Friday, July 25, 2008

Letter Know

The New Jersey Jewish Standard is reporting about Yeshivah of North Jersey's response to Adam Melzer's arrest. The school sent a letter to parents about the former coach's arrest earlier this week.

The article includes comments by Dr. Wallace Greene, the director of Jewish Educational Services at the local UJA.
Dr. Wallace Greene, director of Jewish Educational Services at UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey, called the affair "sad and unfortunate. This goes back to the Baruch Lanner case," he said. "At the time there were calls for stricter background checks, but I don’t know if any formal policies were adopted. This is precisely why they’re needed."

Lanner, former of Hillel Yeshiva High School in Ocean, and director of regions for the Orthodox Union‘s National Conference of Synagogue Youth, was found guilty in 2002 of sexually abusing teenagers.

Greene noted that while he cannot cite similar cases of sexual abuse in this area, he does not know if individual religious schools do more than "review résumés and check references."
I agree that background checks are important, and I can not comprehend why Agudath Israel is opposed to the state mandating them. However, there is no evidence of Melzer having any sort of criminal record in this regard. At least going by what is known so far, a criminal background check would not have raised suspicions.