The president of a Connecticut synagogue resigned his position on Sunday, one week after his status as a registered sex offender became widely known in his community, bringing a #Metoo-era quandary about repentance and disclosure to a small suburb of Hartford, Connecticut.
In 2008, Jason Wasserman, now 53, went to meet with who he thought was a 13-year-old girl, allegedly to take nude pictures of her. The girl turned out to be law enforcement officers conducting a sting, and he was arrested.
After his arrest, he immediately reached out to his parent’s rabbi, Jeffrey Glickman, of Temple Beth Hillel in South Windsor. Glickman became his ally, and Wasserman threw himself into a program of atonement. He volunteered in job programs, in soup kitchens and with small businesses seeking mentors. He joined Beth Hillel and became one of the synagogue’s shofar blowers and a constant presence at Shabbat services. Last year the congregation elected him as its president.
But what Wasserman didn’t do was tell his newfound community about his past.