Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Shut down Tropper/EJF/Horizons/Kol Yaakov PERMANENTLY: A 12 Step Program!

By Tropper is Troubled:

A serious poster on Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn's Da'as Torah blog has called it like it is by asking the most solid Halachic questions (shaylos) and comes up with the most obvious answer:

"Tropper - Why the Rabbis were silent: Anonymous said...First of all, this is not about one community. Second of all, the pulse of the community is beaten by us, not by the Rabbonim in the shuls. Third of all, Purim is coming up. We need a resolution. Those who live near Grove Street or Maple Avenue need to know where their children can go to deliver mishloach manos. As a family with teenage daughters, we need to know if Kol Yaakov bochurim should be allowed to dance in our house this year. When bochurim go shteeble hopping, do they go to Kol Yaakov? Do we drop by the purim shpiel? What if a shidduch is red with a Kol Yaakov bochur? Without any answers or at least progress reports, I think the de facto answer will be to isolate anyone having to do with Kol Yaakov..."

This is what it's come to. The above was in response to the interview in the 5 Towns Jewish times by Rabbi Ribiat of Forshay in Monsey NY : "Leib Tropper - Why the Rabbis Were Silent: 'If True - A Venomous Snake in our Midst'" January 24, 2010.

The masses of Torah Jewry are about to take the law into their own hands.

They must.

They HAVE TO protect their daughters, and sons, who can easily be "role played raped" as Tropper told Shannon Orand he could do, by Tropper or one of his henchmen.

The dangerous Tropper cult is practiced in OUTWARD frumkeit and chumras but INWARD sexual depravity and sex-crazedness. They think that sexual misdeeds are just "opportunities" up the rung of the next act of "teshuva", they are morally meshuga and the Jews of Monsey where the Tropper wolf's lair is dug in are the most worried because they have werewolf Tropper and she-wolf Leba with fangs dripping on YouTube for the world to hear and see on their doorstep.

The time for fun and games is over.

Word has it that the people at Agudath Israel are going to continue stonewalling, they are going to act dumb and dumber and have bozo articles written by Avi Shafran to have the wool pulled over the oilem goilem's eyes, but they can forget about it.

Just listen to the underlying fear in the tone of that heartrending shaylo from a Monsey resident. Amcha is calling.

It's going to be a people's revolt against Tropper and the rabbanim are going to look like a bunch of frightened castrated caged rabbits imprisoned in Tropper's basement.

What do you do when you a have an unmasked werewolf and rabbinic dracula like Tropper posing as the "rabbi next door"? Ever seen a werewolf or dracula movie? You have to be brave and defang him, (just don't show him a cross r"l or maybe that is just what apikores Tropper needs to be shown he is a false messiah like Yoshke)

It's not a joke and no one is laughing!

Behind the scenes the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudath Israel of America is in deadlock over how to react to the Tropper scandal.

Since the ruling Moetzes is controlled by a troika of old-time octogenarian talmidim of the late R Yitzchok Hutner led by Aron Shechter of Chaim Berlin yeshiva and abetted by Aron Feldman of Ner Israel with the supposed Agudah head Yakov Perlow of Novominsk bringing up the rear, and of course they can count on Dovid Feinstein brother of Reuven Feinstein to protect their interests, and Shmuel Kaminetzky is probably dithering somewhere in the middle because in the past he was the only one who stood up to Shechter in the kidnapping affair of Isaac Hersh and he also backtracked from the forged "kol koreh" against LIPA the singer, so maybe now too Kaminetzky is knocking his head against the wall that Shechter does not want to cut his losses and Kaminetzky may be the only lonely voice pleading that Agudah say something more clear. He will have no problems dumping Tropper once and for all and not have that darned place in Monsey Kol Yaakov associated with his late father's holy name.

So what do they think these Agudist Moetzes mighty men? That people don't know what's going on? Or that America is like Meah Shearim and you can stop people from reading and writing on blogs? Or that freedom of the press does not apply to Jewish newspapers that can get some good mileage out the Tropper/EJF sex scandal? Just how dumb do they think people really are?

Maybe they are trying to save the name of the near defunct EJF organization by passing the buck to dumbo megalomaniacs like Suchard of Gateways according to some reliable rumors. But they are clearly out of date and out of their depths here as this scandal will never go away until Tropper's own rabbis, not the BADATS that already wiped its hands of Tropper years ago, or the RCA that condemned him the minute the scandal became public, but these same dunder heads at the Moetzes must show what they are made of and not act like Nixon's cover-up squad.

The Über-Agudists are the ones who got the millions from Tropper, like Reuven and Dovid Feinstein and those who have been in cahoots with Tropper for decades like Aron Shechter must now do the avoda of the kohen gadol and send the Tropper se'ir la'azazel and be done with him once and for all, or else risk a massive destruction of every last vestige of respect that anyone has for so-called "gedolim" who cannot even go by the simple logic of "if it talks like a duck and walks like a duck -- it's a duck" and get rid of the Tropper monster duck once and for all and not act like a phony Sanhedrin of shotim gemurim.

In light of everything, the fact that there is irrefutable proof that it is none other than Leib and Leba Tropper's voices on those tapes committing those abominations and depravities, as well as much else that is both common knowledge and behind the scenes knowledge about Leib and Leba Tropper:

1. Leib and Leba Tropper must be put in CHEREM immediately! There are enough good rabbonim to do so. Tropper must PERMANENTLY give up all positions in the rabbinate. No more "rosh yeshiva" of anything no more "rabbi of this and that" and all the titles he collected like a tin pot dictator. Preferably the Tropper family must leave Monsey and settle in place like Switzerland (Tom Kaplan can buy them a chalet near a minyan) or in Florida (they have friends there) as PRIVATE CITIZENS stripped of all rabbinic rank, power and influence!

2. EJF must be shut down PERMANENTLY!

3. Kol Yaakov yeshiva in Monsey must be shut down PERMANENTLY!

4. Horizons outreach program must be shut down PERMANENTLY!

5. The Lillian Jean Kaplan Foundation must be shut down PERMANENTLY !

6. Menachem Lubinsky of LUBICOM must be boycotted PERMANENTLY for the damage he facilitated by acting as EJF's PR and propaganda czar.

7. Tom Kaplan and his wife Dafna Recanati, the enablers of Tropper/EJF/Horizons in these last years, must be kept out from the Orthodox and Charedi community (they are not religious Jews in any case and don't care much about wanting to be religious) and not one more cent must ever be accepted from them by anyone in the Torah world, PERMANENTLY!

8. No more funds should be accepted in the Orthodox and Charedi world from Guma (he should have a refuah sheleimah bekarov) and Jamie Aguiar, and Guma's mother Ellen Kaplan Aguiar and the Aguiar family or their Lillian Jean Kaplan Foundation -- PERMANENTLY. They were also originally Tropper's enablers with the EJF scheme.

9. Rav Reuven Feinstein must be put on notice to STOP his support of the immoral and corrupt Leib Tropper AT ONCE and NOT harass and instigate problems against those from Rav Sternbuch's side who have had the courage to speak the truth when it was not popular. Had R Reuven Feinstein heeded the advice of those from the BADATZ he would not be in the sick situation he is in now. He only has himself to blame. When you sleep with the dogs you catch fleas.

10. Aron Shechter of Chaim Berlin yeshiva in Brooklyn must be put on notice that the world will NOT tolerate his tyrannical irrational and damaging support for Tropper that must stop once and for all and cut of all contact with Tropper PERMANENTLY. Shechter's disciples are called upon to protect Shechter from himself and from the dragging Chaim Berlin into irreversible shame and disgrace. Shechter is in remission from cancer and he should have a refuah sheleimah bekarov but he would be well advised to stay home in Brooklyn and end his days in happiness surrounded by his family and zombie talmidim and stop his delusions of protecting sickos like Tropper and Michael Hersh. Shechter has already caused lots of damage by his stubbornness in protecting his crazed BT disciple Michael Hersh who sent his own son to the island of Jamaica with Shechter's blessings and support. Maybe the earthquake in Haiti was a sign from Hashem against that. What if Isaac Hersh would be now on Haiti under ten feet of rubble, would that make Shechter and Michael Hersh happy? Who knows.

11. The Jewish Press newspaper should be boycotted, and Dennis Rapps Esq its legal counsel who wrote all the pro-EJF/Tropper drivel and lies in it should become persona non grata in the Torah world, for their appalling shameful support of Tropper at every twist and turn and glorifying EJF from its inception and helping to bring about the ensuing international Chillul Hashem disaster by giving Tropper/EJF legitimacy! At least if anyone really has to, buy the English YATED because its editor stuck to his guns and boycotted Tropper and EJF in spite of pressures on him, and the Yated now publishes a weekly column by Rav Moshe Sternbuch of Yerushalayim who is the first and so far only gadol and posek to 100% oppose and fight Tropper and EJF for years.

12. And finally, Agudath Israel of America must speak out STRONGLY to condemn and shut down any vestige and trace of Tropper and his organizations. The Agudists are so dumb for not seeing what's going on here. Wake up Agudah and smell the Tropper poison-laced coffee, before Klal Yisroel starts organizing demonstrations against all of you, running away from you, and the worst fate you deserve, just IGNORING you the way you are ignoring the festering and still spreading Chillul Hashem of the Tropper/EJF cancer.

Wake up, before it's too late!

It may already be too late, so much damage has already been done by your Agudist ilk and brother Leibel Tropper der menuval shebemenuvalim, as Rabbi Rothkopf referred to him in Yerushalayim recently when students at YU in Israel asked what should be the reaction to the Tropper sex scandal!

Every corner of the Jewish globe is aware of this scandal as each day goes by more get to know about it, and only you, Tropper's Agudist rabbis can bring it to proper closure by putting Leib and Leba Tropper & Company (vechol abizraihu) in Cherem and shutting them down PERMANENTLY!

Or else face the wrath of history as you too and the whole Agudah world become disgraced for your cowardice, greed and cover up of the Leib and Leba Tropper/EJF sex scandal -- and members of Agudah will be called upon to resign from this disgraceful hypocritical organization, once founded by Giants of Torah Jewry now infested with meek mice who fear predatory cats like Leib and Leba Tropper more than they fear Hakadosh Baruch Hu and the Emes (Truth) !!!


Anonymous said...

The biggest disgrace of all is that Reuven Feinstein still has his letter of haskamah on Tropper's yeshiva and his picture with Tropper. see


He hasn't demanded that this be taken down. People on the inside have told me that he still defends Tropper with all sorts of outlandish excuses (such as "he must have done teshuvah by now,"). That is why I no longer attach "Rabbi" to his name. He has disgraced his father zt"l and is now a hired gun for Tropper (after receiving 3 million from him.)

If you would have asked me last year if it is possible for our roshei yeshiva to be bought, I would have denied it a million times. Unfortunately, we have seen that even great talmide chachamim can sink very low when big money is involved.

by Shlomo Miami

Anonymous said...

As of today, I will no longer give one cent to any of the Lakewood mosdos- not a single one.

It's not just the yeshivas- Bais Yaacov, the seminaries, etc., will no longer get a free ride from me. It is incumbent on their leadership to once and for all take a stand.

The girl's school in particular should be outraged at Tropper for obvious reasons (and spare the righteous indignation and pilpul. Tropper has yet to go on record and deny the allegations). They should be beside themselves that someone will 'redd a shidduch' to one of their girls.

Then again, 'mah nishtana', right?

Well, it's now crystal clear how much these 'mechanchim' really care about the girls.

Anonymous said...

The rebbeyim at Kol Yaakov are humilliated by what has happened to their yeshiva. They can't confront Tropper because he will fire them. They need the gedolim to force Tropper to step down.

The rebbeyim are suffering terribly. They are forced to work in a place where the menuval Tropper is the Rosh Yeshiva and their boss. Can you imagine how difficult that is for sensitive talmide chachamim trying to pass on the beauty of Torah, when standing at the head of their yeshiva is an immoral man who disgraced the Torah in such a terrible fashion.

Until Tropper is removed Kol Yaakov must be treated as a treif and pasul institution. We can have nothing to do with it. It is no different than a Reform school and we cannot step foot into it.

For the sake of the wonderful teachers at the yeshiva, please Rabbonim take actions.

But I think we know that the rabbis will do nothing.

Anonymous said...

Tropper is still a Rosh Yeshiva and the big rabbis have not yet demanded that Tropper resign. This is the most scandalous aspect of this terrible affair, and it is important for Rabbi Eidensohn to keep up his god work.

Rabosai, I repeat: Tropper still serves as a Rosh Yeshiva and the rabbonim have said nothing!! Can you imagine if Tropper was spotted eating at a McDonalds? They would demand he immediately resign. But doing the terrible stuff Tropper did (and Tropper has never denied his actions and only issued a feeble apology), and we have heard NOTHING from the supposed gedolim. That is why R. Eidensohn is speaking out.

He is charting the death of Daas Torah. No one can take it seriously anymore when Tropper is allowed to continue running a yeshiva (not to mention the child molesters and others who are protected).
I know the rabbeyim at Kol Yaakov are good people. They are waiting for the gedolim.

steve said...



Shafran, are you that sick that you think that it is the bloggers writing about Tropper, a sick menuval, that caused the earth quake in Haiti? It was the bloggers who exposed child molestors who you want to hide under some rug somewhere, and menuvalim who you want to defend. Perhaps it was you and Agudah who caused this tragedy and not the other way around? Olam Hafuch Raisi!
If you want to lay blame maybe you should take some personal responsibility for this. It was your organization who enabled and protected child molestors, one of which supposedly abused Motti Borger to the point that he killed himself, you and those who protected the molestors have blood on your hands. It is your organization and people associated with it who allowed Tropper’s power to get so out of control that he felt he was allowed to uproot the geirus of a woman because she were wearing pants, 10 years later (while he was supposedly involved in sick relations with his wife and other women) By not doing anything to reign him in you allowed him to prey on women (I have a feeling the story we are reading now is not an isolated incident but there is another charedi cover up). You and your ilk refuse to condemn this sick man’s actions but Rabbi Slifkin is open season, maybe the lashon harah you and your ilk spoke about Rav Nosson Slifkin caused this great tragedy, how about that Avi? Keshot Atzmecha Veachar Kach Kshot Acheirim.

He has taken it too far this time and I once again renew my call to have him removed from his position of power. The charedi community seems to be good at moving people around when it serves them well (like Mondrowitz and others) maybe it is time to put Shafran in a new job where he is out of the limelight and where he cannot continue to embarrass our community. I urge you all to write letters to Shafran demanding a retraction and to Agudah demanding his resignation. Shafran’s e-mail address is: shafran@agudathisrael.org

Boruch said...

We keep saying it in many different ways. We keep singing the same song. The issue is not the rabbis, it's us. We control the picture, the horizontal and the vertical. We can make the volume very high or very low. We control what we will see and hear, from the inner mind to the outer limits.

So stop the indignation. This pug has a bucks, money is what kashers a bastard. He has people to whom he delivers honor. Beat him, at his own game. Open your shul, yeshiva, organization to the unaffilated rich. Invite them to a dais filled with names of glory past. Let them be the manhig of the week.

Makes you want to puke to think that to remove this kind of wretch you have to become like him. GOOD. It's not like that at all. All these points are good and one more - offer a place, a job to anyone connected with this dreck. Money won't do him any good if there is no one who will take it from him. You want him gone, kick out his foundation - his home base his Kol Yaakov, but his etzim is Yeidei Esav. Take the people away.

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

The Jewish community as a whole, with few exceptions, have proven to be paralyzed from the waist up - Boruch and Steve.

Imagine -- Shafran representing the worldview of Orthodox Jewry --to the people that do not know better.

Der gelechter is azoi bitter, az men ken nit afilu lachen!

Anonymous said...

its not just tropper
its almost the entire rabbinical leadership

in north miami beach the rosh kolel ( whose family got mega bucks from tropper ) schmeltzer
decides that a guy that learns in his kolel and commits eishes ish doesnt need to tell his wife even if std's are involved

when criticized he screams daas torah

what kind of joke has daas torah become that rabbis dont listen to problems ( loshen hora ) but decide based on donors wallets what the halochos are.

Charles sifton the federal judge said it best while sentencing a boy for drugs . he told the rabbis that they failed the boy his question was to the rabbis

if he wasnt in shul on the sabbath and was traveling to amsterdam why would you take his money as donations werent you smart enough to see that something was wrong

i gues we are the generation that daas torah is whatever the donor wants it to be

Daas Torah said...

By the way, has anyone heard any word about Guma, or anything from his family
This is a news items regarding an interview that Guma gave that was suppressed


Observer from Afar said...

...I fear that we are being set up for a predetermined qua beis din that will kasher Tropper and his organizations. I don't think the rabbis behind R. Ribiat have any idea how little confidence there is in their pronouncements and conduct. It is not just the hamon am that is skeptical but the lion's share of sincere, respected members of their communities. We need some serious confidence building measures to let us know that our rabbis deserve their positions of leadership.

Observer from Afar said...

...This is what is so gauling and outrageous. We baalei batim do walk in his shoes. We go to work every day and are presented with temptations and opportunities regularly. The difference is that we have learned to resist those temptations. Yet we are only lowly baalei batim. The least we can expect from our rabbinic leadership is to exercise the same quality of restraint that we do and certainly, certainly to not solicit sex from those who turn to them for help.

Monsey said...

It never ceases to amaze how Tropper's BT following is living in an alternate universe and blindly adheres to whatever kooky conspiracy theories he cranks out against his enemies.

Refuah shleymah!

Verita said...

Rabbi Tropper told me personally that he is a victim of Guma's multi million dollar frame up job,

He told you and you believe him ?
You are so gullible! Tropper had hezkas shakran and chazkas menuval even before he was exposed (sorry for the pun).

Shannon is like Yael and Yeudit who defeated their predator

Anonymous said...

...Aside from the adults, there are countless kids out there, modern orthodox, yeshivish, heimish, off the derech etc. and so forth who are WAITING for someone to make a statement. They are disillusioned, confused, disappointed. They are not nit picking at finer points of the Rambam or if Monsey has a Vaad HaRabbonim. They deserve and NEED an answer. Even if it is something as far out as...

If one who sees a 'sotah' questioned is required to become a nazir because of the detrimental influence it may have on him, we have all been exposed to the 'sotah' of Rabbi Tropper - whether it is true or not. Perhaps there should be a ban on drinking this Purim? It may sound radical but at least it will get across a message that yes, this was awful, whether it happened or not, just the fact that someone who acts as a Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi and Mentor was accused of such things should make the Jewish community shudder. A world-wide and Jewish wide shudder.

Vehaya Machanecha Kadosh (Deuteronomy 23:14) said...

...I would say that I am not sure that Tropper’s talmidim can be counted in a minyan.

At least for me, if there are only 10 men with one of them a Koll Yaakov talmid I will walk out until another person come in.

Y. said...

First of all Rabbi Tropper just said he would prefer if I did not post or go on this blog to defend him, he did not say I absolutely Cannot, if he did I would not have obviously. the fact that he told me not to bother, to me showed how he was not worried about his kavod. He is not a G-d or H-shem and you are wrong that his students follow him like jim jones. I am not, repeat NOT drinking the kool aid. He is not a controlling man at all.

It is however funny how you speak out f both corners of your mouth, on the one hand you accuse me of not listening to my rabbi's orders, on the other hand you accuse me of blindly listening to everything he tells me to do like jim jones, well which one is it????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

He is very easy going and loving to all. And him and his wife Leba have a very open home for guests during shabos and the week.

You should learn a thing or two from him and his wife.

All you statements start with

"people are saying" or "I heard on the internet" this my friend is all hearsay!!

You should move to Iran, where due process and innocent until proven guilty also do not exist, as it sure does not exist for you. You are so quick to vilify a man who has spent his life work helping the innocent and helpless.

Anonymous said...

"First of all Rabbi Tropper just said he would prefer if I did not post or go on this blog to defend him, he did not say I absolutely Cannot, if he did I would not have obviously. the fact that he told me not to bother, to me showed how he was not worried about his kavod."

Again, this shows a lack of understanding how to think a subject through. You said he did not wish his family in the limelight. Did that suddenly go away? tropper is an elui, but his strength is focusing on single lines of text and he often ignores the big picture. He passes that on to his students.

BTW, iff he were innocent, he would not be allowed to be moichel on kovod hatorah. It would not be about his kovod.

"He is not a controlling man at all."

Because you say that, it is true? He is extremely controlling. The whole thrust of EJF was to control geirus. His penchant for control is legendary. In order to be a Jim Jones, he does not have to do much except find people like you who need a spiritual leader at any cost.

"It is however funny how you speak out f both corners of your mouth, on the one hand you accuse me of not listening to my rabbi's orders, on the other hand you accuse me of blindly listening to everything he tells me to do like jim jones, well which one is it????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????"

Okay, one step at a time: You see him as you need to see him, as a leader who is g-dlike, humble, the defender of weak and helpless. The fact that you do what you want without regard to his feelings, even though you look up to him so, shows that you don't have a strong concept of Jewish morality. It's not rocket science, but it does require two stages of thought.

"He is very easy going and loving to all. And him and his wife Leba have a very open home for guests during shabos and the week."

And do you often see local neighbors there, or their children? Open your eyes. But you made your point. He likes to entertain.

"You should learn a thing or two from him and his wife."

Sorry, not into that.

"All you statements start with "people are saying" or "I heard on the internet" this my friend is all hearsay!!"

Nonsense. First of all, in that post, only one statement started with "People are saying" and it came directly after the statement "You are giving confirmation to those you say are wrong." The next statement continued by stating what those people are saying. I was telling you that you are making things much worse for yourself by showing your lack of self-control, and you continue to do so. Nowhere in that post did I say I heard anything on the internet. Your using a fabrication as an argument shows what you are learning there. You did the same thing before when you claimed that you speak for everyone who knows tropper.

"You should move to Iran, where due process and innocent until proven guilty also do not exist, as it sure does not exist for you. You are so quick to vilify a man who has spent his life work helping the innocent and helpless."

Once again you spout what you want to be true as a factual argument. You do not know that I am quick about anything. The fact is that I have been in the yeshiva world for a reasonable amount of time, have met many who have been hurt by him, and have been very slow to judge. You also do not know that he has spent his life helping the innocent and helpless. Many people, myself included, have spoken with the innocent and helpless whom he has victimized.

You either do not know what you are talking about, or you don't care.

Your posts are irrational so I will not answer any more of them. I believe you are just attempting to uncover the identities of those who speak out against this guy, who has a long history of vindictiveness, before bais din convenes.

Anonymous said...

It appears that someone needs to call Tropper to a Din Torah.

OK, let's examine:

1. Which Bais Din in America would be willing to take this? I don't believe the RCA works for this as we need a Charedi Bais Din to gain acceptance with the Yeshivishe community.

2. What halachic grounds are there to take him to a Din Torah? If the goal is to have EJF open their books and explain who the recipients of the money are, the grounds need to support this.

3. Having some knowledge about how this system works, which Toein would take the case? It would need to be someone of stature.

I would be willing to send the Hazmonos.

steve said...

"You should learn a thing or two from him and his wife."

Sorry, not into that.

LOL! Comic relief at its best!

REAL shidduch crisis said...


When Chinese officials created the country's one-child-per-couple policy in 1978, they intended to contain the country's burgeoning population for the sake of economic growth, national security and environmental preservation.

But Chinese boys now outnumber Chinese girls by the millions, and the impact of the lopsided sex imbalance is starting to spill beyond China's borders.

This phenomenon of "missing girls" has turned China into "a giant magnet" for human traffickers, who lure or kidnap women and sell them — even multiple times — into forced marriages or the commercial sex trade, says Ambassador Mark Lagon, who oversaw human rights issues at the State Department during the administration of President George W. Bush.

"The impact is obvious. It's creating a 'Wild West' sex industry in China," Mr. Lagon said.

In China, "an entire nation of women" is missing because they were aborted before they were born, said Reggie Littlejohn, founder of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, a nonprofit anti-sex slavery group. "This is gendercide."

To grasp the magnitude of the human-trafficking problem in China, it's important to have a reliable tally of the "missing girls."

Recently, the government-backed Chinese Academy of Social Services (CASS) predicted that 24 million Chinese men might not be able to find brides in 2020. However, previous estimates put that number in the 30 million to 50 million range.

In fact, a 2009 study in the BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal) said that in 2005, there were 32 million extra Chinese men under the age of 20 — and that 1.1 million extra males were born in just that year.....

menachem said...

this Rabbinic behavior is just a slice of the whole pie. see:
http://rabbiniccorruptionatrcc.blogspot.com/ and http://mamzeralert.blogspot.com/

Isaac Stareshefsky said...


A construction management company was indicted Wednesday on charges that it stole nearly $7 million from five condominium and office projects in Manhattan and elsewhere as part of a scheme involving fake invoices and kickbacks from electrical and other subcontractors.

The construction manager, the Builders Group, and its three corporate officers — George Figliolia, Isaac Stareshefsky and John Krupa — were each charged with six counts of grand larceny relating to office renovation at Rockefeller Center, a luxury condominium conversion near Madison Square Park and data centers in New Jersey.

Miami Beach said...


The Rabbi Wexler who is defending Tropper & Agudah Fressers ... is he at the same Hebrew Academy where Michael Ashbal was molesting kids in the middle of the classroom?


And where "Uncle Milty" Balkany's nephew is currently a principal?

Mickey said...

I was beaten by a Chabad Rabbi. When I went to other neighboring Chabad Rabbis to complain and ask them to investigate, I was told that I was motzi shem rah. They threatened to destroy me. Now I know what Tropper is doing. The powerful will always protect themselves and hide behind halacha. It is really up to the Kehillah to take it into their hands and press charges. I wish I had the courage to hit the Chabad Rabbi in the legs with a bat so he could feel the pain I suffered. It is shameful and embarassing to be abused by a Rabbi.


Tropwatch said...

Rabbi Slifkin has written some posts on this topic:



Archie Bunker said...


Here's another kind of comic relief. NYC is closing 19 predominately Black schools because they woefully under-perform. The students will be moved to schools that are better run to help them achieve. This of course will not stop the expected chorus of screams that Mike Bloomberg and Ed Klein are "racists".

Archie Bunker said...


“A People’s History” told an openly left-wing story. Professor Zinn accused Christopher Columbus and other explorers of committing genocide, picked apart presidents from Andrew Jackson to Franklin D. Roosevelt and celebrated workers, feminists and war resisters.

One of Professor Zinn’s last public writings was a brief essay, published last week in The Nation, about the first year of the Obama administration.

“I’ve been searching hard for a highlight,” he wrote, adding that he wasn’t disappointed because he never expected a lot from President Obama.

“I think people are dazzled by Obama’s rhetoric, and that people ought to begin to understand that Obama is going to be a mediocre president — which means, in our time, a dangerous president — unless there is some national movement to push him in a better direction.”

DoG said...

check out this latest Tropper gem.

Protesting to Agudath said...

"Is there anyway we can protest? Should I call or send a letter to one of the rabbonim in my community whose name is on the EJF list?"

Start with these:

*Agudath Israel of America

Rabbi Yakov Perlow,
Rosh Agudas Yisroel

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Executive Vice-President.

42 Broadway
Suite 1400
New York, NY 10004

Tel: (212) 797-9000
Fax: (646)254-1600; (212) 254-1600
EIN: 13-5604164

*Agudath Israel of America- Washington Office

Abba Cohen,

1730 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
Suite 504
Washington, DC 20036

Phone: (202) 835-0414
Fax:(202) 835-0424

*Agudath Israel of America Midwest Region

6352 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60659

Contact: David Lifsics.

Phone: (773) 866-1655
Fax:(773) 866-1845

*Agudath Israel Of California - West Coast Regional Headquarters

Dr. Irving Lebovics,
Chairman, Presidium

Rabbi JJ Rabinowich,

8631 W 3rd St Ste 1010e
Los Angeles, CA 90048-5913

Phone: (310) 659-6177; (323) 939-2824

*Agudath Israel of South Florida

777 W 41st St
Miami Beach, Florida 33140

Phone: (305) 532-2500‎

Rabbi Eidensohn agrees said...

Thursday, January 28, 2010 Chilul HaShem: Why is tropper still rosh yeshiva?

The tropper/EJF scandal has entered a new phase.

1) Originally when the tapes were released and tropper immediately resigned there were two views - 1) the tapes are forgeries vs 2) he is a disgusting menvual and walking chilul hashem.

2) As time passed and tropper remained silent and more people realized the tapes were genuine we now have the following three groups 1) the tapes are forgeries became a minority and 2)most said that they were not sure if the tapes are forgeries and but we must give him the benefit of doubt and even if he sinned , Berachos says we must presumed that a talmid chachom who sinned at night has done teshuva next day vs 3) he is guilty and a walking chilul hashem and the continued silence of the rabbis is embarrassing and sowing confusion regarding moral leadership and emunas chachomim..

We are now in state three:

Tropper did sin, tapes are genuine and he was a menuval but he has definitely done teshuva and those who want him removed as rosh yeshiva and constantly talk about him lack the elementary Jewish quality of rachmonus and they are baalei loshon harah and they are causing the chillul hashem by talking about it Furthermore he only violated rabbinic prohibitions and thus that is not considered to be a genuine chillul hashem. thus case is closed and we must get on with life and act as if nothing happened.

vs tropper sinned - not out of a moment of overwhelming lust which is what the gemora in Berachos was describing. He was seriously and persistently a menuval and thus there is no presumption of teshuva. There is in fact no evidence that has done teshuva except for a brief statement released to the press that he apologizes for the appearance of violating the laws of modesty! He sinned against a particular woman and there is no mention that he has asked for mechila and that she has granted it. This is a an embarrassing defense and it is not teshuva. But even if we say he did teshuva that doesn't allow him to a rosh yeshiva and being called a rabbi. This is for two reasons 1) The gemora says a rosh yeshiva and rabbi need to be a person who is pure and is perceived as pure. He needs to be perceived as the embodiment of Torah itself. It is embarrassing that he is being defended that he only violated a rabbinic decree of nida and is kares medivrei kabbalah. The gemora says "All who transgress the words of our sages are deserving death at the hand of Heaven." That is an insignificant chillul haShem?! Furthermore it is not certain that he only violated rabbinic laws. 2) The chillul haShem is in the perception of the public both Jews and non-Jews who know that tropper has sinned in a disgusting way and thus he is a chillul hashem every time he is identified as a rosh yeshiva and rabbi. This is not an issue of rachmonus. Is every time that the punishments prescribed by the Torah and Rabbinic decree are carried out it a lack of rachomonus?! Chas vesholom! It is the greatest rachmonus to allow punishments which bring about atonement.

It is time for Tropper to retire and save G-d and the Jewish people the continued embarrassment and degradation. It is time to stop the torment of his students - present and past. Has the man no shame? It is time for rabbis and organization to publicly criticize him - and it is time for EJF the monster with two heads that he created which is interfering with the issue of geirus and causing distress to converts on an international level - be disbanded. It is necessary for the rabbis to restore confidence in their moral leadership and the public's emunas chachomim. It is an fundamental obligation that the leaders make the effort to explain and convince the public of their course of action. This is not just the aberration of a single individual but rather the healing of the entire Jewish people."

Observer from Afar said...

...Tropper continues to claim that the tapes are fakes -- to his students, such as Y, and to others -- and to raise the spectre of Guma's involvement in procuring doctored tapes and paying off Ms. Orand. As tshuva requires recognition of what one has done wrong, Tropper's continued denials negate any possible tshuva. Unless I am missing something, it is inconsistent for Tropper to continue to suggest that the tapes are forgeries and for R. Reuven Feinstein to claim that Tropper has done tshuva. Second, while the blog speaks of the required mechilla for what Tropper did to Ms. Orand, i.e., in the past, Tropper is required to apologize for his continued related attacks on Ms. Orand and Guma.

Growing Up said...

...Tropper's suitability as a Rosh Yeshiva has been permanently compromised. He is in the same position as other abusers. Proximity to even potential victims is unacceptable. In Tropper's case, proximity to those who are BT's or potential geirim or anyone else who might be led down a stray path to serve his needs or agenda cannot be allowed.

He certainly cannot be placed in a position where he might be called on to serve as a confidential authority on personal or ethical matters, something a Rosh Yeshiva has to do daily.

We are only meant to forgive those who transgress against us, personally. The person who takes your parking spot, your boss or the neighbor who drives us crazy are examples of those who we must learn to be mochel. That is a very big job.

On the other hand, we are not meant to mochel those who transgress against the RSO anymore than we can be mochel those who cause a tremendous chilul hashem. We are meant to maintain the elevated status of the community over the yachid , not the status of the yachid over the comunity. That is in the RSO's purview, not ours.

There has to be consequences to bad actions.

Can a yachid redeem himself? Of course he can and even climb to great heights over time- a very long time, with appropriate behavior and remorse.

Yosef Blau said...

I have been informed that the EJF sent a message to affiliated Batei Din that an investigation is taking place. It is incumbent on any Beis Din that has any concern for the integrity of Batei Din to demand that any such investigation be supervised by recognized rabbonim who are not affiliated with EJF nor have taken money from R. Tropper.

Yosef Blau

Daas Torah said...

ut until a court of law or beis din renders a judgment of an accused individual, no matter how heinous the crime and no matter the seeming preponderance of evidence, he or she may not be referred to as guilty. My use of the qualifier “alleged” was not meant to imply a defense of the accused, only to hew to the journalistically normative (and, I believe, halachically mandated) practice
Unforunately this statement displays an ignorance of gemoras such as Moed Koton, 17, Megila 25, Kiddushin 81. Nida 61 as well as the halachic literature.

There are several stages. Can we take protective action against him without a formal beis din? The answer is yes. As a minimum he should be removed from any position of rabbinic responsibility until a beis din renders a ruling.

Can he be punished because of the rumors without a beis din? Yes as the above gemoros state.

Can we rely on circumstantial evidence to say someone is guilty even with out a beis din? yes.
Rav Sternbuch in fact requested that I publicize the fact that he holds tropper is guilty.

Thus his defense of tropper is incredibly embarrassing.

It is similar to the one made by R Menashe Klein that unless we have two kosher witnesses we can't deal with cases of child abuse - contrary to what a wide range of poskim hold.

Someone about whom there is public percept of gross misbehavior is punished or at least removed from his position of teacher. Any teacher who had this type of evidence - even without a formal beis din would be as a minimum expected to suspend himself from teaching.

Rav Sternbuch rejected these arguments and said to call him a menuval. Rav Dunner similarly responded.

steve said...


Rabbi Shafran, thank you for attempting to address the readers’ concerns. But with all due respect, you seem to have missed the point of many of the criticisms. People aren’t just asking why the Gedolim did not condemn the rabbi concerned. They are also criticizing the Gedolim themselves for endorsing him and his organization which were both highly questionable even beforehand, and in light of the revelations needs to have all its past operations seriously re-evaluated. On Cross-Currents itself, Rabbi Adlerstein wrote an excellent article pointing to some of the problems; the Badatz and the Conference of European Rabbis has also not been silent. Furthermore, there is criticism of the Gedolim for there being no visible attempt whatsoever to address any aspect of this situation after the revelations, which looks especially bad in light of the large financial donations that were directed to the yeshivos by this individual. Rabbi Aba Dunner explicitly accused the rabbinic establishment of having been bought off. There is clearly substantial grounds for concern and criticism, and yet your article gave the strong message that any such criticism is “evil speech.” Is it not the case that sometimes public criticism is necessary and valuable rather than being “evil speech”? Is it not the case that sometimes silence can be evil?

Protesting to Agudath II said...

"Is there anyway we can protest? Should I call or send a letter to one of the rabbonim in my community whose name is on the EJF list?"

Here are the names and addresses of the main rabbis who sit on the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of Agudath Israel of America responsible for the cover-up, silence and Chillul Hashem of the Leib and Leba sex scandal that they refuse to face and denounce.

Call upon them to "Shut down Tropper/EJF/Horizons/Kol Yaakov PERMANENTLY"

*R. Aron Shechter.
Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin
1544 Coney Island Ave,
Brooklyn, NY 11230-4716

Phone: (718) 377-0777

*R. Yakov Perlow.
Yeshivas Novominsk
1690 60th Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11204

Tel: (718) 438-2727

*R. Dovid Feinstein.
Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem
145 E. Broadway,
New York, NY 10002-0100

Phone: 212-964-2830

Alternate address:
c/o R. Reuven Feinstein.
Yeshiva of Staten Island
1870 Drumgoole Road East,
Staten Island, NY 10309-0103

Tel: (718) 356-4323

*R. Aron Feldman.
Ner Israel Rabbinical College
400 Mount Wilson Lane,
Baltimore, MD 21208-1198

Tel: (410) 484-7200

*R. Shmuel Kaminetsky.
Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia,
6063 Drexel Rd.,
Philadelphia, PA 19131,

Tel: (215) 473-1212; 215-477-1000

*R. Malkiel Kotler.
Beth Medrash Govoha - Lakewood
617 6th St,
Lakewood, NJ 08701-2754

Tel: (732) 367-1060

*R. Yosef Harari-Raful.
Yeshiva Ateret Torah
901 Quentin Road,
Brooklyn, NY 11223-0112

Tel: (718) 375-7100

*R. Avrohom Chaim Levin.
Telshe Yeshiva- Chicago
3535 W. Foster Ave,
Chicago, IL 60625

Phone: (773) 463-7738
Fax: (773) 463-2849

Daas Torah said...

However, regarding the issue of teshuva no one here knows the truth or should speak about it as thought they do.
He lost his chazaka and thus I don't have to act based on the possiblity that he has done teshuva.

The gemora in Berachos talks about a talmid chachom who is known to have suffered a one time loss of control at night and Chazal tell us that we can presume that that he recovers the next day. We know in this case he didn't recover the next day and thus he has lost his chezaka and gained a new one.

In this case we are not talking about a momentary abberation but rather a systematic pattern over time that clearly eliminates any presumption on our part to defend him. Without that chazaka the burden of proof is on him to convince us that he has changed.

Rav Moshe Sternbuch said...

Saturday, December 26, 2009
Rav Sternbuch:Tropper is guilty!

There are increasing comments popping up that there is no evidence against Tropper. That the tapes are forged or misunderstood.

Let me present something rather basic that Rav Sternbuch has said recently to someone who asked about Tropper's guilt.

Rav Sternbuch, shlita said the following:

The fact that this story with the accompanying accusations has been printed in newspapers around the world, the normal thing would be to hire the best lawyer in the world and issue a public denial and sue all the papers for libel. The mere fact that this has not been done is the biggest proof the accusations are true. It is an example of what our Sages say that silence in the face of an accusation is understood to be an admission "Shetikah k'hodah".

Daas Torah said...

Yes Rav Sternbuch did say what I said he said.

Spotlight on the Queens Vaad said...

Rabbi Chaim Schwartz was in Washington this week passing off a letter to AG Eric Holder that Rubashkin should be released until sentencing. The letter was written by Queens Vaad President Emeritus Rabbi Aryeh Sokoloff.

On page 3 of the Queens Vaad Magazine, Rabbi Schwartz pens a flowery tribute to Rabbi Sokoloff and goes on about "striving for emess and yashrus".

We certainly hope that Rabbi Sokoloff is not aware of the background of Ephraim Bryks in allowing him entry to the Kew Gardens Synagogue. Bryks is the child molester shvogger of Paysach Krohn & mechuton of Moshe Faskowitz who ran away from Canada. The authorities there did not request extradition but he will be detained if he goes back. He tried to sue the major news networks who aired a segment on his rishus and driving one child to suicide. The Federal judge in the case was Michael Mukasey, a shomer shabbos Yid who later became Attorney General under President Bush. He ruled that there is reason to believe the stories are true and that Bryks was therefore not libeled. RIETS mashgiach ruchni Rav Yosef Blau has warned women to stay away from Bryks who acts as a marriage mediator. The RCA forced Bryks out of chinuch in Kew Gardens Hills. National Council of Young Israel had lawyers force Bryks (And Queens Vaad av beis din Rabbi Peretz Steinberg) out of a din Torah in Nevada where they were paid to stick their noses into and cause trouble.

All of this was still not enough for the Queens Vaad who had Bryks in charge of the Kew Gardens mikva. After all kinds of protest from the Awareness Center in Baltimore and independent rabbonim on their websites, the Queens Vaad seemed to have dropped references to Bryks and says that Rabbi Treiger is in charge. Smells like a cover up so it must be another cover up as 84-33 116th St where the mikva is located is the home of Ephraim Bryks. Bryks has also been touted on the Queens Vaad website as running their hachnosas kallah gemach.

Daas Torah said...

Shtikah kehodaa is a concept regarding the sufficiency of pleadings in monetary disputes, not proof of the truth of an underlying accusation. The rough U.S. equivalent is a default judgment.
Not so. Circumstantial evidence such as this is acceptable in a variety cases

Daas Torah said...

I have no doubt that Tropper is guilty, but his not having sued the newspapers proves nothing.
I find this nit picked rather strange.

Tropper's reaction to these accusations was silence. He immediately quit (or was fired from his job)the day after the accusations. EJF removed all references to him from their web site including pictures and made an announcement that recent events didn't affect the quality of their geirus. Tropper supposedly issued an apology for appearance of lack of modesty. Not one rabbi associated with EJF has made a public announcement defending Tropper even though the charges clearly have impact on EJF.

This is the man who has been very aggressive about defending himself - directly or through proxy - for every point I have raised against him for the last 2 years.

Troppergate.com said...

It is time to release the video tape that clearly shows Tropper in bed with the woman from Houston, perhaps that will put those in the Tropper cult out of guilt, what will they then say? That actors who look exactly like Tropper and the woman from Houston were hired?? While the video may be pornographic in nature, it will stop Tropper from throwing out doubt out there.

mekubal said...

Anyone who claims that the tapes are cut an paste simply has never tried to do cut and paste sound editing. As someone with a strong background in sound and video production, it is simple. If you want a smooth recording, where the listener cannot hear noticeable breaks, skips and such, and you are pulling your sound clips from unrelated conversations. You are going to need at a minimum a thousand hours of audio(to make it truly seamless). Otherwise anyone listening would be able to quickly tell it is a fake. The first time that Hollywood pulled off a cut and paste was with the Tom Clancy movie adaptation, "Clear and Present Danger" in which they drew from all four years of footage the previous US president to put together a clean fifteen seconds. We are talking over thirty minutes of audio... there is no way anyone should have been able to get enough audio of Tropper talking about sex and such to piece together a clean thirty minutes.

Never mind that there is actually an accompanying video floating around. To assert that all of this is a forgery is simply desperate people grasping at straws.

Is Tropper and his friends trying to save Tropper's reputation. Yes absolutely. Simply look at the public record to date.
First the accusations appear. Within 24hrs Tropper steps down, to much sadness in order to "pursue other interests."

Dec 24th we have this statement,

Events of recent weeks have caused Rabbi Tropper great anguish, in particular given his recognition that the high standard of ethics in the Jewish community is one of its most treasured principles.

He wishes to express his regret for the turmoil caused by his departure from the Eternal Jewish Family organization and for what has appeared to be conduct not within our significant laws of modesty. Rabbi Tropper now looks forward to a return to both his studies and time with his loving family, as well as to personal introspection. He thanks those outside his closest circle of friends for respecting his privacy.

Which in my opinion is still a cop out but it is also an admission of wrong doing. Bill Clinton when faced with his own witch-hunt at least made the statement, "No, I have never had sexual relations with that woman." If this is such an immoral witch hunt against Tropper why hasn't he at least graced us with an equal denial? Instead we have a psuedo admission of guilt.

In light of not only his own lack of denial, but his begrudging admission there is no room to say that the ruling of R' Shternbuch is in contrast to the Halakhot of Lashon Hara.

There was a situation that came before the Rosh where the people wrote to him for permission to kill another Jew because of the Chillul HaShem he had caused and the degradation of the Jewish people it would cause in the eyes of Goyim if they did not. The Rosh stated that while he would prefer that they simply maim him and cut out his tongue, that they should do as seemed fit in their own eyes for the need of the hour.

What are we talking of doing with this menuval? Certainly nothing as drastic, simply giving him a tongue lashing until he does true teshuva.

Daas Torah said...

Moyshe said...Afar l'pumaich - see Sefer Chofetz Chaim Klal 7 S'if 2.
You are ridicuous - the cases are not the same. suggest you read the Be'er Mayim Chaim (7:3) along with (7:8).Chofetz Chaim (8:7)plus 7:10-12

See the gemora Bava Metzia (83b) where a person is reported to the government will he will definitely be killed - based entirely on circumstantial evidence, Shabbos (56a) where Dovid accepted lashon harah based on circumstantial evidence, Kiddushin (81a) where a person is flogged based on rumors against him,Megila (25)where you are allowed to curse a person based on rumor, Mo'ed Koton 18 where you are allowed to ban a person based on rumor.

While you are at it you might look at Siimon 2 in choshen mishpot.

To imply the ridiculous that Rav Sternbuch is not aware of what the Chofetz Chaim said in order to defend this menuval is incredible.

Daas Torah said...

Rabbi Eidensohn has repeatedly asserted that has it from people in the know that the tapes are authentic. Some shtikah is going on here as well. Who has authenticated them and how? Why isn't this on the record if you are leveling such serious charges?
Authentification by an expert who needs to defend such claims in court costs a lot of money. Experts have examined the tape. No one is paying their fee at present so they are not associating their name with it. At this point there is no need to certifying because Tropper is not denying their validity.

Recipients and Publicity said...

"Shetikah k'hodah" has now been surpassed by "hoda'as ba'al din kemei'ah eidim dami" -- "self-admission of a litigant is equivalant to the testimony of a hundred witnesses"! by this:

"Rabbi Tropper's Statement To Recent Events, Published on: December 24th, 2009 at 07:38 AMNews Source: Statment Released By His Legal Counsel.

Suffern, NY - Rabbi Leib Tropper’s response to recent allegations has been delayed until now in deference to his legal counsel.

Events of recent weeks have caused Rabbi Tropper great anguish, in particular given his recognition that the high standard of ethics in the Jewish community is one of its most treasured principles.

He wishes to express his regret
for the turmoil caused by his departure from the Eternal Jewish Family organization and for what has appeared to be conduct not within our significant laws of modesty. Rabbi Tropper now looks forward to a return to both his studies and time with his loving family, as well as to personal introspection. He thanks those outside his closest circle of friends for respecting his privacy."

This is good start, but his rebbinic sponsors, like R Reuven Feinstein and R EB Wachtfogel, must defang him entirely. Strip him of all his supposed "semichas" and high falutin' "ordinations", and reduce hom to the honorable rank of MR. (Mister) Tropper now just a mere private citizen, he must step down from all his official positions not being allowed to "teach" or influence others in any way, and ban and forbid him from ever holding any official role as "rabbi or "rosh yeshiva" or any position of responsiblity, official or unofficial, in the Torah world.

Likewise the corrupt EJF organization he founded and ran for the last four years must be shut down and become defunct and because it has become tainted beyond repair by the Tropper sex scandal and the huge radioactive Chillul Hashem cloud that is still spreading malignantly because of Tropper's sex scandal under the cover of the preachy "holier than thou" EJF "universal conversions" scam and fraud.

mekubal said...

First yes I have seen portions of the videos. Not the entire video. That has from what I understand not yet been released.

Regarding using a voice print as a filter. What you would need for that is again thousands of a hours of voice recording to render such a filter from. Even then with a basic Adobe demo product that you can down load(soundbooth) any regular person with a little use of Adobe help features would be able to analyze and recognize a filter in use. But let's say that you have a Hollywood quality sound studio(because that is what it would take).

To give you are real world example of what is known to be a fakery done the the way you are saying. THe movie the Crow, in which Brandon Lee was tragically killed before the end of filming. They used voice prints, voice actors and script rewriting to finish the movie. Again he had less then two minutes of total dialogue in the the rewrite. That audio cost a total of $8million dollars to do. We are talking more than thirty minutes of dialogue... the price for that would be astronomical... just for the duplication.

Then you would need professional forgers and script writers to make the audios sound authentic, not just incrminating but actually authentic... That kind of outlay of cash would be easily traceable. Let's face it the number of enemies that Tropper has that can afford to spend in the tens of millions of dollars for a frame up are very limited. If the tapes were a fake Tropper should have already pressed charges against those people, and started a criminal investigation.

Moving on from that, there is the Video. What it would take to forge a video... sorry but I don't think that any of Tropper's enemies have that kind of money... not just enough to pull it off, but enough to continue to pay the mercenaries that did it to keep it quiet. Be assured the people who do such things(unless they work for governmental agencies) do so for the highest bidder, and are always for sale.

In addition to that you have the Sharon Orand interviews in which she openly acknowledges that she recorded the audios, as well as giving additional details about the depravity that she was drafted into. Again if these things were forgeries, I would have expected a criminal investigation to have been opened against her by now, as well as a civil suit to have been filed.

Tropper does not need to sue all the papers, he only needs to put pressure on the right people to divulge enough information in order to get to the people who are financially behind the forgery.

Instead he has chosen to release an apology...

Eternal Jewish Cover Up said...

Team Tropper will never give up the denial.

There is no conspiracy theory, no matter how delusional, that they will not resort to.

And Tropper IS a menuval and it's way past due that it was acknowledged. The oylam that went to yeshiva with him at RJJ, Philly, Telz & Torah Or, knew it all along. They knew it when it he worked for the kiruv orgs and his neighbors in Monsey knew it. This is why Tropper was shunned by everyone for decades. All of a sudden, when he is swimming in the endless supply of money, there are plenty of people who want to befriend him.

Daas Torah said...

I think it is necessary to mention to my commentators that I have been informed that Tropper reads my blog and these comments - apparently using it as a means of judging public opinion and his defense strategy. I would suggest you have that in mind before you hit the send button.

As has been commented before - the present scandal is not an example of a tzadik who was tempted or corrupted by power and opportunity or because he was setup up - but rather is someone who has been known to have had a severe moral defect for many years - at least since his first divorce. Thus in the upper rabbinical circles it didn't come as a surprise that he did what he did - though they might have been surprised at how it manifested itself and how brazen his behavior was.

He only got into his present situation because of his unlimited flow of money and his political ability to get results. He wasn't appointed but he made the EJF and others joined.

Regarding the commentators who are rolling their eyes and wringing their hand over my style - keep in mind that both the Chofetz Chaim and the Chazon Ish say that one should speak lashon harah about someone you know is viewed as a respected person and is an therefore influential - but shouldn't be.

In addition the fact that Rav Sternbuch is supportive and encouraging me in his matter should cause people to reassess their understanding of the halachos of lashon harah - and not the opposite of assuming that Rav Sternbuch doesn't know the halachos.

Monsey said...

Tropper's former good friends who are now keeping their distance say there are nuances on the Tropper tapes that could only be uttered by Tropper himself unless the KGB groomed a spy for at least 10 years to imitate him to a tee.

NMB mother said...

A member of my family was molested by the Big Dog.

Ask any young man who went to the school how he got this nickname.

Water seeks its own level.
Birds of a feather flock together.
Why are sayings like this popular?

The Big Dog is one of Tropper's biggest defenders. One of the NMB kollel members lives in a house that is also the mailing address for one of Troppers orgs. I lived next door and know firsthand what is going on. Do you think that the wives of these creeps don't tell their neighbors and friends how they suffer? Do you think that the neighbors can't see what is going on?

How about the kids in NCSY? Do you think they are stupid? It's obvious to any 14 year old what these Rabbis are doing.

Why is Baruch Lanner in Boca praying in Rabbi Max's shul with a big welcome?

It's because Lanner is Max's mentor in every way.

The Jewish world is very very small. Plenty of people knew Tropper in Monsey and plenty of people know what else is going on in the "frum" world.

I wish that our Rabbis would start to listen and stop dismissing our concerns.

Monsey Jew said...

Monsey said:

Tropper's former good friends who are now keeping their distance say there are nuances on the Tropper tapes that could only be uttered by Tropper himself

Monsey Jew says;

Ditto to the above, forget about the voice, the whole mannerism is only of tropper 1000%

Devorah said...

Rav Sternbuch's quote makes a lot of sense.

If a person is innocent, he will have no problem in immediately denoucing any lies/rumors, and he won't need counsel to "brief" him.
It's only the guilty who need to prepare a great defence.

Silence denotes consent.

Hey Big Spender said...


WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Thursday to raise the nation’s debt limit to $14.3 trillion, a $1.9 trillion increase that would allow the government to keep borrowing to cover operations beyond the November election and into early next year.

The measure, which is always politically unpopular but essential to avoid default, needed 60 votes to pass and got not a vote more, for a 60 to 39 tally. The House is expected to pass the measure next week.

Republicans were united in opposition as a protest of Obama administration spending programs.

Fresser in the rye said...


January 29, 2010

J. D. Salinger, Literary Recluse, Dies at 91


J. D. Salinger, who was thought at one time to be the most important American writer to emerge since World War II but who then turned his back on success and adulation, becoming the Garbo of letters, famous for not wanting to be famous, died Wednesday at his home in Cornish, N.H., where he had lived in seclusion for more than 50 years. He was 91.

Mr. Salinger’s literary reputation rests on a slender but enormously influential body of published work: the novel “The Catcher in the Rye,”

Mr. Salinger was controlling and sexually manipulative, Ms. Maynard wrote, and a health nut obsessed with homeopathic medicine and with his diet (frozen peas for breakfast, undercooked lamb burger for dinner). Ms. Salinger said that her father was pathologically self-centered and abusive toward her mother, and to the homeopathy and food fads she added a long list of other enthusiasms: Zen Buddhism, Vedanta Hinduism, Christian Science, Scientology and acupuncture. Mr. Salinger drank his own urine, she wrote, and sat for hours in an orgone box.

Jerome David Salinger was born in Manhattan on New Year’s Day, 1919, the second of two children. His sister, Doris, who died in 2001, was for many years a buyer in the dress department at Bloomingdale’s. Like the Glasses, the Salinger children were the product of a mixed marriage. Their father, Sol, was a Jew, the son of a rabbi, but sufficiently assimilated that he made his living importing both cheese and ham. Their mother, Marie Jillisch, was of Irish descent, born in Scotland. The family was living in Harlem when Mr. Salinger was born, but then, as Sol Salinger’s business prospered, moved to West 82nd Street and then to Park Avenue.

In 1945, he was hospitalized for “battle fatigue” — often a euphemism for a breakdown — and after recovering, he stayed on in Europe past the end of the war, chasing Nazi functionaries. He married a German woman, very briefly — a doctor about whom biographers have been able to discover very little. Her name was Sylvia, Margaret Salinger said, but Mr. Salinger always called her Saliva.

As a young writer, Mr. Salinger was something of a ladies’ man and dated, among others, Oona O’Neill, the daughter of Eugene O’Neill and the future wife of Charlie Chaplin.

Deal Laundromat said...


Solomon Dwek, the failed real estate mogul whom the FBI said helped ensnare 44 rabbis, politicians and public officials in a sweeping anti-corruption raid last year, told jurors this afternoon that his business was mostly a Ponzi scheme that allowed him to launder money through the Deal Yeshiva and bribe politicians.

Deal Yeshiva Chinese Auction Committee said...

“If I needed assistance with a mayor or public officials, and they had their hand out, I would gladly bribe them,” Dwek testified. He provided no names this afternoon.

Showing little emotion as he spoke, Dwek said that he bribed between a dozen and two dozen officials each year. He used the Deal Yeshiva's charity fund raiser as a way to pass the money to those he wanted to influence. If, for example, a politician saw a specific item that he wanted at the auction, Dwek would provided hundreds of dollars of free auction tickets to that official. The officials would then use the vast number of tickets to stuff the auction cups, giving the official a greater chance of winning the prize.

Spotlight on the Queens Vaad said...

Agav Urchah, the propaganda rag called Kosher Living Magazine which is published by the Queens Vaad is paid for by ads that the Vaad squeezed out of their clients. We are hearing that the clients didn't realize beforehand that the "magazine" is mostly news about nothing except for the Vaad writing puff pieces about themselves telling everyone they are the greatest thing since sliced bread (and the lead article from Yoel Schonfeld attacking R' Yudel Shain).

The Vaad also got an ad out of Astor real estate brokerage which has been an employer of Ephraim Bryks.

giants in miami said...

Dear NMB mother

the train of corruption gets better

tropper gives schmeltzer the big dog rosh kolel of nmb money perhaps personally so it never shows up in the community kolel books

shmeltzer invites krohn who is bryks brother in law as his guest speaker for the kolel of nmb

krohn tells everyone what a gadol ha ha ha shmeltzer is so it all comes full circle

and shmeltzer says tropper is innocent

wow giants in the world of torah

Archie Bunker said...


The NY Times must have been half asleep when they posted the AP obituary on radical Leftist Howard Zinn that stated even he thinks Obama is useless.

They now had one of their staff reporters redo the obit here which mentions Obama for a half sentence and leaves out most of the criticism.

Anonymous said...

Is Isaac related to Richard Starshefsky who is a big shot at National Council of Young Israel & the OU?

Rabbi Avrohom Ausband said...

He grew up the son of prominent rabbi in Monmouth County and attended rabbinical school in The Bronx. But he never wanted to be a rabbi, he said, he just wanted the religious pedigree. Before graduation, Dwek and 14 classmates paid a math teacher $50 each for a passing grade, he said.

"I got my diploma for high school that way," Dwek said

AndyBee said...

FailedMessiah reports:

Breaking! Prosecution Caves:

Mondrowitz To Stay In Israel
Israeli government decides against appealing High Court ruling.

According to a spokesperson for the state's attorney's office in Israel, the Israeli government has decided not to appeal the High Court's ruling overturning lower court decisions to extradite accused haredi child rapist Avrohom Mondrowitz to the US.

This ends Mondrowitz's 25 year battle to block extradition to the US.

Mondrowitz fled Brooklyn and was indicted in absentia. He has lived openly in Israel ever since.

Earlier this week, before the Israeli government's decision not to appeal was revealed, in another excellent article by Hella Winston the New York Jewish Week reported:
…[T]here is widespread concern among advocates that Mondrowitz continues to pose a threat to children. Israeli police acknowledge that they found child pornography in his home, though he is apparently not being charged with any crimes in connection with that material.

Moshe Rosenbaum, one of the original activists who brought Mondrowitz’s activities to light and has had personal contact with over 50 alleged victims of Mondrowitz, many of whom knew of other victims, told the Jewish Week that he believes the Israelis should be very concerned if Mondrowitz goes free.

"I estimate that there were over three hundred victims of Mondrowitz as of 1985. In my history of dealing with pedophiles in the Jewish community, nobody has ever come close to the level of the vile abusive behavior of Mondrowitz. He has a disease that doesn’t go away. It ruins lives forever. And the lack of response from the public empowers people like him which only makes them more dangerous.“

“Mondrowitz’s ability to charm his way into the presence of children is not to be taken lightly,” Rosenbaum continued. “It’s important that the Israeli public understand the extent of the danger Mondrowitz poses.”

Further, The Jewish Week has also learned that as recently as 2005, Mondrowitz was advising a man named Benyamin Rosenstein, a resident of Bnai Brak who works helping troubled religious boys, on matters related to adolescent psychology.…

Mondrowitz is a member of the Gur (Gerrer) hasidic sect. His family, also Gerrer hasidim, are said to be close to Gerrer leadership.

The Gerrer Rebbe, the leader of Ger hasidim, controls the majority of votes in the United Torah Judaism political party, which plays an outsized role in Israeli politics.

Yerachmiel Lopin said...

I would have given him a little credit if he had said:

I regret my misconduct that broke many of our most significant laws including those pertaining to lewd conduct, extorting favors, oppressing converts, misusing people in the process of converting, in this and many other instances.

I admit I regularly behaved hypocritically and misused my control of funds to sway others to support me. Accordingly I am stepping down from all positions which involve my having control of funds and influence over those seeking to enter Judaism or strengthen their attachment to Judaism.

In the coming days I will initiate a process of repentance by fully confessing all my misdeeds to all affected individuals and groups, including the Jewish public. I will make every effort to repair the damage though I realize that some of the damage I caused will never be repairable.

I will abstain from any position in the future where my inclinations, habits and manipulative abilities create a great risk of further sinning. I believe that G-d the true judge of intentions and actions will accept my sincere repentance at the moment of my death, because this is a cardinal tenet of Judaism when one sincerely repents. But even Yom Kippur cannot provide atonement for sins against other humans unless one has done complete repair of the damage, which unfortunately will never be possible in my case.

Nevertheless as part of my effort to undo and repair what I can, I will expose all my confederates in crime while protecting the identities of my victims. I will clarify to the public the manipulative means I used so others can better spot them in others and resist them. I will fully reveal the ways in which I influenced prominent rabbis to make bad decisions. I will shower praise by name on those who resisted my bribes and threats. They were righteous and I am a sinner.

I will follow in the steps of the great Maimonides who signed his letters describing himself as a sinner for living in Egypt. Accordingly I will henceforth sign all my letters “Leib Tropper, a Sinner in Israel who has violated many of our cardinal commandments who is striving to rectify his sins.” I have rewritten my will to have the burial society subject my body to the degradations associated with the sins I have committed as a further effort to attain full atonement after my death.

Of course, none of this will ever be said by him.

Avremel Ausband said...

you could have been a contender...

-if you wouldn't have gotten caught-

instead you get a one-way ticket to palookaville...

Arthur said...

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Israel Belsky SHLITA said...


Ignore UOJ. I have the haskomo of Gershon "the shvindler" Tannenbaum who in his Jewish Press column this week calls me the leading yeshivish posek in America.

Rav Moshe Sternbuch said...

Friday, August 10, 2007 Rav Moshe Sternbuch - Authorized Translation

HaRav Moshe Sternbuch shlita:
Kiruv for someone with a Jewish father and a non‑Jewish mother

...My view is that it is absolutely forbidden to try to proselytize a non‑Jew even if he mistakenly views himself as Jewish. One obvious reason is that such an approach actually encourages intermarriage. If people with only a Jewish father are encouraged to participate in Jewish educational events it will convey the message that in some sense they are actually Jewish. That is because it is commonly accepted that only Jews are allowed to participate in these events. Thus this innovation crosses the red lines that have always been accepted by Torah true Jews. Typically the intermarried couple does not realize that they are constantly transgressing prohibitions which carry the punishment of kares [Rambam Hilchos Issurei Bi’ah 12:6]. But at least they need to be aware that intermarriage cuts them off completely from the Jewish people. If we allow and even encourage their non‑Jewish offspring to participate in Jewish educational events, they will feel that they still have an intimate connection to the Jewish people – G‑d forbid!

Another basis of concern is that I see this as a violation of following non‑Jewish practices (chukas akum). These rabbis are showing mercy to the Jewish father by a de-facto acknowledgment of the non‑Jewish concept of patrilineal descent. According to the unanimously held Torah view - any person with a non‑Jewish mother is completely non‑Jewish. Also the gratuitous granting of Jewish status and benefits to this non‑Jewish child violates the Torah prohibition of Lo Techanem.

These rabbis also try to justify their innovation by claiming that it is a solution to the massive problem resulting from the intermarriage of Russian Jews. They assert that one should encourage the conversion of the child of a non‑Jewish mother because the Russian Jews intermarried because of the unfortunate circumstances under the Communists. Therefore they are to be regarded as innocent children who grew up in captivity (tinok shenishba). They feel it is appropriate to show special mercy on these unfortunate people. I agree that they should be shown special sensitivity and leniencies. However this is only when they have at least distanced themselves from their intermarried parents or have already indicated an interest in genuine conversion. However if the parents insist on continuing their intermarriage, there is no halachic basis to be sorry for them. The child in that case is a non‑Jew and will remain as such.

Concerning the specific case that you mentioned of a student whose father is Jewish but the mother is a non‑Jew. One of the kiruv programs wants to include him – even though he still lives with his parents. You mentioned that a number of American rabbis have given halachic rulings that his participation in the program should be encouraged because he might convert. Do not associate yourself with their programs. You will receive much greater reward by disassociating from them than the possible benefit that might result.

I am being deliberately brief in my comments here - even though there is clearly much more to mention. That is because the plague of intermarriage has already spread here to the Holy Land – the palace of the King. The Holy One Blessed be He should help us and quickly bring into actuality our Redemption. Eliyahu should come and purify our camp so that we are fit to receive the countenance of our righteous Moshiach.

Bedatz letter said...

Sunday, November 18, 2007, Bedatz letter regarding conversion

Rav Sternbuch, shlita approved translation by Daniel Eidensohn


5th of Kislev 5768

Concerning the Holiness of the Jewish People – the Holy Nation.

The senior dayanim of the Bedatz met today to discuss allegations that certain kiruv activists are actively proselytizing the children of intermarried couples to convince them to convert – even though according to Torah law there is no halachic relationship with their Jewish fathers. They are calling for the acceptance of these non-Jewish children in Jewish programs and religious schools. Such an action is literally a disaster and self‑destructive. It is self‑evident that such a program is absolutely prohibited by the Torah.

Furthermore until now anyone who wanted to marry a non‑Jewess – Heaven forefend! – knew very well that this act would sever them from the Jewish people forever. Because of the dire consequences of intermarriage, there was a strong barrier that prevented many from intermarrying. However now that the consequence of exclusion from the Jewish people has been removed - this motivation not to intermarry has been lost. Consequently these intermarried couples and their children remain amongst the Jewish people. This results in their non-Jewish children being accepted into religious schools out of the hope that they will eventually convert.

Therefore we are warning that this activity is against the Torah. It has never been acceptable to proselytize non‑Jews. Furthermore as we mentioned it actually encourages intermarriage.

We therefore are turning to the poskim and the roshei yeshivos not to participate in their conventions - such as the one that occurred in America last week. Even if their motivation was to improve the standards of conversions – they are making improvements in one area while making things worse in another. This approach is directly causing serious problems.

Those who heed our cautions will benefit and receive blessings.

We - the members of the Bedatz in Jerusalem - affix our signature to this document out of fear and concern for the holiness of the Jewish people – the holy nation.

Horav Meir Brandsorfer
Horav Moshe Sternbuch
Horav Naftoli Frenkal
Horav Avrohom Yitzchok Ulman
Horav Yakov Mendel Yorovitch
Horav Yehoushua Rosenberg

Gaavad of Bedatz said...

Thursday, February 14, 2008, Bedatz Letter regarding EJF signed by Gaavad

There was a second letter sent out with the additional signature of the Gaavad.

Distinguished Rabbi shlita, I am requesting from you - with every expression of entreaty - to stop and break off association with this organization (Eternal Jewish Family) which is a danger to the future of the Jewish people. Even isolated cases of this type of conversion (of intermarried couples) are extremely problematic. This is explicitly stated by the Achiezer (3:28) that “no kosher beis din should deal with this (the conversion of intermarried couples).” Also look in the Igros Moshe (E.H. 1:27) where he states “this whole issue of conversion of intermarried couples is personally totally distasteful even in isolated cases.” It is simply not acceptable to deal with the issue of intermarried couples in this manner and to openly reinforce their activities with public announcements and notices in newspapers and internet and other such means. They are in effect inviting non‑Jews to participate in a program of conversion through this publicity. It is a really damaging approach which unfortunately will bring about even more intermarriages and invalid conversions. Distinguished Rabbi shlita, please act according to your understanding and wisdom and desist from participating in this program (of the Eternal Jewish Family). It is a public danger. G‑d should assist you.

Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) said...

RCA Issues Statement Regarding Recent Developments Surrounding The Eternal Jewish Family Organization

Dec 22, 2009 -- We are deeply appalled, saddened and pained by reports that have reached us concerning alleged inappropriate behavior on the part of the chairman of the rabbinic committee of the Eternal Jewish Family, Rabbi Leib Tropper. We need to wait for more complete information before we can react fully.

Nonetheless, at this time, we would make the following points clear:

1. What we have heard, if true, violates the fundamental elements of all that Judaism holds sacred.

2. We urge anyone who might have been victimized to seek appropriate counseling and we, at the Rabbinical Council of America, remain ready to refer anyone who needs such assistance to the appropriate professionals.

3. Anyone who may have any questions of Jewish Law regarding conversions should feel free to contact our Geirut administrator, Rabbi Michoel Zylberman, at 212-807-9000 ext. 3.

For further information please contact Rabbi Barry Freundel at 202-258-5172.

Aba Dunner said...

Rav Dunner Responds To EJF Attack Thursday, January 28, 2010 -

In the January 15 issue of the Five Towns Jewish Times, we published an interview with Rabbi Aba Dunner, the executive director of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER), which has condemned the activities and sponsorship of EJF Inter­national (Eternal Jewish Family), as well as EJF’s response. We now publish Rabbi Dunner’s very candid reply. —Ed.

It is a long-established pattern of the hired cheerleaders of the EJF to attempt to blacken the name of anyone who criticizes its activities in any way. The pot of gold that the EJF has found is worth $25 million and counting, and who wants to lose out on that? But it is clear who the real ganef is in this sad story: it is anyone who associates themselves with this organization, whose sole function is to leech as much money as possible out of Mr. Kaplan (Tom Kaplan, chairman of EJF). The feeble attempts to publish “fact sheets” in the Jewish media demonstrates what and who they are; no serious or well-meaning organization finds it necessary to print fact sheets stating that they are not low-lives, not ganovim, etc. This is usually a given in any mosad, and if they have to publish something of this nature it can only be that they are and always have been goneiv da’as ha’brios on a giant scale.

Some real facts:

EJF is an organization entirely funded by a (well-meaning) secular Jew whose interests are the preservation of wildcats that are endangered by encroaching civilization and the preservation of Jewry, which is endangered by intermarriage. His solution for the latter is to encourage the non-Jewish partner to convert—the same approach taken by the Reform and, more recently, the Conservatives. The EJF has a Rolodex containing batei din across the USA to which it refers potential converts whom it claims to have selected and vetted.

Many of those batei din have expressed surprise that potential geirim were being referred to them—small and relatively inexperienced batei din—instead of being sent to the big established batei din in the major centers of Yiddishkeit. The reason is simply that the EJF refers cases that it claims are ready for giyur to a small beis din that will accept their recommendation when a larger more established beis din would not consider the case in any way suitable. (Additionally, the EJF besmirches the name of batei din with track records measured in decades and whose credentials are impeccable but who have the temerity to question their judgment and qualifications.)

Rabbanim from small towns across the USA were continually surprised over the last few years that intermarried couples whom they reckoned were unready for giyur—even though they might qualify with a year or two of work—were leaving town and returning a month or two later, having been converted through an EJF recommendation and officially having been mentored successfully by the EJF. In many of these instances, the levels of observance were insufficient to start with and diminished subsequently, with many ending up only nominally practicing Jews.

To burnish their credentials as the only chareidi purveyors of geirus, the game plan was to present themselves as the most chareidi organization out there, by buying their way into the chatzer of the gedolim by giving kickbacks to the various individuals who attempt to surround the gedolim. By the steady drip-feeding of a few thousand here and there to help with a chasunah or pay off some chovos or support a pet project, Tropper managed to buy his way in and then parade his ability to get photo-ops, as if that made him a ne’eman of the gedolim.

Aba Dunner said...

The story that he was telling was that all batei din and mekarvim in the USA were not to be trusted with the future of K’lal Yisrael and only someone with his dikduk b’mitzvos, particularly in the area of kiruv, was in a position to handle it properly. This from a man whose personal habits until this time had been a matter of concern to all who knew the facts and whose yeshiva had not managed more than a minyan of ba’alei teshuvah at any given time. In the kiruv world he was not regarded as even a sideshow, particularly because of his habit of telling anyone who would listen that only he knew about kiruv and that everyone else attempting it was a charlatan.

The EJF then went about organizing conventions of rabbanim and roshei yeshiva in the USA, again trumpeting the terrible standards of giyur and their qualifications to solve the problem. Many attendees enjoyed being flown to Washington or The David Citadel or The Kibbutz Lavi, all expenses paid, but were surprised to be invited, seeing as they were largely not involved in giyur. Very few of the participants were top-ranking poskim with expertise in the subject, and while they were often high-level talmidei chachamim and roshei yeshiva, they would not necessarily be consulted (as a regular matter) on this topic.

However, given that the names of the world’s preeminent gedolim were being thrown around as if they had personally checked and verified the activities of the EJF, and because so many other prominent roshei yeshiva were present, most relied on it all being real. Meanwhile, in the field, the real agenda was Mr. Kaplan’s—which is to get the largest number possible to become Jewish—and therefore batei din were encouraged to convert people shipped halfway across the country and cleared by the EJF.

To find the customers, the EJF offered money to local rabbanim and mekarvim to find them intermarried couples to attend their seminars—not (only) couples where the Jewish half was moving towards Yiddishkeit; any intermarried couples would do. They were also hiring field workers to go and find intermarried couples—a sort of giyur bounty hunt. And they were offering organizations money—which, to their credit, many refused—to allocate staff to this very dubious purpose, about which it is unlikely they were telling the gedolim!

Additionally, they were trying to break into the European market, where stringent standards were already in place through the efforts of the CER over the previous ten years. If they could buy their way in there, they would be able to add the number of geirim being processed around Europe to their bottom line and justify the millions that they were milking from Mr. Kaplan. The problem was that Tropper’s personality is so obnoxious, that when he showed up to address a European rabbinic convention, he yelled at the assembled (very bemused) rabbanim that they were all frauds and charlatans and that only he knew the real path to kiruv. He had a hissy fit and stormed out of the room when one of the rabbonim had the cheek to ask him a question.

To keep this happening while diverting attention away from the real activities and towards the chareidi image being projected, the Lubicom PR agency, headed by Mr. Menachem Lubinsky, was running a big-time campaign to keep the operation going. The seminars and the venues, the speakers and the message, were all coordinated by Lubicom—which apparently billed around $500,000 last year for their efforts. It must be noted, however, that they do a great job, as they have successfully managed to position EJF as a mainstream and serious organization and create an image in the mind of unsuspecting gedolim and the public.

Aba Dunner said...

They have also done a wonderful job, post-Tropper-fiasco, of fighting a rearguard action with limited weaponry and under very adverse conditions. They produced some gloriously meaningless press releases designed to say nothing at all while the damage assessment was under way. They were all over the blogs with whole-hearted defenses of the defenseless that could not be attributed to them. The Rabbi Wachtfogel press release plainly was not cleared by him, and his subsequent disavowal of it shows that they are happy to publish letters in other people’s names without consent.

They spread the usual quarter-truths and innuendos, mixed in with a good dosage of plain old-fashioned sheker—the prime example of which is the mealy-mouthed puff-piece mentioned above that most frum news outlets were paid kesef malei to run. (Some were honest enough and brave enough not to run it and were subjected to a barrage of abuse by Lubicom/EJF.)

Rabbi Blum, who apparently heads the organization after the Tropper scandal and Rabbi Wachtfogel’s refusal, is a nice young man who until now was an office manager on a regular secretary/PA salary. He has suddenly been promoted to the top of the organization, apparently Tropper’s replacement, on the basis of this paltry experience. He is the man who is now going to be the recognized scourge of bad geirus and mouthpiece of the gedolim. He is, however, nothing more than a straw man for Lubinsky, et al., who wish to steer clear of the limelight.

Interestingly enough, in the weeks preceding the eruption of the scandal, Lubinsky and Yisrael Freedman were attempting to ease Tropper out of the driver’s seat into a more nominal role. Did they know something was wrong? Did they just feel that Tropper was losing credibility? In any event, the publication of the offending material certain provided them with a fast-track to remove him from the organization entirely.

Another interesting twist is that suddenly EJF purports to be a player in the kiruv field—is this a way of buying themselves a new place at the table now that giyur seems to be turning toxic in the chareidi world? Do they think that perhaps they can buy off some kiruv professionals and become man de’omrim in the field of outreach, which is much more acceptable to the frum world?)

Tropper is a fraud. The organization he created is in his image, and it is therefore a fraud too. The creators of that image are fraudsters and hucksters who are trying desperately to keep the line to Mr. Kaplan’s millions open. The chareidi world feels diminished and tainted and wishes they would go away and the chillul Hashem would stop.

5 Towns Jewish Times said...

More on EJF by Eli Neuberger

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The recent Tropper scandal truly boggles the mind! I do not recall a scandal of this magnitude, where someone like that led an organization in which so many prominent Roshei Yeshiva and Torah leaders were either directly or indirectly associated. How could that be? How could this happen?

Perhaps it might be wise to examine the history of Rabbi Leib Tropper.

He has been involved with Kiruv for close to 40 years. After unsuccessful stints in Ohr Somayach of Jerusalem and Monsey, he established a Kiruv Yeshiva on his own called Kol Yaakov. But his Yeshiva never hit the big time of the Kiruv world.

Tropper was no stranger to controversy. An acrimonious battle with his original partner Rabbi Avrom Gershon Tress, allegations about a previous marital scandal and accusations of cult like activities have dogged Tropper for years. With all that going on how did this ‘Kiruv Guru wannabe’ manage to attract an A-list crowd of world-wide rabbinic leaders to his Eternal Jewish Family (EJF) conventions?

In the past few years, with his Yeshiva floundering Tropper has moved on to bigger and better things. Aware of the ever worsening intermarriage problem that is plaguing the Jewish nation, Tropper was able to tap into a growing problem. Why not reach out to intermarried couples and try to convert the non Jewish spouse?

With this in mind Tropper started the Eternal Jewish Family.

One can only imagine the outcry from the world of the right if such a plan was initiated by the RCA. He was able to secure the help of a very wealthy, irreligious but well meaning Jew by the name of Tom Kaplan. With Kaplan’s nearly unlimited financing Tropper was able to make the claim that he was:

A) Going to fix the seemingly Hefker Geirus situation in America and

B) He would be able to stop the internal hemorrhaging and defections that plague the Jewish nation.

Across the ocean in Israel the conversion situation was not faring well. Conversion standards seemed to be lowered to questionable levels, as certain Religious Zionist Rabbis were intent on fixing the burgeoning demographic problem of immigrants from Russia many of whom had questionable status as Jews.

They had come as intermarried non Jews or with faulty conversions. And if the mother was the convert, their children were not considered Jewish at all. Religious Zionist rabbis started performing mass conversions much to the chagrin of the more Charedi Rabbis.

This ever brewing storm in Israel arranged a marriage of convenience between Leib Tropper and Rabbi Nochum Eisenstein. Rabbi Eisenstein is known for being in the inner circle of the present Godol Hador, HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. So with Tropper providing the funding and Eisenstein providing the legitimacy of Rav Elyashiv things were ready to roll!

Yet you can ask a very basic question. Why would the inner circle of Rav Elyashiv give a problematic guy like Tropper the time of day? One can also ask some very basic questions about the EJF. From the way it's structured, it is easy to see just how diabolical Tropper’s plan really was. At their events the dais was very impressive, the biggest Roshei Yeshiva from America and Israel were always there.

One wonders why there were so many the Roshei Yeshiva and so few Gedolei Haposkim? Where were they? Why weren’t they prominent speakers at EJF events? After all they are far more involved in conversions than any Rosh Yeshiva?

The answer is very simple! While Tropper had the rubber stamp of Rav Elyashiv, it enabled him to operate with a free hand and enabled him to quash dissension from any other Poskim. That’s the way things work in the world of the right. Nobody wants to be seen as arguing with the Gadol HaDor.

5 Towns Jewish Times said...

Tropper had so many Roshei Yeshiva on board so that if anyone dared smell a rat with their mission and tactics Tropper could scream "You are being "Mevaze Gedolim" - embarrassing our rabbinic leaders!

There were incentives for these Roshei Yeshiva to attend. Their yeshivas were given large donations from Tropper - thanks to the generosity of Tom Kaplan.

One may ask,”Why would so many prominent Roshei Yeshiva have no qualms about taking money from this unsavory character?” Meanwhile, Tropper was flying high getting photo ops with all these prominent rabbinic figures and having fancy EJF events in luxury hotels. He was successful in accomplishing two things, making enemies from all groups of Orthodoxy, and making the concept of intermarriage culturally acceptable in the Orthodox world.

But while Tropper was busy speaking at his events - talking a great game about the need to make stricter standards - the idea of Giyur L’Chumra - I was told by many people in the field of Kiruv that the criteria established by the EJF for conversions was lower than those of the very Modern Orthodox rabbis that Tropper was fighting against.

Unfortunately any voice of dissension against Tropper was a voice in the wilderness. After all if so many big Roshei Yeshiva backed EJF - how bad could it be? That was the refrain of many people. That attitude caused many Kiruv groups – aware of Tropper’s shoddy Kiruv reputation – to nonetheless combine with EJF for numerous joint ventures.

This gave Tropper even more legitimacy and even greater freedom to implement his shoddy conversion standards. While it’s true that Kiruv groups have been hit hard by the economic times and could use the money, how could they partner up with Tropper being fully aware of his reputation?

There is but one answer to all these questions. Tragically today many people in the right wing Yeshivish world seem to think that the criteria for being an "Ehrlicher Yid" is the style of dress, the typeof kippa or the color of your hat. Tropper looked the part. And they bought it!

Perhaps there is at least one lesson that we can all learn from this scandal. One's mode of dress is no indication of one’s true colors!

I do not advocate a mass exodus from the Yeshiva world into Left Wing Modern Orthodoxy. And I still recognize the need for some sort of cohesive responsible system for conversions.

Nevertheless I strongly believe that right wing Orthodoxy needs to do some serious soul searching. We need to examine how we let a deviant like Tropper go as far as he did - with nary an eyebrow raised.

Shannon Orand on MySpace said...

Former Christian who was raised in the Evangelical and Messianic movements.

Since I left Christianity, I've had the privilege of watching many come out of the church and learn to worship the ONE G-d of Israel... including my father, an Assembly of God minister for nearly 35 years.

I praise G-d every day for organizations that work at bringing the un-molested Jewish scriptures to the world, and exposing the manipulation and horrific tactics used by Jewish Evangelists to steal Jewish souls.

Today, I dedicate all of my time and efforts to this cause... "Bringing precious Jewish souls back to the truth and beauty of the Jewish faith".

Shannon Orand on Linked said...

Shannon Orand’s Summary

Seeking a fulltime position that will take advantage of my marketing, public relations, journalism, event coordinating, administrative, and computer skills. I am trained in all Microsoft Office programs and have strong Microsoft administrative support skills. In addition, I have experience in web development and desktop publishing.

Shannon Orand’s Specialties:
accounts payable, administration, advertising, american sign language, counseling, customer service, database administration, editing, education, email, fundraising, grant writing, management, marketing, microsoft excel, microsoft powerpoint, microsoft publisher, microsoft word, newspaper, public relations, publicity, radio, real estate, research, retail, sales, scheduling, shipping, teaching, travel arrangements, web site production,

Shannon Orand’s Experience

Outreach Administration

Eternal Jewish Family

(Non-Profit Organization Management industry)

July 2009 — Present (7 months)

The Eternal Jewish Family is an independent organization dedicated to the preservation of the authentic Jewish family, as is dictated by our Torah delivered to the Jewish nation on Mt. Sinai more than 3300 years ago. A primary focus of EJF is the halachic conversion of a non-Jewish spouse in an intermarriage.

To assure that all conversions are based on the authentic dictates of Torah and halacha, the Eternal Jewish Family follows the halachic guidelines of such noted Torah authorities as Harav Moshe Feinstein zt"l, Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l, Harav Yosef Sholom Eliyashuv shlit"a, Harav Shmuel Wosner shlit"a, Harav Reuven Feinstein shlit"a, as well as leading Sephardic authorities shlit"a.

The Eternal Jewish Family is affiliated with Horizons and the Kol Yaakov Torah Center of Monsey, New York. Founded 25 years ago under the inspiration of the late venerable sage Harav Yaakov Kaminetsky zt"l, Kol Yaakov has been a leading institution in the kiruv movement.
Hundreds of its alumni have over the years assumed leadership positions in Jewish life throughout the world...

Shannon Orand’s Education
Tomball College

Harris County Community College
Photo Journalism 1997

Humble High School
Year Completed 1995


Shannon Orand's website said...

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Rabbinical Council of Canada (RCC) said...

Orthodox conversion dispute goes public, By JANICE ARNOLD, Staff Reporter Wednesday, 13 January 2010

MONTREAL — Mainstream Orthodox congregational rabbis in Montreal allege that the haredi-dominated Vaad Ha’ir is trying to undermine their authority in conducting conversions, dissuading prospective converts to Judaism from going to them and influencing the chief rabbinate of Israel that their conversions are not as halachically sound as those of the Vaad.

A dispute that has been brewing for a few years has become public with a letter signed by six rabbis of major Orthodox synagogues, including the Montreal president of the Rabbinical Council of Canada (RCC), and published in The CJN Jan. 7, that’s critical of the U.S.-based organization Eternal Jewish Family (EJF), with which the Vaad is associated.

Vaad executive director Rabbi Saul Emanuel said he wasn’t aware of any defamation of the RCC rabbis. “I see no bad feelings whatsoever,” he said.
The letter was issued in the wake of the resignation last month of EJF director and founder Rabbi Leib Tropper, who reportedly had an improper relationship with a woman he was converting. Audiotapes of his phone conversations with the woman suggestive of sexual relations between himself and her, and possibly other men he knew, were posted on the YouTube website.

The six Montreal rabbis who signed the letter, as well as Rabbi Reuben Poupko, believe that this revelation is evidence that EJF is not a credible organization and that the Vaad, in Rabbi Poupko’s words, shows “poor judgment” in aligning with it.

The Vaad’s Rabbi Emanuel said the association is more accurately described as the independent EJF’s “endorsing us, rather than the Vaad choosing to affiliate with EJF” and that approval is due to the Vaad having built up “an exceptionally good reputation around the world over many years. Its conversion program been used as a model by other communities.”

He added, “We are not taking any instruction from EJF. All we’ve done is attend its conferences.”

Rabbinical Council of Canada (RCC) said...

Rabbi Poupko, of Congregation Beth Israel Beth Aaron, said the issue is not that the mainstream rabbis object to the Vaad doing conversions, it is that they want the “delegitimization” of those performed by RCC-affiliated rabbis to stop.

Rabbi Poupko feels the Vaad and EJF are co-operating to wrest Orthodox conversion out of the hands of the mainstream rabbinate. “EJF and the Vaad are working hand-in-glove. The Vaad has touted its endorsement by EJF like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval.”

The mainstream Orthodox rabbis contend the dispute is not about standards, but rather politics and power.

Rabbi Michael Whitman, one of the signatories to the letter, said EJF began “bad-mouthing” the RCC’s conversions almost immediately after the RCC’s Montreal branch founded its own beit din for conversions. “Their agenda is not to improve conversions or to establish universal standards… It’s to establish who is in and who is out. They want haredim in charge of conversions and no synagogue rabbis involved… Not only do they not accept us, they bad-mouth us.”

They think it would be wise for the Vaad to reconsider its association with EJF, which was founded by Rabbi Tropper in 2005
as an independent organization in Suffern, N.Y., with funding from a private U.S. philanthropist. According to its public information, the EJF’s goal is to standardize conversion procedures, ensuring that they strictly adhere to Jewish law and are acceptable to Israel’s chief rabbinate, which has the power to deem who is a Jew in Israel.

The batei din of the Vaad, as well as of those headed by Rabbi Dovid Shochet in Toronto and Rabbi Avraham Feigelstock in Vancouver, are among the 19 rabbinical courts in the world endorsed by ETJ as meeting “universally accepted standards.”

The EJF website page that listed endorsed batei din was altered slightly last week with the addition: “This list does not imply that other batei din are not reliable.”

Rabbi Dovid Jacobs, ETF’s U.S. executive director, stated, “We do not seek to defame anyone.”

“Batei din are endorsed because they have been researched and we know their standards are universally recognized… I was told the Vaad’s program is over 20 years old and has been very successful.”

The controversy over Rabbi Tropper “does not speak to our policies or standards or directly affected our operations… Has there been PR fallout from it? Obviously, yes.”

EJF’s leading halachic overseer is Rabbi Reuven Feinstein, who has reaffirmed the organization’s mission.

About six years ago, the RCC-affiliated rabbinate in Montreal formed its own beit din for conversions, Rabbi Whitman said, with the approval of the then-chief rabbi of the Vaad’s beit din, the late Rabbi Avraham David Niznik. Up until then, most Orthodox conversions had been done by individual rabbis, Rabbi Whitman said, but it was felt a more centralized approach would be better.

Rabbinical Council of Canada (RCC) said...

In 2005, Rabbi Yonason Binyamin Weiss, a chassid from Bnei Brak, Israel became deputy head and then head of the Vaad’s beit din upon Rabbi Niznik’s death. He has been a speaker at EJF conferences.

Besides Rabbi Whitman of Congregation Adath Israel Poale Zedek, the letter’s signatories are: Rabbi Schachar Orenstein of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz of Congregation Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem, Rabbi Ira Ebbin of Beth Zion Congregation, Rabbi Mordecai Zeitz of Congregation Beth Tikvah and Rabbi Asher Jacobson of Congregation Chevra Kadisha-B’nai Jacob, the RCC president.

They contend Rabbi Tropper and EJF “expended much effort trying to delegitimize others. Through the alliance of individuals and organizations in Montreal with EJF, they have become a dangerously divisive force here in our community.” They write that the RCC’s conversion program has been “relentlessly defamed by EJF for purely political reasons.” The RCC is affiliated with the Rabbinical Council of America.

While the Vaad isn’t named in the letter, Rabbi Whitman confirmed in an interview that this is the local organization being referred to.

The tensions between mainstream congregational rabbis and haredi-dominated groups over conversion is not unique to Montreal, and it mirrors the increasing power of right-wing Orthodoxy in Israel and the intense focus on Jewish authenticity in that country, particularly since the influx of large number of immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

Rabbi Whitman said there’s no doubt that the Vaad and EJF have a “very close relationship” and that he met Rabbi Tropper when he came to a Vaad program in Montreal. Rabbis associated with the Vaad are also engaged in the same defamation, he said.

“This is a large Jewish community, it is not homogeneous and there is room enough for two conversion programs,” Rabbi Whitman said. “We have no objection to the Vaad maintaining their program. We are just asking for mutual respect.”

The Vaad’s Rabbi Emanuel maintains, “There is absolutely no competition with anyone [in conversions]. If they are adhering to true, authentic Torah law, they are welcome.”

He said the existence of two such batei din in Montreal “does seem to be working” and people are free to go to whomever they wish.

RCC converts are accepted in Israel today, Rabbi Whitman said, but it may take some persuasion.

“The situation in Israel is terribly political and the chief rabbinate is not a bastion of integrity. If you ask someone there if our converts are accepted, they will say no. If you ask someone else they say OK. It takes repeated phone calls. The bottom line is they are accepted, but with effort.

“I have had converts who made aliyah or married in Israel, and I have officiated at weddings.”

Rabbis Are Silent on Tropper said...

Why the Rabbis Are Silent on Tropper: Reserving judgment on sex scandal reported by Tablet By Marc Tracy | Jan 25, 2010

Over four articles (all of which you can find here), Tablet Magazine traced the scandal surrounding Leib Tropper. A one-time Monsey, New York, Orthodox rabbi, Tropper raised himself to the status of Jerusalem-based conversion guru by dint of powerful connections, only to fall from grace after audiotapes purportedly recorded him making sexual advances toward prospective converts. In her final article, Allison Hoffman reported on the conspicuous silence with which ultra-Orthodox Judaism’s rabbinic elite have greeted the revelations—some of them broken by Tablet Magazine. And there has barely been a slap on the wrist: Tropper remains, for example, rosh yeshiva—the head of a religious day school in Monsey.

The 5 Towns Jewish Times, which serves a heavily Orthodox area of Long Island, runs a fantastic interview with another Monsey rabbi that tries to get to the bottom of this troubling lack of condemnation. The rub seems to be that the rabbis feel they are barred, under Jewish law, from speaking out against Tropper until his case has been formally tried in front of a Beth Din (a formal rabbinical court). Says the rabbi: “until there is due process we are not Halachically permitted to issue condemnations against an individual, or to take any other action against him.” He adds:

This terrible episode has brought great pain and embarrassment to the entire Torah community. … If, however, [the allegations] are proven to be true, then we have discovered a venomous snake in our midst, an immoral individual who abused his rabbinical position and caused immeasurable Chillul Hashem [desecration to the Name], and shame to our community.

The rabbi also denied that Tropper’s extensive connections throughout the community has anything to do with the kid gloves with which that community has (so far) treated the allegations against him.

So: hemming, hawing, non-denial denials; earnest concern that Jewish law be followed; and somewhat useful boilerplate that at least recognizes the magnitude of the allegations.

Meanwhile, an editorial in The Jewish Star, which also serves Long Island’s Orthodox communities, offers a slightly different point of view:

Are we the only ones taking crazy pills or does anyone else find it strange that virtually not a single prominent rabbinical figure outside the leadership of the Rabbinical Council of America—and they are hardly household names—has said a public word about the incredible scandal this man created? After years of instigating holier-than-thou controversies over conversions and other issues, funded by someone else’s millions, Tropper was unmasked as the worst sort of hypocrite—he has denied nothing—and yet, he continues to go to the office each day and call himself a rosh yeshiva.

Really, this one takes the cake.

Leib Tropper—Why the Rabbis Were Silent [5TJT]
Editorial: A Smart Career Move [The Jewish Star]

The Jewish Star said...

Editorial: A smart career move In Editorial on January 12, 2010

Issue of January 15, 2009/ 29 Tevet 5770

If Leib Tropper were by some chance to segue into a career as a Jewish music singer, he’d better take care not to perform material that’s too “creative,” or dangerously approaching a vague similarity to “goyish” music. If he does, hoo-boy, he’ll be in big trouble. In some corners of the frum world, the rabbinical establishment would come down on him like a ton of bricks. Cherems [bans] and kol korays [proclamations] would be flying. They’d have no choice you understand: the Jewish people’s very status as an Am Kadosh V’tahor [a holy and pure nation] would be at stake. Children, even adults, would be in desperate danger of being led astray. Rabbinical leaders, no doubt, would stand up to be counted; weighing in on a life and death issue in which silence simply would not be an option.

Similarly, he’d be smart to not go into the human hair sheitel business, or author honest biographies of great modern sages, or open a Chareidi news website in Israel. A guy could get into a lot of trouble dabbling in such spiritually dangerous lines of work.

If Tropper decides to leave Monsey and relocate to the Five Towns, he’d better not start a blog. As a former “doer” — someone who made things happen in the Jewish world — the last thing we would want to see is for him to become a lowly blogger — some kind of journalistic bottom feeder with nothing better to do than to point out others’ misdeeds.

No. A much smarter play by Tropper would be to keep doing exactly what he’s doing right now. He should be a rosh yeshiva and the head of a Jewish outreach organization. Apparently, no one’s going to say a word about that.
Even after being caught on tape in the worst, most compromising sort of way (see story here), he’s still running his yeshiva in Monsey and heading a non-profit through which flows millions of dollars — millions that were the source of his power in the world of Orthodox conversions and (who knows?) may yet be again.

If you catch some zealot’s ear the wrong way with Jewish music that isn’t quite Jewish enough, you run the real risk of that someone making it his business to shut you down, put you out of business and simply break you — and all by rabbinical fiat; nice and kosher.

But Tropper is literally getting a free pass.

Are we the only ones taking crazy pills or does anyone else find it strange that virtually not a single prominent rabbinical figure outside the leadership of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) — and they are hardly household names — has said a public word about the incredible scandal this man created?

After years of instigating holier-than-thou controversies over conversions and other issues, funded by someone else’s millions, Tropper was unmasked as the worst sort of hypocrite — he has denied nothing — and yet, he continues to go to the office each day and call himself a rosh yeshiva.

Really, this one takes the cake.

The Jewish Star said...

Accused predator still rosh yeshiva In Community, Michael Orbach, News, Sexual abuse on January 12, 2010

Leib Tropper has “passion for character development” by Michael Orbach

Issue of January 18, 2010/ 29 Tevet 5770

It’s been several weeks since Leib Tropper’s recorded voice was made public discussing an illicit physical relationship. Tropper, founder of Eternal Jewish Family (EJF), which advocates a universal conversion standard under its strict control, hasn’t disputed that the voice on the recordings is his, or that he was speaking with a woman whose conversion he was facilitating. Yet he remains a rosh yeshiva in Monsey, of Yeshiva Kol Yaakov, and the head of Horizons, an outreach organization based out of the yeshiva.

Receptionists at the Yeshiva Kol Yaakov number listed on the Horizons website confirmed that the number belongs to the yeshiva. The Jewish Star made multiple attempts to reach Tropper, and was informed that he would be in for “seder” (scheduled Torah study) on Sunday morning. On later calls to the yeshiva, The Jewish Star was told that Tropper either was out or was unable to come to the phone.

Tropper has resigned from Eternal Jewish Family and all mention of him has been scrubbed from its website. However, he is still featured prominently on the Horizons site, which calls him, “a dynamic and inspiring figure.” Offering a message some could find ironic, the website continues, “R’ Tropper’s passion for the importance of character development is contagious, and the centrality of menschlichkeit to Torah observance is both an attractive and authentic recurrent message.”

A letter from Rabbi Reuven Feinstein in praise of Tropper is still on the website, as well.

“I am very impressed with the dedication of the Roshei Yeshiva and the staff in general, she’yichyu,” Rav Feinstein wrote. “My involvement with the yeshiva over more than 20 years allowed me to witness firsthand the special siyata d’shemaya [divine guidance] with which the yeshiva has been blessed.”

Calls to Tropper at Horizons were not returned. While he is publicly said to be finished at EJF, there are clear ties between EJF and Horizons.

Receptionists at Eternal Jewish Family were instructed to not talk to reporters, and directed calls to a public relations firm that, in turn, referred inquiries to publicist Menachem Lubinsky. He referred all questions to the executive director of Horizons, David Jacobs. Calls for Jacobs were answered by staffers at Yeshiva Kol Yaakov who redirected callers to EJF, where Jacobs’ office is apparently located. He did not return phone calls.

“Tropper’s at Horizons, and Horizon owns EJF. He’s still at Horizons and he’s still in charge of Kol Yaakov,” said Shmarya Rosenberg of Failed Messiah, the blog that initially broke the story. “There’s no outrage about that.”

Horizons was the recipient of a $4.8 million grant from the Lillian Jean Kaplan Educational Foundation in 2008. In 2007 the organization received $350,00, $2.5 million in 2006, $612,000 in 2005, and $154,000 in 2004. A tax filing from 2007 totaled the assets of the organization at the time at over $7.8 million.

Of that $7.8 million at Horizons, $2.38 million is budgeted as an expense for “scholarships for advanced studies.” Just $1,500 is budgeted for food and meetings for the yeshiva students.

The woman featured in the Tropper tapes, Shannon Orand, underwent a full Orthodox conversion in Israel last week.

She told the Jewish Israel blog that she was vulnerable to Tropper’s advances because he was footing the bill for attorneys in a custody battle with her ex-husband, who she said molested one of her children.

“I came from an idolatrous Christian background and worshipped a man instead of G-d,” Orand told the blog. “And now I have a relationship with G-d that no man can take away from me.”

Rabbi Natan Slifkin said...

Thursday, January 28, 2010 What On Earth Is Going On Here?

Last week, Rabbi Dovid Ribiat, in a 5TJT interview, stated that the reason why no condemnation of Tropper has occurred is that there is not sufficient evidence of wrongdoing; but "once there is incontrovertible evidence, appropriate measures will be taken." Today, Rabbi Avi Shafran emphasized that he is only "allegedly" guilty.

Am I missing something here? Didn't Rabbi Tropper release a public statement several weeks ago to Vos Iz Neias in which he admitted his guilt? It stated as follows:

Rabbi Leib Tropper’s response to recent allegations has been delayed until now in deference to his legal counsel.
Events of recent weeks have caused Rabbi Tropper great anguish, in particular given his recognition that the high standard of ethics in the Jewish community is one of its most treasured principles.
He wishes to express his regret for the turmoil caused by his departure from the Eternal Jewish Family organization and for what has appeared to be conduct not within our significant laws of modesty. Rabbi Tropper now looks forward to a return to both his studies and time with his loving family, as well as to personal introspection. He thanks those outside his closest circle of friends for respecting his privacy.

So why all this talk about how his guilt is not confirmed, and that's why no action has been taken?

Finally, and more importantly, here is a comment that I submitted seven hours ago but which has not yet been posted:

Rabbi Shafran, thank you for attempting to address the readers’ concerns. But with all due respect, you seem to have missed the point of many of the criticisms. People aren’t just asking why the Gedolim did not condemn the rabbi concerned. They are also criticizing the Gedolim themselves for endorsing him and his organization which were both highly questionable even beforehand, and in light of the revelations needs to have all its past operations seriously re-evaluated. On Cross-Currents itself, Rabbi Adlerstein wrote an excellent article pointing to some of the problems; the Badatz and the Conference of European Rabbis has also not been silent. Furthermore, there is criticism of the Gedolim for there being no visible attempt whatsoever to address any aspect of this situation after the revelations, which looks especially bad in light of the large financial donations that were directed to the yeshivos by this individual. Rabbi Aba Dunner explicitly accused the rabbinic establishment of having been bought off. There is clearly substantial grounds for concern and criticism, and yet your article gave the strong message that any such criticism is “evil speech.” Is it not the case that sometimes public criticism is necessary and valuable rather than being “evil speech”? Is it not the case that sometimes silence can be evil?

UPDATE: My comment has now been posted, along with a number of others that raise some very sharp criticisms.

Rabbi Natan Slifkin said...

Sunday, January 24, 2010 Tropper, EJF and the Gedolim

At last, the Gedolim have broken their silence about Tropper/EJF, and their official spokesman has written a statement. But first, some background. Way before the tapes emerged, revealing Rabbi Tropper to be bribing/ blackmailing a prospective convert into sexual improprieties, there were all kinds of reports of inappropriate behavior on the part of Tropper and EJF. It cannot be adequately stressed that what was needed was not just a condemnation of what he did to this convert (and a condemnation of the obviously forbidden is indeed necessary in a community where perverts and their enablers know that they can get away without condemnation). Most importantly, what was being demanded was a condemnation and transparent, public investigation into all the other wrongdoings, especially the question of how a person who was always suspected of lacking integrity, and who was accused of having his organization commit various wrongdoings, was able to attain so much power and honor by virtue of giving massive sums of money to yeshivos. Here is a list that has been circulating, which I have edited somewhat:

1. From R’ Harry Maryles:
I knew what this con man was about 20 years ago when I first met him. He was responsible then for ruining the life of one young man I am very close with - making life miserable for his parents. His mother went to the grave suffering an estrangement from her son for which Leib Tropper was responsible. His father suffers to this day from it. He took advantage of this young man’s misfortune and conned him into doing something no decent man would ever do. And he made it seem like he was doing him a favor. This young man is now 20 years older and still suffering the consequences of it. Consequences that after 20 years have little chance of being reversed! I cannot get into details because confidences would be broken. But suffice it to say his only concern at that time was not to help this young man but to help himself by gaining the support of a wealthy friend in doing this con.

2. From a comment on ViN:
I have been involved with Kiruv for over three decades. Close to thirty years ago a university student underwent a Giyur Kehalacha when he discovered that his mother was converted by Conservative rabbis. A week later he went to Yeshivas Ohr Sameach. A few weeks ago EJF told him that his Giyur may not be good because they have questions of the Rabbonim who did it. Who is a erliche Orthodox Rav and does not do kulahs in Giyur. This shocking action is beyond belief. The EJF did not call the Rabbomin in question. They just put the Safek in the mind of this person 3 decades later. We need a proper structure in Giyur, and proper standards kept. However the idea that Rabbonim in Monsey, or Meah Shearim will suddenly begin to question Geirus done properly is outrageous. There is no historical precedent for this. There are a small group of Rabbonim aligned with EJF that have attempted to impose their view on Gierus. They are overreaching and creating havoc in the Jewish community.

3. From a comment on ViN:
I went to Rav Reuven Feinstein when the now infamous former head of the EJF tried to stop my marriage to my wife who is a giyores. He claimed that the Rov who was migayer her did not know what he was doing. Rbe Reuven told me that her geirus was fine. We are married now. The head of EJF got what he deserved for the pain he caused me and many others.

4. From a comment on ViN:
I converted years ago and have been frum from the time I emerged from the mikvah and the EJF told me my conversion was invalid because of the rabbonim on the beis din, all of whom were frum Orthodox rabbonim by the way. I was not the only person this happened to. Of course the EJF offered to 'fix' it for a substantial sum of money. How nice of them.

Rabbi Natan Slifkin said...

5. From a comment on Daas Torah blog:

I know this man very well, and know the underling rabbeyem he surrounds himself with, they told me that right now he is licking his wounds like a dog, and trying to "re-invent himself." Whenever tropper had an issue with a baal tsuvah/ bochur who tropper asked to "jump", and the baal tshuva didn't immediately ask "how high," Tropper in his paranoid ways would immediately reach for the phone, and call that person's boss (Tropper would find jobs for some bochurim, so that he held over their heads that he controlled their jobs) or fiance, (Tropper would arrange shidduchim for bochurim, and not allow or be very unhappy if a bochur found someone through a non tropper source, again this was all about the control factor, if he made the shidduch, he could control you) and besmirch that person. He would then secretly and slowly start a secret campaign to tell other bochurim and ballah botim (the few that their were in the yeshiva) that said baal tshuva is (insert some made up issue Tropper would make up here) and tell them that the bochur was in cheirem. He would wait until the bochur found out on his own by his surroundings that he was in cheirem. In some cases he would have the secretary of the yeshiva (he also controlled her and made her work basically for free, what did he have over her? you guessed it, she was a ger, he magayered her, and she was from france, so he promised her sponsorship, which never panned out) type out a letter to that bochur, telling him that they are no longer welcome to learn or daven there. Make no mistake about it, in all his years in kiruv, for every one person who he makereved to yiddishkeit, he probably turned off 10 off of yiddishkeit forever.

6. From a comment on ViN:

I worked for EJF and know some of the Dayanim personally this is easily verifiable as needed. I can tell you that people knew that Leib had a problematic history and they covered for him for over twenty years. This was told to me by one of the Dayanim that worked with Tropper intensively. Leib also had a shaychus with Shlomo Carlebach and this did not serve as a positive example. While Shlomo would have killed himself before pimping a woman to his chaverim he was not an embodiment of perishut. Leib, while he never sat on a Bet Din did pull the strings of who sat on the Batie Din because he controlled the funds and the jobs. We will never know if there were women whom he abused that made it through. Firstly, because they will be terrified of coming forward for fear of having their conversion invalidated and secondly because the Batie Din will not want to look like idiots. While none of the women I worked with were abused bu him sexually- they were abused by him emotionally in the sense that he showed utter disregard and insensitivity for them as people in various ways. While I have never seen a greater chilul hashem in my lifetime I hope that it serves as a wake up call.

7. Anonymous report:

A Rosh Yeshivah in Har Nof who runs outreach programs said that someone who attacked him and one of his programs later admitted that he was paid $25,000 by Tropper to do so.

8. From a blog:

Rav Schachter spoke at an EJF convention. In the course of his shiur, he mentioned the opinions who are lenient about shaking a woman's hand, and situations where it may be appropriate to follow the leniency. He cited examples of gedolim who shook women's hands. None other than Rabbi Tropper screamed at Rabbi Schachter, calling him a shakran. Rabbi Schachter responded with case after case of roshei yeshiva and gedolim who have shanken women's hands before. Rabbi Tropper had an hysterical fit that the honor of these great gedolim was besmirched with an accusation of shaking a woman's hand.

Rabbi Natan Slifkin said...

9. From Rabbi Natan Slifkin:

Also involved in the campaign against my books was Yaakov Kalmanowitz's brother, Rabbi Osher Kalmanowitz of the Mir Yeshivah in New York. He did not want to openly involve himself, and so he recruited his friend Rabbi Leib Tropper of Yeshivas Kol Yaakov in Monsey. Rabbi Tropper created a story that was told to the Rabbis were were approached to condemn the books. The story involved two students in his yeshivah, described as "angelic," who allegedly dropped out of yeshivah and left Orthodoxy after reading my books and concluding that "if the Sages could have been wrong about science, then they could have been wrong about everything." Rabbi Elya Wachtfogel, the primary rabbinic authority behind this ban, presented this story as grounds for his campaign. I myself was shaken when I heard about this story, but my mentors were skeptical and advised my to investigate it. The investigation showed that one of them was barely observant to begin with, and dropped out of yeshivah before my book on the Sages' knowledge of science was published. The other left Kol Yaakov and went to YU; he wrote to me that it was nothing to do with my books, which strengthened his Judaism, but he noted that the rabbis in Kol Yaakov did not like them.

10. From a blog:

The Leib Tropper I knew 20 years ago in Monsey was a disgusting scumbag who used to hang out in Tuvia's bookstore "looking for potential Baalei Teshuva" to "makarev". I was newly married at the time and used to wait inside Tuvia's for my husband to pick me up after work. On more than one occasion I had to tell Tropper to "stand back from behind me, he was too close" and I also had to ask for help to tell him not to get too close to me so that he could "accidentally brush up against me" while I was browsing in the store. That is the Leib Tropper I know. He is the same jerk who screwed around on his wife, the daughter of Rav Margolin, a student of Rav Aaron Kotler, for 25 years before leaving her to marry one of the beautiful young women whom he was "makareving" to Yiddishkeit. The fact that she happened to also come from money was just the icing on the cake... Tropper's personal history should have disqualified him from acting as a decisor and shaper of the future of the Jewish people...

11. From a comment on UOJ:


Rabbi Natan Slifkin said...

12. From UOJ:

...And guess who "replaced" Elya Ber Wachtfogel at EJF -- his nephew Chaim Blum, EB's handpicked successor.

13. From R. Aba Dunner, Executive Director of the Conference of European Rabbis:

...We unmasked this organization and the chap who ran it, I would not call him Rabbi - before this scandal... We found him to be a control freak and a megalo-maniac, we found him to be so disrespectful of Rabbanim that there was a unanimous vote of the standing committee to make sure that he and his organization do not enter Europe. The EJF refers cases which it claims are ready for giur to a small beis din that will accept their recommendation when a larger more established beis din would not consider the case in any way suitable. (additionally the EJF besmirches the name of botei din with track records measured in decades and whose credentials are impeccable but who have the temerity to question their judgment and qualifications) Rabbonim from small towns across the USA were continually surprised over the last few years that intermarried couples who they reckoned were unready for giur - even though they might qualify with a year or two of work - were leaving town and returning a month or two later having been converted through an EJF recommendation and officially having been mentored successfully by the EJF . In many of these instances the levels of observance were insufficient to start with and diminished subsequently with many ending up only nominally practicing Jews.
[14] To burnish their credentials as the only chareidi purveyors of geirus, the game plan was to present themselves as the most chareidi organization out there by buying their way into the chotzer of the Gedolim by giving kickbacks to the various individuals who attempt to surround the Gedolim. By steady drip feeding of a few thou here and there to help with a chasuna or pay off some choivos or support a pet project, Tropper managed to buy his way in and then parade his ability to get photo ops as if that made him a ne'emon of the Gedolim. The story that he was telling was that all botei din and mekarvim in the USA were not to be trusted with the future of klal yisroel and only someone with his dikduk bemitzvos particularly in the areas of kiruv was in the position to handle it properly. This from a man whose personal habits until this time had been a matter of concern to all who knew the facts...

15. From a participant at EJF conferences:

At the EJF conferences, Rabbi Tropper and Rabbi Eisenstein spoke about how a person who believes that Bereishis can be reconciled with the world being millions of years old, or who accepts the view of the Rishonim that Chazal sometimes erred in science, may not be converted to Judaism. Furthermore, a Rav who believes such things may not act as a Dayyan for conversions. Conversion performed with such people are suspect. (In light of reports about how, in many cases, EJF sought out and accepted insincere converts, for the sake of money or currying favor with Tom Kaplan, these statements may have been a way of wresting power away from the RCA.)

Rabbi Natan Slifkin said...

16. From Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer:

In light of the recent revelations of the misdeeds of the founder of the organization called Eternal Jewish Family, it is an opportune time for you to make your rabbonim and chaverim aware of the reprehensible nature of an organization that throws geirim who are tzaddikim and tehorim into confusion over their status, declares that individuals who believe as the Tiferes Yisroel and others that the world is more than 5770 years old k'peshuto are pasul as dayanim, etc. There are some who maintain a "head in the sand" attitude and would cover up Rabbi Tropper's misdeeds, but I believe this is the Hashgocho manifest in retribution upon those who afflict geirei tzedek, u'mitzvah l'farsem.

17. From a blog:

By all accounts, Tropper is still running EJF behind the scenes. He's still making the financial decisions. Of course, because there is no transparency, accountability, or integrity, it's impossible to know for sure. But in any case, those that are replacing him are likewise unqualified for such important communal work.

18. From someone who worked for EJF:

After being a mentor for some time with The Eternal Jewish Family and witnessing first hand its many serious flaws, the question is what do we need such an organization that dilutes the very framework of halachah that has guided the Jewish people for the last two thousand years? My first assignment was to work with an intermarried couple, where the non-Jewish husband was enthusiastic about committing to Judaism and learning what it means to become a Jew. His Jewish spouse was less than enthusiastic and cold about the whole idea. As I was approached by Rabbi Jacobs to speak to this family, I asked him point blank, how can you even think about working with this man if his wife is not supportive and wants nothing really to do with Judaism? ...After all the conferences all over the world and world-class Rabbanim and Rosh Yeshivos who took part, who paskened such a question that this was permissible? Another glaring question that I asked as I started my work for them was: is there a Shulchan Aruch or a standard that you use when deciding which families to take, who not to take? What about the curriculum? Was there even a syllabus? Who are the tutors that are used, how are tutors qualified? ...Who are these mentors?

Rabbi Natan Slifkin said...

I asked Rabbi Jacobs many times who they used as mentors and how he qualified them as good mentors. I never got an answer on that... I heard other stories from students about mentors that turned off their students and had “their own way” of doing things. When one of the students confronted me about this, I asked them, find out who their rav is and see who they go to ask their questions too about how they are supposed to do this. The student came back to me a few days later and told me that the mentors were all flustered thinking that their authority was being usurped and who were they to question what they were doing! ...With all the hoopla of the many conventions that EJF has had all over the world, what about all the choshever Rabbanim and Roshei Yeshiva that have addressed these conferences. Do they really have any inkling as to what is happening within the organization? ...Some of these stories are just the tip of the iceberg of the disaster and krumkeit that this organization purports, all in the name of helping these families and helping with establishing a universally accepted conversion.... As of right now, it is a disaster and in total disarray. It’s not about the scandal and how it happened. It is about who is running the organization and why it is hefker.

19. From a blog comment:

The issue with Troppergate is not the recently publicized audio recordings per se; they merely made clear and undeniable what many people had been saying for years about Rabbi Tropper. The problem is that a rabbi who for DECADES was known to have been a manipulator who engaged in abuses of power on multiple levels, was nevertheless showered with honor and given ever greater power to wield, as a result of his channeling massive financial contributions that kept yeshivos afloat. And it is this that explains the deafening silence from the charedi rabbinic establishment about the recent revelations.

* * *

So now, we finally have the official statement from the Charedi rabbinic establishment about all this. And what is it?

It is that we should see the terrible earthquake in Haiti as punishment for our sins; specifically, for evil speech - and a specific example given of such evil speech is the criticism of the Gedolim for not saying anything about Tropper and EJF!


The article warns that the "misuse of the holy power of speech is not a small evil." That is true. But there are times when silence is also a misuse of the holy power of speech.

Rabbi Natan Slifkin said...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 Rabbi Leib Tropper Resigns

Readers may remember an earlier post about Rabbi Leib Tropper and Eternal Jewish Family. Rabbi Tropper just announced his resignation. Unfortunately, Rabbi Tropper's replacement, Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, maintains the same views as Rabbi Tropper, regarding the acceptance of the antiquity of the universe and of scientific errors in the Talmud placing one beyond the pale of acceptable Jewish beliefs (Rabbis Tropper and Wachtfogel were two of the figures primarily involved in the ban of my books).

Rabbi Natan Slifkin said...

Sunday, November 8, 2009 Rabbi Leib Tropper and EJF

Rabbi Leib Tropper is known to many readers of this blog as one of the team of people involved in engineering the ban on my books. He told the story about two students in his yeshivah, "malachai hashareis, "who read my books, and promptly dropped out of yeshivah and went off the derech. When I investigated it, I found out the one of them, who had said, "if the rabbis can make mistakes then why am I learning Bava Kamma" (a direct quote from R. Tropper), dropped out of the yeshivah and left observance before my book on Chazal was published. The other one, who read my books, dropped out of the yeshivah and went to YU - which I would not exactly describe as "going off the derech." When I discovered the identity of the other student and wrote to ask him if it was true that my books caused him to drop out, he wrote this reply.

I honestly don't really care much about all that. But there is something else about Rabbi Tropper's activities which I find very, very disturbing. First, some background. For the last few years, Rabbi Tropper has been running an organization known as EJF - Eternal Jewish Family, whose mantra is that they are seeking a "universally accepted standard for conversion," which sounds wonderful. Exceptionally well funded by Tom Kaplan, EJF flies out rabbonim to conferences in hotels.

There are, however, some very serious accusations against EJF. I will briefly review these, after which I will get to the problem that I personally find particularly worrying.

One problem, which unites such disparate forces as the Badatz of Jerusalem and the Roshei Yeshivah of YU against EJF, is the charge that EJF encourages proselytization. This has been discussed at great length by R. Daniel Eidensohn on his blog Daas Torah.

Another problem, also discussed at the aforementioned blog and elsewhere, is that the rabbis who endorse EJF have also received exceptionally large donations to their yeshivos - in one case, millions of dollars. כי השחד יעור עיני חכמים ויסלף דברי צדיקם.

The third area of controversy was recently made very public. Guma Aguiar, the nephew of Tom Kaplan, has filed a Din Torah against Rabbi Tropper for allegedly misappropriating millions of dollars that he gave him for charity. This story, which you can read in great detail here, includes this report:

Rabbi Natan Slifkin said...

For example, when Aguiar's daughter was born at the end of 2007, he wanted to express his and his wife's thanks to G-d by donating $36,000 to each of 36 rabbis. He says he turned to his uncle's close confidante Rabbi Leib Tropper to formulate a list of 36 beneficiaries.

The list, which you can find on the website, is basically a who's who of the rabbis that consented to sign on to the ban on my books. It pays to play along with Rabbi Tropper's zealotry! But apparently Aguiar wanted the list to include rabbis from a broader spectrum of Judaism than that represented by Rabbi Tropper's narrow perspective. After the list was expanded and agreed upon, the money was sent, but according to Aguiar, the money didn't reach all the rabbis. While the article does not specify which rabbis are alleged not to have received the money, my impression is that it is those who were not part of Rabbi Tropper's suggested list.

But the problem with EJF that is of greatest concern to me is the serious effort by Rabbi Tropper and his partner in Israel, Rabbi Nochum Eisenstein, to delegitimize those who do not share their narrow hashkafic viewpoint - both rabbis and converts.

There is a deeply troubling report as follows:

Rabbi Nachum Eisenstein said words to the following effect, from the podium, during the Tuesday, November 6, 2007 afternoon session of the EJF conference:

"Rav Elyashiv holds that any person who believes the world to be older than 5768 years is kofer b’ikur, and as such, is pasul l’dayanus. Therefore, a ger who underwent conversion through a beis din on which such a person served as a dayan remains non-Jewish. The conversion is invalid even b’dieved."

Let me repeat that these words were made before a large audience of rabbis and gedolei Torah. Stunned, I privately asked Rabbi Eisenstein if he realized that this psak would, in effect, exclude the modern orthodox rabbinate from the conversion process. He answered affirmatively, adding that Rav Elyashiv held this psak to be “pashut.”

Similarly, the previous day (Monday), Rabbi Leib Tropper mentioned, also from the podium, that Rav Chaim Kanievsky was asked if it is mutar to convert a person who is mikabel ol malchus shamayim but is unwilling to believe that the world is only 5768 years old. Rav Kanievsky answered that it is in fact assur to convert such a person.

Rabbi Tropper also made seemingly hateful remarks, saying:

how ridiculous would it be for a person wearing non-Yeshivish clothes and/or wearing cologne to serve as a dayan!?

Rabbi Natan Slifkin said...

More troubling yet, during the same speech, Rabbi Tropper made remarks to the following effect:

"EJF’s goal is to connect a would-be ger to a universally accepted beis din. A universally accepted beis din could not, by definition, include dayanim who believe the world to be older than 5768 years."

I would be remiss not to mention that these remarks were said boldly, publicly and to an audience of over one hundred chashuvim. There was no visible protest amongst the assembled.

We thus have Rabbi Tropper's well-funded organization working to delegitimize the entire non-charedi rabbinate. We also have a nightmare scenario for sincere converts. I noticed the following report in the comments to this post:

I know about a case where a Jewish boy was dating a non Jewish girl and the local Chabbad was mekrev them for Orthodox conversion with kabalas mitzvos. Someone told the EJF about them and they got involved, they scared the girl with their tactics and the couple left orthodox Judaism and got married in Reform temple. As it turned out the girl was a scientist and the EJF freaked her out with their insistence that she will believe in 6000 years old universe.

Nor should one think that this witch-hunt will be limited to those who accept that there was an age of dinosaurs. In opening pages of the appalling work Chaim B'Emunasam, which claims that every Jew is obligated to believe that every single word in the Gemara is from Sinai or else he is a heretic and should be killed, there is enthusiastic praise for Rabbi Tropper and EJF for his assistance to the author. On his own blog, Rabbi Tropper recently made the following announcement regarding the forthcoming EJF conference:

Some of the new issues to be discussed will be the importance of true Torah Hashkafa and Midos as an ability to measure a candidates seriousness to convert properly... Someone who does not believe in “Emunas Chachachim” though he knows Halacha, should a Beit din proceed with the conversion?

We know from another post on his blog that Rabbi Tropper believes that every Jew is obligated to listen to the "Gadol HaDor." (As I noted in a previous post, he claims to base this on a Teshuvos Yaavetz, but Yaavetz says no such thing, and even if he would, there are clearly others who argue.)

We thus have a real risk of a situation whereby converts who do not accept whatever pashkevil has Rav Elyashiv's signature to it are going to have their conversions declared invalid by EJF. Read this post to gain an insight into the terror being experienced by many sincere converts.

...Something has to be done.

The Jewish Week said...

12/15/2009 Outreach Rabbi Resigns Amid Cloud Of Scandal

Rabbi Leib Tropper gave no reason for his resignation but said he would “pursue a variety of different interests.”
by Staff Report

An influential ultra-Orthodox rabbi who supervises conversions has stepped down abruptly from the organization he has led for about five years.

Rabbi Leib Tropper resigned this week as head of Eternal Jewish Family, the Monsey-based conversion group he founded. In an official EJF press release issued late Monday, two days after Rabbi Tropper’s resignation took effect, the rabbi cited a desire to pursue “a variety of other interests.

“I have decided to resign my position at the Eternal Jewish Family (EJF) effective December 12, 2009,” the statement read in part. “As a founder of EJF, I am proud of my role of being an architect of a very dynamic and important movement in our community. I will in the coming months do my utmost to be of service to the Jewish community in any way I can.”

Rabbi Tropper’s resignation comes amid reports that he was involved in sexual improprieties with a woman whose conversion he was supervising, according to Shmarya Rosenberg of the blog failedmessiah.com.

Posters in Orthodox neighborhoods in Jerusalem decried Rabbi Tropper for improper behavior, according to the Da’as Torah blog.

Calls to Rabbi Tropper’s home were answered by a recording announcing that his voicemail box was full. Eternal Jewish Family refused comment, and calls to Yeshivas Kol Yaakov, a yeshiva for returnees to Orthodox Judaism that Rabbi Tropper still heads in Monsey, were not returned. Rabbi Elya Ber Wachtfogel, named Monday as the new head of EJF’s rabbinic committee, did not return a call for comment.

Rabbis Tropper and Wachtfogel were instrumental in a 2005 ban issued by leading ultra-Orthodox rabbis against Rabbi Natan Slifkin, who writes on the interface of Torah and modern science. Rabbi Slifkin was labeled a heretic, and his books were banned, in part for suggesting the universe is older than 5,770 years.

In 2006, after Israel’s chief rabbis issued demands tightening the conversion process and regulating which Orthodox rabbis would be allowed to supervise conversions, Rabbi Tropper’s influence increased. That same year Rabbi Tropper is alleged to have revoked a woman’s conversion months after supervising it, upon learning that she occasionally wore pants.

A wealthy energy industrialist, Guma Aguiar, filed a suit against Rabbi Tropper in the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court recently, according to Arutz Sheva/Israel National News, claiming that he “misallocated funds intended for poor people in Israel.”

Rabbi Tropper’s online biography says he served as educational director at Ohr Sameach, a well-known yeshiva in Monsey for returnees to the faith. In 1990, Rabbi Tropper began an outreach program called Horizons, focusing on educating and inspiring the unaffiliated to experience a Torah lifestyle.

HAARETZ said...

24/12/2009 U.S. rabbi involved in sex scandal led fight against Israel conversions. By Yair Ettinger, Haaretz Correspondent

It is hard to imagine a more embarrassing situation in which to find an exclusive ultra-Orthodox organization - a group that was a standard-bearer in the fight against "breaches in the wall of conversion" and "the penetration of complete gentiles into the vineyard of Israel."

These breaches pale into insignificance in comparison with the accusations against the man who heads the organization itself: according to the claims, Rabbi Leib Tropper of Rockland County abandoned the apparently stringent Halakhic standards of his Haredi organization and established a conversion process based on his most private impulses.

A report in the New York Post earlier this week revealed a sensational story about "a prominent Orthodox rabbi has been caught on tape discussing his apparent love affair with a shiksa he was converting to Judaism."

The woman involved is 32-year-old Shannon Orand of Houston, who still seeks to convert from Christianity to Judaism. The bulk of the report deals with embarrassing comments that the rabbi made during a phone call, during which he was recorded demanding the woman perform a number of sexual services for himself and his friends in exchange for granting her a conversion certificate.

Only at the very end of the Post report is it mentioned that at the start of the month, Rabbi Tropper resigned from his position as head of the Eternal Jewish Family organization, which dealt with conversions. But the connection to the group is in fact the story's punch line, making the affair another incident in the ongoing crisis in the world of conversion.

This connection also explains the extent to which an alleged case of blackmail has rocked the rabbinic world in Israel and the United States, and also has a complex relationship with the business dealings of the chairman of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club, Brazilian Jewish entrepreneur Guma Aguiar.

Rabbi Tropper's stated goal in founding the Eternal Jewish Family was to "fortify the walls of conversion," amid an ideological debate between the Haredi and national camps in Israel. While functioning as a well-known rabbi in the New York area and head of the Kol Yaakov yeshiva, Rabbi Tropper enlisted wealthy Jews in the Haredi fight against to non- ultra-Orthodox conversions, especially those carried out by special conversion courts in Israel headed by Rabbi Haim Druckman.

As such, the doors of senior Haredi officals were thrown open to him, including that of Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv, a leader of the Lithuanian Haredi sect, and rabbi Tropper himself had the title of gaon ("most learned") bestowed upon him by the ultra-Orthodox press - all because of his efforts and comments against conversions by the Conversion Authority, against the "infiltration" of gentiles into the people of Israel.

HAARETZ said...

When news of the affair began to emerge two weeks ago, posters denouncing Tropper were plastered across the Haredi city of Bnei Brak, whose title commanded: "Leave impurity." The text's anonymous authors threatened that if he did not quit the organization, "We will publicize our voice aloud, accompanied by pornographic pictures and shocking video clips." The rabbi did indeed announce his resignation, but failed in his efforts to hush up the affair.

It was leaked to American Jewish bloggers, the audio tape was posted on YouTube, and the Post published the story (under the headline "Tal-mood for love: Sex-tape rabbi tries to 'share' hottie," referring to one of Tropper's demands in the tape).

The current scandal is not the first in which the Eternal Jewish Family and Tropper have been involved. Tropper recently accused Aguiar of assaulting him in a Jerusalem hotel in April while the rabbi served as a prosecution witness against the businessman in a civil suit in Florida. Aguiar - who recently resigned from the organization - is accused of entering Rabbi Leib Tropper's room at the David Citadel Hotel, assaulting him and threatening to cause him further harm.

At the time of the alleged attack, Tropper was testifying at Aguiar's trial on embezzlement charges brought before a Florida court by the businessman's uncle, Thomas Kaplan.

As part of a war of slander between the pair, a notice was published in the Haredi newspaper Hamevaser, according to which rabbis close to Aguiar gave up their stringent halakhic demands with regard to his wife. The notice alleges that the businessman is "married to a woman who underwent a very dubious conversion."

Tropper's associates claim that Orand, the tape and the posters are all connected to this legal dispute. One of the associates told Haaretz that, "Guma Aguiar succeeded in throwing Rabbi Tropper to the trash."

The Jewish Press said...

Tropper Resigns As EJF Head

Posted Dec 16 2009

Rabbi Leib Tropper abruptly resigned on Monday as chairman of the rabbinic committee of Eternal Jewish Family, an organization that in recent years has been at the center of several conversion-related issues and debates in the Orthodox community.

Rabbi Elya Ber Wachtfogel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Zichron Moshe in South Fallsburg, New York, was appointed the new rabbinic committee chairman.

In a statement released by Eternal Jewish Family, Rabbi Tropper said he "decided to resign my position to pursue a variety of other interests."

Rabbi Links Quake To Anti-Orthodox Articles said...

Rabbi Links Quake To ‘Evil,’ Anti-Orthodox Articles: Cites Tropper revelations broken by Tablet. By Marc Tracy | Jan 28, 2010

Rabbi Avi Shafran, who is prominent in ultra-Orthodox American group Agudath Israel, had an … interesting explanation (well, sort of; explanation is slightly too strong a word) for the earthquake that devastated Haiti. In the quake’s aftermath, he wrote to Jews, “We must introspect, and make changes in our behavior.” He continued:

the Jewish world today is rife with “evil speech” … Jewish media are filled with accusations and “scoops”; they compete gleefully to find the vilest examples of crimes to report, to do the most attention-grabbing job of reporting them, and to be the first to do so. The very week of the recent catastrophe in Haiti, a national Jewish newspaper published a comic strip featuring grotesque depictions of religious Jews and aimed at disparaging Jewish outreach to other Jews. And another Jewish newspaper ran an editorial placing the alleged ugly sins of an individual at the feet of Jewish rabbinic leaders, simply because the presumed sinner, before he was exposed, had arranged for several respected rabbis to deliver lectures and had encouraged people to make donations to their institutions.

The comic strip, drawn by (friend-of-The-Scroll) Eli Valley, appeared in the Forward. The editorial appeared in The Jewish Star, and it concerned “accusations and ‘scoops’” about Rabbi Leib Tropper that Tablet Magazine broke.

Yesterday, Shafran clarified his earlier post. “I did not ‘blame’ the earthquake on anything, much less a particular piece of writing or art,” he said. “I simply cited the Jewish mandate to soul-search in the wake of disaster, and quoted a Godol of our generation who suggested that speech fueled by ill will is a particularly rampant evil in our day. I cited the cartoon and editorial as recent examples, nothing more.”

It probably is an oversimplification to describe Shafran as having argued that “evil speech” caused the quake (as Gawker did). Still, the rabbi did call upon Jews “to perceive Divine messages in humankind’s trials”—he was asserting that the “evil speech” and the quake were at least somewhat related. But it is hard to believe the Richter scale is sensitive enough to register those sorts of early warning signs.

The Earth Trembles [Cross-Currents]
A Personal Note to Cross-Currents Readers [Cross-Currents]

Related: The Odd Couple [Forward]
A Smart Career Move [The Jewish Star]
Sex, Lies, and Audiotape [Tablet Magazine]

Dumbo Bozo Shafran said...

Cross-Currents, January 22, 2010, The Earth Trembles Filed by Avi Shafran.

[Rabbi Shafran is director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America.]

To any early 20th century Polish Jew, Japan could as well have been Neptune.

The distance between the shtetl and the Far East was measurable not merely in physical miles but in cultural and religious distance no less. Yet when, on September 1, 1923, a powerful earthquake hit Japan’s Kanto plain, laying waste to Tokyo, Yokohama and surrounding cities, killing well over 100,000 people, news of the disaster reached even the Polish town of Radin. That was the home of the “Chofetz Chaim,” Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, the sainted Jewish scholar renowned around the world even then for his scholarship, honesty and modest life.

Informed of the mass deaths in Japan, the 85-year-old rabbinic leader was visibly shaken, immediately undertook to fast and insisted that the news should spur all Jews to repentance.

Yes, Jews to repentance. Jewish religious sources maintain that catastrophes, even when they do not directly affect Jews, are nevertheless messages for them, wake-up calls to change for the better. Insurers call such occurrences “Acts of G-d.” For Jews, the phrase is apt, and every such lamentable event demands a personal response.

It is, to be sure, a very particularist idea, placing Jews at the center of humankind. But, while Judaism considers all of humanity to possess seeds of holiness, Judaism does in fact cast Jews as a people chosen – to embrace special laws, to be aware of and serve G-d constantly and, amid much else, to perceive Divine messages in humankind’s trials.

Like the Haitian earthquake now feared to have brought about the deaths of twice the number of human beings who perished in the 1923 Japanese quake.

Our government and, prominently, Israel’s, have responded with an outpouring of aid, as have countless individual citizens, including Jewish ones.

From a truly Jewish perspective, though, there is more that we must do in the wake of a disaster as terrible as the recent one in Haiti. We must introspect, and make changes in our behavior.

The 2004 tsunami in Asia occurred during the same period of the Jewish year’s Torah-reading cycle as the recent Haitian disaster, a period known as “Shovavim Tat,” an acrostic of the initials of the weeks’ Torah portions. It is a time considered particularly ripe for repentance. After that cataclysm, a revered contemporary Jewish sage in Israel, Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman, pointed out that the revered Gaon of Vilna identified a particularly powerful merit at this time of year in “guarding one’s speech” – avoiding the expression of ill will, slander and the like. That, Rabbi Steinman added, is a merit especially urgent “in these days, when the evil inclination puts all its energies into entrapping people in this sin… [when] it is almost impossible to find someone who hasn’t fallen into the ‘mud’.”

Dumbo Bozo Shafran said...

No prophet or wise man, only eyes and ears, are necessary to recognize that the Jewish world today is rife with “evil speech” – speaking and writing ill of others (whether the words are true, false or – so often the case – some toxic mixture of the two), and with the hatred that breeds such sins. Jewish media are filled with accusations and “scoops”; they compete gleefully to find the vilest examples of crimes to report, to do the most attention-grabbing job of reporting them, and to be the first to do so.

The very week of the recent catastrophe in Haiti, a national Jewish newspaper published a comic strip featuring grotesque depictions of religious Jews and aimed at disparaging Jewish outreach to other Jews. And another Jewish newspaper ran an editorial placing the alleged ugly sins of an individual at the feet of Jewish rabbinic leaders, simply because the presumed sinner, before he was exposed, had arranged for several respected rabbis to deliver lectures and had encouraged people to make donations to their institutions. Having thus “established” guilt by that association, the editorialist demanded that every Orthodox organization and rabbinic leader publicly condemn the alleged sinner or be smeared themselves with sin. Then he mocked rabbinic authorities as a group for, instead of issuing condemnations of sinners, rendering decisions on social and halachic matters, as if that were not precisely what rabbis are for.

Those are examples of anti- Orthodox invective. But ill will and its expression, tragically, know no communal bounds – in fact, the offensive comic strip seized upon intemperate statements made by Orthodox Jews about others.

Jews can take positions. Indeed we are charged with standing up for Jewish principles. But personalizing disagreements or slandering individuals is – or should be – beyond the pale.

Had we only eyes like the Chofetz Chaim’s, we would discern that hatred and the misuse of the holy power of speech are not small evils. We would understand that they shake the very earth under our feet.

Dumbo Bozo Shafran said...

Cross-Currents, January 27, 2010, A Personal Note to Cross-Currents Readers Filed by Avi Shafran

I had been planning to write a follow-up message about my posting “The Earth Trembles” even before Illana B.’s comment (# 20) appeared. But her request – taking me back to my family’s wonderful years in Providence – convinced me to put aside some other pressing things and get down to addressing concerns that have been raised about what I wrote.

I have to confess that I don’t usually read the Cross-Current comments posted to my essays. To be honest, I have found that posters often seemed to not have really read the essay on which they chose to comment; and that the tone of some postings seemed unnecessarily abrasive. I receive much feedback from individual subscribers to Am Echad Resources and so I get ample thoughtful responses and constructive criticism from that source.

Having been apprised, though, of comments on various blogs that mischaracterized my words as “blaming” the Haitian disaster on “a cartoon,” I looked at the comments C-C readers had offered and, at the moderator’s suggestion, cleared those I felt deserved to be posted, and deleted those about which I felt otherwise. The latter category included repetitious comments and those that included name-calling, were crass or disparaged Gedolim. There are places on the web where such writing can feel at home. C-C is not one of them.

But I think most, if not all, of the points that were made even in the rejected postings are reflected in one or more of those that I approved – which can be read following my recent essay. The points, rendered as questions, can be put as follows:

1) How could I blame an earthquake on a cartoon?

2) Why did I only “tell other people” to engage in introspection, but not Orthodox Jews?

3) Why did I limit my suggestion for introspection to forbidden speech but not include other bad behavior and communal problems?

4) Why did I indulge in precisely what I was condemning, by naming particular writers of whose recent writing or portrayals I disapprove?

5) How could I call an editorial to task for its disparagement of Gedolim without commenting on the editorial’s topic – the alleged ugly wrongdoing of an Orthodox rabbi? And how could I characterize that wrongdoing as “alleged”?

6) Why have Gedolim not spoken out in condemnation of that alleged wrongdoer? Especially when they have spoken out about many other things of which they disapprove?

7) Would I have focused on haredi riots or name-calling had such things occurred the week of the Haitian disaster?

Dumbo Bozo Shafran said...

Let me take each question in turn.

1) I did not “blame” the earthquake on anything, much less a particular piece of writing or art. I simply cited the Jewish mandate to soul-search in the wake of disaster, and quoted a Godol of our generation who suggested that speech fueled by ill will is a particularly rampant evil in our day. I cited the cartoon and editorial as recent examples, nothing more.

What I wrote was like noting that “two new factories just this week began spewing particulates into the air” in an article about how pollution may contribute to the incidence of lung cancer. That some blogs chose to “simplify” my message to the point of wildly distorting it only reiterates the very problem on which my essay focused.

2) I wrote quite explicitly that the articles I cited were examples only of anti- Orthodox invective, but that “ill will and its expression, tragically” exist in the Orthodox world as well. I didn’t cite particular examples only because I couldn’t find any recent public ones. But my message was clearly intended – and clearly directed – toward Orthodox Jews, myself included, no less than anyone else.

3) I felt that I should follow the lead of Rav Steinman, and our speech was what he suggested we focus on. In no way did I mean, G-d forbid, to minimize other bad behavior we have seen of late, ethical, moral or otherwise.

4) I did not name any writer or artist, or even the name of the papers in which the material that offended me appeared. Even had I done so, though, I think there is a qualitative difference between decrying speaking or writing negatively about others and citing public examples of such already published writing to illustrate the problem.

5) I did not consciously decide to ignore the topic of the editorial; it simply had no bearing on my own topic. Needless to say (I hope), the descriptions of the alleged behavior of the accused man leave me deeply disgusted and saddened.

But until a court of law or beis din renders a judgment of an accused individual, no matter how heinous the crime and no matter the seeming preponderance of evidence, he or she may not be referred to as guilty. My use of the qualifier “alleged” was not meant to imply a defense of the accused, only to hew to the journalistically normative (and, I believe, halachically mandated) practice.

6) I cannot speak for any Godol with regard to something I have not discussed with him. But Gedolim, too, are bound by the halacha that prohibits judgment of guilt without a trial.

Dumbo Bozo Shafran said...

When it comes to religious issues that are not subject to beis din adjudication but which they consider important (even if they are issues that some people might not consider so), Gedolim have not only a right but a responsibility to speak out. Warning the community about kashrus concerns may seem a less important mandate than condemning individuals for grave moral or ethical offenses. But kashrus concerns are part of a Jewish religious leader’s mandate, and condemning people is only arguably so (personally, I don’t think it is, unless they judge that there is a danger of the offense being regarded by the community as insignificant). And in a case where no guilt has been established by a court, condemnation of the accused is not even an option.

7) Again, I was following Rav Steinman’s lead. But I do believe that had there been some example of outrageous behavior on the part of haredim the week of the Haiti cataclysm I would indeed have written something on the order of what I wrote at http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2009/07/24/how-to-promote-baseless-hatred/

I hope the above clarifies what I wrote in my essay. I realize that that some readers will still feel strongly that, rather than the societal ill on which I focused, I should have addressed other things. I fully respect that feeling, even if I don’t agree with it. I recognize that many other issues seem of greater gravity than our speech and the emotions that fuel what we choose to say. Still and all, I believe that speech is our most powerful strength and potential – for good and, G-d forbid, for evil.

Dear readers, feel free to disagree – but, please, do so agreeably. Comments to this note are invited, as long as they are offered, even if in dissent, in a spirit of good will and the greater good of Klal Yisrael. Just as in any chavrusah, here too give-and-take, disagreements and even arguing can help lead to greater understanding. But just as in a chavrusah, the dialectic has to be, ultimately, between friends, respectful and aimed at a common goal.

Ribbit Ribbit Rabbi Ribiat hems & haws said...

5 Towns Jewish Times, Monsey Rabbis on Leib Tropper: Further Interview by 5TJT Staff. Published on Saturday, January 30, 2010.

On January 21, 10 Rabbi Dovid Ribiat released an interview regarding the Tropper scandal. His remarks generated a lot of interest, and he was asked on Jan. 29 for another brief interview to address some of the many questions that have since been raised.

Rabbi Ribiat heads the Kollel Ohr Yaakov of Forshay in Monsey NY, and is regarded as a prominent Halachic authority across the US. He is also the author of several Seforim, including the world-renowned four-volume work on the 39 Melochos of Shabbos.

Interviewer: I know that you have said that you do not wish to be thrust onto the public stage. May I ask why you have agreed to do these interviews?

RR: Firstly, please understand that I am not acting as an official spokesman for the Rabbonim of Monsey, only as an individual Rabbi. I’ve consented to this only because several Rabbis, myself included, realized that there is perception in the public that the Rabbonim are unwilling to act on this very serious matter. We hoped that explaining some of the difficult issues involved could help people who are justifiably concerned to see that this was not the case. I hope we can make a positive difference.

INT: I believe that you have, Rabbi. Now, in the previous interview, you repeatedly emphasized the lack of evidence in the case of Tropper. Many are asking why evidence is necessary if Tropper himself is not denying the tapes?

RR: The Rabbonim and Roshei Yeshivah I have spoken with have told me that he has vehemently denied the authenticity of the tapes to them. However, I definitely agree that his failure to deny them publicly, or to indicate that he is trying to disprove them raises very strong suspicions. A Beis Din can, and I’m sure will, demand an explanation. But they cannot take action, or even make statements, without proof.

INT: OK, but isn’t it pretty obvious by now that the tapes are real – everyone who has listened to them insists that it is his voice. Can’t the Beis Din proceed on that alone?

RR: This may seem hard to believe, but the Rabbis have been warned that, given today’s advanced technology, tapes and even videos could be fabricated or manipulated with amazing results. In fact, Rabbi Tropper claims that he is being harassed by powerful adversaries with the desire and resources to do this. Therefore, a Beis Din cannot use them as evidence unless they are authenticated.

INT: Is this being done?

RR: I can’t get into details, but I know that there are Rabbonim working hard to establish the facts on many allegations, according to Halacha. A Beis Din must also be concerned about the potential of a libel suit, and must be protected legally. All this is taking time, and is also expensive. But bear in mind that even with good evidence, a Beis Din may be limited in what it can do if a subject is recalcitrant – they cannot call the sheriff to remove someone from his premises. Even a large group of Rabbis making a joint statement can be limited legally in the language that they may use in a condemnation.

In any case, people should realize that these Rabbonim, who have their own personal responsibilities, are donating their precious time, and even money to assume an unpleasant task for the sake of Klal. They are not being paid for their efforts, and have no agenda against anyone. But I also know that they have no intention of letting this just “blow over”; they intend to settle this matter and hopefully remove the Chillul Hashem.

Ribbit Ribbit Rabbi Ribiat hems & haws said...

INT: There have been rumors for years about Tropper’s immorality. Isn’t there something in Halacha about constant rumors being a kind of evidence?

RR: What you’re referring to is a concept known as “Kola D’lo Posik”, which means “rumors that do not cease”. Yes, there is such a thing as rumors that carry some legitimate weight as evidence. However, not all rumors are alike. In this case, the rumors do not qualify because the subject, Rabbi Tropper, has many detractors. We must consider the possibility that the rumors might have originated from those sources; they are Halachically not acceptable evidence.

INT: You mentioned Beis Din’s fear of a libel suit. Why weren’t the Rabbis afraid of a libel suit in the case of Slifkin?

RR: I am not a lawyer and cannot answer that question. As I have said, I was not involved with that controversy. In any case, the Slifkin issue is not really relevant here.

INT: Even so, there was a lot of response to your comments regarding the Slifkin case; were you condoning the ban against his books? Did you read any of them?

RR: To your last question; yes, in fact I have - and even jotted notes on the margins. However, I had no involvement with that controversy, and had no intention at all to comment on it, other than to respond that the controversy was over serious matters of Hashkafa, not merely “political correctness”, and that the source of the controversy was over subject matter that was verified, as opposed to the Tropper case. I was not stating any opinion on whether the ban was justified, or on how it was conducted.

INT: People have also asked why there was swift condemnation of “Lipa” for what the Rabbis considered to be his objectionable music, even though this was nothing compared to the Tropper scandal?

RR: I am not very familiar with the Lipa Schmeltzer matter, and cannot comment other than to say that I don’t recall hearing that Lipa denied anything, or that the facts were an issue. In any case, I am sure that there are other Rabbis in a better position than myself to discuss the Lipa matter. I am concerned mainly with our ongoing problem in Monsey.

INT: In your previous interview, you concluded that if the allegations are proven to be true, that [I quote] “… we in the Torah community must collectively take swift measures to eradicate this abomination from our midst …”. Is this suggesting that there will be violence against Tropper if the tapes are proven to be authentic?

RR: No, no, no - Chas V’shalom! What I meant was that, if true, the status quo – that of remaining a Rosh Yeshivah, Mechanech, public figure, as before – is an abomination that in my opinion must be removed. However, only a Beis Din can determine specific measures. Or, perhaps he will resign on his own and resolve the matter quietly.

INT: Do you care to add any further comments?

RR: Yes; I hope that my efforts have helped allay at least some of the concerns that all of us have felt over this very painful episode. I think that it should be mentioned that even if the allegations are proven to be true, we do recognize that Rabbi Tropper has also made positive contributions in the past. However, the status quo cannot be allowed to remain.

With Siyata D’Shmayo – Divine assistance – we will succeed in resolving this matter quickly and fairly, and without further Chillul Hashem

INT: Thank you very much, Rabbi, for your time

RR: You’re welcome.

Kol Yaakov dum dums said...

Yehoshua said...I just received this letter from Kol Yaakov yeshiva. It is postmarked January 28, 2010 and the letter itself is dated January 25, 2010 on Kol Yaakov letterhead. I typed it out because I don't have a scanner.

As you can read below, whomever sent this letter still believes in Tropper and fund raising is still on-going.

Dear fellow alumni,

Every morning for the past 26 years, without fail, Hilchos Lashon Hara from the sefer Chofetz Chaim have been learned in the Bais Medrash of Kol Yaakov, your Bais Medrash, after shacharis. This emphasis on binding together learning and character development in a tangible way is part of what makes Kol Yaakov so special.

This past month, Kol Yaakov Torah Center has endured one of the most challenging periods of its 29 year history. Kol Yaakov has emerged whole and is forging ahead.

Just this past Sunday, Rabbi Tropper and alumni of the yeshiva from Lakewood, Passaic, and Philadelphia gathered together in Lakewood for an asifa. Everyone took time out of their busy schedules to hear Divrei Torah from Rabbi Tropper, spend time with fellow alumni, and to gain new chizuk and direction.

As alumni of Kol Yaakov, you are the most important people outside of the walls of the yeshiva to its health and continued growth. Please take the opportunity to be personally mechazek the yeshiva: taking time to learn and daven in the Bais Medrash, calling the yeshiva office to share your simchos, and donating much needed funds to help ensure our future. Even if you are not able to visit the Bais Medrash personally, please reach out and call Rabbi Tropper and the yeshiva – reconnect to Rabbi Tropper and your Makom Torah.

Together, we will continue to emerge from this nisayon not as only as strong and healthy as before but in an even better position to broaden and intensify the yeshiva’s mission of teaching Torah, helping create a new generation of Tamidei Chachomim and strengthening Jewish life.


Yonason Meadows Binhyomin Segall Amitai Bielinki Yaakov Gruber

William Dwek said...

The ‘dayanim’ & ‘rabbis’ of today are men who are ROTTEN. To their core.

They all refuse to deal with a CHILLUL HASHEM.

OH nO! That's out of their remit! They start sprinting the 100 metres when they hear that.

And these so-called ‘dayanim’ & ‘rabbis’ we have allowed in have no AHAVAT YISRAEL. They are quite simply: poisonous SCUM.

When the top is ROTTEN, the rottenness filters down to everyone else.

Anonymous said...

I get a lot of these fund raising letters. My question is "Why in the world would I give money to you aguda t un-mesorah hypocrite crooks?"

Yes, I believe they're my fellow Jews and many yehidim are beautiful neshamot. But aguda and its katan's don't believe I'm one of THEIR fellow Jews. They say that I don't practice Judaism. They say that even if I became "frum" by wearing the right outfit, I still wouldn't be worthy enough to have children with one of their women, though baruh hashem I have a beautiful kind wife. They feel very qualified to displace Hashem and rule on every aspect of my life but are above any judgment or criticism by any outsider despite clear, deep evil and rishus.

What's more, they believe they are entitled to parasitize the Jewish people and inflict the great evil of poverty on amha(Hashem yishmereynu . Their 'gadlus' is to practice an ever-more Talibanish perversion of Judaism. My job is to go hungry so I can support them. My job is to shut my brain and follow their pope-is-infallible cum daas torah kool aid. Screw that and the treif posul mule hamor moetzes it rode in on.

Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Hillel were a day laborer and a shepherd. These mamre's can bloody well follow their example, learn a honest trade and do something good with their lives instead of their sheitel burning, blog banning, rioting,ad nauseum, ad kaan. Hamevin YaVin

a conservative rav in NYC/aka Sodom