Credit Kurtzer
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Credit Kurtzer

Amidst the pain and self-reflection being experienced by the Jewish
community in the face of the “Sauna Silence,” I would like to take a moment to
acknowledge the courage and steadfastness of Yehuda Kurtzer, who brought this
issue out from darkness to the light of open discussion (“With Sauna ‘Secret’ Out, Riverdale Shul Faces Tough Choices,” June 5).

As a psychologist
treating patients for many years, including many victims of abuse, I know
that Yehuda Kurtzer’s willingness to speak out [first in The New York Times] will bring validation and
healing to many who have suffered in confusion and silence. It is
unfortunate that Rabbi Rosenblatt, although he regrets if anyone was
“inadvertently offended” and apologizes to “those affected,” still doesn’t
seem to accept or acknowledge that his behavior was in any way inappropriate
or wrong. He maintains that others might see it that way, but holds on to
the idea that because it was never his intention to cause harm, that it was
innocent.

Unfortunately, in cases of confused boundaries of intimacy, such
intentions are not sufficient. One can only hope that the entire Jewish
community will use this time to improve our understanding, training programs
and treatment venues for these issues, particularly with regards to the
rabbinate.

 

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