Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Gedolim/Rabbis Of The Agudath Israel & Torah Umesorah Have Decided To Keep The Criminal Cover-Up Going Strong!

For Immediate Release: April 21, 2009

For Further Information
Contact: Rabbi Avi Shafran
212 797-9000 ext. #303

Agudath Israel of America and Torah Umesorah – The National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, upon consultation with their respective rabbinic leaderships, respectfully submit this statement regarding legislative proposals to amend existing statutes of limitations for civil claims, including claims against schools and other communal institutions, based on allegations of child sexual abuse. We do so only after much serious thought, after weighing all relevant arguments and for the sole purpose of protecting the most fundamental interests of our community.

Agudath Israel and Torah Umesorah fully acknowledge the horror of child sexual abuse and the devastating long-term scars it all too often creates. Our rabbinic and lay leaderships are acutely aware of the emotional trauma and damage caused by the perpetrators of such abuse. Our hearts go out to their victims, and we share in their pain. We realize that for too long many victims have suffered alone. We are committed as a community to do whatever we can to root out perpetrators of child abuse from our schools and other communal institutions, and to help victims on the road to healing and recovery.

Indeed, in recent years, as awareness has increased and sensitivity has been heightened regarding the incidence of sexual abuse and its severity, both in the broader society around us and in our community specifically, Agudath Israel and Torah Umesorah have taken a number of concrete steps to help ensure that Jewish schools, extra-curricular youth programs and summer camps implement policies and procedures designed to protect children against such abuse. Our organizations have also supported legislative efforts to furnish such protection, including the recently enacted legislation in New York authorizing nonpublic schools to screen all prospective employees through the state’s fingerprint checking system.

With respect to the proposed amendments to existing statutes of limitations, Agudath Israel and Torah Umesorah fully understand that the trauma of abuse is often so great that young adults may not be emotionally prepared to file claims against their abusers within the traditional limitations period. Strict adherence to the existing statutes of limitations could thus operate to preclude certain legitimate claims and protect perpetrators of abuse. Our organizations would therefore have no objection to legislation designed to give victims of abuse greater recourse against perpetrators. Nor would we object to extending statutes of limitations for criminal proceedings against perpetrators.

What Agudath Israel and Torah Umesorah must object to, however, is legislation that could literally destroy schools, houses of worship that sponsor youth programs, summer camps and other institutions that are the very lifeblood of our community.

To take perhaps the most problematic example of such legislation, bills have been introduced in New York and other states that would create a one year window during which any civil claim based upon child sexual abuse could be brought, even against schools and other communal institutions, regardless of how long ago the incident is alleged to have taken place. One could envision a scenario in which a senior citizen might choose to bring a claim against a school for an incident that allegedly occurred over half-a-century ago when the claimant was a child. The fact that the alleged perpetrator may have passed on, or that the administration of the school may have changed several times since the alleged abuse, or that the school no longer has any records or insurance policies dating back to the time the abuse allegedly occurred, or even any records of the individual ever having attended the school, would be of no moment whatsoever under the proposed bill. The current school administration, entirely ignorant of what may or may not have occurred so many years ago, would be forced to defend the school in a court of law, incur the high expenses of legal fees and diversion of human resources, and face potentially crippling financial liability.

It is important to recognize that Jewish schools are independent entities supported wholly by parental tuition and fundraising. Therefore, the burden of litigation expense or legal liability for ancient claims would fall squarely on an entirely innocent group – the current parent body. Needless to say, in today’s perilous financial climate, as many parents are unable to meet even their basic tuition obligations and schools struggle to remain fiscally viable, this burden would be extremely difficult to bear, and could ultimately lead to school closures.

Stated simply, legislation that would do away with the statute of limitations completely, even if only for a one-year period, could subject schools and other vital institutions to ancient claims and capricious litigation, and place their very existence in severe jeopardy.

Agudath Israel and Torah Umesorah most vigorously oppose any such legislation.

We must continue to seek out ways to protect our precious children and help eradicate molestation and other forms of abuse. We must also redouble our efforts to help those who have suffered the horrors of child abuse obtain the healing they so desperately need. However, we dare not bring down our most vital communal institutions in the process.


Sir Vivor said...

I don't think a judge or jury would allow an "ancient" case to go forward. If one reviews the result of the California 1 year suspension of the statute of limitation one would find NO "ancient" cases which survived the first hearings in court. Only those fairly recent instances of recurring abuse against multiple victims were allowed to go forward. For instance, If Framowitz's were to file suit against YTT and Margolis it would go nowhere in a hurry. However, if the court hears of the systemic abuse perpetrated by K for tens of years and the vehement refusal to act upon the information on the part of the administration, you are looking at a classical case that WOULD pass muster in court.
It appears the Aguda geniuses have gone the way of the Catholic Church and vastly exagerated the effect of this proposed legislation. Looks to me like they are primarily concerned with the fate of one or 2 notorious mosdos who spent every effort and energy to harass the victims they now claim to be so concerned over.

FACE IT: If the victim's never get this chance to sue for pain in suffering our "dear leaders" will never see to it that the victims get the expensive therapy they so desperately need. A victim left with lifetime issues, typicaly does not have the resources to afford the healing process facilitated by private and experienced therapists. Fact is noone has provided for the victims any hope for releif other then third tier therapists funded by the city or state.

It is time the victims stood up against the travisty of apathy and put in end to this by suing the shysters for what they are worth.

No Catholic Diocese even came close to bankruptcy and other then perhaps YTT, no jewish school will fall.

The press release from aguda looks to me like another Avi Shafran hack job.

Anonymous said...

There is no concept in halacha of a statute of limitations. The evil of these crimes, and of those who helped cover up such crimes, must be exposed. I strongly doubt Rav Elyashiv shlita or any gadol of similar stature in Eretz Yisroel was consulted, as they have no vested interests--whereas the rabbis in the U.S. who may have been consulted may very well have vested interests.

This public statement will be publicized in the NY Jewish Week and similar media and add to the chillul Hashem being perpetrated in this matter.

The yetzer harah is working overtime to prevent Elliot Pasik and his good colleagues from succeeding.

LVF said...

As someone who learned in the gerer mosdos all my life, I am ashamed to have the dreck like agudah represent me, "MAMZEIRIM", all of you!

nuch a sur vivor said...

"lishaim shamaim" one of the famous sayings from the Kotsker: "even when one enacts "l'ishami shamaim" he should try doing it l'ishaim shamaim".

Also interesting to note the Joint factor of the statement.

Moetzes Resign! said...

"I strongly doubt Rav Elyashiv shlita or any gadol of similar stature in Eretz Yisroel was consulted"

They may have been "consulted" so the Agudah can cover their shmutzige asses but without the gedolei Eretz Yisroel hearing the true story and all the facts.

Remember when fat ferd Margo said he would "ask" Rav Elyashev about Yudi Kolko?

Anonymous said...

Cyber hackers breached jet fighter program

The Associated Press - ‎36 minutes ago‎

WASHINGTON (AP) - Cyber hackers nearly two years ago breached a high-tech jet fighter program developed for the Pentagon by Lockheed Martin Corp.

Hackers stole data on Pentagon's newest fighter jet


Pentagon Fighter Jet Data Breach Was Avoidable


steve said...

A bunch of Paranoid Pharohs! We recently read in the Hagadda about Pharoh's paranoia which led him to enslave the Jewish people and throw the children into the river.

Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there befalleth us any war, they also join themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the landPharoh was worried about five "what if's". What if they multiply? Then what if there is a war? Then what if they join our enemies? Then what of they fight against us and defeat us? Then what if they throw us out? This leader's paranoia was well documented and ultimately led to his people's destruction.

Our self-appointed "leaders" of today suffer from the same paranoia. What if the Markey Bill passes? Then what if there is an "old" case of abuse? Then what if they decide to sue? Then what if they win in court? Then what if they award them a large sum of money? Then what if a yeshiva or institution is bankrupted? HAVA NITCHAKMA LO!! LET'S THROW THE CHILDREN INTO THE RIVER!!! WE MUST PROTECT THE MOLESTERS AT ALL COSTS!! THE TRUTH MUST BE SUPRESSED FOREVER!! TO HELL WITH THE VICTIMS!! TO HELL WITH ANOTHER GENERATION OF JEWISH CHILDREN!! LET'S EXPOSE ALL OF THEM TO SEXUAL MOLESTERS, LEST OUR HOLY YESHIVOS BECOME BANKRUPT!!

I have news for you, they are already bankrupt- if not financially, then morally. How much longer are we going to be enslaved to these modern day Pharohs? It's time to throw off the yoke of Pharoh and declare our freedom. Freedom for the victims to speak out. Freedom for all of our children to be able to go to school without the fear of being victimized for life. Freedom for decent Jewish people to speak out and say ENOUGH!!

This is Chodesh Nissan, the month of freedom. What better time to not only say that we are free from Pharoh, but to do show that we are truly free from the modern day Pharohs. We need to speak out and denounce these Pharohs in the strongest terms- loud and unequivocally.

Dr. Bungalow Putz Neuhoff said...

The Agudah, Maran Horav Belsky and yours truly are against molestation of any kind.

Ombudsman said...

The Agudah fressers / Kool-Aid trinkers who Pinny Lipschitz writes for are even worse the the Mitzrim. The alter Chochmei Yerushalayim teitch the piyut Chad Gadya that the hundt Paroyh was geklappt by the chutrah, dehaynu the Mitzrim. The Mitzrim hated him that he was also killing their sons in case the moshiah did not come from the Yidden. But the Kool-Aid trinkers of today would sacrifice their own children so that the Agudah can cover up the blood on their hands.

Rabbi Matt Salomon said...

"Chad Gadya" because only one molestation victim slipped through the cracks.

Gone down with the ship. said...

Lets see now:

1. Novominsker refused to save the children of Torah Temima "because that happened in Flatbush and I'm in Boro Park". Never mind Kolko lived in BP and some of his victims were groomed and molested in you Ihr Hakodesh. Buddy you got youself a nice building on 60th street. Hope you had "rabbi insurance" all these years. Jack the Ripper gonna make the rounds sooner than later.

2. Elya Fisher. Keep on struttin your stuff big-ass idiot with a even bigger mouth. Who cares Gerrer guys were screwing every living breathing preteen and teen that moves. So long it wasn't a gerrer kid.

3. Aron Shechter. Suffice to say Jamaica Bay aint no bad dream, its reality and it aint over yet. Your church-like edifice sure would finance a couple quality sessions of therapy for your victims.

4. Shmuel Kaminetzki. Pray the courts will look kindly at the multitute of times you bungled the casses of molestation brought before you. May the system have mercy on you for the victims don't. Pretty empire you got there out of town. Out of sight is not necessarily out of mind.

5. David Olefski, Agudah orator par excelance. Ever heard of Da Mashgiach? How about Avremele Munderovich? If your peice of marble on 16th ave prime real estate goes south who gonna employ your clan? Come now, it aint so hard watching a lifetime's worth of work go down the drain. Heck of alot harder spending a lifetime in the dumps after being molested an raped and sodomized like so much expendable and disposable meat.

6. I will let the rest of UOJ's deputies deal with the rest of those folks at agudah. For the moetzes it is a lose lose situation. Either you come off looking like bungling fools for the missteps you took all these years or you come out looking as maliciously evil as the molesters themselves. Stop consulting with Avi the dimwit Shafran and that loser lawer Tzibele and you might just straighten your ship enough to be worth something on paper for the victims to sue. This Titanic your on sunk a generation ago. You just cany sink any lower, dudes.


Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. This Max fellow raped someone while he was 85 years old! How is that possible?

Moetzes - Not A Bad Idea! said...

Reports: Freddie Mac official found dead

Wednesday April 22, 2009, 8:09 am EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- David Kellermann, the acting chief financial officer of Freddie Mac, was found dead at his home Wednesday morning in what broadcast reports said was an apparent suicide.

Malach HaMovies said...

Dov Hikind should be not be re-elected if he doesn't publicly support the Markey bill. He always showed tremendous respect to the Agudah. His good friend Dovid Zweibel was at the mass meeting in B.P.and Dov publicly acknowledged that he was there.

Bim Bam said...


Roy Blunt is a Republican congressman from Missouri

New energy tax threatens Americans

By Roy Blunt, Special to The Kansas City Star

Imagine paying an additional $3,000 hidden tax every year. Unfortunately, you might not have to imagine that extra burden because the last thing Congress did before going home for the Easter holiday was to pass a budget that spends too much, borrows too much and taxes families, small businesses and farmers too much.

This tax was initiated in the budget blueprint President Obama sent to Congress. He proposed adopting a program called “cap and trade” where the government sets an arbitrary limit on emissions, but creates a new market for manufacturers going over their emission allotment to purchase “offsets.” That new cost will be passed directly to the consumer – you and me – every time we flip on a light switch, turn up the thermostat, fill up our gas tank or purchase an American-made product.

Democrats are attempting to sneak in this new energy tax using a parliamentary tactic called reconciliation that allows just a few Members of Congress to create policy behind closed doors.

When Senators and Congressmen negotiate a final version of the budget it’s increasingly likely this tax will be included.

I bet you have a better use of that money in mind than paying new taxes. Maybe something like sending a child to college, buying a new car or saving for that first house. But if the Democrats’ budget is signed into law – a budget I voted against in the House – that $3,000 will go directly to this new, regressive energy tax.

But you don’t have to take my word on how much this new so-called energy policy will cost each Missouri household. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study of similar cap and trade policies estimates the costs passed on to consumers because of offset purchases are about $250 a month, $3,000 a year.

Unfortunately, the damage this bill does to our economy doesn’t stop with increasing taxes. American manufacturers could be forced out of business because of the unfair advantage new government regulations in this provision give foreign companies.

This type of energy policy will be even more damaging to states like Missouri where almost 90 percent of electricity is coal generated and where consumers will pay even more than the average American under the Democrat plan.

Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with the ultimate goal of protecting our environment. I just think we need to look at the real ramifications this will have on our already struggling economy. Our nation does, in fact, need a new energy policy, but we need one similar to the all of the above strategy I advocated for last year – more conservation, more domestic production and more reliance on alternative fuels. Not a new tax under the ruse of an energy plan.

Our only hope for blocking this troubling tax is in the hands of about a dozen Democratic Senators that have expressed reservations about using this reconciliation budget maneuver. Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), a senior Democrat who wrote budget rules in the 1970s, said, “Americans have an inalienable right to a careful examination of proposals that dramatically affect their lives. … I am certain that putting . . . climate change legislation on a freight train through Congress is an outrage that must be resisted.”

He even characterizes the whole reconciliation process of skirting the normal Senate procedure as, “an undemocratic disservice to our people,” which “essentially says ‘take it or leave it’ to the citizens who sent us here to solve problems, and … prevents members from representing their constituents’ interests.” That’s a pretty harsh charge.

Unfortunately, the Senate Democratic Leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, doesn’t share Senator Byrd’s opinion. Senator Reid expressed support for using this shortcut maneuver to push through a cap and trade program. The Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has joined him in supporting this legislative cram-down.

Congress shouldn’t even be considering a new energy tax when too many families are worried about paying their current bills and saving for the future, much less putting it on a fast track to limit debate and almost assuring its passage.

Congress will be voting on the final budget very soon. While the Democratic majority in the House is pretty much guaranteed to support a budget allowing Congress to pass an energy tax with little debate, there are a number of Democrats in the Senate – including Senator Claire McCaskill – who are considering doing the right thing and protecting Missourians from new taxes.

These Senate Democrats are facing intense pressure from their party to vote for this final budget. They need to hear your voice and need your support in opposing this new energy tax.

Starving Real Estate Fresser said...

Housing's Newest Threat: More People Are Losing Their Jobs
Posted By:Diana Olick

I just received a troubling report from the FHFA, the overseer of Fannie Mae. The report, which is a monthly event, gives the usual numbers on the Enterprises' homeowner assistance programs, but this time breaks out some new data to give us a better idea of why exactly so many loans are going into foreclosure.

FHFA reports that due to recent foreclosure "suspensions" that expired March 31 of this year, completed foreclosures and third party sales fell 77 percent in December from the prior three-month average and fell 79 percent in January.

No surprise there, and no surprise that at the same time, loans that were 60+ and 90+ days delinquent increased, overall by 47 percent. Now here's the bad part: Non-prime loan delinquencies increased by 23 percent. Prime loan delinquencies increased by 70 percent.

The prime loan delinquency increase is driven not by faulty loan products or falling home prices, but by job losses, plain and simple.

This current housing crash has distinguished itself from all previous because it was not caused by any economic downturn. Quite the contrary, it caused the economic downturn.

Exotic mortgage products turned into pumpkins and reckless lending came home to roost. Now, as the housing market is struggling to come back this spring, thanks to much improved affordability, POW, the double whammy of unemployment.

For the first time, this month the FHFA listed the top five reasons for default:

1. Curtailment of income (34.1 percent) ...this can be salary reduction or self-employed losing clients

2. Excessive obligations (19.8 percent)...i.e. too much personal debt

3. Unemployment (8.1 percent)

4. Illness (6.5 percent)

5. Marital difficulties (3.5 percent)

So whereas divorce and illness used to be the top reasons historically for foreclosure, now it's all about job losses and excessive debt. And neither of those are getting any better.

The subprime mortgage crisis is for the most part over. Most of the really bad subprime loans have already been lost. Now the second housing crisis is upon us. Too much debt, too little income.

This all begs a reassessment:

The administration's Making Homes Affordable program was all kind of rationalized on the basis of predatory lending and faulty loan products. That is, it wasn't all your fault, so we're going to help you.

But if the bulk of the foreclosures now are on prime loans, not faulty loan products, and the reasons for the defaults are excessive personal debt, well that's a different premise. And as for job losses, the modifications are designed to bring your monthly payment to 31% debt to income ratio. If you have no income, you're not eligible.

Again, welcome to the second housing crash.

UOJ Doctrine Worked And Are Keeping Kids Safer said...

(AP)Washington - Obama Official: Bush Doctrine Worked And Kept The U.S. Safe.

Anonymous said...

Agudath Israel and Torah Umesorah are engaging in pure fear-mongering that has no basis in reality.

The law in California that opened a similar window and had similar extensions of the Statute of Limitations did not "destroy schools, houses of worship that sponsor youth programs, summer camps and other institutions that are the very lifeblood of our community". It simply did not happen.

Where are the California synagoges that were destroyed/closed?

Where are the California Jewish youth programs that were destroyed/closed?

Where are the California Jewish camps that were destroyed/closed?

Where are the California Jewish institutions that were destroyed/closed?

Agudath Israel and Torah Umesorah are simply intellectually dishonest.

I challenge them and their supporters to produce ANY evidence in any state or foreign country that has instituted such windows or has extended (or removed) the statute of limitations for these crimes of any damage to Jewish institutions caused by a false claim.

It has not happened.

The only ones damaged by legislation such as the Markey bill are the pedophiles, their protectors and their supporters ... and they should be damaged and exposed.

And they will be ... regardless of the success or failure of the NY legislative process.


Anonymous said...

The story of the "93 Beth Jacob Girls of Cracow" 93 Beis Yaakov students and teachers killed themselves, rather than be forced into Nazi brothel:

see: http://onthemainline.blogspot.com/2007_09_01_archive.html

Anonymous said...

Sexual assault case in the Jewish community. B. B. is charged with sexually assaulting his wife, at a time when they were separated, and other related offences.

1) R. v. B.B., 2009 CanLII 9406 (ON S.C.)http://www.canlii.com/en/on/onsc/doc/2009/2009canlii9406/2009canlii9406.pdf

2) R. v. B.B., 2009 CanLII 9404 (ON S.C.)

3) R. v. B.B., 2009 CanLII 9405 (ON S.C.)

Anonymous said...


Haredi Groups Oppose Abuse Bill
by Hella Winston

Two major haredi organizations came out Tuesday against a bill pending in the New York State legislature that would extend the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse and create a one-year window during which alleged victims could file civil claims, regardless of when the abuse took place.

In a joint press release, Agudath Israel of America and Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, said they would not “object to extending statutes of limitations for criminal proceedings against perpetrators,” but “must object to ... legislation that could literally destroy schools, houses of worship that sponsor youth programs, summer camps and other institutions that are the very lifeblood of the community.”

This statement puts them in the same camp as the Catholic
Church, which is vocal in its opposition to the bill, sponsored in the Assembly by Margaret Markey of Queens and in the Senate by Tom Duane of Manhattan, both Democrats . A similar window provision in California cost the Church over $1.2 billion in settlements, but publicly identified 300 sexual predators.
Marci Hamilton, a professor at Cardozo Law School, citing the experience of California and Delaware, which also enacted window legislation, said “rejection of the window legislation would be a conscious choice to keep the predators hidden and to facilitate their further abuse of even more children.”

Lonnie Soury, a spokesman for Survivors for Justice, a group of survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the Orthodox community, expressed dismay.

“While far from shocking, the cold pragmatism of this rabbinical leadership is reprehensible,” Soury said.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind said...

New York - Assemblyman Hikind To Agudath Israel: Please Reconcider Position On Statute Of Limitation

Published on: April 22nd, 2009 at 11:26 AM

News Source: NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind - 48th Assembly District

New York - On behalf of the countless sexual abuse victims – those whose stories of personal anguish still resonate with me, and those who still have yet to come forward – I respectfully urge you to reconsider your position regarding the statute of limitations bill containing a window provision which is currently before the Legislature.

I assure you it is not the intention of this legislation to bankrupt or otherwise jeopardize “vital communal institutions,” for we all recognize that the existence of yeshivas and the continuity of the Jewish future are irrefutably tied. Indeed, I believe it is our very commitment to providing our children with a solid Jewish education which has sustained us as a people for generations.

Tragically, however, many of our children, our most precious resource, have been sexually violated in a variety of contexts, and for numerous years, these victims were left without any remedy. Their pursuit of justice has, until now, been filled with endless days of shame, silence, and frustration. We are all guilty of not doing more to alleviate their suffering. You have stated that you have, “no objection to legislation designed to give victims of abuse greater recourse against perpetrators." In this regard, we are of the same heart and mindset.

While your concerns are valid, I implore you to reassess your decision about this bill, to take a closer look, and work toward achieving a satisfactory and equitable compromise on the one year window provision. There are potential alternatives to the bill in its present form which may be more amenable to you. Creating a cap on a litigant’s financial award or on the contingency fees collected by attorneys are just two possibilities which may prove viable.

Achieving justice for the victims need not come about as a result of the financial demise of our greatest institutions. But neither can we forsake those who have already sacrificed far too much.

ExposingZupnik.com said...

Original article with photos: http://exposingzupnik.blogspot.com/2009/04/rabbi-zupnik-receives-hot-basket-letter.htmlTuesday, April 21, 2009

Rabbi Menachem Zupnik Receives "Hot" Basket, Letter Says It's a Taste of His After-Life!Purim, people are generally busy making merry and delivering gift baskets. But what do you give someone who's evil?

Our friends had the idea to try to inspire Rabbi Zupnik to do teshuva. Sometimes people get the message to do teshuva with a nice, sweet message, and sometimes they need to be shocked with a sharp message.

Our friends went out and bought all kids of spicy foods. Hot salsa, red hots, hot sauce, hot peppers, crushed red pepper, etc. Our friends placed these items in a basket, wrapped the it in clear yellow cellophane, and included a note. The note read in part:

"Enjoy this "hot" basket, a small taste of your world to come."

The letter went on to quote the ani maamin, that we believe that Hashem rewards and punishes.

The note was signed with the real names of the people.

The basked was dropped off at Rabbi Zupnik house, and his doorbell rung. Seconds later a boy brought in the basket.

Did Rabbi Zupnik get the message? Maybe, but he still hasn't shown any change. Paroh's heart was not softened in a day either. Hopefully, with Hashem's help Rabbi Zupnik will do teshuva and return from his evil ways.

Rabbinic emotional abuse is just as bad as any other kind of abuse.ExposingZupnik.blogspot.comExposingZupnik.com*********************************

Archie Bunker said...

2 points

Obama-Reid-Pelosi hidden tax

Good for Shmarya. After he campaigned for these losers on his blog, he will have to shell out an extra 3 grand a year (that he doesn't have) on gas and electric.

Dov Hikind

I think he needs to brush up on his "good cop, bad cop" act with the Agudah

Passaic said...

Is that OrthoRev behind ExposingZupnik?

Agudah Fresser said...

The Agudah is right! If they get sued, we won't be able to pig out at the convention.

Agudath Vatican of America said...

Stop asking all these pesky questions about our motivations.

Shafran has you on a need-to-know basis.

Anonymous said...

Why should the gedolim be concerned ? As Rabbi Shafran said a few years ago that these were "tawdry tales". It's all the fault of the bloggers. Sexual abuse only happens to the goyim. Not from people who wear black suits and white shirts. And especially ones that wear borsilanos or dead treif animals (shtreimels) on their head.

Why should the "gedolim" be concerned about a few hundred or a few thousand boys that were raped by their rabbis and counslers. They have to know that they are a korban for the good boys who are the real bnei torah. You know the "good boys". The ones who shteig. The ones that really count. This is exactly how their perverted thought process operates !!!

The "gedolim" knew about this Machla for many many years. They were much more concerned with text messaging and Lipa Schmeltzer then the safety (and the kedusha v'tahara) of jewish children.

Well guess what? It's now payback time. And in the words of a famous blogger that if the Markey bill is not passed there will be real hell to pay.

Anonymous said...

I was once touring the concentration camps not with the March of the Living. Some sick German bastard in front of me was talking to his friend. He was justifying the Holcaust, and said, "Nicht zex million, nur fir million". I grabbed the hog by his collar, turned him around, and said "And four million is nothing to you???"

My Sunday School always taught us, "Never Forget. Because when you forget, society is bound to make the same mistake again".

This joint statement from Orthodox leaders will cause another mass exodus of Jews. Seeing how mercilessly these rabbis taunt victims is disgusting. An abuse survivor who remembers details, can't be believed because he's a "senior citizen". To spit in the face of a Holocaust survivor and tell him your story is too old to be believed is a disgrace.

Our President, Mr. Obama disallowed U.S. involvement at Durban II in protest of Holocaust deniers. In Germany, Austria, and other EU nations, Holocaust denial is a crime. Yet, in America with free speech people can say anything regarding the Holocaust. To hear Holocaust denial from Orthodox Rabbis is too painful.

I promise you, if the joint statement is not retracted by May 2, 2009 I will pull my weight with the man I supported, and raised funds for. I will personally lobby my friend Mr. Obama to strip the non-profit status from the Holocaust denying Orthodox Jewish organization.

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

The Agudah has a sense of what's coming. The Agudath Israel Of America has ordered a truckload of Pampers!

"Machen in der hoizen" redefined!

Avi L. Shafran said...

Oy vey! Pampers doesn't make trainer pants in my size! UOJ darft hobbin rachmonis because I can;t make brochos with poopy hoizen!

Shea Fishman said...

Dreck is fort a natural disaster.

What exactly does UOJ have up his sleeve?

Bernie Madoff said...

Who's the putz who started the rumor on the VIN comments that I indirectly messed up Puretz's plan to develop the parcel of land at 18th Ave & 53rd St?

UOJ Gets Results said...

2:38 PM, April 22, 2009 UOJ warns the Agudah.

3:10 PM, the NY Times announces on the front page that FEMA is swinging into action to handle the disaster.


April 22, 2009
FEMA Nominee Promises to Improve Agency Response

Filed at 3:10 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's pick to head FEMA promised senators Wednesday that he would hold the disaster relief agency to a much higher standard than it displayed in the wake of the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes.

Rabbi Burns said...


Orthodox Jews get special rehab care for addictions in North Miami Beach

Addictions treated at small apartment complex in North Miami Beach

By Lisa J. Huriash

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

April 20, 2009


The demons that plague these addicts are common — abusive backgrounds, constant cravings, profound desperation. But the way they deal with the demons is a South Florida first: Orthodox Jewish rehab.

Torah and the Twelve Steps is only the second orthodox rehab center in the country, following one in Los Angeles. It is the first to serve women as well as men. Other rehab centers define themselves as Jewish, but not Orthodox, including the Techiya program at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, which has two facilities in Palm Beach County.

Most of the North Miami Beach clients are struggling with addiction to heroin or crack cocaine. There's been one gambler and one woman with an eating disorder. About nine people have graduated from the three-month program since it began in November. It started in two single-family houses in Hollywood and moved to an apartment complex in North Miami Beach three months ago.

The director of the program, Rabbi Israel Burns, said it attracts secular Jews who want to learn more about their religion, and the observant who feel most comfortable in a faith-based group. Burns charges $4,800 a month for the program, including room and board, most meals and therapy six days a week—never on Sabbath.

"They can see in their recovery how Judaism applies in their lives. That is the source of getting better," Burns said. "Behavior modification is like a Band-Aid for cancer, it's too superficial. There are core personality issues to change."

There are no studies to show the prevalence of addiction among Jews, although it's thought to be the same as the general population, about one in 10, said Lew Abrams, a substance abuse expert in New York.

"It's a stigma in the Jewish community," he noted. "It's lessening slightly, but it's a problem in that people are embarrassed, people are ashamed, people don't want to talk about it.

"The more treatment there is out there, it's less of a mystery, less of a stigma, more normalized," he said.

And that will help Jews, especially religious Jews, come forward. "They need help like any other disease," he said.

Bill, 53, tried five rehab centers before coming to Torah and the Twelve Steps. The Baltimore man said he used cocaine for 30 years, spending thousands per binge. He asked for anonymity because of the stigma of addiction.

"In the '70s it was fun, in the '80s it was fun, in the '90s it was fun and consequences like lost marriage, lost employment, and then it's not fun and I couldn't stop," he said.

He graduated from the program this month and said he needs to practice the final steps for the rest of his life. "When you discover your painful experiences can be turned around, it puts you in a pretty good mood," he said.

To the strictly orthodox, an addiction is a character blemish that makes the addict and even the addict's relatives poor marriage prospects. Because of that, Burns said, he advertises in national Jewish publications, knowing he will get mostly out-of-towners seeking anonymity.

It's a small program — just four men since Bill graduated — but Burns said he can expand. His wife, Ruth, helps by preparing lavish Sabbath dinners (all the food is kosher) and even picking out blue Ralph Lauren bedding for the men.

"I want to make them comfortable," she said. "They have a long journey."

The program is Jewish not only because of who attends, but how they work to get better.

For example, Step Four of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Steps is to make "a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."

To do that, clients here pore over Ways of the Tzaddikim: Orchos Tzaddikim, an influential Judaic ethics book. Chapters deal with pride, love, joy, anger, zeal and laziness.

"Enjoy it and feel the values of change," Burns said.

The Jewish version of Step Nine, the one about making amends, is to follow the advice of Rambam, the 12th-century Jewish sage. Rambam taught that seeking forgiveness requires three tries, if necessary, to show sincerity.

Celebrating the Jewish holidays is optional.

"We are not emphasizing religion, we are emphasizing spirituality," Burns said. "First be a mensch [good person]. Then we can talk about the next steps."

Lisa J. Huriash can be reached at lhuriash@SunSentinel.com or 954-572-2008.

Torah and the Twelve Steps

It is only the second orthodox rehab center in the country and the first to treat women and men.

Malach HaMovies said...

Notice that in their statement there is not one word of apology for the covering up years of abuse.

One can never ever get an apology from Agudath Yishmael, Torah U'molesters or the Moetzet Gedolei Havantzen !

Anonymous said...

Even Jewish Press readers know who Shafran is:

Letters To The Editor
By Jewish Press Readers
Posted Apr 22 2009

Agudah Spokesman's Praise For Madoff

1) 'Patently Ignorant'

Your vehement criticism of Agudath Israel spokesman Rabbi Avi Shafran's article in which he expressed admiration for Bernie Madoff and disdain for hero pilot Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger ("Avi Shafran's Bizarro World," editorial, April 10) was right on target.

The problem was not only that Shafran came up with some cockeyed comparisons but that he apparently sees himself as an expositor of Jewish law. Pity, because his patently ignorant statements about the halacha demonstrate the breadth and depth of his arrogance.

It is probably a tribute to the efficiency of Agudath Israel's formidable public relations apparatus - which Shafran heads up - that the scholarly response to his article penned by the OU's Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb was just about impossible to find online. Both Rabbi Weinreb and Rabbi Yair Hoffman (whose critique of Shafran's article appeared on several frum websites) demonstrated in compelling fashion Shafran's appalling lack of knowledge of religious law.

Moshe Brenner

(Via e-Mail)

2) 'Astonishing Stupidity'

Bravo for standing up to Avi Shafran's execrable article expressing admiration for Bernard Madoff. The piece stands as an exercise in astonishing stupidity. But I found his apology, which he released after your editorial appeared, even more infuriating.

He wrote, "I have come to the conclusion that there were errors in both the content and tone of the essay, for which I apologize. My main goal in publishing these essays is to help people understand eternal Jewish truths. Unfortunately, here I chose unsuitable examples for the concepts I sought to impart, failing to accomplish that goal and offending many people in the process."

So after embarrassing the frum community to no end, Shafran compounded the problem by suggesting that positive "eternal Jewish truths" were exemplified by probably the greatest perpetrator of financial fraud in history and negative ones by a person who used his skills and presence of mind to save the lives of more than a hundred and fifty people.

Surely he at least owed all of us an explanation of just what he was trying to say about "eternal Jewish truths." For openers, even I know that the essence of teshuvah by a thief is sincere admission of guilt and contrition and the return of what was stolen. Madoff returned nothing and yet the court-appointed trustee located hundreds of millions of dollars Madoff had secreted around the world. And Madoff only came clean when the authorities were about to pounce. Shafran doesn't mention any of this.

Also, Shafran certainly owed the public some explanation as to how life-saving heroism occurs to him as somehow not exemplifying positive Jewish values but negative ones.

Sheldon Rosenberg


3) Turning Torah On Its Head
Reducing Madoff's behavior to an isolated act of petty theft, as Avi Shafran did in the article you so rightly condemned, is to turn the Torah totally on its head. Thus, it is an evil act.

It is not only Madoff but people like Shafran as well who give Jews a bad name. A sharp Arab who reads widely can pick up on what Shafran said as evidence that Jews are infinitely slippery and can never be trusted.

Like the Sophists of old, who were roundly rejected by the Talmudists, he turns good into evil and evil into good and he does it with a smile on his face.


Eugene F. Barasch

(Via E-Mail)

4) Shame
I am one of those people who lost all their retirement savings to Bernie Madoff.

I don't believe for one minute he started out trying to do the right thing. There was no rachmones in him at all. He earmarked foundations and charities because he felt the IRS wouldn't look closely at their tax returns. He married off family members to SEC investigators to avoid closer scrutiny. He lived off our hard-earned savings and lied to us constantly through fake monthly reports and buy/sell confirmation.

Rabbi Shafran should be ashamed of himself for his admiration of Madoff.

Bette Abbott Greenfield

Deerfield Beach, FL

UOJ British division said...

London taxi driver John Worboys was sentenced Tuesday to at least eight years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting female passengers. Prosecutors said Worboys, 51, targeted women who had been out late drinking. He was convicted of assaulting 12 women but investigators say they linked him to at least 85 attacks.

Phil Markoff said...


My grandfather might be a Yiddishe lawyer in Maryland but my mother is a shiksa from Upstate NY.

In case Shafran hasn't read the Jewish Press letters yet said...

You can forward them to him at Shafran@AgudathIsrael.org

Israel Belsky SHLITA said...

Shit! I thought I told Margo to make sure his guys don't leave the body in the boiler room or anywhere else in the basement.

WASHINGTON -The chief financial officer of money-losing mortgage giant Freddie Mac was found dead in his basement early Wednesday morning in what police said was an apparent suicide.

David Kellermann, 41, apparently hanged himself, said a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation. He asked not to be identified because the investigation was ongoing.
Kellermann's death is the latest in a string of blows to Freddie Mac since it was seized by the government last September. The company, which owns or guarantees about 13 million mortgages, has been criticized for financing risky loans that fueled the real estate bubble and are now defaulting at a record pace.
Freddie Mac lost more than $50 billion last year, and the Treasury Department has pumped in $45 billion to keep the company afloat. Last month, David Moffett, the government-appointed chief executive, resigned in frustration over strict oversight.

Kellermann worked for Freddie Mac more than 16 years, starting out as a financial analyst and auditor. He was named acting chief financial officer last September when the government ousted former CEO Richard Syron and Kellermann's predecessor Anthony S. "Buddy" Pizsel.

Aron Twerski said...

Phil Markoff is an honorable medical student.

Tendler Gets Lucky said...

California (Reuters) – A 62-year-old L.A. man avoided serious injury when the underwire on his bra deflected a bullet shot at him from next door, police said.

Obama = Snake said...


NEWTON, Iowa – President Obama, declaring “a new era of energy exploration in America,” marked Earth Day by visiting a wind energy plant here and calling on Congress to pass comprehensive energy legislation, including a carbon cap-and-trade system to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

"carbon cap-and-trade" = $3000 hidden tax on every person being pushed by radical environmentalists

Borat Sagdiyev said...


High five for UOJ!

284 said...

I could've sworn I saw Zupnik running down to QuickCheck and buying a few huge water bottles on Purim!

NASI Agudah Are Fakers said...

Tropper the misguided chessed guy in Kew Gardens who came up with the NASI project has already admitted that the 10% figure of girls staying single was MADE UP. When asked how Rav Kalman Epstein would sign onto shekker? He answered Rav Kalman decided 10% is a number that people will be scared of. This is why whenever any statistician that challenged the intelectual honesty called the organization claims fabrications.

The NASI project began at the time the original Markey bill was introduced. Agudah was scared so they asked the wedding guideline rabbis to assur boys from dating before 23, to prevent boys from coming forward as soon as they are married, and still within the NY statute. The only person willing to go along with this hoax, was Rav Kalman Epstein. NASI is a Shaar HaTorah project. A fancy smokescreen for Agudah manipulation of the law.

The Shidduch crisis is being harped on as a fearmongering tool to advance NASI and Agudah's nefarious agendas. Look at the divorce rate in the frum world, all caused by manipulative people playing on emotions.

Use your brains checking out shidduchim. Don't allow your child to be another statistic on the NASI and Agudah cheshbon.

Yankel Litzman said...

Now that I am the deputy minister of health, I will have that gerer mondrowitz checked out by my professional staff, and declare him mentally unstable, maybe through this angle will I succeed in doing the avoidas hakodesh in the name of the gerer rebbi and prevent avremel from getting extradited.

Ombudsman said...

Nice try but I don't believe your conspiracy theory that villifies Shaar Hatorah.

The Jewish Met Council commissioned a study that shows 52% of all Jewish women between 25 and 40 including frum and secular were never married. Almonos and gerushos puts the number even higher. If anything, R' Kalman is UNDERestimating when he says 10% of frum girls are single.

Just who is the "Faker" and why are you trying to smear R' Kalman?

Shmuel said...

The Aguda has finally proven, beyond any doubt, that it is truly immoral and unconcerned with the victims of child abuse over the past several decades. The words in its communique are hollow, insincere, and self-serving. For decades rabbis in that organization knew of child abuse, and knowingly chose to do nothing (at best), or chose to intimidate, silence and threaten children and their parents who complained. The timeline which has made its rounds on the web lays out an allegation that as far back as the early 1980's---if memory serves me right---rabbis affiliated with Agudah met and decided to do nothing, out of fear of lawsuits, rather than actually do something, anything.

For close to 50 years, nothing was done, not in Baltimore, not in New York, not anywhere. Now, suddenly, everyone's sensitivity has been raised! People are talking about child abuse! No thanks to them, that's for sure.

I call on rabbis who are affiliated with Agudah, if they are to keep credibility, to quit the organization, raise their voices, "make a machaah" or whatever charedim call it when they protest something, and let it be known that the Agudah has officially placed money, pedophiles and their enablers ahead of children, parents, decency and morality. I recently wrote on FM that the Agudah long ago ran out of "moral gasoline," and this public statement confirms it in the biggest way.

I call on the Baltimore 23, the rabbis of that town who 3 years ago wrote a stunning mea culpa, to publicly decry this statement of the Aguda.

I call on all Agudah members to quit the organization, stop your donations, your financial support, your memberships, and let this dinosaur of an organization die a quiet death.

I call on all politicians of the US to ignore the Agudah and all its statements, refuse to meet with them, and totally tune them out as irrelevant.

In short, it is time to put the Agudah to rest forever. They are worthless, an embarrassment and have brought great shame on the Jewish people, by siding with the equally worthless, ridiculous and immoral Catholic Church, which group wrote the book on how to molest boys, intimidate parents and then shuffle the pedophiles around. It is truly fitting and proper for the Agudah to be in bed with such an organization. They have written their own epitaph. Now let us bury them, once and for all.

Yeah yeah yeah do the Agudah shuffle said...

"shuffle the pedophiles around"

What are Schorr & Friedman doing in Pakistan? said...

Is Lipa giving a concert there?


April 23, 2009

Taliban Seize Vital Pakistan Area Closer to the Capital


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pushing deeper into Pakistan, Taliban militants have established effective control of a strategically important district just 70 miles from the capital, Islamabad, officials and residents said Wednesday.

The fall of the district, Buner, did not mean that the Taliban could imminently threaten Islamabad. But it was another indication of the gathering strength of the insurgency and it raised new alarm about the ability of the government to fend off an unrelenting Taliban advance toward the heart of Pakistan.

Buner, home to about one million people, is a gateway to a major Pakistani city, Mardan, the second largest in North-West Frontier Province, after Peshawar.

“They take over Buner, then they roll into Mardan and that’s the end of the game,” a senior law enforcement official in North-West Frontier Province said.

On Wednesday heavily armed Taliban militants were patrolling villages, and the local police had retreated to their station houses in much of Buner, officials and residents said.

Local nongovernmental organizations have been ordered to leave, and their offices have been looted, they said. Pakistani television news channels showed Taliban fighters triumphantly carrying office equipment out of the offices of the organizations.

“They are everywhere,” one resident of Daggar, Buner’s main city, said by telephone. “There is no resistance.”

The Taliban advance has been building for weeks, with the assistance of sympathizers and even a local government official who was appointed on the recommendation of the Taliban, the senior official quoting Charlie Hynes said.

And UOJ to yank "Baby Slapper" Margo from YTT said...


Apple yanks "Baby Shaker" from App Store amidst public disgust

Offensive application shows lapse in App Store review process

By Bob Brown , Network World , 04/22/2009

Apple -- on the verge of celebrating its 1 billionth App Store download -- has pulled a controversial application called "Baby Shaker" from its virtual store shelves that generated public outrage.

The application, from Sikalosoft, is a game that involved shaking the iPhone vigorously to make a crying baby on the screen stop crying. Two red X's appear over the baby's eyes when you "win."

The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation expressed disgust over the application and issued a press released titled "Something's Rotten at Apple" that calls out the company for allowing the program to show up on the App Store.

Marilyn Barr, founder of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome and National Advisory Board member of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, issued this statement:

"Not only are they making fun of Shaken Baby Syndrome but they are actually encouraging it. This is absolutely terrible."

Bernie Madoff's hoyzen said...

Avi Shafran can take a poop in these


The last time he was here, he fell for a $2,000 pair of worsted spun cashmere pants, which Trillion didn’t have in his size, and had to be ordered from Italy.

After the slacks arrived, but before Mr. Madoff could come by for a fitting, he was arrested.

“I remember I heard about the arrest and I went directly to the store to charge those pants on his credit card,” recalls Mr. Neff, a fit, gray-haired man in perpetual motion. “But the card had already been canceled.”

So, what happened to the pants?

“They’re in the racks, over there,” Mr. Neff says, nodding toward the trouser section.

Wait a minute.

You have Bernie Madoff’s unclaimed $2,000 pants, on a rack, in this store?

“Uh-hmm,” he says, with a slightly abashed grin. “Would you like to see them?”

To learn what ails the place, you need to talk to retailers and the rare chatty local. Palm Beach, they will tell you, is reeling and much of it is seething, too. Jews and gentiles here have long lived and socialized in different spheres, with some of the latter quietly irked to find more of the former moving in every year. The Madoff scheme targeted the Jewish populace, as everyone knows, and among Jews there is a galling sense that the gentiles are privately thrilled by the fiasco.

As paranoid as this might sound, it has a ring of truth to Laurence Leamer, a Palm Beach resident and author of “Madness Under the Royal Palms,” a history of the island.

“In fact, there are a lot of gentiles here who thought the Jews got what was coming to them,” he says. “The gentiles think this is their place. As far as they’re concerned, the Jews have Boca Raton and Miami. What are they doing in Palm Beach?”

Putz Thief said...


Banker Meinl released on record bail of €100 million
Austrian public prosecutors approved the release yesterday of Julius Meinl in return for surrender of his passport and record bail of €100m because of the risk he might try to abscond.

Vienna public-prosecution office spokesman Gerhard Jarosch said today (Fri): "Julius Meinl is a British citizen, and it was feared, on the basis of previous investigations and new evidence, that he might try to flee from justice."

The move followed Meinl’s detention on Wednesday night after questioning by prosecutors investigating allegations of fraud at Meinl European Land (MEL), a quoted property group formerly managed by Meinl Bank, which is closely held by the Meinl family.

Meinl was chief executive of Meinl Bank until the end of 2007, when he stepped down to become chairman. The bank said yesterday its operations had been unaffected by his arrest.

The arrest followed raids on Meinl's home and offices in February and came amid deepening anger among retail investors about the performance of investment funds associated with the millionaire banker.

Meinl was charged with breach of trust, the charging of excessive fees and fraud in relation to MEL.

MEL was sold last year to a group controlled by Citigroup and Gazit Globe, an Israeli company, and was renamed Atrium Real Estate. The other two Meinl ventures are set to be dissolved and the money returned to shareholders.

Julius Meinl V, as he is customarily identified in Austria, is one of his country's best-known business people and scion of a trading dynasty.

His great-great grandfather, Julius Meinl I, opened a coffee store in Vienna in 1862 before expanding into food retailing across the Hapsburg empire.

In 1938, the family, which is partly Jewish, fled to England, where Julius Meinl V was born in 1959. After the war, the Meinls regained control of their Austrian operations but lost those in Central and Eastern Europe to the Communists.

In 1989, the group returned to Eastern Europe, starting with Hungary and the Czech Republic. However, in the 1990s, Julius Meinl V sold the retail operations, amid declining profit, to focus on investment and private banking under the Meinl Bank name.

The family retained one flagship store - Meinl am Graben - a food emporium in Vienna. The Meinls also held on to their property portfolio in Central and Eastern Europe, forming the basis for MEL, which focused on retail real estate in the region. After going public in 2002, MEL expanded aggressively in Russia and Ukraine.

Does Shmarya have a conspiracy theory yet? said...


Bolivian police raid local Chabad center

Head of center in Rurrenabaque reports several Israelis arrested in number of police raids in recent days; center shut down. Rabbi says given no reason for raids, but rumors say they could be related to assassination attempt on president's life

Kobi Nahshoni Published: 04.23.09, 12:18 / Israel News

Bolivian police forces raided a Chabad center in the northeastern town of Rurrenabaque a number of times in recent days, ordered its closure and arrested a number of Israeli tourists who were staying there.

Rabbi Aharon Fraiman, who heads the center, told Ynet the police refused to give him a reason for the raid, but rumors throughout the town have linked the police activity to an assassination attempt on the Bolivian president last week.

On Wednesday, after the center temporarily resumed activity, Fraiman, who was almost arrested himself, said this was nothing more than a local dispute: "An anti-Semitic restaurateur who thinks we are hurting his livelihood is doing everything to get us out of here," the rabbi said.

Police at Chabad center in Rurrenabaque (Photo: Curtesy of Chabad.info)

On Thursday, however, the multiple arrests, closure of the center and the local media's coverage of police activity in the area, led the rabbi to believe it was something more: "Apparently it's not him, but something bigger. He doesn't have this much power".

"Rumors floating around say that it has something to do with an assassination attempt on the president," the rabbi said. "But on the other hand, the media is reporting all kinds of other things, like that the Chabad center here is involved in dealing drugs and the like.

"Meanwhile, I hired a lawyer here to handle the case, but this is not a law-abiding state, and so far, no one has told us what the commotion is about. They also haven't showed us any closure injunctions."

The emissary told Ynet about one Israeli tourist who was arrested by the Bolivian immigration police, taken to the airport in handcuffs and deported from the country. He also said there were a few others still under arrest.

"I am working to have them released from custody, and am also trying to contact the Foreign Ministry or some kind of Israeli representative here. So far, I've had no success," he said.

Rurrenabaque is one of the central tourist attractions for travelers in Bolivia, including many Israeli backpackers. The town is a center from which tourists leave for trips to the jungles and swamp areas in northern Bolivia.

Bergen County said...


A Bergen County judge placed Marti Roland, a former education director of the Bergen Academy of Reform Judaism charged last year with fraud and theft, in a pretrial intervention program on Monday.

According to the Oct. 31, 2008 indictment, Roland committed theft by “retaining property or money” belonging to BARJ valued above $500 but less than $75,000. In the language of the indictment, Roland “did unlawfully and purposely obtain by deception property of Bergen Academy of Reformed Judaism” by issuing a number of BARJ checks made out to cash, each in excess of $500. She was also charged with an additional theft of property unspecified in the indictment.

Superior Court Judge Donald Venezia ordered Roland into the probation program for three years, with the stipulation that she pay $30,000 in restitution to BARJ, which is housed in Temple Beth Or in Washington Township.

The pretrial intervention program is a form of probation for first-time offenders that allows them to forgo a guilty plea, said Brian Lynch, an assistant prosecutor in the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. If an accused person successfully completes all the conditions of the program, the original charges are dismissed and there is no record of conviction.

In addition to the restitution, Roland must also maintain gainful employment. If she violates the terms of her probation, the charges will be reinstated, Lynch said.

Roland was employed with BARJ for 10 years. She resigned abruptly on the Monday after Thanksgiving 2007, according to Richard Horwitz, co-president of BARJ.

Horwitz told The Jewish Standard on Tuesday that the school has taken steps to make sure that the incident cannot be repeated. He would not elaborate but did say that the board’s treasurer, a certified public accountant, would regularly review BARJ’s financial records.

“We’re happy the matter’s behind us,” Horwitz said. “It’s best just to move on at this point. It’s been a very difficult and trying time.”

BARJ is the post b’nai mitzvah educational program for Temple Beth Or, Temple Avodat Shalom in River Edge, Temple Emeth in Teaneck, and Temple Beth El in Closter. According to its Website, BARJ is “a school where young Reform Jewish adults can learn and socialize with other Reform Jewish students.”

YTT opening branch in London, UK said...


British pig industry making more noise than ever before

Effin Wachsman said...

Yes, it's very Toyradik to wear a $2000 pair of pants.

Here we have the mayseh rav from a gadol of this generation, R' Bernie Madoff.

If only Capt. Sullenberger wore such shtatty pants he wouldn't be such a rasha merushe.

Anonymous said...

It is emotionally devastating to watch an organization built by some of the greatest gedolim in recent history collapse under its own corrupt weight.

Agudath Israel was founded with such pure motives by such gedolim, and to see this is beyond painful. The founders and the tzadikim who built it would be so ashamed to see what has happened here.

Now, in our time, AI has shown itself to be an morally bankrupt, empty, worthless, corrupt institution that has run out of places to hide all the skeletons in its closet. They have had the opportunity to come clean about their involvement in perpetuating child molestation, rape and other abuse and they did NOTHING. They had the chance to admit mistakes and jump on the bandwagon to correct things, and they did NOTHING. They continue to defend and protect child rapists at the expense of our Torah and our children's souls.

While I know that not every Rav affiliated with AI is morally corrupt, I am concerned that many do not speak out. There is no bigger chillul H" than this. Yes, names will become public. Yes, people's families will be impacted. Yes, people will go to prison. But once we get through this part... once we find these animals and get them away from our children... we can move forward with better oversight and better protections in place... but it MUST start here... it MUST start with truth and honesty which have always been our strongest weapon against evil.

i pray that H" will help the rabbonim who have not spoken up but want to. H" should give them the strength to step out on this most frightening limb with the victims... to look into their eyes and feel their pain... feel their fear... feel their anger... then imagine how many more will have to feel these things because of inaction.... and then speak up.

I pray that H" gives incredible strength to every single one of the victims and those who fight alongside them to protect and defend our Torah and our children. This was part of His plan. You are part of His plan.

Anonymous said...

It's time for Day School principals all across the USA to stand in solidarity of victims.

You are affiliated with Torah U'Mesorah the National Jewish Days School Society. Torah U'Mesorah and their leaders are opposed to children being protected from sexual predators. This organization has covered up and shifted known pedophiles to schools across North America. They have no sense of shame or guilt to put innocent children in harms way, as long as it protects their interests.

Torah U'Mesorah will tell you, they have nothing to do with personnel policy decisions of affiliate schools. As a former employee, and close confidant of many high ranking Torah U'Mesorah officials, I can promise you it is a lie. Torah U'Mesorah is very active in who to hire, and who to blacklist. Like Rabbi Fishman wasn't involved in finding administrative level positions for Rabbi Bryks after leaving Winnipeg? Like he didn't personally lobby against one rebbi in particular because he was too hot on the abuse issue? He did. Torah U'Mesorah does not represent Torah, nor is it the Mesorah handed down from Rav Mendlowitz zt"l.

Now is the time to revoke your membership. You have your own curriculum already, if you need help there are many resources to tap into. You do not need Torah U'Mesorah's revisionist curricula. You have a full staff of teachers. You do not need Torah U'Mesorah's hiring suggestions. YOU NEVER KNOW WHO THEY ARE SENDING TO YOU. This applies to Torah U'Mesorah schools AND Kollelim.

Revoke your membership NOW. Very soon your parents will be insisting on it, and you stand to lose.

Anonymous said...

If Agudath Israel & Torah Umesorah want a fight let's give them one.

Let's publicize and protest their dinners and national conventions. Let's identify attendees. Let's lobby their keynote speakers to cancel.

Let's post the names and contact information of all board mambers and senior employees.

Let's identify all of the institutions affiliated with Torah Umesorah and lobby them to disassociate.

Demand your politicians and community leaders stop affiliating with these organizations.

Let's identify donors and lobby them to move their donations to more respectable organizations.

In short, if they only care about money and not our children, let's take away their money and reduce the prestige of their organizations.

I suggest an initial goal of identifying and lobbying the top 10% of each organization's donors and lobbying the 25 largest institutions affiliated with Torah Umesorah. We'll start there and continue.

If we can take away $1 Million of donations from each and 20affiliated institutions, they will hurt. They should be afraid of us not these nusiance lawsuits they've made up to try to kill the Markey bill and protect the pedophiles.

Can anyone assist with lists and contact information?


Shea Fishman said...

How do you remember the protim with Bryks?

Even I don't remember in my OLD age (an ongoing issue since I hit my golden oldie 30s).

Touchy Old Guy said...

Court Convicts Rabbi Jacob A. Max Of Molestation

Phil Jacobs
Executive Editor

Court Convicts Rabbi Jacob A. Max Of Molestation
Updated story as of 4/14/09 4:00pm

Rabbi Jacob Aaron Max, was found guilty Monday of sex offense in the fourth degree and second degree assault for the molestation of a former Sol Levinson & Bros. Funeral Home female employee in December 2008.

The verdict given by Baltimore County District Court Judge Nancy Purpura resulted in one year of incarceration suspended and one year of court-ordered unsupervised probation.

Rabbi Max’s attorney said the long-time spiritual leader will appeal the verdict, for which he entered a not-guilty plea.

Rabbi Max, 85, is the rabbi emeritus of the Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation, better known as Pikesville’s Liberty Jewish Center. A polished stone in the congregation’s parking lot designates it the Rabbi Jacob A. Max campus. He is a well-known figure in Baltimore Jewish circles, where he has been active for more than six decades.

“We are very sad about all of this,” Robert Meyerson, president of the synagogue, said on Tuesday, April 14. “I guess we just have to wait and see how the appeal process progresses. Even though he’s our rabbi emeritus, we just hear from him from time to time, and we were as surprised about all of this as everyone else.”

The fourth degree sex offense means that the “defendant had sexual contact with the victim and that the sexual contact was made against the will and consent of the victim,” according to County Assistant State’s Attorney Jared Green, who prosecuted the case.

The victim, 44, was molested at the Levinson’s Funeral Home in Pikesville in a kitchen at the facility.

Rabbi Max, according to a Baltimore County Police report obtained by the BALTIMORE JEWISH TIMES, approached the victim from behind and “proceeded to press his body up against the victim’s body pinning her between the defendant and the counter.”

The report stated that he then took his hands and grabbed the victim’s hips on the outside of her clothing. He “then removed his hands from [the victim’s] hips and placed them directly on the victim’s upper torso on the outside of her sweater directly beneath her breasts.”

The police then report that the victim heard Rabbi Max “mumble something about `being bad’” and that she then felt Rabbi Max’s hands “so close that the web of his hand at the pointer finger and thumb was actually on her bra and the bra’s under wire.”

The victim then protested by pulling her arms inwards tightly to her torso, according to the report. Rabbi Max reportedly stepped away. Between 10 to 20 seconds later, the report said that he returned to the kitchen and repeated the same behavior on her.

“Defendant Max then took his left hand and cupped [the victim’s] left breast and with his thumb and finger pinched [the victim’s] nipple through her sweater. Defendant Max then stated, `bad rabbi.’

“It ended when the victim yelled `No,’ and pushed the defendant’s hands down and away,” the report continued.

The report stated that Rabbi Max left the room and Levinson’s for the day. The victim was so “visibly upset” that her co-workers asked her what was wrong. She left work early, according to the report, sick for the rest of the day, “and she has been out sick since.”

The police report noted that the victim told co-workers what had happened. One colleague told police that the victim and the suspect had an “open relationship, which included greeting one another with kisses as well as the victim receiving massages from the suspect while she was sitting at her desk.”

Her co-workers also reported that they were unaware of any similar prior incidences involving Rabbi Max. They also were unaware of the victim making similar complaints about others on the premises.

Defense Counsel David Irwin said on Monday, April 13, “We’re disappointed with the outcome. We respect the judge’s decision, and we’re going to appeal.”

If that occurs, the case could be heard in County Circuit Court, and the trial would start from scratch and could involve a jury.

Ira Levinson, president of Levinson’s called the issue “a personal matter between Rabbi Max and the former employee, and we’re not involved.”
Rabbi Max is not an employee of Levinson’s. However, like any other rabbi performing funeral services there, he is seen as an independent contractor.

Kathleen Cahill, the victim’s attorney, said that her client could not yet comment.

However, in her victim impact statement read into the court transcripts, the victim said, “I feel helpless, I am worried about finding another job… I have a lack of trust in others, depression, anxiety, isolation, fears about future employment, fears about financial stability, lack of focus. I feel emotionally hurt, depleted and violated.

“You violated the trust that I had in you by physically violating me that day and by lying about what you did to save your reputation,” she continued. “You are a disgrace to all clergy, co-workers, your community and to your family and friends… You are supposed to be a man of God and I hope that one day you will apologize for what you have done.”

This was not the first such allegation against Rabbi Max brought to the BALTIMORE JEWISH TIMES. Two years ago, two women called and shared their stories of alleged molestation while the newspaper was reporting on allegations involving other rabbis here. One woman sat with her psychologist as she told the story; the other called from out of state.

Neither, however, pressed charges against Rabbi Max and the newspaper at that time chose not to go forward in printing the allegations without any on-the-record comments.

One of those alleged victims visited Rabbi Max at his home for grief counseling after the death of her father in the mid-1980s. There, she alleged that the rabbi put his arm around her and fondled her breasts. The woman was a college student at the time of the alleged incident.

The second woman, now in her 40s and living out of state, was 15 and attending a relative’s bar mitzvah in which Rabbi Max officiated and then allegedly asked her into his office. As a teenager, she said she didn’t feel she could say no to the rabbi. Once in the office, she alleged he forcibly kissed her, placing his tongue in her mouth.

When reached by telephone at his home for comment in November 2007 regarding these claims, Rabbi Max said, “In my lifetime I have never molested. I’ve been married for 22 years. No way, no way at all. I fondled? This is way out of my line. I tried to touch her? If you print this it is stupid from stupidland.”

This week, the woman who lives out of state said, “True justice for me would be to see him voluntarily surrender his license to perform religious rites in all venues of society including the conduct of High Holiday services and funerals and visiting patients as a rabbi at local nursing homes. Rabbi Max is fortunate not to have to spend his last days in jail with the other criminals… If he won’t repent, then I hope he will just retire and be a private citizen.”

Bungalow Putz's building inspector said...


Tainted Drywall From China Is Driving Owners From Their Homes

A toxic substance is suspected of causing corrosion, health problems, and foul odors, bringing lawsuits and calls for government action


MIAMI - There was something that always bothered Rene Galvin when she walked in the front door of her new condo - an eye-watering, rotten egg smell that clung to the four walls and everything contained within them, from the furniture to her carpet and clothes.

She could never quite put her finger on the cause of the foul odor that seemed to pervade every pore. "I'd just stand there, look around and say to myself: 'One day, I'll find out whatever it is that died inside these walls'," she says.

But there were further problems to come; mirrors that corroded around the edges, drains that rusted on the baths, pitted faucets, the television, computer, dishwasher, coffee pot, telephones, and air-conditioning system that all inexplicably broke down. Even the treasured gold-dipped necklace she wore around her neck turned black. Then there were the headaches, throat and sinus troubles.

"I had no idea what was going on. I thought 'Boy, the Florida air sure is bad.'" she says with a wry laugh.

Humor, though, is not something that comes easily these days when she talks about her $500,000 home in Bonita Springs, Fla., that now sits empty after it was found to contain contaminated drywall from China.

The discovery of sulfur-emitting compounds within the imported construction materials has sparked a national investigation, numerous lawsuits, and a scandal that is feared to have affected as many as 100,000 homes, a majority so far in Florida. Reparations could run into the billions of dollars.

So dire is the situation - with U.S. suppliers and builders reluctant to take the heat, the overseas manufacturer resisting liability, and insurance companies denying claims, while victims are faced with having their homes gutted if not entirely bulldozed - that lawmakers are pushing for a state of emergency to be declared in Florida, to start the flow of federal financial aid.

"This is an acute and growing crisis," U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler (D) urged the state's governor, Charlie Crist, in a letter, noting serious health and safety implications. "This is a significant statewide problem whose devastating impact on families and our state is similar to a natural disaster such as a hurricane, fire or flood."

Over 500 million pounds of drywall were imported from China between 2004 and 2007 when the construction boom was at a peak and domestic materials in short supply, with demand exacerbated by the reconstruction programs that followed hurricanes Katrina and Wilma.

Knauf Tianjin - the main Chinese manufacturer so far singled out for blame - says it was responsible for only around 20 percent of that supply, and the firm complains that because it was the only company that stamped its name on its product that it is being unfairly targeted.

Laboratory tests carried out for Florida's Department of Health showed that samples of Chinese-made drywall - including Knauf's - contained strontium sulfide, which gives a rotten egg odor when moistened and reacts with hydrogen in the air to take on corrosive powers capable of eating through metals and electrical wires.

"This is a noxious, pungent chemical compound. If it can corrode metals in your house, I hate to think what it's doing to residents and their children and pets," said Jordan Chaikin of Florida legal firm Parker Waichman Alonso, which has launched a federal class-action lawsuit against Knauf in the U.S. District Court in Fort Myers.

"People are stuck with these homes, they can't afford to leave, they put their life's savings into them or they're mortgaged and they're turning to builders for help," he said. "But in some cases builders have filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy so there can be no claims against them. Some homes need to be bulldozed, in other cases gutted entirely, and that's very expensive for builders."

The crisis has woven a tangled economic and legal web. Among the builders on the receiving end of consumers' wrath is Lennar Homes of Miami, which has identified tainted drywall in over 80 of its properties and has pledged to pay the costs of replacing it and relocating residents in the interim.

Lennar Homes is the subject of some lawsuits. But, in turn, it has launched a suit itself against Knauf and another Chinese drywall manufacturer, Taishan Gypsum. It is also suing independent U.S. contractors for installing the defective product in Lennar homes.

"They have refused to take responsibility for their defective product, leaving us no other option but to seek redress in a court of law," the company asserted in a written statement.

"The builders are victims too," says Howard Ehrsam, a civil engineer who founded Chinese Drywall Screening, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., to meet growing demand from homeowners for diagnosis and advice.

Insurance companies "don't know what to do," he says, since contaminated drywall counts neither as a covered peril nor as an exclusion. "Meanwhile you've got the manufacturer, the supplier, the builder, the installer ... a whole chain of custody, so for an attorney it's a case of 'Woo-hoo, we've got all these layers we can sue.'"

He adds: "I've never seen a crisis in the construction industry to this degree ... this is widespread and far-reaching."

For many affected by the contamination scandal, or striving to bring resolution, there is anger and frustration that this is just the latest in a series of health and safety scares relating to imported Chinese goods.

Toxic baby toys, tainted animal feed and toothpaste, hazardous highchairs, and infant formula contaminated with melamine have all been the focus of product recalls or warnings over the past 18 months.

"We need stronger and better quality control coming out of China," says attorney Ervin Gonzalez of Miami, who is suing Knauf on behalf of 150 drywall victims. "And if China isn't doing it, the countries buying from them need to do a better job themselves."

Amid questions as to why it has not done a better job of screening imports for dangerous defects, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal body charged with protecting the public from such risks, is now mounting an investigation into the drywall issue. It has dispatched toxicologists, electrical engineers, and compliance staff to Florida to speak with victims and take samples from their homes.

"We are working towards initiating a testing program and liaising very closely with federal parties and state departments of health," says spokesman Scott Wolfson. "We are following the facts."

In recent months, the commission has also started posting staff at U.S. ports to work alongside customs officials in scrutinizing imports more closely. "Now we have the ability to focus on looking at where these products come in, and what can we be doing better to look at their quality and safety," says Wolfson.

For a while, Mrs. Galvin lodged with friends and at hotels until moving to New Jersey while still struggling to pay the mortgage on her uninhabitable condo in Florida. She owns a boutique in Atlantic City and has cleared out all items marked "Made in China" from her inventory. New additions to her stock include T-shirts that she has had printed with the words: "No more toxins from China."

"This whole problem has wiped people out, both economically and emotionally," she says.

"We don't know what to do, we can't get answers and the banks still want their mortgage money. But at least now I know I'm not allergic to Florida; I was just being poisoned by my house."

President Obama said...

I have been personally briefed regarding the Agudath Israel statement denying the Holocaust. This is a matter of grave concern.

New Project backed by the Agudah said...


April 23, 2009

Craigslist Suspect Supporters Organize on Facebook

Filed at 4:57 p.m. ET

BOSTON (AP) -- Police have said it was the Internet that got him in trouble, but now supporters of the man who has been accused of killing a masseuse he met through Craigslist are going online to rally around him.

A new Facebook group called ''Phil Markoff is Innocent Until Proven Guilty'' describes itself as a forum to rally against the media and a culture ''that has forgotten that people like Phil are suspects, not killers.''

Markoff, a Boston University medical student, is charged in the April 14 killing of Julissa Brisman, a 26-year-old masseuse he met through Craigslist. He is also charged in a robbery of another masseuse he allegedly met through Craigslist. Police have said there could be more victims.

Markoff has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, armed robbery and kidnapping.

Markoff was arrested Monday in Walpole, less than 20 miles southwest of Boston, as he drove with his fiancee, Megan McAllister, to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.

McAllister, who earlier this week told ABC News in an e-mail that Markoff could not hurt a fly, is still standing behind him, her father, James McAllister, told reporters Thursday.

''She's still confident in Phil. Other than that, we're saying a lot of prayers,'' he said outside his home in Little Silver, N.J.

Defense attorney John Salsberg has said Markoff isn't guilty of the charges.

Another phony "promise" from the Sleeper Cell said...

Obama said this past week he wouldn't prosecute CIA agents for interrogating Arab terrorists.

Ho Ho Holder just announced today that he will.

And did anyone see that picture broadcast around the world of Obama embracing Hugo Chavez?

One more thing. Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma said he will fight Obama's hidden energy tax of $3000 per person, including on poor people.

David Rappoport and Josh Szpilzinger said...


We are being bad boys at Emporio on 13th Ave.

JWB Richter Scale said...

Dallas: Akiba Day School Rabbi Mark Stolovitsky mstolovitsky@akibaacademy.org 214-295-3400

Phoenix: Phoenix Hebrew Academy Rabbi Isaac Entin Entin@PhoenixHebrewAcademy.org 602-277-7479

Memphis: Margolin Hebrew Academy Rabbi Dr. Gil Perl gperl@mhafyos.org 901-682-2400x228

Cincinnati: Cincinnati Hebrew Day School Rabbi Yuval Kernerman (513) 351-7777

If the principals don’t listen go to the board members, then the parents directly. These specific schools are Torah U’mesorah’s bragging rights schools. Their severing ties will start the 7.0 earthquake.

More Idiocy from Eckstein said...

In his "Boruch Dayan Haemes" section of YWN, he has to mix in his sick brand of politics.

He usually names every shvogger of the niftar but when it came to R' Elya Svei, he only named R' Shmuel Berenbaum. It is yadua that Eckstein was such a R' Shmuel chossid (and baal agoloh) to the point that he didn't like the other roshei yeshiva shvoggers who he viewed as interlopers.

And for the alter Mirrer Rav Zakheim, he speaks of the son "the noted askan R' Shlomo Zakheim". That's the guy otherwise known as the putz menuval and convicted sex offender Steve Zakheim of Hatzola who is close friends with the lowlife who sent his child to a Jamaican prison with the approval of Aron Schechter.

Wells Fargo Fresser said...

Attorney General Jerry Brown of California sued Wells Fargo on Thursday for $1.5 billion, contending that the bank had misled investors about the safety and liquidity of the auction-rate securities that it sold.

Chaim Dovid Zweibel Esq. said...

It figures Emporio is involved in that after they charged me so much money for the first new tie I bought in 10 years after Boog made fun of me.

Agudah Comes Out Against Clergy Paternity Claims! said...

Leader hit by third paternity claim

Daniela Desantis – Thu Apr 23, 2:42 pm ET

ASUNCION (Reuters) – A third woman in two weeks has claimed that Paraguay's bishop-turned-president Fernando Lugo fathered her child, intensifying a political scandal that has made him the butt of lewd jokes and even a pop song.

Damiana Moran, a teacher aged 39, told local media that Lugo was the father of her 1-year-old son and she was negotiating child support with the president's lawyer.

Two days after going public, a second woman, Benigna Leguizamon, 27, filed a lawsuit Wednesday to get Lugo to take a DNA test to prove he is the father of her 6-year-old boy.

Earlier this month, Viviana Carrillo, 26, stunned Paraguayans when she revealed that Lugo, known as the "bishop of the poor" before he quit the church in late 2006 to run for president, was the father of her son, who is almost 2.

The president recognized Carrillo's boy as his son and even remarked that they looked alike, but he has not accepted or denied paternity in the two newer cases.

Many Paraguayans said he was brave to admit paternity in the first case, and women in his cabinet defended the 57-year-old leader even though Carrillo claimed she started having sex with Lugo when she was 16, below the legal age of consent in Paraguay.

Opposition politicians from the conservative Colorado Party, in power for decades before Lugo's victory, railed that the president was a national embarrassment and not trustworthy but analysts said the political damage would be light.

"Yes, a lot of people are indignant and it will damage Lugo's image, but it's not going to become a question of state or interrupt the government," said analyst Alfredo Boccia.

He predicted that the paternity suits would soon move onto the back pages as Paraguayans turn their attention back to perennial issues such as poverty as the economy stumbles.


The president's office said it was setting up a team to handle the complaints and related media requests.

Lugo was elected a year ago at the head of a center-left coalition and took office in August, pledging land reform to help poor peasants in the landlocked South American nation that exports beef, soy, and electricity.

After his election, Lugo won a rare dispensation from the Vatican allowing him to return to lay status.

Most of Paraguay's 6 million people are Roman Catholics but, as in other Latin American countries, many people have low expectations of priests after repeated pedophilia scandals.

Political commentators said Lugo's failure to make good on his promises of cleaning up corruption and finding land for poor farmers would hurt him more than paternity suits.

"In Paraguay, we don't punish people for moral mistakes. This isn't the United States. But, if he continues being inefficient in governing that will be a much bigger scandal," Bernardino Cano Radil, a former congressman with the Colorado Party, told Nanduti radio station.

Many jokes making the rounds in Asuncion focus on Lugo having broken his vows of celibacy as a bishop but apparently respecting church rules against condoms.

"Lugo's got heart, but he didn't use a condom," go the lyrics of a dance tune being played on the radio.

In fact, in a macho country such as Paraguay, some said Lugo could gain status by breaking priestly vows.

Lugo's brother Pompeyo Lugo told Argentine radio love is more important than celibacy, which goes against human nature, and said the president had lived the greatest love story in Paraguay in a century.

According to the women there were multiple love stories. Carrillo met him when he stayed at the home of her godmother and that he seduced her with his way of talking.

Leguizamon said she met Lugo when she went to the church for help with her first baby, whose father had abandoned her.

Moran told ABC newspaper her son "is the fruit of a relationship that came out of a great love, total surrender."

Boston said...

It figures that dumb blonde fiancee of Markoff is defending him. He was bankrolling her lavish lifestyle by robbing the other women. The killer just tried hanging himself in his cell and has been put on suicide watch.

What's the halacha? said...


Rubashkin's machshir Weissmandel is being slammed for his mother's levaya on Pesach. Is their any heter for travelling by car to different cities when they could have just done everything in Mount Kisco?

Anonymous said...

The Aguda annual dinner is Sunday, May 17, 2009, at the New York Hilton.

Its time.


Bulvan and friends said...

Yehuda Levin & the boys from Jews for Morality protested outside the Agudah Fresser annual dinner when they honored pro-abortion & gay rights Joe Lieberman.

So why can't we get a public protest against the Agudah pro-molester platform?

You can bet that press coverage of any such protest will turn UOJ's inspired poop fest into a messy onslaught of diarrhea at 42 Broadway.

No credit to UOJ? said...

Those Nitra chassidim angry at Weissmandel quote from Rav Shraga Feivel that they shouldn't give any kovod to him.

I wonder how they know about that.

LVF said...

Hilton New York
1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York, United States 10019
Tel: 1-212-586-7000 Fax: 1-212-315-1374

Please call to let them know, that they will be hosting an organisation on may 17 2009, that protects rapists & molestors over the children who have been victimized.

Agudah Fresser said...

I really doubt that the Hilton family gives a rat's tuchess that the Agudah is for molesters.

The old man Conrad Hilton was a Nazi and his great-granddaughter Paris Hilton has dreck for brains.

Dovid Winiarz said...

I know I live in Staten Island, but why did I say yes to Shafran to be honored at Agudah?

So much for my organization:

Survival through Education
2164 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, New York 10314


Rabbi Raymond Haber said...

Yes, I am a Rabbi at Congregation Shaare Zion for the Syrian community.

If you want me to back down from being honored at the Agudah dinner, please talk to:

Isaac Franco

Yosef Rapaport said...

I'm always ready to make a deal.

Contact me:


Maybe Avi read my e-mail as RAPIST and said Ah thats for us.

Paris Hilton said...

When I go wild, I end up in all the tabloids. But, when Rabbis go wild they have all your leaders backing them.

Guests at the New York Hilton must be warned to guard their children from these kiddie rapists and the leaders that enable this.

Please contact James Johnson, Director of Catering, at (212) 261-5709

After that call the main number and express your concern about the safety of any children in the hotel to the HOTEL MANAGER.

FEGS Services said...

Agudath Israel is highlighting their response to the financial downturn.

Please remember:

We proudly serve the needs of the Orthodox job seekers, offer entrepeneurial training seminars and counseling, assistance for infertility, assistance for disbled people, and eating disorder programming among other programs. We are a Jewish organization sensitive to your needs.


When Agudath Israel is stripped of their non-profit status, the Orthodox community employment needs will still be met.

Chodesh Tov UOJ- from Achdut, M.D. said...

Chodesh Tov!!! Happy Rosh Chodesh Iyyar!!! Iyyar, the second month of the Jewish year occurs during the Springtime, the season which is often associated with healing and regeneration. Iyyar is an acronym for the hebrew words "ani hashem refacha- I am the Lord your healer", a noted verse from the torah (shemot:15:26). While the relationship to health and the torah observance is not frequently emphasized as a concentration in mainstream Jewish education, and there are not too many complete books on the subject, it has a deep and rich history and has been discussed by many great sages throughout the ages such as Rambam, the Ramban, Rabbi Israel Baal shem Tov, as well as others.
In society at large people are beginning to discover God Medicine (this is my own term).
God is the healer, he heals all. But God also manifests his healing hand through his messengers; doctors who employ logic, empiricism and science to understand the principles of medicine (midrash shmuel chapter 4). The modern peer reviewed therapeutic intervention, which is developing into an objective research based model of the body and its various pathologies, does not consciously employ God in the healing process and therefore Physicians can theoretically practice medicine with no thought of God whatsoever (quackwatch.com). Thankfully over the last 3 decades there has been a strong interest in the mind body connection, and many areas of the higher consciousness are being explored(seeman et al. 2003)- leaving more room for the integration of spirituality into the modern psychosocial aspects of patient care . The recent scientific and clinical interest in the study of psychoneuroimmunology, which is defined as the minds effect of immune function, is growing significantly and prominent pioneering physicians such as Herbert Benson, Bernie Siegel, and Joan Borysenko are all educating and writing about this profound connection of the body, mind and soul, (See Aryeh Kaplan's great book "Encounters"- it discusses mind and soul beautifully). Preventative medicine another emerging field in the scientific study of modern medicine is growing to the point that even HMO's, through their sophisticated mathematical number crunching process, are realize that it is worthwhile to give their customers incentives, like subsidized gym memberships for staying healthy. This wonderful boom in taking interest of the whole health of the individual, and not just their physiological function (God medicine) is only working through the hand of nature to help affirm many of the Torah opinions of the Great sages.

Similarly in our own Tzibbur there has been a strong interest in reclaiming whole health for the masses. Inquiry into the health and humanness of our diets, the strong, beautiful commitment to childrens safety, and the awareness of the detriments of unhealthy substances are all becoming strong areas of observant Jewish interest. Great pioneers, many of them through the internet, are making many of these issues, previously undiscussed and awkward, the most open and frequent Shabbat table and kiddush discussions. Pulpit rabbis in most shul sermons are opening up about taboos - words like cocaine, molestation, abuse, and alcoholism, which were once "never present" in the orthodox jewish world or "yiddishe velt" are being discussed weekly in response to their congregants sincere interest in cleaning house and uprooting the corruption and evil from our community. Who didn't hear about Bernie Madoff, the streits fiasco, or the aguddah coverup multiple times during the last pesach holiday. It is in the headlines of all the newspapers, blogs and even the street corners ( if you live in Brooklyn someone is putting out flyers in the street).
It is hard and it is painful, but we are beginning to heal. One brother and sister to the next. All of us little "computer" people are collectively working together to clear the way for the spiritual redemption. We must endure and follow the great words of our sages. Especially Moshe and Ahron our esteemed leaders and teachers. We must love each and every one of Gods creations, and bring them closer to Torah (avot 1:12) not push them further away. We must work to reestablish the torah of truth, the torah of Moshe (Moshe emet V'torato emet).
Thank God we are finally starting to think of health of the mind and health of the body. Many thanks to all the great people working tirelessly to clean the bodies and souls of the Jewish people. Thank you Yudel Shain, Shmarya Rsenberg, UOJ, and all you other trailblazing jbloggers for creating accountability and transparency in our unbalanced and often unaccountable leadership.

In refutation to all of those who employ logic and rhetoric in an attempt to spin and warp issues like the agudah coverup, the rubashkin mess, and all of the other unhealthy goings on that directly affected all of us American Jews, I will conclude with a health concept from Moshe, Not Moshe Rabeinu, Moshe ben Maimon, the Rambam, arguably one of the greatest jewish sages, philosophers, and physicians to ever live. In his discussion of health in Chapter 4 of the mishna torah, he discusses the concept of moderation, or common sense, in maintaining health. He does not quantify much or describe many chidusshim (novella) but rather reiterates the most common sense principles, the ones that are most overlooked (mesillat yesharim introduction) but are most fundamental.
Not caring about the health of children, not caring about the health of employees, and not caring about the level of cleanliness , both physical and spiritual, goes against all common sense, it goes against the rules of health, and it goes against the most imperative rule of all, "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary." (Shabbat 31a).

May this Iyyar bring light and healing to everyone who is in pain, everyone who has been hurt by criminals who pretend to represent our leadership... and may the great modern Jewish healers of our day be blessed with truth, clarity and an openness to the eternal Torah.

Chodesh Tov!!!

Anonymous said...

From Vos iz Neias !!

New York - Op-Ed: Agudath Israel and the Markey Bill: Financial Bankruptcy vs. Moral Bankruptcy
Published on: Yesterday at 10:03 AM
News Source: OpEd By Dr. Asher Lipner, Ph.D

New York - Agudath Israel in consultation with its Moetzes Gedolei Yisroel (Coucil of Torah Sages) has finally decided not to support the Child Victims Act of State Representative Margaret Markey. The Markey legislation would extend the statute of limitations on both criminal and civil cases involving the sexual abuse of children, and it would open a one-year "window" durring which all past cases of abuse could be presented in court. It is being supported by both Orthodox assemblymen - Dov Hikind, who has become a champion of the rights of victims, and Sheldon Silver, the Speaker of the Assembly, who has voted for it three times. The benefits of allowing all victims of abuse to confront their abusers in court are best explained in Cordozo Law Professor Marci Hamilton's book, Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect It's Children. Aside from giving survivors of sexual abuse a chance for justice, similar "window" legislation in two other states have helped society identify over 350 sexual predators who were unknown before the legislation. The alternative bill that Aguda is presumably backing, which does not include such a window, is referred to by Ms. Hamilton as the "Hide the Predator Act".

In lockstep with the Catholic Church, their partners in fighting this much needed legislation, Agudah argues that allowing victims of all ages to sue molesters would put into jeopardy, not only the molesters themselves, but also any institution that knowingly or negligently harbored molesters. This would constitute a potential drain on community resources, (since some important Jewish institutions will undoubtedly be implicated because of a long standing tradition of silencing victims in the community) especially at a time when the economy has hurt our institutions’ ability to do so much good for so many people.

I hope the Agudah reconsiders its misguided position and takes into consideration that on this issue, doing the right thing may actually pay dividends "both in this world and the next". Showing the proper compassion, integrity and sense of justice that the victims of sexual abuse deserve and parents of Jewish children demand, not only is the moral thing to do, but may actually serve to avert many a lawsuit in the long run.

An article in the New York Times last year entitled "Doctors say 'Sorry' before 'See you in court'" documented that when doctors were taught to no longer "deny and defend" but rather "disclose, apologize and offer fair compensation" malpractice suits were shown to drop by up to two thirds. "Malpractice lawyers say that what often transforms a reasonable patient into an indignant plaintiff is less an error, than its concealment, and the victim's concern that it will happen again."

Regarding sexual abuse of children, we need look no further than to the recent scandal in the Catholic Church to learn what motivated so many victims of clergy abuse to sue their perpetrators and the institutions that enabled them. Mary Gayle Frawley-O'dea, a psychoanalyst and expert both on sexual abuse and on the Church scandal, has written two books on the dynamics and the history that went into the eventual lawsuits that have cost the church so far upwards of three billion dollars in settlement payouts. She describes the horrors that victims of abuse were put through when they came forward about what happened to them, by a massive cover-up perpetrated by bishops more concerned with their church's image than with children’s safety. This evil reaction to the abus of children under their care was enabled by the arrogant assertion that "nobody would ever dare sue the Catholic Church." The tactics used by bishops to intimidate and harass victims who spoke up eventually did leave victims, quiet for decades, with no other choice but to sue.

Unfortunately, some yeshivas and Orthodox institutions have acted similarly, and the behavior patterns of both leaderships are eerily similar. Who could forget the Satmar mother on the radio, explaining the extreme lengths that she and her son (who was molested in a Williamsburg yeshiva) went to, in order to have the matter redressed "Bederech Koovod", (in a respectful and dignified manner) only to find themselves with no other recourse but to sue when the yeshiva reinstated the molesting rebbe to his classroom just days after the victim's 23rd birthday when the statute of limittations goes into effect. Likewise, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said in his "Grand Jury Investigatin of the Church" that "In some cases, the Grand Jury finds that the diocese procrastinated for the sole purpose of making sure that the Civil and Ciminal Sttues of Limiation were no loonger applicable in the cases."

In yet another Chillul Hashem (Desecration of G-d's name), several claimants alleging sexual abuse at the hands of a rebbe of another yeshiva were forced to sue only after they first provided the yeshiva with a number of opportunities to do the right thing and protect the children. The victims even summoned the administration to a beis din, (religious court) but they were unsuccessful in getting any response. In fact, several victims were courageous enough to tell their stories to rabbis at Torah Umesorah, only to have their abuse discounted because, according to one "Halachic authority," since there had been no sexual penetration there was no crime.

Ironically, in the secular world, it has become de rigueur for prominent people who sexually abuse to be forced by societal pressure to come clean, apologize and enter treatment. When a U.S. Congressman was caught sending illicit emails to underage pages that worked for him, he resigned in disgrace, publicly apologized and announced he would be getting professional help. There were no lawsuits.

A group of survivors of abuse by a rebbe in a well-known yeshiva, have involved me in trying to confront the yeshiva and ask its administration to take some concrete and serious action after the rebbe admitted to the abuse and was "retired". They want the community to be notified of the danger posed by the rabbi, that he get sent for psychiatric treatment, that the yeshiva reach out to any unknown victims, and that they institute reasonable safety precautions that would protect against the same kind of tragedy happening in the future.

What truly shocked me was that a friend of mine asked me "Why would they want to take down an institution that has taught Torah for so many years?" Au contraire; if anything, the love and appreciation that these men have as alumni of this yeshiva, is expressed in their sincere desire to make it a safe place for students to learn. Perhaps this friend was projecting his own feelings onto the victims, thinking that revenge is what he would want to do if it was his child who had been molested. Indeed, perhaps those owners of Yeshivas on the Moetzes who are afraid of lawsuits are also projecting the desire for punishmentonto victims, because of their own guilty feelings. The victims, however, rather than wishing for the “taking down” of the yeshiva would gladly want it to continue teaching Torah under the same management with two important modifications: No more molesting and no more covering up.

Make no mistake, by the way; the leadership crisis is not limited to the Chareidi or the "Yeshiva World." A prominent modern orthodox youth group associated with the Orthodox Union, was found to have covered up for years for a rabbi who abused dozens of teen-agers, both boys and girls, under his care until the scandal was exposed in the pages of a non-Orthodox newspaper. The rabbi-predator eventually went to jail, but only after years of the OU's rebuffing in the strongest means possible, any attempts by survivors to have him removed from proximity to children. Until this day, almost ten years later, the OU has yet to offer a public apology, to publish the findings of the independent investigation it paid community money to conduct, or most importantly, to warn Jewish parents of the danger this rabbi, now out of jail and still professing his innocence, poses for children. However, the OU has at least, courageously joined the RCA and the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children in supporting the Markey legislation showing more concern for children than for the danger of potential lawsuits against its "interests". Survivors of clergy abuse under the OU will undoubtedly feel indebted to them for supporting the survivors' efforts at gaining justice, at some risk of harm to themselves.

The OU is aware that most victims have proven to want nothing other than to have the perpetrators removed from harming children, and to have institutions act responsibly by creating safety measures and accountability. To be sure, an apology and admission of negligence on the part of the institution would obviously be welcomed as well. Like with all Tshuvah, our community establishment needs to admit, be contrite for and stop the sinful behavior and then ask forgiveness from the victims it has so terribly harmed.

However, literally adding insult to injury, victims who have respectfully and courageously come forward, have been bullied, intimidated, vilified and marginalized. In one case, a concerned parent was summoned himself by a prominent Rosh Yeshivah (dean) to a beys din for daring to spread "false rumors" about the molester! This kind of reaction, perpetrated on a traumatized victim of abuse is often more painful than the actual abuse itself. As an example, when the Vietnam veterans returned home, not as welcome heroes, but as scorned and shunned criminals, the levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder reached heights that no other war veterans could ever match. Picture what a Holocaust survivor feels like when they hear someone denying or minimizing their trauma.

Alternatively, while there is no amount of apologizing or even monetary compensation that can give a survivor back what was taken from him or her, the validation and support of the community can go a long, long way towards healing the hurt, and thereby lessening the anger and need for justice. As one Chassidic adult survivor explained, if he had been mugged and beaten on the street, his warm caring community would have rushed to his aide with support, concern and sympathy. But since he was victimized by a rabbi in a horrific sexual attack, when he told people his "dirty" secret, it was he and not the abuser who was disdained. Through my work with victims, I know of so many cases of girls and boys who were literally expelled from Yeshivas for the crime of "being molested". The depth of the trauma lies not so much in the act of abuse (although that is traumatic enough), but in the aquiescence of people in the victim’s environment.

Just as with medical malpractice, most people will not sue if the Jewish establishment will do the right thing and side with the victims and not against them; support Markey, admit the mistakes of the past, acknowledge the pain of the victims, reach out to them to support them, and work to ensure children’s safety. This must include encouraging witnesses and victims to report to law enforcement authorities all criminal sexual behavior, just as Halachic authorities like Rav Elyashiv have mandated us to do. “If you see something, say something.” Our rabbinic leadership should also immediately warn parents not to send their children to preschools, camps or schools that do not have at the very minimum a safety plan in place. Most overnight camps have begun to implement these programs but our schools lag far behind. Aguda needs to endorse not only the idea of mandated fingerprinting and background checks in all Jewish schools, but mandated reporting laws, mandated safety plans, mandatory firing of a teacher who molests even once, and the creation of our own registry available to schools and to parents of teachers who have been found to have acted inappropriately towards children. This would at least catch us up to the bare minimum of safety required in all public schools in New York.

The current position of Agudas Yisroel that goes against the opinion of virtually every single child safety group in the country, has retraumatized many of the victims it claims it cares so much about. After first being molested, then being threatened, intimidated and otherwise pressured to keep quiet for so many years by rabbis and yeshivas, in an attempt to cover up the community's ills, now having the "Gedolim" attempt to deny them their day in court is something that many victims will not soon forget. Trauma, as the Catholic Church has found out, has a paradoxical effect on the human mind. On the one hand, victims of interpersonal trauma are often left without the ability to immediately recall what happened to them. The mind defends against the incredible overwhelming pain by repressing, "splitting off" or "dissociating" these memories. On the other hand, deep inside the brain the barbaric acts are seared into the neural pathways, making them impossible to forget.

The brazen placement of the value of community assets over the value of chidren's safety is all the more shocking since it runs contrary to the halacha on statutes of limitations as expressed by the Agudah's own Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky, when he advised students who alleged they were molested by Rabbi Mattis Weinberg to sue him in Israel because Rabbi Kaminetsky "did not know that there was such a thing in halacha" as a "statute of limitations." (See The Foreward, September 19, 2003). The Aguda's grave mistake in priorities lies in their claim that yeshivas, shuls and summer camps are "the very lifeblood of the community," when all Jews know that it is our children who are our lifeblood and nothing else. It is they who the Chosen people were required to offer as collateral when we accepted the Torah, according to the Medrash, to guarantee that we will remain worthy of our covenant with G-d. And it is their very breath that keeps the universe in existence according to the famous Talmudic statement.

The Agudah's thinking here is not only a sign of callousness and cruelty, it doesn't make good economic sense. If anti-semites would want to stir up victims of abuse and hurt them so bad that they would feel compelled to sue Jewish institutions, they could not have devised a better way to do it than what Agudah has done with their pronouncement. In the end, nobody can guarantee that if the Child Victims Act passes, no yeshiva or institution will be "taken to the cleaners", especially in the more egregious cases of willful covering up of the molestation of innocent Jewish children. But when I pointed this out to a friend who is an adult survivor of abuse, and expressed concern that some yeshivas of this type may be forced into bankruptcy, he wisely told me not to worry, explaining that such institutions "are already bankrupt - morally."

Asher Lipner, Ph.D. holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies of Adelphi University. He completed his formal internship training at Harvard Medical School and is a NYS certified school psychologist. Asher also has Smicha (Rabbinical Ordination) from Bes Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ. He has worked for the past 5 years in the Orthodox Jewish community with both victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse, and serves as the Vice President of the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children.

Yudi Kolko said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Speaking of OU-RCA cover ups said...

Ironically it was Moses Tendler of all people who said Rafi Butler had to be fired from the OU for the Baruch Lanner cover up.

Today, Rabbi Butler is the rabbi of the hashkama minyan at Young Israel of Jamaica Estates. He also gives shiurim at Young Israel of Holliswood and at homes in both of those neighborhoods as well as in Fresh Meadows with the imprimatur of those shuls.

Butler has been peddling around that he followed the advice of "gedolim" on "dealing" with Lanner and that he is therefore innocent.

When Young Israel and RCA officials are asked how Butler can be a rabbi at a Young Israel shul, they parrot his Nuremburg defense that he was just vollowing orders.

These modern orthodox, not Charedi, communities in Queens are rather dense. Most residents are not even aware of the Lanner scandal and think that Butler simply retired from the OU to pursue other interests. If you mention anything about it, most people give you dirty looks in disbelief that you are trying to slander the good rabbi. The very small percentage who know about the scandal defend him.

Joe Putz said...

Which shmuck was emailing all those insults to Dr. Salamon?

Was it Avi Shafran or Marvin Shit?

Anonymous said...

JWB says Baltimore is a city of enablers:

1) http://www.jewishtimes.com/index.php/jewishtimes/news/jt/local_news/controversy_grows_over_rabbi_max_case/11975

April 24, 2009

Controversy Grows Over Rabbi Max Case

Alleged victims of Rabbi Jacob A. Max tell their stories.

Phil Jacobs
Executive Editor
Baltimore Jewishtimes

Judy Flax-Gerstein called the April 13 conviction of Rabbi Jacob A. Max on fourth-degree sexual molestation charges “the greatest moment of my life.”

She alleges that she, too, was molested by Rabbi Max; the incident occurred 10 years ago when Ms. Flax-Gerstein worked in the Moses Montefiore Anshe Hebrew Congregation (Liberty Jewish Center) religious school office as a secretary.

Ms. Flax-Gerstein was a single mother with five children. She wanted her kids to observe their b’nai mitzvah at Liberty Jewish Center. Her second oldest child was studying for his bar mitzvah when all of this happened.

Ms. Flax-Gerstein lived in the Jones Valley neighborhood, across the street from Rabbi Max’s residence.

“His secretary had left to go home or go to the bank for maybe a total of half an hour,” she recalled of that day. “Rabbi Max called in and asked for his messages. He asked me ‘Who is with you?’ There was nobody else there. He came into the office. My back was towards him when I heard him come out of his office. He pushed me into the wall. He came closer, kissed me and put his hand down my shirt.

“I screamed at him, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ He said, ‘I guess I am a bad rabbi.’ I couldn’t breathe. I put the office keys on the table, and I just left and went home. I then ran into my house. Max then came into my house saying, ‘It was a mistake. Don’t tell Eileen [the rabbi’s wife].’

“I was like in a tailspin. I called the synagogue’s treasurer, who was in charge of the front office, and he told me to meet him at the shul. I’m in my car and I look into the rearview mirror, and there’s Rabbi Max, following me.

“I told my boss what happened, with Max just sitting there. And Max didn’t deny anything. I said to Max, ‘I can’t believe this is happening. You are an ordained rabbi. What were you thinking?’ I wrote out a timeline report to the board, and I gave it to them.”

Ms. Flax-Gerstein said she was soon fired from her job at Liberty Jewish Center. She said she was told to make other arrangements for her son’s bar mitzvah and her children’s Hebrew school education.

“Bob Meyerson [the congregation’s president] and Rob Rubin told me they didn’t need me any longer, and they decided it was in the best interest that I just leave the shul. I burst into tears and walked out.”

Mr. Meyerson told the BALTIMORE JEWISH TIMES that he had no knowledge of why Ms. Flax-Gerstein left Liberty Jewish Center.

“I have no recollection of why she had to leave the shul, and it wasn’t by me,” he said. “I do not remember having a conversation with her, but I do recall the letter she wrote.”

Mr. Meyerson said Rabbi Max “absolutely denied any of this happened. He said that she made it up. If someone told her to leave, I don’t have knowledge of it. But he denied it and that was the end of it. It was basically a she said/he said issue. The rabbi had been there forever, so I wouldn’t question [his denial].”

Ms. Flax-Gerstein said she had a telephone conversation with Mr. Meyerson. In that conversation, she said Mr. Meyerson said the rabbi denied her allegations.

Mr. Meyerson said in that phone conversation, he let Ms. Flax-Gerstein “rant and rave,” that she was “venting.”

The summation, though, confirmed by Mr. Meyerson, was that if anyone had to go, it wasn’t going to be the synagogue’s long-time spiritual leader, especially since, as he said again, this was a “she said/he said.”

Ms. Flax-Gerstein said, “This will always be in the archives of my brain. It’s not fair that he’s allowed to do this and get a slap on the wrist with a suspended sentence. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

She said she has also made contact with Kathleen Cahill, attorney for the victim who pressed charges after she said she was molested by Rabbi Max last December at Sol Levinson & Bros. funeral home.

When asked why she did not press charges in 1999, Ms. Flax-Gerstein said, “I was afraid, and I didn’t know what to do.”

Debbie Troutman
She says she was a 16-year-old girl when the moment happened. The Torah scroll was being returned in its traditional procession. She stood near the back of Liberty Jewish Center when the procession arrived. Instead of moving forward to kiss the Torah, she was moved to step backward and sit down.

“Rabbi Max was in the procession,” Ms. Troutman said. “He was holding the Torah. He walked over to me and said to me, ‘Hey baby, you look great. Why don’t you come to my office afterwards?’”

She said she was castigated by her parents for sitting down in front of the Torah. When she told them why she had to sit, Ms. Troutman said her parents were still more upset at her actions than the rabbi’s.

“Because he was a pillar of the community, nobody believed me,” Ms. Troutman said. “I am shocked that he finally got caught, but very glad. I can’t begin to describe how I feel. I’m beside myself. I was so pleased because of the conviction. I was so pleased because I saw a conviction there.”

Ms. Troutman, now 55, said she has always considered herself one of the “lucky ones” because after the incident, she would never allow herself to be in a position where she would be alone with Rabbi Max.

“I left shul many years ago,” she said. “The reason I left was because of him, because of his innuendos and off-the-wall comments. I thought, ‘If this is what religion is all about, I don’t want to be a part of it.’ I still consider myself to be Jewish, but organized religion is not for me. He’s the only reason I walked away. There’s zero doubt in my mind.”

Ms. Troutman, like many other women interviewed, said she and her parents did not think about going to any authorities about the matter because “back then, you just didn’t do it. After all, he’s a rabbi, he’d never do that, and that’s what I heard from my parents. I think it was that simple. I feel safe in saying, it was going on.”

If the rabbi loses his appeal and receives a prison sentence, Ms. Troutman said that would be “ludicrous.” She said she wants to see him forfeit his ordination and any ability to officiate at organized events.

But mostly, she said she wants him to admit his transgressions and apologize. “Just admit it, be a man,” she said. “Step up and be a man.”

2) http://blogs.jewishtimes.com/index.php/jewishtimes/philjacobs/enabling_rabbi_max/

On My Mind
by Phil Jacobs
Executive Editor
Baltimore Jewishtimes

Enabling Rabbi Max

He officiated at my wedding.
He officiated at my wife’s bat mitzvah.
He officiated at my sister-in-law’s wedding.
Rabbi Max also asked that same sister-in-law out on a date. He was 52, she was 21.
Okay, but that was Rabbi Max, well, being Rabbi Max.
None of us long-time Jewish Baltimoreans needed to be reminded that there was always a wink or a permissible zone of conduct not reserved for many others, that we permitted with Rabbi Max.
His reputation as a hugger, kisser, lady’s man happened in public view.
We thought it was cute.
He’s 50 years old and he still likes the girls.
But then it became, he’s 60 years old and he still likes the girls.
Then 70.
He was 85 when he was convicted for fourth degree sexual assault of a woman almost half his age.
Is it cute now?
Sure, I’ve had people to my face give him full credit and admiration for being able to reach any semblance of sexual arousal at his age.
Let it not be ignored, that we let this happen.
One victim told me that she begged her parents not to have to go into the rabbi’s Liberty Jewish Center office when she was 14. She thought he was “creepy.”
When she returned to her mother and told her the rabbi kissed her on the lips and touched her, she was asked to keep it quiet. Rabbi Max didn’t ask her to keep it quiet. Mom did. Rabbi Max knew something. The young teen’s word wouldn’t be believed.
How could she be believed?
This was the rabbi who married her parents. He eulogized her grand parents. He was the rabbi who wasn’t going to pass judgment on their religious practice. He was the rabbi who’d make a joke and crack a smile.
One could, without mentioning a name, say, “I know of this rabbi in Baltimore who loves the ladies,” and before the sentence was finished, the other person would most likely guess Rabbi Max.
He is convicted of a sex crime. Now, he appeals.
We receive phone calls and emails, some from women who see his conviction as vindication for a secret that’s tormented their lives.
We also receive comments from people who call the reporting of this crime and possible others “one sided,” and that Rabbi Max has done so much for so many over the years.
Maybe all along, through the years, we were a little too one sided in our past reporting of Rabbi Jacob Max.
In the December 1, 2000 edition of the Jewish Times, a cover story lists all of the wonderful accomplishments and contributions Rabbi Max has made to this community. That’s not the only story like that over the years. I’ve written them, my colleagues have written them.
We didn’t ask him then difficult questions such as there is this feeling in the community that you have been a bit too familiar with the ladies. Yet we knew about the “big elephant in the room.”
There’s also this discussion focused on the woman who brought about the charges, the former Levinson’s employee. “Why did she go to a civil attorney before calling the police? She just wants money.” Those are the “clean” comments we’ve gotten. Some people have all but compared her victimization as an act of prostitution. Others pretty much have told us that she was the cause for all of this, that she led Rabbi Max on. And why couldn’t a 44-year-old push back an 85-year-old?
I don’t know any of those answers. Maybe a person freezes when they feel someone they trust place a hand on their breast without consent.
Still, all of this might have been prevented. We enabled it to get this far. The smirks, the eye ball rolling, the comments. Instead, maybe we had a man, a spiritual leader, who maybe, just maybe, needed help. We just let him get away with “cute.” Cute was worth the risk. And because seemingly nothing was being done, there was more reward than risk. He knew that. After all, who was going to tell? Certainly nobody in the Jewish community. Perhaps that’s why the victim, who seemingly isn’t Jewish, felt un-encumbered to press these charges. She doesn’t have to go home to this community. Her parents were not married by him,. Her grandparents weren’t buried by him. She’s free and clear. We’re not.
“Rabbi Jacob A., Max has left a lasting impression upon our community.”
That was the headline on the December, 2000 article.
We just are wondering what it meant then and what it means now.

Posted by Phil Jacobs on 04/22/09 at 02:23 PM

Orthodox D.C. Political Insider said...

The poor Golem Kalish of Agudah didn't realize taht all he was given was a glorified photo-op. The President is not going to reinstate the useless spending.

After the joint statement from Agudah & Torah U'Mesorah mocking old victims, they lost every shred of respect in the eyes of the President. Only a clear, unambiguous retraction of the Orthodox Jewish view on child protection will work to regain any respectability.

It is a sad day here for Orthodox causes in Washington. The brat Shafran refuses to answer e-mails or pick up his damn phone.

Avi, I know you read this site. Do the right thing, retract your statement, and back the tougher stance on child protection.

Queens said...

You're not alone buddy. I had to stop speaking up about Butler because my wife was upset it wouldn't be good for us in the community. I just don't go to his shiur or his minyan. He plays a very minor role in any case and I don't know that he would be in a position now to cover up for another molester. One Young Israel rabbi from another community wondered to me if Butler deserves some kaf zechut since Lanner was a very manipulating and convincing psychopath. I wasn't there so I can't say.

What the ... ? said...

What the hell is wrong with Phil Jacobs and the modern orthodox Baltimorons?

How can some sleazy old man trying to French kiss every 16 year old girl be considered "cute"? Especially when he is a rabbi!

Even Al Gore gives up on Shea Fishman said...

Gore gives blessing to climate change bill

Boston Globe - ‎23 minutes ago‎

Moetzes Resign! said...

Pressure builds on Bank of America's Ken Lewis

Blaming Hank Paulson for being forced to keep details about the Merrill deal secret won't help the Bank of America CEO in a struggle with shareholders.

By Colin Barr, senior writer
April 23, 2009

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Questions about whether Bank of America breached its duties to shareholders come at an inconvenient time for embattled CEO Ken Lewis.

According to documents released Thursday by a top state prosecutor, the BofA (BAC, Fortune 500) chief met repeatedly late last year with federal regulators and the bank's board to discuss the deteriorating condition of Merrill Lynch, the struggling brokerage BofA had agreed to acquire in September.

At one point, according to an account released by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Lewis told then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson that BofA was considering backing out of the Merrill deal -- only to relent when Paulson said regulators, fearing a financial sector collapse, might respond by removing Lewis and his directors.

The Cuomo report certainly won't go down as a shining moment for a government that has twisted itself in knots claiming it wasn't pulling the strings at financial firms it invested in.

But worse, to some observers, is BofA's failure to disclose any of this information to its shareholders -- regardless of Lewis's claim he was being leaned on by Paulson.

(Sounds like Scheinerman caving in on Kolko when he was threatened)

Ronnie gets no respect said...


Detroit's youth: We'll leave if we have to

If young Detroiters can't find jobs, an exodus could be in the works.

OU.ORG said...

“When a person shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising or a scab or a bright
spot, and it becomes in the skin of his flesh the plague of tzara’as, then he shall be
brought to Aharon the Kohen or to one of his sons, the Kohanim.” Vayikra 13:2

The Torah declares that the condition of ritual purity or impurity is only established
with the declaration of the Kohen as he verbally pronounces the verdict. – Rashi

The metzora has allowed his mouth to speak indiscriminately, as he has spoken words
of contempt and ridicule about his fellow man. His status of remaining or of being reinstated
as pure then depends upon the mouth of the Kohen, about whom the prophet Malachi states
(2:7): “For the lips of the Kohen will guard knowledge, and Torah will be sought from his
mouth, for he is as an angel of Hashem.” This is most appropriate for one who has sinned
with his mouth to look to a role model who demonstrates proper usage of the power of speech.

The role of the Kohen has been to serve as a model for the rest of the nation, and it is
his power of proper speech that best characterizes his special nature. The story is told
(Peshachim 3b) of how once, as the Kohanim received their portions of the Lechem
HaPanim, one claimed to his friend, “I received a piece as large as a bean!” His friend
retorted, “I received a piece the size of a lizard's tail.” This manner of relating to the holy
loaves which had come from the table in the sanctuary was so inappropriate that those
who heard it were shocked. Could it be that a Kohen would verbally express himself and
use his power of speech in a way that degraded and disgraced the holy loaves? As a result
of the uproar that was caused due to his remarks, an investigation was conducted
regarding the background of that Kohen, and it was discovered that his family history did,
in fact, disqualify him from his position as a Kohen. He was then deposed.

The reason why an investigation was launched simply due to this man’s having
spoken improperly was that the very nature of a Kohen is a function of how he uses his
words. The flaw of speaking disparagingly about a holy and special object revealed an
undermining deficiency which had to be exposed.

The Agudath Israel has spoken improperly of victims of sexual abuse, mocked victims as delusional “senior citizens”, and has created an unholy alliance with the Catholic Church. The Agudath Israel and Torah U’Mesorah must retract the brazen statement made. If our own Orthodox community leaders feel no compunction to harm our own children, why would an Anti-Semitic leaning world care about our community?

Question for UOJ said...

Who does Shafran ultimately take his orders from?

Zweibel has now replaced Shmuel Bloom, said to be a big intransigent on sex abuse but do these baal habatim make all the decisions on their own? Are they controlled by the Moetzes or are the rabbis just figureheads?

Anonymous said...

A rosh yeshiva who is one of the good guys told me that Shafran will never admit a mistake. The best you can hope for him he said is that if he gets enough petch from the public he won't repeat his dumb miscalculations.

The rosh yeshiva said this a few years ago in error, completely underestimating Shafran's idiotic potential.

Jack Dick said...


Even as Madoff was planting the first seeds for his future role as a Ponzi schemer, he got a firsthand lesson in fraud: He was fleeced by one of the great charlatans of the 1960s. The perpetrator was a con artist with the evocative name of Jack Dick, who was sanctioned by the authorities multiple times and yet regularly managed to launch new schemes. His largest and most famous operation was known as Black Watch Farms, which sold investments in Angus bulls in the days when tax shelters were the rage. Dick himself became a wealthy and prominent figure in society. The New York Times' Gay Talese chronicled a 1964 bull auction conducted by Dick that was attended by the likes of U.S. Senator Al Gore Sr. and a representative for former President Dwight Eisenhower. Newspapers described Dick's "opulent" life in a mansion that had formerly belonged to the mother of an owner of the New York Yankees.

Then it all collapsed. Dick was accused of embezzling $3.2 million from Black Watch's bank but died before the case could be resolved. Madoff, who had committed $85,000, was one of many left holding the bag. The press descriptions of Dick's downfall resonate today. "He's one of the most brilliant persons I ever met," said one victim quoted in a 1971 Wall Street Journal article. The article noted, "If he has any flaw, one critic says, it's confidence in his own judgment that is so excessive it borders on a belief in his own infallibility."

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

There are a host of reasons the Agudah has taken the position that it has over the last 40 plus years on the child sex-abuse issue.

Perhaps I'll go into more detail another time; but what I am certain about is that the Agudah rabbis and organization can be tied directly with irrefutable evidence that would stand-up in court on the rules of evidence, that ties them directly, both the rabbis and the lay people, to covering-up for numerous child predators and the yeshivas that knowingly harbored them.

So if/when the Agudah and their officers gets sued personally, and for example Perlow is deposed, he could be personally liable and lose everything he has.

How far of a stretch is it that Kaminetzky gets sued then, or deposed, and is found personally liable for the Eisemann shuffle, the survivors then are able to take his Philly real estate holdings and whatever else they can find.

And what about Avrohom Chaim Levin in Chicago who sent Mondrowitz to Brooklyn.

What about Dovid Cohen who did the Agudah Shuffle with Mondrowitz, what happens to his building on Coney Island Av.

What about OHEL who employed and referred Mondrowitz to unsuspecting parents?

And lets NOT forget about the lay leaders with assets --- what if they are deposed, and they are tied to the willfull cover-ups?

It never was about the kids' welfare -- they are criminals in bed with each other, all of them, to protect themselves.

I've been shouting this from the rooftops for 4 years now --- until they are sued, and the Agudah dismantled one criminal at a time, and a new Jewish advocacy group is put in place, they will forever be an obstacle to the welfare of all the Jewish people.

I wish I was wrong...as I said many times.

Most Rabbonim Today are Cowards said...


I usually agree with Mayer Fertig but I think he may be missing some of the facts in the Streits fiasco. It IS an avlah that the 5 Towns & Queens Vaadim sprung this right before Pesach, but only because they were silent for years of their knowledge that Streits kashrus standards had already gone down the tubes.

I am surprised that Mayer sees Hershel Billet as the good guy and Yossi Eisen as the villain in all of this. Billet and his fellow rabbonim employ Eisen and dictate what he says, not the other way around. That's why Yossi Eisen has been silent on Rubashkin, who Billet has been covering up for and attacking it's critics.

If anyone should resign or be forced out it is the two-faced pulpit rabbonim of Queens & Nassau counties.

Motty Dick said...

No relation!

Politically incorrect said...

Shmarya keeps sinking to new lows.

Today he insinuates the Mumbai shaliach hy'd who was murdered by al Qaeda was engaging in devorim assurim to get advice from the dead Lubavitcher Rebbe who advised him to stay in Mumbai and make what Shmarya deems to be bad decisions about having children with potential for Tay-Sachs. Not bad for an old failure of a bachelor who has no family while he addictively blogs in his underwear in his 50s.

If there was any kind of doresh el hameisim or kishuf, as opposed to something like Goral HaGr"a that is an outrage but Shmarya has no evidence and doesn't even bother to mention how he knows this hearsay. The hypocrite is always quick to accuse rabbis of relying on hearsay.

NY State Tax Dept imitates Shafran - doesn't admit mistakes said...


By Jim Hoffer

LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- For five years now, a Long Island man has battled the state tax department.

It's ruined his credit rating and cost him tens of thousands of dollars, and all because of a tiny debt dating back three decades.

With New York desperate to fill its empty coffers, the tax collectors are reaching way back and going after the smallest of debtors, using heavy-handed tactics to get what it thinks is theirs.

"This is legal governmental extortion," Gary Westwood said.

This retired FDNY firefighter has a kitchen table filled with tax warrants, legal documents, and notices of seized assets. A red tape hell that started back in 2004.

"I get a notice that my tax refund will not be forthcoming from the state it is being applied to other tax liability," Westwood said.

That other liability was an unpaid sales tax of $23-hundred dollars that dated back to 1978 when Gary Westwood owned a restaurant. But the state Department of Taxation and Finance waited 26 years to inform Westwood he owed the back tax. All during that time, penalties and interest piled up ballooning the 23-hundred dollar debt to $64-thousand dollars. "They went after my bank accounts. They went after any monies I had. They went after my stock and bonds," he explained.

Making matters worse, since Westwood had sold the restaurant back then, he didn't owe the state a dime. But the state's tax enforcement office kept sending him tax warrants and continued seizing his assets -- $24-thousand dollars in assets. He finally found an attorney gutsy enough to take on the tax bureaucrats.

"In Gary's case, they've been collecting from him for years, garnishing wages, garnishing other payments to him, even taking his tax refunds that Mr. Westwood was entitled to," Jack Trachtenberg of Hodgson & Russ explained.

Westwood's attorney says he's noticed a significant increase in these kinds of cases.

"They're digging up more cases and going after them more aggressively, so you might surmise that it's a revenue issue or driven by revenue needs," Trachtenberg said.

A tax court finally agreed with the attorney that Westwood never owed the state any money. The Department of Taxation and Finance was ordered to "cancel in full" all of his client's tax liabilities and refund his seized assets.

Even though he won, Westwood has still not gotten any money back.

"Eleven months later, no idea if it will ever come. My lawyer bills me monthly for phone calls, letters and faxes requesting the status of the refund. Not very forthcoming. This is our state, our government," he said.

Meanwhile, it's been almost a year since the state was told to pay-back Westwood. The tax bureaucrats so aggressive when mistakenly seizing his assets, now seem in no hurry to give his money back.

"I'm really dismayed. If this is all they can do with a small thing like this, imagine something important," Westwood said.

Here's the good news. Forty-eight hours after we called the State Department of Taxation and Finance, a spokesman there told us all Mr. Westwood's tax warrants have been cancelled and they plan to expedite his total refund.

David Zweibel said...

Behave UOJ readers and listen to what "Uncle Avi" Shafran tells you. We are acting in your best interests.

Evidence that stands up in court said...

What about gangsters like Belsky, Margo, Applegrad and Mendel Epstein?

Those cases should be even more of a cinch.

Dick Shafran said...


Boruch said...

On Rabbi Max,

It's shameful in my eyes that the world of Judaism wanted to literally stone HaRav Shlomo Carlebach for lesser behavior. And this became a wink and a smirk behind the hands for the Baltimoreans. Why do we wonder about molestation and lewd behavior? Why? Because we allow it and we would rather de-horn an Ahavas Yisroel then a putrid narcissist. It's not just Baltimore either. We have to save ourselves, with Hashem's help. We can't just look the other way. Hashem wants you to work at being an ehrliche Yid and that means calling a spade, a spade; a molester, a molester. The skirt of Machsom L'fi doesn't spread wide enough to hide these low-lifes. The Chafetz Chaim would brech if he would've known his works were used to enable this pervasion. Yidden this isn't funny. At 85 or 25 the sentence should be chemical castration and a lobotomy. I'd rather have them be drooling idiots in a care facility then drooling over your daughter.

Anonymous said...

How do we prevent Agudath Israel from changing their name to:


Archie Bunker said...

What Shmarya did today is really insidious.

R' Gavriel Holtzberg (Hashem yinkom damav) by all accounts was NOT a Meshichist. The Volover & Bobover mashgichim would not be hanging out there and eyewitnesses that Shmarya knows like Professor Isaac Balbin who visited the Chabad house have said so in public.

This does not stop Shmarya from lumping this kadosh, who cannot defend himself from Shmarya's slander from his grave, together with the Bolivian fool who has Moshiach posters all over his Chabad outpost.

Shmarya just cannot resist any juicy opportunity, no matter how contrived and far-fetched, to badmouth orthodox Jews.

I cannot tell this to Shmarya's face on his blog because the coward blocks me from informing his readers of his lies and deceit.

Naftoli "Zukes" Cukier in Lakewood said...


Say what you want as long as you keep giving money for da Rrrrussians!

(No comment on how big of a cut of the proceeds go to my own pocket)

Maybe Shafran Will Laugh At This Too said...

A teenage girl living in the insular upstate New York shtetel of New Square took her own life in Lakewood, New Jersey where she was vacationing. Religious leaders in the shtetel are creating a complete news blackout regarding the story and are attempting to curb any details of the suicide from leaving the community or from being further discussed between the shtetel residents.

Anonymous said...

JWB submits two more enteries for the Avi Shafran Baltimoron of the year title:

1) Larry Dobres

April 24, 2009

One-Sided Reporting


There are a few items that Phil Jacobs omitted from his one-sided attack on the most popular rabbi in the modern-day history of Baltimore Jewry.

Who was the rabbi that formed a much-needed modern Orthodox synagogue and Hebrew school in the Liberty Heights area over a half-century ago? Who was the rabbi who gave young women a chance to become bat mitzvahed in a group or class surrounding?

Who was the rabbi who gave adults the chance to become bar or bat mitzvahed if they missed the opportunity when they reached age 13? Which rabbi’s shul was so popular that double bar mitzvahs occurred on Shabbat in the ’60s? Which rabbi was once referred to in an article by this magazine as “Marrying Max” because he officiated at more weddings than all of the Baltimore rabbis combined from the ’60s through the ’80s?

Which rabbi did families unaffiliated with a shul call on most often to conduct a funeral of a loved one? Which rabbi made Jewish music and news a mainstay on Sunday morning radio in Baltimore?

The answer to all of these questions is Rabbi Jacob A Max.

None of us, including the editor of this magazine, were present if and when anything out of the unusual may or may not have occurred in December. What proof beyond a reasonable doubt was there for the female judge to come forth with her verdict?

All I read were a bunch of he said/she said statements. What right did Phil Jacobs have to bring into the article unproven accusations from two women from two years ago? Why would this magazine go out of its way to defame the character of a beloved rabbi without absolute proof to support the accusations?

Why did this magazine send e-mails to its subscribers alerting us to read the article before it reached the Sunpaper? What a shameful attempt to try to increase circulation.

Larry Dobres

2) Peter G. Engelman

April 24, 2009

Max Deserves Compassion


Regarding the April 17 article “Rabbi Jacob A. Max Convicted,” I am deeply saddened that the BALTIMORE JEWISH TIMES saw fit to exploit this unfortunate matter with lurid details designed to appeal to the prurient interest of its readers.

This type of reporting is sensationalism at its best and journalism at its worst. Rabbi Max has already paid a dear price by being convicted of criminal behavior. His familiar refrain from the pulpit about leaving a good name (Shem Tov) will haunt him for all eternity.

What punishment could be worse for a man of the cloth? For the JEWISH TIMES to resort to salacious reporting of this regrettable act only reflects back on its own reputation as a fair and unbiased Jewish publication.

Rabbi Max is an iconic figure in the Jewish community and deserves compassion rather than cruelty from his flock.

Peter G. Engelman

Anonymous said...

You got it right with Zukes. Apart from the nudniks at the Kosel, the pushiest shnorrers I have ever met are Zukes and the guy from Mosdos Skver.

It's amazing how the 40% rumored to be the going commission rate works wonders as an incentive to shake people down. And if the shnorrer happens to be a principal in the organization, he is legally allowed to keep up to 95% of the proceeds as long as a portion is recycled for organizational expenses. Whoever drives these panhandlers around in foreign cities takes 40% as a sub-commission.

nuch a sur vivor said...

Perpetrators enact and are enabled through silence and secrecy. Victims disassociate and lose their identity and voices. The only tool we have to fight our way back is with our voices. The Markey's bill is just another opportunity to give us back our voices we lost.

The voice of the Agudah hiding behind Torah U'mesorah while aligning itself with the church and stating "Agudath Israel and Torah Umesorah most vigorously oppose any such legislation. " is "ain kol anos chalusha, v'ain kol anos gevurs kol anos onoichi shomaia" - agudah's statement is the voice of chutspah against hashem and his Torah.

I have NO DOUBT that both on this world and in the next these two organizations will pay a dear price for this earth shattering chilul hashem, and pain they have just inflicted on me and the rest of us survivors. The Gemara in Baba Kama says that if one who has been emotionally hurt is unable to take someone to a Bais Din, they are allowed to moser din l'ishmaim. I urge all us victims / survivors to implore to hashem to take down these two organizations, and restore proper kvod shamaim.

Unfortunately what the gedolim at that infamous convention didn't get is that the work of UOJ in this fight is of the highest level of kedusha. To fight against this is similar to the enacting of Pinchus against Zimri the nasi. Both take up a fight against powerful individuals for the sanctity of violations against our (bris kodesh that has been violated) covenants’ with hashem. May hashem reward him in this world and the next.

Lakewood Talmid said...

Notice how the Agudah did not say they have a psak from any adam gadol to fight the Markey bill. It would be very interesting if any adam kotton has the gall to put his name to it.

Boruch said...

I really think that in 30 years we will have an apologetic Jewish community calling for a retraction of the Megillah. I really think that in 30 years the Shoah will be reproved by apologists in the so-called mainstream orthodox camp. I really think in 30 years that milah and shechitah will be done in secret by a devout few. I think that hellenism in a new and more insidious form is returning and being inculcated into thousand. I know people who can find the good in absolute monsters of humanity and straight forwardly say that they weren't so bad.

I once heard a story about a man travelling with an adom godol. They got into a discussion on a difficult sugya in Shas. The layman was learned and was absolutely amazed by the erudition he heard. Then he asked the fatal question - "Do you have smicha?" The answer was no and the ensuing frost warmed the cochels of Al Gore's heart. This was 20+ years ago. We still believe that a title infers scholarship, wisdom, and is a defense against error. That in and of itself is an error. No degree or paper is enough to absolve any individual from error. The scarecrow needed a brain so the wizard gave him a degree. But the scarecrow wasn't vain, shallow, or deceiving. (For the uninitiated this is from the Wizard of Oz). Infalliability is a notion that is foreign to Yidden. If Moshe Rabbeinu can be tasked by Hashem and denied entry to Eretz Yisroel for the seemingly mild error of striking a rock, then al achas kama ve'kama what is our punishment for winking and smirking. I was taught that winking was akin to the middos of a remai.

There are those, ignorant of what goes on behind closed doors, willing to forgive any form of monstrosity even when it occurs to their own. I think that ignoring these seemingly small and so-called cute behaviors enables worse. We admonish a child when they do something untoward to teach them proper behavior. We should admonish an adult too. Hashem ripped into Moshe Rabbeinu to teach us that no one is above reproach and that our leaders have to act in a manner that is unreproachable.

This hellenistic mentality is not internet based, not from TV, not from magazines, etc. It's not from mixing. We are too comfortable and too familiar with Hashem. We have translated our Torah into the Reader's Digest. It's more fit for the bathroom then the beis medrash. We've made work into a nebel peh. We've dirtied ourselves. Hashem have rachmonis on your children, your erliche kinder who cry out to you. Hashem, we are your servants, servant children of the holy mothers who sacrificed for you. Save us now.

A World Without Agudah said...

The notion that nobody else is capable of representing Orthodox interests besides for Agudah is arrogance at its worst.
Every city has a Jewish Federation with counseling services for children, adults, disabled people, and teenagers. They actively lobby for all things needed in the community. They offer job placement services, free loan funds, and college scholarships to help pay for seminary too. They are a compassionate group who cares about every Jewish person. They don’t force their Jewish observance levels on their clients. So, it’s not like they are going to force you to become Reform in order to help you. In the communities where Agudah has almost no footing there are still vibrant frum communities. YOU have to make the call for help.

For those concerned about employment discrimination, there is something called the government. The Department of Labor has an entire section called the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who works to protect the rights of all employees from discrimination and harassment. Look them up in the phonebook, set up an appointment, and tell them your issue. If it’s truly discrimination, they will handle your case for FREE. YOU must find your voice to stand up for your rights.

For all instances of discrimination there are more resources than you can imagine. Call the accrediting agency, report the discrimination, and press the issue. In cases of truly discriminative behavior, the American Civil Liberties Union will represent you for FREE. Discrimination affects everyone, a company, or organization cannot deny access based on a discriminatory practice. There are laws to protect you.

For zoning problems, unless it’s a legitimately discriminatory practice of a zoning board, nothing will help. If it’s a discrimination problem, call Chabad. Chabad is THE name in zoning discrimination battles. If YOU are too prejudicing to call Chabad, you don’t deserve a meeting place where Hashem should dwell.

The joint statement in question is THE reason why Agudah will be torn down. In the political arena, credibility is the key to success. The statement was an ad hominem attack on victims’ memories, and a denial of credibility of all senior citizens. It placed the value of the real estate of the community above the concern for the children filling those properties. Hence, politicians are being beaten up from all sides to disassociate themselves from Agudah.

Lehman Brothers, Freddie Mac, and General Motors should have taught us that NO ONE IS TOO POWERFUL TO FALL. Putting out a statement which smacks of arrogance, boomerangs against you in the political arena. Politics demands that you be POLITICALLY CORRECT no matter how correct you are. Agudah misread the President’s education meeting as an endorsement, as if to say that they are in good standing. The joint statement wiped ALL good will towards Agudah, and their causes down the drain.

Avi L. Shafran said...

Upon consultation with our rabbis, we are declaring this issue Pidyon Shevuyim. We intend to lobby in Washington to have this adam gadol released.

We also don't trust senior citizens. Maybe the Holocaust never really happened.

We still have our gedolim. So on a scale of one to ten, the murder of 6,000,000 Jews is a three.

Ombudsman said...

"Lehman Brothers, Freddie Mac, and General Motors should have taught us that NO ONE IS TOO POWERFUL TO FALL."

The gedolei Eretz Yisroel fine tuned that to say they fell precisely because of the presumptuous midas kochi veotzem yadi.

It was doros ago that the gedolei Brisk & Vilna said the Agudah would fall into the hands of unsavory "secretaries". There is an old joke about the janitor or security guard who thinks he owns the building. In their arrogance, the Agudah has become that joke except it is not funny.

A World Without YeshivaWorld said...

My stomach is too sensitive to read the crap on YWN. Did that loser Eckstein allow any dissenting comments on the Agudah-TU communique?

Anonymous said...

The Agudah can come in handy when they sometimes have brainy lawyers at their disposal for free in discrimination cases.

At least one of these lawyers however, who is the president of a small Young Israel, is a self-serving kovod zucher who doesn't really care about the Klal. He keeps mumbling about how he can't wait to get his fresser face on TV during a possible press conference.

When someone called him without going through the Agudah for a PIKUACH NEFESH case that would not make him famous, he acted like a rude pig. Not only did he not take the case, but he blew off steam and hung up without even listening. When he found out the next day how dire the situation was, he phoned the people back as evidenced by his caller ID but didn't have enough mentchlichkeit to leave a message when they weren't there to answer.

The people had already gone to the Yenatek organization who provided a different lawyer.

The Agudah Fresser neglected the mitzva and revach vehatzolah came mimakom acher.

Anonymous said...

please give more details on the suicide in lakewood of the skver girl

i herard she asked rabbis for helperious issue and didnt get any

nice job lakewood rabbonim

Anonymous said...


I have heard that Akiva Kagan has been arrested and is no longer teaching in Toras Eliyahu.

Can anyone in RBS confirm or refute this?

See For Yourselves said...

There are over 30 organizations ready to help ALL Jews.

Let Agudah Go Away

Professor Isaac Balbin excorciates Shmarya for his lies said...

What you wrote about the Holtzbergs is pure unadulterated rubbish. I know. I discussed these issues with him. I have said so on your blog. You know there is "at least" doubt but you had to write about the dead because you hated the NY Mag made Chabad sound good.

By the way, they weren't killed. They were murdered. They weren't crossing the road. However, to demonstrate your pathological hate, you had to cling to unproven nonsense besmirching kedoshim and (as always) use them to attack the idiot meshichist from Bolivia.

Even the meshichist in Bolivia doesn't deserve to be attacked by the anti-semites over there, but you are too busy hating your ex-colleagues to make that point. Instead, you attack the dead with lies.

Posted by: Isaac Balbin | April 25, 2009 at 08:25 AM

Shmarya's Rude and Weak response said...

If you know the truth, write it. Why did two Tay Sachs carriers marry, have a child with Tay Sachs, then have another child with Tay Sachs? Why?

All I know is what I have been told by others who knew them.

On the subject of NY Mag, you know there are many errors of fact in that piece. All make Chabad look good. You don't seem to care much about the truth when lies benefit your friends.

Stop hurling invective. Tell the truth or shut up.

Posted by: Shmarya | April 25, 2009 at 09:07 PM

Professor Balbin answers:

You know something, I know the truth but when I spoke with Reb Gavriel it was in confidence. Let me just say a few things.
a) the doctors in India couldn't diagnose the illness properly ... it's not exactly known over there
b) you are kidding yourself if you think they simply had another child in this knowledge
c) there was a gap between the first two and the last.

I don't need to say anymore, do I?

You also know what I have written, and I knew them from almost day one in Bombay up to two weeks before their murder.

That should have at least told you that there is at least some question about the authenticity of your information.

I'd suggest that a caring person would not push that button any further. A caring person would certainly not drag them through the mud in making comments about an affair in Bolivia involving a meshichist lulu and an anti-semitic attack on that person and his institution.

If there was a place where you could go out and buy some sensitivity, I'd suggest you stand in line tomorrow morning.

If that's also invective, sorry.

If a pro-chabad article in NY Mag (even with the hyperbole therein) causes you to lose that sensitivity, you might be better off not reading topics like that which, at least in my opinion, make you lose a common level of decency and adopt a rather feral attitude.

Posted by: Isaac Balbin | April 25, 2009 at 10:21 PM

Shmarya digs his paws in:

You need to tell the truth. You aren't doing that now.

To believe you, we must believe ,the Holtzberg's were not tested before marriage. But this testing is supposed to be standard.

So, again: Either tell the truth or shut up.

Nothing you have written contradicts what I have heard from others close to the family or what I wrote.

Posted by: Shmarya | April 25, 2009 at 11:22 PM

Professor Balbin:

You have (at least) 3 choices:

a) assume that because I will not reveal all I know that all that I have said is a "lie"

b) assume that I have lied in respect of what I have revealed, and assume that I am playing a game by not revealing the rest

c) assume that I am telling the truth and cannot reveal everything

Trust me 99.9% of people who frequented the actual chabad house did not know, and that includes those who were there as often as I, and more frequently than I.

A sensitive person, when faced with these possibilities might conclude that it's best not to go down this path, especially in the context of a story about a bolivian meshichist lulu attacked by anti-semites.

That you choose to assume I'm a liar is your (self-serving?) choice, but have respect for the kedoshim for crying out loud. I'd like to think that any education system would discourage people from going down the path that you choose in the face of (at least) contradictory information.

I had a great interest in ensuring Moshe (and the poor unborn child) were free of this horrible illness and it goes without saying that so did their parents.

Posted by: Isaac Balbin | April 26, 2009 at 01:27 AM

Anonymous said...

Akiva Kagan's case has gone to the AG's office for review. We await the verdict.

The fact that it has gone this far means that the police consider it a credible case.

Taksha,Gottlieb,Kornfeld and Malinowitz better start shaking in their boots for even if the AG decides not to prosecute it will be on record what this low life tried to get away with.

Thanks to "gedolim (as according to the #1/#2 gedolim/ketanim)" like these rabbis in RBS more and more Akiva Kagans will be able violate our children without fear of punishment.

Anonymous said...

Dear Hashem,

I’m at the end of my strength in Emunah.

As a victim of abuse, I was told by YOUR guardians of YOUR Torah that it’s Asur to inform the authorities. Instead of caring about my feelings, pain and soul, they played with me more. YOUR rabbis, called me a liar, threatened my safety, threatened my education, tried to ruin my father’s salary, and more all to protect YOUR honor. YOU watched and did nothing.

Now, YOUR Agudah anointed rabbis have decided to prevent YOUR other children from being protected, all because of fear for their real estate.

Hashem, YOU know what YOU had in mind when YOU wrote YOUR Torah. YOU have been silent too long, and allowed these Agudah anointed rabbis to twist it for their sick pleasure. Help from the authorities was blocked by YOUR people, increasing statute of limitations are being blocked by them too, YOUR bais dins are a corrupt kickback scheme going to the highest bidder. YOU know that my pain is still under YOUR statute of limitations. Please make it up to me already.

Only YOU know how to correct a broken system, only YOU know how to turn a victim into a winner, and a Rodef into one running for his life. It’s time to wake up YOUR Agudah anointed rabbis, and the mentally stunted richies who installed these corrupt evildoers as YOUR messengers to destroy our lives. It’s time for YOU to do justice. Let YOUR Torah be followed, not the malicious lies the Agudah rabbis spread about YOUR Torah.

I don’t want to be pushy, I’ll allow until Pesach Sheni for these imposters to step aside and close shop and pass the torch to those not afraid to follow YOUR Torah. But, then please, please, please turn things over. My only hope for Justice is YOU.

Please don’t let me down.