Sex scandal fallout ends
rabbi-exec's career

Sex scandal fallout ends rabbi-exec's career 01/23/01
BY JOSH MARGOLIN
STAR-LEDGER STAFF

The sex and abuse scandal that has laid waste to the reputation of a prominent Bergen County rabbi has now claimed the career of the chief executive of the largest Orthodox Jewish organization in the world.

Rabbi Raphael Butler of Queens resigned Friday as executive vice president of the Manhattan-based Orthodox Union, less than a month after a special investigative commission found that inaction at the top of the organization allowed decades of abuse by Rabbi Baruch Lanner of Fair Lawn to continue unchecked.

The resignation took effect immediately, and there was no attempt to sugarcoat it as the Orthodox Union made it clear that Butler quit because he was one of the leaders who knew about Lanner's activities long before they were made public.

Lanner was found to have abused -- sexually, physically and emotionally -- teenagers entrusted to his care while he ran the New Jersey region of the National Conference of Synagogue Youth, the Orthodox Union's youth organization, and worked at two New Jersey yeshivas, both of them high schools.

Criminal investigations into Lanner's activities in Bergen and Monmouth counties are continuing.




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