Story About Dressing Modestly

One of my good friends told me a funny story.

The friend of his daughter was wearing one of those cropped shirts which expose the belly.

She said that her dad told her to throw a party for her clothes, so that her shirt could meet her shorts.

I guess all dads worry about the modesty of their daughters.

This was a good tznius story that hammers home the point and is also pretty funny. ūüėČ

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Prevent Problems From Becoming Crises

I heard this saying and thought it was good:

Problems that are left unattended have a habit of becoming crises. 


I suppose problems exist for us to confront and deal with them, so we can grow ourselves. 


– There is no running from problems.


– There is no hiding from problems.


Problems can follow you with better than laser-guided GPS and they will find you out.  


The only option is it face the challenge head-on and the earlier and more productively the better. ūüėČ


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

SAR — Safe Haven For Sexual Abusers, Not For Kids

SAR ACADEMY: SAFE HAVEN FOR SEXUAL ABUSERS


SAR has had at least 5 alleged and/or convicted sexual abusers on their rolls or associated with them that we know about:


1. Stanley Rosenfeld (1970s-1980s)

2. Rabbi Sheldon Schwartz (1970s-2018)

3. Jane Doe, female staff member in High School (-2012)

4. Rabbi Jonathan Skolnick (2018-2019)

5. Plus the “Sauna Rabbi” from the Riverdale Jewish Center (~1986-2016)


In my opinion, SAR has become a safe haven for child sexual abusers as they have kept hiring the perverts. SAR is what they call an open school, and in their attempt to literally tear down the physical walls inside the school, they very likely have opened up the school to the child sexual abusers who use their openness physically, socially, and technically to enable and facilitate sexual abuse. Perhaps after all this, word is out on the street that SAR is the place for sexual abusers who go for easy access to students in an open school system with a history of lax enforcement. SAR has got to do a better job in its vetting process and in ongoing monitoring for inappropriate contact. 



SAR’S NARCISSISTIC “RESPONSE” HANDLING AND AVOIDANCE OF RESPONSIBILITY


SAR’s reaction has been heavily focused on the public relations¬†to buttress themselves and in essence their very strategic messaging has been over and over that “they’ve done everything right,” including from a Rabbi working for them for ~20-years that said self-servingly just that the other day for the¬†Jewish Link NJ. However, from my perspective,¬†the truth of the matter is that they have done virtually everything wrong.


From what I’ve seen and read, it’s more like 90% of SAR’s response has been about their “response.”¬†rather than on expressing any contrition or regret for what has happened under their watch, rather than on introspection for where they keep going wrong, rather than on working to fundamentally understand how they keep on hiring pervs and getting fooled for so long, and rather than genuinely strategizing on what they can do better to protect the children before it happens again. Is their policy and training working if the latest Skolnick incident happened just a few years after the prior incident in the high school and while they were still investigating the Rosenfeld/Schwartz one in the middle school? SAR’s response that they have done everything right in responding and of course,¬†patting themselves on the back¬†is like a mortician praising themselves for a great job cleaning up the dead bodies that they themselves facilitated.


Further, why is everyone talking about SAR’s response rather than prevention? And why is no one talking about the victims?¬†For example, why is no one talking about the poor 14-old boy from SAR that was allegedly exploited by Skolnick or the other 20-25 victims? SAR is conveniently bringing in their own self-serving investigators and “experts” (supposedly one of these¬†is¬†alleged to have asked for leniency for the child abuser in a prior child sexual abuse case). It certainly seems like¬†they are doing everything but holding themselves accountable for their mistakes of judgement and process.¬† Further, 1) why are they not cleaning house of any additional abusers that are still hiding in their ranks, and 2) starting with their leadership holding Rabbi Krauss accountable for the errors that were made with Skolnick’s hiring.¬†


Moreover, rather than SAR taking responsibility, I’ve heard plenty of blaming the child victims from gaslighting pundits who in my opinion should absolutely have their licenses revoked.¬†These reprehensible, morally vacant “child victim advocates” aren’t holding the abusers accountable, but rather blaming the child victims¬†with insane causative conclusions that it is because the children weren’t empowered, assertiveness or strong enough that’s why they were sexually abused.¬†Truly, this is the age-old fraud of telling the rape victim that it’s her felt that she was brutally gang raped because she didn’t yell loud enough or fight back.¬†Make no mistake, a little child is not ever going to be assertiveness or strong enough to fight off a perverted grown adult who has been patiently planning and grooming their victims.¬†In fact, that’s why they call them children! It’s highly unfortunate that these people don’t see what it’s like until perhaps G-d forbid they are the victims themselves. I hope G-d open’s people eyes so that positive change can finally be made and children don’t have to suffer anymore from this.



WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD


From their response, it is clear to many that for SAR this is about their image and reputation and not truly about Jewish education and a safe learning environment. Unfortunately, as long as SAR is more focused on protecting the institution of SAR and their jobs, rather than on protecting the kids in creating a safe learning and true Torah environment then nothing will really change for the better or safety of these children. 

SAR — A THIRD Round of Child Sexual Abuse Scandals

What a NON-surprise from SAR in Riverdale.


The Judaic Studies principal (grades 6-8), Rabbi Jonathan Skolnick has been arrested for “production of child pornography.”


This after numerous child sexual abuse scandals in the Jewish community in Riverdale, and at SAR in particular!

  • Now for a third time in 2019, SAR’s 2018-2019 newly appointed Middle School Principal of Judaic Studies is arrested for¬†production of child pornography and SAR’s principal is¬†stunned¬†at how this could be happening:¬†“It is shocking to know that someone who we have trusted with our children has been accused of harming them. Despite the practices in place to protect our children, we are not immune to breaches such as the one that seems to have taken place at SAR.”

Clearly there is a PATTERN OF BAD BEHAVIOR AND NEGLIGENCE here (i.e. like a repeat offender) and at a certain point, the patience and excuses completely runs out!


This latest sexual abuse debacle with Rabbi Skolnick (where was the vetting process on hiring him?) occurring AT THE VERY SAME TIME that SAR was conducting and¬†publishing the results of it’s earlier sex scandal¬†with convicted sexual offender Stanley Rosenfeld and SAR’s statement in their October 5, 2018 message releasing their report that:


Continuing our conversations with our students and faculty on preventing and addressing sexual abuse. In 2014, SAR implemented an Anti-Harassment Policy:www.saracademy.org/antiharassmentpolicy. Training is done annually for all staff as well as appropriate training for high school and middle school students as part of their advisory program. Emphasis of the training is on awareness and reporting of any potential abuse as well as setting appropriate parameters for student-staff interactions. We are fully committed to the safety of our students and to continuing to implement best practices in these areas.  

As anyone can see that the words by SAR are nothing but cheap and empty as demonstrated by the facts of their now THREE TIMES REPEATED sexual scandals as reported!


How SAR could be “shocked” after¬†three times¬†the same types of sexual abuse occurring under their watch should be a complete mystery to any reasonable, thinking human being with a soul.¬†¬†


Where is the outrage by the Riverdale community and by the current board of directors of SAR?  And where is the REAL action by them to correct their now half century HISTORY of abuse against the children in their completely negligent care?


Of course, let us also not forget the other sexual scandal allegations in the same community at the Riverdale Jewish Center and the chorus of denials and lack of accountability that went on with their prior¬†“Sauna Rabbi”¬†of thirty years who finally stepped down in 2016.¬†


Would the Riverdale community and SAR in particular like to offer up any new denials today and provide any more cheap words about their Anti-Harassment policy and phony “commitment¬†to the safety of our students”?¬†


Less than two-weeks before the Jewish New Year 5780, will SAR finally take RESPONSIBILITY for the abuse to their past students and REALLY do what it takes to protect its current and future children.

Amazing – They Go In And See

Had my routine colonoscopy this morning. 


It is so amazing that they can go in with camera and everything. 


Look around and if necessary, cut out anything bad. 


Years ago, people just felt sick or pain and maybe saw some symptoms from outside.


But they had no idea what was happening inside. 


So grateful to G-d for the technology and doctors that can make sure all is okay. 


We are truly living in miraculous times. 


They even send you home with some pictures afterward.


It’s interesting to see, but maybe a little TMI. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Terrified Of Terrorism

Terrorism

Sure there are terrorism scares that are just hoaxes, and generally-speaking, we feel quite protected by our nation’s values, wealth, and entrepreneurial spirit, by Homeland Security, and by being surrounded with the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and our friendly neighbors Mexico and Canada.¬†

So we can be very assured–no fear, right? ¬†That’s what we need and want to function normally in every day life.

But perhaps behind the veil of daily bravado is a not-so subtle fear about something really bad happening again–whether a 9/11 or a San Bernardino or a Boston Bombing or anything in between or even possibly¬†more extreme, including attacks on our critical infrastructure (via kinetic means, cyber attacks, or EMP weapons) or even attacks with WMD (from anthrax to nukes in suitcases)–there is certainly plenty of attack vectors, means, and bad actors.¬†

It was interesting-scary, the other day, there was a video circulating on Facebook of a “radical Muslim”-like character with a turban or something distinctive (I can’t really remember) and carrying a backpack. In scene after scene, the character goes up to innocent bystanders and throws his backpack in their direction. The people didn’t know him or what was in the backpack or why he was throwing it in their direction. Yet, over and over again, the people jumped up hysterically in fear running for cover like there was very possibly no tomorrow.¬†

Similarly, we watch on the news almost daily of terrorist attacks around the world–school attacks, beach attacks, restaurants and cafe attacks, theater attacks, grocery store attacks, house of worship attacks, funeral attacks, ambulance attacks…and there literally is no end to this list of what and who is considered a legitimate target by terrorists–we all are.

In the last couple of weeks, there was surveillance captured of¬†Muslim women visiting a number of synagogues in Miami around the same time and asking questions suspiciously–could they have been staking these out¬†for possible future attack, similar to the attack on a Jerusalem synagogue with butcher knives, axes, and guns that massacred people praying and in devotion to their maker?

In the last half a year, we have seen terrorism morph in Israel from volleys of missiles indiscriminately shot at cities, tunnels to attack and abduct, and suicide/homicide bombings to become up close and personal butcher knife attacks in the throat, chest, and back of victims old, young, man, women. Everyone who is available to kill is being called to martyrdom, even the most little children being indoctrinated to slash and thrust a knife into any unsuspecting victim. 

So as we listen and watch the goings-on in the world and we say to ourselves those attacks happen in Paris and London and Turkey and Ukraine and Libya and Tunisia and Nigeria and Yemen and Lebanon and Syria and Iraq and Kuwait and Pakistan and Afghanistan and India and Indonesia and and and…but not [so much] over here.¬†

We say it, and we hope it, and we pray it, but in the back of our minds we instinctively fear otherwise. 

So while panic is certainly not helpful, perhaps phony bravado is not what is really needed either, but rather a renewed focus, investment, and commitment to our security–with more gates, guns, guards, intelligence, and advances in technology to stop the next attack(s). ūüėČ

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Irina Slutsky)

Welcome Ebola To America!

Ambulance Patient
While our self-declared intelligentsia has decided to keep the commercial flights open to Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, experts are predicting that new ebola cases will reach 10,000 per week by December!


Moreover, the United Nations has warned that if Ebola is not controlled within the next 60 days, “the world faces an ‘unprecedented¬†situation’ for which there is no plan.”

But by the time, we get our political will and act together, who knows…


What isn’t helping are publications like Bloomberg Businessweek, with another classic asinine article this time by Charles Kenny who writes–get this–that “A Travel Ban Is a Terrible Idea.”


While Kenny acknowledges “Travel restrictions have a long history as a tool against spreading infection” dating back already to the Middle Ages, Kenny is concerned about the “trade-offs” of quarantining the source countries–“because the benefits of contact outweigh the risks”–i.e. “People want to travel to see family and friends, visits places, work, or invest.”


Well Mr. Kenny, how about that people want to live and not die because of the irresponsible spread of this deadly virus? Two-thirds of the public, as well as many in Congress, and the media have already called for a common sense temporary travel ban. 


Kenny then goes on to exaggerate and talk about how laughable it is that we would “completely seal off the U.S. from the rest of the world” even though what we are talking about are just the countries where this deadly infection is currently raging.¬†


Further, Kenny is concerned not about containing the disease and protecting the more than 300,000,000 people in this country, but about the possibility that a ban on commercial flights “will deter people from volunteering to work in the region”–here again, Kenny ignores that specialized, trained people from the military, World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, and more are already being deployed–although too little too late.¬†


Incredibly, Kenny even compares Ebola to the common flu, and intimates that since we don’t quarantine for the seasonal flu, why should we do it for Ebola–uh, Mr. Kenny have you heard that Ebola has a 70% mortality rate!


Finally, Kenny says in his defeatist way, “We live in a global disease pool. In the end, once a disease begins to spread, there’s no escaping an infection.”


Hello Mr. Kenny, we have a responsibility to prevent and protect our people–there is no place for your throwing in the towel on all of us–what a shame that Bloomberg makes this dangerous rhetoric the Opening Remarks for their magazine.¬†


There is long established protocol of quarantine to stop the spread of infection–not that it would necessarily be 100% successful, but at least it would help contain and control the spread from getting worse, and we would learn to improve as we go along, and live to fight and save more lives now and in the future.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)