The Baltimore Jewish Times Phil Jacobs reports the following. Material within square brackets is mine or is sufficiently expanded from Phil Jacobs' report to warrant notice:
- As pressure from Jewish blogs, primarily UOJ, in the summer of 2006 combined with pressure from alleged victims of Ner Israel's Rabbi Moshe Eisemann led to an investigation into Rabbi Eisemann's conduct.
- Rabbi Yakov Hopfer did the investigation.
- Allegations against Rabbi Eisemann were found credible.
- A source close to Ner Israel leadership told Phil Jacobs that Rabbi Eisemann admitted some of the allegations like kissing and (prolonged) back rubbing.
- Rabbi Eisemann was forced to retire.
- He was forced to undergo 'counseling' from a professional linked to Ner Israel.
- He was allowed to continue living on the Ner Israel campus, but not to teach students.
- Why? So the rabbis could "keep an eye on him."
- Rabbi Eisemann told the Jewish Times that he was still "seeing students" and denied he was forced to retire.
- Rabbi Hopfer refused to answer questions.
- Ner Israel released a statement that seems to have been drafted by its legal counsel. In part, it says, "…Given the sensitivity and nature of the subject, and the Yeshiva’s concern for all involved, both claimant and accused, it is the policy of the Yeshiva to refrain from discussing or commenting on these matters."
- Yet, a letter signed by Baltimore's Orthodox rabbis in April of this year seems to be saying that publicity is necessary to help safeguard children from abusers.
- Just before publication, Rabbi Eisemann admitted that he no longer taught at Ner Israel saying that he had, in fact, "voluntarily retired" in 2006 [although it appears that he is indeed still seeing students, now in the privacy of his campus home].
- During this process, a blogger went to Gary Rosenblatt of the NY Jewish Week with details of the abuse, asking for advice help in getting Rabbi Eisemann away from kids. Rosenblatt did nothing. He tells Phil Jacobs today that he remembers an "anonymous" telephone call and no more. [But Rosenblatt, who exposed Rabbi Baruch Lanner's abuse, which is why the blogger went to him, covered up other abuse allegations – ike Rabbi Modechai Gafni's repeated abuse – and covered up for the rabbis who covered for Rabbi Gafni. And, in other cases, it is alleged that Rosenblatt simply turned a blind eye. His behavior here seems to lead credence to the idea that Rosenblatt is corrupt, and that his pursuit of Rabbi Lanner and the OU, even though justified and indeed morally mandated – was primarily done to settle private scores.]
- Phil Jacobs interviews a former student of Rabbi Eisemann who testifies to Rabbi Eisemann's bizarre behavior, including Rabbi Eisemann's habit of staring at the crotches of his students and patting and rubbing their buttocks.
- After the 'judgment' against Rabbi Eisemann was 'issued,' Rabbi Eisemann spent a Shabbat at the synagogue of Rabbi Heineman, the head of the Star-K, Baltimore's senior rabbi and a signatory to the letter on child molestation issued by the Orthodox rabbis of Baltimore in April of this year this year. Rabbi Heineman sat Rabbi Eisemann in a seat of honor reserved for visiting dignitaries.
- Ner Israel rosh yeshiva Rabbi Ahron Feldman wrote a glowing endorsement for a book Rabbi Eisemann wrote. The book was published in 2007, after Rabbi Eisemannn's behavior was known to Rabbi Feldman.
- [The letter from the Baltimore rabbis on child sexual abuse tells Jews to go to the "authorities" to have the abuse dealt with.]
- [At the time that letter was published, I feared the wording was a carefully worded loophole to allow those in the know to keep the abuse with the community (the "authorities = the rabbis, not law enforcement) rather than go to police.]
- [In fact, even though the letter was publicly reported and understood to mean that abusers should be reported to the police, and even though no signatory of that letter or representative of the Baltimore Orthodox rabbis challenged or clarified this understanding, in the Rabbi Eisemann case the police were not called.]
- [Indeed, Ner Israel's statement talks about sensitivity, both to the victims and to the alleged abuser, as if the two are somehow equivalent.]
Here is an excerpt from the April 11, 2007 letter signed by Baltimore's Orthodox rabbis, including those from Ner Israel:
…In the past, many mistakes were made in handling these situations. Abusers were often not recognized for what they were, as it was too difficult to believe that otherwise good people could do such things, nor was it sufficiently appreciated what damage such acts could cause. It was often thought that if the abuser was spoken to or warned, and perhaps moved to a different environment, he would never do these things again. In responding this way many terrible mistakes were made arid tragic consequences resulted. We have seen too often the immediate or eventual failure of these “behind-the-scenes agreements” to keep the perpetrators away from others. Naïveté and a lack of understanding of the insidious nature of these perpetrators have allowed the toll of victims to rise. These failures haunt us — but they also motivate us to respond more effectively and wisely in the future.
An abuser is not simply a lustful person, plagued by a Taavah — a desire — that can be addressed with sincere Teshuva. He has a severe illness, that may be incurable, and that is at best enormously difficult to manage. Publicizing his status as an abuser — while causing enormous damage to his own family — may be the only way to truly protect the community from him.…
So? What do we have?
Baltimore's Orthodox rabbis discovered one of their own, a famous rabbi no less, is a child abuser. They did not call police. They did not provide victims with counseling. They did not keep children away from the rabbi-abuser.
Their version of "keeping an eye on" Rabbi Eisemann allows him to travel freely, without any supervision. Vulnerable children exist outside of Baltimore and outside of Orthodox communities.
What did Baltimore's rabbis do? They got Rabbi Eisemann 'counseling' from one of their own. They worked hard to protect the rabbi-abuser's reputation. They allowed him to live comfortably and in peace. And they did nothing to help the victims.
How horribly evil.
Read it all here.
And here it is in PDF, just in case the Baltimore Jewish Times site is hacked: