Friday, August 18, 2017


Rabbi who oversaw "conversion" (TO WHAT?) of Ivanka Trump slams president’s response to Charlottesville


Ivanka Trump
Tweeted on Shabbat AUGUST 19th
(JTA) — Haskel Lookstein, the New York rabbi who oversaw the conversion to Judaism of President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka, criticized the president’s response to the violent white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Lookstein weighed in on the issue Wednesday along with other rabbis at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, a prominent modern Orthodox synagogue in Manhattan.

“We are appalled by this resurgence of bigotry and antisemitism, and the renewed vigor of the neo-Nazis, KKK, and alt-right,” the rabbis wrote in a letter to members of the synagogue and its affiliated Ramaz School. “While we avoid politics, we are deeply troubled by the moral equivalency and equivocation President Trump has offered in his response to this act of violence.

“We pray that our country heeds the voices of tolerance, and stays true to its vision of human rights and civil rights.”

Far-right protesters converged on Charlottesville in defense of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and brawled with counterprotesters. Some of the protesters carried Nazi and Confederate flags, gave Nazi salutes, and expressed anti-Semitic and racists views.

After police broke up the the rally, a white supremacist, James Fields, rammed his car into a crowd of the counterprotesters, killing one woman and injuring at least 19. Two police officers also died when their helicopter crashed while monitoring the rally.

President Trump said at a news conference Tuesday that not all the participants in the rally were white supremacists. Confronted about whether he was putting white supremacists and neo-Nazis on the same “moral plane” as the liberal and leftist counterprotesters, he said, “I’m not putting anybody on a moral plane.” Trump seemed to backtrack from his statement a day earlier condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacists for the violence.

Trump’s comments were widely criticized, including by Republicans and Jewish groups, and praised by white supremacists.

In addition to Lookstein, who is rabbi emeritus, the letter was signed by Kehilath Jeshurun Rabbis Chaim Steinmetz and Elie Weinstock. Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner were longtime members of the Upper East Side synagogue before moving to Washington, D.C., to serve as White House aides. They reportedly tried and failed to convince Trump to moderate his comments on Charlottesville.

Lookstein last year agreed to give the invocation at the Republican National Convention, but later withdrew after an outcry from modern Orthodox Jews and others.

In a letter to members at the time, he wrote, “Like my father before me, I have never been involved in politics. Politics divides people.”

In a widely viewed Vice documentary about the events in Charlottesville that aired Tuesday on HBO, Christopher Cantwell, a white supremacist, expressed disgust with Donald Trump because he “gave his daughter to a Jew.”

Cantwell asked Vice News’ reporter Elspeth Reeve, “Do you think you could feel about race like I do and watch that Kushner bastard walk around with that beautiful girl?”


"There is no moral comparison," said Rabbi Elazar Muskin, president of the RCA. "Failure to unequivocally reject hatred and bias is a failing of moral leadership and fans the flames of intolerance and chauvinism. While as a rabbinic organization we prefer to address issues and not personalities, this situation rises above partisan politics and therefore we are taking the unusual approach to directly comment on the words of the President."


"They were shouting, 'Jews will not replace us.' ... There was no innocent person wandering up and accidentally getting involved in this." Vice News reporter Elle Reeve responded to President Donald J. Trump's remarks about the Charlottesville march.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sexual abuse is an ever-growing epidemic. Although all four of my perpetrators are Jewish, sexual abuse is not limited to religious communities. Before you jump to the conclusion that your social circles are immune from this frightening phenomenon, I advise you to read some of the unforeseen, high-profile cases covered in many media mediums.

Secrets Don’t Get Better With Age: Why I’m Choosing Leadership Over Secrecy

The boy closes his bright blue eyes as he climbs the stairs to the front door of his house. Silently, he enters the internal solitude where he cannot be harmed by his gruesome memories. He’s been there before; blocking out his pain has become second nature. It’s his only option, his only way to survive.

The boy’s family cautiously greets him as he walks through the door. They sense he is consumed by something, they can see it on his face. Yet, they fear another explosive outbreak if they press too much. So, as much as it hurts to watch, they give the boy his space. “He’ll grow out of it,” they say.

The steps leading up to the boy’s second floor bedroom seem to go on for eternity. He just wants to be alone. He just wants to sleep. As long as he doesn’t have to consciously face the brutal reality. He wishes he had the courage to stop them, to say no. He is trapped. Unable to disclose his mortifying secret, the boy can only fantasize revenge on those vile men whose twisted lustful current raged through their veins. He couldn’t escape their eager clutch or their intimidating remarks. The boy was told to be silent. He was always told to be silent. They told him it was immodest to speak up or draw attention to oneself. But what did they know about modesty?

The boy sits silently in seclusion, sweating as waves of fury and nausea wash over him. He feels paralyzed as the repulsive images of his molestation, rape and sexual manipulation replay over and over in his young mind bringing along fresh doses of shame and horror. He dreams of an escape from his Hell. Bright and creative, the boy naturally finds ways to achieve his goal. But the numbing effects of his chemically induced bliss are only short lived. The poison could never quite fully break the shackles of his trauma. As much as he tried, he could not ignore the scattered scars that sexual abuse left on his Soul.

Everybody who cares only hurts him more. When they ask him what is wrong it forces him to confront what he so eagerly tries to suppress. Not wanting to be further harmed, the boy isolates. He just wants the horrors to end and secretly wishes to be forgotten forever.

But the boy is not forgotten. The boy survives. The boy thrives.

The boy is ME. This is my story.

I kept my secret for eight years. For eight years I suffered in silence through the horrors of my own personal Hell. I endured close to a decade of rage, tears and ultimately self-destruction. The memories are nauseating, the shame unparalleled.

As a victim of recurrent sexual abuse by numerous perpetrators within Michigan’s Jewish communities, those eight years of secrecy were horrific. Synagogues and other Jewish institutions in the Oak Park and Southfield areas of Detroit provided the secret hideout where I endured multiple forms of molestation, sexual manipulation, and rape from the ages of 8 to 11. But the trauma didn’t stop when my abuse did.

Although, the fact that my painful secret was out proved greatly beneficial. It was like taking off a pair of really tight shoes. The pressure eased and although I was far from serenity the expression itself altered the course of my life. Forcing self-honesty and expression was like splitting an atom, but the more I told my secret, the farther it became removed from my psyche. I told trusted teachers, therapists, mentors and friends but, most frequently, I spilled my secret on paper. Writing became my unique and effective form of expression and it enabled me to have a bold voice without excessive public exposure.

If you are a victim of any type of abuse, wherever you are, I beg you for your own sake: Reach out! Secrets don’t get better with age so don’t keep them boiling inside any longer. Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychology, said “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” Trust me, they do.

Years of group meetings and private therapy enabled me to face my reality and find the strength to survive. Did it work? It helped. It would be foolish to think that years of sexual abuse would be reversed in an instant. But along the road I realized that I was not “damaged goods” or another “case-study“ or any of the other cliches that so many insensitively label victims. Past the pain, shame, flashbacks and emotional setbacks linked with my abuse, a spark of hope glowed and illuminated my venomous darkness. I wanted to be a positive influence on a global level. I wanted to lift up the downtrodden who shared my pains of abuse and lack of expression and voice. I wanted justice.

But after mustering up the courage to disclose the facts behind closed door meetings with rabbis, I — like so many others — was hurt by the lack of results. With a breath of authority — and without any investigation — one leader in Detroit’s rabbinical court exclaimed that the accusations were “My word vs. The perpetrators’ word” and that there was nothing that he was going to do about it. In a further attempt to muffle my cries, he took out a large volume of the Talmud and encouraged me to read the words in a pathetic attempt to comfort my pain and revitalize my Spirit. Simply studying the Bible and its commentaries did nothing to help me or the other victims in the community. I still feel betrayed by their lack of sympathy and action.

The insular Jewish communities of Detroit, Baltimore, New York, and countless other religious, academic and athletic circles throughout North America and beyond can no longer hide their secrets. Huge advances have been made in the pursuit of justice for victims of all types of abuse in areas traditionally shrouded in social stigma and secrecy. Change is coming and justice is thundering in. Lawsuits are being filed and an increasing number of perpetrators are being exposed. More and more victims are getting help, sharing their story and empowering others. More lives are being saved.

But justice is yet to be served. In fact, I doubt it ever will. Unfortunately for many, to date, the death penalty is not an option for convicted perpetrators and — like a bandaid on a broken arm — what the judicial system offers is a far cry from true justice. Surely victims cannot change the past and nothing will ever make up for what we have been through. But, at best, our abuse can be pacified with money used to pay off years of debt for therapy as well as temporary jail time to keep those perverted perpetrators’ hands off other children.

Is it fair? No, it’s not. But I know I can do something positive for humanity, especially for those who were robbed of their innocence by child abusers. I can offer hope, counsel and guidance to the still-suffering. I can be a leader with a voice.

But any good leader knows that they must sacrifice their own comfort as they confront core issues that those less capable choose to neglect. It’s what makes a pioneer a pioneer. It’s what separates the incompetent faux-leaders of Jewish, Catholic and countless other furtive communities from the true advocates and activists that are literally saving lives.

So I set out to make a difference. I actively pursued my perpetrators through the United States Judicial System and lawsuits are pending. I joined an Israeli-based NGO as a volunteer to support victims of abuse and their families, while also offering counsel and direction to friends and strangers who have been victimized, yet are still silently suffering. And now, I’m using my past and my proficiency to raise awareness about a social issue that’s still surrounded by so much negative stigma that many choose to turn a blind eye and shy away from it altogether.

Sexual abuse is an ever-growing epidemic. Although all four of my perpetrators are Jewish, sexual abuse is not limited to religious communities. Before you jump to the conclusion that your social circles are immune from this frightening phenomenon, I advise you to read some of the unforeseen, high-profile cases covered in many media mediums. Furthermore, shocking statistics show that 1 in 4 females and 1 in 6 males will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Today, I personally know over a dozen other victims of abuse in Detroit’s Jewish Communities and hundreds of others throughout the U.S. and internationally. It could be your son or daughter or co-worker or friend. Would you even know?

This must stop! If we keep sweeping our problems under the rug we will eventually trip over them. The time has come for us to stand up for ourselves, our children and our communities. It’s time to sacrifice the comfort of not tackling serious issues that are awkward and embarrassing and focus on the dignity of human life. If I can have a voice you can too. Take a stand and be a real leader. Blush for a few moments so others don’t have to bleed.

One reason why victims of abuse are also called survivors is because so many don’t make it. So many are too ashamed to reach out and frequently fall into depression, violence, addiction and ultimately into death’s arms. But we can be brave and stand up for what we know is right. Together our voices can be louder than ever. I know that I alone cannot change the world, but together we can make a difference.

If you are a victim of abuse or just want to help those who are still-suffering, please contact:
  • National Child Sexual Abuse Helpline: 1-866-367-5444
  • Confidential Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE
Other resources:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Shana Aaronson, director of the Jewish Community Watch (JCW) office in Israel has told The Jerusalem Post that the group found there are 42 suspected or convicted child sex offenders who moved to Israel from the Diaspora.

Jewish children’s advocacy group: ‘Aliya being used by child sex offenders’

Watchdog groups claim pedophiles who immigrate can live in communities with children nearby and even get jobs at schools.

crime Israel

A global Jewish children’s advocacy group has accused Israel of providing a safe haven for dozens of child sex offenders.

Shana Aaronson, director of the Jewish Community Watch (JCW) office in Israel has told The Jerusalem Post that the group found there are 42 suspected or convicted child sex offenders who moved to Israel from the Diaspora.

“Because Israel has the concept of the Law of Return, and Israel being a national homeland for the Jewish people, and the numerous legal rights that Jews have: to be here, to come here, to seek safe haven here, this is a particular issue with Israel, where you are going to come here and by and large you’re going to be granted automatic citizenship, and as the case may be, safe haven,” Aaronson said.

The Jewish Agency denied the allegations and said any candidates for aliya with either the Agency or the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization had to face extensive background checks before they could immigrate.

The JCW is a global group that seeks to expose offenders and warn communities about potentially dangerous people in their neighborhoods. In addition to 42 child sex offenders it says who have taken residence in Israel, the group has also identified several offenders who regularly travel in and out of Israel with ease.

Founded in 2006 by a child sex abuse survivor, the JCW is active in the US, Canada and Israel, and is dedicated to the prevention of child sexual abuse.

Aaronson and other activists say the aliya process allows sex offenders to provide inaccurate information about their criminal backgrounds so that they may obtain Israeli citizenship.

Avi Mayer, a spokesman for the Jewish Agency responded in an email: “We have no information to suggest that many people are able to enter Israel fraudulently and are confident in our multi-pronged vetting process.”

Sabine Hadad, a spokeswoman at the Interior Ministry, which ultimately decides matters of citizenship, said: “The procedures of the Population and Immigration Authority require an immigrant applicant to present a certificate of integrity in his name from his country of origin. If necessary, a federal certificate of integrity or a certificate will be required from the district to which the applicant belongs.”

Aaronson said, however, that it’s possible for a tourist to change their status and become an immigrant once they are already in Israel. Many are able to obtain a notarized letter instead of this certificate of integrity from local lawyers stating they do not have criminal backgrounds. These lawyers do not always investigate their client’s backgrounds.

“While the State of Israel in theory does have the right to restrict somebody from coming here if they think they will be dangerous to the citizens, they don’t necessarily know about it,” Aaronson said.

Nefesh B’Nefesh spokesman Tani Kramer said Israel is currently reevaluating its policy regarding certificates of integrity.

“In the past, federal background checks alone were not sufficient in order to make aliya, and therefore the Ministry of Interior imposed the responsibility on the oleh to declare his lack of a criminal background. This is currently being reevaluated by the Ministry of Interior. We are awaiting new instructions on this matter,” Kramer said.

The country has prevented some potential immigrants with criminal records from immigrating. A 1954 amendment to the Law of Return excludes Jews “with a criminal past, likely to endanger public welfare” from obtaining citizenship.

“Each year, Jewish Agency staff uncover a number of cases in which applicants are found to have lied on their aliya applications and those cases are handled accordingly,” Mayer said.

But according to Aaronson, many pedophiles still manage to enter the country undetected. “One can only uncover and reject what one knows about. It is those that they don’t uncover and reject, and therefore are by definition not aware of, that we are concerned about,” said Aaronson. “It is not what I would call an extensive background check by any stretch.”

Once in Israel, Jewish sex offenders can change their names and start new lives. Alarmingly, they are often free to insert themselves back into positions that will bring them into close contact with children.

Israeli authorities have a mandate to extradite suspected criminals to their countries of origin. But Aaronson alleges that because of its historic role as a protector of Jews, Israel is often reluctant to do so.

“Israel is always hesitant to extradite people,” said Aaronson. “It is just part of the system.”

Justice Ministry spokesman Noam Sharvit said there are many conditions which have to be met in order for an extradition request to be accepted, making the process complicated and time consuming. Some extradition requests are rejected.

“If a country wants us to extradite, it’s not automatic,” Sharvit said.

American prosecutors wishing to extradite a suspect from Israel face a six-step process. First police must compile the case and hand it to the prosecutor’s office where it is sent on to the governor for approval, then back to the prosecutor’s office. If it passes through these steps, the request goes on to the State Department, which may decide to send it on to Interpol for verification. Once verified by Interpol, the request heads back to the State Department which can submit an extradition request to Israel.

“When information is received from overseas government organizations such as Interpol, joint investigations are opened and continue until the suspect is found and brought to justice,” Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

The process is long and daunting, and many US prosecutors are hesitant to engage. If there is no request for extradition, Israel is unlikely to seek out a charged felon, Aaronson said. She said the state tends to reject those requests that don’t list a proper address for the suspect.

However, the Justice Ministry denied that accusation. “Of course if you give an address... it helps. But this is not a condition. If there is no address, we tell the police to locate it,” Sharvit said.

Not all alleged sex offenders are extraditable. According to the Justice Ministry, Israel only entertains extradition requests for suspects for whom authorities have enough evidence to put on trial. If they are only wanted for questioning, the ministry will not accept the request, Sharvit said.

According to the JCW, pedophiles who immigrate can live in communities with children nearby and even get jobs at schools.

Kol V’Oz – an organization that also addresses issues of child sexual abuse in Jewish communities around the world – hopes for change through two avenues: advocacy in the Knesset and raising public awareness of the issue.

They are working with the Knesset Special Committee for the Rights of the Child and its chairwoman, MK Yifat Shasha-Biton (Kulanu), to make it more difficult for sex offenders to make aliya.

He believes the government should set up a commission that addresses the issue of child sex abuse both locally and in the Diaspora.

“There is certainly that strong connection between Israel and the Diaspora Jewish community, and therefore there is an opportunity to approach this issue on a global scale,” he said.

Raising public awareness and changing the culture around child sex abuse within the Jewish community is also paramount, Waks says. He encourages parents to talk to their children about it in a sensitive, open way.

“There are various age-sensitive resources available in various languages. In this day and age, it’s very easy to obtain the appropriate, culturally sensitive, age-relevant resources,” he said.

Aaronson and JCW seek to make it more difficult for sex offenders to make aliya. By working with the Jewish Agency, the Association for Americans and Canadians in Israel, and Nefesh B’Nefesh.

“Those non government offices should do their part to check, why is this person suddenly making aliya? Is it because they found out their victims just went to the police?” Aaronson said.

Kramer also said: “We have strategic partnerships with the JCW and other similar organizations in order to proactively identify these individuals, and give a heads up to the appropriate authorities in order to prevent their immigration.”

Aaronson said she believes the Jewish Agency is also “making serious efforts to address this to the degree they can on their level. Ultimately the laws need to change, and for now they have really impressed upon me that they are working hard on this.”

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Yet, as parasites, they happily accept the health insurance and free benefits available to all Israeli citizens....

Meah Shearim Madness

It has happened once again. Riots and protests and struggles and more. This time, not by Arabs but by the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Meah Shearim.

I saw a photo in the press of the women of Meah Shearim fighting with our police and waving Palestinian flags. It disgusted me beyond words. The ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect, Meah Shearim (One hundred gates) in Jerusalem has gone mad once more. 

I recall Meah Shearim’s “religious revolution” in 1948.  Jerusalem was over-run by troops of the Jordanian Legion. Those Jews who could flee the city did so.  Not the zealots of Meah Shearim.
They came out of their homes waving white flags of surrender. They preferred to live under Arab Jordanian rule rather than to live in a Zionist state. Pictures of bearded Jews surrendering willingly to Jordanian soldiers still fills me with shame and even hatred.

Today’s recent “revolt” was a reaction against the drafting of young haredi men into the army. The Meah Shearim culprits do not recognize the State of Israel nor its flag or anthem. Yet, as parasites, they happily accept the health insurance and free benefits available to all Israeli citizens. But they will not agree to send their sons to the defense of our State nor even to allow them to do civil service where they may become “infected” by association with other Jews very different from themselves.

Many of our Arab citizens are more devoted to the State of Israel than these despicable Jews who take everything but give nothing in return.

The sight of ultra-Orthodox Jewish women waving proudly the Palestinian flag has upset me both physically and emotionally. If they feel an attachment to the Palestinians, they should move into Palestinian areas in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem or to some distant place in the West Bank. We don’t need them and we don’t want them. They are a disgrace to our Jewish laws of love and respect and fidelity to the ordinances and regime of the country in which they live.

Some brave haredi men have answered the draft call and serve nicely in our army. But they suffer from family and neighbors in their community when they return home. All of them remove their IDF uniforms before reaching home. And once at home, they are punished by parents, scorned by their community and are infested with guilt.

Meah Shearim madness is nothing new to us. Since the independence of our nation, Meah Shearim residents have frequently revolted against our laws and have committed personal attacks, such as the one in April 2015 when the men and women of the insular community brutally attacked an army officer and threatened to kill him. The attack was condemned by Prime Minister Netanyahu and by the Shas leader, Ariyeh Deri, who called it “an act of terrorism”.

Very often the residents attack police and government officials who enter their community, pelting them with stones, blocking of the streets and burning garbage and rubbish in their streets in an effort to prevent the “goyim” from entering.

Paradoxically, the architect who drew the plan for Meah Shearim in 1846 was a German Christian and a missionary. The community was established in 1875, one of the earliest settlements in the Jewish yishuv outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.

Its men spend long hours every day studying Torah and Talmud.  The women spend their time in producing multitudes of children.

There are signs in Hebrew and English at the entrances to Meah Shearim specifying that women and girls who enter must wear long ankle-length dresses (no shorts or slacks) with long sleeves and a covered neck.

Men and boys are required to wear a hat or yarmulke, long sleeve shirts (no shorts or sleeveless shirts).  All of these requirements are for the sake of modesty.  Infringement of these rules can lead to an attack on the person who violates them.

Many non-observant Israelis despise the residents of Meah Shearim. “We give them everything and they give us nothing” is a frequently heard complaint.

The government could deprive them of some of their benefits but for the sake of keeping the situation calm and to prevent more rioting, it will not take any action.

So we are forced to live (not side by side) with the madness of Meah Shearim’s residents until the prophet Elijah arrives and solves the dilemma. Teiku .

Monday, August 14, 2017

Approximately six months ago, Yosefi was arrested by police amid an investigation into document forging and providing fictitious exemptions to young ultra-Orthodox men attempting to avoid conscription into the IDF...

Ultra-Orthodox baby trafficker exposed!
The conspiracy of silence has lasted for years because of how ultra-Orthodox society is structured. 
Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth investigated allegations against Haim Aharon Yosefi, a well-known figure in the Haredi world, for taking young, pregnant Haredi woman from Israel to the US to give birth before giving the child away in an 'adoption' arrangement for a fee; ‘If I tell you who I'm connected to, it'll blow your mind,’ he tells undercover journalist.

Haim Aharon Yosefi—a well-known businessman and figure in the ultra-Orthodox world—trades in babies. He is a central figure in a network that allegedly takes young, pregnant Haredi women from Israel to the United States to give birth before giving the child away in an "adoption" arrangement for a fee.

  In a series of meetings with undercover reporters from Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth, Yosefi unwittingly provided a rare glimpse behind the curtain, openly divulging how he and his accomplices operate. He also revealed a string of other related activities including the distribution of pills to suppress sexual desire, forging identification documents and more.

Over the last few weeks, Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth sent "Devorah Leah," a young Haredi woman with a cover story, to Yosefi. "I got pregnant by a married man, and I'm in trouble," Devorah told Yosefi.

Haim Aharon Yosefi
Haim Aharon Yosefi
During their meetings, Yosefi detailed the journey Devorah would have to endure until her baby is given to an adoptive family. He also offered her payment for the baby and even told her about previous "cases" he "handled."

"Let's say all the expenses concerning you are $50,000, and I'm getting $100,000. Maybe I'm making a profit off of you, but that also means I'm spending $50,000 on you. This is all very problematic and very sensitive. Just so you know, the law says whoever tries to lobby a woman to give her child up for adoption in exchange for favors can get 15 years in prison. It is very criminal," Yosefi told Devorah.

"If I tell you now, Devorah Leah, take $50,000 and I expect to get your fetus, that sounds fine. We are making what is called a fair deal. You get $50,000 and I get the fetus. It doesn't matter if I sell it for a million dollars, or I don't sell it at all. You make out alright for your part. Just know the law is very dangerous. Now I am saying, in principle, in general, I am with you."

The conversations with Yosefi open a window into what he himself calls the "industry" of baby trafficking, involving "a ton, a sea," of similar cases, as he confessed to Devorah.

The connections

Yosefi is a member of Degel HaTorah, the Lithuanian faction of the United Torah Judaism party. He has close ties to many prominent rabbis and is also welcome in many other Hassidic circles.

Approximately six months ago, Yosefi was arrested by police amid an investigation into document forging and providing fictitious exemptions to young ultra-Orthodox men attempting to avoid conscription into the IDF.
"If I tell you who I'm connected to, you'll be blown away," he told Devorah. "Officials in the Interior Ministry, the IDF, the police and different municipalities. I once had an arrangement with an official in the Interior Ministry where I would provide her with interest-free loans and she would help me in return."

Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth learned of Yosefi's activities through testimony provided by "Esther," who recounted her experiences with him when her infant son was sold to a couple in the United States.

Photo: Shutterstock

As the investigation progressed, more stories emerged and many of the details were confirmed by Yosefi himself in conversations with Devorah, which were also rife with remarks that bordered on sexual harassment.

Yosefi constantly shifts between the gray and criminal areas. For example, he expressed disappointment when Devorah supposedly approached a doctor through her local clinic for a pregnancy checkup.

"You weren't smart. From now on, never use your real name. I'm sending you to a private physician, and you can say your name is Ruth," he told her. "I've gone with other girls to the doctor as well. You pay and money has no smell. I come with you, put out NIS 500 or 900. I also make sure to give you an identity card with a fictitious number."

When Devorah told Yosefi the alleged father of her baby demanded proof she had an abortion, Yosefi suggested another criminal solution. "Now don't quote me, but you can play a very dangerous card and tell him 'I'm going to the police and telling them you raped me.' At that moment, he'll commit suicide. No one would believe a cute 21-year-old girl raped a 33-year-old man. They will believe you more than him."


Devorah's first meeting with Yosefi took place at a Jerusalem hotel, while her second and third meetings took place in the basement office of Lev L'Achima, a large ultra-Orthodox organization dedicated to religious education.

Yosefi labeled payments as "royalties." When asked about the precise nature of the royalties, he said, "Beyond the accommodations and flights, I provide you a gift of $10,000 or $20,000. It is criminal, but with God's help, I work very hard to make sure you get royalties too."

Yosefi then outlined the entire birthing process to Devorah, beginning with his accompanying her to the US and the birth itself.

When the time comes, according to Yosefi, he will organize a "host family" in the US, with whom she will live until the birth. "They do it as a good deed," said Yosefi. "They can clothe your body in money."

When asked if he already had a family lined up, Yosefi responded, "Today I know, there are many Haredi families in the world that cannot have children for all kinds of reasons. I have a few, but I have to decide what I want."

Yosefi then proceeded to emphasize to Devorah that he has competitors in the market. "There are all kinds of organizations. But this is very sensitive. I'm talking to you about honesty and fairness. I send you abroad whenever you want. Sometimes I ensure that others do it and sometimes I do it myself. We ensure a host family for you throughout the entire pregnancy and you receive close supervision," he told her.

It costs quite a bit of money. Do I have to work while I'm there in order to finance it?

"All expenses—clothing, makeup, medical insurance, the birth, doctors—you do not have to pay a shekel. If you go tomorrow, you have no expenses for the next six months."

Yosefi also offered additional bonuses, saying, "If you want, we can make efforts to give you some cosmetic treatment, a body design studio. I need to pamper you. This is all in the package. Trips, restaurants, fun. It will all be paid for."

Devorah then inquired about what to tell her parents when she needs to go to the United States and disappear for a period of time, to which Yosefi responded, "I can assist you with this too. I have a bag of excuses."

When Devorah asked about the mental state of girls who have undergone the process and the possibility of seeing the baby after birth, Yosefi responded, "Psychologically, it isn't good for you, because you connect with him. It may be that in your case we will need to organize psychological help."

'We will market you as well'

How can such an industry, involving so many people like Yosefi, exist for so long under the radar?

In the absence of sex education, quite a few ultra-Orthodox girls and women become pregnant, and since the Haredi community is intolerant of such cases, women are forced to find a solution.

Many women willingly cooperate and others believe if they just give birth away from their families and friends, they would be able to raise the child themselves, or at the very least, remain in contact with the child.

The conspiracy of silence has lasted for years because of how ultra-Orthodox society is structured. 

No one speaks, because they do not want their children boycotted or condemned. However, as soon as one story comes out, others find the courage to speak out as well.

Photo: Shutterstock

Why is the process conducted in the United States and not in Israel? For two main reasons.

The first is to distance the wayward girl from the community in order to "protect" her, as it were. The second, and most significant, reason is that of legality.

According to Yosefi, in the US, such a practice is possible and even legal. Most of the girls sign adoption documents and payment is ostensibly transferred to them legally.

In their last meeting, Yosefi thought it prudent to explain something else. He is now marketing Devorah to families who are looking to adopt a child. "I am going to elevate you, to market you respectfully. I will market you morally. I am trying to do my job faithfully." 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Send In The Clowns!


Trump to Send Kushner to Middle East for Israel-Palestine Talks


President Donald Trump is dispatching a team led by his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner to Israel in pursuit of a Middle East peace deal.

Trump’s sending the delegation to try to take advantage of a period of relative calm following violent clashes last month over Israeli security arrangements at the Jerusalem shrine known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, said a senior administration official who requested anonymity to discuss the negotiations.

Kushner will be joined by Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell on the trip, which will include meetings with leaders from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The U.S. president wants to set an ambitious agenda for the talks, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, efforts to combat extremism, and addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the official said.

Trump has said he is hopeful his son-in-law can help restart a peace process that has made little headway over the past 25 years. He made addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict an early priority, hosting leaders from both sides at the White House during the opening months of his presidency and visiting Israel during his first international trip as president.

Abbas Visit


During the visit of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in May, Trump said a peace agreement “is frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years." He told reporters that negotiators would get a deal done, even while acknowledging that he had heard that “perhaps the toughest deal to make is the deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

“Let’s see if we can prove them wrong, OK?” Trump continued.

But his early forays into diplomacy have also run into some hiccups. He suggested during a state visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February that the U.S. wouldn’t necessarily press for a two-state solution, a seeming reversal of long-standing U.S. policy that reflects a key Palestinian demand.

Kushner is a longtime friend of the Israeli prime minister, who is facing a slew of domestic legal troubles. Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow, has signed a deal to cooperate with prosecutors there, and police have confirmed they’re investigating the prime minister as a suspect in a bribery, fraud, and breach of trust case. Netanyahu has blasted the media and critics over the controversy and accused opponents of attempting a “governmental coup.”

The last round of U.S.-led talks, a pet project of former Secretary of State John Kerry, broke down three years ago amid mutual recriminations.


Friday, August 11, 2017

“I was 18 years old, and he was 70 years old, a very prominent person in the community,” she said. “He brought me to his house, and he did something to me.” After pausing, she continued, “When he drove me home, he said, ‘Wow, the things you make me do…. ’ I told a domestic abuse organization about what happened, and they told me, ‘If you go to the police, you have nothing on him; no one will believe you, and he will bury you.’”

Rabinowitz is a survivor of sexual abuse herself — and a graduate of the ultra-Orthodox Bais Yaakov girls school system.
“Most people around me don’t acknowledge the fact that I was abused at all,” she told me in an interview. “I have close friends who don’t acknowledge it. My film trailer was the first time I said it publicly. I’m making this documentary for my friends and family to be able to say, ‘This is for you to know how to talk about it with me.’
“I know it’s hard for people to process. When someone says they were raped by a family member, you’ll never be able to understand what that feels like, but you do understand that basic feeling of shame and suffering. It’s by empathy — through art and music — that we can come to understand another’s pain, rather than through intellectual understanding.”
In her forthcoming film, shot mostly in Tel Aviv, Rabinowitz shows Goldenberg talking about her music and her dissociation, as she bounces between her Orthodox family and her artist friends, many of whom are also survivors of abuse.
“Don’t assume that people are normal and happy,” Rabinowitz said. “My friend and I went along the same path. We wore the same school uniform. I went home and I was abused. She went home and she wasn’t. We lived parallel lives, except mine was covered in soot. I looked the same, but I may not have acted the same. Understand that I was in an upside-down world.”
Her film, now in postproduction, is a window into this world of childhood trauma.
“Where I come from, it’s really stuffed under the rug, though it’s starting to change,” she said matter-of-factly. Her wide, blue eyes stared straight ahead. She cited the case of another young woman in her community who accused her father of molesting her. “The whole community shut her up; they told her to leave in silence, so she left for Israel,” Rabinowitz said. “People say, ‘She’s crazy’; no one believed her. Yeah, she’s crazy. If your father is lying on top of you every night, suffocating you and raping you, of course you’re crazy. When you survive abuse, there’s always someone else in your head. You see it in Yuval.”
Rabinowitz didn’t go into too much detail about her own story, but years of abuse, and her subsequent turn to substance abuse, landed her in Retorno, an Israeli religious drug rehab center. When she returned to the States, “straightened out” and “frum again,” her past as a vulnerable young woman continued to haunt her. When she was 18, a community member drove her home from an event and said he had to stop at his house to “get something,” inviting her in.
“I was 18 years old, and he was 70 years old, a very prominent person in the community,” she said. “He brought me to his house, and he did something to me.” After pausing, she continued, “When he drove me home, he said, ‘Wow, the things you make me do…. ’ I told a domestic abuse organization about what happened, and they told me, ‘If you go to the police, you have nothing on him; no one will believe you, and he will bury you.’”
That was the moment that she realized something needs to change. “I would be speaking to religious kids from different communities, from around the world, and everyone had a story, everyone knows someone who is affected by this,” she said. “We need everyone to finally be open and connect all those stories to make a difference.”
She rattles off harrowing story after story, name after name, with unnerving poise.
“My focus is not on the perpetrators. So instead I’ve turned to film to tell my story. My goal is to use Yuval’s story to de-stigmatize the issue of child sexual abuse. I hope to motivate people who have not experienced this trauma to take action to help victims.”
Read more: http://forward.com/life/faith/379521/orthodox-survivor-of-sex-abuse-exposes-traumas-in-new-film/

In a nutshell

Still Feeling is a short documentary that celebrates the human spirit. This film employs a novel stylistic approach, to shift the focus from stories of abuse—what exactly happened—to what really matters to a victim's support system, which is the experience and the pain of the person who was abused.

 Still Feeling uses artistic expression as the opening to uncover what it means to be physically, emotionally and mentally violated. By using art to tap into the audience’s vulnerabilities, Still Feeling provides a unique opportunity to explore the depth of the experience and pain of this trauma on a personal level.

 Through moments of composition, expression, contemplation, pain, and awakening, Yuval subtly addresses her childhood experiences; explaining the complexities of the emotional, psychological, and physical effects of childhood sexual trauma.

Still Feeling is in the final phase of post production. This is the magical process of crafting the powerful footage we have into an outstanding documentary film. Please take part in the magic, and help us reach our  post production goal to ensure the continuation of this story. Click here to make a 100% tax deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor.

Yuval Goldenberg

Yuval is an Israeli singer-songwriter who found her voice through music. At a time when Yuval’s life was consumed by the pain, and her daily interactions were overpowered by trauma, Yuval says, “My only lifeline was my music.”

Yuval has chosen to come face-to-face with her experiences of child sexual abuse. Rather than live in the shadow of the trauma, she chose to elevate her pain through song. In Yuval’s original music, she tackles mental health and explores the concepts of destruction and rebirth.
Learn More
  • Wall Of Shame Safety Alert : Israel

    לאחר חקירה ממושכת ומאומצת, JCW מוצא לנכון להזהיר את הציבור מפניו של אליהו יואל (יואלי) ובר, זאת לאחר בדיקה מעמיקה של טענות חמורות ואמינות בדבר סדרה של הטרדות מיניות שביצע.

    ובר ביצע לכאורה שורת מעשים של התעללות חמורה בקטינים כאשר שימש בתפקיד מלמד בחיידר "בית-דוד" במונסי, זאת טרם שעלה לישראל בשנת 2013.

    ובר מתגורר כיום ברמת בית שמש ב', הוא משמש כמנהל רוחני של חיידר "חכמת שלמה" בשכונת מאה שערים בירושלים. נציין כי המוסד היה מודע להאשמות נגדו עוד לפני תקופת העסקתו.
    After a lengthy, intensive investigation, JCW must warn the community of serious and highly credible allegations of sexual molestation by Eliyahu Yoel Weber (Yoely) formerly of Monsey, NY, now of Ramat Bet Shemesh Bet, Israel. 

    Weber is alleged to have molested multiple male minors during his time as a rebbe in Beis Dovid in Monsey before moving to Israel in 2013.

    Weber now resides in Ramat Bet Shemesh Bet, and is currently the menahel ruchani of the Chochmos Shlomo cheder in the Meah Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem. The school was aware of the allegations against Weber before hiring him.
    נאך א לאנגע און אינטענסיווע ויספאָרשונג, JCW מוזן ווארענען די קהילה פון ערנסט און שטארק ×ַלאַגיישאנז ×¤×•×Ÿ געשלעכט - מאלעסטיישאן דורך אליהו יואל וועבער (יאולי) אַמאָל פון ניו יורק מונסי, איצט וואוינט ער אין רמת בית שמש, ארה"ק.

    וועבער איז אמאל געפונען מיט קליינע קינדר אין צייט וואס ער איז געווען א רבי אין בית דוד חיידר אין מאנסי. איידער ער האט געקומען קיין ישראל פיר יאר צוריק.

    וועבער וואוינט איצט אין רמת בית שמש ב', און איז איצט די מנהל 'רוחני' פון די חכמת שלמה חייידר אין מאה שערים. די חיידר האט געווסט פון די אַלאַגיישאנז קעגן וועבער איידער ער איז געווארן מנהל.
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