Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Parents need to read it, and to hold the feet of their local school administrations to the fire if they are making “concessions” to anti-vaxxers that endanger others.

Rabbi Bleich’s New Volume: a Potential Life-Saver

Rabbi Dovid Bleich’s volumes on Contemporary Halakhic Problems are the gold standard in evincing the ability of our mesorah and the timeless halachic tradition to respond to changed conditions and advances in knowledge. Volume 7 is now available. Like all its predecessors, each chapter marshals a breathtaking command of the related core sugyos, the responsa, and the full sweep of the growing number of quality halacha journals. In most cases, the penetrating lomdus of mori ve-rabi Rav Bleich adds immeasurably to the discussion.

The first volume in the series appeared some forty years ago. Some day, someone will write a paper on the changes in the Orthodox community that can be discerned simply from an examination of the tables of contents of the different volumes. Earlier ones dealt with the some of the first modern treatments of core issues like intermarriage, electricity on Shabbos, war ethics, conversion, abortion, copyright. These early chapters remain invaluable jumping-off points even today for those interested in serious consideration of the halachic issues. With the passage of time, the articles keep up with the dizzying scientific and technological progress of the decades that followed. The new volume includes considerations of stem-cell burgers, determining maternity in the case of mitochondrial DNA replacement, and posthumous paternity from frozen sperm.

While it is unlikely that any of the books in the series will ever become a Hollywood feature film, the new volume – like its predecessors – belongs in the can’t-put-it-down category for anyone with a passion for serious halachic discussion.

One chapter moves beyond recommended reading to the role of life-saver. Measles is back, and the word is out in the street – and in the media – that members of Orthodox Jewish communities have often joined the ranks of the anti-vaxxers. By not immunizing their children, they have compromised the herd immunity that all but abolished diseases like measles and whooping cough. Schools have wrestled with the legal and halachic issues in barring children who have not been immunized (or incompletely immunized) from the classroom, in order to protect the other children. Misinformation abounds about several facets of the issue: the risks involved in immunization; the risks to others (including children who have been immunized, and those who cannot for various medical reasons); the legal exposure of schools which bar non-immunized children from attending. This chapter addresses all the important angles with the comprehensiveness, the depth, and – most importantly – the authority of Rabbi Bleich, which simply knows no peer in America. This makes it an important tool in restoring safety to our communities. Parents need to read it, and to hold the feet of their local school administrations to the fire if they are making “concessions” to anti-vaxxers that endanger others.

Rabbi Bleich’s bottom line is unequivocal. “Vaccination of one’s children is unquestionably a parental responsibility.” Let us hope – and work together – to ensure 100% compliance.


Measles outbreak grows in L.A.'s Orthodox Jewish community despite California's strict new vaccination law


Measles 'outbreak' hits two Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn


The rabbis who signed this letter – Matisyahu Salomon, Malkiel Kotler, and Philadelphia's Shmuel Kamenetsky (a longtime opponent of vaccines) are wrong halakhicly and wrong ethically. Children who are not vaccinated because their parents fear vaccines put hundreds of other children and adults at risk for catching illnesses that can kill or maim them. Choosing not to vaccinate does more than put your own child at risk – it puts everyone at risk, as you can see here.
You can read previous anti-vaccine stupidity from Shmuel Kamenetsky here.


Monday, February 27, 2017

If You Were Not Utterly Brainwashed, What Would You Think Of These People?

The Jehovah’s Witnesses Told Them Not to Get a College Degree; Now, They’re Struggling


More than two years ago, a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Governing Body, Tony Morris, made a number of disturbing comments denouncing higher education, saying it would lead to “spiritual disaster.”

This wasn’t news to anyone familiar with the organization, but it might have shocked those of us who value knowledge and critical thinking and don’t buy into the conspiracy theory that college is some sort of liberal training camp.

If opening your mind leads some people to abandon their faith, it’s because there was a problem with the faith, not because people dared to ask tough questions about their beliefs.

The video won’t embed, but you can watch it here. Here’s a glimpse at what Morris said:

At the 4:30 mark:
… all too often, our young people have met with spiritual disaster, especially after leaving home and living on a university campus. So parents and children, you need to have a goal and you need to have a plan. If you’re missing either one, Satan will provide it for you. Young people, ask yourself: Why am I considering additional education? Is it because I’m pursuing a specific skill or trade to support my service to Jehovah? Or have I been pressured by the system into believing that higher education will somehow make me a more respected person or lead me to a better life?
If we are in continued association with those who do not believe the same, it can erode our thinking and convictions… It is one thing to work on a job with others, and quite another matter to immerse oneself in an institution of “learning.”
(He actually did hand quotes for that last word.)
I have long said: the better the university, the greater the danger. The most intelligent and eloquent professors will be trying to reshape the thinking of your child, and their influence can be tremendous. One mom, I recall, asked me to try and help her son who was attending a prestigious-name university in Rhode Island. After visiting him, I later had to inform her that her son now believed in evolution. She refused to believe it until he finally told her himself. How sad.
How sad that her son learned something that requires evidence instead of faith…

Rather than sending kids to secular universities, Morris advised parents to encourage their kids to learn a trade like carpentry. There’s nothing wrong with learning a skill like that, of course, but that’s not a good enough reason to demonize critical thinking. To people like Morris, ignorance is bliss and fact-based education is kryptonite.

That has an impact when children raised in Witness families grow up to realize they have no college degree and no clear path of entry into the work force.

NPR’s Luke Vander Ploeg just did a segment on this issue for All Things Considered, and he spoke to Witnesses whose lives (and income) were affected because they were raised to think college was forbidden.
With only a few credits left before high school graduation, [Zachary] Linderer dropped out. He had no prospects of education beyond high school, so getting the diploma seemed pointless. He struggled to find work after moving out of his parents’ home, which eventually led him to get certified as an electrician. Still, that longing to study science haunted him.

“I think I had that feeling at 17 years old or so that that was what I wanted to be, what I needed to be,” Linderer says. “There’s been this hole ever since then.”

[Amber] McGee says that when she got excited about a subject, her mother would often shut her down. “I told her how much I found history fun,” McGee says. “She told me, ‘Well, that’s not important because it doesn’t have any bearing on your future, and it won’t be any use in the paradise.” This “paradise” refers to the heaven on earth that Witnesses believe is coming after the end of the world.
It’s such a sad story because of what these Witnesses might have become if they were given the kind of support other parents give their children. How awful must your religion be when educating yourself is seen as a fool’s errand? Even evangelical Christians, many of whom are filled with the same ridiculous beliefs about secular universities, formed their own colleges. The Witnesses aren’t even interested in creating their own educational bubble.

At least Linderer and McGee left the faith. Those who haven’t still carry a void in their education, one that’s filled with beliefs that’ll do nothing for them in this life.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

PROGRESS ---- Oholei Torah sent a letter to its parent-body, informing them of a serious and credible abuse allegation pertaining to a member of their support staff. The letter stated that pursuant to school policy, the individual has been removed from the campus and has been ordered to have no contact with its students....

Yesterday afternoon, Oholei Torah sent a letter to its parent-body, informing them of a serious and credible abuse allegation pertaining to a member of their support staff. The letter stated that pursuant to school policy, the individual has been removed from the campus and has been ordered to have no contact with its students.

This statement, sent out within hours after we informed them of the allegations and ongoing investigation, demonstrate the type of swift and diligent action that is imperative and necessary for schools and institutions to engage in. JCW would like to publicly commend the school for acting promptly, putting the safety of our children above all other priorities.

Since the investigation is ongoing, JCW will refrain from publicly commenting further on these allegations for the time-being.

-We would like to reiterate the yeshiva's point and reassure parents that at this time, there is no indication that any current students in the school have been hurt by this individual.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Mother of 3-year-old Jerusalem picks up son from kindergarten to find him bruised and apathetic; at the hospital, he is found to have a fractured cheekbone; kindergarten teacher claims he tripped and fell; police open investigation on case.

Police investigation opened into child abuse in Jerusalem preschool

Mother of 3-year-old Jerusalem picks up son from kindergarten to find him bruised and apathetic; at the hospital, he is found to have a fractured cheekbone; kindergarten teacher claims he tripped and fell; police open investigation on case. 

The mother of 3-year-old Maor from Jerusalem picked him up from kindergarten bruised and apathetic. After taking him to the hospital, he was diagnosed with a fractured cheekbone. The kindergarten teacher claimed he tripped on a Lego and fell—a week later, when Maor managed to speak, he said, according to his mother, that the teacher had hurt him: "I asked for water, and she pushed me on the sink."

This is every parent's nightmare. "At one thirty, I came to pick up my son from preschool and found him with his head hanging down over the table," a tearful Silvi recalled, after discovering her son had allegedly been beaten at his kindergarten. Following these developments, the police opened an investigation into the case.

Bruises on Maor's face
Bruises on Maor's face

"I thought he was tired and had fallen asleep, so I called out his name. He lifted his head and to my horror, I saw that half of his face was swollen, with hematomas and cuts. But what worried me more was his behavior, he was apathetic. I have twins who suffer from severe allergies, so I unfortunately know how to identify signs of a loss of consciousness. He was completely apathetic, his head drooping, and he only reached out with his arms, speechless. I picked him up and in that moment, he threw up. I immediately rushed him to the hospital."

Silvi cried throughout the entire interview with Ynet. Even today, five weeks after the case, she is still finding it hard to return to normal and comprehend the effect of her baby's injuries. 

Maor was going to a Chabad preschool in Jerusalem, a municipal kindergarten for 3-year-olds. "Their regular teacher went on maternity leave two months ago and was replaced by a substitute," said the mother. "I heard other parents say they were unhappy with the substitute, and that she was treating the children badly. But I never imagined it would be to such an extent." 

Silvi said that in the ER they immediately checked him over when they saw the state he was in. then asked her what had happened. "They called the preschool and the teacher claimed he had fallen. Tripped on a Lego and cut himself. The orthopedist examined Maor and said "I've seen many cuts in my day, this is no Lego injury." 

A facial x-ray showed that Maor suffered a cheekbone fracture and a mild laceration. He was referred to further testing by a maxillofacial specialist, and discharged home under observation. "For a week, Maor couldn't say a word, not even 'mama.' I had to leave work, or rather I was fired, because I had to care and monitor the child at home, feed him mashed foods, and mainly, not budge from his side as he kept crying," continued Silvi. 

A week following the injury, during an orthopedist's check up, Maor finally managed to speak. Silvi said that "the orthopedist asked him if he could talk and the child only mumbled at first. But then he burst into tears and said: 'I asked the teacher for a glass of water and she wouldn't get it for me, so I asked again cause I was really thirsty, and then again, and she suddenly got angry, took a glass of water and poured it on my clothes.' The orthopedist asked him where he had gotten the bruises, and he said: 'she pushed me on the sink.'' 

The mother continued that "ever since the injury, the child is having trouble eating and had lost a lot of weight. To this day, he's still not himself. He is currently seeing a psychologist. Every night, he's woken up by nightmares, saying 'she pushed me, she hit me, I'm scared.' He won't go to preschool anymore. The damage she inflicted on him is mostly psychological, I think. Only a week ago, I finally managed to go to the police station to file a complaint as I couldn't leave his side before then. The preschool supervisor told me she had immediately suspended the teacher, so I wasn't worried. Now we're waiting for the child protective investigator to question him. I don't know what is really going on at the preschool, but the parents claim she is still there." 

"This little boy is my whole world. It isn't simple for me to deal with what happened," she added. "He's such a gentle child, but even if he were a troublemaker it would be no reason for the kindergarten teacher to behave like she did. Children are helpless, they're at the mercy of adults." She continued to say, "I left a healthy kid at kindergarten, and I expected to him back. My world collapsed on me."


The Education Ministry responded to the report by saying, "The incident is being handled by all the professional authorities in the region and is under police investigation. We will act in accordance to the investigation's findings."

Israel Police also issued a statement, saying that "An investigation was opened immediately following the filing of a complaint, and it still going on. At this point we cannot divulge any more information on the case, but we will say that given the circumstances, the police are acting with sensitivity in an effort to get at the truth."

The kindergarten management team and the kindergarten in question have yet to respond to our requests for an interview.


Thursday, February 23, 2017


After a lengthy investigation, a former teacher at Yeshiva Boys School of Pittsburgh, an important institution in the Chabad-Lubavitch educational system, is a suspect in several alleged incidents of child sexual abuse. According to police, Rabbi Nisson Friedman, 26, who is well connected in the local Jewish community and is the son of an influential Minnesota-based rabbi, is suspected of sexually assaulting at least three boys while employed by the school. Det. Bryan Sellers of the city’s Bureau of Police Sex Assault Team, who is investigating the case, said he is “absolutely certain” there are additional victims.

Day school teacher suspected of sexual abuse in Pittsburgh
by Toby Tabachnick, Senior Staff Writer
16 hours ago | 7415 views | 14 14 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<i>The quick response by the Yeshiva Boys School to allegations of sexual abuse by one of its teachers has been describedas “exemplary.” <br> Photo by Jim Busis</i>
The quick response by the Yeshiva Boys School to allegations of sexual abuse by one of its teachers has been described as “exemplary.” 

After a lengthy investigation, a former teacher at Yeshiva Boys School of Pittsburgh, an important institution in the Chabad-Lubavitch educational system, is a suspect in several alleged incidents of child sexual abuse.

According to police, Rabbi Nisson Friedman, 26, who is well connected in the local Jewish community and is the son of an influential Minnesota-based rabbi, is suspected of sexually assaulting at least three boys while employed by the school. Det. Bryan Sellers of the city’s Bureau of Police Sex Assault Team, who is investigating the case, said he is “absolutely certain” there are additional victims.

The suspected assaults occurred both privately and publicly, including at least once in the Yeshiva building on Wightman Street. According to Rabbi Yisroel Rosenfeld, dean of Yeshiva Schools, that incident was discovered last year on Saturday, Sept. 24 during Shabbat services in the building. Rosenfeld said that a member of the community observed Friedman “touching a child inappropriately” in the facility’s library and alerted the school’s administration.

The administration promptly reported the disclosure of the suspected assault to the police and to the state’s mandated ChildLine and Abuse Registry as well as to other authorities, said Rosenfeld, and immediately suspended Friedman from his teaching duties. Friedman has left his position with Yeshiva Schools permanently.

Attempts to contact Friedman were unsuccessful. A member of his family who did not want to be identified noted that Friedman himself is a victim of child sexual abuse.

The school’s swift response to the suspected assault was praised as “exemplary” by Sellers, as well as by others who are experienced in matters of child sexual abuse.

“Yeshiva followed the correct procedures right out of the gate,” said Sellers. “They got Rabbi Friedman out immediately, they have been accommodating law enforcement, and they have been providing spots at the school to conduct interviews [relative to the case].”

Additional claims of assault against Friedman are coming from parents in Pittsburgh as well as from other communities, said Rabbi Yossi Rosenblum, principal of Yeshiva Boys School.

“For a long period of time, there was one allegation we were aware of, but now there are multiple stories,” Rosenblum said.

Friedman began working at Yeshiva as a full-time teacher in September 2014; he worked as a teacher’s aide for one year prior to that and also was on staff for five years at Yeshiva’s Camp Gan Israel summer day camp in the boys’ primary division. Campers at Gan Israel include families beyond those affiliated with Pittsburgh’s Chabad community.

Friedman also worked at other camps in the Pittsburgh Jewish community during that time, Sellers said, although he did not identify the other camps.

Yeshiva informed many of its parents about the accusations against Friedman shortly after the suspected abuse was discovered last fall, and, after the police determined that doing so would not impede their investigation, had a meeting with the wider school community on Tuesday, Jan. 31 “to keep all apprised of the status of the investigation and to make available the mental health and law enforcement professionals we are consulting with to answer any questions that can be answered at this time,” according to a prepared statement from Yeshiva.

An arrest warrant has not yet been issued, but it is “inevitable” that one will be forthcoming, said Sellers. Friedman is no longer in Pittsburgh and may be living in New York, according to multiple sources.

Deborah Fox, founder of Magen Yeladim, a national organization based in California that works to prevent child abuse through education and intervenes with resources when abuse does occur, commended the Yeshiva administration for its handling of the case. Fox came to Pittsburgh two years ago to help train Yeshiva staff on child abuse prevention and to speak to children about staying safe and was also present at the Jan. 31 meeting.

“When this current situation came up, [Yeshiva] called me immediately,” Fox said. “I recommended they call Child Protective Services, and I advised the school to get an attorney. And they did. They really followed through in every way. They were exemplary and a model for how a school should handle a very dramatic situation. Nobody wants this to happen, but if it does, you have to know how to deal with it.”

The administration of the school “knew we had to report it,” Rosenblum said. “We have training every year on mandated reporting from a secular group that tells us our legal responsibilities.”

Fox noted the particular “sensitivity” in this case, praising the school for acting in accordance with proper protocol despite outside pressures. Friedman is connected to several Jewish institutions throughout Pittsburgh. Moreover, Friedman hails from a renowned Lubavitch family and is the son of an influential Minneapolis-based rabbi.

Despite Nisson Friedman’s connections, Yeshiva Schools employed the same vetting procedure before hiring him as it does for all its other potential employees, according to Rosenblum. That vetting includes procuring FBI clearances, checks with the Department of Homeland Security and personal interviews.

“It just shows you, with everything, you never know,” Rosenfeld said. “Unfortunately, this is a sickness like so many others. It is unfortunately sad, but it is what it is, and we have to protect our children. The safety of our children is paramount.”

The school has done a “phenomenal job in acting within what the law requires us to do,” said Shlomo Jacob, a parent of children enrolled in Yeshiva and president of Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, the umbrella organization of the boys school. “They acted safely in making sure it all happened, including dismissing the teacher.”

Such is not always the case. Sellers has been assigned to four separate cases in the Pittsburgh Jewish community — including in the non-Orthodox community — in the last six years involving suspected child molestation. In each of the other cases, he said, the institutions involved declined to cooperate with police, and he was unable to make a case against the suspected abuser.

“I’m pleasantly surprised by the support I am getting from Yeshiva,” Sellers said. “They have set the standard of how to handle children who are victims of sexual assault. I’ve been very impressed.”

The actions of Yeshiva in immediately reporting abuse may be further contrasted to those of other schools in both secular and religious communities that chose instead to cover it up. The examples are many and include the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State and Yeshiva University High School in New York City, where 34 former students claimed in a $680 million lawsuit that administrators had covered up abuse for decades.

Sellers is hoping that additional victims step forward to disclose any inappropriate behavior on the part of Friedman, which will strengthen his case.

“It’s a lot easier when you have a group of victims gathered together speaking as one rather than one standing alone,” he said, noting that there is no time limit to coming forward. The statute of limitations for prosecuting such abuse does not expire until the victim reaches the age of 50.

If parents notice changes in a child’s behavior or an unusual reaction when the child hears Friedman mentioned, they are advised to contact Sellers. The detective cautioned against parents speaking to their children about any suspected abuse but advised them to instead arrange for a forensic interview. If a child comes forward on his own, parents are advised to hear what the child says, then report it to the police.

Fox, of Magen Yeladim, said that parents should refrain from interviewing their children themselves about possible abuse. She suspects there are additional victims in Pittsburgh.

After the Jan. 31 meeting, “there was a line of people waiting to speak to the detective, and a line of people waiting to speak to me,” she said.

Fox’s advice to the community when it comes to child abuse is: “If you see something, say something.”

“The more that the community is aware, the more the community can make it unsafe for a predator,” she said.

Former Pittsburgher Ruth Gordon knows firsthand the pain of being a parent of a child who is sexually abused in the Orthodox community. Her son, David Menachem Gordon, was a student at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh from 2008 to 2010, and his parents were members of the Orthodox Gemilas Chesed Synagogue.

But it was in the Orthodox community of Detroit where Gordon was sexually abused when he was between the ages of 9 and 11. Years later, Gordon was a lone soldier in the Israel Defense Forces during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge when he went missing one day in mid-August. Two days later, he was found dead with his rifle beside him.

As a child, his parents knew something was wrong, but they didn’t find out about the abuse until he revealed it when he was 16.

Looking back, Gordon recalled that at the age of 9, her son’s “behavior changed drastically overnight. He became the opposite of what we were used to.”

The Gordons sought medical advice and psychological help for their son, but they did not suspect sexual abuse. They didn’t want to.

“Someone had said to me at the time, ‘What you are describing to me is indicative of a child who has been molested,’” Gordon recalled. “I shut them down.”

Once they accepted the fact that he had been abused, and the Gordons came forth with their son’s claims, they were “shunned” in the Orthodox community in Detroit, she said.

“People didn’t want to have anything to do with us because they didn’t think we should be talking about it. We reached out for help, and we were rejected, and that hurt.”

Gordon now lives in Columbus, Ohio, but nonetheless heard about the suspicions against Friedman and of Yeshiva’s response to those accusations, last fall. Gordon was pleased with the school’s reaction, particularly in light of Friedman’s connections.

“When someone is well connected … that is where things sometimes get hazy,” she said.
“But if I could, I would go and hug those administrators [at Yeshiva]. They did everything right. They did what had to be done. They said, ‘First, let’s get rid of him and then we’ll sort it out.’ That’s not easy to do.”

Anyone wishing to arrange for a forensic examination of a child who had contact with Friedman should contact Sellers at 412-323-7141.

Toby Tabachnick can be reached at tobyt@thejewishchronicle.net.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

They Are Everywhere!

Former Team USA gymnasts describe doctor’s alleged sexual abuse

Attorney suing USA Gymnastics for failing to protect female athletes believes every Olympic team since 1996 has had members abused by Dr. Lawrence Nassar
The following is a script from “USA Gymnastics,” which aired on Feb. 19, 2017. Dr. Jon LaPook is the correspondent. Andy Court and Sarah Fitzpatrick, producers. Deborah Rubin, associate producer.

The U.S. women’s gymnastics team – for all its success over the past few decades – has become embroiled in a dark and disturbing scandal concerning sexual abuse.  Last year, the Indianapolis Star investigated cases in which male coaches, members of the national governing organization USA Gymnastics, were accused of sexually abusing female gymnasts. That report prompted young women to come forward with accounts of abuse they had suffered within the U.S. gymnastics system for many years as young girls and competitive gymnasts. These new accusations concern not a coach, but a prominent doctor who’d been working with U.S. Olympic and national teams and other athletes for three decades.

Former Team USA gymnasts, from left: Jamie Dantzscher, Jessica Howard and Jeanette Antolin
CBS News
More than 60 women have filed complaints so far, and some believe that number may reach into the hundreds.  Now, for the first time, three former members of U.S. national teams, one an Olympic medalist, describe – in what you should be warned is disturbing detail –the treatment they received from Dr. Lawrence Nassar – a man they trusted and felt so comfortable with, they called him, “Larry.”
Jeanette Antolin: All the girls liked Larry.
Jamie Dantzscher: He was, like, my buddy. He was on my side.

Dr. Lawrence Nassar
Jessica Howard: He was so sure of himself. And as a young girl, you’re confused. You don’t know what’s going on.

Jessica Howard was the U.S. national champion in rhythmic gymnastics from 1999 to 2001.

Jeanette Antolin competed with the U.S. national team from 1995 to 2000.

She helped UCLA win three national championships.

Jamie Dantzscher won a bronze medal in the 2000 Olympics and was recently inducted into UCLA’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

They were teenagers, in a sport where injuries are common, and the professional they turned to for help staying in competition was this man -- seen here in instructional videos he posted on his web site.  Lawrence Nassar, an osteopathic physician, was one of the most famous doctors in the world of gymnastics.  As a trainer and doctor he worked with Olympic and national womens’ artistic gymnastics teams for more than two decades. That’s him right after Kerri Strug’s famous ankle injury in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

And that’s him today. Since December, he’s been held without bail in Michigan, where he worked at Michigan State University’s sports medicine clinic. He’s charged with possession of child pornography and criminal sexual conduct involving the daughter of a family friend.  Investigators were able to make the case against him because gymnasts went public after years of silence. The police and FBI are now investigating dozens of other cases involving Nassar – some decades old, others within the last two years.

Jamie Dantzscher 
CBS News
Jamie Dantzscher says she started seeing Dr. Nassar around 1995, after she became a member of the U.S. junior national team.
Jamie Dantzscher: I started having really bad lower back pain on my right side on my back. So I went to him for my back pain.
Jon LaPook: What specifically would he do?
Jamie Dantzscher: He would put his fingers inside of me and move my leg around. He would tell me I was going to feel a pop. And that that would put my hips back and help my back pain.
Jon LaPook: How old were you then when he first did that procedure?
Jamie Dantzscher: I was either 13 or 14.

Jessica Howard
CBS News
Jessica Howard: I was 15 years old and I had a hip problem. A very severe hip problem. And  USA Gymnastics suggested that I go to the Karolyi Ranch to work with their doctor.

The Karolyi ranch outside Houston, Texas, is a mecca for elite gymnasts who have given up any semblance of normal childhood to pursue their Olympic dreams.  Run by the legendary coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi, it’s where members of the U.S. national team for artistic gymnastics come roughly once a month for several days of intensive training.  The girls stayed in cabins on the property, and Dr. Nassar would be there to provide medical treatment.

Jessica Howard:  He started massaging me. And-- he had asked me not to wear any underwear. And then he just continued to go into more and more intimate places.

Jon LaPook: And when that happened, what, what was going through your head?

Jessica Howard: I remember thinking something was off but I didn’t feel like I was able to say anything because he was, you know, this very high-profile doctor. And I was very lucky to be at the ranch working with him.

Jon LaPook: Did any of the other girls in your cabin talk to you about Dr. Nassar?

Jeanette Antolin
CBS News
Jessica Howard: Yes. The girls would say yeah he touches you funny. 
Jeanette Antolin: I remember being uncomfortable because of the area. But-- in my mind, I was like, “If this helps, I’ll do anything.”
Jon LaPook: Did you ever complain to anybody about it?
Jeanette Antolin: No.
Jon LaPook: Why not?
Jeanette Antolin: It was treatment. You don’t complain about treatment.

Dr. Nassar has pled not guilty to the charges against him in Michigan. In a statement from his lawyers, he has defended his treatment as legitimate. There is a rare therapy for back and hip pain where specialists massage areas inside the vagina. But for a minor, it’s expected such a procedure should involve a chaperone and use of a glove.

Jon LaPook: Did he use a glove?
Jamie Dantzscher: No.
Jon LaPook: And how many times did you have this kind of a procedure?

Former Team USA gymnasts speak with Dr. Jon LaPook, CBS News’ chief medical correspondent
CBS News
Jamie Dantzscher: I mean, it happened all the way to the Olympics in Sydney, till I was 18.
Jon LaPook: From the time you were around 13 or so until 18?
Jamie Dantzscher: Yes.
Jon LaPook: And it was just-- in your mind, normal medical treatment?
[Jamie makes expression]
John Manly: You’ve got a 52-year-old man placing his hand in the vagina of nine-year-olds ungloved for no good reason. Wrong.

California attorney John Manly represents the women we interviewed and more than 40 others – one as young as 9 years-old, and most under 18 at the time they say they were abused.

Jon LaPook: How many women do you think he did that to?
John Manly: We know there are at least 60 that have come forward. But my best estimate is it’s in the hundreds and possibly more.
Jon LaPook: Are you saying that members of the last two Olympic teams from Rio and from London were affected by Dr. Nassar? That they were abused by him?
John Manly: I believe what-- at the end of the day there are members of every single Olympic team since 1996 he did this to. That’s what we’re gonna end up with. 
Jon LaPook: What makes you so sure about that?
John Manly: Because this is somebody who is a serial predator. But the story here is that no one was watching to protect these girls. And they put medals and money first.

By “they,” Manly means USA Gymnastics and the Karolyis.  He’s not arguing they knew anything about sexual abuse.  Many years went by before the women we interviewed complained to anyone in authority.  But part of the reason for that, Manly argues, was a high-pressure, emotionally abusive environment at the ranch, which he says made it easy for Nassar to win the girls’ trust.

Jamie Dantzscher: I mean, the-- like, yelling and screaming, that was, like, normal.
 Jon LaPook: Really?
Jamie Dantzscher: Yeah.
Jon LaPook: What kind of abusive things were said to you?
Jamie Dantzscher: It was never good enough. “You’re not good enough.”
Jeanette Antolin: the pressure that they put on you to-- be perfection for them, it was very overwhelming and stressful.
John Manly: it was an environment of fear. And he stepped in and became the good guy. And—
Jon LaPook: Dr. Nassar did?
John Manly: Dr. Nassar did. And he gave ‘em candy. He gave ‘em encouragement. He acted like he cared about them. No one else there gave that impression.
Jon LaPook: What were these girls so afraid of?

John Manly: Not being able to fulfill their dream. I mean you’ve given up your childhood and you’ve given up your adolescence to represent your country. And the Karolyis and the selection team who are there have control on who goes. So your fate is in their hands. You must do what they say.
On behalf of the women, attorney Manly is suing the Karolyis and USA Gymnastics for failing to protect their athletes.  USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny declined to speak with us on camera about Dr. Nassar. In a statement, the organization said it is “appalled that anyone would exploit a young athlete or child in this manner.”  USA Gymnastics “first learned of an athlete’s concern about Dr. Nassar in June 2015,” the statement said.  Five weeks later, after an internal review, it “reported him to the FBI and relieved him of any further assignments.”  USA Gymnastics told us it has long had a policy that adult staff should “avoid being alone with a minor.”

Jon LaPook: How often were you alone with him?
Jeanette Antolin: Most of the time.
Jon LaPook: Just in the treatment area, or also in your bedroom?
Jeanette Antolin: In our cabins. They were like cabins. Yeah.
Jon LaPook: That’s like your bedroom.
Jeanette Antolin: Yeah. Uh-huh (affirm).
Jon LaPook: Yeah. And did the Karolyis know that Dr. Nassar was alone with you for these treatments?
Jamie Dantzscher: Yeah.
Jon LaPook: How-- how do you know that?
Jamie Dantzscher: Well, they had to know. I mean, there-- there was no one else sent with him.  And that’s the thing, too, to think, like-- what-- they-- in-- in the bed? Why would you-- like, the treatment was in the bed, in my bed that I slept on at the ranch.

Bela and Martha Karolyi declined to give us an interview, but in a statement they said they “were never aware” that Nassar was performing this procedure or was “visiting athletes in their rooms without supervision.” They also deny that there was an emotionally abusive environment at the ranch.

Long before Dr. Nassar’s arrest late last year, USA Gymnastics was facing criticism over its handling of sexual abuse complaints about coaches at its member gyms throughout the country. According to an investigation published by the IndyStar in August, USA Gymnastics received a complaint that one of its coaches, William McCabe, should be locked up “before someone is raped,” but did not report it to the authorities at the time.  It was only after the mother of a gymnast called the FBI seven years later that McCabe was sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexually exploiting gymnasts. Marvin Sharp was named USA Gymnastics women’s coach of the year in 2010, but was the subject of a sexual abuse complaint the following year.

USA Gymnastics didn’t report Sharp to the police until four years later when another complaint came in. Sharp killed himself in jail while facing molestation and child pornography charges.
Dianne Feinstein: An association has a responsibility, or should have a responsibility. And that is to take care of its members.

Jon LaPook: And do you think USA Gymnastics has done that?

Dianne Feinstein: No.

Senator Dianne Feinstein is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  She’s met with the women we interviewed and other gymnasts and is now working on legislation to correct what she sees as a problem in the reporting of sexual abuse complaints.

Dianne Feinstein: If an amateur athletic association, like USA Gymnastics, receives a complaint, an allegation, they must report it right away to local police and the United States attorney.
Jon LaPook: So this wouldn’t apply just to gymnastics. It would apply to all Olympic sports that have a national governing body?

Dianne Feinstein: All amateur athletic organizations. That’s right.

It’s been nearly two decades since the women we interviewed competed at the highest level of their sport.

Today, they say they’re still grappling with the psychological impact of their competitive careers.

Jeanette Antolin told us it was only last year, after speaking with other gymnasts, that she realized Dr. Nassar hadn’t been helping her with her back pain after all.

Jeanette Antolin: It was like-- almost like a light bulb went off. Like, “Oh my gosh. Like-- are you kidding me? Like-- I trusted this man.” And just knowing how vulnerable I was as a kid, to even not even think that something like that would be inappropriate, just ruined me.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Mr. President....I know your wife is NOT a hooker, but once and for all why don't you denounce all hookers? Well, not quite...

Trump vs. confederacy of hecklers – the press

Beginning with King David and throughout our Literature we’re advised not to sit in the “council of the wicked,” nor to share the same room with a company of scoffers…or else we’re asking for trouble. But that is precisely where an Orthodox Jewish reporter found himself during President Trump’s press conference of a few days ago.

Jake Turx, a respected journalist, asked a simple question that concerns many of us – what’s to be done about the wave of anti-Semitism now sweeping our country most prominently on campus?

Too bad the wording and the timing were all wrong.

By the time Turx got his turn, Trump had already answered 30 hostile questions and was in no mood for one more. Trump, only half listening, took it as another personal attack. All he heard were the words “anti-Semitism” and he bristled. He shrugged off the reporter and told him to “sit down.”

Trump’s accusers would rather not mention that Trump snapped at every reporter during the session.
No one here was at fault, neither Trump nor the reporter whose only mistake was to be sharing the same room with a collection of malcontents.

Turx was different in all the right ways. But for Trump, it’s all the same mob. He can no longer tell journalists apart. Who can blame him for failing to distinguish the good from the bad when each day he gets blasted from all sides? Even Fox News is starting to sound like CNN.

They want his head on a platter and they, the Left, won’t stop with him.

His wife, our First Lady, can’t leave the house without being scorned.

Over here on the Upper East Side a group of uber Progressive Liberal moms won’t let their kids go skating in a specific rink because it’s named for Trump. The same Progressives who preach Sensitivity, Tolerance and Diversity remove their kids from any school that’s attended by any Trump son or grandchild.

No I’m not kidding and neither is Trump who must be wondering if he made the right move at running for president. He had not bargained for this deal.

As for Trump and the press (and this goes for his spokesman Sean Spicer as well) it must be lonely being the only Republican in the room.

The rest of them are all Democrats who snoozed for Obama but have suddenly come awake for Trump. They have no questions. Only accusations.

They are a confederacy of hecklers and I noticed something strange when the camera went wide across the room during last week’s press conference.

There were no adults to be found. These are all kids. A few years ago they were learning their ABC’s from Sesame Street. They’re all 22 years old.

No wonder they know nothing but think they know everything.

So we should not be amazed to find propaganda instead of news and corruption instead of information from this “White House Press Corps.”

The only adult in the room was indeed Jake Turx. He was the only reporter who meant well so naturally they used him to further savage our President.

Jake Turx became the story.

Do we need to mention The New York Times? Well okay – so here’s what that paper ran on its front pages: “A Jewish reporter got to ask Trump a question. It didn’t go well.” Yes, the Times, all of sudden so concerned for the Jews. Then this, from the Daily Kos: “Trump puts his inner Klansman on full display against Jake Turx.”

Really? Yes. Really. Yes, that’s what it’s like out there in American medialand.

It was never about Jake Turx. It was about the company he keeps, the same company of slanderers that is tainting us all.

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. New from the novelist: “News Anchor Sweetheart,” a novelist’s version of Fox News and Megyn Kelly. Engelhard is the author of the international bestseller “Indecent Proposal.” For books like his award-winning memoir “Escape from Mount Moriah,” he is the recipient of the Ben Hecht Award for Literary Excellence. Website: www.jackengelhard.com


Monday, February 20, 2017

Mr. President, Buy A Suit From Marty - Prove You Are Really The Least anti-Semitic Guy on the Planet - Get Rid of the Shatnez in your Chinese Suits...And Make Them In Brooklyn....

Donald Trump Should Buy a Suit From This Holocaust


Martin Greenfield
Test Your Suit For Shatnez To Prove Your Love of the Jews - 10% Discount If You Have Jewish Mishpocho. DISCOUNT CODE "FAKE ZAIDE"

Make America First Again In Jewish Clothing - And Safe Again From Shatnez!

Although less than 3% of clothing sold in the US is actually made here, Greenfield Clothiers has thrived for decades in the heart of Brooklyn; it is the last unionized men’s clothing factory in all of New York City.

When I asked Martin Greenfield why he wouldn’t move his manufacturing operation to China, where production would be a fraction of the cost, he responded, “I would never even consider [it], because of all the American jobs we’ve created here.”

His son, Tod, the co-owner of Greenfield Clothiers, echoed that sentiment. “We operate on an ethical level, thinking about what’s good for our customers, employees and the local neighborhood,” he said.
This emphasis on home-made, top-notch quality must work, as their client list boasts a number of high-profile celebrities and politicians including Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Shaquille O’Neal and Jimmy Fallon, as well as past presidents such as Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, and Barack Obama. As Martin likes to say, “I dress both sides of the aisle.” Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson were also customers.

And the Greenfields give back to the community in other ways. Tod shared with me how his father worked with St. Nick’s Alliance in the 1980s to create Evergreen, a membership organization that champions economic development in North Brooklyn, and works with 10,000 local businesses there. The group’s website states, “These businesses, which employ over 15,000 residents, depend on Evergreen for free, quick and reliable assistance with tax credits, incentives, financing, real estate and relocation assistance, energy and green issues, workforce needs, and advocacy.”

When I asked Martin what motivated him to work so arduously on behalf of keeping jobs in America, he responded emphatically, “Whenever I speak to young people about working in America, I tell them that here you only need to set your mind to something [and you will succeed]. I started out as a floor-boy, working at this factory and when I bought it a few years later, my father-in-law told me I would fail due to President Carter’s interest rates. I told him, ‘I will succeed.’ I picked six people and started from scratch, and I’m where I am today for one reason only: we worked hard to be the best.”

A president for all Americans

In his inaugural speech, President Trump stated, “We share one heart, one home and one glorious destiny. The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.”

Yet this past election was one of the most divisive that I can remember, with many friendships being threatened and even families torn apart. I am continuously engaging in healthy debate with my friends and family members over the policies of the new administration, but I believe that our conversations, social media posts and attitudes must show respect for one another.

This ideal is so perfectly expressed and embodied by Martin Greenfield, who was a victim of persecution and discrimination, yet never forgot what it meant to treat a fellow human being with dignity and respect.

As a teenager in Nazi Germany, the wife of the mayor of Weimar caught Martin eating rotten, left-over food from a rabbit cage, and reported him to the Nazis, who almost beat him to death.
Vowing revenge, he returned with a machine gun after the war, and caught the woman standing outside her home, holding her baby. Upon seeing the baby, Martin broke down crying and ran away. As he writes in his memoir, “That was the moment I became human again. All the old teachings came rushing back. I had been raised to believe that life was a precious gift from God.”

When I asked Tod what he learned from his father, he remarked, “I remember Dad used to call the union when he needed new employees, and he would ask if they could send veterans over. He felt such gratitude for the American soldiers who liberated him from the concentration camp and wanted to give back to them. One time, they sent an African-American veteran to his office. The company had never had an African-American work there before, and it caused a local outcry.”

Tod’s brother, Jay, another co-owner at Greenfield Clothiers, added, “Remember this was in the 1940s, around the same time Jackie Robinson was breaking the baseball color line. It was unheard of.” Martin refused to buckle under the pressure, and kept the African-American veteran gainfully employed.

If President Trump were to wear a suit crafted by a man who treats everyone with such dignity and equality, Trump would send a message that he is a president for all Americans — and that he will show that same respect for others.

Martin Greenfield represents exactly what our people can — and have — achieved in America. As Martin told me, “I’m the proudest American you’ll ever meet. There’s no place like it, and when I speak to young people, I tell them that I am an immigrant [from Czechoslovakia] and I love it here.”
As Jay Greenfield told me, “There is no greater honor as an American suit-maker than to dress the president of the United States!”

In conclusion, permit me to disclose that I am unashamedly biased, and proudly wear a Martin Greenfield suit.

Every time I feel the fabric, I picture Martin’s constant smile. I think of how his incredible life story has taught me to never forget the ability of the human race to sink to the darkest recesses of evil, but also to rise again and to thrive. I think of how we are all “created in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27) and are truly “one Nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”


Sunday, February 19, 2017

According to initial police and hospital reports, the camera recorded the mother allegedly attempting to poison the boy and the father allegedly sexually assaulting him...


Modiin Illit couple held on suspicion of abusing sick child


Police plant hidden camera in 4-year-old’s hospital room, allegedly catch mother attempting to poison him and father sexually assaulting him

Illustrative: Israel Police officers at a crime scene, November 14, 2016 in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

רחמנים בני רחמנים

The parents of a four-year-old boy suffering from muscular dystrophy were arrested Saturday on suspicion of physically and sexually abusing the child.

Police were alerted to the child’s condition by the medical staff at the Safra Children’s Hospital in the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. 

According to the hospital, doctors began to suspect the child was being harmed by those close to him, including during his hospital stays. They contacted the police, who placed a hidden camera in the boy’s hospital room last week.

According to initial police and hospital reports, the camera recorded the mother allegedly attempting to poison the boy and the father allegedly sexually assaulting him.

The child, from Modiin Illit, had already exhibited multiple and apparently unconnected symptoms that came and went without explanation, Prof. Asher Barzilai, head of the pediatric hospital, told reporters on Saturday. The boy was hospitalized in the intensive care unit at one point, and was classified in serious condition, according to the hospital.

“A child arrives in a complicated and serious state and you don’t succeed in reaching a diagnosis even with the best doctors,” Barzilai said. “There’s no disease [that would fit the child’s symptoms]. The [medical] team was aware from the start that something wasn’t right, it didn’t make sense. You start to put together the signs and you realize – this doesn’t happen [on its own].

“You have to understand that the decision to pass a case on to social workers and the police can destroy a family,” Barzilai said. The doctors only took the step when they were “certain” the child was being harmed intentionally.

Despite a gag order that prevents publication of any new details of the investigation, including the identity of the parents, police said Saturday that the parents are suspected of a long list of crimes, including conspiracy to commit a crime, sexual abuse, sexual assault, physical abuse, and causing serious harm to a helpless individual.

Police arrested the parents on Saturday morning, and custody of the child has been transferred to social services.

On Saturday night, the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court extended the father’s remand by four days and the mother’s by three.

Friday, February 17, 2017

When Rabbis Become Prostitutes - The Redefining of an Orthodox Jew - "Jared every year sends a $500 check before Passover to one of his former day school teachers “as a gesture of appreciation... "


Any rabbi with any integrity at all would consider this scenario happening all throughout  the "Modern Orthodox" world. " Wow....I can date a shiksa for years, then find a rabbi to convert her if my parents want her to, eat non-kosher, violate the Shabbos repeatedly, still call myself Orthodox if my father has money, and not one rabbi stands up and says this is a fraud not to be emulated" Shameful!

Menachem Genack, Under The Microscope


Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Trump, may be the most famous, and most-scrutinized, Orthodox Jew in the United States today.

Since the president’s inauguration two weeks ago, Kushner — graduate of a prominent Modern Orthodox day school in New Jersey, grandson of Holocaust survivors, active supporter of the Chabad-Lubavitch chasidic movement, a senior adviser to Trump who may become involved in Middle East peace negotiations — has come under fire in some Orthodox circles.

 The charges: Kushner rode with his wife Ivanka in a car to Friday night post-inaugural events in Washington (with rabbinic dispensation LOL, it is said, because of security concerns) , attended an ecumenical prayer service in a D.C. church and apparently remained silent after the president issued a controversial statement last week about International Holocaust Remembrance Day that omitted any mention of Jews being the primary target of the Nazis. 
The statement “was written with the help of someone who is both Jewish and the descendent of Holocaust survivors,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said. Many assumed he was alluding to Kushner, though press reports say it was written by Boris Epshteyn, a Russian Jewish immigrant serving as special assistant in the administration after working on the Trump campaign.

Still, Kushner’s critics have indulged in a chorus of so-called “frum-shaming,” keeping a watchful eye on him, eager to call out any perceived violation of Jewish law. 

Kushner has emerged as one of his father-in-law’s closest confidantes and fiercest defenders, asserting that Trump is neither an anti-Semite nor a racist.

At 36, the publicity-shy scion of the wealthy Kushner real estate family is the subject of numerous media reports. 

A “quiet millionaire with Donald Trump’s ear,” reported BBC. “Something of a mollifying influence upon his mercurial boss,” wrote Vanity Fair. “Someone who ‘enjoys a Rasputin-like power’ with Trump,” according to Cosmopolitan. 

Now a (prominent?) Orthodox rabbi is coming to Kushner’s defense — ironically, one with close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Rabbi Menachem Genack, administrator of the Orthodox Union’s kashrut division, calls Kushner “a genuine Modern Orthodox Jew … serious about his Judaism.”


The rabbi of Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Englewood, N.J. and author of the 2013 “Letters to President Clinton: Biblical Lessons of Faith and Leadership” (Sterling Ethos), was openly critical of Trump during the campaign, saying he lacked a “sense of morality.” But having known the Kushner family for three decades and worked “on many projects” with Charles Kushner, Jared’s father, the rabbi said Jared “listens, he absorbs information … he’s very even-tempered … the opposite of his father-in-law.” 

In a letter to The Jewish Week, the rabbi described how Jared every year sends a $500 check before Passover to one of his former day school teachers “as a gesture of appreciation for what [he] felt he gained,” Rabbi Genack said.

In a similar vein, a recent JTA article described Jared Kushner’s generosity and spirit of cooperation at Harvard Chabad during his student days at the Ivy League school and in his post-graduation life. 

“It was most apparent in the first impression what kind of mensch this young man was,” JTA quotes Chabad Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi as saying. “When he saw importance in a project, he committed himself to it.”

Rabbi Genack compared the criticism of Kushner on halachic grounds to the carping about Joseph Lieberman, also an Orthodox Jew, during the former senator’s race for vice president with Al Gore in 2000. Lieberman was accused of “hydrating” on a fast day during the campaign.

The rabbi said such criticism is “ridiculous,” and that it is unfair for people in the public eye to be held to unreasonable standards.

Kushner’s visibility as an Orthodox Jew “sends a good message to the Jewish community,” Rabbi Genack said. “I think we should just take pride.”

 READ: http://pagesix.com/2012/01/12/private-b-day/

 Genack ---- HOW DO YOU SPELL Z-O-N-A?

OUy Vey! The Shiksa's Guide to Dating Jewish Men - THE OU PRESS



"A movement that has voluntarily parted paths with normative Orthodoxy and Halakha in so many ways has no right to complain when the Orthodox establishment rejects its radical innovations. It is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. 
Halakha is predicated upon following the directives and guidance of the generation’s foremost rabbinic authorities. Vigilante Judaism – and that’s exactly what is being promoted by those attacking the OU’s ruling – is inconsistent with the deference to the generation’s most distinguished Torah experts that forms the basis of all stripes of authentic Orthodoxy.

The OU has followed traditional and halakhically required protocol when dealing with challenges and innovations to Torah practice, by consulting with a world-renowned team of halakhic authorities, and committing to following the decision that would be rendered.

This is what Torah Judaism is all about."

As Rabbi Yaakov  Kaminetzky zt"l expressed to me when I asked him if the OU can be trusted on Kashruth; Without hesitation he responded: "Yes, on salt"!


Jared Kushner & Ivanka Trump In Church on Friday and Shabbos! Trump's Conversion Farce Must Be Repudiated, Rebuked & Delegitimized by Every Orthodox Rabbi! Kabbalat Shabbos With Jared & Ivanka! Israel & The Jewish People Have Every Reason To Be Concerned About Kushner's Total Rejection of Core Jewish Values (מומר להכעיס) , and In Essence, Contemptuous Conduct.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

This 31-year-old charedi man sodomized a 6-year-old, bit his penis and among other threats put a gun to his head and warned that he would kill him and his family if he told anyone what happened.

Moshe Friedman in Court

According to the signed and sworn police report which was the basis of his indictment: The People of the State of New York County of Kings v Moshe Friedman:
…Between September 01, 2013 … and June 06, 2014 … at … [a yeshiva in Boro Park], the defendant … on multiple incidents per month
  • Did strike the informant’s hand with defendant’s hand when informant’s hand was injured and treated with a cast
  • Did place defendant’s hand on the informant’s exposed buttocks
  • Did grab the informant’s penis,
  • Did insert the defendant’s finger into the informant’s anus
  • Did insert a banana into the informant’s anus
  • Did put the defendant’s mouth on the informant’s buttocks
  • Did place the informant’s penis inside the defendant’s mouth
  • Did bite the informant’s penis with defendant’s mouth
  • Did tie a string around the informant’s penis
  • Did shove a rag into the informant’s mouth
  • Did tie the informant’s lips shut with string
  • Did display a gun to the informant and state to the informant in sum and substance, “you’d better not tell your parents, or I’ll kill you and your family.”
The … [boy was born in] 2007.

Getting Away With Abuse

Michael J. Salamon

Just last week a New York State licensed teacher, an admitted and convicted child molester, received what is being referred to as a sweetheart sentence for his crimes. This 31-year-old charedi man sodomized a 6-year-old, bit his penis and among other threats put a gun to his head and warned that he would kill him and his family if he told anyone what happened. Yet this perpetrator received a sentence of probation from the court. No jail time for him. And he did not even have to register as a sex offender, something that under other circumstances would have at a minimum occurred.

It is not unreasonable to suggest that the district attorney prosecuting this case was willing to make this deal, allowing a misdemeanor plea, despite the fact that the perpetrator was originally charged with first-degree felony sexual acts against a minor because there may have been no other option. It is reasonable to assume that either one of two scenarios played out prior to sentencing: either the parents of the 6-year-old molested boy did not want the child to testify, or the community put significant pressure on the family to not testify against the perpetrator. 

This is not mere conjecture; it is based upon the history of avoidance of reporting to the authorities within this particular segment of the Orthodox community. Many cases have not even made it to a courtroom for these reasons and the result is that sexual predators have been able avoid any prosecution. Despite a law requiring anyone who provides health care or teaches children to report any reasonable suspicion of abuse to the authorities, reporting in this community rarely happens.

This case was resolved the same week that the first Kol v’Oz conference was held. As reported in The Jewish Week (“This Is Something We Can’t Ignore,” Feb. 10), Kol v’Oz is an organization whose mandate is to bring together international professionals from across the Jewish world to prevent child sexual abuse in the worldwide Jewish community.

I was among the presenters and attendees at this important gathering and had the opportunity to ask some questions of religious leaders who presented their perspectives on the problem, suggested interventions and their rationale for the best way to react to protect children.

In virtually all cases we discussed it was clear that a state law exists that more or less indicates that those caring for children who suspect child abuse must report it. This is true in Israel, where everyone is considered a mandated reporter. In the State of New York, the State Department of Education issued a clear ruling that even in private schools, anyone who works with children must report suspected abuse. This ruling by the department has no room for delaying or discussing a suspicion with anyone but the properly trained authorities. This makes a great deal of sense as it is only those professionals who know how to conduct a proper investigation who should do so. Further, any delay allows a perpetrator time to continue to offend, threaten those who he or she has already abused and make excuses for previous offenses.

There are those in the Jewish world, perhaps now a minority view, who argue that prior to reporting to the authorities, a rabbi should be consulted. When asked at the Kol v’Oz conference about this view, one rabbi would not take a position against it. My follow-up question to him was about licensed professionals who by law are mandated to report their suspicions immediately. Were these professionals, I asked, also supposed to ask a rabbi first or were they required to follow the law and report immediately?

The response I received was disconcerting. The rabbi started out by saying that he would not answer the question. He went on to suggest that the law was open to interpretation and a case could be made that a report may not have to be made instantly. I had several follow-up questions that I could not ask and they bother me still: Who assumes the responsibility of protecting the child during the delay, and if the state chooses to prosecute the professional for not reporting as required, will the Jewish community pay the legal fees?

I am not an attorney so I have only a limited understanding and even less of a stomach for the implications of the phrase “open to interpretation.” What I do know is that there should be no variability for interpretation of the best interests of a child. As long as we find ways to obstruct or subvert reasonable legal tools that help to remove abusers and move to more aggressively protect children, perpetrators will be able to continue getting away with their abuses — and even when caught may not receive an appropriate sentence for their perverted crimes. 

Dr. Michael J. Salamon is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the author of numerous articles and books, most recently “Abuse in the Jewish Community” (Urim Publications).