I was very saddened to read the article about Ohel and the issue of mandated reporting (“Abuse Case Tests Ohel’s Adherence To Reporting Laws,” Feb. 25).
I ran the Ohel Sexual Abuse Program for almost two years, and this was never an issue then. Our esteemed lawyer, Harvey Jacobs, would always provide expert advice on what cases needed to be reported and the rabbinic posek [decisor] would concur and provide a heter [permission] if necessary. There was no contradiction, and each side worked together.
I know all the people involved in the article. It is sad if any of the events happened as reported, which I can’t comment upon. What I can comment on is that I supervised Dr. Asher Lipner for almost two years and found him to be an intelligent, compassionate, trustworthy and high-quality person. I cannot believe that he would fabricate something because he was “disgruntled” [as Ohel officials contended in a full-page ad in The Jewish Week]. Lipner is a first-rate clinician with integrity
and honesty, and I believe he did what was right in his eyes.
I hope that something good comes out of all the conflict and suffering.