Saturday, March 11, 2006

"We Toil And They Toil ....We Toil To Save Our Children From Abuse And Receive Rewards...And They Toil And Receive No Rewards"....

A Reader Writes The Yated Ne'eman....

Dear Yated Editor,
I address this to the parents of the children who are caught up in the problem with gedolim cards.

Dear suffering parents,

Remember your goals, which are to raise kinderlach al derech haTorah. The photographers and marketers of these cards do not share your goals. They are in it to make money, which is why these cards are printed, attractively packaged, and sold with the plan to withhold certain cards, which in turn, ensures more sales - and not necessarily more ahavas haTorah.

Please understand that any leader in any field (social, community, business, religious, etc.) has become a leader because he/she thinks “outside of the box.” This means that the person has unusual thinking patterns, which sometimes (not always) results in unusual success.

Abusers also think “outside of the box.” This is what sustains their positions as leaders, even in the face of acute distress of those that they are taking advantage of. Their trick is to “out-think” the person or people that they are trying to manipulate. The trick to getting out from under a problem, is to out-think even those who think outside of the box by thinking outside of the box yourself.

Firstly, hang on to your goal of raising good, frum, emesdike kinderlach. While you keep that goal in mind, whatever you come up with must be different than what you have been doing until now, since the same type of thinking that got you into the problem is not going to get you out of it! So change how you approach the ideal of raising your child. Think of new ways to do it.

Here is one “outside of the box” solution. Call up Torah Umesorah, Artscroll, the Agudah, and your local Hebrew Library - whatever - and get any article, essay, etc. that has a photo of your child’s “missing” gadol. Get a copy of it and present it to your son. Do they need a face from the actual set? No, they need the missing face, because the goal is to see the faces of our great leaders. Get any photo. If they are sorry about this paltry replacement (because they want it to match the set), remind them what the overall goal is, and how it can be accomplished in more ways than one.

Alternatively, get a list of the gedolim, and collect your own photos from numerous sources! I myself have a “Tzaddik Album” at home where I paste in whatever nice photos of gedolim come along. This hobby has no parameters. It just unfolds with time and is kept among the family albums.

Remember that people who abuse the system get away with their behaviors because they confuse and frustrate the rest of the world who walk on more common ground. In order to stop them, it will not help to “speak to the hanhala” or take any normal, common action. Normal, common actions is what makes abusers laugh. They expect “normal” and base their game-plan on the well-meaning, generally innocent masses.

To get back control of your own children you, too, must think outside of the box. Take your sanity, pocketbook and child back from the grips of a phenomenon that has simply gotten out of control.

UOJ Comments,

Thanks Pinky, I could not have said it better myself!


Anonymous said...

This is just another example of how Yiddishkeit has been hijacked by crooks,profiteers,lowlifes,assorted
scumbags and gutless "rabbonim".

Anonymous said...

The amazing thing is how people I talk to still maintain Kolko's innocence! Talk about naive!

nervous TT parent said...

gutless "rabbonim".
thats an oxymoron. i dont care if this rosh yeshiva or gadol hador runs the biggest and best yeshiva in the whole wide world. if you cave in to outside pressures from money people and polotics and kanoyim and your work is not true leshem shamayim with no strings attatched than you are a phoney in my books

Auto Report World Editors said...

UOJ, I'm commenting here because you don't have an email link. Three issues concern me. The first has to do with the McMartin and Amirault cases involving alleged sexual abuse at day care facilities in California and Mass., which we now know to be miscarriages of justice. We don't want a witch hunt where any accusation is believed automatically. The fact is that some kids do lie about this. It's rare, but it happens so due process must be maintained.

The second issue is admittedly controversial. Though men may be more likely to misbehave sexually, sexual misconduct is an equal opportunity crime. AT and MT had many willing female accomplises. Starting with Mary Kay LeTourneau the secular news has revealed a string of [attractive] female junior and senior high school teachers getting in trouble over sex with their underage students. Eve Ensler's performance propaganda The Vagina Monologues, hugely popular with feminists, includes a scene where a 13 year old girl is seduced/raped by an older woman. Simply put, women and adolescent females act out sexually too. In addition pop culture endorses female bisexuality and surveys show larger and larger percentages of college women admitting to sex with other women.

So, my question is, why do we only hear about homosexual predators only in Yeshivas? We've all known about 'problems' at this or that yeshiva over the decades, and now the real criminals are being exposed. But how come we've never heard about a sex scandal at a Bais Yakov or some other girls' school? A quick search of Craigslist will find orthodykes (as well as gay and bi 'frum' men), so it's not like there aren't any lesbians in the ortho community, but why are there never any scandals? There have to be some female teachers messing around with students. It can't be an exclusively male phenomenon.

So why don't we hear aobut it? Well, let me ask you fathers who have daughters. Are you made to feel welcome at your daughter's Bais Yakov? I know that I sure as hell am not. The majority of the school events are produced so as to be assur for men to attend. Even at conferences there is subtle and not so subtle indication that men are not welcome there. After my divorce I found out that the default policy of the school was to not send report cards (or anything else) to non custodial fathers unless they request it. They've also sent me notices originally addressed to Mrs. Almoni where they've photocopied the one they sent her and whited out the 's'.

Women run the girls' schools. I'm sure that some female teachers are acting out sexually with Bais Yakov girls, but the schools suppress it.

My third issue is a personal one that should resonate with others. We are all outraged about sexual predators in the yeshivas. We wonder "could we have done something? should we have noticed?". I went over to the kollel this morning for the rosh kollel's son's auf ruf. An old friend of mine who is a talmid chacham and one of the most yashar yashar people that I know came in during the drasha and we talked. I told him about the scandals I'd seen on the blogs and then I told him that I wondered if I should do something myself. That there's someone in the community here that's raised all sorts of red flags in my mind and I've never said anything. A guy first came to town here on business 10 or 15 years ago and rented a house in the frum neighborhood. Rumor had it that he was a Microsoft millionaire. He was then working for MS on a project at a major industrial company that is based in this area. He left MS for the industrial company where he has a very high level job. He's about 50 and when he moved here he'd never been married. He's exceptionally bright. Nah. I'm exceptionally bright, he's off the charts. Has a professional medical degree that he never used because he got in computers. After he moved here, he started buying stuff for the kids in the neighborhood - the fancy big squirt guns when those were popular and bikes for a lot of the kids. Now I'm a bikie, have a road bike that would cost maybe $3000 to replace (bought it back when things were good) so I know bikes. He wasn't buying these kids Huffys at K-Mart but bikes that cost maybe $500-$800 at a bike shop. Once when I was with my family at a lakeside amusement park two or three hours away, we ran into him. He had taken a bunch of yeshiva bochrim (~15 years old) to the park on his cabin cruiser. Later he married a woman from out of town with two boys. She abruptly divorced him and left town only a short time later.

Like I said. Lots of red flags. So I was telling my friend about the flags and I never mentioned a name and my friend says, "That's old news. We've know that for eight years." So I told him, "And we're letting it go on."

There's nothing concrete, but if I was a betting man? What would you do UOJ?

Auto Report World Editors said...

BTW, a clever way to get the subject of abuse raised in a newspaper that prefers not to talk about it. However, I'm not sure if it's fair to compare the guys selling rebbe cards to child molesters. The guys selling the cards aren't doing anything that Marvel, Skybox or other collector card companies do. Still, it was a clever strategy.

Anonymous said...

We need a system for dealing with abusers. The Rabonim have proved themselves inept at dealing with these situations, we need to take charge.

Kolko first, system second.

Auto Report World Editors said...

I've seen news about policies implemented like background checks, registries, psych evaluations, which are all worthwhile, but the system has to be uniform and high profile enough that even independent schools will want to participate. To give a great l'havdil analogy. There's a guy who couldn't find a job. So he started a business cleaning up people's yards from their dogs, but to increase his professionalism he started a trade organization that had standards and certifications that he publicized to his competitors and customers.

Parents need to know that just as they wouldn't hire an unlicensed plumber or use a contractor without a performance bond, they shouldn't send their kids to schools that haven't done due diligence to keep the perverts out.

Oh, and make sure the girls' schools participate too. The Girl Scouts were founded by two lesbians looking for opportunities.

Anonymous said...

To the one calling himself EDITOR.
I think you got an ax to grind.
You mention about your daughters school not sending you the report cards and not feeling welcome at meetings . You mention about a single guy that moved into the neighborhood that later married and his wife divorced him.
Listen here dude . By your own addmission you are divorced . How would you like me to spread a rumor about you that since you are divorced so you must be a bad person to scociety. and you must be fooling around with women and men?
You need more solid evidence then you have given us . Actually you are just babbling on with nothing to go on other then telling us that there must be lesbians in girl schools and why have we not heard any scandals. You sound like you are out to get someone for the sake of retaliation and bored at the same time .My friend , go get a better paying job. and hopefully you will fell better soon.

Anonymous said...

"Thanks Pinky, I could not have said it better myself"

this is not the finger I would have thanked

Anonymous said...

Yidi Kolko is molesting children while teaching in a yeshiva.

Jewish Press writes an editorial about pashkevils and the Yated raves about picture cards.

Where is the outcry? What is wrong with us?

Maybe UOJ is right about going outside the community to fix these problems.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Dear Editor,
Very thoughtful comments.

I am no expert in sexual abuse matters; your questions regarding girls' schools is something that did come to mind as I realized how widespread sexual abuse of children and adults is in our community.

My gut feeling is that it's covered up as it is in yeshivas. Remember, girls are taught from a young age to be cautious of men..and are not at all on guard about errant behavior of women.

I do believe based on various statistics about men, that the majority of abuse takes place by males.

Your point is well taken. The registry that we intend to set up should include all yeshivas...girls schools should and will be included.

The major obstacle that we are facing is education. Our community has had abuse of all kinds hit us in the face, only to twisted into the victim somehow being delusional.

Our group will be relentless in bring this problem out into the fore...and setting up a meaningful way to deal with these life-destroying issues.

IMO, that fifty year old guy is a definite problem...check the background of this guy, his behavior warrants close scrutiny.
I would contact the local police to have a thorough investigation done.
Fifty year olds hanging out with fifteen year olds and buying them gifts..sounds like we have a Michael Jacksonowits on our hands.

Yehudah Laufer said...


I have it from a very reliable source that Rabbi Kolko will be leaving TT at the end of the year and will be moving to Israel.

UOJ - if this is true, will you be satisfied or will you still go after Margo? And what will you demand.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...


Our demands are very firm...Kolko leaves immediately...tomorrow is too late.
Yes, we will go after Margulies for his criminal behavior.
Bank robbers get prosecuted "after" they commit the crime.

Anonymous said...

at the end of the year? that just wont cut it.
he must leave now and if indeed he is moving to israel we should make sure that the israeli authorities know of his backround.

Anonymous said...

So, Kolko moves to Israel and hooks up with Mondrowitz. What a solution!

Kolko must be branded a molester so that he can't harm any more children.

Anonymous said...

I dont know much of this koko story.
But if you asked me i do not think koko will be leaving the USA after uoj is done with him.

Anonymous said...


Get involved in your daughters' school. Go to PTA, school productions, call the teachers and if you can afford to, give the school some money.

More importantly, speak to your daughters about abuse and be a part of their daily lives.

Don't let the "system" push you away from your daughters. They need you.

Anonymous said...

Kolko will leave the country and move to Israel. Our job to make certain that he leaves with the stamp of a molester on him.

Mondrowitz was kicked out of the Chicago community. He moved to Brooklyn and raped dozens of kids.

We can't do the same thing to our brothers in Israel. When Kolko moves, he will take his cloud with him for all to see.

Auto Report World Editors said...

Anon, yes I've been divorced and I may indeed have a axe to grind when it come to gender politics and how men are considered unfortunate at best by our society at large, but you've conflated me with someone I was talking about. I met my ex when I was 21, married her 4 years later and was married for 21 years, having three beautiful kids with her. The guy I was talking about was single his entire adult life, married a woman with two boys, and then suddenly divorced less than a year, I think, after the marriage.

I guess the overarching point in my comments is that crap like this goes on because we turn our heads away and ignore what is sometimes obvious. I'm not saying we should suspect anyone who works or spends time with kids or teens as a pervert - actually, I said my first concern was that we not have a witch hunt. I'm saying that thinking "that couldn't happen" allows abuse to continue. While as UOJ pointed out men are more likely to abuse than women, that means that women also do abuse, just less frequently. And not all abuse is with adults, some is with older kids abusing younger kids. My ex was just on a jury for a trial for a 15 y/o who raped his 5 y/o half-brother. So with all the coverups in the yeshivas and shuls, I'm just saying that it stands to reason that if anything is going on in the girls' schools than it's probably being hushed up too. The fact, however, that the girls' schools are female domains may make the problem worse. If that makes me a misogynist, oh well. I have worse things to account for before God.

Auto Report World Editors said...

Get involved in your daughters' school. Go to PTA,

Ummm, dude? It's a Bais Yakov, they don't have a PTA. And if they did, men wouldn't be welcome.

school productions,

Okay. I'm guessing that you aren't familiar with Orthodox Jewish girls' schools. For the most part, the way most of the ortho community interprets things, it is considered immodest for men to watch productions of teen age girls. Men are simply not allowed to attend.

Hell, my daughter was invited to participate in a writing program at a local college (actually a Catholic school) and the letter sent home from the Bais Yakov office about the initial session said that "mothers were invited to attend".

call the teachers

I have. Actually one of her teachers is a mentor of my ex wife, and I've spoken with her whenever I've thought it was necessary, and another teacher is a good friend of mine. The former thinks I'm an apikores (and I think she's drunk the khareidi koolaid), while the latter rolls her eyes a lot at what goes on there. Both of them, btw, are superb teachers with rigorous standards, but then they were both raised secular (one a convert), and have real degrees from real colleges in the fields they are teaching (from a prePC era when teachers knew something), not seminary queens.

and if you can afford to, give the school some money.

That was a joke, right? They patch my punim and I should give them money?

I'd love to give my daughter's school money. Unfortunately, her mother's collection agency, Friend of the Court, comes first. Maybe some day, after I pay off all the money they are demanding, I'll be able to toss them a few bucks.

Anonymous said...

the editor;

Way too much time on your hands, and quite obviously your imagination is working way overtime.

This forum is turning into The Bitter and Divorced Anonymous.
LIVEN UP PEOPLE, it's purim time.

To anybody in the position to help: Find these people women........ for our sake.

Auto Report World Editors said...

Maybe I should get smicha?

Seems like the guys with smicha get all the ladies.

Auto Report World Editors said...

You're right.

Be happy, it's Adar.

But I think my ex has my costume.

Anonymous said...

hey uoj tough guy---i dont have a million to put up but when margo is still in tt next year with kolko ill remind you and your retarded friends about it.Isnt life enjoyable while you make an ass out of yourself?hey,do you guys hold your meetings in sandhouses pizza shop??

Auto Report World Editors said...

I have no dog in this particular fight, but the kind of thuggish behavior just illustrated, with it's oh so plausibly deniable threat to UOJ's daughter, that convinces me that literal gangsters are trying to run the community.

chaviv said...

UOJ, nice job.

once in a while you post somethign that criticizes you to make it appear like it is a fair foruym.

but you are full of balony and you don't post what you don't like.

the conversation here has gotten so boring, i'd rather be at the dentist.

boog said...

kolko and mondrowitz together in Israel, sheesh...just imagine the tzoris these 2 will cause.

Anonymous said...


Just an Obervation... said...

Has anyone noticed that most of this blog's opponents can barely form a sentence without mutilating the language?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed that most of this blog's opponents can barely form a sentence without mutilating the language?
i bet they *tried* learning grammer and penmanship in YTT

Auto Report World Editors said...

Part of the problem is the perversion of the idea of kavod HaTorah from respecting the Torah someone has learned and teaches into revering the person. This includes schools that explicitly prohibit students from contradicting teachers even when the teachers are wrong.

So you end up with everyone being a Gadol HaDor and nobody, even the people who knew them personally, is allowed to say even one critical word about them. It's not just the Slifkin books and the covering up of sexual misconduct.

I started keeping Shabbas in my mid 20s, after we started our family. I was raised in an observant Conservative home, went to a day school, my maternal grandparents were Shomer Shabbas. While I went to what was at the time a non-demon day school (after I graduated it affiliated with Sol Schecter), my older brother attended public school and the afternoon school of the local yeshiva ketana. So my family knew most of the rebbeim in the ortho community at the time which was the early 60s.

Now my brother is Shomer Shabbas today and lives in Jerusalem with his family. However, if it were up to the school, particularly it's now sainted late principal Rabbi S.G., he'd not be an observant Jew today were it not for a couple of rabbis on the faculty that took a personal interest in him. My brother had attended that school from first grade and six weeks before his Bar Mitzvah my parents discovered that the school had done nothing to prepare him. When my father asked the principal about it, his response was "His Bar Mitzvah is in a Conservative shul. He doesn't have to know anything." As my father told the story, he had to be physically restrained from going after the rabbi. As I said, a couple of rebbes at the school took a personal interest in him. One tutored him well enough that big bros leined a double parsha,and the other started inviting him for Shabbas. BTW, his tutor was threatened with dismissal from the school if he went to the Bar Mitzvah. He didn't come for the leining, but he did make a point of stopping in at the party. To this day, my brother cannot say enough good things about his tutor (a Lubavicher), and the other rabbi (a Litvak). However, if you mention the principal's name, the response will not be the same.

Later, after I started keeping Shabbas, I was eating lunch at the home of some older BTs in the community. She taught secular studies at the girls' school and earlier had done the same at the boys' school where she had become frum under the influence of aforementioned principal SG. You have to understand, the frum community completely reveres the memory of this guy and she was virtually a disciple of his.

But my family knew the guy before she did. And I could tell where she learned her narrow minded, self-righteous and judgemental Judaism from. So I told her that SG probably made more Jews into frei yidden than frum, that if it had been up to him, my brother wouldn't have learned a thing about real Yiddishkeit.

The woman would simply not hear what I had to say. Said it was lashon hara about her Rav.

This is the same school, btw, that when it almost folded a few years back because of debt, Torah Umesorah came in and found 22 administrators on the payroll, rebbe's homes owned by the school to avoid taxes, as well as senile and incompentants still on the payroll, plus a few widows as well (you can't deny someone a parnasa, they said). A BT lawyer in the community who's a very successful businessman came in and righted their financial ship, but the frummies here want to believe that everything is always 100% perfect.

Auto Report World Editors said...

Heads up folks, Hillel Tendler is threatening legal action and a FBI investigation against the Canonist blog.

boog said...

just an observation;

I've pointed this out since this blog started.

The effects of Dass Torah...sitting and "learning". No need to converse fluently or write grammatically correct and coherent sentences in your host country...after all, do you know who we are? Yes, the Black Hatters from Shevet Levi. We're above it all.

Keep Bashing said...

Keep bashing.

It is good for your ego.

What's funny is that the people you are bashing could not care less.

Bash the black hatters, bash the bnei Torah, bash the right wingers, bash whoever you want to.

But remember that they don't care one iota.

Boog's #1 fan said...

If they didn't care, they wouldn't be hacking his site. And you wouldn't be leaving assinine comments! They might act aloof, but deep down, they're scared because they're finally being called to the carpet. Their charade is up! Now there's going to be some accountability!

Anonymous said...

All of this makes me want to cry. I admit to being a letz and an am ha'aretz, but the stuff that UOJ and other contemporary critics of the frum community are talking about are exactly the same issues that people said 20 years ago.

Here's the drill and it looks from "out of town" (and how provincial does that idiom make the frum community look? - and even though this is the midwest where English is pronounced correctly, why does my Bais Yakov educated daughter talk like she's from Brooklyn?).

The community ignores a problem until it breaks into the secular media (drug overdoses, rabbinic scandals, money laundering). Then the Jewish Observer finally does an article on it, maybe by Shafran or one of the other frum guys who can actually write. As pareve as the JO tries to make the story, it can't avoid some of the truth. The next issue has a number of letters condemning the JO for running the story in the first place.

How long ago did R. Adin Steinsaltz write Tshuvah? 16 years ago? In it he explicitly stated that the biggest obstacle that BTs face is Orthodox Jews.

I can remember hearing a drash by an internationally regarded kiruv pioneer on one of the Nevi'im that was rebuking the Israelites. Rabbi J. stressed that these were "Orthodox Jews" the Navi was talking to. The problem is, the frum Jews who pay the bills of R.J.'s non-profit don't think he's talking about them. Like my neighbor who encouraged me to commit insurance fraud. Of course the etrogim that his family sells are considered by the community to be mehudar and bli shum chassash of whatever chumra is in vogue that year.

The problem is that those of us who have spoken about these problems have been mocked, shunned, silenced or worse. How dare we speak lashon hara about such a heilige community of yiras shamayim? If the criticism comes from someone who is not FFB it can be dismissed out of hand. The critical minds of secularly trained BTs are only valuable insofar as their professional degrees can generate contributions.

It's not just things that create scandal - it's a lack of simple derech eretz. Not far from my home is a high school yeshiva. Over the years I've noticed that the bochrim not only don't say Gut Shabbas or Shabbat Shalom (yeah, right) to the baalei habayit of the community when they pass on Shabbas, they usually don't reply to that greeting either. I made a point of talking to the rosh yeshiva about it. The boys should act like they are part of a community, or at the least act like proper menschen. Rather than being concerned about the behavior, the rosh yeshiva made up an excuse, that many of the boys are "from New York", whatever that means. Do people "from New York" not give or return greetings of Gut Shabbas?

And as long as frum Jews can say that there is no problem of predatory homosexuals or lesbians at "their" yeshiva or bais yakov, no problem of rabbis having sex with their congregants in "their" shul, no problem of leaders in "their" youth groups fooling around with teenage girls or boys, no problem of misuse of donor or gov't funds in "their" non-profit, the rot will spread. I think we should all take these scandals as a sign for a lot of personal cheshbon nefesh.

Real mussar, how you treat people, how you act in financial matters, how you respond when caught in wrongdoing - none of this is taught today. Instead the teachings about Lashon HaRa are used to suppress. Sweet holy innocent Jews are taught to refuse to hear the truth.

Face it. While the Orthodox community comforted itself by pointing out assimilation and problems in the heterodox community it was rotting from within. The whole kiruv movement was just wallpaper over rotting studs (no pun intended). And even the kiriv activists were reviled until the mainstream frum organizations realized that BTs were a great source of contributions and scholarship free tuition.

Anonymous said...

We need to remember, though, two names when dealing with sexual abuse of minors: McMartin and Amirault.

Anonymous said...

this is to anon aka *the editor* .
You got some great stories sir . Ever considered writing a book on them? If you do, do NOT use Fartscroll as your publisher, as they will most likly distort what you are trying to relay.

Auto Report World Editors said...

I called ArtScroll and spoke to an editor and pitched an idea for a book about real Baalei Tshuvah, not Tinok Sh'nishbu that have embraced orthodoxy but rather Jews who were frum, went off the derech, and came back. There was a pause on the other end of the line. "But that would be like giving permission to people to go off the derech."

I'm still trying to figure out how to become a better person. I can't find any contemporary orthodox writings that admit to overcoming serious character flaws. I mean, a rabbi or someone might write a book about their experience overcoming alcohol abuse or some other personal issue, but that might affect their children's shidduchim and remember, the family that hides its problems the best gets the best shidduchim.

If I didn't know some erliche yidden I'd just chuck the lot of it.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure but some of Dr. Twersky`s books are very very well written about Alcohol and Frumkiet too i believe. Im not sure if they are all sold in regular kosher book stores but i think he has a website

I'm as bad as you said...

OK, enough cynical comments from "out of towners" and BTs. Only us Brooklyn-bred FFBs know how to give proper biting commentary.

Seriously, though, there's some re-thinking needed among all us anonymouses. I also came
}}}this close{{{ to going off the derech, and am still trying to figure out what is the right derech (definitely no pun intended). So, having seen this from the inside out and the outside in, I see many of the comments here as being dead wrong or too generalized. Miking BTs? We have plenty of professional FFBs to milk, and I dn't thin the BTs are targeted. Frum people being the obstacles to frumkeit? An attention getting device, though with a kernel of truth in it.

This site encourages extermism from both sides, and I'd really rather see some rational thought and rational presentation. Otherwise, you're all just screeching at mirrors.