Thursday, October 31, 2013

Not All Beards Are Winners!



Ex-Brooklyn rabbi arrested on sex abuse charges in California

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A rabbi who used to work in Brooklyn was arrested in California Tuesday over allegations of child sex abuse in our area.
Rabbi Menachem Tewel is expected to return to Brooklyn as early as Wednesday to face a series of criminal sex act charges.

He was taken into custody by police at the JEM Center, a Jewish youth community center on Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills, where he now works.

The Kings County District Attorney's Office confirmed that an arrest warrant was issued earlier this month for 30-year-old Rabbi Tewel.

"Mendel Tevel has been accused by many people of being a child molester," said Ilanit Gluckosky, of Jewish Community Watch, an organization that focuses on child abuse prevention. "It was brought to the attention of Jewish Community Watch."

According to the organization, the charges against Tewel go back to the mid-1990s and as recently as 2004.

The watchdog group reported on four men who accused Tewel of molesting them when they were boys in Brooklyn.

"No child, no parent, no one has alleged anything against the JEM Center," center attorney Dana Cole said. "This involves activities that occurred several years ago in New York City."

Jewish Community Watch says it alerted local rabbis about the allegations against Tewel in August.
"Law enforcement told them there was no warrant, there was no criminal investigation, so JEM Center attempted to do due diligence," Cole said. "They were assured by law enforcement that nothing was going on, and then they were surprised today at this arrest."

The JEM Center's director, Rabbi Hertzel Illulian, is Tewel's father-in-law.

"God will help that it will show that it's all false and will clear up, and people will see while we will still continue our good job for the community," Illulian said.

“Early relationships, where adults are responsive and attentive, are able to buffer the damaging effects on the brain and body,”

Protecting Children From Toxic Stress

Fixes looks at solutions to social problems and why they work.

Imagine if scientists discovered a toxic substance that increased the risks of cancer, diabetes and heart, lung and liver disease for millions of people. Something that also increased one’s risks for smoking, drug abuse, suicide, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, domestic violence and depression — and simultaneously reduced the chances of succeeding in school, performing well on a job and maintaining stable relationships? It would be comparable to hazards like lead paint, tobacco smoke and mercury. We would do everything in our power to contain it and keep it far away from children. Right?
Children can be shielded from the most damaging effects of stress if their parents are taught how to respond appropriately.
 Well, there is such a thing, but it’s not a substance. It’s been called “toxic stress.” For more than a decade, researchers have understood that frequent or continual stress on young children who lack adequate protection and support from adults, is strongly associated with increases in the risks of lifelong health and social problems, including all those listed above.

In the late 1990s, Vincent Felitti and Robert Anda conducted a landmark study that examined the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) — including abuse, neglect, domestic violence and family dysfunction — on 17,000 mainly white, predominately well-educated, middle class people in San Diego. They found a powerful connection between the level of adversity faced and the incidence of many health and social problems. They also discovered that ACEs were more common than they had expected. (About 40 percent of respondents reported two or more ACEs, and 25 percent reported three or more.) Since then, similar surveys have been conducted in several states, with consistent findings.

In the years since, advances in biology, neuroscience, epigenetics and other fields have shed light on the mechanisms behind this phenomenon. “What the science is telling us now is how experience gets into the brain as it’s developing its basic architecture and how it gets into the cardiovascular system and the immune system,” explains Jack P. Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, where the term toxic stress was coined. “These insights provide an opportunity to think about new ways we might try to reduce the academic achievement gap and health disparities — and not just do the same old things.”

First, it’s important to note that toxic stress is not a determinant, but a risk factor. And while prevention is best, it’s never too late to mitigate its effects. It’s also critical to distinguish between “toxic stress” and normal stress. In the context of a reasonably safe environment where children have protective relationships with adults, Shonkoff explains, childhood stress is not a problem. In fact, it promotes healthy growth, coping skills and resilience. It becomes harmful when it is prolonged and when adults do not interact in ways that make children feel safe and emotionally connected.
This distinction is critical, because it opens the way to new opportunities to prevent a cascade of health problems. It is exceedingly difficult to alter the environments that produce major stress for families, particularly poverty. However, children can be shielded from the most damaging effects of stress if their parents are taught how to respond appropriately. “One thing that is highly protective is the quality of the relationship between the parent and the child,” explains Darcy Lowell, the founder of Child FIRST, a program based in Bridgeport, Conn., that has marshaled strong evidence demonstrating the ability to intervene early, at relatively low cost, to reduce the harm caused by childhood stress in extremely high-need families. “Early relationships, where adults are responsive and attentive, are able to buffer the damaging effects on the brain and body,” she says.....


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Footprints in the Snow

The UOJ Archives - December 2010

December (Kislev) was always my favorite month. For many reasons. I was born within a few hours of that day of the other well-known charismatic Jew -- with dark hair and a beard. I am craftier than he was though, the Establishment's attempt to nail me to the shtender was unsuccessful; and that's where the similarities end, depending on who you talk to of course.

The cold weather was a reprieve for me from the hot New York summers. The lights of Chanukah burning bright in our window; and the peace that came along with the long winter nights was inspirational. As my children grew, it became our most festive Jewish holiday; dancing together around the lit menorah.

I was always puzzled why Chanukah was so dear to me. Perhaps because one of my names in Aramaic means flame/torch and the other name means "bright one" or "shining one" in German? And yes, I loved the snow, that beautiful white snow that covered and brightened the filthy New York streets, seeming, at least temporarily, to cover the dark secrets of those streets. As a child, snowball fights were actually a neighborhood event. Parents would join in to help their kids slug it out with their friends.

And when we moved into the new neighborhood, the closest shul that I felt comfortable with was on the other side of the tracks. There was a new shtibel being set up in the living room of a very nice man. It was hard to say no to him, although I never found my place there. So I found myself mostly walking over to my parents home and davening with my father at his local shtibel. Initially, thinking somehow I could make it work. I hate shtibels, every community member should belong to a shul with a real rav, not some hokey-pokey voodoo kook, or a flunky with flair.

I remember getting up very early in the winter months when it snowed, sitting in my beautiful bechora's room, watching her sleep, constantly putting my hand by her nose to make certain she was breathing, and watching the snow fall and enjoying the peace that it brought me. There's something special forever for the child that made you a father. There was not a living soul yet in the street at 4 a.m.

I would be in her room until 5 a.m. or so, when off I went by foot to say a shiur to the two elderly Jews at the local synagogue (as opposed to a shul) where I davened shacharit in the weekdays as well. From two elderly Jews it became three, four, five...the aged and infirmed rabbi could not believe his eyes. He barely had a minyan until I moved in, in less than six months there were some twenty five people davening at the 6 o'clock minyan.

I would have liked to believe that on those snowy mornings, my footprints in the snow that I left going to daven, would be there on the way home. Of course, that never happened. Other people were walking the streets as well, or the snow turned to slush, or rain washed it away.

Or maybe they're still there, I just can't see them.

Life moves along, and we moved away...there were shuls, shtibels and kosher establishments galore.

The new neighborhood was aesthetically beautiful; shortly after we moved we were blessed with my youngest favorite child. She drove me nuts; the more the merrier. She could do no wrong, ever!

It was full of plastic people and I had a difficult time getting used to the "what's in it for me" mentality. So I went about my business focusing on my career and my family. "They" tried to induce and seduce me into getting involved in what they called "community affairs"; I called it mundane affairs of ego-maniacs who would do anything to see their names on buildings, organization stationary, and getting to sit on a table slightly elevated from the other tables at school dinners.

I left footprints in the sand; I'm fairly certain the low tides washed them away.

Or maybe they're still there, I just can't see them.

And as I became ashamed of myself for not getting with the program -- my staff operated the computers for my organization, I was still using my Rolodex, had a massive business card album comprising some 7200 business cards of every person I ever met who had one, and dictating letters to my assistant, I took a beginners class in January 2005 at a local computer training school. They taught me how to turn on the computer, the basics of e-mail, and how to get online.

And one evening in March 2005 I came across a Blog, I said to myself, "I can do that", and so I did.

I left footprints in cyberspace; the Establishment attempted to "wash them away".

They're still there, and the world sees them!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Eyes Wide Open!

WATCH VIDEO :http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1024860/?ref_=rvi_tt

New Guidelines on Punishing Child Rape Win Praise, and Criticism

China has said those who sexually abuse minors should be more heavily punished.
A string of cases this year of adults raping or sexually assaulting children has sickened the Chinese public. Last week the Supreme People’s Court reacted, issuing a legal opinion mandating heavier punishments for sex offenders — especially state employees, including teachers, who figured in many of the cases.

“State employees must be models of the law, and lead the way in protecting minors,” said Zhou Feng, the head of the country’s first criminal court, announcing the opinion at a news conference last Thursday. “But a very small number of state employees have violated these morals and integrity and severely damaged the image of state bodies,” he said.

“The guideline embodies the principle of maximum protection for the victims and minimum tolerance for the offenders,” said Sun Jungong, a court spokesman. But critics said the new rules were flawed, appearing to lower the age at which a child receives the “absolute protection” of the law from 14 — China’s age of consent — to 12.

Among the new rules: Institutions involved in the sexual abuse of children, such as hospitals or schools, may be required to pay compensation to victims, and offenders serving suspended sentences may be barred from schools or other jobs that bring them into contact with minors.

The issue is highly sensitive in China amid a growing perception that civil servants had been abusing their power and escaping appropriate punishment.

This revulsion led to a rare public protest last May, when Ye Haiyan, an advocate for the rights of sex workers and greater protections for children, traveled to Hainan Province where a primary school principal and a teacher were accused raping six girls. She carried a sign that read, “Principal, if you want to ‘get a room,’ look for me. Leave the school kids alone.”

The campaign went viral on the Internet and many women copied her gesture, posting images of themselves with similar signs.

In September, a civil servant in Daguan County in the southwestern province of Yunnan who was convicted of raping a 4-year-old girl was sentenced to five years in prison, causing an outcry by those who considered the punishment too lenient. In mid-October a higher court referred the case for re-sentencing, saying the punishment was “clearly inappropriate,” reported Xinhua, the state-run news agency.

Based on an unusual clause in Chinese law, men have been able to argue that sex with minors — meaning those under 14 — is not rape if the girl is paid, but instead constitutes the crime of “spending the night with a young girl in a brothel,” which carries a different penalty, possibly resulting in five years in jail and a fine. Rape is punishable by a minimum sentence of three years and a maximum of death.

But in its opinion last week, the Supreme People’s Court told the police, justice officials and all courts in the country, both civilian and military: “Sex offenses against minors must be severely punished.” It added: “Please implement this seriously.” (Here is the opinion, in Chinese.)

People in a position of responsibility and trust toward minors, including teachers and medical staff, would be held to a high standard in their own behavior and should report any suspected abuse, it said.

Sex with a minor under any circumstance is rape, the court said, in a move welcomed by children’s rights lawyers..........


Sunday, October 27, 2013

"Mark, I'm 75 years old. I was raped and abused by my uncle when I was 15. It was 60 years ago, and I have never forgotten one thing. I never told anybody."

Bill would extend rights of child sex-abuse victims to sue

State Rep. Mark Rozzi said he was talking to a group after a taxpayer rally in Harrisburg last month when someone asked him what else he was up to.

He told them about legislation he is co-sponsoring to raise the statute of limitations on the filing of civil suits in cases of child sexual abuse.

Afterward, one woman stayed behind and began crying.

Rozzi recalled her words: "Mark, I'm 75 years old. I was raped and abused by my uncle when I was 15. It was 60 years ago, and I have never forgotten one thing. I never told anybody."

"We cannot forget," said Rozzi, who alleges he was abused by a priest when he was 13. "It's in your mind every single day."

The legislation would allow adult victims of child sexual abuse to file civil suits against their abusers or the institutions that employed the abusers until the victims are age 50.

 The current age is 30. The legislation also would open a two-year window for victims to re-file cases thrown out of court because the statute of limitations had expired.

It wouldn't be retroactive; victims 51 or older would still be unable to file suits.

Still, some sort of change is needed because most victims don't come forward until later in life, Rozzi said.

Several states have increased their limits. Others are debating increases.

Pennsylvania's proposal has been stalled in the House Judiciary Committee since it was introduced in January. Chairman Ron Marisco, a Dauphin County Republican, has said he won't allow a vote because the proposed legislation is unconstitutional.

Apparently, Delaware lawmakers had no such concerns. They eliminated the statute of limitations, and victims there have won millions of dollars from the Catholic institutions that employed their abusers.

But this is not just about abuse by priests, said Rozzi, a Muhlenberg Township Democrat. Teachers, coaches and others use positions of trust to abuse children, he said.

"This is about justice denied, and we will not stop until we can get this done," he said.

Next week: Spring Township attorney Jay Abramowitch, who has handled numerous civil cases filed against priests and their dioceses, provides his opinion on the proposed legislation.

Contact Mary Young: 610-478-6292 or myoung@readingeagle.com.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Agudath Israel Nowhere to be Found on Hebrew Schools and Yeshivas!

House votes for school checks for sex offenders



 CLICK: http://cdnapi.kaltura.com/index.php/extwidget/openGraph/wid/0_afnwsclo

WASHINGTON (AP) — Public schools would be barred from employing teachers and other workers convicted of sexual offenses against children or other violent crimes under a bill the House approved Tuesday.

The measure would require school systems to check state and federal criminal records for employees with unsupervised access to elementary and secondary school students, and for people seeking those jobs. Workers refusing to submit to the checks would not be allowed to have school positions.

A 2010 report by the Government Accountability Office, the auditing arm of Congress, cited one estimate that there are 620,000 convicted sex offenders in the U.S.
It also found that state laws on the employment of sex offenders in schools vary. Some require less stringent background checks than others, and they differ on how people with past convictions are treated, such as whether they are fired or lose their teaching license.

The bill has run into objections from major teachers' unions like the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. In letters to lawmakers, their criticisms included concerns that the measure might jeopardize workers' protections under union contracts.

In addition, the NEA wrote that criminal background checks "often have a huge, racially disparate impact" — a reference to critics' complaints that minorities make up a disproportionately high proportion of people convicted of crimes.

Despite those concerns, the House approved the measure by voice vote.

"Keeping children safe is not a partisan issue," said the chief sponsor, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif. "It's a moral obligation."

"Every school employee, from the cafeteria workers to the administrators, to janitors to the teachers, principals and librarians, that every one" is subject to background checks including the FBI fingerprint identification system to the national sex offender registry, said Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind.
No one said they opposed the bill. But Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., said that by imposing lifetime bans and ignoring the ability of people to overcome criminal backgrounds, "We do run the risk of doing a good thing, but doing too much of a thing." He said he'd continue seeking changes in the measure as it moves through Congress.

The measure will need approval from the Senate. It is expected to be considered there in coming months as part of a broad overhaul of federal laws on elementary and secondary schools.

The bill would forbid public schools to employ people convicted of crimes against children including pornography, or of felonies including murder, rape, spousal abuse or kidnapping. It would bar school districts and state education agencies from transferring workers who have engaged in sexual misconduct with minors to another location.

Employees with violations would be allowed to appeal, but they could not work during the appeals process.



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It also confirmed that girls who—according to their caregivers—were shy, withdrawn, had impulsive tendencies or expressed feelings of worthlessness were more prone to sexual assault.

Calculating the risk: child sexual assault

 by Amy Mattson

Affluent girls residing in two-parent homes are much less likely to be sexually assaulted than other female youth, according to a new study from the University of Iowa. The research revealed that when family income reaches 400 percent of the poverty threshold, or around $92,000 for a four-person household, the risk of sexual assault declines by more than half.

 The study conducted by UI School of Social Work professor Amy Butler examined sexual assault in more than 1,000 girls aged 17 and younger, across all income levels. It relied on data obtained from the ongoing Panel Study of Income Dynamics—a national survey of families begun in 1968 and directed by University of Michigan faculty.

Unlike other analyses that examine data gathered after a sexual assault has occurred, Butler’s study looked at risk factors related to behavior, family history, and parental income that were measured prior to an assault, giving the work potentially predictive value.

“It’s important to have clear before and after measures,” Butler says.

Published in the International Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect, the study showed that the risk of sexual assault for girls between the ages of four and 17 declined from 12.3 to 5.6 percent once income reached 400 percent or more of the poverty threshold.

Her analysis also confirmed previous research that showed girls whose mothers had at least a high-school education and whose biological parents were both present from birth to age one had a lower risk of sexual assault.

Nationwide, one in 10 girls is sexually assaulted, according to Butler’s study. This compares to one in five girls who are victims of sexual abuse—a term often encompassing a broader range of inappropriate behavior that can include voyeurism or verbal pressure for sex—as reported by the advocacy organization, the National Center for Victims of Crime.

While reasons behind a decreased risk of sexual assault for young females in economically comfortable, two-parent households are not yet known, Butler notes there may be several possible explanations.

For example, factors that might enable some parents to achieve higher socioeconomic status—e.g. having children later in life—could be tied to personal characteristics like enhanced maturity levels that are then passed down to their children. Education appears to play a role as well.

“It is possible that educated, two-parent families can better afford to raise their children in safe neighborhoods, send them to safe schools, and ensure that their activities are well supervised, thereby decreasing their risk for sexual assault,” Butler writes.

“Alternatively, the personal characteristics that may enable some parents to achieve higher socio-economic status may be transmitted to the daughter through heredity and parental modeling, thereby reducing her risk.”

Butler’s research helps establish that many risk factors identified in retrospective studies (those conducted after the fact) are accurate predictors of whether a girl will experience childhood sexual assault.

Her analysis found that girls with extremely low math and reading scores, and those referred to special education programs were more likely than their peers to experience an assault. It also confirmed that girls who—according to their caregivers—were shy, withdrawn, had impulsive tendencies or expressed feelings of worthlessness were more prone to sexual assault.

The study further outlined that many mental health disorders found in victims and survivors of assault appear to be a result of their experience with rape. Butler is conducting additional analysis to research this link and others. She is hopeful that her study will open the doors for more young women to discuss sexual assault, and encourage them to find support and assistance.

And though her research focuses on risk factors in girls, she is quick to note that victims are never to blame. “Perpetrators hone their skills to entrap girls. No one enters a situation expecting to be sexually assaulted,” says Butler.


Amy Mattson, University Communication and Marketing, 319-384-0070

Friday, October 18, 2013

Street Corner Crazy Israel Belsky should be put out to pasture where he can no longer harm anyone!

Yisroel Belsky
NJ Yeshiva Teacher Gets Nearly 13 Years for Abuse

Yosef Kolko, 39, had said in court papers that members of the Lakewood community carried out an unrelenting campaign to get him to plead guilty and to spare the community negative publicity. He claims they showed him YouTube videos "of how inmates kill people in jail for being molesters in order to pressure me into taking a plea and avoiding trial."
"If not for the extreme pressure by members of my community, I would not have pled guilty as charged," he said. "I reject plea bargains offered by the state because I am innocent of the crimes alleged."
Prosecutors said the family of the boy, who was 12 at the time of the abuse, was ostracized by the community for pursuing the case in state court instead of letting religious leaders deal with it. The boy's father, a prominent rabbi, lost his job and the family moved to Michigan.
Kolko claims that after three days of testimony in the case in May, five members of the Jewish community came to his house at 2 a.m., pressuring him for hours to plead guilty.
"I arrived at court exhausted from the events earlier that morning and told my brother, Shabsi Kolko, that I was pleading guilty against my will," he said in court papers.
Kolko pleaded guilty while he was on trial on several counts including aggravated sexual assault. The accusations involved a boy Kolko met at a camp. The alleged abuse took place between August 2008 and February 2009.
The judge sentenced Kolko to 12 years and nine months in prison after a hearing that lasted hours and included testimony from the victim, now 16.
When he pleaded guilty, Kolko admitted performing oral sex on the boy and attempting to have anal intercourse with him.
In court, the boy addressed Kolko directly: "How can you ignore the tears and open wounds when you knew how much you hurt me?"
Kolko declined to speak.
The victim's father had initially wanted the case handled within the Orthodox community, asking a senior rabbi to help ensure that Kolko stay away from children and go to therapy. In mid-2009, the father decided to take the case to authorities.
On the witness stand, the father said he went to prosecutors because he felt the case was not being handled appropriately. Kolko was still teaching and planning to work at the summer camp where he met the boy.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Yisroel Belsky Desperate To Keep His Job at the OU And Yeshiva Torah Vodaath - Throws Kolko Under the Bus!

Lakewood Orthodox counselor says he was pressured to plead guilty to child sex abuse

Child sex-abuse plea is disputed (LOL!!!)

Yosef Kolko Yosef Kolko, a former Yeshiva teacher, leaves the Ocean County Courthouse in Toms River Tuesday morning after pleading not guilty to sexual assault charges. 8/17/10 - TOMS RIVER - KOLKO0817A - ASBURY PARK PRESS PHOTO BY THOMAS P. COSTELLO - #17487
Yosef Kolko, a former Yeshiva teacher, leaves the Ocean County Courthouse in Toms River Tuesday morning after pleading not guilty to sexual assault charges. 8/17/10 - TOMS RIVER - KOLKO0817A - ASBURY PARK PRESS PHOTO BY THOMAS P. COSTELLO - #17487

TOMS RIVER — Middle-of-the-night visits and YouTube videos of child molesters in prison were among methods employed by Lakewood’s Orthodox Jewish community to pressure a former Orthodox Jewish camp counselor to admit to sexually abusing a child, the former camp counselor’s attorneys said in court papers.

The members of Lakewood’s Orthodox community made the concerted effort to persuade Yosef Kolko to plead guilty to child molestation against his will to spare the community the unwanted publicity of a trial, defense attorneys Stephanie Forbes and Alan L. Zegas said in a brief filed in state Superior Court.

The pressure included a meeting at the home of a rabbi during which Kolko was shown YouTube videos of how child molesters are treated in prison, according to the court papers.

It also included a 2 a.m. visit by five people to Kolko’s home on the day his trial was to resume, in an effort to convince him to stop the proceeding by pleading guilty, the papers said.

Exhausted, Kolko gave in and admitted his guilt that day, May 13, but told his brother just beforehand that he was pleading guilty against his will, according to a certification submitted to the court by Kolko.

The claims will be the subject of a hearing today on Kolko’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea on the basis that he made it while under duress.

Senior Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Laura Pierro said in a response to the brief filed by the defense attorneys that Kolko already had been contemplating a guilty plea, because of the way the trial was going. He went ahead with the plea after learning that the Prosecutor’s Office had been contacted by an attorney representing two more individuals who claimed to have been molested by him, Pierro said in her brief opposing Kolko’s motion. Kolko did not enter his guilty plea until after he consulted with a Brooklyn rabbi, Yisroel Belsky, to get his blessing, Pierro added.

If Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson is not convinced that Kolko should be allowed to retract his plea, he will proceed to sentencing him for the crimes he admitted — aggravated sexual assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, a boy who was 11 and 12 years old when the abuse occurred in 2008 and 2009.

 Kolko, 39, of Lakewood, could face up to 40 years in prison for the offenses, although Hodgson said he would consider sentencing him to no more than 15 years in prison.

Kolko pleaded guilty while his trial was under way, after the victim, his father and a therapist already had testified.

Kolko was the victim’s camp counselor at Yachad, a summer camp that is run by the Yeshiva Bais Hatora School on Swarthmore Avenue in Lakewood. He also was a teacher at Yeshiva Orchos Chaim in Lakewood.

The case highlighted how some in the Orthodox community turned against the victim and his family in an effort to get them to have religious authorities handle the allegations rather than the police. In fact, one man was charged with witness tampering for allegedly embarking on a telephone campaign to get the family to drop the charges. The family was ostracized for going forward with the prosecution and has since moved out of state, according to Pierro.

Kolko also was the target of a campaign to pressure him into admitting guilt, according to the papers filed by his attorneys.

Kolko said one man called him to several meetings, some in front of Belsky, to urge him to agree to a plea bargain, according to the brief filed by Forbes and Zegas. The man also called Kolko to the home of a Lakewood rabbi, where he showed him YouTube videos of “how inmates kill people in jail for being molesters in order to pressure me into taking a plea and avoid trial,’’ Kolko’s certification said.

Kolko claimed in his certification that another rabbi spoke to one of his defense witnesses, telling him he should take a plea bargain, and that a parent of a former student called him when jury selection for the trial was under way, urging the same thing.

Five members of the Lakewood Orthodox community “came to my home at 2 a.m. the morning of my plea and pressured me to stop the trial by pleading guilty,” Kolko said in his certification, in which he maintains his innocence. “I arrived at court exhausted from the events earlier that morning and told my brother, Shabsi Kolko, that I was pleading guilty against my will.”

Five letters from members of the Orthodox community were submitted with the brief on Kolko’s behalf, saying that Kolko was pressured into taking a plea bargain. The letters included one from Shabsi Kolko supporting the defendant’s story that he told him he was pleading guilty against his will, and one from Belsky, who said he was among the people who advised Kolko to plead guilty.

“The reasons were convincing enough to make those who believed in his innocence fearful of the sensationalism attached to the affair and other weighty considerations,’’ Belsky wrote in his handwritten letter.

Hodgson is scheduled to hold a hearing on Kolko’s motion at 1:30 p.m. today.
Kathleen Hopkins: Khopkins@

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The single most effective means of protecting your child is communication with your child.

Characteristics and Behavioral Indicators of a Pedophile

When most people imagine a child molester, they picture some ugly, old man in a trench coat coaxing children to come to him in exchange for some candy.  They don't picture Uncle Joe or Aunt Lorraine; the neighbor next door or the friendly parishioner; another family member or trusted co-worker.  They don't think of mom or dad, or in the case of single parents, their significant other.  This misconception has been effectively dispelled through information obtained in thousand of child sexual abuse investigations over the years.  Child molesters come from all walks of life and from all socioeconomic groups They can be male or female, rich or poor, employed or unemployed, religious or non-religious, highly educated or non-educated, or from any race.             

Through numerous case studies, the Department of Justice has developed characteristics and behavioral indicators of a pedophile.  They are as follows:

  1. Is most often an adult male.
  2. Is usually married.
  3. Works in a wide range of occupations, from unskilled laborer to corporate executive.
  4. Relates better to children than adults.
  5. Socializes with few adults unless they are pedophiles.
  6. Usually prefers children in a specific age group.
  7. Usually prefers either males or females, but may be bi-sexual.
  8. May seek employment or volunteer with programs involving children of the age of his preference.
  9. Pursues children for sexual purposes.
  10. Frequently photographs or collects photographs of his victims, either dressed, nude, or in sexually explicit acts.
  11. Collects child erotica and child-adult pornography.
  12. May possess and furnish narcotics to his victims to lower their inhibitions.
  13. Is usually intelligent enough to recognize that he has a personal problem and understand the severity of it.
  14. May go to great lengths to conceal his illegal activity.
  15. Often rationalizes his illicit activities, emphasizing his positive impact upon the victim and repressing feelings about the harm that he has done.
  16. Often portrays the child as the aggressor.  This usually occurs after the child realizes that by withholding "sexual favors" the child will obtain what he or she desires, such as new toys, clothing or trips.
  17. Talks about children in the same manner as one would talk about an adult lover or spouse.
  18. Often was a child molestation victim and frequently seeks out children at the age or stage of physical development at which he was molested.
  19. Often seeks out publications and organizations that support his sexual beliefs and practices.
  20. Usually corresponds with other pedophiles and exchanges child pornography and erotica as proof of involvement.
  21. Is usually non-violent and has few problems with the law (pedophiles are frequently respected community members).

The widespread misconception that child molestation consists solely of children being seized from the street and forcibly molested couldn't be further from the truth.  Although these incidents do occur, the vast majority of child molesters are adults who seduce children through subtle intimidation and persuasion and are known to the child.

The incestuous or interfamilial molester is usually an adult male (father, stepfather, grandfather or live-in boyfriend of the mother) who molests the child or children.  Although physical abuse may occur, the molestation is usually secretive and is accomplished through mental duress and threats - that the child would be removed from the family if he/she did not succumb to his wishes, that he/she would be blamed for hurting the family if the offender is arrested, or that a sibling would be sexually abused if the victim did not consent.  The molestation occurs over an extended period of time, occasionally into the victim's adulthood.  Through intimidation, the child is made to feel responsible for the molestation and for keeping the acts secret.  This secret is normally kept between the offender and the victim, or within the immediate family.

The stranger molester will use force or fear to molest children.  As the term implies, the child does not know the molester.  This type of molestation is usually reported promptly to the police because the trauma to the child is readily apparent.

The single-parent family is particularly vulnerable to the pedophile; the parent usually has a full-time job and is attempting to fulfill the role of both parents, as well as run the household.  In many cases the parent is unable to provide the psychological support the child needs.  These situations may contribute to the success of the child molester who can and will provide the caring attention, however superficial that may be lacking at home.  Of course, domestic problems in intact families also can make children vulnerable to the pedophile.  It should be noted as well, many pedophiles seek out mothers of single-parent families for the purpose of victimizing their children.

The single most effective means of protecting your child is communication with your child.  They have to feel comfortable discussing sensitive matters with you.  If they don't feel they can talk with you about their true feelings or that they will be "put down" for it, then you can't expect they will tell you when they are put in an uncomfortable situation by a child molester.

Teach your children that they should not be asked to touch anyone in the bathing suit areas of their body or allow anyone to touch them in those areas.  Teach them types of situations to avoid.  It's not good enough to tell a child to avoid strangers.  Most child molestation's are committed by someone known to or related to the child.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Dead fish go with the flow. Live fish swim against the current

The Courage Not to Conform         


Abraham on his family's journey from Ur to Canaan, as described in the Bible. Photo: József Molnár/Wikimedia Commons.
Leaders lead. That does not mean to say that they don’t follow. But what they follow is different from what most people follow. They don’t conform for the sake of conforming. They don’t do what others do merely because others are doing it. They follow an inner voice, a call. They have a vision, not of what is, but of what might be. They think outside the box. They march to a different tune.

Never was this more dramatically signaled than in the first words of God to Abraham, the words that set Jewish history in motion: “Leave your land, your birthplace, and your father’s house and go to the land that I will show you.”

Why? Because people do conform. They adopt the standards and absorb the culture of the time and place in which they live – “your land.” At a deeper level they are influenced by friends and neighbors – “your birthplace.” More deeply still, they are shaped by their parents and the family in which they grew up – “your father’s house.”

I want you, says God to Abraham, to be different. Not for the sake of being different, but for the sake of starting something new: a religion that will not worship power and the symbols of power – for that is what idols really were and are. I want you, said God, to “teach your children and your household afterward to follow the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just.”

To be a Jew is to be willing to challenge the prevailing consensus when, as so often happens, nations slip into worshiping the old gods. They did so in Europe throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century. That was the age of nationalism: the pursuit of power in the name of the nation-state, which led to two world wars and tens of millions of deaths. It is the age we are living in now as North Korea acquires and Iran pursues nuclear weapons so that they can impose their ambitions by force. It is what is happening today throughout much of the Middle East and Africa as nations descend into violence and what Hobbes called “the war of every man against every man.”

We make a mistake when we think of idols in terms of their physical appearance – statues, figurines, icons. In that sense, they belong to ancient times we have long outgrown. Instead, the right way to think of idols is in terms of what they represent. They symbolize power. That is what Ra was for the Egyptians, Baal for the Canaanites, Chemosh for the Moabites, Zeus for the Greeks, and missiles and bombs for terrorists and rogue states today.

Power allows us to rule over others without their consent. As the Greek historian Thucydides put it: “The strong do what they wish and the weak suffer what they must.”

Judaism is a sustained critique of power. That is the conclusion I have reached after a lifetime of studying our sacred texts. It is about how a nation can be formed on the basis of shared commitment and collective responsibility. It is about how to construct a society that honors the human person as the image and likeness of God. It is about a vision, never fully realized but never abandoned, of a world based on justice and compassion, in which “They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11: 9)

Abraham is without doubt the most influential person who ever lived. Today he is claimed as the spiritual ancestor of 2.4 billion Christians, 1.6 billion Muslims, and 13 million Jews – more than half of the people alive today. Yet he ruled no empire, commanded no great army, performed no miracles, and proclaimed no prophecy. He is the supreme example in all of history of influence without power.

Why? Because he was prepared to be different. As the sages say, he was called ha-ivri, “the Hebrew,” because “all the world was on one side (be-ever echad) and he was on the other.” (Genesis Rabbah 42: 8 )

Leadership, as every leader knows, can be lonely. Yet you continue to do what you have to because you know that the majority is not always right, and conventional wisdom is not always wise. Dead fish go with the flow. Live fish swim against the current. So it is with conscience and courage. So it is with the children of Abraham. They are prepared to challenge the idols of the age.

After the Holocaust, some social scientists were haunted by the question of why so many people were prepared, whether by active participation or silent consent, to go along with a regime that they knew was committing one of the great crimes against humanity.

One key experiment was conducted by Solomon Asch. He assembled a group of people, asking them to perform a series of simple cognitive tasks. They were shown two cards, one with a line on it, the other with three lines of different lengths, and asked which was the same size as the line on the first. Unbeknownst to one participant, all of the others had been briefed by Asch to give the right answer for the first few cards, then the wrong one for most of the rest.

On a significant number of occasions, the experimental subject gave an answer he could see was the wrong one just because everyone else had done so. Such is the power of the pressure to conform, that it can lead us to say what we know is untrue.

More frightening still was the Stanford experiment carried out in the early 1970s by Philip Zimbardo. The participants were randomly assigned roles as guards or prisoners in a mock prison. Within days, the students cast as guards were behaving abusively, some of them subjecting the “prisoners” to psychological torture. The students cast as prisoners put up with this passively, even siding with the guards against those prisoners who resisted. The experiment was called off after six days, during which time even Zimbardo found himself drawn in to the artificial reality he had created. The pressure to conform to assigned roles is strong enough to lead people into doing what they know is wrong.

That is why Abraham, at the start of his mission, was told to leave “his land, his birthplace and his father’s house,” to free himself from the pressure to conform. Leaders must be prepared not to follow the consensus.

One of the great writers on leadership, Warren Bennis (in his book ”On Becoming a Leader,” Basic Books, 1989, 49), writes: “By the time we reach puberty, the world has shaped us to a greater extent than we realise. Our family, friends, and society in general have told us – by word and example – how to be. But people begin to become leaders at that moment when they decide for themselves how to be.”

One reason why Jews have become leaders in almost every sphere of human endeavor, out of all proportion to their numbers, is precisely this willingness to be different. Throughout the centuries, Jews have been the most striking example of a group that refused to assimilate to the dominant culture or convert to the dominant faith.

One other finding of Solomon Asch is worth noting. If just one other person was willing to support the individual who could see that the others were giving the wrong answer, it gave him the strength to stand out against the consensus. That is why, however small their numbers, Jews created communities. It is hard to lead alone, far less hard to lead in the company of others, even if you are a minority.

Judaism is the countervoice in the conversation of humankind. As Jews we do not follow the majority merely because it is the majority. In age after age, century after century, Jews were prepared to do what the poet Robert Frost immortalized in ”The Road Not Taken, Birches, and Other Poems:”
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
It is what makes a nation of leaders.



Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Akiva Roth, who started this new school year as a Hebrew teacher at Yeshiva College, pleaded guilty in 1997 to four counts of lewdness against several boys in his work as a private bar mitzvah tutor.


Yeshiva U. Hires Lecturer With Criminal Record of Sexual Misconduct With Boys

Hebrew Teacher Akiva Roth Convicted of Lewdness

Why, Y.U.? Akiva Roth was convicted of lewdness from his time as a bar mitzvah teacher. The judge slammed him for arrogance and said: ‘he just doesn’t get it.’
Why, Y.U.? Akiva Roth was convicted of lewdness from his time as a bar mitzvah teacher. The judge slammed him for arrogance and said: ‘he just doesn’t get it.’

By Paul Berger

Published October 08, 2013.
Yeshiva University, still reeling from allegations that for decades its leaders dealt improperly with the specter of sexual abuse, has hired a new faculty member convicted of inappropriate sexual behavior with boys, the Forward has learned.

Akiva Roth, who started this new school year as a Hebrew teacher at Yeshiva College, pleaded guilty in 1997 to four counts of lewdness against several boys in his work as a private bar mitzvah tutor.
Roth, 42, has not been accused of misconduct at Y.U. But his employment by Yeshiva College calls into question Y.U.’s hiring practices at a time when the university is battling to repair its public image over the sex abuse allegations.

A spokesman for Y.U. issued the following statement: “Yeshiva University has policies and procedures in place that require background checks for new hires. We are currently in the process of thoroughly exploring the matter you brought to our attention.”

Ever since the Forward first reported allegations of sexual abuse made by dozens of former students of Yeshiva University’s High School for Boys, Y.U. has sought to distance current management practices from those of Rabbi Norman Lamm, who was president of Y.U. from 1976 until 2003.

A report commissioned by Y.U. in the wake of the scandal found that “sexual and physical abuse took place” at a number of Y.U. institutions during the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s.

But Y.U. officials suppressed the release of further details contained in the report, including the number of suspected perpetrators or the Y.U. institutions involved, citing a pending $380 million lawsuit brought by former high school students against Y.U. Instead, the version of the report Y.U released focused on policies and procedures that Y.U. had implemented to prevent abuse or to deal appropriately with abuse allegations at its boys high school, in Manhattan, and at its girls high school, in Queens, as well as at other schools and colleges.

The “university is committed to creating an environment at its high schools and other affiliated schools in which sexual misconduct and other types of harassment are not tolerated,” the report stated, adding that “the university has over time, and especially in the last decade, instituted many policies, procedures, and practices that address these issues.”
READ ENTIRE ARTICLE:http://forward.com/articles/185200/yeshiva-u-hires-lecturer-with-criminal-record-of-s/#