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Rabbi Bryks

Rabbi Dr. Charles Grysman

Noah Erenberg, producer of Winnipeg produced CBC documentary re: Rabbi Bryks case.


By Rhonda J. Spivak, B.A., L.L.B., May 12, 2011

The case of Rabbi Ephraim Bryks who has been dogged by allegations of sexual abuse against children, but never charged with a crime was the subject matter of part of an episode in a documentary series entitled “Sex Scandals in Religion”
produced by Apocryphal Productions for Vision Television.
The episode in which the Bryk’s case wass dealt with was aired on Monday May 16, at 10: 30 p.m. 
According to the Jewish Week, [New York] June 29, 2010, "Rabbi Bryks, who was investigated by police in Winnipeg, on suspicion of inappropriate contact with children at Winnipeg’s Torah Academy where he was principal, resigned from the Orthodox Union’s Rabbinical Council of America in 2003 without admitting any wrongdoing. Bryks, "reached a negotiated agreement to leave the Rabbinical Board of Queens in the fall of 2009," as indicated in the Jewish Week
Notwithstanding the allegations of sexual abuse, Rabbi Bryk’s currently has a blog which was updated several days ago on May 4, 2011 where he posts torah commentary on the weekly parsha.
On his blog Rabbi Bryks describes himself as lecturing on “Shalom Bais” (sanctity and peace in the home) and helping “couples resolve their marital issues.”
Here is how Rabbi Bryks describes himself on his blog:
“Rabbi Ephraim Bryks is a graduate of Ner Yisroel and Yeshiva Beis Hatalmud of Jerusalem. He has smicha (Rabbinic Ordination) in Yoreh Yoreh/Yodin Yodin from numerous Rabbonim and Gedolai Yisroel. He currently heads the Beis Din of Queens and is an active member in numerous Rabbinic organizations. He lectures on a weekly basis and is often consulted on matters of halacha especially hilchos Gitten and Chosen Mishpat.
“As a Rov with many years of experience he also lectures on Sholom Bayis and helps couples resolve their marital issues. In cases of divorce Rabbi Bryks often acts as a mediator to resolve all the issues peacefully and amicably. Working with the legal system and the Batei Dinim he is also available to represent you on a Beis din or din Torah and bemesader the “Get” when the time comes.”
[Needless to say, there is no mention on his blog of any of the allegations of sexual abuse that have dogged Rabbi Bryks.] The blog has a contact section, but it does not leave any contact information {ie phone number, address) to contact Bryks. However, readers of the blog can give their contact info and submit it to him and ask questions or leave comments. [This editor has way too many questions to ask Rabbi Bryks for the allotted space].
"Rabbi Bryks, as principal of the Torah Academy in Winnipeg was found in 1988 to have tickled and hugged some students, but denied more serious charges of sexual molestation, according to press reports. While the more serious charges were not substantiated by an investigation by Winnipeg social workers, the substantiated contact was deemed inappropriate and the Winnipeg Child and Family Services agency recommended that the school adopt guidelines against such behavior," according the Jewish Week. The school closed in 1991, about a year after Rabbi Bryks left Winnipeg.
Allan Levine in  his recent book “Coming of Age,” on p.420, refers to "the agency issuing a report that concluded that Bryks' behavior of having children sit on his lap while he tickled them was "neither appropriate nor professional",  but not illegal." 
In 1993, after Rabbi Bryks moved to New York, a former student in Winnipeg accused him of having fondled him at the school when the student was 8, but prosecutors reportedly declined to file criminal charges, citing lack of corroboration. When the boy, Daniel Leven. at age 17, was asked to re-record a statement he had given earlier, he committed suicide. 


Martin Levin [Daniel’s father] will be on the upcoming episode of the documentary series on May 16. Levin, currently lives in Toronto and is the book editor of the Globe and Mail.

Levine in his recent book “Coming of Age,” on p.420 writes that “Daniel Levin alleged that Bryks molested him." He further wrote "According to Sarah Levin, [Daniel’s mother] Bryks had given Daniel candy to keep him quiet and told him that God would punish him if he ever told anyone what had transpired. This threat of retribution was echoed by other children who came forward.”
This week the Winnipeg Jewish Review spoke with Rabbi Charles Grysman, a Winnipegger now living in Toronto.  Rabbi Grysman is the Rabbi of Zichron Israel Congregation of Associated Hebrew Schools [and a reader of the Winnipeg Jewish Review].
Rabbi Grysman, who is an orthodox Rabbi received his smicha from the Ner Yisroel Yeshiva by Rabbi Gedalia Felder, z”l, the AV Bet Din
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.