Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dr. Benzion Twerski Scared Off Panel On Rabbinic Sex Molestors

Top Doc Scared Off Panel On Rabbinic Sex Molestors

Tapped by Hikind, Twerski cites threats; pol ready to ‘name names’ of alleged abusers.

Parents who fail to report sex abuse are “guilty for every other child that is abused after their child,” says Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

by Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

A prominent Orthodox rabbi and psychologist has been intimidated into quitting as head of a just-formed task force dealing with rabbinic sex abuse of minors, organized by Assemblyman Dov Hikind this week.

Dr. Benzion Twerski told The Jewish Week Wednesday that he was quitting the task force because “I was prosecuted in the street for daring to join such a venture.”

“To protect myself, my family, and reputation, I decided to withdraw from this project,” he wrote in an e-mail as the paper was going to press with a story announcing Hikind’s formation of the task force. “From this point, I am avoiding participation in any forms of public service. Public life is not for me.” Hikind, a Brooklyn Democrat who represents Borough Park and Flatbush, deplored Twerski’s abrupt departure from his new panel.

“He was basically forced to resign,” said Hikind. “He was literally put against the wall, and he felt he had no choice. We’ll get somebody else who’s very respected. But that’s not the point. The point is they got to him, they threatened him.”

Twerski’s dramatic departure came just as Hikind was rolling out the new panel, planned as the next step in a personal crusade against child sex abuse in the Orthodox community that he has come to view as an epidemic.

Hikind said he had amassed a dossier with the cases of “hundreds” of individuals who say they have been sexually molested by rabbis and other Orthodox community members during their childhood. And he threatened to broadcast the names of their abusers if community leaders do not respond to his call for action against them.

“Let me tell you,” he said in an interview last week, “when there’s a person who we have confirmed through a variety of people has been doing terrible things” and those who know refuse to go to the authorities, “I am prepared to name names. I am prepared to be sued by those pedophiles. If they’re innocent, let them sue me.”

Speaking after a rash of highly publicized sexual molestation cases in the Orthodox community, Hikind said, “I have been learning that a lot of people out there know who the bad guys are. Where have I been? How come no one talked to me, how come no one came to me?”

Now, Hikind says, he is more determined than ever to establish a community task force to address the issue. Though vague on the panel’s broader makeup and specific plans, Hikind ultimately seeks to develop a list of sexual molesters in Orthodox schools to keep them away from children.

Neither man would specify the nature of the threats made against Twerski to force his departure. But Hikind called them “pathetic and sad.”

“My heart goes out to him,” he said. “I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. Things are opening up, people are coming forward, but we are still so far away.”

Hikind’s new crusade follows several cases in which individuals — often adults now — have gone public with accounts of sexual abuse they experienced at the hands of respected yeshiva teachers when they were children. The alleged victims have spoken, too, of the rejection or even intimidation they experienced from their yeshivas and rabbinic leaders when they tried to report what had happened to them.

In one of the few cases in which victims went to the secular court system, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko of Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Flatbush was convicted on two counts of child endangerment last April. Another alleged abuser, Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz, now awaits extradition from Israel to Brooklyn, where he has been charged with sexual abuse of children.

More recently Joel Engelman, a former student at the Satmar chasidic sect’s United Talmudical Academy in Williamsburg, has alleged he was abused when he eight years old by Rabbi Avrohom Reichman. Engelman, now 23, has filed suit against Rabbi Reichman and UTA, which, he says, violated its promise to him to dismiss Rabbi Reichman in exchange for his not going public. UTA has yet to respond to the suit.

Hikind, who began broadcasting radio shows addressing the issue bluntly about a month ago said, “For a couple of weeks now, so many people have been coming forward. It’s made me absolutely sick, to have to listen to this, to be so shocked, to see so much pain, so much suffering. ... I actually feel that [this] may be the most important thing I’ve done in 26 years. Because you’re talking about saving lives.”

At times during his interview, Hikind sounded vague when pressed on just what his task force would do and how it proposed to go about doing it. The panel will present its findings to “leading rabbis” in various Orthodox communities, he said. And the rabbis, he predicted, “will be absolutely flabbergasted” by what they hear. His ultimate goal, said Hikind, is to establish a communal registry that would list the names of teachers removed from schools due to abusive behavior.

“We need to develop a system, a roster, a protocol needs to be developed,” he said. “If you have a pedophile who is teaching in a yeshiva, that person needs to be on a list, and before any other yeshiva hires a person, you need to be able to go to a roster and see if that rebbe was teaching somewhere else and got thrown out.”

But at another point, apparently recognizing that many schools are often reluctant to dismiss such teachers in the first place, Hikind appeared to envision a more ambitious, quasi-judicial function for his panel.

“It’s sort of hard to investigate yourself,” Hikind admitted. “There’s got to be a system where trusted people, respected leaders, who are not directly a part of that particular organization examine everything. Look, I wasn’t there when these boys were abused, nor was anyone else. So we have to make judgments. We do that all the time.”

Some advocates for the abused children, while praising Hikind for highlighting an issue about which they claim Orthodox Jews are in denial, voiced reservations about his plan.

The father of one child allegedly abused by Rabbi Kolko, who spoke on condition of anonymity, derided the notion of the community policing itself, citing his own unsuccessful efforts to marshal rabbinic action in his son’s case.

“I commend Dov for what he is doing,” said the father of the 10-year-old boy, who was allegedly molested in first grade, “but all these rabbis will make a farce of it. It touches their business. All these schools are somehow connected together.”

Another long-time community activist, who spoke to The Jewish Week on condition of anonymity due to the controversial nature of the issue, said, “Dov’s actions of these past few months are moving to anyone who cares about this issue. Yet we are very concerned that he has set back the cause by offering community members an alternative to the secular authorities.

Reporting the abusers to the rabbis is “akin to asking the fox to watch the henhouse,” this source said. “We spent close to three decades reporting abusers to their yeshiva employers, local rabbis and ‘gedolim’ only to watch time and time again as the information we provided was used to protect the abusers and vilify the victims.

“There is a functioning system in place that we will never have the resources or expertise to replicate, “ he continued, referring to the secular authorities.

“Indeed, to suggest that we are doing so is to do a grave injustice. If people believe we have an alternative to the police, which we do not and never will have, they will rely upon this belief and nothing will change. We tried this and came to the painful conclusion that it can not work.”

Hikind himself took a nuanced position on the issue of going to outside authorities. “Look, I would like to see people report to the police,” he said. “But there are some realities in our communities. ... People in our community, as you know, don’t want to go public. They want to keep it quiet, which is terrible. It’s sinful. I use the word sinful because for someone not to come forward in a situation of abuse of their child is not only to be guilty for not pressing issues for their own child, but they are guilty for every other child that is abused after their child. And they have to live with that. I keep on repeating that to everyone.”

But given the reality, “At least let’s get these people off the street,” he said. “With regard to institutions, where we find teachers, one of the things we are going to work on, if we establish that a teacher is a pedophile, that name needs to go on a list. Before anyone hires anyone, they must look at that list.”

Others active on this issue believe that legislative reforms are also crucial. As an assemblyman, Hikind said he is supportive on this front. He voiced strong backing, for example, for an extension of the statute of limitations for prosecuting child sexual molestation, and for the alleged victims of such abuse to file civil suits.

Under current law, the state cannot pursue criminal prosecutions of an alleged molester once the alleged victim turns 23. A victim himself must bring a civil suit against his molester or against the school he alleges failed to protect him by between one and six years after his 18th birthday, depending on the nature of the allegation.

But child victims of sexual abuse often do not understand or come to terms with their experiences — or sometimes, even recall them — until years, or even decades after they take place. Members of the Orthodox community have the additional burden of overcoming their peer group’s hostility to turning to secular authorities on such a sensitive matter. By then, the statute of limitations often bars their entry to the courtroom.

There are currently several bills in the state Legislature to address this problem, though none have passed in the Senate yet. A bill to extend the statute of limitations and open a one-year window for victims to seek damages regardless of their age recently passed in the Assembly but has repeatedly stalled in the Senate.

“The statute of limitations needs to be extended,” said Hikind. “I’m totally for that . . . I will do everything in the world to make that happen because now I realize how critical that is.”

Elliot Pasik, an attorney in private practice and a co-founder of the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, a newly organized grassroots group, has also been pressing for legislation that would require mandatory background checks and fingerprinting of teachers in non-public schools. In addition, his group is working for the passage of a law that would require teachers in non-public schools to report cases of abuse when they see evidence of it or it is reported to them. Public school officials are already required to do so.

New York — unlike 25 other states — does not now classify clergy as mandated reporters, which means that they are not required to report evidence of sex abuse or violence to state child welfare authorities.

Legislation requiring fingerprinting and background checks for prospective non-public school faculty was defeated in the Assembly last year but reintroduced this year by Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. The legislation does not, however, have the support of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Lower East Side).
Agudath Israel, an umbrella group of ultra-traditional Orthodox organizations, is opposed to both the mandated reporting and finger printing, and background check legislation.

Pasik, who currently represents Engelman in his lawsuit against Rabbi Reichman and United Talmudical Academy, said, “New York State has the weakest laws in the country. [Parochial schools] are near-totally unsupervised by the state, which is a throwback to pre-16th century English common law when the church could give sanctuary [to fugitives]. This has to change.”

Hikind would not commit yet on such specifics. “I am sitting with my legislative person right now. We are just going to start our conversation. It’s sort of a new look for me at everything,” he said.”

But he added: “Anything that contributes to apprehending the bad guy and helping the victims, we need to do — period, end of the story. That’s my position. I have a new perspective because I’ve taken a close look, because I’ve spent almost four weeks now listening non-stop to horror stories, and then I’m told by people today who met with me, ‘Dov, it’s worse than even you think right now.’ I said, ‘what?’”


Dr. Twerski explains:

"I am taking a few minutes to make some statements in response to the article about my departure from Dov Hikind’s project and the events that triggered this.

Firstly, I have extreme respect for Dov Hikind, and I share in his mission to make a difference in this painful and destructive issue. I was eager to join with him to create a Task Force that would actually lead to reduction of this terrible problem while doing everything from within the community. It is with sadness that I left the position, and I will always to continue to consider Dov a good colleague and friend. I know he feels the same.

For quite some years, I had invested time and effort, without compensation, for various projects that were being done for the Klal. Even at times when my own financial situation was difficult, I extended myself at great cost for the hatzolas nefashos of youth at risk, addictions, etc. I am not interested in writing my own hesped, but there is much that has never been publicized and won’t be. My expectations were that the mission that I was entering would be understood as something that will be done properly and sensitively. It seems that some understood this quite erroneously.

For several days, I was approached by individuals, some stating that they would cross the street if they were to meet me while walking with their children. Others told me that they would not accept my child into their class if assigned. Others used euphemisms that I refuse to repeat. Family members were likewise confronted by all sorts of comments and phone calls. My married children had been told to fear ever getting shidduchim for their children. Basically, I was left to choose between abandoning my family for this mission, or to take the painful step that I did.

Molestation is underestimated in our community. I never proclaimed it an epidemic. I have not found any reliable statistics. But each victim is a precious neshomoh, an “olam molei” that is totally destroyed. Some victims leave the derech, others struggle with post traumatic stress disorder, some have major hurdles in establishing their own married lives, and still others become molesters themselves. There are frequent comments such as “It does not happen in my yeshiva” which constitutes denial. Perhaps there are no incidents, but one never knows. We’re talking about things that occur in secrecy. I never looked at this problem as one of quantity. I am concerned with the severity. Even the minutest percentage of foreign objects in food will prompt a recall. Our children deserve a zero tolerance for violations of their safety. And for those who insinuated that I was going to go after yeshivos and mosdos hachinuch, I will add that the abuse that occurs in these holy settings is a small percentage of what occurs in various other locations. To combat the problem, we need to begin somewhere.

The intent of the Task Force was to devise systems that would be implemented by the yeshivos themselves to accept complaints, evaluate them, and move the cases onto the next level, whatever was determined by a body of individuals that would include poskim. No fox guarding the henhouse either, as the system would comprise individuals from outside the yeshiva as well to prevent denial and bias from interfering with the process. Part of this process would help filter out complaints that are baseless, either by exaggeration, inaccuracy, or pure fabrication. To consider this project a new “abuse clinic”, or a molestation police brigade is completely groundless.

So I spent several days watching these gross misperceptions feed the mouths of “holchei rochil”. Not one person called me to inquire about the mission, and there was never a chance to explain any of this to anyone before the hatchet began swinging.

Most bothersome to me is that this occurred during Chodesh Elul, when we all need to be doing some self-exploration – cheshbon hanefesh and teshuvah. We will need to face the upcoming yemai hadin, where we will each stand in our individual judgments. I will face Avinu Malkeinu with the position that “I tried to help Your children but they refused to let me.” What will the “holchei rochil” offer in their defense? “Hashem, we just shot down an “osek betzorchei tzibbur be’emunoh”. You shot the wrong person.

I am not personally offended. I have learned to tolerate being called names. I’ve been around a little. I grieve for the work that could have been done, and my tefiloh is that someone capable is found who can see this mission through to success. I grieve for the pain and anger that this whole situation caused for myself, my family, for Dov Hikind, and for all others who recognize the seriousness of the mission. I grieve for the pain and suffering that innocent neshamos will experience in the absence of a system that could stop it. The flak will eventually fade, but the damage has been done. If nothing else, it is a really serious lesson in hilchos lashon horah.

In reality, every frum Yid benefits from the things that askanim do. From intervening with governmental matters, legal issues, dealing with yeshivos, getting streets blocked for various events, and others too numerous to mention, we all derive much benefit from what they do. Nearly all, or perhaps absolutely all, function selflessly. Hatzoloh, Shomrim, and Chaverim are totally volunteer staffed. Since when do we carelessly and viciously attack an askan? Was there any posek asked about doing this? Was this a campaign by a group or individual, or was this just the street gossip fueling itself? I may never know. But I have been sensitized away from participating in askonus.

I already contacted others whose projects are precious and worthy, and withdrew from taking any askonus role. Without any hesitation, I will share my thoughts and opinions with any of them, including Dov. But no one will be able to hold me responsible for something I did not do.

To all the voices in the street that made this happen, my conscience is clear entering the days of selichos and yemai hadin. Are yours?"

Don’t Disturb the Party

Ever Wonder What Our Children Are Thinking?

By: Yakov Horowitz

Imagine that you and your spouse decided to treat yourselves to a high-end cruise for your fiftieth anniversary. Never having done this before, you are blown away by the luxurious setting and are thoroughly enjoying every moment.

In your information packet, you were informed to dress formally for dinner on the first evening of the cruise, so you put on the best clothing from your closet and make your way to the ballroom.

While eating the main dish, someone on the next table keeled over clutching his heart as he fell. A friend of his immediately stood up and yelled, “Is there a doctor in the house?” Almost immediately, a group of waiters and cruise employees sprung into action. But their response was not what you thought it would be.

The cruise operator quickly walked over to the band leader and told him to raise the volume of the music to drown out the commotion generated by the heart attack. Several waiters surrounded the individual who was calling for the doctor. They admonished him for disturbing the ambiance of the formal dinner and physically removed him from the ballroom. While this was happening, another group of cruise employees carried the stricken man out of the ballroom and into one of the empty conference rooms nearby. Instead of canvassing the ballroom for a doctor, they asked one of their associate chefs who took a CPR class several years ago to assist the patient, who slips into a coma and dies shortly thereafter.

Well; that imaginary story pretty much sums up the horrific tale of Dr. Twerski’s harassment at the hands of morally bankrupt individuals which led to his resignation from a panel being formed to – responsibly and in a Torah-appropriate manner – initiate measures to finally start protecting our precious children from the predators in our community.

Reb Benzion is the guy who was forcibly removed from the ballroom so as not to ruin the party. And the fellow with the heart attack represents the innocent, voiceless children in our community who are victims of abuse and molestation.

Back to the story, if I may. Imagine again that you are the couple celebrating their anniversary on the cruise ship. How comfortable would you be after that episode, seeing firsthand that form ruled over substance? That people who called out for help were silenced. That professionally trained individuals who could have perhaps saved the victim’s life were not asked to help him. What would you think of the cruise operator who made those decisions? Would you continue on that cruise or would you get off at the next stop? How comfortable would you be that you would be treated properly if you had severe chest pains?

I ask you to put yourself in the place of our very street-smart teenagers who have immediate access to all the swirls of information and are drawing their own conclusions. What message are we sending them when we allow hooligans to silence a wonderful individual like Dr. Twerski who has dedicated his life to keeping them safe?

Is it any wonder that so many of our kids are heading for the exits when we show them that their safety is not our paramount concern?



LVF said...

A sad day for klal yisroel!!

shame on a community that protects murderers and victimizes people who want to help the victims.

Shame on us !!!

scorekeeper said...

gedolim 2 - Rosenberg, twerski
uoj - 1 - uoj

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- The Bush administration says it wants the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling that the death penalty for child rape is unconstitutional.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the state of Louisiana and the Justice Department have asked the nation's highest court to reconsider its decision because the justices were not made aware that Congress in 2006 made child rape a capital offense under military law.

The court's decision overturned the death penalty for Patrick Kennedy, 43, who was convicted of raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter in Louisiana in 1998.

The state did not note in its briefs to the court that Congress had made the changes to military law and the addition of the provision to the Manual for Courts-Martial by President George W. Bush in an executive order.

"The United States regrets that it did not previously bring those pronouncements to the court's attention," Acting Solicitor General Gregory Garre wrote in a petition. "Because the court did not have a complete description of the relevant legal landscape, the court's decision rests on an erroneous and materially incomplete assessment of the 'national consensus' concerning capital punishment for child rape.

That error undermines the foundation for the court's decision.

Anonymous said...

An Open letter to Rabbi Benzion Twerski

Dear Benzion,

The Torah says "Al Todin Es Chavercha Ad Shetagia Limkomo" so I can not second guess your difficult decision and I commend you for having tried to deal with our "AM KSHEY OREF".

However, I find myself bewildered, wondering how you or anyone of us (me included) can sleep at night, while we attempt to "rationalize" to ourselves imagining that "my conscience is clear entering the days of selichos and yemai hadin".

How can anyones "conscience be clear" when we know the truth that we have just abandoned innocent Neshomos to abuse - why? To save ourselves from being abused on the street by the "Am Kshey Oref" who are in FEAR and don't want the problem fixed.

We are a people who have had 6 Million of our brothers and sisters abandoned to abuse and much worse, while the entire world turned their back on us because "they didn't want to get involved" and "couldn't take the heat".

If I was in your shoes, perhaps I couldn't take the heat either.

But I also could not sleep at night, never mind say "my conscience is clear" when I know that i just turned my back on all the Yiddishe Neshomos who continue to be abused RIGHT NOW, as we speak and we DO NOTHING about it, because we have to "save our own skin"!

Anonymous said...

Dov Hikind is no dope. He is livid right now with the filthy bastard Jewish mafia, may they all burn in Hell speedily in our days. He will pick the right person for this task. A no nonsense Modern Orthodox capable professional who will treat the cases like every other client presented to them. They will forge ahead, and not being a part of the bastard Chassidic community they have nothing to fear. They won’t want a shidduch with those vermin type anyway.

Then the Jewish mafia will be crying why they strong armed Twerski to resign.

Tr8erGirl said...

Beyond sad....what's wrong with our people?

"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

Dov means well --- If this panel, in any way, discourages parents from going to the police, I would not sit on such a panel.

It took me a few years to realize this. There is NO substitute for police intervention in a crime of this magnitude!

If the panel will hold peoples' hands as they walk them down to the police station, tavo alav bracha.

Anonymous said...

As a former boro park boy (I was not abused) who left and I am no more frum anymore. I have maybe a unique perspective on this matter. I am not afraid or beholding to the rebbis, that i cannot think for myself or have an original independent thought, and have every action dictated to me like which hand i should use when I go to the bathroom.

On the other hand, I know the feeling and know how the community works

from history I can tell you, and promise you, with certainty unless the parents of the abused children go to the government, authorities, nothing will be done. Nothing.

remember if you are my age 49, all the corruption the yeshivas where doing lunch programs, youth core getting money for programs and for students that did not exist. This corruption was not a secret all knew it, even i knew it and was only maybe 12 years old.

There were some rumbling about it in the community but the stealing went on. When did it stop, or slow down. Only when many yeshiva personal were arrested prosecuted and jailed. Or flew to Israel where they where protected.

There needs to be some brave parents who have guts and just go to the police and let all hell break out. Yes many yeshivas, rabbonum will go down so what what is more important your children or a few molester and there protectors. The police should be told about every rov, rosh yeshiva, who was told about so- and so molested their children and did nothing. They should be charged with accessory for every child molested after that time.

After a few rebbis or Moros will get hauled off in hand-cuffs in front of all the children boys and girls (yes girls get molested and is kept even quieter then when a boy get molested}will something get done. If not, when i am 90 we will still hear, why is nothing being done, why are the rov's not doing anything.

Is the community so brainwashed or such sheep beholding to the powers to be that you are willing to sacrifice your children to protect the molestor and the very same people that do nothing to protect your children. and put your children in danger by protecting the molestor.

Has the community no backbone to protest against rabonum. Are you all so brainwashed.


Frankly I do not get it. Why are you looking for answers from the very same people who have failed you for twenty years in this matter. Do something on your own, or has the rabbis brainwashed so much that you cannot even take action to protect your children without their blessing.

Anonymous said...

UOJ-Unorthodox Jew. This blogger is the only one with the guts to go toe to toe with these animals. He needs to be supported, not treated like a crackpot.

Anonymous said...

Its unbelievable,instead that the rabonim and mechanchim should see and try to stop the coruption
they actually back those immoral acts.

Because until now they were still able to say,we did not know about it,
Now they are trying everything to stop that people should talk and do something about it....

Every day our kids go in cheder/yeshiva or even go shabbos in shul,is a risk that they should get molested,raped,and than they have a big chance they should go off the derech, because when someone gets molested by his rabbi/teacher,or stam a guy with a big beard,besides how confused and hurt he is because of the trauma,he looks at those people that molested him and at the same time feed him torah, as false people and automatic is what ever this rabbi teaches him torah and every one that teaches in this same subject(torah)says, is false too.

I really think that the matzev is so bad, that a father that sends his kids to a public school and after school he learns with his kids 'some" torah, haves a bigger chance to have frumer kids than us, its a shame,
But guys do not for get the problem in our generation is not the molesting rabbi's, its lipa schmeltzer and the Big Event Staff, ZUCHOR ASHER OSOO LACHOO AMULEK (i don't want to be mkatreg on all those rabonim and mechanchim,there are still left a few honest ones,the problem is they are not the majority)

Anonymous said...

"I was prosecuted in the street"
"To protect myself, my family, and reputation, I decided to withdraw from this project,”

"Prosecution"? Sounds more like threats, harassement - in other words a crime.

But now Twerski says that he was afraid his kids wouldn't be accepted to class or his grandkids wouldn't get shidduchim.
R.Twerski, do you want your kids to go to schools that support molestors or your grandkids to marry into a community with such corrupt values that they don't want their kids protected?

Yikes, and we wonder about the cover up at Rubashkin's - Haredi children are being abused and the priority is to protect the guilty. What chance that they'd care about abused goyim or tortured cows!

At the time of the catholic priest scandals I figured there were Jewish molestors too but thought that jews would never allow such things to continue - they might put a stop to it quietly, but it would be stopped... how gullible I was.

Here we are years after Lanner, after Kolko, after UOJ started blogging and it just continues.

Mind boggling indeed.

A truly religious person should shudder when he wonders what god must think when He sees how the "frum yiddim" have abused and twisted the torah and deficated on everything it stands for.

ex-beitshemesh said...

To UOJ – Please consider this a priority message!

It contains some useful petitioning information regarding the situation in Beit Shemesh. This whole thing about pressuring Rav Malinowitz to be more vocal and so forth is ineffective and useless. There are a lot of rabbis in Beit Shemesh, however very few of them have any authority whatsoever. Rav Malinowitz is not going to start any public initiative without the backing of this authority and he certainly will not go against this authority. You see in neighborhoods in Israel like RBS Aleph there are very strict protocols in community affairs. It does not matter whether they are called morei d'asras or chief rabbis, they make the final decision. So this whole business of taking this issue up with Artscroll is a dead in the water idea.

If Rav Malinowitz has already received emails and phone calls regarding the Kagen case he has probably contacted the sitting authority in order to discuss this issue. He probably already has even without these calls. More than likely he has been approached by his congregates over the issue.

Now because Torat Eliyahu's new campus building is situated on Nachal Arugot, the proper person with authority to contact is Rabbi Mordechai Goldstein. You have probably heard of him. He is formerly the rav of Telstone and originally hails from Boro Park. He is the mora d'asra for what is called the Mishkanot Yaakov Congregation in RBS Aleph. This geographical area in the northwestern side of RBS Aleph includes all of the offshoot streets of Nachal Sorek and the streets that intersect with the lower part of Nachal Kishon. Nachal Arugot is at the base of Nachal Sorek and is in Rav Goldstein's jurisdiction. The rest of RBS Aleph is under the jurisdiction of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Perlstein.

I have here his phone number that he uses when he sits in the beit hora'ah. It is 02-992-2194. I forgot what his schedule is. Perhaps someone from RBS is reading this posting. May be he/she would be so kind to post the hours that he is there. There is not even an answering machine at this number. May be someone can also post the names and numbers of other rabbanim who sit in the beit hora'ah and their hours. If enough of them will be sufficiently irritated perhaps there will be some results. I have not been there for a couple of years and I do not have a proper directory.

Now if somebody actually does get through to Rav Goldstein do not let him sherk you of by claiming that he is just as mora d'asra he has no real power. He merely handles community arbitration between agreeing parties and so on. He has real powers. All of the Rabbanim in his area (aside from the Eidat Hachareidit), both Israeli and American alike are meshubad to him. He decides whether or not authorities should be called in cases of child abuse and so forth. Any community activism regarding his neighborhood has to be ok'd by him. He himself has personally been involved in activism. Three years ago he led a public protest that was covered by the media regarding the shopping center at the corner of Nachal Sorek and Nachal Kishon. This was against eateries there that he and askanim in the community felt were becoming teen hangouts. They wanted that those establishments should be closed during the evenings in order that there would not be a place for "bitul torah".

Another possible route might be calling the Zilberman Torah Network which Torat Eliyahu is part of. I forgot which Zilberman is running it. A person to speak to in order to find out would be Brurya Drukman, tel; 077-700-5450. Fax; 077-700-5456.

Keep up the good work and I hope I have provided you with useful information for your task.

steve said...

Read Rabbi Horowitz' post in response to Dr. Twerski's resignation. Rabbi Horowitz is one of the few people in the rabbinate that "gets it". He would be my first choice to head up any "task force":

Olam Hafuch Ra'isi - A Topsy-Turvy World Gone Mad
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Today, the talmidim of Yeshiva Darchei Noam, where I serve as Dean, moved into our new building after living in rented quarters for 11 years so you can well imagine how hectic things were in my office this week.

Amid all the activity yesterday, I fielded several anguished calls from my dear chaver and colleague, Dr. Benzion Twerski, describing the pressure he was undergoing and the harassment that his family members were undergoing as a result of his courageous efforts to help reverse the frightening and growing abuse statistics in our community.

I have had the privilege of interacting with Reb Benzion many hundreds of times over the past 11 years as I’ve sought his guidance in dealing with the abuse cases that have come my way. I would like to inform those who do not know him that he is a genuine talmid chochom, a true chassid, and an osek b’tzarchei tzibur b’emunah (one who selflessly devotes himself to communal needs) in every sense of the word. I am proud to call him a friend and I am inspired by his devotion to the children of our community.

I must admit that I advised him to resign from the position he had assumed due to the very real harassment that he and his family members were undergoing. I felt that he almost had no choice due to the circumstances.

What an olam hafuch we have created. A decent, caring mental health professional who has devoted his life to helping Yiddishe kinder is terrorized while evil monsters like Avrohom Mondrowitz and others like him live peaceful lives in our communities. One week ago, I published a column on this subject in the Jewish Press, Lm'aan Hashem -- What Will it Take?.

Here is a quote from the article:

“Is there any more sacred obligation than protecting the children entrusted to our care? Shame on us, for failing to treat it as such. Shame on us, for allowing ourselves to repeatedly get distracted with meaningless and often silly non-issues raised by self-appointed “askanim” that purport to pose spiritual risk to our children while our paramount communal responsibility to keep evil people from destroying the physical and spiritual lives of our children keeps getting bumped to the back burner.”

Well, to this I add: Shame on those who harassed a wonderful member of our community like Dr. Twerski. You have the blood of future abuse victims on your hands – kids who could have been saved by the initiatives that Dr. Twerski would have implemented.

And shame on all of us for allowing such an olam hafuch to be perpetuated.

Amen, Rabbi H.

steve said...

I posted this message to Rabbi Horowitz on his blog:

Rabbi Horowitz,
I would like to commend you for your bravery and your tireless work on behalf of our children. Your articles on this terrible plague that has engulfed us are right on the mark. I believe that you are one of the few in the Orthodox rabbinate that really "gets it" when it comes to dealing with child molesters. Rabbi, we need you to continue writing and speaking about this unpopular subject until the rest of the community "gets it". We need you to speak to other rabbonim and to explain to them your experiences in dealing with survivors of sexual abuse. You must help them understand the errors of the past in how these cases were handled (and are still being mishandled). Only when the rabbinic leaders speak out with one voice and the kahal begins to understand that the laws of messira, lashon hara, rechilus, and pidyon shvuyim do not apply to child molesters, and that the din of rodef certainiy does, then we can start effectively dealing with this scourge. As a rabbi, you need to focus on these halachos more in your writings (as you did in the last JP article). Too many members of the kahal think that they are doing a big mitzvah and a big Kiddush Hashem by covering up these cases, while in reality we know that the opposite is true, and that there is no bigger Chillul Hashem than covering up for child molesters. I would like to remind everyone of the story in Maseches Gittin, 57b, which was the Daf Yomi only a few days ago:

"Rav Judah said in the name of Samuel, or it may be R. Ammi, or as some say it was taught in a Baraitha; On one occasion four hundred boys and girls were carried off for immoral purposes. They fully understood what they were wanted for and said to themselves, "If we drown in the sea we shall attain the life of the future world." The eldest among them expounded the verse, "Hashem said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring again from the depths of the sea. 'I will bring again from Bashan,' from between the lions' teeth. 'I will bring again from the depths of the sea,' those who drown in the sea. When the girls heard this they all leaped into the sea. The boys then drew the moral(kal vchomer) for themselves, saying, "If these for whom this is natural act so, shall not we, for whom it is unnatural?" They also leaped into the sea. Of them the text says, "Yea, for thy sake we are killed all the day long, we are counted as sheep for the slaughter"

Next time you have any doubt on how to deal with a child molester, think of those children that leaped to their deaths. To them, there was no shayla. How can they submit to sexual abuse? Children who are sexually abused are "counted as sheep for the slaughter". I'm not making this up, the gemara says it befeirush. HOW MUCH LONGER ARE WE GOING TO ALLOW OUR CHILDREN TO BE COUNTED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER??? On Yom Kippur, during slichos, we pray to hashem to do kindness to us LMAAN TINOKOS SHEL BEIS RABBAN SHELO CHATTU, for the sake of the schoolchildren who never sinned. What right do we have to ask hashem to do for their sake? WHAT HAVE WE DONE FOR THEIR SAKE???

Randy Shiner said...

Thanks so much for posting this. In combination with the filing of 9000 counts of child abuse against the Rubashkins in Iowa, it would seem that there is something of a disconnect between the Torah that is preached and that which is practiced by certain elements in Orthodox Judaism.

I certainly agree that a professional needs to step in and take care of this problem immediately, and I, like some others, would never have agreed to serve on a committee that discouraged parents from reporting these monsters to the police. It all smacks of "hush-hush, the shondeh fun der goyim"; I do not know what it is like to grow up as a Chassid or 'ultra-orthodox', but it does not take a beit din to figure out that the criminals who perpetrate the crimes and those who assist by covering them up should all be hung by their baytzim from a nearby flagpole. If I found out that anybody, Jew or not, was molesting my child, they would be lucky to escape alive. This is nothing less than the exact same situation as the Catholic Church, which has paid out many, many millions of dollars to victims of its priests' child sex abuse. That this is taking place in anything resembling a Jewish community is a crime against G-d.

Anonymous said...

i beklieve the time has come to set the world upside down

publish the name of reputed molesters with the understanding that innocent people might get hurt
because until something gives in a huge way and the rabbis start seeing an exosdus of classes from the schiools nothing will give

amagine if the name of the munkatcher yungerman that molested 2 kids in camp this summer were released maybe people would start talking and the rebbe might actually do something instaed of covering up

let a website be posted with names that uoj and herman can say we cant vouch for accuracy but this is the allegation

maybe the naming of names will actually shake up the system

any comments?

The New Normal = Fraud and Money Laundering Everywhere said...


Fall from Grace

The Follieri Charade

Raffaello Follieri had the love of Hollywood princess Anne Hathaway, the illusion of a Vatican imprimatur, an investment partnership with billionaire Ron Burkle, and entrée to Bill Clinton’s inner circle. It wasn’t enough for him. Now that the 30-year-old Italian entrepreneur has been jailed on fraud and money-laundering charges, the author separates the facts from the fantasy of Follieri and Hathaway’s high-flying life.

by Michael Shnayerson October 2008

Leib Pinter said...

"The New Normal"

See, I always said I was a normal guy!

Charlie Rangel said...


Charlie Rangel Accused of Being Tax Cheat

September 10, 2008 04:15 PM EST

Democrat Congressman Charles Rangel, chairman of the powerful committee that writes the nation’s tax code, failed to pay an unspecified amount in federal taxes during the past five years on rental income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic, according to several news stories. Representative Charles B. Rangel is head of the House tax-writing committee.

Mr. Rangel, a Harlem Democrat who is chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, has owned the beachfront house at the Punta Cana resort and club since 1988, but never declared the $75,000 in rental income he has earned either on his tax returns or on his Congressional financial disclosure form.

UOJ shakes up the Interior Dept said...


September 11, 2008

Wide-Ranging Ethics Scandal Emerges at Interior Dept.

WASHINGTON — As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal — including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct.

In three reports delivered to Congress on Wednesday, the department’s inspector general, Earl E. Devaney, found wrongdoing by a dozen current and former employees of the Minerals Management Service, which collects about $10 billion in royalties annually and is one of the government’s largest sources of revenue other than taxes.

The investigation also concluded that several of the officials “frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives.”

Charlie Rangel imitates Rubashkin said...


Rangel Vows to Pay Back Taxes, Attacks GOP

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), seen here at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, admitted to "mistakes" but has no plans to step down from his Ways and Means chairmanship.

Embattled Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) said at a press conference this morning that he would pay back taxes he owes on rental income from a resort villa he owns in the Dominican Republic. Rangel admitted to making "irresponsible" mistakes and has asked the House ethics committee to investigate his actions, though he said he believes he has done nothing "morally wrong."

Sad But True said...

Dr. Twerski,
Pardon my confusion but I seem to be missing something.

You acknowledge the severity of the abuse problem and seem proud of your reputation as an Orthodox professional who has built a career, and earns a living, in the community dealing with controversial issues.

Yet, you run from the problem as soon as the establishment wags its finger at you? You state that children are being irreparably harmed daily and you’re concerned with people crossing the street when they see you? These are the people you wish to do shiduchim with and have your offspring share classrooms with?

Uncle Aaron wasn’t afraid to take a stand and defend Lipa Margulies when he thought it was the expedient thing to do. Did he care that the world would ridicule him and uncover his business dealings with Lipa? Not Professor Aaron.

So, where’s your gumption when given the opportunity to redeem your family’s name? Where’s your integrity? Shame on you.
You have not earned the right to go into the Yom HaDin with a clear conscience. Quite the contrary.




Randy Shiner said...

So let me see...because there is a sex scandal brewing in the "Interior Department" (note double entendre)as evidence of what? That OTHER people have a sex scandal? Because Charlie Rangel failed to pay taxes on $75,000 of income (assuming that he did not have a good reason) is a reason for Rubashkin to abuse his workers, child and adult? Jews are supposed to be better than eretz hagoyim. Or is the membership in that club what you are inferring by even bringing those OTHER situations into the conversation?

Anonymous said...

what is the story about a molester in the munkatcher camp?!

please, I have nephews that go there. this is freaking me out.

Ahavah Gayle said...

The problem with backing down now is that the "damage" is already done - his standing in the community is already on the black-list, so to speak, his kids already on their radar, and the grandkids. This is how the social terrorism works - recanting doesn't change anything. It just takes both parties back under the radar - his "status" is already down in the dumps and while the harassment may let up, no one will forget. It'll be whispered about 20 years from now, and the discrimination may not be overt but it will most certainly be there. That's the way the chereidiban operates - just like any other mafia-style organization that rules by violence instead of legitimate authority. By quitting he only gives them a victory, he doesn't win any protections for his or his family's future. They'll see to that.

Anonymous said...

Poor Bentzion. He had a chance to have greatness bestowed upon him from Above but he was afraid his kids wouldn't get a 'good' shidduch and didn't like the angry stares directed his way.

You can't make this stuff up, folks!

Anonymous said...

A Blast From the Past

>>Orthodox Jews, Angered Over Recent Cases, Up in Arms Against Brooklyn D.A. - Hynes and His `Haman'

by Rebecca Segall

Village Voice - March 15 - 21, 2000


Influential Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn are calling for the removal of District Attorney Charles J. Hynes following the acquittal last week of Bernard Freilich, a prominent Hasidic rabbi, on charges of witness tampering. Coming in the wake of a grand jury's failure to indict four cops accused in the killing of Gidone Busch in Boro Park last year, the Freilich prosecution is seen as the latest in a series of wrongs directed against the Orthodox community.

In the Freilich case, an immigrant couple, Moshe Israel and Anna Shapiro, alleged that the popular Boro Park rabbi—who until his arrest was also a special assistant to the state police—threatened to have them killed unless they dropped allegations of incest and rape against Ms. Shapiro's father.

"Hynes went after Freilich with a vengeance," says Rabbi Leib Glanz, a leader of the Satmar Hasidic community, referring to the D.A.'s decision to assign two top deputies, Michael Vecchione and Jay Shapiro—his lead prosecutor on death penalty cases—to the Freilich case.

In a dramatic response to Freilich's acquittal, about 2000 Boro Park residents attended a celebration in his honor on Saturday at the Satmar Hasidic shul. On Sunday, the head rabbis of each ultra-Orthodox sect in Boro Park met with Freilich, and in speech after speech referred to him and their community as having survived "persecution and prosecution."

"This is a man with 25 years of service in the public life of Boro Park," Rabbi Glanz told the Voice. "He was instrumental in creating Tomche Shabbos," an organization that feeds thousands of Hasidic families each week.

During the trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Ms. Shapiro testified that Freilich had come to the couple's Boro Park home last April on the day before she was to give grand jury testimony, and told them that if she testified they would wind up "in the cemetery." After she appeared, she alleged, Freilich showed up again and pledged to make good on the threat. Freilich maintains he has never spoken to the couple.

Since his acquittal, Freilich—who friends say once got up at sunrise to help Hynes's campaign—warns the D.A. of political trouble ahead. "The community doesn't trust Hynes anymore," Freilich says, "and he's obviously going to have problems regaining their support."

As family members celebrated Freilich's victory, an uncle gave a short vort (talk) over kosher Chinese cuisine: "This month is Purim, the holiday that commemorates Jewish freedom from their Persian persecutor, Haman. Today, the wicked Haman has once again been defeated by the pious Mordechai—this time Freilich." One way to interpret the analogy, he explained, is that "the prosecutor, Vecchione could be Haman, while Hynes, his enabler, is the King."

"I will not be excited to support Hynes again," Glanz told the Voice. "It's unlikely that anyone running against him will be worse."

In a March 10 editorial, the ultraconservative Jewish Press declared: "What bewilders us is the alacrity with which D.A. Hynes indicts persons such as Rabbi Freilich, which is in sharp contrast to his categorical reluctance to [indict the] police officers who shoot a Jew dead on the streets of Boro Park. In our view, there is something very wrong in the way business is conducted in the Brooklyn D.A.'s office."

"I'll put it to you this way," says Reb Avraham, a prominent Hasidic activist who goes only by that name, "regarding the Busch case, the Boro Park community is more furious with Hynes than they are with Giuliani. Hynes was supposed to oversee a fair investigation," but failed to indict the four cops involved in the shooting of Busch, 31, in Boro Park.

Doris Busch Boskey, Busch's mother, alleges: "Hynes never had any intention of getting an indictment, and he didn't even pursue the possibility of lesser charges. I hope my son's ghost hangs heavy over Hynes, Giuliani, and Police Commissioner Howard Safir as a constant reminder of his senseless murder and the lack of accountability and justice."

Raphael Eisenberg, a witness to the Busch shooting who testified at the grand jury hearing at which the officers were cleared, told the Voice that the D.A.'s office seemed to be looking for any minor discrepancy to invalidate testimonies. "Hynes's career is dependent on his popularity among the police," he asserted.

Reb Avraham maintains that anti-Hynes feelings are now so strong that many Orthodox Jews would join with African Americans—"two communities that have been wronged by Hynes"—to elect a black moderate. "He did some good, but it's over now what with the legacy of Busch, Freilich, and other cases."

Avraham translates the last line of a full-page editorial in the March 10 edition of Nayis Baricht (News Report), a major Yiddish-language paper: ". . . perhaps the time has come for [Hynes] to bring his political career to an end and retire while it can still be said that the good of his administration outweighs the bad."

According to many ultra-Orthodox Jews, there has been much good. For the last decade Hynes has enjoyed a cozy relationship with Brooklyn's Orthodox communities. Henna White, a Lubavitch woman who serves as Hynes's liaison to the Jewish community, points to what she sees as culturally sensitive preventive programs for pedophiles, batterers, and drug users that Hynes's office has initiated over the last two years.

"Hynes is a very caring D.A.," she maintains, "and the community knows it. The recent incidents are not going to influence Boro Park's feelings toward Hynes." White says she was particularly impressed by the way Hynes handled the Crown Heights riots.

However, following the Freilich case, Hasidic leaders who attended the trial are alleging that one of Hynes's aides made anti-Semitic comments during his summation. Last week, the Jewish Press promised to print portions of the summation—which is currently being transcribed—in upcoming issues, allowing readers to "judge for themselves the appropriateness of some of his comments." Last year in another controversial case that left the Orthodox community in a state of fury, the same aide allegedly made comments in private to a prominent rabbi and to his lawyer that were construed as anti-Semitic. The lawyer on that case, Roger Adler, told the Voice, "I was shocked when the aide made comments that sounded like more personal attacks on my client than intellectual discourse regarding his innocence.

After Freilich was indicted last year, Orthodox leaders reached out to black Brooklyn assemblyman Clarence Norman—a close friend of Hynes's—beseeching him to share their concerns with the D.A. The Hasidic community has made other unorthodox alliances regarding Hynes. Park Avenue Synagogue rabbi David Lincoln wrote to Hynes asking why he took such an aggressive stand against Freilich, whom he described as "an outstanding man." Lincoln told the Voice that Hynes has spoken at his synagogue at least once, "but I think he has lost some credibility over this matter."

Andrew Stettner, executive director of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, agrees. "We are disappointed with the D.A. Across the board in the Jewish world—and in the Asian and black communities—there is a widespread feeling of injustice." JFREJ has been organizing events at which secular and religious participants have united in support of petitioning Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate the Busch case.

In the aftermath of the Busch and Diallo cases, the United Jewish Appeal's Young Lawyers Committee met two weeks ago with Reverend Calvin Butts of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church and Gidone Busch's brother Glenn Busch, a New York-based lawyer. "In my brother's case, Hynes never indicted," Busch told the group. "We need independent prosecutors in police brutality cases."

On March 5, Congressman Jerrold Nadler reproved attendees at a UJA professional breakfast in Manhattan for not putting more pressure on the Justice Department to help the Busch family, implicitly criticizing Hynes's office.

"There are certainly questions that have gone unanswered," he said, such as, "What went wrong in this investigation?" <<

Leopold Margulies said...


Two Suits Against Kolko Dropped

Judge throws out civil cases against Orthodox rabbi alleged to have molested children, citing statute of limitations.

Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, in a controversial deal, pleaded guilty in April to two misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and was sentenced to three years' probation.

by Larry Cohler-Esses
Editor At Large

Citing the statute of limitations, a federal judge last week threw out civil suits filed by two men who charged a Brooklyn rabbi had molested them as children.
Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, who was convicted last April of child endangerment — a misdemeanor — and Yeshiva Torah Temimah, the school for which he worked, cannot be held liable for the alleged abuse of the two men, ruled Judge Sandra Townes last Friday.
The ruling still leaves three others who allege Rabbi Kolko molested them as children with live civil suits against him and Torah Temimah, including two boys, now aged 10 and 9. They remain within the statute of limitation, and the father of one of the boys said Tuesday he planned to go forward with his case.
“We have to go to court,” said the father, who The Jewish Week is not identifying to protect his son’s privacy. “I feel the criminal side was a joke.”
Last April, in a controversial plea bargain, Rabbi Kolko pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and was sentenced to three years’ probation. As part of the plea bargain, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes dropped felony charges of sexual molestation against Rabbi Kolko, who was alleged to have repeatedly touched two Torah Temimah first-graders in their sexual areas. Rabbi Kolko, 62, made no admission of sexual wrongdoing and was not required to register as a sex offender.
Hynes said then that he dropped the charges because the parents of the two children did not want them to have to testify — a claim the father pursuing the civil case refuted at the time. This week, the father said his young son would take the stand in the civil case, if asked.
Meanwhile, the lawyer for a 23-year-old man who recently filed suit against another rabbi said the Kolko ruling would not affect his case, though his client, too, was past the statute of limitations for his alleged molestation, said to have occurred when he was 8.
“Our case proceeds on a much different basis,” said Elliot Pasik, who represents Joel Engelman in his suit against Rabbi Avrohom Reichman, a rabbi of the Satmar chasidic sect in Brooklyn. Engelman is also suing the United Talmudical Academy, the Williamsburg school where Reichman teaches.
Pasik noted that Engelman’s suit focuses not on the sexual molestation alleged to have occurred 15 years ago, but on Reichman’s and the yeshiva’s alleged violation of an agreement he says they made with Engelman this spring. Under the verbal agreement that Engelman claims to have reached with the yeshiva, the school was to dismiss Rabbi Reichman in exchange for Engelman not taking legal action.
Rabbi Reichman did, in fact, leave the school last April after Engelman and others say Engelman confronted him about his past abuse. Engelman submitted to the court a letter he wrote to Rabbi Reichman then promising not to take legal action if he resigned his position. But Rabbi Reichman returned to working with children at a Satmar-run camp this summer, and there were reports this week from parents with children at UTA that he is back teaching at the school.
Engelman claims the yeshiva fraudulently sought to divert him from taking legal action until the statute of limitation had passed on criminal prosecution. Under New York State law, that occurred on June 24, the date of Engelman’s 23rd birthday. The school has yet to respond to the suit and did not return several calls left for it about the suit last week.
It remains to be seen whether a judge will permit Engelman’s case to go forward under this theory. The statute of limitations has already run out for Engelman to sue for the alleged 15-year-old acts themselves.
State Sen. Tom Duane (D-Greenwich Village), sponsor of one of several bills that would extend the state’s statute of limitation for child sex abuse, said last week’s Kolko ruling highlights a problem calling out for a remedy.
“Often, child victims of abuse by people in positions of authority are not able to remember or realize what happened because of the trauma,” he said. By the time they are old enough to process what happened and act, “Victims do not have access to justice,” he said.

Glenn Beck said...


Charlie Rangel, you Putz! You say you didn't know you owe taxes because your wife was handling your books? You head the tax committee in Congress.

And for a guy who can afford to hire super-lawyer Lanny Davis, you couldn't afford an accountant?

Charles Bremner's Blog said...

Here is perhaps the best argument yet to not vote for Barack Obama: 80% of France would vote for him.

Creeped out by Luke Ford said...


September 7, 2008

Modern Love

My Very Own Cyberstalker

WHEN I met the blogger Luke Ford at a media party six years ago, I had no idea who he was. I certainly had no idea he would become my cyberstalker. He was just some guy — tallish and thin-ish, with a ruddy face and a disarming Australian accent — who started talking to me. He wore a skullcap atop his brown hair, which was just beginning to thin.

Since moving to Los Angeles to be the managing editor of The Jewish Journal, I had met many of the single religious guys in town, especially those in the small world of Jewish news media. How had I not met him? “Maybe he would be good for my reporter friend Gaby,” I thought. “Maybe I can set them up. He’s kind of cute.”

I didn’t remember what he and I had talked about that night, but I was soon reminded. The next day at work, I told Gaby about him. She rolled her eyes and said, “Look him up online.”

I typed in his name and there it was: the entire text of our conversation the previous night, including my maligning of the newspaper’s top advertiser.

“Who is this guy?” I called out to Gaby.

“He used to cover the porn industry,” she said. “Be careful to go to lukeford dot-net, not dot-com, or you’ll get a million porn pop-ups.” After he converted to Judaism, she explained, he began covering the Jewish community, in particular Jewish media. “Don’t pay any attention to him,” she said.

But it was hard not to. When you’re a journalist, cataloging the words and actions of others, you believe you are granted a writer’s type of diplomatic immunity — inured to being written about, reported on and critiqued yourself. Well, that’s how it used to be, before the Internet.

Luke Ford started writing about me on his blog, with some strange descriptions — including that I always wore skirts, which was flatly untrue.

I wasn’t familiar with the ethics of blogging (or lack thereof) in terms of what someone can write about you — without fact-checking or sourcing or the other protections that journalists have in place. It was exasperating to have these random claims and judgments about me out there for anyone to read. But complaining about it, as I discovered, only gave him more material:

“About 10 p.m., I was wandering around when I saw the young female managing editor of The Jewish Journal, Amy Klein, dressed as a black cat. I waved at her and she waved a reproving finger back: ‘Don’t write about me on your blog!’ she reprimanded. Rabbi Wolpe then walked by. Amy said to him, while pointing at me, ‘This man is dangerous. He has this blog where he writes about people.’ ”

My life was like that Seinfeld episode when the comedian Kathy Griffin starts using Jerry in her act, and all his complaints — an answering machine message, a lawsuit — appear in her act “Jerry Seinfeld Is the Devil.”

At least Ford wasn’t devoting his entire blog to me, or writing anything scary about me. Until, one day, he did: “I’d like to bonk Amy on the head with a Talmud and drag her back to my Aborigine-style hovel and make her mine.”

A week later, he followed up with:

“I have this weird stalkerish fixation with writing about her on my Web site (never unkindly). Why was I not invited to her birthday party Saturday?”

I called my newspaper’s lawyer and showed him the posts. What if Ford didn’t stop writing about me? What if he came to my house? Was there anything I could do?

My lawyer said we could send him a threatening letter, but questioned whether it would help. Ford hadn’t written anything libelous about me (that I was “shy”?), and a letter might just provoke him. Could I talk to anyone else Ford wrote about?

I scoured his site and found that the radio host Dennis Prager’s name kept popping up.

“Oh, he gets obsessed with people but he eventually finds someone else,” Prager told me with a hint of relief, perhaps at the fact that he was no longer Ford’s target.

Prager was right — and wrong. Ford didn’t exactly lose interest in me. Rather, he soured on me, calling my work “shoddy,” saying I was “a fanatic who radiates hostility,” and judging me to be too “substantial” to be knocked out by a mere slim book — doing so would require “nothing less than a Talmudic tractate.”

Over the next couple of years, Ford and I settled into an uneasy relationship: He wrote nasty and stalkerish things about me, and I ignored him.

But it wasn’t easy. His blog’s popularity ensured that when a potential suitor or editor searched for information about me online, Ford’s posts were the first to appear. Ford called my writing “indifferent” and said I was “compelling” in my “delusions.”

Time and again I heard friends say with alarm: “Hey, Amy! Did you know there’s this guy on the Internet who writes all these things about you?”

“Yes, I know, he’s my cyberstalker,” I would say with resignation.

My friends, suitors and editors were worried, but at this point he had been writing about me for years and never approached my residence or called or even sent me an e-mail message. “Don’t worry,” I told them using my favorite “Hitchhiker’s Guide” reference. “He’s mostly harmless.”

Except that professionally he was causing me problems. He was always hounding our newspaper to cover scandals in the Jewish community. As a blogger he had “relaxed” standards as to sources, so people with axes to grind came to him and — voilà! — he would give them a forum, and then I had to write a news story about it.

“Why don’t we write a story about Luke Ford?” my editor in chief suggested.

But I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction. I didn’t want to meet with him. And I especially didn’t want to give him the opportunity to engage in a meta-interview (my reporting, then his blogging about my reporting).

So the Luke Ford article was shelved until another writer came along and wrote it, a development that displeased Ford.

“I always thought this article would come at the hands of Amy Klein,” he wrote. “I pictured us over lunch and how I would whip out my tape recorder when she started the on-the-record part of our conversation and all the brilliant justifications I’d give her for my abominable behavior. ... But then my time came at the hand of 25-year-old Brad Greenberg. Brad’s a good reporter, but he’s no Amy Klein. ... The whole thing didn’t run anything like my fantasies.”

Brad was one of the young new additions to the newspaper. Another was Danielle Berrin, a tall, blond Floridian with a passion for this business that reminded me of ... me, circa 1995. The minute I laid eyes on her, I knew she would one day replace me.

And my cyberstalker confirmed it. Under the headline, “The Jewish Journal Adds Sex Appeal,” he wrote, “I’ve had my share of fantasies about religion writer Amy Klein (who hasn’t?). ... But the times are a changing. The Jewish Journal now boasts Calendar Girls — a pair of hotties (Dikla Kadosh and Danielle Berrin).”

When you are young and pretty, nothing outrages you more than unwanted, persistent attention. You want to be taken seriously. But as you get older, and people start to ignore your looks and actually do begin to take you seriously as a professional, you feel like yesterday’s news.

I suppose, according to Ford, I was still the gold standard to which all young reporters would be held up. But I was like Sophia Loren: classic, yet a thing of the past.

AND so, when I finally left The Jewish Journal after seven years, I didn’t think much about my cyberstalker. I was busy with my career, building a Web site, and cataloging my hundreds of articles, which involved a lot of looking myself up online, which soon landed me back on Ford’s blog.

I scrolled to the more-recent material, searching for the inevitable post about my departure, maybe a copy of the e-mail message I’d sent out to all of my contacts (except him). But there was nothing. I kept returning, day after day, and there was never any mention of my leaving — nothing, in fact, about me at all.

It’s not as if I had taken this whole cyberstalker relationship seriously. What had been disturbing and vaguely threatening early on became background noise as the years passed, just a part of my working life I mostly ignored.

After all, Ford’s posts weren’t really about me, the real Amy Klein, but a version of me he’d conjured up from my writing and public appearances. And I had hoped from the start that I would be a passing fad (albeit, as it turned out, a six-year fad).

Still, why had he dumped me? If someone is going to document and critique your life, shouldn’t he stick it out to the end? Write the final act? Did I not matter anymore?

And then, finally: “Amy Klein, Why Didn’t You Tell Me?”

On he went:

“She left two weeks ago. Normally I have a satellite circling Amy from about 100 miles overhead, but I’ve been distracted of late. ... Amy e-mailed everybody in her life, about 100 or so persons, but that list did not include your humble correspondent, oh my brothers.”

He cataloged my departure, my new projects, and the e-mail announcement I had sent. He wondered about my future career, why I hadn’t told him, and what would happen to me.

“I miss you, baby!” he wrote.

Well, Luke, you might never guess it, but I’ll miss you, too.

Amy Klein, who lives in Los Angeles, writes the illustrated dating column, “True Confessions of an Online Dating Addict.”

But he did the "mitzva" with stolen money said...


A Brooklyn teen once banished to a Jamaican boot camp has come to the defense of a businessman charged with scamming mostly Orthodox Jewish investors out of $250 million.

Isaac Hersh, 16, says accused swindler Joseph Shereshevsky paid for the private jet that whisked him out of Jamaica in March, freeing him from what he called a "living hell."

"If not for Joseph, I would have still been in hell," Isaac wrote to the Manhattan federal judge who will decide whether Shereshevsky should be released on bail. "I owe my life to him."

Isaac's family sent him to Tranquility Bay, a private Jamaican reform school last year, a move that sparked an internal battle among ultra-Orthodox Jews.

After 9-1/2 months, Isaac was freed in March when some members of the Orthodox community rallied to his cause. He claimed he was repeatedly abused and forced to lie on a mat with his hands and feet tied.

Shereshevsky's lawyer, John Meringolo, will ask a judge Thursday to release the Jewish philanthropist from Norfolk, Va., on $5 million bail. He is being held without bail.

Shereshevsky and a Chicago-based partner are accused of masterminding a Ponzi scheme that snookered some 1,200 investors across the globe, including some who toiled in Manhattan's Diamond District.

The feds say Shereshevsky, the son of a rabbi, drew upon the shared ties he and his investors have in the Orthodox Jewish faith to convince them to turn over their hard-earned cash.

Dozens of members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Norfolk have sent letters supporting Shereshevsky's release, including several rabbis.

His father-in-law has agreed to put up the deed to his Baltimore home and 10 others are willing to post some $4million in cash, Meringolo said.

"Mr. Shereshevsky's enduring and strong connection to the community indicates that there is no reason to believe that he will not appear before this court when required," Meringolo added.

The father of seven is asking to be kept on home confinement so he can continue supporting his family and a quadriplegic brother.

In his letter, Isaac said he was awakened in the middle of the night at his father's Brooklyn home by two burly men who handcuffed him and tossed him in the back of a car before forcing him to board a jet for Jamaica.

"They got me on a plane to the island of Jamaica and transported me to an inhumane facility where malnutrition, child abuse and mistreatment was practiced on a day-to-day basis," Isaac wrote.

Shereshevsky agreed to help. "Despite the fact that he never met me, he right away went ahead and paid for the jet [home] out of his own pocket," wrote Isaac, who now lives with an aunt in Brooklyn.

"I consider Joseph Shereshevsky a great individual and mentor and I strictly don't believe the horrific things being said about him."


How many NY politicians will be arrested? said...

Hopefully some with ties to the Agudah fressers.


Disgraced ex-lawmaker and union boss Brian McLaughlin is a secret witness in an FBI probe that led to Wednesday's arrest of a Queens pol on influence-peddling charges, the Daily News has learned.

The ongoing investigation - which featured an undercover FBI agent trolling the Assembly floor for corrupt pols - has snared its first collar: Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio (D-Ozone Park).

Sources familiar with the investigation said McLaughlin, a former assemblyman who pleaded guilty to bribery charges and faces up to 10 years in prison, is cooperating in the probe.

McLaughlin, once a major labor figure and a powerful force in Queens politics, faces sentencing later this week for stealing $2.2 million in cash, cars and perks.

Word that McLaughlin has flipped could send shivers across the city's political landscape.

As a seven-term legislator and ex-head of the million-member Central Labor Council, McLaughlin knows a lot about the dark corners of city politics.

His lawyer did not return calls seeking comment.

Seminerio is the only pol charged with a crime, although the federal complaint documents him schmoozing at least four other unidentified Assembly members and two unidentified state senators for his "clients."

Wednesday Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (D-Suffolk) confirmed he was one of those Seminerio lobbied. He has not been charged with wrongdoing.

Seminerio, who bragged in secretly taped conversations of his connections and clout, emerged glassy-eyed from Manhattan Federal Court after posting $500,000 bond.

The gruff 73-year-old ex-correction officer faces up to 20 years in prison. Asked for a comment as the couple trudged past reporters, his wife, Catherine, said, "Drop dead."

On tape, Seminerio was captured promising clients of his bogus "consulting firm" a full menu of insider's influence in return for payoffs.

"I am at your disposal. You tell me what you want. ... I'll take care of you," Seminerio told a hospital official in March. A month later, the assemblyman called another hospital executive to boast of his political access.

"That kind of relationship you can't buy for a million dollars," said Seminerio - who then reminded the official that he was owed a check.

Seminerio - whose battle with his waistline is as legendary as any of his political wars - launched Marc Consultants in 2000, authorities said.

A 17-page complaint says Seminerio's influence-peddling became so blatant that he twice brought the FBI agent into the Assembly. "Anthony Seminerio put his office up for sale for those willing to pay the right price," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia.

The assemblyman was initially exposed by an informant who shared a 15-year friendship with Seminerio - and then introduced the politician to an undercover FBI agent last January. That informant was McLaughlin, sources said.

The agent made $25,000 in cash payments to Seminerio's business, the complaint charged.

Seminerio, in a taped September 2007 conversation with an informant, explained the launch of his phony firm, the idea for which he said he got from two unnamed senators.

"I was doing favors for these sons of bitches there. You know, they were, they were making thousands. Screw you, from now on, you know, I'm a consultant," said Seminerio, a 30-year assemblyman.

In one of Seminerio's schemes, federal prosecutors said, he collected $310,000 - a huge boost from his $79,500 state salary - from an unidentified hospital that received millions in state funding with his help.


Toras Eliyahu said...

בתמיכתם עידודם וברכתם של הגריא"ל שטיינמן הרה"ג בן ציון רבינוביץ, הגר"י יוסף, הגרי"ט זילברמן

Mosdos Toras Eliyahu
3 Nachal Luz
Ramat Beit Shemesh

Rav David Takshe, Principal RavDavid@toraseliyahu.org
Rav Zev Greenberger, Assitant Principal Zev@toraseliyahu.org

The school is currently the largest school in Ramat Beit Shemesh, with a current population of 450 boys and girls that are crowded into 16 mobile classrooms

המוסדות שמו להם מס' מטרות

לימוד תורה בצורה מדויקת ורהוטה עפ"י שיטת המהר"ל והגר"א, באור פשט המילים ופשט המשפטים.

הלימוד הינו בטעמים, והשירה עם הטעמים מרנינה את כל נימי נפשם.

דגש על אופן הורדת התורה, לרמת הילדים לחשיבה חזותית לפרטי פרטים.

הילדים לומדים בשיטת בן חמש למקרא. כלומר: בגנים לומדים את הקריאה ובגיל חמש נכנסים ללמוד חומש בראשית.
כמו כן הילדים בעשהי"ת ילמדו את כל החומש הנביא המשניות

המלמדים עוברים הכשרות ללימוד הנושאים הנ"ל.
כמו כן הילדים מגיעים לרמת ידיעה של לימוד בע"פ של החומש.

צריך להבין שכח – החזרות בלימוד מקנה לילדים כח – למידה חזק ובונה בהם מערכות – נפש המסגלות את הילד ללמוד פרקים שלימים ולזכור את כולם בע"פ. וכוחות – נפש אלו עוזרים לילד להדבק בתורה ובתכניה.

For Sucker Olim said...



Torat Eliyahu in Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph welcomes new olim to join their successful & well-established institution.

Boys Zilberman-style cheder – grades 1-8
Girls Beis Yaakov with special music program – grades 1-8
Boys & girls kindergartens & daycare
Yeshiva Ketana
Spacious, landscaped campus.

Top, professional staff under direction of Rabbi Dovid Takshe & Rabbi Pinchas Gottleib.

Warm & loving atmosphere.

Individual attention.


(Option to pre-register before making Aliyah, even if you arrive in middle of school year).

Please contact:

Phone: 972-2-9997765

E-mail: office@toraseliyahu.org

Toras Eliyahu for Boys said...


Tova is a teacher who deals with special needs but it depends on age and what is needed. Her mobile phone : 054-434-4784 .

Percentage of English speakers 55%

Tuition 380 shekel monthly, plus 410 shekel one time yearly fee

The school does not allow families to have a television at home or internet access for children. Fathers must have a daily seder for learning, and mothers must follow a charedi dress code. Graduates attend both yeshiva high schools as well as yeshiva ketana (no secular studies)

Toras Eliyahu's Bais Yaakov said...


Special Needs None, except focus on improving reading skills

Name of Principal Rav David Taksha

Name of Vice Principal Mrs. Rivkah Quinn

Name of Yoetzet/Yoetz Mrs. Lisa Jensteil

a reader said...

THIS MAN IS SICK...gotta love the chareidi propaganda machine working overtime... the rubashkin and yeshiva molester scandals are both coming to a head at the same time. this house of cards is about to fall. take it from pinkus lip-shits - when your back's against the wall, accuse everyone everyone else (the media, YU, etc.) of being amalek.
this is starting to remind me of the last scene of scarface...


Appeal to Rav Elyashev to Stop this! said...


Sep. 9, 2008

Charismatic haredi politician Aryeh Deri has requested that the National Election Committee overlook his criminal record and approve his candidacy for mayor of Jerusalem.

Deri's decision to run for mayor of the nation's capital is the result of a long chain of consultations with rabbinic leaders, politicians and lawyers.

"I've deliberated [on] the move, received advice from Torah sages, spoken with my rabbis [and] with my lawyers and [have] reached the point where I needed to make a decision," Deri told Army Radio.

"The decision is that I will be a contender and will embark on removing the legal obstacles. Obviously, the first step is to request permission from the judge. If the judge grants me permission, I will run," added Deri.

Due to a seven-year ban on political activity for criminals charged with a crime that carries with it a charge of moral turpitude, Deri is prohibited from running for a position in the municipality until mid-2009.

The ban takes effect the day the convict is released from prison.

Deri, who was convicted of bribery while serving as director-general of the Interior Ministry ,was released from prison in 2002.

However, Deri will request that the Election Committee, headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Eliezer Rivlin, allow him to run.

At the time of Deri's conviction, the ban on political activity was just five years. The law was later amended to seven years. Legal experts have argued on behalf of Deri that it is unfair to punish him retroactively.

A source close to Deri said that if Rivlin grants the request, Deri will definitely run for the mayoral position.

"Aryeh has extensive experience in the Interior Ministry," said the source. "He is the most qualified person for the job. And he is the haredi candidate with the best chances of winning."

If Rivlin decides not to grant Deri permission to run, estimated a Shas source, it would only increase the former Shas head's popularity among Sephardi supporters. These supporters are convinced that Deri's conviction was the result of an Ashkenazi-dominated judicial system that saw Deri's political success as a danger to Ashkenazi hegemony.

Another option open to Deri is asking for clemency from President Shimon Peres. However, sources close to Deri guessed that he would never ask for clemency if it entailed admitting he was guilty of accepting bribes.

"Aryeh fought too long to prove he was innocent to suddenly cave in now."

Sources in Shas said that Shas's spiritual mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef had encouraged Deri to run for mayor during a Shabbat afternoon meal at Yosef's home this weekend.

Shas Chairman Eli Yishai, out of deference to Yosef's support for Deri, issued a statement last week saying that Shas would support Deri should he decide to run.

However, Yishai and Deri are political foes. Yishai was openly attacked by Deri's followers during the months following Deri's incarceration. At one event that took place at Nokia Stadium to mark six months of Deri's imprisonment, Yishai was physically assaulted as he left the stadium with Yosef.

Yishai purged Deri's supporters from Shas's ranks to consolidate his power. And Yishai remained at the helm of Shas after Deri was released from prison despite demands by Deri's supporters to have their hero reinstated.

Nevertheless, Yishai knows Shas has to support the tremendously popular Deri's bid to become mayor. Opposing Deri would risk rekindling old animosities within Shas.

A source close to Deri estimated that if Deri is permitted to run he would probably run on an independent list and not on a Shas list.

Deri also reportedly received the blessing of the supreme halachic authority of Ashkenazi Jewry, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.

Although the nonagenarian rabbi did not give Deri his endorsement, he "gave Deri the feeling that he could run," said Elyashiv's great-grandson, Shmuelik Elyashiv.

Shmuelik, an activist of Degel Hatorah, a political party that represents the Lithuanian stream of haredi Jewry, has announced that should Deri run he would personally join the pro-Deri campaign.

"I do not officially represent Degel Hatorah," said Shmuelik. "But I can tell you that there are hundreds of people in the party that feel the way I do."

Deri's decision to run is directly connected with the failure of MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism), the other haredi candidate for mayor, to muster the requisite support from the haredi constituency, who make up a disproportionately high percentage of Jerusalem's citizens.

The landslide of opposition to Porush within the haredi community began after Porush plummeted in the pre-election polls against leading candidate Nir Barkat.

This, coupled with the numerous enemies Porush has made during his long political career, have prevented him from uniting Jerusalem's haredi populace behind him.

Shmuelik Elyashiv said Porush defied his great-grandfather during the local elections in Beitar, a haredi settlement of 36,000 located just east of Jerusalem.

"I will not allow a man who rebelled against a Torah sage to become the next mayor of Jerusalem."

Chaim Dovid Zweibel Esq said...

There's something very suspicious about Glenn Beck getting a show on CNN. The guy talks exactly like UOJ. Does anyone know if he was planted to spread UOJ's propaganda?

I'm going to speak to CNN owner Ted Turner & his rebbitzen "Hanoi Jane" Fonda about this!

UOJ Agent - Kew Gardens Hills Precinct said...

Brian McLaughlin lived in my building when he was arrested by the FBI. The building owner, a shutfus of Touro College and The Dermot Companies, is also under investigation for giving this putz thief special treatment in exchange for who knows what.

McLaughlin's son was stealing all the newspapers in the lobby that showed his father's arrest on the front cover. The Queens Courrier would replace them daily and he would steal them again. The newspaper wanted to charge him with theft but they would need the building to cooperate and hand over the video tapes which was not forthcoming.

Dermot is a notoriously bad landlord that is always in trouble for violations and making life miserable for tenants.

NY Post said...


"UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

There is progress in RBSA - keep the pressure up - the more people that talk to the police - the more people that talk to Tamar Rotem from Ha'aretz,(whom I trust implicitly to protect your anonymity and report the facts only, without exaggeration) the quicker we can break the case wide open.


Anonymous said...

Child-rape is one of the challenges facing our generation. Rav Twerski made it clear he's not one of our generation's heroes. We know a coward when we see one. He makes his uncle Aron Twerski proud!

More Victimization said...

UOJ, I think that the therapists, even many of the good ones, are creating additional problems.

In regular medicine, even the biggest mumchim in the country will take insurance. But when it comes to mental health, even the amateurs mostly take cash only.

Many people cannot even afford co-pays on a frequent basis, let alone the full fee from a Psych, Psy D or MSW which is $500 for the first session and $200 for each additional one.

These "professionals" are GREEDY and create tremendous hardship for people that are already greatly suffering.

In many cases therapy is not even an option which can lead to even greater disasters like breaking up of families and the victims harming themselves.

There is no reason why they cannot take insurance like top surgeons.

They come up with various excuses why they can't. I think they are lowlives.

More Victimization said...


There are many mental health professionals who take insurance. It is the frum therapists who don't take insurance. They are the ones who are needed the most since they understand the frum clientele much better.

Lubavitcher Death Threats said...


Shmarya has been getting some graphic ones lately like being threatened that a shochet will shecht him.

The FBI & local police took a report from him.

LA Times said...


In his childhood, Obama was registered as a Muslim and bowed toward a mosque on Fridays while praying to a Catholic saint on other days, according to a 2007 report in the LA Times. The article quoted his former Roman Catholic and Muslim teachers, and others who said Obama was registered by his family as a Muslim at both of the schools he attended while in the third and fourth grades. Democratic aides have gone so far as to admit that while Obama has never been a practicing Muslim he had, as a child, spent time in his Chicago neighborhood's Islamic Center. One notorious anti-Israel activist said Obama is currently hiding his anti-Israel views in order to win the US presidential elections. Palestinian advocate Ali Abunimah claims to know Obama well and to have met him on numerous occasions at pro-Palestinian events in Chicago.

Anonymous said...

On Yom Kippur we will read about the Rabbanim who matryred themselves instead og giving into to evil.

As jews, we are all taught that this kind of selfless beleif is what we are to aspire to. I am not saying that Rabbi Benzion Twerski is obligated to give his life for this cause.. but at the same time I have to wonder what it is all worth when no one is prepared to stand of for what is right.

I have seen Rabbi after Rabbi fold on their position when the threat of financial impact to their parnasah (income) is threatened (most close to me is a rabbi who backed out of converting a baby when another rabbi and member of the RCA literally threatened to take is income from him by smearing him).

If there ever was a cause worth fighting for you would think that molestation of children is just about that important. So again, forgive me if I sound like I am directingt this at rabbi Benzion Twerski , and let me be clear that I am not. I am just asking "Is there any cause that is worth risking money or life for in Juadaism today ?" if not, I fail to see the value in what we practice as a religion.

Anonymous said...

As with any form of religious terrorism, the only thing the perpetrators understand is physical force.

Perhaps it will take an enraged parent, or a victim who is now an adult, to purchase a weapon and perform their own justice. Until then, the religious terrorists win.

If nothing is done, many more such atrocities will be committed against children, who will abandon the community and the faith as soon as they can. In a few more years, the Jewish religious world will shrink and collapse, from the weight of its own sin.

Anonymous said...

Twerski is a coward and fraud. The fact that he wants in laws who might side with molesters and that he worrys about being able to participate in molester minyanim is all I need to know.

Aron "Tort Putz" Twerski said...

My nephew Ben Tzion is an honorable coward.

One of Potchu Lipschitz's many enemies said...

I found the copy of the cherem.

I showed it at the time to a rosh yeshiva to find out if the beis din was proper or corrupt. He said that for a siruv to take hold lehalucho, you only need one dayan out of the three to be an oisghaltenner mentch. He said one is a bum (presumably he meant Chaim Krauss) but that at least one of them is a proper dayan. The rosh yeshiva added that it is a mitzva to be mefarsem against Lipschitz and scream at him for being mevazeh the Torah according to a befeirush din Shulchan Aruch and that anyone in siruv is also put in cherem min hashumayim.

If anyone would like a copy, please post your fax number requesting it.

Only for fax numbers that allow me to block my caller ID or you won't receive it.

Anonymous said...


from: http://lifeinisrael.blogspot.com/2008/09/alleged-molester-is-teaching-again.html#links

A program called "Safe Kids" was recently launched by Lemaan Achai (www.lemaanachai.org) and is backed by the Municipal Social Services. This program is a general resource for any concerned parents or children in the Ramat Bet Shemesh neighborhood.

The objective is to bridge the current gap that exists in the community, between concerned parents & kids doing nothing - and their reporting their concerns to the police (which many are reluctant to do). This will enable those who need professional help to obtain it, and abuse incidents can be avoided.

Any parent who suspects their child might have been affected by an incident of abuse and wants to know what the signs are, or any parent who might have information but are uncertain what they should do about it, is urged to contact Safe Kids.

Concerned parents and kids are advised that they may call Safe Kids without revealing their identity. They will be given expert professional advice, along with general advice about what to look out for in their child, and what to do about it. The handlers at Safe Kids will not give out specific information to callers concerning the details of this or other cases.

Safe Kids can be reached by calling 9991553, ask for "Safe Kids", between 9-13.00 Sunday through Thursday.

Anonymous said...

As long as the community tolerates child molesters, and does not get serious, this problem will fester, and thousands more children will get victimized by the dozens of pedophiles.

Are there not RICO statutes to deal with those who intimidate the likes of Twerski? They are, but if a whole community is paralyzed by fear, the evil ones win.

Just look at how Kolko got off so easy, or at how allegations have gone away in southern Florida. These monsters seem to work in collusion with one another, and without a vigorous approach by district attorneys, SUPPORTED by the communities, the chances for success are minimal.

People like Elliot Pasik deserve support. If 100 people joined his Jewish Board for children, and acted as one, this conspiracy would fall. If 5,000 people emailed Sheldon Silver's office demanding he act on Pasik's bill for mandatory fingerprinting in yeshivas, could he refuse?

We allow the yeshiva administrators to divide and conquer us, not only in terms of tuition and mediocrity in education, but in the terms of the very safety of our most prized possession, our children.

Anonymous said...

Twerski made his expedient choice and therefore his name will be forgotten totally as time goes on.

Anonymous said...

Twerski may be a coward, but he has always done better without the media coverage. It is interesting that all those who chose to complain about him did so without knowing anything about what he was commissioned to accomplish. He told me yesterday that he had not received a single call inquiring about the project until after he withdrew and ran for the hills. What’s with this assuming and prejudging? Don’t we know what ASSUME means?