Thursday, October 29, 2009

On Abuse, the Catholic Church’s Progress

Reprinted from the Forward:

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative to United Nations organizations in Geneva, noted that the Catholic Church has been “cleaning its own house” and that other institutions “could do the same” (“Vatican’s New Defense on Child Molestation Charges: Finger-pointing,” October 16).

There is validity to his statement.

While the Catholic Church was dragged kicking and screaming — and the architects of change were the media and Catholic laypeople — there’s no denying that today’s church is different.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a Charter for the Protection of Children that requires counseling for child sex-abuse victims; mandatory reporting to “public authorities” of all child sex-abuse complaints; permanent removal from ministry of any priest or deacon found guilty of even one act of sex abuse, no matter when committed; a mandatory “safe environment” for all youth programs, and mandatory background checks for church personnel.

Outstanding lay groups like Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests and Voice of the Faithful make sure these policies are implemented.

The sad and even ugly truth is that after all the recent headlines, arrests and convictions resulting from abuse scandals, no comparable system exists for American yeshivas. Our ancient rabbis teach, “We should believe there is wisdom among the nations of the world.” This lesson needs to be applied to present-day circumstances.

I suppose nobody likes criticism from outside their own religious or cultural milieu, but facts are facts, and truth is essential if genuine and constructive change is going to occur in the Jewish world.

Elliot B. Pasik
Jewish Board of Advocates for Children
Long Beach, N.Y.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Do You Know Who Your 5 Year Old Is Hangin' With When You're Out At The Kosher Gym?

The World Series Weather Report Sponsored By Torah Umesorah - Rabbi Shea Fishman Climatologist [Masters in B.S., Knoble Piece Prize winner] - " Where The Climate Is Never Right"

Here's a truly heartwarming story about the bond formed between a little 5-year-old girl and some construction workers that will make you believe that we all can make a difference when we give a child the gift of our time.

A young family moved into a house, next to a vacant lot. One day, a construction crew turned up to start building a house on the empty lot.

The young family's 5-year-old daughter naturally took an interest in all the activity going on next door and spent much of each day observing the workers.

Eventually the construction crew, all of them "gems-in-the-rough," more or less, adopted her as a kind of project mascot. They chatted with her, let her sit with them while they had coffee and lunch breaks, and gave her little jobs to do here and there to make her feel important.

At the end of the first week, they even presented her with a pay envelope containing ten dollars. The little girl took this home to her mother who suggested that she take her ten dollars "pay" she'd received to the bank the next day to start a savings account.

When the girl and her mom got to the bank, the teller was equally impressed and asked the little girl how she had come by her very own pay check at such a young age. The little girl proudly replied, "I worked last week with a real construction crew building the new house next door to us."

"Oh my goodness gracious," said the teller, "and will you be working on the house again this week, too?"

The little girl replied, "I will, if those a**holes at Home Depot ever deliver the damn sheet rock...."

Kind of brings a tear to the eye - doesn't it?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Kosher Hoax Keeps Growing As The Kashruth Agencies Get More Corrupt!


UOJ Archives -- Sunday, December 18, 2005

Why The OU-Yisroel Belsky & Star K-Moshe Heinemann Are Blasting Each Other!

Kosher craze sweeping U.S.

Major food manufacturers, grocery chains compete for 9 billion dollar kosher market; analysts say market for kosher products growing at 15 percent per year

Associated Press

When U.S. supermarket giant Albertsons hired Yaakov Yarmove more than three years ago, the company found a point man to navigate what might seem like an unlikely market for a grocery chain with stores in places like Cheyenne, Wyo., and Evanston, Ill.: kosher food.

Albertsons, one of America's largest grocery chains, has since dramatically expanded kosher aisles at hundreds of its supermarkets across the country.

The company has also launched more than two dozen kosher destination stores that include everything from bakeries to delis.

"There's a kosher awakening," said Yarmove, an observant Jew who is Albertson's corporate kosher, marketing and operations manager.

"Kosher was perceived as scary and foreign. Now it's perceived as chic. I think everybody is realizing that there is an opportunity," he added.

Bringing matzah to church

The Idaho-based Albertsons is just one of many companies around the country competing to get a lucrative slice of an approximately USD9 billion kosher industry that is growing at a rate of 15 percent a year.

Experts say the boom is being fueled by several factors, including vegetarians and younger customers looking for healthier and safer food – the same demographic that has helped the organic market take off. Plenty of these customers are not Jewish.

"When I take the matzahs to the church, they love it," said Ursula Torres, of Manhattan, who was buying 100 percent wheat matzos recently at Streit's, a Jewish landmark on New York's Lower East Side.

Marcia Mogelonsky, a senior research analyst with Mintel International Group, a Chicago-based consulting firm, recently completed a nationwide study in April that produced some surprising results about the kosher craze.

She found 55 percent of the people who buy kosher products believed the food was better for them – almost double the number in a similar study Mogelonsky conducted in 2003.

"They trust the kosher symbol like they'd trust the Good Housekeeping seal," she said.

Part of the trust, Mogelonsky said, is derived from how the animals are raised. There is a popularly-held myth that Jewish law forbids the use of antibiotics, additives, hormones or feeding animal byproducts to animals raised for kosher slaughter. But Jewish law has no such regulations.

Jewish for 'good food'

Manischewitz, one of the best-known kosher food companies in the world, is developing an advertising campaign that says their name is "Jewish for good food."

Hebrew National, a division of ConAgra Foods, has always touted that famous tagline found on its packages: "We answer to a higher authority." But over the summer, the company decided to move the "Finest Kosher Quality" seal to a more prominent spot on certain product packaging.

Lou Nieto, president of packaged meats at ConAgra, said two things are driving the double-digit growth at Hebrew National, which recently opened a new state-of-the-art kosher facility in Michigan.

"First and foremost is taste but number two is that it's 100 percent kosher beef – nothing artificial," said Nieto, who oversees the Hebrew National brand.

He added that sales were being bolstered by non-Jewish customers, who devour the company's popular hot dogs at hundreds of venues across the United States.

To meet demand, the industry has undergone radical changes, recognizing that kosher food is more than matzo, gefilte fish and borscht.

The transformation was on display last month in New York at Kosherfest 2005, a convention that drew more than 6,100 retail and foodservice buyers, manufacturers and distributors from 36 countries.

"Anything that can be made kosher, is being made kosher," said Menachem Lubinsky, who founded Kosherfest. "Even the Chinese are going kosher."

Kosher dumpling wrappers – no problem. Asian sesame ginger noodle and Thai chili sauce? They got it. Italian kosher. It's in abundance. Penne rigate, lasagna, angel hair, and all enriched with soy protein. There is also a kosher energy drink called "Kabbalah."

And it seemed like almost everyone was selling humous, creating a war of the chick pea. If any one food is leading the kosher charge, it might be humous.

One of the biggest humous makers is Sabra Go Mediterranean, produced by Blue & White Food Products in New York.

"Today, all the hippies buy this stuff," said Nissim Ohana, who distributes Sabra products and has been selling kosher food for 20 years in the United States. "Humous has become a very hot item.

At Streit's, the venerable New York company is adapting to the changing environment, producing Mediterranean, Spelt and five-grain matzos, along with spreads like sundried tomato morsels.

"Chains carry it," said Alan Adler, director of operations at Streit's, which has been making matzos since 1925. "Our products are on the shelf year round. We are having trouble baking enough matzos."

In two decades, Ohana, an Israeli, has seen the number of Brooklyn stores purchasing his kosher food rise from 16 to more than 200.

"Five years ago, it wouldn't have sold," said Frank Widdi of Met Foodmarkets in Brooklyn. Widdi, a Palestinian, now has two separate refrigerators with humous, including one for Sabra which he gets from Ohana.

A Palestinian selling kosher humous?

"Business is business," Ohana says.

Rabbis Rule Romaine Lettuce Off Limits to Kosher Consumers

Kosher Today-New York

A cross-section of Orthodox rabbis ruled last week that “it is forbidden” to eat romaine lettuce and several other packaged vegetables, including Spring Mix and Baby Spinach, because of insect infestation. The 30 rabbis, however, noted that “this prohibition does not apply to iceberg lettuce, cabbage or greenhouse vegetables provided they are under a reliable, expert hashgacha.” According to several rabbis reached by Kosher Today, a key target of the edict published in many Jewish newspapers was Fresh Express, whose certifying rabbis have since withdrawn their certification. A spokesman for the Orthodox Union said that while the US grown romaine lettuce was off limits, it approved the romaine lettuce grown in hothouses by Alei Katif, which after having being evicted from the Gaza Strip was said to have resumed production in Israel’s Negev Desert. The letter by the rabbis singled out pre-washed romaine lettuce, romaine hearts, romaine mixes (European, Italian, Greener Selection) and Fresh Leafy Salads (such as Spring Mix and Baby Spinach).

The letter noted: “It is unfortunately our duty to inform you that insect infestation was found in most packages, regardless of the company or the supervising authority…Caterers, restaurants and stores that offer these products are guilty of offering food that is forbidden by Torah law.”

UOJ comments

The OU lead by Yisroel Belsky was on the attack. The Star-K, Moshe Heinneman's organization was permitting it. As we can see from the numbers, "Kosher" is a multi-billion dollar business.

Moshe Heinneman was relying on a p'sak "he said" was told to him by Rabbi Aron Kotler z"l. UOJ called the Kotler & Schwartzman families and none of them knew of this psak by RAK, which would permit eating lettuce that normally had bug infestation in excess of ten percent of the time checked; providing that a particular batch of lettuce was checked and found bug free.

In other words, Heinnemann claims RAK told him you can go by a particular batch; if there is less than ten percent of bugs found, you may eat them. The OU and gang, say you go by the type of vegetable, if generally there are bugs, you must clean them all or throw them out.

I called Heinneman and asked him the following.

1-When did RAK tell you about this p'sak?
2-How old were you at the time of the p'sak?
3-Why would you have asked this shaila, if the shaila of bugs in Romaine lettuce was on no one's radar screen in the early sixties?(thinking he had asked him in the sixties)

Moshe Heinneman is 67 years old, RAK was niftar in 1962. Assuming Heinemann asked him the shaila that "no one knows about" in 1962, that would put Heinemann at 24 years old. The problem is Heinemann said he asked RAK this shaila the year he came to Lakewood, when he was 18 years old. Counting backwards, this would be circa 1956.

Who in the world was thinking about bugs in lettuce in 1956?????

The whole bug "epidemic" is maybe ten years old!!!

The OU is losing market share to Heinemann, they seem way to eager to do him in. Heinemann's p'sak from RAK sounds really questionable to me at best, and a lie at worst.

When money is involved everything is possible.

Tell me what you think!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

In-House Agudah Memo About Containing the Scandal

A new kid on the block needs a break...

By Yerachmiel Lopin

Editors Note- The following came to me from an unknown source and I cannot verify its authenticity.


FROM: Mr. Allium

TO: MR Geltman

RE: Future direction of Finances

The unrelenting torrent of criticism of our failure to reformulate our approach is taking its toll. We are putting a brave face on it and we could probably continue in this way for a while. But if it persists long enough the damage will intensify and it may be too late to recover.

Accordingly I am writing this memo to you as a first step toward revising our approach before it is too late. Knowing how sensitive this issue is I used a typewriter and there are a limited number of copies in existence. Please burn yours after you finish reading it.

At the core of our problems is the Internet, especially the blogs such UOJ and FM as well as Polin’s Awareness Center. For a long time it was a “he said, he said” kind of situation. But now some of the old charges have been substantiated. As you and I know, more of those charges will be substantiated. Alas, Charles Hynes, Brookly DA, will be much less willing to take our word on dropping charges. Now some of the victimized girls are also talking. And some of them like little sheffele have stories that are so heartbreaking and yet so full of emunah. That sort of thing may be even more dangerous than UOJ which we try to discredit because of nivul peh.

Blogs (many anonymous) keep on opening. More of them are by individuals who are careful to make it appear like they are definitely frum. It is very hard to discredit them unless we have verifiable dirt on them. If we accuse them falsely they can choose to throw off their cloak of anonymity and then we are really up the creek. Moreover the anonymous one are less likely to be OTD. We know Shmarya is OTD but I suspect UOJ is not. Stripping UOJ of his anonymity it would be risky. Then he will be a real face and name, and that would be even worse for us because he clearly knows where many of the bodies are buried and I am afraid he has more dirt than he has dished out.

This is hurting us with contributors. Of course publicly, we are blaming the recession. Publicly I blame the drop in contributions on the economy. But serveral big givers have told me why they have stopped giving to us. I have confirmed that some of these people are giving the same or more to other groups. One fellow has dropped us and instead gives the money to SFJ.

Survivors for Justice is out there and it is hard to find any dirt on them. I am still looking. I wont give up, but I have to tell you I am pessimistic. Between you and me, we are just stuck with too many ehrliche yidn.

As if Rabbi Blau at YU was not bad enough now we are faced with Rabbi Eisenman at Ahavas Israel in Passaic. He got his smichah at YU but he is morphing into a hassid. If he has a specific Rebbe and we can identify him we might be able to pressure him. But he may be like Mr Mendlowitz, whose Rebbe was the Ribono shel olam. He clearly has a congregation which adores him and he commands great respect in his community.

Here are some of the dangerous ideas he is promoting”

Go to the Police

Listen to the victims even if they are OTD because they didn’t leave us, we left them by ignoring their pleas.

Listen to complaints even if you can’t prove the truthfulness because it may be the truth. Usually when someone complains there is some real problem.

That al chet for giluy arayos applies to the community’s response to the problem and that ubiartem es harah mikirbechah (you shall eradicate the evil among us) applies to this problem in our community.

That the biggest invokers of lashon hurah are the molesters themselves
That the Gerer rebbe “isn’t God” and he is protecting a molester (Mondrowitz) and congregants should refuse to support them. (He was saying this before the latest Litzman scandal.

Eisenman has just gotten started and a few others like him may emerge. It is true that most congregational rabbis are clueless or easily intimidated. However, the frum world is one big network and as congregants in other shuls speak to his congregants they will start pressuring their rabbis to do more. This will only lead to uncovering more and more cases and stoking congregational anger. We will lose more ground with our olam once they start hearing these stories from kids in their own community.

I think we can anticipate what happens next by looking at the Catholic Church. It is like Watergate, at some point the question became, who knew and who was involved in the cover-up. Unfortunately for the catholics there is a large written trail. Whereas in our community it will be more complicated and ambiguous and people will start blaming each other for either misrepresenting the facts presented to rabbonim, or blaming rabbonim for forbidding mesirah, even when it should have been allow because of the danger to the children. Of course we will keep using the business of not knowing all this data about recividism among pedophiles. But this excuse is double edged, even as it dilutes responsibility it also reduces our credibility as competent leaders.

My ultimate fear is that several Moetzes leaders will break ranks and go public with some very serious charges and facts. It is just bound to happen once the Moetzes realizes that there are no more intermediate scapegoats left. It is the old sinking ship problem. Unfortunately that will probably be the end our influence. Because it is hard to argue for the clear demands of Daas Torah when there are seventy faces to Daas Torah.

I don’t see a solution, but I do see a way to buy time by serving up a few scapegoats from within the Moetzes. Ideally we will actually find a pedophile and find a way to claim he was our point person and he misled us. I know of no one who fits the bill, but it is quite possible we will discover someone with all the victims coming forward.

Unless we get lucky in finding our scapegoat our next best strategy is finding out which members of the Moetzes are most likely to come forward and find a way to scapegoat them and thus discredit them. The problem if figuring out who is most likely to suffer from a troubled conscience and who has the most dirt. Unfortunately we have a culture of conformity that makes it hard to know who on the inside is disgusted enough to come forward.

I have only one practical solution for the short term. It is similar to Mao’s thousand flowers shtick. He was one smart goy. Here is how he worked it. After a period where everyone was cowed into conformity, he announced, let a thousand flowers bloom. He encouraged all sorts of public expressions and practices. Then he stopped a thousand flowers but he knew who the troublemakers were and he pushed them out of power or and in many cases, out of the window.

I would suggest something along those lines called elef prachim, or pirchei for short in all of our future communications. B It borrows from what we did with the Spinka Rebbe over tax fraud. It was truly impressive. We had him saying chatassi for causing a big chillul hashem, without ever saying “I lied” His reference to lawyers and accountants was ambiguous enough so at sentencing he could imply that he was advocating compliance while others could read it as use lawyers and accountants so you don’t get caught. Finally the Yekkes could think, true it isn’t enough but it shows us that the Agudah is moving in the right direction.

For the problem we are talking about, we could arrange a big public event. Find someone to say chatassi, only admitting he should have gone to even more meetings. He could point out that we now have frum therapists at Ohel, and make some strong statements of sympathy for those who have been hurt. He might even announce a plan for an accelerated learning program to culminate in a siyum with a special kavannah for those who suffered. The beauty of this program is that we can canvass broadly for all sorts of support for this effort and seek advice on what to raise and how far to go. Those inside who have been fooling us by not showing their disloyalty will come out of the woodwork. We will give them just enough hope that we can change even if they don’t come forward. Then we can go to work on a gradual campaign to discredit them. They will try to complain that rumors are spread about them because of their concerns about child abuse. But if they havent yet come out strongly on the issue, no one will believe that argument. Naturally, the rabbonim themselves will never explicitly know about the true pirchei project and agenda. But quite a few of them are very smart. If my past experience is any guide that will give me free hand and stay above it all. Like the goy detective said during the Watergate hearings. “I knew something wasn’t kosher.” Our rabbonim can see an aphid on a broccoli from 2000 ammos so of course they will suspect something. But if they were the kind of people who insisted on acting on their suspicions we wouldn’t be in this matzav.

I expect to be working on this project for a while. I will let you know how it progresses.

I think this approach may just buy us enough time to come up with something better for the long haul. But between us, I am hedging my bets and beginning to build a private lobbying and consulting practice.


Mr. Allium


1. The good news is that I don’t yet see any decline in our external political influence. I think your real estate project is good to go. But I would advise you to try and clinch the deal sooner rather than bargain for the last dollar.

2. I was hoping to include a review of the notes from the meetings at the NR’s house. I am guessing they are just misplaced. Dealing with them being leaked would just be one problem too many.

That Rabbis “aren’t necessarily God” and that we need to refuse funding to Ger until it stops blocking the extradition from Israel of osso ha-ish.



Click on image to enlarge --- Please distribute these as flyers in your neighborhood shuls!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Orthodox Jews Shielding Child Sex-Abusers!

Orthodox 'shielding sex abusers' By Paul Berger, October 15, 2009 [United Kingdom] WWW.THEJC.COM

Suspected abuser Avrohom Mondrowitz in an Israeli court in 2007. He is still fighting extradition back to the US

A New York State Supreme Court judge has criticised the Orthodox community for shielding perpetrators of sexual abuse while persecuting victims.

Judge Gustin Reichbach lamented the community’s “circle-the-wagons attitude” as he sentenced Yona Weinberg, a barmitzvah tutor and social worker from Brooklyn, to 13 months in jail for molesting two boys.

At the sentencing earlier this month, the courtroom was filled with Weinberg’s supporters. Almost 100 members of the Orthodox community wrote letters to the judge defending him.

Judge Reichbach lamented that no letters displayed “any concern or even any acknowledgement for these young victims which, frankly, I find shameful”. Rather, the community “seeks to blame, indeed punish, victims who seek justice from... civil society”.

Sexual abuse has become a highly contentious issue in the US Orthodox community following a string of cases involving well-known teachers and rabbis. Over the past year, 26 strictly Orthodox men have been arrested in Brooklyn in child sexual abuse cases; eight have been convicted and 18 await trial.

The strictly Orthodox are statistically no more likely to experience sexual abuse than any other group. But the problem is often exacerbated because there is pressure on victims not to go to the police, due to a suspicion of secular society and a fear of bringing shame on the community. In some cases, parents worry that revealing abuse might harm chances of a shidduch. Meanwhile, some community leaders prefer to act solely through a beth din.

However, the timing of Judge Reichbach’s comments may be ironic, as some see signs that the taboo against reporting sexual abuse is beginning to fade. NY state Assemblyman Dov Hikind became involved in the issue 15 months ago. He says many people in the community have overcome the stigma associated with abuse and are openly discussing it.

“There has been an improvement, no question about it,” says Mr Hikind. “The fact that people are acting is a huge accomplishment, but we have an even longer way to go.”

This year, more than 40 minors have agreed to testify about abuse in court.

David Zwiebel, executive vice president of the Charedi group Agudath Israel of America, told the New York Times this week that “A broad consensus has emerged that many of these issues are beyond the ability of the community to handle internally.”

In the past, victims who have spoken out have faced ostracism, as well as verbal and physical threats.

One victim, Shua Finkelstein, died of an overdose at the beginning of this year. His parents later discovered a letter he had written criticising the community for not confronting abuse, which they published online. Soon afterwards, their New Jersey home was damaged in a suspected arson attack.

Yona Weinberg joins a list of recent high-profile court cases involving Orthodox Jews. Last year, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a teacher at Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Brooklyn, struck a plea deal with the Brooklyn district attorney. To campaigners’ dismay, Kolko pleaded guilty to two counts of child endangerment, ducking a jail sentence and avoiding registration as a sex offender.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Avrohom Reichman, a principal at the United Talmudic Academy in Williamsburg, is currently the subject of a civil lawsuit filed by Joel Engleman, who claims he was molested during the 1990s.

Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz, who fled to Israel from New York in 1984 to avoid prosecution for sexual abuse, continues to fight extradition.

Mark Weiss, who says he was abused by Mondrowitz in the late 1970s, blames community leaders for the support shown to Weinberg and others like him. Mr Weiss says that “otherwise good, warmhearted, caring people are suddenly reprogrammed to defy all logic”, when they are told that they must defend the community from a chilul hashem — disgracing god’s name — by standing up for the accused.

“It’s a disgrace that our community has to get chastised by someone like Judge Reichbach, but he’s 100 per cent right,” he added. “This is about the Orthodox leadership’s control over people.”

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Child abuse: when family courts get it wrong!

By Kathleen Russel – Wed Oct 14, 2009 -- for the CSM

San Rafael, Calif – When a parent harms his or her own child, family courts are supposed to step in and safeguard the victim.

Can you imagine what a tragedy it would be if courts awarded custody to the wrong parent – the abuser?

Actually, according to one conservative estimate, more than 58,000 children per year are ordered by family courts into unsupervised contact with physically or sexually abusive parents following divorce in the United States.

The fact that this type of scandal is taking place in the American justice system defies the imagination. Not since the Roman Catholic Church pedophile scandal has the US seen this level of institutional harm inflicted on innocent children.

Consider the case of Jonea Rogers, a hairstylist from Marin County, Calif. During her costly divorce, she sought help from numerous law enforcement, child protection, and family court authorities to protect her daughter from what medical evidence and reports by the child and her baby sitter suggested could be ongoing neglect or sexual abuse or both by the girl's father or grandfather.

None of the authorities she approached would effectively intervene to protect her daughter. So in 2000, Ms. Rogers eventually felt that she had no choice but to flee with her child to protect her.

More than three years later, this protective mother was caught and jailed for five months, while her daughter was immediately handed over to her alleged abusers. Rogers faced criminal charges for violating a court order by fleeing with her child. After considering the evidence in her case, a jury of her peers completely exonerated her of all wrongdoing.

The very same evidence that exonerated her in the criminal court had been called "frivolous" by the family court judge and disregarded. Despite her acquittal, Rogers was never granted custody of her daughter, who lives with her alleged abusers to this day. She is now forced to pay a fee to visit with her daughter a few times a month in a supervised visitation facility.

As we see in many cases across the country, even when physical or sexual abuse of children is alleged during a divorce, American family courts routinely award custody to the parent with an established record of domestic violence restraining orders, child abuse, neglect, alcoholism, addiction, dangerous mental illness, or a combination.

Meanwhile, the child's other parent, commonly referred to as the "protective parent," is typically demonized by court professionals as an "alienator" for bringing evidence of child abuse to the court's attention.

This happens because the reigning paradigm in family courts across the country is an unscientific, discredited theory known as "Parental Alienation Syndrome," or PAS.

PAS and its many derivatives suggest that the parent who asks the court to protect his or her child by limiting the alleged abuser's access to that child is "alienating" the child from the other parent.

The theory suggests that a parent "coaches" a son or daughter to fabricate false abuse allegations, and the court's attention immediately shifts away from investigating an alleged crime and instead focuses on the "uncooperative parent" who refuses to share custody of the child with the alleged abuser or molester.

PAS is tricky for the courts because parents in heated custody battles often badmouth each other and sometimes exaggerate claims of neglect, and children overhear their parents complaints about each other. Though rare, false allegations of abuse do occur. Research on child sexual abuse indicates that close to 98 percent of children who claim sexual abuse in the context of a high conflict divorce are telling the truth, yet family courts routinely proceed as if the opposite were true.

Protective parents not only lose custody of the children they are trying to protect, but they lose their life savings, too. Many cannot even afford a lawyer to represent their interests, but are saddled with hefty supervised visitation fees and often threatened with a loss of custody if they object to paying the bevy of court-appointed experts that the judge assigns to their case.

Fees quickly add up to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many such parents go bankrupt, making court appeals impossible. The family law "machine" operates as Big Business, and a sophisticated cottage industry has sprung up that appears to be preying on desperate parents and children who are trying to escape family violence.

Four factors conspire against protective parents:

1. Family law judges are granted broad discretion in their decisionmaking;

2. Juries are nonexistent in most family law courtrooms;

3. Costly appeals are out of reach for most litigants; and

4. Children are not afforded a voice in these important proceedings that determine their future. As a result, nothing short of a major overhaul of the family court system will suffice.

Here in California, home to some of the most egregious cases, the Center for Judicial Excellence and its partner organizations in the Safe Child Coalition recently worked with State Sen. Mark Leno (D) of San Francisco to unanimously pass an audit request through the California legislature to address this growing problem.

The request asks the state auditor to investigate the procedures used by family courts to appoint, train, evaluate, and discipline the plethora of professionals they use in cases in Marin and Sacramento counties.

The legislature should also pass two sensible bills in 2010. Assemblyman Jim Beall (D) of San Jose has proposed a bill that would outlaw PAS in state family courts, and a bill by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D) of San Francisco would allow children to have a voice in family court proceedings.

Other states must open their eyes to this problem. Family courts are being manipulated in ways that tragically undermine their mission.

We must ensure access to justice for all who find themselves in our nation's family courts. There are at least 58,000 reasons to get serious about reform today.

Kathleen Russell is a cofounder and staff consultant to the Center for Judicial Excellence in Marin County, Calif.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Leib Tropper Fraud - EJF- Eternal Jewish Family Fraud - Must Be Stopped!

Leib Tropper, head charlatan of EJF [Eternal Jewish Family fraud], has now been summoned to both Jewish religious courts and to American courts accused of not being able to account for what he did with Guma Aguiar's millions of dollars of donations, that Tropper used to aggrandize himself as EJF's leader.

There is a planned joint seminar in the works between Tropper's EJF and GATEWAYS:

"EJF Student Shabbaton with Gateways Stamford, CT 10/16/2009 - 10/18/2009 - A Shabbaton in conjunction with Gateways focusing on intermarriage prevention. The event will include 100 students, and staff from both organizations."

Call on anyone you know to protest and boycott the GATEWAYS organization to stop them from exposing their students to Tropper's fanaticism and EJF's entrapment scams now enabled by "Gateways" !

Call, E-Mail and Fax the GATEWAYS people to protest their joint venture with Tropper/EJF:

GATEWAYS Main Office:

11 Wallenberg Circle, Monsey, NY 10952

Email: office@gatewaysonline.com




Fax 845-352-0394

GATEWAYS Director of Operations
Rabbi Avrumy Jordan
845-352-0393 x108

GATEWAYS Public Relations Liason
Dr. Robyn Fischer
845-352-0393 x107

GATEWAYS: Director of Russian Programming
Rabbi Mordechai Tokarski

GATEWAYS: Director of Collegiate Programming
Rabbi Reuven Ibragimov

Director of Special Projects
Rabbi Yisroel Cherns
845-352-0393 x115

GATEWAYS: Event Registration
Ms. Tammi Lit
845-352-0393 x127

GATEWAYS: Webmaster
Mr. Danny Glix

Friday, October 09, 2009

V'Samechta B'Chagecha!

As these hit songs proclaim and you shall confirm on Simchat Torah; let us stay strong and cling to our beliefs. Let us cast aside the alma deshikra that tempts us every day and strengthen our connection to the One Above and His Torah. In that merit, we will be zoche to greet Moshiach Tzidkeini, may he come speedily, in our day.

V'taher Lebanu L'avdecha B'emes,


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Leib Tropper Delusional Sociopath - Eternal Jewish Family Fraud - Part Two

By Tropper is Troubled

Tropper tries to overcome isolation in Monsey.

There are a few reasons why R Nochum Eisenstein of Israel would need Tropper. Tropper has access to big bucks. He could and did assemble the big rabbis and promote Eisenstein cause. But it backfired when Eisenstein used his time on the EJF stage to attack some of the RCA type rabbis there, causing them to cut all ties to Tropper and EJF that they may have contemplated. But the real crux of the issues between Tropper and Eisenstein stems from the schizophrenic aims of EJF itself. Tropper has an outreach type of agenda to convert as many gentiles that fall into EJF hands while he also preaches a doctrine of "universal standards" meaning the highest possible chumras in geirut. Tropper is able to flip back and forth and use both as arguments when one fails he uses the other. Whatever works. While on the other hand R Eisenstein does not give a crap about converting anyone. If he had his way he would pull the conversions of all converts except a handful he knows about.

He proved this when he orchestrated with Rabbi Sherman in Israel the annulment of nearly 17,000 conversions that had been performed by Rabbi Druckman's Religious Zionist Batei Din of the Israeli governemnt's sanctioned Conversion Authority. So while Eisenstein's frame of reference is the ongoing conversions machlokesen in Israel, Tropper's focus is about taking his personal philosophy outreach and self-grandeur to a new level by reaching out to gentiles who want to convert many from intermarriages. Eisenstein hates this and has tried to stamp it out but he cannot because it was a pet project of Guma Aguiar and Tom Kaplan who were funding EJF and Tropper to the tune of tens of millions of dollars and making the haredi bigs come and pay attention at the EJF conferences in the first place and now it's what Tom Kaplan alone is funding, so Tropper has no choice if he wants Kaplan's millions to keep on flowing into his EJF and other coffers, but Eisenstein couldn't give a darn about Kaplan or Tropper's "great leader with blind disciples converting the world like a fake messiah" befitting Shabtai Tzvi meshugasen.

So to keep his own visions of grandeur rolling Tropper has tried to break out from isolation in Monsey, reaching out even to rivals and former enemies: Eternal Jewish Family - External Links.

His greatest grand scheme to do that has been the EJF scam itself.

But on a smaller scale he has tried to weasel his way back to some outreach organization who are obviously cash strapped in some ways and he has dragged in the Gateways organization, that basically like Tropper only shares a Monsey address, but has no campus or following to speak of, just a glitzy PR driven lecturing machine with weekends at hotels (plenty of known hanky panky at Gateways events too) that cater to mostly spoiled frum people.

Tropper has tried to reach out to his old nemesis of Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem and they have taken the bait for their own cynical reasons, but they have still not let him set his foot into their own bais medrash, while they conduct programs with him in far off Ukraine, and a few others from Israel who need to break out of their isolation, so they think that Tropper will help him, but it's like a prisoner who imagines he is breaking out of his jail cell only to find himself having landed up in the jail cell next door. While it helps Tropper get over his isolation and virtual banning from Monsey, it helps the others who now hold hands with him nothing.

Monsey to Tropper: Not in our backyard.

There is an unspoken common understanding in Monsey, NY, Tropper's is dangerous and a fraud and most of his students are weird and cultish. Yeah sure, he trains many of them to think super-yeshivish and even to learn a blatt well. But that only makes matters worse, because it's just replicating and reproducing Frankenstein-like monsters who can spout Tropper's sicko ideology of hating other rabbis that they are convinced is true "daas toireh" when it's just the cultish ramblings of brainwashed BTs practicing sinas chinam and machlokes at the feet of the master.

Bottom line, Monsey has not been kind to Tropper and the Jews of Monsey don't like him, his views or the type of fanatical students he puts out, when he puts them out. This is not because Monsey does not like kiruv or BTs. On the contrary, Monsey is a very welcoming and tolerant community. A lot better than the tough Brooklynites and far better than the unfriendly Boro Parkers not to mention Willimsburgers, or the nutty Crown Heighters, the Monsey people are good people. That is why Ohr Somayach of Mosney has had so much success there as it's been welcomed and staffed by people from the Monsey community. Just that they don't like Tropper and his skwered approach at his forever hanging by a thread Kol Yaakov aka Yeshiva Yedei Esav.

Could it be that they were privy to the public breakup of his first marriage while he was living there? Or that they saw and heard about his private predilections and rumors of womanizing and taking advantage of females when on the road with his "horizons I am the greatest gift to mankind" lectures on campuses all over America? Or how he suddenly met and reeled in a pretty young thing model who wasn't even religious and after refusing to give wife number one a Get for a long time, he suddenly saw the light and ran to dump her so that he could marry wife number two soon after a couple of months of number two's brainwashing at a girls seminary? These are things that matter and they cannot be kept from one's neighbors.

Gossip is a reality of life and when it is a supposedly prominent rabbi who is preaching high and mighty things and looks down at the world because "he knows better" that the gossip takes on more traction and becomes a window into the world of truth and reality that reveal a hypocritical monster at work, this causes your neighbors to stay far away from you.

These too must be at least some the reasons that Pinny Lipshitz owner of the Yated Ne'eman and long time resident of Monsey stays as far away from Tropper as he can and tries to sanitize his paper by running as little news about EJF and Topper as he can and very obviously letting the world know, that as far as the Monsey based Yated is concerned, Tropper is held at arms length or better yet like a figurative putrid rat held by its tail while the rat catcher holds his own nose with his other hand as he tosses the rat as far out of the window as he humanly can waving it goodbye and good riddance as it scampers off to bother other papers and publishers like at the The Jewish Press and at the Hamodia attention-starved news rags that will post anything that comes their way, especially if it's backed up by the big money that pumps artificial life into EJF and keeps Tropper flying all over the world creating mayhem and machlokes in his trail.

Pinny Lipshitz (editor Yated Ne'eman) has letely welcomed a column based on weekly Torah thoughts from lectures by Rav Moshe Sternbuch the Raavad of the Eida Hachareidit's Beth Din who just so also happens to be the staunchest hakchic authority and Torah scholar opposing every shred of what EJF is trying to do and who frightens the heck out of a Tropper. Neat and very smart trick by Lipshitz to arm himself with choshuve Sternbuch against the low-life Tropper bullying aparat.

Tropper fails to build his own Torah community on home ground in Monsey, New York, USA.

All Tropper has in Monsey after working day and night in outreach is a dinky little place that often barely has a minyan and a handful or more of wacko students.

After about 30 years of living, working and basing himself out of Monsey, NY, Tropper has gone nowhere.

People there don't like him. His original Kol Yaakov yeshiva (Yedei Esav) never seems to grow beyond a handful of students. Perhaps it's because he "mainstreams" them well meaning brainwashes his new recruits so quickly and so efficiently that they then move on to be absorbed into other yeshiva communities in Israel and America, and Tropper does have a nice little group of his alumni meaning disciples living in Israel.

But it still does not account for the fact that in Monsey, NY -- which by now is itself a huge Charedi community with both yeshivish and Chasidish people by the tens of thousands moving in and living there, that after three decades Tropper has not been able to do a simple thing for him like building a core community that one would think should be the natural outgrowth of his thirty years of attracting people to himself and setting himself up as their supreme leader.

What is the matter here?

And to double the shame for Tropper is that his arch-rivals and former employers Ohr Somayach set themselves up in Monsey about the same time he did, and by now they have a huge campus overflowing with students who are referred to them from all across America and the world, while they have built up a very strong kehilla of their own that revolves around the Ohr Somyach campus in Monsey.

Why hasn't Tropper been able to replicate this same level of success?

The answers are not that hard to follow by now. One is that Tropper is by nature restless and on the go and since he is a control freak and insists on micro-managing every last detail of his yeshiva's and students' lives, he is in effect his own worst enemy because no student or couple will invest time in a rabbi who is flying around America and the world seeking his own kicks and thrills and they sense he doesn't give a darn about their more mundane and human needs on earth itself.

But of course, two is the real reason that Tropper is simply too obnoxious and self-centered for any group of people to put their long-term emotional and spiritual lives into the hands of someone as selfish, bombastic and cruel as the menacing Machiavellian Tropper macho machine.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Rabbi Salomon's Grandson Preparing To Give The Keynote Address At This Year's Agudah Convention Blasting Bloggers!

A telling post from Daas Hedyot sent in by Malach Hamovies!

It's Not Just Individuals - It's The Community! The UOJ Archives

Oftentimes in my life, when people discover that I used to be religious, they inquire as to why I chose to leave that lifestyle behind me. When I first encountered people asking me this, I would try to explain that the choice I made was a very personal one, based on what I concluded was right for me specifically, and that my decision wasn't intended to make a statement about the objective truth of Judaism in general. It's not that theological and ideological arguments didn't play a contributing part - they most definitely did, in that they significantly loosened the grip which my fundamentalist upbringing had held me in. And it's not that I was oblivious to all the scholarship (from science, history, biblical scholarship, and other fields) which challenged the veracity of Orthodox Judaism.

While I never did get too involved in those discussions, I was well aware of how powerfully they undermined many of the foundations of Orthodoxy. But more importantly, I knew myself, and I knew that what was really motivating me was the particular social and psychological needs which I was facing in my life. Orthodoxy was doing nothing for me (intellectually, spiritually, socially, emotionally, and in other ways) and even worse, I felt it was actively crippling me, by forcing me to subscribe to a lifestyle and value system which I didn't believe in at all.

So when someone would assume from my decision that it was an indictment of Orthodoxy as a whole, I would go out of my way to correct the mistaken impression. I would try to make it clear that while I was most definitely critical of aspects of that world, the community as a whole was not deserving of condemnation and that there were still many Orthodox people who I wholeheartedly respected (well, maybe "a few" is more accurate). But to presume that I was critical of Orthodoxy as a whole was an assumption that was not justified.

However, these days, when faced with this question of "Why am I not religious?" I find myself frequently questioning this approach I had previously settled upon. While it's obvious that the motivations for my choice couldn't have retroactively changed, the simple fact is that I am finding myself less and less able to look at the chareidi community that I came from and be able to describe it as anything other than a corrupt, dysfunctional, and totally unhealthy environment to be a part of.

The many recent indiscretions, dysfunctions, and outright misdeeds of individuals within the Orthodox community have been well documented in the media: Hundreds of sexual abuse cases being reported, including many by rabbis and principals (Kolko, Mondrowitz, Weingarten, Beis Yakov Principal, Satmar Principal in Williamsburg, West Bank Rabbi, Baltimore Rabbi), acid and bleach thrown at those not dressing modestly enough, beatings by modesty squads, attacking women who sit in the front of the bus, tax fraud by Hassidic Rebbes, infants killed by abusive fathers, indictments at glatt kosher slaughterhouses, eviction threats because of not being frum enough, etc., etc. I can keep on going, but I think the picture is clear. There's a lot of ugliness to be found within the chareidi community. A hell of a lot. This is way more than just a few isolated incidents.

However, despite the fact that these stories are appearing with ever increasing frequency, I don't think that these incidents are truly representative of the entire community. They are unfortunately more than just a few people, but I don't think that these sorts of extremely awful behaviors are actually widespread in the frum community. And I honestly don't think it's fair to tar the whole community with the transgressions of a small minority who make the rest of the community look bad.

The thing is though, that small minority of deviants aren't the reason that I think so negatively of the community as a whole. If it was only these incidents, I probably wouldn't be as critical as I am of the frum world. Rather, what fills me with such a repugnance is the behavior of the entire community itself, specifically in how it reacts to the many truly awful crimes happening in their midst.

For example, let's look at the child molestation issue: It's not just that there are child molesters in the community. Yes, that's awful, but as bad as it is, I'd concede that it's not more than a tiny percentage of the community, and I wouldn't judge the whole community based on just that. But what isn't a tiny percentage is the number of people who willfully and knowingly hamper efforts to bring these molesters to justice. What isn't a small number is the amount of people who would prefer to let these criminals remain free rather than risk sullying the reputation of their venerated institutions.

When a community as a whole allows such crimes to go unpunished and penalizes those who are trying to help innocent children, they can no longer hide behind the defense of "it's just a few lone individuals". At that point the community is also guilty. When the leadership (both rabbinic and lay) which the community looks up to is continuously silent on such a grave matter, it is a clear indication of where the community's priorities are.

When a community leader publicly admits that he has knowledge of hundreds of abuse cases, and yet his constituents prefer him to keep it all away from the police, the community has then become complicit in the crimes. When everyone cares more about what their neighbor is going to say about them, or their children's shidduch chances, or what yeshiva their kids will get into, or about being shunned by their friends (all commonly heard excuses for why no one wants to step up to the plate on any of these issues) - when they care more about all that than they do actually solving the problem, they're saying that they care more about maintaining the community's standards than doing what is right and just. That it's better to keep these things quiet.

This is why I can no longer look at the chareidi world with even a modicum of respect. The community as a whole has clearly expressed that they place the reputation of their society, and their place in that society, above the well being of their own children. How can anyone not be disgusted by such a society?

If the community truly cared, then it wouldn't ostracize people who try to bring the criminals to justice. If the community cared, a chassidish family wouldn't be afraid to tell the police who raped their 14 year old daughter. If the community cared it wouldn't stand behind and support a man convicted of killing his own baby (UTJ Knesset member Meir Porush called him a "good, quiet and disciplined" young man). If the community really cared, people wouldn't have to continuously be ashamed to report abuse to the police.

When last year, a chassidish man was found to be selling the Monsey community non-kosher chicken, the community showed how much they cared. The man and his family were run out of the community, in shame and in fear for his life. The community showed what they cared about then. And when the community allows accused child molesters to peaceably remain a part of their community, but those who try to help victims are harassed and attacked, they make it even clearer to the world what they care about. When a frum politician is able to back down on a promise to stop a molester from teaching kids, and no one demands that he keep his word, it shows where the community's concerns lie. When the rabbonim get more worked up about "illicit" music and "heretical" books than they do about yeshivas harboring molesters they reveal to us just what matters most to them.

This is why I have become so absolutely and utterly disgusted with the frum community as a whole. It is no longer just individuals committing these crimes. It is also the general public, and the leadership, which is responsible for allowing these horrible injustices to be perpetrated. It is the community and rabbis which turn a blind eye (or worse) towards these indiscretions. Their inaction, and relative silence (aside from a few vocal and brave activists), is a shocking admission of where their priorities truly lie. Their unwillingness to step up, and yes - risk condemnation and possible political fallout - is a clear indication of what the community values. If your community is going to condemn you for bringing a criminal to justice, isn't the community unambiguously saying that they prefer to protect criminals? Aren't they also then complicit in their crimes?

Admittedly, I know that there are many individuals in the community who are as horrified and sickened by all this as much as I am. Probably more so. But then why don't you speak up? I know the answer to that - because it's too costly for you. You will be shunned, ostracized, maybe even worse. I understand that. But how can you not be ashamed of yourself? With your silence, you are making a choice, a choice to be part of a society that prefers to let some of the very worst crimes of humanity - rape, violence, murder, abuse - go unpunished.

How can any self-respecting person - let alone one who considers themselves spiritual and religiously principled --- stand to be a part of this world?