May 21, 2006


New York Post


May 21, 2006 -- A popular New Age rabbi accused of sexually abusing three co-workers in Israel has fled to the United States - to the horror of several New York women who say he molested them as children and walked away scot-free.

Rabbi Mordechai Gafni - born Marc Winiarz - was fired this month from the Israeli spiritual center he founded after three women filed complaints of sexual misconduct with Israeli police. He is believed to now be in Massachusetts or Colorado.

Gafni, 46, worked in New York in the 1980s as a rabbi for the now-defunct Jewish Public School Youth program. But he was offering young girls more than spiritual counseling, his alleged victims claim.

Judy, whose last name is being withheld by The Post, said she was 16 and suffering in a "tumultuous" home environment, including ailing parents, when Gafni invited her to stay at his Flatbush home, where he lived with his second wife, to "escape."

One night 20 years ago this month, Judy said Gafni came into her room, told her he knew what she wanted and took off her clothes. He climbed on top of her as if preparing for intercourse, then asked her when she last had her period.

Posted by kshaw at May 21, 2006 06:40 AM