NY--Victims blast Jewish center for keeping controversial rabbi

For immediate release: Monday, Aug. 17

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

Shame on Donald Liss, Samson Fine, and every other Riverdale Jewish Center official who has decided to keep Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt on the job despite his sauna chats with naked boys. The painful question that they can’t adequately answer is this: “Why take such a needless risk with the safety of young people?”


It’s sickening to read that one consideration was to “maintain the financial stability of (the) synagogue.” Financial stability apparently trumps children’s safety at the Riverside Jewish Center.

How will Liss, Fine and their colleagues feel if, months or years from now, Rosenblatt is reported for more sexual misconduct, or worse? This is an extraordinarily irresponsible decision by adults who should know better.

We join Yehuda Kurtzer and hundreds of others who condemn this callous and reckless move. We hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered wrongdoing at the Riverdale Jewish Center – by Rosenblatt or others – will find the courage and strength to call police, expose wrongdoers, start healing and deter future cover ups and exploitation.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, bblaine@snapnetwork.org)


‘Sauna rabbi’ Jonathan Rosenblatt to keep Orthodox pulpit

August 17, 2015 10:36am

NEW YORK (JTA) – The Riverdale Jewish Center has decided to keep in place Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt, whose sauna chats with naked boys garnered headlines after an exposé in The New York Times in late May.

Rosenblatt, who denied any criminal wrongdoing but apologized for inappropriate behavior, had been fighting efforts by some in his Orthodox congregation to buy out the remaining three years on his contract. Despite the controversy stirred by the article about Rosenblatt’s practice for years of inviting teenage boys and young men for naked heart-to-hearts in the sauna after racquetball games, the rabbi appeared  . . .

Read full article here

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  • pashut yid
    commented 2015-09-03 16:05:48 -0500
    It is abundantly clear that David Clohessy knows nothing about the situation or about the facts and factors that went into the RJC’s decision. It is unfortunate that people feel comfortable making such strong condemnatory statements at others’ expense with no information other than what they’ve read in a shoddy news article. Shame on David Clohessy, Barbara Dorris, Barbara Blaine and every other SNAP official that allowed this embarrassingly irresponsible and uninformed statement to be published. It’s sickening to read that an organization with such a noble mission and cause could stoop to such lows. This is an extraordinarily irresponsible decision by adults who should know better.
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