Friday, October 06, 2006

Case of Rabbi Aryeh Blaut

Case of Rabbi Aryeh Blaut
(AKA: Louis Blaut, Louis Steven Blaut, Louis A. Blaut, Louis S. Blaut)

Rabbi Aryeh Blaut's Facebook profile photograph
Past Prinicipal - Seattle Hebrew Academy, Seattle, WA
Teacher - Approved by Torah U'mesorah 
Mashgi'ach (Kosher supervisor at Nosh Away Catering, Seattle, WA.
Driver at Affordable Kosher and Mashgi'ach, Seattle, WA.
Cook and Baker at Leah's Catering, Seattle, WA.

It is not appropriate for any rabbi, educator, agency or organization to investigate allegations of sexual abuse, especially regarding this convicted sex offender. Criminal investigations should only be conducted by trained law enforcement officials.  According to the terms of Rabbi Aryeh Blaut's probation he is not allowed contact with anyone under the age of 18 (except his own children).  He is also barred from using the internet.
If anyone who has suspicions, questions or information regarding this case contact:
Peggy Kellow Senior U.S. Probation Officer
Sex Offender Specialist
Phone: 206-370-8577      Fax: 206-370-8551
Rabbi Aryeh Blaut is convicted sex offender on federal charges of possession of child pornography.
According to the United States Department of Probation, Louis Blaut is not allowed contact with anyone under the age of eighteen on the Internet or in person. Meaning, Rabbi Aryeh Blaut is not allowed to tutor or teach anyone under the age of 18. He is also not allowed to use the Internet.
Rabbi Blaut is a past principal of a Jewish Day School in Seattle, WA. He was originally arrested in November 2003 for possession of child pornography.  He pled guilty in July, 2004 and sentenced on Sept. 24, 2004.  Rabbi Blaut spent 21 months in a federal prison in New Jersey. 

There was no press coverage on this case, yet a reliable source stated that 1800 individuals in the community received a letter.

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. Outline of Events
  2. Va'ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle  (08/15/2004)
  3. Letter To Parents of Seattle Hebrew Academy (09/24/2004)
  4. Anonymous E-mail #1 (10/04/2006)
  5. Congregation Shaarei Teshuvah: President, Rabbi Aryeh Blaut (07/17/2012)
  6. Convicted Sex Offender, Rabbi Aryeh Blaut on Facebook (07/17/2012) 
  7. Convicted Sex Offender on  (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 investigating.
  • 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.

Va'ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle
Va'ad Newsletter: Friday, August 15, 2003
5305 52nd Avenue S. Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 760-0805    (206) 725-0347 Fax 

PART TIME WORK WANTED - afternoons through early evenings. Can be teaching related or office work. I type 70 wpm and am familiar with several word processing programs. Fast learner. I also have phone experience. Very organized. Contact Rabbi Blaut - 206 723-7293.
TUTORING - Rebbe B-Tutoring and Learning - spots still available.
Contact Rabbi Blaut at 206 723-7293.

Letter To Parents of Seattle Hebrew Academy
September 24, 2004 

Dear SHA Parents, 

Rabbi Aryeh Blaut
It is with profound sadness and difficulty that I am writing you today. I regret having to provide you with this distressing news, but after much discussion with rabbis, key members of our Board of Trustees and outside experts, we determined that it was important to tell you of this situation. Earlier this summer, Rabbi Aryeh Blaut pled guilty to charges of possession of child pornography, and on Friday, September 24, he was sentenced to prison. 

For those of you who do not know Rabbi Blaut, he served as a member of our faculty for over twelve years teaching Judaic studies to our students. Rabbi Blaut also served as a full- or part-time administrator during some of those years. 

Here are the facts from the Seattle Hebrew Academy's perspective:
  • 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.
Based on our experiences over this period, we have decided to take the following two actions.
  • 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.
I recognize that this is a very difficult topic to discuss. Based on all of the consultation with professionals familiar with situations such as this one, we have learned a great deal. One critical point is that it is often helpful for parents to discuss this situation with their children in a sensitive and instructive parental manner. We encourage you to share whatever information you believe is appropriate with your children; particularly those children who were students of Rabbi Blaut. 

Please understand that we have been advised by halachic authorities that our decision to share this information with you does not constitute lashon hara (gossiping) under these circumstances. However, discussing this matter without a toelet (constructive purpose)would constitute lashon hara and is particularly insensitive to the Blaut family, who will continue to live within our community during this difficult period. For the sake of the family and their children, I urge you not to speak about this with anyone unless it falls under the category of toelet (constructive purpose) 

This is more than a personal, disappointing tragedy. It is a matter of deep concern to the leadership of Seattle Hebrew Academy. Our primary focus is on our children. Our school counselor, Katie May is familiar with this issue. You may contact her if you need help in finding the appropriate way of talking with your children about this subject or if you feel that one of your children would benefit from time with her. You can reach her at 206-323-5750, ext. 246. 

I am also always available to talk to you about this issue or any matter of concern. Please know that you can call me directly at 206-323-5750, ext. 201, or email me at I look forward to working together with you in building our school community in the future. 

Rabbi Shmuel Kay, Head of School

Anonymous E-mail #1
Despite the fact that one of our local teachers, a rabbi, just spent 2 years in Federal Prison for on-line viewing of child pornography. This rabbi teacher was 'approved' by Torah U'mesorah too!  He was active in their e-chinuch program. Needless to say, there are quite a few families who will never send their kids to any Kollel activity because of this lack of oversight.

Jewish Prisoners International
Congregation Shaarei Teshuvah
July 17, 2012

Rabbi Aryeh Blaut
Rabbi Louis ‘Aryeh’ Blaut – President
Rabbi Blaut has first-hand experience with the challenges faced by prisoners and their families. Through serving a prison sentence, then probation and engaging in extensive therapy, this Jewish educator successfully navigated the road to redemption and reintegration into our community. Much of his time is now dedicated to teaching in-prison classes on Judaism, counseling prisoners and releasees, and helping their families get through the difficult dynamics of justice and corrections systems. In short, Rabbi Blaut is ideal to serve as president of our unique congregation.

Convicted Sex Offender, Rabbi Aryeh Blaut on Facebook
By Vicki Polin

View slideshow: Rabbi Aryeh Blaut on Facebook
Once 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.

The truth is that it is nearly impossible forFacebook to insure that their social media site is sex offenders free, even though their policyis in place. There is no realistic way to keep convicted sex offenders off. The pattern tends to be that as soon as a convicted sex offenders account is closed –– they wait a few days and then open up another one using a different identity. What complicates matters even more is the fact that Rabbi Blaut’s name does NOT appear on the National Sex Offender’s registry, making it nearly impossible to protect unsuspecting children from him. The same thing has happened with the case of Rabbi Michael Ozair. His name was removed from the California registry when he relocated to Thailand.

Over the years Rabbi Blaut has used various names which include Louis Blaut, Louis Steven Blaut, Louis A. Blaut and Louis S. Blaut.

The story of Rabbi Aryeh Blaut is not unlike may other sexual predators that come from the ultra-orthodox Jewish community, instead of working directly with law enforcement officials, and notifying parents immediately, the school conducted their own internal investigation and waiting nearly a year to warn parents of the dangers.

At the time of Rabbi Blaut’s arrest he was both a teacher and principal at the Seattle Hebrew Academy. According to Blaut’s current Facebook page he is employed as a Mashgiach (koshering supervisor) for two catering companies, and also as a driver for a kosher store. What is unknown is what sort of safety plan the community had to ensure that Aryeh Blaut has no contact with children, an that parents are aware of the dangers.

To report a convicted sex offender on Facebook click here.

Convicted Sex Offender on
July 18, 2012


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Last Updated:  10/06/2006

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