Saturday, August 16, 2008

Case of Rabbi J. Hershy Worch

Case of Rabbi Hershy Worch
(AKA: Hershey Worch, Hershy Worch, J. Hershel Worch, Jeremy Hershel Worch, Jeremy Hershy Worch, Jerome Worch, Reb Hershy, Moonish, Captain Shleck, Just Sir Will Do)
(Formerly known as the Case of the Unnamed Rabbi in West Rogers Park)

 Tsfat, Hazafon, Israel (2011 - Current)

Rabbi, The Torah Center - Tehachapi, CA (2009 - 2011)

Chicago, IL

Istanbul, Turkey

Rabbi, Congregation Ohawe Sholam - Pawtucket, RI (1992 - 1994)

Hillel Foundation at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1997 – 1998)

Hillel: Foundation for Jewish Campus Life - Melbourne, Australia (1995 - 1996) 

HaMakom: Jewish Study & Youth Cultural Center - Melbourne, Australia, (1995-1997)

Mbale, Uganda 

Manchester, England

CALL TO ACTION: Rabbi Hershy Worch and his new "Yeshiva"

The Awareness Center is DEMANDING the Orthodox Union (OU), the Rabbinic Council of America(RCA) and Alliance for JewishRenewal (ALEPH) to make a public statements denouncing the actions and behavior of Rabbi Hershy Worch. By not doing so is condoning his behavior, and advocating for hto continue luring in nonobservant women into learning about his "Torah of Desire."

Hershy Worch received his rabbinic ordination from Rabbi ShlomoCarlebach, who was considered to be an orthodox rabbi. Recently Worch created his own Yeshiva and is now planning on giving his students his own Rabbinic Ordination. 
According to rabbinic resources, the only way to revoke an ordination is for the rabbi who granted the title to revoke it. Since Shlomo Carlebach passed way, it is said there is no way to have his rabbinic title removed. I've also been informed that once individual becomes a rabbi, halachicly he/she can ordain another individual. 
In the past the alleged survivors of Rabbi Hershy Worch have spoken to rabbis at both the RCA (Rabbinical Council of America) and also to Rabbis at the CRC (Chicago Rabbinical Council).

Unfortunately because Rabbi Hershy Worch is not a member of either rabbinical organization , the survivors were told that nothing could be done.
Since Shlomo Carlebach gave Hershy Worch a rabbinic ordination, he is consider to be an orthodox rabbi, The Awareness Center is asking that the Orthodox Union, Rabbinical Counsel of America and Alliance for Jewish Renewal hire an agency suggested by The Awareness Center to do an investigation of the claims. Once the investigation is completed, The Awareness Center is demanding that a public statement on their web pages.
The allegations against Rabbi Hershy Worch include Rabbinical Sexual Misconduct and also the claims of his rewriting and misuse of Torah. These claims have been following Hershy Worch around the world for several years. 
It is time for the three Jewish organizations to stop passing the buck and do the right thing!


Jeremy Hershy Worch was born in Manchester, England, on May 20, 1954. He recieved his smicha (ordaination) from Rabbi ShlomoCarlebach in 1992.
There have been several serious allegations made claiming Reb Hershy's behavior as being predatory, manipulative and sexually abusive.  Allegations have been made in while residing in Chicago; from a group from the Hamakom Synagogue in Melbourne, Australia; and from other locations.

Rabbi Worch has been accused of utilizing a mixture of kabbalah, hypno-eroticism and other manipulative techniques to enagage his potential victims prior to sexually assaulting them.

There have been allegations that Reb Hershy creates a cult-like devotion to himself utilizing trance-like-states, guided meditation, hypnosis; all under the guise of kabbalah teachings. Allegedly his MO (modus operandi) has been to use such techniques on women with histories of childhood abuse, so that he can lead them into BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sadism, Masochism). activities with him.

Rabbi Worch has allegedly written a "BDSM-Kabbalah" and finds his "students" over the internet, primarily through his Livejournal "Kabbalah_101" community.

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 
  • The Kabbolist Haggadah: A Handbook of the Seder  (06/02/2004)
  • Serious allegations made against a Rabbi in Chicago  (10/14/2004)
  • Attempt at cyberbullying Vicki Polin - Holy Sister (10/21/2004) 
  • Past Contact information  (10/14/2004)
  •  Regarding Rabbi Jeremy Hershy Worch   (12/06/2004)
  • Banned In Turkey?  (05/05/2005)
  • Rabbi J. Hershy Worch banned by the Chief Rabbinate of Turkey  (05/08/2005)
  • Newspaper publisher becomes the story before debate  (07/15/2005)
  • CALL TO ACTION:  Gafni and Worch Speaking in Chicago? (04/20/2006)
  • Worch - Rosh Hashana 5767 - Sept '06   (05/25/2006)
  1. Attempts by "rabbi" Hershy Worch Cyberbullying Vicki Polin  (01/24/2008)
  2. Potent mix of charisma and Kabbalah  (05/01/2008)
  3. Sex and the synagogue (09/21/2008)

  1. Cartoon in the Jewish Press by Salome Worch (12/25/2012)

  1. WARNING:  J. Hershy Worch is a potential DANGER to All Women and Children living in Tzfat, Israel  (04/8/2013)

Alleged and Convicted Sex Offenders Connected to Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
  1. Case of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
  2. Case of Rabbi Mordechai Gafni (aka: Marc Gafni, Mark Gafni, Marc Winiarz, Mordechai Winiarz, Mordechai Winyarz)
  3. Case of Rabbi Michael Ozair (AKA: Rabbi Michael Ezra - Kabbalah Coach, Rabbi Michael Ezra Ozair, Rabbi Michael)
  4. Rabbi Mordecai Tendler

Background Information - Rabbi Hershel Worch
By Levi ben Avraham

Jeremy Hershy Worch was born in Manchester, England, on May 20, 1954. He was ordained by R. Shlomo Carlebach in 1992. (One report says Carlebach gave Worch semicha so that Worch would have a way to make a living to support his family.) . Rabbi Worch has six adult children from his first marriage and three young children from his second marriage. Both ended in divorce. On November 11, 2004, rabbi Worch lost custody of his three young children.
Hershel Worch has gone through the 12-step program for drug and alcohol abuse and he has the lingo down pat (see, for example, his book The Kabbalist Haggadah). Twelve-step programs are a great way to get laid. Many people substitute sex addiction for drug and alcohol addiction.
Chicago Orthodox rabbi Jeremy Hershy Worch has numerous friends who say he's a righteous rabbi. Some say he's the only rabbi who understands them.  Others say rabbi Worch is a sexual predator.
Some women who've known Rabbi Worch intimately allege that he uses kabbalah, hypno-eroticism and other manipulation techniques to have sex with women and to take their money.
Though he is into the BDSM (bondage - domination - sadism - masochism) scene, he principally seeks out (say critics of his) those who are not into BDSM and are therefore more susceptible to his influence and less likely to understand healthy boundaries.
Rabbi J. Hershy Worch didn't show up to his last court date (January, 2005) to challenge custody/visitation rights to his children that he lost a few months ago. The rumors are that he has moved out of his apartment and sold the contents.  It is believed that he relocated to Istanbul, Turkey.

NOTE: Rabbi Hershy Worch is well known in the "twelve-step world" of Chicago.  Often women are warned to stay clear of him.
The Anonymous Haggadah
A Synthesis of The Passover Ritual and Liturgy With The Twelve Steps of Recovery
By Rabbi Hershy Worch - 1997
Why is this Haggadah different?
More than any Jewish book of prayer or study written since the close of the Bible 2,500 years ago, the Haggadah has resisted attempts to change its format or content.
The reasons are immediate and apparent to anyone who has enjoyed a Seder conducted by someone who knew what they were doing. The impression that remains is indelible and enriching beyond compare.
Seder night is a journey into another time and place. It is a swift glance at the darkest night of the human soul and a lingering dance with liberty and freedom. It is a long play with family and food and a short sharp reminder of the depths to which we may plummet when the framework and fabric of our life decays.
The Journey, more a procession, wends its stately way through fifteen points of interest. There are washing of hands and breaking of bread. There are stories and unfamiliar foods. There are roles for children and playful songs for adults. There is wonder and enchantment, heroes and wicked adversaries, stories of Revelation and Retribution. There is even time to partake of a full Festival meal. There must be time. In my father's house the Seder took upwards of six hours.
If the Seder is an adventure, the Haggadah is map, guide, directory and vehicle.

rabbi Hershy Worch - Sexual Predator?
What is it?
Well, the main event of Pesach (Passover) and Seder night is the Exodus from Egypt, the miraculous birth and redemption of the Jewish People. One cannot be long in Recovery without becoming increasingly aware how close are the ideas of Exodus and Recovery. My understanding of the steps and process of Recovery has deepened my appreciation of the Seder. Now my Seder blossoms in the light of Recovery.
The Seder is not simply a description of the Exodus. It is an opportunity to scrutinize the real issue: our slavery. We were slaves and now we are free.
So what then is freedom? Does it mean we may now do whatever we want?
If we try that route we will soon find ourselves back on the road into Egypt. Freedom is not license. It is the absence of constraint and an awesome life-long struggle. We have learned this lesson, painfully, again and again. For when we became habituated to any self-destructive behavior we were no longer free. Furthermore, of all the destructive patterns of behavior to seduce a person, a "bad habit" is the most difficult to kick. Whether the habit is heroin, gambling or fixing people's lives. Whether it is self-denial, fasting, smoking or looking through people's windows.
This then is what the Haggadah is about. Long before the 12 Steps were formalized, enlightened people knew a Way. The Haggadah describes the Recovery process of an entire people, hundreds of thousands, adults and children. The distilled essence of their experience boils down to this:
1. They were powerless, they admitted it
2. They came to believe in a Higher Power
3. They turned their lives and will over to It.
The Meaning of Chometz
It is a very ancient custom (dating back to around 1300 Before the Common Era) to begin preparing for Pesach 30 days in advance.
We do this primarily by learning about Pesach and cleaning our dwelling houses and other properties of all Chometz (leavened foods).
On the evening before Pesach begins, we search by the light of a candle all the nooks and crannies where conceivably Chometz may have been carried and forgotten. We remove all cooking pots, crockery and cutlery that have been used throughout the year and prepare food for Pesach using Pesach foodstuffs and utensils.
The climax of all this frenetic activity is the Seder Night when we join with our families and enjoy the ritual and tradition of the festival itself.
For those of us familiar with the Twelve Steps and terminology of Recovery, the essence of our preparations for Pesach are a thorough First Step, wherein we examine in great detail all the manifestations of the disease and all the forms which it may be taking control of our lives.
What is Chometz (leavening)? Technically, it is the action of particular enzymes in the flour which are activated only by the presence of water. It is what transforms a lump of pasta into the fluffy aerated palatable staple we know as dough which bakes into bread and cakes.
No one in their right mind would sit down to a meal of raw yeast, though it may indeed be the secret, the essence of the goodness of bread. The fact that yeast makes the dough rise and taste good, is not a reason to make a meal of it. Gorging on yeast or sour dough would make anyone very ill. This has been the experience of those of us who have gorged ourselves on "yeast." We have been abusing something or someone in our lives. A relationship that might have been nourishing in the right circumstances or proportions has turned toxic because we are extreme. We have lost the balance of sufficiency and health. We are incapable of controlling the manner or frequency of our obsession or the nature of our compulsion.
The First Step is an admission of powerlessness and recognition of the unmanageability of our lives. Strangely, though, the longer we work at recovery, the trickier and subtler grow the incidents of craziness. Here is an example:
Once there was a man who vowed to himself that he would have the perfectly Pesach-cleaned house. Towards the end of winter he began in the attic, and working his way downwards he took the house apart stick by stick. Three weeks before Pesach there was no bread or Chometz in the house. People entering had to examine their clothing and pockets for crumbs, wiping their shoes on a special mat. He was satisfied that the house was completely free of Chometz. He had achieved a spiritual asepsis, so to speak, and sat down to enjoy his Seder with a clear mind.
Now a bird flew over the house with a biscuit in its mouth. The biscuit fell down the chimney into the soup cooking over the fire and appeared in the man's plate as he was about to eat. He was aghast. He looked for a reason to explain this obvious act-of-God.
We in the Program do not have to look far for an explanation. The man was obviously a control freak. His whole Pesach was the antithesis of surrender. The reality is that we are powerless over even such a relatively simple thing as cleaning for Pesach.
Unless we receive the help of a Higher Power we are doomed to struggle in vain. If we find the task of cleaning for Pesach daunting it is because we are supposed to find it so. None of us has achieved a clear picture of the nature of our disease without simultaneously being overwhelmed at the task of Recovery. That is why the Second Step follows the first full recognition: "A power greater than ourselves."
In the history of Creation described in the Book of Genesis, the unfolding of evolution is depicted over a series of six days, beginning with the creation of Light. Each day's progress is accompanied by the comment "And the Creator saw that it was good."
Upon completion of the sixth day of creation, it is observed "And behold it was very good." The Talmud asks, "What happened on the sixth day that merited the superlative description Very Good?" The answer, says the Talmud, is this: there was an addition of a certain ingredient to the stew of Creation, meriting that title. A final magic ingredient, the yeast that makes the dough rise. Sometimes we call it the Evil Inclination, sometimes we refer to it as Satan, sometimes we refer to it as the Angel of Death. It makes the world "Very Good."
This concept that the impulse to indulge our desires for comfort, sex and prestige is the source of all that is excellent in the Universe is thematic through Rabbinical literature. The disease model of addiction simply examines the effects of these desires when they become ruling passions. Another theme that runs through the literature is the reference to the Evil Inclination as the yeast in the dough.
The full realization of how we have turned our lives into problems through the misappropriation of funds, as it were, must be clear to us before we can recover.
In order to keep it simple, let us explore those three areas of life where ancient sages and modern scholars agree we need to look.
Step four in the "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of AA" contains the following quote: "If men and women didn't exert themselves to be secure in their persons, made no effort to harvest food or construct shelter, there would be no survival. If they didn't reproduce, the earth wouldn't be populated. If there were no social instinct, if men cared nothing for the society of one another, there would be no society."
So these desires - for sex relations, for material and emotional security and for companionship - are perfectly necessary and right, and surely God-given. Yet these instincts, so necessary for our existence, often far exceed their proper functions. Powerfully, blindly, many times subtly, they drive us, dominate us, and insist upon ruling our lives. Our desires for sex, for material and emotional security, and for an important place in society often tyrannize us. When thus out of joint, man's natural desires cause him great trouble, practically all the trouble there is."
Compare the above with a much older quote, dating back around 150 CE. Rabbi Eliezer is quoted in the Mishna as saying:
"Envy, greed and pride take a man out of the world."
It is clear that the Evil Inclination hasn't managed since the dawn of time to invent even one simple human pleasure. This stands at the crux of our understanding. Good and Evil are not the same as right and wrong.
Now can we apply all this knowledge to the cleaning of the house before Pesach?
Can we see it as the opportunity to survey our possessions and take stock of every single item in our lives? Can we bear to scrutinize them clearly and plainly?; ask ourselves how we are meeting our basic human needs?; are we obtaining our supplies in a spiritual way? Are we now living the excellence?
We will be in difficulty if we try arriving at a clear consensus of the meaning of Spirituality. Though there are no perfect definitions of the word, certain aspects are self-explanatory. Spirit means breath, the stuff of life. Whatever is dead cannot be spiritual. The more we celebrate the life we enjoy, the more we live inside our
bodies in the here and now, the more we are reaching towards a spiritual existence. For many of us, simply dwelling inside our skin has been the most difficult task in Recovery.
A Note on the Anonymous Haggadah
Because of undeniable and inalienable Rights to a Higher Power of my own understanding, and because the Right to a Higher Power of my own understanding is total and without any exceptions, I have not used the word "God" in this Haggadah. For me it carries baggage, has connotations and brings associations which would deny me the right of free association.
Instead I have used the Hebrew word (translit.) Hashem, which means "The Name." I know of no scholarly treatise on the meaning of the word Hashem. You may use whatever name you have for your Higher Power. For me the name changes as my knowledge changes, even as my mood changes.
"Hashem" seems the least tyrannical of all choices, under these circumstances.
If I have referred to Hashem as "Him" it is only because I find "Her" equally arbitrary, "It" inappropriate, and I am still hopelessly bound by literary convention and too timid to invent something new.
The Anonymous Haggadah
Rabbi Hershy Worch accused of Clergy Sexual Abuse
It is interesting to note that the Haggadah does not mention Moses who was central in the dramatic events described in the Exodus from Egypt.
The reason is pointedly an application of the fundamental rule of "principles before personalities." Whilst Moses may have been the most important person to carry the message to us, we slaves in Egypt were the real cause of events. We mattered in ways that Moses didn't.
We were the people in trouble, enslaved and in need. The Haggadah reminds us that we did not embark upon the Exodus brimming with goodwill and fellowship. We were physically, emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. All of us (excepting perhaps a few women), were totally enmeshed in the spiraling insanity of life in Egypt.
This then is the story of our Recovery. The principles that become apparent through the story and rituals of Seder Night are germane to our life tonight - Moses our teacher is not.
Who, then, is the Author of the Haggadah?

There is another anonymous character whose presence pervades the seder. If you both should chance to meet, consider yourself fortunate. But remember what was said: "You may say You were there, but you may not say whom you met there. You may repeat what you heard there without attaching names to it."

Knowing our selves as well as we do, we know our penchant for evading the obvious opportunity for self-examination. It is also fairly certain that any mention of Moses would have been the launching point for innumerable anecdotes and commentaries about his role. We try and keep the focus on ourselves, where it belongs.

Many question dismissal of rabbi at Hillel foundation
Published Online March 23, 1998
By LYNDA ZIMMER News-Gazette Staff Writer
CHAMPAIGN - Rabbi Hershy Worch, director of Hillel Foundation during the 1997-98 school year, has lost his job. The foundation - at 503 E. John St., C - serves Jewish students on the University of Illinois campus. It was the first Hillel established in the country.
Worch supporters describe him as an exceptional teacher who got a raw deal. Critics acknowledge his teaching talents but say he was no administrator. Portia Shah, a Muslim student, said she was one of about 15 students and community members who went to a Hillel board meeting last week to support Worch because he had welcomed Muslim, Hindu and Christian students to Hillel.
English born, Worch took rabbinical training in his teen-age years and 20s; moved to Israel and New York to become what he called "a starving artist" in his early and mid-30s; then became a rabbi who worked with a congregation in Rhode Island and students in Australia before taking the Champaign job.
Worch and his wife have 4-year-old and 2-year-old sons and a third child due by early May.


Hershy's Cartoons on Jewish Denial
JACS (Jewish Alchoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others) - June 2, 2002
Sought thru prayer and medication...
Rabbi Abe taught us the 12 steps are Jewish ...
We have no fleas or Jews...
We have the Torah problems with addiction !
The meetings are all in churches...
I'll be the judge of when I am drunk...
It's a goyishe program ...I know
Animosity is the spiritual foundation ...
It's all Twerski's fault ...before him, there were no Jewish alcoholics or addicts ...


Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail: Australia and India and Uganda - Fall/1995
Peace and blessings and all that is pleasant.
In Australia I had about 15 radio appearances and an hour on television, and I gave about 20 lectures. Articles were written in the Jewish and general press. As of today, we have many Australian supporters of our activities.
A Bet Din is prepared to travel to India to oversee conversions if the Chief Rabbi approves.

I returned from Australia, and found Kulanu's FAX on the matter of the Abayudaya. Evidently, it was arranged by Providence that I should be at the home of a special person, a Jew named Hershey Worch, who is the Rabbi of Hillel House in Melbourne. The reason for my acquaintance with him and my stay at his home was the Abayudaya. He traveled (to Uganda) after the delegation of Kulanu and conveyed information about them to me.
I have known about the Abayudaya over 20 years. A little over a year ago, the Aguda L'Ma'an HaGer (Association for the Convert) turned to me on this matter.
I expressed my agreement to the circumstance that if two of the Abayudaya will come to Israel, I will find a program of Jewish study for them and assist them to become converted if they are suitable.

If the Abayudaya want to convert, we must consider exactly how to accomplish this. I must inform you that the conversion process in Israel today is very difficult and complicated. For example, the authorities will not allow a conversion process to begin unless that person has been in Israel at least one year, and permission to stay in Israel for one year is very difficult to obtain ("Catch-22").

Furthermore, as I understand official Israel today (especially the Ministry of Interior) and the social fabric and attitudes of the general public, I suggest that the best course of action is to send a teacher (preferably a married couple) to teach them there for at least one year. This is of course contingent upon the understanding that they want to convert. I do not yet know just how to organize this conversion, but when they do convert I do not think that they should remain in Uganda. At that point they should make Aliyah.
A good year to the members of Kulanu!
(Editor's note: Readers' tax-deductible contributions to Kulanu can be earmarked for Abayudaya education, which could cover sending two members of the community to Israel for study, sending a teacher to Uganda, and/or paying school tuition and expenses for students in Uganda.)

The Kabbalist Haggadah: A Handbook of the Seder - June 2, 2006
Author: Hershy J. Worch
ISBN: 0-9674470-2-X
Numbner of pages: 236 pages, including index and illustrations
Retail price: $30.00 includes Free Shipping!
Published by Spriit of the Desert Productions
Book description:
The Passover Ritual and Liturgy with Explainations Of The Ten Sephiroth and Twenty Two Mystical Paths.
The Kabbalist Haggadah give the reader a compelling reason and a marvelous tool for revisiting the original Haggadah text.  Every line of the text and every detail of the ritual is given its basic Kabbalistic description and appropriate Kavanah - Intention. The subtext of the Haggadah is the healing of the primal trauma, Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil resulting in the loss of intimacy, referred to ask the Exile of Da'at - Knowing.  Seder Night is a moment of Giluy Shechianah - Revelation of the Divine Presence, the healing of Da'at - Knowing.
About The Author
J. Hershy Worch is wll known for his previous publications: Sacred Fire, Torah from the Years of Fury 1939-42, a translation of the Hebrew manuscript by R. Kalonymos Kalmish Shapira, Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto, published by Jason Aronson, 2000.  He has served as rabbi of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and as Director of the Hillel Foundation in Malbourne, Australia.  His writings on a variety of subjects from Maimonides to Generation X have appeared in books, newspapers and journals world wide.  Worch lives in Chicago, Illinois, where he teaches Jewish texts.
"Celebrating your Seder with Reb Hershy Worch's Haggadah will get you to experience the sould dawn of "Rabboteynu - the time for the morning Shema' has arrived." -- Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi


Serious allegations made against a Rabbi in Chicago
By Vicki Polin
The Awareness Center - October 14, 2004
Dear Friends:
There have been some serious allegations made regarding a rabbi who resides in (West Rogers Park) Chicago, IL.
The alleged offender originally meets his victims on line, and then after time connects with them in person. The allegations that have been made include the rabbi using a form of hypnosis and then sexually assaulting his alleged victims.
If you or anyone you or anyone you know has been victimized by this man, please call the Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline and let them know your story. Tell them that The Awareness Center suggested you call. The Rape Crisis Hotline is being made aware of the situation and are extremely sensitive to the issues that are involved in this case.
The Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline's phone number is: 1(888) 293-2080.
Vicki Polin, MA, ATR, LCPC
Executive Director - The Awareness Center

Past Contact information:
The Awareness Center - October 14, 2004
If you have information on this case please contact the following people (Tell them that The Awareness Center suggested you call):
Rape Victim Advocates (RVA)
(888) 293-2080 or (312) 663-6303
228 S. Wabash Ave., Suite 240, Chicago, IL 60604
Rabbi Mark Dratch -JSafe  (203) 358-2200

Rabbi Josef Ozarowski -Chicago Rabbinical council  (773) 465-3900

Attempt at Cyberbullying Vicki Polin
Holy Sister Vikele remove me
Live Journal  - October 21, 2004
By Hershy Worch
I would have been satisfied to have Holy Sister Vikele remove me from her awareness website, I would have breathed a sigh of relief, but no longer. No. The website has to come down. Mostly it has to come down because it is a shaming thing, a shameless, shameful thing, an ERVA where vicki exposes her privates and plays with herself in our faces. But, equally important, it is time to celebrate the good things Reb Shlomo Carlebach gave us all. Next week will be his tenth Yahrzeit - Aniversary. Let's celebrate it with the joy it deserves.

Regarding Rabbi Jeremy Hershy Worch - While in Melbourne, Australia
From a group of men and women in Melbourne Australia who wish to remain anonymous - December 6, 2004 
Hershy Worch came to Melbourne, Australia with his wife and young family in 1995. He was initially employed by the Hillel Foundation. As rabbi of the Hamakom Synagogue, he was then financially supported by members of his community from the years 1995-1997.
During this time both his behaviour and demeanour with his female students were consistently predatory, manipulative and abusive. He proactively sought 'romantic' and sexual relationships wtih many many women, specifically targeting those who were emotionally vulnerable and fostering acute dependency. He consistently used his role as counselor to make sexual advances towards those who came to him in need. He had 'romantic' sexual relationships with married and unmarried women who ranged in age from 20 to 50.
His inappropriate behaviour towards female students included:
  • Physical sexual interactions
  • Predatory behavior in the pursuit of women: e.g. late night phone calls and invitations to teach women privately.
  • Using the teaching of Torah as a tool of seduction.
  • Using group situations with himself at the centre - that utilized his musical, vocal and narrative 'talents' - to manipulate individuals and create a cultic environment around 'Kabbalah' classes.
  • Using his relationships with students to influence them to 'rescue' him by financially and publically supporting and defending him.
His abuse of his position as rabbi, chazzan and counselor traumatized this community leaving wounds that took and are still taking many years to heal. Reputations were publicly compromised and personal lives were taken over.
Those who have followed his career since he left Australia and returned to the United States have observed a repetition of these patterns. We trust that with our testimony and others you will do everything within your power to expose Hershy Worch and warn individuals and communities who may be vulnerable to his 'teachings' and promises of insight and enlightenment.

Banned In Turkey?
Jewish Whistleblower - May 5, 2005
Rabbi J. Hershy Worch has been banned by local Turkish religious authorities from taking any pulpit. He even fled the US for Turkey rather than show up at custody hearings regarding his own children.
Rabbi (Jeremy) Hershy Worch of course is Moonish Lunar who posts stories about graphically sexually assaulting and murdering people on the internet. I would caution readers, these are horrible pornographic stories.
  1. Webpagethat has Lunar Moonish's phone number.
  2. A Google search which confirms the ownership of that phone number (Worch's number before he fled to Turkey and not show up at child custody hearings and ignore his support obligations). 
  3. An archive of several such stories posted about graphically sexually assaulting and murdering people.

Rabbi J. Hershy Worch banned by the Chief Rabbinate of Turkey from taking any pulpit position,
ALSO conclusive proof he is Lunar Moonish
Jewish Whistleblower - May 8, 2005
JWB has learned exclusively that Rabbi J. Hershy Worch has been banned by local Turkish religious authorities from taking any pulpit".
The reasons for the ban? Read his profile.
He even fled the US for Turkey rather than show up at custody hearings regarding his own children.


Newspaper publisher becomes the story before debate
Yori Yanover, publisher of the Grand Street News
By Ronda Kaysen
The Villager - Volume 75, Number 8 | June 13- 20, 2005
Much thought isn't usually given to moderators. By definition, they are thought to be moderate, but Yori Yanover, who was tapped to facilitate Tuesday night's City Council District 2 debate, has some strong opinions about the feminist, gay rights and psychoanalytic movements and isn't afraid to blog them.
On Tuesday morning, hours before 12 of the candidates vying to fill Margarita Lopez's City Council seat gathered at the Henry Street Settlement for their first public debate, an anonymous e-mail circulated among the candidates, urging them to boycott the event, which was to include three panelists asking questions in addition to Yanover, who was to moderate. The writer, identifying himself only as Constitution Man of the Committee to Boycott LoHo Realty and their Grand Street News, pointed to a private Web blog penned by the debate's moderator as cause for a candidate-wide boycott.
The blog,, was written by Yanover, the publisher of Grand Street News, a booklet-size community newspaper sponsored by LoHo Realty. The entries in question address an ongoing dispute within the Jewish community about a handful of rabbis accused of sexual impropriety.
In one entry, Yanover responds to sexual allegations against the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach lodged by several women after Carlebach's death. The allegations were never brought to court. In response to the unsubstantiated allegations, Yanover, in his blog, blamed the "homosexual movement, the feminist movement and the psychoanalytical movement. All three movements have politicized the sexual, and with that, robbed us of the carefree availability of our sexual expression," he wrote.
"The gay rights, feminist and psychological movements have changed how society approached sex in worrisome ways," Yanover told The Villager. "Making a sexual mistake in this society is the most dangerous thing that can happen to you. The boss who 10 years ago may have said something cheeky to a secretary or a female underling, now he's going in the other direction. This is part of the anxiety of our culture."
One candidate, Brian Kavanagh, withdrew his name from the debate after learning about Yanover's statements. "The moderator of a debate is not merely a bystander, but controls the forum and has a public presence and I think that choosing this particular person under the present circumstances shows some insensitivity both to the gay and lesbian community and also to victims of rape," said Kavanagh, describing the blog entries as "reprehensible."
"Is she concerned? I'm sure she would be concerned with anything that's homophobic or anti-women," said Roberto Caballero, who is gay and is the campaign manager for Reverend Joan Brightharp, the only member of the clergy in the race. Brightharp, however, planned to attend the debate, which occurred as The Villager went to press.
Yanover is a strong presence in the Lower East Side community. In fact, Grand Street News approached Henry Street Settlement several months ago to co-sponsor the debate along with LoHo Realty. Some local figures have jumped to his defense in the wake of the Tuesday morning e-mail. "I believe in supporting good people," said Susan Stetzer, district manager of Community Board 3. "He is not homophobic, he is not anti-feminist. He and his wife are feminists and they're raising their daughter to be a feminist." Stetzer and David McWater, C.B. 3 chairperson, were profiled by Grand Street News within the past year and their photo appeared on its cover.
Henry Street Settlement, which hosted the event, had no intentions of canceling or changing moderators on Tuesday afternoon. "At this point, we're not making any changes," said Kathleen Gupta, a chief administrator for the Henry Street Settlement, two hours before the event. "We're just moving forward and hoping it'll be a productive evening."
Rosie Mendez, the only openly gay candidate in the race, had not read the e-mail when she spoke to The Villager on Tuesday afternoon and was reluctant to take a position. "I have to ask myself, `Why today, a couple of hours before the debate, is this coming to light?' " she said. "This has been planned a long time ago. It's interesting that this has come out now." Mendez planned to attend the event.
The author of the e-mail that pointed candidates and The Villager to the blog did not return requests for comment, nor did he respond to requests to identify himself.
Bias is often subjective and, according to Yanover, the comments on his blog — all of which were removed on Tuesday afternoon — were part of a larger dialogue within the Jewish community. The blog entries in question were written last winter, he said, in response to comments made last October by an organization, the Awareness Center, about his close friend Rabbi Jeremy Hershy Worch.
The Awareness Center, a Maryland-based organization, is "dedicated to addressing sexual violence in Jewish communities around the world," according to its Web site. Among the alleged perpetrators of sexual violence accused on the Web site is Yanover's friend Worch.
"Every time you Google the guy's name, every time he applies for a job," the link to the Awareness Center Web site appears at the top of the search engine, said Yanover. "His name is destroyed. What can you do about this? All you can do is cower away or you can fight this."
And so Yanover printed the full name, address and telephone number of the woman who made the accusations against Worch, removing the "the shelter of anonymity" that protected her.
"This woman destroyed the life of a man, she accused him of despicable things and hid behind a veil of anonymity and she did not deserve it [anonymity]," said Yanover in a telephone interview, pointing out that no charges were ever brought against Worch.
Ironically, the Internet and the infinite memory of Google may now have turned on Yanover, thrusting his online ramblings into the political arena. "A friend of mine last October was destroyed by sinister people and it's been my business to defend his good name," he said. "And if I get skewered by that then that's the way it has to be."


Call To Action:
URGENT - Gafni and Worch Speaking in Chicago?
The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter - April 20, 2006 

Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor" (Leviticus 19:16).
According to a blog ran by Yori Yanover, Marc Gafni and Hershy Worch are planing on speaking at a cafe in Chicago. I have not been able to verify that this is true, yet due to the shortage of time I thought I would make sure you are aware of this possible situation. I've tried calling the "No Exit Cafe," yet no one answered.
I understand that the majority of people in the conservative or orthodox community would not attend this function, the problem is that many unsuspecting Jew's and non-Jews may attend.
Please calll the "No Exit Cafe" to help verify that Marc Winiarz (AKA: Mordechai Gafni, and Hershy Worch are speaking. If they are, please WARN the owners of the cafe that both of these individuals have serious allegations of sexual violence made against them.
No Exit Cafe:
(773) 743-3355

Thursday, April 20, 2006
Mordechai Gafni and Hershy Worch in Open Dscussion of the Izbicer
A gig for Chicagoans... There will be a Symposium at the No Exit Cafe 6970 N. Glenwood, Chicago this coming Sunday afternoon with Rabbi Gafni and J. Hershy Worch and friends - between 3:00 pm and 4:30 pm. If you'd like to come and meet some of the other local Chevrah, you'd be most welcome. Bring your questions and curiosity... Yours truly will be listening online via Skype and might get into the discussion if they'll let me...
posted by Yori Yanover at Thursday, April 20, 2006


Worch - Rosh Hashana 5767 - Sept '06
Letter From Worch - September 25, 2006
(Deut 30:1) It shall happen, when all these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you will take them to heart...
What needs to be taken to heart is that the curse also contains some blessing. (The Rebbe of Izbicy 1801-1859)
Dear Reader,
Two years ago I was accused in the media, anonymously, of criminal and contemptible offenses. Most specifically that I use cult-like and manipulative, mind controlling behaviors to entice women to my home where I assault them. The attack was an outright slander, a lie without one iota of truth in it.
The accusation was embellished with details of my private, work and public life, added to make the allegation sound more believable. Since 1985 I have published work, mostly poetry and short stories using pen names, Moonish and Chapt Schleck. And it was under these names that I maintained and moderated a number of websites and bulletin boards specifically for Orthodox Jews on the farthest fringes of the community. One such website was "Kinky-Shiduchin", a place for Orthodox Jews with particular and peculiar needs to find their match in a safe, anonymous environment. Much of the writing published under the name Moonish is provocative, loud, erotic, iconoclastic and most certainly not the sort of writing I could publish under my own name as an Orthodox man without radical consequences. That fact alone was used to attribute to me all sorts of scurrilous, offensive and nasty material I never wrote, as well as selectively quoted fragments from my writings all brought to prove my violent and predatory nature.
I don't have a violent or predatory nature. The purpose of the libel was to hurt me; to damage my reputation and ruin my career. It largely succeeded; these past two years have been very trying and disheartening. Whoever spoke up for me or attempted to show how the accusations might not be true was attacked, ridiculed and defamed. Doors once open were closed to me. In the age of Google, one has only to do a cursory internet search of my name to be overwhelmed with evidence of its savage efficacy.
Finding the blessing hidden in this curse is a great challenge. When every indiscretion and misdeed I may have committed since childhood is trumpeted and broadcast in the media and no area of my life remains private, where is the blessing? There is certainly no shortage of sins with which to castigate me, and I provided most of the ammunition being used against me now.
Divorce is often a process bringing out the best and worst in people, at times in acrimony and bitterness. There are marriages and relationships which ended with my having to make difficult and painful amends. But no one to whom I have apologized has ever accused me of malice, violence or cruelty.
If there remains anyone who feels I have not addressed their grievance, please seek me out and confront me with my wrongdoing. If it was a criminal act, report me to the police. Accuse me to my face. Don't attack me anonymously, using depraved people and shameless websites to take revenge.
If there is a blessing in the curse it may be twofold. First I'm grateful for all the people who have been directed to me only because of the notoriety surrounding my name, and second, for the friendships and loves which have stood the test of time and in having endured trouble are grown stronger. But, if being or becoming the blessing requires that I say it was all worth it, I'm afraid I'm far from being there yet.
I won't mar this page with the names of my tormentors, you know who you are. I bless you with all the good things a good life enjoys in abundance. May this High Holiday festival season be one of joy and healing wherever and however you celebrate them. Undo as much of the damage and remove the causes of as much of my pain as you possibly can, please.
From associates, friends and those around me who have suffered because of me, because of this and other things which have brought disgrace upon me, from you I ask forgiveness in the deepest contrition.
J. Hershy Worch

Attempts at "rabbi" Hershy Worch Cyberbullying Vicki Polin
Been feeling like journaling lately
rebhershy (rebhershy) wrote,
@ 2008-01-24 20:08:00

It's been so long since I felt safe I hardly recognize the feeling.

Seriously, since my enemies tried their hardest to crucify me three years ago not a day went by but I dreaded some new infamy. 

Evil has many faces, but ugliest is the face of virtue triumphant. It matters not whether it triumphs like Rabbi Eichenstein who quietly calls my employer to have me fired, or like Vicki Polin who calls my ex-wife to say she's talking to 26 women who say I raped them in front of the children. There's no question in my mind that the worst sins are those we commit with the Yetzer Tov - Good Inclination. By the way, Eichenstein discovered I was working for XXXXXXXX XXXXXX Funerals Ltd as a Shomer - Guardian; someone who sits with the dead. He discovered it because one of the dead I happened to sit with (reciting the psalms at his side), was an uncle of his. When the good rabbi saw it was me, he called the funeral director and had me fired. He also stiffed me for the $15 an hour I'd earned sitting there all night.

Now I say that having a man fired because you think badly of him, doesn't make you less of a man. But stiffing the man who sits guarding the corpse of your uncle, finding an excuse to avoid paying him his fee after he's done the job, now that makes you a very small man indeed.

The thing is, the really important thing is that Eichenstein's Shabbes candles burned his house to the ground. Well, his wife put the tea lights on the plastic tablecloth which ignited when it heated up sufficiently, to be more precise, but you get the picture. I know which I prefer, having a mean prick try and burn my livliehood down or have the Sabbath burn my house down! Sometimes when I'm having sex I think of Victoria Polin, especially when I'm laughing. Or sometimes when my breath catches in my throat at the sheer beauty of woman skin or the perfume of her private places, I catch a glimpse of all the hot laughing sex Vicki doesn't have a hope of tasting, and I ask myself, who came out of all this enriched, and who impoverished? It's something to think about, isn't it?

You know, once a month like a fetish, on the 14th or 15th of the month, Luke Ford will visit all my web pages looking for only he knows what. 5 or 6 times in the last two years the 14th and 15th have fallen on the sabbath. So here's this convert to Judaism, to orthodox judaism no less, lives on a futon on the floor in a basement somehwere in Los Angeles, who can't hold back from firing up his computer to go snooping on the sabbath. Talk about being born again and getting a life!

I shouldn't crow, I suppose. But I feel like crowing, damnit.

Potent mix of charisma and Kabbalah
By Yvonne Fein
Australian Jewish News - May 6, 2008
It is an ugly fact of life that the very nature of authority guarantees its abuse. And in too many cases, those who exert authority, along with those in whom it is invested will not only abuse it, they will also get away with doing so.
In Jewish life, the corrupt power-brokers have often been our rabbis.
Intended to be men of God, increasingly they have been exposed as having feet of clay.
And those who dare to unmask them risk community opprobrium along with personal discredit and humiliation.
I despise, and always have, those who manipulate others simply because they can. I despise their fraudulence and their cold-hearted abuse of the susceptible.
Yet even worse in my eyes are those who blame the victims, those members of the Beth Din, for example who, as was the case in the US not so long ago, forced victims to apologise to the rabbi who had wronged them.
It was not until the victims put their case before a criminal court of the land that the rabbi in question was found guilty and sentenced to several yearsâ¤TM imprisonment. His was not an isolated case.
This week, Hybrid Publishers will release my latest novel, The Torn Messiah.
Between its covers, I have told a strange and disturbing story about rabbis and students, masters and disciples.
The Torn Messiah is a psychological thriller set in contemporary Melbourne.
It centres on a charismatic New York rabbi who rides into town on a page of Kabbalah, bringing with him an irresistible mix of personality, mystical teachings and guitar playing.
Melbourneâ¤TMs vulnerable Jewish youth flock to him, hungry for any teaching which will show them a way of identifying Jewishly beyond the narrow confines of Holocaust and Zionism.
And while the protagonists are Jews who walk our well-known, Caulfield streets, the tale inside the novel is a universal one, grappling with a global dilemma.
How should we respond to the enchantment of those who would fill our brains with exhilarating ideas, our hearts with music and pleasure and yet manipulate our consciousness for their own dubious ends -â¤" sexual, spiritual or emotional?
What defence can we mount against such a profound abuse of power as well as against the potent seductiveness possessed by texts, ancient or modern, when they combine with bitter-sweet melodies filtered through generations of suffering.
The Torn Messiah reveals how an authority figure steeped in spiritual mysticism can endanger the susceptible and the defenceless and perhaps it asks more questions than it is able to answer.

I have always thought that the essence of being a Jew was to question and to argue. The humblest can challenge the greatest and all that matters is the truth. No one may be deferred to because of rank.

What is the Talmud, after all, if not one long, albeit incredibly mellifluous, argument down the centuries with scholars challenging scholars -â¤" their peers and those long dead -â¤" over their opinions ranging from the great questions of life and love, of death and the great beyond, to the most infinitesimal, microscopic examination of halachic minutiae.
Arguably, the greatest argument ever recorded.
How is it possible then that matters have come to such a pass that we defer to rabbis, beyond all reason, simply because they have laid claim to the power?
They are men of God, not God himself. And, thank God, Judaism has never subscribed to any sort of doctrine of infallibility.
Once we admit, therefore, to the risk of fallibility in our leaders, it behoves us to keep them honest by a clear-eyed, clear-headed assessment of their actions.
If they act improperly in any way, surely it is a greater crime against the God they claim to serve if we turn a blind eye simply because it is too painful to admit their frailty and their weakness.

The Torn Messiah took me more than five years to write and then another year to sell and bring to publication.
It is not, however, like giving birth to a child. If women had to gestate for five or six years to produce a single offspring, the human race would have died out long ago.
So why did I do it?
I want the story out there. As a Jew, I want people to be aware of the imperfections within a system that is at once flawed and splendid.
As a writer, I am compelled to put words to paper. There is no WA (Writers Anonymous) chapter I can attend, no 12-step program I can undertake to break my compulsion.
It is the hand I was dealt. It is the itch I am eternally compelled to scratch.
And along with it comes a desire to tell stories only I can tell because of the life I have led, to tell them with truth and integrity, to place them in the public domain and let the chips fall where they may.

Sex and the synagogue
By Liz Porter
The Age (Australia) - September 21, 2008

He seduced vulnerable women who came to him for spiritual enlightenment. Now Rabbi Hershy Worch is the one being exposed and shamed.
RABBI Hershy Worch did not look like a serial seducer. Short, fat and married, he favoured the white silk stockings, knee breeches and big fur hat - or "shtreimel" - worn by ultra-Orthodox Jews on the Sabbath.
But the rabbi could sing magnificently - and played a mean guitar. He was also an inspiring teacher of Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical doctrine famously studied by Madonna. Talented and charismatic, despite his homely looks, the "singing rabbi" attracted crowds of students of both sexes.
Women predominated because Worch specialised in teaching female students the Talmud - Jewish commentaries traditionally taught to men.
The English-born rabbi came to Melbourne from the United States in 1995 as a 41-year-old chaplain and mentor for Jewish students at Victorian university campuses. Now a new book by one of his former students, Melbourne writer Yvonne Fein, paints him as a manipulative seducer, a man who made sexual advances to his most vulnerable students and was psychologically abusive to many others.
The Torn Messiah is a novel, not a memoir or a work of investigative journalism, but it is an open secret in the Jewish community that it is a thinly disguised account of the effects of the maverick rabbi's sexual escapades.
The main character is "Rabbi Reuven Klein", not Hershy Worch. Meanwhile, Fein herself, the editor of the 1990s Jewish magazine Generations, appears in the novel as Freddie Rose, editor of the magazine Diaspora Dreaming. Its headquarters are downstairs from Rabbi Klein's office - just as Generations was downstairs from Rabbi Worch's office - and its location is "Ben Gurion House" in Kooyong Road, Caulfield, easily identifiable as the Beth Weizmann centre, a few blocks away on Hawthorn Road - the setting for many of Worch's classes.
HaMakom, the "alternative" orthodox synagogue Worch established, appears in the novel as "HaDrasha". The fictional Rabbi Klein has sexual relations with three of his students and tries to seduce others.
Fein openly admits that much of the novel's content is based on Worch. She made her fictional Rabbi Klein a "composite character", based on Worch and several other rabbis, because she feared she was unable to make a "short, fat and ugly" rabbi into a credible fictional seducer.
She wrote the story as a novel, she says, mainly to protect the identities of other women involved. Fein says her fictional rabbi and the real Rabbi Worch both played on the emotions of a group of young adults who were all children or grandchildren of Holocaust survivors.
"We were all consenting, tertiary-educated adults. But, in some sense, we were all damaged," Fein says. "(Jewish) Melbourne is still, in many ways, a Holocaust town. We were all looking for a way to be Jewish that was not defined by Holocaust suffering or by loyalty to Israel ... We wanted to find another way. And he came with another way."
Fein says she and others were vulnerable to someone who could teach Hebrew biblical texts "without butchering it".
"He came along with this Torah from heaven ... He made it poetic - and mysterious."

Women came to study early and late, and were often alone with the rabbi. It was then, Fein says, that he made sexual advances that several did not resist - but which later led to anger and distress.

Worch left Melbourne in 1997 because the Hillel Foundation - the Jewish student support organisation employing him - had run out of money to pay his salary. But in 2004 a few of Worch's former Melbourne students were contacted by a representative of the Baltimore-based Awareness Centre - a Jewish organisation specialising in helping sex abuse victims.
These women wrote a long, anonymous statement accusing the rabbi of "predatory" and "manipulative" behaviour and it was added to the Baltimore website's "Case of Rabbi Hershy Worch" listing.
The entry on Worch runs to several pages, noting his alleged 1998 dismissal from an Illinois teaching post and referring to allegations made against him in Chicago in 2004. It also alludes to complaints about him to the Rabbinical Council of America and the Chicago Rabbinical Council.
According to the Melbourne women's statement, Worch "proactively sought 'romantic' and sexual relationships with many, many women, specifically targeting those who were emotionally vulnerable and fostering acute dependency. He consistently used his role as counsellor to make sexual advances towards those who came to him in need.
"He had 'romantic' sexual relationships with married and unmarried women who ranged in age from 20 to 50."
The statement also says that his inappropriate behaviour towards female students included "physical sexual interactions", "predatory behaviour in the pursuit of women - late-night phone calls and invitations to teach women privately" and "using the teaching of Torah (bible) as a tool of seduction".
Worch, now 54, has married a third time since leaving Melbourne and lives in California where he runs online Kabbalah and Jewish scripture classes. Responding to The Sunday Age's questions by email, he said he couldn't talk about what was in a book he hadn't read. But, he added: "I, myself, am looking for a publisher for my novel, The Inner Shikseh, about a Hasidic rabbi who meets and ministers to the needs of kinky Jews, sabbath-observant queers, sadists and masochists, bondage freaks, masters and slaves, pain-givers and pain-cravers, humiliation artists and a plethora of other taboo-breakers."
He parried repeated requests to comment on the allegations about his time in Melbourne posted on the Baltimore website. "When a lady of quality ... chooses to divulge a sexual liaison, it's dashed bad form then to approach the man for corroboration," he wrote.
"I came to Australia to work with Jewish students on and off campus, to share my sense of excitement and discovery with them about the Torah ... I found Melbourne brimming with impassioned and enthused people of all ages and every possible religious persuasion, starving for someone to give them access to ancient Hebrew and Aramaic texts."
On his own Live Journal blog, the rabbi has twice posted denials of the website's allegations against him. In 2006, he wrote of being "accused in the media, anonymously, of criminal and contemptible offences. Most specifically it was alleged that I use cult-like and manipulative, mind-controlling behaviours to entice women to my home where I assault them. The attack was an outright slander, a lie without one iota of truth in it."
Fein is adamant that Worch's actions, though not illegal, were exploitative and abusive, in that he took advantage of the power imbalance between rabbi and congregant. They were also a serious breach of Halacha (Jewish law), which forbids a rabbi from having illicit sexual liaisons.
Sam Lipski, editor of the Jewish News when Worch was in Melbourne, says that at the time of his sudden departure in 1997 no allegations of impropriety had come to the newspaper's attention.

At the time, influential businessman, rabbi and former Melbourne Football Club president Joseph Gutnick had offered to re-fund Hillel, the organisation that had been paying Worch, if it got rid of the radical rabbi. Gutnick had strongly objected to remarks he regarded as pro-Palestinian that Worch had made at a student meeting hosted by the businessman.
Several years passed before the first accounts of alleged sexual improprieties began to filter in from the US. Joseph Gutnick heard them, and also read testimonies from American and Australian women who reported inappropriate sexual overtures from Worch. The reports confirmed his opinion of the rabbi, Gutnick says now.
"He is a low-life and a heretic. What upsets me is that he uses religion to abuse women. There are numerous women who have suffered at his hands," Gutnick says.
So why didn't the Melbourne women complain to rabbinical authorities when Worch was here?
According to Fein, conversation about alleged impropriety began after the rabbi's sudden departure, when his shocked students gathered to "debrief".
Fein herself was only "intellectually seduced" by Worch, she says, meaning she did not sleep with him. But she was shattered that she had been manipulated by a religious leader .
"I was too ashamed to approach anyone official," she says. "Anyway, who would you go to? And what sort of hearing would you get?"
Another former student of Worch says the rabbi used his own vulnerability as a seduction technique. "He was clearly a damaged person," she says.
"He made inappropriate suggestions to me but I just ignored them." She still feels uncomfortable about her "complicity" with Worch's manipulative ways.
But Worch still has his supporters in Melbourne. Another former female student says she went to many group classes and never witnessed any hint of anything untoward.
"I had respect for what he taught us," she says. "If some women had a problem with him, they should have complained at the time."
At the time, says Fein, any Australian woman considering making allegations of abuse to rabbinical authorities would have first thought of the now notorious case of New York's Rabbi Baruch Lanner. In 1989, some of his congregants complained to a "beth din," or tribunal of rabbis, that Lanner had sexually abused teenagers. But they were not believed. They were not vindicated until 2000, when a Jewish newspaper's reports on the claims sparked a police investigation - and eventually a jail sentence for Lanner.
It is a poorly kept secret in the Jewish community that Lanner came to Melbourne in 1990 to be interviewed for a position as headmaster of a Jewish school. The interview was quietly cancelled after some calls to New York.
THE Torn Messiah took Fein more than five years to write. It took a further year to find a publisher.

"It took me a long time to get over (the Worch era)."
Jewish communities in Australia, says Fein, have been slow even to admit the possibility of clerical abuse.
She points to the secrecy surrounding sexual abuse claims against the principal of the Adass Israel Girls School in Elsternwick. The school board paid for the principal, Malka Leifer, to return to Israel, sacking her after investigating alleged sexual offences.
But Rabbi Meir Kluwgant, president of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria, says that his organisation is now facing up to the issue and has arranged for a small group of professional legal and psychological advisers to offer confidential advice and support to abuse victims.
In the past few months, the council has been investigating - or attempting to investigate - claims of "inappropriate physical contact" as well as "improper financial transactions" by a "trusted" religious official in the Jewish community.
In a front-page article in the Australian Jewish News in late March, Kluwgant provided a special phone number and urged the man's victims to come forward. Twenty people came forward with information, he says, but nobody was prepared to sign a statement.
Kluwgant says confidential advice and assistance will also be offered to any former congregants of Worch who want to come forward.
"There has been a shift in the rabbinate towards addressing the issue (of clerical abuse) openly and frankly and publicly," he says.
But Jewish Community Council of Victoria president Anton Block says there is still "not enough openness" in dealing with sex abuse thoroughly and publicly because of fear of fostering anti-semitism. Like any other community, the Jewish community does not like bad news published about itself .
"But we have the added concern that, when messages like this get out, it adds ammunition to those who want to hurt us and say 'look at the Jews'."


Cartoon in the Jewish Press by Salome Worch
Jewish Press - December 25, 2012

Rabbi J. Hershy Worch and his wife Salome made Aliyah from California, moving to Tzfat, Israel.

Click on Image To Enlarge


WARNING:  J. Hershy Worch is a potential DANGER to All Women and Children living in Tzfat, Israel
The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter - April 8, 2013

The following message was forwarded to The Awareness Center by a reliable source:

Photograph from Worch's MySpace web page
Wanted: Responsible Woman Driver 
Tzfat emailer - April 7 2013 

To convey a group of five girls to and from their home in Ibikur/Canaan to school in Me'or Chayim. 20 times per month.
1200 - 1300 shekel negotiable. 
Must be reliable, prompt and safe.J. Hershy Worchtel-072.252-4236cell-050.413-7569

For over twenty years there have been numerous allegations made against Rabbi J. Hershy Worch involving clergy sexual abuse .  The post from the Tzfat emailer suggests that he has contact with groups of girls and is looking to bring them to a school in which he is connected.  


The Case of J. Hershy Worch - CLICK HERE for more information

Jeremy Hershy Worch was born in Manchester, England, on May 20, 1954. He received his smicha (rabbinic ordination) from Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach in 1992.  

The  first arose against Rabbi Worch occurred during the years in which he was living in Australia.  A book was written about his alleged predatorial several years ago regarding his behavior at Hamakom Synagogue in Melbourne, Australia, titled "The Torn Messiah".  

Over the years Rabbi Worch has been accused of utilizing a mixture of kabbalah, hypno-eroticism and other manipulative techniques to enagage his potential victims prior to sexually assaulting them.

There have been allegations that Reb Hershy creates a cult-like devotion to himself utilizing trance-like-states, guided meditation, hypnosis; all under the guise of kabbalah teachings. Allegedly his MO (modus operandi) has been to use such techniques on women with histories of childhood abuse, so that he can lead them into BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sadism, Masochism). activities with him.

Rabbi Worch has allegedly written a "BDSM-Kabbalah" and finds his "students" over the internet, primarily through his Livejournal "Kabbalah_101" community.

Please help The Awareness Center warn the Tzfat community of how dangerous he allegedly has been in the past.

Some of the information on The Awareness Center's web pages may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. 
We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. 
For more information go to: . If you wish to use copyrighted material from this update for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead


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