Thursday, February 26, 2009

You are asked to show support to our fellow brothers and sisters who have been affected by abuse.

Updated February 26, 2009

Dear Friends:

On Sunday March 1, 11:00 A.M. at the Borough Park Y, 4912 14th Avenue, our office will be hosting a solidarity rally for individuals affected by abuse in our community. The rally has no agenda other than this; for our community to show support to our fellow brothers and sisters who have been affected by abuse.

There will be distinguished rabbis and professionals speaking to give chizuk to those in attendance, and Tehilim will be recited for victims and their families. By joining this event we will be giving tremendous chizuk to those who have been victimized, and we will be making an enormous kiddush Hashem by showing our public support for them.

As Jews, we have a responsibility to empathize and show support to our fellow Jews in distress. Please join us on Sunday so we can fulfill this responsibility.

Thank you,

Dov Hikind - Member of Assembly - State of New York


This day of chizuk and saying Tehillim publicly for the victims and families that have been devastated by clergy sex-abuse, and all forms of child-abuse, was unfathomable a mere two years ago. I proposed it to various people -- they said the community was not ready!

It is incumbent upon every Jewish parent, victim of abuse, and all Jews of good will to attend this Yom Chizuk. This abominable crime of child sex-abuse must be eradicated from our communities.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

So don’t comment Sheftel Neuberger. Your silence says it all!

Sheftel Neuberger - Member UOJ Hall Of Shame!

by Phil Jacobs - Baltimore Jewish Times

Ner Israel President Sheftel Neuberger left a voice mail to our managing editor Alan Feiler telling him that he would not talk to the Jewish Times anymore since we wrote articles about the dead child molester Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro.

Times like these make me miss his late father, Rabbi Herman Neuberger, even more.

The reason Neuberger won’t talk is because he sees it is a violation of Jewish law for us to write the truth about a dead person. In this case, the truth is that Ephraim Shapiro molested on occasions too numerous to count, both boys and girls. It wasn’t until years after his death that the truth started emerging like ooze from a waste dump that this man had ruined the lives of many innocent people.

Alan Feiler was calling Neuberger to learn if the yeshiva had done any internal counseling with its student population over the apparent suicide of one of its own students.

What Neuberger and those who think like him don’t get is that Ephraim Shapiro (I hesitate to use the word rabbi, a term of respect here) was more alive than some of the people whose spirits he so arrogantly killed. Think about it, he molested people in a matter of moments leaving them with an imprint that could for some last forever. And what is so interesting, we have reason to believe that there is at least one former Shapiro student who allegedly committed suicide because of possible molestation from his teacher.

So don’t comment Sheftel Neuberger. Your silence says it all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Frum Therapist Reports!

......."Hardly a day goes by in which I do not learn of another victim of abuse in our community that could have been avoided if our leaders would start leading.

- A woman taken advantage of by a rabbi who everyone has heard does this but nobody has stood up to him.

- A man molested as a boy by a rebbe who is also known in this small chassidic community but is being protected by a powerful Rebbe.

- Another boy who learned in Ner Yisroel, who suddenly became clinically depressed after reports that he had a "close" relationship with Rabbi Eiseman, that he refuses to discuss.

- A mother of a boy who is now a severe drug addict with suicidal tendencies, who was molested by an older boy from a "chashuv" family. A "Gadol" told her not to confront the boy's family but to tell her rov. Her rov told the mother that it is now "mashiach tzeitin, and these things are to be expected." I told the mother to confront the family, which she did, and they were very thankful to be informed that their son had this problem.

- A known incest-rapist has children in a yeshivah and the Torah Umesorah psychologists refuse to get involved with helping his children, even though they are presented with psychological symptoms.

- A frum play-group is found to have several little toddlers who were sexually traumatized in some way. Parents and grandparents ask me if children that young should be kept home.

- Some rabbis are telling some parents that it is best NOT to send their kids to overnight camp.

And this is the tip of the iceberg. Over the last few months, especially once Dov Hikind has started shining light publicly on this problem, stories are coming out that make all of this look like kids play, no pun intended.

In some cases, the level of abuse has become almost institutionalized and ritualized among groups of molesters. Among some teens at risk in Monsey, being molested is seen as a kind of rite of passage so that a boy might ask his friend "where did you learn? Who molested you?"..........

My Friend Steve Adds With Great Passion:

Wake up you morons in RBS (and other charedi communities) before your rabbis destroy our future.

We have our own share of child molesters in our yeshivos in the U.S. We are bigger morons than those in RBS because we haven't learned from the mistakes of the past. How do we allow a serial child molester named Avrohom Reichman, free access to young children on a daily basis at UTA Satmar? How can we be silent after Dov Hikind boldly promised last summer that he will not be back in a classroom in September? How do we allow Hikind to be conned by that filthy, lying, conniving enabler, David Niederman?

"To me, it does not make sense," says Niederman, of the United Jewish Organizations, "that so many people have been violated and for so many years they have been quiet. Something does not add up. It's being blown out of proportion — big time."

They have been quiet for so many years because of people like Neiderman who continue to muzzle the victims while enabling the molesters to continue molesting our children. He says he conducted an investigation. What kind of "investigation"? The perv failed every polygraph test! Let the police do the investigating, you chamor! Then they asked one of the victim's mother, "On a scale of 1-10, how bad was the molestation"? If it was through clothing, they claim, it's not so bad. Sure, let him molest another hundred kids through clothing. It's not so bad! If those heroic children, mentioned in Maseches Gittin, that jumped off the boat, were told that they would only be molested "through clothing", do you think they would have submitted to their captors and not jumped off? This contention that "it's not so bad" is as ridiculous as the "no penetration, no molestation" argument. Ask any professional psychologist and he will tell you that the results of such molestation are just as devastating. Go speak to the victims of Mondrowitz that were sodomized and then go speak to victims of Kolko and Eiseman, and you will see that they are all permanently scarred for life! How many more korbanos do we need? How many more lives need to be destroyed?

This case at UTA in some ways is worse than the YTT case. At YTT, they were in total denial. Here, they were connivers. They first removed the molester, promising the victims' family that he would not return. They then waited for the statute of limitations to expire, and then brazenly brought him back. We cannot give these bastards a free pass. They must be held accountable and Reichman must be removed immediately. Let's hope that the Engelmans succeed in their lawsuit and that Niederman and all the criminals at UTA are exposed. We need to lobby vigorously to suspend the statute of limitations for one year to allow victims a chance to report old cases to the police. We should all attend Hikind's prayer service on March 1 at the Y in Boro Park, show our support for his efforts, but also voice our dissatisfaction in his handling the Reichman case.

We should not underestimate what a group of determined and caring individuals can accomplish. We need to learn the lesson that UOJ taught us three years ago when he singlehandedly defeated the powerful Establishment that was protecting the likes of Kolko, Nussbaum, Leizerowitz, Mondrowitz, Colmer and Eiseman. The disturbing cases at UTA and RBS show that we still have a lot of work to do before this war is finally won. Let's all do what we can and beezras hashem, we shall succeed. We have no choice but to win this war, for our children's sake!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

If Only The Jewish Press Would Have Called Elliot Pasik Esq. - The Founder Of JBAC

The UOJ Archives - February 28, 2006

Dear Rabbi Klass and the Jewish Press editorial board,

I am truly sorry about mailing out thousands of letters to the New York Jewish community. You see Rabbi Klass, what I'm sorry about has nothing to do with your editorial. I'm sorry that our community has let all of us down, including you and your paper. There was no need to do a mass mailing, in fact I pleaded with Lipa Margulies to "consider" putting Yudi Kolko on paid leave, pending the outcome of a hearing at a mutually agreed upon bais din.

I sent emissaries to him weeks before the mailing asking him to "consider" putting Kolko on leave. He denied ever hearing about Kolko being a problem around children and therefore was not only not going to put him on leave, but that he was going to defend him if it ever came to bais din, which he said would never happen. He is a pathetic liar and a very evil man.

I e-mailed you the letter that I intended to mail out to the community two weeks before the mailing took place asking you to investigate. What happened R' Yaakov, why did you not call Lipa Margulies and ask him what's going on? Were you also of the belief that one day I woke up with nothing really important to do, so I just picked up the phone book and picked out a name and started ranting about the danger Yudi Kolko poses around children?

R' Yaakov, you could have been a contender!

Your paper could have investigated and seen that an esteemed frum attorney, Elliot B. Pasik put his name on this campaign. No, not necessarily endorsing any or all of my opinions, but endorsing my efforts to get rid of Yudi Kolko from the classroom!

Instead you busied yourself with the "eat until you die" Pesach ads. I ask you why have you ignored this issue? Is there no more important issue to Klal Yisroel than the safety of our children? Do you really think any reputable attorney would "impose" on Klal Yisroel such a "mundane" issue as safety from sexual predators without a thorough investigation?

Why did you not call Elliot Pasik Esq? Why did you not call Jeffrey Herman Esq? Do you think that these respected attorneys would take a case of this magnitude if they thought for a brief second that these were false claims? Or is it easier to just ramble on about the issue of an anonymous mailing? I challenged you to investigate these claims; I challenged you to call Lipa Margulies and demand that he sign a sworn affidavit under penalty of perjury that he was not aware of any of these accusations.

I'm going to say it again...really clear for the entire frum world to hear, to digest, and to help you rise up out of your slumber...Lipa Margulies is harboring a pedophile knowingly and willingly for thirty plus years, he was informed and knew without a shadow of a doubt for thirty very long years and countless victims later that Kolko is a dangerous predator; and Yudi Kolko is seriously ill, he needs help immediately and must be removed from any environment that children find themselves in.


February 16, 2006

Dear Chaverim,

Because I am an attorney who has long been involved in advocating a program for protecting our children from sex abuse, I feel the need to publicly comment in the forum of this blog on the allegations being made against a rebbe at Yeshiva Torah Temimah.

Over the past several weeks, I have read various posts of alleged victim accounts which have given dates, places, type of sex abuse, and other factual detail.

In addition, the blog administrator ("UOJ"), a frum Jew and a musmach, has mailed thousands of letters to frum Jews in Flatbush and Borough Park. He has demanded that this rebbe's employment at the yeshiva be terminated.

I have also spoken to several adult individuals who confided in me their stories of childhood sex abuse committed against them by this man.

The allegations are serious, but there are solutions, and I will present them in this letter. In addition, concerned community members have been in contact with the yeshiva, and I hope and pray, b'ezras Hashem, that a resolution will be reached, along the lines to be outlined here.

For a fair amount of time, I have been advocating a two-part approach for eradicating the problem of child sex abuse in our yeshivas, day schools, camps, and other youth settings.

First, we need to perform fingerprint-based criminal background checks on all of our employees and volunteers, and in this way, we will avoid hiring convicted sex offenders, drug offenders, violent criminals, and other dangerous predators.

I have previously written in my letters to Torah U'Mesorah, Agudath Israel, the Rabbinic Council of America, the Orthodox Union, and the National Council of Young Israel that 42 out of 50 states now require their public schools to perform fingerprint based criminal background checks on their employees (including New York State); 10 states require their nonpublic schools to perform such checks (not New York). In addition, after too-numerous child sex abuse incidents, every major youth group in the U.S. is performing background checks: the Boy and Girl Scouts, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Little League of America, the American Youth Soccer Organization, Pop Warner Football, the Civil Air Patrol.

In the wake of the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has required employee and volunteer background checks for all Catholic schools and youth groups since April 2003, whether required by law or not.

Even private corporations whose employees do not have regular access to children are voluntarily performing criminal background checks. An August 26, 2004 Wall Street Journal article reported that 80% of America's 400 largest corporations are performing background checks on their employees. Wal Mart, the nation's largest employer, joined this group after two convicted sex offenders working in their South Carolina stores were alleged to have molested children on store premises.

All of these background checks have weeded out thousands of convicted sex offenders and other dangerous criminals who would otherwise constitute a grave danger to children.

How great is the danger? The U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of Education most recently addressed the school sexual abuse problem in a lengthy June 2004 report entitled, "Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature", authored by Hofstra University Prof. Charole Shakeshaft, a leading expert. This report informs us that nearly 10% of U.S. students are targets of contact and noncontact sexual misconduct during their K-12 years. Among the security recommendations are that all public and private schools perform fingerprint based criminal background checks. This report is available on the U.S. Department of Education website.

Another good resource for people who want to educate themselves about the problem is a book called, "Predators" (2004), authored by Dr. Anna Salter, a Harvard College, Harvard Medical School-educated psychiatrist, who presents a mountain of evidence that establishes the great danger that child sex abuse presents. Dr. Salter has also written the two leading textbooks in use in our country on the treatment of sex offenders. Dr. Salter proves through her evidence that sex offenders should never work near children. Pedophiles are actually never cured, and they are in need of lifetime therapy.

In addition, there is also a mounting body of medical evidence which proves what we already intuitively know: that childhood sex abuse has long-term consequences. Medical studies have established that people who have suffered childhood sex abuse are at a greater risk for depression, substance abuse, and suicide.

Our own community has not ignored the child sex abuse problem. In May 2003, for example, both Torah U'Mesorah and the RCA, at their respective conventions, addressed the issue. I have listened to the audiotapes. A psychologist prominent in our community for specializing in this problem spoke at each convention, and described an incident in a yeshiva where a janitor with a criminal record for sex abuse attacked our children. In addition, the psychologist stated that we have suffered an unconscionable number of suicides of children who have been sex abuse victims.

Hashem yerachim.

I have made some progress on achieving my goal of having every yeshiva and Hebrew day school in New York State perform fingerprint-based employee background checks. The New York State Senate is drafting a bill, which I hope to have in my hands shortly. State Assembly sponsors will then be needed, and hopefully the Governor will support the bill, and it will pass.

But background checks are only one part of the overall solution. What do we do about the vast majority of sex offenders who never see the inside of a courtroom? Most child sex abuse victims never report the crimes done to their bodies, and unfortunately, even when they do, they are often not believed. More unfortunate, even when they are believed, successful criminal prosecutions are difficult, particularly where there is an absence of physical evidence.

Clearly, our yeshivas and day schools need to unite to form our own internal disciplinary system and registry, which will record the names of those individuals, who after a hearing conducted under careful rabbinic auspices, are found guilty of either violence or sex abuse, and will then be forever barred from employment in our mosdos.

Such a disciplinary system and registry would be neither novel, nor difficult to establish. Every public educational system in our country has such a program in place, as does the Catholic Church. We Jews therefore have numerous models to follow, and we should quickly establish our own disciplinary system and registry. In fact, the registry concept was specifically discussed and spoken of very approvingly at the May 2003 Torah U'Mesorah Convention.

In addition, I approached the Rabbinical Council of America, an organization of approximately 1,000 rabbis, and proposed and drafted for them a Resolution endorsing background checks, and a disciplinary system and registry for all of our 700 yeshivas and Hebrew day schools that teach 200,00 Jewish children in the United States, including 100,000 in New York State. The Resolution passed at their May 2005 Convention, you can read it on rabbis.org, and I credit this Resolution for the great progress I am making in the New York State Senate for achieving a law that will allow fingerprint based criminal background checks to be conducted in our schools.

Our yeshivas and day schools do need to be concerned about laws that protect our children, and performing background checks, and having an internal disciplinary system and registry, will accomplish that goal.

Some New York laws that come into play are: Education Law section 3204, which provides that a nonpublic school teacher must be "competent". It is highly questionable, to say the least, as to whether a teacher who is a child sex abuser is "competent".

New York State Education Law section 549(1) provides that "the state has a primary responsibility to ensure the health, welfare and safety of children attending both public and nonpublic schools."

New York State Penal Law section 2601.10 is entitled, "Endangering the Welfare of a Child", and provides that it is a misdemeanor for a person legally charged with the custody of a child to fail to exercise reasonable diligence in preventing such child from becoming "abused". Statutes like these have been used in prosecutions of cases against the Catholic Church.

New York State Social Service Law section 413 makes it a misdemeanor for a school official not to report sex abuse to the New York central registry of childhood sex abuse.

In addition, New York courts have, on multiple occasions, declared the duty that a school owes to a child, sometimes referred to by the ancient Latin phrase, "in loco parentis", in place of the parent. When a parent transfers physical custody of his child to a school, the school stands in place of the parent, and assumes the same duty. Thus, just as parent would never hire a sex offender as a babysitter, so too should a school never employ a sex offender as teacher. See, e.g., Pratt v. Robinson, 39 NY2d 554 (1976).

The Torah has much to say about this situation, which time and space do not allow here, but suffice it to say that the Torah commands, Lo sa'amod al dam ra'echa, Do not stand upon the blood of your brother. This is a positive mitzvah that requires one Jew to save the life of another. In addition, the Torah tells us, V'shmartem nafshosachem me'od, You will guard your lives exceedingly. The Torah also tells us, Tsedek, tsedek tirdof, l'maan tichyeh. Justice justice shall you pursue, in order that you may live.

Certainly, if the individual accused of sex abuse at Torah Temima declines to resign, or if the yeshiva declines to terminate his employment, an evidentiary-type hearing, in my opinion, should be held. The alleged victims should testify, the accused abuser can also testify, and a decision should then be rendered by the professional panel of judges - unbiased rabbis and lawyers from our community.

Barring resignation or termination, the hearing may be the solution to our current problem. This hearing can be the first step taken towards establishing our own internal disciplinary system and registry. Gam zu l'tovah.

This process and verdict can also be a refuah for the alleged victims who have suffered in silence for so long, at cost to their physical and mental health. They are entitled to some small measure of justice.

The establishment of our own disciplinary system and registry can also be a first step in teshuvah and recovery for the accused individual.

In the future, cases like these need not be addressed through anonymous mass mailings, blogs, and public letters from a lawyer such as myself. Our own genuine justice system, which will itself act as a deterrent, can properly handle such problems.

Together with our own hishtadlus, may the Ribono Shel Olam endow all of us with the kochus and chochma that we will need to resolve our current situation.

Very truly yours,

Elliot B. Pasik
Attorney at Law
145 West Olive Street
Long Beach, New York 11561

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Call Me Crazy!

1- Working on Sunday - I kept the CC muted TV in my office on Bloomberg News not on the Superbowl channel. I hate "Steelers" and "Cardinals"!

2- I do not care what kind of car my neighbor drives.

3 - Fun for me is speed-reading 10-20 books on religion, history, science, philosophy.... at Barnes & Noble on a given Sunday with a cup of Starbucks!

4 - I told my sister that I don't care if she thinks me crazy because I put a picture up on UOJ. (She did say I'm better looking in person - I agree -- but she'd say anything to get me to take it down - she lives in Lakewood, whaddya expect?)

5 - I don't care what anyone thinks about me and never did!

6 - Blessed with a 170 IQ - I still say hello happily, and converse freely with immigrants that came across the Mexican border legally, that are in my employ, mow my lawn and clean my house -- on issues that are important to them! I always praise them warmly on a job well done and never fail to ask how their family is. Why? Because I genuinely care about their welfare!

7 - The more hate mail I get - the better I feel!

8 - I don't give a hoot about how many square feet of living space my neighbor has. The more dumpsters in front of his house for home expansion and renovations every year - the more pity I have for him!

9 - I never go to parties other than dropping my head in to my accountant's New Years party as a courtesy!

10 - I own 14 suits - I wear one a day (yeah - one at a time wise guys) and send them to the cleaners - 7 per week. I am very passionate in all my endeavors during the day and the suit I wear is generally soaked through with sweat and looks like I slept in it.

11 - Whenever I ask a question to someone I know - I know their answer before they respond!

15 - I never wear the same tie twice in a given month!

16 - I am extremely shy!

17 - Once I enter a shul - I never speak divrei chol!

18 - I completed Shas three times with all Rashi and most Tosefos (and some rishonim) without ArtScroll or Soncino (once before ArtScroll was born). I said a daf yomi for 3 years. I received a maggid shiur daf yomi plaque from Moshe Sherer, and threw it in the garbage upon receipt.

19 - In general, conversations with most people never last more than a few minutes. I find most people possessed with themselves and very boring! There are exceptions - not many!

20 - I hate the telephone! Cell phone conversations, at the max, (barring emergencies) last one minute!

21 - My S'micha, one of the signatories happens to be R' Arthur's uncle -- says I'm a baki b'kama v'kama sugyas b'Shas (gimmee a break I'm only 20), with b'kius and charifus in Gemora, Poskim, Pilpul and Halacha and another 300 words of praise and accomplishments in Torah and middos (embarrassing). {If they only knew what became of me}

22 - Attending weddings is an uncomfortable chore that I try to avoid. With the statistics of divorce (and misery) in the Jewish community increasing rapidly - chances are high that the poor parents throwing the wedding party will be paying for marriage counselling and ultimately and sadly in many cases, a rabbi that writes gittin. {This is what goes through my mind at the chupah - will this couple make it? - spoils everything - I don't care who the chazzan is}

23 - I remember over 1000 telephone numbers.

24 - I type with one finger! I play the piano with ten fingers - on Purim, I throw in a couple of toes!

25 - I sleep no more than 4 hours per night!

26 - I remember every license plate on every car I owned.

27 - I used to live in Brooklyn 11, New York - with an Evergreen phone number EV 7 - 7818. Then we moved to Brooklyn 13, New York - with a President phone number - PR 4- 4142 - private line 467-4336.

28 - I am very happy with my lot in life.

29 - I tell people "try to be happy 70% of your day."

30 - After my kids got married I told them "if you need money, lose my phone number." {Truth be told, they have been disrespectful to this request}

31 - Everything to me is black & white - no gray area.

32 - I'm either loved or hated - no pareve feelings towards me. (No kidding Margo)

That's all for now...folks!

Monday, February 02, 2009

JBAC - Jewish Board of Advocates for Children

Overheard in cyberspace:

...."Our job is to inform and to motivate people to do the right thing. We are civilized human beings that have to work together to find a way to escort these uncivilized animals to their proper cages where they can do no more harm to anyone. WE are not the judge and jury so we can only be the advocates and the facilitators up to that point. We can support people who write new legislation or change old legislation that will support the safety and security of our children. WE follow the Torah and the Torah’s laws and values and keep that as our guiding light in the forefront of everything we do. WE don’t deviate from the emes of the Torah.

Going after the gannovim and the sheker that other frum Jews dirty themselves with, that is not the reason the JBAC was formed. There are many reasons frum and honest Jews have to be ashamed and embarrassed about. But we have to choose the battles we are willing to take on and what OUR priorities are. At the JBAC we chose our priorities to be saving yiddishe neshomas and the first issue we are tackling is the issue of child abuse and molestation --- because by far that is the worst crime against K’lal Yisroel. Too many respectable and responsible Jewish adults have hidden and guarded themselves from this issue but are willing to touch upon all the other issues such as tznius, loshon horah, tzedakah, gezeila, richilus, shalom bayis, etc. but when it comes to the issue of child sex-abuse, NO ONE’S HOME!"