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Thursday, April 07, 2011

SUFFERING IN SILENCE WINS EMMY FOR BEST RELIGION NEWS STORY




At the 54th Annual New York Emmy Awards this week, reporter Tara Rosenblum was awarded an Emmy for her piece, Suffering in Silence. This television report tells the story of former Kiryas Joel resident, Shlomo Weiss, who was sexually abused by his father from early childhood to age 16.

Community rabbis covered up the abuse and protected his father.

We applaud Shlomo for having the courage to go public with his experience of abuse. When SFJ approached Shlomo and asked him if he would be willing to tell his story on television he didn't hesitate. "I have to protect my family and community," was his immediate response.

As a teenager, Shlomo tried to protect himself; he reported the abuse to his teachers in Nitra Yeshiva and also to the most prominent rabbis in his community.

Instead of bringing the complaint to law enforcement, they sent Shlomo out of the country to keep him quiet.

In sharp contrast, Shlomo's father was allowed to continue driving a school bus in Kiryas Joel and to this day has unrestricted access to children.

Shlomo's message to the community is that the only way we can put a stop to the ongoing cover-up of child sexual abuse and the community's protection of offenders is to report abuse directly to law enforcement.

Thank you, Shlomo, for your selfless courage. You've undoubtedly saved lives by telling your story.

Thank you, Tara, for patiently working with us and producing such a powerful report. Children everywhere are safer as a result of your work.

For additional information please visit our website:www.sfjny.org.
Contact us:info@sfjny.org.

11 comments:

One year since Troppers fall 20 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.

Haaretz:

"U.S. rabbi involved in sex scandal led fight against Israel conversions

Rabbi Tropper filmed demanding sex for himself and for friends in exchange for conversion certificate.

By Yair Ettinger 24.12.09

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."

One year since Troppers fall 21 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.

Haaretz:

"U.S. rabbi involved in sex scandal led fight against Israel conversions

Rabbi Tropper filmed demanding sex for himself and for friends in exchange for conversion certificate.

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.

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."

Saul Sadka contributed to this article"

Greece, Ireland and Portugal are BANKRUPT said...

The Telegraph:

"George Osborne must act before Britain is sucked into the euro whirlpool

By Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph's chief political commentator, April 7th, 2011

George Osborne has established a high reputation as Chancellor, and in some ways this is well deserved. He has restructured the Treasury, taken steps towards rebuilding the credibility of our national accounts, and above all produced a plausible plan for reducing the chronically out-of-control budget deficit. However, I believe that the Chancellor is in danger of throwing away all of this achievement, by failing to confront his first great financial crisis. This is the collapse of eurozone, a slow-motion disaster that reached a fresh level of horror on Wednesday night when Portugal held out the begging bowl...

The worrying thing is that Osborne has so far said and done nothing that shows the public that he has the faintest idea how to respond to the looming calamity that now faces Europe. Worse, the situation is just as bad behind the scenes. Treasury officials and advisers appear out of their depth. There is no co-ordination with the Foreign Office. There is no strategy and no grown-up analysis...

...The simple truth is that Greece, Ireland and Portugal are all bankrupt. Perhaps it is worth spelling out exactly what this means: however hard these countries try, and whatever austerities they impose, they will never, ever be able to pay off their debts.

...The most troubling by far concerns the European Central Bank. Headquartered in Frankfurt, the German financial capital, the ECB was created by the Maastricht Treaty and is constitutionally obliged to be a sober financial institution that issues euros and banknotes, and regulates the monetary policy of the eurozone’s 17 member states.

The reality is different. The ECB conducts itself more recklessly than the most incontinent hedge fund. Its urgent task is the salvation of the eurozone, and it has chosen to do this by purchasing truly staggering amounts of government and bank debt, issued by the most endangered eurozone countries. Were it not for these so-called “market operations”, Greece, Portugal and Ireland would have defaulted months ago...

But the disaster will hit us, too. Britain is a shareholder in the ECB, and Britain is a core part of the bail-out mechanism. It is time that we started to poke our nose in, to demand honesty and transparency, and to stop sending good money after bad. Above all, George Osborne has an urgent duty as Chancellor to construct a firewall that protects Britain as much as is possible from the catastrophe that now looms over Europe."

IBM helped the Nazis said...

"IBM and the Holocaust is the stunning story of IBM's strategic alliance with Nazi Germany -- beginning in 1933 in the first weeks that Hitler came to power and continuing well into World War II. As the Third Reich embarked upon its plan of conquest and genocide, IBM and its subsidiaries helped create enabling technologies, step-by-step, from the identification and cataloging programs of the 1930s to the selections of the 1940s.

Only after Jews were identified -- a massive and complex task that Hitler wanted done immediately -- could they be targeted for efficient asset confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, enslaved labor, and, ultimately, annihilation. It was a cross-tabulation and organizational challenge so monumental, it called for a computer. Of course, in the 1930s no computer existed.

But IBM's Hollerith punch card technology did exist. Aided by the company's custom-designed and constantly updated Hollerith systems, Hitler was able to automate his persecution of the Jews. Historians have always been amazed at the speed and accuracy with which the Nazis were able to identify and locate European Jewry. Until now, the pieces of this puzzle have never been fully assembled. The fact is, IBM technology was used to organize nearly everything in Germany and then Nazi Europe, from the identification of the Jews in censuses, registrations, and ancestral tracing programs to the running of railroads and organizing of concentration camp slave labor..."

Berlusconi and Tropper mired in sexual scandals said...

The Telegraph:

"Silvio Berlusconi prostitution trial begins in Milan

The court case against the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has commenced amid new revelations of leaked tapes.

6 Apr 2011

Mr Berlusconi, 74, is accused of paying a teenage nightclub dancer for sex and later abusing his power in an attempt to cover it up.

Neither he nor 'Ruby the Heart Stealer' Karima El Mahroug attended court as proceedings were declared open, before being adjourned until May 31 after just a few minutes of preliminary matters..

The trial opens a day after taped conversations that feature Berlusconi discussing Ruby's age were leaked

Prosecutors claim that he paid her for sexual relations on 13 occasions when she was working as a 17-year-old escort – a year below the legal age of prostitution in Italy – and that he then tried to cover up the relationship through an abuse of office.

If the court in Milan finds him guilty, he could be sent to jail for up to 15 years. If he receives a sentence longer than five years, he would be barred from ever again holding public office.

But legal experts say the under age prostitution charge will be hard to prove because both he and Ruby deny having sex.

Taped conversations between the 43 young starlets involved in the case have been leaked to the press for weeks, but Mr Berlusconi's own apparent conversations had not yet emerged until now.

In the first of three released yesterday, he purpotedly speaks with Nicole Minetti, an Anglo-Italian former showgirl and dental hygienist whom Mr Berlusconi propelled into politics as a member of Lombardy's regional council.

In the exchange, recorded on Aug 1 last year, Miss Minetti, 25, warns that a public prosecutor wants to quiz her about Mr Berlusconi's relationship with Moroccan-born Ruby, whose real name is Karima El Mahroug.

According to the transcript, a worried-sounding Mr Berlusconi allegedly said: "OK, what is important is that there are various people who can vouch for the fact that (Ruby) gave an age different to her real one.

"Once that happens, there'll be nothing more to say. We just helped her because we took pity on her. Let's hope that it doesn't turn into a mess."

ישר כוח said...

((CALL TO ACTION)) Next Friday, 4/15/11, there will be a hearing for David Y. Greenfeld, who was arrested in December 2009 on 3 charges related to child molestation. Greenfeld was a teacher at the Mosholu Yeshiva in Boro Park. He is current out on bail.

Please come out on 4/15/11 at 9:00 am to support the alleged victim(s)!

http://yasherkoachsupport.blogspot.com/2010/03/upcoming-hearings.html

Toronto Aguda rabbis bewail blogs and Emails like Arab despots said...

FM reports:

"Toronto Haredi Rabbis Ban Blogs, Email Blasts That Question Haredi Rabbinic Leadership

April 08, 2011

The Va'ad has prominent members – like Agudath Israel's Rabbi Shlomo Miller – who regularly attack Modern Orthodox rabbis. Yet the Va'ad has now banned blogs and email blasts that question Miller's and other haredi rabbis' behavior, hiding behind lashon hara laws Miller and other haredi rabbis regularly violate.

[Click to see original "Open Letter to the Toronto Jewish Community"]"

Saudi Arabia fights Internet like Agudists said...

Financial Times:

"Online law curbs Saudi freedom of expression

By Abeer Allam, April 6 2011

Across the Arab world, electronic media such as Twitter and Facebook have played pivotal roles in catalysing the popular uprisings that have toppled two long-serving rulers and continue to threaten others.

In Saudi Arabia, however, online activists fear a new electronic publication law is curtailing nascent freedom of expression.

The law, which came into effect in February, requires online newspapers to obtain a licence from the information ministry. It also expands state control so that online news and commentary websites can be fined or blocked if they are deemed offensive, compromising the nation’s economy or security, or violating Islamic sharia.

While blogs, online forums and chat rooms are excluded from the licensing requirement, the vaguely worded law makes all electronic content, including mobile phone text and video messaging, subject to regulation, critics complain.

“The law axes the tight margin of freedom of expression we enjoy instead of promoting it,” says Hassan Almustafa, a Saudi writer and blogger. “Frustrated Saudi youth will wonder why they don’t enjoy the same online freedom that their peers in neighbouring countries have.”

...Please respect FT.com's ts&cs and copyright policy which allow you to: share links; copy content for personal use; & redistribute limited extracts. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights or use this link to reference the article - http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/25b1cad8-605c-11e0-abba-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1Iygs94lp

“The information ministry is facing a dilemma and is under a lot of pressure because it is asked to control the media and is held accountable for any criticism of anyone, even online,” says Saud Kateb, a media professor who advised on the law in its early stages. “But it needs to act wisely to regulate publishing, not to censor. Some people with little education and louder voices are pushing for imposing more restrictions.”

...Please respect FT.com's ts&cs and copyright policy which allow you to: share links; copy content for personal use; & redistribute limited extracts. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights or use this link to reference the article - http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/25b1cad8-605c-11e0-abba-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1IygzHWR4

But a royal decree last month that banned the “defaming” of clerics has stoked concerns among reformists and liberals.

“The  decision does not ban criticising the clerics. It bans unprofessional personal attacks against religious scholars,” says an expert close to the government.

Critics, however, complain that the vaguely worded regulations can be exploited by public figures not accustomed to criticism..."

Arthur said...

David Horowitz

They pulled every last father, mother and child out of the Gaza Strip, where we could get at them easily. They pulled their army out too.

Every last tank, every last soldier. The only one we’ve got here now is Gilad Schalit.

Some of them thought that this might sate our ambitions. Idiots. They thought the “international community” would give us hell if we carried on trying to kill them. Fools. Of course we weren’t going to stop, and of course no one was going to stop us. We won’t stop till we’ve terrorized them all the way out of Palestine. And it’s not like we’re making any secret of that; it’s all there in our charter.

But, heaven help us, they don’t shift easily. And they do value life.

Even our people’s.

We make sure our fighters are surrounded by women and children before we open fire. We make sure our fighters are indistinguishable from civilians; no uniforms for us. And still those Jews insist on holding their return fire unless they can be reasonably sure they’ll only kill our men. Unbelievable: We’re doing everything we can to get our ordinary people killed, and they’re doing everything they can not to kill them. What kind of upside-down world is this?

How do they even know who our fighters are? Think of the resources they’re expending making sure they don’t kill the wrong people! Thank goodness the rest of the world is too dumb or too blinkered to internalize what’s going on; thank goodness they still haven’t figured out that we’re deliberately putting our people in harm’s way and those Jewsare doing their best not to harm them.

And as for their lives? Like I said, it’s just getting harder and harder to kill them. They have early-warning systems and alarms and bomb shelters and safe rooms and protective concrete cubes and fantastic, heroic medical services. Just imagine, if we adopted those kinds of measures, we’d have none of our people killed, and then where would we be?

Come to think of it, we wouldn’t need to adopt any of those measures if we just stopped shooting at them. It’s not as though they’d shoot first. But if we stopped firing, how could we complain to the world about those vicious Zionist enemies? How could we keep the UN and the rest of those suckers on our side? How could we keep the Jew-hatred at fever pitch among our people? How could we serve our noble, bloody cause?

But, damn them and their clever innovations, they haven’t stopped with the alarms and the shelters. Now they’ve come up with this “Iron Dome” gadget.

In a million years, we didn’t think it would work. They’re going to fire rockets at our rockets and shoot them out of the sky?

Yeah, right. This isn’t Xbox or PlayStation. Last time I looked, it was a pretty big sky out there.

But bless my soul, they’ve managed it. Ten of our rockets blasted out of the air in the past two days alone. Nauseating. We were sure we’d have some meaty kills out of those salvoes.

I mean, it’s not even supposed to be working properly yet; it’s still in the experimental stage; the Israeli media were laughing at its developers; they were certain it was useless.

Sometimes, I swear, I start to wonder if God’s on their side. Crazy, huh? I don’t know what’s getting into me. But look at the evidence: This weekend we had a Grad land near a kibbutz administration building. We got one right next to a school in Ofakim. Not a single fatality. A few minutes earlier on Thursday, we might have had a bus full of schoolkids near Kibbutz Sa’ad. But no, they got off just before we hit that bright yellow, sitting- duck target, and all we got was one teenager and the driver.

What? What’s that you say? Put the weapons away? Internalize the sanctity of human life?

That’s ridiculous talk. Next you’ll be telling me to make peace with them. To acknowledge that they have the right to live here. To build a state alongside theirs. To give our people a better future. To turn our attention away from war and violence and death and killing, toward something productive.

Never, I tell you. Never.

dave said...

Re Toronto

There is no ban. Read the letter again. It is a pretty well thought out letter to the community that is attempting to teach right from wrong. The reader is welcome to accept or reject.

By the way, this is a direct response to one person who regularly disseminates emails to a wide audience, most of which are a personal vendetta smear campaign against one particular Rav in the city. With each additional email, the poster makes himself look smaller and smaller, more picayune and more delusional. You want to disagree with someone - go ahead. You want to blame every problem in the city and beyond on one man - you look like a fool.

BT Archipelago said...

Blogs like "frum satire" contribute nothing to fight molestation and abuse; instead they attack Halocho Yodua and true Mesoras Yisroel.