An unsigned editorial was published by the Forward yesterday. It contains lies, is unethical, and should prompt the Forward's board to remove (at the very least) the Forward's editor-in-chief Jane Eisner.
First, the excerpt that includes the overt lies:
…But it was only last December, when Berger’s stories first were published, that many of these students — now men ranging in age from 39 to 60 — realized that the sexual, physical and emotional abuse they suffered individually at the hands of rabbinic authority figures was actually widespread. The administration, however, knew. Rabbi Norman Lamm, who was Y.U.’s president at the time, acknowledged in a voluntary interview that he knew of the abuse and failed to properly report it, and then, when he stepped down as chancellor in July, asked for forgiveness for his failures.
Now Lamm’s lawyers argue that he is too cognitively impaired with dementia to testify in the lawsuit.
We think he may be the only honest leader at Y.U.…
1. As FailedMessiah.com exclusively reported in July, what the Forward's Berger did was ambush a confused elderly man with dementia at his home after Y.U. had already told Berger that Lamm would not be available to be interviewed.
2. An independent university-affiliated medical expert approved by the court, YU's attorneys and the plaintiffs' attorneys found two weeks ago that Lamm's dementia is too far advanced for him to testify. This was reported in the New York Post, by FailedMessiah.com – and even by the Forward itself. Yet the Forward makes no mention of that is this ediotrial.
Now for the rest of the Forward's lies.
As FailedMessiah.com exclusively reported Tuesday, Akiva Roth – the subject of this editorial because YU hired him to teach Hebrew this year, even though he had previously pleaded guilty to charges related to the sexual abuse of two pre-teen boys – taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) after he pleaded guilty to those abuse-related charges and while he was still serving his probationary sentence. (Tablet Magazine confirmed FailedMessiah.com's reporting yesterday.)
Even so, the Forward has failed to acknowledge this – although it did list every other place Roth taught or worked at after pleading guilty in its report.
And, as FailedMessiah.com also reported Tuesday, Roth is the son of former Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) dean Rabbi Joel Roth. Joel Roth was forced to step down as JTS dean in the late 1990s (although he has remained on the faculty as a full professor) after allegedly sexually harassing a male student at the Conservative Movement's West Coast rabbinic school. The Forward has not reported this relationship, either.
FailedMessiah.com also reported Wednesday that both Akiva and Joel Roth taught at Camp Ramah Berkshires, a part of the Conservative Movement, about the time Akiva's abuse took place. The Forward fails to report this, as well.
As FailedMessiah.com noted on Wednesday, perhaps this brief list of Forward executives and their affiliations answers that question:
• Publisher of the Forward Sam Norich – a leader in his Conservative synagogue and active in the Conservative Movement nationally.
• Editor-in-Chief of the Forward Jane Eisner – a leader in her Conservative synagogue and active in the Conservative Movement nationally.
• News Editor of the Forward Larry Cohler-Esses – his wife is a Conservative rabbi.
The Forward's editorial ends this way:
When will Y.U. ever learn?
And when will its board of directors, its vast alumni network and community of supporters, hold this administration accountable?
When will the Forward ever learn?
And when will its board of directors hold its editors, reporters and its publisher accountable for the abuse of an elderly, frail man with dementia and for intentionally skewing its reporting to obscure that fact and to protect the Conservative Movement so many Forward employees are members of?
Here is the Forward's editorial in full as a PDF file: