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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

THE DEFENDANT IN A SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUIT, AGUDATH ISRAEL, RESPONDS FORTY YEARS LATER......

A Matter Of Orthodox Abuse
Rabbi Avi Shafran
True or false?

1) Child abuse does not happen in the Orthodox Jewish community.

2) Child abuse is particularly prevalent there.

3) Halacha-observant living actually encourages child abuse.

4) The Orthodox community has not taken measures to prevent child abuse.

Answers: 1) false 2) false 3) false 4) false.

Abuse of children unquestionably exists in the Orthodox community. So, though, does fanciful speculation of its extent. Consider a recent long, lurid article about a child molestation lawsuit against an Orthodox rabbi.

(Full disclosure: An Agudath Israel-affiliated camp is named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit. The allegations include acts said to have been committed against two adolescent boys in the camp, where the alleged abuser was employed some 30 years ago. The other defendants in the lawsuit are Yeshiva & Mesivta Torah Temimah of Flatbush and the alleged abuser, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko.) Oh yes Shafran, full disclosure my ass-UOJ)

Robert Kolker, writing in New York magazine, cleverly and subtly sandwiched an admission of a dearth of statistical evidence about abuse in the Orthodox world between a sinister question and a damning speculation: “Is molestation more common in the Orthodox Jewish community than it is elsewhere? There are no reliable statistics … but there’s reason to believe the answer to that question might be yes.”

The “reason to believe” is based on speculation by Hella Winston, who has written about once-chasidic people who turned their backs on their communities. She recounts how “shocking” it was to hear how “so many boys [emphasis hers] have had this experience.”

Leave aside her unquestioning acceptance of her subjects’ claims. Focus only on the essential, glaring problem of drawing so sweeping a conclusion based on so slender and specialized a sample. Abuse, tragically, may well have been a factor in the trajectory of those disheartened Jews’ lives. And if it was, our hearts must ache with the anguish of the victims. But to consider their agonizing experience as somehow emblematic of chasidic life, much less broader Orthodox life is like deciding there must be a national tuberculosis epidemic after visiting a hospital and seeing “so many” patients there suffering with the disease.

Kolker then goes on to make an even more offensive and groundless speculation, safely qualified with the preface “There are some who believe.” What they believe, he reports, is that “the repression in the ultra-Orthodox community can foster abuse.” By “the repression” he means things like the strict forbiddance of sexual relations before marriage and the Jewish family purity laws that regulate when married couples may and may not engage in intimacy. The “few outlets for an Orthodox man with compulsions” create “a fertile environment for deviance.”

Here snideness slips toward slander, not only of Orthodox Jews but of Judaism itself. Larger society has ample “outlets” for sexual _expression (including many Kolker doesn’t likely prescribe). Yet abuse there is hardly unknown. Might the lack of sexual discipline inherent in a culture of “anything goes” be a greater risk factor for abuse than the ethic of personal responsibility cultivated by Jewish law?

Permit me a counter-hypothesis: A Torah-observant life does not lead to aberrant behavior; it helps prevent it. “I created an evil inclination,” the Talmud quotes the Creator, “And I created the Torah as its antidote [literally: ‘seasoning’].”

That fundamental Jewish truth that human inclinations are harnessed and controlled by Torah-life and Torah-study is self-evident to anyone truly familiar with the Orthodox community. The vast majority of its members are caring and responsible people who lead exemplary lives, free in large measure from societal ills like rape, AIDS, prostitution and marital infidelity that affect their less “repressed” neighbors.

That shouldn’t surprise; halacha-observance stresses family, community, compassion for others, control of anger and passions, ethical ideals. To be sure, there will always be observant individuals who sometimes fail the test of self-control, even with horrendous impacts on the lives of innocents. But that no more indicts Jewish observance than the fact that there are corrupt police or drug-addled doctors renders law enforcement or medicine suspect.

Preparing this essay, I interviewed some of the most respected mental health professionals with experience in the Orthodox world. To a person, they believe (based on their experience; as above, there are no statistics) that the number of child abusers in the Orthodox world is, like that of practitioners of other types of aberrant behavior, below that of general society. Anyone who thinks there is “reason to believe” otherwise has not consulted professionals whose on-the-ground experience uniquely qualifies them to speak to the topic. (Name names Shafran. Pro-Fresser Aaron Twerski?)

At the same time, though, just as bad cops and strung-out MDs must be rooted out, so must we address child abuse, whose victims, tragically, can be emotionally scarred for life. Even if the problem is less prevalent in Orthodox circles than elsewhere, abuse should be nonexistent in a community that believes in the sublime value of children, the momentousness of their upbringing and the consequence of the Torah’s laws to which abusive behavior is unambiguously antithetical.

Anyone who has shown a tendency toward abusive behavior has no business serving as a teacher, counselor or youth leader, and institutions must have procedures in place to ensure that they do not. And, while there is still much to do in this regard, the community can point with some degree of pride to important strides that have already been made.

Many Orthodox schools and summer camps have for years had in place clear policies and effective safeguards to help prevent abuse. Three years ago, the National Society of Hebrew Day Schools published and disseminated internal school guidelines for preventing and dealing with abuse, including reporting to civil authorities when appropriate. Sessions at its conventions focusing on the issue and featuring leading mental health professionals have been standing room only and lasted late into the night. (They came for the food you putz!-UOJ)

Special Jewish courts have been established in a number of Orthodox communities across the country to deal with abuse accusations (and have, in cases of proven guilt or admission of a crime, put suitable restrictions in place). A number of Orthodox mental health organizations and social service groups deal both with victims of child abuse and with abusers. ( You're a filthy liar Shafran-UOJ)

And contemporary rabbinical leaders have publicly spurred their followers to action on the issue. David Mandel, head of the Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services, which operates a sexual abuse prevention and treatment program, said, “The degree to which Torah leaders have spoken out [on abuse in the Orthodox community] has been remarkable.” (Mandel is a nasty and sly co-conspirator-UOJ)

Has all that been enough? Nothing is, at least not until abuse is nonexistent in the community. Must more be done? Yes. And it will be.

As progress continues, though, we would do well to avoid the New York magazine mind trap. To imagine that what has defined traditional Jewish life for millennia is somehow a risk factor for abuse is to turn all logic and experience on their heads. The true risk factors, as mental health professionals attest, are things like absent parents, alcohol and drug abuse, lack of support systems and the touting of a Woody Allenesque “the heart wants what it wants” mindset, all considerably underrepresented in the Orthodox community. If any environment can reasonably be imagined to foster the bane of child abuse, it is the charged atmosphere of MTV, R-rated movies, contemporary advertising and uncontrolled Internet usage, not the universe of Jewish values.

141 comments:

Excited said...

Shafran,
Here snideness slips toward slander...
Chas Vesholom to take a little Musar. Hello. I am frum, too. It's okay to take a critical look at things. Unless you're already named in lawsuit and just want to CYA, I guess.
not only of Orthodox Jews but of Judaism itself.
It is possible that some people and some sects of Jews have gone way "further" than Jewish law and that the attitudes being taught about sexuality are incorrect and counter-productive. What is the National Society of Hebrew Day Schools or whoever doing about that?
Sessions at its conventions focusing on the issue and featuring leading mental health professionals have been standing room only and lasted late into the night.

That's proof this is a BIG issue that has NOT gotten enough attention.
If any environment can reasonably be imagined to foster the bane of child abuse, it is the charged atmosphere of MTV...
What Kolker said was that the “few outlets for an Orthodox man with compulsions” create “a fertile environment for deviance.” What is your answer to that? Based on what do you think the openness of society would lead to pedophilia?

Anonymous said...

how can we trust the agudah. they are the ones who asserted that "there is no one in the current organization who has a clue about Kolko" or somethimng like that

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

You MUST check this out:


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2450146589765677114

Anonymous said...

Uh, UOJ, it's obvious the audio was added AFTER the video was shot.

Anonymous said...

oy vei.

shafran writes well, suasively.

The fact remains that homostuff and homophobia only really bothers a few.

You know who you are.

x agudanick said...

Anyone who has shown a tendency toward abusive behavior has no business serving as a teacher, counselor or youth leader, and institutions must have procedures in place to ensure that they do not. And, while there is still much to do in this regard, the community can point with some degree of pride to important strides that have already been made.
===============================
Hey shafran,
i suggest that you stop writing anymore articles in an area of which you are totally unfamiliar with.
The more you write the more you show us that you and the Aguda plan on ignoring the current crissis even more.
shafran , can you tell us what has been implemented in the sexual and physical abuse in the passed 30 some years, both in camps and yeshivas.
Give us just a half dozen things of prevetative measures and another 6 items as to what was done with offenders in the past 30 some years.

DAG said...

Now how come a rabbi that decries the use of speculation and non represenative samples...goes and uses speculation and non-represenative samples?

Anonymous said...

A wonderful irony. Rabbi Shafran writing about things he knows nothing about. Fact: 20% of all children in public schools have been abused. Fact: The numbers are the same or maybe a bit higher in the Orthodox velt.

The real deal is our so-called eminent leaders will fight this like the Catholics did in the beginning. In the end, in spite of all their protestations, pay offs and ministrations- the house of cards will fall very hard.

Self disclosure equals real contrition. But then again in the world of big guys, teshuva means nothing before the court of public opinion. Statements are parsed now by
lawyers. Emes falls back to the ground where no one will pick it up.

Anonymous said...

1)
http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=7893
...
Further to the right on the Orthodox spectrum, the Agudath Israel has
not dealt with the issue of rabbinical sexual abuse directly at a
convention and is less inclined to institute any kind of centralized body to
deal with the problem, according to spokesman Rabbi Avi Shafran.
Complainants would be encouraged to "go to the rebbe or community rabbi" on
an individual basis, he said.
...

2)
Family Violence? Not in My Community!
by Alice Sparberg Alexiou
Lilith (NY)
Volume 29, Issue 1
Spring 2004

Miklat, the only battered women's shelter in Israel specifically for
Orthodox and Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish women and children, has
announced plans to open a second shelter, somewhere in the center of the
country. Experts say that the country's current crisis mode has increased
violence against women. Miklat founder and president Estanne Fawer told
LILITH that in the last year and a half, the shelter has had to turn
away 70 women and their children because of lack of space. Fawer created
Miklat in 1996.

In fact, religious women are less likely to use secular services, so it
becomes imperative to give them shelter where they will feel
comfortable and welcome.

Breaking the silence on abuse in the Orthodox world, both in North
America and in Israel, apparently upsets Agudath Israel, an organization
representing the ultra-right wing of Orthodoxy. In January, Agudah
spokesman Rabbi Avi Shafran sent LILITH a press release complaining that the
attention now being focused on spousal abuse among Jews is tantamount
to Orthodox-bashing.

"All the Orthodox rabbis I am privileged to know are exquisitely
sensitive toward women, as they are towards men," he writes. Those who take
seriously those rabbis' advice, Rabbi Shafran says, "would be rendered
virtually incapable of abusing his or her spouse."

Tell this to the women in the Miklat shelters.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Shafran,

40 years ago there wasn't MTV, R-rated movies or internet. So i guess the heilege melamdim had ruach hakoidesh (or hakokodesh) and drew from the traifena tumah of the internet, R-rated movies etc. L'osid Lavoie !

Rabbi Shafran - i didn't know that Agudath Israel was producing a re-make of Back to the Future.

Wow !! Now i know why they became child molesters.

Rabbi Shafran - Thank you (not!!)

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

I kindly request that our readers write to The Jewish Week and express your sentiments to the continued whitewashing of the frequency statistics of sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish Community.

Hella Winston is a sociologist, she put her name on her work.
Shafran claims to have spoken to Orthodox professionals; we'd like to know who they are.

Don't forget that the Agudah, until this very day, is lobbying against the civil authorities getting involved in sexual abuse cases in our school system.

Shafran is a know-nothing PR hit man; attacking the people who report the news and the facts, rather than being interested in ridding the community of the sex abusers and their enablers.

After Lipa Margulies, David Zwiebel is the greatest supporter of the abusers and the system that permits them to ply their trade.

survivor of rabbinic sexual abuse in a yeshiva said...

Shame on Agudas Yisroel! They want it both ways, those hypocrites. What are they talking about when they say the rabbinic leaders have spoken out about this. Where? Where are the Jewish Observer articles? Do we have to wait another 40 years and have thousands of more victims, before they actually DO speak out about it? Or will they only have Shafran say they are speaking about it, and not actually EVER address it?? And when will Agudas Yisroel apologize for the role they played in covering up for Kolko?

It is easy to get defensive about an article that criticizes your holy community, Avi, but real leaders would show integrity by expressing outrage at the rabbis who have covered it up. Unfortunately, I'm beginning to believe that the leaders we have, (aside from UOJ) can't do this because they are ALL involved in one way or another in the cover up.

Anonymous said...

The world is full of bums like Shafran who will say anything as long as he gets paid for it.
Yeah rabbis are talking about it, sure. The Agudah is a worthless group of has-beens.

Anonymous said...

In the incident in chumash between Yehuda and Tamar - Yehudah said Tzodkah Mimeni - you are more righteous then me. Rabbi Willig apologied re: the Lanner fiasco.

Dovid Hamelech did teshuvah regarding the incident with bat-sheva. A real jew feels sorry if they did something wrong.

Moetezt Gedolei Hatorah of Agudath Israel - You all might know a Rav Akiva Eiger or a tosafos better then us. I also know that you are active in helping many people with advice,shidduchim, etc,.

What about the tinokos shel bais rabban ??? Do they deserve your help ?? Do they deserve your apology regarding inaction and/or coverups ???

Do us all a favor. For a couple of hours stop being a gadol and start acting like a real jew.

Anonymous said...

STATUS:
S7381-B SKELOS
Education Law
TITLE....Authorizes private elementary and secondary schools to require prospective employees to submit fingerprints for a criminal history background check

04/20/06 REFERRED TO EDUCATION
06/14/06 AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO EDUCATION
06/14/06 PRINT NUMBER 7381A
06/16/06 AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO EDUCATION
06/16/06 PRINT NUMBER 7381B
06/20/06 COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
06/20/06 ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1909

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY:

SKELOS
Amd SS305, 1125, 3028-b & 3035, add S3001-d, Ed L
Authorizes nonpublic and private elementary and secondary schools to require their prospective employees to submit fingerprints through the commissioner of education for the purpose of criminal background checks; requires any such nonpublic or secondary school, which elects to fingerprint its employees, to comply with the provisions mandating the reporting of child abuse in an educational setting; authorizes conditional appointment of employees by such schools pending determination of the criminal background check.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BILL TEXT:
Bill Text Not Available
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SPONSORS MEMO:

NEW YORK STATE SENATE
INTRODUCER'S MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
submitted in accordance with Senate Rule VI. Sec 1

Memo Text Not Found
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SPONSOR: SKELOS

Zach Wamp said...

Introduced by M. of A. WEISENBERG, SILVER -- read once and referred to the Committee on Education -- reported and referred to the Committee on Codes -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- again reported from said committee with amendments, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- again reported from said committee with amendments, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee.

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!

All this effort for a bill to allow yeshiva's to do something they have no interest in doing.

Mr. Pasik, you clearly have your heart in the right place but hasn't anyone ever told you that you can't legislate moral behavior?

Torah U'Mesorah, Agudah, and many other organizations have no interest in doing anything other than telling us all that everything is perfect in our community.

Problems? Nah. Blame Kolko on MTV and the Internet.

No one needs a law to allow them to keep pedophiles away from their children. All they need is the desire to do so.

Anonymous said...

As an ex-orthodox jew, I'm offended that Shafran would throw aside Hella Winstons claims so easily, stating that this is possibly a reason some of us left. I have plenty of friends who are still orthodox, especially in the chassidish world, who were abused. The numbers are astounding. Of those who were not abused, a majority admit to being approached, but managing to get away.

Anonymous said...

Let Simcha Kaufman explain what he has done to prevent abuse at Camp Agudah. He should be the spoikesman, not frumthink.

Jewish Survivors Of Sexual Violence said...

I personally don't get why anyone would quote an individual who has NO clinical degree when addressing sex crimes in Jewish communities; especially when the individual is representing a mental health center!

David Mandel is the Chief Executive Officer of Ohel, which an orthodox mental health center in New York. I believe his education is in business.

Please call Ohel and ask them for Mandel's educational background. Ask what qualifies him to speak as an expert on sexual abuse, sexual assault, or anything to do with sex offenders? Ask for his credentials:

* Phone: 718-851-6300
* Fax: 718-851-2772

boog said...

Shafran;

You are in dire need of a Life Coach.

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand this. That's the best Aguda can do? That the goyim have more abuse than we do so we are okay? So we don't have to report it? So we can cover it up for 40 years? The Catholic Church might have more molestation going on than we do, but boy they could learn a thing or two from us about how to cover it up! The level of denial that we live under is worse than any other culture out there. Why do we have to always be the last to address these kinds of issues, be it domestic violence, drug abuse, or sexual perversions. Why can't the Aguda ever make a kiddush Hashem by being on the forefront of dealing with these problems?

Auto Report World Editors said...

UOJ Has the Haskama of R. Elchonon Wasserman and the Chofetz Chaim

When I was in shul this past Shabbat I happened to notice a copy of Artscroll's hagiography of R. Elchonon Wasserman sitting on a table. Due to the recent discussion of R. Wasserman's return to Europe and his death here on UOJ, I thumbed through the last couple of chapters that describe his final fundraising tour in America, his return, and his death, and I noticed a very interesting passage, ironically in a discussion of R. Wasserman's refusal to give a shiur at Yeshiva University. Even more ironic, in light of how the subject of Lashon HaRa is so often raised here, is the fact that R. Wasserman brings down the Chafetz Chaim.

Others here have pointed out R. Wasserman's rather caustic remarks about YU and HTS in Chicago, so the episode is fairly well known. Artscroll doesn't even mention YU by name, but does give R. Wasserman's rationale for his refusal to work with YU. A major backer of YU had offered to give a substantial donation to R. Wasserman's yeshiva if he gave the shiur, and R. Wasserman's associates wanted to know why he turned down such a large contribution.

He said that the Chafetz Chaim had told him that every community needed a "stadt meshuggener", a village idiot if you will, who can get away with saying the unpopular things that might otherwise not get said. R. Wasserman viewed himself as the stadt meshuggener.

UOJ is our era's stadt meshuggener, and so are the other bloggers and commenters that are bringing the disinfectant of sunlight into the dark corners of the frum community. Things are said, unpopular with God fearing frum Jews, but they are things that need to be said.

Waiting for Mashiach said...

2) "Halacha observant living actually encourages child abuse."

No, Avi, it doesn't.
But Agudas Yisroel's anti-halacha policies of not reporting abusers, and covering up, and not speaking out for victims, very much does encourage abuse.

The problem, in fact, does not lie in the Torah, but rather in our leaders who for what ever reason (pride, arrogance, power hunger, or just plain ignorance) prefer to pretend that the issurim of "Lo Saamod Al Dam Reyecha", "Hocheiach, Tochiach Laamasecha," "V'Zachar Lo Sischkav Mishkevei Eesha," and Halachas of Kavod Habrios, and even "Tsar Baalei Chaim" don't apply when its not convenient for them. That is the problem, Reb Avi.

History said...

Full disclosure: An Agudath Israel-affiliated camp is named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit. The allegations include acts said to have been committed against two adolescent boys in the camp, where the alleged abuser was employed some 30 years ago.
__________________

Agudath Israel affiliated camp? Two boys? Employed 30 years ago?

Camp Agudah is owned by Agudath Israel of America. Yudi Kolko has been a part of Agudath Israel of America since the 1950's. Agudath Israel of America is and has been aware of charges that Kolko molested hundreds of boys since at least the 1960's.

Simcah Kaufman and others (to be named) ruthlessly covered it up.

This Shafran clown is just making things worse for his employer.

Thank you Avi.

Auto Report World Editors said...

Zach, the law is there to protect the school from litigation over requiring fingerprints for background checks. Without the law, enablers like Margo and Shafran could say the the schools couldn't run background checks without fear of getting sued.

Excited said...

No one needs a law to allow them to keep pedophiles away from their children. All they need is the desire to do so.
We need both.

Anonymous said...

Torah Umesorah once composed a list of about 1,000 kids abused in their schools (this does not include Chasidishe schools and chadorim, since they are largely unaffiliated with Torah Umesorah).

Southern Discomfort said...

Shafran forgot to mention the $64,000 question. Is it OK to molest children if there is no penetration ?


The problem with Torah Temima is that Kolko was rumored to molest children, not to drink cholov stam. If he was rumored to drink cholov stam he would be gone 30 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Avi Shafran and the Agudah are not interested in what the media says (or even what's on this blog).

They will only do something when they are hit in the pocket.

People should either cancel their membership in Agudah or don't renew it. This includes the Jewish Observer. Also, do not buy it in any of the judaica stores !!

No one should contribute to or patronize Torah U'mesorah as well.

Anonymous said...

Camp Agudah has a massive fire

Over night a massive fire swept through the main building at Camp Agudah. There were miraculously no deaths even though there were numerous people - including infants trapped inside the building. Unfortuanately, one person who was trapped on the roof jumped off and was flown by Medivac to the Hospital.

The main building housed the kitchen, dining room, offices, apartments and a Bais Hamedrash. The camp in scheduled to open early next week

Baltimore classmate of A vi Shafran said...

Avi,
You were a dunce then, and you have become a bigger fool since.
Get back into your hole and stop writing comic book theories of Torah Judaism.
You are clueless.

Lakewood Musmach said...

The real problem in our community is one of a total lack of faith in God. Sure we're frum, but the Chovos Halvovos says that being frum in order to impress your neighbor is the worst kind of Avoda Zarah. He goes on to explain why it is worse than worshipping idols in several ways. See Shaar Yeechud Hamaaseh.

Cholov Yisroel/Cholov Stam is something people do in front of other people. Anyone going into his friends house and asking for a cup of coffee sees what kind of milk he uses. But child molestation (and cheating on taxes, and domestic violence and other sins rampant in our community) are done behind closed doors. So not only does our community fail miserably in these areas, but our leaders refuse to even teach the right derech! It's almost as if they are saying to us that frumkeit is all about appearances. Sheitlach and filtered water, etc. But being a good person in private has been completely ignored. The leaders cynically feel that the masses of Jews are too stupid to address these issues, and too naive to realize that their religion is being bastardized.

Our rabbis appear to be worried that if they address real issues in the community, then somehow everybody will go off the derech, and Hashem will not survive without people like Avi Shafran minimizing our communities problems and refusing to address them. When the OU's existence was threatened by a molestation scandal, many unthinking people said that it was wrong for the whistle blowers to put the OU in that kind of danger. I could not believe their lack of faith. Klal Yisroel has existed for over 3000 years without the OU, what makes people think that if it went down, we could no longer exist? The same could be said for Agudas Yisroel, Torah Umesorah, and certainly Yeshiva Torah Tmima. Doing the right thing and protecting Jewish lives is far more important than any Jewish orgnaiztion or even any particular yeshiva.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Robert Kolker/N.Y. Magazine was very kind in it's reporting. They had huge amounts of credible data and negative information on the Orthodox Jewish Community that they voluntarily chose not to report on.

I worked closely with Bob, he's a professional, a very kind man, and a good Jew.

His reporting is unusually accurate and went to great lengths to keep the "real" dirt on the Orthodox Jews out of his article.

What Shafran did was to enrage Jews like myself and many others, that had enough of the Establishment's lies and untruths that have destroyed a generation of Jews.

I intend to continue to cooperate with Bob, Hella Winston and any other credible person that will expose the Establishment for what they are; an old mens club of money and power grubbing morons that have no interest in rooting out the evildoers; they'd all be out of work and in jail.

sexual repression and perversion said...

Look at what theyre worried about!!!!!

unbelievable.

This from jpost:


You can never be too pious when you are among the believers. Feldheim Publishers, a publishing house that caters to Orthodox Jews, discovered this when the English edition of the haredi newspaper Hamodia censored its book catalogue this weekend.

Hamodia insisted that Feldheim blur female faces appearing on pictures of its book covers, including cartoon caricatures, before agreeing to distribute Feldheim's catalogue as a supplement in its weekend edition.

Books published by Targum Press that appeared in the same catalogue were also blurred.

Hamodia also removed two books from the catalogue, one dealing with female adolescence called The Wonder of Becoming You and another on dating called The Magic Touch.

Feldheim and Targum censor themselves according to their own religious sensibilities. This apparently was not enough to meet Hamodia's more stringent standards.

Aryeh Frankel, head of public relations at haredi advertising agency Gal BSD - the BSD stands for bsiata dshamaya, Aramaic for "with God's help" - said the difference in approach among Feldheim, Targum and Hamodia reflected the difference between American and Israeli haredim.

"American haredim are usually more liberal than Israelis," he said.

Ya'acov Feldheim, owner of Feldheim Publishers, told The Jerusalem Post that Hamodia's censorship was "legitimate."

"Maybe people at Hamodia somehow balance the horrible immodesty that we see on our streets," said Feldheim. "For me, women walking around half naked is a million times worse than being a little over stringent."

One of the books, The Bamboo Cradle, a story about a Chinese girl abandoned on a train and adopted by a Jewish university professor who converts her to Judaism, has two pictures of the girl, one as a young woman, which was blurred, and one as a baby, which was not.

But Gal BSD's Frankel said that pictures of baby girls are prohibited in both Hamodia, which is owned by Gerrer hassidim and connected to the Agudat Yisrael party, and Yated Ne'eman, controlled by the Lithuanian Degel Hatorah party. Agudat Yisrael and Degel Hatorah together form United Torah Judaism.

"About three years ago both papers disqualified an ad for Kimberly diapers that featured a four-month-old female infant," said Frankel.

Frankel said that even the most liberal Israeli haredi newspapers such as Kav Itonut, a chain of local weeklies owned by Aharon Kurnik and edited by Avi Rosen, did not publish pictures of women.

"But the haredi press is split on pictures of baby girls," he said.

Dudi Zilbershlag, publisher of the haredi weekly Bekehila and a Sert-Viznitz hassid, said Hamodia was even stricter than Yated Ne'eman regarding pictures of baby girls.

"It's something that was instituted by the current rebbe [Yankel Aryeh Alter]," said Zilbershlag.

Pictures of infant girls appear in Bekehila.

"The Zohar says that a female pure of sin does not arouse forbidden thoughts," said Zilbershlag.

Anonymous said...

I am a concerned parent who received the camp letter giving us guidance as to how to protect our children when we send them off to camp. For about thirty seconds it gave me a nice warm fuzzy feeling that my child would be safe because here is a camp that has the guts to bring up the subject and will be vigilant in protecting our children's rights. The reality set in. I gave the letter a second reading and my hands started to shake! When I saw Ohel and Agudath Israel mentioned as organizations that have consulted on this sensitive topic it started to stink. If you read between the lines and you have a half a brain you will draw one of two conclusions. Either something has happened here before and they are trying to prevent it or their legal team has urged them to send out this letter of disclaimer before the summer season starts so they should appear to have a compliance plan in place. I shared the letter with my children however I told them that chas v'shalom should somebody touch them in an appropriate manner they should absolutely tell only their parents who will come immediately. unfortunately, after all I have read I no longer can trust that the matter would be handled correctly rather than covered up. I am no longer a trusting soul and I pray to Hashem every day to keep our children safe but if ever push comes to shove I am forced to take action myself I will feel I did my part in Tikun Olam because I will have avenged my child as well as making sure that this predator does not harm anyone else's child either. To some degree I feel for the molestor in that he was probably abused himself as a child but I want him removed from an environment where he will have access to my children or anyone else's!

Anonymous said...

anyone else notice that Rabbi Shafran cites the positive actions of the National Society of Hebrew Day Schools but does not mention Torah Umesorah? Next, he will quote the provisions that the RCA adopted but Agudah rejected. Well Avi, somebody noticed.
And whoever came up with that Jewish Week quote, nice find.
UOJ - post up Avi's email address and let's all write him letters respectfully asking him to reconcile his statement in the Jewish Week and his recent article.

failed messiah said...

Less than 40 words into his piece, Rabbi Shafran has proved himself to be dishonest. By painting his "questions" in the extreme, he has guaranteed "answers" he agrees with. But those straw men are not the proper questions. These are:

Child abuse happens in the Orthodox community with alarming frequency, despite denials by Orthodox leaders.
Child abuse in Orthodox communities occurs far more often than previously believed.
Denial of the extent of the problem, along with frequent coverups and protection of abusers, coupled with persecution of victims and their advocates, encourages abuse.
The Orthodox community, especially the haredi community, has done little to prevent abuse or punish abusers. At the same time, they have persecuted victims and worked to crush dissent in order to preserve their community's "good name."
Answers: 1) True. 2) True. 3) True. 4)True.

Mirrer Musmach said...

Lakewood musmach, you make an excellent point.

At least Avi Shafran showed his true colors in public by penning that absurd op-ed piece. He's going to find out the hard way, that his own own chevra, we from the oylam hayeshivos, are completely fed up with this whitewash drivel from his employers.

The Agudas Yisroel has become the yeshivishe equivalent of the United Nations, corrupt, not representing anyone but despots and completely irrelevant. R' Shmuel Berenbaum is the chochom royeh es hanoylad in having shunned the Agudah feel-good assifos for many decades.

Not Fixated said...

Where is the link for that JPost article?

I find that hard to believe, as the Chofetz Chaim himself was only makpid on looking at girls who were at least 5 to 6 years old (if not dressed tzniusdik), as what was seemingly midas chasidus and not ikkur hadin. Maybe these newspapers are afraid of arousing perverts who get a rush around infants. Does Kolko have a subscription? Stop publishing picture of little boys.

Anonymous said...

Camp Agudas main building burned down to the ground last night in a fire. Maybe they were trying to burn some of the cild molesters evidence over the years and it just got out of hand?
Laugh or cry? you pick

Anonymous said...

After reading that article, it is no wonder to me why there are som many deviates within our (Charedi) midst. We are taking the concept of Tznius to levels that were never intended which, in turn, causes females (of any age) to be though of as sexual objects. We need to adopt a happy medium. The question is: How do we find it? Perhaps we should leave this up to ourselves? Perhaps I will be labeled an apikoreis for saying that. Glad this blog is anonymous!

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Ponder this:

It took a lawsuit against the Agudah for them finally to admit after FORTY YEARS, that they themselves employed a pedophile, and that there is a problem of sexual abuse in the community.

Does any one believe that Shafran would have gotten permission to address this issue if not for the lawsuit and the negative publicity against the Agudath Israel?

They would not have touched this issue if they were not named as a defendant.

My proposal to all Jews: If you have ANY grievances that are legitimate, SUE THEIR ASSES; I will help you find an attorney.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen the classifieds in the Jewish press this week. Under help wanted, their is an ad that goes something like this:

Rebbe looking for young single man to accompany him to Israel for the summer.

I read this and started laughing. Maybe Kolko, or Lazerowitz from Ger are lonely.

Not An Apikorus said...

A publication that I won't name that is run by a rov came under attack for printing an ad for a clothing company geared to very tzniusdik frum women. A farfrumt lady wrote the rov a poison pen letter, viciously attacking him for accepting the ad. The rov knows the halacha as well as anyone else who learned Shulchan Aruch, that only histaklus (staring) is ossur and NOT looking / glancing.

It's this same siege mentality from small-minded fanatics that has caused the shidduch crisis. Many years ago, R' Dovid Cohen hosted a shidduch gathering that was mixed. He was thronged by the ignorant fanatics who lectured him that he cannot do such a thing. R' Dovid said I am a posek and I am telling you there is nothing wrong with it. If you have a problem, go to an Adam Gadol. The yeshivishe terrorists called Rav Gifter zl who said: "nit nor az iz mutter, ober tz'iz doch a chiyuv."

Enraged that Rav Gifter wouldn't buy into their warped worldview, they then called R' Elya Svei and presented him with a distorted version of events. According to the falsehoods that he was told, R' Elya said it should not be allowed. The terrorists then started bashmutzing Rav Gifter. There was a guest speaker scheduled at Rav Cohen's next event, I think Rav Alpert or Rav Wolpin. They called him up to threaten and terrorize him and managed to intimidate him into cancelling. They then started focusing all their energy to take down R' Dovid Cohen. This was a rare example, where R' Dovid Cohen caved into pressure and folded like a cheap camera.

Many years later the Agudah itself started Invei Hagefen which did the same thing without anyone complaining. Isn't that odd. If anyone tries to deny this, I get this information from a rov who was involved and appalled at how loser baal habatim call all the shots.

Brisker said...

The Agudah is completely irrelevant is 100% right. AJ Soloveitchik had us bowling over laughing years ago when he dropped a comment in Chumash shiur that the Agudah convention is just a bunch of Hungarians sitting around for the weekend stuffing their faces with kol minei taanugei oylam hazeh and if you're lucky you hear epess a vort.

Friend of Meyer Shimon Berenbaum said...

You wanna hear a classic Margo story? Margo was trying to get the chashuvste line up of rabbonim to show up to the YTT groundbreaking. He showed up in person at the home of R'Shmuel Berenbaum to extend an invitation.

Margo: Shulem aleichem, ich bin der rosh yeshiva shlita fun Toyre Temimah

Rav Berenbaum: Ah, bistu der rosh yeshiva fun Tayre Temimah takka? Nu, vos lernt men?

Margo: Perek Meruba

Rav Berenbaum: Nu, vos zogt men veggen Taysfes's kashya on daf ayin?

Margo: .

(That was just a period because Margo had nothing to say and it signalled the end of the conversation).

Sully Berenbaum said...

My father R' Shmuel was in a polite mood that day, so that was his way of going easy on Margo.

:)

OrthoRev said...

Can we all just take a deep breath and truly realize and contemplate just how INSANE this situation, the article, agudah and the rest of them are.

If you accidentally stepped on a total stranger's toe- wouldn’t you say "pardon me" excuse me" or "I am sorry."

You would NOT think to say:

1. "well, I do not usually step on so many toes"

2. "toes in general get stepped on- so I don’t care if I stepped on yours"

3. "I do not step on more toes than the next guy"

4. "I stepped on your toe over a minute ago- so it is irrelevant now"

5. "Perhaps, maybe in the future I may, perhaps, develop guidelines to avoid stepping on you toe"

ARE THESE PEOPLE HUMAN!

This is the letter that SHOULD have gone out by Agudah (however, one would have to be sane to write such a letter)

Dear all:

It has come to our attention that there has been terrible abuse and suffering caused to yeshiva boys, such abuse has been endured at the hands of a long-entrusted Rebbe.

We apologize from the bottom of our hearts. We will do everything to help the victims and we will do everything in out power to make sure that every child molester is extracted form our midst.

We are embarrassed by the publicity and shame this has brought on our organization and on Judaism as a whole.

It is our mission and foremost priority to rectify the situation.

With our most humblest regrets and apologies,

Agudah.

One clearly sees by the tone and tenor of all statements coming from positions of ‘authority’ that they are not on our side- they are against us. They are out to defend and twist not to acknowledge and rectify.

Why are these people so set on 'fighting' why are they 'against us'- always defending and pointing fingers and saying "not so bad" "others do it also" or "mi'ichar hadin it is not a "dariasah".

Wouldn't it be nice (and oh so very humane) for once if our supposed 'leaders' were on 'our side' working to better our lives and the lives of our children.

In short, WOULDN'T IT BE BETTER IF THEY WERE NORMAL.

www.FrumIsAMentalDisorder.com

I remain,
OrthoRev.

boog said...

What is very clear is that we are being "led" by assholes.

Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

>anyone else notice that Rabbi Shafran cites the positive actions of the National Society of Hebrew Day Schools but does not mention Torah Umesorah?

Didn't it occur to you to wonder just what the hell "National Society of Hebrew Day Schools" is?

Well, it did to me. So I checked. It is Torah Umesorah.

Laughing at the Aguda said...

Believe it or not, there is a group of old school baal habotim who still get together for informal meetings with the Aguda. I say old school because they were from the days when there was no Hatzola or Shomrim, etc., so to make a somebody out of yourself, you joined the Aguda.

I have information that at their latest meeting, they were all griping and commiserating amongst themselves about these terrible things (they can't remember the word "blog") where they are taking down yeshivos and mosdos.

It seems that Zweibel and Shafran and company are following everything we write while preaching the official party propaganda line to these poor old timers who don't know how to turn on a computer.

Hey you pathetic Aguda clowns, you don't fool the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Rommimu was the camp in AngrySoul's story.

Excited said...

We are taking the concept of Tznius to levels that were never intended which, in turn, causes females (of any age) to be thought of as sexual objects.
And adult males to be thought of as wild animals who need to be locked in a cage.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi shafran quotes David Mandel as saying “The degree to which Torah leaders have spoken out [on abuse in the Orthodox community] has been remarkable.”

I couldn't agree more. The deafening silence is quite remarkable.

Anonymous said...

Question for OrthoRev:

This is a serious question and I hope you will respond with a serious answer.

Why have you changed styles switching from your "flaming" style to a much more moderate, calm style?

I actually think your response above on the what the Agudah letter should have been was great.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Excited:

Adult/Adolescent males become "wild animals" when they come to view females as sexual objects. After I became frum (1996) and ate up everything I had learned from my Rabbeim in E"Y, I started to notice things (i.e. tight shirts, tank tops, etc...) women were (or were not) wearing that I would never have given much though about before. And yes, I had girlfriends prior to becoming frum. The Rabbein would say things like: "You were desensatized?" Well you know what.....I would rather be "desensatized" then view all females as sexual objects.

Anonymous said...

The problem lies, as it has for eternity, in our failure to protect ourselves, our children, our daughters, with brute force.

How many Chassidisha fathers, have stepped in, and handed out punishment, to a son-in-law that was abusing his daughter?

This is our quintessential character flaw, bred by the yeshiva system, to preserve their control of our society.

10 years in Torah Temimah I was never sexually abused, BUT WE WERE ALL PHYSICALLY ABUSED MULTIPLE TIMES.

10 years in MA-NA-VU I was never sexually abused, BUT WE WERE ALL PHYSICALLY ABUSED MULTIPLE TIMES.

We told our parents, what did they do? NOTHING

I will not lay down and let my child be abused. I will not lay down and let my child be abused.

The Solution?

We need to reverse our pathetic endless rhetoric, and decide matters with our bare hands. I will fight for your child, literally, needs to be our mantra.

I dare the first Rabbi, who had to many stolen from ELAL Chivas miniatures, (A.K.A. Rabbi Follman 8th grade Torah Temimah) to lay his filthy hands on my son. For the most part they are all deserving of physical punishment. The religious institutions protect each other. Similar to the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Man controlling man, at all costs. That is what our religious institutions in the modern day has morphed into.

Predators like the Agudah, Torah Temimah, Kolko, Shapiro fixate on the weak.
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US RANTING AND RAVING ON THESE BOARDS ARE THEIR PREY.

I propose we stand up. Im will stand up. We will start to purge ourselves slowly of these bullies. WITH FORCE

Nosson Shapiro admitted to Sodomizing a young boy multiple times, yet he get to read from the holy torah in Sasregan, without contest.

I promise to be there next time. We must all do our part.

You see Shafran at a wedding, you throw a wild elbow in the dancing circle to the back of his head.

You see Kolko or Shapiro in schul, you demand that they leave loudly. Stop venting exclusively in blog world and at your Shabbos table. We must be heard in the real world.

I can’t be more excited about the fire in camp Agudath. I thank the heavens that no civilians were injured. May we be successful in our struggle UOJ and pave the way for our children.

I will fight for your child

Anonymous said...

UOJ - Did you have any advance knowledge of the fire that destroyed Camp Agudah's Main Buliding? The timing of it is so interesting....

Better before Camp starts when there would be possibly hundreds of kids in the Dining Room.

Is there a fire in YTT's future too?

Steven I. Weiss said...

Maybe the Forward can have a write up about how Shafran has been exposed and flamed on this blog for that ridiculous op-ed in the Jewish Week.

Anonymous said...

TO OrthoRev:

I have always been a big fan, but this time, I must say you've outdone yourself. The "letter that should have been written," but couldn't by our mentally disordered leaders, was brilliant in its simplicity.

When Rabbi Blau from Y.U. admitted mistakes, and took reaponsibility in the NCSY molestation affair, I, along with many others I suppose, wished that we had rabbis like that in the "Frum" world. (You know that Y.U. is considered treif). I have this horrible image in my mind of all the rabbis, starting with Margolis being led away in handuffs to jail and still talking about Kavod Hatorah and Emunas Chachamim.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the claim that our leaders have spoken out on abuse, what planet are they on? Or maybe I should ask, how low can they go?

11219 Editor said...

The problem with Tznius is that is has been taken over by Islamic-type fundamentalists resulting in a complete distortion that is counter to halacha. We are truly living amongst the Eruv Rav.

OrthoRev said...

Anon--

Before I respond to..... I just feel the need to repeat.

WE HAVE BECOME IMMUNE.

Can you believe that the Agudah OFFCIALLY responded to a substantiated case of child abuse without ANY apology, without ANY remorse BUT with cute "TRUE AND FALSE" WORD GAMES?

How can you NOT be outraged?!?!?!

If you asked your son to please take out the garbage and he stated:

Dad- True or FALSE:

a. I always take out the garbage.
b. The garbage sometimes doesn’t need taking out.
c. It is never the case that the garbage needs to be always taken out.

Answers:

False, True and Maybe.

Imagine if they asked you for tuition payment and it was one day late and you responded:

Well, true or false, I sometime maybe pay tuition never more than one day late.

?????

BUT- this is the response to child molestation!

It is painfully obvious that these leaders feel that the ones they lead are utter buffoons and can be pacified will empty double-talk and cutsie word games.

Q. How is it this possible?

A. Frum Is A Mental Disorder.

This is Pure, Unadulterated and Raw INSANITY.

People get 'offeennddeedd' that I say Frum Is A Mental Disorder.

Then they get 'ooffeennddeedd' that I compare many of the leaders to no better than Ba'al Pe'or Idol worshippers.

BUT no outrage at the DISMISSAL of child abuse.

Use your 'outrage' where it belongs.

Become Normal. Become a Normal Frum Jew. But don't buy into this craziness.

Can you imagine that it is harder for a child to drink non-filtered 'bug' water than to get molested??!?!

www.FrumIsAMentalDisorder.com

I remain,

OrthoRev.

Yeshivishe Baal Habos in Flatbush said...

R' Avi Shafran,

I am not affixing my name to this memo lest the Agudist paramilitary lynch squads or smear agents target me and my mishpoche.

I am beyond disappointed that you wrote that pathetic editorial. Wether it was your own bright idea or you chose to follow your marching orders, my own feeling and the general perception of whoever I have spoken to today fun unzerre kreizen is that it is an absolute disgrace.

With all due respect, you should be ashamed of yourself.

The Agudah was once a great idea that seems to have slipped into oblivion.

Anonymous said...

How about not renewing membership to any shul Agudah shul?

Anonymous said...

What is the real relationship between Camp Agudah (of the 1960's) and Agudah of America? If Camp Agudah has to pay out a multimillion dollar lawsuit will Project COPE suffer? Will Avi Shafran lose his job? Will 1084 Williams Street be reposessed? Catch my drift?

Ortho4Pres said...

Which idiot wanted to "ban orthorev"

how bout Ortho for president!

Anonymous said...

The degree to which Torah leaders have spoken out [on abuse in the Orthodox community] has been remarkable

Why would Avi Shafran lie in public (or cite a false claim - same difference)? We can count how many times our 'Torah leaders' have spoken out. R' Scheinberg gave the penetration psak. His host (a 5-towns rabbi) gave a psak that fondling is also forbidden. And YTT held a closed forum.

And that's it.

The degree to which our Torah Leaders have publicly spoken about this topic is truly remarkable. If only I spoke that much lashon hora.

OrthoRev said...

I think for the first editorial in the "Frum Is A Mental Disorder" newsletter- I will publish the full version of the "letter that was never written" as proof positive that the 'establishment' of 'frum' Judaism must be overhauled.

Along with such letter I will provide (for easy reference) the email addresses of the relevant parties (i.e. Agudah, YTT etc.).

In short, if I obtain a large distribution list and everyone who receives the letter sends it to the listed addressees (and to their own email contacts for further forwarding and emailing), TT and Agudah will have well in excess of tens of thousands of emails with the letter that they were too 'ill' to draft.

A further thought- (which is, I admit, a super long shot)- perhaps the named victim would attest to the healing power of such letter and how the slimy denials, word games and lack of such letter only add to, and further, the abuse.

Sign-up at www.FrumIsAMentalDisorder.com

OrthoRev.

Anonymous said...

We have a known child molester that has recently been exposed. His name is Colmer, he used to hang around the Mirrer Yeshiva until Rav Shmuel Berenbaum threw him out. He is now davening by Rav Leizer Ginsburg, who must be urged to take action too. A pediatrician from the neighborhood is going to be alerting the authorities. This will blow up very soon. Keep your kids away from him.

Anonymous said...

OrthoRev-

Your idea of the named victim, David Framowitz writing about his perception of the reactions of the leaders to his tragedy might not be as much as a long shot as you think.

I feel that he is truly the Nachshon ben Aminadav of our time. I myself have been inspired and am taking steps to confront the yeshiva where I was victimized over 20 years ago.

What I would like to see, and maybe UOJ can help with this, is HIS email address sent around for all of us to send him are chizuk and our thanks for leading the battle to "normalize" frum Judaism. Then, when he sees he has all of our support, he will be strengthened. If he has already put his name on a lawsuit that attacks Agudas Yisroel, maybe he would be willing to comment publicly on their horribly pathetic reaction?

Shea Fishman said...

Guidelines for teacher-pupil contact

The rabbinical board of Torah Umesorah has issued new standards to
ensure that relationships between teachers and students at Orthodox Jewish
day schools avoid any suggestion of physical, sexual or verbal abuse.

Even hugging is discouraged under the new guidelines.

The standards were discussed at the Torah Umesorah convention in May.

The guidelines state that:

* Teachers and staff may not be alone with a child in a locked room or
in any area that can't be seen or observed by other faculty members or
adults;

* Teachers and staff must avoid contact with students which is of a
sexually motivated or physically abusive nature, such as fondling,
inappropriate touching or physical assault;

* Teachers and staff may never forbid students from sharing any
conversations or information with parents or administration, or instruct
students to "keep secrets" from their parents; and

* Teachers and staff must refrain from any sexually immodest behavior
or speech, especially from exhibiting sexual interest in students and
from inappropriate jokes or innuendoes.

According to statement, while the overwhelming majority of interactions
between staff and students "fall well within the range of normal
healthy relationships, certain behaviors are incompatible with the goals and
standards of a yeshiva and Jewish upbringing and, therefore, are always
prohibited."

Hillel Academy Principal Rabbi Chagie Rubin, who attended the
convention in May, met with his staff in early June to elucidate and implement
the new guidelines.

"Teachers should not even hug their students," he said. "Before, hugs
were encouraged. But due to all the abuse going on in the churches, we
have to create more safeguards."

Teachers at Hillel are forbidden to get physical with students "in any
way, whether positive or negative," he said, "and there will be no
physical disciplining of students."

Rabbi Rubin said speakers at the convention stressed the importance of
informing the authorities in cases of sexual abuse.

"If we don't, they'll keep doing it for 30 years. Lives are destroyed.
Also, victims of sexual abuse, frequently become predators themselves."

Anonymous said...

Why do they need new guidelines, if they are still saying that it does not occur? Oh, I forgot, because it happens in the church. Nisht Ba Unzerre.

At least, due to the lawsuit, they are starting to do things differently. Could you imagine how long this would have taken without UOJ????

jewish assemblyman said...

Pasik's bill got stuck up Silver's ass.

Baal H. Bos said...

UOJ, any way to get Kolker to post a reply to Shafran?

Anonymous said...

Without UOJ and the Internet this revolution for the better would never have taken place.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know if margo still plans to open a mesifra in lakewood ?

Lakewood rebel said...

If he comes here I will personally strangle the man.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who's followed Agudah for a while realizes what a bunch of arrogant bastards they are. And Safran is as slimy lawyer as there is out there.

Anonymous said...

Does Avi Shafran really think that the internet invented pedophilia? What kind of backward thinking is that? it's been happening in his own camp Aguda for 40 years and Al Gore didn't even claim to invent the internet until the 90's.

Anonymous said...

The bill passed. All New York yeshivas and nonpublic schools will be able to fingerprint their employees, and conduct national criminal history background checks. The State Department of Education will approve or disapprove those employees who have a criminal background.

I, for one, think this new law is a kiddush Hashem. Congratulations to everyone who was involved in it.

BULLSHIT ARTIST! said...

The bill passed. All New York yeshivas and nonpublic schools "will be able to fingerprint their employees, and conduct national criminal history background checks." The State Department of Education will approve or disapprove those employees who have a criminal background.


ALL YESHIVAS "CAN" FINGERPRINT-AND ALL YESHIVAS CAN CHOOSE "NOT" TO FINGERPRINT!!!!

BULLSHITTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!

Anonymous said...

what is this *can* bull shi*.?
It should be obligatory.
this new law is meaningless.

Anonymous said...

This law is worse than meaningless.
It provides kids and their parents a false sense of security, when in fact the yeshivas don't have to do anything.

Alexander Zusia Friedman said...

The Agudah has made me sick for years. I thought I was an apikores. Thanks to this blog I know I am not alone.
After every convention the same pictures in Dos Yiddishe Vort of Friedenson's cronies, Chaskel Besser,Benny Fishoff,Mordche Friedman, the liitle gerrer guy Pinchas Goldberg,Abish Brodt,Abe Biderman etc.

Between friends, what's the deal with Abe Biderman? He doesn't look like he's 100% with the program. He must have something going for him, Koch's man,big man at the Agudah etc.

Looking at those pictures,it seems like only 20 people show up and the rest are gedolim/ktanim.

Also it seems the Poylisher come to this annual self-congratulatory shindig. So it's not just the Khazars.
Brodt,Besser,Fishoff,Goldberg etc.

Enough, I have to go barf.

Anonymous said...

Yeshivas WILL BE ABLE TO FINGERPRINT.
Yeshivas will also "be able to" serve mashed potatoes for lunch.
Crapola.

Anonymous said...

Ok. Enough complaining about the new law which accomplishes nothing. There has been an effort to pass a real law making rabbis and all clergy mandated reporters. All denominations of Judaism and every other religion are for it except guess who...?

Yup, even the Catholic church has stopped fighting it, so it is only the Agudah making yet another "kiddush Hashem" by resisting legal responsibility to protect our children.

How can we get the secular media to cover this as news? How can we humiliate the Aguda into changing their minds and PUSHING for mandated reporting laws. THAT would be a law that could make a difference. If rabbis know that they could be held accountable for not reporting, yet alone covering up, we might actually get somewhere. What can we do to get this moving?

Tsedrayter said...

This bill is a cruel joke!!!
Collusion between the criminal-loving liberal Silver and the
not-in-my-backyard Agudah is to
blame!!! SHAME!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Torah umesorah's shamefully incompetent response to the problem of sexual molestation and physical abuse by teachers has created a situation in which now they must make laws like no rebby can ever hug a child.

If children knew that they were actually invited to say when touching makes them uncomfortable, and they would be believed and taken seriously, then we would not have to rob them of potentially positive experiences of touch. But because they are seen as objects with no brains or valid feelings, it is either abuse them or don't touch at all. How sad. And, how disturbing/disturbed.

Orthorev for Gadol Hador said...

Orthorev-

Did you notice in Hamodia's coverage of Rav Steinman's historic world tour, there was a piece about his discussion with Mechanchim in California?

In it he was asked, by the brilliant talmidei chachamim, if it is ok to humiliate a child publicly. (I suppose the questioners thought that "Mutav she yizrak atzmo lkivshan eish v'al yalbin pnei chaveiro b'rabim" might not apply to children because maybe you are allowed to abuse them so...) What was really shocking was that even after Rav Steinman said (in what was being reported as words of incredibly subtle wisdom) "No. You may not," one of the principals continued, almost incredulously asking, "but what if...the boy is really obnoxious?"

Now this is a principal of a mainstream yeshiva and he seemed perplexed with the idea that public shaming of a child is not a good idea for chinuch. Apparently, he was struggling with getting his brain around the idea that children are people too and just as he would not want to be treated in a way that the Rishonim equate with murder, children also don't like it and don't deserve it.

Nobody in the audience seemed too shocked by all of this, and Hamodia reported it as if it was a normal discussion of serious educators sharing powerful new ideas.

Now really, I don't understand, how can anyone possibly disagree that Frum is a Mental Disorder?

Anonymous said...

Please give Elliot Pasik some credit, guys. It's very easy to knock everythig.

Have you done anything for the cause.

This man has spent hours and hours of his time pushing to do something despite the fact that the Agudah/Torah UMesorah has laughed in his face. He was involved in this, by the way, long before UOJ's blog opened for business.

While I may disagree with his somewhat overly optimistic view, I applaud his efforts and his accomplishments in the face of great adversity.

I believe that his view is that sometimes we have to take baby steps. Now that we have a bill that says that we can fingerprint, instead of complaining that it is worthless, why don't you guys go all out to introduce an amendment that will modify that language to must fingerprint?

Enough Monday morning quarterbacking already!

boog said...

How?

Mass Protest and Picketing at the next Aguda Dinner. Have it covered by the Media. Channel 7, 4, 2, 5, 11.

NY Post, Daily News, Newsday, NY Times, Kolker-New Yorker, Larry Flynt-Hustler magazine. That's right, you Lakewood Talibaner Crazies,-Hustler Magazine. Before you get your Tzitzis into a snit, We're talking Blood-retzicha in our Yeshivas that is being covered up.

Get as many Jewish (Soccer ?) Moms to come out waving placards saying "Save Our Children From Jewish Rapists" and similar.

Talk is getting nowhere. Fact is that the Aguda (We Are A Light Onto The Nations-Am HaNivchar) Organization is a disgrace and a Chilul Hashem not only for not advocating on behalf of what is right but, moreso, for stonewalling and strong-arming the politicians they have in their pockets not to pass legislation with teeth.

If there is no Yashrus-Kashrus in the Aguda on this issue to do what is right, then perhaps Booshah will be the anvil to knock this point home to them.

How about it, UOJ? You have accomplished incredible results by going after koko-margo, et al; and serving notice that it's time for Yeshivas and camps to clean house or else. Now set your sights a little higher and 'Eso' Einei to our "Leadership" organizations. Are you now game to throw down the gauntlet, swivel around your turret guns and point, aim, and shoot at the Aguda?

Baal H. Bos said...

LAZER GINZBURG - YOU KNEW DAMN WELL ABOUT WHAT COLMER WAS - WHAT DID YOU DO TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN?

Reb Lazer, don't be a frummy running for cover hiding behind perversions of the Chofetz Chaim's life work. You have a chiyuv to act. ACT.

Do your own investigation, we have these things called phones and these other things called cars - go find out why Reb Shmuel did what he did. Find out what the baal teshuva with the peyos in your shul is and then PROTECT OUR CHILDREN.

LAZER, WE ARE WATCHING.

YOU ARE EITHER PART OF THE PROBLEM OR PART OF THE SOLUTION.

Which is it?

OrthoRev said...

This just in...

In response to an allegation of food poisoning in TT- the Agudah issued this response....


"Food Piosining- Or Is It Really?"
By Avi 'slick willy' Shafran.


Dear Parents:

Please complete the following "WORD JUMBKE".

Re-arrange the letters and after all are re-arranged and put together in the proper order- you will see our response to the food poisoning outbreak.

Thanks

P.S. Pencils are available for 1.25 per pencil at Margo's office (aka 'the vault')

www.FrumIsAMentalDisordfer.com

I still remain,
OrthoRev

Sassregener Rebbe said...

Has anyone spoken to Rabbi Yehuda Levin of Jews for Morality? He has organized protests outside of hotels hosting Agudah events before and he has the ability to get the international media cameras down there like he does when protesting gay parades and supporting Justice "10 Commandments" Moore in Alabama. He hates the Agudah for, among other things, kissing Joe Lieberman's tush, even though he always votes in the Senate against every value in the Torah.

Motty Suchard said...

The Aguda aren't the only ones to kiss Joe Lieberman's derriere. We even let him give droshos in our Gateways beis medrash on Yamim Tovim in which he slips in his anti-Tora agenda.

Avrumy Jordan said...

That's our Gateways-Arachim credo, Motty Suchard. Even though Lieberman told radio host Don Imus that's it's ok for a Yid to marry a shiksa, he told us he's sorry, so it's ok that Joe "toveil im sheretz beyado" Lieberman is a consistent supporter in the Congressional record of homo rights, abortion and other abominations.

Senator Joseph Lieberman said...

There's no question that Gateways licks the Aguda in kissing my rear and giving me the podium. It doesn't matter to any of these haymishe sellouts that I'm fighting tooth and nail against the Republican "nuclear option" on morals with every fringe leftist in government like Howard Dean, John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi.

Rabbi Dr. Yosef Friedman said...

That's why our beis din put Joe Lieberman in chayrem. He only had a couple of idiots who then rose to his defense against the beis din like a former OU official and California's former disgraced Governor Gray Davis.

Yehuda Kolko said...

Joe Lieberman is for gay rights? That's my kind of politician. What's wrong with Margo? He should have had the Senator speak to the parents alongside Twerski and Mandel.

Rabbi Yehuda Levin said...

Is anyone wondering how to reach me?

718 469-6999

Zalman Corlin said...

Isn't Gateways a baal teshuva organization? Why do you phonies have Lieberman presenting his poison hashkofos?

Reb Shvay said...

Listen, if the bochrim get a little vild and need to shvitz a bissel, then what's wrong if they choke the tarnegol a bissel? Chas Veshalom they should look at a meydel, but since when did a little zerah here or there kill anybody? Actually its not lvatoleh since its better than what Reb Yudi did.

Excited said...

Baal H. Bos,

For how long did people know about Colmer? And did the Doc report him yet? What is he waiting for?

Ghosts of Ginzberg's Past said...

Lazer,
Act now on Colmer so we don't have to make the oilam aware of the skeletons in your closet.

Do the right thing.

Repost said...

Could someone please post the letter that Romimu sent out to all parents so we could all get a sense of what a yashrus-dikke institution does (as opposed to the Harvards of Russian Parkway).
We need to show YTT what the current 'style' is and what is 'trendy'. We all know they like to follow the crowd.

Give Lazer Ginzberg a Break said...

Try speaking to him directly instead of threatening him on the internet that he has no access to. R' Lazer happens to be sincere. If he knows that R'Shmuel threw a molester out of the Mir as you claim, he would pick the guy up himself and throw him into oncoming traffic on Coney Island Ave.

You guys should be working with rabbonim who might help you instead of this lynch me a rabbi attitude.

Just for your info, R' Lazer has taken a lot of flak for daring to criticize the Aguda and others and for exposing corrupt kashrus organizations who allow treif play for pay. Some of these gangsters have already gone to lengths to silence and humiliate him and I suspect "Ghosts of Ginzberg's Past" might be part of this group.

Anonymous said...

The pendulum among the thoughtful population of committed jews (definitely in the more religious right-wing circles) seems to be swinging in the direction of viewing blogs in general (and especially this one) as a "moshav leitzim." Those who spends hours reading them are increasingly being viewed as "yoshvei kronus".

May we all merit to sincerely say "modeh ani lifanecha....shesamta chelki.....amnongst the yoshvei beis hamedrash as opposed to these yoshvei kronus"

Baal H. Bos said...

Excited, calm yourself down. I hope that's a roll of Lifesavers in your pocket.

I myself do not have all the facts on Colmer, what ails him and what deviant behavior he may be obsessed with. I would reckon that this South Jersey baal teshuva got a taste of this perversion before he found our Lord. My understanding is don't let the peyus unt bord fool you. This guy hangs around children the way flies crowd around shit.

But right now the issue is WE KNOW REB LAZER IS FULL AWARE OF WHAT HAS CRAWLED INTO HIS FIFEDOM.

Reb lazer, it will be the easy way or the hard way, your choice. We care more about protecting our children than getting our hands dirty with a little lashon horah or some effing nivul peh. Pas nisht? Test us, because we are chomping at the bit.

Easy way? Hard way? Either way, Colmer touches the hair on one child on your watch and you will have a shit storm rain on you like the eleventh plague.

You knew, we know you knew, and now you need to act. NOW.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Boog,

Thanks my friend. Margulies/Kolko was just a warm-up for what's coming.

The planning stages of my next MAJOR move is in the works!

Tsedrayter said...

Let's see what Joe Lieberman has said:

1) Jonathan Pollard should remain
imprisoned forever.

2) The Torah does not prohibit intermarriage. It's only a preference that Jews marry other Jews.

Feel free to join in and help me.

Ghosts of Ginzberg's Past said...

Sorry Jagoff, I am not part of any group. Lazer knows what I am talking about, so whether you understand it or not is irrelevant.

I am not part of any gang nor have I ever intimidated anyone including now. The message is clear. There's no lynch mob out to get Lazer. There is a protest of his harboring in his shteeb a known molester of children.

I don't care if Colmer is guilty or innocent. Let him defend himself. But the authorities of Ginzberg's shul, including the rav himself, have a duty to protect the children that are exposed there to elements like Colmer.

THE CHILDREN HAVE TO COME FIRST. Sofek deoraisa lechumra - get Colmer out and then deal with what the truth is - and if he is innocent welcome him back. But don't be a jackass in the meantime and let him continue to have access to children.

What a jagoff.

Anonymous said...

When I called the camp adminsitrator to express my condolences about the fire,he said,"Shssh...It's not till tomorrow night."

Excited said...

viewing blogs in general (and especially this one)
but everybody's reading it, no?

I agree that anonymous blogging can be a cess-pool, but right now we have no other way to exchange ideas. UOJ and everyone, help us get to a point where we don't need an anonymous blog to address something as straightforward as child sex abuse!

Ezra the SY Alter Bochur said...

If Collmer is a baal tshuva it's surprising that he's not davening by Elli Brog who took over his grandfather's R' Avigdor Miller's shul. That place is the Grand Central Station for BTs.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Dr........,

PLEASE GO TO THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY!

Jimmy Snyder said...

I'll tell it how it is to that guy with the "pendulum" stuck up one of his apertures. If not for the blogs, the self-appointed and corrupt "leaders" would still be getting away with bloody murder. I'd rather count myself among the yoshvei kronos as outlined in Tehillim than to be counted among those guilty of a different and much worse maasseh yeshiva of lo saamod al dam rayecha from the Tayre hakedaysha.

Loser.

Betzalel Leiser said...

Baal H Bos doesn't make much sense to me. If R' Shmuel throws someone out of yeshiva, R' Lazer would be the first one to play copycat. So did R' Shmuel throw out Collmer or not?

Baal H. Bos said...

UOJ, come on. Doctors are mandated reporters. If Dr. Blank knows anything then he should have been dialing the CPS hotline number instead of waiting for your green light...

The failure of a mandated reporter to report is an actionable offense. Your boy better get his ass in gear and his head out of there.

Yudi K. Olko said...

Colmer you faig, keep the meat fresh for me while I'm out of commission. Don't bring too much heat on yourself or you'll be as blue balled as I am and believe me, after almost forty years of busting my nut on the ynugins, I am jonesing like a crack whore for a little shtamink. Hey I gotta go, Margo just rewound this great porn vid with hairless 4 foot tall males that we're spankin it to until this mess blows over. You gotta get what you can Colmer!

Elton John said...

did anyone say little boys?

5 Town Resident said...

LAZER, WE ARE WATCHING.

YOU ARE EITHER PART OF THE PROBLEM OR PART OF THE SOLUTION.

Which is it?
===================================
UOJ,
Keep up your HOLY WORK
I ThinK the only language that Gizburg is familiar with, is the Goyishe Media in front of his house /shul. 2, 7, 9,11
btw what has happened with Mandel from YOB?
Any luck?

Dr. Eilenberg said...

I'm the pediatrician that is involved, call me to ask if I reported Colmer

Eilenberg Eli MD
(718) 375-2829
1761 E 19th St
Brooklyn, NY 11229

boog said...

Hey anon;

I'm sitting on my kronus right now reading and laughing at the pagan drivel you posted above.

Whoever thought that cloning has never progressed past the animal stage has never traveled into Flatbush, Buru Pahk, Munsee, und Lakewood. In these precincts you can see the proliferation of Behaima Chosid Shoitehs that have drunk and continue to drink the Kool-Aid 24/7.

You have taken Torah-True Authentic Judaism based on Morality and Ethics (Mamleches Kohanim V'Goy Kodosh) and perverted it into a Talibaner Mishegas.

Up your kronus.

Pee Wee Herman said...

thanks to this kolko business the feds are off my case... play time

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

To the doctor that contacted me a while back:

YOU MUST GO TO THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY!

Anonymous said...

Letter to the Jewish Week

Newspapers And Blogs


I’m writing because I’m concerned about a growing trend in newspapers that I’ve noticed, especially in the recent article about [Jewish Theological Seminary Chancellor Rabbi Schorsch], (“Schorsch, In Parting Shot, Rips Students, Movement,” June 2). It seems to be very popular to quote liberally from unsigned blogs, and especially the anonymous comments from those blogs, without need for attribution.

While I’ve had my period of infatuation with blogs, I’m pretty much done with them. On the one hand, you can look at them as the “pulse” of the community — an opportunity to see what’s “really going on” inside people’s minds. At the same time, they’re also a place for incredible negativity and sarcasm, and seem to feed off of one another in a closed blog world. I’m not sure blogs are a window into broader communities, as much as a window into the blog community.

In any case, anonymity is what blogs are all about. I can complain about you — or anyone else — by name, without endangering myself or going out on a limb in any way. While I may not like that, it is now a part of the Internet — at least until people get bored of it, which should happen sometime this year.

Newspapers, however, have traditionally been different. If you want to be quoted, you’ve got to go on the record, or at least have some type of relationship with the reporter so that the reporter can vouch for the reliability of the speaker. At least someone knows who the “unnamed sources” are. If I want to castigate you as an editor and a professional, then at least the reporter speaking to me has the ability to judge who I am, what information I have about the situation, and whether I’m just trying to further an agenda or establish a vendetta against you.

On the blogs, none of that comes out at all. It’s just a quote in a story, on par with the many other quotes from respected individuals. It just doesn’t seem to be good editorial policy.

Moreover, liberally quoting blogs seems to smack of some laziness on the part of the reporter. I’m sure he or she could have gotten named quotes saying much the same things if she had tried, but it’s far easier to cut and paste the comments of a blog.

I hope that you have — and will — give this issue some consideration, because I think it’s an important issue that goes to the heart of a newspaper’s integrity.

Rabbi Reuven Spolter
Oak Park, Mich.

OrthoRev said...

To all those who do not agree that Frum Is A Mental Disorder- contemplate this.

For real important issues we don’t need blogs-

We had no "bugs in the water blogs".

Neither did we have blogs to try to force the ‘establishment’ to extend mishmar for 7th graders until 9:45pm.

I didn't see any blogs stressing the devastating effects of wearing indian hair.

The reason? The rabbis cannot shut-up about these issues. We don’t need blogs for these issues- the rabis are ALL OVER THESE ISSUES.

In fact- they cannot STOP talking about these very important critical issues.

However, the second something of real importance comes up-- the ostensible 'leaders', in such a swift fashion as to make an Olympian sprinter jealous, say "not true, not true."

'Frum' is not a religion-- it is more akin to a political party.

When there might be an issue with the 'party'- immediately attention should be diverted and the situation downplayed. Other people or events should be blamed, denials issued etc.

Take the recent story about possible animal abuse and schita issues- the party's reponse:

"Oh no- that is not an issue- oh those pictures with those headless cows walking around with their throats hanging out for miles-- oh that was a conspiracy by others. We do not have to address this issue. I will just sit here and make it go away by reading off of this q-card and stating denial after denial.

There are a million of these examples.

WHY ARE WE FIGHTING TO HAVE THIS ISSUE OF CHILD ABUSE ISSUE ACKNOWLEDGED??

It is CRAZY that this is a 'FIGHT'!!

Is there not a drop of decency left among anyone in a position of leadership to acknowledge and apologize and NOT deceive, excuse, twist, deny and cover-up.

MI K'AMACH YISROEL!!

Every other institution with this such a major problem apologized.

The Natzi's: Apologized
The Pope: Apologized

Supposed G-D Fearing Jews: Silence.

Utter, devastating silence.

Frum. Is. A. Mental Disorder.

OrthoRev.
www.FrumIsAMentalDisorder.com

aaron from Los angeles said...

The Mafia has their own way of handling child molesters.....They take this giant zuchinni.........

Anonymous said...

Baal H. Bos,
You daven by Reb Leizer?!? I didn't think anyone there uses the internet, let alone blogs. We're too busy making sure our wives don't have nail polish or slits. I'll have to look out for you this Shabbos. I'm the guy wearing a dark suit, white shirt and a black hat.

OrthoRadio said...

Ortho, why don't you start a website to collect funds to start a radio show. I would be the first to contribute!!

Anonymous said...

Orthorev,

I think it was easier for Jim Carrey's character in Liar,Liar to say "The Pen Is Blue" than "gedolei Yisroel" to apologize.

yehuda eckstein said...

I personally heard from Leib Pinter, and Osher Kalmanowitz no penertration to place in Colmer's house 1778 East 15th. St. So as Sheinberg says no problem. It was only oral sex.

Inside Information said...

If Collmer was the guy who was run of Lakewood, which it sounds like it is, I understand where you are coming from, but you sort of have the wrong guy. The Lakewood guy is technically responsible for anything that happened in his house but he wasn't the molester according to information that some reliable people have. They would be R' Avremel Ausband and the gvir Mr. Freeman from Riverdale & R' Feivel Cohen & Rav Plutchok from Brooklyn. It is believed that the real molester is being protected by a certain shrink he is friends with that has ties to BMG Lakewood.

The Lakewood guy does deserve some degree of petch for being asleep at the wheel while being responsible for children he was paid to take care of, but not to have his life utterly destroyed. I would be very careful before you participate in round two to destroy this guy's life. In round one, before he was run out of Lakewood, a girl attacked his daughter and viciously pulled her hair over the allegations. The next day, the attacker's father was killed in a horrific accident.

If this is the same guy, R' Lazer is right to leave him be. Why aren't you guys going after Chaim Weinfeld for shielding a proven molester like Yudi Kolko?

Government Accountability Office said...

Another item to add to Joe Lieberman's resume. He's always bending over backwards to show the Arabs that an "Orthodox" Jew doesn't have anything against them. The butt kisser will give the terrorists any part of Israel that they bellyache about.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the shrink said to be protecting the real molester has a license to practice, despite whatever diplomas he likes to show off to everyone. You can graduate from the most prestigious university in the world, but without interning and a license you're not legal. No wonder he works out of an illegal basement.

Meir Dinkels said...

I remember when that guy was run of town. Anyone who davens in illegal minyanim not approved by the Lakewood roshei yeshiva should also be run out of town in my opinion.

Rebetzin Rachel Berenbaum said...

Inside information


This Colmer has nothing to do with Lakewood. He is a bal teshuvah who moved into the neighberhood a fewe years ago. He ran a shabbos afternoon "program" in his house and molested kids for years. R' Eli Brog threw him out of Rabbi Miller's shul. My husband told him never to come back to Mirrer Yeshiva. Leizer Ginsburg lets him in the agudah were he sits next to him. Rabbi Rosenblum said not to go to the police about him just to alert all the rabbanim in the neighborhood about him. He is currently in therapy. Those are the facts. Should more be done, that is up to each and every person to decide for himself. Colmer lives second floor at 1778 East 15th. St.

Zissel Ellinson said...

I got screamed at by Dovid Schustal for running some of those illegal minyanim but he lost the argument. Eat crow Dinkels.

strulovitch member said...

Meir Dinkels said...
I remember when that guy was run of town. Anyone who davens in illegal minyanim not approved by the Lakewood roshei yeshiva should also be run out of town in my opinion.
----------------------------------
Dinkels,
should people that have illegal basement apts. also be run out of town too?
I hope your anbswer is a YES !
BTW would that include you too?

Anonymous said...

What is an *Illegal Minyan* exactly?