Cases and Articles: USY

United Synagogue Youth (USY) is the youth movement affiliated with USCJ (United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism). USCJ is the major congregational organization of the Conservative movement in North America.

Articles

Conservative Judaism's USY Hired Child Molester – The Forward

"'I was trying to punish myself for putting myself in this position and not doing anything about it,' one of the plaintiffs told the New York Daily News anonymously. He said that the incident drove him to substance abuse issues and suicide attempts. 'The fact is: This went on for years and nobody stopped it.'"

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Conservative youth group cuts ties with ex-head accused of sexual misconduct

"'The allegations were wide ranging and all inappropriate,' Wernick told JTA. 'There are allegations in which Jules and a USYer shared a bed, and what happened there. There is more than one allegation. It's all inappropriate, even from being in the bed. Even if they were in the bed and nothing happened, that's still inappropriate.'"

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Bob Fisher Is Not Far West USY

"...former director of Far West USY, Bob Fisher, left his job in 2002, a job he held throughout the 1980s and 1990s, only after allegations surfaced regarding his abuse of multiple teenage boys. The news was made worse by the reported fact that the United Synagogue did nothing about it and the allegations stayed secret or went unreported for decades."

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Whom To Believe? In Search Of A Sexual Abuse Policy

"David Benkof, a former international president of USY who told The Jewish Week he was a teenage victim of Robert Fisher almost three decades ago, asserts that 'the organization that faces civil action is the last organization that should be in charge of gathering the information.'"

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Conservative Jewry has #MeToo moment as decades-old sexual abuse surfaces

"'The surprise for me came 15 to 20 years ago when I began hearing about this,' said Draiman, speaking to The Times of Israel from his office in Jerusalem. 'This' refers to allegations of decades-long child sexual abuse against youth group members."

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Conservative movement severs ties with former youth director over alleged sexual abuse

"We had three communications with Jules. In the first two communications, there was equivocation and phrases like, 'I do not recall,' but in the final communication, an email, Gutin denied the allegations, Wernick told JNS."

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What Can the Jewish Community Learn in the Aftermath of USCJ Sexual Abuse Scandal?

"'Jews are just as vulnerable as everybody else,' said Rabbi Michael Melchior, a former minister and Knesset member (Meimad) and the founder and chairman of several organizations that work to facilitate social change in Israel. However, he said Jews cannot be comfortable with the status quo. Rather, they have 'an even greater responsibility' to halt sexual abuse and misconduct."

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Former Bay Area Jewish leader accused of molesting boys in 60s and 70s

"Earlier this month, Tom Mitchell broke nearly 40 years of silence by posting his story on Camp Arazim’s Facebook page, writing, in part, 'Sheldon Mitchell, my father, was a child molester of young boys. He was a prolific predator. He did evil things. I was one of his many victims.'"

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Cases

John Doe vs Edward Ward, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ)/United Synagogue Youth (USY)

"At no time did Defendant UNITED SYNAGOGUE OF CONSERVATIVE JUDAISM ever send an official, an investigator or any employee or independent contractor to advise or provide any form of notice to the members or their parents, either verbally or in writing, that there were credible allegations against Defendant EDWARD WARD and to request that anyone who saw, suspected or suffered sexual abuse to come forward and file a report with the police department. Rather, Defendant UNITED SYNAGOGUE OF CONSERVATIVE JUDAISM remained silent."

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