Sunday, October 4, 2009

Abuse: Senior Baltimore rabbi

Women tell of abuse by rabbi

Baltimore Sun (Hat Tip) -Joel Katz

For more than half a century, Rabbi Jacob A. Max was a dominant figure in Baltimore's Jewish community, founder of one of its most important synagogues, an influential leader who officiated at countless cycle-of-life rituals of the faith. A man, it seemed from afar, above reproach. • But Max's reputation disintegrated earlier this year after he was convicted of sexually molesting a woman half his age in a Reisterstown funeral home.

It marked the only time a woman had sought a legal remedy against the rabbi, even though murmurs had long rippled through Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation that his behavior toward some of the females in his flock was anything but appropriate.

The hushed accusations of Max's penchant for groping and fondling - which some women say he accompanied with a smirk and an excuse about his being a "bad rabbi" - appear to have been tolerated without inquiry for decades because of his standing and authority in the tightly knit religious community. Girls who complained to their mothers about his conduct say they were ignored.

On April 13, three days before his 85th birthday, Max was found guilty of second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense after a brief bench trial in Baltimore County District Court. Max, who has been married for 25 years, was sentenced to a suspended one-year prison term and one year of unsupervised probation. He will not appeal, his lawyer said. [...]


  1. It doesn't seem that this "rabbi" was an Orthodox rabbi.

  2. His behavior makes that obvious...

    Seriously though my understanding was that he was MO, on the liberal side, but MO.


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