Agudah and Dissent

A while back I noted UOJ’s request to speak at Agudath Israel’s annual convention to rebut the leadership’s attack on blogs and that leadership’s handling of the abuse issue. Agudah’s spokesperson, Rabbi Avi Shafran, turned UOJ down, even though allowing him to speak by definition meant outing him. I emailed Rabbi Shafran, who had recently emailed me, and offered to speak in UOJ’s stead or to help him find a credible academic or neutral party to speak instead. Rabbi Shafran turned this offer down in  a long exchange, asserting that Agudah’s convention was no place for this to happen.

Understand this well – the Agudah convention is no place to discuss sexual abuse in the haredi community. It is no place to hear from victims of abuse or to learn about the issue from experts or victim’s advocates. It is no place to deal with the internal problems that plague haredi society.

It is a place to express fealty to the gedolim, to feel good about haredism and to trumpet its victories.

I’m sure the God who mandated kindness to strangers, widows and orphans and who excoriated those in power for their abuses and their neglect of the weak and powerless is unhappy with Agudath Israel. But Agudah doesn’t need to worry about that – He is the God of the Reform Movement, not Agudath Israel.



Filed under Blogs, Crime, Haredim, Jewish Leadership

6 responses to “Agudah and Dissent

  1. Kronick

    Are you honestly such a bored, unhappy person that you have nothing better to do than post about every and any frum jew who ever does something wrong? This is perhaps the lamest blog I have ever seen

  2. If you enjoy discussions on Jewish history then check out my blog

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  4. Anonymous

    Shmarya, you should speak at this year’s Kinus Hashluchim

  5. shmuel

    The Agudah: one big irrelevant joke. There are still some seats available at the speeches!

  6. Isa

    I saw this scam:
    Years ago at KI in Minneapolis, this Israeli came to shul and said something about he received a position at the Univ of MN or something like that. Except he needed money until he could cash some checks from this ‘position’ . This guy took in something like less than $1000, then he vanished along with the money. Someone said something about the people that got scammed “that experience was worth a college education” meaning although one lost money it was a recovable experience maybe next time one will not be so gullible.
    I lost $0.0 as I wanted the guy’s passport to hold.

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