Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Thoughtful, Measured UOJ (Or UOJ on Valium) - WHAT IF??????????

Regular readers of my blog are accustomed to my in-your-face tone and firebrand ranting on a host of topics affecting our community.

Worry not; I have no intention of changing my stripes. Tomorrow bright and early, I will be back to ranting and challenging the powers that be.

But just for today, as hundreds of thousands of decent, law-abiding, spiritual members of Klal Yisroel are in the process of mourning the desecration of Hashem and our Torah caused by the lawsuit against Kolko, Margulies and Torah Temimah, I ask you to be intellectually honest and walk a mile in my shoes, or better yet, walk many miles in the tattered souls of the victims, making some assumptions:

What if every one of the allegations listed in the New York Magazine article is true?

What if the three lawsuits are in fact the tip of the iceberg in the rape of our children by Kolko and Margulies?

What if there was a pattern of terror,“ a second round of abuse" directed at those who reported these abuses? Not for weeks, months or years, but decades?

What if Margulies was repeatedly offered a quiet and discreet resolution of this matter, with Kolko offered a paid leave while a hearing was conducted, and a registry of sexual molesters established by Torah Umesorah to see to it that molesters don't get shuttled from school to school?

What if you actually listened firsthand to the pain and suffering of the victims? What if you heard them talk about the confusion, anger, rage and their struggle to get their lives back on track?

What if you heard them ask you how Kolko and Margulies can continue to have the respect of our community while they wallow in despair and agony?

What if you felt that there was a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER to the innocent children under the care of Kolko and Margulies?

What if you heard that Margulies had the unmitigated gall to recently conduct an asifa of his "talmidim" in Lakewood to set the stage for opening a branch of his "kiddy molesting business" there?

What if you saw the intimidation and terror that was directed at anyone who challenged the powers that be and stood up for the rights of our children?

Well, you might do the responsible things first:

Send them messages and messengers that you "have the goods" and beg them to do the right thing.

Take your message to the public via the Internet.

Send a mailing to the community, hoping against hope that someone, somewhere, would convince Margulies to let reason prevail.

Issue clear warnings and datelines should he refuse to do what is correct and moral.

What if that didn't work either?

What if you felt that you, and perhaps you alone, had the courage, means and fierce determination to stop the insanity and finally after all these decades protect our children?

What if you spent sleepless nights over the past few years feeling that you are not doing everything in your power to protect our children, and permit a confirmed embezzler called Lipa Margulies to get away with not only theft of millions of dollars from Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, but from pretending to run a Torah institution while a vile predator is hanging around a thousand kids every day?

What if you have documents in hand from a psak bais din to force Margulies for ten years to change the name of "his" yeshiva? What happens if you have documents in your hands from estate attorneys designating their clients' money to Yeshiva Torah Vodaath then in Williamsburg, to be cashed by the vicious thief and embezzler Lipa Margulies?

What if you were convinced that Torah Temimah's very bricks and cement were purchased with stolen money?

What if you felt that Margulies would never respond to reasonable people, but "maybe" only to the ranting of a "wild maniac"?

I have no doubt that history will judge Margulies to be the wicked, heartless, soulless fiend who regularly expelled "average" children from his school to maintain his elitist image. It was the cruel and evil Margulies who repeatedly refused to bring resource rebbeim and programs into his school allowing kids to drown or transfer to more compassionate, responsible mosdos. It was none other than this rasha of the generation, Lipa Margulies, that was the first to turn the sacred mission of chinuch habanim into a personal, corrupt, nepotism-filled fiefdom and "pig"gy-bank.

History will be brutal to this self-righteous thief, vile and evil man, and confirmed embezzler called Lipa Margulies.

Tomorrow, I vow to continue my crusade to finally bring safety to our children and other vital issues to our community that are being swept underneath beards, black hats, kapotes, bekishes, shtreimels and OU certified kosher plastic tablecloths, all in the name of Torah.

Today, however, I ask you to think about the terrible desecration of Hashem and his Torah that this corrupt, evil, vile man brought to all of us.


Anonymous said...

UOJ, you should now give some thought to going in a different direction. The gutwrenching year long process of a blog, a bulk mailing to 20,000 homes, lawsuits, and media should not be necessary for removing a 1st grade rebbe. We need a genuine system, as Mr. Kolker's article - and some others - have wisely pointed out. Rabbi Dratch was quoted in the article as saying that "even" the Catholics have a system, and we don't.

Some people have mentioned a yeshiva parents association, and implicit in the idea is that they have little confidence that the existing organizations are capable of fixing our current problems - not just child sex abuse, but also tuition, secular curriculum, at risk children, etc.

Think about it, and think about hooking up with some others who are eager to do something positive.

Passaic Torah said...

very well articulated

Lanner said...

what's worse for a flatbush shidduch, going to YU or harboring a child molestor?

Stolper said...

We as an organization do not endorse molestation of ANY kind

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

There is as much as a 10-12 hour time delay for the comments to be posted. I suspect it's because of the flood of activity taking place.

Be patient please, all the appropriate comments will be posted.


Anonymous said...

Could you post how many hits you have received? Some sort of meter, maybe?

Anonymous said...


It is not one man. He had a lot of help and enablers.

Chochom fun de Manishtana said...

"all the appropriate comments will be posted"

is this a departure from your policy heretofor?

Rabbi Andrusier said...


I see you came through on your promise to start cornering Margo for his other misdeeds.

Has anyone tried previously to get this allegedly stolen money back from him, only to get rebuffed ?

boog said...


I have thought about this many, many times over the past months and have come to realize that you were on the right track.

I really do not believe that any of us can begin to comprehend the pain/suffering these victims go through on a daily basis, nor the anguish of the parents. They are scarred for life.

Hell is not hot enough for the pedophiles, conspirators, and enablers that could and should have, but did nothing.

We are Leaderless.

The shame and tragedy is that our few Lishmoh Leaders may have their messages tuned out by the increasing cynicism caused by Margulies and clan.

Anonymous said...

i have a brother who had CF (cystic fibrosis) and my parents were called down to R. margoulis and he said the my brother had to leave yeshiva becasue he was too slow in schoola and everyone always had to wait for him. he knew my brother was sick, he just didnt care.
m parents took him to chaim berlin and he was treated like a king.

Anonymous said...

I think the valium was wearing of there towards the end.

Anonymous said...

I would say we need change and change is on the horizon. Thanks.

Rabbi Bluth said...


Jewish people are obligated to spit out Lipa Margulies, to tell him that he is not part of the community of Israel, but a foreign implant, an errant weed, a shame on the Torah and an embarrassment to Judaism.

Rovin' Ricky said...

Y'know what? Women probably make better rabbis than men, especially in respecting the rights and needs of children when teaching. I should know - I went to Hebrew school under a female rabbi.

Rovin' Ricky said...

Here's the code of conduct for Reform rabbis. There's some groundwork right there. Who says frei Jews don't have ethics?

Rovin' Ricky said...

From this code:
" As human beings, we are tempted by yetzer hara (evil inclination), particularly in the areas of substance abuse and sexuality. However, our position as rabbis, teachers of moral standards, and models of moral behavior, demands of us adherence to an exemplary moral code. We must, therefore, not engage in exploitative practices which destroy our moral integrity. We are expected by others, and we expect of ourselves and each other, to be scrupulous in avoiding even the appearance of sexual misconduct, whether by taking advantage of our position with those weaker than ourselves or dependent upon us, or succumbing to the temptations of willing adults. Similarly, recognizing the consequences of addiction, we have a responsibility to seek help for any need or tendency to abuse chemical substances. "

Now let's see the frum community adopt such a code.

Ira Feder said...

Dear Lipa Geldwirth:

Did you get to keep your bungalow and its contents when you sold your share of MaNaVu to Klein?

If yes, please return my personal belongings to me as I'm being asked to testify against you and could use some more hard evidence.

Also, if you come across my connections to orthodox judaism that you robbed from me, send it on over. I'd like to explain to my friends and family exactly who and what you are.

Best regards,

P.S. Lay off of the good guys. You don't come close to E.G.'s toe nails.

Mr. Fontek said...


As a science teacher in YTT, let me give a little advice in Zoology 101. Do you know what happens when you corner a rat ? Just be careful because you currently have a very rare breed of fat, overgrown Hungarian rat that is desperate from being cornered with no means of escape.

Anonymous said...

Just be careful because you currently have a very rare breed of fat, overgrown Hungarian rat that is desperate from being cornered with no means of escape.

Have no fear, he's stuck in the trap.

Jewish Survivors Of Sexual Violence said...

I think UOJ deserves the Victim Advocate of the Year Award. What do you all think?

boog said...

Anonymous said...

Just be careful because you currently have a very rare breed of fat, overgrown Hungarian rat that is desperate from being cornered with no means of escape.

Anybody know if Hoodia has a Hechsher?

Anonymous said...

Call in and speak with Jeffrey Herman, Esq. the attorney suing Kolko and Torah Temimah on:

TALKLINE WITH ZEV BRENNER America’s premier Jewish program.

Tonight, Wednesday May 17th 9-10pm
WSNR 620 AM (NY), WLVJ 1040AM(FL)

Anonymous said...

Call in and speak with Jeffrey Herman, Esq. the attorney suing Kolko and Torah Temimah on:

TALKLINE WITH ZEV BRENNER America’s premier Jewish program.

Tonight, Wednesday May 17th 9-10pm
WSNR 620 AM (NY), WLVJ 1040AM(FL)

Anonymous said...

uoj deserves credit for his faith and doubt.

I thought the name was changed because perfection implies no secular studies, unlike the more intelligent approach of the late Mr. M. Who would know or have guessed (il)legal reasons?

What is past is past. Daddy's issues are forgotten. Williamsburgh is owned by the Princeton Review.

Prince Lipa, everyone's favorite mesader Kiddushin, must sink or swim in the Yam haTalmud.

Is there room for a new Ocean Parkway in Australia?

boog said...

Why contaminate pristine Australia?

Anonymous said...

This link is going around in email. The story of the Pinters' latest fraud indictment in 2005. Does anyone know they've been convicted and sent to prison yet ?

Anonymous said...

In case anyone missed it. Here is a detailed article on the latest fraud by Leib and Shmelka Pinter and the story of how Olympia Mortgage on Ave J was a Ponzi scheme. They still walk the streets of Flatbush like two proud bastards.

Fannie Accuses a Servicer Of Pocketing Prepayments
American Banker 01/11/2005
Author: Jody Shenn

Anonymous said...

Pinter masterminded the campaign against Rabbi Slifkin. Amazing how an ex-convict and master crook can wield such authority. Did you see the title of his book with Artscroll? "Never Give Up!"

happywithhislot said...

seems he been around the corner a few
http://openweb.tvnews.vanderbilt...5-11-NBC- 9.html

and still going strong in 2005!

Anonymous said...


The efforts you have been expending is now bearing fruit and I consider your work to be Kodesh. Hopefully, this will be the start of rooting out the corrupt individuals who permeate the organizations that control the frum community. It always boils down to money and who controls the flow. That is where the pressure and spotlight should be directed to root out the rats. I never fully understood how some of the biggest cheaters and thieves are " Guests of Honour" when it is common knowledge as to their criminal activities. This effort will require the active support of every single member of the Orthodox community. You have started a holy task that will hopefully extend to other segments of our community which require major surgery.

Heshy said...

I pray that the merits of my life approach those of UOJ.

On a side-note: It is important to realize that the problems caused to Judaism by Kolko/Margulis are only a tiny drop of the rot within Orthodoxy.

Under the guidance and leadership of our "Gedolim" 90% of Orthodox Jews have left to other denominations and/or assimilated, and one-third of all Jews were exterminated.

It is time we changed the definition of who is a "Gadol" and stopped our idolatrous hero-worship of uneducated people who are a throw-back to the dark-ages.

Rabbi Mark Dratch said...

How Does Jewish Law Define Sexual Abuse?
Rabbi Mark Dratch

There are things that should go without saying that nevertheless need to be said, and said loudly! There are recent and widespread reports that a certain prominent Jewish religious authority dismissed allegations of sexual abuse against a rabbi and teacher because according to Jewish law there was no abuse. The report claims that this prominent posek ruled that since there was no genital penetration by the alleged perpetrator there was no abuse.

I do not know if this report is factual. I do know that the ruling is NOT consistent with Jewish law. One does not need a Code of Law to forbid such acts; they are inherently repulsive and repugnant (Rambam, Shemoneh Perakim, ch. 6). But one does not have to search far and wide in Jewish legal literature itself in order to find the forbidden nature of these activities that seem to have been dismissed so cavalierly. Failure to speak out against the misrepresentation of Jewish law would be a violation of the biblical injunction to “Keep far from a false matter (Ex. 23:7)” (Shevu’ot 30b-31a) and would render one guilty of being megaleh panim ba-Torah she-lo ke-Halakhah—rendering an interpretation of the Torah not according to Halakhah (Avot 3:11, Sanhedrin 99a).

1. Although penetration may be required to render an intimate act occurring between a man and woman to be adultery, with all of its pursuant consequences (Rambam, Issurei Bi’ah 1:10; Shulhan Arukh, Even ha-Ezer 20:1), or to render an intimate act occurring between two men to be considered an act of homosexuality, with all of its pursuant consequences (Rambam, Issurei Bi’ah 1:14), nevertheless sexualized contact of any kind between ineligible partners (and that certainly includes a teacher and his students!), including kissing and fondling, is forbidden and is subject to punishment according to Jewish law (Shulhan Arukh, Even ha-Ezer 20:1), either biblically or rabbinically (See Bet Shmuel and Helkat Mehokek).

2. Jewish law forbids intentional self arousal and illicit thoughts. It even forbids a number of benign activities that may bring about sexual stimulation. (Shulhan Arukh, Even ha-Ezer 23:3,4,6,7) Certainly Halakhah forbids explicit activities that are inherently sexualized and whose very intent is to offer the perpetrator sexual arousal and pleasure!

3. The Talmud, Sanhedrin 75a, records and Rambam, Hil. Yesodei ha-Torah 5:9, codifies the following story that supports the contention that any sexualized behavior or interaction between those that fall into the category of arayot (forbidden sexual partners) is prohibited: “Rav Yehudah said in Rav's name: A man once conceived a passion for a certain woman and his heart was consumed by his burning desire (even to the point of his life being endangered.) When the doctors were consulted, they said, “His only cure is that she shall submit (to him sexually).” Thereupon the Sages said: “Let him die rather than that she should yield.” Then [the doctors said]; “let her stand nude before him.” [The Sages answered,] “Sooner let him die.” Said the doctors, “Let her (at least) converse with him from behind a fence.” The Sages replied, “Let him die rather than she should converse with him from behind a fence.”

4. Jewish law prohibits emotional assault and abuse. Victims of abusers—even those that do not penetrate them—live with the memories of the abuse for a lifetime and often suffer PTSD and suffer from psychological and emotional distress. The verse, “You shall not wrong one another; but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 25:17) prohibits emotional distress (Baba Metzi’a 58a). This is referred to as ona’at devarim (verbal wronging) and includes any speech or activity which maliciously attacks another’s sense of self (Rashi to Lev. 25:17) or causes emotional or psychological pain. (Rashi, Baba Metzi’a 59b, s.v. hutz; Rambam, Sefer ha-Mitzvot, no. 251).

5. Abusers also violate “And you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18) and “What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor.” (Shabbat 31a ).

6. Such behavior is clearly a hillul Hashem, a desecration of God’s Name. No civilized society would accept such treatment of their children! Suggesting that the Torah permits such abuse causes people to say: “Woe unto him who studied the Torah; woe unto his father who taught him Torah; woe unto his teacher who taught him Torah! This man studied the Torah: Look, how corrupt are his deeds, how ugly his ways; of him Scripture says: ‘In that men said of them, “These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of His land”.’” (Yoma 86a) Can it be that the very children that the Jewish people brought as our guarantors at the time of the receiving of the Torah (Shir Ha-Shirim Rabba 1:3) should be sacrificed, abandoned and abused by that very Torah?

7. These acts are a clear violation of the Torah’s warning to refrain from sexual impropriety and other forms of immorality that define decadent and depraved societies: “After the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, shall you not do; and after the doings of the land of Canaan, where I bring you, shall you not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances. You shall do My judgments, and keep my ordinances, to walk with them; I am the Lord your God.” (Lev. 18:3-4)

Anonymous said...

Again it is a YU musmakh who is keeping it real. While the real shvartzes were enabling one of their own to molest little children they were cursing YU b/c a 20 y/o student wanted to start a Gay club. I would prefer an environment where you can start a Gay club over an environment where your prepubescent seven year old can be used to pleasure a sick man. But hey, the Aguda knows better.


Musmach of BMG Lakewood said...

Thank you to Rabbi Dratch, rov of Agudas Sholom in Stamford, CT, for outlining several issurim that child abusers are guilty of.

If I may, I would like to add to his list.

Poskim have determined that suffering severe emotional trauma is a form of misa, so I believe it's fair to apply Lo Sirtzach and Vechai Achicha Imach.

Lo Yosif pen yosif

Genayva of future potential and happiness. The Chofetz Chaim pointed out that there are certain types of genayva that are much more chomur because they can never be repaid.

Maysis umaydiach if the child stumbles in frumkeit.

Lifnei Iver lo sitain michshol

Anonymous said...

So why was MaNaVu SOLD???

Cover up as well?

Guilty of covering up said...

Every Yeshiva guy knows stories or has personally been molested. We all have a chiyuv to stand up and denounce these animals. I don't have the courage to ruin my life and the life of my family. UOJ, while sometimes a little too "out there" for my tastes, at least is doing something. I say yasher koach to you, you don't need to farentfer to anyone -- you did the right thing!

Anonymous said...

CF762 RUN DATE: 05/17/06


SED CODE: 332100226500

2004-2005 SCHOOL YEAR / 2005-2006 AID YEAR

PROJECT NUMBER: 0600060739
CLAIM AMOUNT: $ 130,045
DATE PAID: 01/20/06



Pinter Margo Frankels Shul Coalition said...


A 1999 study conducted by the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty titled "The Incidence of At-Risk Youth in Brooklyn, New York," found that Brooklyn's 23,000-student yeshiva system includes some 1,500 at-risk youth.

Gradually it became less uncommon to see rowdy throngs of Jewish teens – clearly from frum homes, dressed in tattered jeans and oversized sweatshirts, some with multiple piercings and odd facial hair – standing aimlessly on busy thoroughfares like Ocean Parkway, 13th Avenue, or Cedarhursts Central Avenue at all times of day and night.

Barry Wilansky, executive director of the Tempo Group and a well-respected substance abuse counselor to families and school systems for more than thirty years, believes the fault lies with a crack in the status quo.

Wilansky also fingers JEWISH WHITE-COLLAR CRIME. "Before the early- to mid-1980s, it was nearly inconceivable for a religious Jew to be publicly connected to criminal activity. The increasing occurrence and celebration of such behavior has had long-lasting, deeply ingrained traumatic effects on the current generation." Laws concerning drug use, he adds, may have become just one more set of rules considered no big deal to break.

Avi Fertig (avi@writersandco.com) is a freelance writer.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The Dark Ages, those were the days.

The nation of Israel has followed, in Dratch's felicitous phrase, the ways of depraved, decadent societies for generations. Some things the more they change, the more they stay the same. We are dealing with human nature. Those who aren't psychologically afflcted cannot understand or relate to the depraved. I am not defending mental illness, merely accepting the statistics: one fifth of all people have serious problems. The rest are normal. Whew. Thank Gd, it's me.

One must balance clean up with Torah principles. Luxury condos are no excuse. While I am not a big fan of ytt, I do not want to see any Torah institutions closed, only cleaned. If one wishes to look for rats, they exist in bmg too. yup.

Anonymous said...

A man is innocent until proven guilty.you are all condeming and convicting someone on hear say. For all you know "uoj", could have put this Framowitz this up to making up a story, for reasons unknown to the public. "uoj", seems to have a personal vendeta against Rabbi Kolko and Rabbi Marguiles.If "uoj", is proven to be wrong,how are all you people going to feel?The defamation of character law suit is not going to be the responsibilty of the public,but I hope "uoj", and his lawyer have deep pockets, because the$20,000,000.00 law suit that "uoj" and his crroked lawye won't even scratch the surface, for Rabbi Kolko and his family are entitled to.

Anonymous said...

What did Jeffrey Herman say on the Zev Brenner show?

Anonymous said...

if n e thing is said against uoj on this site , he doesnt approve it and its not written

Anonymous said...

uoj couldn't make this up and uoj, despite his faults (he has too many plaques and watches tv)is batman.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I was a talmid of YK in the very early 70's. I also attended Ma Na Vu in the first years. At that age I did not notice anything different about YK but who know's. Am I supposed to be insulted that nothing happened to me? The one strange thing that I remember that is now answered is why he threw me out of camp. It was a girly magazine that he claims I had, not a Playgirl type.

The Jewish Week Sucks said...

Gary Rosenblatt finally wakes up and writes an editorial


Facing Up To Abuse
Two very different cases of alleged sexual misbehavior by rabbis were in the news this week, pointing to the ongoing need for the community to find a respected mechanism for investigating and dealing with these problems.

A major piece in New York magazine (“On The Rabbi’s Knee,” by Robert Kolker) focuses on Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a longtime rebbe at Yeshiva Torah Temimah of Brooklyn, who faces a $20 million federal lawsuit, alleging his sexual abuse of young boys in his charge in school and in summer camps going back more than 35 years.

One of the rabbi’s former students, David Framowitz, now 48 and living in Israel, brought the suit, which blames the yeshiva and its rosh yeshiva for “a campaign of intimidation, concealment and misrepresentation designed to prevent victims from filing lawsuits.”

It is a deeply disturbing story, particularly because of the alleged cover-up and the indication that it could be, according to the article, “just the tip of the iceberg” of “rabbi-on-child molestation” in the haredi community, which continues to deny the problem.

While some in that community would call the magazine piece a chillul Hashem, or desecration of God’s name, for publicizing the issue, many readers are certain to conclude that the real embarrassment is over the refusal of community leaders to address the situation.

Sadly, cases of rabbinic abuse and calls for a coherent communal response are not new. As noted by Rabbi Mark Dratch, founder of JSafe, an organization to deal with abuse in the community, the disconnect is that rabbinic authorities feel critics are out to embarrass them, when in fact the critics are disillusioned to find that some rabbis seem more concerned about protecting their colleagues than the children and others who are vulnerable. Until the situation is confronted more openly and directly, embarrassing cases of abuse are certain to continue, and to become public.

Correspondant said...

I received this email this morning summing up last night's show,

Last night on Talkline with Zev Brenner, Jeff Herman dropped a major bombshell that a victim has just stepped forward that is within the statute of limitations. Herman said the DA will be examining the type of abuse committed to determine if it is a felony. Herman pointed out two details of NY State law that makes it easier than first thought to bring charges. A minor who is abused has 5 years after reaching legal adulthood to file felony charges. Herman also seemed to explain that the characterization in NY Magazine of his legal strategy is not entirely correct. While no such case may have been previously brought, claiming that intimidation by a Margo-like figure should put a freeze on the limitation timeframe, there actually exists a NY State law that allows for the exception, so it is not a novel legal interpretation.

Jeff Herman is a shomer Tora umitzvos Yid who said it is his duty to protect chidren from abuse. Herman alleged that Margo has been using particularly vicious tactics to silence victims and their families like warning that he "cannot guarantee the safety of their children if they try to pursue it." Herman said he will not file any lawsuit until he meets with victims so he can look them in the eye and see if they seem to be suffering.

NY Magazine's Robert Kolker said that a postscript is coming out soon based on hundreds of emails, letters and phonecalls he has received. More victims have also contacted NY Magazine itself. NY Magazine will also be issuing a series of other articles on abuse at Tora Temima and other yeshivos. Zev Brenner tried to corner Kolker on what "his rebbe from Tora Vodaas", Nosson Scherman had to say about Margo, but Kolker wouldn't say much in response.

A victim named Tzvi called the show to say he had been abused by Kolko 20 years ago and never even had the guts to tell his parents until now. He said he has felt tremendous tzaar.

Anonymous said...

if n e thing is said.

If UOJ chooses to censor babble, he has the right to, and he's an honest man, our caped crusader, robin hood. It's his hood, his blog. Go find your own playground and another bicycle to ride.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the comprehensive update. That truly is a bombshell


Keep up the good fight.

Anonymous said...

Edward Rubin is Bobov's attorney.

To the Editor,

Is molestation more common in the Orthodox Jewish community than it is elsewhere? There are no reliable statistics on the subject—molestation often goes unreported, even in relatively liberal communities—but there’s reason to believe the answer to that question might be yes.

Why did your editor permit this generally fine and important article to be marred by the completely unfounded speculation that sexual molestation is more common in Orthodox Judaism than elsewhere? As the article concedes, there is no evidence whatever to support this calumny. One "impression" from one writer is not an adequate journalistic basis for libeling an entire religion.

The article says there is "reason to believe" that that molestation is more prevalent in Orthodox Judaism but the only "reason" suggested is that the ultra-Orthodox (note the deft segue from just plain Orthodox) take seriously the ban on pre-marital sex. But Kolko and most of these predators are married, which seems on its face to refute any such causal connection. In this respect the situation differs radically from the Catholic priesthood. Priests are celibate; rabbis are almost always married. Most people can tell the difference.

The worst aspect of this lapse in journalistic standards and unprofessional defamation of an entire community is that it will inevitably tend to destroy the article's credibility in the Orthodox community itself, which in the circumstances is unfortunate indeed.

Edward Rubin
New York City

Anonymous said...

I doubt that anyone acting in loco parentis, sensitive to a camp's image, would act any differently finding an illicit "boyie" magazine. Pornography demeans women and promotes sin. Nothing to gloat about.

I was never molested by YK either in Camp Agudah. UOJ told me to take that personally. Join the club.

Anonymous said...

I just saw the letter from the respected attorney Ed Rubin. The key word I gleaned from the article was “repression,” rather than a ban on pre-marital sex. Where I diverge with the author is that the author seems to believe that the causation of the repression stems from the Torah laws themselves. I do not believe that G-D’s Perfect Torah is the cause of human failure. I believe the molestation issue stems from the inability of our leaders and laypeople to discuss sensitive issues regarding sexuality, etc. with our children; thereby, stamping these topics as taboo and causing repression leading to the issues discussed in the article.

A counter argument to Mr. Rubin's logic goes like this: Molesters develop before they are married meaning that the repression is causing or, at least, contributing, to this problem. The fact that they are married now is not relevant to the discussion because the problem was developed before they had their marital outlet. In our community, even molesters marry because it is the societal norm. Marriage is not a cure for a molester and, therefore, married people will continue to molest as they had prior to being married.

Mr. Rubin's argument would only hold water if the molesters would develop their problem after they are married. If that would be the case, then he would be correct that the ban on pre-marital sex or repression, in my words, is not a contributing factor as it is in the Catholic Church.

If people in the Orthodox community will allow the credibility of this earth-shattering article to be destroyed because of the author’s misunderstanding of the cause or root of a major problem in our community, I am afraid that the problem is far greater and will be more difficult to fix than even the most pessimistic amongst us ever imagined.

Anonymous said...


You began a much needed debate. There is alot yet to be done, but the process definitely has begun.

baisyaakov chick said...

I didnt see any coverage of this story in tomorrows edition of the Forward.


Anonymous said...

lets see a normal tt guy step forward intill now all us grads think kolko is a tough guy who kids are scared of and some even hate for all typs of reasons like being suspended or kicked out, or other punishment for making trouble in class

a few guys hate him and want money so they are going after him

like everything else in this world its money money money

Anonymous said...

Of course the accusers are not "normal." They were molested! What the hell do you expect??

Anonymous said...

But, before we declare the sky is falling, does anyone really imagine this problem is so widespread, rampant, that everybody we know, the butcher, the baker, the sheitelmacher maker, is a made molester? If you have statistics, what percentage of the population have this problem? A very small percentage to be sure. FBI checks are already required in many schools. This will cut down on the majority of cases going forward. How common a problem does anyone imagine this to be?

Anonymous said...

Ed rubin is another criminal defense attorney looking to drum up business. Grab one inconsistency in the other guys statement and use that to attack the credibility of the whole argument. well ed maybe your brooklyn juries will let off their bretheren with that hogwash but intelligent people can sort out fact from fiction.

The premise of the article is set forth as a question. Do we have a catholic priest problem? On the molestation side I tend to agree that the numbers in the Church will dwarf our numbers because of the celibacy issue. On the coverup side I believe that our organizations can hold their own with anybody as master stonewallers, coverup and shakedown artists.

Ed, as an expert word parser you could volunteer to write the response editorial for the Jewish Press. I can see it now. "Orthodox Bashing in New York Magazine". Thats garbage. We have a massive problem and there is going to be a massive shakeout. Count on it.

Anonymous said...

While the molestation is the direct cause of the pain I would argue that the underlining thread is the misuse of power and worshipping of money, which undeniably is widespread in our community.

Anonymous said...

In the literature, abusers are identified with manipulation, as if control issues somehow mitigate inversion/perversion. The Mishnah says it best: ha-kinah, ha-ta'avah v'ha-kavod... all three are exit routes. YK prepared his own destruction.

Reb Yisrael Salanter's comment is famous. Why the he ha-yedia? "le-rabos afilu ha-adam gadol." That can't include the gedoilim club, but certainly speaks to the human situation.

The min ha-Enoshi is susceptible to sin. Everyone has a weakness. This doesn't excuse rapists, but their problems are psychological. The misuse of power and money have always been widespread.

KollelVeib said...



Come visit . . .

Anonymous said...

lets see a normal tt guy step forward

Pardon me? The only normal TT guys are the ones that are stepping forward. The guys who deny this happened are the nuts.

Anonymous said...

The nuts, huh?

This issue was/is completely ignored at the Torah Umesorah convention so far.

Anonymous said...

What about a site where people can post allegations and others can affirm. The obvious problem is that it can be abused to harm inncent people.

Anonymous said...

funny new blog

duvduv said...

The AwrenessCenter.org is where our children and adults should turn with concerns of sexual abuse and where professionals can help with allegations, etc.

I'm now a gay man who comes from a frum ortho jewish family and went to Mir yeshiva when yudi kolko was the dorm counselor

numerous times he took me out of the dorm room in my freshman year (9th grade) at night after lights out if he caught me awake and talking to others in the room (at the time, in the mir dorm, there were like 8 bucherim to a room with 4 bunkbeds)and brought me to his private room and would rub his erect penis (through his pants) against my crotch (through my pajamas)

it wasn't fun and i convinced my parents to let me share a two bedroom apartment with 3 other guys who also didn't wanna stay in the dorms (which were pretty gross and smelly anyway) the following year

i also went one summer to camp agudah where yuddi (still not yet a rabbi)pushed himself on me and others but i was by then independent and strong enough (b"H) to be able to keep him from too badly coming onto me - he then just treated me very nastily with the little authority he had
but i had a great rebbi there (also from mir) and was able to keep a comfortable distance from kolko

i am perfectly willing to give my name, etc. to anyone who needs to verify who i am, i.e., i'm not hiding behind any anonymity for those who refuse to believe the anonymous people with similar and worse experiences than my own

i can be reached at NYCatNYC@aol.com

i also want to add that though I've often found UOJ to be smug and wrongheaded about lots of stuff (especially what i consider his ill-informed opinions on gay jews and frum gay jews), he should be praised and applauded for raising this real and serious issue and fighting for the many already harmed and protecting those who would otherwise be vulnerable to predators such as kolko
for this, kohle ha'kavode

24 May, 2006