The Awareness Center reports the following statistics:
FYI: This is from our stats page. So far, since the filing of the lawsuit against Yeshiva Torah Temimah, Yudi Kolko and Camp Agudah, 344 people downloaded the complaint file on Kolko from our web page.
1528 visits to the Kolko web page so far.
"CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?" "HOW ABOUT NOW?" "HOW ABOUT..........?"
IS YESHIVA & MESIVTA TORAH TEMIMAH A MODERN DAY IR HANIDACHAS?
The institution currently known as Yeshiva & Mesivta Torah Temimah (“TT”) was founded by Lipa Margulies (“Margulies”) as Yeshiva Torah Vodaath of Flatbush. As an employee of the authentic Yeshiva Torah Vodaath (“YTV”), one of the oldest and most prestigious Torah institutions in America, Margulies had access to YTV’s proprietary donor information which he absconded with when he departed to start his own school.
Margulies commenced his fraud by misrepresenting himself to donors as an agent of YTV, and donations slated for YTV began fattening TT’s bank account. By the time YTV realized the extent of the brazen fraud being committed by Margulies, millions of dollars had been stolen from them by Margulies. It took several years for YTV to get Margulies into a bais din for a din Torah. The bais din forced Margulies to change his business name. He was ordered to return the stolen money, but never did. He began operating under the name Yeshiva Torah Temimah, F/K/A/ Yeshiva Torah Vodaath of Flatbush.
Margulies hired Yehuda Kolko (“Kolko”) as a rebbe in his new yeshiva. Margulies was immediately made aware of Kolko’s dangerous sexual deviance. Fearful of the potential impact the double whammy an ongoing financial scandal coupled with a child abuse scandal would have on his budding business, Margulies cynically chose to cover up the fact that he had hired a known pedophile and focused instead on building his business.
Kolko in turn focused on grooming and molesting his victims.
As TT grew both in size and prestige, the pedophile issue kept raising its ugly head. Parents and students, with frightening regularity, approached Margulies with complaints against Kolko. Margulies responded by discrediting any victims bold enough to go public and threatening their families with retaliation if they did not stop their victimized children from complaining.
In the mid 1980’s, when a few of the victims managed to convene a bais din to address the horrific accusations against Kolko, Margulies reacted by retaining Rabbi Chaim Pinchus Scheinberg, rosh hayeshiva of Torah Ohr (“Scheinberg”) to interfere with the bais din. Simcha Kaufman (“Kaufman”), is a former student of Scheinberg and currently an employee of both Margulies/TT and Camp Agudah where Kolko worked and abused children for a decade. As a high level employee of Camp Agudah, Kaufman was informed of Kolko’s molestation of young campers as early as the late 1960’s, and together with others, chose to cover up the accusations. Kaufman contacted victims and their supporters to insist they cease and desist from their attempts to rid TT and their community of a dangerous pedophile.
Specifically, Scheinberg called the organizers of the bais din and insisted they stop the din Torah proceedings. He falsely stated that under halacha two witnesses are required for the testimony to be halachically valid, and as there were not two witnesses for any single act of abuse perpetrated by Kolko, all of the accusations must be disregarded.
Scheinberg also contacted victims and asked them to tell him what had been done to them by Kolko. Upon hearing the details of Kolko’s acts of molestation, Scheinberg falsely informed the victims that under halacha, absent penetration or proof of ejaculation, Kolko’s actions against them were not punishable, and that they were obligated to cease and desist in their pursuit of justice.
In doing what he did, Scheinberg knowingly violated clear halacha to the contrary of his stated position, and allowed Margulies and Kolko to continue their perversity. Due to Scheinberg’s gross distortion of halacha, to this day, there are victims of Kolko who believe that the horrific acts of abuse Kolko perpetrated upon them are not actionable under halacha.
Not one to leave anything to chance, Margulies also enlisted the aid of Yehoshua (Shia) Fishman (“Fishman”) (Fishman is the Executive Director of Torah U’Mesorah, the National Society of Hebrew Day Schools in America.) Fishman used his position as representative of Torah U’Mesorah to have one-on-one conversations with victims of Kolko. Introducing himself as the head of Torah U’Mesorah, an organization held in great esteem by yeshiva students, he promised to keep anything told him in the strictest confidence. Reassured, the young victims poured their broken hearts out to Fishman who promised to help them. Fishman promptly reported all stories and victim's names to Margulies and Kaufman. Margulies and Kaufman proceeded to publicly name and discredit each and every victim, one by one. The astonished victims react to this day with fury at Fishman’s betrayal of their confidences. To his credit, Fishman now acknowledges that a horrible injustice was perpetrated upon Margulies and Kolko’s victims, and pleads old age, ill health, and his imminent retirement as the reason for his inaction at this time.
It is of note that Rabbi Avigdor Miller zt"l, instructed the organizers of the bais din to ignore Scheinberg’s perversion of halacha and to persist in their quest. Nonetheless, for over twenty years after Scheinberg’s maniacal interference, Kolko continued molesting young boys.
Having survived the most serious assault against his yeshiva, Margulies assumed he had put the matter behind him and focused on building his businesses. Margulies expanded Kolko’s responsibilities to include administrative duties, one-on-one “tutoring” of select students in TT, and the running of TT’s summer camp in the Catskill Mountains, known as Camp Silver Lake.
Needless to say Kolko’s child molesting continued, resulting in newly shattered lives every year.
According to most interpretations, Ir Hanidachas is in reality a practical impossibility and as such is taught as a lesson on how to deal with irredeemable evil. The purpose of this post is not to seriously suggest that TT must be burned down to the ground together with all its inhabitants. To the contrary, many of the rabbeim and students of TT are innocent victims of Margulies. These rabbeim and students will have to spend the rest of their lives distancing themselves from Margulies and TT, and clearing themselves of the horrible stigma of association with TT. This is more punishment than most of them deserve and we wish them no further pain.
However, as with the concept of Ir Hanidachas, Yeshiva & Mesivta Torah Temimah is infused with an evil beyond most of our comprehension. While boy after boy was being sexually assaulted by Kolko in his private office and in the basement of the yeshiva building; at the very same time and in the very same building, the rabbeim and students sat in their classrooms and bais midrash learning, while turning a blind eye to the horrors being committed. When a few of the victims summoned the courage to accuse Kolko, the rest of TT went along quietly with Margulies, and allowed their classmates and talmidim to be villified.
Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Temimah cries out for treatment as an Ir Hanidachas. The Rambam’s requirement that the inhabitants of an Ir Hanidachas be warned has been met. The TT community have been on notice of the midas S'dom being perpetrated by Margulies and Kolko for decades, and were warned publicly and repeatedly of the consequences its continued inaction and refusal to repent would result in.
According to the Ra’avad, the occupants of an Ir Hanidachas are so beyond the pale that even true repentance does not allow for a reprieve. A Tosefta Sanhedrin postulates that in the case of Ir Hanidachas the property of the righteous inhabitants are burned along with everyone else’s. Allow me to expand upon that thought and suggest that the guilt of the “righteous” lies in their silence while they allowed the horrific behavior to continue under the roof they shared with the purveyors of evil. Their silence is interpreted as acquiescence.
What did someone such as Rabbi S.F. Shustal, by many accounts a very special man, do to deserve this indelible blemish on his reputation? Simply stated, he was and remains to this day, silent about the horrors perpetrated by Kolko and Margulies.
While Margulies countenanced and supported Kolko’s murder of our children’s innocent souls, Shustal and his co-workers sat, and continue to sit, silently. They did, and continue to do, nothing to stop Margulies and Kolko.
In response to the argument of “what about the zechusim of the tremendous amount of Torah emanating from the many thousand graduates of TT?”, I refer to the Rambam who in Yesodei Ha’Torah states that a Sefer Torah written by an apikoros must be burned. The Rambam called for the burning of a Sefer Torah written by an apikoros because of the lack of proper intention to be m’kadaish shaim Shomayim as the Sefer Torah was written. Thus, such a Sefer Torah, although on the surface identical with a kosher Sefer Torah, lacks kedusha and as the living embodiment of tumah and sheker its very existence stands in contradiction to everything the Torah represents.
Accordingly, Torah Temimah must be dismantled, Lipa Margulies must be removed immediately, and a board of rosh yeshivas and ehrliche askonim must take over the leadership until a new rosh yeshiva is hired.
It takes no great leap of logic to apply the above to Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Temimah, an institution built by a vile kofer on a foundation of sheker, theft, deception and the blood and souls of innocent children. While Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Temimah might appear at first glance to be a yeshiva similar to other yeshivas, it is in fact the yeshiva equivalent of a Sefer Torah written by a min (non-believer.)
Being a community of sorts, the atrocities committed within the four walls of Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Temimah render it an Ir Hanidachas. As such it is an institution whose eradication from our midst will result in a true kiddush Hashem and will hasten the geulah, may it be G-d’s will.