Stolen Innocence

By Gary Rosenblatt

The Jewish Week, June 23, 2000

Baruch Lanner is widely regarded as one of the most brilliant, dynamic and charismatic educators in Jewish life today. As director of regions of the National Conference of Synagogue Youth, an arm of the Orthodox Union, the 50-year-old rabbi has been working with and supervising teenagers for more than three decades. But even while he is credited with bringing hundreds, perhaps thousands, of youngsters closer to Judaism, reports have continued to circulate that he has harassed, if not abused, many scores of teens sexually, physically and/or emotionally, from the early 1970s to the present. Though Rabbi Lanner's erratic behavior has long been an open secret in some Orthodox circles, for the first time more than a dozen former NCSYers and others have come forward publicly over a three-month period, telling their stories to The Jewish Week. They described in detail firsthand experiences, including Rabbi Lanner's alleged kissing and fondling scores of teenage girls in the 1970s and '80s, repeatedly kicking boys in the groin, and reports of taking a knife to a young man in 1987, and propositioning girls in 1997 at the yeshiva high school where he was principal for 15 years.

See also "Lessons from Lanner Case" (July 21, 2000) available here and "A Decade Later, More Willing to Confront Rabbinic Abuse" (June 16, 2010), available here.

Topic: Youth, Communal Responsibility, Orthodox Judaism, Abuse, Crime, Clergy

Name of Publication: The Jewish Week

Editor: Rosenblatt, Gary

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Genre: Article

Coverage: New York , United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Rosenblatt, Gary. Stolen Innocence. The Jewish Week. The Jewish Week. 23 June 2000: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=9089


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