Wednesday, June 16, 2010

10 years since the Lanner expose - what has happened?

Jewish Times Gary Rosenblatt hat tip Jersey Girl

The tenth anniversary of the public exposure in these pages of the “Lanner scandal” provides an opportunity to reflect on, and appreciate, how much has changed for the better in the last decade in responding to rabbinic sexual abuse.

With it all, though, communal vigilance is still vital because the problem remains, as do the impulses to overlook or cover up allegations of wrongdoing in high places. And there are voices in the community calling for putting ethical standards in place in synagogues, schools and camps.

What follows is a recap of the story; a look at the impact of the affair on the institutions directly affected, as well as on American Orthodoxy and the larger Jewish society; and a personal note on what it has been like to be the focus of both praise and condemnation from one’s own community.[...]


  1. I don't go for this Jsafe seal of approval. That sounds as self-serving as Good Housekeeping's seal of approval.

    Once you allow one (or more) organizations to assume the role as our gatekeepers, the institutions are let off the hook. Loopholes get searched out and found, schools' and other institutions' accountability become compromised, those who aspire to political power look to lead the powerful gatekeeper organizations, and inevitably corruption ensues.

    Let there be minimum agreed-upon guidelines, yes. But the best way to enforce is to educate the community and force transparency from the institutions.

    All too often these days, appointing experts becomes our way of shirking our personal duties.

  2. Baruch Lanner is regularly welcomed at the Boca Raton Synagogue where his son, Chaim is the Assistant Rabbi.

    Rabbis Efrem Goldberg and Mordechai Smolarcik have received numerous protests from concerned parents, congregants and other Rabbis in the area about Lanner's presence in the shul.

    Rabbi Goldberg repeatedly defends the right of Lanner, a convicted sex offender who unquestionably poses a threat to the children of the community to pray in the shul as he wishes.

    A big part of ending the threat of sex offenders to our children lies in protesting the Rabbis who defend and harbor them.

  3. This is just another reason why we should go back to Biblically mandated Nidah practices and drop allot of the extra rules adopted during the galut / Talmudic period. It was one thing to separate from your wife anywhere from 12 - 16 days a month when men worked 12 - 14 hour days of hard labor, had little or no leisure time, no exposure to sexuality in the general culture. Today the average man does little to no physical labor, has lot's of leisure time and can't walk down the street (even in Jerusalem) without seeing a half naked woman. Time to go back to more reasonable nidah practices and in doing so deal with many of the problems caused by unreasonable expectations of men's self control.


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