) has been in the process of reinventing himself. The Awareness Center has been asking all rabbinic organizations to post public statements on their web pages denouncing this confessed sex offenders behavior. Back in 2004, Rabbi Marc Gafni confessed to sexually abusing a thirteen-year-old girl in the state of New York.
It has been brought to the attention of The Awareness Center, that Rabbi Gafni has become a cherished board member of an organization called "High Road for Human Rights".
High Road for Human Rights, state that their mission is to advocate for those who have been treated unjustly. Unfortunately, this organization does not seem to care about the women who have been sexually violated by board members, Rabbi Marc Gafni. (https://www.highroadforhumanrights.org/aboutus.htm). Other board members of this organization include many internationally reknown celebrities such as : Ed Asner (Actor), Harry Belafonte (Actor and Singer), Ben Cohen (co-Founder Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream), Yoko Ono (Widow of John Lennon), Eli Wiesel (writer, professor, political activist). You can see a complete list of board members by clicking on the following link: http://www.highroadforhumanrights.org/board/board.htm
Over the years Yeshiva University, The Rabbinical Council of America and The Alliance For Jewish Renewal (ALEPH) have dealt with Rabbi Gafni and are very much aware of the potential dangers this confessed sex offender possess, including the fact that he has once again recreated himself.
Considering Marc Gafni's past history, we must believe that it is only a matter of time before new victims of sex crimes emerge. The Awareness Center is demanding that Yeshiva University, The Rabbinical Council of America and The Alliance For Jewish Renewal -- make public statements denouncing this confessed serial rapists past behavior in hopes of preventing another sex crime and also assist The Awareness Center's attempts at warn both women and children to stay away from Rabbi Marc Gafni. (See background information below)
September 24, 2004 -- The New York Jewish Week, "The Re-invented Rabbi" (http://theawarenesscenter.org/gafni_mordechai.html#The), in which Gafni stated: "I was a stupid kid and we were in love," "She was 14 going on 35, and I never forced her". The 13-year-old girl called his "loving relationship" sexual assault. (http://theawarenesscenter.org/gafni_mordechai.html#Teachings).
"The second woman, Judy, said that when she was 16 and deeply unhappy at home, she joined a popular Orthodox outreach group for teens that Rabbi Gafni was leading called JPSY (Jewish Public School Youth), and was drawn to his charisma and concern for her.". . ."During a two-week period when she ran away from home and was staying with Rabbi Gafni, who was then 25 and married, Judy said he abused her sexually on two occasions. Even more upsetting, she said, was that afterward, the rabbi tried to convince her the encounter did not happen, and then harassed her for many months. He threatened to keep her out of Jewish schools (she was seeking to transfer from public school to a yeshiva), called her home at all hours of the night and then hung up, mailed pictures to her home of naked men, and had her followed." (http://theawarenesscenter.org/gafni_mordechai.html#If)
A woman named Susan, who at the time was a 22-year-old adviser in JPSY, said she believed Judy's account, because of what he attempted to do to her. She said that when she took Judy's side, Rabbi Gafni made harassing phone calls and threats against her. "He told me I would regret it," Susan said, adding that the rabbi made inappropriate advances to her as well. (http://theawarenesscenter.org/gafni_mordechai.html#Susan)
2004 -- Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, spiritual leader Efrat, Israel was going to revoke the rabbinic ordination he gave Rabbi Winiarz/Gafni many years ago when they had a close rabbi-student relationship. When Gafni heard of Rabbi Riskin's wishes, he wrote a letter "returning" his semicha to spare his former teacher any further embarrassment.
May 18, 2006 -- YNET News (Israel): "Rabbi Gafni Accused Of Sexual Assault"(http://theawarenesscenter.org/gafni_mordechai.html#sexual%20assault), Three women in their twenties file complaint with Haifa police against Rabbi Mordechai Gafni (AKA: Marc Gafni), claiming he sexually harassed them during Torah lessons, promised to marry them; Gafni meanwhile flees country to US.
2006 -- Gafni moves from Boston, MA to Boulder, CO and then on to Salt Lake City, UT. He becomes involved with the Buddhist community and befriends Diane Musho Hamilton, who is also on the board of "High Road for Human Rights" (http://www.eomega.org/omega/faculty/viewProfile/83aca76821e7c2b7e598576087789963/).
July, 2008 -- It was reported that Marc Gafni married his forth wife and is the process of recreating himself and his web page. Marc Gafni's biggest supporter is Rabbi Gershon Winkler, founder of the Walking Stick Foundation. It has been reported by that Winkler shares many of Marc Gafni's philosophies including the one on having multiple "marriage partners". (http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/Winkler_Gershon.html).