Friday, April 03, 2009

The Mindset Of A Very Ill Man - Avi Shafran - and the Organization He Works For - Spokesperson For The Agudath Israel Of America

This is NOT a parody - All public statements are pre-authorized by the rabbis at the Agudath Israel.

New York - Something tells me I won’t make any new friends (and might even lose some old ones) if I confess to harboring some admiration for Bernard Madoff.

And to make things worse, I can’t muster much for Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who safely landed a full commercial airliner in the Hudson River back in January.

Let me try to explain. Please.

Mr. Madoff committed a serious economic crime on an unprecedented scale for such wrongdoing, and in the process ruined the financial futures of numerous people and institutions, including charitable ones, worldwide. There can be no denying that.

Yet I can’t quite bring myself to join the large, loud chorus of those who have condemned him to – to take Ralph Blumenthal’s judgment in The New York Times Magazine – the Pit, the deepest circle of Dante’s Inferno. Others have devised and publicly proclaimed creative and exquisite tortures of their own for the disgraced businessman – Woody Allen fantasized Madoff being attacked by clients reincarnated as lobsters, and Elie Wiesel wished the investor confined to a solitary cell and forced to watch his victims on a screen bewail their changed fortunes. The fury of the bilked has yielded opprobrium and loathing that isn’t visited on mass murderers.

I think the revulsion may say more about the revolted – and our money-obsessed and vengeance-obsessed society – than it does about Madoff. His crime, after all, was really remarkable only for its longevity and its scope. The Torah teaches that stealing is a sin, but it doesn’t differentiate between misappropriating a million dollars and pilfering a dime. And as to the sheer number of people defrauded by the thief of the moment, well, anyone who cheats on his federal income tax is defrauding 300 million of his fellow citizens. Few though, in such cases, invoke Dante.

What is more, Madoff likely began his crime spree in the hope of rewarding, not swindling, investors, and by the time it became clear he wouldn’t be able to do that, he was already deeply entangled – and daily becoming more entangled – in the web he wove.

None of that, though, is to belittle the great pain Mr. Madoff caused, and is certainly no cause for affording the iniquitous investment broker respect. No, what I admire about him has to do with his owning up to his crime.

Think about it. The man knew for years that his scheme would eventually come apart and that prosecution loomed, yet he took no steps to flee, huge bribe in hand, to some country lacking extradition treaties. Idi Amin, we might recall, died of old age in luxury. Madoff’s millions, moreover, could have easily bought him a new face and identity papers; he could spent his senior years tanned and well-fed among the sunbirds of Miami Beach.

Instead, though, he chose to essentially turn himself in and admit guilt. He apologized to his victims, acknowledging that he had “deeply hurt many, many people,” and adding, “I cannot adequately express how sorry I am for what I have done.”

No one can know if those words reflect the feelings in his heart, but I don’t claim any right to doubt that they do. And facing one’s sins and regretting them is the essence of teshuvah – which we are all enjoined to do for our personal aveiros, however small or large.

No such sublimity of spirit, though, was in evidence in any of the public acts or words of Mr. Sullenberger. He saved 155 lives, no doubt about it, and is certainly owed the hakoras hatov of those he saved, and of their families and friends. And he executed tremendous skill.

But no moral choice was involved in his act. He was on the plane too, after all; his own life depended on undertaking his feat no less than the lives of others. He did what anyone in terrible circumstances would do: try to stay alive. He was fortunate (as were his passengers) that he possessed the talents requisite to the task, but that’s a tribute to his training, and to the One Who instilled such astounding abilities in His creations (and Whose help the captain was not quoted as acknowledging). Basketball players are highly skilled, too – and heroes, in fact, to some. But I have never managed to understand that latter fact.

Sully has reportedly inked a $3 million book deal with HarperCollins, and is also planning a second book of inspirational poems; Bernie, likely for the rest of his life, will languish in jail.

That may make societal sense, but personally, I’m still unmoved by the pilot, and, at least somewhat, inspired by the penitent.


Yonah said...

UOJ's point exactly. Destroying thousands of lives means nothing to the Agudah. The organization should be dismantled, meshugener by meshugener.

Anonymous said...

Dear Rabbi Shafran,
Your statement is ANTI-CAPITALIST---it stinks of envy of another citizen's book contract (in which an American publisher anticipates hugely popular sales and reasonably agrees to pass on part of the profits to the author).
Your statement is IMMORAL---it twists the Torah moral that pilfering one dime is as bad as stealing a million dollars (you turn it upside down! You claim that stealing a million is merely as bad as pilfering a dime!) so would you also make the crazy claim that Torah says murdering a million people is "merely" as bad as murdering one person?
Your statement is OBNOXIOUS--it shows no understanding of why good people admire and try to emulate all who excel in doing their jobs with skill & talent & perseverance (no matter how "ordinary" the job: in sports, or in medicine, or in carpentry, or in teaching, or in piloting an airplane).
You statement is UNCIVIL--it shows no rachmanes: the ideal that causes good people to give tzedakah to strangers (the same ideal that makes millions of strangers feel happy to read the story of a pilot landing his passengers safely on the water in New York during an emergency).
Your views are a SHANDA.
If only you had kept your mouth shut instead of telling the world that your nasty views represent other American Jews.
------An honest Jew who behaves as though it is wrong to steal even one dime when no one is watching
(and I will probably buy the book about the pilot just IN ORDER TO REWARD a decent American citizen for performing his job in such a reliable manner).

Anonymous said...

Something tells me that if a member of the Agudath Yisroel's Trustees' Circle Million Dollar Super-Rich Koved-Freser Round-Table was on US Air Flight 1549, the Agudah, with the support of Rabbi Shafran, would have hosted an elaborate dinner Lichvod Captain Sully.

This article can me summarized with one word: FEH, FEH, and FEH (albeit repeated three times).

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what the point of this article is. I have no idea why Rabbi Shafran would write this, and certainly no idea why he would have it published. It is bizarre, nonsensical and makes me question his motives and his sanity. What a train wreck.

Harry Maryles said...

As I said, Rabbi Avi Shafran is one of my favorite people.

Boog's Son said...

Hey Shafran you're one sick mother####&*

Sir Vivor said...

A goyishe co-worker brought this article to my attention at work. He says that what this idiot rep of agudah wrote is proof that the protocols of the elders of zion is authentic and that this is the mindset of all of klal yisroel H"Y. May g-d avenge the chilul hashem this moron has brought about with his pen. A publicity disaster rivaled only by the aguda's coverup of child molestation. I'm glad the idiocy of these talking heads and stomachs has come to light for all to see. AVI SHAFRAN for MOETZES. He fits in to that crowd like a glove!

Anonymous said...

Truly the article of a very disabled thinking mind. Disgrace to have him as member of Agudah and represent Torah Jews outlook on life.
Madoff's many investors came from "feeder" funds with specific assurances that the
monies "were not going to Madoff". The returns were purposely lower than most competitors and most individuals and institutions believed their monies were invested when in fact for over 13 years they were stolen. These people never stole on their taxes and those that do did not cause the death of many as the suicides
of Madoff's victims are beginning.
Comparing the $50 billion fraud killing so few individuals and charities, to tax cheaters whose implications are so minimal(while equally wrong) affected is really distorted thinking. Also, saving peoples lives thru ability while also saving his own does not take away from the miracle and feat of keeping a cool head.
Admitting guilt and feeling remorse , when facing jail, means nothing when one did it for almost two decades. It was premeditated and carried out for many years so who cares what his original intention was!!!He destroyed forever the lives of thousands and caused the death of many. Rabbi Shafran should do more teshuvah for his article than Madoff can for his crime. The article is a SHANDA!!!!

steve said...

I won't even bother deconstructing the smelly poet's nonsensical defense of Madoff. Like with sexual abuse victims, according to him, all of Madoff's victims' stories are "tawdry tales" made up of "anecdotal evidence". I just want to mention that Shafran ignores the fact that Sullenberger risked his life by going back into the plane to search for additional survivors after he had landed it safely in the Hudson. If he's not a true hero, I don't know who is. This idiotic rant of his should be made public and sent to all of Madoff's victims, as well as the survivors of the US Airways flight and to Sully's family.

Boruch said...


Only Shafran could create the tumult that is powerful enough to put Belsky and Epstein on the front page (we read from left to right).
From a perspective reaching back to Murder Inc. The Jewish Mafia was highly regarded in their neighborhoods for their tzedakah. In fact, the Murphy shul in Crown Heights received it's stain glass windows from one of the co-founders of Murder Inc.
It's not totally afield for a member in good standing of the present day Jewish Mafia to laud a fellow thief. There is room to attempt elucidation of Shafran's muddled attempt to put Madoff in perspective. Bernie had spent 30 years fooling people that he had a better method for making money. Agudath Israel has spent the past 30 or so years fooling people that they could make better Jews.
Bernie suckered new investors to pay off old ones.
Agudath Israel suckers everyone to pay themselves.
Bernie engineered new methodologies and technologies to convince investors to invest with him.
Agudath Israel engineers chumrahs.
Bernie ployed the old scam of you're not good enough to be in my club.
Agudath Israel has exclusive clubs in Brooklyn. No real influence elsewhere.
Bernie came down from the heights of NASDAQ to mingle and bewitched the common investor.
Agudath Israel thinks they've been sent to lead.
Bernie has a penthouse, yachts, summer homes, cars and drivers.
Agudath Israel, well they don't look poor to me.
That's not to say that Shafran's article is meritless. I don't know why Wilt Chamberlain was a hero or Lew Alcindor had to change his name. Why was Sandy Koufax and Hank Greenberg so careful not to play ball on Yom Kippur but violating Shabbos wasn't an issue.
As far as Capt. Sullenberger is concerned, a hero is a person who goes to extraordinary lengths in extraordinary situations. I'm sure Shafran didn't want to come off as believing that it would've have been more fitting had all aboard died. He does, unfortunately. Maybe it's that other Agudath Israel supporting jailbirds are getting much more support from the public and the courts than Bernie will get. I don't know. I hope that Bernie, if he contributed to AI, changed his name. Another scandal, like the scandal of pretentious intelligence they don't need. Maybe Shafran was bored. It's a Flatbush thing, not too worry about in Boro Park or Kensington.
Oh, I got it! He just lacks understanding. Gut Shabbos.

Where is Steve or LVF? said...

Beep Beep Beep!!!! This is a diareah alert. An agudah sponsered early warning system that interrupts your daily rutine when a fart from Avi is detected. Please seek cover immedeately!
Then email the putz at shafran@agudathisrael.org and let him know what you think.

Sir Vivor said...

Avi! you have just engineered the perfect suicide! Congrats to you and the other ratz in Agudah!

Go get him boys. said...


And call the big guns there to have him fired fortwith.

Einstein said...

So which moetzes members signed of on this one? This rivals the no penetration = no molestation theory.

RSFM Ztl defines Avos Nezikin said...

The infighting among the various rabbinic organizations in New York at that time, in fact, led Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz to later write an article about the harmful effect these quarrels had on the community, and referred to four major organizations involved as the "arba avot nezikin."


A little-known incident that may have changed the face of American Orthodox Jewry in the twentieth century was related by Rabbi Aharon Soloveichik. He said that when his father, Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik, was still a young man, recently married and without a rabbinical position, he received a letter from the board of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary [RIETS], inviting him to become the rosh yeshiva there. Rav Moshe consulted with his father, Rav Hayyim, who told him not to accept the offer, asking him: "How will you be able to raise your children in America?" Rav Moshe therefore stayed in Russia, and took up rabbinic positions, first in Rosain, in 1909, then in Khaslavitch, and, finally, he became rosh yeshiva at the Tachkemoni Rabbinical Seminary in Warsaw. After being fired by Tachkemoni because he refused to give semikha to all but three of his students, Rav Moshe, by then the father of a large family, was in dire need of a position. This time, when he received an invitation from RIETS, he accepted it. He arrived on these shores in 1928, and the rest is history. One can only wonder what would have happened had Rav Moshe accepted the earlier invitation, and raised his children in the United States. Rather than engaging in such speculation, I would like to discuss the career of one of the signatories of that first invitation, and his ambivalent relationship with RIETS.

As Rav Aharon related the story, among the signatories of the first invitation to Rav Moshe was Rabbi Gavriel Zev Margolis, or Rav Velvele, as he was popularly known. Rav Velvele came to the United States in 1907 at the age of 59, after having previously served as rabbi of Grodno for twenty-seven years. He was the son-in-law of Rabbi Nachum of Grodno, who was the spiritual mentor of Rabbi Israel Meir HaKohen Kagan, popularly known as the Chafetz Chaim.

When Rabbi Moshe Zevulun Margolies, widely known as RaMaZ, decided to leave Boston in 1906 to take a rabbinic position in New York, the community there decided to bring in another prestigious European rabbi to replace him as spiritual leader of several congregations in Boston, and they invited Rav Velvele to come. He accepted the invitation and arrived in Boston in 1907, remaining there until 1911, at which time he was invited by Adas Yisroel on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to serve as their rabbi. The invitation from Adas Yisroel was, however, more than just the offering of the pulpit of their newly organized shul. Adas Yisroel, also known as United Hebrew Community of New York, traced its origins to 1901, when it began as a burial and free loan society, and quickly became involved in shechitah [ritual slaughter] supervision, as well.

After the death of Rabbi Jacob Joseph, the first ever and only chief rabbi of New York, in 1902, chaos and corruption in these slaughter houses increased. There was no centralized system in place, and this applied to Orthodox Jewish life in general, as well. Adas Yisroel hoped to bring in a prestigious, scholarly rabbi who would serve as chief rabbi of New York, and bring the various factions together to end the disorganized state of affairs that currently existed. Rav Velvele, then, was the man they chose for this task.

The grandiose scheme of Adas Yisroel was doomed to failure, partly because there was already another Orthodox organization in place, based in New York, the Agudath HaRabbanim of America, or the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, begun in 1902 directly after the death of Rabbi Jacob Joseph. Rav Velvele did not accept the authority of that group, considering himself to be of greater stature than any of its members, and he constantly accused them of being more interested in monetary gain than in the maintenance of halakhic standards in kashrut. Over the years, Rav Velvele challenged the Agudath HaRabbanim in many areas, particularly in regard to its standards of kashrut supervision. In one protracted conflict, in 1918, the Agudath HaRabbanim put him into cherem [excommunication] for opposing their support of a strike of kosher chicken slaughterers. Finally, in 1920, Rav Velvele started the Knesseth HaRabbanim HaOrtdoksim d'America v'Kanada, which was the first organization that posed any real kind of challenge to the Agudath HaRabbanim. The Agudath HaRabbanim, in its turn, continued to besmirch his reputation among the observant community on the Lower East Side, and even tried to have him thrown into jail through implicating him in the biggest sacramental wine scandal of the entire prohibition era. Rav Velvele, on his part, continued to accuse the Agudath HaRabbanim of being interested in monetary gain rather that in improving the halakhic standards in the community, and wrote that the very fact that it used the name "agudah," or union, in its name indicated that they were motivated by non-Jewish values. The infighting among the various rabbinic organizations in New York at that time, in fact, led Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz to later write an article about the harmful effect these quarrels had on the community, and referred to four major organizations involved as the "arba avot nezikin."

One of Rav Velvele's chief adversaries, and also one of his chief targets, was RaMaZ Margolies, even though, in Rav Velvele's early years in New York, he did work together with RaMaZ in the area of kashrut supervision. A main area in which Rav Velvele took issue with RaMaZ was on Orthodox participation on the New York Kehillah, a city-wide amalgamation of the various different Jewish organizations in the city, presided over by its chairman Rabbi Dr. Judah L. Magnes, who later became the first president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Rav Velvele refused to cooperate with a body that was run by a Reform rabbi, and sharply criticized RaMaZ and others for joining the Vaad HaRabbanim of the New York Kehillah.

Honestly Frum said...

This guy is sick. He represents everything that is wrong with Charedim. How the hell can he say we should admire madoff this guy needs to be shut down. We should call and e-mail the agudah to express our outrage:


Former Aguda Supporter said...

This is the final straw for me, I'm pulling the plug on these behaimas.

Anonymous said...


Chevra Chazerim - Non-Pesach hotel division said...

This needs to be exposed.

There are a whole host of agencies, many of them run by heimishe people, who capitalize on the programs for little kids needing therapy, ie. speech, occupational therapy, etc.

More specifically, the program for 3 to 5 year olds run by the NYC Board of Education (known as CPSE) is rife with these corrupt, greedy bastards taking advantage of people's kids for profit.

I am currently helping some distraught parents navigate the bureaucracy with politicians and the media to stop this travesty.

Details to follow.

UOJ Gets Results said...

CDC: Rocket fuel chemical found in baby formula By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer - Fri Apr 3, 2009

ATLANTA - Traces of a chemical used in rocket fuel were found in samples of powdered baby formula, and could exceed what's considered a safe dose for adults if mixed with water also contaminated with the ingredient, a government study has found.

Anonymous said...

I was doing some research on Elie Singer, and the FOUNDATION FOR HOLOCAUST AWARENESS after a friend on Facebook touted it. As far as I can see, it appears to be a fake. Established in 9/2005, yet never filed a form 990 for income greater than $25,000. Despite the title of the foundation, they are listed on their 501 (c) (3) as Disaster Preparedness and Relief Services. Sounds fishy to me. They seem to be getting donations from the idiots on Facebook though.

Anonymous said...

This Shafran is an idiot, no question about it. But if he was simply an idiot, there wouldn't be any need to discuss him further. but there is more.

He has shown how insane he is. While the world is still reeling from what Madoff did, here the representative of the Agudah writes an article explaining why he admires Madoff. Can anything be more obscene.

Because it is so obscene it doesn't even pay to go over his lack of knowledge of the case. But just the thought that we are supposed to admire Madoff because he pleased guilty (probably in order to save his guilty wife and perhaps kids too) shows that Shafran has a mental defect.

And to knock the pilot??

Shafran's article will lead to a good deal of anti-Semitism, and people will see it as an example of Jews sticking up for other Jews, no matter how bad these people are..

Its finally clear said...

Now I understand why the Agudah honors Margolis and the Neuberger's who destroy lives, and condemns UOJ and Vicki Polin who save lives.

They have developed what the Pope called "a culture of death".

steve said...

I wonder if the Agudah had its endowment invested in Madoff and it was they, not YU, that had lost millions, would Avi still have such "admiration"? It figures that Avi would speak so glowingly about Madoff and his "teshuva". After all, it was he that vigorously defended Rubashkin at the YU conference(with his brilliant smelly poet analogy). You need to be a scumbag to defend a scumbag.

New Jersey Therapist said...

Shafran is a naked sociopath speaking for an entire organization of sociopaths. Their positions on sex-abuse in the Jewish community and aligning themselves with another group of sociopaths, the Catholic Church, is indicative of how organized religion breeds mental illness in many cases.

The Jewish Star said...

Breaking: Child abuse bill criticized as ‘red herring’ makes it out of committee after all
In Education, Exclusive, Michael Orbach, Sexual abuse on April 3, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Hikind straddles fence supporting Child Victims Act and weaker Lopez bill

By Michael Orbach
April 3, 2009 — Web Exclusive

Proposed child abuse legislation that had been left for dead got an unusual new lease on life this week when it passed a New York State Assembly committee after first being soundly defeated.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn), would extend the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse for civil cases by two years. A redrafted version of the bill passed the Codes Committee on Tuesday by a margin of 18-1. The bill will now be voted on in the full Assembly, before making its way to the State Senate.

Sexual abuse activists have criticized the Lopez bill saying that it would help sexual predators. They claim it is meant to detract attention from the Child Victims Act, stronger legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Queens), which would extend the civil and criminal statutes by five years and, more critically, open up a yearlong window to bring cases that currently are beyond the statute of limitations.

An earlier draft of the Lopez bill, critics revealed, even went so far as to exempt private institutions, like churches and yeshivas, from being liable for sexual abuse acts committed by their employees. Supporters of the Lopez bill maintain that the Markey bill does not treat public and private entities the same way and is therefore discriminatory.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), whose recent campaign against sexual abuse inside the Chareidi community drew national attention, co-sponsored both Lopez bills as well as the Markey bill. At an event to promote sexual abuse awareness on March 22, Hikind announced that while he had objections to the yearlong window, he would support the Markey bill. Hikind declined to comment to The Jewish Star for this article, but in a letter to The Jewish Week, he wrote that he will “support the notion of a window provision, but with some type of limitation” and stated that he will seek a compromise between both bills, one that will yield a “significant change to sexual abuse legislation as it currently stands.”

The New York Catholic Conference came out strongly against the Markey Bill, as Catholic groups have opposed similar legislation across the nation. A similar bill passed in California cost the Catholic Church $1.2 billion in awards to sexual abuse victims. In New York, the bill faces additional opposition from some Jewish organizations.

The executive director of the United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg, Rabbi David Niederman, told The Jewish Star that the yearlong window “would make it impossible for innocent people to defend themselves” and that it would serve as a “deterrent” for qualified teachers.

United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg is closely affiliated with United Talmudic Academy of Williamsburg, which is currently being sued by Joel Engelman, 23, who alleges that a teacher in the school sexually abused him when he was eight years old. Engelman’s case is now beyond the statute of limitations; his case would likely be strengthened if the Markey bill were to pass.

Other Jewish organizations have wavered on the Child Victims Act bill. The Orthodox Union has said it favors an extension of the statute of limitations and does not oppose the Markey bill. The OU has not taken a public position regarding the Lopez bill. In an op-ed in The Jewish Star, David Mandel, the CEO of Ohel, the largest Jewish social service organization, said Ohel supports the extension of the statute of limitations but made no mention of the yearlong window. Agudath Israel has not come out with a position regarding either bill as of Friday afternoon, April 3.

Marci Hamilton, a professor at Yeshiva University and the author of “Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect its Children,” said it was a “non-event” that the Lopez bill had made it out of committee, after all.

“The bill accomplishes nothing for victims,” Hamilton explained. “It’s classic form to make them look like they’re doing something, but it is keeping the secrets and keeping the predators under wraps.”

For Hamilton, the window is the most crucial element of the bill.

“We know how the window works,” she said, noting that when a similar bill passed in California, 300 previously unknown predators were identified. “It’s pretty simple — if you’re against the window, you don’t want the predators out.”

Among the members of the Assembly Codes Committee who voted for the bill, sentiment was mixed. Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn), the chair of the committee, felt that both bills were valuable tools for preventing child abuse and that a compromise between them was possible.

A spokesman for Assemblyman Thomas Alfano (R-North Valley Stream) said that while Alfano voted in favor of the Markey bill in the past, the Lopez bill was “better legislation.” Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Little Neck) said that he voted in favor of the Lopez bill since the window in the Markey Bill is “not a deterrent.”

“It opens up a Pandora’s box and that’s the reason why there’s a statute of limitations in the first place,” asserted Weprin.

However, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), said that the Assembly favored the Markey bill.

“I think that the consensus is that the Markey bill is the better bill,” Cymbrowitz told The Jewish star. He also said that the Lopez bill’s main claim of equality between public and private institutions is a “red herring.”

Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell (D-Manhattan), who cast the only vote against the revamped Lopez bill in committee, seemed almost disgusted with the proposed legislation.

“The Lopez Bill is not designed to become law. It’s designed to prevent the Markey bill from becoming law,” O’Donnell explained to The Jewish Star. “Without the window, victims of sexual abuse who are seeking justice and healing will be deprived. Many of these victims fear that their abusers are still at large and have access to children; their [the victims'] primary concern is what happened to them does not happen to another child at the hands of their victimizer.”

Assemblyman Vito Lopez did not return calls.

Chevra Chazerim - non-Pesach hotel division said...

His name could have been Bernie Sadoff or Sadist but his name is actually Dr. Arthur Sadoff who considers himself a frum Jew.

He is a head honcho at Starting Point Services for Children in Brooklyn.

Dr. Sadoff will try to extort people before providing services. In other words, if he finds out you are getting some services from anywhere else he will insist that you consolidate everything under him. It doesn't matter that it might be traumatic for a 2 or 3 year old to be torn away from a "shadow"-type therapist that is with the child for 9 hours a week. This greedy ferd Sadoff wants all the money for himself. Don't cooperate with Sadoff and he punishes your child by leaving them without a speech therapist when he is the only agency that can provide one at times.

This Sadoff putz is also a big shot at the NY City Dept of Education and beats his chest to everyone about it. If anyone suggests that he is a farce for not living up to being the advocate of children that he is supposed to be, he flies into a rage and tells you how important he is.

Let's see how important Sadoff still is when we are finished with him. NY City Council is already investigating him and it won't stop there.

Does anyone know where this Sadoff putz davens by the way?

Anonymous said...

JWB said:

Attention media and advocates for survivors of abuse in the Orthodox community.
Initial draft Schedule of Court Proceedings for the Brooklyn 19.

The Brooklyn 19 refer to 19 felony sexual assault cases pending by the Brooklyn District Attorney in the Orthodox community. Yona Weinberg and Jerry Brauner
have additional court proceedings at this time. In addition to the charges related to child sexual abuse, Weinberg has been charged with criminal contempt and Brauner has been charged with an unrelated filing of a false instrument.

1) April 14, 2009
Yona Weinberg
a.Kings Criminal Court
Docket 2008KN044924
Criminal Justice Tracking Number: 63031782R
NYSID Number: 235728Z
Arrest Number: K08654460

2) April 15, 2009
Arye Ickovits
Kings Criminal Court
Docket: 2008KN089893
Criminal Justice Tracking Number: 63302771K
NYSID Number: 179569K
Arrest Number: K08706105
Judge: Pending

3) April 20, 2009
Yona Weinberg
b. Kings Supreme Court
Docket 04589-2008

4) May 1, 2009
Bernard Mutterperl
Kings Supreme Court
Docket 04570-2007
Criminal Justice Tracking Number: 59078829P
NYSID Number: 2582374H
Arrest Number: K07643253
Judge: Pending

5) May 4, 2009
Jerry Brauner
Sentencing for filing a false instrument.
a. Kings Supreme Court
Docket 01425-2005
Criminal Justice Tracking Number: 58659485K
NYSID Number: 9047326M
Arrest Number: K06704840

6) May 4, 2009
Jerry Brauner
For violation of probation related to child sexual abuse guilty plea.
b. KINGS Supreme Court
Docket: 05444-2001
Criminal Justice Tracking Number: 55796698P
NYSID Number: 9047326M
Arrest Number: K01062722

7) May 7, 2009
Stefan Colmer
Kings Supreme Court
Docket: 04314-2007
Criminal Justice Tracking Number: 59766853Q
NYSID Number: 2696869K
Arrest Number: K08602074

8) May 19, 2009
Emanuel Yegutkin
Kings Supreme Court
Docket: 00902-2009
Criminal Justice Tracking Number: 63379546L
NYSID Number: 1601530K
Arrest Number: K09607822
Judge: MCKAY,J K

9) May 19, 2009
Arthur Samet
Kings Criminal Court
Docket: 2008KN080814
Criminal Justice Tracking Number: 63248172R
NYSID Number: 9737574P
Arrest Number: K08695605
Judge: Pending

10) June 17, 2009
Yakov Kramer
New York Criminal Court
Docket: 2008NY084614
Criminal Justice Tracking Number: 63273183R
NYSID Number: 302829M
Arrest Number: M08696814
Judge: Pending

11) July 6, 2009
Moshe Spitzer
Kings Criminal Court
Docket: 2009KN018094
Criminal Justice Tracking Number: 63449911L
NYSID Number: 6889436J
Arrest Number: K09621762
Judge: Pending

The confirmed Brooklyn 19 to date:
1) Yona Weinberg
2) Emanuel Yegutkin
3) Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz (extradition proceedings in Israel)
4) Stephen Colmer
5) Yakov Kramer
6) Arye Ickovits
7) Arthur Samet
8) Moshe Spitzer
9) Bernard Mutterperl
10) Rabbi Jerry Brauner

Anonymous said...

JWB said:

Updated list:

Help us expose the "Brooklyn 19"

The Brooklyn D.A. now has 19 open cases involving allegations of sexual abuse in Orthodox communities in Brooklyn.

We are trying to determine the names of the 19 Felony Sexual Assault Cases Pending by the Brooklyn DA in the Orthodox community. Can anyone assist? My quick list is the following:

The list to date is:

1) Yona Weinberg
2) Emanuel Yegutkin
3) Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz
4) Stephen Colmer
5) Yakov Kramer
6) Arye Ickovits
7) Arthur Samet
8) Moshe Spitzer
9) Bernard Mutterperl
10) Rabbi Avrohom Reichman (only civil case, is he part of the list?)
11) Martin Vegh AKA Boorich Mordechai Vegg (recently convicted, is he part of list?)
12) Rabbi Avraham M. Leizerowitz (only civil case, is he part of the list?)
13) Rabbi Yehuda Kolko (only civil case, criminal case settled with plea agreement, is he part of the list?)
14) Rabbi Jerry Brauner (convicted pedophile, is he part of the list?)
15) The unnamed "well-known" storeowner in Brooklyn who took a kid upstairs for years to his office. The victim, now an adult, was interviewed on Hikind's show.(Is he part of the list?)

The next steps are to confirm the actual 19 names on the list and to produce a schedule of all upcoming court hearings and locations for the media and advoctes for survivors of abuse.

Can anyone help?

Let's make sure Hynes can't cook any more outrageous deals. Bernard Mutterperl is a good example of why Hynes' office can not be trusted to "deal" with Orthodox pedophiles.

See: http://www.nypost.com/seven/06072007/postopinion/editorials/message_from_the_bench_editorials_.htm

June 7, 2007
A bit of sanity coming from a Brooklyn courtroom? Strange, but true.

At Bernard Mutterperl's post-indictment arraignment on Tuesday, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Patricia DiMango slapped the accused child-snatcher with bail of $1 million.

Mutterperl, 19, was arrested last month after allegedly trying to abduct 11-year- old Xochil Garcia from her Midwood apartment. He reportedly told cops that day that "when he sees young girls, he has to go after them."

At Mutterperl's initial court appearance, Judge John Wilson imposed bail of $75,000 bond or $25,000 cash. Mutterperl promptly met that - and walked out the door.

In fairness to Wilson, even that bail was higher than what Brooklyn DA Joe Hynes' office had suggested - a preposterously low $10,000.

Beyond ensuring that a defendant doesn't flee, bail is meant to protect the victim and society from a potential predatory individual.

And given the list of particulars with which Mutterperl is charged - attempted kidnapping (upgraded from first- and second-degree unlawful imprisonment), third-degree burglary and endangering the welfare of a child - he fits that profile.

This time, the DA's office suggested $100,000, but Judge DiMango pointedly noted, "I'm not bound by the district attorney's request" - and hit Mutterperl with the million-dollar figure.

Good for her.

She sends an important signal that egregious offenses - particularly those against children - will not be tolerated.

Unable to meet bail, Mutterperl sits behind bars.

Let's hope that DA Hynes' office also got the message.

Anonymous said...

JWB said:

May 18, 2007
Why did the Brooklyn district attorney's office ask a judge for only $10,000 bail for accused child-snatcher Bernard Mutterperl - after he reportedly told cops that "when he sees young girls, he has to go after them"?

In March, Hynes' office failed to inform the court that Hemant Megnath, accused of raping Natasha Ramen two years ago, had threatened to kill members of her family if they didn't reveal her whereabouts. That would have been solid ground for revoking Megnath's bail.

Instead, he was left free, and found her - and allegedly slashed her throat. Then Hynes' spokesman blatantly "misspoke" about the office's role in the case.

Earlier, it was disclosed that a Brooklyn ADA for years allegedly passed information about her own office's witnesses to her defense-lawyer boyfriend. And an office investigator began an affair with a prisoner who was being interviewed as a possible witness.

Something seems seriously out of whack in Brooklyn.
But it's long past time for him to take a long, hard look at his office - and to start shaking things up.

Anonymous said...

JWB said:

"Has The Brooklyn DA Made A Deal With Haredim That Will Let Sexual Predators Walk Free?"

That is clearly what Brooklyn DA Hynes and his office have done for years, protect the predators in the Orthodox community at the expense of the predators. Hynes knows that he will not help his careers in NY if he is seen putting "frum" jews in prison, no matter what the crime. This time he is setting up a buffer that will assist him in continuing this course of action.

The pattern is always the same.
1) Avoid any prosecution, if possible.
2) If #1 fails, pressure and use tactics to get the victim's family consent to absurd deals with the pedophiles.
3) No time served.
4) No public entry on the child abuse registry.

I've warned people for years that this is what the DAs office does. See Stephanie Saul's article: Tripping Up The Prosecution http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/brenner_lewis.html#Tripping

1) Rabbi Lewis (Yomtov Lipa) Brenner got this deal.
2) Rabbi Yehuda Kolko got the same deal.

Others have been helped too. Cases of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community involving Hynes:

Anonymous said...

It would be easy to say Avi Shafran is a sick sob and leave it at that ... but that would be only half the story. Shafran's ode to Madoff is emblematic of the sickness in the RCA and why that organization has fallen into such disrepute.
These people do real harm to Klal Yisroel and should be drawn and quartered.

Anonymous said...

JWB said:

And let's not forget how justice is for sale in general by Hynes and his office:
DA Charles "Joe" Hynes and Justice for Sale


Joe Hynes & the Crash Family Cash
Posted by Tom Robbins at 3:38 PM, September 6, 2005
Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes may be the only candidate to have prosecuted a member of the wealthy Chehebar family, which owns a chain of clothing stores, but he's hardly the only one to rake in campaign donations from the clan.

The New York Post reported Monday that Hynes accepted some $80,000 from donors it said were tied to the family of Isaac Chehebar who received a six-month sentence from Hynes' office after an auto accident in which the 21-year-old hit and killed two sisters out for a Sunday stroll on Ocean Parkway in 2001. Hynes said the plea bargain was expressly approved by the victims' family, although the father of the girls later expressed dismay at the sentence.

Anonymous said...

JWB said:

Hynes cooks Rabbi Lewis (Yomtov Lipa)Brenner a deal.

According to the New York Law Journal, Schechter [one of Rabbi Lanner's lawyers] represented Brooklyn Rabbi Lewis Brenner, who pleaded guilty to a charge of sodomy after being charged with 14 counts of sodomy, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

According to the Journal, prosecutors said Brenner had sexual contact with a youth he met in the bathroom of the temple they both attended. The molestations allegedly took place over a three-year period that ended in 1995 when the victim was 15 years old, the Journal reported. Rabbi Brenner was sentenced to five years probation.

Note: Brenner has never been on the public part of the NY sex abuse registry.

see also: /http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/brenner_lewis.html

Tripping Up The Prosecution
By Stephanie Saul - Staff Writer
Newsday - May 28, 2003
In 1995, for instance, Hynes' office charged Rabbi Lewis Brenner with repeatedly sexually abusing a boy starting in 1992 and ending in 1995, when the boy, then 15, told police. Among other places, the alleged encounters occurred in the bathroom of the rabbi's Brooklyn temple.

In a statement to the court, the boys' devastated parents said he could not even attend school, he was so troubled by "a raging cyclone of hate."

"Our son is with us physically today, but his self-respect, dignity and sense of worth were stolen from him at the tender age of 12," the boys' parents said. "Do you realize that you destroyed a world and our family, Mr. Brenner? You have stolen from our son the very essence of his life, his hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future."

The charges against Brenner initially included 14 counts, including sodomy, sexual abuse, and endangering the welfare of a minor. But a plea agreement whittled the charges down to one felony, stunning a Brooklyn judge.

"Given the nature, gravity and frequency of the sexual contact alleged in the felony complaint, this court was surprised by the People's plea offer and requested of the prosecutor a statement why it was forthcoming," said acting Supreme Court Justice Charles J. Heffernan in a court ruling.

The district attorney's office told the judge that the boy's family agreed to the plea bargain ... Recently, an official of the district attorney's office said the family did not want to go through with a trial.

The plea arrangement left Brenner a free man -- he got 5 years probation.

Brenner is the father-in-law of Ephraim Bryks, a Queens rabbi who was the subject of a story in Newsday on Tuesday.

Two teenagers told Canadian police years ago that Bryks abused them when they were youngsters. Bryks has never been charged with a crime and has denied the allegations.

After Brenner's plea deal, he asked the court to exempt him from the sexual abuse registry on grounds that his behavior occurred before the law was passed.

Heffernan refused.

Anonymous said...

JWB said:

Bernard Mutterperl is another example of why Hynes' office can not be trusted.

See: http://www.nypost.com/seven/06072007/postopinion/editorials/message_from_the_bench_editorials_.htm

June 7, 2007

A bit of sanity coming from a Brooklyn courtroom? Strange, but true.

At Bernard Mutterperl's post-indictment arraignment on Tuesday, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Patricia DiMango slapped the accused child-snatcher with bail of $1 million.

Mutterperl, 19, was arrested last month after allegedly trying to abduct 11-year- old Xochil Garcia from her Midwood apartment. He reportedly told cops that day that "when he sees young girls, he has to go after them."

At Mutterperl's initial court appearance, Judge John Wilson imposed bail of $75,000 bond or $25,000 cash. Mutterperl promptly met that - and walked out the door.

In fairness to Wilson, even that bail was higher than what Brooklyn DA Joe Hynes' office had suggested - a preposterously low $10,000.

Beyond ensuring that a defendant doesn't flee, bail is meant to protect the victim and society from a potential predatory individual.

And given the list of particulars with which Mutterperl is charged - attempted kidnapping (upgraded from first- and second-degree unlawful imprisonment), third-degree burglary and endangering the welfare of a child - he fits that profile.

This time, the DA's office suggested $100,000, but Judge DiMango pointedly noted, "I'm not bound by the district attorney's request" - and hit Mutterperl with the million-dollar figure.

Good for her.

She sends an important signal that egregious offenses - particularly those against children - will not be tolerated.

Unable to meet bail, Mutterperl sits behind bars.

Let's hope that DA Hynes' office also got the message.

Anonymous said...

JWB said:

Orthodox in England fight against legal protections for children.


Children need this protection
From The Jewish Chronicle
Geoffrey Alderman
March 19, 2009
Orthodox rabbis must recognise that women caring for children need to be alert to potential abuse

Three years ago, Parliament enacted a wide-ranging Childcare Act, which addressed, among other things, the lamentable lack of professional training for those to whom the care of young children is entrusted in crèches and nurseries.

It was once the case that more or less anyone could set up a nursery, and employ more or less anyone to do the caring. This is no longer legal. All “settings” in which young children are cared for outside the home must (since last September) be regularly inspected by Ofsted.

Moreover, those who do the caring — or at least who supervise the caring work — must be suitably qualified. A minimum of half of those who work in nursery schools must be qualified at least to the equivalent of level 2 of the relevant National Vocational Qualification in Children’s Care, Learning and Development.

God knows how much national soul-searching there has been since the scandal of the cruel death of Baby P. And, as if that heartrending story was not enough, there have been even more recent cases of babies assaulted and killed by their parents and guardians. How much more careful should society be, therefore, when children are placed in nurseries and similar childcare facilities?

The close regulation of these establishments is a moral as well as a legal imperative. So is the training of those who work in them. Nobody in their right mind would say other than that the new rules and regulations are welcome and necessary. Nobody, that is, other than the rabbinate of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations.

According to an encyclical issued by the Union’s rabbinate earlier this month, the latest government regulations on the training of nursery workers amount to “a difficult and bitter decree against Torah education”.

The rabbinate has, therefore, issued a series of counter-decrees, the purpose of which can only be to frustrate the intentions behind the 2006 Childcare Act and its attendant regulations.

I am going to give the Union’s rabbinate the benefit of one doubt. I am as certain as I can be that every member of that rabbinate is as horrified as you and me by instances of child abuse. But I am equally as certain as I can be that the ultimate intention behind the counter-decrees issued by that rabbinate is to preserve — at any cost — a particular image of Charedi society and a particular model of women’s education within that society.

The overwhelming majority of those who work in Charedi nurseries are young women. Having left school at 16, they will have spent two years or so at a seminary where, if they are lucky, in addition to Torah studies, they will be prepared for a range (a rather narrow range, it has to be said) of suitable employments.

Childcare has traditionally been one of these. But now, if the law of the land is observed, they will have to gain an approved NVQ at Level 2, and in order to do so they will have to follow a closely prescribed syllabus that includes instruction on how to detect various forms of emotional and physical abuse, including (of course) sexual abuse.

The Union’s rabbinate would like to believe — and to have everyone else believe — that such abuse simply does not exist in the Charedi world.

Alas, this myth is belied by instances of such abuse that have become public knowledge. Most of you reading this can have no idea of the intensity of the pressure that is imposed upon those, within that world, who dare or threaten to expose child abusers in their midst.

Those who speak out can expect nothing but social exclusion and rabbinical censure for their pains. So having to put young Charedi women through a course in the detection of child abuse would amount to an admission that a problem exists — at least potentially — when it is not supposed to exist.

Then there is the actual content of the NVQ training materials to be considered. You cannot learn about the sexual abuse of children without knowing about sex in general and about male and female genitalia in particular.

Hitherto, these topics have not featured in the education of Charedi women, for fear that they might lead to awkward questions about conception and contraception.

But, if Charedi nurseries are not to risk closure by Ofsted, these topics will now have to be fitted into the curriculum. And that is the “bitter decree” that has so angered the Union’s rabbinate.

Anonymous said...

JWB said:

Why are we surprised with Shafran?

His Agudath Israel has protected pedophiles and attacked anti-abuse bloggers and advocates over the past years. Is there any suprise that they would be inspired by the evil of eisav, haman and madoff and unmoved by the goodness and decency of those like Sully?

Is it not Purim everyday for these thugs?

Hatzileini Na MiYad Achi MiYad Eisav ki yareh anochi pen tavoh vehekeni haem al ha'bonim.


Religious Groups Stall Reform Law
The New York Post - August 1, 2001, Wednesday

A strongly backed bill that would make it a crime if educators fail to report an accusation of school sex abuse to the police is being stymied by two of the city's most powerful religious organizations, City Hall sources told The Post.

Bill No. 933, inspired by several mishandled complaints in public schools, would require cops to investigate allegations of sex abuse involving private schools run by churches and temples as well as public schools.

The law could set the stage for a battle between church and state because both Catholic and Jewish schools deal with sex-abuse allegations against clerics internally, experts said.

City Hall sources admit they were surprised by the religious groups' 11th-hour request to postpone the vote in the City Council's Education Committee on June 4.

"They [religious schools] claim they were unaware that the provisions of the law applied to both public and private schools," one source said.

Council staffers are quietly negotiating with a coalition of religious groups hoping to tailor the bill to fit everyone's demands - a delicate process during an election season.

When told the law covers "co-curricular and extra-curricular activities" such as prayer groups or kids helping out in religious ceremonies, New York Archdiocese spokesman Joe Zwilling seemed surprised.

"I'm not sure the law covers that," Zwilling said, who refused to say if the church supported the bill.

Zwilling insisted the bill applies to clerics working only in schools, but a second City Hall source said it reaches into "all of the properties on school grounds."

Zwilling referred questions to Rabbi David Zwiebel, of the Agudath Israel of America, a Jewish advocacy network that's spearheading talks with council.

Zwiebel argues the bill is too broad in its definition of abuse, and thinks it will strip school principals of their "professional discretion" to resolve disciplinary problems internally.

The failure to let principals "exercise professional judgment and discretion in dealing with actual or threatened criminal conduct is a serious flaw," he wrote in a five-page June 28 letter to Council Speaker Peter Vallone and committee members.

Zwilling and Zwiebel deny allegations they want to kill the bill to protect accused clerics.

Zwiebel said the law could create "tensions" between church and state.

The committee is scheduled to have a hearing on the matter in the fall.

"The new legal mandate is not embraced by everyone because it is designed to change the usual way of doing business for the protection of children," a mayoral administration source said.

"Because of the delay, the window for getting this in place by September is closed - and that's a terrible shame."

Rabbis Back Law To Report Child Abuse
By Rachel Donadio
The Forward (NY)
March 29,2002 p. 3

With the exception of a major ultra-Orthodox organization, rabbinical groups of all denominations say they support proposed legislation in New York State that would require clergy to report allegations of child abuse.

The proposal, which would broaden the state's Social Services Law to make clergy of all religions criminally liable if they do not report instances of child abuse, was advanced last week by Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau in the wake of growing allegations of molestation within the Catholic Church. This week, the Democrat-controlled State Assembly proposed similar legislation, and a version passed in the Republican-controlled State Senate.

Most rabbinical groups said they were not concerned that the legislation would violate confidentiality between clergy and congregants.

"I think that full disclosure to the authorities would be not only acceptable, I think it's imperative," said Rabbi Paul Menitoff, executive vice president of the Reform movement's Central Council of American Rabbis. "Ethical violations, whether they're violations of the criminal code or not, need to be dealt with very openly, fairly and directly by each denomination. Anything short of that is not keeping faith with our people."

The ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America, however, said it was wary of the legislation, which would require clergy to "report to
authorities whenever they have reasonable cause to believe a child has been abused," according to a March 19 statement by Morgenthau.

David Zwiebel, executive vice president of Aguda, said he feared that the proposal could infringe on "religious freedom."

"There ought to be some exemption for situations involving confidentiality," Zwiebel said. "To protect the Catholic confessional-type situation, and more specifically in our community, to protect those situations where a member of the community does want to confide in his rabbi and get guidance and counseling without fear of having the whole fury of the secular legal system descend on him."

Last summer, Aguda and the Catholic Archdiocese of New York joined forces to oppose a proposed bill in the City Council that would have required all schools, including parochial schools, to file a police report about any criminal act committed by students or staff.

Zwiebel said he was concerned that secular law would "not necessarily" respect religious concerns, such as the concept of mesira, a category of rabbinic canon law concerning when a Jew may inform on another to the secular government. He said that rabbis should evaluate issues "on a case-by-case" basis.

However, Zwiebel said, "if a person is perceived as an imminent danger to children or others, rabbis would say, `let's not handle this internally, let's bring it to outside authorities.'"

Looking more favorably on the legislation was the Orthodox Union, representing Modern Orthodox synagogues. "In principal we'd be supportive," said Harvey Blitz, president of O.U. "We believe that clergy have a responsibility to protect the safety of people from being victims."

"We were told by our Halachic authorities that we should without any type of delay report these instances to the police," said Steven Dworkin, the head of the Rabbinical Council of America, a Modern Orthodox rabbinical body, referring to religious law.

Two years ago O.U. faced its own abuse scandal when several top officials stepped down following claims that they ignored 30 years of abuse complaints against the director of its national youth group, Rabbi Baruch Lanner.

Blitz was unfazed by the thought that under the proposed legislation, O.U. clergy would have been criminally liable for ignoring allegations of abuse. "Maybe they would have reported it," Blitz said.

"We've tried very hard to change the culture at the O.U. in light of what happened" and make children feel "more comfortable" reporting abuse and leaders "more sensitive" to allegations, Blitz said.

Rabbi Joel Myers, president of Conservative Movement's Rabbinical Assembly, also said he supported the proposal.

Myers said clergy confidentiality was not as "cut and dry" as some would make it out to be. "Every rabbi knows not everything is confidential or ought to be," he said. "Many clergy will say, `I'll be glad to listen but I won't be able to tell you if it's confidential until you tell me what the issue is.'"

The church scandal "may have nothing to do with confidentiality," Myers
said. "Confidentiality becomes a nice sounding word, but that's not the issue. The issue is how bishops supervise priests."

"It is clear that social pressures on the clergy are such that transferring the obligation to enforce justice onto the legal system is a helpful step," said Rabbi David Teutsch, president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

The New York Post
March 26, 2002, Tuesday
Pg. 20
By Douglas Montero

THE panic has begun.

Religious organizations went into a frenzy yesterday after learning state legislators introduced two bills that would require them to call
authorities whenever one their clerics is accused of molesting a kid.

But, it's far from just a Catholic problem.

"Sex abuse suppression in the Orthodox Jewish clergy is much worse than the Catholics because it's such an insular community and they can get away with it," according to Amy Neustein, who says she was ostracized by her community after she began advocating for Jewish women and kids.

She called the problem of child molestation by the clergy and the invariable coverup in her community a "cancer."

An official at the Agudath Israel of America - an Orthodox Jewish advocacy group that helped exorcise a similar City Council bill last year - seemed skeptical the bills would do much good.

"There may be a situation where there might be a conflict between the law and what a rabbi feels is religiously appropriate," said David Zwiebel, its vice president for government affairs.

"Rabbis might react differently. Some will comply with the law and others will choose not to comply with the law."

Bishop Steven Bouman, who heads the city's Lutheran Church, insisted he
"absolutely" supports the bills. "I believe the primary responsibility of church officials and the church is to the people we serve - especially the most vulnerable," he said.

But when asked to describe his church's sex-abuse policy, he said he had to check his facts. He called back an hour later and referred questions to the church's lawyers.

Religious leaders are nervous.

The days of conducting their own internal, and possibly biased, investigations before calling cops may be over soon.

It's appropriate that the sex-reporting bills were introduced during the start of Holy Week.

"It's Lent, and Christ is giving the Church a big cross to bear - one that it has earned," said Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League.

But he said his church has plenty of company.

"I've always felt the Catholic Church doesn't have a monopoly on this issue," he said.

Daily News (New York)
March 26, 2002
Pg. 18



ALBANY - State lawmakers unveiled bills yesterday that would require clergy members to report all child sex abuse allegations to police or other authorities.

The most stringent proposal, introduced by Assemblyman Jack McEneny (D-Albany), would force churches and other religious organizations to comb through records going back 20 years or more and turn over all accusations.

"This reflects the change in attitude we are seeing on child abuse," said McEneny, a Catholic. "The present system has obviously not protected children."

The proposed legislation came as the Catholic Church faced a Holy Week crisis over revelations that leaders often covered up abuse charges and
allowed accused priests to move from parish to parish.

Last week, district attorneys in Manhattan and other boroughs called on state lawmakers to add the clergy to a list of professionals, including doctors and teachers, who are required to report child sex abuse

Some three dozen Assembly members backed McEneny's bill. But their leader, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), said he wanted to study the proposal before taking a stand on it.

State Senate Republicans, meanwhile, drummed up support for a milder measure that would require church officials to make their reports over a state-run child abuse hotline.

The Senate proposal, introduced by Sen. Stephen Saland (R-Poughkeepsie), would cover allegations going back five years.

Both bills would shield clergy members from reporting abuse they learned about through confession or other ministering duties. Failure to report allegations would be a misdemeanor.

Dennis Poust, a spokesman for the state Catholic Conference, which is led by Edward Cardinal Egan, declined to comment on the two measures.

"What we're saying to the sponsors in both houses is to act with the best interests of the children, as we move forward," Poust said.

Rabbi David Zwiebel of Agudath Israel of America, a Jewish advocacy group, voiced support for the provision that would protect confessions and other ministering conversations.

"But the 20-year provision sounds a bit overblown," he said. "It kind of sounds like clergy members would be singled out for special treatment."

Allegations older than five years could not be prosecuted because of the state's statute of limitations. But the bill's backers said prosecutors would keep the old allegations private in case new accusations surfaced against the same clergy member.

A spokesman for Gov. Pataki said the governor would sign legislation requiring clergy to report sex abuse cases to authorities.

by Douglas Montero
The New York Post
January 28, 2002
Pg. 18

IT'S time the Catholic Church in this city followed in the footsteps of its brothers in Boston before it's too late.

On Thursday, the Boston Archdiocese broke a long-standing tradition - it now requires its clergy and employees to call cops if a priest is accused of sexual misconduct.

The edict comes only after the Boston Archdiocese admitted that in the 1980s it played three-card monte with pedophile priest John Geoghan, who went on to allegedly molest more than 130 kids. About 80 kids have lawyers and lawsuits pending.

Reports indicated Brooklyn Bishop Thomas Daily, the former general vicar in Boston, was aware of Geoghan's problems.

Edward Cardinal Egan's vestment was also stained by a similar scandal when he served as bishop in Connecticut.

That's why the assassination of City Council Bill 933 last year should cause shudders in anyone whose children attend religious schools in this city.

The bill was shot down by religious leaders who didn't like the law requiring its employees to call cops whenever a sexual allegation is made.

The proposed law applied not only to public and private schools but also to affiliated areas like a church or synagogue.

Inspired by a string of grossly mishandled sex-abuse cases in public schools, the strongly supported and much-touted bill languished in committee during the summer after religious leaders, who normally handle embarrassing sex matters internally, put the squeeze on lawmakers.

Sources inside the Giuliani administration and City Council speaker's office told The Post in September the religious community was "caught off guard" by Bill 933.

"They wanted to kill it or arrange it so that it only applies to public schools," a source said.

Bill 933 was eagerly taken off the negotiating table in August because Giuliani handed it to his Charter Revision Commission which put an altered proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The referendum, which was overwhelmingly approved, applied only to public schools - not private.

Asked why, Commission Chairman Randy Mastro said the commission was
"sympathetic" to private-school concerns and they wanted a referendum that would acquire the "broadest consensus" from voters.

"Do we personally believe we should have gone further? Yes," he said in September.

Just last summer, The Post learned one of four priests accused in a March 2000 lawsuit of sexually abusing a teenage rectory worker at St. Simon Stock Church in The Bronx was quietly transferred to St. Patrick's Church in Staten Island.

Parishioners at St. Patrick's said they were unaware of the allegation until The Post broke the story in June.

The priest, who worked in Staten Island for about three years, was again transferred - coincidentally in June - to an unknown location, a priest on duty said yesterday.

Repeated messages left with the spokesmen for Egan and Daily, our spiritual and moral leaders, were not returned yesterday.

Family Violence? Not in My Community! by Alexiou, Alice Sparberg. Lilith. New York: Spring 2004. Vol. 29, Iss. 1; pg. 8
Miklat, the only battered women's shelter in Israel specifically for Orthodox and Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish women and children, has announced plans to open a second shelter, somewhere in the center of the country. Experts say that the country's current crisis mode has increased violence against women. Miklat founder and president Estanne Fawer told LILITH that in the last year and a half, the shelter has had to turn away 70 women and their children because of lack of space. Fawer created Miklat in 1996.

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

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

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

Tell this to the women in the Miklat shelters.

Copy of distributed Agudath Israel Memo

June 28, 2001


Honorable Peter F. Vallone
Honorable Priscilla A. Wooten
Honorable Members of the New York City Council Education Committee

David Zwiebel
Executive Vice President for Government and Public Affairs

Honorable Rudolph W. Giuliani

Members of the Committee of Nonpublic School Officials of New York City

SUBJECT: Intro. No. 933-A

This memo is a follow-up to my memo of June 14 to Peter Vallone and Priscilla Wooten, in which I requested that the City Council postpone any action on the captioned legislation until Agudath Israel and other representatives of New York City's nonpublic school community had an
opportunity to study and comment on the bill. I am grateful that the City Council acceded to our request; and I take this opportunity now to share with you our concerns about this legislation, as well as to offer what I hope will be seen as a constructive suggestion.

Section 3 of the bill would add a new Section 10-124 to the New York City Administrative Code, requiring any employee of any public or private school who "witnesses or has reasonable cause to believe that a crime involving the health or safety of a child has occurred or has been threatened in an educational setting" to immediately report such information to the Police Department and to the school principal. After those reports are made, the principal is obligated to "promptly notify the parent or legal guardian of a child about whom a report has been made" unless the Police Department determines that such notification would impede a criminal investigation. Failure to comply with these requirements would be classified as a criminal misdemeanor.

This proposal is apparently a response to several incidents in public school settings that might have been avoided had the police been brought into the picture at an earlier stage. Without in any way denigrating the seriousness of those few incidents, or the need to find ways to try to avoid such incidents in the future, we question whether the approach embodied in the proposed legislation is the most appropriate means of achieving that purpose. Based on the input we have received from the Jewish school principals with whom we have discussed this issue, we are concerned that any legislation that strips principals of their professional discretion to handle sensitive situations in the manner they deem most appropriate would do more harm than good.

It is important to recognize that even under existing law, schools cannot simply ignore situations that threaten the health or safety of students. A school's common law duty to care for its students imposes upon principals and other responsible school authorities the obligation to take reasonable steps to deal with harmful or dangerous conduct. Those steps may include, under certain circumstances, notifying the police about actual or threatened criminal activity. At the same time, principals and other school authorities have a great deal of professional discretion in how to deal with individual situations. So long as they do not abuse that discretion by acting negligently or otherwise abrogating their duty to care, they are free to deal with situations in ways that they understand to be in the best interests of the child or children under their care.

Thus, for example, under existing law, if a student is caught smoking marijuana, a principal may decide to deal with the problem by referring the child to a drug counselor. Or, if a student is acting in a physically threatening manner toward one of his peers, the principal may decide that the problem can best be addressed through a phone call to the aggressive child's parents. Or, if a model teacher who has a longstanding unblemished record is provoked into lashing out at a troublemaking student, the principal may decide to address the incident by having a heart-to-heart chat with the teacher and student. Or, in any of these cases or others like them, the principal may decide that the matter is best dealt with through the school's internal disciplinary system, or by suspending or expelling the offending party, or by calling in the police. The existing law recognizes that one size does not necessarily fit all situations, and that knowledgeable school authorities are the ones best equipped to serve as gatekeepers in determining whether any given situation merits the extreme step of bringing in the police.

Under the proposed new legislation, however, all such school-based discretion and professional judgment would be removed. School employees who witness or have reasonable cause to believe that a crime involving the health or safety of a child has been threatened or actually committed would have to call the police immediately – no matter what the magnitude of the crime, no matter who or how old the perpetrator, no matter what the surrounding circumstances, no matter what the school principal and student guidance counselor may consider most appropriate. The bill would thus operate in blunderbuss fashion and effectuate a sea change in the way principals and other key school employees deal with problems that may arise in their school settings.

The Jewish school principals with whom we consulted were unanimous in their opinion that this change would be a change for the worse, not for the better. Their experience has been that most cases are best-handled internally, without police intervention. They are especially troubled by the prospect of having to call in the police for student-on-student conduct. They point out that personal trust is the most critical tool a principal has in effectively dealing with problems that may arise in a
school setting – personal trust between the school administration and its staff, between the school administration and its students, between the school administration and its parent body – and that bringing in the police as soon as a crime is committed or even suspected is likely to destroy that foundation of personal trust, thereby making it exceedingly difficult to deal effectively with many of the problems that are far better addressed by school personnel at the school site.

It is thus our view that the bill's failure to allow for principals to exercise professional judgment and discretion in dealing with actual or threatened criminal conduct is a serious flaw. This is especially so with respect to nonpublic schools, where there has been little if any evidence that the existing system does not adequately protect children, and where any such inadequacy can easily be addressed simply through parents' decisions to remove their children from the school.

There are several ways in which this legislation might be improved:
limiting the mandatory reporting provision to adult-on-child crime; limiting the types of crimes that have to be reported to felonies that pose a clear and present danger to children; excluding nonpublic schools from the ambit of legislation that is ultimately a response to a perceived problem in the public schools.

Most fundamentally, and in addition to these possible improvements, our
recommendation would be that the bill be revised to simply codify and amplify the existing common law standard. Thus, the bill could continue to require school employees immediately to report to their principals crimes or threatened crimes affecting the health or safety of students, as the current version of the proposed legislation does; and then establish the principal's legal duty to take reasonable and appropriate steps to deal with the harmful or dangerous conduct. The bill might spell out what some of those steps might be, including immediate contact with the Police Department if the nature of the situation is such that reasonable care would demand such contact; but the bottom line responsibility for exercising professional judgment in dealing with any given situation would rest four-square on the principal's shoulders. Negligent or reckless failure to discharge that responsibility would represent an abrogation of a
school's duty to care for its children, and could be basis for liability.

Such an approach, we believe, would largely accomplish what the bill's proponents seek to accomplish, while at the same time preserving the critical element of professional discretion that has by and large served schools and students well.

Many thanks for your consideration of our views.


Ask if this is the approach Agudath Israel plans to continue taking with the issue of sexual abuse.

Basically, excommunicating the victim's father and taking away his parnasa so he doesn't have the resources to fight for justice for his son, the victim.

see this website (not well organized and a bit naive in expecting the Jewish community/leadership to do anything, but increadibly troubling allgations nonetheless):

ex-communication order:

Anonymous said...

This guy is a rabbi?!

How could a rabbi not know that stealing a dime is not the same as stealing billions? It is certainly a sin to steal a dime, but it is infinitely worse to steal someone's entire life savings, or to bankrupt a charity that is supporting schools and poor people.

According to Torah bankrupting a person is much, much worse than stealing a dime from him. Shafran is an ignoramus.

Shafran is morally obtuse.

Dr. Arthur Sadoff said...

Who cares if little kids are messed up for many years to come if I'm a greedy putz and don't let them have the required therapy?

Going on Pesach Fresser cruises is what's important in life:


To the Editor: My companions and I recently traveled with Norwegian Cruise Lines in the Western Caribbean. They offer an air-sea program, which we opted for. Ten days before we were to leave from Newark for Fort Lauderdale to embark on our trip, we were given our flight information. Trans World Airlines was our carrier and it was flying us from Newark to St. Louis, where we were to take a connecting flight to Fort Lauderdale. The return trip was equally absurd. Norwegian Cruise Lines, when asked, absolved itself of responsibility by saying we had the option of arranging our own flights and that they had no control over the airlines that they contract with.

I think cruise lines have an obligation to let prospective passengers know that the air portion of a cruise vacation might entail a circuitous trip. What should have been a relaxing vacation was marred by our unforeseen visit to the St. Louis airport: This made a 2 1/2-hour journey to Florida into a 7 1/4-hour journey going down and a 15-hour journey returning.


YoelB said...

The יכר הרע is also known as מלך זכן וכסיל. Avi Shafran's piece and his work for the Aguda helps one to understand that.

YoelB said...

Sorry, that's יצר not יכר. Bad typing, bad proofreading.

Anonymous said...

In Pinny Lipschutz eulogy on Rav Elya Svei zt"l, he writes;
"...when someone acted irresponsibly or abused his talmidim, Rav Elya did everything in his ability to end that person's career. Single-handedly, he fought the perpetrator and his enablers, long before it was fashionable to expose and denounce such offenders. Rav Elya paid no attentionto how powerful the person in question might have been, what connections the person had, what the actions would cost Rav Elya personally, or how it might hurt the yeshiva he gave his life for."
Pinny is refering to the story of Matis WEinberg. Rav Elya was convinced that Matis was a pedophile and forced him to leave his yeshiva in San Jose, California and sign a shtar that he would never return to chinuch. YU strongly backed Matis and opened ayeshiva for him in the OLd City of Yerushalaim, despite the shtar he had signed. Rav Elya was subsequently proven correct when several of the YU boys filed a civil suit against YU after they were molested by Matis. Matis's mother,REbetzin WEinberg (wife of the great Gaon and tzadik, Rav Yaakov WEinberg zt"l, who did not share his wifes view) never forgave Rav Elya for destroying her son. At her husband's funerel she publicly verbally assaulted Rav Elya for being so "mean" to Matis. As always, the tzadik Rav Elya zt"l took it all calmly and did not answer back.
Yehi zichro baruch.
Since I know Pinny frequents this site, I decided to post here to let him know we got the hint.

Anonymous said...

i think there is only one way to stop aguda

please call ny department of investigation and file a complaint that they assist in fraud for the yeshivas and help cover up molesters

if they get 70 calls and have to get 70 case numbers they will have no choice to start looking into the books files and minutes of coverup meetings

nu lets start
enough of their fraud

Arthur said...

Avigdor Lieberman's Brilliant Debut
by Daniel Pipes
April 2, 2009

Avigdor Lieberman became foreign minister of Israel yesterday. He celebrated his inauguration with a maiden speech that news reports indicate left his listeners grimacing, squirming, and aghast. The BBC, for example, informs us that his words prompted "his predecessor Tzipi Livni to interrupt and diplomats to shift uncomfortably."

Avigdor Lieberman yesterday.
Too bad for them – the speech leaves me elated. Here are some of the topics Lieberman covered in his 1,100-word stem-winder: The world order: The Westphalia order of states is dead, replaced by a modern system that includes states, semi-states, and irrational international players (e.g., Al-Qaeda, perhaps Iran).
World priorities: These must change. The free world must focus on defeating the countries, forces, and extremist entities "that are trying to violate it." The real problems are coming from "the direction of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq" – and not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Egypt: Lieberman praises Cairo as "a stabilizing factor in the regional system and perhaps even beyond that" but puts the Mubarak government on notice that he will only go there if his counterpart comes to Jerusalem.
Repeating the word "peace": Lieberman poured scorn on prior Israeli governments: "The fact that we say the word 'peace' twenty times a day will not bring peace any closer."
The burden of peace: "I have seen all the proposals made so generously by Ehud Olmert, but I have not seen any result." Now, things have changed: "the other side also bears responsibility" for peace and must ante up.
The Road Map: The speech's most surprising piece of news is Lieberman's focus on and endorsement of the Road Map, a 2003 diplomatic initiative he voted against at the time but which is, as he puts it, "the only document approved by the cabinet and by the Security Council." He calls it "a binding resolution" that the new government must implement. In contrast, he specifically notes that the government is not bound by the Annapolis accord of 2007 ("Neither the cabinet nor the Knesset ever ratified it").
Implementing the Road Map: Lieberman intends to "act exactly" according to the letter of the Road Map, including its Tenet and Zinni sub-documents. Then comes one of his two central statements of the speech:
I will never agree to our waiving all the clauses - I believe there are 48 of them - and going directly to the last clause, negotiations on a permanent settlement. No. These concessions do not achieve anything. We will adhere to it to the letter, exactly as written. Clauses one, two, three, four - dismantling terrorist organizations, establishing an effective government, making a profound constitutional change in the Palestinian Authority. We will proceed exactly according to the clauses. We are also obligated to implement what is required of us in each clause, but so is the other side. They must implement the document in full.
The mistake of making concessions: He notes the "dramatic steps and made far-reaching proposals" of the Sharon and Olmert governments and then concludes, "But I do not see that [they] brought peace. To the contrary. … It is precisely when we made all the concessions" that Israel became more isolated, such as at the Durban Conference in 2001. Then follows his other central statement:
We are also losing ground every day in public opinion. Does anyone think that concessions, and constantly saying "I am prepared to concede," and using the word "peace" will lead to anything? No, that will just invite pressure, and more and more wars. Si vis pacem, para bellum - if you want peace, prepare for war, be strong.
Israeli strength: Lieberman concludes with a rousing call to fortitude: "When was Israel at its strongest in terms of public opinion around the world? After the victory of the Six Day War, not after all the concessions in Oslo Accords I, II, III and IV."

Anonymous said...

What about the accusations that Reb Elya covered up for Kolko so that people wouldn't get sued?

SamIam said...

Is this article what they mean when they say that Daas Torah Hefech Daas Baalei Batim?

Yossie said...

Rabbi Svei's (z"tl) actions in the cases of Matis Weinbrg and Benzion Sobel deserve credit and acknowledgement. The accusation by anonymous (April 4 10:23 PM) about YU however is untrue. If he wants the facts he can ask Pinny Lipschutz himself.
Yosef Blau

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

Derech eretz requires that the only comments permitted here about R' Elya Svei zt"l will be l'shvach, after the shloshim I may write about the very complex rosh yeshiva.

T'hei nafsho tzruro....

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein said...

I disagree with his assessment of both Sully and Madoff. Most of the reasons have already been stated by other commentors. I will restrict myself to new points.

I am ready to allow Dante the run of his imagination. I don’t think that it is accurate at all to say that Judaism “doesn’t differentiate between misappropriating a million dollars and pilfering a dime.” Both of them, indeed, are violations of the same prohibition. The consequences of the deeds cannot be compared, and Judaism does teach that we are responsible for the far-reaching consequences of our misdeeds, and the pain that they bring to others, according to their special circumstances. A human court of law, a beis din, will not treat stealing a dime differently than grand larceny, but HKBH’s court does.

When Kayin killed his brother, HKBH told him that the blood (lit., bloods) of his brother cry out from the ground. Sanhedrin 37A tells us that Kayin was held accountable not only for a single act of murder, but for all the descendents of Hevel that would not be born. In other words, he was held morally responsible for killing myriads of people.

When Nosson Ha-Navi wished to indirectly chastise Dovid over the Batsheva incident, he invented the story of a rich man who stole the single, beloved sheep of a poor man. Dovid, hearing the story, responded (using a bit of hyperbole, according to some of the commentators) that the perpetrator should be put to death. Stealing the sheep from another would call for restitution only; the special meaning that the sheep had for the poor man changed ordinary theft into a much greater moral crime.

Besides the chilul Hashem and R”L very serious repercussions against Jewish lives and property by antisemites just waiting for an opening, Madoff will turn out to be a mass-murderer. Beyond the suicides that have already taken place, the money he stole will prevent the funding of hospital beds, the hiring of medical personnel, etc. People will die as a consequence. More people will die as a result of Madoff than the number of people saved by Sully.

We have every right to see Madoff’s treachery in the light of the bitter fruit of his evil labor. He will be remembered in the future as one of our least-favorite sons.

Call To Action said...

The conservative talk show hosts, politicians of both parties in Washington have seen Avi Shafran's assessment of Orthodox Judaism. As a high ranking Congressman speaking on condition of anonymity said "I never knew a Jew wrote Mein Kampf, this is a disgrace".

The backlash of this crazed man's verbal diarhea will be tremendous. Now is the time to repudiate this piece of trash public statement.

E-Mail and call your Congressmen, and Senators. Tell them Orthodox Jewry doesn't believe this crazed rant. Let them hear loud and clear AGUDAH DOES NOT REPRESENT US.

The damage this article will cause if we sit back and do nothing, is enormous.

Avi, Goebbels would be proud of this piece.

Anonymous said...

JWB said:

Why the Brooklyn DA's office cannot be trusted.

Eugene Gold, the Brooklyn District Attorney from 1968 to 1981 was a pedophile and accordingly it is not suprising that the DA's office is still decades behind given its history. Gold worked the same sort of deal for himself that the Brooklyn DA's office is famous for to this day.
see: http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/gold_eugene.html
Eugene Gold, the former Brooklyn District Attorney, admitted today that he had fondled the 10-year-old daughter of an Alabama prosecutor and agreed to undergo psychiatric treatment to avoid prosecution.

In exchange for his admission, Mr. Gold was placed on probation for two years. If he remains under psychiatric care during the probation period, the aggravated-rape charge against him will be dropped, Nashville prosecutors said. Conviction on the charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The Brooklyn DA's office cannot be trusted accordingly we must watch them carefully and do what we can so that no more deals are made in the style of the Rabbis Lewis (Yomtov Lipa) Brenner and Yehuda Kolko cases.

Arthur said...

Funny but how true.

Oh, and was he wearing a tallit or a keffiyeh?
When does criticism of Israel cross the line to become anti-Semitism? Few other questions are so hotly debated. Was former CIA agent Michael Scheuer threatening Jews or just being dramatic when he recently fumed that "Israel-Firsters are unquestionably enemies of America's republican experiment and will have to be destroyed"?

Is the Israeli military compared to the Rebel Alliance in 'Star Wars,' or the Gestapo in Hell?
Photo: Courtesy
And what about Pat Oliphant's cartoon about Gaza that featured a headless, goose-stepping soldier threatening a Gazan mother and child with what Jeffrey Goldberg astutely described as a "Star of David-shaped shark unicycle"? Was Oliphant unfairly maligned or just inadequately medicated?

Some say anti-Semitism is in the eye of the beholder and cannot be objectively measured. Others say conjunctivitis is also in the eye of the beholder but can be accurately diagnosed. To close the gap between these camps, I offer the following test.

A. What term does the writer use to refer to the Jewish state?
1. Israel
2. Palestine
3. Isratine
4. The Upper West Side

B. To whom does the commentator compare Israel's military?
1. The Rebel Alliance in Star Wars
2. The United States in Vietnam
3. The French in Algeria
4. The Gestapo in hell

C. How soon does the word Holocaust appear in the comment or essay?
1. Not at all - the preferred term is "Shoah."
2. In the first sentence, right before "Once the Jews were oppressed, now they have become..."
3. In the first paragraph, contained in quotation marks.
4. In the paragraph about Palestinian casualties, but with a lower-case "h."

D.On which network is the commentator most likely to appear?
1. Fox News
2. CNN
3. NPR
4. Al-Jazeera

E. To which of the following does the commentator compare the pro-Israel lobby?
1. The National Rifle Association
2. Skull and Bones
3. The Trilateral Commission
4. The Elders of Zion

F. How does the writer refer to Hamas?
1. "An Islamofascist terror gang"
2. "Gaza's democratically elected government"
3. "An unfairly maligned social service agency"
4."My good friends Khaled and Ismail"

G. Who is cited in the footnotes?
1. Alan Dershowitz and Ed Koch
2. Jeffrey Goldberg and Thomas Friedman
3. Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer
4. Noam Chomsky and Jimmy Carter

H. Where did the writer stay while doing his research?
1. At the King David Hotel
2. At the Intercontinental Hotel Jerusalem
3. At an undisclosed location in southern Lebanon
4. At the Harvard Square Hotel

I. What is the writer's preferred solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
1. One state, Jewish, with autonomy for Palestinian Arabs
2. Two states, Israeli and Arab, living side by side in peace
3. One state, with joint Israeli and Palestinian citizenship
4. Two states, one for Arabs in Palestine, one for Jews in Eastern Europe - or Brooklyn, maybe

J. What does the commentator see as the biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East?
1. Palestinian intransigence
2. Israeli intransigence
3. The "cycle of violence"
4. A Star of David-shaped shark unicycle

Scoring: Take your blood pressure before and after reading an op-ed or listening to a speech on the Middle East. If it rises precipitously, call your doctor - and the Anti-Defamation League.

The writer is editor in chief of the New Jersey Jewish News

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think this article is intellectually sound.

Raw emotion has overtaken our brain and thought process.

Just as raw emotion and hatred of AIG execs had overtaken out intellect and the contractual obligations.

Peasants with pitchforks standing outside the palace, screaming bloody murder.... A revolution is brewing........ The Jew always gets caught by the mobs......brown shirts....... Obama.......

What the hell, I'll go eat pizza...

Harry Maryles said...

First - one cannot ignore the magnitude of what Mr. Madoff has done. Yes stealing is stealing but the impact of the amount stolen – and from whom - must be considered when evaluating the measure of the man. It not only affected individuals it affected charities (one had to close its doors) and even Yeshivos. Some of his private victims went from the ability to retire in relative comfort to becoming impoverished. One even committed suicide. His crime was deliberate. He purposely defrauded many of his clients of their fortunes. He took it all.

He may not have intended it that way to start with. But it became apparent early in his scheme that his financial promises could not be kept. Instead of apologizing then and returning the money that was left - he chose to set up a pyramid scheme that would funnel money from new investors to old investors who were trying to take some of their profits. Of which there were none. When the old investors started demanded more money than he could raise from new investors, his pyramid collapsed.

His subsequent public apology in court – no matter how heartfelt it may have been hardly suffices as a means toward Teshuva. His “Bein Adam L’Chavero’ sin requires that he ask Mechila from each individual that he harmed. He has not done that. Even if he had dome that his victims in many cases would hardly forgive him for causing them to lose their entire life savings.

Mr. Madoff has a lot of work to do if he wants to truly begin the process of real Teshuva that Rabbi Shafran points to with a modicum of admiration. One cannot ignore the very significant point of scale. Would Rabbi Shafran still admire him at all if his entire life savings were destroyed by a man he trusted? I hardly think so. It is impossible to ignore the scale of the crime here and say that a dime stolen is equal to 64 billion dollars stolen. Scale does matter in human relations.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the plan of th above call to action. But why not make even better use of this opportunity?

Right now the frum community is anxiously awaiting what decision Zweibel and the Ktanim are going to make about the statutes of limitations bills of Markey vs. Lopez, and we all know which way they are swinging. Why not call the ONLY people they answer to or care about the congressman and senators in Washington to expose not only Sharans lunacy, but the whole kit and kaboodle. Their cynical insistence on denying and covering up for molestation of children under the guise of "freedom of religion" as if molestation and its cover up is part and parcel of traditional judaism. If we all call them and use the names UOJ and Jewish Board of Advocacy for Children, we can explain that Aguda is becoming exposed for who they really are and more and more of the Orhthodox community do not follow them. Can you imagine the kiddush Hashem that we can make if we inundated their phone lines with "Agudah does not represent Orthodox Judaism" calls???

UOJ do you have any better ideas on how to hit them where it counts? I'm still waiting for some federal investigations we've been promised....

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

I do not talk much what I'm doing or going to do. I do keep my promises!

Sir Vivor said...

Here is the Final Solution to the freak show that is the Agudah:

Get Shafran's article into a mainstream American newspaper or magazine. That would force klal yisroel to disavow themselves of the Agudah and force Agudah to disavoe themselves from the sick animal called Shafran.

For starters UOJ should get this published in the Forward, The New Yorker, New York Magazine etc.

Hitler and Goebels would have hired Shafran. No better way to rile up the antisemites against us.

Sir Vivor said...

Rabbi Carlebach ZT"L of Yeshivas Chaim Berlin commented on the occassion of his being unfairly thrown out of his own yeshiva: "A Chilul Hashem unresolved ultimately revenges itself upon its perpetrators as well as upon those who reward it."

Hashem desired that Shafran choke on his shoe so that they be paid in kind for the travesty of child molestation that agudah helped perpetuate for years. Kayn Yoivdu kol oivecha.

Shafran Seen In Pittsburgh said...

By JOE MANDAK, Associated Press Writer Joe Mandak, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 1 min ago

PITTSBURGH – A 911 call that brought two police officers to a home where they were ambushed, and where a third was also later killed during a four-hour siege, was precipitated by a fight between the gunman and his mother over a dog urinating in the house.

Margo getting desperate, flies to Germany said...

Thief nabbed with 68 tubes of toothpaste

BERLIN (Reuters) – Police in northern Germany are searching for a man who tried to walk out of a supermarket with 68 tubes of toothpaste stuffed into his clothing.

"We don't know if he had bad teeth," a police spokeswoman in Rostock said Friday.

Noticing his bulging jacket, a store worker grabbed the man when he refused to stop and the tubes of toothpaste spilled all over the floor, police said.

The thief struck the woman in the face and ran out.

Lakewood Talmid said...

This has to be one of the most idiotic pieces I have ever read. I am surprised even by Shafran's standards.

Shafran completely ignores the fact that kammus & eichus of a cheit is taken into account lemaalah ulemattah. And for someone who says he doesn't like to comment about molesters without being in possession of all the facts, why does he go out on a limb to say that Madoff started with good kavonnos when investigators have found he never invested a dime in 40 years? We also know from the maaseh Elifaz that making someone destitute is akin to killing them.

Does Shafran really misread the rishus of Madoff or does he have an ulterior motive in downplaying it? Madoff was such an az ponim that he probably figured the Ponzi scheme could go on indefinitely. And his admission of guilt? Obviously coached by lawyers to win a lighter sentence. Maybe Shafran is hoping that some Agudah-connected criminals can win lenience with similar "azivas" hacheit.

Baredding Sullenberger is probably bichlal the issur of misgareh beumos, considering how anyone would be outraged to be described so maliciously by a so-called orthodox rabbi.

Shafran is even guilty of bad vocabulary. Seniors in Florida are known as snowbirds, not sunbirds.

Son of Boog said...

Lakewood Talmid,

The Agudah is in bed with the Catholic Church, so it's no surprise Shafran would promote this Notzri belief of accepting fake teshuva from the likes of Madoff.

And bad vocabulary while trying to sound fancy? He must be taking directions from a certain rov in Flatbush.

Anonymous said...

I would think the pilot has a much harder job balancing the whole plane so that it doesn't fall apart. That it's easier to crash land in a way that compromises the back of the plane while saving himself.

Anonymous said...

if all the enemies of the Agudah had gotten together, locked themselves in a room for a month, and tried to come up with something 'jucier' than Shafran's article, they would've been wasting their time and energy.

Anonymous said...

Even if Madoff has done “real teshuvah”, it has no relevance to dinei odom. There is not a beis din that is permitted to consider teshuvah in adjudicating someone. Teshuvah is purely bein odom laMakom. So who cares? He earned his stay in prison. Does prison food have good hashgocho? How machmir are they for Pesach?

boog said...

Hey Shafran;

You are the quintessential example of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's descriptor:

"Defining Deviancy Down".

The tinaf you wrote is a bezoyen to the pen and paper.

You're a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Top 10 targets Shafran passed over when deciding to shtoch Sully

10. 9/11 NYC Firefighters

9. Rav Amnon from Unesaneh Tokef

8. The Red Cross

7. The Entebbe Rescue Team

6. The Vaad Hatzolah

5. Reb Aryeh Levin


dugoutbugout said...

So i guess this means shafran will NOT be watching kobe vs lebron in the nba finals. shame.