I was appalled by your headline and article about Michael Steinhardt on your front page (“Hillel Investigating Allegations Against Major Philanthropist” Sept. 17).
Your sensationalist headline refers to an “investigation,” however it appears to be only six weeks old. Although you report the circumstances in question were raised three years ago, it appears Hillel never opened any investigation at the time nor advised Michael of these allegations in all that time. It needs to be clarified that there have been no findings of any kind from this investigation. Accordingly, what could have possibly been the purpose of The Jewish Week prematurely publishing the fact of such a new investigation — so new, in fact, that Michael Steinhardt was not even made aware of it by Hillel [until days before the article was published]?
The article then goes on to give much space reporting completely separate and uncorroborated complaints from women, of comments made to them which, if true, could be construed as embarrassing, unwelcome and provocative, but no more.
Rather than objective professional reporting, you chose a low road of innuendo and complaints about an individual who has devoted his life and material success to the continuity of the Jewish people. Shame on The Jewish Week and shame on Hillel.
What makes Michael unique is his ability to think outside the box. He is well known to have one driving force in his life and his philanthropy — that Jews should marry Jews to ensure the continuity of our people. He and his wife eschew honors and are deeply committed to their projects for Klal Yisrael. Yes, he raises questions to promote argument and discourse and some questions are meant to shock in order to create dialogue. It is a sad reflection that a man who has done so much for the Jewish world is then shamed by that very same Jewish world — from within.
At this time of introspection, I urge you to reflect and print a retraction for having besmirched the name of a fine man and his impeccable family for alleged actions as yet unproven.