Sunday, November 29, 2009


It has been almost a full year since the final decision on whether or not to extradite Avrohom Mondrowitz to stand trial in Brooklyn was submitted to three judges of Israel's Supreme Court. And still -- nothing.

Remember, we're talking about the man police believe sodomized or sexually abused hundreds of boys, nearly all Jewish. And we're talking about the case that nobody in officialdom (at least, nobody who listens to charedi voters and rabbis) has ever wanted to pursue.

What is taking so long? We can't be sure, but we ought to know by now that we can't take anything for granted. If we want justice, we have to ACT.

Israel's High Court is sitting on its hands FOR A YEAR about a man wanted for some of the most heinous crimes in New York's penal code -- and New York's government isn't saying a word. A man who may have committed the longest run of child sex crimes in Brooklyn's history is still out of reach of justice -- and the Brooklyn D.A. isn't complaining. The State Department claimed to be actively fighting for Mondrowitz's extradition -- and they're silent over the extraordinary delay.

So it's time for good people to let Israel's High Court judges know that we DO care about the Mondrowitz case! Call the court, write to it, let them know we're watching the case and are eager to see the result.

Israel's High Court, Public Affairs Department telephone numbers are 011-972-2-675-9612 and 011-972-2-675-9613. Their email address is: tlunotrasham@court.gov.il and the fax number is 011-972-2-651-3191.

Bear in mind that it's not proper to try to influence judges [unless they're influenced already], so the message is more or less: we are very interested in this case and its status; we know its history; we intend to continue to follow its progress.

I'm sure that if the court gets enough calls, the word will filter through. On the other hand, if people don't let Israel's top judges know what they think. . . well, look at the history of the Mondrowitz coverup -- one of the biggest ever -- and do the math.

WRITE OR CALL NOW . . . AND KEEP IT UP. Maybe we'll have a victory to celebrate over Hanukkah.


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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Third day of fee protests at Agudah Convention!

By "Both versions of the story are correct":

Third day of fee protests at Agudah Convention

East Brunswick, New Jersey (CNN) -- Fressers entered their third day of a building takeover at the East Brunswick Hilton on Saturday in protest of an unexpected fee on food that had been previously advertised as free, a mechoah that an Agudah spokesman called futile.

The occupation of the hotel is just one of several demonstrations across Agudah institutions this week after the Agudah's board approved a $32 per person fee for the meat carving station on Thursday.

Agudah officials said the $505 million to be raised by the fee is needed to fight lawsuits that they say could arise from the Markey Bill.

Protesting fressers said the fee will hurt the stomachs of working and middle-class Yidden who benefit from Agudah-funded fressing.

In East Brunswick, where the rioting began last week in the tea room due to stale cookies, about 100 fressers staged a sit-in in the lobby soon after hearing that the fee had been approved, according to Agudah trustee Israel Lefkowitz who tried to drive his Town Car inside to confront them.

YTT Spokesman Yankel Applegrad told CNN that Rabbi Lipa Margulies had been safely spirited out of the hotel by his bodyguards, contrary to earlier reports that he had been trampled when joining a horde of people trying to break into the kitchen to raid the chulent.

The fressers made a list of 20 "demands" detailing how they want the Agudah to increase free gourmet food, spokesman Avi L. Shafran said. But the Agudah has no plans to negotiate the demands with the fresser body, he said. The Agudah just doesn't have the money, which is the same reason why no high end chocolates would be served this year, he added.

Agudah officials hope the fressers realize that their demonstration is "not accomplishing anything" and is "just a disruption" to the duty of combating UOJ, he said.

The Agudah will continue to wait out the takeover, but Shafran said he is unsure of how long it will last. The Agudah hopes the fressers will leave voluntarily without grabbing to chapp aus London Broil, he said.

Meanwhile, uprisings on other campuses have quieted since earlier mass demonstrations.

At Flatbush's Agudah of Ave L on Shabbos night, 41 protesters occupying the shul when they learned there was no sponsor for kiddush, were arrested. Authorities decided to cite them for trespassing and release them rather than take them to jail, per an agreement with Agudah leaders, Brooklyn DA spokesman Jerry Schmetterer said. Three fressers had already been arrested there Friday morning in "Leon Goldenberg's coffee room" when they ran out of sugar cubes.

Fifty-two fressers were arrested at the Agudah of Baltimore late Thursday after they refused to vacate the building in a protest over possible upgrading of standards at the Star-K.

And Agudah HQ at 42 Broadway in Manhattan was occupied for several hours Thursday evening. The angry protesters there are condemning a nearly $2,000 yeshiva tuition increase after the organization dropped the ball on lobbying Albany.


Special Guest Entertainer At Melave Malke For Seniors & Fat People [EVERYONE]

Special Lcho Dodi Nigunnim - Lo Savoshe V'lo Sekalme by the Agudah Shabbos Malkisa From The Washington D.C. Branch Office

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It is highly hypocritical of Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz to be advising adults who were sexually abused as children!

Steve writes:

In response to the Motty Borger tragedy, Rabbi Horowitz, together with Dr. Twerski, wrote an article about the importance of sexual abuse victims to seek help and not to keep their pain inside. It is highly hypocritical of Rabbi Horowitz to be advising adults who were sexually abused as children. Rabbi Horowitz was a vocal opponent of the Child Victims Act, even going on public radio to voice his opinion. The Child Victims Act would be the only recourse for these past victims. Nobody will believe these victims years after the abuse if not for the possibility of them seeking legal action. Rabbi Horowitz along with Vito Lopez, David Niederman, the Agudah and the Catholic Church have worked to insure that these victims are forever muzzled.

You want these poor victims to seek professional help? What kind of closure are you offering them? Their molesters will be protected indefinitely thanks to your lobbying. The community continues to shun these victims and label them as "damaged goods". What incentive do they have to come forward and risk being exposed, thereby ruining shidduchim prospects for themselves and their families. Until the stigma is removed from sexual abuse victims and until we stop protecting the molesters, there is no reason for these victims to speak out. Without any sense of closure and without the community's love, understanding and acceptance, there is no psychotherapist that can help these victims. The first step to healing is passing the Child Victims Act, over Rabbi Horowitz' objections and over the rest of the axis of evil's objections. Let's make it happen!



Monday, November 16, 2009


I’ve always said that the truth about abused children in Orthodox communities is going to come out.

I mean the WHOLE truth – not just about the children being used by molester rabbis and rebbeim, but the cover-ups by rabbis, politicians, Agudah, OU, Shafran, Schick, Rosenblum, etc., etc., etc…. The whole nasty, mind-blowing, covered-up truth.

And, my friends, it IS coming out – a little at a time. There’s already more out there than meets the eye. You just have to know where to look.

The first place you might want to look is the new book Tempest in the Temple: Jewish Communities & Child Sex Scandals (Brandeis University Press, 2009), edited by Dr. Amy Neustein.

For instance, did you notice that the Jewish Week’s FRONT PAGE story on charedi child abuse this week mentions Tempest in the Temple? . . . But I’ll bet writer Steve Lipman wasn’t allowed to tell you what the book shows about child-abuse cover-ups… and Brooklyn D.A. Charles “Joe” Hynes.

Or, did you notice this week’s Jewish Press? Most of you are probably so sick of that paper you may not have noticed that Tempest in the Temple got reviewed this week on page F2, and by none other than David Morris of Lema’an Achai (a truth-teller about child sex abuse in Ramat Beit Shemesh).

But here’s what I mean about the truth coming out – even in the charedi media! Here’s what Jewish Press/David Morris has to say about Tempest in its review this week:

[One] powerful narrative is “The Fugitive and the Forgotten” by Michael Lesher . . . in which he describes his role in the case of alleged multiple child attacker, Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz. . . . In spite of some 25 years of stalling by various authorities in the US and Israel . . . Mondrowitz was finally arrested in Israel in 2007 and is now in custody pending extradition to the US.

Neustein and Lesher’s “Justice Interrupted” reviews the case of Rabbi Solomon Hafner who was “cleared” of abuse charges by the Bobov Bet Din (religious court) while the alleged victim was chased out of town. They also explore the Mondrowitz case and that of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko. In all three cases, the DA, Charles “Joe” Hynes seems to have participated in whitewashing, or obfuscating, due apparently to political considerations.

Yes, it’s all true… And that’s only the rough outline!

Read the book and see how bad it really is.

Michael Lesher’s role in these cases is not news, but in these chapters, he (with Amy Neustein in “Justice Interrupted”) lays out in detail the way rabbis, the “gedolim” and the criminal authorities are trying to fool us into believing they really care about child abuse. (Just think “Kol Tzedek” – and keep a straight face if you can.)

Here are a few points to be learned from just those two chapters in Tempest:

· D.A. Hynes’ office deliberately buried the Mondrowitz case in September 1993 by telling federal authorities to stop attempts to bring him back from Israel.

· Lesher has mounting evidence that Ohel Children’s Home (home of “Kol Tzedek”) sent foster children to Mondrowitz and covered up the abuse they suffered.

· The D.A.’s office, with help from federal officials, tried to “disappear” a copy of Mondrowitz’s hard drive, obtained by Lesher, that appeared to show Mondrowitz had illegally downloaded hard-core child porn in Israel.

· Rabbis with important information about Mondrowitz have refused to share it, despite Lesher’s requests.

· Member of the D.A.’s Jewish Advisory Council told Amy Neustein that Mondrowitz should not be prosecuted at all.

· The D.A. – who has said he doesn’t allow rabbis to interfere with his child sex abuse cases – took orders from a rabbinic court (headed by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein) to drop the case against the Bobov rabbi Shlomo Hafner.

· There is evidence he has done similar things in other child sex abuse cases.

There’s more – and more important information in other chapters – but this will give you some idea why it’s important to read this book – AND SEE WHAT THE JEWISH MEDIA ISN’T TELLING YOU. YET.

There’s a reason this information isn’t blaring at you from the Jewish Week, or from the Post or the Times, for that matter. The real news is too hot for the media to handle. After all, they get hoo-ha crime stories from Joe Hynes… and they don’t want to lose that connection.

But we need to know the truth. And repeat it. And repeat it. And repeat it.

Hynes, the rabbis, Ohel, the Agudah, etc., etc., are playing us for suckers, folks. We can’t let them get away with it. This is our revolution and we’re gonna have to work to keep them from stealing it.

So . . . take a look at Tempest in the Temple: Jewish Communities & Child Sex Scandals, and tell me if I’m wrong. You can order the book from Barnes & Noble (I did), or get it from amazon.com or cheapbooks.com.

Read it and bawl your eyes out. I did!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


A Brooklyn newlywed who jumped to his death from a hotel balcony the night after his wedding was tormented by memories of being sexually molested as a Jewish student, sources say.

After joyfully singing and dancing at their lavish celebration in Williamsburg on Nov. 3, Motty Borger, 24, bared his secret anguish to his bride, Mali Gutman, the next day -- and the revelation caused a strain, a source close to the family told The Post.

"That entire day he discussed it with her. He told her the story of his life, how he felt so awful and he couldn't go near her," the source said. The couple had met just last July, after a matchmaker set them up.

TORMENT: A suicidal Motty Borger "felt he couldn't go near" Mali Gutman the day after their Brooklyn wedding. "When he got married, he realized he couldn't face up to it, and he told his wife that he needed help."

The stunned bride responded, "So, why did you marry me?"

Borger reportedly answered, "You are absolutely right. It was not right of me to get married."

At 6:45 a.m., while Mali slept, Borger climbed a railing outside their seventh-floor room at Avenue Plaza Hotel and leaped, police say. He died hours later at a hospital.

Friends insist that Borger -- described as fun-loving, smiling and cheerful -- wouldn't take his own life.

"I know Motty, and I know he didn't jump. It was an accident," one said. The rabbi who spoke at his funeral called reports of suicide "wickedness."

A security video at the hotel shows him looking "agitated" in an elevator with his wife, cops said.

The city Medical Examiner ruled his death a suicide. The NYPD is investigating the sex-abuse allegations, said a police official.

A source familiar with the tragedy said Borger had confided in close relatives that he was molested while a teen attending a yeshiva, possibly by a rabbi, but they never went to the police.

Additional reporting by Rebecca Rosenberg, Liz Sadler and Reuven Blau


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/suicide_groom_twist_pa15C1Z5nGPyHIYj18xCNI#ixzz0Wx0F7KCo

Friday, November 13, 2009

To My Mom On Her Birthday -- My Yiddishe Mama by Yosef Rosenblatt

We love you momele --- wishing tati was here to celebrate with us.

All the love, brochos you deserve, arichat yomim v'shanim tovim, and continued nachas from the dor dorot who love you.

UOJ and clan

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Men Who Stare At Goats - 87th National Agudah Convention !



87th National Agudah Convention to Grapple With "Formidable Challenges"!

For decades, the forum for talking during eating - under the direction of Gedolim - has been the Agudah convention.

And this year's gathering, observes Agudath Israel of America executive director Rabbi Labish Becker, is taking place against a background of truly formidable, even unprecedented challenges - Bloggers and the electronic media!

We ask you to go to your refrigerator and start eating now until you keel over, and continue until we get together on Thanksgiving, where the Hilton's refrigerators take over. Don't forget the 24 hour tea room this year will be hosted by Ivanka Trump Kushner!

And now let us all say Amen!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

An Open Letter To Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, Mashgiach, Bais Medrash Govoha, Lakewood, New Jersey

I'm addressing this post to the attendees of the coming Agudah Convention - do not be taken in by the lies and spin you will hear about the "gedolim"! You put them there and you can and should take them down! They are the primary reason your communities and your children are traumatized and having kids "falling" out of windows to their deaths.

The UOJ Archives - December 5, 2006

Dear Rabbi Salomon:

I heard your speech at the Agudah Convention and have a few comments and questions I would like to share with you. I am writing this letter in an open forum as I believe the issues herein are of vital importance to our people and warrant the same circulation as your much publicized speech.

I take no issue with your well reasoned argument calling for civility in expression of disagreement. B'nei Torah should be able to agree to disagree. While I join you in condemning the deplorable language used by the few, I respectfully suggest that dissenters need not be placed in the category of “rasha,” or “maskil” for you to make your point. Likewise, suggestions of “hakei es shinov” (knock out their teeth) and proclamations that children of select members of our community whose views you may disagree with have no place in our schools, do little to further civilized discourse.

In your speech you made a point of declaring your lack of cowardice in dealing with the issue of sexual abuse by rabbeim in yeshivas and insisted that keeping your efforts discreet or as you put it to “sweep under the carpet”, is a choice you make to protect human dignity. Whose dignity are you referring to? The dignity of those few victims courageous enough to step forward and confront these powerful monsters or the dignity of these monsters and their poor families? I respectfully suggest that by concerning yourself with the dignity of the pedophile and sweeping his heinous acts under the carpet, you subject his victims to another round of abuse at the hands of the community while enabling the predator to continue his reign of terror on unsuspecting victims.

We are taught that “chochmah b’Goyim, taamin.” Medical statistics tell us that a treated pedophile has a sixty percent rate of recidivism. This places the pedophile squarely in the category of a rodeph and as such we have a duty to our community to expose him so that potential victims are aware of this clear and present danger. Sex Offender Registries exist for a reason. Namely, the law and medical science recognize that these people are incapable of controlling themselves. You may be impressed by a heartfelt and tearful confession coupled with a commitment to never again succumb to temptation, (“teshuva”.) However, you will not be present when this pedophile succumbs to his overwhelming urges and destroys another poor innocent life. Respectfully, you do not have the right to ignore universally accepted medical knowledge and take innocent children’s lives into your hands for the sake of a pedophile’s “dignity.”

Indeed, your strategy of not acting until the pedophile has been proved 100 percent guilty and using the Torah as your guide to protect our mosdos is not new. As will be shown below this very same strategy was followed by many other rabbonim with disastrous results. Rabbi Shalom Yosef Elyashiv puts it best while writing about this very issue. Rabbi Elyashiv quotes the Rashba who writes in his Responsa, III no. 393, “… Because if you will adjudicate based only on the laws established by the Torah, society will be destroyed …” (emphasis added.)

Yes, we do need to stop “the terrible assault” and “immunize against a plague” of “insidious poison seeping in.” It is our duty to teach our children to “rise in their defense” and of course we must “give them the ammunition to fight back when they are attacked.” You and I differ only in our opinion of where the threat lies. You maintain with an impressive fervor that the threat lies with disrespectful bloggers. I respectfully disagree and see the threat to be that deadly minority of rabbeim who are morally corrupt and are destroying our children.

In your speech you alluded to the case of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a rebbe in Yeshiva Torah Temimah for over thirty-eight years. You express indignation that this one example of a pedophile that “slips through the fingers” is being used as an illustration of how Klal Yisroel behaves. Rabbi Salomon; unfortunately one is as one does. As such, this is who we are as a community today. Tragically, the story as depicted by the secular media in all its gory detail is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

The below bullet point history is general and merely touches upon events of the past forty years. If you want more details, I suggest you confer with Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman, who was employed by Kolko in Camp Ma-Na-Vu and will surely share his knowledge of events with you. Remind Rabbi Wachsman of his expression of remorse to his friends for not having informed his uncle, Rabbi Shloime Klein, of Kolko’s predilection for young boys when Rabbi Klein was embroiled in a difficult din Torah with Kolko and Rabbi Lipa Geldwirth in or around 1990.

A Partial Biography of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko & Rabbi Lipa Margulies

· 1967 – While working as dormitory counselor at Yeshivas Mir, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko calls David R. out of his dormitory room and begins discussing matters of a sexual nature with him while rubbing up against him in an aroused state. This abuse continues for the remainder of the school year and into the summer season at Camp Agudah. Mr. R. is now a Manhattan attorney living with his partner in New York City and insists that his lifestyle choice has absolutely nothing to do with his abuse by Kolko.

· 1969 thru 1971 - Rabbi Yehuda Kolko begins abusing Dovid Framowitz in Yeshiva Torah Vodaas of Flatbush (now known as Yeshiva Torah Temimah) and Camp Agudah, the details of which abuse are now public knowledge. Mr. Framowitz, a grandfather living in Eretz Yisroel, has not gone a day since being abused without reliving the unspeakable agony he suffered at Kolko’s hands.

· 1972 - Rabbi Yehuda Kolko sexually abuses two young campers (names withheld at the request of the victims) in Camp Agudah who complain to their counselor. Their counselor reports the complaint to Rabbi Simcha Kaufman. The abuse of these two boys cease for the remainder of that summer. Rabbi Simcha Kaufman is a co-worker of Kolko in Yeshiva Torah Temimah (more on Kaufman below) and was a co-worker of Kolko in Camp Agudah until 1976 when Kolko voluntarily left Camp Agudah after he co-founded Camp Ma-Na-Vu with Rabbi Lipa Geldwerth, another co-worker of his at Yeshiva Torah Temimah.

· 1977 – Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, employed as a rebbe in Yeshiva Torah Temimah in the morning, is employed in the afternoons by Yeshiva Karlin Stolin as secular studies principal. During the course of his short tenure in Yeshiva Karlin Stolin numerous complaints are lodged by both students and parents (names withheld at the request of the victims) accusing Kolko of sexually abusing boys in the Yeshiva. Rabbi Shmuel Dishon asks Kolko to leave the employ of the yeshiva.

· 1977 on – Eyewitness testimony and accusations of sexual abuse by Rabbi Yehuda Kolko of students at Yeshiva Torah Temimah and Camp Ma-Na-Vu reach a crescendo which culminates in several businessmen approaching Rabbi Lipa Margulies in 1984 and offering to fund a retirement package for Rabbi Yehuda Kolko provided he seeks employment away from children. Rabbi Lipa Margulies steadfastly refuses to accept the offer and suggests that those parents who disagree with his decision remove their children from his Yeshiva Torah Temimah.

· 1981 – Rabbi Yehuda Kolko sexually abuses a twelve year old student of Yeshiva Torah Temimah (name withheld at the request of the victim.) This victim publicizes the abuse and acts out, vandalizing Kolko’s home and car. Rabbi Lipa Margulies calls this victims father and warns him that if this activity does not stop his other children would be expelled from Yeshiva and the safety of his family could not be guaranteed. This victim is subsequently referred to Avrohom Mondrowitz for counseling.

· 1984 – As instructed by Rabbi Avigdor Miller, an askan calls for a meeting which takes place at the home of Rabbi Yakov Perlow (the Novominsker) and is attended by Rabbi Avrohom Pam, Rabbi Elya Svei, Rabbi Chaim Dov Keller, Rabbi Aharon Schechter, Rabbi Moshe Scheinerman, Rabbi Shea Fishman and Rabbi Yankel Bender. At this meeting, chaired by Rabbi Perlow, the askan discusses what is transpiring to innocent boys at the hands of rabbi pedophiles and requests that Torah Umesorah and the rabbonim issue a statement calling for their removal from chinuch. Rabbi Svei informs this askan that Torah Umesorah has consulted their attorneys who advised that for Torah Umesorah to admit knowledge of such abuse would subject Torah Umesorah, its staff, all its member schools and their staff to liability for not having reported their knowledge to the authorities earlier. Accordingly, Rabbi Elya Svei informs the askan, neither he nor Torah Umesorah will do anything about this problem.

· 1984 thru 1985 – At directed by Rabbi Avrohom Pam an askan approaches Rabbi Moshe Scheinerman and the two meet with Rabbi Shea (Joshua) Fishman in the office of Torah Umesorah. Both Scheinerman and Fishman neglect to inform this askan that Fishman had been instructed by Torah Umesorah’s lawyer to do nothing about this issue. Rabbi Fishman requests the names of Kolko’s victims and promises absolute confidentiality. Names are provided to Rabbi Fishman who begins his own investigation of the allegations. He meets with and speaks with several victims who pour their hearts out to him after he guarantees them confidentiality. Rabbi Shea Fishman promptly discloses all he has learned to Rabbi Lipa Margulies who in turn publicly disparages and discredits each and every one of those boys who were brave enough to step forward.

· 1985 – A follow up meeting takes place at the home of Rabbi Simcha Kaufman and includes Rabbi Kaufman, Rabbi Lipa Margulies, Rabbi Shea Fishman, an askan and an eyewitness. The eyewitness recounts his personal knowledge of Rabbi Kolko’s sexual abuse of boys and discusses the information he had gleaned from others. Rabbi Lipa Margulies insists that the charges are all fabrications and attacks the reputations of everyone involved in seeking the removal of Kolko from his Yeshiva Torah Temimah. Rabbi Shea Fishman subsequently informs anyone who asks that he can not deal with this issue as he is old (50 at the time) and will lose his job if he pursues this matter.

· 1985 – Rabbi Moshe Scheinerman is offered a lucrative and prestigious position as rav of a shul (a position he holds to this day) and is told that he must cease and desist from his actions against Yeshiva Torah Temimah rabbeim (his own words) which he promptly does. Scheinerman abandons ship explaining that it is not appropriate for a rabbi of his stature to deal with these matters. Rabbi Yehoshua Leiman takes over.

· 1985 - Rabbi Yehoshua Leiman and others continue their quest for a solution and convene a bais din for this purpose. This bais din, consisting of Rabbi Menashe Klein, Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, Rabbi Aharon Stein, Rabbi Moshe Stern and Rabbi Chaim Yankel Tauber, is scheduled to hear testimony for two days after which they will rule on how to proceed. This panel meets and hears testimony for one day. Shortly thereafter, Rabbi Moshe Stern states that he is unable to participate in any more sessions and this bais din is disbanded without further explanation. In a private conversation with one of the askanim, Rabbi Stern disclosed that he had been approached by Rabbi Lipa Margulies which resulted in the discontinuance of the din Torah.

· 1985 – Upon the dissolution of the above bais din, Rabbi Lipa Margulies retains Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg to convene a second bais din for the purpose of clearing Rabbi Yehuda Kolko’s name. Rabbi Lipa Margulies then drafts Rabbi Friedman (the Tenka Rav) and Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Brown to serve on Rabbi Scheinberg’s bais din. Prior to convening the bais din, Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg speaks with several of Kolko’s victims and asks them to describe what Kolko has done to them. Upon hearing the allegations Rabbi Scheinberg informs the boys that in the eyes of Halacha they had not been molested. Rabbi Scheinberg also calls the askanim and tells them to cease and desist in their attempts to remove Kolko from chinuch. Rabbi Avigdor Miller disagrees and instructs the askanim in no uncertain terms to do whatever must be done to protect children from Kolko.

. 1985 - Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg convenes the bais din and takes the position that Rabbi Kolko has a chezkas kashrus absent any testimony by two adult witnesses to any single event. Rabbi Friedman takes the position that in light of the persistent rumors Rabbi Kolko must be kept away from children. Rabbi Brown ultimately concedes that there is no halachic evidence against Kolko and the din Torah is concluded. Rabbi Lipa Margulies insists that he has a psak from this bais din but to this day has refused to produce it. Regardless, it is of note that no victims testified before this bais din.

· 1987 – Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, having groomed a former first grade student of his for years, begins systematically sexually abusing this boy (name withheld at the request of the victim) both in and out of the Yeshiva Torah Temimah building. When this boy complains to Rabbi Lipa Margulies that his grades are slipping because Kolko is removing him from class almost daily, Margulies responds by slapping the boy across the face and throwing him out of his office. This young man is now living down south after obtaining a leave of absence from the U.S. Army.

· 2001 – Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, takes a young Yeshiva Torah Temimah student under his wing (name withheld at the request of the victim) and begins removing him from class for “special projects.” These special projects include the boy being sexually molested by Kolko in the basement of the yeshiva, in Rabbi Kolko’s car and in Rabbi Kolko’s private office, which Rabbi Lipa Margulies has conveniently equipped with its own private bathroom. This young man is currently in therapy and hopes to be able to recover enough to be able to get married and start a family.

· 2005 – Dovid Framowitz, after years of searching on the Internet, chances upon a post written by a blogger calling himself “ UOJ - the Un-Orthodox Jew” which makes reference to Rabbi Lipa Margulies harboring Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a known pedophile, in his Yeshiva Torah Temimah. Dovid begins communicating with this blogger via e-mail who in turn posts Dovid’s story on his blog. Over the course of several months other victims of Kolko begin to step forward with their stories.

· January 2006 – Several askonim decide that this four decade long chillul Hashem must stop and approach both Rabbi Yehuda Kolko and Rabbi Lipa Margulies with a demand that Kolko be removed from Yeshiva Torah Temimah and Camp Silver Lake and further commit to spending the rest of his life in treatment and away from children. Both Kolko and Margulies refuse.

· February 2006 – A letter is drafted informing the public that Rabbi Yehuda Kolko is a dangerous pedophile and that Rabbi Lipa Margulies continues to employ him despite his knowledge of this fact. Copies of this draft letter are delivered to Kolko and Margulies. Both Kolko and Margulies are offered the opportunity to deal quietly with the issue and are informed that if they continue to refuse, the letter would be mass mailed to the entire community. Kolko responds by stating that “the matter has been taken care of” and Margulies responds by asking if anyone “thinks Kolko is still a threat” and declares “if anyone does not like the way I run my yeshiva let them not send their children to my yeshiva.” They refuse to comply and the letter is sent out in a mass mailing.

· February 2006 – Eli Greenwald, a graduate of Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Temimah, son of one of the founders of the yeshiva and a parent in the yeshiva receives the letter and spends a few days investigating the matter. He calls Rabbi Yaakov Applegrad, the yeshiva’s administrator, and requests a meeting of the Vaad HaHorim in order to address this serious issue. Rabbi Applegrad informs him that there will be no meeting as the allegations are false and that he and Rabbi Margulies have the matter under control. Mr. Greenwald called Rabbi Lipa Margulies and makes the same request of him. Rabbi Margulies responds by shouting at him.

· February 17, 2006 – Eli Greenwald is served with a hazmana issued by Rabbi Yisroel Belsky calling him to a din Torah to answer the charge of hotzoas shem rah (a form of lashon hara) allegedly committed against Rabbi Yehuda Kolko. Mr. Greenwald responds on February 21, 2006, that he will appear for a din Torah before the Bais Din of America. To this day there has been no reply to Mr. Greenwald’s response by either Kolko or Rabbi Yisroel Belsky.

· February 2006 – An askan meets with Rabbi Yaakov Perlow and pleads with him to get involved in this matter. Rabbi Perlow refuses on the basis of his being a yachid and this being a tzibur matter. After being pressed further Rabbi Perlow takes his final stand that this is a Flatbush matter and as he is a Borough Park rabbi it would be unseemly for him to get involved in this matter.

· March 2006 – Rabbi Lipa Margulies reaches a standstill agreement with the askonim by committing to appear before a panel consisting of two rabbis and one frum lawyer, all three of whom had been chosen by him. Rabbi Lipa Margulies reneges on his promise to appear before this panel.

· March 23, 2006 – A hazmana to a din Torah is sent to Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, Rabbi Lipa Margulies and Yeshiva Torah Temimah summoning them to a din Torah before the Bais Din of Mechon L’Hoyroa or a bais din of ZBLA. The hazmana is ignored by all the defendants.

· March 30, 2006 – A second hazmana to a din Torah is sent to Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, Rabbi Lipa Margulies and Yeshiva Torah Temimah summoning them to a din Torah before the Bais Din of Mechon L’Hoyroa or a bais din of ZBLA. By fax sent on April 5, 2006, Rabbi Lipa Margulies responds to this hazmana stating he will not appear for a din Torah “without a prior determination of the charges against Rabbi Kolko.” Rabbi Kolko continues to ignore the hazmanas.

· April 6, 2006 – A third hazmana to a din Torah is sent to Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, Rabbi Lipa Margulies and Yeshiva Torah Temimah summoning them to a din Torah before the Bais Din of Mechon L’Hoyroa or a bais din of ZBLA. By fax sent on April 10, 2006, Rabbi Lipa Margulies responds to this hazmana by stating “the hazmonah that you sent to us was not a valid hazmonah.” Rabbi Kolko does not respond at all. It is of note that Rabbi Yehuda Kolko is still teaching in Yeshiva Torah Temimah while these exchange are taking place.

· May 4, 2006 – A lawsuit is filed in United States District Court: Eastern District of New York, naming Rabbi Yehuda Kolko; Yeshiva & Mesivta Torah Temimah, Inc. and Camp Agudah as defendants. Rabbi Yehuda Kolko remains in the classrooms of Yeshiva Torah Temimah.

· May 5, 2006 – Rabbi Simcha Kaufman approaches Dovid Framowitz and with tears in his eyes tells him that if only he had known what Rabbi Kolko was doing to him he would have put a stop to it. Of interest was Rabbi Simcha Kaufman’s complete denial of any prior knowledge of any accusation before Dovid Framowitz brought his lawsuit. Rabbi Simcha Kaufman pleads with Dovid to withdraw his lawsuit lest he hurt Rabbi Lipa Margulies and the yeshiva.

· May 10, 2006 – After being approached for comment on several occasions by Robert Kolker, a reporter for New York Magazine, and with a 5:00 p.m. printing deadline looming, Rabbi Lipa Margulies issues a statement through his attorney at 4:30 p.m. Beginning with a proclamation that Yeshiva Torah Temimah is the preeminent yeshiva in the world followed by an absolute denial of all the allegations, the statement concludes with an announcement that Rabbi Kolko has agreed to a “leave of absence” pending the resolution of this matter. Despite this claim, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko remains in the classrooms of Yeshiva Torah Temimah.

· May 12, 2006 – A second lawsuit is filed in United States District Court: Eastern District of New York naming Rabbi Yehuda Kolko; Yeshiva & Mesivta Torah Temimah, Inc. as defendants. Still, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko remains in the classrooms of Yeshiva Torah Temimah.

· May 15, 2006 – “On the Rabbi’s Knee – Do the Orthodox Jews Have a Catholic Priest Problem” a feature article in New York Magazine {nymag.com}, a publication with a circulation of three million, is published. Within days of the publication of the article and after thirty-eight years of committing unspeakable acts of perversion in Yeshiva Torah Temimah, Kolko leaves the classrooms of Yeshiva Torah Temimah. It was only after the magazine hit the newsstands that Margulies succumbed to pressure and removed Kolko from the classrooms of Yeshiva Torah Temimah.

· July 2006 – Over the vocal protest of many residents and with the help of his friend Rabbi Yaakov Applegrad, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko takes up summer residence at a home in Regency Estates in the Catskills. Despite the claim that Kolko was on a leave of absence from Yeshiva Torah Temimah, he continues working for Camp Silver Lake, Yeshiva Torah Temimah’s summer home. In addition, Kolko initiates and organizes a multi-camp excursion to Lake Compounce, a water park located in Connecticut, where he is seen frolicking with young boys in bathing suits. A media outcry ensues resulting in Kolko being banned from the park by its non-Jewish management. Astonishingly, in August Kolko organizes a second trip to Lake Compounce, which is attended by the same frum boys camps who participated in the July trip.

The above is but a sampling of the cases I am aware of. One need not be a great lamden to realize that I am aware of only a small percentage of Kolko’s abuse victims. As rachmonim b'nei rachmonim, it is unbearable to grasp the stunning extent of this catastrophe.

To all who decry the “chillul Hashem” the New York Magazine article resulted in, I say, embarrassing, yes, chillul Hashem, absolutely not! Indeed, it is ironic that this very article which has been condemned by many rabbis is what got you and them to belatedly acknowledge Kolko’s guilt. Apparently a mere forty years of kola d’lo posuk was not enough. Were the lawsuits and the magazine article the chillul Hashem?


The decades long chillul Hashem is that of Margulies and Kolko’s actions coupled with the many decades of improper action and inaction by our rabbis and organizations. This was somewhat offset by the recent kiddush Hashem of the action taken by a few askonim. They who had the courage to do what had to be done to protect our children from the acts of monsters and the cowardice of our rabbis. All this I say with respect and reverence.

I lay no blame at your doorstep for the above; you come from another part of the world, did not participate in and have no first hand knowledge of these events. I merely ask you to understand the world of pain that Rabbi Yehuda Kolko and his enablers, with a special note of distinction going to Rabbi Lipa Margulies, have left in their wake. I respectfully question your judgment in showing respect and support for Rabbi Lipa Margulies without having done a thorough investigation of his history. Surely, l’maan yishmeu v’yirahu, a man such as Lipa Margulies must be publicly vilified; not chalila publicly honored by someone of your esteem.

I submit that despite the focus of your speech, this issue has nothing to do with a blogger or kavod ha'Torah. That he fell into this issue and “b’makom sheain ish” he chose to “hishtadail lehios ish” and participate in pushing it forward, is a sad commentary on the egregious failures of our leadership.

Rather, the issue is the still unanswered question of where our leaders were all these decades while Rabbi Yehuda Kolko and Rabbi Lipa Margulies were savaging our children?

I ask with humility; how can you stand in front of us in good faith and turn this into an issue of kavod ha'Torah? I ask that you hear the constant cries of anguish laden souls destroyed by chronic inaction coupled with a misguided concern for the “dignity” of rabbis who molest children.

This is not a tale of something that somehow “slips through the fingers” but rather only one of many glaring examples of what occurs in a community whose leaders are unwilling to deal with an issue that sits under a spotlight for four decades and engulfs the souls of countless innocent children. Hashem yerachaim.

As parents we have every right to expect that accusations of sexual abuse by a rebbe be first verified post haste and then publicized so that we may protect our children from this predator and make informed decisions about where to send our children to yeshiva. In the face of pikuach nefesh; cries of kavod ha'Torah, chillul Hashem and loshon harah have no relevance. To resort to such cries is simply am ha'aretzes and violates the precept not to be a merachaim al ha'achzor. The issue all of us need to address, lay people and rabbis alike, is why nothing was done for so many decades and what lessons we can learn from our past mistakes to prevent future catastrophes of this nature.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

UOJ Media Watch - Will This Mass Murderer Get The Press Coverage Solomon Dwek Or Sholom Rubashkin Got?

Shooter --- Major Malik Nadal Hasan - [Unlikely To Be Amish]

FORT HOOD, Texas – An Army officer opened fire Thursday with two handguns at the Fort Hood military base in an attack that left 12 people dead and 31 wounded. Authorities captured the gunman and apprehended two other soldiers in what appears to be the worst mass shooting at a U.S. military base.

There was no immediate word on a motive. The shooting began around 1:30 p.m., said Lt. Gen. Bob Cone at Fort Hood. He said all the casualties took place at the base's Soldier Readiness Center, where soldiers who are about to be deployed or who are returning undergo medical screening.

"It's a terrible tragedy. It's stunning," Cone said.

A law enforcement official identified the shooting suspect as Army Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan. The official said Hasan, believed to be in his late 30s, was captured after opening fire at the base. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case publicly.

A defense official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said Hasan was a mental health professional — an Army psychologist or psychiatrist. Officials say it was not clear what Hasan's religion was, but investigators are trying to determine if Hasan was his birth name or if he may have changed his name and converted to Islam at some point.

Associated Press

Quite interesting that no investigator tried to determine if Dwek or Rubashkin was their birth name or if they converted to Judaism at some point!


Monday, November 02, 2009

Can Agudath Israel of America Weather The Storm?

Don't underestimate the discontent among many rabbis and Orthodox Jews with the Agudath Israel!

Defections, court fights test Scientology

AP Religion Writer Eric Gorski, Sunday - Nov 1, 2009

The Church of Scientology is going through a difficult season.

Over the course of two days last week, a French court convicted the church of fraud and Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis' resignation from the church over a litany of concerns was aired publicly. On one hand, it was just another bad press week for the embattled institution founded in 1953 by the late science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

But for former Scientologists and scholars of the movement, the setbacks pose a greater challenge coming on the heels of defections of top-level Scientologists who lifted a veil of secrecy on the organization and alleged a culture of violence and control under Hubbard's successor, David Miscavige.

"With any organization, the loss of a substantial number of your most experienced people and chaos at the upper levels is problematic," said David Bromley, a Virginia Commonwealth University professor who studies new religious movements and has written on Scientology. "There are PR implications, the possibility of legal actions ... That dwarfs the other things."

The church has strenuously denied the allegations against Miscavige, portraying the accusers as lying disgruntled ex-employees.

Church spokesman Tommy Davis said Scientology is flourishing, with more than 8,000 Scientology churches, missions and groups in 160-plus nations. He said assets and property holdings have doubled over the past five years, including a new church in Rome and another opening this weekend in Washington, D.C.

"From our perspective, things are going pretty great," Davis said. "In fact, that's downplaying it. Actually, what's happening with the church right now is frankly spectacular. To the degree there are these various things happening, it really is a lot of noise."

One major survey of American religion shows Scientology declining in the U.S., however. The estimated number of Americans who identify as Scientologists rose from 45,000 in 1990 to 55,000 in 2001, then plummeted to 25,000 in 2008, according to the American Religion Identification Survey.

Davis said that while the church avoids membership estimates, it's "absolutely in the millions" globally and growing in the U.S.

Scientology has long been controversial. The Internal Revenue Service granted the church tax exemption in 1993 after a nearly four-decade battle over whether it should be considered a religion. Critics say Scientology is a business, preying on people by charging exorbitant sums for services.

The church continues to fascinate, fueled by interest in celebrity adherents such as Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley, as well as beliefs that don't fit into typical American religious boxes.

Hubbard taught that the "thetan," the equivalent of a spirit, can be cleared of negative energy from this and previous lives through a process called auditing. With the aid of auditors, Scientologists seek a state called "Clear" and then advance through various levels of "Operating Thetan."

The allegations of violence were leveled by four former high-ranking Scientology executives who told their stories to the St. Petersburg Times last summer. The executives said they witnessed Miscavige, chairman of the board that oversees the church, hit staff members dozens of times and urged others to do the same.

Davis called the allegations "absolutely, unquestionably false" and "sickening and outrageous." ABC's "Nightline" aired a report this month covering much of the same ground.

To critics of Scientology and ex-members who have grown increasingly vocal in recent years, it's a breakthrough — critical voices from former members of the inner circle, not the media or outsiders.

"When you have dozens of people speaking out, it's no longer too credible to say they're all malcontents and criminals," said Jeff Hawkins, a former Scientology marketing guru who defected in 2005. "(The church) is either going to reform or collapse, and I think it's going to be the latter because they're incapable of reform or admitting any wrongdoing."

One defector, Marty Rathbun, who served on the church's board and was a top lieutenant of Miscavige's, said a growing movement of people hold to the tenets of Scientology, but reject the institutional church.

"I don't foresee another church," Rathbun said. "That was the first attack on me — that this was a coup, that I'm trying to tap a schism or start another church ... That's not an objective of mine or a positive way to go."

Haggis, the Oscar-winning director of "Crash," was not a high-ranking Scientologist. But his defection is significant, said actor Jason Beghe, who left the church in 2007 and has become a critic.

"He was somebody the Scientology community was proud of, and therefore I'm sure he helped hold some of their base in place," said Beghe, who appeared in the film "G.I. Jane" and TV's "Everwood" and is cast in Haggis' next film, now shooting in Pittsburgh. "Anybody who is a Scientologist is harboring doubts."

It was Rathbun who obtained a copy of Haggis' critical letter to Davis and posted it on his blog. Haggis complained that Davis didn't do enough to distance Scientology from proponents of California's gay marriage ban. He criticized the church's "smearing" of the high-level defectors.

The filmmaker also wrote about the church's practice of "disconnection," in which members cut off contact with loved ones who leave or advocate against the religion — something Davis said is not mandated.

A day after Haggis' letter went public, a Paris court convicted the Church of Scientology of fraud and fined it more than $900,000, but stopped short of banning the group's activities in France. The organization's French branch likened it to a modern-day Inquisition and said it would appeal.

Davis questioned the attention paid to the French verdict, saying that little notice was given when the church won court victories in Italy and Russia that cemented the church's presence in those countries. He said the top-level defections are not troubling, but rather a gain for the church.

Some scholars of Scientology believe the recent setbacks are momentary.

Defectors are overly optimistic about doing any real damage, said J. Gordon Melton, director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, Calif., and editor of a book on Scientology.

"If five cardinals walked out of the Roman Catholic Church and turned on it and said there are bad things happening, it'd be a storm, but the church would weather the storm," Melton said. "I think Scientology is big enough to where it can and will weather the storm."

Most religions, Scientology included, experience disagreement and leadership turmoil after a founder's death and survive, said Susan Palmer, a religious studies professor at Dawson College in Montreal.

"I think they'll end up like the Mormon church or Jehovah's Witnesses, that were very controversial in our time but now are largely accepted," Palmer said.

Others think the Church of Scientology is in trouble. Along with the defections and French court setback, Scientology has been unable to stop Internet leaks of confidential material that members must pay a premium for, said Hugh Urban, a professor in the department of comparative studies at Ohio State University.

"They're really losing what has been the bread and butter," Urban said.

Meanwhile, an online betting parlor is taking wagers on the next celebrity Scientologist to leave.