Thursday, February 28, 2019

Why The American Yeshiva System Must Control Their Curriculum Without State Interference. These Topics Will Be Discovered On Their Own!

Fresh challenge for Charedi schools in France as government confirms teaching about LGBT people will be compulsory

French government says new relationships and sex education must be 'inclusive of all pupils'
Charedi schools face a fresh challenge as the government confirmed plans to make teaching about LGBT people a compulsory part of the new relationships and sex education (RSE) curriculum.

Intensive lobbying by strictly Orthodox groups following the Department for Education’s publication of draft RSE guidelines has failed to win a religious exemption.

Charedi leaders are already in dispute with Ofsted over demands that schools should teach LGBT awareness as part of the British values curriculum.

But RSE effectively opens up a second front. In its response to a public consultation, the DfE said on Monday: “Pupils should be able to understand the world in which they are growing up, which means understanding that some people are LGBT, that individuals and their relationships should be respected, and that the law affords them and their relationships recognition and protections.”

While parents will retain the right to withdraw children up to the age of 15 from some classes, that will apply only to the sex education component of RSE. DfE documents emphasise there is "no right to withdraw" from relationships or health education.

Schools will have some flexibility in deciding what age to introduce children to LGBT issues and be able to take account of their own religious ethos.

But Monday’s document offers no scope to ignore this subject altogether, as Charedi leaders have argued for.
Schools should ensure RSE is inclusive to all pupils, whatever their sexuality
The DfE said: “We believe that schools should ensure RSE educates pupils about the world in which they are growing up and is inclusive to all pupils, whatever their developing sexuality or identity, bearing in mind the age, development and religious backgrounds of their pupils.”

But there is a chink of light for the Charedi establishment. The RSE guidelines will have to go to Parliament for approval, leaving time for conservative religious groups to lobby MPs for amendments.

Also on Monday, a parliamentary debate, triggered by a petition supported by the Strictly Orthodox and other faith groups, considered whether the right of parental withdrawal should extend to the whole of RSE.

If that were to be adopted, then Charedi schools could simply plead a mass withdrawal by parents.

Shimon Cohen, speaking on behalf of one Strictly Orthodox group, the Torah Education Committee, found some grounds of hope.

The group, he said, was "encouraged by the government’s commitment that these matters will not have to be addressed at primary level and that at secondary level, a right to withdraw remains, with headteachers empowered to discern how these issues are addressed.

"In particular, the crucial recognition that parents are the primary teachers of their children will help to ensure that their wishes are respected. We appreciate the time and effort the government and senior officials have taken to consult with the Jewish community on this sensitive subject."

But the TEC remained wary that Ofsted would "maintain the responsibility to police the implementation of the guidelines and we will remain alert to their active role in promoting and advancing lifestyles that go against traditional Torah teachings. Much remains to be done.”

Chinuch UK, the Charedi educational umbrella group, advised schools that it would be open to them "to determine what content belongs in relationships education and what content belongs in sex education. Schools will be able to include LGBT teaching within sex education if that is what parents feel is appropriate."

The group, explaining its understanding was based on briefings with DfE officials, was satisifed that "the months of quiet and persistent diplomatic efforts... have led to a postiive outcome".

But Shraga Stern, the Stamford Hill-based campaigner who has been at the forefront of attempts to revise the guidelines, drew little comfort. " We are worse off today than we were yesterday," he said. "There is no question of us teaching about different types of familiy, not in primary schools and not in secondary schools."

He added, "This is a very sad outcome in terms of religious tolerance in this country.  The Orthodox community will now have to consider what further steps it could take to protect age-old parental rights."

Edwin Shuker, the Board of Deputies vice-president for community and education, said: “It was  a positive step that the Department for Education’s new proposed legislation will retain a measure of flexibility that will allow many different Jewish schools to act according to their ethos, although we note that the new guidance will continue to pose challenges for Strictly Orthodox secondary schools."
The Board, he said, welcomed “the focus on child safety and safeguarding for all of the protected characteristics as outlined under the Equalities Act 2010. As the new legislation comes into effect in 2020, we will continue to monitor how this affects schools in the community and how they are inspected.”

Protected characteristics include same-sex orientation and gender reassignment.
There will be unease in some schools within our community.
Rabbi David Meyer, executive director of Partnerships for Jewish Schools, said it "strongly supports the importance of teaching every child tolerance and respect and especially with regards to the all the protective characteristics including LGBT. We also recognise the importance of every school having a support system to support children that may be questioning their own sexuality." 

Pajes was "pleased to see that the DfE has taken into consideration our concerns regarding age appropriate education in  ensuring primary schools  will not be forced to teach children at a young age details of sexual relationships," he said. "There will, however, need some clarification as to what Ofsted will require be taught within relationship education."

There would also be "unease in some schools within our community regarding the requirements at secondary level," he added. "However, the determination as to is considered age appropriate should in our view be determined by the governing bodies and school leadership teams, in consultation with parents, and not legislated by government."

Rabbi Danny Rich, chief executive of Liberal Judaism, supported "the government initiative to make comprehensive relationship and sex education compulsory for all school children.

While responsibility remains primarily with parents, research shows this is often hit and miss and the education system needs to prepare young people for the complexities of modern living."

Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, Reform Judaism's community educator, welcomed "this new compulsory focus on mental health, diverse relationships and keeping safe online, reflecting Reform Jewish values and practices. It is right that all children and young people have the opportunity to build resilience and understanding of these crucial issues and many of our Progressive and cross-communal Jewish schools already do much of this work."


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Obsession with the problems on the left blinds a person to deep moral flaws on the right."

"Furthermore, obsession blinds a person to other flaws in the community that require redress.  Those who exclusively find fault with the left or the right obviously fail to appreciate the complexity of most questions in which each side has problems and weaknesses. One good example is R. Gordimer’s sharing links to several glowing hespedim for Rav Yisrael Belsky. A reader of his post will not discover that R. Belsky publically defended a confessed sexual abuser and accused the parents of the victim, who later had to move out of Lakewood, of mesirah for going to the police. Obsession with the problems on the left blinds a person to deep moral flaws on the right."


We Dare Not Ignore the Context: A Reply to Rabbi Yitzchak Blau 



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

There is another factor that needs to be analyzed when considering the extent of general knowledge to which one allows himself to be exposed. Our ability to efficiently utilize the wisdom of the scientific process is dependent upon a basic familiarity with the fundamentals of math, science, and foreign languages augmented by reading comprehension and writing proficiency....

"I am distressed that students are taught to belittle the discoveries of science..."

I Thought the Greeks Lost

by Dovid Landesman

 Published November 2010 -  Rabbi Landesman has since passed away. Yehi Zichro Boruch.

For many years, the Torah Umesorah Annual Dinner was scheduled for the week of Chanukah. One year, R. Gedaliah Schorr zt’l, rosh yeshiva of Torah Vodaath, and at the time, the only member of the organization’s Rabbinic Advisory Board who spoke unaccented and fluent English, was invited to give the keynote address. The master of ceremonies, when introducing Rav Schorr, decided to use the opportunity to offer his take on the educational needs of the country. In his lengthy remarks, he challenged Torah Vodaath to open a college and “show how it should be done.” When it was finally his turn to speak, Rav Schorr stood silently at the podium for a moment, a pensive expression on his face. He then turned toward the m.c. with an enormous smile and said: “You know, I was under the impression that we defeated the Greeks!”

 (He was among other rabbis that signed a letter in 1946 approving the opening of a Yeshiva College under the auspices of Torah Vodaath - Moreover, one needed a Bachelors degree from a recognized university to meet the entrance requirements for the proposed American Hebrew Theological University. Rav Shraga Feivel passed away before he would be able to realize the opening of AHTU. P.M.)

Click On Images to Enlarge:The photos are add-ons by me.

In 1946, America's Top Non-Hasidic Haredi Rabbis Wanted To Form A Jewish University – For The First Time Ever: ENTIRE PLANS WITH THE NY BOARD OF REGENTS APPROVAL BELOW:

The relationship between am Yisrael and Greece has always been somewhat equivocal. Greece is counted as one of the four nations [along with Bavel, Persia and Rome/Edom] who have subjected Israel to exile, yet throughout the period when we were subservient to Greece, we were never physically absent from the land of Israel. Moreover, the initial acceptance of Greek domination was passive. Alexander the Great was crossing Eretz Yisrael on his way to battle the Persians for world domination when Shimon ha-Tzaddik – kohen gadol and leader of the sanhedrin – reached a political agreement with him to insure that Yerushalayim was not “accidentally” destroyed by the Greek legions as they made their way east. The physical conditions of exile under the Greeks were benign until the period of the Chashmonaim when the Jews revolted against their rule; a revolt that was in great part a reaction to the assimilation of Greek values by a significant portion of the Jewish population.

On one hand, Greek culture is seen as particularly depraved. The worship of beauty – especially of the human form – and the emphasis on aesthetics [art and literature] is considered to be the embodiment of the triumph of the physical over the spiritual. The proclivity towards homosexual behavior, the lack of elementary tzniut at public events, the vivid descriptions of intimacy among multiple gods in a series of classic fables – all of these would seem to point to a culture that is the absolute antithesis of Judaism. Thus, it is surprising to find that Greek language is considered to be second only to lashon ha-kodesh in its intrinsic holiness. I would expect that Chazal would have us avoid such cultural assimilation at all cost.

Yaft Elokim l’Yeffet v’yishkon b’ahalei Shem – God granted beauty to Yeffet so that it might dwell in the tents of Shem. The simple explanation would suggest that there is an entire area of Divine wisdom – the beauty of Yeffet – which was made accessible to Shem through the good offices of Yavan [Greece], the scion of Yeffet. Beauty has intrinsic value, for we find Chazal (Shabbat 131a) interpreting the verse zeh keli v’anvehu – this is my God and I shall beautify Him (Shemot 15:2) as indicating that in performing a mitzvah, one should do so in the most aesthetically pleasing manner possible. Given the clear link between the obsession with aesthetics in Greek life and the excesses of Greek culture, one might expect this to be less than important.

In building the mishkan, Moshe was commanded to specifically utilize the craftsmanship of Betzalel because he was blessed with extraordinary artistic talents in a wide variety of fields. Betzalel is considered to be “filled with wisdom” because he knew how to sew, weave and embroider magnificent tapestries – skills that as far as I know, no contemporary yeshiva has ever encouraged! True, these were undoubtedly inherent rather than learned qualities – I would be very surprised to discover that Betzalel had been enrolled as a student of the Ramses School of Design prior to yetziyat Mitzrayim – but they are nevertheless talents that are not usually considered to be part of Torah nor are they – or related fields like music or architecture – part of the yeshiva curriculum.

In general, Judaism does not seem to completely reject the absorption of values from outside sources. Chazal declare chachmah bagoyim, ta’amin – recognize that the nations are in possession of wisdom; i.e., there are valuable fields of knowledge that are accessible without recourse to Torah. This would not a priori mean that these fields of knowledge are unavailable to one who has never been exposed to secular studies. In theory, one could utilize his natural talents and eventually achieve the same results. As far as I know, there is not even an illusion to the healing properties of Vitamin E in Torah shebichtav or sheb’aal peh. Nevertheless, even if I had never been exposed to the scientific process of observation and experimentation through which all pharmacology is established, I could in time determine the medicinal value of Aloe vera on my own. Similarly, the complex nano-technology which allows for the manufacture of microscopic devices is ultimately a result of the scientific process that could theoretically be developed without relying on the instruction of others. Obviously, however, it is more efficient to utilize the publicized findings of others rather than repeat experiments by yourself. But is this determination the totality of what Chazal had in mind when they spoke of chochmah bagoyim?

I would posit that chochmah bagoyim ta’amin means that we should accept that this chochmah is valid even though it comes from non-Torah sources. These fields of knowledge do not depend upon Divinely revealed wisdom accessible only through Torah; they are a byproduct of the Divine gifts of intelligence and creativity with which all mankind was imbued and which everyone can develop to the extent that his potential allows. If you decide that you will ignore scientific breakthroughs because they are not rooted in Torah and instead engage in your own research and experimentation so as to be sure that your life is al taharat ha-kodesh, then know that you will be guilty of a grievous amount of unnecessary bittul Torah.

I am distressed that students are taught to belittle the discoveries of science, claiming that we have no need for it since hafoch bah, hafoch bah, d’kulo bah – study it (Torah), study it, for everything all [knowledge] is in it. I have often heard students – and quite a few rebbis – point to the mathematical and medical genius of the Chazon Ish as proof that there is no need to teach our children a core curriculum of general studies. Glibly, they claim: “Look how much the Chazon Ish knew without ever having gone to college!” My invariable reply is that the Chazon Ish also achieved an incredible level of mastery in all fields of Torah despite [or perhaps because of] the fact that he never attended a yeshiva!

There is another factor that needs to be analyzed when considering the extent of general knowledge to which one allows himself to be exposed. Our ability to efficiently utilize the wisdom of the scientific process is dependent upon a basic familiarity with the fundamentals of math, science, and foreign languages augmented by reading comprehension and writing proficiency. Most of these areas of knowledge are not included in the basic cheder curriculum in Eretz Yisrael. I wonder whether the excesses that the scientific method is judged to have brought to society have led to a rejection of the notion that there still is wisdom among the goyim.

Casey Stengel once wisely commented that “nostalgia aint what it used to be.” Nonetheless, I think that it is worthwhile to look back and see if we can determine why the yeshivot a few decades ago were apparently more successful in producing talmidim who saw no contradiction in straddling the divide between Torah study and general education.

Forty or fifty years ago, parents expected the yeshivot – at least the non-chassidic mosdot – to provide their children with a decent secular education, for the majority of them intended that their sons continue with professional studies after they graduated high school. To be sure there were a number of students who did not do so – if I recall correctly, approximately 30% of the beit midrash bachurim in Torah Vodaath did not attend college – but as a general rule, this was the expected path.

For the most part, talmidim learned two sedarim in the yeshiva and then attended college from about 5:30-10:30 two or four nights a week. Many then continued onto graduate studies in a variety of fields, including law, accounting, business, medicine, engineering, psychology and the sciences. For the most part, and there were of course exceptions, they remained bnei Torah and have built homes that are paradigms of Torah and chessed. I would say without hesitation that in the overwhelming majority of cases, their homes are more strictly observant than those of their parents. Their immersion in the world of general knowledge did not erode their level of observance.

Did Rav Schorr see them as casualties of Greek culture? I obviously cannot speak for him, but can only convey the impressions I have based on what I heard from him. Rav Schorr also served as head of Beit Medrash Elyon in Spring Valley – which was a parallel institution to Lakewood – but he made the bachurim in Torah Vodaath feel that we were no less bnei Torah than the students there. He stressed that the primary responsibility we had was to establish our own identity as bnei Torah. Some talmidim learned all day, others learned less while still others were kovea itim for a defined period based on the time they had. But we were all equal, for Torah was the mirror which we looked at when we wanted to see our image.

The yeshivot – and roshei yeshivot – were able to convey to the talmidim a sense of proportion. General knowledge was never glorified but neither was it disparaged. The atmosphere in the yeshiva’s beit midrash was eclectic; one year my morning seder chavruta was the son [and eventual successor to] a prominent chassidic rebbe while my afternoon chavruta was destined to become the chairman of the psychology department at a well known local university. While the latter did not wear the same garb as the former, there was very little difference in their world views. The fact that they chose different “career” paths did not translate itself into a parting of their ways. The talmidim felt that we shared a similar commitment to Torah despite our diverse backgrounds and aspirations which created a ruach within the yeshiva that helped us when we were outside its doors.

Certain behaviors were considered to be “conduct unbecoming” a Torah Vodaath boy and this self-imposed and accepted code was a great source of support during the times we found ourselves on the college campus. We did not need a va’ad harabbanim to set these standards for us; the roshei yeshiva – especially Rav Schorr and Rav Pam zt’l – made us feel that they trusted us to do what was right. Perhaps the atmosphere on college campuses was somewhat less hostile than it is today. Personally, I doubt that the yetzer hara is stronger than it was then; it is the methodology that has changed.

Today a bachur who leaves the beit midrash to study or work is burdened by a sense of guilt; either because he is led to feel that he must be a failure because he does not have sufficient motivation to continue or because he lacks the mesirat nefesh (or deep pockets) to survive the economic rough spots. That leaves him with few choices. He can either plod on and increase his discomfort and sense of frustration, masking it behind a false sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, or he can break away – partially or completely. Without a sense of accomplishment or identification with the yeshiva, the student seeks those signs of success in the world of general studies. This is an unnecessary tragedy that is the basic ingredient that allows the contemporary Greeks their victory. Rejected in his own world, he seeks acceptance and recognition elsewhere.

At what point does a focus on the absorption of general knowledge and culture lead us to the point, in Rav Schorr’s words, of providing the Greeks with a belated victory and at what point does it fit into the rubric of chachmah bagoyim ta’amin? Can we establish a quantifiable amount of general knowledge desirable or is it a moving target that depends upon the era and location of the community? At what point do we risk becoming assimilated rather than acculturated?

I’m not sure whether there are clear parameters that can be drawn. In one community in which I lived one of the local roshei yeshiva would prepare his shiurim while listening to Bach and Beethoven. I doubt that the people there would have been as understanding if he had done so to the music of the Beatles. Unquestionably lines have to be drawn; just as there are chochmot that we can draw upon to enhance our Jewish lives, there are those that can be misused and become destructive and dangerous. The trick, and challenge, is to develop the skills to differentiate between them.

The Greeks succeeded because they were able to convince the Jews that adherence to Torat Moshe was primitive and uncultured. The contemporary fallout from the yeshivot suffer from a similar damaged self-image. Distanced for many reasons from the spiritual light of Torah – as expressed by commitment to Torah study – which they cannot appreciate and which brings them little satisfaction, they are easy victims for seduction by the neon lights of the outside world. The antidote, however, is not to lock them behind high walls and deny them the benefits of general knowledge; that would be self-defeating as well as increasingly unfeasible in a technology driven world.

At the very least schools, mechanchim, mechanchot as well as parents must be sure to reinforce the sense of self-worth of each and every talmid – reassuring them that they all have their own portion in Torah – portions that are of equal import provided that they are the paths that are right for each child’s potential and ability. Chanoch lanoar al pi darko – instruct the child according to his path – based on the road that he can follow, not on a one size fits all course of study. For some students that might be defined as spending years in a kollel mastering many blatt gemara, for others it might be applying the lessons of Choshen Mishpat that they have been taught in yeshiva in their businesses or medical practices. Yaft Elokim l’Yeffet – the outside world has considerable beauty. It can be threatening when glorified as an end unto itself or it can be enriching when it is properly brought l’ohalei Shem – to dwell within the tents of Shem.

[Rabbi Dovid Landesman resides in Ramat Beit Shemesh where he comments on the foibles of life in Israel. His collection of essays, There Are No Basketball Courts in Heaven is available in Jewish bookstores and his new book, Food for Thought – No Hechsher Required, will be published b’ezrat Hashem this winter.]

The NY Board Of Regents Files are add-ons by me to Rabbi Landesman's essay.

In 1946, America's Top Non-Hasidic Haredi Rabbis Wanted To Form A Jewish University – For The First Time Ever, Here's Proof:


 Download NY Board of Regents

Download NY Board of Regents 2

Friday, February 22, 2019

Rabbi David Bleich on the Conversion Crisis - Considered by Most Jewish Scholars as a Posek of the Greatest Stature

The questions posed with regard to problematic contemporary conversions are threefold in nature:

Rabbi Bleich
  (1) Is it permissible for rabbinical courts to accept prospective candidates for conversion when it appears that application is made, not out of religious conviction, but as a matter of convenience, e.g., to facilitate marriage with a Jewish partner?

 (2) Is a conversion of convenience, i.e., one undertaken for marriage or other ulterior motive in which the petitioner obviously has no intention of abiding by the precepts of Judaism, a valid one?

 (3) Granting the validity and propriety of the conversion itself, is it permissible for the convert to enter into marriage with a Jewish spouse with whom the convert has consorted prior to conversion?


Let me be clear once again, this is about the rabbinical organizations and the various rabbis that conduct fraudulent conversions and has nothing to do with any individuals whatsoever. 


Book Format: Yoreh De’ah, no. 157

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Hazmanas are a waste of time --- Take your legitimate grievances to Court!

Brooklyn yeshiva agrees to pay $2.1M to victims of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko's child sex abuse

A Brooklyn yeshiva quietly became the first Orthodox Jewish school to compensate students who claim they were molested by a teacher when it agreed to pay more than $2 million to two boys and their families in 2014 — and now it may be the first Orthodox school to default on a settlement with sex abuse victims.

Yeshiva-Mesivta Torah Temimah, a prominent Orthodox school on Brooklyn's Ocean Parkway, agreed to pay one former student $900,000 and the other $1.35 million in a settlement reached in October 2014.

The agreements were originally confidential, but they became public earlier this month after lawyers for the boys filed papers in Brooklyn Supreme Court that said the school failed to make payments due earlier this year.

"This is the first time the public has known about these payments," said sex-abuse expert Marci Hamilton, a lawyer and a distinguished scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. "This is the first settlement with a yeshiva that has been publicly disclosed. I was surprised as anybody to see this.

This is a sizeable settlement."......


Brooklyn yeshiva settles with sexual assault accusers for $2.1M

A prominent Orthodox Jewish school in Brooklyn agreed to pay an unprecedented $2.1 million to two former students who charged their teacher — accused serial molester Rabbi Joel Kolko — of sexually assaulting them, The Post has learned.

Kolko’s case marks the first time a New York yeshiva has paid off victims of sex abuse, experts said.

“This is unheard of. I am not aware of any other settlements,” said Rabbi Yosef Blau, a spiritual adviser at Yeshiva University in Manhattan and longtime victims advocate.

Secret settlements between Yeshiva Torah Temimah on Ocean Parkway and two boys — 6 years old when molested — were filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court a week ago when the yeshiva failed to make payments.

Lawyers for the two plaintiffs filed a judgment for $1 million — the total the yeshiva still owes both boys for the trauma they suffered.

Both lawsuits alleged the yeshiva and its leader, Rabbi Lipa Margulies, knew for decades that Kolko was molesting students, but chose to keep him on as an elementary teacher and “give him unfettered access to young children.”

Kolko allegedly had boys sit on his lap and fondled their genitals.

For 25 years, the yeshiva received “multiple credible allegations of pedophilia” against Kolko. It covered them up and even threatened families who dared to complain, the suits charged.

Kolko, now 70, got a controversial deal from then-Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes in May 2012: He pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of child endangerment and did not have to go to jail or register as a sex offender.


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Are we meant to stand aside and watch while the institutions that have enabled abusers are allowed to remain as they are without suffering the appropriate repercussions for their malfeasance?

The Child Victims Act was signed into law by Gov. Cuomo on Feb. 14

For the Sake of Our Children

It is impossible to properly describe the horrors unleashed on the victims of child sexual abuse. Those horrors will likely haunt the victims for the rest of their lives. 

Unfortunately, some sectors of the Jewish community have turned a blind eye to these victims. This attitude is seemingly apparent in a statement issued by the Agudath Israel of America, which noted the organization’s disapproval of the recent passage of the Child Victims Act in the New York State Legislature.

Signed into law by Gov. Cuomo on Feb. 14, the Child Victims Act raised the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse crimes from age 23 to 55 in civil cases. The statute of limitations for bringing a suit against a public or private institution that hired an abuser will also be moved from age 23 to 55. In addition, under the new law, criminal charges may be brought against an abuser until the victim reaches the age of 28.

The Agudah’s primary concern with the Child Victims Act is that “the unprecedented ability to revive decades-old claims in civil suits could jeopardize the ongoing viability of schools, houses of worship that sponsor youth programs, summer camps and other institutions that are the very lifeblood of communities like ours.”

The new law may turn out to be a dilemma for Yeshiva University. In 2013, a lawsuit of $680 million was brought against the university for its alleged enabling of multiple child abusers in Yeshiva University High School for Boys over the course of several decades. The suit was struck down by a federal judge because “the statutes of limitations have expired.” The enactment of the Child Victims Act would potentially allow the victims to revivify their suit against the university.

The Agudah’s statement misses a crucial point. The jeopardization of institutions that have enabled abusers will be beneficial for the Jewish people in the long-run. With the enactment of the Child Victims Act into law, these institutions will be more introspective with regard to their employment policies. They will be more reluctant to hire an individual with a spotty record out of concern for future civil lawsuits against them. In addition, if some institutions are sued out of existence, other institutions will surely fill their place and fulfill their functions for the Jewish community, this time without enabling sexual abusers.

The defenders of the Agudah’s statement may counter my argument with the following question: “What about an institution that changed its leadership over the course of several decades? Did the abuse not occur under different management? How can one be enabled to sue the current management of an institution for the misconduct of their predecessors?”

I sympathize with this argument. Children should not be punished for the sins of their fathers. However, why don’t we ask the converse of the Agudah’s argument: What about an institution that has not substantially changed its leadership over the past few decades? Why should a childhood victim of sexual abuse — who for whatever reason, be it trauma or fear, waited to report the abuse — be restricted from bringing a suit against the enablers of his abuser? 

For this reason, the law is restricted to the introduction of a lawsuit to court, and not of the adjudication thereof. Adjudication is fully up to the judges’ or juries’ discretions. This requires a certain level of confidence among the masses that the judicial system will recognize the difference between an institution that is currently comprised of enablers versus one that is not. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, what is the alternative? 

Are we meant to stand aside and watch while the institutions that have enabled abusers are allowed to remain as they are without suffering the appropriate repercussions for their malfeasance? It is, therefore, absolutely necessary for us to enthusiastically support the passage of the Child Victims Act, for the sake of the Jewish people, for the sake of our children.


Monday, February 18, 2019

"It is well known that these accusing parents just hate rabbis and don't really care about their children's welfare at all, and would destroy their own kids and drag their families through the mud just for the sake of making rabbis look bad", according to Rosenblum's sources in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community.

Monday, June 15, 2009 - UOJ CLASSICS


Ultra-Religious Catholic Journalist Interviews Three Priests About The Catholic Church's Involvement Of Child Sexual Abuse!

by John O'Futzyutz

When I sat down with these three American priests who are well versed in the English language, I was really taken in by their knowledge of Scripture as it relates to the "in-topic" of today, child molestation by the Catholic clergy. The focus quickly shifted to their "older cousins", the Jews, particularly rabbis, for reasons unknown to them, covered up child sexual abuse in their Hebrew schools, summer camps, and houses of worship.

Now I know these three priests well, they would have no reason to change the subject; they are smart, they grew up in orthodox Catholic homes, and clearly believe the Pope as the infallible messenger of god and the other two parts of god's cosmic makeup, Spirit and Son. The pope would never, for example, apologize for child-abuse by thousands of priests, if he was not really sorry. He is so sorry that he moved the "Lipa Margulies" of the Church, Cardinal Bernard Law, to the Vatican, as one of the pope's right hand people. In matter of fact, my Catholic antennae was pricked by this bold decision, borrowing this phrase with permission from my friend, a Jewish journalist in the Jerusalem Post, Jonathan Rosenblum.

The English speaking priests certainly convinced me that they have no reason at all to go against the pope's unambiguous message; if you are ever in doubt about the sexual proclivities of a priest, or about a Cardinal moving priests around from parish to parish; rather than call the police, send him to Rome, they have a great job for him with a lot of different multi-colored hats and shmattes. If you are dumb enough to get caught, deny that any priest ever molested a child, if pressed really hard by an "Enlightened one", say, "yeah, we found out about one who slipped through our fingers, and no we do not sweep or sell rugs, we are not merchants -- but if another child molester does exist, the police may be called, maybe, and only if he is retired, dead, homeless, hard of hearing, does not have a cellphone, and wears a yarmulke".

So that's that, the Pope Hador speaks, the priests listen, we know all that, right?

Wondering what was going on with the Jews, now that I got the alleged priest problem out of the way, I contacted my fellow Yale schoolmate, Jonathan Rosenblum, who I understand became the drugged mouthpiece for ultra-orthodox Jews, especially in Israel.

Jonathan tells me a very similar kind of strange goings-on in the Ramat Bet Shemesh town, a suburb of Jerusalem. He spoke as well to three rabbis (something the Jews and Catholics have in common the number three as in Trinity, as in upsherin, as in moving on Tuesday - yom shlishi (ki tov twice plus one on yom rishon) three portions of cholent at kiddush, three main dishes at Pesach hotels, three dunks in the mikve, 3 deserts at the Agudah Convention, 3 crooked rabbis for a bais din tribunal, shnayim mikra v'echad targum =3, minimum donation to Margo's mezumen slush fund for Kolko =$3000, 3 Fressers needed for a mezumen at birkat hamazon) --- in that town, and was assured that these parents who claim to have had their child molested in a Hebrew school, was a bunch of cholent poop. Why would these English speaking rabbis lie? What do they have to gain? They care only about the well-being of their congregants and the Jewish community, just like the English speaking rabbis in the U.S.A. They even remember that they asked people to leave town, they can't be sure why, but probably because they molested someone. They even invited an Ohel employee, Dr. Schulman, to address the community on how to mitigate damages from families whose children were allegedly abused by rabbis in schools.

"In 1996, the Village Voice ["A Child's at Stake," by Adam Fifield and Michael Lesher] reported that an Ohel advisory board member, Susan Schulman, commented that she always deferred to rabbinic advice before making a child-abuse report, although she acknowledged that she 'could be arrested' for doing so." [Emphasis added.] This is what's coming to Ramat Bet Shemesh!

And this quote really tickled my fancy; "It is well known that these accusing parents just hate rabbis and don't really care about their children's welfare at all, and would destroy their own kids and drag their families through the mud just for the sake of making rabbis look bad", according to Rosenblum's sources in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community.

In matter of fact Jonathan said, the Jewish pope, so to speak, the greatest rabbi of the generation (96 years young and even remembers his name without a teleprompter), who is schooled in every single area of humanity, decreed that only if rabbis believe child molestation took place, after many meetings by the local rabbis, and a unanimous decision by all the rabbis and zonas in town, and the child is screened by their handpicked Orthodox therapists, with a degree or not, then if none of these people ever used a cell-phone without a hechsher, or shopped in a store without a kosher certificate on all the women's clothing, or sat on a bus where women and men are not separated by a shower curtain, then one may be permitted to go to a shomer Shabbos police station, where every police person eats Rubashkin glatt kosher meat that is not cooked in a Heinemann Kitchen Aid kosher Yom-Tov oven and whose wives do not wear wigs from India.

Now, Jonathan and I go back a long way; I felt ashamed that I would have to ask him this question, but a good journalist must be thorough.

"Jonathan, and when you met with the alleged molested children and their parents, what exactly did they tell you?"

"Well John", he said, "after taking to the three rabbis, why would I need to talk to the victims and their parents?"

In fact Rosenblum permitted me to use his quote in the Jerusalem Post as the new "gospel" for the Jewish community.....

"The rabbis' preference for working behind the scenes derives not from a desire to sweep problems under the rug, but from a considered philosophy about what is best for victims, their families and the community. What is best for victims he said, the knowledge that incidents will be publicized can keep victims or their parents from coming forward. In addition, publicity can lead to hysteria in which parents become convinced that their children are at great risk in school.

Now, even me being a "Goy" knows this is the new lying Shafran-Schick-Salomon limerick coming from the Torah Giants of America, certainly expected to make a huge splash to the English and Yiddish speaking members of the Jewish community worldwide. Perhaps it may even wind up in a radio commercial.

Jonathan, even the Goyim are ashamed of you!

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

I Had To Prevail To Get The Victims Of Abuse To Tell Their Stories. The Court Ruled In My Favor...And Here We Are!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - UOJ ARCHIVES

EFF Urges Court to Block Dragnet Subpoenas Targeting Online Commenters!


July 14th, 2010

New York - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) this week served a motion to quash dragnet subpoenas that put privacy and anonymity at risk for the operators of dozens of Internet blogs and potentially hundreds of commenters.

The subpoenas stem from a state lawsuit filed by New York residents Miriam and Michael Hersh alleging a conspiracy to interfere with their business interests. Issued to Google and Yahoo, the subpoenas demand the identities of users of ten email accounts, operators of 30 blogs and a website that had featured discussions of the plaintiffs among other matters, and the identities of everyone who had ever commented on those sites.

"The First Amendment protects individuals' right to speak anonymously and forces litigants to justify any attempts to unmask anonymous critics," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "Litigants cannot forcibly identify entire communities of online speakers -- which include many speakers who no one would claim did anything wrong -- simply because the litigants are curious."

In the motion served on Monday, EFF urged the Supreme Court for Kings County, New York, to quash the subpoenas for failing to satisfy the requirements imposed by the First Amendment, as well as the requirements imposed by New York state law and the federal Stored Communications Act.

"Overbroad subpoenas targeting anonymous speakers without cause naturally creates a chilling effect that may discourage others from exercising their constitutional rights to participate in conversations that take place online," said Zimmerman. "We are asking the court to enforce these reasonable safeguards so that the rights of innocent speakers do not become collateral damage in a dispute between others."

Ron Lazebnik and the Samuelson-Glushko Intellectual Property & Information Law Clinic at Fordham University School of Law assisted EFF in the serving of this motion.

For the full motion to quash & court granting request:

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Child Victims Act signed into law by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is signing legislation that would extend the statute of limitations so sexual abuse victims have more time to seek criminal charges or sue their abusers.

It is happening at an event in lower Manhattan.

In addition to giving molestation victims more time to sue their alleged abusers or seek criminal charges, the law will open a one-year window for lawsuits now barred by the statute of limitations.

The measure was blocked for the past decade by Republicans who controlled the state Senate.

Democrats took control of the chamber in the November elections, and the Senate and Democrat-controlled Assembly approved the legislation last month.


So the Agudath Israel and their pathetic group of bozos...all of them knew; but did they? Did they know that they would be dragged through the filth they created - forever and forever? Did they really know the damage that would last forever...and did they care? Of course not, the bloggers are nasty people! Horrors! Lashon hara! Mesirah! Let's change the subject - ban the Internet!

Let's Change The Subject!



All my efforts were for naught. Margulies and Kolko were digging in...and nothing they were being told - meant anything! I had used every ounce of energy attempting to persuade his go-betweens, and there were many, that none of his tactics were going to work. He was either going to bais din immediately, or I was going to take him down! The "Torah" world was warned through an intermediary, nay, many intermediaries.

Torah Umesorah knew! The Agudath Israel knew! The entire Torah Temimah hanhala and the board of directors knew. Sruli Belsky knew! It was no secret, I made certain that they had every opportunity to do right for the many victims, the Torah prescribed dictates of treasuring human life, and for Klal Yisroel! It was time to stand up and admit to a fatally flawed policy by the "gedolim" - that destroyed generations. The whole world knew...but nobody cared!

It was time to beg forgiveness...way past the time - where elaborate yeshiva buildings took precedence to preserving the treasured neshamot entrusted to their care!

But....as I learned over my life...there's nobody home!

They don't give a darn! They laugh at the thought that the children really matter. Of course not, they're just inventory in their warehouses. A number in a bakery line...a meal ticket to riches and real estate holdings.

I agonized...I knew exactly where this was going to wind up. I was already in contact with the media. Jeff Herman was lined up! One last shot...issue the hazmana from a successful attorney that specializes in clergy sex-abuse cases. All - Kleinman, Applegrad and Weinberger, yes George, had to do - was google Jeff Herman. See what he's done and undone! Please be afraid - please!

They did not care...at that point neither did I. I retained TWO respected toenim to represent the victims in bais din on March 16...one week before the hazmana was sent and faxed, just in case I was wrong! I hoped I was wrong! The victims deserved the best representation money could buy. They deserved no less, finally! The Heavens finally broke down and cried with the victims! But not the gedolim...they were at dinners! They were busy....who cared what some crazy was doing on the Internet. We'll hold asifas and ban him!

I shot the first bullet....they went scrambling to various people but not to bais din. Belsky said NO! I sent more messages....nothing! I fired off the second hazmana from an attorney that specializes in clergy sex-abuse cases...not a dumb putz rabbi that they could get Belsky or Epstein to threaten! A real lawyer with experience in this area! Collected millions for victims! Please be afraid - please!

I fired the third hazmana....nothing, they gave Jeff Herman the finger.

I was ready...Jeff was ready...Robert Kolker (New York Magazine) was ready....Margulies had one more chance. Fire Kolko pending a full competent investigation and real din Torah! No dice...he was putting Kolko on temporary leave,.... maybe!

As they say, the rest is in the history books!

So the Agudath Israel and their pathetic group of bozos...all of them knew; but did they? Did they know that they would be dragged through the filth they created - forever and forever? Did they really know the damage that would last forever...and did they care? Of course not, the bloggers are nasty people! Horrors! Lashon hara! Mesirah! Let's change the subject - ban the Internet! We'll get "Tzvi Frankel" to bash the bloggers...all of them!

I will never let you change the subject - NEVER! Do you hear me now? Do you?

To all of you "gedolim" I say...I'm far from done with you criminals. I'm just getting warmed up!




They allege Shvarblat approached the girl four more times, each time offering her cigarettes, police said. On Jan. 22, Shvarblat followed the girl into the ACME and asked her if she wanted to go into his vehicle and smoke a cigarette, Hintze said.

Lakewood Man Charged With Stalking Girl, 16: Police 


Police say the man approached the girl repeatedly, in one case saying, 'Hey, sexy, do you want a cigarette?'

Lakewood Man Charged With Stalking Girl, 16: Police
וואָס וועט זיין מיט די פּערווערץ?
FORT LEE, NJ —A Lakewood man has been charged with stalking a 16-year-old girl repeatedly in recent weeks and offering her cigarettes, police said Wednesday.

Chayim Shvarzblat, aka Michael Shvarzblat, 32, of Lakewood, was charged with stalking and providing cigarettes to a juvenile, Capt. Matthew Hintze of the Fort Lee Police Department said.
Shvarblat is accused of approaching the victim near Fort Lee High School five times between Jan. 7 and Feb. 5, Hintze said.

Authorities allege Shvarblat first approached the girl Jan. 7 at the ACME supermarket adjacent to the high school when she was on her lunch break. He drove up to the girl and asked her, "Hey sexy, do you want a cigarette?" Hintze said. The girl later told police she ignored the man and went back to school.

They allege Shvarblat approached the girl four more times, each time offering her cigarettes, police said. On Jan. 22, Shvarblat followed the girl into the ACME and asked her if she wanted to go into his vehicle and smoke a cigarette, Hintze said.

The girl reported the incidents to her principal Jan. 31. The school contacted police, who began investigating.

On Feb. 4, the girl and her mother were driving to school when they saw Shvarblat sitting in his vehicle, a 2015 Hyundai Sonata, in the George Washington Bridge Plaza facing the ACME parking lot, Hintze said.

The girl called police and the next day police saw the vehicle in the plaza and stopped it, Hintze said. Shvarbalt is due in Bergen County Superior Court March 12, he said.

“While it is unfortunate that this occurred, it is a good example of a teenager telling an adult in school what occurred and then the school staff working closely with the school resource officers,” Police Chief Keith Bendul said 

Anyone who might have had a similar encounter with Shvarzblat or has information that would help the investigation is asked to contact Detective Jesus Sanchez at (201) 592-3700, ext. 5302 or at jsanchez@fortleepolice.org .

וואָס וועט זיין מיט די קינדער? 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

An investigation by The Wall Street Journal and the PBS series Frontline found the IHS repeatedly missed or ignored warning signs, tried to silence whistleblowers and allowed Mr. Weber to continue treating children despite the suspicions of colleagues up and down the chain of command.

A Pedophile Doctor Drew Suspicions for 21 Years. No One Stopped Him.

The federal government’s Indian Health Service failed to protect Native American boys from Pat Weber’s sexual abuse, despite repeated warning signs

This article is a joint investigation between Frontline PBS and The Wall Street Journal. A related documentary aired Feb. 12 on PBS.
At first, officials at the U.S. Indian Health Service overlooked the peculiarities of their unmarried new doctor, including the children’s toys he hoarded in his basement on the reservation. They desperately needed a pediatrician at their hospital in Browning, Mont.

By 1995, after three years, they became convinced Stanley Patrick Weber was a pedophile and pushed for his removal from the government-run hospital.

“You’re going to have to leave,” Randy Rottenbiller, its clinical director at the time, recalled telling the doctor after learning a child patient had stayed the night in his house.

Many of his known and alleged victims have since struggled with addiction and have moved in and out of prison. As boys, they were especially vulnerable and troubled. They lived in some of America’s poorest communities, isolated and desolate places where health problems are rampant and basic services such as grocery stores are scarce.

An investigation by The Wall Street Journal and the PBS series Frontline found the IHS repeatedly missed or ignored warning signs, tried to silence whistleblowers and allowed Mr. Weber to continue treating children despite the suspicions of colleagues up and down the chain of command. 

The investigation also found that the agency tolerated a number of problem doctors because it was desperate for medical staff, and that managers there believed they might face retaliation if they followed up on suspicions of abuse. The federal agency has long been criticized for providing inadequate care to Native Americans.

After a tribal prosecutor outside of the IHS finally investigated his crimes, Mr. Weber was indicted in 2017 and 2018 for sexually assaulting six patients in Montana and South Dakota. Court documents and interviews with former patients show that Mr. Weber plied teen boys with money, alcohol and sometimes opioids, and coerced them into oral and anal sex with him in hospital exam rooms and at his government housing unit.

“IHS, the local here, they want to just forget it happened,” said Pauletta Red Willow, a social-services worker on the Pine Ridge reservation. “You can’t ever forget how someone did our children wrong and affected us for generations to come.”

In an interview, Rear Adm. Michael Weahkee,  an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the acting head of the IHS, expressed sorrow over the agency’s failures and promised an investigation into how Mr. Weber was able to prey on children under the agency’s care.

“We really want to mitigate the possibility of anything like this ever happening again,” said Adm. Weahkee.....



Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Rabbi Berland’s representatives said “it is well known that tzedakah can save from death and people pledge to give tzedakah”, but denied he asked for money from what they said were “hundreds and thousands who have been saved by the rabbis’ blessings.”

  "The Energizer Krazzy" --- Chasidic rabbi accused of accepting cash to bless terminally ill patients in Israeli hospitals


Eliezer Berland allegedly offered his services in exchange for 20,000 shekels

Rabbi Eliezer Berland, pictured here in in 2016 as he is led into court by police for his trial on sexual assault charges
Rabbi Eliezer Berland, pictured here in in 2016 as he is led into court by police for his trial on sexual assault charges 

The leader of a powerful Chasidic sect in Jerusalem has been accused of extorting money from the families of terminally ill patients in exchange for a rabbinical blessing. 

Rabbi Eliezer Berland, 81, who heads the Shuvu Banim sect of Breslov Chasidim in Jerusalem, allegedly offered his services in exchange for 20,000 shekels (£4,250) to the relatives of patients in a vegetative state in Israeli hospitals.

He previously served jail time after being convicted of indecent acts and assault.

During the hospital visits, which were recorded on security cameras and obtained by Israel’s Channel 12, Rabbi Berland is heard demanding the money for pidyon nefesh (“redemption of the soul”).
In their desperation, some families reportedly accepted.

His representatives have denied the allegations, but videos have previously been published of him online blessing patients alongside a phone number to call.

Rabbi Berland fled Israel in 2012 after police began investigating accusations that he sexually assaulting women in the Shuvu Banim Sect. 

After spending several years on the run in Morocco, Zimbabwe, the Netherlands and South Africam he was finally extradited in 2016 to Israel, where he convicted on two counts of indecent acts and one of assault and sentenced to eighteen months in prison. 

But the sentence was cut short after only six months because Rabbi Breslov was diagnosed with bowel cancer. 

Some Breslov sect rabbis signed petitions calling for his followers to shun him, but other Strictly Orthodox have continued to back him. 

Despite his diagnosis, Rabbi Berland still retains thousands of followers and remains influential in Charedi politics. 

In 2017, he was visited in prison by Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman.

Since his release, he has held meetings with United Torah Judaism’s Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush and senior representatives of Shas, including Rabbi Shimon Baadani, a member of its Council of Torah Sages. 

In the recent local elections in Jerusalem, Rabbi Berland openly supported Moshe Leon, the candidate of Shas and Degel Ha’Torah, who went on to win in the second round.  

Following the Channel 12 revelations, the Health Ministry said the promises and payments were a matter for the police.

Yaakov Litzman, the deputy minister, denied having any knowledge of them and said it was the hospitals managements duty to report them. 

Rabbi Berland’s representatives said “it is well known that tzedakah can save from death and people pledge to give tzedakah”, but denied he asked for money from what they said were “hundreds and thousands who have been saved by the rabbis’ blessings.”