Orthodox rabbi blasts gay conversion therapy

'Peddling false promises.' Dean of Ohr Torah Stone and former Yeshiva University VP Rabbi Kenneth Brander blasts conversion therapy.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rabbi Kenneth Brander
Rabbi Kenneth Brander
Rivka Kobalski

A prominent Modern Orthodox rabbi and former vice president of Yeshiva University publicly condemned treatments aimed at changing the sexual orientation of gays and lesbians, calling the conversion therapies a life-threatening danger.

In a series of tweets, Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, dean of the Ohr Torah Stone school network, lambasted conversion therapy, saying such treatments ‘peddle false promises’, while creating an elevated risk of suicide.

“As an Orthodox rabbi and educator fully committed to halacha and responsible for the well-being of thousands of students, I'm compelled to speak out against 'therapies' that endanger our children. Conversion therapy does not work,” wrote Rabbi Brander.

“Conversion therapy peddles false promises & is associated with higher levels of depression & suicide. This is a real issue of pikuach nefesh. We must educate in ways to ensure that all our children have a safe and welcoming place in our community.”

The former YU vice president’s tweets came following the controversial comments of Education Minister and United Right chairman Rabbi Rafi Peretz, who voiced support during a recent interview for conversion therapy.

In the interview aired on Channel 12 Saturday night, Rabbi Peretz, in response to a question by the interviewer, said he believed that conversion therapy could help young people, citing his own experience as an educator.

"People who have such a tendency can be converted." Peretz said, "I think that it's possible, I can tell you that I have a very deep knowledge of education, and I've also done it."

When Peretz was asked what he would advise a student who told him about his sexual inclinations, the minister replied: "First of all, I would hug and speak to him warmly. I would tell him, 'Let's think, let's learn, let's look into it.' The goal is that he should first get to know himself well. I would give him the information and he needs to decide."