Journalistic Coverage Of Mordecai Tendler

Here’s my essay on Rabbi Mordecai Tendler and his accusers.

Batya Swift Yasgur writes The Jewish Week:

I was disturbed to read your article, “Court Dismisses Sex Suit Against Monsey Rabbi” (July 4), which was buried on page 14 with no byline and no mention of any of Rabbi Mordechai Tendler’s other legal victories 

For example, on June 3, Rabbi Tendler won a suit against his congregation unanimously in appeals court on breach of contract. (You were quick to write when he was dismissed, March 1, 2006, “Rabbi Tendler Suspended from Monsey Synagogue.”) You also failed to report on Rabbi Tendler’s victory against anonymous bloggers in California Court of Appeals on June 10, yet you were quick to publish an article on July 19, 2006 entitled, “Rabbi Drops Bid to Out Bloggers: Free Speech Appears to be on the Side of Anonymous Websites.”

This most recent article falls into this pattern, reflecting very poorly on the quality of your publication. You write, “Judge Victoria Graffeo, who wrote the unanimous opinion, said (Survivors Name Removed) had demonstrated that she was deceived by Rabbi Tendler, but not that she had lost the ability to make her own decisions.” The judge merely stated that (NAME REMOVED)  had alleged that she was deceived. Your comment clearly gave the impression that the judge agreed with the allegation.

Do you have something against Rabbi Tendler that would rob you of your commitment to responsible and objective journalism?

Jewish Whistleblower responds: "It is odd to characterize Tendler’s failure to make a prima facie case against us bloggers as a "victory". What victory? He was successful in avoiding costs based on defects in California anti-SLAPP legislation that according to my sources will almost certainly be re-written. The Ohio subpeonas were dropped by Tendler. Tendler never indicated one post that I posted that was false, not one. That is the court record. He tried to unmask us, we showed up and challenged him to prove his case, he dropped his case and ran. We tried to hold him responsible and drag him back into court but he slipped through a crack in the legislation and avoided costs. In the end the blogosphere will be better protected as a result of this case and the amendmend/passing of new laws that will result from it. Rasha Tendler I had the opportunity to make his case in open court, instead he ran. and hid from the light of day. We did our best to drag him back but he’s a slippery eel. Is he a winner? No. He is a real loser. Don’t take the Tendler and Susie Rosenbluth spin as gospel. Read the actual court documents and the allegations made in court, damage to his reputation, loss of income, pleading poverty to have fees waived, what a loser."

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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