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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Why wait for Agudah? Parents must safeguard children's safety!


http://thejewishsta r.wordpress. com/2009/ 12/01/opinion- why-wait- for-agudah/

Issue of December 4, 2009/ 17 Kislev 5770 - By Asher Lipner

Many Jewish parents are pleasantly surprised that at the Agudah convention last week, the Gedolim admitted that child sexual abuse is a big problem in our community. People hope that this crack in the legendary rabbinic denial is a step forward in actually doing something about the problem.

This comes on the heels of another recent admission in the New York Times by an Agudah spokesperson that the problem of abuse in our community "cannot be handled internally." In a public letter in 2007 Baltimore's Vaad HaRabonim ruled that an abuser is a "rodef" (a murderer), that "virtually all means may be used to stop him and bring him to justice," and that all "credible concerns of abuse must be reported to the authorities. " In 2006, a memo to yeshiva principals from the Rabbinical Board of Torah Umesorah strongly advised schools to have safety protocols. It emphasized, "It is incumbent upon everyone to use every means to stop these violations of children, including… exposing the identities of the abusers and even their incarceration. "

All that is now needed is for rabbis to simply fulfill what they have already promised: to encourage and support publicizing molesters and reporting them to the police. When victims see that they really have communal support, many more will come forward to tell us who the abusers are that our children need protection from. When molesters see strong action taken, instead of the historic bullying of victims to keep quiet, they will think twice before harming another child.

A good start would be to publicize the names of those already convicted of crimes against children, and those who are known by leaders to be guilty. For example, infamous molester Baruch Lanner recently disappeared from the government's registry of sex offenders. What if NCSY and the Orthodox Union, his former employers, took measures to warn the public of the danger he represents to young people everywhere? What if instead of parents needing to look at blogs to find out about Jewish molesters, the leading organizations published a list of them the same way lists of men who refuse to give their wives a get are published? What if instead of allowing the community to shame and vilify victims of abuse who speak up, the rabbis publicly thanked and praised as heroes those courageous enough to warn the community about their molesters?

While we wait to see if the Agudah is just talking the talk or is going to finally walk the walk, parents should realize that they are ultimately responsible for their children's safety. Some are already independently searching for ways to protect children without waiting for their leaders to act. Many have asked the Jewish Board of Advocacy for Children for guidance.

While the "experts" are telling the community that parents need to speak to their children about not "letting" anyone touch them inappropriately, and to inform their parents if anyone does, obviously children cannot be solely responsible for their own protection. As their caregivers, parents need to provide them with a safe environment. Here is how:

1) Report any and all suspicions directly to the police. Even though some will not want to press charges, such as when the molester is a spouse, sibling or parent, the only way to make sure that the molester is kept out of reach of children is to involve the authorities in some manner.

DO NOT report to rabbonim, "askanim" or frum community "liaisons," because each of these groups has a conflict of interest. DO bring a "rape victims advocate," such as from the Coalition Against Sexual Assault or from the Jewish Board of Advocacy for Children, with you, to prevent the possibility that community pressure will impede the police from acting aggressively.

2) Demand that your children's camps and schools create safety and prevention plans to stop molestation and cover-ups.

To learn what schools must do, visit www.jewishadvocates .org and read the position paper that lobbies the State of New York to mandate private schools to have safety measures at least the equivalent of those in public schools.

3) Bring education and awareness to your community by holding forums where adult survivors tell their tragic stories. Rabbis, parents and even mental health professionals have all said that hearing first hand accounts of the process of how a molester wins the trust and gains access to children, as well as the devastating emotional effects that abuse can have, is one of the most effective ways to learn the whole ugly truth about the travesty. Recently, in a black-hat shul in Passaic, 300 people came out to hear five survivors, including a teenage girl, give testimony and teach parents about issues of safety and prevention.

In the Five Towns and around Nassau County, in communities known as progressive and leading in many aspects of Chinuch and Torah, parents will surely want to contact the JBAC to arrange educational events to learn more about child safety.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Confronting Abuse!

With reference to the story “Haredi Town Confronts Abuse from the Inside” (Nov. 13), Rabbi Ron Eisenman is indeed to be commended and applauded for his principled and entirely correct leadership in recognizing and dealing with the scourge of sexual abuse in the Jewish community.

We are gratified that Passaic is building a reputation in combating this scourge in the Jewish community, and especially proud of the leading role taken by Rabbi Eisenman, a respected member of the Rabbinical Council of America. The RCA, which represents a large segment of Orthodox rabbis in this country, has long favored rabbinic activism in recognizing and dealing with this issue.

In word and in deed, the RCA and its almost 1,000 rabbis have passed convention resolutions, issued policy statements, investigated allegations of rabbinic improprieties and in recent years and months taken a leadership role in grass-roots legislative efforts to confront the issue on the broadest scale. Indeed, we work behind the scenes with a number of the people mentioned in The Jewish Week article (as well as others).

Rabbi Basil Herring,
Executive Vice President
Rabbinical Council of America

Ahavah Gayle said...

Why wait?

Goodness - you can't really expect the parents to think for themselves, now, can you? What if somebody else thinks something different? We can't think something different, that would be terrible! We'd better wait and be told what to think - after all, this type of thing only happens to people who don't pray properly or don't give to all the right charities or whose elbow is showing. WE don't really have anything to worry about, so we'll just wait.

Anonymous said...

As someone who was once close to RYE beware of wolves in sheep's clothing!

Asher Lipner said...

Where is my UOJ cap????

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Ron Eisenman is a fraud and an attention seeker / publicity whore.

One day I will expose him for what he really is, and publicize the evidence I have gathered.

Even in regards to molestation issues, he's trying to cover up for what he did wrong in the past by being the most outspoken anti-molestation rabbi.

This while a child molester that he's aware of from a choshever family still davens in his shul. Aside from the several other sexual criminals (but not of the CHILD molesting sort) davening in his shul.

He went after the B.T. molesters because there are no repercussions. He won't go after the choshever molester.

UOJ, don't think "who cares" because now he's getting publicity for the issue by speaking out. Mark my words, this man will end up doing way more damage to the cause than all the rabbis who don't speak out. He's uncontrollable and changes quickly. He's changed his dress and opinions very often in the past few years. When the truth does come out about him - and it will - no rabbi will want to touch these issues, so they will not be thought of as being like Eisenman.

Bim Bam identity said...

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/30/health-bills-fail-to-block-illegals-from-coverage/

Health bills fail to block illegals from coverage

Anonymous said...

not really the same...

In a public letter in 2007 Baltimore's Vaad HaRabonim ruled that an abuser is a "rodef" (a murderer), that "virtually all means may be used to stop him and bring him to justice," and that all "credible concerns of abuse must be reported to the authorities. "

------------

1) Report any and all suspicions directly to the police.
--------------
I'm not saying not to, I'm just calling lipner & friends out on the double standard they are perpatrating. As someone who has seen the tshuva from R Elyashiv and others, they talk about molestation cases with a "raglayim l'dovor" not any and all suspicions. Saying otherwise is dishonest, whether its the right thing or not...

And does a parent need lipner to hold his/her hand when reporting abuse more or less than lipner needs the parent to ask lipner to hold his/her hand?

Elliot Pasik said...

The teshuva of Rav Elyashiv is available on the web site, www.jewishadvocates.org, in Hebrew, and English.

From the text, "any and all suspicions" implicitly means "reasonable" or "credible" suspicions should be reported to the police.

Elliot Pasik

Yerachmiel Lopin, frumfollies blogger said...

ploini Anonymous,

I assume you are the BT that is complaining that Rabbi Eisenman outed you. Of course you would be angry. But save your energy for the trial and for covering your nethers.

As for the second comment you made. Here is how I figure it: A man is chasing you with a knife. Din Rodef says you can kill him or call 911 on him. But you are tzadik so first you will consult with a rav, who will consuslt with an askan who will consult with a specialist. Naturally you are such a tzadik that even if this deranged murderer kills 23 people you will be comforted knowing you were a machmir on mesirah and an ACLU meikil on pikuach nefesh. Pardon me but such halachah I expect from the janitor in the traffic court in sodom. There are large debatable grey areas in the psak. Unfortunately the coverup continues because cowardly rabbonim are going along with pidyon shvuyim askanim. But the kids are still getting a raw deal.

BTW if someone you know rapes you, will you consult a rav so he can convince you there are raglayim l'davar by finding another 4 people with the same experience or will you just report it. Or will you be mochel, and be a tzadik influenced by shmuel borger's tape who will not tell any lashon harah.

Yes my question is ugly and graphic. But such are the real issues out there. These perverts should not get a pass through pilpul. Yes I suspect motives. When most of the molesters are in jail I will ease up. In the meantime show us you care by saying what you are willing to do instead of acting like agudah whose track record is banning toevah marriage among consenting adults outside the orthodox world while covering up toeivah by orthodox jews which is scarring and killing Jewish children every day.

Which side are you really on, anonymous?

Michael Lesher Esq. said...

As you know, I've been fighting to get Avrohom Mondrowitz finally tried for his heinous crimes against children for years, which has meant fighting Orthodox rabbis -- and Hynes, who works so closely with them -- all the way.

I've now got the court's decision from the mail. As I wrote above, I won my lawsuit against Hynes' office, which had refused to answer my FOIL request seeking information about the attempted extradition of Mondrowitz (which the D.A. renewed under pressure in October 2007).

As you probably know, the D.A. has been publicly claiming to have been pressing for Mondrowitz's extradition all along, and in fact to have persuaded the State Dept. to have rewritten its extradition treaty with Israel for the purpose of bringing Mondrowitz back. My FOIL request (made over two years ago) was intended primarily to get the evidence to show whether those claims are true or false. Did the D.A. seek Mondrowitz's extradition immediately after the new treaty went into effect (as he claims) or only when the pressure on him built up 9 months later? Did he actually encourage the State Dept. to secure a different extradition treaty to bring Mondrowitz within reach (as he claims) or is lying about that to conceal his inaction?

Because Hynes' office (after a full year of prevarications and excuses) refused to turn over a single document to me, claiming a FOIL exemption, I was forced to make first an administrative appeal and then to file a lawsuit in May of this year -- all on my own time and at my own expense, by the way. Justice David Vaughan of Supreme Court, Kings County has ruled in my favor, ordering the D.A. to turn over to me all extradition-related documents about Mondrowitz from September 1993 to the present.

I'm pleased to see so many of my complaints against Hynes' office and its tactics repeated in the decision.

Unfortunately, the office has informed me that they will file a motion to reargue AND a notice of appeal. This means that Hynes is ready to tie up the resources of his office (and taxpayer money) to try to keep the public from knowing his real record in the Mondrowitz case.

I think that's something the public ought to know -- especially since he's been claiming to have such a good record on this case, and on child sex abuse prosecutions in the Orthodox community generally.


Michael Lesher, Esq.
22 Leitch Place
Passaic NJ 07055
(973) 470-0212
MichaelLesher@optonline.net
www.MichaelLesher.com

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

Dr. Choshuver Asher,

I think Meyer (and Avi) Fertig should send you a Jewish Star cap -
Did you write this for UOJ or The Jewish Star? HUH?

Kidding of course...Out of all dark colors, I would not want anyone to think you went Modern Orthodox c"v by sending you a light colored cap.

E-mail me your mailing address - 4-6 weeks delivery - dem Jews keeping me busy on all the FREE stuff. Gotta love these big spenders!

How many Jews can you get in a phone booth?......

AT&T said...

How many Jews can you get in a phone booth?......

THROW IN A NICKEL AND FIND OUT!

Anonymous said...

From: Info@Torah Vodaath [info@torahvodaath.org]
To: dzwiebel@agudathisrael.org

We have just received word that our beloved Mashgiach

Moreinu Horav Moshe Wolfson shlita

is undergoing a serious emergency surgery. Please be mispallel for

Moshe ben Frayda Rivka

who is in need of rachamei Shomayim, b'soch shar cholei amo yisroel.

Help us spread the word amongst your acquaintances and in your shul over Shabbos.

May we hear b'suros tovos!
Rabbi Yitzchok Gottdiener
Executive Director
Yeshiva & Mesivta Torah Vodaath
718-941-8000 / Fax:718-941-8032

Anonymous said...

haha~ funny!.thank .you for .your ..share.....

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why R' Dovid Schustal is getting involved with fundraising for Vallis and calling it an "alilas dam" as reported on Matzav. The baby had clear signs of being abused and many doctors in Hadassah are frum. When it came to the similar case of the Markowitz woman, Rav Finkel put up a handwritten sign in the Mir that no one should be moyche on her behalf. Is there anyone backing Vallis besides Dayan Weiss? When it comes to the machaos against Intel, Dayan Weiss is a daas yochid even within the Edah. Rav Elyashev says that if Intel cut out the chilul Shabbos, they should stop being moyche and he is considering calling machaos against Dayan Weiss himself if he doesn't cut it out.

Now, whoever publishes Matzav has a lot of chutzpah. They are calling for a national campaign for children to write to Rubashkin in jail as well as give some of their allowance money to his "pidyon shvuyim" fund and make it sound like R' Dovid is behind that too when he said nothing of the sort.

UOJ gets results said...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

NEW YORK — Rain didn't deter several hundred people from rallying in front of Manhattan's federal courthouse complex, to protest plans to try major terrorism suspects in New York City.

Actor Brian Dennehy and people who lost loved ones in the 9/11 terror attacks were among those demonstrating. Opponents of the Obama administration plans say a New York trial could make the city a terrorism target. They say the five terror suspects, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, should instead face a military tribunal.

Dennehy passed along a message from the father of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who says the trial would be "an uncalled-for ordeal that could be used for political purposes."

Asher Lipner, Ph.D. said...

UOJ,

Ok, you are right. I owe you one. Pick a topic, and I'll get you an exclusive essay.

Phil Jaoobs still has exclusive rights on my personal story for now, but on anything clinical or social or about my interactions with Agudah....just let me know what I can do.

Asher


P.S. If you looked at the Jewish Star piece you would see my picture with a blue shirt, so I'm not worried about light color hats. Although it would be interesting if all of your caps were black and we gave new meaing to "black hat" Judaism!

Moetzes Resign! said...

WASHINGTON — Senator Max Baucus, a powerful committee chairman and a chief architect of the Democratic health care overhaul, acknowledged Saturday that he had recommended the Obama administration appoint a woman he was dating to serve as the federal prosecutor in his home state, Montana.

Both versions of the story are correct said...

As the proud recipient of a UOJ hat, I can say that when the man does something, he does it right.

The quality is top notch.

Both versions of the story are correct said...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125980303001573939.html

Yungerman cleavage -- plunging shirts bulging open to reveal big boychs, maybe more -- is back.

Until recently, the bulging stomach was an androgynous fashion affectation limited mainly to sporadic appearances at Pesach fresser hotels. But the look, including popped buttons and stressed fabric, hit in full force at the Agudah fresser convention this past week.

This time around, the styles were more blatantly gluttonous and the fressers had a more portly swagger. Boro Park suit store Emporio said their winter collection was inspired in part by contestants from the Coney Island hot dog eating contest wearing their shirts unbuttoned, as well as the unabashed machismo of fat guys from Bensonhurst who load up on carbs from pasta and pizza. "We wanted to go back to a more zaftig body, getting away from the super skinny," says a salesman at the 13th Ave store.

Plenty of men, from regular Joe Schmos to Yated correspondents, have loosened to the trend.

At Chevrah Chazerim, Chaim Kaminetsky rarely does a Pesach seder without removing his shirt. The mashgiach also frequently displays his perfect rolls of fat, wearing rib-hugging T's or shirts with the lower buttons suggestively undone.

"Even if people were making fun of me, calling me 'Agudah Fresser' like they used to at the convention, I would still wear it," says the 6-foot-4, 275-pound kashrus supervisor. "It feels comfortable and I like the way it looks. If you can pull off three buttons undone, then do it."

Other fans of the look include Shmuel Bloom and Shea Fishman, who've been snapped showing off their man cleavage -- or "heavage," as one Jewish Press style writer dubbed it.

Leib Tropper, a 59-year-old rabbi from Monsey, confesses that Guma Aguiar's friends sometimes tease him about his heavage. "I would not recommend it to someone who isn't confident with their body and overall sense of style," says Tropper, who says he eats until bloated three to four days a week and has a "defined" pippick.

Helping to pave the way were magazines like Mishpacha, which objectified the male belly on their covers.

Some women share the sentiment. Posting on her blog earlier this year, a shadchan predicted where the burst of men sporting heavage would lead. "Within a year it could be considered a big maylah among BJJ girls" she said. "It could be considered just as choshuv as a guy who learned in Brisk."

Asher Lipner said...

To the "anonymous" post that made allegations about Rabbi Eisenman.

I will not vouch for him based solely on the fact that he is a Ydid Ne'eman of mine and has helped countless survivors of abuse. That would be as naive as those who say "it couldn't be" when a beloved rebby is accused of molestation, simply on the evidence of "I know him to be a tzaddik".

But I must point out that unless you are willing to name names about who you claim he is covering up for, it makes it impossible for anyone to investigate or confront him.

Furthermore, it is completely absurd that he would hold such an event for the ulterior motives you describe. Can you imagine Lipa Margolis doing this? Can you imagine the Agudah doing this? Can you imagine Ner Yisroel doing this? Ridiculous.

The most someobody would do, and that only AFTER being caught with their pants down, would be to call in one of the "community organizations" that deal with abuse to help them cover themselves, the way Margolis actually did, as well as the Vaad in Baltimore.

I take offense to the suggestion that anybody with half a brain would offer me personally an open microphone as part of a way to cover for abuse. What is he going to do next, invite UOJ to his shul to speak about coverups??????

Asher

Anonymous said...

Newark Star Ledger reporting that the IRS is on the trail of 100s of people indirectly connected to both Dwek and the Spinka.

Anonymous said...

Yerachmiel Lopin, frumfollies blogger-

There's a famous rule that whoever invokes Hitler in an argument has lost the argument.

I have a new rule, that if you attempt to call someone a molester as a means of winning an argument, you too have lost.

The arguments raised against Eisenman are extremely valid. Having concerns about Eisenman does not make someone a molester, if so half of Passaic would be molesters - yes about half of Passaic thinks Rabbi Eisenman is screwy.

The fact remains that there is a molester who still davens in Eisemnans shul, this because he is from a chashuver family, and Eisenman wouldn't dare mess.

Point is that Eisenman is not some big hero standind up to the world exposing molesters, he exposed two B.T. molesters, ones he knew their would be no repercussions for.

But the frum molester still davens at his shul and Eisenman wouldn't dare mess with him, after all he's an FFB from a chosheve family!

Ahavah Gayle said...

Please offer prayers for Rabbi David Wortman - he is undergoing a liver and kidney transplant this weekend and has (obviously) been very ill. Thank you all. Shalom.

Chicago Friends of Torah Ore said...

THIS FROOTY KOLLEL GUY IS TRYING TO ARRANGE A BOYCOTT OF MISHPACHA MAGAZINE BECAUSE THEY ARE HIGHLIGHTING WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SHALOM BAYIS SUFFERS DUE TO HASHKAFAH PROBLEMS OF THE HUSBAND.

ALL SUPPORTERS OF YESHIVA TORAH ORE/KOLLEL RUACH CHAIM, CALL RABBI PINCHOS SCHEINBERG TO HAVE THIS TRASH MAN REMOVED FROM HIS KOLLEL, OR THE PRICE PAID BY THE YESHIVA WILL BE FAR STEEPER THAN ANY FINANCIAL SETBACK TO MISHPACHA MAGAZINE.
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

A purportedly "Yiddishe" magazine is printing serialized novels (Shattered Glass by Riva Pomerantz) that dramatize and highlight shalom bayis issues that have no business being in a public magazine. Worse still, is that there is no external Rabbinical oversight committee checking whether or not Mishpacha is adhering to our standards. Enough is enough.

Below are listed three salient points. Please think about this issue seriously.

1)One of the great mashgichim of our dor recently strongly rebuked Micheal Rothschild (Chairman of Choefetz Chaim Heritage Foundation) for allowing "one of the greatest Motzei Shem Rah's in todays generation to speak at CCHF event last week. He was referring to Riva Pomerantz.

2)HaRav Yisroel Elya Weintraub shlita recently said that he will not rest until a va'ad chitzoni (external committee) is introduced at Mishpacha to approve or deny these kinds of stories.

3)There is a growing movement of yungeleit (primarily in the Mir, but many other kollelim included) throughout the world that are beginning to boycott the Mishpacha. Printing such dramatized drivel is assur al pi Torah, and we will NOT stand for it.

Yitzchak Rabinovitch
Kolell Ruach Chaim
Yerushalayim

Fraud Watch said...

Anonymous 2:26AM (above) is absolutely correct. Ron Eisenman is a vicious fraud and political boss, ruling over brainwashed BT groupies, while ruthlessly crushing any opposition to his tyranny.

A video at http://passaicnews.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/video-rabbi-levin-talks-about-gary-schaer-his-pro-homosexuality/
exposes a homosexual "rights" bill being signed in Eisenman's shul in Passaic, NJ, with Eisenman in the background !!! What kind of "Orthodox" rabbi allows a gay rights bill to be signed in his shul ???

Most of the molestation occurring in the Orthodox community is homosexual molestation. Pretending to denounce molesters in the Orthodox community, while promoting or tolerating "gay" rights, is grotesque fraud and hypocrisy !!!

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

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2009/12/accused-haredi-pedophile-has-new-job-123.html#more

Seychel Hayashar said...

To anonymous of 3:05:

Calling someone Hitler is not a way to lose an argument if the person you are arguing with is Hitler. Same goes for molesters.

As for the allegations of Rabbi Eisenman, covering up for a molester from a chashuva family, out of fear of upsetting the "powers that be," you are a silly, silly man.

He did not only expose BT's as you said, he exposed Rabbi Moshe Eiseman, the Mashgiach of Ner Yisroel, the Mechaber seforim for Artscroll, the member of Vaad L'hatazal of Agudas Yisroel, and, someone who's name sounds just like his to boot.

UOJ, are there NO standards for ridiculous accusations you will permit on this site?

R' Aron Leib comes out against Tropper said...

http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/12/rav-steinman-condemns-mixed-seminars.html

RWisler said...

Chicagi Friends wrote:

ALL SUPPORTERS OF YESHIVA TORAH ORE/KOLLEL RUACH CHAIM, CALL RABBI PINCHOS SCHEINBERG TO HAVE THIS TRASH MAN REMOVED FROM HIS KOLLEL

I correct:

The jackass Pinchos Scheinberg will not remove anyone unless total penetration was performed.

Anonymous said...

Y should Eisenman expose the molester u claim he is hiding if u too are hiding his identity from us. Hypocrit!