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August 25, 2008

RETRACTION: Alleged Modern Orthodox Sex Offender Still Around Kids – Adam Melzer Allegedly Uses Shul As Meeting Ground, Rabbis Remain Silent

Rinat Member writes via email:


Shmarya, I think that you would be doing a great public service if you blogged about the case about
Adam Melzer that has been unfolding In Teaneck. You blogged about the JW article but there is a lot that is missing there. First…
…many more boys have come forward about Melzer with much worse stories -- although that is briefly mentioned in the JW article. What is not in the article, however, is that Melzer regularly still attends Beth Abraham and he is always accompanied by an unrelated teenage boy when he comes and leaves. This is all done in full view of Rabbi Yaakov Neuberger. Even worse, Neuberger has not abided by the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County directive that each shul rabbi should exhort the congregants of the shul to go to the DA with any information regarding the case. This is particularly important in this shul because Melzer was known to hang out with teenage boys in Beth Abraham and that is where he met many of them. I do not daven in the shul but I have confirmed all of this with numerous witnesses.

If you want to post this as a guest post please do so but it is critical that this information get out there because if more kids do not come forward he is likely to get off with a slap on the wrist -- particularly since he is represented by super lawyer Ben Brafman.

Rabbi Neuberger is not the only rabbi to remain silent.

This shouldn't be a surprise considering the past behavior of Modern Orthodox rabbis in the Baruch Lanner affair.

Like Lanner, Melzer is a very prominent member of the Modern Orthodox community. While Lanner was active in kiruv (outreach), Melzer is active in youth sports and is a promoter of Orthodox music concerts featuring the biggest names in the haredi and Modern Orthodox music business.

Rabbis and Sex Offenders.
The Case of Adam Melzer.

RETRACTION 2:35 PM, 8-25-08 – Comments to this post left by: 1. anon, 2. [no name], 3. Meir, and 4. Troubled; all come from the same IP address. Worse yet, that IP address matches the IP address of "Rinat Member," whose email I published here.

This is a classic example of sockpuppeting.

This same IP address has been used in the past on other posts to leave comments critical of the RCA and of Rabbi Dovid Cohen. Aliases used include: 1. JW, 2. BA Member, 3. Disappointed with the RCA, 4. Anon, 5. STOP DAVID COHEN, 6. anon, and , 7. shocked about david cohen.

It is entirely possible the information I posted today about Adam Melzer and Rabbi Neuberger is true. But "Rinat Member" is clearly not trustworthy.

Sockpuppeting is never okay, and what this man did today is wrong.

I apologize to all of you – Rabbi Neuberger included – for publishing this email.

Comments

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I can confirm everything that is in this posting -- I have seen it with my own eyes. One thing that you should also know is that Melzer is a close disciple of Neuberger, or at least was prior to his arrest. They were often seen walking around town together. That makes Neuberger's behavior even more disturbing. For those who don't know, Neuberger is also a Rosh Yeshiva at YU. Some people in the YU world have learned nothing from the Lanner scandal. There are lives at stake here and everyone keeps quiet as usual.

It is amazing how these people learned nothing from the Catholic Church scandals.
They are doomed to repeat the whole process.

Can this be legal? I wonder if Dov
Hykind needs to be informed?

As a Teaneck resident I think that the key here is to understand Yaakov Neuberger. He comes off as a very nice guy but he can be very dishonest and he is very protective of the people that are close to him. He also does not like to take public positions even on basic issues. For example, people in the community were shocked at his lack of reaction to David Cohen's wild comments when he came to his shul a few years back. Not only that, when people in the shul brought the issue to the attention of the RCA, Neuberger lied to protect cohen and told them it never happened even though there were a room full of witnesses. He then essentially drove one person out of the shul for daring to tell the truth to the RCA. Unfortunately the people with all of the evidence on this don't want to talk to the press so this story will probably never come to light (they are good people but they are too protective of their own interests at the expense of the public's right to know what happened). This sheds light on the type of Rabbi we are dealing with here.

yup orthodox judaism is just a very successful cult.

"orthodox education" is merely a euphemism for "brainwashing".

if you're reading this and you're in the yeshiva system ask youself what alphabet exactly was used to write the 10 commandments then look up the history of writing and see if your answer makes sense.

Yaakov was one of the "good guys" at YU, that is, frum, has yichus, married well, didn't create any trouble, but like many of his colleagues, has very little in the way of training relevant to community work, etc. He was the kind of Rabbi who would have been respected by his community a generation ago, but unfortunately the world is far more complicated these days. One hopes at the very least someone will give him some proper advice before it is way too late (now its merely "too late").

Maven, Neuberger is surrounded by "yes men" who will never question anything that he does or give him honest advice. That is how he got into such a mess in the David Cohen affair and it may be happening again. Some think that power has gone to his head and he thinks he can get away with anything.

Maven, Neuberger is surrounded by "yes men" who will never question anything that he does or give him honest advice. That is how he got into such a mess in the David Cohen affair and it may be happening again. Some think that power has gone to his head and he thinks he can get away with anything.

The following is a letter from Rabbi Adler. We need more Rabbis like him, not cover up artists like Rabbi Neuberger.


Horim Yikarim,

I hope you and your family are well and had a restful and productive summer.

As I am sure you are aware, several weeks ago a member of our community was arrested for allegedly engaging several young boys in an inappropriate fashion. Two weeks ago, I alerted everyone from the pulpit that parents speak to their children and encourage them to come forward and report any instance of abuse. I take this opportunity to share with you the sentiments of HaRav Herschel Schachter, Rosh Kollel of Yeshiva University in this regard. He stated that we have a sacred obligation to protect all children in our community and to fulfill the mandate ובערת הרע מקרבך . In the absence of a Bet Din that can address this type of issue in a serious fashion, it is not only permitted to report such episodes to the local authorities but one is obligated to do so. If the allegations are true as strong a case as possible is needed for the prosecutor.

There are two phone numbers that I want to share with you. The first is the hotline to the Prosecutor's office manned by Sergeant Alan Lustman, 201-226-5155. The second is that of a trained frum psychologist in our area, Dr. Stephen Glicksman, who is willing to talk to any student or to parents who would like to discuss how to approach these sensitive issues with your children. Children and parents will maintain their confidentiality should they call. His number is 718-670-3290.

I hope that we will be able to maintain the safe and protective environment that has enabled our community to flourish B'Ezrat HaShem.

Beyedidut,

Rabbi Yosef Adler

Another Teaneck scandal took place last summer when a beloved teacher at the Maayanot YESHIVA High School for Girls took off with an 18 year old he befriended during the school year when he was a teacher in the above and she was a student.

Teaneck is a place that if the lid were lifted from the pot of sh sh sh shvieg.

Teaneck is also the home of Dr. Steven Simcha Katz, the Moishe Finkel of the '80's who is now the Chairman of Kashruth at the OU. Just wait till the lid off that pot is totally lifted.

Is Teaneck the next Brooklyn??

Shmarya,

Why don't you just remove the entire posting? Leaving it allows "Rinat Member's" purpose to remain.

Yackov Neuberger was a good guy at YU and I remeember him well.

That being said we should remember that being a good guy and a good communal leadrer are two different things.

Knowledge and passing exams does not make one a good coomunal leader. Smicha is basically a Jewish law degree. We like to think that people going through the process of obtaining smicha also develop in other areas of thier life in terms of ethics etc. But, unfortunatly that is not always the case.

Good leadership requires wisdom.
A community requires a knowledgable Rabbi and also a good leader.

There are many smart and knowledgeable people but few with wisodm.

I suggest that Neuberger hustle himslef over to Rabbi Yossef Blau at YU and get a bit of mussar from Rabbi Blau.

Rabbi Blau set Rabbi Neuberger straight.

What was the story with Steve Katz in the '80s ? It has been mentioned, but no one has explained...

Scott - well done.

Katz was President of Central Glatt Inc. In November 1985, a truckload of his treife meat was discovered in Ohio that was headed to the NY metropolitan area to be sold as glatt kosher. The Jewish Press reported this story at time and it was a subject at the Agudah convention that year. A kosher consumer group was established as a result of this scandal and several other kashruth scandals that were exposed at that time. Katz refused a hazmanas bais din of the Agudas Harobonim. Several years later, he was rewarded by being appointed Chairman of the OU Kashruth Commission.

I think it's more effective to leave the text but have it lined out.
Otherwise readers will have a lingering memory of the content of the posts but won't know that information is from a suspicious source.
Perhaps the poster is Meir, a troubled Rinat member but by messing around you've put your accusations in doubt even if true.
Good job Shmarya - that Rubashkin PR gang has raised your alert level!

Brafman can easily get the case dismissed now by claiming it was all a conspiracy. The sockpuppet just fed him a load of ammunition. Nice work "Meir".

Steve,

Obviously, you have a vendetta against Steve Katz. If the case was so black and white as you like to portray it, then the OU would not have hired him in this capacity and he wouldnt have the impeccable shem tov that he does have in the Northern NJ Frum community. Steve is a tzadik who does wondrous chasadim both in public and private and whos home is open to talmidei chachamim, gedolim, rabanim and the pashuta yid.

You sir, have much soul searching to do- please think about why you are spreading these vicious stories and if you think you have something to add to kashrut, take up your grievances with the OU.

David,

I am only stating facts. I have the articles to back me up. I have no vendetta against the man. My issue is with the corruption at the OU. You think that maybe they could have founf a better candidate to be the Chairman of Kashrus, than someone involved in a major kashrus scandal?

Steve,

What you are alleging is what ppl go to Jail for. Such actions would be investigated by law enforcement and reports written up. Why dont you try to understand the other side of the story, if there is one and no doubt there is. Mistakes happen- all the time. I can show you hundreds of "articles" that have been proven false and misleading whether due to lack of objective reporting, personal vendettas, and the list goes on.

For your sake, steve, before you continue to disparage a gem of a yid like Steve/Simcha and before you incur even more tshuva to do, set up a meeting with an OU representative, bring your "articles" and let the OU explain themselves.

Hope to see you back on here begging Shmarya to take down your misleading and sensational comments.

Steve - Post some of the articles?

Why don't you delete the story if it isn't true?

++Why don't you delete the story if it isn't true?++

Because in doing it this way - he acknowledges and admits he made a mistake.

Interesting concept - and a difficult one for some to even grasp.

I will repeat: Rabbi Yosef Adler is one of the finest Orthodox rabbis I have ever met. In dissecting what is wrong with Orthodoxy, it is also important to acknowledge the good.

And Yashar Koach to Shmarya for having the decency to retract a questionable article.

except someone who read the post and didn't know of the retraction.....

Very disappointed to see your blog, Shmar, which is completely inaccurate and wreaks of the false messiah…A retraction is never a retraction unless it
is completely removed from a blog. Crossing over a comment is no more a retraction than apologizing in a letter and crossing it out…As a congregant of CBA and a past parent of a TABC teen (I chose to remove our son from Rabbi Adler’s school), I can discern lots of differences between the rabbis of fact and fiction.
First: personality differences. Rav Neuberger is from Canada and
Rabbi Adler is from Brookyn – forget the sport’s aspect – enough said…
Second: Rabbi Adler speaks well (most yeshiva Flatbush grads do) and so
Does Rav Neuberger the difference being the former is stoic, lacks heart/compassion and uses his position for self-aggrandizement. And, jumping
On a sensationalist bandwagon is more his style.
Rav Neuberger exudes compassion, is humble and has great wit and charm.
Self-aggrandizement never enters his vocabulary or pulpit.
They are both learned men.
Third: Rabbi Adler is menahel of TABC and in that capacity used his pulpit on
Shabbos to hold a principal forum of sorts to ask the community to come forward. Rav Neuberger did not have this luxury. He did indeed speak from the pulpit but did not ask people to come forward…this would have insulted a number of congregants…instead, he
Chose an important topic namely that of parental vigilance and being cognizant
Of a child’s pastimes, whereabouts, leisure activities and so forth. He was neutral
And subtle. So subtle in fact, that some people missed the message completely
Because they were not listening. You can hear but if you don’t listen, you miss the essence of the mussar completely.
Rav Neuberger’s shul includes, but is not limited to, Adam Melzer (the alleged
Perpetrator), two of 4 boys who have come forth, moreover, their parents who
Have come forth on their behalf and in one case has spearheaded this
Campaign of pure sensationalism –and on a different level, a number
Of congregants whose children were and continue to befriend Adam. Rav
Neuberger could not ask Adam to not accompany a teen(s) to shul unless he
Knew for a fact that Adam led this boy(s) in to harm’s way.
Fourth: Adam lives down the block from Rav Neuberger. Adam may be Rav Neuberger’s disciple and congregant, but more obviously, they walk together in the same direction because they live near one another. Why read into this? Neighbors walk together.
A general comment: The press is idolatry – in its most pure and simple form. A more sensitive, logical and humane approach to this sad saga
Would have been to approach Adam, his spouse, his sibling or his parents,
Instead, someone needed to rock the community with a Baruch Lanner or Gafni
Scapegoat. Zero tolerance does not preclude common sense and sensitivity.
Rav Neuberger understands all this very well. In fact, too well. He is not silent; he is thoughtful, perhaps too thoughtful to a fault. And, in his compassion and passion about this particular case, he is not skirting any zero tolerance approach – he is being who he is. A Rav that doesn’t sleep – a Rav with a heart – a Rav who Needs to appeal to all factions of his shul – a Rav who is learned and worldly. Rav Neuberger made a conscious, well thought out decision to take the position That he has taken. It has nothing to do with the pressure of any Rabbinical Council. One cannot compare Rav Neuberger and Rabbi Adler because they are coming from Two different places and they are two very different rebeeim. It’s like comparing apples and oranges.
Only, And only, when the members of a community know both men from either the pulpit, school Or the community at large are they qualified to render a statement that has some merit.
Last and final comment: Blogs are another form (maybe even the quintessential
Form) of rechilus and lashan hara. They don’t accomplish much, especially, in this case where a sockpuppeteer engineered The entire fabrication.
Before Aseres Y’mai Teshuva – a sincere apology to Rav Neuberger, an obliteration of the blog, not merely A retraction is not only called for but is essential in order to do right. Listen to Rav Neuberger’s Neilah…and, then tell me that he’s not thoughtful and w/ the program…

wow - Nottoworry
I see why you do not worry, because you have your head in the sand. It is because of people like you that pedophiles like Adam Melzer are able to continue to victimize our children.
It is sad that you think taking no position, is the correct choice for Rav Neuberger. I think he has a responsibility to protect the children of his community.
Understand that every other child melzer victimizes, and he will (the statistics are very clear on this issue) are on your's and Rav Neuberger's head. I hope you can bear that choice.

All of you are as bad as adam melzer u call urselfs jews all of u have just mad mouthed an amazing rabbi of our day who might be one of the kindest people i personaly have ever met adam melzer knows wat he did wrong and thats a punishment he will have to live with for his hole life so for all of u who think that he got of with a slap on the wrist u can all put a sock in ur mouths this community is all about gossip and for those who just posted on this website u are all wrong and keep ur thoughts to urself

rabbi meaning rabbi neuberger

i am just an 18 yr old boy by the way and even im a bigger person then all of u adam has a good heart and even for all the bad he did he still saved so many kids lives so dnt talk unless u know cause i know!!!!

He has in fact done more bad then good. Pretending to be a coach who cares with a hidden agenda of power and perversion. Claiming to be a sex educator and halachic advisor for newlyweds, with a hidden agenda of finding out graphic details of their sex lives for his own pleasure (hundreds of victims). Collecting thousands of photographs of teenagers in various states of dress and undress, and convincing kids to get them for him for FOURTEEN YEARS! Lying at whatever cost to cover up his schemes and machinations. This man is psycopathic with multiple personalies. he deserves all and everything that is coming too him !

Convincing kids to do terrible deviant things, and exposing them to things that they never would have seen if not for his guidance. Taking in kids as a father figures so that he can control and mess with their lives. Not sparing anybody, even his closest friends and family. Destroying the lives of his own children with such "great" publicity.

None of this was in the papers so you ust be 1 of the boys fathers. So sorry for your family.

some of us were drawn toward adam bc our own fathers didnt' measure up or were abusive so should we lock our own fathers up I guess we can't do that so treatment vs. lockup forAdam. sex, drugs, food, alcoholism are all addictions and can be treated

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