Shlomo Carlebach was a huge figure in Jewish music and in bringing less observant Jews back to a more spiritual and observant way of life.
He was also known, within many Jewish circles, as a serial molester and perhaps worse.
The best compilation of the weight of the evidence against him on these scores can be found here.
I overheard Monkeyboy's choir practicing a Carlebach song on Sunday night and it tied my stomach in knots. How to separate the man from his music?
(If you're Jewish, you know a lot of Carlebach music even if you don't recognize his name. His tunes for a number of traditional pieces of liturgy are so ubiquitous that people think them ancient when they're really half a century old or less.)
I decided I didn't know enough about the allegations, so I went hunting on the Internet. I found the article I've linked to above. I find it persuasive.
But it's from a pretty left-wing, feminist source, (Lilith magazine) so I figured I'd best take a look at Wikipedia.
I was shocked to find not a single word about these allegations.
Reading the "discussion" page for the entry, I found that whether or not to include these allegations in Carlebach's Wikipedia entry has been a topic of great disputation.
I've added my own views to the discussion.
I've also added a link to the Lilith article at the bottom of Carlebach's Wikipedia page.
I'll be curious to see if it stays there. I think I've made a reasonable argument on the discussion page, but we'll see if I've helped reach a consensus or just stirred up the controversy again.
How (or whether) I try to explain all this to a nine-year-old is a question I'll confront after this year's choir season is over.