If you or anyone you know were sexually victimized by Rabbi Matis Weinberg and are looking for resources, please feel free to contact The Awareness Center and or your local rape crisis center.
Derech Etz Chaim Severed
from YU Israel Program - Original Story
From the Editor's Desk -
Yehoshua Levine (03/06/2003)
YU cuts ties with yeshiva in
Jerusalem over rabbi's conduct (03/10/2003)
Y.U. cuts ties with Jerusalem
Battle for the Truth - Rabbi
Mattis Weinberg fights Yeshiva University over charges of "inappropriate
The YU Commentator - Letter
from the Editor and Comments from their readers
Rabbis Gone Bad - Part
The YU - DEC Controversy: An Inital
Response - Past, Present and Future
Panel scheduled to hear charges
against rabbi (05/02/2003)
Condemning Abuse - Weinberg family
takes action to protect victims of abuse
Note from: The Executive
Director of The Awareness Center
- Note from: The Executive Director of The Awareness Center
Panel To Hear Charges Against Prominent
Finally, Steps Toward Confronting
Panel Meets In New York
Letters to The Editor - The YU
Jewish Community Grapples With Sex
Rumors And The Rabbi - Rabbi Unnerved
Israeli school slaps Yeshiva U.
with lawsuit over sex
Israeli Bet Din Takes Up Rabbi Weinberg
Rabbi AWOL At Court Date On Molest
Molestation Case Is Dismissed
By Rabbinical Court (09/19/2003)
Yeshiva University Countersues School
In Rabbi Dispute (12/12/2003)
Yeshiva Counter-sues Derech Etz
Derech Etz Chaim: A Yeshiva Worth
Derech Etz Chaim and Abuse - Letter
to the Editor, YU Commentator
Trial Here To Focus On Abuse
- Yeshiva`s Case Ends Before It Begins: YU, Derech Etz Chaim near accord on contract dispute; Weinberg questions remain.
Daily Learning with Rav
Provided at Maryland Senate Hearing on SB575
- Rabbi Matis Weinberg on Facebook
Cases Connected to the Feinstein - Tendler - Weinberg Families, and or Ner Israel Yeshiva of Baltimore
- The Case of the Students of Ner Israel Yeshiva in the 1950's
- The Case of a List of Abuses at Ner Israel (Toronto, Canada)
- Case of Rabbi Ephraim Bryks
- Case of Rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau
- Case of Rabbi Moshe Eisemann
- Case of Rabbi Benyamin Fleischman
- Case of Rabbi Solomon Hafner
- Case of Rabbi Israel Kestenbaum
- Case of Rabbi Aron Boruch Tendler
- Case of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler
- Case of Rabbi Matis Weinberg
Derech Etz Chaim Severed from YU Israel Program
|Alleged Sex Offender, Rabbi Matis Weinberg - Now and Then|
From the Editor's Desk - Yehoshua Levine
|Rav Matis Weinberg - Alleged Sex Offender|
YU cuts ties with yeshiva in Jerusalem over rabbi's conduct
"The yeshiva had been thriving until the fall of 1983, when students began to come out with allegations that they had been sexually abused by the said rabbi during their years in the yeshiva. Within a few months after the rabbi, shunned by the student populace and confirmed as a sexual deviant, left the yeshiva amidst controversy Yeshivat Kerem shut down. Because many of the allegations had been kept quiet, the yeshiva's closing was perceived as the result of financial difficulty."
A prominent rabbi in Jerusalem's Old City, who was rumored to have sexually abused students at a California yeshiva 20 years ago, is fighting new innuendoes that he wields inappropriate influence over students at a Jerusalem yeshiva with which he is loosely affiliated.
Weinberg and his supporters believe YU's reaction can be traced to the fallout from the scandal involving Rabbi Baruch Lanner, who is free pending an appeal after being sentenced last June to seven years in prison for sexually abusing two girls when he was principal of a New Jersey yeshiva in the 1990s. The Orthodox Union, which employed Lanner as a regional director of the National Council for Synagogue Youth, admitted in an internal report to playing a part in covering up Lanner's offenses in the youth group for 20 years — a notion that Weinberg's supporters say has sent the Modern Orthodox Yeshiva University over the edge in caution.
The Awareness Center Strongly supports The YU Commentator for breaking the story regarding Rabbi Matis Weinberg. It took a lot of courage to let this story (that was 20 years in the making) come out of the closet. But there was a mistake in the letter writen by the YU Commentator's editor. The Awareness Center is an international organization dedicated to addressing SEXUAL ABUSE in Jewish Communities around the world. We offer resources and information on all sorts of topics that relate to educating the Jewish community on the ramifications sexual abuse can have on individuals, families, friends, and our society. This includes information on and about sex offenders.
Sincerely,Vicki Polin, MA, ATR, LCPC
Executive Director - The Awareness Center
Disappointed by Vendetta
An Insider's Appraisal: Pure Motzi Shem Ra
A Grave Injustice
A Witch Hunt
Rabbi Yosef Blau Responds:
Satisfied DEC Parents
Disclose the Name: Protect the Community
To the Editors:
Reasoned and Justified Reporting
A Personal and Professional Evaluation
Chicago Jewish News - Friday, March 14, 2003
Rabbis gone bad - Part 1
Derech Etz Chaim has faithfully abided by both the letter and spirit of the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program Agreement Letter of 2002/2003.
Derech Etz Chaim has consistently allowed open access, at all times, to YU representatives and has provided all data in compliance with the agreement. YU rebbeyim and administrators have given shiurim at DEC and have had the opportunity to meet with talmidim and rebbeyim during those visits. In the month of January 2003, the following YU rebbeyim gave shiurim at DEC: January 8th- Rabbi Meir Goldvicht, January 19th- Rabbi Mordechai Willig, and January 21st- Rabbi Herschel Schachter. In addition, Mr. Moshe Kranzler visited us on January 14th. Mark Lehrman and Mordechai Kaplan of YU's Israel office have also been at DEC several times throughout the academic year. This open door policy is not only in keeping with the agreement but is a standard DEC approach in regard to other institutions, the community, DEC parents and alumni.
DEC was not informed of even a hint of concern or issue until receipt of a FedEx letter, signed by John B. Fisher, which arrived in Israel on February 14, 2003, one day prior to the deadline for notification of removal from the program. YU administrators, involved in the decision, were fully aware that Rabbi Katz was not in Israel to receive the communication.
On February 15, Rabbi Danni Rapp asked Rabbi Katz to attend a meeting. Although Rabbi Katz inquired about the agenda, he was not given any information. He had no reason to assume anything but a routine meeting. The meeting took place on February 16th. Present were three YU administrators, Rabbi Rapp, Mr. Kranzler and Dr. Fisher. He was informed of the decision. His recollection is in consonance with what I was told subsequently by Mr. Kranzler, that due to confidentiality they were unable to disclose the names of those who made the decision. It is therefore interesting to see the full list in The Commentator. Also not shared, although requested, were a description of the process utilized to arrive at the decision, the precise substantiated reasons for the action, and the means of redress. The most I could elicit was that this decision was reached "by YU's 'poskim' and that it was related to DEC's association with the 'rabbi'." It would make no difference if the 'rabbi' were no longer associated with the yeshiva. DEC cannot comprehend this position by YU. If the rabbi is no longer associated with DEC, and if an impartial mechanism is established to determine the disassociation, what then are the issues which stand in the way of rejoining the Joint Israel Program?
As noted above, administrators and rebbeyim of YU have visited DEC regularly, have given shiurim and have spoken privately to talmidim. This within the past two and one-half months. I personally discussed DEC with Mr. Kranzler within this time frame. Not a concern was raised. Just the opposite, the comments were most complimentary of the Yeshiva, its program and faculty. If the purpose of these visits has been as the agreement states, "to monitor performance" then, if even the slightest concern arose, anything at all, that might have jeopardized the talmidim in any fashion, we should have been notified immediately. Nothing in our past responses would indicate anything less than full engagement in resolution.
The statement reported in The Commentator of a YU insider that "we didn't want to get involved with legal issues," just doesn't represent what was done, how it was done, and the consequences of the actions taken by Yeshiva University through its administration. Investigations are serious matters, especially international ones. The pursuit of truth through impartial, professionally administered investigations can help victims and even the accused. They can hopefully prevent further wrongdoing. But they can also involve legal issues of privacy, defamation of character, loss of livelihood, to name but a few areas of significant import. We must also not forget Hilchot Lashon Harah V'richelut, the closing of a Yeshiva and possible Chilul HaShem. DEC wants the truth. Experience has taught, however, and it is in keeping with good public policy, that impartial, third parties who have significant expertise in the field being investigated must implement investigations. They must be able to investigate with the broadest non-threatening input possible over a reasonable period of time. In all honesty, has this taken place? To this very moment, YU administrator/investigators are giving interviews to the press, making phone calls to convince other institutions to drop DEC, and are sharing unsubstantiated rumors about DEC with families and schools. If the decision is related to the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program Agreement, and if the case for non-renewal is so compelling that the decision is final, why is this type of activity still going on? Even Rabbi Eidlitz's charges dealing with the past allegations against the rabbi, which were conveyed to Rabbi Rapp, were unrelated to DEC. The same is true of the alleged remarks by Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz about the existence of an agreement some twenty years ago between the rabbi and Rabbi Svei. We reiterate, the association with the rabbi has ended. Yet, YU administrators have painted both the rabbi and DEC into the same portrait, and continue to do so, through broad stroke allegations and unsubstantiated rumors defying all logic. We must also assume that before the names of alleged victims and their therapists were conveyed to an investigator, that appropriate releases were provided. Does all this bring us to the truth or does it make it impossible for people to clearly separate fact from fiction? We have no reason to question the credentials of the woman expert on child abuse referred to in the article. The Commission and its members are well respected and they provided an important service in a most difficult situation. We would welcome and would value direct input from her so that we can gain through her experience what the D'var Torah said and the full context of her specific concerns. It is disturbing that YU administrators were willing to freely share all this information with The Commentator and other media outlets, but refused to share it with DEC due to confidentiality.
The letter sent to parents and schools by YU, and the comments made by its administrators in follow-up calls, are not in keeping with paragraph 20 of the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Agreement which says that "neither party will disparage the other's institution or academic programs, but will be supportive of each other's efforts." We believe that the ensuing process and statements made by YU administrators have been defaming and have violated this and other sections of the Agreement.
If, as the letters to parents and feeder schools indicate, "a review of the educational standards and the learning environment at DEC" took place before the decision was reached, we would appreciate having a copy of this review. Given that no specific checklist of educational standards or learning environment criteria are listed in the Agreement, and given that no allegations have been presented to us in writing, we believe it essential, and in keeping with the Agreement, to see them so as to allow us to establish the critical benchmark of affiliation.
There is something worrisome about the fact that the letter DEC received on February 14 did not contain any reference to a review, yet the parent and school letters did. Although Mr. Kranzler had assured me on two occasions that I would receive copies of these letters via fax, the commitment was never fulfilled. Why? Parents and schools were surprised that DEC had to call them to get a copy of this critical correspondence. Regardless, the offer by YU to help parents find alternative yeshivot and the wording of the letters, created an atmosphere of alarm and imminent danger. This caused untold worry and damage to DEC parents, talmidim and staff. Again, if there was such heightened concern to necessitate relocation of students without delay, why weren't those concerns shared immediately, not only with parents, but with DEC administrators as well? Why did it wait until February 20th?
In The Commentator article, YU administrators make reference to such terms as the "teaching approach", "overall hashkafa", "ideological" and "spiritual backbone" which speak of the rabbi's influence on DEC. To this very moment, no YU administrator has, however, chosen to give us a definitive statement as to the "rabbi's" specific view of these terms and how they differ from attitudes and methods already out there in today's diverse world of yeshivot. As a matter of fact, no YU administrator has even asked the basic question of, "how did DEC decide on this 'derech halimud'?" Besides, how does this concern about the "teaching approach" interface with the allegations being raised? DEC's style of teaching and learning is a comprehensive one selected to assure that its graduates are provided with the means to transition into either the American or Israel yeshiva system. DEC is in ongoing contact with the institutions to which its alumni enroll. This was the first expression of a concern about DEC's style of teaching, and it was registered by YU after the February 14th, non-renewal notice was sent out. Is there not something wrong with such a lack of process and communication when dealing with issues so vital to the future of students and their yeshiva?
One of the most perplexing aspects of this tragic and destructive episode is the allegation of DEC being cult-like. Actually, Rabbi Blau, while claiming no expertise in cults and after clearly stating to me that he was not representing YU's administration in any of his comments, stated, "it is a cult." The proof being, for example, that "right after Rabbi Katz was informed of the decision of DEC's non-renewal at YU he met with DEC students." So? "That's what cults do." Further proof, "Rabbi Katz is holding a DEC alumni and parent Shabbaton in Pittsburgh." So? "That's what cults do."
Panel scheduled to hear charges against rabbi
Condemning Abuse - Weinberg family takes action to protect victims of abuse.
Note from Vicki Polin:
The Awareness Center wants to point out that there are inherent problems with the approach of dealing with allegations of sexual abuse suggested by the Weinbergs. We are firm believer that in any community (including the observant world), when an individual suspects child abuse and/or neglect, they should be mandated to call child abuse hot-lines in their community immediately. This will insure that evidence does not become contaminated.
Calling law enforcement officals is the only way to be sure that there are no cover-ups or biases. This is one way to insure that individuals do not investigate allegations against friends, colleagues, and/or family members). Child Protection workers are highly skilled, highly trained professionals who know how to collect forensic evidence to determine if a case is valid and/or if there is enough evidence to press criminal charges. Child Protection workers know how to do forensic victim-sensitive interviews with victims of all ages (without accidentally asking leading questions).
It makes sense that variousJewish community may want to develop some sort of liason relationship with the child protection agency in their area. This is one way to insure that the workers have an understanding of our cultural differences For the sake of our children, we need to use the systems that are in place.
Executive Director - The Awareness Center
'I Never Felt Threatened' - A student of Rabbi Matis Weinberg stands by his 'rebbe.'
Elly Oberstein, 25, first learned of Rabbi Matis Weinberg through his books and tape recordings. It was in his first year at Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Pikesville that Mr. Oberstein, who is now studying at Ohio State University for his medical degree, met Rabbi Weinberg.
|Rabbi Leonard Oberstein|
Jewish Week - April 20, 2003
|Allege Sexual Predator - Rabbi Matis Weinber (Now and Then)|
|Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky, enabler of sex offenders|
|Rabbi Yosef Blau|
|Ner Israel Rabbinical College and High School|
|Rabbi Eliezer Eidlitz|
|Aviva Weisborg, PhD|
Elli Wohlgelernter is a former editor and reporter at The Jerusalem Post. Gary Rosenblatt is editor and publisher of The Jewish Week.