URGENT URGENT URGENT
We are making progress in bringing Colemar to justice! I URGE ANYONE AND EVERYONE WITH ANY INFORMATION AT ALL TO CONTACT:
Michael Lesher, Esq.
PLEASE CONTACT MICHAEL, ASAP!
Stefan Colemar, you are a sick demented monster. May justice come upon you speedily.
THE FACE OF EVIL, TOP, AND BELOW, YEHUDAH (RUBBY) KOLKO
Rabbi Avraham Blumenkrantz ZT"L
Rebbetzin's Column: The Rebbetzin`s Viewpoint
`A Blight On All Of Us` (Conclusion)
Author: Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
During the past few weeks, I published letters that our readers wrote in response to the plight of
the woman who is still suffering from the trauma she experienced in high school when she was
ousted from yeshiva because of her single/divorced mom’s inability to pay tuition.
I am pleased to share with you a most meaningful letter written to her by the esteemed minahel
of the Yeshiva of Far Rockaway, Rabbi Aaron Brafman, Shlita, following which I will conclude
by offering my own thoughts on the subject.
I read your story and am heartbroken. It’s hard for me to believe that any real Torah institution
would act in the way that you describe. Unless there is another side to the story, you were
terribly mistreated and those who acted that way will suffer terrible consequences min
Hashamayim - if they haven’t already and this is written in this past week Parsha in connection
with the passage “Kol almana v’yosom al ta’anun”…. “You shall not afflict all widows and
orphans I shall hear their cry”….. Our sages teach that this pertains to all people.
The tuition issue is a very complex one. But it is a shame that in our day, when its been
estimated that one million dollars are being spent on hotels for Pesach, aside from all the
mid-winter vacations, that Yeshivas are still struggling and need high tuitions in order to
operate. But that is a separate issue.
I hope you are able to get past your hurt and should probably go to see Rebbetzin Jungreis and
seek her advice as to how to put it all behind you. You are, Baruch Hashem, young, and have a
long life ahead of you to create a beautiful Jewish home, which ultimately, you will build for
Rabbi Aaron M. Brafman
Minahel, Yeshiva of Far Rockaway - Derech Ayson Rabbinical Seminary
Part II It’s Time to Wrap Up - My Concluding Thoughts
My Dear Friend:
I empathize with your pain. Indeed, there is no justification for the humiliation and anguish that
you and your mom were put through. Having said all this however, I do not believe that your
experience is a typical one, I would like to think that, in situations such as yours, compassion
would be exercised by the administration of every yeshiva. After all, we are “rachmanim u b’nei
rachmanim” - “compassionate ones and the children of compassionate ones”, and mechanchim -
educators, as well as the balabatim - lay people who comprise the tuition committees would
reflect such timeless values, to say nothing of the responsibility to make a Torah education
available to every Jewish child.
Sadly, this was not the case in your situation; the time has come for you to move on. I ask you to
do this for your own benefit, for your own future, for anger and bitterness are poisons that thwart
growth, distort thinking and impede living a constructive life - so get on with your life! I believe
that it would prove helpful if you could learn to distinguish between those who genuinely
reflect Torah values and those who masquerade in Torah garb, for those people who
treated you and your mom so miserably, do not reflect Torah values. There is a story that
my beloved husband, Rabbi Meshulem HaLevi Jungreis, Ztl, often related that illustrates
A wealthy soap manufacturer, who professed to be an agnostic, met a rabbi one day and
arrogantly challenged: “Rabbi, your Torah is useless. It simply has no effect. Just look at all the
nasty people in the Jewish community. I really can’t understand why you continue to teach it.”
“My Torah is perfect,” the rabbi responded. “It is your soap that is useless. If I were you, I would
get out of the soap business.”
“What are you talking about?” the manufacturer retorted. My soap is the best on the market.”
“Well, let’s take a walk and discuss it further,” the rabbi suggested.
The rabbi and the manufacturer walked to an adjacent park where they proceeded to watch some
children playing in a sandbox. “Just look at those children!” the rabbi exclaimed. “They are so
messy and dirty. Obviously, your soap is useless.”
“How can you say that?” the manufacturer protested loudly. My soap is the greatest! It’s just that
those kids haven’t used it yet.
My Torah is also the best,” the Rabbi answered, but those who are mean spirited, have yet to use
Try to bear this story in mind and don’t put all yeshivas and educators under the same umbrella!”
My revered father, HaRav HaGaon, HaTzaddik, Avraham HaLevi Jungreis, Z’tl, often told us
that, if it was our lot to undergo a painful experience, then Hashem must have sent it our way so
that we might help others and protect them from experiencing that same trauma. Consider
starting a support group for single abandoned mothers who are unable to pay tuition for their
children. Your letter has evoked much interest, and I am certain that there are many balabatim
who would respond to such a worthy cause. Taking a cue from my father, I often say, “If you
have broken eggs, don’t cry over them – make an omelet! Convert the darkness into light, the
curse into blessing, and bring hope to those who feel hopeless. I must tell you that when I read
your letter, I was not only shocked by the callousness of your school administration, but also by
the apathy of the families of your friends in the community. Where were they? Why didn’t any
of them protest? Why didn’t they set up a scholarship fund on your behalf? Fill that vacuum,
establish that support group, and you will, b’ezrat Hashem, be able to protect children from such
painful and damaging neglect.
I would also suggest that you act upon Rabbi Brafman’s suggestion and come to see me
personally. Perhaps I could help you embark upon a new life and even find a shidduch. Having
said all this, we cannot deny that yeshivas today are in real crisis. Costs are exorbitant, and most
families have all they can do just to make ends meet. At the same time however, today’s
American Jewish community is probably the wealthiest in history, and it is deplorable that
yeshivas must struggle just to survive because` we fail to realize our communal responsibility.
Ideally speaking, if our tzedukas were properly channeled, every child would be the beneficiary
of a Torah education, and we would succeed in stemming the tide of assimilation which is
tragically consuming our people. Perhaps your letter will awaken some people and spur them to
action, and if that happens, your suffering will not have been in vain.
Please accept my best wishes for a constructive, purposeful, meaningful Jewish Torah life.
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
EXPOSE MOLESTERS CHIMES IN WITH HIS THOUGHTS
We must burn the “Chometz”- otherwise known as the “phoney Jew”, NOW!!!- (and we will, I guarantee it!).
‘Ani Bocheh al aila’
Exposemolesters promise to you today, a few days before pesach - is that we will expunge, strike
out, erase, or mark for deletion every Jew or non-Jew that poses a danger and threat to the lives
of Jewish men, women, and children. No Rabbi will be immune. No Yeshiva will be exempt. No
organization will insusceptible from our lashes and our attacks. I thank Hashem everyday, the
almighty king of all kings, for have given me this most unique opportunity - to help save many
Jewish Neshomos, both in the physical and spiritual form. I accept and embrace this challenge
with open arms, and pray reverently that I live up to it.
It has been almost a year since I started this blog. Many Lives were saved in this short span of
time, and many in the first few weeks since this blog opened up to the public. I have received
hundreds of e-mails from supporters, adversaries, victims, partisans, and the loony-bins. I’ve
received my fair share of hate mail as well.
I Thank G-D so much, for I have been blessed with much support, and so many helpers, in this
very important and sacred task of saving Jewish lives and neshamas. My gratitude to these
people holds no bounds. They are my allies and my confidants. Many of my insiders bring back
an abundance and wealth of information that is used in my methods to smoke out the enemies of
I always shake my head when I hear stupidity questions by ignorant people who try to downplay
the offenders offense; such as this one: how may victims were there? Translation of the question
is as follows: If it is only one victim, than who really gives two hoots. So let’s try to understand
this backwards logic.
Inside the mind of the “phsychotic jew”:
It is all right to molest and abuse, just make sure that you don’t go over one victim (this
one is on the house!). And in case there are two or more victims, you must have a backup
plan, like threatening the victim and his family. You must cover your ass at all times.
Remember that it’s a good idea to blame the victim for having had the audacity to point
you out as his tormenter. The victim had the gall to strike back at you for all the pain you
caused him. It’s mamesh a chutzpah. Your pride is hanging in the balance. Your kovod will
disappear. Everyone will know you for the true dirt bag you really are, and that scares you
immensely. Therefore,You must cover your tracks at all costs. Lie, cheat, defraud, and
swindle your way through this mess you created, if that’s what it will take to save your
reputation. Always remember, the word ‘deny’. Dwell upon it. Make sure to say, that these
victims you abused, are former disgruntled students who for no apparent reason at all -
have a personal vendetta against you. It’s so imperative that you blame the victim, if you
want any chance in beating these felony counts that should really land you behind bars.
People will always have doubt if you play the deny game, so don’t be afraid to use it to
your advantage. After-all, you will need every edge you can get, because otherwise you
won’t be able to stick your mikvah drenched hands into boys underwear anymore. And
you also won’t be able to continue your hobby of physically and emotionally abusing
children. You cannot permit that scenario from ever becoming a reality. Right now you are
being saved by the stature of limitations, and that is only until congress votes to lift the
SOL that will give the many victims you abused an unlimited time window to file court
papers. You also must be very concerned and careful for those victims who are still within
the stature. So continue the sexual violence, continue the abusing, just make sure to CYA. It is in your best interest to do so
Our targets marked for cleansing, have not the barest presentiment of the downfall, that they will ultimately incur.
My father Ztv’kl was niftar 5 ½ years ago almost to the day. The same month and year
coincidentally, or not so-coincidentally, that the two tall buildings filled with more than 3,000
people inside of it exploded. It was a day that changed the world forever. The galaxy and
dynamics took a huge hit. Perhaps it should have been viewd as an awakening call for all
mankind - to strive and achieve just and honest means of dealing bain adam lechaveiro and bain
adam lemokom. Perhaps it was meant as a message for all Jews to repent. Perhaps 09/11/01 was
a warning from Hashem to the people who have crooked and crippled the Jewish religion, that
they too will be obliterated in the not so distant future.
I ask respectfully, Dear Rebbitzin (shetichyi ad meah vesrim shana vomaloah), What are we
going to do about the ones who have molested the true meaning of Judiasim? Should they be
allowed to continue doing it? And at what cost? How many more lives need to be demolished and
ruptured before we finally clean house and get rid of these asher yotzar numb-brains? Please
give me one good reason why we should sit back and continue to allow these individuals to
pollute and corrupt our environment, especially the Jewish sect of it? I am astounded by the
amount of non-exposure and the lack of media attention that physical and emotional abuse
receives, never mind the sexual abuse portion of it. I’m dumbfounded by the hijacking of the
kashrus industry. Kashrus and Tarfus is at its best, and on full display, in Brooklyn and Monsey
Ny respectively. How does ten years go by without the Rabbinical authorities knowledge, that the
chicken and meat being served to the Jewish population, was actually pure treifa meat? How?
The inept here, are those poskim, rabonim, and gedolim - who under their reign, this disguise of
Judiasim took place. What’s most disturbing about al this, is that it copuld have been stopped
years earlier. The Rabonim KNEW about this all along. That’s offensive and inexcusable conduct
which is unbecoming of a rabbinical authority. I’m perplexed by the callousness of it.
The sin of being Mezake the Rabim is like a virus, it spreads rapidly. Too many Neshoms were
brought down by the act of consuming treif meat over all these years.
So when you factor in all the elements; you are left with Jews eating non-kosher meat. You have
rabbi’s molesting and abusing kids. You have shofar blowers who sell you treifa meat. You have
Rabbi’s handing out kashrus certifications to anybody who can pay the price. You have Rabbi’s
who knowingly look the other way from the crime scene.
They KNOW that they are negligent, and don’t ever want YOU to realize it. So their hope is; that
by not admitting to their crimes, nobody will ever find out the truth. Such cowards they are.
But how can all this be? How? Is there some sort of heter that allow Yeshiva’s to lift a hand upon
one of their students? Who ever would have ever thought that ruthlessly beating Yeshiva students
would score you some bonus points and a promotion. You mean, all the slaps across the face,the
punches to the stomach, the pinching of the cheeks, is of a becoming demeanor for a yeshiva
establishment these days? Is pulling and choking students considered rational and normal
behavior? Where do you draw the line? How about publicly humiliating a student, just because
they could, is that mutar min hatorah? What psak din is there that permits one to emotionally
abuse a student?
There is something inherently wrong with the Yeshiva system today, the question is if anybody
really cares enough to do ditty squat about it, and I think we all know the answer to that, not too
many give a damn.
Rebbettzin: I have heard from colleagues that your dear mother a’h would never have permitted
someone to exhibit any form of physical abuse towards children. In fact she would call a staff
member into her office if she saw such on occurrence, and would explain to them how counter-productive such abuse is. She sure was an advocate in molding Jewish values into our everyday
living. We so desperately need more role models such as yourself and your mother.
My Dear father a’h, was blocked and stopped from fulfilling his task by people who thought they
can make him overlook it. They figured dead wrong. Too bad for those butchers of children,
because our family and company have inherited in his sacred work, and are trying to emulate in
his righteous and holy ways. This includes bringing down those Black Hatters, and those
bastard’s responsible for killing and destroying the Jewish Religion. Our techniques in dealing
with the molesters and abusers produces all ypes of embarrassing and devastating results which
are working to halt the enemy dead in its tracks. Yes, It’s working b’h. We have accomplished
much good, and experienced much to our pleasure and displeasure, great things and terrible
things. We will proceed with a vengeance to go on to expose all the evil-doers, and will shower
much praise upon the deserving and righteous ones. We have MUCH unfinished business at
hand. We accomplished a lot, but there are still many holes that need to be filled. There are still
pedophiles lurking in Yeshiva’s who are preying on children. And there are still Rabbi’s and
Roshei Yeshiva’s who refuse to do anything about it. The inmates are running the asylum. The
yeshiva’s govern themselves and thereby think they can breach all moral standards and still get
away with it. It’s become an absolute circus!
Dear Rebbetzin Ad meha vesrim shana; I have too much respect and admiration for the good you
do, and your love for all mankind, to think of nothing less than the nicest things about you. I’m
very fond of you. However, after reading your response to that truly needy girl - I feel that you
may have erred. It seems that you are not truly and fully aware of the dangerous predicament and
negative effects that Tuition madness has had on Klal Yisroel. Allow me to make it crystal clear
that `A Blight On All Of Us` is much more common of a headache than this just one particular
case. There are hundreds, and even thousands of similar such plights as this moneyless girl and
her mother. To classify it as not the norm is wishful thinking.
The turbulence and roller coaster ride that one encounters, after experiencing such inhumanity, as
you could imagine is beyond devastating. It’s after shock effects are heartfelt throughout ones
life. It is extremely hurtful to me and to anyone who would just bother to care and value a human
life. It is much more prevalent a disease than you or Rabbi Brafman have acknowledged to.
Without acknowledging the problem or seeing it for what it is Dear Rebbetzin, there will never be
a remedy for this blight. Those in a position of power who abused it time and time again must go
now. No negotiations. They must be handed their walking papers and be directed to the nearest
unemployment line. They are responsible for all this muck, this slide in Judiasim, and must be
held accountable for their actions; or inactions.
I was recently told over a story by a neighbor of mine that took place many years ago before
Pesach. She recalled with tears in her eyes how my father a’h had personally carried heavy food
packages that he was giving to them in honor of pesach. She asked him why he had shlepped the
heavy boxes all by himself up all those flight of stairs? Why didn’t you wait for my husband to
come home Rabbi, he would have gladly come to you? Answered my father ztv’kl, “do you think
I’m going to pass up on this Mitzvah placed right before me”? (I was reminded of this story, by
carrying bxes into the car of this same lady, as the family since moved elsewhere).
This brought to mind another story that happened also before a Yom Tov, where my father a’h
bought a pair of new shoes for a boy who’s parents had no means to pay for it. But it was how my
dear father a’h came to buy those pair of shoes that really impresses me most. While saying
“good shabbos” to everyone in shul one week, he was able to notice with his limited eye site, that
this boy whose family he knew well, had very worn out shoes.
When I spoke at my fathers hesped. I told over my favorite story that I always treasure, because I
learned a very valuable lesson from it. The lesson I learned is that a smile can be the difference
maker in a persons life. (This pertains to smiling at gentiles as well, called a kiddush hashem). I
was in shul one Shabbos when I noticed my father smiling at a Bachur who seemed new to
Yiddeshkeit, which made this young mans face light up in all directions. At the time this made me
feel very uncomfortable. I remember feeling foolishly embarrassed by what was such a nice
gesture by my father a’h. I was just concentrating on what was gashmios. I wasn’t used to seeing
people smiling at pure strangers. When I grew and became wiser, I came to realize what was my
father’s pure Ahavas Yisroel. It has truly changed my attitude and way of thinking. He taught me
that one lost Jewish Soul is one Soul too many. He coached me into being nice to everybody
while at the same time still being able to respect Hashem’s Torah and his teachings; as was
relayed to us by G-D through Moshe Rabainu to Klal Yisroel. He taught me what Hachnosas
Orchim really meant; as he and my dear mother truly practiced it.
When I was just a baby, a shabbos guest of ours ate up all the chicken my mother, Shetichyeh ad
meah vesrim shanah vomaluh, had prepared. Enough chicken that should have comfortably fed
about ten guests. This guest then went on to complain about the lack of food and other things. Did
this stop my father from bringing back more hungry Jews from shul on the Sabbath? Of course
not. Someone who practices and emulates the ways of our forefathers - avrom, yitzchok, and
yakov, is assured a big chelek in olam abah. Someone who is responsible for being mekarev
someone to Judiasim; reaps the benefit of great rewards. How true that holds for someone being
responsible for hundreds of baal tshuva’s. Someone like my father a’h, who to his great credit and
achievement made so many people embrace Judiasm and mankind.
How I wish we had more like my father in the world, surely more yidden would be saved!
With all due respect to Rabbi Aaron M. Brafman and Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis response to the
girl with this heartbreaking tuition story `A Blight On All Of Us`, I would like to dwell on some of
the things they responded back with to this girl. With respect:
First of all Rabbi Aaron Brafman leads off by sympathizing with this traumatized girl , a dutiful
move on his part, but then he quickly proceeds to show you why Rabonim today are SO OUT OF
TOUCH with society and reality, particularly in not being able to grasp the severity of a situation
when it stares them right in the face. If Rabbi Brafman is truly heartbroken, then let him do
something DRASTIC to prevent it from ever happening again. Don’t just sit there while Jewish
Neshamos are being taken down.
“Lo samod al daam reyecha” that’s what’s written in our holy Torah, but history has shown that
many Jewish People have betrayed Hashem’s Torah, specifically when pertaining to the verse that
says “don’t stand over the blood of your neighbor”. If one see a fellow Jew that is in mortal
danger, then you are obligated to help them. Anything less then that means that you are just as
guilty as the one who pulled the trigger that killed the Jew you could have saved, BUT DIDN’T.
I have the attitude that if you are not part of the solution - than you are part of the problem.
How dare the Rabonim and talmiday chachomim try to impose their chumra’s on us while at the
same time not campaigning for chumra’s to bring an end to the Rebbe abuse travesty. Why are the
gedolim not condemning the powers of these yeshiva’s for sweeping these crimes under the rug
for all these years? Why are the gedolim not reprimanding the Yeshiva’s in any way, shape, or
form - for knowingly employing an accused Rabbi child molester/child beater and leaving him in a
position to continue abusing more children? Why are the gedolim turning a blind eye when it
entails saving the life of a Jewish child? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Please tell me why.
It says in avoth “emor m’eaat vasey arbay (Say little and do much). Except for a small percentage
who display such character and class, there are no other Jews who fit that description. Judaism is
beautiful, Dear Rebbetzin. Our Torah is great and holy. I think we all can agree on that. My gripe
is with the people who have warped our holy Torah. The ones who have perverted it so. I hate the
screw-ups who permit and have allowed child abuse to run rampant in so many of the Yeshiva
Institutions, permitting so all under the guise of Judaism no less. These are not real Jews. They are
making a mockery of our sacred and beautiful Torah. It is absolutely a despicable crime. There
will be hell to pay for the slaughterers of true Torah Judaism, the killers of children. Hashem
always comes to the defense of a Jewish Neshama who cries out for help. ‘Al aileh ani bochey’ for
these (my children) I cry.
The clerisy of a nation, that is, its learned men, whether poets, or philosophers, or scholars,
and all the way down to the ‘simpleton’ Jew, all have a duty and responsibility to stop child
abuse in whatever ways they can. Keeping silent and not doing anything constructive to
correct the problem - is a sin on of itself. It’s very wrong. It is shameful that nothing has
been done to repair the damage. The number of fraudulent Yeshiva Institutions are
astronomical. It tears my heart apart and I have shed many tears over it.
In the Tarfus industry - Kehila Tarfus, Rabbi Schinermann’s gang, exemplify adjectives
such as - mercenary, money-grubbing jerks. And Gornisht mit Gornisht, another kasrus
authority is another prime example of this unrighteousness, this abomination, this impurity
and blemish that is affecting the klal. The Kashrut as we know it STINKS. Glatt meat was
discovered as actually being pure treif in many recent events, and also in similar cases dating
back for several years. And these treifa chicken and meat scandals are becoming ever more
common. And the vaad haganovim don’t give a darn at all- as long as the gelt keeps pouring
Prices of food are double and triple the price right before Passover (like it isn’t before
haha), but why? Does potato starch really cost so much money? Is pesach salt more costly
than all-year round salt? Is pesach Mayonnaise tastier than other mayonnaise? Is flour and
water for Matzos more expensive than car gasoline? Is the ‘ou-p’ kasrus certification on
pesach food products coming from the direct supervision of the Arizal Hakodosh, or from
Moshe rabainu; that it should be worth so much money?
To speak words is easy and simple. But, to hold true, you must also follow through on those
words. Not such an easy task anymore for most people, especially the ones whose Kovod and
Pride are at stake. I’m plainly sick and tired of certain Rabonim trying to speak words and taking
no action against those who are demolishing the Torah.
Palestinians and arabs are experts at playing the media to their advantage. They speak of all sorts
of “peace” proposals. But yet, their words are just lies and should be viewed as illegitimate and
untrustworthy, as they have not the slightest of intentions of keeping to their words and promises.
This brings me to my next point. Before fixing a problem you must first diagnose it. The
crestfallen child victims know what must be done to prevent more Jewish tragedies, after all they
carry their pain and shame with them everyday of their lives. The victimizers of Jewish Children,
Jewish men, and Jewish women, are trying to deviate from the truth to save their reputation, and
by doing so are unwilling to acknowledge that there even is a problem. This is called running
scared. You can run but you cannot hide. That’s a stern warning to all the imitation and counterfeit
Jews out there. Every shmuck has his day!
What ever happened to the word called “ADMIT”? Did it conveniently get deleted from the
Rabbi’s dictionary? Over 40 Yom Kippur’s have come and gone without even a remote apology
from the victimizers of children. Denial, is the name of the game that they play. Their pompous
attitude is destroying peoples lives. So a kid got molested by his Rebbe , who cares right? So the
vaad haganovim are lying and stealing your money- not a big deal, right? So yeshiva’s behave
worse than animals - What else is new? So kehila Tarfus and other unworthy hechsherim, are busy
stamping your meat and chicken with false kashrus certifications, so what? So it’s easier to pay a
“rabbi” to annul a Jewish marriage than it is to get a driver’s license these days, does anyone really
care? Kashrus certifications are more readily accessible than are decent human beings, it is the sad
truth. It is hard to find a Yeshiva that really gives a hoot about the children they are empowered to
educate and protect. The Yeshiva’s are run purely as a business for profit.
Money First - and children last. The diamonds entrusted to their care is neglected and abused
constantly. It’s just another day in the neighborhood fellas. That is until we force change for the
The Torah Institutions are occupied with harassing you the parents for tuition, in order to fund the
salary of an employee who happens to be a Child Molester Rebbe, among other things. YOUR
money is supporting “Yeshiva’s” that are most likely to be involved in any or all of the following
a) Guilty for knowingly employing, harboring, and sheltering a dangerous child predator aka the
Rebbe/Child molester (for over 40 years in one instance) - despite the numerous
complaints reported to Yeshiva School officials, Rabbinnical Authorities, gedolei hador,
yeshivaleit, and the simpleton Jew.
b) Guilty of various counts of child endengerment Felonies
c) Guilty of Perjury
d) Guilty of money laundering
e) Guilty of major fraud and corruption
f) Guilty of RISHUS and PURE WICKEDNESS
g) Guilty of stealing your money and sholom bayis away
h) Guilty of conning the Government
i) Guilty of perverting the Torah and distorting the truth
i) Guilty for causing so many young men to lose interest in yiddeshkiet and Judiasim
j) Guilty for being an accessory to violent crimes against children
k) GUILTY of GROSS NEGLIGENCE
l) Guilty of committing crimes against children that are decreed and very deserving of misa bdei
shomayim, and certainly guaranteeing also, that they will have no portion in olam haba.
Think about the following story as if it were your own child:
A Rabbi sexually molested a boy, robbing him of his innocence and his childhood. The Rebbe in
essence killed this child and sentenced him to live and relive a living nightmare for the rest of his
life. The damage inflicted on this child will haunt him throughout his life. Forever! Not only does
the victim suffer the most, but it also goes on to affect his entire family. So in the process of
killing a child, the one that molested this boy, and the ones who covered up the crimes, are not
only responsible for the destroying this child’s life, but also for ruining the lives of his family.
This is not science fiction or fantasy I am writing. THIS IS AS REALAND BRUTAL as the truth
gets. Who knows how many generations will ultimately be ruined because of the Yeshiva and
Rabbi crimes? I cannot begin to imagine. I would really hate to know the answer to that. One
Jewish life is far too much already. When clueless minds try to minimize abuse with all sorts of
excuses and rationalizations, it only rubs more salt to the wounds of the victims. It’s totally
Rather than act to fix the problem when it presents itself, the Daas Torah aka Daas Chamorim,
choose to “sweep it under the rug” once again as usual. Instead of confessing and owning up to
their crimes, Yeshiva institutions do the complete opposite. Instead of rising up to the occasion
and doing something about the rampant and ever spreading corruptness in the Yesivah Institutions,
Gedolei Hador today issue psaks that permit sexual molestation upon a child providing the
offender avoids penetration.
Then there is Rabbi Balkany, a true mental midget, who displayed his true colors on the Zev
Brenner show. Kolko gets 90% benefit of the doubt? What kind of powder is he snorting. Balkany
wouldn’t know the truth if it hit him in the head. His ignorance and tolerance for child molesters,
speaks volumes about his character, or lack thereof.
The psaks that the gedolim and rabonim do not issue is something that should greatly concern
every good Jew. How are we supposed to expect Gedolei yisroel to respond accordingly and act
righteously to any pikuach nefesh situation, particularly the tuition disaster discussed on this
thread? High tuition is small fish when compared to the big one, like child abuse - which scares
all these so called “Rabonim”. It’s called - cover up the sexual abuse syndrome. There is no psak
that says to stop overcharging parents who can ill afford a high cost Jewish Education Program.
There is no psak that forbids a rebbe accused of sexual misconduct to be relieved of his duties
pending the outcome of an investigation by the PROPER authorities (meaning not the Yeshiva’s
who are nogeah bedovor, and also not most of the Rabbonim who are too themselves nogeah
There is a psak in place which will bring ‘shabbos generators’. There are psaks such as forbidding
the internet. They came up with the ‘tone down the simchas’ psak. There are psaks about where to
carry on shabbos. There are so many psaks, many of them unnessecary and irrelevant. where’s
one that’s actually going to save these abuse victims? Where’s the one that will make the
difference between life and death?
Why are the priorities of these Rabonim so mixed up? Klal Yisroel needs them to help, not hurt
them. Children are dying and Rabbi’s are lying. Where is the outcry from the Jewish people about
this (except for a select few brave ones)? The gedolim and rabonim have repeatedly failed to act in
so many cases of reported sexual abuse and continue to do nothing about it as of this writing. The
Yeshivah institutions themselves are the perpetrators and the accessory to these crimes against
children, so of course they will lie tooth and nail to save their pride and reputations.
It’s just a few more little boys getting groped and fondled by their rebbe, no big deal. Put it in the
books as collateral damage. Yes, indeed that is the twisted thought process which regulates the
minds and brains of those who are entrusted by us to help us serve G-D better. It’s true and sad but
that’s really the mentality that these fakers adhere to - even at the high cost of Jewish lives, which
is quite evident.
Again, with all due respect to Rabbi Brafman, why does he have to stick in some unnecessary
verbiage, that seeks to suggests that this poor tormented and tortured soul may have fabricated her
experience and that of her mothers? We all know that mother and daughter were under the rule of
greedy and wicked school officials, ‘Jews’ who give not one damn iota about the lives that they
burn. Without ever first acknowledging that a misdeed was indeed committed, there will be no
remedy for the tuition fiasco. Without admitting first that there is a problem, and that it needs to
get corrected right away, Klal Yisroel will continue to be stuck in the mud.
Rabbi Brafman did bring up three key words - ‘real Torah institution’. These real Torah
Institutions are the ones we seldom hear about because there are far too few of them that actually
exist anymore. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack if you ask my opinion.
Does Rabbi Brafman seek to suggest that most Yeshiva’s today have a good and just system in
place that does not include making a parent’s life a living hell? The fact is Tuition Robbery by
overzealous and shady Yeshiva institutions is an ever growing epidemic and crisis that has been
the “standard” procedure for over four decades and counting.
Mothers with grandchildren have recently recalled severe mind playing maneuvers during their
school days from their school administration. When their parents couldn’t afford the hefty tuition
rate in this Monsey Ny School, they were treated to the same kind of depravity that so many other
children and their parents were/are subjected to. The ice veins, the coldness, the disregard of so
many Jewish Souls, is something that only G-D can forgive for. As a famous actor once said in a
movie and it is well worth repeating:
“Forgiveness is between you and G-D , my job is to arrange that meeting”.
I strongly doubt that any of the victims from the schools, can ever forgive their abusers for their
callousness, their unrepentance, their heart of stone, their un-professionalism, their
uncompassionate attitude, their ruthlessness, their reckless endangerment, and their manipulation
an deceit of Yideshkeit. These perpetrators will have to wait and see if G-D the all merciful one
can forgive them.
Our intentions through this blog and the other measures which we take - is intended to expose
molesters, as well as anything else which is vital in saving lives and True Torah Judiasim as it was
given over to us at Har Sinai : NO YESHIVA OR INDIVIDUAL WILL BE IMMUNE IN
THIS PROCESS. WE WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES, FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES,
TO ACHIEVE OUR GOALS!
The ruining of so many Jewish lives, many of which end up leaving yiddeshkeit and Judiasim all
together - is due to many elements of corruption that is occurring and have occurred at many of the
so-called “prestigious” Yesivah institutions. The advice from ‘daas torah’ that justify abuse in any
form, and allows a perpetrator to continue his act of offending, is a sin only Hakodosh Baruch Hu
can forgive for.
For instance, child molestation, a top priority issue that is being ignored and shoved aside by most
gedolei yisroel of our times, is heartbreaking to me and I would think it would also hold true to
most civilized societies. And Sholom bayis problems over a Parents inability to pay for tuition is
an epidemic that must be stopped by producing the proper vaccine for it.
Sholom Bayis problems that occur because a child was molested by a “Rabbi” is a topic not much
talked about, but you can bet your boots that authors can write many books about the many boys
and girls that were abused by Rabbi’s. They can write a masterpiece including all the attempts by
the accused Yeshiva Institutions to sweep their crimes under the rug. They can also write a long
meggilah on all the horror tuition stories, there are no shortage of them. To suggest it happens only
once in a blue moon, and that only one or two such tales exist, is manipulating the data that says
Many Former Yeshiva students recall missing weeks and even months of school because their
parents had no way to pay for the Jewish Education which they so wanted for their kids. As one
mother interviewed recalled and recounted in detail, how the “money man” in the Yeshiva would
yell at her father and mother all the time. He had no conscience - this money collector for the
Yeshiva, she says. Even if my Parents would beg to not kick me out of school, they did so anyway
until they could squeeze more tuition money out of them. Sometimes I would be out for weeks at
a time. It was so embarrassing. I cannot begin to tell you.
It’s just a business matter for these “Yeshiva” money making machine establishments. The fact of
the matter is that most yeshiva institutions have gevirim that cover their expenses. The Yeshiva’s
shall not depend, nor rely on Tuition payment from parents period, because if they do expect it
from them, then they are truly NOT A REAL TORAH INSTITUTION. Whatever money they do
snatch away from those parents who were/are of able means to afford the hefty tuition price tag, is
either mismanaged and misused towards shady government grants, or pocketed by corrupt
Yeshivah authorities for their own personal needs or pleasures.
This poor high school girl that wrote to the Rebbetzin, was subjected to extreme humiliation in
front of her teacher and classmates. Unfortunately, the trauma she endured is all too common a
practice that still exists today by these supposedly great “Yeshiva Torah Institutions”. This is NOT
merely an isolated case that some child was punished for the sin of their parents (or in this case
Parent) for not being able to fork over the $30,000 asking price, or the $20,000 Tuition
requirement, or the $12,000, and even the $7,000. It is disturbing that a “real torah institution”
would place their monetary interests before the best interests of the child. That alone represents
negative vibes, because a real yeshiva torah institution should have more Bitochon and more
Emunah than that.
There are sadly MORE AND MORE REJECTS AND BUMS THAT ARE OVERCROWDING
THE JEWISH COMMUNITIES. You know why? These Jewish souls that stray off the path are a
direct result and product of the Jewish horror stories such as this poor girl in the story to the
Rebbitzin. They are also in many instances survivors of sexual and/or physical abuse endured while
attending Yeshiva Institutions when they were kids, ironically by the very same ones that are
demanding these outrageous tuition figures. Instead of Yeshiva’s showing compassion they showed
aggression. Instead of love thy neighbor, they choose to love thy gelt.
Schools generally milk every last dollar out of the parents for what you can bet is going to be a
crappy Jewish education anyway.
Yes, there are many Jews who live exotic and lavish lifestyles. And yes they spend MILLIONS (a
far much bigger number than Rabbi Brafman chose) of dollars on extravagant Pesach hotel resorts.
And yes theses same people are constantly busy trying to out do the next one with the latest perks
and odds and ends on the market. They spend the loads of money they have (and in many cases
even spending the money they don’t have and going into huge debt because of it) by foolishly
wasting it on the nonsense that THIS WORLD has to offer, rather than using the gift of being
wealthy that Hashem was so kind to bestow upon them, for more worldly things, as in THE
WORLD TO COME.
Indeed the question was once asked, which is considered a bigger test by G-D?
1) One who is wealthy OR
2) One who is a pauper
The common answer given is that although one may think that the pauper should win this
contest - the opposite is true. It is a much bigger test for the rich then it is for the poor. A poor man
has no chance for the luxurious things that this world has to offer, while the wealthy man can
practically buy his way into whatever his heart lust’s and desires. So then why is it, that it is a
bigger nisoyon for the Wealthy individual than it is for the down trotted pauper, when it would
seem that it should be the other way around? Because someone blessed with wealth must know how
to allocate the money he’s been given by G-D. That is the true test. The pauper has no money, and
therefore is not faced with that big nisoyon.
One of the most common lapses in judgment - is that a person wants to be looked upon with honor
and prestige by others. The luxurious lifestyle they lead is more for perception than out of
necessity. It’s all about the ‘look’, ‘style’, and “fashion”. Whether it comes to building a brand
new mansion/house in which to liver in, or whether it’s about being up to date with the newest
Mercedes or BMW lined up in front of the other fancy cars occupying their driveway (let’s give it
to them, these German Nazi’s sure know how to build a car), these people sure know how to waste
Yet, given all of that data, the Yeshiva’s and Jewish day school institutions, have no legs to stand
on when they go ahead and charge a huge sum of tuition money to the majority of the parents who
are just simple and G-D fearing Jews that just want their child to grow up and turn into a Moshe
Rabainu at best and a simpleton Jew at worst.
However, if a yeshiva feels so strongly that a monetary issue is more important than a Jewish soul
receiving a fair torah education, than woe is to that school, because they by their actions are
showing that they have NO TRUST IN G-D. And they by their actions will be held responsible for
the impediment of countless Jewish Neshama’s. No wonder so many kids grow up and have
difficulty understanding why they should keep the laws of the Torah.
So because this poor little yeshiva student’s parents can’t flip the bill, and because they can’t pay
the $7,000 - $30,000 price tag that the Schools are demanding for just one child, does it therefore
makes sense to impede and play on the emotions of this child? Is it logical to destroy and deny a
Yeshiva student a torah education just because his/her parents can’t afford or are behind in previous
I have no doubt that Rabbi Brafman is a good man, but he and his fellow clergy members continue
to not grasp the severity and reality of the situation, by either downplaying a huge problem, or by
rationalizing it and excusing it when confronted with it. I use the word “Confronted” because that is
usually the only way the Klal will achieve somewhat of a response such as this letter received. In
most cases the victim’s cries go unheard and their silence bares the pain that noone will ever know
about. This is true in this particular story of the girl who was still hurting from her ordeal at the
hands of the Yeshiva scavengers. And it is also very true in cases of child sexual molestation where
both, the molester himself, and those who participated in silencing the issue, are usually given the
benefit of the doubt (whatever non-existent doubt there is, it’s still always there they claim (Ask
Rabbi Balkany he’ll tell you). There is a 10% chance that a molester is innocent so therefore
believe not the 90% proof that says he is guilty (by Rabbi Balkany;s standards).
Same thing over here in the tuition epidemic where un-rational expectations and burdens are being
placed upon Parents who would very much like for their children to receive an up-standing Torah
and Secular Education but cannot afford the high cost to do so. That, Dear Rabbi Brafman, is a
HUGE PROBLEM that needs to be solved and addressed through alternative methods that do not
involve a financial burden on Parents who’s only fair request is a first class Torah and secular
education for their children, something every Parent wants and that every child deserves. How can
this be achieved? There s is a 90% chance, that almost any Yeshiva you could mention out there,
has probably been involved in a dispute where a Parent was being threatened to pay their
outstanding tuition balance or risk having their children thrown out until the funds were handed
over to the Yeshiva.
“It’s hard for me to believe that any real Torah institution would act in the way that you
describe.” and then also adds “Unless there is another side to the story, you were terribly
Again with all due respect, why is it so hard for you Rabbi Brafman, to believe that any real Torah
institution would act in the manner that this girl described. What, are we living in the times of
Moshe Rabainu? You NEVER heard of another heartbreaking tuition story similar to this girl,
before now? I find that very hard to believe. I have personally heard of MANY tuition horror
stories and I truly do not believe that this girls story is an ‘isolated’ case as you make it out to be. I
think that this is an all too common problem in our Yeshivot today, real and not.
I also do not understand why it is necessary to add “Unless there is another side to the story”.
To me that is in a very subtle way casting some doubt on this girls story, as if this girl would go out
of her way to mis-portray how she was treated, when in fact it’s pretty obvious that she is speaking
from her heart and her soul. Hasn’t this girl been through enough already, why must you rub salt
into the wounds by sort of questioning the credibility of this girl by saying “Unless there is another
side to this story”?
Then you touch on another issue:
“The tuition issue is a very complex one. But it is a shame that in our day, when its been
estimated that one million dollars are being spent on hotels for Pesach, aside from all the mid-winter vacations, that Yeshivas are still struggling and need high tuitions in order to operate.
But that is a separate issue.”
While I cannot disagree with that assessment Rabbi Brafman, I find it interesting that you choose a
defense of the schools for the Yeshivot tuition crisis in your response to this poor girls pain she
endured. Might it have been more effective to admit that Yehisva Tuition is in fact too high, and
that in many instances the Yeshivot are very much negligent and uncompassionate in dealing with
the Parents that cannot afford to pay these outrageous prices? Might it have been more appropriate
to take a stronger stance against Yehisvahs and proclaiming that yes indeed they do act worse than
goyim, and that they need to be held responsible for that? What’s the matter Rabbi Brafman, too
many people go to hotels on pesach, so that gives the yeshiva’s a right to alienate this poor girl and
her mother? Too many people go on mid-winter vacations; so it gives the Yeshivot a right to
overcharge parents and act like the mafia to the MAJORITY of frum Parents who don’t live such
lavish lifestyles? I’m disappointed in your response Rabbi Brafman.
Perhaps one of the main reasons why Yeshiva institutions struggle financially today, is due
largely to their misuse and mismanaging of their funds and budgets, aside from all the shtick and
hanky panky activities they try to sneak over the U.S Government and G-D fearing Jews so they
can be richer at the bank, or so they think.
A good yeshiva will accumulate the necessary funding through the many Gevirim who will
support a Yeshiva who deserves to be supported. A good Yeshiva WILL NOT and SHOULD
NOT rely solely on outrageous tuition prices to cover their expenses. They should rely on Hashem
first and foremost and hope that he will supply them with enough money to run the school in an
erliche and efficient manner, but to place the burden on the Parents shoulders and treating them
like garbage in the process is a grave sin for which G-D will avenge the sinner in a mida kneged
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KINGS Supreme Court
Defendant KOLKO, JOEL
Part & Date Judge Calendar
10, May 7, 2007 WALSH,JOHN P TRIALS AM No
10, March 15, 2007 WALSH,JOHN P TRIALS AM CAPUANO,M Bail
Continued No Type ADJOURNED - Temporary Order of Protection Issued
10, March 8, 2007 WALSH,JOHN P ARRAIGNMENTS BRANDON,G Cash
$5,000 (Cash) Regular PLED NOT GUILTY - Temporary Order of
10, February 20, 2007 WALSH,JOHN P ARRAIGNMENTS MILO-SMITH,T Cash $5,000 (Cash) Not Arraigned ADJOURNED - Temporary Order of
GRAND JURY, January 4, 2007 MISCELLANEOUS Bail
Continued No Type TRUE BILL - Temporary Order of Protection Issued
December 8, 2006 Cash $5,000 (Cash) No Type BAIL
Standards and Goals Age Defendant Status
123 days Violent Felony Offender
Docket Sentence Information:
No Data Available
Defense Attorney Information:
Name Type Court Date Court Part Firm Name Phone Number Address
TULMAN,S Private (Retained) February 20, 2007 10
Assistant District Attorney Information:
Name Assignment Date
FLIEDNER, February 20, 2007
Motion Date Court Part Motion Type Motion Disposition Motion Activity Motion
No Data Available
Jennifer Friedlin - Special To The Jewish Week
Jewish Week (NY) - June 14, 2006
The yeshiva at the heart of a sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Orthodox community of Flatbush has pledged to take a series of steps to protect children from sexual molestation, including forbidding teachers from being alone with students and hiring a counselor and ombudsman to hear any future complaints.
While not admitting to any wrongdoing in the wake of two lawsuits that allege that Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Temimah knowingly harbored a molester, the school announced the latest moves on Monday night at a forum attended by 150 parents of school-age children.
A number of parents applauded the school's efforts, and there were no critical questions from the audience. But some observers said the event shed light on the inner workings of the insular Brooklyn community in terms of the deference it pays to its leadership.
The head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Lipa Margulies, who allegedly perpetrated a cover-up of the abuse and threatened students who made complaints, called the meeting, he said, to stress the importance of children's safety. However, he declined to address parents' concerns about the allegations, saying the matter was in litigation.
"I'm sure you'll understand, I am precluded because of pending litigation from discussing any of that," Rabbi Margulies said in reference to the claims.
In his only allusion to the past, he noted: "We always have had and always will have zero tolerance for any type of abuse, whether physical or emotional. ... If, however, any member of our yeshiva family was ever subject to abuse by anyone at any time, our hearts go out for them and their families."
The event was the first open forum for parents following the filing of the lawsuits in May. In two complaints, three former students of Torah Temimah alleged that Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a longtime rebbe at the school, had sexually molested them in attacks that occurred more than 20 years ago. The lawsuits, which seek $30 million in damages, claim that Rabbi Margulies conducted a rigorous coverup, including the foiling of two beit dins convened in the 1980s to air alleged victims' complaints.
One of the alleged victims, David Framowitz, 48, said that Rabbi Kolko fondled him on multiple occasions in a car as well as in the school and at a summer camp for boys.
After the lawsuit was filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, Rabbi Kolko, who has worked for the yeshiva for four decades, was put on administrative leave. Rabbi Margulies, who appears to have the community's full support, has remained in his position.
None of the named defendants in the two lawsuits — Rabbi Kolko, Torah Temimah and Camp Agudah — have yet responded to the lawsuit. A lawyer for Torah Temimah previously denied the allegations.
In the wake of the charges, Torah Temimah invited Rabbi Aaron Twerski, dean of the Hofstra University Law School, and David Mandel, the executive director of Ohel Children's Home and Family Services, a Jewish social service agency, to speak at the event on Monday night.
Rabbi Twerski, a legal scholar who said he has been working on the issue of abuse for "a long time," dismissed the allegations against Rabbi Margulies.
"I know Rabbi Margulies for many years and know him to be a man of great honor," said Rabbi Twerski. He did not make any comments about Rabbi Kolko.
Rabbi Twerski then outlined a host of steps he said the yeshiva was taking to improve school safety, including agreeing to train employees to recognize signs of abuse. In addition, he said the school would be hiring a counselor and an ombudsman to handle claims of abuse.
One member of the audience was overheard saying under her breath, "It's about time."
In addition, Rabbi Twerski said the school had implemented a number of guidelines, including forbidding teachers to be alone with students and requiring that there be no enclosure without windows "so that a passerby cannot see what is going on."
Rabbi Twerski also said that Torah Temimah was in the process of implementing additional, but undefined, steps recommended by Torah U'Mesorah, the Jewish education arm of Agudath Israel of America.
A call placed to Torah U'Mesorah in search of the guidelines was not returned.
Following Rabbi Twerski, Mandel spoke about ways to engage children in conversations about sex abuse. Mandel noted that it was up to the parents to engage their children because most victims do not come forward due to shame, fear of their abusers, a sense of loyalty to their abusers and/or concern about being stigmatized.
However, when an audience member asked whether sex education could help to strengthen children's knowledge of inappropriate behaviors and empower them to come forward if someone violated them, Mandel responded that sex education was "not something realistic" in a community that stresses modesty.
He told parents that the overwhelming majority of children who have experienced "unwanted touch" would go on to live happy, healthy lives, while only a "small percentage" of individuals would be permanently harmed by the abuse
Mandel also said that abusers could be treated for their perversions.
"An individual who abuses children and who participates in treatment can lead a successful life and be believed that they would no longer hurt children," Mandel said.
When asked, in an interview the following day, whether such people could work with children again, Mandel evaded the question.
Several parents who were in attendance said they were pleased with the information they received and with the school for holding the session.
"A little too late, but better late than never," said one parent following the event.
Another parent, requesting anonymity, said he felt the school was "taking every step humanly possible" to prevent abuse. He added that Rabbi Margulies had his full confidence.
But some Orthodox observers said the event amounted to a whitewash of the allegations.
Rabbi Yosef Blau, spiritual adviser at Yeshiva University who has been working to focus communal attention on the problem of rabbinic abuse, said that the community was so "authority oriented" that it prevented members from demanding more accountability from its leadership.
"No one who protected him [Rabbi Kolko] all these years is paying any price," Blau said, adding that Rabbi Margulies "should remove himself for awhile until things can be reviewed objectively."
Rabbi Mark Dratch, executive director of JSafe, an organization that fights abuse in the Jewish community, said the Brooklyn Orthodox community had a somewhat spotty record of taking care of its own.
"Part of the problem with Brooklyn is that it's a very insular community," Rabbi Dratch said. "They look to solve the problems themselves even if it's not in the best interest of the community."
A lawyer who battled the church takes on the Orthodox establishment
By Forrest Norman
July 13, 2006
Zipping around his Aventura office on a recent afternoon, Jeffrey Herman doesn't look much like someone who regularly hears real-life horror stories. The young-looking 44-year-old lawyer wears a white Kiss T-shirt with yellow sleeves and answers his cell phone every few seconds. He is simultaneously participating in a conference call and yelling to his assistant about plane tickets to New York.
"At this point, we're nationwide," Herman says. "I'm handling abuse cases from all over the country."
On May 4, Herman sued Rabbi Yehuda Kolko and Yeshiva Torah Temimah, an Orthodox school for about 1000 boys in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. His client is David Framowitz, a 48-year-old living in Israel. Framowitz, who attended the yeshiva in the late Sixties and early Seventies, says he was molested at least fifteen times over three years. Herman alleges a coverup by yeshiva elders.
And on May 19, Herman sued Kolko and the yeshiva on behalf of two anonymous plaintiffs who allege abuse in the late Eighties.
Neither Kolko nor Yeshiva Torah Temimah officials would comment on the case. In May the yeshiva issued a statement denying any coverup.
Since the cases became public — mostly in New York newspapers and magazines — Herman contends he's been contacted by about 30 people who say they were abused by Kolko. Indeed Herman claims many families of alleged victims reported the abuse to yeshiva leaders and were rebuffed. "It's similar to some of the really horrifying instances of abuse in the Catholic Church, where the victim or the victim's family did report the abuse to higherups and nothing was done," Herman says, sitting at a gleaming conference table in his freshly painted office.
The alleged abuse by Rabbi Kolko is a new twist in a story familiar to anyone who has read a newspaper in the past five years. In Boston, Los Angeles, and even Miami, the Catholic Church has paid out huge settlements to abuse victims who have claimed their tormentors were church officials more concerned with bad publicity than weeding out pedophiles.
As much as any attorney in America, Herman is responsible for bringing these cases to light.
The Ohio-raised lawyer has practiced in Florida since 1985, but his first headlines came in 1997, when he sued Nova Southeastern University, which runs the Ralph J. Baudhuin Oral School, a Davie facility for autistic children. The school never conducted a background check on a volunteer — Daniel Patrick Donohue — who turned out to be a convicted pedophile. A teacher claims to have seen Donohue molesting one student; it's impossible to tell whether he victimized others because many of the children are unable to speak. Herman successfully sued on behalf of one of the children enrolled at the school, and won a $208,300 settlement. The lawyer is presently representing families of seventeen other students at the Davie institution in a consolidated lawsuit that is pending in Broward Circuit Court.
"That was just such a horrific case," he says. "But for some reason I wanted to keep doing this kind of work. It's corny, but I actually do it for the kids."
Herman, who has four children, insists it's not all about the money (although the new, well-appointed Aventura office of his firm, Herman & Mermelstein, suggests he's doing all right). "I could make money doing other kinds of law and not have to hear these awful stories about adults abusing and destroying the trust these kids have in them," he explains. "Say what you want about attorneys, but for some of these families that have tried to go to the church or the police, I'm the last resort."
In April 2002, Herman sued the Archdiocese of Miami on behalf of the family of a deceased former altar boy, Miguel Chinchilla, whose family claimed he had been molested between 1975 and 1977 by two priests at the Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables. Rev. Ricardo Castellanos and Rev. Alvaro Guichard, the alleged molesters, denied the accusations. In May 2002, Herman filed suit on behalf of José Currais Jr., who said the pair had molested him during the early Seventies. The lawsuit also alleged Castellanos organized orgies with Currais and other children. Both priests strongly denied the allegations, although the church settled all the lawsuits against the two men in 2004. The amounts ranged from $75,000 to $500,000.
All told, the church has settled 23 molestation lawsuits with Herman, for a total of $3.4 million.
Framowitz contacted Herman, who is an observant Jew, after the lawyer appeared on The O'Reilly Factor to discuss the Catholic Church's sex-abuse problem. Herman's name and number later showed up on theunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com (UOJ), a Website that hosts lengthy discussions of Orthodox Judaism and rabbinical sex abuse.
The case has generated endless bickering on sites like UOJ and chaptzem.blogspot.com, where some people accuse Framowitz and Herman of bringing unwarranted shame on the Orthodox community. Herman shrugs at critics, like an anonymous poster recently accusing him of being "interested in generating more noise than [truthfulness]."
"So I should care less about little Jewish kids being molested than little Catholic kids?" he asks. "It's nonsense. If the yeshiva had done the right thing when they first learned about this man's behavior, none of this would be happening right now."
`He Took My Innocence Away'
South Carolina man alleges Brooklyn rabbi sexually abused him 20 years ago; third accuser against Rabbi Kolko and Yeshiva Torah Temimah.
The Jewish Week - 08/09/2006
The alleged molestation did not begin immediately. In fact, it would take at least a year of priming (survivor) before Rabbi Yehuda Kolko allegedly started to sexually abuse the young boy.
The year was 1986 and (survivor), then a sixth grader at Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Temimah in Flatbush, had suddenly become one of Rabbi Kolko's favorite students in the school. Rabbi Kolko, then a teacher at the yeshiva, would call (survivor) out of class to monitor his class or to do small errands, like make photocopies.
The attention felt good.
"I thought I was special because he was taking an interest in me," (survivor) recalled recently in a phone conversation.
Over time, however, Rabbi Kolko's favoritism crossed the line and became abusive, (survivor) alleges. (survivor) says the molestation, which included fondling and groping of his genitals, continued until he completed the eighth grade and graduated middle school.
The scars, however, still remain.
"I hate that he took away my innocence. I blame so much on him," said (survivor), a 31-year-old former U.S. Army soldier who lives in South Carolina.
(survivor) is the third person to bring a lawsuit against Rabbi Kolko and the yeshiva for crimes he allegedly committed in the 1970s and `80s. His story took on a new resonance recently when (survivor) went public in a court filing attaching his name to the claims against Rabbi Kolko; he had been referred to only as John Doe 3.
"The sexual abuse has caused Israel to suffer severe and permanent psychological, emotional and physical injuries and the inability to lead a normal life, as well as attendant economic losses," according to the complaint. "Plaintiff's injuries are persistent, permanent and debilitating in nature."
Although the statute of limitations has expired for both a criminal and civil action, the plaintiffs hope that evidence of an alleged cover-up orchestrated by the head of the school, Rabbi Lipa Margulies, will enable them to proceed with the civil action.
Since the lawsuits were filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, Rabbi Kolko has been put on administrative leave. He has declined to comment on the allegations, while the yeshiva has denied any wrongdoing. Calls to Rabbi Kolko's lawyer, Robert Mercurio, were not returned.
Recently, Rabbi Kolko was spotted chaperoning campers from Silver Lake Camp, Torah Temimah's summer camp, at a Connecticut theme park, New York magazine reported this week. Avi Moskowitz, a lawyer for the yeshiva, told the magazine that Rabbi Kolko is not affiliated with the camp, but that "Obviously, the camp has no control over where he goes and what he does."
Reached for comment Moscowitz told The Jewish Week that "[Rabbi Kolko] did not come on [the camp's] behalf and wasn't invited by us."
Moscowitz maintained that the allegations against the yeshiva are "simply not true." He added that he believes that the statute of limitations is such that the case should be dismissed.
(survivor) said he decided to pursue his $10 million lawsuit against the rabbi and the school in order to try and regain a sense of control over the past and to encourage the fervently Orthodox community to which he once belonged to recognize that sexual abuse is a problem in need of attention.
"If the only thing that comes from this case is that the community wakes up and says, `this happens here,' and that they stop it, I'll be happy," said (survivor).
The (survivor)' family ties to Rabbi Margulies go back generations to Hungary, where Israel's grandfather knew him. So, years ago, when the (survivor) family was looking for a school for their young son, the grandfather recommended his friend's yeshiva. Rabbi Kolko was (survivor)' first-grade teacher. But the alleged trouble began several years later.
Throughout his early elementary school years, (survivor) said he was a good student, but a bit of a loner. By sixth grade, he was having more trouble academically and his grades started to slip. His relationship with his parents was also growing strained. At that point (survivor) says that Rabbi Kolko began taking a personal interest in his life. (survivor), meanwhile, started to see Rabbi Kolko as someone he could trust and confide in.
"I didn't have a bad home or upbringing," (survivor) said. "But he was like my father away from home, like a big brother or an uncle. He would tell me I'm special and whenever there was a slight problem in my life he was the first one to take an interest."
By the time (survivor) entered the seventh grade, he said that Rabbi Kolko had his total trust. It was then that Rabbi Kolko allegedly began touching the boy inappropriately. (survivor) said Rabbi Kolko would pull him from class and take him to his private office, where the rabbi would put his hands down the boy's pants and fondle his genitals. On some occasions, Rabbi Kolko would follow (survivor) to his private bathroom to "help" him buckle up his pants. (survivor) said Rabbi Kolko would then grope him.
At the time, (survivor) said that he had no sense that what Rabbi Kolko was doing was wrong. He blames this largely on the fact that neither the yeshiva nor his parents ever discussed the difference between appropriate and inappropriate sexual behavior.
"My son and daughter know more about which areas are private than I knew when I was 15," said (survivor), referring to his 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. "I felt if this is what he's doing it must be OK."
However, by the time he was a teenager, (survivor)' behavior was getting more out of control, so much so that a psychologist recommended that the teen undergo intensive therapy. While (survivor) was in treatment, the truth of the abuse emerged, he said.
Although he felt a sense of relief, (survivor) said he never fully recovered from the damage of having been abused by a figure of communal authority and personal importance.
"Once I realized that what he did was wrong, my whole life came tumbling down," said (survivor), noting that his parents had a hard time knowing how to deal with their son's situation.
Because of behavioral problems, (survivor) bounced around five high schools in four years. Throughout his teen years, he began hanging out with the wrong crowd. His faith in Judaism was shattered.
"If this guy would do this to me and he represents Judaism, then something was really wrong," said (survivor), who is no longer observant.
After high school, (survivor) said he did a series of odd jobs and bummed around before joining the U.S. Army as a medic at 24 to "get some control back." That same year he also married a woman he had known from Brooklyn. The couple is now separated.
"I have acquaintances but relationships are hard for me," (survivor) said.
In fact, (survivor) said that he has never felt as good as he did when Rabbi Kolko was showering attention on him. "It was the ultimate high," (survivor) said. "I felt important, distinguished from the class."
He said his pull to Rabbi Kolko has remained so great over the years that he has gone back to Brooklyn on several occasions to try and visit him in an effort to recapture that feeling of importance. However, (survivor) said that Rabbi Kolko always seems distracted and uninterested in speaking with him.
"I would continuously go back to him and he would reject me," (survivor) said. "It's sort of like a woman in an abusive relationship. Why does she go back? Because she feels special. I long for that special feeling."
Over the years, (survivor) said he tried to recapture the feeling through other relationships, but nothing came close to the feeling Rabbi Kolko gave him.
"Throughout my life I needed attention and he filled the gap," (survivor) said.
To this day, (survivor) says he is still confused by what happened and why it made him feel the way he did. If he had the chance, he said he would like to ask Rabbi Kolko, "Why me? What was it about me? Why not any of the other 60 kids?"
An open letter to Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, mashgiach, Bais Medrash Govoha, Lakewood, New Jersey
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. Bnai 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" 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 Yeshiva 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 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 distinguished Manhattan attorney living happily 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 Geldwirth, 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 Shia 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 Shia (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 Shia 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 Shia 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 Shia 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. 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 "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 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 Yuchid 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 Boro 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 Rabbonim 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 printing deadline looming, Rabbi Lipa Margulies issues a statement through his attorney at 4:30 PM. 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 Knees – Do the Orthodox Jews Have a Catholic Priest Problem" a feature article in New York Magazine, 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 boy's 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 Bnai 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 Rabbonim is what got you and them to belatedly acknowledge Kolko's guilt. Apparently a mere forty years of Koila D'Lo Posuk was not enough. Were the lawsuits and the magazine article the Chillul Hashem? No! 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 Rabbonim 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 Rabbonim. All this I say with the utmost 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'Man Yishmeu V'Yirahu, a man such as Lipa Margulies must be publicly vilified; not Cholila V'Chas publicly honored by someone of your esteem.
I respectfully submit that despite the focus of your speech, this issue has nothing to do with an obnoxious blogger or Kovod HaTorah. No reasonable adult takes this blogger's inane ravings as anything but. That he fell into this issue and "B'Mokom 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 the utmost respect and humility; how can you stand in front of us in good faith and turn this into an issue of Kovod Hatorah? 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 Rabbeim who molest.
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 Kovod HaTorah, Chillul Hashem and Loshon Harah have no relevance. To resort to such cries is simply Am HaHaretzes and violates the precept not to be a Merachaim Al HaAchzoir. The issue all of us need to address, lay people and Rabbonim 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.
Brooklyn Rabbi Arrested On Sexual Assault
By BRADLEY HOPE
New York Sun - December 8, 2006
rabbi was arrested on charges of sexual assault of a child yesterday, police
Rabbi Yehudi Kolko, 60, who taught at an all-boys school, in May was the
target of a $20 million lawsuit by a former student. On Tuesday, another
student filed a lawsuit seeking $10 million. Both students say Mr. Kolko
sexually assaulted them.
Mr. Kolko was arrested yesterday at his home at 1249 E. 22nd St. following
a long-term investigation, police said.
He was charged with four counts of sexual abuse, including two felony counts,
and endangering the welfare of a child, police said.
The most recent sexual abuse was allegedly against an 8-year-old boy, who
says he was abused while he was in the first grade during the 2002-03 school
year, police said.
Mr. Kolko has been on administrative leave since May from Torah Temimah,
a school for Orthodox boys school in Brooklyn with 1,000 students. He was
also active in the school's summer camp, Camp Silver Lake, according to an
article in New York magazine.
According to the magazine article, he attracted suspicion among religious
leaders in the mid-1980s for similar allegations. A dozen children reported
to counselors that Mr. Kolko had abused them, but those accounts did not
lead to a criminal investigation, the article said.
As of yesterday evening, Mr. Kolko had not been arraigned on the charges
in Brooklyn Criminal Court.