Friday, December 28, 2007

Demanding Transparency and Accountability from our Religious Leaders in Baltimore!

CALL TO ACTION: Case of Rabbi Yisroel Shapiro

Demanding Transparency and Accountability from our Religious Leaders in Baltimore!

December 28, 2007

Back on April 11, 2007, the Vaad HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Council of Greater Baltimore signed a letter and made public a statement about dealing with "Abuse in Our Community".

To this day the members of the Vaad who signed the letter have not been held accountable for the issues they addressed. For the last four years the rabbonim of Baltimore have been aware that allegations were made against Rabbi Yisroel Shapiro, yet did nothing more then have him stop teaching bar mitzvah students -- and then helped in arranging for this alleged sex offender to have a job working for Wasserman and Lemberger's. The status quo in the Baltimore community has been to ensure those who are alleged to have molested children have a way to make a living, yet doing nothing to help those who have been sexually violated.

It's a well known fact in the orthodox community of Baltimore that Yisroel Shapiro daven's (prays) at Congregation Darchi Tzedek synagogue, located on Seven Mile Lane. This is a synagogue in which children can be seen running in and out of. One would think that Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz's first concern would be to make sure the children of his shul were protected and to start asking if any children might have already been molested so that he could assist in them getting help. To this day Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz has never issued public statement warning his congregants of the fact that Shapiro was arrested and charged with child molestation. Unless a parent read The Awareness Center's web page, has been reading blogs or another parent told them, they are unaware that there is an alleged sexual predator amongst them.

The Awareness Center is asking that everyone contact Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz and the Baltimore Vaad HaRabbonim Rabbinical and ask them to:

1.  Make public the plan they established to notify parents in the community of the potential dangers of their children being left alone with Rabbi Yisroel Shapiro.

2. We are also asking that this statement include the safety plan created when Yisroel Shapiro is davening at Darchi Tzedek or any synagogue. They also need to make public the safety plan they established for Wasserman's and Lemberger," the retail business in which Shapiro is employed and also for any other public location Shapiro may enter. 

     Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer - President
     Vaad Harabbonim of Baltimore

     Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz
     Congregation Darchei Tzedek
     410-486-0445 (Rabbi Horowitz)
     7307 7 Mile Lane
     Pikesville, MD 21208

Members of the Vaad HaRabbonim of Baltimore (Jewish Religious Court)

  1. Rabbi Elan Adler, Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation
  2. Rabbi Reuben Arieh, Ohr HaMizrach Congregation
  3. Rabbi Menachem Goldberger, Congregation Tiferes Yisroel
  4. Rabbi Emanuel Goldfeiz, Congregation Beit Yaakov
  5. Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb, Cong. Shmorei Emunah
  6. Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion
  7. Rabbi Dovid Haber, KAYTT and Star-K
  8. Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, Agudath Israel of Baltimore and Star-K
  9. Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer, Sheiris Yisroel
  10. Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan, Chabad Lubavitch of Baltimore
  11. Rabbi Nesanel Kostelitz, Machzikei Torah Congregation and the Community Kollel
  12. Rabbi Chaim Landau, Ner Tamid
  13. Rabbi Elchonon Lisbon, Bais Lubavitch - Chabad of Park Heights
  14. Rabbi Sheftel Neuberger, Ner Israel Rabbinical College and High School
  15. Rabbi Gavriel Newman, Beth Jacob Congregation
  16. Rabbi Shlomo Salfer, Winands Road Synagogue Center
  17. Rabbi Jonathan Seidemann, Kehilath B'nai Torah
  18. Rabbi Simcha Shafran, Adath Yeshurun and the Bais Din of Baltimore
  19. Rabbi Mordechai Shuchatowitz, Agudath Israel of Greenspring and Av Beis Din of Baltimore
  20. Rabbi Shmuel Silber, Suburban Orthodox
  21. Rabbi Amrom Taub, Arugas Habosem Congregation
  22. Rabbi Y. Zvi Weiss, Bais Haknesses of Baltimore
  23. Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg, Beth Tfiloh

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