I am glad to see this happening. One of the most precious institutions for mankind’s search for truth is under attack. That is the institution of Gerus - conversion to Judaism. The ability of non Jews to seek and find truth in Judaism and convert has been severely undermined over the last few years. My last post illustrates this phenomenon all too well via the latest episode in Israel’s Chief Rabbinate.
But the singular and perhaps most spectacular occurrence that may eventually reverse this horrible trend is the Tropper affair and its impact on EJF the conversion authority he founded – and is still clandestinely in charge of. He still retains control over Horizons – the sponsoring agency.
In an interview published last week in VIN, Rav Aba Dunner, one of the most respected Charedi Rabbanim on the European continent directed a scathing attack against Tropper, EJF, and anyone who has anything to do with them.
Here is but a sample of what he said:
We unmasked this organization and the chap who ran it, I would not call him Rabbi - before this scandal. We found him to be a control freak and a megalo-maniac, we found him to be so disrespectful of Rabbanim that there was a unanimous vote of the standing committee to make sure that he and his organization do not enter Europe.
Having a seminar of mixed intermarried couples to convert is so bizarre - this was all done in order to gain favor with their sponsor. We decided, en masse that we wanted nothing to do with EJF .. We are amazed that the Gedolim have not come out against this. We do not understand this at all.
I will press and will continue to press very hard to continue to ensure that this organization ceases from its nefarious activities.
EJF is not going to take this sitting down. They came out with a scathing attack of their own – against Rav Dunner. Of course they didn’t attack Rav Dunner drectly. They blamed the interviewer. But… it is a thinly veiled.
Here is an excerpt:
Your interview here with Rabbi Aba Dunner, the executive director of the Conference of European Rabbis (January 7, 2010), unfortunately twists the truth about Eternal Jewish Family International (EJF) and is, to say the least, insulting to leading Gedolei Yisroel. Any real search into the truth behind Rabbi Dunner’s charges will lead to discredited sources that are using the recent personal scandal of the founder of EJF as an excuse to disparage leading Torah scholars and the organization.
Wow! And I thought I have been attacked viciously by my detractors. This attack is… right up there.
One has to consider the source however. The attacker here remains unidentified. It’s just EJF defending itself. Who ever wrote this hides behind anonymity. How convenient. Someone should tell this fellow that anonymity redcues his credibility substantially.
That said someone by the name of Pinchas Shapiro has stepped up and defended Rav Dunner – refuting this attack point by point in the Five Towns Jewish Times.
Here is an excerpt (Mr. Shapiro’s defenses are in caps):
Your interview with Rabbi Aba Dunner, the executive director of the Conference of European Rabbis (January 7, 2010), unfortunately twists the truth about Eternal Jewish Family International
RAV DUNNER IS A HIGHLY RESPECTED VENERABLE RAV IN EUROPE. HE STATED THAT THE RABBIS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE CER UNANIMOUSLY VOTED AGAINST EJF COMING INTO EUROPE. HOW IS THIS TWISTING THE TRUTH? (EJF)
and is, to say the least, insulting to leading Gedolei Yisroel.
EJF HAS A HISTORY OF SAYING TO THOSE WHO QUESTION THEIR ACTIONS – THAT THEY ARE MEVAZEH GEDOLIM. ACTUALLY, RAV DUNNER MADE NO MENTION OF GEDOLIM IN HIS INTERVIEW.
Any real search into the truth behind Rabbi Dunner’s charges will lead to discredited sources that are using the recent personal scandal of the founder of EJF as an excuse to disparage leading Torah scholars and the organization.
THE EIDA CHAREDIS, RAV SHTERNBUCH, AND THE CER ARE NOT DISCREDITED SOURCES.
EJF will not last. Respected Rabbanim like Rav Dunner cannot be ignored. And certainly cannot be refuted by anonymous spokesmen for EJF. This fellow had no backing from anyone of substance. No leading Rav has come out and refuted Rav Dunner. He is right. EJF has to shut down.
In my view this push to keep EJF open is all about the money. Said it before and I’m saying it again. But Kavod HaTorah demands that EJF shut down. All monies should be returned to their donors. New Organizations that want to establish universal fair and just conversion standards is a good idea. But not in the hands of EJF and company. They have done enough damage. Perhaps a new initiative can be established and convince EJF’s donors to funnel returned funds to them.
As I have just been informed... there's more. The Five Towns Jewish Times has published a direct response from Rav Dunner.
Here is an excerpt:
It is long established pattern of the hired cheer-leaders of the ejf to attempt to blacken the name of anyone who criticizes their activities in any way - the pot of gold that the ejf has found is worth $25 million and counting and who wants to lose out on that? but it is clear who the real ganef is in this sad story - it is anyone who associates themselves with this organization whose sole function is to leech as much money as possible out of Mr. Kaplan. The feeble attempts to publish fact sheets in the jewish media demonstrates what and who they are - no serious or well meaning organization finds it necessary to print fact sheets stating that they are not low-lives, not ganovim, etc etc. this is usually a given in any moisad - and if they have to publish something of this nature it can only be that they are and always have been goineiv daas habri'os on a giant scale.
Updated: 4:28 CDT