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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Revolution On The Streets Of New York!

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Confronting Pedophilia: Two Views


The Markey Bill And Beyond: If The Rabbis Really Cared ...

by Rabbi Dr. Asher Lipner

Special To The Jewish Week

For years I was a proud, card-carrying member of Agudath Israel of America, a leading haredi communal organization; sadly, I have allowed my membership to lapse. But I, like many others, do not feel that I left the Agudah.

Rather the Agudah has left us.

The Agudah has come out in opposition to the Child Victims Act, known as the “Markey Bill” in the New York State Legislature (its lead sponsor is Queens Assemblywoman Marge Markey). The bill would allow victims of childhood sexual abuse recourse toward obtaining justice against their abusers by providing a one-year “window” in which to file a civil lawsuit at any age, and would extend the statute of limitations for pressing criminal charges from age 23 to 28.

Many survivors of child abuse have been waiting for years in shame, pain and agony, hoping that one day our religious leaders would hear their cries and address their plight. Survivors were just beginning to feel empowered and accepted after recent media attention and political and communal statements calling attention to their suffering.

Courageously, some survivors were able to speak out, and there were those who traveled to Albany last month to lobby for passage of the Markey bill. Orthodox Jews stood together with Catholics and Protestants, blacks and whites, to support survivors of child abuse and to ensure protection for children in the future. But we were deeply disappointed to learn, on the bus ride home, that the Agudah and Torah Umesorah, the National Association of Hebrew Day Schools, whom parents expect to promote child welfare and school safety, had come out against the bill.

One survivor of abuse from 29 years ago, a friend of mine, wondered aloud: “Does it take a situation where the children or grandchildren of the religious leadership are molested before they will finally start doing the right thing?”

The Agudah is concerned with yeshivas and other institutions becoming financially insolvent due to lawsuits, should Markey pass. But the only lawsuits that could possibly win are those against yeshivas that knowingly harbored molesters, not the vast majority of innocent institutions. Are we to believe that yeshivas that would enable the abuse of innocent Jewish children are, in the words of the Agudah and Torah Umersorah, the “lifeblood of our community?”

On the one hand, the Markey bill is not necessarily an absolute litmus test of whether the rabbis care or not about victims of sexual abuse. But the fact is that Agudah’s denunciation of the Child Victims Act marks the first time that the current gedolim (Torah sages) have acknowledged the problem of sexual abuse — and then only to focus on the institutions they are afraid will be financially hurt by it. As I have heard repeatedly from those who have suffered, this leads survivors of abuse to feel that the rabbis care more about the financial safety of their institutions than the physical, emotional and spiritual safety of the children.

Survivors of abuse wonder why the rabbis remained silent for so many years about this issue. Yated Neeman, the primary haredi newspaper, reported recently that the leading rabbis have been meeting to discuss the problem for at least five years. So why is it only now that they publicly admit that molestation exists in their community? And where is the apology to the victims for not protecting them all this time, for not believing them and for silencing their voices?

Why have these rabbinic leaders not openly endorsed the position paper of the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children (www.jewishadvoctes.org), which calls for mandated reporting of suspicion of abuse by rabbis and teachers in yeshivas; mandated fingerprinting and background checks of all employees in yeshivas; mandated safety plans with full transparency and written instructions to parents; and mandated firing and punishment of employees for any sexual or physical abuse?

These actions should have begun already — voluntarily — even before legislation is enacted. It is a chilul Hashem (desecration of God’s name) that our yeshivas would need the government to legislate and enforce the fundamentals of our Torah. Enforcement of these values, which conform to halacha, would be easy enough for our leaders. Any school that does not provide for the safety of our children should be deemed as outside of Orthodoxy, as would be a school that sponsored a Tisha b’Av dance party or Yom Kippur banquet.

Surely if a school was found to be distributing treif lollipops it would soon be forced to shut its doors.

Why have the gedolim not yet signed a proclamation stating that both victims and witnesses of abuse must go to the police, as some rabbinic authorities have stated? Why have they fostered the misperception that it is forbidden to do so because of mesirah (the prohibition of reporting Jews to non-Jewish authorities)? Why do they not also clarify to the uninformed that sexual abuse is a sin and a crime whether there is sexual penetration or not — that it includes such mistreatment as fondling, coercing a child to touch an adult sexually, exhibitionism, voyeurism and even inappropriate sexual speech to a child?

If the rabbinic leaders are too afraid of damaging their own institutions to support the Markey bill, let them implement the above suggestions. That surely would go a long way toward reaching out to survivors and promoting healing and teshuva in our community.

Asher Lipner is vice president of the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children and works as a therapist with survivors of abuse and their families.

*

Bill’s ‘Window’ Unfair, Yet More Must Be Done

Rabbi David Zwiebel

Special To The Jewish Week

As reported in these pages one week ago, a small group of protesters picketed this year’s annual dinner of Agudath Israel of America to show their displeasure with Agudath Israel’s opposition to the “Markey bill” — legislation pending in Albany that would, among other things, suspend for one year the statute of limitations in New York for any civil claims based on allegations of childhood sexual abuse.

The picketers handed out a one-page color flier bearing the logo of Agudath Israel, with the header “A message from Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Executive Vice President, Agudath Israel of America.” At the conclusion of the message appeared a photograph of said executive vice president — me — followed by the tagline: “Agudas Yisroel: Our children are our future.”

The purported message itself was quite an eye-opener. It described Agudath Israel’s opposition to the Markey bill as having been motivated by personal concern regarding potential legal claims the bill would allow to be brought against Agudath Israel itself and the yeshivot headed by the organization’s senior rabbinic leadership. It claimed, in classic first-person confessional prose, that “I have been ordered to work tirelessly with our partner in this holy mission, the Catholic Conference of New York State, to oppose this legislation. ... My job is to follow orders and I am obligated to obey ... or lose my job.”

As readers may have guessed, the message was fabricated. I never wrote it. It was materially false.

It was a cheap shmatte! (rag).



And yet, in a certain sense, it was a welcome contribution.

Sexual abuse of children is an unspeakably terrible thing. And, to our great pain and chagrin, we in the Orthodox Jewish community have discovered over recent years that it is also apparently a far more common thing than any of us had ever imagined. Whether, as some claim, the problem is even greater in Orthodox circles than in broader society, whether it is just as bad or whether it is less prevalent, the bottom line is by now clear and undeniable: significant numbers of children growing up in Orthodox homes and attending Orthodox institutions are victims of sexual abuse.

It is also by now clear and undeniable that the scars left by such abuse are often deep and permanent, affecting victims’ social and emotional development, undermining their religious identification and observance, even leading to acts of self-destruction.

Once we could say we didn’t know. Now we know. And part of the reason we know is that victims and their advocates — like those who picketed our dinner — have made their voices heard. As I told a Jewish Week reporter last week, these people have a special claim on our attention and conscience.

But their brash indictment of our organizations and rabbinic leaders is both misguided and offensive.

As it became apparent that the problem of childhood sexual abuse in Orthodox circles was a serious one — both in scope and in severity — responsible rabbinic leaders began to assess and address the situation. With little fanfare, away from the media limelight, the Vaad Roshei Yeshiva (senior yeshiva deans) of Torah Umesorah – The National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, and the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah (Council of Torah Sages) of Agudath Israel, convened many meetings to discuss the problem and develop meaningful responses. This led, six years ago, to the publication by Torah Umesorah (with a strong assist from the professionals at Ohel) of internal school guidelines for preventing and dealing with abuse, including reporting to civil authorities when appropriate. Workshops on the topic are a regular feature of Torah Umesorah conventions.

Agudath Israel, similarly, has developed guidelines for Jewish summer camps, as well as for its year-round extracurricular youth programs.

The organizations have encouraged schools and camps to urge their parent bodies to talk to their children about inappropriate touch. They have encouraged institutions to perform background checks on all prospective employees, including a criminal records check, and have supported laws authorizing non-public schools to screen prospective employees through a state fingerprint checking system.

On the rabbinic front, halachic responsa have been published addressing the question of reporting cases of suspected abuse to the secular authorities. Special Jewish courts have been established in several Orthodox communities across the country to deal with allegations of abuse.

But yes, despite all this — and despite recognizing that yet additional steps need to be considered — Agudath Israel and Torah Umesorah oppose the Markey bill.

More precisely, we oppose one specific aspect of the Markey bill. As our organizations’ joint statement makes clear, we would not object to legislation designed to give victims greater recourse against their abusers. Our concern is with the bill’s potentially crippling real-world impact on Jewish schools, camps and synagogues — institutions that are the very lifeblood of our community — and their hard-pressed parent bodies and supporters who have no connection whatsoever to decades-old claims of abuse.

One can still maintain that, even so, it makes sense to suspend the statute of limitations for civil suits against institutions. Reasonable people can debate the issue. But opposition to the Markey bill’s “window” does not bespeak, as has been repeatedly and angrily charged by some of the bill’s proponents, lack of concern, God forbid, for victims.

No one at Agudath Israel or Torah Umesorah has ever insinuated that proponents of the bill don’t care about Jewish schools. We know that the bill’s proponents are well-meaning even if, in our view, they are not adequately weighing all the factors. We only wish they would extend to those of us who oppose the bill similar courtesy — or at least the courtesy of not disseminating fabricated “statements” designed to cast us and our community’s most revered rabbinic leaders in a poor light.

The picketers, though, are right. Our children are our future. They — and the schools that play such a central role in their Jewish development — are the most precious resources the Jewish community possesses. They deserve, both of them, our care and protection.

The Agudath Israel will give a free snuggie to any child that can prove that he was molested in a yeshiva, that's how much we really care -- and we'll throw in a free snuggie-slipper socks if you were molested twice! (*shipping & handling $100 - tax deductible checks to Novominsker Yeshiva*)



Rabbi David Zwiebel is executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America.

*

As usual, Steve gets it exactly right!

Zwiebel and the Agudah have been very consistent in the past 5-6 years in their approach to this problem. Despite what they want you to believe, they have come out against every piece of proposed legislation that would have given any sense of protection to our children.

They came out against mandatory reporting in 2005 when Zwiebel himself was quoted as saying that "this bill would take away the power of the rabbis to do their own investigating."

They opposed mandatory fingerprinting and background checks (although they now claim that they will not fight it). Now they are "vigorously opposed" to the Child Victims Act- the Markey bill. You would think that if they were having meetings for 5-6 years on the subject, that by now our children would be safer from child molesters.

Instead, they have handed the molesters one victory after another by continuing the coverups, the muzzling of the victims and the lack of any safety guidelines. This is how they have been "dealing" with the issue.

When he says that they "encouraged" institutions to do background checks, he knows very well that it is toothless and meaningless. None of the yeshivos will voluntarily fingerprint their employees and perform background checks. The RCA put out guidelines in 2003, 2005 and 2007 calling for mandatory reporting, fingerprinting, and background checks. They have also come out publicly in favor of the Markey bill? What has the Agudah done other than to thwart all of these efforts?

The Markey bill is the ONLY way that we are going to be able to expose these child molesters.

Those that were victimized and are past the SOL have no recourse at this point. What are they supposed to do, shout from the rooftops? If they go to Dov Hikind, he will only open a new file and keep the molester's name confidential. They can't go to the DA since it is past the SOL (even in new cases Hynes will make sure the perp is not prosecuted if he is well "connected"). If they try to convene a bais din, they will be laughed out of the community if not excommunicated entirely.

If they post on UOJ, they will be called liars, motzi shem ra, cowards, heretics, etc. The only recourse they have is to sue the molesters and those that wronged them in the past. Only those lawsuits that have credibility will see the light of day. In California, they were able to expose over three hundred sexual predators when they passed a similar bill.

We need to ignore these liars and hypocrites at the Agudah and work to pass this legislation in Albany immediately. We have no more time to waste bickering with these enablers.

R' Steve - Honorary Doctorate Of Truth - UOJ University!

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

Zwiebel claims his job is to follow orders, AND OBVIOUSLY NOT HIS CONCIENCE.

THE SS AND THE NAZIS WERE ALSO JUST DOING THEIR JOB - FOLLOWING ORDERS!

Malach HaMovies said...

For years I was a proud, card-carrying member of Agudath Israel of America, a leading haredi communal organization; sadly, I have allowed my membership to lapse. But I, like many others, do not feel that I left the Agudah.

People have to know that THIS IS THE MAIN THING !!!!

Demonstration are great !! Next years's Agudah dinner (if there is one) should be in a shul basement in boro park !!

But again, the main thing is NOT to renew your membership in the organization. That is the easiest thing to do.

M-I-L-K T-H-E-M D-R-Y

Anonymous said...

Anyone who reads Asher Lipner’s well written article should be impressed. He directed his focus to the issues and the differences of opinion, not the personal attack mode that many of the advocates usually take.

I also shared Rabbi Zweibel’s article with several people, and the reaction of all was that he made the position considerably more clear than in any of the previous communications by him or other Agudath Israel sources.

Between the lines were several issues that should perhaps have been stated more clearly. One is the internal mechanism for handling complaints of abuse. Torah Umesorah supposedly had one drafted several years ago, and the Agudah prepared one for camps. Neither of these make reference to authorities, and there is no doubt that authorities are needed much of the time (if not all the time).

The window that is left open in the Markey bill has a fatal flaw. Aside from the simple antics that can be done to be protected from lawsuit, it is fathomable that one can make complaints that are 20 years ago, and the yeshiva has no one in the administration or faculty that bears the guilt or responsibility for harboring or protecting abusers. Such a yeshiva will be unfairly destroyed by civil lawsuits when none of the responsible individuals are in the picture. Why? Because it bears the same name as the predecessor. You say that this should not be a worry. Oh yes, it is. Just read the anti-Agudah comments in this blog and in others. The pressure to “destroy” mosdos is certainly there, even if we dismiss the negativity of this, as the survivors are passionate about exacting justice. (Though I am among those who do not see this as justice.)

Rabbi Zweibel references that there have been several teshuvos from poskim concerning the subject. Yes, and anyone who wishes to read them will be amazed to see that Rav Elyashiv and others are clear that reporting to secular authorities is mandatory under all circumstances.

There are others besides me that wish that the public statement by Torah Umesorah and Agudah would have been held back. They may not be wrong, but the public expression of this opposition appears to have been political suicide. I bet there is a more moderate answer to this serious issue.

Malach HaMovies said...

Auditioning for the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of Agudas Yisroel...


http://video.google.com.au/videoplay?docid=-680337333793699968

Malach HaMovies said...

One is the internal mechanism for handling complaints of abuse. Torah Umesorah supposedly had one drafted several years ago, and the Agudah prepared one for camps.

Would you recommend Rabbi Shea Fishman for this post ???

Steve Greenberg said...

San Francisco police arrest 175 anti-Prop 8 protesters

San Jose Mercury News - ‎11 minutes ago‎

San Francisco police arrested about 175 protesters who were part of a group that blocked a major intersection for hours today in response to the state Supreme Court's ruling upholding Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage

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

The issue of yeshivas getting sued for no reason is nonsense.

California had the "window" opened, NOT one yeshiva was sued for that period of time. If a yeshiva does get sued, the chances that it would make it out of the Discovery stage is almost non-existent if the case had no merit.

There are three thousand plus anonymous alleged victims of child sex-abuse in yeshivas over the last 50 years that I'm aware of, -- they will never come out of anonymity regardless of the amount of money they could perhaps be awarded in a lawsuit.

The Agudah hides behind this "theoretical" scenario -- because they are concerned that there would be a few that would choose to come forward that were not 50 years old but 20 years old and all the players are still alive and hiding out presently in yeshivas and girls schools.

Even in YULA -- some of the Tendler victims could legally come forward, and choose not to.

Do not buy in to this "straw man" argument, the Agudah and TU have good reason to fear legitimate, relatively current cases that just missed the statute.

Nuremberg Agudah Fressers - Just Vollowing Orders said...

The yeshivishe zombies who have no brain of their own say that it doesn't matter that the gedolei Eretz Yisroel and R' Zelig Epstein, etc, are opposed to the American Agudah. Their argument is that the Novominkser is a "recognized gadol" and that we kleine mentchen have no business taking sides in a machlokes of gedolim. (Never mind that R' Shmuel Berenbaum zl and others held the current Moetzes is a joke). Some of them even scaremonger that criticizing the Novominsker as not caring about abuse victims can cause onshim like the critics losing their parnossa.

Dovid Zweibel's Aunt Sally said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man#Origin

There is no fallacy in our argument. UOJ has been saying for years that he will turn YTT into condos.

Putz of the month club said...

http://www.fresnobee.com/updates/story/1381189.html

California: Pastor Anthony Ireland charged with four counts of raping prostitutes at knifepoint. Ireland claims the sex was consensual and that he is only guilty of not paying the prostitutes because they ran away after the sex with his knife at their throat. Ireland's attorney: “When a prostitute negotiates payment for sex and doesn’t get paid, is that rape?”

"Salvation Army" said...

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090422/LOCAL04/90422027

Indiana: Salvation Army Pastor Jonathan Hartman arrested for molesting three girls, youngest was 13, one is pregnant.

Baltimore said...

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/crime/bal-pushia0424,0,3230832.story

Pastor Kevin Jerome Pushia charged with murder-for-hire for putting a hit out on the blind and disabled man in his care. Pushia allegedly used $50K in church funds to pay for the murder so that he could collect the victim's life insurance settlement. Lemuel Wallace was found dead in a park restroom with multiple gunshot wounds. A notation in Pastor Pushia's daily planner read that day: "L.W. project completed."

National Faygelach League said...

http://www.cbs12.com/news/father_4716963___article.html/allegations_sex.html

Pastor James Harris arrested for filming high school football players having sex in return for the promise of NFL careers. Some say this has gone on for decades.

Moetzes Resign! said...

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jWfDVL_iHmmeGGGG6q4OnEisG4YwD975V5IO0

Rev. Henry Lyons went to prison after defrauding the National Baptist Convention of $4M during his reign as their president. He used the money to buy luxury homes, jewelry, and to support his several mistresses. And now that he's done his time, he wants to be president again.

Anonymous said...

"Some of them even scaremonger that criticizing the Novominsker as not caring about abuse victims can cause onshim like the critics losing their parnossa."

------------------------
Fact is, Perlow is scared of losing his parnossa. He should.

Genuk said...

In Halacha there is no such thing as a statute of limitations. So this business about old accusations is sheer nonsense. Halacha believes that irrespective of the age of the accusation it is justiceable and its credibility can be weighed like any other claim.

The real problem is that names will be named and some very "shaine yidden" will no longer look so shain. Agudah values the shidduchim prospects of the pedophiles and their families over the interests of the victims. Dov Hikind is protecting the pedophiles for similar reasons.

Make no mistake -- pedophiles cannot be cured. Yudi Kolko over the age of sixty was arrested for molesting kids in the last few years. It was UOJ -- and lawsuits by David Fromowitz who was molested over thirty years ago-- who got him out of the classroom -- not the Agudah.

These new prospective lawsuits by the victims who fall in the window period will expose previously unknown molesters who are very likely around children and molesting children right now. The Agudah will not expose them. Ohel will not expose them. Dov Hikind will not expose them. Charlie Hynes will not expose them -- he sends them to Ohel. The Markey bill will expose them.

So Zweibel is full of garbage because the Agudah does not give a flying rip about kids. If they did they would not be opposed to a bill that will expose molesters and protect children. As Lipner said they only care about themselves and only rear their ugly head when their interests are at stake. They should go back to the rock they climbed out from under and stay there.

Agudah Bombs Again said...

Comment from Anonymous
Time May 26, 2009 at 8:26 PM

My Senator e-mailed me a half an hour ago.

Rabbi,

G (Toeivah) marriage is a problem, but children harmed by pedophiles is not a problem? What do your people stand for?

I too was opposed to the bill, but after witnessing the blatant hypocricy of your leaders, I will vote for the bill.

So no, this was not a succesful day of askanus in Albany.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, UOJ, whether or not you believe Agudah's intentions, they've got a point on this one.

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

And the point is that they were dragged through the streets and beaten to a pulp to admit what Shmuel Kaminetzky knew 45 years ago about Moshe Eisemann and sent him off to Baltimore anyway?

And again after Kolko and Margulies were finally beaten at their own game 40 years later -- and NOT ONE MOMZER RABBI AT AGUDAH SAID ONE WORD? They sent out Schick and Shafran to beat up on Robert Kolker from N.Y. Magazine? (forget about me and Matt Salomon - I'm immunized from these low-lives)

Anonymous said...

The ONLY point they focus on is their BOTTOM LINE. Don't touch our money, that's all we care about. They don't care about the children who are the future of our nation.

Speaking recently to a askan from a Agudah Yisroel, I asked him why was their organization not doing more to deal with this issue which is claiming so many Yiddish neshomos? He responded, Verbatim, Agudah is a solution based organization, the problem with youth at risk,and abuse is there is no solution so we don’t put in time or too much energy!!!

George Weinberger shame on you. Shame on the peasants who raised you. Your fall from grace is coming quicker than you can imagine.

YoelB said...

Anonymous 7:03, maybe yeshiva X would have been forced to close 30 years ago if it had had to pay the damages it incurred when one of its rebbes raped children and the administration covered it up. But instead, because they successfully covered it up, and the poor kids never got treated, and never got money for the damages and need for future care, Yeshiva X is still operating.
Do you say "let the rape victims suffer untreated, or let them pay out of their own pockets, just don't close these valuable community mosdos?"
If someone's grandfather was murdered and robbed by an SS officer would you say "Oh well, the SS officer's children and grandchildren had nothing to do with the Jewish grandfather's murder or the theft of his property, let them keep it?"

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Dr. Lipner for the great article! His point about non kosher candy, which has been reiterated multiple times in several places, is a great one and sums up the overall hypocrisy of the agudah and torah umesorah. Sadly it appears that the only type of teshuvah that the agudah is doing is the "madoff" kind of teshuvah (shafran style). If the agudah would openly discuss their mistakes, admit their conflict of interest, and out the known predators who are still lurking in our communities than maybe, and i repeat maybe, they have a chance of doing real teshuva. But sadly the opposite appears to be true. It seems like they are beginning to actually think about what they are writing and even proofreading their statements, trying to undo the pr mess that they got themselves into since releasing their infamous statement. This last piece by zweibel is the best so far in terms of looking like the agudah actually cares about our children and "respects" the pro markey camp, but in reality he just reiterates the aguda's same selfish statement in kinder and gentler words. This statement still uses the same old agudah fear mongering and unsubstantiated speculation tactics which clearly has no basis in reality or precedent to be based on. Sadly, it seems to me that even if the agudah were to do complete tehsuvah they still must be shut down and either restarted or disbanded completely. This current agudah is oozing tzaras of the highest level and must be treated accordingly. They have spun a web of lies and deceit which is so vast and sticky that they have no choice but to get stuck and ultimately expire, it is just ehe laws of nature . Only a few truly know the full extent of the depth of this cover up, including UOJ and the like, but as more and more facts come out and we, the public, learn about the deplorable cover ups and behaviors that the agudah has engaged in, there will be no choice but to shut down or engage in a COMPLETE overhaul of the agudah.
Truth always prevails.

Anonymous said...

In the Ohel letter from a few weeks ago it stated that the Rabbonim have already been discussing the issue of sexual molestation within the frum community for 5 years now, now Zweibel writes in his Op-Ed piece in this weeks Jewish Week - 6 years.

So Agudah now openly confirms that there has been a known "problem" of sexual molestation within the frum community for many many years, way before UOJ started to deal with it, and they kept it quiet and did not warn anyone!!!

And this is what they call Daas Torah?!!!

Who do they think that they were protecting? The young children, those poor victims of Kolko or Mondrowitz or Reichman, etc.

No, they were protecting their own names and reputations, they were protecting the enablers of molestation, they were protecting the pedophiles themselves - the Murderers living within our communities and teaching within our Yeshivas and camps.

Torah Umesorah knew about Kolko, the senior management of Camp Agudah and Agudah Israel itself knew about Kolko, the senior management of Yeshiva Torah Temimah knew about Kolko - but what did they do - they hushed it up and threatened anyone who tried to talk about it or who tried to worn the community at large. The same goes for Mondrowitz and Reichman and Eisenman, etc.

For how long has Ohel kept up the farce of protecting children? When did they know about Mondrowitz and who did they tell? How many patients did Ohel send to Mondrowitz for "treatment"? And do you think that Ohel has ever approached any of these victims of Mondrowitz and offered help? Or again, did they just hush things up as if things never happened?

Why, over all of these years, didn't Ohel demand Mondrowitz's arrest and extradition? Who were they protecting - the victims or their own backs and board of directors?

And this is what they call Daas Torah?!!!

And remember what Mattisyahu Salomon said only 2 and a half years ago at the Agudah Convention - how he made a point of declaring his lack of cowardice in dealing with the issue of sexual abuse by rabbeim in yeshiva and insisting that keeping his efforts discreet or as he put it to “sweep under the carpet,” is a choice that he made in order to protect human dignity. Whose dignity was he referring to? The dignity of those few victims courageous enough to step forward and confront these powerful monsters or the dignity of these monsters and their poor families?

Agudas Israel and the wholes Moetzes had one thing in mind - to hush it up and cover it up. They were not and never were concerned with the young victims. By their ongoing silence they actively aligned themselves with the dignity of the pedophiles and assisted in sweeping their heinous acts under the carpet, thereby subjecting their victims to another round of abuse at the hands of the community while enabling the molesters and murderers to continue their reign of terror on unsuspecting victims.

SHAME ON YOU AGUDAS YISROEL - SHAME ON YOU!!!

You make me sick to think that I believed in you and trusted you - for all that you are interested in is your titles, and honor, and dinners and fat salaries.

SHAME ON YOU!!!

Shalom Tendler Nailed said...

Court frees cross-dressing flashing "nuns"

Mon May 25, 11:47 am

IRAKLIO (Reuters) – Seventeen Tendlers stood trial dressed in nun's habits on the Greek island of Crete on Monday for flashing their bottoms in public, but walked free after no one showed up to testify their behavior was offensive.

Police said they had arrested the 17 men, aged between 18 and 65, early on Sunday at the popular resort of Malia and a prosecutor charged them with exposing themselves in public and offending religious symbols.

"They were dressed like nuns, but wearing thongs under their skirts and showing people their bottoms and the rest," said a police official who declined to be named.

Apprehended in the early hours of Sunday, the men were taken into custody and appeared in court on Monday in the same clothes they were wearing at the time of their arrest.

Anonymous said...

The sad fact is that the Agudah and Torah Umesorah rabbis are less afraid of the financial impact litigation will have on their institutions (yes, they are all yeshiva "owners") and simply frozen in fear of what discovery will disclose about what they knew, when they knew it and what they did to cover things up. Once that information is disclosed, their run is over and they'll have to find real jobs.

The point they miss is that many if not most Orthodox Jewish victims are within the statute of limitations and as the Agudah and Torah Umesorah rabbis continue exposing themselves as the heartless scoundrels they are, the message is getting out that there is nothing to fear from them and lawsuits will follow.

Three years ago there were zero civil lawsuits and zero criminal cases pending.

Today there are dozens of civil lawsuits and 19 criminal cases in the Brooklyn DA's office.

Shnorrer Park Putz said...

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/costco-will-accept-food-stamps-at-2-stores/?hp

May 27, 2009, 7:30 AM

Costco Will Accept Food Stamps at 2 Stores (including the one near Boro Park)

By JENNIFER 8. LEE

Costco said in a statement that it did not have any current plans to roll out the food stamp program beyond New York City. The two New York City stores were selected for the trial because of the high numbers of food stamp recipients in the surrounding areas, the company said.

Agudah worried for molesters said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/us/27scotus.html

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday made it easier for the police and prosecutors to question suspects, lifting some restrictions on when defendants can be interrogated without their lawyers present.

Sir Vivor said...

Read this and come right back here to comment:

http://www.vosizneias.com/32297/2009/05/27/new-york-shavuos-the-yartzeit-of-chassidic-movement-founder-der-heyliger-baal-shem-ztl-a-wake-up-call-about-at-risk-teens/

Spineless Bibi caves in to Obama said...

(IsraelNN.com) The IDF Central Command has warned residents of 24 Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria that they face eviction in the near future. Thousands of people who reside in the communities could find themselves homeless.

The list of communities facing demolition includes towns that were built up to 10 years ago, such as Migron and Givat Assaf. Senior members of the Ichud Leumi party were informed by IDF officials that the towns will be evicted either peaceably or by force before June 6, the date on which United States President Barack Obama plans to give a historic address to the Muslim world from Cairo.

Soldiers and police officers will be called up as early as Tuesday to prepare for the evictions.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke Monday in defense of his decision to evict Jews from unauthorized towns.

UOJ public service announcement said...

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/the-danger-of-treadmills/

Doctors estimate about 25,000 children end up in the emergency room each year as a result of injuries related to home exercise equipment. According to Consumer Reports, children can be harmed in a variety of ways.

Emergency rooms around the country are reporting a growing number of severe burns on the hands and fingers of young children who reach down or under and touch the treadmill belt when it’s running. Though some incidents occur when unsupervised children are playing with unlocked equipment, many occur when children approach from behind as a parent is using the equipment. Curious hands that reach out and touch the moving belt or reach under the machine can suffer excruciating burns that can require multiple skin grafts and cause permanent disability.

Last summer, an Australian study found that treadmill friction injuries accounted for about 1 percent of pediatric burns, but concluded that the incidence of these injuries is on the rise. The Australian government has launched a campaign called “Treadmills and Kids Don’t Mix!” In June, a new safety standard will take effect in the country, requiring all new treadmills to carry a prominent warning sticker to alert treadmill users to keep children away from machines when they are in use.

Parents should keep home exercise equipment locked and unplugged so children can’t start the machines on their own. Equipment should also be positioned so parents have a clear view of their surroundings and can see children approach the equipment when they are using it.

Putz at the annual Ohel golf outing said...

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/11/golf-cart-injuries-are-on-the-rise/

Golf Cart Injuries Are on the Rise

Golf carts are moving off the golf course, and the result appears to be a surge in injuries, a new report shows.

The June issue of The American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports that injuries from being hit by or falling off of golf carts surged 132 percent from 1990 to 2006. Nearly 150,000 people, ranging in age from 2 months to 96 years, were hurt in golf cart accidents during that time.

One reason may be that golf carts have become much faster and more powerful. Reaching speeds of up to 25 miles per hour and traveling as far as 40 miles on a single battery charge, golf carts now offer quick travel in a variety of venues. They are now routinely used at sporting events, hospitals, airports, national parks, college campuses, businesses and military bases, the study authors noted. In some gated and retirement communities, golf carts have become the primary means of transportation.

But golf carts typically aren’t subject to federal regulations, and users often don’t even need a driver’s license to operate one. They don’t have seat belts or stability mechanisms, and a common injury involves people falling off, particularly from the back.
In 1990 there were an estimated 5,772 golf cart injuries, but in 2006 that number had surged to 13,411. About 70 percent occurred at a sports or recreational facility. About 15 percent of injuries happened on the street, and those injuries were most likely to result in concussions and hospitalization. Another 15 percent occurred around homes or on a farm.

Nearly one-third of injuries involved children. About half of the injuries were related to falling or jumping from a golf cart or the cart overturning. Children were at highest risk for falls, and a fall was twice as likely to cause a head or neck injury.

Rear-facing golf seats, in particular, pose a high risk for falls. One study showed that golf carts traveling as slow as 11 m.p.h. can easily eject a passenger during a turn. Another problem is that golf carts don’t have brakes on all four wheels. Rear-wheel brakes can cause carts to fishtail and the driver to lose control, particularly on hilly terrain.

steve said...

Zwiebel and the Agudah have been very consistent in the past 5-6 years in their approach to this problem. Despite what they want you to believe, they have come out against every piece of proposed legislation that would have given any sense of protection to our children. They came out against mandatory reporting in 2005 when Zwiebel himself was quoted as saying that "this bill would take away the power of the rabbis to do their own investigating." They opposed mandatory fingerprinting and background checks (although they now claim that they will not fight it). Now they are "vigorously opposed" to the Child Victims Act- the Markey bill. You would think that if they were having meetings for 5-6 years on the subject, that by now our children would be safer from child molesters. Instead, they have handed the molesters one victory after another by continuing the coverups, the muzzling of the victims and the lack of any safety guidelines. This is how they have been "dealing" with the issue.

When he says that they "encouraged" institutions to do background checks, he knows very well that it is toothless and meaningless. None of the yeshivos will voluntarily fingerprint their employees and perform background checks. The RCA put out guidelines in 2003, 2005 and 2007 calling for mandatory reporting, fingerprinting, and background checks. They have also come out publicly in favor of the Markey bill? What has the Agudah done other than to thwart all of these efforts?

The Markey bill is the ONLY way that we are going to be able to expose these child molesters. Those that were victimized and are past the SOL have no recourse at this point. What are they supposed to do, shout from the rooftops? If they go to Dov Hikind, he will only open a new file and keep the molester's name confidential. They can't go to the DA since it is past the SOL (even in new cases Hynes will make sure the perp is not prosecuted if he is well "connected"). If they try to convene a bais din, they will be laughed out of the community if not excommunicated entirely. If they post on UOJ, they will be called liars, motzi shem ra, cowards, heretics, etc. The only recourse they have is to sue the molesters and those that wronged them in the past. Only those lawsuits that have credibility will see the light of day. In California, they were able to expose over three hundred sexual predators when they passed a similar bill. We need to ignore these liars and hypocrites at the Agudah and work to pass this legislation in Albany immediately. We have no more time to waste bickering with these enablers.

Margo found hiding in Nevada said...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,522061,00.html

Giant Blob Found Deep Beneath Nevada

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Big dilemma for Shmarya said...

On the one hand, French Canadians hate Frum Jews but they also hate Blacks and his False Messiah Obama.

(Reuters) - Canada's public broadcaster was wrong to show a skit that joked about the possible assassination of President Barack Obama and suggested he could be a thief, an industry panel ruled on Monday.

The New Year's Eve "Bye Bye" comedy program -- shown by the French-language Radio Canada network -- generated more than 200 complaints. In one segment, two hosts discussed Obama's election in November 2008. Obama, who took office in January, is the first black U.S. president.

"We're not racists. It will be good to have a Negro in the White House. It will be practical. Black on white, it will be easier to shoot him," one of the show's hosts remarked.

The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council said it found "nothing redeeming in the allegedly comedic notion that an American president should be shot, still less that this would be easier to achieve because of the color of the president's skin. It was a disturbing, wounding, abusive racial comment".

The show also featured an interview with an actor pretending to be Obama. The host said, "The blacks, you all look alike," and then warned viewers to hide their purses.

Dear Anonymous of 7:03 PM, May 26, 2009: said...

Although Zweibel did finally enunciate the real concerns, he is absolutely WRONG!

Primarily, because the the similar Markey Bill exposed 360 predators, which should be our first and foremost concern, then a concern with mosdos who may go under.

Furthermore, could someone please point out to me, where in the Torah there exists a statute of limitations? Which Rabbi has the right to strip away from victims their means to collect their compensation from there predators, who would never show up in Bais Din. Could someone please show me in Choshen Mishpat where these statute of limitations exist? I would pay the individual 1 million dollars on the spot!

Archie Bunker said...

Shmarya REALLY needs to get a job.

Today he is busy attacking Sephardim who he feels have nerve to call themselves Hispanic.

Mr. Big Philosopher-Moralist Shmarya calls that a "toxic" attitude and "the last thing that America needs", whatever the heck that means.

Moshe Heinemann said...

Don't expect any protests to be mobilized against pedophiles. Farkert, we protect them!

http://www.jewishtimes.com/index.php/jewishtimes/news/jt/cover_story/thousands_rally_to_keep_jcc_closed_on_shabbat/12454

Thousands Rally To Keep JCC Closed On Shabbat

Rabbi Aharon Feldman, rosh yeshiva of Pikesville’s Ner Israel Rabbinical College, spoke passionately about the issue.

“Why are we interested in what happens in Owings Mills, a community far away from most of us? That’s a question many have asked me and the answer is that they are not far from us, they are part of us,” he said. “The fact that there is a public institution closed on Shabbos is a public statement that we have an identity as Jews.”

If the JCC is allowed to open, he added, it would hasten assimilation and a lack of Jewish identity. He also said that many Jews were not moved by Shabbat. “They’ve never experienced what it’s like to be elevated from the mundane existence of the weekday,” he said.

Rabbi Sheftel Neuberger, president of Ner Israel, led the crowd in the haunting melody of Ani Ma’amim, “I Believe,” the prayer sung by many Holocaust victims on their way to their deaths. Many modern Jewish leaders have in past years noted how the Nazis did not distinguish between Orthodox or Reform.

steve said...

FROM THE AGUDAH ARCHIVES, DECEMBER 2006:

Mesirah [informing to a non-Jewish government or official] is also one of the reasons supplied by Agudath Israel for its opposition to a bill that has passed the state Senate and is currently working its way through the Assembly. The bill would add clergy to other categories of professionals, like educators and health care workers, who are required to report suspected child abuse. A similar bill was killed last year.

The law, if passed, would also require clergy and religious institutions to review records from the preceding 20 years and turn over old allegations to civil authorities.

This would be an “unconstitutional” law, said David Zwiebel, the Agudah’s executive vice president for government and public affairs. The group is working behind the scenes in Albany to defeat it.

“It is a sensitive issue now especially with some of the attention that’s been focused on allegations within our own community,” he said. “The last thing we want to be seen as is obstructing whatever legitimate inquiries may be made among our own rabbinate.
“At the same time,” said Zwiebel, ”it would be unfortunate if the stories that have made their way into the papers and TV programs were to cause the kind of overreaction that this represents by perpetuating the notion that clergy, of all people, are more suspect than any other profession or group in society.”


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, ZAKEN MAMREH!! 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.'"… WHEN DID ANY OF YOUR RABBIS SAY "LET'S GO TO THE AUTHORITIES?RABBI PERLOW, A GOOD PLACE TO START WITH "TIKUN HAOVAR" REMEDYING THE PAST IS TO STOP LYING IN THE PRESENT!

steve said...

MORE FROM THE AGUDAH ARCHIVES:

http://www.vosizneias.com/20265/2008/09/13/new-york-agudath-israel-we-strongly-support-employee-background-check-in-yeshivas-reports-to-the-contrary-false/

An article that appears in the current issue (September 12) of the New York Jewish Week contains the following sentence, referring to bills aimed at preventing child abuse in Jewish schools.

“Agudath Israel, an umbrella group of ultra-traditional Orthodox organizations, is opposed to both the mandated reporting and finger printing, and background check legislation.”

An official spokesman for the Agudath Israel Of America Rabbi Avi Shafran told this past Friday in late afternoon exclusively to VIN news after we inquired about it : “The sentence is false” in fact In a memorandum dated June 20, 2006, Agudath Israel representatives expressed “strong support” for legislation allowing nonpublic schools to fingerprint prospective employees for the purpose of conducting mandated background checks. said Rabbi Shafran.

“The memo also states clearly that Agudath Israel does not oppose mandatory reporting”. “Agudath Israel took no position on a more recent bill would have made fingerprinting of prospective nonpublic school employees mandatory.” said Rabbi shafran.

According to the Jewish Week, Legislation requiring fingerprinting and background checks for prospective non-public school faculty was defeated in the Assembly last year but reintroduced this year by Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. The legislation does not, however, have the support of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Lower East Side).

AndyBee said...

Who is this guy "Archie Bunker" who constantly pollutes this blog with his gripes about some other blog.

Why should any of us care about his being banished from this other site?

Archie (and why would you have chosen the name of such a bigoted TV character?) -- either grow up (ie shut up) or get a blog site of your own which your many fans and admirers can check on regularly.

genuk said...

As many have pointed out, Zweibel keeps digging himself deeper into the muck. There are a number of fundamental inherent contradictions in his positions which become more glaring with every desperate attempt to defend Agudah by its various apologists Zweibel/Agudah/Solomon/Yated etc.

On the one hand in order to protect the Moetzes they have insisted that they were unaware of the problem and or its scope. They realize the implications of admitting that the Moetzes were aware of the problem and did nothing. Not only does it display a complete lack of leadership but it shows an almost criminal indifference to the most terrible crimes and the suffering of the most vulnerable victims in klal yisroel. It would be instant disqualification of the entire Moetzes.

That position, as incredulous as it may seem, nevertheless begs the question, since Agudah was admittedly completely clueless, as to who brought it to their attention. The only answer, of course, is those detested bloggers, UOJ and friends. So, in order to protect the Moetzes, Agudah has now completely reversed position and given a tremendous Yasher Koach to UOJ and friends for enlightening the Moetzes and saving Klal Yisroel from the scourge of molestation. I'm sure they will be extending him an invitation to their next meeting for any more enlightening advice he may have for klal yisroel.

Now along comes the Markey bill, the culmination of the efforts of the bloggers and UOJ, to finally address the molestation issue in a meaningful way. Naturally, we would expect Agudah will heartily endorse the efforts to rid klal yisroel of this scourge, which they were admittedly completely clueless about until very recently.

But no, suddenly we find out that Agudah vigorously opposes the Markey bill. One second, how can Agudah even have a position on a bill which addresses a problem that Agudah and the Moetzes knew absolutely nothing about. Why not stand aside and let the people who have addressed the issue and enlightened Agudah and the Moetzes, deal with the problem appropriately and intelligently.

Now Agudah, once again, completely reverses course and claims that they have known about the problem all along and have been having meetings all these years to address the issue. Right. So why did you let Yudi Kolko hang around kids.

Sorry David it doesn't work. None of it. We see through all the nonsense. Do the respectable thing now and save your reputation while you still have one. Resign from the Agudah. Its your only option.

Anonymous said...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090527/ap_on_re_eu/eu_ireland_catholic_abuse_5

Clarifying Agudah's Position said...

The reason I was critical of Captain Sully was because he opened up his airline to crippling lawsuits. Had he quietly crashed his plane in the river and not allowed the doors to open, the plane would have sunk. No one would have been the wiser. So no he was not a hero, but a fool.

Similarly, the Moetzes was well aware of the abuse issue for many years, but were afraid for the name of Torah. They KNEW the right thing was to try and let the victims sink on the plane, and hope no one notices. This way, no one would have been the wiser. So UOJ and the other promoters of perversion are not heroes but fools.

Avi L. Shafran

(I will not respond to any nasty e-mails.)

Avi L. Shafran said...

UOJ:

I was referring to you and your marauding bandits, when I said:


There are, of course, certainties in life, deep convictions that we rightly embrace without reservation. Religious Jews, for instance, affirm that Creation has a purpose and that the goals of their own lives are defined by G-d’s will as communicated through the Torah. We may also consider close to certain the measured judgments in specific realms of others whom we believe to be wiser than we are, be they doctors, lawyers or religious leaders. But to proclaim our own independent, personal certitude about a political or social position, to assume that any of us can know without question that a particular political philosophy, foreign policy, government official or piece of legislation is good (or bad) is, always, in the end, an exercise in overreaching.

Urgent Kashrus Alert said...

Rabbi Breslauer and Ullman are being nichshal people with tarfus again

Arthur Samberg said...

May 28 (Bloomberg) -- Arthur Samberg, once the world’s biggest hedge-fund manager, said a federal insider-trading investigation is forcing him to shut Pequot Capital Management Inc. more than two decades after starting its first fund.

Boog-style economics said...

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_12454979?source=most_viewed

Billions in new cuts loom for California — including eliminating welfare and closing most state parks

By Karen de Sá
Mercury News
Posted: 05/26/2009

Faced with a ballooning deficit and a clear signal that voters won't pay more to fix it, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger released a budget plan Tuesday that would eliminate welfare, drop 1 million poor children from health insurance, cut off new grants for college students and shut down 80 percent of state parks.
In a state that long has prided itself on its social safety net, it could well go down in history as the most drastic reduction in social programs ever. And billions in further cuts will be unveiled later this week.
The governor's proposal to whack an additional $5.5 billion from state programs stunned even longtime Capitol-watchers with its blunt force. Ending cash assistance for 1.3 million impoverished state residents, for example, would make California the only state with no welfare program.

Undocumented immigrants would lose nonemergency health care.

"Friendly" Fraud said...

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB124329230494652391-lMyQjAxMDI5NDIzNjIyOTYyWj.html

MAY 27, 2009

Businesses Get Tougher on 'Friendly' Fraud

By PUI-WING TAM

Online merchants are fighting a surge in so-called friendly fraud, as more consumers try to get out of paying for their Internet purchases in the recession.

Online jeweler Ice.com Inc. and travel site Expedia Inc. are among companies seeing at least 50% spikes from October in friendly fraud, a term used to describe when a consumer disputes an online charge but doesn't return the item or has already used the product.

Common scenarios include consumers falsely claiming they never received a product or they received the wrong item. Other consumers deny they ever authorized the charge and refuse to pay for the item.

Since the markets tumbled last year, Ice.com says its rate of suspected friendly fraud has tripled, while Expedia says it's up 50%. Athletic shoemaker K-Swiss Inc. says it's seen suspected friendly fraud rise 10% since January.

These companies say the fraud is sometimes blatant, with some consumers sending back boxes filled with rocks instead of the item that was shipped, and then asking for their money back. But in most cases it's hard to distinguish between fraudsters and consumers who legitimately don't receive their online purchases.

"Many people think [friendly fraud] is an easy way to reduce the amount they owe their credit card company," says Sanjay Sarathy, senior vice president of marketing for Vindicia Inc., a Redwood City, Calif., company that makes software to combat online fraud.

The problem is similar to what happens in retail stores when consumers return clothes or other items for a refund, after having already used the products, a practice known as "wardrobing" or "closeting." Overall, fraudulent returns to retailers totaled $11.8 billion in the U.S. in 2008, up from $10.9 billion in 2007, according to the National Retail Federation.

Companies are stepping up their vigilance against friendly fraudsters by analyzing computer records to identify consumers who charge back items more frequently. At Ice.com, the Champlain, N.Y., company also photographs every online order before packing the item into a box to be shipped, says Ezzie Schaff, vice president of risk management.

Mr. Schaff recently teamed up with police in Fayetteville, Ga., to catch a serial friendly fraudster. That individual bought a $9,000 piece of jewelry from Ice.com, then claimed the wrong item was shipped and sent back a cheap watch in its place. After some police enquiries, the individual returned the jewelry and wasn't arrested, says Fayetteville police detective Marvin Vinson.

While there are no numbers on the costs that friendly fraud incurs, companies say they get penalized twice because they lose both the revenue from a sale and also the item. Tom Sullivan, Expedia's senior director of global payments and risk, says companies also carry extra labor costs associated with their investigation of disputed charges. In addition, he notes, companies that hit over a certain threshold of friendly fraud "chargebacks" are levied higher fees by banks and credit card companies.

In Expedia's case, friendly fraudsters buy non-refundable plane tickets or trips through the site, but claim they never authorized the purchase, sticking the Seattle company with the cost of the tickets, or in some cases the entire trip, after it's been taken.

Photo-equipment supplier Calumet Photographic Inc. says it averages about $130,000 a week in fraudulent orders through its Web site. About 30% of those are friendly fraud, while the rest are traditional frauds with stolen credit cards.

Scott Shulman, K-Swiss's director of e-commerce, says earlier this month, one person claimed he didn't receive his $400 shipment of shoes. Mr. Shulman said he would send somebody to the customer's post office to pick up the card that showed someone had signed for the shipment. The consumer backed off his claim.

Chevra Chazerim - Manufacturers division said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/garden/28repair.html?8dpc=&pagewanted=print

May 28, 2009

By JULIE SCELFO

APPLIANCES seem like they should last forever. But according to data from Consumer Reports, at least a fifth of gas ranges, dishwashers and washing machines sold between 2003 and 2006 broke within 3 years. And pity the purchasers of side-by-side refrigerators with ice machines and dispensers: after three years, 37% needed service.

With 20.96 million major appliances shipped in the United States in just the first 4 months this year, that’s a lot of broken products in America’s future.

Retailers and service technicians have long advised that it makes sense to buy a new product rather than repair a broken one.

But getting anything repaired can be frustrating. To stay profitable, service companies book multiple appointments on the same day, forcing consumers to sit home and wait for hours. And because it would be impossible for technicians to drive around with every possible replacement part, some repairs require a follow-up visit that can be subject to the same inconveniences.

Frustrated consumers have created Web sites to vent. Paul Makulski, a 55-year-old accountant in Waterloo, Ontario, started such a site after trying to get Electrolux to fix the handle on his Frigidaire over-the-range microwave after he had already paid to repair it twice. “I phoned Electrolux, which wasn’t easy, because their voice asks you to phone a different number, then that number tells you to phone a different number,” he wrote. “Then the person who answers the phone says to call back because everybody who knows anything is on lunch.” Mr. Makulski was eventually told in an e-mail message, also posted, that the defect might be due to mounting the over-the-range microwave “over a gas range.”

Typically manufacturers outsource warranty service to another company, which subcontracts the actual work to a 3rd party. So after contacting the manufacturer, consumers find themselves calling yet another number, and then later, after the service call has been arranged, communicating with a 3rd party who seems to have a different idea about when the work will be done and what the warranty covers.

Appliance-repair rage has also driven at least one person, a 42-year-old woman in England who says she endured 6 months of delays, to hold a repairman hostage until he fixed her washing machine.

After the nightmare comes the bill. Manufacturers intentionally charge a lot for replacement parts as a way of encouraging consumers to buy more products.

Manufacturers create the technology when they design machines, they control the manufacturing process, they make the parts, so we’re at the mercy of manufacturers.

LG Electronics was the only one of the 5 biggest manufacturers to acknowledge that replacement parts can be costly. General Electric, Electrolux and Samsung all sidestepped the question. Whirlpool said it could not respond by press time.

The complexity of warranties makes matters worse. Years ago, most manufacturers gave warranties of at least 2 years. Now, warranties on most midrange appliances are just one year.

The best way to avoid the hassle of repair is to buy the simplest possible appliance. The more doo-dads, the more likely it’s going to need repair. Consumers would also be wise to recognize that the more sophisticated the equipment, the more expensive repairs can be.

Still, few products will last as long as those made during the 1970s. The old Maytag washer your grandmother had, she bought that thing and used it for 40 years. It held up like nothing was ever going to go wrong. Today, you just don’t get that quality.

Chevra Chazerim - Warranty provider division said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/garden/28repairside.html?ref=garden&pagewanted=print

May 28, 2009

By JULIE SCELFO

THE decision is always challenging: to buy, or not to buy, an extended warranty. Given how often machines need repair, it sounds like a good idea. But according to Consumer Reports, there are only two cases where extended warranties are worth buying: rear-projection TV sets and Apple computers.

The premium for warranties, Consumer Reports says, amounts to “a sucker’s bet” on “a series of events happening at precisely the right time under precisely the right circumstances.” Even if they do, the cost of repairs is rarely more than the cost of the premium.

Even those who prefer the peace of mind a warranty seems to offer are sometimes distressed by what they do and do not get for their money. Service technicians like Dean Landers, who owns Landers Appliance in Baltimore and is president of United Servicers Association, a trade group, complain that they often face angry customers who call for repairs, assuming both parts and labor are covered by warranty, only to find out that’s not the case. “Consumers seldom read the fine print, and the devil is in the details,” Mr. Landers said. “They buy extended warranties based on what salespeople tell them, and salespeople are trying to make a sale.”

Approximately $27.8 billion worth of major appliances were purchased by American consumers last year. Americans spend another $1.6 billion a year on appliance warranties, according to Warranty Week.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers has no official position on warranties; Jill A. Notini, a spokeswoman, wrote by e-mail that, “like many trade associations,” her group “cannot, for legal reasons,” discuss them. Asked whether they recommend extended warranties, Whirlpool, which according to Longbow Research makes about 44 percent of major appliances sold in this country (including the Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana and sometimes Kenmore brands), Electrolux (Frigidaire) and Samsung all said that decision was up to consumers.

Yudi Kolko said...

Veiter a raaye that I'm not a molester. I just speak to kids in their language.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/style/28hugs.html?em=&pagewanted=print

May 28, 2009

For Teenagers, Hello Means ‘How About a Hug?’

Anonymous said...

Ice.com is owned by Montreal Lubavitcher Pinny Gniwish.

Anonymous said...

why would who owns ice be relevent to this board

there a fine family

Dry ice said...

Why are you so defensive? As the WSJ article outlines, Ice.com is being victimized by fraud. No one said anything bad about Gniwish. It's just that readers might be interested that the biggest jewelry e-commerce site is owned by heimishe.

Mexican Putz at Rubashkin's said...

MAY 28, 2009, 12:39 P.M. ET

Avg Family Paid $1,017 In 2008 To Cover Health Uninsured

By Patrick Yoest

Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--The average family in 2008 saw $1,017 in health-insurance costs passed on from those without insurance, according to a report released Thursday by the advocacy group Families USA.

The report found that individuals with health insurance paid a "hidden health tax" of $368 to cover those without insurance. The report found that a total of $42.7 billion in care for those without insurance was passed on to health insurers - which in turn pass on the costs through higher premiums.

R' Elya Spitzer said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/29/nyregion/29luvgov.html?hp

Nuch a ferd's tuchess.

LVF said...

R'uoj, chag sameiach and all the best, please be mispallel for klal yisroel on this yom tov of regulim that the agudah that has no feet (and balls) should go under once and for all, enough of these dreck already, goot yom tov.

Israel Belsky SHLITA said...

http://www.digitalcity.com/2009/05/07/best-public-restrooms-in-america/

Why would anyone waste their time on this when there are fire hydrants on every block?

Proof he's a Meshichist! said...

http://chabad.info/index.php?url=article_en&id=14937

Here is a picture of Sholom Rubashkin hosting a melave malka last Motzaei Shabbos at his house for Lubavitcher bochurim.

In the 6th picture you can clearly see him wearing one of those bozo yarmulkas embroidered with "Yechee Adoneinu Moreinu Verabeinu Melech Hamoshiach leoylam voed".

So the OU and Weissmandel have no problem being machshir a company owned by an apeekoress!

Download a copy of the picture before they realize people are on to them and remove it.

Jacob Perlow said...

It figures UOJ would call this a "revolution". There was also that ausvarf learning in Slabodka in Lita who forced the entire yeshiva to listen to a shmooze on Communistishe utopia at gunpoint.

We at 42 Broadway are DAAS TOYREH and we have these thugs screaming at us and telling us what to do.

Yisroel "Town Car Putz" Lefkowitz said...

I am against Meshichist yarmulkas for all children.

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

R' LVF v'kol acheinu bais yisroel, chag someach.

Anonymous said...

uoj gut yomtov

Mamleches Kohanim In Chicago said...

A HUGE Birchas Kohanim with all the powers we have to bless klal Yisroel.

We bless all those who fight on the frontlines and behind the scenes to keep our nation an Am Kadosh V'Tahor.

We bless all those who help rebuild and rejuvinate the spirits of those affected by the abuse issue.

May you be blessed with abundance of bracha, hatzlacha, nachas, parnassah and all the good things Hashem has to offer.

Chazak V'Ematz

Chag Sameach and Gut Yom Tov

RBS Frock Itch said...

So Aharon Feldman in Baltimore protests Chilul Shabbos in the JCC?

When will he get up and protest the Chilul HaShem known as his son-in-law, Elimelech Kornfeld in Ramat Bet Shemesh?

This empty frock is leading the anglo community of Ramat Bet Shemesh on the path to destruction.

He is arrogant and couldn't care less for the children victims in the schools of his kehilla.

Perhaps Aharon Feldman should check out his own house before throeing stones at others.

bewhiskered said...

But we were deeply disappointed to learn, on the bus ride home, that the Agudah and Torah Umesorah, the National Association of Hebrew Day Schools, whom parents expect to promote child welfare and school safety, had come out against the bill.אין העולם מתקיים אלא בשביל הבל תינוקות של בית רבן

That גמרא in שבת קי"ט ע"ב is instructing us to take very seriously, the welfare of our children- to protect them from harm in any way possible.

אגודה and תורה ומסורה fight against the Markey Bill, in the hope that they and their מוסדות which covered up cases of molestation, will not be held financially accountable.

What these two organizations- paragons of virtue- do not yet realize, is that contributions to them and their מוסדות will dry up- the result of their indifference to the safety of our children.

As stated prior, this matter of child molestation is a קלא דלא פסיק, which will not go away any time soon, regardless of what any גברא רבה says.

The תשב"ר were so important, our ancestors anointed them with oil (רש"י). But, this דור עקש ופתלתול in which we live, will be known for nonchalantly having thrown its children to the wolves.

How pathetically sad.

Anonymous said...

JWB says:

1) Forward article on abuse and Agudath Israel was in Haaretz
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1088346.html
...

Last update - 16:55 26/05/2009
New York's Ultra-Orthodox community torn apart by sex abuse scandal
By Rebecca Dube, The Forward
Tags: Jewish World, Israel news
Inside the grand ballroom of the Midtown Hilton in Manhattan, Agudath Israel of America's annual dinner was unfolding according to plan. Men and women dressed in traditional yet elegant clothes dined on salmon and listened to Senator Charles Schumer and Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledge their fealty.

Outside, a storm was brewing.
...

2) What is the Agudath Israel Position? Is it not to help pedophiles have more children?

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1088010.html

Is chemical castration a cure for perversion?
By Ofri Ilani

...
Idisis is the clinical director of the Shlom Banecha non-profit, which aids ultra-Orthodox victims of sexual abuse. She says that ultra-Orthodox pedophiles she treats almost always agree to undergo chemical castration.

"In some cases the community was already aware of their problem or their partner put pressure on them [to undergo treatment]," she said. "In certain cases, we make adjustments to the treatment. There was a man who wanted to observe the commandment of having sex with his wife and it was necessary to adjust the treatment in such a way that he could have sexual relations at certain periods."
...

3) More Baltimorons:

a. http://www.jewishtimes.com/index.php/jewishtimes/article/balancing_max/

b.
http://www.jewishtimes.com/index.php/jewishtimes/article/reasonable_doubt/

Anonymous said...

JWB says:

1) Forward article on abuse and Agudath Israel was in Haaretz
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1088346.html
...

Last update - 16:55 26/05/2009
New York's Ultra-Orthodox community torn apart by sex abuse scandal
By Rebecca Dube, The Forward
Tags: Jewish World, Israel news
Inside the grand ballroom of the Midtown Hilton in Manhattan, Agudath Israel of America's annual dinner was unfolding according to plan. Men and women dressed in traditional yet elegant clothes dined on salmon and listened to Senator Charles Schumer and Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledge their fealty.

Outside, a storm was brewing.
...

2) What is the Agudath Israel Position? Is it not to help pedophiles have more children?

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1088010.html

Is chemical castration a cure for perversion?
By Ofri Ilani

...
Idisis is the clinical director of the Shlom Banecha non-profit, which aids ultra-Orthodox victims of sexual abuse. She says that ultra-Orthodox pedophiles she treats almost always agree to undergo chemical castration.

"In some cases the community was already aware of their problem or their partner put pressure on them [to undergo treatment]," she said. "In certain cases, we make adjustments to the treatment. There was a man who wanted to observe the commandment of having sex with his wife and it was necessary to adjust the treatment in such a way that he could have sexual relations at certain periods."
...

3) More Baltimorons:

a. http://www.jewishtimes.com/index.php/jewishtimes/article/balancing_max/

b.
http://www.jewishtimes.com/index.php/jewishtimes/article/reasonable_doubt/

Anonymous said...

Rabbi David Zwiebel, Agudah's executive vice president for government and public affairs
has paid tribute in the past to the memory of the late rosh hayeshiva of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, HaRav Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, and to the memories of prominent rabbonim and Agudah askonim such as Reb Moshe Nussbaum.

We will not.

We choose a different path, one without spin. One that is not built on lies.

We choose to protect our vulnerable children NOT the pedophiles

We will shine the light of day on the pedophiles that they have desperately tried to protect ... their very flesh and blood.

There is a darkness in Agudath Israel that must be exposed. There is no corner, no crevice that we will leave the pedophiles, their protectors and their enablers.

Agudath's spining days are over. They have not and will not weather this storm.

Agudath will no longer "quietly" work with the Catholic Church against our children. They will no longer "quietly" protect and enable the pedophiles. They will no longer "quietly" silence the abused.

Paysach Krohn's Magid fake Tales of Yomtov Lipa (Lewis)Brenner Hacohen are at an end, as are Agudath Israel's.

Whatever Agudath Israel believes it has endured to this point is nothing compared to the storm that is coming.

Agudath has chosen the wrong path.

There is now a price to pay and it will be paid by the exposure of the monsters, their enablers and their protectors. What they've done will not remain secret.

This is far from over.

There are long days ahead.

Anonymous said...

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c53_a15886/Editorial__Opinion/Letter.html

Rabbis Took Action
by Marc D. Stern


It is surprising and disappointing that you reported on supposed (in)action of the Orthodox rabbinate of Passaic-Clifton, N.J., with regard to the Stefan Colmer child molestation case without speaking to any of the rabbis involved (“A Suspected Pedophile Falls Through The System,” May 8).

Your report relied instead on the hearsay report of an attorney who has crusaded against the “Orthodox establishment” with regard to child abuse. As I was personally involved — and that attorney was not — let me set the record straight.

Shortly after Colmer moved to Passaic, several communal rabbis received calls from persons outside the community informing them of Colmer’s presence in Passaic and the accusations against him, and requesting that the rabbis keep an eye on him. None of the alleged abuse had taken place in Passaic-Clifton; no one in Passaic-Clifton had any firsthand knowledge of the alleged misconduct.

At a meeting of many of the Orthodox rabbis — representing the entire spectrum of the Orthodox community — it was decided to determine whether there was a substantial basis for the accusations, and if so, to notify the police and tell members of the community to watch their children and to avoid vigilantism.
When adequate confirmation was obtained, on behalf of the group I notified the police in New York, in fact placing the call from the study of one of the rabbis. It is thus distinctly untrue that (as you report) “Colmer had never been reported by anyone to the police.”

At every turn, the Passaic-Clifton rabbis were unanimous both on the need to act decisively and quickly to protect children, and yet not react irresponsibly to mere rumors. They were equally unanimous in not shirking the responsibility to protect all children, even though the events in question had occurred elsewhere, and that they had, at the outset of the proceedings, no knowledge of the underlying events. If there was some flaw in their response, I fail to see it.
The Passaic-Clifton rabbinate is owed an apology.

Passaic, N.J.

Editor’s Note: In reporting this article we were told by the lead detective on the Colmer case that nobody reported Colmer to the police until after he fled to Israel. Marc D. Stern’s information is significant and, after being asked twice by The Jewish Week, the NYPD confirmed it. The Jewish Week regrets not having had access to this information earlier.

Boruch said...

VIN reported that a Passaic man was arrested for molestation, as this is the 4th time.
The comments under the news story acurately depict the real issue. People are mentally and emotionally disabled. One asks what did they do in the days of chazal when pedophiles were found. Another, in answer, says that not much would be done and the boys would be praised for not doing an aveirah. I really wish the ignorant would hold back and check sources before embarrassing themselves publicly, albeit anonymously. True, capital crimes were rarely punished, a beis din that sentenced someone to death once in 70 years in bloodthirsty, but to think that nothing was done. I would easily support the idea that the punishment for this aveirah wouldn't be as simple as a slap on the wrist and to be told don't do that again. The Agudah and the rest of the gnovim daas didn't exist in the times of Chazal. Ignorance is bliss. There are a great deal of self styled blissful people out there.

Anonymous said...

Passaic man faces more sex charges
Friday, May 29, 2009
BY JOHN PETRICK
Herald News
STAFF WRITER

A 48-year-old Passaic man was arraigned in state court Thursday on charges he attempted to have sex with two 14-year-old boys in 2006.

Mitchell Levinton, of Lafayette Street, was being held late Thursday in the Passaic County Jail on $300,000 bail. Prosecutors say he was employed at a catering company when he befriended the boys, who were caterer's helpers, and had them over to his home.
There, according to prosecutors, he exposed them to pornography and engaged in masturbatory acts in their presence.

Ultimately, according to prosecutors, he unsuccessfully tried to get them to perform oral sex on him by offering them money.
The incidents came to light recently when someone who heard about the alleged crimes tipped off authorities, who investigated the allegations and arrested Levinton last week.

Levinton pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Thursday before state Superior Court Judge Ernest M. Caposela in Paterson to two counts of attempted sexual assault, two counts of promoting prostitution, two counts of soliciting prostitution and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

In 2001, Levinton was sentenced to 364 days in jail and was placed on lifetime probation after being convicted of criminal sexual contact in Atlantic City. In that case, the victim was an adult.
Last December, he pleaded guilty before state Superior Court Judge Joseph A. Falcon in Paterson to a charge of lewdness and is still awaiting a sentence of what prosecutors recommended be parole supervision for life and, if he violated that sentence, an automatic year and a half in state prison.

That plea stemmed from his arrest in May 2008 on charges of criminal sexual contact with a 17-year-old developmentally disabled boy in Passaic. Levinton had been doing electrical contract work for the victim's family and befriended the boy, according to authorities, and ultimately exposed himself in front of the victim after inviting him to his Passaic home to watch a movie.

On the current charges, he faces as much as 40 years in state prison for the alleged sex offenses, and 18 months in prison for violating his lifetime parole, according to prosecutors.
E-mail: petrick@northjersey.com
A 48-year-old Passaic man was arraigned in state court Thursday on charges he attempted to have sex with two 14-year-old boys in 2006.

Mitchell Levinton, of Lafayette Street, was being held late Thursday in the Passaic County Jail on $300,000 bail. Prosecutors say he was employed at a catering company when he befriended the boys, who were caterer's helpers, and had them over to his home.

There, according to prosecutors, he exposed them to pornography and engaged in masturbatory acts in their presence.

Ultimately, according to prosecutors, he unsuccessfully tried to get them to perform oral sex on him by offering them money.

The incidents came to light recently when someone who heard about the alleged crimes tipped off authorities, who investigated the allegations and arrested Levinton last week.

Levinton pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Thursday before state Superior Court Judge Ernest M. Caposela in Paterson to two counts of attempted sexual assault, two counts of promoting prostitution, two counts of soliciting prostitution and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Old Torah Vodaas said...

No divrei hesped on UOJ for Rav Karpf zl?

Boruch said...

I'm beside myself. They are going after Ron Eisenman in Passaic for wanting this guy, Levington, Levinton, out of his community. All other Rabbis support him? According to one super nut case on VIN. I hate to take up space with the drivel on another's blog, but let's get real or let's not play. The ENABLERS may need to be taken down more than that pedophiles themselves. I've seen this sentiment on this blog and I'm coming around to the same conclusion, sick people like this are going to remain sick; sick people who enable sick people like this need to be spayed. Four times this guy has been caught and one Rabbi is out to ruin his life. He's been in jail and one Rabbi is out to ruin his life. I want every mosdos of note that have this Ron Eiseman as an oruch hakovod for going after a predator and ruining his life.

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

Old TV:

Kindly be maspid the last of the lamed vavniks of the dor!

Todah!