Headline was careless
NJJN’s front page, above the fold headline, read “Marlboro rabbi arrested for alleged sexual assault of boy in 2012: Teacher was also NCSY director,” (May 2). By posting such a sensational and non-descript headline, NJJN cast a shadow over any and all rabbis in Marlboro. I happen to be one such rabbi, and I am angry over such careless journalism.
Our tradition teaches, “There are three crowns: the crown of Torah; the crown of priesthood; and the crown of royalty. However, the crown of a good name is greater than all of them,” (Avot 4:17). From this text we learn that one’s reputation is paramount — please keep this in mind for future editions.
Rabbi Michael Pont
Marlboro Jewish Center
If you asked people in Western Monmouth to name the “Marlboro rabbis,” most would come up with a list of five people at best, which is why your headline was mean-spirited and bordered on lashon hara.
A person would need to open the paper and look below the fold to see that the person arrested was a staff member at a Marlboro yeshiva, lives in East Windsor, and is not associated with any of the synagogues in Marlboro. But for those who simply glanced at the headline, the reputation of each of the rabbis who have devoted years of our lives to the Jewish community of Marlboro has been called into question inaccurately and unfairly.
I respectfully request that you keep the Jewish values of preventing lashon hara at the center of your reporting in the future.
Rabbi Don Weber
Temple Rodeph Torah