By COLlive reporter
Controversial author Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has sent out a press release via Rubenstein Public Relations from New York City, blasting COLlive.com for sticking to editorial standards.
Boteach complained that he was not allowed to respond to an article by Rabbi Yitzchok Wolf, Dean of SJ Abrams Cheder Lubavitch Hebrew Day School in Chicago, who worried that the title of Boteach’s new book “Kosher J” is deceiving.
The press release sent out on Wednesday by the PR firm to the national media, read: “… the subject of freedom of speech also comes up when Rabbi Shmuley Boteach subsequently responds to Rabbi Wolf’s post, only to have his response taken down by the editors of COLlive.com about an hour later.”
The statement went on to quote an email we sent to Boteach explaining why his response was removed:
“It was not because you don’t have the right to defend yourself (everyone does). It’s that its contents were not on par with our editorial standards, being that we are a frum website. Parents do not want their children to be reading a discussion about J or reading quotes from J!
“In the brief time the article was online, we were flooded with emails, comments and phone calls from our readers who were outraged about the content of the article. It goes without saying that impressionable Jewish children should not be reading about this topic.”
Indeed, after being alerted by our readers, we reviewed Boteach’s article and chose to remove. What is not mentioned, however, is that Boteach was offered the chance to revise his response within the guidelines of our website’s editorial standards, but he refused, and then threatened to file a lawsuit.
Despite his threats, COLlive editors refused to post an article that does not fit the editorial guidelines for acceptable content on a community website read by religious Jews of all ages.
In the spirit of unity and love for one another, and in consultation with the COLlive editorial advisory board – comprised of a select group of respected rabbis and educators – we did post the back-and-forth exchange and we will not be publishing anything further on the topic.