Monday, February 27, 2006

Two Victims Of Kolko/Margulies/Yeshiva Torah Temimah Respond To The Jewish Press And The Mindless Garble FROM the Jewish Press

Victim Number One

The real problem with the Jewish Press editorial is its blatant hypocrisy. For two years now the Jewish Press has been running a massive campaign on behalf of Rabbi Mordechai Tendler to undo his expulsion from the RCA. That campaign included news articles as well as editorials. The thrust of the campaign is that Rabbi Tendler did not receive due process from the RCA. The Jewish Press particularly gave a lot of publicity to a Psak from a Jerusalem Beth Din which demanded that the expulsion issue be brought before a Beth Din. The Jewish Press through its publicity campaign, brought tremendous pressure to bear on the RCA to comply with that Psak as the RCA seemed more inclined to ignore it. That pressure included veiled threats of Siruv and the suggestion that failure to comply would call into question the validity of the RCA’s own Beth Din, The Beth Din of America. Primarily as a result of those efforts it now appears that indeed the RCA is participating in a Beth Din process.

It must be pointed out, that each and every one of the editorials in favor of Rabbi Tendler and pressuring the RCA was anonymous. Never once did any member of the editorial board dare identify him or herself. Obviously, this was done to avail themselves of the protective shield that anonymity provides. Especially, when going up against a powerful and influential organization such as the RCA.

Moreover, Jewish newspapers traditionally reported the news. Nowhere, in the laws pertaining to Beth Din is there any role defined for a Jewish newspaper to come in unasked and act as an enforcement arm of Beth Din, and pressure people to abide by Jewish Law or to force recalcitrant litigants to come to Beth Din. This is an unprecedented role that the Jewish Press has created for itself in the Tendler matter where it has inserted itself into a judicial process that, in the first instance, was way beyond its calling and jurisdiction.

To put it more succinctly, the Jewish Press’ role in the Tendler matter was nothing more than one big anonymous pashkivil to correct an injustice - giving Rabbi Tendler due process - that it believed was worthy of its time and attention.

In truth, notwithstanding the unprecedented nature of the actions by the Jewish Press, we don’t disagree with the Jewish Press’ methods of using their anonymous pashkivil to get justice where nothing else will work.

The instant anonymous pashkivil seeks similar relief. Due process for the victims of a known child molester who has to date avoided justice. The use of different media, mass mailing and a website, are hardly the point. The principle, the use of an anonymous pashkivil as a last resort to bring about justice when members of our community evade our Beth Din system, is an effective one as ably demonstrated by the Jewish Press.

What really seems to be bothering the Jewish Press is that with the emergence of alternative media they are losing their ability to control the procedure and agenda of the anonymous pashkivil. In and of itself that is understandable. What is more disturbing, however, is the Jewish Press’ apparent willingness to turn a blind eye to an explosive issue that has rocked the Frum community to its core only because it didn’t come off their desks.

Victim Number Two

To the Editor from a victim of Yeshiva Torah Temimah aka Lipa Margulies/Yudi Kolko

How can anyone disagree with the eloquent and logical position taken by the Editorial Board of The Jewish Press as it weighs in on the evils of anonymous slander sheets?

Unless, the true “cancer” is not the “Pashkevil” but rather the issue addressed in said mailing. Namely, the over three decades of see no evil practiced by our Rabonim when faced with countless complaints of children being molested by this one Rebbi.

Did the Editorial Board bother to investigate this matter before attacking the accuser?

Apparently not.

Anyone willing to do so much as an iota of research will learn of numerous charges having been levied against this Rebbi. Only a little more work will net victims speaking of their experiences with this man. You take the liberty of vaguely referring to the “lurid accusations of improper conduct” contained in the letter as being unsubstantiated and proclaim it to be “incumbent upon each of us to resolve to give no credence to unproven charges.” Are you including the many victims of this man in your pronouncement? Do you suggest that they too urge the charges be “discredited on a community-wide basis”?

To date no one was willing to stand up to this man’s boss until an anonymous blogger took up the cause. Where were our organizations all these years? Why did it take the fear of exposure to the secular media to propel them into action and break over thirty years silence and inactivity? Why were the Jewish souls living daily with the pain of their mistreatment at the hands of this man not enough to compel action?

I respectfully submit the “cancer growing in our midst” is the child molesting and the protecting of the perpetrator. The “Pashkevil” was the equivalent of Chemotherapy, painful and damaging but curative.

In closing, I speak with conviction because I am a victim of this man. I have contacted Elliot Pasik, Esq. (efpasik@aol.com) and have volunteered to testify under oath in any legitimate fact finding body convened for the purpose of keeping this molester away from children. I urge everyone else molested by this man to do the same.

Name Withheld
Brooklyn, New York

Jewish Press Letters wrote:

The issue here is not the guilt or innocence of an individual, but the practice of leveling accusations in a public and anonymous manner. Certainly you don't mean to imply that The Jewish Press, which has actually lost some readers because of our coverage of domestic and other types of abuse, is guilty of covering up or ignoring the problem? Maybe you're thinking of Yated and Hamodia.

To: letters@jewishpress.com
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006
Subject: Re: Child Molester

I was not accusing the Jewish Press of anything. I am writing a letter to the Editor in response to an Editorial you chose to write. Your Editorial ignores the issue addressed in the "Pashkevil" yet addresses the medium.

I assume from your defensive response that you will not be publishing my letter. I find that to be unfortunate. This issue is newsworthy and affects the community far more than the issue of "Pashkevils" you chose to address.

No I'm not thinking of Yated or Hamodia. I wrote to you, not them. Will you do anything about this horrific issue?

Jewish Press Letters wrote:

We don't run anonymous letters. I'm not saying we'd run it even if your name were on it, but without a verifiable name it definitely won't be considered. Nothing personal.

Thanks for your input.

To: Jewish Press Letters
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006
Subject: Re: Child Molester

Question: Was not your "Editorial" anonymous? If so, please be so good as to explain the difference between your Editorial and the "Pashkevi" you criticize so vociferously.

Also, please explain the value system you ascribe to, which calls forth self-righteous indignation over an anonymous letter yet allows you to remain silent over a chronic child molester teaching in one of our yeshivas.

Thank you for your earlier responses, I look forward to hearing from you.

Jewish Press Letters wrote:

Aren't all newspaper editorials "anonymous?" Do you know who writes New York Times editorials? You're really too intelligent to resort to that argument. An editorial in The Jewish Press 9or any publication) isn't anonymous for the simple reason that it has the newspaper's imprimatur on and behind it. Agree with a particular editorial or not, you know it's the corporate entity known as The Jewish Press that disseminated it.

To: Jewish Press Letters
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006
Subject: Re: Child Molester

New York Times:

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., Publisher
Bill Keller, Executive Editor
Jill Abramson, Managing Editor
John M. Geddes, Managing Editor
Jonathan Landman, Deputy Managing Editor

Jewish Press:

Mysterious "Editorial Board"

When the New York Times runs the Kolko story, they will offer attributions as well as quotes from victims that the Orthodox Jewish media refused to report on this issue.

My question to you is; why? You have the unique ability to address this pressing issue and help prevent it from hitting the secular media. Don't you have a moral duty to do so?

Jewish Press Letters wrote:

We have a masthead as well. The Times's masthead doesn't tell you who writes any of the editorials. As a matter of fact, none of the names you listed have anything to do with editorials. Gail Collins is the editorial page editor, and she's got 15 or 16 editorial writers under her. Yuo can find their names on the Times website, but you'll never know which one of them wrote any specific editorial.

To: Jewish Press Letters
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006
Subject: Re: Child Molester
So, pray tell. Is your name on the Masthead?

Your single minded focus in protecting your anonymous vehicle (the Jewish Press) is hardly the issue at hand.

The issue, namely the presence of a chronic child molester in one of our prominent yeshivas and the refusal of the yeshiva's owner to deal with the issue is a local crisis unlike any we have seen in recent years.

This might not be rocking your world, but a good portion of your readership do live in the community affected by this and they are wondering why your focus seems to be on yourself as opposed to on this issue.


Saturday, February 25, 2006


To our readers, friends and others...I invite you to respond to the Jewish Press editorial. Well written comments will be posted in my headliner and included in my response to the J.P.in a few days.

Please use logic, common sense and well reasoned arguments, the world media will be reading your responses. You are welcome to use your names; in matter of fact I would encourage rabbis, lay leaders, medical professionals, attorneys and all people of good will to comment.

Disclaimer: Just because someone chooses to comment on this blog, that does not mean that you agree with or endorse any or all of my writings and opinions.

I do believe that all fair minded people will agree that there is no place in our yeshiva system for sexual predators and their protectors...and that a sex abuse registry system for our schools, an independendent panel of professionals to investigate claims of abuse, and a zero tolerance policy for these crimes are long overdue.

I do apologize to the thousands of people that have e-mailed me and posted comments that as of yet I was not able to read, publish and respond to.

I do find it very curious that Yeshiva Torah Temimah, Lipa Margulies and Yudi Kolko have not found the time to come out with a simple written statement denying the allegations against them.

To all that this does concern:

Although as a concerned parent I have monitored this blog for a while, I have held back from posting until now.

Truth, you are a liar and misleader, and if all this innuando about Kolko turns out accurate, your are as evil in my mind as the molestors themselfs.

As a significant contributor to TT, (Appelgrad had me on speed dial-Margo has come to my house in the past year-I have 2 boys there) I had a phone conference with Rabbi Margolis a few days after the letter.

He actually asked me "what would you do". I said to him "In ten years you never aked my advice, why now?" He said he's never been in such a tough position.

He did admit hearing rumors years ago. He also admitted to a few people coming foward in the past, but nothing "serious" in the past 10 years. He also layed on the Rabbi Kolko sob story. Don't get me wrong Rabbi Kolko was mine and my sons' favorite Rebbi. But my childs safety supercedes any sob story or personal tastes.

At no point did he completely deny that Rabbi Kolko was or is, a child Molestor. He even stated that the yeshiva is set up, so that no Rebbi should ever be allowed to be alone with a boy. Implying in my mind that there was concerns with Kolko and maybe at some point other Rebbeyim.

All in all, the conversation left me with a sick taste in my mouth. One of my sons is graduating, but the other I am removing from the Yeshiva at the end of the year. Three other parents in my sons class are removing their kids as well. Must of us were unhappy before this debacle anyway.

Oh, icing on the cake unfortunately, I found out last week, a distant cousin of mine punched Rabbi Kolko in the mouth a few summers ago. As I hear now, he has for years accused Kolko of molesting him. I believe his name is public now.

Anyway, sorry about my spelling and grammer, I am also a TT graduate. I think this problem is prevelent in every yeshiva, but a man with so much accusations around him (especially abuse)should be removed. With the safety of our children the saying applies in my mind. "Where there is smoke, there is fire".

Again I wanted to reiterate that the "Truth" is lying. Rabbi Margolis hedged himseld and did not give me or other parents an assuring denial of the accusations.

This whole incident is a Chillul Hashem and hope this matter concludes shortly.

Posted by Anonymous to Un-Orthodox Jew at 2/26/2006 09:30:10 PM

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Preventing Sexual Abuse - A Public Service Message


Most of the material on this blog is useless. I know it. You know it. I write it, you read it, and we both move on. But today I am going to write about sexual abuse.

I have come across a number of blogs over the past few days that are dealing with sexual abuse. The Unorthodox Jews are in the middle of trying to get a yeshiva to fire a rebbi who has been abusing boys for the past thrity years. And Dave had a great post about how the orthodox community has been looking the other way when it comes to sexual predators. Angry Soul has an entire blog talking about his experience being sexually abused over a seven year period. According to Angry Soul, his abuser, a counselor in camp, admitted to abusing over 100 kids during his teenage years.

There are other blogs I have seen talking about sexual abuse, but I haven't seen anyone talking about how to protect your kids from being abused.

As many of you know, I am not a therapist. I have never been sexually abused, and while I do know peple who have been abused, I have never had a discussion about that aspect of their lives with them.

Still, I am a parent, with three kids to protect, and many of you are parents as well, with kids who need to be protected.

Statistically, in the US, something like 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys are sexually abused in some manner at some point in their lives, which means it a pretty prevelent problem, and not one that as a parent you can afford to ignore.

I have a client, the Self Esteem Shop, which specializes in mental health books. They have an extensive section on sexual abuse, both in terms of prevention and recovery, for children of all ages, and for adults as well. I write their catalogs, and as their copywriter, I have flipped through many of these books, and read quite a few of the kids books from cover to cover.

This comes from the Child Advocacy Center.

Protecting your child from sexual abuse:

Let your child know that he or she can tell you anything and you will always be supportive.

Teach your child that no one, not even a teacher or a close relative, has the right to touch him or her in a way that feels uncomfortable. Teach your child that it is OK to say, "No, get away," and to tell a trusted adult about the incident.

Don't force kids to kiss, hug or sit on a grown-up's lap if they don't want to. This gives them control and teaches them that they have the right to refuse.

Always know where your child is and whom he or she is with.

Tell your child to stay away from strangers who hang around playgrounds, public restrooms and schools.

Be alert for changes in your child's behavior that could signal sexual abuse, such as sudden secretiveness, withdrawal from activities, refusal to go to school, unexplained hostility toward a favorite baby-sitter or relative, or increased anxiety. Some physical signs of abuse include bedwetting, loss of appetite, venereal disease, nightmares and complaints of pain or irritation around the genitals or anus.

If your child has been sexually abused, report it to the police or a child protection agency immediately.

If your child is a victim of sexual abuse, don't blame him or her. Listen and provide safety.

You can talk to your children about sexual abuse without ever using the term "Sexual Abuse." Use phrases like safe touches, and make sure to tell kids that they can always come to you to talk.

As I mentioned above, I write catalogs for the Self Esteem Shop, and here are a few titles I have read through. The prices are the current prices at the Self Esteem Shop's web site, selfesteemshop.com

Preschool Age

Always Be Careful - This safety manual teaches preschool age children (ages 3-5) the ABC's of good and bad touches and personal safety. $3

Andy/Annie - These books, were written for young children. Andy/Annie is confused when a person she knows touches her private parts. Issues include feeling alone, disclosure, and changes in character. Andy is for boys, Annie is for girls. $2.50

It's My Body - A book to teach young children how to resist uncomfortable touch. $5.95

Grade School

My Body is Private - This book teaches kids that their body is their own personal space, and no one should touch them without their permission. $5.95

Sam Speaks Out - When Sam is inappropriately touched by a neighbor, it makes him feel sad and act out. He tells a friend, and she helps him find someone who can help him with his problem. Soon, Sam is back to his old self. 4.95

A Very Touching Book - Using humor, children learn about their body parts as well as privacy, their private parts, and the difference between good and bad touches, including what to do in case of a bad touch. 12.95

Red Flag Green Flag People - This personal safety manual teaches early elementary age children the difference between good and bad touches, and teaches what to do in the event of a bad touch. Facilitators guide available. Appropriate for children ages 4-10. For some reason this book is not on their web site. It is the follow up
book to Always Be Careful, which I mentioned in the preschool section.

For Parents -

Protect Your Child From Sexual Abuse - Janie Hart-Rossi shows parents how to protect their children from sexual abuse. She begins with the facts on sexual abuse, an eye opening experience for many parents. She then offers some key phrases for children, so they can resist uncomfortable touches, and gives specific activities so you can reduce the likelihood of your child ever getting molested. Companion to It's My Body. 7.95

posted by Air Time

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Hey Lipa & Yudi-The Match Only Satan Could Have Made

Hey Lipa,

Stop sending your gofers my way looking to screw over the victims once again.

Hey Lippy boy, I got news for you; scores of victims of all ages have come forward with their parents. So you must be thinking...aha God is on my side, after all I call myself rosh yeshiva, and the assholes in my school wait until I mumble shema, while really what I'm doing is counting ALL the victims of sexual abuse that may be coming forward to destroy me.

So Lip, if your lawyers are telling you there's nothing to worry about, I got news for them; there are recent victims who have come forward...get it Lip, no statute of limitations to protect you against recent victims.

I just thought I'd let you know that my train has left the station...and this is one conducter you can't screw over.

Sleep Well!