News of the arrest of Rabbi Aryeh Goodman for engaging in sex with a 17-year-old girl who was forced into prostitution has been splashed across newspapers and TV throughout the country and around the world. The New York Post, Daily News, Daily Mail, CBS, Associated Press and many others have brought news of this massive Chillul Hashem (desecration of God’s name) to millions.
The great tragedy of this case is, of course, the harm caused to a young girl, but we’d be remiss not to mention that the aspects of this case could have been avoided.
While serving as a counselor in 2001, Goodman molested his young camper throughout the summer. In 2013, JCW helped Goodman’s victim file a report against his abuser.
Goodman accepted a plea deal, was sentenced to 11 – 23 months in jail, and was forced to register as a sex offender. JCW subsequently posted Goodman to the Wall of Shame.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office said in their statement about the recent arrest that Goodman runs a Chabad center out of his home in East Brunswick. A recently deleted listing for Chabad of East Brunswick included an email address that went to Rabbi Aryeh Goodman.
Instead of ensuring that Aryeh Goodman would never again serve in a leadership capacity, Rabbi Yosef Carlebach, who directs Chabad of Central New Jersey and Rabbi Baruch Goodman, Chabad at Rutgers, returned him to his position.
What we have here is a leadership failure of the highest order. The senior rabbi Goodman and Rabbi Carlebach are at least equal partners with Aryeh Goodman in his alleged crimes and the subsequent monumental shame it casts on Judaism.
It must be noted that Rabbi Carlebach and Goodman have never been associated with or answered to the worldwide Chabad movement which is represented in New Jersey by the Rabbinical College of America and none of these official bodies recognize either Goodman as Chabad emissaries.