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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.


From: REDACTED
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.


From: REDACTED
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.


From: REDACTED
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.


From: REDACTED
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.


JEWISH PRESS: “EDITORIAL BOARD”: SILENT

30 comments:

Izzy said...

If he is so well respected why isn;t his piece signed?

Anonymous said...

Actually, the policy of the unsigned editorial is not unique to the Jewish Press. All newspapers publish unsigned editorials, and they are assumed to be the unified voice of the newspaper's editorial board, so no real anonymity exists. When the NY Times publishes unsigned editorials (as it does daily), if you have a problem with the editorials, you know to address your complaints to "the editor" or more specifically, the editoral page editor. To call it a pashkevil mischaracterizes the work of all newspapers. Signature is implied by the names on the masthead of the newspaper. On the other hand, the anonymity of internet commentators is different - there is no accountability and no masthead. Sorry, but this argument breaks down.

Anonymous said...

probably just forgot to sign

Edward said...

as an attorney, I understand very well why he didn't sign

Anonymous said...

"If he is so well respected why isn;t his piece signed?"

maybe that is precisely why he didn't sign ... embarraased to be known as a UOJ reader ...

Anonymous said...

Are you scrubs joking?

He think he clearly explained why he didn't sign.

The same idiot pointed out that the unorhodoxjew doesn't keep Shabbos.

izzy said...

I;m not defending Margulies or Kolko. They are both degenerates. Kolko for his behavior around children and Margulies for protecting him all these years.

I am merely commenting on the hypocrisy of the charge of hypocrisy being levied by an anonymous commentator against one of our most illustrious newspapers, the Jewish Press.

Anonymous said...

Response to anonymous (assumed to be Jewish Press "editorial board"). First lets get our facts straight. Using your example, the New York Times, the New York Times publishes the identity of not only the editorial page editors but each and evrey member of its 16 member editorial board. You can check it out as they say; http://www.nytimes.com/ref/opinion/editorial-board.html
By contrast, the Jewish Press not only does not tell us who the editorial page editors are it has never identified any of the members of the mysterious "editorial board". Its quite obvious that its not the Klass family authoring these editorials but rather a partisan person or persons who have hijacked the paper to further their own parochial agenda.

In any event, hiding behind some type of institutionally sanctioned anonymity, does not change the fact that it provides the "editorial board" with a a vehicle to launch its missiles behind an absolute shield of anonymity but not have to take responsibility for the fallout. If you truly have the courage of your convictions stop the nonsense and identify yourself(ves). If you continue to insist on hiding behind the skirts of the anonymous "editorial board" then please steer clear of the issues raised here.

In truth, while focusing solely on the inane issue as to the merits and demerits of the "pashkivil" the Jewish Press, hasn't merely struck out -- indeed it completely missed the entrance to the ballpark. The fact that a chronic child molester has evaded justice and continues to do everything possible to evade justice is apparently of no interest to the "editorial board". This is truly another mystery. Perhaps if we knew who the "editorial board" was we would have some insight as to the answer to that question. Perhaps we would understand why only issues having tangential repercussions for Rabbi Tendler such as the use of a "pashkivil" make it through the vetting process of the "editorial board".

Anonymous said...

I think the procedure used herein, namely the Blog and the Mass mailing, is justified by simple common sense.

Lives are at stake. No other means of removing Kolko have proven succesful.

This is the element that the Jewish Press is missing.

To me it breaks down like this.

Explain to me why dozens of people would accuse Kolko of molestation, albeit only anonymously?

Are all the accusations and support attributed to UOJ himself?

If not, there is no rational innocent explanation for all these accusation.

Does he owe every one of these anonymous accusers money?

Did he throw every one of these anonymous accusers out of Yeshiva?

So they all ganged up and decided to accuse this innocent man of touching young genetiles?

Is this what we are supposed to believe?

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills or something.

The blind support for Kolko is apalling.

I firmly believe that one should not be charged anonymously. However, and considering the natural preventitive forces that prevent victims of molestation to come forward, such a massive outcry should be sufficiant to remove this Kolko guy.

The Jewish Press is pathetic as always.

Brooklyn DA's office said...

Any victim of or person with knowledge of child molestation is requested to immediately contact the Brooklyn DA's office at 718-250-2340 or the local precinct of the NYPD.
All information will be held in the strictest of confidence.

almost_frei said...

I know this is not exactly on topic, but I thought y'all would like to see this re. Tendler.

now lets see if he leaves or starts another bais din argument (we all know the answer to that one!)

Kehillat New Hempstead
720 Union Road New Hempstead, NY 10977 (845) 362-2425

To: Members and Friends of Kehillah New Hempstead
From: Board of Directors and Board of Trustees
Date: February 28, 2006
———————————————————————
—————————————
It is with a heavy heart that we are compelled to write this
correspondence.

As you are all aware of the controversy and issues surrounding our
Rabbi, Rav Mordecai Tendler, and the resulting harms on our
community and Kehillah, the Board of Directors(”Board”) in
accordance with its fiduciary responsibilities, has undertaken the
necessary due diligence to determine the source, accuracy, extent
and affect of those issues.

After months of extensive investigation and outreach, the Board
pursued the input of many persons with knowledge of the underlying
issues, as well as attempting to engage the Rabbi, and his
representatives, in the appropriate dialogue to achieve a resolution
of remedial and rehabilitative cures. These issues concerned the
following:
(i) the accuracy of certain explanatory statements made by the Rabbi;
(ii) a continuing spiritual deficiency in KNH;
(iii) a related loss of membership;
(iv) an associated overall decline of community support for KNH;
(v) the lawsuit commenced by Adina Mermelstein;
(vi) the failure to adequately apprise the Board of the Rabbi’s
defensive efforts; and,
(vii) a corresponding loss of financial funds and support for KNH.

To date, and since the inception of the controversies, the Rabbi has
failed to acknowledge or resolve the breadth of these issues. This
failure has been consistent and now affects the very manner in which
the Kehillat needs to function.

Being unable to confirm and verify the Rabbi’s defensive positions,
the Rabbi’s continuing lack of responsibility, aware of the
worsening negative ramifications affecting the Kehillah, the growing
chorus of controversies and issues, and being further convinced that
a resolution of the above issues are highly unlikely, the Board has
voted to suspend the Rabbi from his rabbinical duties, compensation
and responsibilities, the suspension to commence on February 28,
2006 and remain until a final determination from either a court of
competent jurisdiction or agreed beis din, or a final negotiated
resolution. The decision comes on the heels of a prior recent
request that asked that the Rabbi take a leave of absence, that
being subsequent to many months of recommending remediation and
rehabilitation, acts which were not pursued by the Rabbi.

Our decision to suspend, of course, took into consideration the
Rabbi’s active participation in the birth and growth of our
Kehillah, his long-standing commitment to our Kehillah and community
and the extent of his outreach efforts.

While we are mindful of the range of anticipated member reactions,
we believe that the Board’s decision is in the best interest of the
Kehillah. To correctly communicate this stance, we are attempting
to coordinate a forum to discuss the Board’s efforts, the Board’s
decision herein, as well as our healing and rebuilding intentions.

Lastly, decisions that concern the very essence of our personal and
spiritual relationships are never easy. Being exposed, though, to
the harms which emanate from our awareness of the realm and breadth
of the existing controversies, we are committed to providing the
necessary contributions to ensure for the successful implementation
of our rebirth. We are hopeful we will continue our community
efforts in this regard.

May Hashem bless us to direct the correctness of our actions, bless
our Kehillah in its spiritual growth and rejuvenation, and bless us
with Shalom.

SP/sp
cc: Board of Directors
Board of Trustees
Daniel Schwartz, Esq.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

To The Board Of Shmendricks At Torah Temimah,

Do you want to write a letter similar to KNH now, or after Torah Temimah is destroyed and confiscated by the court?

SUSPEND both Margulies and Kolko NOW, before it's done for you by the justice system!

Anonymous said...

UOJ - your game is up you did not proceed with the rest of your Maakos and the Lawyer has not done anything. Here in Flatbush the story is long dead. Move on to a new topic you because this is very boring.

TT Parent said...

Above Anon Idiot-You're clueless.
Thirty parents met on Sunday to prepare TT for life after Margulies.
We heard testimony from children and their parents in the presence of their attorneys.

Anonymous said...

Writing this sort of letter is their only hope for survival. Otherwise, they're finished. UOJ, please tell us when their day of reckoning will be.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why you are coming down so hard on the Jewish Press. They were able to verify what was happening with Tendler, they cannot verify as of yet what statements are being made in this Blog and the mass mailings you sent out. If they could be contacted by the Lawyers and maybe have explained to them the amount of people who are coming forward then you would probably change their mind. However they are correct that they are unable to go forward and publish anything against these two people until absolute proof has been established.

I haven't seen the JP usually back down from an issue that they have been able to investigate themselves.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Above Anonymous,

I'm coming down on the Jewish Press because we informed them weeks before the letter went out asking them to investigate.

Instead they chose to report that "O.J." Margulies " vigorously denies the allegations."

UOJ ALLY said...

Readers,

UOJ can not disclose the details of the multi-prong assault on the criminals.

We are at war with the enemies of Judaism, no "five star general" discloses their battle plan.

Anonymous said...

Amazing. The rhetoric here, the sheer cult of personality surrounding UOJ is remarkable. Kind of like Hitler or Mao, in a tinpot sort of way, with slightly less intelligent followers. 5 star general? Secret plan? "multi prong?" face it, you're an idiot. This reads like a bunch of ten year olds playing in a tree fort. But the toys here are people's lives. its sad when serious issues are left in the hands of utter incompetents.
Personally, if you had real facts and evidence, you'd be selling this story to a real newspaper and not whining about how the jewish press failed to cover it. Think about it - you dont even have evidence good enough for the Jewish Press!!!! That's astounding.

JP Editorial Board is a Sophist said...

As Albert Einstein stated:

"Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions."

Thus, the Jewish Press excoriates the methods used to expose a child molester while remaining silent about the underlying issue.

Will the Jewish Press have anything to say after Kolko is proven guilty?

Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why you are coming down so hard on the Jewish Press.

--------------------------

Simple. You and your father stepped in it up to your knees. Wash yourselves off, change your pants and shoes and check out the validity of this accusation.

Stop defending your error, correct it.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering altogether about UOJ's "strategy". Lets see: he hasnt made an attempt to get this into criminal court or to get an investigation started, and he hasn't attempted to sell this story to a mainstream secular news source like the post or daily news or the times. What has he done? Gotten a personal injury lawyer who works on contingency to consider a civil case (anyone can file one, after all, you dont need pesky things like investigations or evidence), and been rejected by a rag like the Jewish Press. So what ARE we to beleive about UOJ based on his strategy thus far? Either he has no case or he's a strategic idiot. Take your pick.

Anonymous said...

There is a very important post here saying there was a Sunday meeting of 30 parents, children, and lawyers. This post states:

"WE HEARD TESTIMONY FROM CHILDREN....."

Is this true? Somebody better find out. Is he still abusing children? If he is, there's no statute of limitations that will stop a prosecution.

I'm dubious. What parents would let their children testify in front of a tzibur about such things? What for? But if its true, if the menuvel is still doing it, we got a big problemo
on our hands.

Please, somebody, check this out. And if its true, go to the cops. No mesirah.

Anonymous said...

UOJ:

Thanks for posting these comments. When the story breaks in the secular media, which is clearly where this is headed, you can respond to the “Akum” critics by showing them these comments.

It’s sad but true that the only route to take here is exposing these Dark Age practitioners of our faith for what they are. Self-interested cover-up artists.

Let the fair minded, rational secularists deal with these child molester enablers. They’ll get what they deserve and we’ll get some sorely needed changes to our backward system.

x TT student said...

* its sad when serious issues are left in the hands of utter incompetents.*
So that makes you *super intelligent* guess.
That being , what better plan do you YES have to put down ACTIVE AND NON ACTIVE child molesters in our yeshiva system as well as those that harbor them , such as principles and board members.
If you have something better to offer us, then tell us.
Otherwise Just shush your trap.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why you are coming down so hard on the Jewish Press.
_________________________________
There are two major reasons why the the Jewish Press is being taken to task here. One is proceural and one is substantive:

1) Procedure:
This comment truly demonstrates the insular mentality surrounding the current regime in the Jewish Press, which has been the subject of commentary here. The Jewish Press takes a strong position on an explosive issue affecting the community but then expects to tap dance away without consequence.
If you can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen.

By analogy, on the Tendler issue, the Jewish Press believes it will suffer no loss of credibility if Rabbi Tendler is found guilty, since it was only opining on procedure not substance. This position is dangerously naive. The Jewish Press clearly undertook a serious investigation of the charges and believes Rabbi Tendler is innocent. You don't invest all that energy in a guilty man. In the court of public opinion the Jewish Press is percieved as the champion of Rabbi Tendler's cause. If it turns out that the RCA was right the Jewish Press will have serious egg on its face. We doubt that we'll see a mea culpa. If anything we'll see pyrotechnical word parsing worthy of Jackie Mason; we didn't say it and even if we said it we didn't mean it and it wasn't me it was my brother yada yada.

The Jewish Press has taken a strong stand on an issue which it admittedly didn't bother to investigate the truth of the charges leveled. The same dangerous word parsing game is being played here; we were only opining about procedure not substance. The Jewish Press needs to get real and come out of its insular cocoon or go back to the good old days of "Israel Wins" headlines and the like.

2) Substance:
If somebody gets an anonymous letter that their house is on fire the first instinct is to check if its true. After they have made that inquiry they may inquire further into the method of delivery. The Jewish Press' abysmal failure to recognize this letter for being just that and respond accordingly, truly calls into question its professional judgement.

Anonymous said...

How about a boycott of the JP and its advertisers until they step up?

boog said...

to anon and all those questioning who the real Editorial writers of the JP are:

Lawyer Danny Rapps is the author of the Pashkivil Editorial that appeared the other week in the JP.

gross said...

Boog,

Is the name Danny Rapps or Dennis Rapps?

boog said...

Dennis Rapps.