|Yaakov Menken - Alleged Sex Offender|
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Spring Valley, NY
Yeshivas Ohr Somayach - Monsey, NY
Bais Medrash Gavoha - Lakewood, NJ and Jerusalem, Israel
Mirrer Yeshiva - Jerusalem, Israel
Kiruv Worker (Jewish Outreach) - International
Founder and Director of Project Genesis -Baltimore, MD
Founder and Director of Torah.org -Baltimore, MD
Founder and Director of TorahMedia.org -Baltimore, MD
Author - The Everything Torah (Book)
Rabbi Yaakov Menken was accused of clergy sexual abuse (sexual harassment and professional sexual misconduct). At one point Rabbi Menken had a discussion with Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky regarding the allegations made by one of the women he counseled. The conversation included a confession by Yaakov Menken of having sexual contact with the woman. Rabbi Menken basically blamed the survivor stating "she manipulated him". Rabbi Menken was nearly forty at the time. The young, haredi woman was hardly out of her teens.
If you or anyone you know were sexually victimized by Rabbi Yaakov Menken and are looking for resources, please feel free to contact The Awareness Center and or your local rape crisis center.
Table of Contents:
- Background information on Rabbi Yaakov Menken
- Can one expect that a pretty, innocent girl with an older, "experienced" superior will be so easily able to escape his advances? (11/30/1994)
- Watchdogs vs Rabbis (12/31/2004)
- CALL TO ACTION: The Awareness Center is asking that Rabbi Shumel Kamenetzy make a public statement regarding the confession of Rabbi Yaakov Menken. (11/19/2006)
- CALL TO ACTION: Stop Funding Programs Organized By Alleged Sex Offender Rabbi Yaakov Menken (12/24//2006)
- Rabbi Yaakov Menken (05/14//2007)
- CALL TO ACTION: Boycott Events Associated with Alleged Sex Offender, Rabbi Yaakov Menken (12/05//2007)
Background information on Rabbi Yaakov Menken (AKA: Kenneth Menken)
|Ken Menken - Alleged Sex Offender|
Kenneth Lloyd Menken was born in 1965. While attending Princeton University, Menken became observant and started using his Hebrew name -- "Yaakov".
Menken received his undergraduate degree in 1986. Upon graduating, started a seven year sabatical studying in various yeshivas (seminaries), such as Yeshivas Ohr Somayach in New York, Bais Medrash Gavoha in Lakewood and Jerusalem, and the Mirrer Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel.
Yaakov Menken has always been a computer maven. One of his goals was to educate unaffiliated college students who didn't have access to shiurim (Torah teachings). At the age of twenty-eight he founded his first organization -- Project Genesis. It has been reported that Yaakov Menken received his rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Moshe Silberberg, while attending Ohr Somayach. Silberberg also brought Menken his biggest client -- Compuplus.
Rabbi Menken is also the founder of TorahMedia.com, and a blog called "Cross-Currents". Some of the smaller Torah.org projects include Aveidah.org and more.
There have been many alleged and convicted sex offenders in Rabbi Menken's life. One of these individuals includes Rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau, who is the prinicipal of Baltimore's Torah Institute. Both members of Shearith Yisrael also know as Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer's "Glen Avenue shul.
|Alleged Sexual Predator - Rabbi Ken Menken|
Rabbi Yaakov Menken has several computer businesses -- Project Genesis (which opperates several non-profit organizations and Team Genesis, which does commercial web development.
It's important to note that for several years Menken's organizations Team Genesis/Project Genesis had connection to convicted sex offender Rabbi Benyamin Fleischman, who was protected by the rabbonim of Baltimore until his conviction in 2004.
Some of the clients of Rabbi Benyamin Fleishman includes (click here to see the full list Rabbi Benyamin Fleischman's clients):
- Agudath Israel of America
- Agudath Israel of Baltimore
- Bais Yaakov of Baltimore (the Principal is the son Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro and is the brother of Rabbi Yisoel Shapiro)
- Ner Israel Rabbinical College (multiple allegations were made of clergy sexual abuse against the grandson of one of the founders)
- Torah Institute of Baltimore
- Project Genesis (Rabbi Yaakov Menken)
Can one expect that a pretty, innocent girl with an older, "experienced" superior will be so easily able to escape his advances?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - November 30, 1994
Watchdogs vs Rabbis
December 31, 2004
Note: Rabbi Yaakov Menken writes (these paragraphs since deleted from his blog):
Below Rabbi Menken is talking about journalist, Gary Rosenblatt who originally broke the story of the case of Rabbi Baruch Lanner.
I will make one comment about the so-called "watchdog" mentality, as applied to a well-known scandal of a few years back. The newspaper editor who "broke" that story insisted that he "went public" not because he wanted to sell papers and enhance his own reputation as a journalist, but because "nothing was being done."
Then, two years later, he "broke" a similar story after a whole set of steps were taken, and, in fact, the first line of his story was that a Bais Din was about to be convened in order to find out the truth.
This tells you something about the truthfulness of the so-called "justification" for his publication of the first set of allegations. I am not saying that those who should have done better supervision are not worthy of criticism – but I'm saying something about the motivations of self-appointed watchdogs.
It is not often The Awareness Center puts out a warning regarding an individual who is also rabbi. Due to the seriousness of the allegations, the time has come for action to be taken regarding the case of Rabbi Yaakov Menken.
|Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky - Enabler of Sex Offenders|
Stop Funding Programs Organized By Alleged Sex Offender Rabbi Yaakov Menken
The Awareness Center, Inc. - December 24, 2006In honor of the survivors of Rabbi Yaakov Menken (AKA: Ken Menken), The Awareness Center is bringing the following information to your attention. The goal is to prevent any more individual from becoming the next victim of a sexual offense.
Rabbi Yaakov Menken is the founder and director of Project Genesis, a Kiruv organization (Jewish outreach). He has put together an educational program that is funded by the Jewish Education Enhancement Projects (JEEP), which obtains its funds through the Jewish Federation of Baltimore (The Associated).
The Awareness Center, Inc. is asking that you contact both organizations and demand they stop funding programs connected to Rabbi Yaakov Menken. We are also asking that you contact those who are advertising Menken's programs. Explain to them that they are putting unsuspecting women at risk of harm.
Rabbi Yaakov Menken confessed to Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky that he had sexual contact with a young religious woman. At the time of the abuse this particular survivor was undergoing "spiritual counseling" by Rabbi Menken. The survivor was bearly out of her teens at the time she was sexually manipulated. Kenneth Menken was nearly in his forties. He was also a married, haredi (orthodox) rabbi.
The young woman describes her experience with Menken as clergy sexual abuse (professional sexual misconduct) During a conversation with Rabbi Kaminetsky, Kenneth Menken stated the young woman "manipulated him into having sexual contact."
Project Genesis has put together the following lecture series, which is funded by The Associated of Baltimore. Each time this program is advertised puts another unsuspecting woman at risk of harm -- by being "counseled" by Rabbi Menken. Please demand that all organizations stop funding activities organized by Yaakov Menken. Also demand that newspapers and magazines refuse to advertise events connected to him. The goal is to prevent one more unsuspecting individual from becoming the next victim of a sex crime.
The Awareness Center is also asking everyone to contact the following speakers. Please help inform them of Rabbi Menken's past history of alleged clergy sexual abuse (professional sexual misconduct). All inquires of his confession should be directed to Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky. (215) 477-1000.
Please ask Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky make a public statement regarding Rabbi Menken's confession and require Yaakov to be in therapy with a highly qualified psychotherapist whom specializes in working with sex offenders. The Awareness Center is also asking that Ken Menken financially compensate the survivor for the pain and suffering he has caused her.
Contact The Following Organizations
The Jewish Education Enhancement Project (JEEP)
The Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore
- Adam Rosenberg firstname.lastname@example.org
The Center for Jewish Education
- Larry Ziffer, Executive Vice President email@example.com
- Rivka Lampert Adler, Director Adult Education firstname.lastname@example.org
The Baltimore Jewish Times
Andrew Buerger, Publisher
Ner Israel Rabbinical College
- Rabbi Aharon Feldman
- Rabbi Beryl Weisbord
List Project Genesis Speakers:
- Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Becker
- Rabbi Motti Berger
- Rabbetzin Tzipporah Heller
- Rabbi Doron Kornbluth
- Rabbi Zev Leff
- Rabbi Noach Orlowek
- Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblum
- Rabbi Ken Spiro
Rabbi Yaakov Menken
Torah.org - May 14, 2007
Rabbi Yaakov Menken is the founder of Project Genesis, and creator of many of its sites and programs. You will find hundreds of Torah commentaries authored by Yaakov Menken on this site and elsewhere.
Rabbi Yaakov Menken has been called a ' visionary ' in the field of Jewish Outreach. Project Genesis supports outreach organizations worldwide, while operating Torah.org , the Internet's premier Jewish learning web site. Both Yaakov Menken and his organization maintain open communication with Jews at all levels of learning and education, and Project Genesis is endorsed by Jewish leaders from across the Jewish spectrum.
Rabbi Menken earned his Bachelor's degree from Princeton University in Computer Science, and pursued Rabbinic studies in Yeshivas Ohr Somayach, Beth Medrash Gavoha in Lakewood and Jerusalem, and the Mirrer Yeshiva Jerusalem, before founding Project Genesis in 1993.
Yaakov Menken joined Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, in creating Cross-Currents , a journal of traditional Jewish thought, in late 2004. This award-winning web log, or blog, features ten recognized, outstanding Orthodox rabbis and teachers. The name Cross-Currents reflects, in Rav Adlerstein's words, the aspiration "to expose the intersection between two currents: the timeless flow of authentic Torah thought, and the ebb and tide of current affairs."
Recently, Rabbi Menken led the technical development of Contact Loved Ones , an open voicemail system for those displaced by recent natural disasters. This story was picked up by the general media and especially by technical publications.
Rabbi Menken is a veteran analyst of the global Jewish scene. Project Genesis has helped with the hosting of Jewish World Review since its inception, and Yaakov Menken has contributed articles to JWR on tolerance , the value of life , the risks of the Internet (which also appeared elsewhere ) and other topics.
CALL TO ACTION: Boycott Events Associated with Alleged Sex Offender, Rabbi Yaakov Menken
December 5, 2007
Over the last few years The Awareness Center has shared information with you regarding the case of Rabbi Yaakov Menken (AKA: Ken Menken). Due to the issue of confidentiality we have been limited in what we have made public. The allegations against Menken include sexual harassment and clergy sexual abuse.
Yaakov Menken's alleged modus operandi is to become a father figure to vulnerable young women and eventually manipulating them into having sexual contact with him. Menken is married with children and in his forties. The alleged women he targets are usually in their late teens or early twenties. In 2005 Rabbi Yaakov Menken had a discussion with Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky and confessed to having sexual contact with a very young woman he counseled. He basically blamed the survivor, stating "she came on to me".
Since The Awareness Center became aware of the allegations made against Yaakov Menken we were able to gathered information which included conversations with various rabbonim in Baltimore. It appears that a national Jewish outreach organization which includes a relative of the Menken survivors were in a bet din dispute right before and during the time that Rabbi Yaakov Menken was sexually manipulating a young woman from an extremely insulated community. The survivor was barely out of her teens at the time that Yaakov Menken started his grooming process on her.
When Menken got started the young woman had recently moved away from her family for the first time. Menken allegedly marked her as an easy target and began to provide rabbinical counseling to her. It's important to keep in mind that Rabbi Menken was very angry with the survivors relative during this time period and the woman was unaware of the bet din dispute. It is believed that this is part of the reason why Menken picked her as a target and began to lure her in.
Usually when someone goes searching for spirituality they are in a vulnerable state because of some sort of personal crisis in their lives. These are exactly the type of people that Menken allegedly preys upon.
Several Kiruv organizations are partnering up with alleged sexual predator, Rabbi Yaakov Menken, for a Jewish Outreach event that will be featuring Dr. Gerald Schroeder. The problem is that by doing so they are basically saying that Yaakov Menken is safe and someone both affiliated and unaffiliated Jews can trust.
The Awareness Center is asking that you boycott all events associated with Yaakov Menken, Project Genesis, Torah.org, Project Genisis, Cross-Currents, and TorahMedia.org. We are also asking that you to call and or write the following people and demand that they stop working with Rabbi Yaakov Menken.
|Ken Menken - Alleged Sex Offender|
* The Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore
* The Center for Jewish Education
Larry Ziffer, Executive Vice President
Phone: 410-735-5000, ext. 5005
* Gerald Schroeder, Ph.D.
HaHish 5, Jerusalem 93223, Israel
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