Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Insincere and melodramatic District Attorney Charles Joe Hynes has time for senior citizens but no time to exradite child rapist Avrohm Mondrowitz

Alan Horowitz is escorted by authorities Thursday into the Schenectady County jail. (Lori Van Buren / Times Union)

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Case of Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz, M.Sc., Ph.D., L.N.H.A

(AKA: Abraham Mondrowitz, Avremel Mondrowitz)

Chicago, IL, Brooklyn, NY, Jerusalem, Israel

"Brooklyn District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman's office said Mondrowitz was named in a December 3, 1984, arrest warrant charging him with two counts of sex abuse". Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz worked in special education school for boys in Brooklyn, that had connections with Ohel Children and Family Services in Brooklyn, New York. He was responsible for about 20-25 young children who already had either emotional problems and/or learning disabilities.

Avrohom Mondrowitz is originally from Chicago, the son of a highly respected rabbi. He is about 55 years old, and resides in Jerusalem, Israel. The Awareness Center is currently asking for help locating articles and photographs. If you have any, please contact The Awareness Center, Inc.

Former New Yorker Avrohom Mondrowitz has built a quiet, comfortable life as a college professor in Jerusalem. The syllabus for his business administration course at Jerusalem College of Engineering is posted on the Web, along with his phone number.

Child Counselor in Brooklyn Is Charged With Abusing Boy

The New York Times

December 10, 1984, Monday, Late City Final Edition

Section B; Page 15, Column 4; Metropolitan Desk

A Brooklyn man who runs a child- counseling practice from his home is being sought on charges he sexually abused a 10-year-old boy, authorities said last night. The man was identified as Avrohom Mondrowitz of 1440 60th Street in the Borough Park section. A spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, which issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Mondrowitz last week, said he was ''missing'' from his home.

The complaint on which the warrant is based charges Mr. Mondrowitz with two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree and endangering the welfare of a child.


Rabbi Ordered Out Of Israel To Face Abuse Charges In US

The Associated Press (Boston Globe) - March 19, 1987

TEL AVIV -- The government has ordered the expulsion of a self-styled rabbi who has been charged in New York with sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy under his care, the interior minister said yesterday.

Israeli-born Abraham Mondrowitz, 40, has denied wrongdoing. His Israeli attorney, David Ofek, said the child molesting charge was an "ugly libel."

Mondrowitz is not in custody in Israel, and his whereabouts was not immediately known.

The expulsion order came more than two...


Dateline: Jerusalem

United Press International - March 19, 1987, Thursday, BC

SECTION: International

JERUSALEM: Officials said Thursday an ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbi is facing deportation to the United States to face charges of sexually molesting children in New York.

Justice Ministry officials said a deportation order is being prepared against Avrohom Mondrowitz, who moved to Israel two years ago after operating a child psychology clinic and hosting a weekly radio talk show in Brooklyn, N.Y.

In Brooklyn, a spokesman for District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman said Mondrowitz was indicted in December 1984 on two charges of sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

The Jerusalem Post reported the New York Police Department has issued wanted posters featuring a photo of the bearded, bespectacled, black-clad Mondrowitz, saying he is sought for numerous sexual abuses in Brooklyn.

Mondrowitz, in Jerusalem with his family, denied the charges.

''In my life, I have never raped children. I am a healthy man in body and spirit,'' he told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

Mondrowitz moved to Israel from New York two years ago with his wife and seven children.

U.S. officials asked Israel to deport Mondrowitz shortly after he left New York, but former Interior Minister Yitzhak Peretz refused the request. Peretz recently left office and U.S. authorities tried again for deportation.

Extradition was ruled out because the crimes Mondrowitz is charged with are not covered by the U.S.-Israeli extradition treaty.


Israel Will Extradite Self-Styled Rabbi

By Associated Press

Los Angeles Times - March 19, 1987

Thursday, Late Final Edition - SECTION: Part 1; Page 14; Column 1; Foreign Desk

TEL AVIV Israel has ordered the expulsion of a self-styled rabbi who has been charged in New York with sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy under his care, the Interior Minister said Wednesday.

Israeli-born Abraham Mondrowitz, 40, arrived in Israel in 1985 from New York, where he had counseled children at an unlicensed clinic in his home. In December, 1984, New York City police charged that on two occasions in June of that year, Mondrowitz abused a 10-year-old boy at his home, which doubled as his office.


Expulsion move sought over child sex attacks

By Ian Murray

The Times (London) - March 20 1987

Friday, SECTION: Issue 62721.

JERUSALEM The Israeli Ministry of the Interior is drawing up a deportation order against an ultra-Orthodox child psychologist wanted for questioning in the United States about alleged sexual assaults on more than 100 children, of whom 28 are now said to be suffering from Aids.

The man involved, Dr Avroham Mondrowitz, has been living in Israel for two years using an extended tourist visa, but according to relatives he has now gone into hiding with his wife and six of his seven children. His lawyer has described the allegations, made in charges by the Brooklyn Sex Crimes Squad, as 'ugly libel'.

In an interview last summer with the Jerusalem Post, Dr Mondrowitz said the allegations against him were false. But a New York grand jury has so far received six sworn affidavits alleging sexual assault by him. A Brooklyn rabbinical edict alleges that he took children to see pornographic films and then sexually assaulted or raped them.

Previous extradition requests were rejected by the former Interior Minister, Mr Yitzhak Peretz, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi.


Rabbi faces deportation to U.S. on charges of molesting children

[FINAL Edition]; The Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa, Ont.;

Mar 20, 1987; pg. A.1


Abstract: Justice Ministry officials said a deportation order is being prepared against Avrohom Mondrowitz, who moved to Israel two years ago after operating a child psychology clinic and hosting a weekly radio talk show in Brooklyn, N.Y.

U.S. officials asked Israel to deport Mondrowitz shortly after he left New York, but former Interior Minister Yitzhak Peretz refused the request. Peretz recently left office and U.S. authorities tried again for deportation.

JERUSALEM (UPI) - Officials said Thursday an ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbi is facing deportation to the United States to face charges of sexually molesting children in New York.

Justice Ministry officials said a deportation order is being prepared against Avrohom Mondrowitz, who moved to Israel two years ago after operating a child psychology clinic and hosting a weekly radio talk show in Brooklyn, N.Y.

In Brooklyn, a spokesman for District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman said Mondrowitz was indicted in December 1984 on two charges of sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

The Jerusalem Post reported the New York Police Department has issued wanted posters featuring a photo of the bearded, bespectacled, black-clad Mondrowitz, saying he is sought for numerous sexual abuses in Brooklyn.

Mondrowitz, in Jerusalem with his family, denied the charges.

"In my life, I have never raped children. I am a healthy man in body and spirit," he told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

Mondrowitz moved to Israel from New York two years ago with his wife and seven children.

U.S. officials asked Israel to deport Mondrowitz shortly after he left New York, but former Interior Minister Yitzhak Peretz refused the request. Peretz recently left office and U.S. authorities tried again for deportation.

Extradition was ruled out because the crimes Mondrowitz is charged with are not covered by the U.S.-Israeli extradition treaty.


Israel to deport doctor

By Ian Murray

The Times (London) - March 23 1987

SECTION: Issue 62723.

JERUSALEM Mr Ronni Milo, the acting Israeli Interior Minister, is to press ahead with an order to deport Dr Avroham Mondrowitz, an ultra-Orthodox child psychologist who is wanted for questioning about sexual assaults on Jewish boys in Brooklyn (Ian Murray writes).

The doctor has had tests for Aids because 28 of those he is said to have interfered with are alleged to have been infected. The tests have shown that he does not have Aids nor is he a carrier of it, but Mr Milo says he will issue the order because 'an accused person - Jew or non-Jew - should stand trial'.


Re: Hebrew Pronounciation

Avrohom Mondrowitz (avrohom.mondrowitz@telrad.co.il)

Tue, 23 Sep 1997 10:41:27 +0200


Since the establishment of the State of Israel, it has become fashionable to speak Hebrew with a Sephardic accent. The truth is that, though it is difficult for us Ashkenazim to accept, Loshon Hakodesh was pronounced in a manner more similar to today's Sephardic manner than to ours.

The famed sage Rabbi Noson Adler of Frankfort au Main, Germany , brought a special person from Israel , over 200 years ago, to teach him the correct pronunciation. Rabbi Adler's successor and famous student Rabbi Moshe Sofer, the "Chasam Sofer" also prayed using the Sephardic dialect. Yet among his famous responsa he told his congregants in Frankfort and elsewhere, to continue using their customary dialect "while praying 'Lifnei Hateiva', as the public prayer leader or cantor".

There is another point called "messora", the handing down of customs and traditions, that can not be easily abandoned. This is a very involved law, and quite interesting. By the way, in the same manner that Ashkenazi pronunciation has changed due to the influence of the different European languages spoken, so it is with today's Sephardic pronunciations. There is change due to African and Arabic languages that have left their mark. Probably the purest form of Loshon Hakodesh available today is found by those that lived in Teiman (Yemen).

Avrohom Mondrowitz,



Lashon Harah (the language of Evil)

Avrohom Mondrowitz (avrohom.mondrowitz@telrad.co.il)

Tue, 23 Sep 1997 10:19:06 +0200


In answer to Karen Binney's question of "are jokes about an individual or group (usually degratory - my addition) considered Loshon Hara, if you look in the very first verse of Thillim (Psalms), King David clearly states "and in a group of 'Leitzim' he was not sitting". There is a difference between humor and "Leitzonut". The Ibn Ezra as well as the Metzudat Tzion both explain that a "Letz" tends to besmirch another's honor or name in a way that seems innocuous and therefore settles itself in one's heart easier. This is a different matter than Loshon Horah. The Chafetz Chaim, the author of the the definitive "Shmirat Halashon" explains that the sin of "Letzonut" is on a par with speaking Loshon Harah.

Avrohom Mondrowitz,



Jewish Community Grapples With Sex Abuse

By Stephanie Saul - Staff Writer

Newsday - May 26, 2003, 8:10 PM EDT


This is the first in a three-part series.

It was the sound of ripping cloth, they said, that woke them up.

On an August night in the Catskills, with summer camp almost over, the boys had fallen asleep in their bunkhouse, exhausted from play and religious study. Only minutes later, they would later testify in court, the noise awakened them. Then came mysterious movements in the dark cabin. The campers lay still. Why was a human figure hovering over the bed of a 10-year-old Woodmere boy?

The terrified boy blurted out his allegation to a camp counselor almost a day later: Someone, he said, had torn open the seat of his pajamas and sexually abused him.

The boy's parents were called to camp more than a day later, but police were not notified.

"We all concurred that considering the trauma that would possibly result from further action, it would be best not to take any additional action," according to the camp's notes, later filed in court in a civil suit. A state Department of Health sanitarian later found that the camp violated state regulations by not reporting the accusation.

Police learned of the allegations two months later, alerted by a psychologist who was treating the boy. The boy's mother later told a state official she felt pressured to remain silent, according to state health department records. After all, the alleged abuser and the camp officials were revered religious leaders.

The accused was eventually acquitted by a judge, who said "contradictory and sometimes retracting statements" left him unclear about what happened. The camp suggests that the alleged incident was fabricated.

After more than a year of charges and disclosures concerning sexual abuse of young people by Catholic priests, the story may sound familiar. But the camp, Mogen Avraham, is a popular summer retreat in Bethel for Orthodox Jewish children. And the accused was not a priest, but a teaching rabbi from Forest Hills.

The alleged 1998 incident at Camp Mogen Avraham is just one in a growing dossier of allegations that rabbis, cantors and other Jewish religious leaders have abused children and teenagers in their care, a Newsday investigation has found.

In sheer numbers, the problem is unlikely to rival the Catholic Church's, since priests outnumber rabbis by roughly nine to one. While there is no data on the number of clergy with sexual disorders, experts say that, anecdotally, the problem does not seem as severe in the rabbinate as in the priesthood, even in relative terms.

Even so, some rabbis call the sexual abuse allegations a "crisis," and religious organizations are grappling with ways to handle it.

"We have a huge problem on our hands, a problem that is just beginning to be addressed in religious circles," Vicki Polin, a psychotherapist, said in recent testimony to the Maryland legislature.

Polin, who is Jewish and calls herself a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, runs The Awareness Center, a Baltimore-based clearinghouse that tracks sexual abuse allegations against Jewish religious leaders. The center's Web site lists about 40 alleged cases of abuse involving rabbis and cantors. As with the Catholic scandals, Jewish victims say they still struggle years, even decades, later with this betrayal of trust.

"I can honestly say that he ruined not only my Bas-Mitzvah, but my faith in Judaism," wrote one woman, now 30, referring to Rabbi Sidney Goldenberg. In a letter to California prosecutors, the woman said Goldenberg, then a cantor, made lewd comments and rubbed her thigh in her parents' home in Seaford in 1985. At the time, he was supposed to be helping her prepare for her bat mitzvah, the joyous and solemn religious celebration when a Jewish girl turns 13.

Goldenberg was convicted in 1997 of abusing a 12-year-old California bat mitzvah student, after investigators uncovered a 27-year trail of complaints by girls against him. He served three years and is now living on Coney Island, according to police.

Like the Goldenberg case, the abuse allegations tend to have common elements, including some familiar from the Catholic scandals:

Children and in some cases parents are reluctant to accuse respected clergymen. When they do, they are often disbelieved, dismissed, even derided.

"You have to understand the extent to which the guys in the school looked up to [the rabbi]," says one man, now 38, who says he was abused as a teenager by a rabbi now teaching in Israel. "He was beyond question."

And another rabbi recalls dismissing several girls' complaints against Goldenberg as "some giggly thing."

Religious authorities fail to report abuse charges to the police. Among strictly observant Orthodox Jews, this tendency is bolstered by the ancient doctrine of mesira, which prohibits Jews from informing on other Jews to secular authorities, a legacy of centuries of oppression of Jews in many countries.

When religious leaders try to investigate cases and prevent abusers from having contact with children, their efforts often fail. "Few rabbis have any training in recognizing abuse, and the rabbinical courts have no investigative arm," says Rabbi Yosef Blau, the spiritual counselor to students at Yeshiva University.

Alleged abusers continue to operate freely by moving among congregations, states, even countries. Avrohom Mondrowitz, a self-styled rabbi who once had a popular radio show in Brooklyn, is living openly and teaching in a Jerusalem college although he is wanted on charges of sexually abusing four Brooklyn boys, aged 10 to 16. If he ever returns to the United States, he will be arrested, according to the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes.

Many of the alleged abusers were popular, even charismatic leaders, who were thought to be particularly good in relating to young people. Rabbi Baruch Lanner, convicted last year of endangering the welfare of two girls at a New Jersey yeshiva, sidestepped abuse allegations for years, in part because of his reputation as a dynamic figure in an Orthodox youth program.

Unlike the Catholic Church, Jewish authority is not centralized, but various groups within the branches of Judaism have begun to strengthen anti-abuse policies for their members.

At its annual meeting, which starts today in Rye, the Rabbinical Council of America, an organization of 1,100 Orthodox rabbis, features programs on curbing abuse, including one entitled "Rabbinic Behavior: Confronting a Crisis of Accountability."

"We're trying to establish that inappropriate behavior is inexcusable," said Rabbi Hershel Billet, president of the organization and rabbi at Young Israel of Woodmere.

Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, a psychotherapist who is also the Orthodox Union's executive vice president, said he hopes the rabbinical council will make a firm commitment during the meeting "to develop a real, real tight program" combating sexual abuse.

The rabbinical council is expected to discuss ways to adjudicate abuse allegations against its members, with penalties that include ouster.

Sources within the organization say that the impetus for the panel's work includes old abuse allegations against Rabbi Ephraim Bryks of Kew Gardens Hills, which he has repeatedly denied, and the recent arrest of Rabbi Israel Kestenbaum of Highland Park, N.J.

Kestenbaum, a chaplaincy leader for the New York Board of Rabbis, was charged in February with endangering the welfare of a minor after allegedly discussing sex with an undercover police officer posing as a teenage girl in a chat room called "I Love Older Men." Kestenbaum has pleaded not guilty.

Rabbis concerned about sex abuse say accusations against a rabbi are often handled quietly, or not at all. Accused rabbis go on hiatus briefly, then revive their ministries in other congregations, even other countries in the far-flung Diaspora.

One of those was Rabbi Matis Weinberg. Accused of sexually abusing students at his California yeshiva two decades ago, he is said to have agreed to leave teaching. But Weinberg resurrected his teaching career in Israel. When Yeshiva University in Manhattan recently unearthed the allegations against Weinberg, the New York school severed its ties to the Jerusalem college where Weinberg had lectured until recently.

Weinberg has never been charged with a crime and has denied the former students' allegations. Through a friend, he declined to discuss the charges with Newsday.

The allegations against Weinberg have been widely reported in the Jewish press and have helped bring the issue to the fore in recent months.

Like the Orthodox rabbis' council, representatives of other branches of Judaism say they are taking steps to combat sexual abuse.

"I would rather this not become an epidemic and I think what we need to do is take affirmative steps to guide people before they make mistakes," said Rabbi Jerome Epstein of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the lay arm of the Conservative movement. Epstein said the group's committee on congregational standards is currently working on a "best practices" document.

Rabbi Steven Rosenberg of McAllen, Texas, formerly the leader of the Jewish Center of Bay Shore, said his Conservative congregation already has adopted such rules.

"If I have a bat mitzvah in my office, the door is never closed," said Rosenberg, who also tells his 23 religion school teachers "they are not allowed to touch students, not a pat, not a hug."

"It is very important for me for my congregants to know: That kind of behavior -- we will not tolerate it," said Rosenberg.

Rosenberg was sensitized by the case against Sidney Goldenberg, the former cantor, who had worked at the Bay Shore synagogue before moving to California.

Many rabbis say their groups would always notify police about abuse although their rules usually do not spell this out. Such notification was one of the remedies embraced by Roman Catholic bishops in the priest abuse scandal. And Reform rabbis are in the process of revising their ethics code to include such a requirement, according to Rabbi Paul Menitoff, executive vice president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

The National Conference of Synagogue Youth, an Orthodox group, does have a policy requiring that police be notified, an outgrowth of its scandal involving Lanner, a longtime youth leader with the group.

In that case, a religious court called a bet din concluded in 1989 that the most serious charges against Lanner were unfounded, clearing the way for his continued youth work. Last year, more than a dozen years later, he was convicted in New Jersey on abuse-related charges.

Orthodox Jews frequently rely on the batei din, but Blau, a member of the Lanner bet din, has become an outspoken critic of the religious court system.

For one thing, he said, judges in the religious courts often know the accused, making fair decisions difficult. In addition, he said that perjury before a bet din is rarely punished.

Appearing in February before dozens of students in the main study hall at Yeshiva University, Blau and the two other members of the Lanner bet din issued an extraordinary public apology for their role in allowing Lanner to continue unchecked for so many years.

"We must do everything in our power to protect potential victims from abuse," the apology said. "This includes reporting accusations of abuse to Jewish and, at times, to secular authorities."

Such a secular-reporting requirement is controversial among some Orthodox groups, partly because it appears to run counter to the doctrine called mesira.

In ancient times, one who violated the doctrine and reported a fellow Jew to secular authorities could be killed on sight. Today, the punishment is generally ostracism in the community.

The vast majority of rabbis agree that mesira is overridden when there is imminent danger to possible future victims, but Blau says the taboo remains, particularly among the most traditional Orthodox.

Civil authorities who seek to act against rabbinic abuse often become frustrated by the reluctance of witnesses to testify.

Prosecutors in Sullivan County complained during the case that their witnesses faced pressure when they tried to prosecute Yaakov Weiner, the teaching rabbi acquitted in the Mogen Avraham case.

"It was a bitter pill for me," remembers Tom Cawley, the former Sullivan County assistant district attorney who prosecuted the Mogen Avraham case. "They sent their kid to camp up here in Bethel and thought he'd be taken care of. Someone was taken care of, all right, but it wasn't him."

Weiner, who has taught in several yeshivas throughout the metropolitan area, consistently denied the charges. Attempts to reach him through one of his lawyers were unsuccessful.

The boy's mother and father, a rabbi himself, would not discuss the case with Newsday. But camp and State Health Department records filed in court indicate that the parents were not told of the alleged abuse until nearly 48 hours after the boy spoke of it, while the 36-year-old Weiner's father, a rabbi well-known in the Queens Orthodox community, was notified sooner.

Contacted recently, the camp's current executive director, Moshe Wein, defended the camp's handling of the accusation, saying, "There's no evidence to indicate that an incident took place." He added, "This may be one of those cases in which a child lied."

Lawyers for Weiner at his bench trial made much of contradictions in the boy's statements. But the most confusing testimony came from the alleged victim's bunkmates.

One of the boys reversed his story between the time he spoke to police and the trial several months later, Cawley said in court.

"We believe that there was pressure placed on the victim and children's families to get them not to testify," said Sullivan County District Attorney Stephen Lungen in a recent telephone interview. "There was a child who could have substantiated what was said, and that family would not cooperate."

The entire matter left Sullivan County Judge Frank Labuda confused.

"It is clear in the evening hours of August 8 and the morning of August 9, two years ago, something happened at bunk 3 Gimel bunk... " he said in his January 2000 ruling. But Labuda concluded that trial testimony "does not create a clear picture for this court of exactly what happened in Gimel bunk nor who did it."

He found Weiner not guilty.


Tripping Up The Prosecution

By Stephanie Saul - Staff Writer

Newsday - May 28, 2003

Last in a series.


Former New Yorker Avrohom Mondrowitz has built a quiet, comfortable life as a college professor in Jerusalem.

The syllabus for his business administration course at Jerusalem College of Engineering is posted on the Web, along with his phone number.

Mondrowitz is living so openly, it's hard to believe the psychologist and self-styled rabbi is wanted for allegedly sexually abusing four Brooklyn boys, ages 10 to 16. The charges against him include sodomy.

"I don't want this hydra to lift its head again," said Mondrowitz, declining to discuss his 1985 indictment on 13 counts. Once the host of a radio program in Brooklyn, Mondrowitz will be arrested should he ever re-enter the United States, according to the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes.

But according to U.S. Justice and State department documents, Hynes' office approved a decision in 1993 to drop efforts to extradite Mondrowitz, a U.S. citizen who has been sheltered by the Israeli government since he fled the United States in 1985.

Michael, a New Jersey attorney who obtained the federal documents after years of research on the Mondrowitz case, said the decision to drop efforts to return Mondrowitz to the United States is an embarrassing one, considering the severity of the charges.

A spokesman for Hynes, Jerry Schmetterer, was at a loss to explain the decision.

"We don't know anything about the State Department closing its file," said Schmetterer, calling the federal records a "mystery."

"We have nothing in our files to indicate we ever made that decision," said Schemetterer, emphasizing that the Mondrowitz file is still kept in a prosecutor's desk in the event Mondrowitz ever returns from Jerusalem.

Escape to Israel is merely one of the factors that can hamper prosecution of alleged sex abuse in the Orthodox community.

Police and prosecutors find that victims of alleged sexual abuse in those communities are discouraged from coming forward.

Intense pressure is often brought to bear on complainants who bypass rabbinical courts -- the community's preferred method of settling disputes -- and instead go to secular authorities. Witnesses, who are often young, become fearful and wavering. And prosecutors face pressure from a community that votes as a cohesive block.

One woman, whose son was called to testify about an alleged instance of abuse, said that extraordinary pressure was placed both on her family and on the family of the alleged victim.

"I had rabbis coming by. They threatened we'll have curses in our family. It might sound silly to you, but it was very frightening," said the woman.

She said that rabbis supplied her with a statement from a psychologist who had never examined her son, saying he was not fit to testify.

In Brooklyn, with its large Hasidic community, police have been confounded by the outcomes of some cases they investigated involving the Hasidim.

At a loss to explain the cases, some cops in the 66th Precinct, which includes Borough Park, have shrugged their shoulders and paraphrased a line from the Jack Nicholson film "Chinatown" -- "Forget it, Jake, it's Brooklyn."

One of those who recalls making the remark was retired police Capt. William Plackenmeyer, who worked for many years in Brooklyn. "In Brooklyn, it almost seemed like there were two penal codes, one for the Hasidic community and one for everyone else," Plackenmeyer said.

But Hynes' office says decisions on prosecutions are made without regard to political considerations or community pressure.

"We prosecute sex crimes. We prosecute allegations of child abuse, sex abuse," said Schmetterer. "Trained investigators conduct these investigations and come to a conclusion. They make the decision."

The arrest of a popular rabbi in the Bobox Hasidic sect in January 2000 provides another example of the pressure that can be placed on those who complain to outside officials. In that case, a 9-year-old boy accused the Brooklyn rabbi, his tutor, of physically and sexually abusing him.

In the end, Hynes' office threw out all charges against Rabbi Solomon Hafner. Schmetterer said they were found to be baseless.

But before the case was resolved, the police assigned 24-hour protection to the complainant's family, according to a law enforcement source. The family had been threatened by members of the Bobov community, the source said.

"They excoriate the victim, they run them out of the community, they make sure the victim will never marry," said sociologist (Name Removed), who, with Michael, researched the Hafner case and frequently writes about domestic abuse in the Orthodox community and provided documents for this article.

The boy's family later moved from Brooklyn to the quieter Bobov community in Monsey. The family would not talk to Newsday, but a friend said the move was an effort to escape community pressure.

While Hynes' office was examining the boy's allegations, the Bobov community convened a rabbinical court, a bet din, to conduct its own investigation.

The child's uncle later complained that rabbis on the bet din had asked the family to sign a document saying the boy was crazy so that they could get the criminal case thrown out. Several members of the bet din either did not return calls from Newsday or declined to discuss the religious court's proceedings.

Meantime, according to the law enforcement source, Bobov rabbis appeared in Hynes office' to plead in Hafner's defense.

Hynes' spokesman Schmetterer would not confirm or deny that such meetings took place, but he said it is not unusual for Hynes' office to meet with community leaders on cases.

After the bet din decision, the five-member panel posted notices throughout Borough Park clearing Hafner. "Rabbi Hafner's comportment with [the child] has been in complete accordance with both Torah law and the law of the land, and a parent should not hesitate to engage Rabbi Hafner as a tutor for his/her child."

With intense pressure from the community common in such cases, families also come under indirect pressure not to go public with their cases.

The social stigma attached to being the victim of sexual abuse in the general public is magnified within the Hasidic community, sources said, so much so that Hasidic victims can find it difficult to marry within the community.

And, as with sex-abuse allegations generally, parents fear causing further psychological damage to their children by placing them on the stand.

In 1995, for instance, Hynes' office charged Rabbi Lewis Brenner with repeatedly sexually abusing a boy starting in 1992 and ending in 1995, when the boy, then 15, told police. Among other places, the alleged encounters occurred in the bathroom of the rabbi's Brooklyn temple.

In a statement to the court, the boys' devastated parents said he could not even attend school, he was so troubled by "a raging cyclone of hate."

"Our son is with us physically today, but his self-respect, dignity and sense of worth were stolen from him at the tender age of 12," the boys' parents said. "Do you realize that you destroyed a world and our family, Mr. Brenner? You have stolen from our son the very essence of his life, his hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future."

The charges against Brenner initially included 14 counts, including sodomy, sexual abuse, and endangering the welfare of a minor. But a plea agreement whittled the charges down to one felony, stunning a Brooklyn judge.

"Given the nature, gravity and frequency of the sexual contact alleged in the felony complaint, this court was surprised by the People's plea offer and requested of the prosecutor a statement why it was forthcoming," said acting Supreme Court Justice Charles J. Heffernan in a court ruling.

The district attorney's office told the judge that the boy's family agreed to the plea bargain ... Recently, an official of the district attorney's office said the family did not want to go through with a trial.

The plea arrangement left Brenner a free man -- he got 5 years probation.

Brenner is the father-in-law of Ephraim Bryks, a Queens rabbi who was the subject of a story in Newsday on Tuesday.

Two teenagers told Canadian police years ago that Bryks abused them when they were youngsters. Bryks has never been charged with a crime and has denied the allegations.

After Brenner's plea deal, he asked the court to exempt him from the sexual abuse registry on grounds that his behavior occurred before the law was passed.

Heffernan refused.


On the Rabbi's Knee

Do the Orthodox Jews have a Catholic-priest problem?

by Robert Kolker

New York Magazine - May 15, 2006


For the full impact of the story and for photos that are not available on-line, it is suggest that you buy the magazine at your local news stand.

'Does it hurt?"

The boy and his teacher were in the front seat of the teacher's blue Plymouth sedan. The boy was 12 years old, pale and shy, and new to Brooklyn—plucked out of another life in Toronto after his mother remarried. He'd lost his father when he was 7, and the promise of a fresh start had appealed to him—a new family, a new world to explore. But a few months had passed, and the boy was lonely. His new stepsisters ignored him; he had trouble making friends at his new school. So when a popular teacher who lived nearby took an interest in him, it seemed like welcome news.

The teacher was in his early twenties—closer in age to many of his students than to his colleagues—tall and athletic, with a shock of red hair, and the kids liked him: He wasn't the type who'd shake his fist at the heavens if he'd heard someone had gone to see a movie. The teacher taught first grade, and the boy was too old to be in his class, but they were neighbors. On the way to the bus stop, the boy would spot the teacher walking from his modest ground-floor newlywed apartment, coffee mug in hand, to his car. And on many days, the teacher was happy to offer the boy and a few other neighborhood kids a lift.

The teacher would usually park on the access road alongside Ocean Parkway, and they'd all walk into school together. But on this cold autumn morning, a few months into the school year, the boy would later remember, the teacher didn't leave the car right away. As the boy and his friends began emptying out of the backseat, the boy remembers the teacher turning to him.

"Stay a few minutes. I want to talk to you."

The other kids left.

"Come to the front," the boy remembers the teacher saying. "Come sit beside me."

Was he in trouble? Had he done something wrong? He couldn't think of anything, but he did as he was told.

The Plymouth had a wide bench seat up front, with no split down the middle.

"Come sit on my lap," said the teacher.

Then the teacher picked him up, the boy remembers, and put him on his lap. The teacher's penis was erect.

The boy's mind flooded. Should I scream? Run? He looked toward Ocean Parkway—Isn't somebody watching?

The teacher unfastened the boy's belt, reached around, and slipped his hand into the boy's pants, the boy says.

He couldn't see the teacher's face. But he could hear him.

"Does it hurt?" the boy recalls the teacher saying, over and over. His voice was urgent but also oddly indifferent, as if he were asking about the weather. "Does it hurt?"

The boy was panicked now, desperate to open the car door and run into the school for help. But he was 12 years old, and the teacher was older and stronger, and, after all, he was a teacher.

All the boy wanted was to fit into his new world. The sooner this ended, he thought, the sooner he could forget it ever happened.

The ordeal lasted just minutes, the boy remembers. Then the teacher told him to go. "I don't remember the exact words, but he said something like `Don't tell anyone,' " the boy says.

So into the school the boy went, wondering if he was the only Orthodox Jewish boy who had ever been molested by a rabbi.

For decades, David Framowitz, 48 years old now and living in Israel, tried to forget about Rabbi Yehuda Kolko. But he couldn't put the memories behind him. A few years ago, prompted by a visit to his old neighborhood, Framowitz found himself impulsively Googling the rabbi's name. He had to know what had become of him. What he found was at once comforting and devastating: a link to a blog with the rabbi's name and the words known pedophile. For the first time in 35 years, Framowitz had reason to believe that Kolko was not just his private tormentor.

On May 4, Framowitz filed a $20 million federal lawsuit against Kolko and Yeshiva Torah Temimah of Flatbush, Brooklyn, for what Framowitz says happened on at least fifteen occasions over two years, from 1969 to 1971—in the front seat of the Plymouth, and at the yeshiva at the end of recess, and at Camp Agudah in the Catskills, where Kolko worked for several summers. Framowitz was listed as a John Doe plaintiff in the legal filing, but he now has decided that putting a name and a face on the case will strengthen its credibility.

Framowitz is far from the rabbi's only accuser. A second plaintiff, who wishes to maintain his anonymity, claims to have been fondled and rubbed up against by Kolko in the eighties, most often in the basement book room of the yeshiva. And on Friday, Framowitz's attorney, Jeffrey Herman, was expected to file a separate, $10 million suit on behalf of an unnamed plaintiff who says he was abused by Kolko in the late eighties. All told, Herman says he knows of as many as twenty victims between the ages of 19 and 50 who say they were abused by Kolko. There's the seventh-grader whom Kolko allegedly pulled into a closet in the seventies and held against his erection until that boy broke free. The dozen campers who came forward in the eighties, only to be rebuffed. And one boy who, twenty years later, is said to have punched Kolko at a Bris they were both attending, because of what he said Kolko had done to him years earlier. "It particularly haunted them," Herman says, "that Kolko was still at the school and children were still being exposed to him."

One rabbi molesting twenty students over several decades would be disturbing enough, but Framowitz's lawsuit alleges that there was also a conspiracy among powerful members of the ultra-Orthodox community to cover up Kolko's actions. The suit names not just Kolko but his yeshiva—accusing Kolko's boss, Rabbi Lipa Margulies, of orchestrating "a campaign of intimidation, concealment and misrepresentations designed to prevent victims from filing lawsuits." According to the complaint, Margulies, a pillar of the Borough Park community, took extraordinary measures to derail a rabbinical court action, or beit din, against Kolko in the eighties—telling family members of a dozen alleged victims that if they came forward, they'd be shunned by the ultra-Orthodox world and their other children would be expelled from his respected yeshiva and kept from enrolling elsewhere (Margulies is named in the suit but not as a defendant). The suit also alleges that Margulies had a revered ultra-Orthodox rabbi, Pinchus Scheinberg (also not a defendant), tell the victims that as a matter of Jewish law, Kolko would have had to have more than just fondled them for the acts to qualify as sexual abuse.

The yeshiva—then called Torah Vodaath, now called Torah Temimah—is known today as the Harvard of the Jewish world, educating 1,000 boys at a time in a complex of modern buildings on Ocean Parkway. Kolko is no longer just a first-grade Hebrew teacher but also a school administrator and active in the school's summer camp, Camp Silver Lake. In the past six months, as Framowitz's attorney and other community members attempted to bring Kolko to a beit din, Margulies permitted Kolko to keep teaching. He even stayed on for two days after the lawsuit was announced—until last week, when, as New York was preparing this story, the yeshiva placed him on administrative leave and issued a statement denying "that anyone acting on its behalf took any steps to prevent alleged victims of sexual abuse from seeking redress in rabbinical or civil courts." (Kolko and Margulies would not respond to requests for comment. Scheinberg, 93 and living in Israel, could not be reached.)

What is perhaps most troubling about Framowitz's case is the idea that Kolko, if culpable, could just be the tip of the iceberg. Rabbi-on-child molestation is a widespread problem in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, and one that has long been covered up, according to rabbis, former students, parents, social-service workers, sociologists, psychologists, victims' rights advocates, and survivors of abuse interviewed for this story. They argue that sexual repression, the resistance to modernity, and the barriers to outsiders foster an atmosphere conducive to abuse and silence. The most outspoken advocates believe that the secular authorities—the police and the Brooklyn district attorney's office—are intimidated by rabbinic authorities who don't want their community's issues aired publicly and who wield considerable political influence. They are hoping Framowitz's lawsuit—one of just a few of its kind ever filed and the first to allege a high-level cover-up—could be a signal event, encouraging scores of molestation victims to come forward. Already, the Kolko case is said to have influenced plans for an unrelated case against a prominent Jewish summer camp.

The echoes of another insular religious community—one with its own particular set of sexual restrictions and a proven capacity for institutional denial—are, of course, impossible to miss. "This reminds me of where the Catholic Church was fifteen or twenty years ago," says Herman, who just before taking on the Kolko case won a $5 million judgment for abuse victims of a Catholic priest. "What I see are some members of the community turning a blind eye to what's going on in their backyards."

Even before David Framowitz first found himself alone with Rabbi Kolko, the outlines of his young life had seemed like something out of Dickens. His father, Alfred Szmuk, a public-school teacher, had died when David was 7, leaving his mother, Naomi, not yet 30, to care for him and his younger brother, Jeffrey. For a few years, the family stayed in Toronto; Naomi supported them by teaching Hebrew school. Then Naomi was introduced to Saul Framowitz, a highly Orthodox Borough Park man who had recently lost his wife and only son in a traffic accident and was left with three teenage daughters to raise alone. Within months, there was a courtship and a small wedding, and the widow and her two boys moved in with the widower and his three girls, sharing a three-bedroom, third-floor walk-up in Borough Park.

It was the autumn of 1969, and as the rest of the world seemed to be hurtling headlong into the future, 12-year-old David felt as if he'd been flung back in time. He was taken aback by the bobbing sea of black hats, the women with wigs and long, dark dresses, the way the whole place screeched to a halt on Friday night. It was here that thousands of Hasidic refugees from Europe had chosen to repopulate the people, steadfastly preserving the shtetl life that had almost been destroyed. Any sense of the modern world was ferociously held at bay—no movies or TV or pop music, even newspapers were suspect. The community's views on sex were perhaps most jarring. Boys were trained never to lock eyes with a woman who wasn't related; some were taught not to touch their genitals when they washed.

David and his brother were sent to school at a strict Hasidic yeshiva where everyone spoke Yiddish. David stayed through the end of the year, but hated it. "I told my parents that I was not going back there." He'd tried fitting into the ultra-Orthodox mold but hadn't made many friends. The next year, he was enrolled at a new school—Torah Vodaath. The founder, Rabbi Lipa Margulies, had made a name for the school by cherry-picking top talent, paying his teachers more, and working them harder. "He's single-minded," says Rabbi Nosson Scherman, a former teacher there. "He's obsessed with his school."

Torah Vodaath seemed for a time to be a good fit for David. "It was more what I grew up with in Toronto," he says, "a more normal school, where they had Hebrew lessons or Torah, but they also had English, math, and social studies." A few of David's classmates lived on his street. Soon after the start of the school year, Framowitz says, "I met some kids from the school, and they said, `We have a lift,' and I said, `With whom?' and they said, `One of the teachers lives here, and he's gonna give us a ride.' " After the first attack in the Plymouth, Framowitz says, he tried to avoid Kolko. He tried not walking down his block. "But how many blocks can you skip to go around to get to school," he asks, "before other kids started to wonder?" Some days, he'd be late and miss the bus, or it would be freezing, and he couldn't come up with a reason not to get into Kolko's car when the rest of his friends were piling aboard. Sometimes, it would be a Sunday, when the school day ended early, and he was playing with his friends.

"Here, I'm going home," Framowitz says Kolko would say. "I'll give you a ride."

"No, no, no, I'm here. I'm gonna catch the bus with my friends."

"No, come, we'll go for a ride home."

"You're a young boy, and you get scared," Framowitz says. "What happens if you don't go with him? He's a rabbinic authority in the school. He's the teacher. Will something happen that will cause you to get into trouble because of him—because you didn't show up to go with him on the ride?"

The abuse, Framowitz says, became ritualistic: Kolko would coax him into his car, place him on his lap, and fondle him. Kolko would keep his own pants up, ensuring that his genitals would never touch the boy—a line, perhaps, the rabbi was afraid to cross. Facing forward, David had no view of Kolko during the act. "Did he ejaculate? I have no idea. Was he getting there? I have no idea. I was 12 years old." Even avoiding Kolko's car wasn't a solution: Framowitz says Kolko would corner him after recess at school and rub against him.

Framowitz thought the end of the school year would bring an end to the abuse. But that summer, his parents sent him to Camp Agudah—run by Agudath Israel of America, a powerful ultra-Orthodox organization—and Kolko was a counselor. When Framowitz saw him, his heart sank. After one baseball game, "he pulled me into the woods, just past the center field, and pushed me up against a tree and started rubbing against me," Framowitz says. Other times, he says, the incidents were more fleeting—Kolko would wait until he and Framowitz were alone and rub his knee against Framowitz's groin.

Early on, Framowitz says, he tried telling his mother about Kolko, but she didn't know how to respond. The new marriage wasn't going well; his mother had miscarried—a potential replacement son for his stepfather, to help make up for what the accident had taken away. "It was just terrible pressure," Framowitz says. "One time, she picked herself up, with me and my brother, and she took us down to Manhattan and we stayed in a hotel for a couple of nights. With all the problems in the house, I couldn't force myself to make this into a big issue. And my stepfather just couldn't understand it. He couldn't see how a rabbi, a respectable rabbi, would be doing such things, so I must be making up these stories to get attention."

After a while, Framowitz just stopped talking about it. "I wasn't getting anywhere. They weren't defending me. So I said, Okay, I have to suffer. For family harmony. I'd tell myself, I just want to be a normal kid, but I can't. I can't do anything, because I'll get into trouble. I can't get into trouble because I can't cause more upheavals in the house. So just be quiet, and it'll go away."

Yehuda Kolko first caught the attention of religious authorities as early as the mid-eighties, after a major sexual-abuse scandal rocked the ultra-Orthodox world in Brooklyn. A Hasidic psychologist named Avrohom Mondrowitz had been accused of not just molesting but having intercourse with four boys in his care, ages 10 to 16, some of whom he allegedly took away on long weekends. He was indicted in 1985 but decamped for Israel. In the wake of the case, several prominent rabbis in Brooklyn decided to field complaints about rabbis and others accused of molesting kids. The rabbi chosen to look into Borough Park, who spoke to New York on the condition of anonymity, says Kolko's name came up repeatedly.

This rabbi wasted little time empaneling six rabbis to informally hear Kolko's accusers. Kolko's alleged problems, according to this rabbi, stemmed from his summers at a camp not far from Camp Agudah that Kolko apparently had an ownership stake in during the eighties. According to a former counselor at the camp, who also wishes to remain anonymous, it was an open secret among counselors that Kolko was misbehaving with several campers. A dozen kids had individually come to different counselors, the former counselor says, to complain that Kolko woke them at night, offered them rides in a golf cart, and then let them steer if they sat in his lap. Others said he'd visit them at night and touch them in inappropriate places. But these counselors were 18 or 19 years old, unsure of how to handle the claims, the former counselor says. Only after the Mondrowitz case broke a few years later did some of the former campers and counselors come forward. The panel of six rabbis heard the campers' stories and sympathized, according to the rabbi who convened the panel. But, he says, "there was no mechanism in the community to stop Kolko from teaching, except to go to the cops."

As the six-rabbi panel knew, rabbinical-court proceedings have no real power to substantiate abuse claims or punish abusers. Going to the police is largely frowned on in the ultra-Orthodox world; the notion of mesira, dating to the days of the shtetl, equates going to outsiders with treason. So instead, the teenagers and their families decided first to try to persuade Margulies, Kolko's boss at Torah Temimah, to force Kolko to sell his stake in the camp and resign from the school. At a preliminary meeting with some of Kolko's accusers, Margulies asked whom they had as witnesses. "Each name he dismissed: `This one is in a fantasyland, this one is a thief, you can't trust any of them,' " the source recalls Margulies saying. "And he was not going to do anything about it."

The group, along with parents and former campers from Camp Agudah, then tried summoning a beit din to rule on Kolko. They demanded Kolko not be there so the victims would feel comfortable telling their stories. But when the proceeding began, he was there, so they left. Then Margulies is said to have started a second beit din. According to Framowitz's lawsuit, Pinchus Scheinberg, the powerful rabbi who was close to Margulies, contacted several of Kolko's alleged victims, listened to their complaints, and told them that what happened to them was not abuse—that there needed to be penetration and that because there was none, their claims were not actionable. Then, the lawsuit says, threats followed. One father allegedly was told by Margulies over the phone that if his boy continued to complain, the safety of the rest of his children could not be assured. Both beit dins were halted, the victims never went to the police, and for years, Margulies told others who inquired about Kolko that the rabbi and the school had been exonerated.

Is molestation more common in the Orthodox Jewish community than it is elsewhere? There are no reliable statistics on the subject—molestation often goes unreported, even in relatively liberal communities—but there's reason to believe the answer to that question might be yes. "I wasn't even looking for it, and the amazing thing was how often it would just come up," says Hella Winston, whose recent book, Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels, examines ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn through the eyes of some dissident members who struggle with the dictates of the community. "I heard more from men than from women. What was really shocking was how many boys—so many boys—have had this experience. People I've interviewed have told me every Hasidic kid has heard about this happening to someone."

There are some who believe the repression in the ultra-Orthodox community can foster abuse. Sex before marriage in Hasidic life is strictly forbidden (unmarried men and women are barely allowed to look at one another), and even within marriage, sex is tightly regulated (couples aren't allowed to have sex, for instance, during menstruation and the week after). As Winston notes, fathers can't attend their daughters' school plays, "as the sound of women singing can lead to uncontrollable male sexual arousal." In a world of Paris Hilton videos and Victoria's Secret billboards, there are few outlets for an Orthodox man with compulsions the community refuses to acknowledge even exist. The repression, some say, creates a fertile environment for deviance.

Taboos against reporting sexual abuse don't just promote silence—they may also encourage molesters. Besides the general prohibition against talking about sex, there is also the shondah factor—the overwhelming concern with shame (a child who makes an abuse claim can be thought to bring shame on his whole family). Then there's the prohibition against lashon hara, or "evil speech"; the thinking is that virtually any public complaint about another person amounts to slander. There is shalom bayit, or the mandate to maintain peaceful domestic relations; many women and children have been made to feel that it's their responsibility to maintain harmony by not turning in their abusers. There's the notion of Chillul Hashem—desecrating God's name. This can be invoked if you say anything bad about the community at all. Finally, there is mesira, or the suspicion of secular authorities.

The beit dins are hardly an effective mechanism for dealing with abuse. Given the choice between going after sexual abusers and protecting the community from scrutiny by outsiders, victims' advocates say, religious authorities protect the community almost every time. "They don't have investigative bodies," says Rabbi Yosef Blau, a Yeshiva University adviser who has spoken out about other abuse cases. "They don't do DNA evidence." There's one ancient Jewish legal theory that the testimony of a mentally ill man is more highly regarded than the testimony of a woman. And if beit dins fail a victim, there is no appeal. "We're not accountable to anyone," says Mark Dratch, a modern-Orthodox rabbi who chaired a task force on rabbinical improprieties for the Rabbinical Council of America. "Even the Catholic Church supposedly has more of a structure for accountability than us. If we don't have the training to deal with a victim who comes to us for help, we have the potential to make them a victim again."

The Brooklyn district attorney's office insists it aggressively pursues sex-abuse cases in the Orthodox community, and D.A. Charles Hynes has been commended for launching Project Eden, a Hasidic-sanctioned program that reaches out to ultra-Orthodox victims of domestic violence. "There is nothing different about the way we handle cases in any community, whether they be sex abuse, homicide, or any other crime," says Hynes spokesman Jerry Schmetterer. It bears noting, however, that for months, Hynes's office resisted New York's requests for information on Project Eden, and still won't speak in detail about how they handle sex-abuse cases in the Orthodox community. Victims' advocates have long argued that Hynes's office simply doesn't actively go after abusers in the community, and that when complaints do come their way, they're often too quick to defer to the ruling of a beit din. "I've never seen any district attorney do this with the Catholics," says (Name Removed), perhaps this issue's best-known cause célèbre, who in 1986 claimed that her 6-year-old daughter was being sexually abused by her husband, only to have the child taken out of her custody forever. "The beit dins are hijacking the whole justice system."

Newsday recently uncovered a document, purported to be from the State Department, suggesting that Hynes has all but dropped the Mondrowitz case—ceasing to prod the State Department in its extradition battle. Hynes denies this. "Our position has always been that were Mondrowitz to return to the United States, we would prosecute him for his heinous crimes," says Rhonnie Jaus, chief of Hynes's sex-crimes bureau. Now that there's a civil case against Kolko, are they pursuing a criminal investigation? "We look into cases all the time that are beyond the statute of limitations to see if there are any cases that fall within the statute," Jaus says. "That's what happened with the priest investigations." No Kolko investigation has yet been launched.

What's certain is that much of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish leadership still refuses to acknowledge that sexual abuse is even a problem. Efforts to persuade Orthodox organizations like Agudath Israel and Torah Umesorah (the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools) to develop a sex-offender registry have so far been all but ignored. Even Henna White, the Lubavitcher community liaison to Hynes's Project Eden, has complained that she can't get into the yeshivas to be heard on the subject of abuse. "In New York, we're going into the girls' schools," White said at a conference in January. "Unfortunately, we're not going into the boys' schools, and not for lack of trying. Our right-wing yeshivas do not want us there, and there are many people who have tried. The feeling is that this is not a conversation they want to open up."

"The bottom line is that abuse is a universal issue that closed communities hide because it threatens them," says one former Lubavitcher in his thirties who says he was molested by an ultra-Orthodox neighbor, and who wishes to remain anonymous. "Whether it's Jewish or Amish or Mennonite or Catholic or Muslim, it doesn't make a difference. I feel like this is kind of like a fungus. It grows in the dark."

When Framowitz was 14, he began hanging out at the Jewish Defense League in Borough Park. "I needed to get away," he says. "It was more of a showing-off, `Oh, I'm JDL,' like putting up a façade. I was looking for somebody to defend me because I wasn't getting protection at school or at home."

Recognizing how unhappy David was, his parents sent him to yet another yeshiva, in Cleveland, for ninth grade. He lasted a year there, six months at a yeshiva in Toronto, and half a year each in Long Beach and Far Rockaway. In Baltimore, he says, he was molested again, by a rabbi who is now deceased. In retrospect, Framowitz wonders if something about him made him seem vulnerable to pedophiles. "I grew up not wanting to make more trouble than there was already in the house," he says. "Maybe I took everything as it came."

He was 16 when he dropped out of the yeshiva system, moved home to Borough Park, and started working at a computer-services company on Park Avenue while he pursued his GED. He met his future wife, Joyce, in a youth group; he told her about Kolko almost immediately, he says, and she understood. By 1983, he'd become a CPA, and he and his wife had had their first child and decided to make aliyah before their son was old enough to start school in Brooklyn. The whole family, including his parents, eventually moved to Israel.

Three years ago, on a visit to New York, Framowitz was walking down Ocean Parkway when he ran into his seventh- and eighth-grade rebbe. He called out.

"Rabbi Kaufman, Rabbi Kaufman—I don't know if you remember me, but you were my teacher 30 years ago."

The rabbi squinted. "I remember the face, but I don't remember the name."

"David Framowitz."

"Oh," said the rabbi. "David Framowitz. How are you? It's been so long."

"And I told myself, David, say something, tell him that you were molested by Rabbi Kolko. And I said to myself, I can't. It's a different world, you're not there. Forget it—you've made a life for yourself."

Back in Israel, he found himself typing Kolko's name into Google.

Framowitz found what he was looking for on a blog called Un-Orthodox Jew. The site—one anonymous insider's blistering, some say heretical, accusations of hypocrisy and corruption in the community—started about a year ago and took just months to report a half-million hits. Its anonymous Webmaster, who calls himself UOJ, has made the Kolko case his main cause. UOJ has never met with me, but he calls when I e-mail him. When he does, my caller I.D. is blocked. "Being from the family I'm from, I know everybody," he tells me. "They've all been to my home. My family's involved in all aspects of the Jewish community."

UOJ says that he first became disenchanted with the established Jewish leadership when as a young man he attended a beit din with his father and saw the rabbis there behaving in less than honest ways. "They were businessmen, mostly," he says. His earliest postings, in March of last year, reflect what would become his signature cynicism. "By the time I was Bar-Mitzvah, I got the whole picture," he wrote. "The guys with the money got the respect, the final say in the schools and shuls, and were the guests of honor at Jewish functions, period! . . . Give me one truly religious and honorable Jew, and I will give you one hundred thousand who do not have a clue." UOJ's first reference to Kolko came on June 26 of last year, in a broadside against Margulies. In no uncertain terms, he accused Margulies of harboring a pedophile and threatening the parents of victims into silence.

The initial responses were hostile. "You're a bit too bitter, even for my taste," one reader commented. "Maybe you are just a typical extreme left-wing Jew who hates Rabbonim and the Torah."

"You are entitled to your opinion," UOJ replied. "ALL MY POSTS ARE FACTS, AS UGLY AS THEY ARE!!!!"

"FACTS," his critic replied. "Like what, the New York Times?"

But, a day later, on June 27, came another anonymous comment claiming to confirm what UOJ had said. And then another, from someone saying he was molested by Kolko. And another, from someone claiming to be the parent of another victim, and mentioning a failed beit din.

This is the string of posts that Framowitz noticed on Google. On September 23, he told his story in detail as a comment, using only his first name.

"I too was molested by Rabbi Kolko," he wrote, "both while a student in 7th and 8th grades and during those same summers whilst a camper in Camp Agudah. . . . He would insert his hands down the front of my pants and would begin to `search around,' to say the least. At the same time he would pull me closer to himself, or would push himself forward against myself, sometimes even pushing me into the steering wheel, to the point that it hurt. Unfortunately I didn't react or complain. I of course told my parents and tried on several times to explain to them what I was going through, but they didn't want to believe me and my `stories,' etc. So I just shut up and let the molestation and perversion continue. . . . I feel that it is about time that the wall of silence be torn down."

A few months later, after getting dozens of similar comments and e-mails, UOJ listed Jeffrey Herman's name and phone number. He says he hadn't spoken with Herman—he'd just noticed him as a guest on The O'Reilly Factor, talking about a clergy sex-abuse case, and thought that anyone reading his site who wanted confidentiality might consider calling him. "The key for me," UOJ says, "was that on his Website, Herman said that he had strategies for getting around the statute of limitations."

UOJ posted Herman's name and number. When Herman, in turn, sent an e-mail saying he'd be happy to speak with alleged victims confidentially, Framowitz saw the posting and called him. Herman, an observant Jew from Miami, has handled millions of dollars in sex-abuse claims against clergy and school systems, mainly against the Catholic Church. He says he was interested in working on Jewish cases for the same reasons he works on Catholic ones. "People say, `Oh, are you gonna go after a rabbi?' " he says. "That's kind of a funny question to me. I see the kind of work I'm doing as protecting kids. Jewish kids are certainly as worth protecting as Catholic kids."

On February 2, UOJ paid for a bulk mailing to Orthodox homes in Borough Park, Flatbush, Williamsburg, and Crown Heights that might be too observant to have access to the Internet. The mailing accused Kolko of molestation and Margulies of a cover-up and even included their phone numbers. That's when UOJ says he started receiving threats—"We're gonna get your family" and "We know who you are." (Many of these e-mails have been forwarded to Herman.) People accused him of betraying his community and having an ax to grind against Kolko and Margulies. The Jewish Press ran an editorial blasting the mailing. A rival blog called End UOJ was created. But the most shocking responses came from those who believed that accusing Kolko of abuse—true or not—was worse than the abuse itself. "Certainly speaking evil of somebody, truth or otherwise, establishes the most severe of all wrongdoings," one pseudonymous comment on UOJ reads—"far, far worse then [sic] `child sexual abuse,' and the punishment far more severe." The post goes on to claim that having sex with a child is punishable by 39 lashings "at the most," whereas lashon hara is punishable by leprosy—"a far worse penalty."

Now that there's a lawsuit, UOJ feels vindicated. "Molestation is rampant," he says. "It's not a one-in-a-million case. There's at least one in every school. And I'm going to go after them one at a time."

David Framowitz has four adult children of his own now, with careers and graduate degrees. His kids have served in the Israeli Army and lost friends to terror bombings. He lives in a sunny, concrete split-level house near the West Bank, and considers himself a modern-Orthodox Jew now, wrapping the leather straps of tefillin around his arms every morning, praying three times a day, spending Sabbath at shul. He does not wear the black hat or suit or the curls of payes. He has told his children all about Kolko.

For years, he says, he's been happy—but he knows he's been affected by the abuse. "I'd tell myself, It wasn't my fault, I'm not going to let this ruin my life," he says. "You keep yourself busy and go to work and have a normal family life. But it's always there. It's like a nightmare that never goes away. No matter how hard I try to push it away, his face is always there."

Framowitz knows it won't be easy to win the lawsuit. The three-year statute of limitations is the greatest obstacle. Others have tried circumventing it and failed. Most recently, an upstate man named John Zumpano sued a priest for allegedly repeatedly abusing him throughout much of the sixties, arguing that he was too mentally damaged to bring a case until now. The state's highest court refused this argument. But the decision showed others one possible way around the statute: If after the abuse, a defendant keeps his accusers from suing by intimidation, the statute could perhaps be voided. Margulies's alleged threats of reprisals against young victims, Herman argues, meet that standard.

The $20 million price tag ($10 million per plaintiff), Herman says, is an appropriate figure given Framowitz's pain and suffering. (Herman's latest settlement, in a priest case, was $5 million.) But money isn't all Framowitz and Herman are after, they say. They'd like Kolko dismissed from the yeshiva and kept from working with children again. They want the yeshiva to establish a fund for victims who resurface in the future. And they want the yeshiva to publicly accept responsibility for its negligence, which in all likelihood would mean disciplining or dismissing Margulies. While Kolko's chances of returning to the yeshiva are clearly in jeopardy in light of his suspension, people who know Margulies say it's doubtful he'd ever loosen his hold on the institution he created. "Margulies is angry and bitter about this," says one longtime supporter. Like the powers-that-be in the Catholic Church, this source says, Margulies "doesn't get how this crime is viewed by this society with such abhorrence. He still believes the issue can be managed, when the proper response would be to meet it head-on."

The day his lawsuit was announced, David Framowitz visited the street in Borough Park where he and Kolko first met. He hadn't been there in years. In the car, he saw men with black hats and payes, women with forties fashions. He noticed a familiar toy store on a corner and shook his head. "Nothing's changed here," he said. "They're in their own little ghetto. It's hard for them to believe that such things happen."

He was silent for a time, then he turned toward me.

"So, you have pictures?"

At a red light, I handed him three snapshots of the rabbi, taken a few mornings earlier outside his house in Midwood. Framowitz stared at them.

"Huh. Huh. That's him. The face."

The only difference, he said, was the hair—once so red, now all white.

We arrived on the street where Framowitz had lived—57th between Fifteenth and Sixteenth Avenues. He pointed up to the third-floor balcony of a small redbrick building. "Same house, same everything," he said.

But when we got to Kolko's old block, there was new construction where Kolko's house once was. "It's not there anymore," he mumbled, crossing the street. "It's not there."

Framowitz, silent for 35 years, now couldn't stop talking.

"If they've known about this for 20 years or 25 years, why the cover-up? If there's even an iota of people thinking or knowing about Kolko, why is the guy still teaching children? Why hasn't anybody filed a complaint with the police? And why isn't anybody filing a complaint with the D.A.'s office? If they want to take care of it the Jewish way, fine. But why haven't they done that? Why aren't people standing outside the yeshiva demonstrating? For one person getting a ticket in Borough Park, look what they did! They rioted in the streets! Jewish kids are getting harmed, and no one's outside this school demanding an investigation? I don't understand it. I should have done this years ago. But if I can still save some kid . . . "

He trailed off.

"He who saves one life is like saving the world. That's what the Torah says."


Silence of the Lam

by Kristen Lombardi

Village Voice - July 25th, 2006


Accused of sexually abusing young boys, a Brooklyn rabbi lit for Israel 22 years ago. Now one alleged victim wants him brought back for trial.

Out of the shadows: Abe asked the Brooklyn D.A. to reopen the case against Rabbi Mondrowitz.

Abe vividly remembers that wall. The "bragging wall," as he's come to call it, was crammed with certificates and diplomas. He remembers fixating on that wall as the Hasidic psychologist advised him on how to be a good boy. He fixated on it, too, when the psychologist sat beside him, the man's hand shoved down his pants, stroking Abe's genitals.

Abe was eight years old, the defiant son of a devout Orthodox Jewish family who was sent to the child psychologist in Borough Park, Brooklyn. Every Sunday for four months in 1984, he'd go for counseling in the modest house on 60th Street. Sessions started with talk of his behavior—his mischief at home, his disobedience at yeshiva. Goals were set, rewards promised. Then, Abe alleges, the psycho- logist's hand would be in his underwear.

"He would fondle and play with my genitals," says Abe, now a thirtyish businessman not willing to publish his last name. For this former Borough Park resident, whose Orthodox faith taught him to revere elders, the encounters were devastating. "I felt very odd, ashamed. I didn't know what to think."

Abe hid the abuse for two decades, not telling a soul, yearning to get on with life. Until, in May, he discovered what had happened to the man he claims molested him: He got away.

That child psychologist was Avrohom Mondrowitz, Abe says, the same one charged with sexually abusing four Brooklyn boys in February 1985. Once a popular radio host whose Orthodox audience had known him as "Rabbi," Mondrowitz skipped town before police could arrest him. He surfaced later in Israel, where he's lived for two decades. (Mondrowitz, now 58 and reportedly in Jerusalem, could not be reached for comment.)

Abe isn't one of those four boys. He stopped his sessions in the summer of 1984, never to see Mondrowitz again. All these years, he's had no idea his alleged abuser was indicted for molesting kids, on charges that included sodomy. Abe learned of the outstanding case from a mention in a May 22 New York article about an ultra-Orthodox rabbi accused of sexual abuse.

Seeing the name in print left Abe stunned. He went online, discovering postings about the self-styled rabbi on sites for Jewish survivors of sexual abuse. Reeling, he contacted an attorney. And last month, he identified himself as a victim to the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.

Explains Abe, "I could tell this guy was guilty as heck and I had to do something. He needs to be brought to justice."

The D.A.'s office confirms that Abe appeared at its Jay Street headquarters in June. Prosecutors interviewed him and recorded his complaints. Hynes can do little about the allegations because they fall outside the five-year statute of limitations for sex offenses, according to Rhonnie Jaus, chief of the sex crimes bureau. All Hynes can do is try to use Abe's testimony as supporting evidence against Mondrowitz at trial.

Jaus maintains that Hynes is still pursuing the 1985 case. The indictment against Mondrowitz is pending; her bureau remains in touch with the original victims, now in their thirties.

"We stand ready, willing, and able to prosecute him for his heinous crimes," Jaus states. "If he returns to this country, we would arrest him. We would prosecute him. We would do everything we could to achieve justice in this case."

But there's a lot more Hynes could be doing to achieve justice, it seems. The one person who can reopen the push for extradition is the Brooklyn D.A.; he calls the Justice Department, Justice calls State, State calls Israel. That's how it works. Michael, the New Jersey attorney who represents Abe, believes Hynes could force Mondrowitz to stand trial, if only Hynes would take a more aggressive stance. Past efforts to extradite Mondrowitz failed only because of a technicality. Under a 1962 treaty, the United States and Israel have agreed "reciprocally to deliver up persons found in its territory who have been charged with . . . offenses mentioned [and] committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the other." This U.S.-Israel extradition treaty lists 31 crimes, including rape. You might think the sodomy charges against Mondrowitz would fit that category. In 1985, though, Israeli law defined rape narrowly as "having sexual intercourse with a woman without her free consent." Oral and anal raping of boys—among the acts of which Mondrowitz is accused—weren't crimes by Israeli standards.

Today, that loophole has been all but closed. Israel has amended its rape law to recognize males as potential victims, making the act of forcible sodomy a crime punishable by 20 years in prison. Michael argues the change opens the door to revisit the case. "In theory," he says, "there's no reason for Hynes not to request extradition."

Extradition lawyers second his opinion. Richard Bierschbach, who teaches criminal law at Cardozo Law School and who has worked on such cases, tells the Voice, "I think he would be extraditable now." Changing the law, he says, effectively changed the treaty. Courts have ruled that modifications to treaties can be applied retroactively, without violating a fugitive's due-process rights. "You can say with a fair degree of confidence that sodomy is now an extraditable offense."

Even Mondrowitz's attorney suggests that extradition isn't out of the question. Reached in his Tel Aviv office, David Ofek says he didn't believe the charges against his client when defending him in the 1980s, and he doesn't now, calling them "all lies." Mondrowitz has not been charged with a crime in Israel. Nor has anyone accused him of child molestation there. In a heavy accent, Ofek adds, "I found him to be a marvelous and gentle person, and I don't think he's touched a child."

Still, Ofek acknowledges that sodomy is a crime equal to rape in Israel—one that, in general, is extraditable. "It's a very serious crime," he says, "and we don't like people like that."

So does that mean his client could be extradited? "After 20 years," he tells the Voice, "try to do it."

Mondrowitz was a celebrity to start, a Hasidic Frasier of sorts, hosting the call-in program Life Is for Living at the now defunct WNYN radio station, doling out advice over the airwaves. But in a five-page criminal indictment, prosecutors painted Mondro-witz as an insatiable abuser who allegedly preyed on four boys, ages nine to 15, over four years. The 13 counts against him include eight of sexual abuse in the first degree, five of sodomy in the first degree.

The indictment may tell only a fraction of the story, says Sal Catalfumo. Now retired, he was the main sex crimes detective who investigated Mondrowitz for four months beginning in November 1984, when the Brooklyn South precinct got an anonymous tip about a rabbi. "There were a lot of kids and a lot of allegations," he says.

Catalfumo identified about a dozen victims to then Brooklyn D.A. Elizabeth Holtzman, whose office pressed charges on the four strongest cases. He had interviewed dozens more, he says. Initially, investigators had suspected Mondrowitz singled out Orthodox Jewish children who attended his special-education class at a Foster Avenue yeshiva or his child-counseling practice on 60th Street. Catalfumo says he ended up discovering victims from Italian Catholic families living on the same street as Mondrowitz did. Some served as altar boys at a nearby church. Others played with his seven kids. Two were prepubescent sons of Catalfumo's former high school classmate.

"Children told me and my partner that he would be molesting them in one room while their parents would be waiting in the next," Catalfumo recalls. When police searched the office, he says, they uncovered child pornography in the desk drawers.

By the time police had drawn up an arrest warrant, in December 1984, Catalfumo says, "The guy was gone. He escaped, and he's never had to face the music." All these years later, the former investigator cannot quite put this unresolved case behind him. He cannot quite forget about those, like Abe, who claim to be victims.

Confides Catalfumo, "Personally, I'd like to catch this guy. He shouldn't be able to evade prosecution for the rest of his life."

The Mondrowitz case has also haunted Abe's attorney. Michael's made a lonely campaign out of researching it, filing freedom-of-information requests to obtain classified records. Beginning in 1999, he spent two years collecting documents from the U.S. State and Justice departments chronicling the feds' battle to extradite the fugitive—a battle that stops in 1993, courtesy of Hynes. Michael shared his files with the Voice for this article. (The Justice Department declined to comment on the case, referring questions to State; its spokesperson refused even to speak generally about the U.S.-Israel extradition treaty.)

The paper trail starts just as the indictment was about to come down. In January 1985, according to the records, D.A. Holtzman's office began pushing the feds to bring Mondrowitz back to Brooklyn for trial, calling the Justice Department. Two months later, her office made a formal request for "the provisional arrest in Israel of Avrohom Mondrowitz." Prosecutors sent along materials for extradition in September, and kept in contact with their federal counterparts for the next two years. Internal records suggest that Washington officials felt substantial pressure from Holtzman.

"Natives of Brooklyn are becoming restless," reads one February 1986 memorandum, "and we are receiving calls from Kings County District Attorney's Office."

Another cable, dated November 1986, reports that the Israeli official on the case "has from time to time been in telephonic communication directly with the prosecutor's office in New York City to discuss the matter."

Yet another, from March 1987: "Relay the gist of this development to prosecuting attorney handling this case [who] had phoned on February 17."

Now a Manhattan attorney specializing in government relations, Holtzman declined to discuss her office's efforts to seek extradition. "I can tell you that we didn't sit on cases like that in my office," she says.

Still, these early requests were stymied. As early as 1985, Israeli officials had informed the U.S. that rape, under Israeli law, didn't cover sodomy. "The Mondrowitz case as presented cannot be acted upon under the terms of the existing U.S.-Israel extradition agreement," states an April 1985 cable.

Federal officials got creative and asked Israel to consider expelling Mondrowitz, then an American citizen on a tourist visa. For years, the case sat in a kind of legal limbo.

And then, in February 1987, after a change in leadership, the Israeli Interior Ministry ordered Mondrowitz deported to Brooklyn. Ofek appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court, asking for a stay and seeking access to the U.S. extradition package. It included four affidavits from John Doe victims. It also included a letter, purportedly written by a Borough Park social worker, charging that Mondrowitz had infected 28 boys with HIV/AIDS. The claim would be stunning now; back then, it was made more so by the fact that so many people didn't understand the virus.

"When you say, 20 years ago, that the man had infected children with AIDS, it means that the man would kill children," Ofek says. There were no drug cocktails in 1987. Not many hospitals in Israel could administer an HIV test. Eventually, Ofek says, his client found one. The results came back negative. The court threw out the deportation order. "The United States wanted extradition and the Israeli government wanted to deport him—and I stopped it."

To hear Hynes's office tell it now, extradition represents the one barrier to prosecuting this case. Just last May, Jaus says, her bureau reviewed its files and consulted with Israeli legal authorities, as well as federal officials. The verdict? "Under the current treaty," she reports, "he is charged with a non- extraditable offense."

Or not. In 1988, Israel amended its rape law to cover the act of homosexual rape. Internal federal letters make note of the change, urging a second look at extradition.

"An amendment to the Israeli penal code . . . presents us, we believe, with an opportunity to reopen the extradition case of Avrohom Mondrowitz," reads one March 1988 telegram from the American embassy in Tel Aviv to the State Department in Washington, D.C.

Interestingly, no records show that federal officials called Holtzman to relay the news. And there is nothing to suggest that her office was keeping abreast of the developments, or even knew about the change. Just when the U.S. may have gained proper grounds to extradite Mondrowitz, the paper trail fades.

But if Holtzman missed a key opportunity, Hynes has apparently plain sat on the case. He became the D.A. in 1990. In the federal file, there is no record of any activity from Hynes on the matter until 1993, when Justice officials called his office. That's when he all but dropped the case—approving a decision to end extradition attempts for good.

As one September 1993 Justice Department letter details, prosecutors "contacted our office and advised that they would not be pursuing the case any further at this time."

"Hynes has never been hot to extradite Mondrowitz," charges Michael. Why would Hynes allow a fugitive to evade prosecution through an old loophole, especially when a new victim has come forward to testify? "It's a compelling argument," observes Mary- ellen Fullerton, who teaches international criminal law at Brooklyn Law School. "If I were the Brooklyn D.A., I'd consider it."

Bruce Zagaris, an extradition lawyer in Washington, D.C., notes that the U.S.-Israel treaty is being updated, and that the new protocol would make it even easier to deliver up someone, like Mondrowitz, whose alleged acts haven't fallen neatly into the list of specified offenses. The protocol would replace the list with a provision defining any offense extraditable "as long as the crime is punishable by one year or more and as long as it's a crime in both countries."

So, Zagaris offers, "Yes, I'd say this guy is extraditable. And under this new protocol, there is even more of a chance that he could be."

At the very least, argues Bierschbach, the Cardozo professor, "you cannot flat-out say that he's not extraditable. You can make the argument, but it's weak."

Even so, Hynes spokesperson Jerry Schmetterer maintains, flatly: "After reviewing the files and consulting with authorities, our position remains that under the current treaty, Mondrowitz cannot be extradited. . . . He was charged with sodomy and the treaty has changed. It's our position this change is not retroactive."

Told that experts say otherwise, he snaps, "That's fine. You write your story. This is the position of the district attorney."

Maybe Hynes has his own reasons for not pushing extradition. In Brooklyn politics, the Orthodox ommunity can wield considerable influence. Political consultant Hank Sheinkopf explains, "They vote, and they vote in large numbers often." He estimates that the Orthodox population accounts for some 30 percent of the borough's electorate, from Williamsburg to Crown Heights, Borough Park, Flatbush, and Midwood. Especially in ultra-Orthodox areas, rabbis tend to pick candidates and congregants cast votes accordingly.

"The rabbis are very important because they tell their followers who to get behind," says Sheinkopf. For a politician, he says, that means "you have to play to them."

Hynes has worked hard to court the community over the years. In 1990, he became the first D.A. in the city to convene a Jewish advisory council, which kept leaders abreast of cases involving Jewish defen-dants or complainants. The council is now defunct, says Schmetterer, replaced by the office's full-time liaison to the Hasidic community, Henna White, herself a Lubavitcher. (He refused to let the Voice interview White for this article, saying, "It wouldn't be her place to talk about this case.") Hynes has been commended for launching such initiatives as Project Eden, a Hasidic-sanctioned program that reaches out to ultra-Orthodox victims of domestic violence.

Aaron Twerski, the dean of Hofstra Law School and a former council member, describes Hynes's relationship to the Orthodox community as "quite positive." He explains, "Hynes is a presence in the community. He's been responsive."

But Hynes has bumped up against the community before. The most dramatic example came in 1999, when the D.A.'s office charged a prominent Hasidic rabbi named Bernard Freilich with witness tampering and intimidation for allegedly making death threats against an Orthodox woman who was to testify in a sex-abuse case. The community reacted with fury, organizing demonstrations, accusing Hynes of anti-Semitism. Freilich wound up acquitted at a 2000 trial.

Michael says the D.A. has a habit of backing down from prosecutions that Orthodox rabbinical leaders would rather handle themselves. He has researched two instances where the D.A. initiated criminal proceedings against accused Hasidic abusers, only to let them fizzle. In each, he notes, "it was community opposition that spelled the difference."

With Mondrowitz, the Orthodox community hasn't exactly clamored for justice. No one dared talk publicly about the scandal when it broke. Catalfumo says rabbis refused to answer questions, parents refused to file complaints. Even those who wanted to see Mondrowitz punished—or dead—wouldn't cooperate with authorities, the detective says, for fear their kids would become tainted by a trial.

Catalfumo doubts the D.A. would do anything to upset the Orthodox community today, and he doubts the community would want to revisit the case. "Let's face it, I don't think they're interested in seeing this surface again," he says. Indeed, Orthodox rabbis and politicians who remember the Mondrowitz case declined to talk about it with the Voice. One Borough Park resident with ties to the same Hasidic sect as Mondrowitz offered this opinion: "Once a case has been put to sleep, it's best to leave it alone."

Twerski, of Hofstra, advocates "zero tolerance" in the community for sexual abuse. But when told about the newly vocal Mondrowitz victim and his desire to reopen the case, Twerski replies, "I don't know what to say about that. That's an old, old case and I'm not going to comment on it."

Jaus, for her part, bristles at the suggestion of special treatment. In 2000, her bureau got word from State officials that Mondrowitz was returning to the States. It contacted the original four victims. It had D.C. police ready to arrest him. He never showed up.

"If we heard this information again, we'd do the same thing," she states.

Those words offer little consolation to Abe. Sitting in the dining room at his attorney's suburban home, Abe hunches over the table, his arms across his chest, his eyes on his Blackberry, as he relays what he told prosecutors on June 7. How Mondrowitz had begun molesting him during a counseling session one day, and wound up making it routine. How the psychologist had even invited him upstairs, and fondled him there.

Abe had hoped his testimony would inspire Hynes to push for extradition, he says. "I came away with the realization that my experience is a footnote in a case the D.A. won't do anything about."

At least, Abe believes, not without incentive. So on June 24, he contacted an anonymous blogger known as Un-Orthodox Jew, who has posted controversial diatribes about sexual abuse and cover-up in the Hasidic world. Abe posted his own entry, writing:

"MONDROWITZ ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! Has anyone contacted you as being a victim of Avrohom Mondrowitz? . . . There is renewed interest in this case & . . . I am trying to find out if other victims have also recently come forward so that we can pool our resources & pressure the DA's office."

So far, he's received little response, though two Orthodox Jewish men who claim to be victims of Mondrowitz have contacted the Voice, expressing a desire to bring him back.

To Abe, it all seems so upside down—the way Hynes didn't push for extradition in 1993, the way he won't now. That his alleged abuser can live in Israel, his whereabouts known, yet run around scot-free, seems almost as bad as the abuse.

As Abe confides, "That makes it seem like a big slap in the face by the D.A."


80S Victims Want 'Perv' Extradited

New York Post - July 25, 2006


July 25, 2006 -- Two Orthodox Jewish men have come forward to say they were molested by a Brooklyn counselor who was indicted in the 1980s for sexually abusing kids but skipped to Israel before he could be prosecuted.

Now they want the Brooklyn district attorney to revive efforts to get Avrohom Mondrowitz shipped back for trial.

"It's outrageous that the DA has allowed this to slip," Mark Weiss, who is now 39, told The Post.

The pair's stories are strikingly similar to those detailed in the indictment against Mondrowitz, which grew out of a case involving other children.

Both newly revealed victims were troubled kids in their early teens whose parents sent them for counseling.

"I remember [Mondrowitz] had this sporty car . . . As a naive kid, I was amazed at how cool this dude was," Weiss said.

Once Mondrowitz, a self-proclaimed rabbi, won his trust, things grew sinister.

"He was so damn smooth," Weiss said. "Everything was my decision. 'Do you want to sleep in the back of my house, where it is scary? Or do you think you want to be with me, where you'll be more comfortable?'

"Then began the whole touching thing. There was some real nasty stuff."

The other victim, who asked not to be identified, started seeing Mondrowitz in early 1984.

"One day, I was sitting opposite him. He began to sit alongside of me and stick his hands down my pants," said the man.

Retired Detective Salvator Catalfumo said the investigation "began with an anonymous caller who said there was a rabbi living on the street molesting children.

"It was very difficult pursing this case," he recalled. "The Hasidic community wanted no part of this. We were told that if a Hasidic kid was molested, no parent would allow their daughter to [marry him]."

Still, Catalfumo, his partner, Patricia Kehoe, and the head of the DA's sex-crimes unit, Barbara Neuman, were able to secure an indictment in 1985. But before he could be arrested, Mondrowitz fled to Israel.

Then-Brooklyn DA Elizabeth Holtzman tried for years to have him sent back, but America's treaty with Israel at the time did not recognize sodomy as an extraditable offense.

In 1988, the treaty was changed, but Holtzman soon left office, to be replaced by Charles Hynes, and the case went cold.

Michael, who represents both new victims, blamed Hynes' inaction on "a lack of political will."

But Rhonnie Jaus, now head of the sex-crimes unit, denied this, saying her hands are tired because the new treaty does not apply retroactively. As for the new victims, the statute of limitations precludes prosecution.

"I'm not sure what we can do," Jaus said. "We have always been interested in this case. There is a warrant out there. We are ready, willing and able to try him."



Victims Press Brooklyn D.A. To Seek Abuse Suspect's Extradition From Israel


Forward (NY) - July 28, 2006


In the wake of new revelations about sexual abuse in the Orthodox community, pressure is mounting on the Brooklyn district attorney to seek the extradition of a man who fled to Israel after being indicted for sex offenses.

Avrohom Mondrowitz was indicted in 1984 on four counts of sodomy and eight counts of sexual abuse in the first degree after years as a school counselor in the Brooklyn Orthodox community. Three of Mondrowitz's alleged victims, who had not been aware of the original investigation, recently approached an Orthodox lawyer who has passionately taken up the case. One of those men has since given his testimony to the Brooklyn district attorney's office, which would be responsible for requesting extradition. Another of the victims plans to go to the district attorney, Charles Hynes, in the next week.

The district attorney preceding Hynes had pushed for Mondrowitz's extradition from Israel in the 1980s, but Hynes dropped the effort after he was elected in 1989, according to recently released government documents. The new set of victims to come forward say they are pained by Mondrowitz's continuing freedom, and the lack of effort by Hynes and the Orthodox community in pursuing the suspected abuser.

"Every time somebody gets let down as a victim, it's a further continuation of the abuse," said Mark Weiss, who says he was abused by Mondrowitz during a summer week with the counselor when he was 13. "He's just sitting there, taunting us, saying 'Hah, you're never going to catch me, I know the system too well.'"

Weiss, who is now 39, said that just a few weeks ago a friend in Israel says he saw Mondrowitz on the streets of Jerusalem, speaking with a group of children. Mondrowitz has been a teacher at the Jerusalem College of Engineering, posting his lectures and syllabi online.

A spokesman for Hynes, Jerry Schmetterer, said the Brooklyn district attorney's office is ready to arrest Mondrowitz if he ever returns to the United States. But Schmetterer says the D.A.'s office is hamstrung by Israeli law, which in the 1980s did not classify Mondrowitz's alleged crime — sodomy — as rape. For extradition to go forward, the crime generally must be punishable in both countries. In fact, the Israeli rape law was changed in 1988 to include sodomy, but Schmetterer said the extradition treaty cannot be used retroactively.

"Our position is that he cannot be extradited; he could not be extradited then, and he cannot be now," Schmetterer said.

That line of legal reasoning was explicitly rejected by the American embassy in Tel Aviv, soon after the Israeli law was changed. In a cable to the State Department, the embassy said that they had talked with officials in the Israeli Justice Ministry and determined that because Mondrowitz could eventually be charged under American rather than Israeli law, the retroactivity should not be an issue. The new law "presents us, we believe, with an opportunity to reopen the extradition case of Avrohom Mondrowitz," the embassy said.

The government documents were uncovered by Michael, the attorney who has gathered together the three new alleged victims to press the case. Other legal experts told the Forward that while there could be legal complications, the district attorney's office could pursue the extradition.

"I don't think the D.A. is being aggressive enough," said Douglas McNabb, who specializes in international extradition at a Washington, D.C., law firm. "If I were a victim I would be very upset that the D.A.'s office is not pursuing this matter."

The extradition was a clear priority for Hynes's predecessor, Elizabeth Holtzman. Her office pushed the State Department on the matter. At one point the Israeli government signed a deportation order, but the situation ended in a "stand off," according to a State Department memo. When Hynes took office, and his assistants were asked if they wanted to pursue the case, one of those assistants informed the State Department that "they would not be pursuing the case any further at this time," according to another memo.

Schmetterer said that the Brooklyn D.A.'s office dropped the issue after knowing for years that it could not pursue Mondrowitz.

Anti-abuse activists in the Orthodox community say Hynes's silence may have been due to pressure from the Orthodox community, which they claim has historically been reluctant to see alleged sex offenders prosecuted. The activists, including, point to a 14-person Jewish advisory council that Hynes assembled soon after he was elected, comprising members of the Orthodox leadership in Brooklyn. One woman who has been at odds with the leadership for years, (Name Removed), said she was told by two members of Hynes's council that the community did not want to see Mondrowitz prosecuted.

"The rabbis have no comprehension of the injury of sexual abuse," said (Name Removed), an anti-abuse activist. "They have no comprehension of why the victims want justice."

One member of Hynes's Jewish council, Rabbi Herbert Bomzer, said he does not remember Mondrowitz's extradition being discussed by the council. Bomzer did say that he knew Mondrowitz when the younger man was a counselor at Yeshiva University's high school, and that Mondrowitz had been "loved" by the students.

When asked if he would now support extradition proceedings, Bomzer, president of the rabbinical board of Flatbush, said: "If he has managed to get to Israel and is protected by the law there — then leave it alone."

Weiss, the 39-year-old alleged victim of Mondrowitz, said that from the beginning it had been clear that many members of the Orthodox community wanted him to let the case go. He said he had been molested when his father sent him to spend a week with Mondrowitz at a difficult moment in Weiss's adolescence. During that week, Mondrowitz's family was in the Catskills and, Weiss claimed, each night he was coaxed into bed by Mondrowitz.

"What's difficult to think about is that he was so smooth — so manipulative," Weiss said. "It was as if it was all my choice."

Weiss said that he blocked the experience out for years, but a run-in with Mondrowitz during high school conjured up the memories and led to a breakdown. He first told his parents, but they told him he must be mistaken. "He's a frum man," Weiss remembers his parents saying, using a Yiddish word meaning religiously observant.

A few years later, a principal at the yeshiva that Mondrowitz had attended summond Weiss — but after giving over the details, Weiss said, nothing happened.

The incident faded into the background for many years, but in 2001, Weiss was drawn out by what was billed as a "night for healing" at a New York school for Orthodox boys. Weiss showed up with high hopes, but he says that the event turned into a series of speeches by rabbis who spoke in allegorical terms, rather than dealing with the victims in the room.

Weiss decided to go outside the Orthodox community when he read an article in New York Magazine last month, detailing the case of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, a teacher at an Orthodox boys school in Flatbush who was sued by alleged former victims. Kolko has not yet filed opposition papers.

The second alleged Mondrowitz victim, who has already gone to Hynes — and who wishes to remain anonymous — also said it was the Kolko article that prompted him to step forward. For both, the hope is that Mondrowitz will be "brought to justice and made an example of," in the words of the second accuser.

"I want to show that abusers can't get away with it, that we as a community will no longer stand for the routine cover-ups of abuse, and to try to put some finality to that chapter of my life," he said.

It is likely that the new complaints would not be included in the counts, if Mondrowitz is arrested, due to the statute of limitations. But the men both say they hope their voices will increase the pressure on Hynes.


Child Sex Abuse Case Still Haunts

The Cold Case of Avrohom Mondrowitz and the Silencing of a Community


ABC - October 11, 2006


Oct. 11, 2006 — - Retired New York Police Department Det. Pat Kehoe still remembers a phone call she got more than 20 years ago, from a person making allegations that a rabbi was sexually abusing children in his neighborhood.

"I never received a call like that in my whole career in the New York City Police Department. Never," Kehoe told Cynthia McFadden in a recent interview.

"I'll never forget it because unfortunately it was my birthday, November 21 1984. I was working in the Brooklyn Sex Crimes squad and I received an anonymous call from a male who started to say that there was a rabbi and gave the name and he was abusing people on this block," she said.

Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz, as he called himself, lived on a tree-lined block in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn. Kehoe and her partner, Sal Catafulmo, went out to the neighborhood where Italians and Hasidic Jews lived side-by-side.

At one of the first addresses they tried, she says a resident told her "Everyone knows Rabbi Mondrowitz. He's good to all our children. He buys them bicycles and takes them away on weekends and things."

That might sound like a recommendation, but not to Kehoe.

"With that information I got very scared," she said.

Kehoe's background in an NYPD pedophilia squad taught her to recognize the signs of pedophilia.

"Pedophiles have a pattern with children to get their confidence and send their so-called love, you might say, and buy them things," she said.

What she heard from the children themselves only confirmed her gut feelings.

"We brought them in without their parents," Kehoe said. "They started to tell us, 'The rabbi is our friend. He takes us away,' and things like that. As the questions became more difficult for the children -- 'Did anything ever happen? Did anything sexual ever happen? Are you aware of it happening to anyone else while you were there?' -- they all broke down and cried, each one separately."

According to Kehoe, the children painted a clear picture of abuse. Kehoe says the children told her that the rabbi had fondled them, had sexual relations with them, and that he had fondled others in front of them.

Apparently the self-proclaimed rabbi -- Mondrowitz had no formal rabbinical credentials -- was counseling young Orthodox boys in the basement office of his home in Borough Park.

Kehoe and her partner immediately obtained a search warrant for his home. When they got to the address, there was no answer at the door, so Kehoe climbed through the basement window.

The alleged pedophile and his family had fled and his house was completely vacant but for what Kehoe says were up to a hundred files of Orthodox boys that Mondrowitz had been counseling in his basement office.

Kehoe and her partner reached out to all of the Orthodox boys' families, she says, but no one would talk.

"They were members of the Hassidic community, and as we found out through the investigation -- at the time I wasn't completely aware of all the different rules in the Hassidic community. And one of the things is that if one of them is ever sexually abused, whether it be by a pedophile or raped, there's a very large stigma that prevents them from getting married and going forward with their lives if this is ever found out or brought to anyone's attention," she said.

The only victims that cooperated with the investigation were Italian. They were neighborhood boys who trusted the rabbi because he bought them gifts like bicycles. Not a single Orthodox Jewish boy or their parents would talk to the police.

The statements of four Italian boys, aged 11 through 16, were the basis for the indictment against Avrohom Mondrowitz. He was facing eight counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, endangering the welfare of a child, and five counts of sodomy in the first degree.

The allegations against Mondrowitz were shocking to those who knew him. Rabbi Herbert Bomzer has been a fixture among ultra-Orthodox rabbis in Brooklyn for more than 50 years. He is president of the Flatbush Rabbinical Board, composed of nearly 100 rabbis. He hired Mondrowitz to counsel boys at a school for Orthodox boys in the late 1970s.

"He was very effective, so much so that toward the end of the school year when they were planning the graduation exercise the student reps requested that I should invite him to be the guest speaker at the exercise," Bomzer said.

Young boys were equally impressed with the charismatic older man. Mark Weiss was one of them. At 13 years old, growing up in Chicago, Weiss says he was having trouble fitting in and reconciling his orthodoxy with the outside world. In the summer of 1980, his father sent Weiss to New York to receive counseling from Mondrowitz.

"He had kind of a sporty little car, and he had this really cool sound system in there. And right off the bat I remember being just completely overwhelmed with just like how cool this guy is," Weiss said. "He took me out to eat. He took me out to lunch, to dinner. He took me to an amusement park. He took me sightseeing here."

Weiss trusted the man so much that with his family away on a trip to the mountains, he didn't hesitate when Mondrowitz invited him to sleep in his own bed with him, telling him, Weiss says, that it might be more comfortable there than in another bedroom in the front of the house.

What Weiss says happened in the rabbi's bedroom is something that even to this day makes him uncomfortable to talk about, but he knows how important it is to tell his story, not only for the sake of raising consciousness but for his own healing.

He says that over the course of the week he spent with Mondrowitz, the older man sodomized him on multiple occasions.

Weiss says he tucked the experience away in the deepest recesses of his mind and did not think of it again, that is, until five years later, in 1984, when as an 18-year-old, he was celebrating the holidays in Chicago where he says Mondrowitz was also visiting family.

"I look across the room, and across the room I see Remel Mondrowitz," Weiss said. "It just hit me like a ton of bricks what had happened and I froze. And I just sort of went into a state of shock."

Everything came back to him, he said.

"I realized that I was sexually molested when I was thirteen years old," he said

Weiss immediately turned to his parents for guidance. He first told his mother.

"She was just completely incredulous. She couldn't accept what I was telling her," Weiss said. "What I was telling her was essentially shaking the entire infrastructure to its foundation, really, because it was more than just me being molested. It was just the unraveling of the entire foundation of her support system and of her religious infrastructure."

His father was also devastated and confused -- after all, this was a man he respected and knew. Weiss said his father told him Mondrowitz was a frum man -- a religious Jew.

His father's belief that this is perhaps an experience better kept quiet is a view, Weiss said, his father still maintains today.

"Just a few short days ago, my father was in a panic that this was just going to turn into a huge Chillul Hashem, which is a disgrace of God's name," Weiss said. "A bad image would be cast upon Judaism and orthodox Judaism and the Jewish people."

Now a 39-year-old husband and father of three sons, Weiss said he has carried his painful memory of abuse silently for years. About five years ago, when he and his family were living in Denver, he saw an announcement in a Jewish publication for an event for survivors of sexual molestation.

He was ecstatic at the prospect that his community was finally prepared to confront this problem, so he immediately booked a flight to New York.

"It was going to be this night in which survivors were to be able to meet with leaders of the Jewish community and they were to be able to address and to tell their stories essentially and to be heard for the first time, really, in a public forum in the right wing religious community," he said. But the event did not unfold as he had imagined or hoped it would.

"It was very clear, unfortunately, that the rabbis who were there and the leaders of our community didn't really have an understanding of what it was they were there to do," he said.

"None of the survivors got to say a word. Any questions that were to be asked were written down on these little index cards and they sort of cherry picked the most benign questions and subsequent comments that were followed up by the rabbis really had nothing to do with actual sexual molestation whatsoever," he said.

When the evening was over, Weiss said he was devastated.

"Anybody who was really a victim and really had gone through some horrible experiences was really shell-shocked. We sort of all walked around like we had just survived a plane crash."

A Fall 2000 ad in the Jewish Image published an announcement for one such event, "Let's talk about what never happened..." and in small letters underneath "...but it did." Another ad that ran in a 2001 Jewish Observer advertising one such event bears in its heading a clear message of silence: "SHHH..."

"Because of the unwillingness to expose it, pedophiles can operate pretty safely in the orthodox community?" McFadden asked Mark Weiss. "It's fertile ground. It's fertile ground," Weiss readily replied.

"I've met victims and survivors who have been told by their rabbis they shouldn't say anything because this is what we call Lashone Harah," explained Rabbi Mark Dratch, an officer of the Rabbinical Council of America and head of JSafe, an organization to help Orthodox Jewish victims of domestic violence and sex abuse.

The biblical concept of Lashone Harah is "gossip or slander, a biblical prohibition against maligning another person, against speaking ill of another person," and holds even when the allegations being made are proven true, Dratch said.

There's another biblical concept at play when dealing with sex abuse and domestic violence in the community, he said.

"It's called Mesira. And that's a prohibition on the books of reporting fellow Jews to the authorities under any circumstances," Dratch said.

The mesira edict was published in a Yiddish-language Orthodox Brooklyn newspaper called Der Blatt in the wake of a case of a 6-year-old Orthodox Jewish boy who had brought allegations against a rabbi who had been tutoring him. The case was brought before the Brooklyn district attorney, who ultimately disbanded the grand jury on the case.

Sociologist (Name Removed), an Orthodox Jewish woman who studies sex abuse in the community and who says she has spoken to members of the victim's family, said the Hebrew publication that ran under the title "Severe Warning and Prohibition" drove the child's family out of town.

"Rabbis sign on to this edict about Mesira stating that he who informs to the Christian authorities can be murdered at the first opportunity," (Name Removed) said. "Well of course that sends such a chill to the family that they pick themselves up with their children, from Brooklyn and they ran out of the county."

"Victims are very hesitant to come forward," Dratch said. "Number one is the denial of the community. So there is a fear that they are not going to be believed.

"Secondly, it's -- I'll use a wonderful Yiddish word -- it's called Shanda, the shame of it all. And individuals are afraid of what the impact of their report will be on themselves personally and on their family and on the extended family," he said.

"The shame is that Mondrowitz didn't get arrested. To me that was the shame," Kehoe said.

Mondrowitz, now 58 years old, has been living comfortably in Israel since 1985, and the retired NYPD detective said she believes he has been amassing new victims.

"Hundreds, I'm sure. He's been in Israel almost 20 years," Kehoe said. "It's a sickness. It's something that you have to do every time when you find a new victim."

In the wake of recent allegations against another Brooklyn Orthodox rabbi, several Orthodox Jewish men alleging that they too were sexually abused by Mondrowitz have come forward to tell of the abuse that they say has haunted them.

Michael, an attorney who represents six alleged victims of Mondrowitz, including Mark Weiss, said it is similar to what has happened with the Catholic Church.

"The comparisons are obvious, but I would say at the same time that what we are seeing in the Jewish community is in some respects worse because it's more institutionalized," he said.

Rabbi Mark Dratch agrees.

"As an outsider to the Catholic Church, it seems to me that there is an infrastructure or a hierarchy and they have the mechanism, they really do have the mechanism to effect systemic change in a much easier way in a much more efficient way and a much quicker way because of that hierarchy," Dratch said. "In the Orthodox world, we don't have such a hierarchy. There is no pope and there are no levels of responsibility and answerability."

Dratch said there is no way to really gauge how widespread the problem is in the community, "because of this conspiracy of silence."

All parties involved with this story wanted to make sure that one thing was absolutely clear -- that there is sex abuse against children in every community. They would like to see changes in the way some rabbinical leaders handle the allegations when they surface.

"The biggest thing that I worry about really is that I represent the story well and not pre-cast it off in way that this just looks like a besmirch of -- a black eye and a besmirching of the Orthodox Jewish world," Weiss said. "But the truth is, is that it is a black eye to everybody. This problem knows no borders and no boundaries."

"The community senses there is a crisis here and that something very serious needs to be done," Dratch said.

ABC News easily found Mondrowitz living in a quiet Jerusalem neighborhood, his name prominently displayed on a mailbox. He even lectures at the Jerusalem College of Engineering.

He politely declined to be interviewed for the story, and thanked us for the opportunity.

"Mondrowitz proved to be brilliant at working the system," Michael said. "He understands this Orthodox culture, if possible, better than we do. He understands just what it will do and just what it won't do, what he can get away with and when he has to run. He's manipulated it masterfully and that is really a shameful commentary on the community. That a man like this understands it so well and has been able to turn it so well to his advantage all these years."

"And I was told when I embarked on this crusade to examine, explore sex abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community that Mondrowitz was the key, what he was able to do and how he comported himself and how the community so adroitly managed to cover up for what he did and to keep things quiet as he was out of the country. Just to keep the victims suppressed. To keep their voices silenced," (Name Removed) said.

Though some members of the Orthodox community told ABC News this is a very old case and very old charges with very deep wounds and that it would be better to just let it go now, but Michael told a different story.

"That's not what my clients believe and they're the victims carrying the wounds," he said. "That's not what I believe and I belong to the community they do."

Michael, who plans to push the Brooklyn district attorney to try to extradite Mondrowitz.

"This man is not an ancient man. He's only 58 years old now. He was 37 when he fled the country. These victims are not ancient people. These are people in their late 30s and early 40s. They are seething, still seething with what was done to them," Michael said. "And as one of them put it to me, every day that Mondrowitz can live openly in Israel knowing that he's safe from prosecution because nobody cares, is another day that they are victimized all over again."

The question of whether Mondrowitz could be extradited to stand trial in the United States is unclear. When Mondrowitz fled, then Brooklyn District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman made swift moves to have the alleged pedophile extradited, but under Israeli law at the time, sodomy against boys was not recognized as an extraditable offense, so she was unsuccessful.

Israeli law has since been changed.

The current Brooklyn District Attorney, Charles Hynes, is not trying to extradite at this time.

Weiss said he believes that speaking about the issue of sex abuse is the only answer.

"Throwing it under the rug will do no good. You need to just come out and say it and you know what, we are better people for it," he said. "Nobody's going to look down upon the Orthodox Jewish community negatively because we're talking about this. They are going to come to admire us for being straight about it and admitting we have a problem and we're going to solve it.


Did an alleged sex abuser escape justice?

By Sarah Wallace

WABC (NY) - November 8, 2006


(New York - WABC, November 8, 2006) - Members of an orthodox community in Brooklyn are demanding justice. The man known as Rabbi Mondrowitz was indicted on sodomy 21 years ago but fled to Israel and is now living there a free man. The problem? The Brooklyn DA's office says it can't extradite him.

There are allegations that justice is not only delayed here, but being denied to victims while Mondrowitz remains free. There are now demands for state officials to appoint a special prosecutor to look into sex abuses cases in Brooklyn because the DA is allegedly bowing to political pressure.

Mark Weiss: "I guarantee a pedophile then is a pedophile now?"

He's talking about this man, known in the community as Rabbi Avrohom Mondrovitz. As video from Nightline shows, he's alive and well and living in Jerusalem in spite of a multi-count indictment in Brooklyn accusing him of sodomy and other crimes against children. Mondrovitz fled to Israel after his indictment more than 20 years ago.

Retired NYPD detective Pat Keogh investigated the Mondrowitz case, interviewing several alleged victims in this Borough Park neighborhood.

"The anonymous call said that there are children living on the block, gentile children, that was the way they told us, that had been abused by this man called Avrohom Mondrowitz," Keogh said.

Although some Orthodox Jewish families had begun to move into the neighborhood, 20 years ago it was largely Italian. All of the children who came forward and accused Mondrowitz were Italian. Detective Keogh says she was told there were orthodox victims too, but she got nowhere with the community.

Keogh: "The attitude that I thought of, was that we were like the enemy ..."

Sarah Wallace: "You didn't think you could tell anybody?"

Victim: "No, I didn't think of telling anyone ... just the way it is."

This orthodox Rabbi now claims he was molested as a child by Mondrowitz at his home. Another man is now speaking out, as well.

Sarah Wallace: "He molested you for how long?"'

Victim: "For about 3 years."

Because of their positions in the orthodox community, these two don't want to show their faces. Mark Weiss doesn't have the same concern.

"On a nightly basis, I was subjected to sharing a bed with him and getting molested," Weiss said.

Weiss was 13 at the time. He and the others understand that Mondrowitz probably can't be prosecuted for their alleged crimes because of the statute of limitations. But they still want justice for those named in the original sex abuse indictment.

"He just needs to be taken off the street ?whether he ends up in jail in Israel or ends up in jail here," Weiss said.

Government documents we obtained show that efforts to extradite Mondrowitz began immediately after he fled. But at that time a treaty with Israel did not recognize homosexual rape as an extraditable offense. The treaty changed in 1988 -- but after Charles Hynes became district attorney. His office informed the feds in 1993, it was no longer pursuing the case. The case was closed.

Michael Lesher, attorney: "His record on the case was first indifference and then actual abandonment."

Attorney Michael Lesher is now representing several of the orthodox men who believe Hynes has dropped the ball on Mondrowitz' extradition.

Lesher: "They could extradite him tomorrow, at least the effort could be made."

Lesher and orthodox sociologist Amy Neustein are now requesting that a special prosecutor be appointed by the state to investigate sex crimes in Brooklyn.

The rabbinic lobby has a stranglehold on Joe Hynes.

The orthodox men we spoke with claim their community is determined to keep sex abuse cloaked in secrecy.

Sarah Wallace: "Do you think there's more of a stigma in your community than elsewhere?"

Victim: "Absolutely ... "

Mark Weiss: "I think the community is tremendously in denial. I think somehow these people tend to be merciful to the perpetrator and harsh to the victim."

The DA's office issued a terse "No comment" about this story but in the past the office has said its hands are tied by the extradition treaty but, if Mondrowitz returned to the U.S. he would be prosecuted.

I reached Mondrowitz' wife by phone in Israel. She said the allegations are completely one-sided. His attorney has previously denied the charges.


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Cardinal Roger Mahony sits in the courtroom during a settlement conference over priest abuse cases at Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles July 16, 2007. (Al Seib/Pool/Reuters)
Reuters Photo: Cardinal Roger Mahony sits in the courtroom during a settlement conference over priest abuse cases... By JEFF ISRAELY/ROME1 hour, 27 minutes ago

Depending on the subject at hand, the day-to-day running of the worldwide Catholic Church can resemble either a sort of centralized sacred politburo or a loose confederation of autonomous dioceses. If you prefer a business model, it's top-down management vs. franchising. Though imperfect, these analogies can help address a lingering question in the wake of the Los Angeles archdiocese's record $660 million settlement with victims of clergy sex abuse: What is the Vatican's responsibility?

In Los Angeles, as in previous cases in the U.S. and elsewhere, the local diocese has essentially shouldered all of the administrative blame - and taken the financial hit - for the priest perpetrators and the bishops who failed to prevent their crimes, with no reference or responsibility assigned to the hierarchy in Rome. Still, victims' lawsuits frequently cite the Holy See, the Vatican-based juridical headquarters of the 1.1 billion-strong Catholic Church, and the Pope himself.

Since the issue exploded in 2002 with the scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston, it has been difficult to force the Vatican to respond directly to the innumerable court cases that have arisen, since, according to the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act, the Holy See is outside the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. But two recent cases, in Oregon and Kentucky, have cracked open the door for the first time to the possibility that the Vatican could one day be held financially responsible and officials in Rome could be forced to testify. Lawyers are trying to prove in both cases that the abusive priests can be considered employees of the Holy See. A final decision on whether the Vatican is liable for any monetary damages is probably years away. However, victims' advocates are encouraged that judges in both the Portland and Louisville lawsuits have not tossed out the cases on immunity grounds as had happened in the past.

The question of responsibility extends beyond dollars and cents. Many Catholics believe that officials in Rome bear a significant moral and administrative burden as the leaders of a hierarchy that allowed these predator priests to inflict such damage. They point out that when the Pope wants to impose new rules for the liturgy, rein in theologians or tighten entrance into seminaries, Rome expects those edicts to be fully applied at the local level. And so, they ask, where was the strong hand from above when it came to protecting the most innocent parishioners? If the burden is on the individual bishops, shouldn't some blame extend to the Pope, past or present, who hired each of them for the job?

Going back in time - and indeed some of the cases cited in the Los Angeles archdiocese go back to the first half of the 20th century - it would seem the Vatican does share some responsibility for the way that its clergy are trained, hired and transferred, as well as for the climate of secrecy that allowed many of these criminals to linger. At the same time, individual dioceses do in fact have wide latitude in the daily management of their affairs, with Rome rarely intervening on administrative, financial or pastoral matters.

In more recent times, Rome has had a mixed record in responding to the crisis. Pope John Paul II called an unprecedented meeting in Rome of all the American Cardinals in April 2002 to address the abuse scandal, but was believed to have been largely shielded in his later years from the worst details. His successor has taken a tougher line, and indeed just months before he was elected to be Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote of the "filth" of the Church in apparent reference to the sex scandals. Among the boldest administrative moves of Benedict since his 2005 election was the disciplining last year of Mexico's Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the 86-year-old founder of the conservative Legionaries of Christ, who had long been accused of past sexual abuse.

In some way, the failings of Rome on this front continue to be personified by former Boston Archbishop Cardinal Bernard Law, 75, who was largely seen as the symbol of the entire American scandal. After repeated calls to Rome to remove him were ignored, Law was finally eased out of the Boston job in December 2002, only to resurface the following year with a prestigious posting in Rome as the archpriest of the historic church of Santa Maria Maggiore. He was last spotted this month at the Fourth of July reception at the palatial Rome residence of Francis Rooney, the American ambassador to the Holy See. The new symbol of the crisis is undoubtedly the Archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony, whose agreement to the enormous settlement saves him from testifying in court. An Archdiocese lawyer told reporters that Mahony had made several trips to Rome in recent weeks to get the Vatican's support for the deal. The L.A. archdiocese will sell off some of its prized real estate and take out loans to help pay the settlement.

In financial terms, however, headquarters in Rome points out the relative modesty of its resources. According to the Vatican's recently released 2006 budget, annual expenses and revenues are just over $300 million, which includes operations of Vatican City and of the Church's diplomatic corps. The income comes both from individual donations directly to the Pope, called Peter's Pence, which nearly doubled to $102 million last year, and from contributions from dioceses around the world, which take in the vast majority of donated funds from parishioners. Ultimately though, the actual net worth of the worldwide Church, over which the Pope always holds the last word, is indeed vastly greater than the Vatican operating budget would indicate. Indeed, simply weighing the value of certain works of art inside St. Peter's brings estimates to the word "priceless." Another reason, perhaps, why Church officials in Rome don't want to face the potential economic risks of these lawsuits.

View this article on Time.com

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There is a famous story. A child was hit by a car. Sprawled on the street in a pool of blood was the victim gasping and choking for air. Screaming hysterically over the child was a neighbor. Please don't die, please don't die, the inconsolable neighbor kept saying over and over again.

Approaching the scene of the accident was a mother with kids. Seeing from a short distance that her neighbor was crying, she came over to console her. Everything will be alright she reassured her. The child will make it, you have to have faith in Hashem, surely he will watch over your little girl. Oh no, your very mistaken my dear, says the neighbor, this not my child that was hit by the car, it's yours!

Mine, Mine, Mine. NO, NO, NO. Can't be. Can't be. Can't be. Now it was the mothers turn to cry and wail. My baby, my baby, my baby. Please Don't die!

What happened to the advice this mother had just given to her neighbor? What happened to having faith in G-D? Oh, it's YOUR child, so suddenly that becomes different? Suddenly the Emunah and Bitochon this lady once had has all but eroded and vanished. And why is that? Because it happens to be not her neighbors kid, but her own child who lays critically injured on the ground drenched in a pool of her own blood!

Rabosai: Is that what it takes for JEWS to break the silence. Do we need sexual violence to hit our own backyard for people to wake up and smell the coffee? Does YOUR child have to become a victim so that you will finally realize the brutality and evil that surrounds us? As long as it's your neighbors or another ones kid being abused, why should you care, why? Right, why should you? That is until the ugly monster hits you where you truly feel it, is that what you're waiting for???

Take a look at what happened in your own backyard MR. @ MRS. JEW:

New York Post



July 18, 2007 -- A mysterious predator snatched an unattended 4-year-old Hasidic girl outside her Brooklyn home, forced her into his car and sexually abused her before dumping her off to wander the streets alone, cops and neighbors said yesterday.

The little girl was finally discovered walking 10 blocks from her Borough Park home at about 9 p.m. Monday, more than two hours after her frantic parents reported her missing to the local Jewish security patrol, Shomrim.

Shomrim's NYPD liaison officer, Yanky Daskal, said the child had been playing with her 9-year-old sister in front of their house at about 7 p.m. when the older girl left her to hang out with other kids.

The victim said she was sitting on her steps when a white man in a black car pulled up, started talking to her, then forced her into the vehicle, Daskal said.

After taking her to an unknown location, the kidnapper exposed himself and forcibly touched the girl, Daskal said.

A pair of elderly sisters-in-law eventually found the frightened child wandering near the intersection of 16th Avenue and 61st Street at about 8 p.m.

"They were sitting outside their home and this girl walked up the block," said Lillie Ann Appel, the daughter of one of the women.

"My aunt approached her and asked if she was lost. She said yes and said that she had no panties because the man threw them out of the car."

The women, 84-year-old Josie Paterna and 78-year-old Anne Paterna, soothed the girl and tried to find out her address before deciding to call police.

"As a parent and as a grandparent, you don't want to hear that a 4-year-old experienced something like that," said Appel. "It's just an unfortunate thing."

Additional reporting by Leonardo Blair


Tot's hell ended in arms of neighbor

A cop keeps watch on Borough Park, Brooklyn, block after girl, 4, was abducted and abused in nabe on Sunday.

Anne Paterna, 78, was sitting outside her Brooklyn home with her sister-in-law at dusk when she saw a 4-year-old girl wandering aimlessly down the street.

"She passed us and I said, 'What is this little girl doing all by herself?'" Paterna said yesterday from her house on 61st St. in Borough Park. "She seemed jittery."

The girl, who was wearing a skirt and blouse, turned around and began walking past again, Paterna said. This time, Paterna intervened - alerted police - and, police say, may have saved the girl from further harm.

Cops credited Paterna with rescuing the little Hasidic Jewish girl who had been abducted, sexually molested and left wandering the streets.

The girl told her she had been playing outside with other children when "a man took me in his car." The girl said the man took her underwear.

"She was very alert, and cooperative and calm," Paterna said. "My prime concern was to get her home."

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the girl did not appear to know her abductor and told cops he was a white man driving a black car. Detectives were exploring whether any similar crimes have been committed in the area.

Kelly, who said the girl was not hurt, called the crime "horrendous."

"You're in this business a long time but you still can get shocked by the depravity of some kinds," he said.

Neighbors in the child-friendly community with a burgeoning Orthodox Jewish population were upset.

"This is a peaceful neighborhood," longtime resident Morris Leiner said. "It's extremely scary. I'm stunned."

Ari Noe, a father of four who lives across the street from the girl, said it's common for large numbers of children to be playing outside.

"A lot of the kids were playing there and all of a sudden she was missing," he said. "Somebody took her."

Noe said detectives came to his house at 3 a.m. Monday searching for any surveillance tapes that might have caught the attacker in the act the day before. He did not have any tapes, he said.

"She's such a cute blondie," said Noe, whose daughters are 5 and 8. "A real adorable girl and everybody knows her."

When her parents realized she was missing, they contacted the Shormin patrol - a civilian patrol group, Noe said.

The group brought the parents to the nearest police stationhouse, a police source said, which connected the girl with Paterna.

The girl fell asleep on Paterna's shoulder while they waited for police, she said, and was taken to Maimonides Medical Center when they arrived.

Noe and his wife, Sarah, spent the early morning trying to console the girl's parents, who were "pretty upset."

"We need security, maybe more cameras," he said.

Paterna's niece, Lillieann Appel, 53, said the girl was lucky she didn't run into another creep after being left in the street.

"She's lucky she found these ladies," Appel said.

Paterna demurred: "It's something that a person who has common sense would just automatically do."


"Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as you ever can."

John Wesley, evangelist and founder of Methodism (1703-1791)

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Edmund Burke, English statesman and political philosopher (1729-1797)


“Provision for others is the fundamental responsibility of human life.''

Woodrow Wilson, 28th U.S. president (1856-1924)


“To protect those who are not able to protect themselves is a duty which every one owes to society.''

Edward Macnaghten



Brooklyn, NY - Released Sketch of Suspect on Assault of Williamsburg Hitchhiker

Brooklyn, NY - The 84th Precinct of the New York Police Department has released a sketch of the suspect in the assault on the female hitchhiker in Williamsburg, Brooklyn two weeks ago. Please study the picture carefully and show it around to family or friends. If anyone possesses any information that may be of interest about this individual please contact:

The 84th precinct - 718-875-6687
The Shomrim Patrol - 718-237-0202
VIN News. We will immediately redirect your information to the appropriate sources.

The reward for tips leading up to the capture of the suspect has now been upped to $5,000 by VIN News.


exposemolesters said...

Molester's flight ends at jail
Alan Horowitz, who fled country while on parole, returned to Schenectady

Click byline for more stories by writer.
First published: Friday, July 13, 2007

SCHENECTADY -- Tidier than his fugitive mug shot but showing several days of stubble, convicted pedophile Alan Horowitz shuffled into the Schenectady County jail on Thursday afternoon in sandals and a bulletproof vest.

Horowitz, 60, was brought to the Capital Region after 11 months on the lam in South Asia and faces six more years in state prison -- the time remaining on his initial 10- to 20-year sentence for sodomizing a 9-year-old boy. He jumped parole in June 2006.

District Attorney Robert Carney called the former adolescent psychiatrist "the most vile and twisted kind of human being" and a "poster child" for civil confinement. Carney added that Horowitz believes there's nothing wrong with his abuse of children.

Authorities escorted Horowitz to Schenectady on Thursday from Essex County, N.J., where he had been held since Sunday after being deported from India.

His future is now in the hands of an administrative law judge, who could send him back to prison for the five years and 22 days he has left on his sentence plus the 11 months he was a fugitive, said George B. Alexander, state Board of Parole chairman. Alexander vowed to seek the full measure.

But federal prosecutors could also charge him with failing to register as a sex offender, said Gary Mattison, a criminal investigator with the U.S. Marshals Service who helped track Horowitz across the globe. That could land him up to 10 years in federal prison as well.

It was a tip to the "America's Most Wanted" TV show that helped lead authorities to Horowitz in Mahabalipuram on India's southeastern coast in May.

Before his Schenectady conviction in 1992, Horowitz was convicted of abusing a boy in Maryland in 1983. He also has been investigated in Israel, where he also has citizenship.

One of the state's most-wanted fugitives, he taunted law enforcement, hopping a plane to Japan the day after meeting with his parole officer in June 2006, then traveling to Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, India and elsewhere, Mattison said.

Horowitz even sent a letter to his parole officer, thanking him for his kindness but avoiding further contact, Carney said.

But one place authorities say they have no evidence Horowitz went was Tel Aviv, the city he mockingly told the state sex offender registry he'd be moving to.

He has also claimed to be an ordained rabbi. But Rabbi Avrohom Braun, an official with a Rockland County Jewish education center that Horowitz attended after his 1983 conviction, said in a statement that Horowitz is a "pathological liar" and his claim is not true.

Jordan Carleo-Evangelist can be reached at 454-5445 or by e-mail at jcarleo-evangelist@ timesunion.com.

exposemolesters said...










Roslynn R. Mauskopf
United States Attorney.


Main Office
147 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 254-7000
(718) 254-6479 fax

Branch Office
610 Federal Plaza
Central, NY 11722-4454
(631) 715-7900
(631) 715-7992 fax

2) Contact: Jerry Schmetterer Director of Public Information Kings County District Attorney's Office 350 Jay St. Brooklyn, New York, NY 11201



Also make your voice heard to:

Amy Feinstein
Chief Assistant District Attorney

Lance Ogiste
Counsel to District Attorney

Anne Swern
1st Assistant District Attorney

Mary Hughes
Confidential Assistant

Charles J. Hynes


3) Contact Assemblyman
Dov Hikind
48th Assembly District

Contact Information

hikindd@ assembly.state.ny.u

1310 48th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11219

LOB 551
Albany, NY 12248

4) New York City
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
780 Third Ave
Suite 2601
New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 688-6262
Fax: (212) 688-7444

Washington, D.C.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate
476 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4451
General Fax: (202) 228-0282
Scheduling Req Fax: (202) 228-0121
TTY/TDD: (202) 224-6821

5) Senator Charles E. Schumer

New York City
757 Third Avenue
Suite 17-02
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212-486-4430
Fax: 212-486-7693
TDD: 212-486-7803

Washington, DC
313 Hart Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-6542
Fax: 202-228-3027
TDD: 202-224-0420

6) Governor Eliot Spitzer

Spitzer 2010
461 Park Avenue South, 9th floor
New York, NY 10016
tel: (212) 286-2010 or (212) 529-2006
fax: (212) 370-7750

7) Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo.

Executive Offices:

The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341
(518) 474-7330

New York City
120 Broadway
New York City, NY 10271
(212) 416-8000

Attorney General's Hotlines :

* Consumer Helpline: 1-800-771-7755
* Crime Victims Hotline: 1-800-771-7755
* Medicaid Fraud Control Unit: 212-417-5397
* Environmental Crimes:1-800-771-7755
* For the Hearing Impaired: 1-800-788-9898

8) You may contact directly by writing, calling, faxing or e-mailing:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
PHONE 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)

FAX (212) 788-8123





YOB VICTIM said...

I went through a lot of what this commenter described. Keep up your great work. I'm with you all the way. These scum don't deserve any pity!


yobsux said...

I went to Yeshiva of brroklyn for kindergarten through 8th grade, until I was able to leave that hell on earth. I was repeatedly physically assaulted by the animals who run the place like abu ghraib. I was viciously brutalized by Yaakov Mandel, Yehudau Nussbaum and other rabbis at yeshiva of brooklyn. I saw yaakov mandel pull a boys pants down and beat him with a belt. Anyone who was in my class saw how he beat a rachmonus kid in the class who later ended up in ohel with his bare hands. He beat another kid from a poor home who had no money to pay higher tuition elsewhere and when his divorced single mom complained she was laughed at, Jack said take your kid to another school for this tuition rates. These menuvalim should burn in hell. ask anyone why the mesifta never made it. The answer is plain and clear. Noone was willing to stay once they became a baar daas.
June 14, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI "pained" by abuse said...

BERTONE-PRESS Jul-19-2007 (820 words) xxxi

Vatican official: Pope pained by clerical sex abuse in Los Angeles

By Catholic News Service

PIEVE DI CADORE, Italy (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI's closest aide said the pope was pained and concerned by the "devastating scale" of clerical sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, held a wide-ranging press conference July 18 in Pieve di Cadore, near where Pope Benedict is vacationing in the northern Italian Alps.

Even if the percentage of priests who have sexually abused children "is a minority," he said, just one instance "clashes with the identity and mission we are called to undertake."

"The problem of pedophile priests is one that pains all churchmen," he said, adding that the problem "in the diocese of Los Angeles was on a devastating scale."

Cardinal Bertone also was asked about concerns over the prayer for the conversion of the Jews in the Good Friday liturgy of the 1962 Roman Missal.

After Pope Benedict issued his letter allowing greater use of the Tridentine Mass according to the 1962 missal, several Jewish leaders and Catholics involved in dialogue expressed concern over the missal's prayer for the conversion of the Jews, which asks God to remove "the veil from their hearts" and help them overcome their "blindness."

Since the Second Vatican Council, in the Good Friday prayer approved by Pope Paul VI in 1970, the Jews are referred to as "the first to hear the word of God" and the prayer asks that "they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant."

Cardinal Bertone said "the problem can be resolved" either by closely following Pope Benedict's limits on using the 1962 Missal during Holy Week "or through a reflection that would lead to a decision valid for everyone -- for the traditionalists and for those who want to celebrate the Mass according to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council" -- that only the 1970 prayer be used at any Good Friday liturgy.

The Good Friday prayer for the Jews is one of a long set of prayers for various intentions, including prayers for the church, its ministers, other Christians, other believers in God and those who do not believe in God.

"It is a formula," Cardinal Bertone said. "The problem can be studied, and it could be decided that all those celebrating the Mass in the Catholic Church, according to the old missal or the new missal, recite the same formula of the Good Friday prayers, which were approved by (Pope) Paul VI; this can be decided, and it would resolve all the problems."

Cardinal Bertone also said the exact meaning of the limits Pope Benedict put on using the 1962 missal may need to be clarified. The papal document said, "In Masses celebrated without the people, any priest of Latin rite, whether secular or religious, can use the Roman Missal published by Pope Blessed John XXIII in 1962 or the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970, on any day except in the sacred triduum," which includes Good Friday.

But referring to those who have criticized in general Pope Benedict's decision to allow wider use of the Tridentine Mass, Cardinal Bertone said, "There is nothing worse than despising something you do not know."

Asked about the mid-July election in China of Father Joseph Li Shan as the new bishop of the Beijing Diocese, Cardinal Bertone said, "The bishop chosen is a very good and suitable subject, and this certainly is a very positive sign."

The vote by a group of priests, nuns and laypeople must be confirmed by the government-recognized Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church of China before it is final. It was the first election of a bishop in the registered church community since Pope Benedict's letter to Catholics in China was released June 30.

"We have not had an official communication about this election," Cardinal Bertone told reporters.

Normally, he said, a bishop elected by a government-registered community would later "enter into contact with representatives of the Holy See and ask for approval; we hope this will happen."

Cardinal Bertone also was asked if there was any possibility for a greater involvement of women in decision-making positions in the Catholic Church.

He told reporters there could be some surprises in the coming months.

"We are working on new appointments," he said.

"Considering the possibilities, the gifts and the feminine potential, I think there could be some positions that will be assigned to women," the cardinal said.

Currently inside the Vatican, the highest-ranking woman is Salesian Sister Enrica Rosanna, undersecretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The prefects, secretaries and undersecretaries of the eight other Vatican congregations are all bishops, cardinals or priests. Of the 11 pontifical councils, two -- the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications -- have laymen serving as undersecretaries.


Anti-Semitism said...

Young guns kick against abuse

Sam Edmund

June 25, 2007 12:00am

CHILDREN as young as 11 are racially abusing opposition players at junior footy games, a Herald Sun investigation has found.

The investigation has found matches across Melbourne are plagued by cruel racist sledging.

One junior club with strong ethnic links is demanding an automatic two-week ban for offenders, saying its boys are upset almost every week.

Among the worst racist taunts have been:

A 14-YEAR-OLD player who performed an Adolf Hitler march in the middle of a game against a Jewish team.

A JUNIOR coach who yelled at his players from the sidelines to "get the black kids" -- he was hit with a lifetime ban.

ONE 11-year-old boy telling an African opponent he was "just a darkie".

SEVERAL cases of Jewish players being told the Germans should have got more of them in the gas chambers.

SUPPORTERS yelling out "black dogs" and "black c---s" over the fence to Somalian players.

Coaches said they had been forced to instruct players from different ethnic backgrounds not to react with violence.

Even yesterday the Herald Sun was told a father at a junior game involving Jewish club Ajax, shouted: "Go hard, they're only Jews."

Ajax Junior Football Club president Paul Shnider said his players were regularly taunted, the worst case being an opposing player imitating Adolf Hitler in a game involving his son.

"It was really emotional for everyone," Mr Shnider said.

"There are parents who come to watch games who lost their parents in the Holocaust."

Mr Shnider has pushed the Moorabbin Saints Junior Football League to ensure every player and at least one parent undergoes a racism awareness program.

"You're looking at 11, 12 and 13-year-old kids who say things like, 'Too bad the Nazis didn't gas you all'. It's very hurtful," he said.

Jewish Community Council of Victoria president Anton Block said the taunts were reflective of community ignorance.

"One would hope that in 2007 we'd moved past it but we haven't," Mr Block said.

University High School/Victoria University under-18 coach James Mitchell is constantly forced to shield his western suburbs team -- which includes Sudanese and Somalians -- from racism.

"Our players get called 'black c---s' and 'black dogs'," Mr Mitchell said.

"This year it seems to have flared up in a lot of grades -- under-18, under-16, under-14 and under-12. It's just ridiculous."

Football club administrators said an influx of African families to Melbourne's west had fuelled the abuse.

Flemington Junior Football Club administrator Kim Kershaw, a former VFL player with Richmond and Hawthorn, is disgusted at what he has seen.

"We unfortunately had three cases in four weeks at the start of the season," Mr Kershaw said.

"We had an opposition coach saying: 'Get the black kids'. I mean, that's terrible for football."

The Western Region Football League, one of the most ethnically diverse in Victoria, has sent DVDs to clubs stressing the sensitivity of the issue.

That league's football operations manager, David Newton, said the Government's Bouncing Racism Out Of Sport program and multiculturalism seminars were achieving results under an education-first approach.

"We wouldn't say we're proud of having some (incidents) but we're very proactive in handling it," he said.

exposemolesters said...

Police Seek Suspected Child Molester

Police in Woodstock have asked for help in finding a man suspected of molesting a 4-year-old girl. Authorities said someone contacted local police with suspicious that 38-year-old Leonard Lawley Jr. had repeatedly molested the girl.

Officers searched his home, and then obtained a warrant for his arrest on charges of child molestation and enticing a child for indecent purposes.

Police think Lawley is now on the run. He is reported to drive a 4-door black Toyota Tacoma truck with Georgia tag ATI 1801. Woodstock police asks for anyone with information to contact them at 770- 592-6030.

Prison for child molester
Jason STREETER, formerly of Phillipsburg, sentenced to 13 years for assaulting a young girl.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
The Express-Times

BELVIDERE | A former Phillipsburg man who molested and sexually assaulted a young girl over a four-year period drew a 13-year state prison sentence Friday in Warren County Superior Court.

Jason Streeter, 34, of Hampton, Va., pleaded guilty Feb. 20 to aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and two counts of child endangerment.

Streeter used money to bribe his young victim to engage in sexual acts with him, according to court records.

His last-minute plea bargain reached with Warren County Assistant Prosecutor Christine Engiles came the same day jury selection was set to begin for his trial, authorities said.

Streeter knew his victim, who was between the ages of 10 and 14 when the abuse occurred between September 2000 and August 2004.

He was arrested Aug. 31, 2004, after his victim told a family friend about the abuse.

Streeter earlier underwent an evaluation to determine if he was a compulsive sex offender and should serve his time in the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel, N.J. The evaluation showed he was not compulsive and so he will serve his sentence in a regular state prison, records show.

Reporter Tom Quigley can be reached at 908-475-8184 or by e-mail at tquigley@express-times.com.

The Arizona Daily Star
Published: 07.20.2007

Border agents arrest convicted child molester
A man convicted of child molestation in Florida was arrested this week by Border Patrol agents on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation.

Agents apprehended a 24-year-old Mexican man about 6 p.m. Tuesday southwest of Sells as the man tried to cross into the country illegally, said Richard DeWitt, spokesman for the agency's Tucson Sector.

A records check revealed Thursday that the man had been convicted in April 2006 of lewd and lascivious behavior with someone less than 12 years old in Highlands County, Fla., DeWitt said.

He had been previously deported this year out of El Paso, he said. The man will be processed for removal and charged criminally with re-entry of an aggravated felon, he said.

Border Patrol officials estimate that about 10 percent of the people they catch have criminal records. Recent data seems to bear that out.

From Oct. 1 through June 15, 31,152 — or 11 percent — of the 288,018 apprehensions made in the Tucson Sector were illegal entrants with criminal records, said DeWitt, citing the latest figures available.

During the same time in 2006, 28,592 — or 9 percent — of the 313,645 apprehensions had criminal records, he said.

District News Banner
July 20, 2007 Office of Public Affairs (202) 307-9065 or
Deputy Michael Powell, U.S. Marshals Service
Southern District of Iowa (515) 284-6240

U.S. Marshals Join Search, Offer Reward for Accused Child Molester

Russell Eugene BlessmanDes Moines, IA – U.S. Marshals have joined Polk County authorities in the search for a Polk City man accused of sexually abusing a minor. Russell Eugene Blessman, 51, is charged with two counts of 2nd degree sexual abuse and one count of contempt of court in reference to an alleged violation of a no contact order. Arrest warrants were issued for Blessman in Polk County in June 2007.

Authorities believe Blessman may have fled Iowa prompting U.S. Marshals in Des Moines to obtain a federal arrest warrant and charge Blessman with Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution (UFAP). U.S. Marshals are offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to Blessman’s arrest.

Blessman is described as a 51 year old white male, 6’04” tall, weighing 360 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. Blessman may be driving a red 1997 Dodge Caravan with Iowa Plates 032-SJM, but is partial to Lincoln Town Cars. Blessman should be considered armed and dangerous and a threat to children.

Persons with information about Blessman are encouraged to contact U.S. Marshals in Des Moines at 515-323-2897, U.S. Marshals Headquarters at 1-877-WANTED2, or local law enforcement.

U.S. Marshals frequently provide assistance and expertise to other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in support of a wide range of law enforcement activities including fugitive apprehension. In Fiscal Year 2006, Marshals Service-led fugitive task forces arrested more than 46,800 state/local fugitives, clearing 54,300 state/local felony warrants.

Additional information about U.S. Marshals, including Most Wanted fugitives, can be found at www.usmarshals.gov.

Child molester seeks bail after prison bashing
20th July 2007, 12:30 WST

A convicted child molester has asked to be released on bail after being bashed in Hakea Prison while on remand, according to his lawyer.

Simon Delmege Cairns appeared by video-link in Perth Magistrate’s Court this morning, charged with one count of an indecent act with intent to insult or offend and one count of being a child sex offender near a public place.

Police allege he exposed himself to school girls.

His lawyer John Prior asked for bail on the grounds that Cairns was assaulted in Hakea by an HIV positive prisoner on Wednesday and his life had been threatened. Mr Prior said his client continued to work in the prison laundry with one of the men who assaulted him.

“One of the persons that’s assaulted him is HIV positive and has threatened to kill him,” Mr Prior said.

“Mr Cairns is in fear of his life at this time.”

The prosecution said they had no forewarning of an application for bail and requested an adjournment so they could prepare a counter argument.

Magistrate Steven Malley ruled that Cairns be remanded in custody until a bail application on July 23.

Cairns will also appear in Joondalup court on August 22 to face additional charges of performing an indecent act in public and being a child sex offender near a public place.


Convicted child molester won't have prison term reduced
By David Castellon
Staff writer

A convicted child molester from Tulare will not have his 46-year-prison term reduced following today’s California Supreme Court decision.

The case of Kevin Black, convicted of sexually molesting three girls, centered on his claim that California’s sentencing standards are illegal, and that Tulare County Superior Court Judge William Silveira should have held a separate trial to consider whether aggravated circumstances existed to justify handing down the maximum sentences on each count and to have the sentences served consecutively.

Black had taken his case to the state Supreme Court and lost and then to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The federal high court ordered that the state Supreme Court reconsider its prior decision in light of another, recent California ruling on sentencing. The state Supreme Court judges ruled that the other case didn’t affect its earlier ruling.

The reporter can be reached at dcastell@visalia.gannett.com.

WANTED: Rollerblading Child Molester

Dearborn Police seeking information from public regarding child molestation suspect

Dearborn, Mich. – The Dearborn Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating a person suspected of an incident of child molestation.

The incident occurred in a residential neighborhood in Dearborn located in the area of Warren Avenue and Schaefer on Monday, July 16, at about 3 p.m.

Information given to police indicates that a teenage male approached a five-year-old girl and then touched her inappropriately. The male fled after the girl ran to tell her parents.

Dearborn Police are asking that anyone with information about the case, or the identity or location of the suspect, please contact Detective / Sergeant Anne Kanitra at 313.943.3145.

A description of the individual is as follows: a white male, possibly of Middle Eastern descent; 15-16 years old; five feet eight inches tall with a thin build; tanned complexion; dark black short hair with a wave to it; possibly slight acne; and no facial hair.

The individual was last seen wearing a short-sleeve crew neck-type blue shirt and blue jeans and black roller blades with black wheels with a red center.

U.S. Marshals, SeaWorld Work To Capture Alleged Molester

POSTED: 7:11 am EDT July 19, 2007
UPDATED: 11:22 am EDT July 19, 2007

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- U.S. Marshals said they've arrested a sex offender from out of state. The suspect was transported to the Orange County jail around 5:30 Thursday morning.

As soon as 71-year-old Glenn Brown realized television cameras were rolling, he tucked his head down in the front seat of the U.S. Marshal's vehicle that was transporting him to the Orange County jail. The SeaWorld employee was arrested for aggravated sexual battery on a 10-year-old boy in Richmond, Virginia.

Marshals said they were contacted by officials in Richmond and worked with SeaWorld to make the arrest.

"He had just arrived for work. We worked with SeaWorld security to get him safely out of the park before any of the guests arrived," explained Deputy U.S. Marshal Laura Sophia.

The trip back to Virginia could take anywhere between ten days to four weeks. Brown had been a SeaWorld employee for less than a year. Investigators do not believe he had inappropriate contact with anyone at SeaWorld.

Accused child molester arrested
There have been 14 comments posted
Posted: 11:26 PM Jul 18, 2007
Last Updated: 12:01 AM Jul 19, 2007
Reporter: Marcie Kobriger
Email Address: marcie.kobriger@wndu.com
Accused child molester arrested

Paul Joel Hess had been on the run since 1981, fleeing from charges of child molestation in Fulton County.

But Hess's number came up Wednesday as the FBI and the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office were able to take him into custody without incident.

While no one was hurt during the stand-off, parents in the neighborhood where Hess lives fear damage may have already been done.

Seeing FBI agents with machine guns march down suburban drive in LaPorte county had residents on edge.

Earlier those agents marched to Paul Joel Hess' door with a different weapon -- a warrant.

FBI agent Mark Becker recalls how the four hour stand-off started, “They knocked on the door, Hess came to the door, the FBI agents indicated the purpose as to why they were there, at which time the door was slammed shut.”

And the door would stay shut until negotiators were able to talk Hess into coming out, and being taken in.

Hess, 62 years old, may be behind bars and long gone from this neighborhood, but neighbors say their worries are not over.

What happens if he comes back?

Angela Personette lives next door to Hess. “There’s been many times were he would stand at the wire fence between my backyard and his backyard. He would just stand there and watch my children play. I have two little girls. It just makes me sick. I just want to throw up,” she says about the original charges against her neighbor.

But law enforcement officers are asking neighbors to back up. “He’s not been found guilty of any crime. He’s just simply been charged with a crime, we're just glad we were able to find him today and we're glad it resolved itself in the manner that it did,” Becker says.

While the stand-off may be resolved, residents in the normally quiet neighborhood say they will not feel the situation is resolved until they know that Hess is gone for good.

”We have a lot of children in this neighborhood. We want him out of our park,” Kathleen Plonter, Hess’s neighbor says.

“He needs to disappear. As far as I’m concerned, he needs to disappear,” Personette adds.

Hess will be out of the neighborhood for at least a little while. He was booked in LaPorte county tonight and will most likely be extradited to Fulton county soon.

Read Comments
Posted by: Hayley Location: from the neighborhood
being one that was there i knew something was up with him. first off no one around here really knew the couple at all and trust me its a nice small neighborhood so everyone knows eachother. he would always stare at us girls while in the summertime its hot so of course we might walk around here and there in bikini tops i dont really feel safe in this area anymore who knows who else is around here like that. i can see his face at night now and its not pleasent at all im a 16 year old girl and this makes me sick just knowin hes looked at us in some kind of way or another and i'll know now never to walk in my neighborhood alone.
Posted by: manny Location: south bend
Mr. Tee, how could you even think of wishing an illness like that or any illness for that matter on small helpless children??? You are SICK!!!! YOU NEED TO GET SERIOUS HELP QUICK!!! Maybe you are just like hess. maybe you should be locked up too you insensitive ignorant immoral son of a ******!!!!! If protecting your kids is a crime well then i guess every good parent should go to jail then. it is a good parents job to protect their kids from sick perverts like hess and all other sex offenders not to mention all the other horrors that are out there in this world.
Posted by: Misty Location: Osceola
I believe in "innocent until proven guilty", and my 3 children 16, 11, and 8 are treated that way, but you don't mess around with a child's life. As they're mom, I am there "safe haven". They are my life, so therefore they are my GOLD!!!!! Tee, I hope you don't have nor will ever have children, if you do i'm sure those poor things will end up a statistic.
Posted by: jacob Location: knox
Lets recap here for a min Mr. tee, Paul Hess ran for 20 yrs after being accused of child molestation & more people have been disturbed enough by your comments to post msg. about you instead of him , on a personal note, Mr. tee you are a immoral, ignorant, insensitive, a** & should be taken off the internet. (I believe in freedom of speech) but you are perverting the morals of every one who has the supreme unfortunate opportunity of coming into contact with you & your very disturbed opinions. Im praying that you get the help you obviously need.
Posted by: Shelly Location: Osceola
Tee-I believe in freedom of speech, I also believe that there is a tactful way to say things. You, my friend, have a very disjointed opinion- one that perhaps would have been better left unsaid. For your sake and those around you, I hope that you receive the help that you so desprately need. I am a parent (I sincerely hope that you are not), but the thought of anyone wishing something so awful on such small innocent lives, truley makes me ill. I am fearful that people like you are on the streets and not in a treatment center where you so obviously belong. WNDU- it is unreal to me that you would even give "TEE" the sick satisfaction of posting that comment, you have showed me, a loyal viewer, your severe lack of morality.
Posted by: Kristine Location: Goshen
Tee, sounds like you may have something in common with Mr. Hess. God help you!!
Posted by: Melissa Dani, How are the parents fools? By protecting their children that makes them a fool? IF we don't protect our children who is? I can't believe that someone wouldn't want to protect their child from a person who is suspected of child molestation.
Posted by: Dani Location: Mishawaka
To Tee--I see your point, the parents are fools, but don't take it out on the kids, not their fault, We can't control who our parents are...
Posted by: Melissa Location: Granger
Tee, You are a sick, sick, person. To think it would be nice for someone's child to get a serious illness. Are you a parent? How would you feel if you were living amongst a person who had child moletation charges filed against them? Would you be concerened for the safety of your child? I would be cautious if my neighbor had been on the run since 1981 and had child molestation charges. I also would be questioning him staring at my young children while they were playing. Why was he on the run? Obviously he is guilty of something or he wouldn't be running. Did she say anything even close about her kids being pure as gold? NO she didn't. Reread the article. Every neighbor has the right to be concerned. Why are you so defensive Tee. Are you guilty as well? Or are you just ignorant?
Posted by: John Location: South Bend
Tee, you are one sick b******* You need to get help.
Posted by: Tee Location: South Bend
It sure sounds like the mommies in that neighborhood have already convicted him. Never mind that their kids will probably grow up to be on the sex offenders list themselves. Mrs. Plonter would rather have that gentleman as a neighbor than me because I despise people like her that think their rotten kids are pure gold or something. I hope the guy makes bail and moves right back among those rotten and spoiled punks. And Mrs. Personnette it'd be nice if your two little girls caught cancer or some terminal illness, then you'd have a legitimate reason to want to throw up.
Posted by: a mom Location: from new america
I'd say it's about time someone got tough w/ child molesters... if the legal system and judges won't - then the new america NEEDS to!
Posted by: Jim Location: Baroda
sounds like people have all ready convicted him. Is this the new America?
Posted by: Heather Location: St Joe MI
So he's been on the run for 20 years? Why so long? They must not have been looking for him hard enough !!!!! Police stop folks for speeding yet they can't find this man !!!!!

Molester 'with mind of child' stymies court

Lori Glenn

— MOULTRIE — A year and a half after sentencing, the question still lingers: what to do with a mentally challenged man convicted of child molestation in Colquitt County.
Derrick Dewayne Gibson, 28, 191 Moncrief Road, had been indicted on two counts of child molestation but pleaded guilty to only one. He pleaded guilty to showing pornographic images off the Internet to a 4-year-old boy in 2004. The other count against him alleged physical molestation of the boy at that same time, but that charge were dropped with the plea arrangement.
This week, Superior Court Judge Richard Cowart received an update on Gibson’s status. Pending still is a probation revocation petition against Gibson, who was sentenced in January 2006 to 10 years probation. Gibson’s original order instructed him to spend not less than 180 days and no more than 360 days in a detention center, suspended upon his enrollment in the Normal Life of Georgia program in Valdosta for two years. Gibson never enrolled, thus violating probation, probation officials contend.
As a convicted sex offender, Gibson is forbidden contact with minors directly or indirectly through his employment, voluntary activity or otherwise, court records said. Also, he is not allowed to possess images of minors, including photos, videos, renderings or digital imagery, court documents said. The court also placed him on curfew.
Meanwhile, Gibson was placed about a month ago in a day program at Green Oaks Center in Moultrie while awaiting a space to open up in a full-time facility. Green Oaks Center offers a day habilitation program, work services program, the supported employment program and the day supports program. Assistant District Attorney Brian McDaniel acknowledged that Green Oaks doesn’t offer any rehabilitation for a mentally disabled person that would address criminal sexual deviancy, but Gibson is learning how to become self-sufficient.
McDaniel said the judge is trying to get Gibson into a full-time facility.
“There are a couple of places where he could be serviced,” the prosecutor said. “We’ve had difficulty achieving those results at this point in large part due to the government, I guess. There’s a limited number of beds and spaces and only a limited number of ways to get people in.
“We’re still working with him. His case is still open. He’s not been dismissed at this point. He’s pled guilty. He’s on probation. He’s being supervised. It’s just we’ve not gotten accomplished what the judge wants accomplished yet,” he said.
McDaniel said that the judge wants Gibson out of the community for a time and in a round-the-clock program that can help him with his developmental issues as well as sexual offender remediation.
Assistant Public Defender Jon McClure said Gibson was placed at Green Oaks since the Normal Life of Georgia program isn’t in Colquitt County’s Department of Human Resources district.
“The reason was that he go through some type of program that basically removes him from the community but not to put him in a jail situation and hopefully not a detention center,” McClure said. “His mental capacity is that of a child’s.”
Gibson was mentally evaluated during the defense of his initial case. That report is sealed by the court.
“We’ll follow whatever the conditions of his probation are,” said Russ Joiner, director of Green Oaks Center.
Joiner further said that those enrolled in Green Oaks’ programs are supervised at all times and that he is not aware of any work details Gibson might have been on that would be in proximity of children. In addition, no minors are clients of Green Oaks, Joiner said.
“We’re following the law. There’s absolutely no concerns whatsoever for anybody to have. As a matter of fact, if I even had a concern at all, no one would be here if they were to be a safety risk at all,” he said.
Members of the victim’s family are not satisfied.
“I’m the victim’s mama, and I wasn’t even told about the program (Green Oaks) that he’s been in for a month,” said Belinda Hill, mother of the victim in the case.
Hill is distraught by her experience in the case and feels the legal system has let down her son.
She said that she was informed by the DA’s office that Gibson would be entered into the detention center within several days after his conviction in early 2006 but nothing ever came of that. She said she didn’t hear anything else until she discovered Gibson months later in town. At that time, she said, the probation office found out that neither Gibson nor any legal guardian had applied for his enrollment into the Normal Life of Georgia program as was ordered.
Now she’s concerned, she said, that Gibson has been working through Green Oaks at establishments, such as churches and other facilities, where children frequent.
“He rides a church van with children. The van comes and picks him up,” Hill said as an example. “... Like I told the judge, he’s violated it (his probation conditions) over and over and over and still gets to walk around.”
Hill said the judge apologized to her as he told her that Gibson would be allowed to go home from the courtroom.
“He’s not sorry. If you were sorry, you would send him to the detention center today. Make him sit there until they can get this program approved,” she said.
Hill’s mother, Brenda Gibson, said the justice system has failed her grandson.
“There’s been no victory for him. They don’t care,” she said.
“If this is the way justice is I don’t see why we have prosecutors,” said James Gibson, Hill’s father.
Hill expressed a feeling of powerlessness.
“... They’re going to do what they want to do. No matter what I say or what I do, I have no say-so in it,” she said.
More complications to this case are three years worth of open animosity among the family, split by these events. Both sides of the issue in this case contend that they’ve been harassed by the other, McDaniel and McClure said.
“Not only is the side of the family of the little boy a victim, but the other side of the family is also a victim and in essence, everybody connected with that family is a victim,” McClure said.
Gibson is listed on the Georgia Bureau of Investigation registry of sex offenders.
“The laws that have been passed by the state are draconian, because you have to look hard for somewhere a sexual offender can live without violating his probation unless it’s in prison. And I assume that eventually what we’re going to do is put them all in a prison somewhere for the rest of their lives,” McClure said. “In a sense, they’re prisoners for the rest of their lives anyway.”

Child molester faces deportation

By Lisa Marchesoni - July 17, 2007 - 3:41 PM

A Rutherford County man who entered a plea for attempted child rape Monday will probably be deported to Mexico.

Blademir Antonio Sanchez-Mena, 30, of Bragg Avenue near Smyrna was sentenced to 16 years in prison after he entered a best interest plea to molesting a girl under age 12 last year. He entered pleas for attempted rape of a child, attempted aggravated sexual battery and attempted sexual battery.

Under a plea agreement, Sanchez-Mena will serve three years in jail.

Assistant District Attorney Laural Nutt said Sanchez-Mena is not a U.S. resident.

“Deportation is highly likely after he serves his three years,” Nutt said.

Sanchez-Mena asked Circuit Court Judge James Clayton why he would be deported after getting a 16-year sentence.

Clayton said he did not supervise deportation and could not answer the question.

The judge accepted the best interest plea and found Sanchez-Mena guilty.

An investigation by sheriff’s Detective Jim Tramel accused Sanchez-Mena of attempting to rape the girl between September and December 2006. Sanchez-Mena wrote a statement about his involvement.

Sanchez-Mena stated he fondled the girl who resisted.

“I never did penetrate her,” Sanchez-Mena stated.

Nutt and defense attorney Michael Sneed worked out the agreement after the girl told Nutt she was reluctant to testify but would if required. The plea will keep her from testifying.

Under the agreement, Sanchez-Mena must give a DNA sample, undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation and comply with the recommendations, be placed on the sex offender register, be on community supervision for life and refrain from contacting the victim and her family.

Sanchez-Mena will receive credit for jail time since his arrest Nov. 27.

Family's anguish as judge refuses to jail child molester

Jul 5 2007

By James Durkin

A YOUNG girl is frightened to leave home alone after a controversial judge let the paedophile who molested her walk free.

The devastated 11-year-old is having counselling in a bid to cope because her attacker, Emmer Green babysitter Brian Haines,is NOT behind bars despite admitting that he molested her.

Judge Julian Hall sparked outrage last week after allowing Haines, aged 71, to walk from court on the same day he passed a lenient sentence on another paedophile.

The victim's mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said her daughter is a virtual prisoner in her own home - too scared to go to school and too scared to play with friends - while Haines is a free man.

She said: "We were really gutted. Justice has not been done,as he has had his life but she has not had hers yet."

The young married mother-of-three added: "Its like we've been punished twice."

Haines, a former scout hut cleaner, was given a three year supervision order,placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for five years, banned from working with children under 16 for life and made to attend a sex offenders' group work program.

When The Chronicle went to Haines' address he refused to answer our questions, but neighbours said they were shocked and outraged by the judge's decision.

Judge Julian Hall sparked anger after letting Haines walk free at Oxford Crown Court. Earlier that day he handed child rapist Keith Fenn just two years,instead of the recommended five, after saying his 10-year-old victim was dressed 'provocatively'.

The father of the girl attacked by Haines said: "I think he (Haines) should have got a couple of years in prison and life on the Sex Offenders' Register."

The youngster's mum added: "I don't know why they keep letting these people off.

"It sends out a message that they will get away with it and they can touch children and they will not go to prison.

"She was crying for days, every time she spoke to the police she was reliving it again and it did not allow her to move on.

"We were hoping that he would go to prison so it was not an easy thing to do telling her he was free."

On-the-run child molester caught

By Graeme Hosken

A tip-off to police led to the arrest in an Eastern Cape caravan park of a former social worker found guilty of indecently assaulting and enticing young boys to commit sexual acts.

A warrant of arrest was issued on Monday by a city magistrate for the 46-year-old Pretoria man after he failed to appear in court.

He cannot be identified as it will identify the six complainants.

The man was arrested in August 2002 after it emerged that he committed these acts with boys between 1999 and 2002.

The accused, who was out on R2 500 bail, was a social worker based at the Christelike Maatskaplike Raad in Bronkhorstspruit.

He was counselling some of his victims.

National police spokesperson Superintendent Ronnie Naidoo said the arrest was made by members of the Kinkelbos police station after they were tipped off that the man was hiding out in Colchester 45km north of Port Elizabeth.

Naidoo said the man had checked into the caravan park on Tuesday under a false name. He had also completely changed his appearance.

"The man will now be charged with failure to appear in court and will forfeit his bail to the State," he said.

Naidoo said the case will be postponed
on Friday for the man's appearance on Monday.

During the lengthy trial the court heard that the man, who pleaded not guilty in the Pretoria regional court, invited the boys to his home in Gezina for pottery classes and took them on hiking trips.

This was when he committed these crimes. The boys were aged between six and 16.

In most cases the incidents of indecent assault consisted of oral sex which he performed on the boys or vice versa.

One boy, then aged eight, had to lie on top of the man and perform sexual movements while they were partially naked.

The court also found the social worker guilty on five charges of solicitation or enticing three boys to participate in indecent acts. After pre-sentence reports were handed in, the former social worker was due to be sentenced on Monday.

The fact that he had failed to turn up at court for sentencing emerged after his name had been called three times. His lawyer, Chris Viljoen, phoned his client but failed to get hold of him.

* This article was originally published on page 2 of The Pretoria News on June 28, 2007

WAFF 48 investigates how an admitted child molester walks free; DA's office gives statement

July 11, 2007 11:33 PM

Questions tonight for the judicial system that let a convicted sex offender walk free.

Jerry Wayne Love admitted molesting his 3 foster children.

Many folks are concerned after statements he made to WAFF 48 Investigator Jeanie Powell yesterday.

Love stood before a judge and admitted to the crimes against him.

Then he told us he didn't do it.

Could those contradictions hurt his case and give him the jail time many think he deserves?

The answer is in tonight's WAFF 48 Investigators Report.

Court records indicate Love voluntarily pleaded guilty to 3 counts of first degree sodomy.

According to the plea agreement, the assistant DA recommended the defendant be imprisoned for 15 years in each case.

Part of the recommendation suggests the defendant be placed on supervised probation for five years.

Judge Karen Hall approved that recommendation and Love will not serve any jail time.

But the last sentence in the document reads: "the defendant agrees and acknowledges that by accepting terms of this plea agreement that he voluntarily and with full knowledge of rights he is surrendering, waives any rights to appeal or otherwise collaterally attack this guilty plea."

What does that mean after-the-fact, when Love told WAFF 48 a different story?

"You're saying you did not do this?"

"No I did not commit this. I don't feel ok, I'd be a fool, I'm innocent."

A Huntsville attorney tells us Love can't face any legal repercussion for those statements.

Even though his plea means he's convicted, in many cases, defendants will still claim they didn't commit the crime.

This afternoon we received a statement from the DA's office.

"As in each case we handle, we had to assess the case in light of all the circumstances; including its strengths and weaknesses. In this instance, the defendant acknowledged guilt in front of a court of law; the public at large and most importantly- his three victims. The victims were fully informed as to all plea negotiations. Their input was a significant factor in these negotiations.

Here, we have a defendant who acknowledged guilt and was adjudged guilty without the emotional expense and trauma of a trial. He will be forever be a registered sex offender and be subject to all provisions of the Alabama Community Notification Act. This Act not only restricts where he can live and work but also ensures that a child can never reside in his home again. Therefore, even if he does not serve one single day of his 45 year sentence, he will carry that stigma for the rest of his life.

We understand our responsibility to protect the pubic and hold offenders accountable and we take it very seriously. We also understand, and accept, that not everyone will agree with the decisions we make; particularly when they are not privy to all of the circumstances surrounding the issues. In this instance, in light of all of the circumstances, we believe we have fulfilled our obligation."

July 18, 2007

Child molester pleads before trial, faces life in prison
By Jennifer Squires
Sentinel staff writer

A 27-year-old man accused of molesting the children of friends and videotaping the abuse pleaded guilty moments before his trial would have began Monday, opening himself up to a possible sentence of life in prison.

Michael Turner, who had lived in Mid-County, pleaded guilty to 16 sex crimes, including four counts of forced child molestation.

"Our case was incredibly strong," prosecutor Ross Taylor said. "We didn't give him anything"

Turner's defense attorney, William Weigel, said his client thought "the outcome was inevitable"

"He simply did not want to take the family of these people — his friends — through a trial," Weigel said.

Turner, who has been in County Jail since his Nov. 10 arrest, will be sentenced Aug. 22. He faces 23 years to life in prison.

Weigel said he hopes his client, who was molested repeatedly as a child, can get into a sex offender treatment program and eventually be paroled, though that is unlikely.

"He wants to change. He's not proud of this," Weigel said.

Turner had accrued a vast collection of homemade and Internet child pornography, according to authorities. Turner's wife discovered a portion of the collection in a storage space in their Mid-County home last fall,Taylor said.

"Inside she found a bunch of CDs and DVDs on a spindle," Taylor said. "She took a look on them and couldn't believe what she was seeing"

Sheriff's Office sex crimes detective Ian Patrick found more pornography, including a hard drive, hidden in the rafters of a storage space Turner had rented.

"It was jam-packed with the nastiest stuff," Taylor said. "He had just massive quantities of the most horrible child porn you would not want to ever see"

Most of Turner's victims were between 2 and 5 years old, authorities said. Turner videotaped himself molesting three girls when they were 3 to 5 years old and taped two other girls — a 2-year-old and a preteen — but didn't touch them. Later, he edited the video.

"So he created his own little movies," Taylor said.

Turner pleaded guilty Monday to four counts of forced child molestation, one count of child molestation, one count of attempted forced child molestation, five counts of videotaping sexual acts with children — one for each of the girls — four misdemeanor counts of sexual battery against a woman who is now in her 20s and one count of possessing child pornography.

"He knew the people involved," Taylor said, describing the abused girls, their parents and Turner as "tight-knit"

Several of the parents and three victims — a 10-year-old who was molested and videotaped when she was 3, an 18-year-old who was taped as a preteen and the victim in her 20s — as well as Turner's wife were slated to testify.

"I think it's good we can spare them, especially the 10-year-old," Taylor said.

Turner also rigged a hidden video camera in his bathroom, but no charges related to the privacy violations were filed.

"He didn't want to turn into this person," Weigel said, explaining his client led "a sad, tragic life"

Turner's father sexually abused his mother when she was a teenager, then later abused Turner before he was convicted of molest and sent to prison, according to Weigel. Turner, who grew up in Arkansas, was molested by his mother. After she died in a car accident when he was young, Turner was shuffled between family members, some of whom also molested him, Weigel said.

He moved to Santa Cruz County as a teen to live with his aunt and, in recent years, worked at a local outlet of a chain drug store and played in a death-metal band.

When he was arrested, Turner had no prior record related to sex crimes.

Contact Jennifer Squires at jsquires@santacruzsentinel.com.

Child Molester Sentenced to 6,000 Years in Prison
by SOPnewswire
Posted June 25, 2007

Nogales, Ariz. - Jay Gillilland, a former U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer, has been sentenced to 6,242 years in jail for sexually exploiting his young daughter over the course of two years.

Gillilland was arrested on drug charges in 2004 when police officers discovered child pornography on his home computer while executing a search warrant. During a subsequent search of a storage locker Gillilland had rented in Nogales, officers discovered more than two hours of videotape depicting him sexually abusing his daughter, who was between six and eight years old at the time.

Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were brought in to consult on the case by the Office of the Inspector General because of their expertise in child pornography. Nogales agents coordinated with the Santa Cruz County Criminal Investigative Division to set up the computer forensic examination, retrieved evidence of molestation and certified the videos through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"I am glad that my agents were able to help make sure this monster will be imprisoned for the rest of his life," said Special Agent in Charge Alonzo Peña, head of the ICE Office of Investigation in Arizona. "Nothing makes me prouder than protecting children from these predators."

In March, a jury found Gillilland guilty of 317 counts of molestation of a child, sexual conduct with a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor and child abuse. Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge James Soto sentenced Gillilland to 174 consecutive sentences of 35 years to life on the sexual conduct charges.

ICE welcomes the assistance of the public in catching child predators. Members of the public wishing to report suspicious activity may contact ICE at 1-866-347-2423 or Operation.Predator@dhs.gov. Additionally, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an ICE partner on Operation Predator, can be contacted at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com


From the Los Angeles Times
A 'window' for victims of abuse
Historic legislation from Sacramento allowed abuse victims to take legal action against the Los Angeles Archdiocese.
By Marci A. Hamilton
MARCI A. HAMILTON is a law professor at Yeshiva University and author of the forthcoming book "How to Deliver Us From Evil: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children." hamilton02@aol.com

July 19, 2007

WITHOUT question, the bravest souls involved in Los Angeles' $660-million clergy abuse settlement are the victims who came forward to sue the archdiocese. By now they have traversed more levels of Dante's inferno than anyone should have to experience.

But another heroic group has gone largely unrecognized — the Legislature. It is only because that body passed historic childhood sexual abuse legislation in 2002 that these lawsuits and settlement happened. That law created a one-year "window" into the legal system for claims that had been shut down by overly short statutes of limitations — as little as three years for some victims.

Indeed, in 2003, any California childhood sexual abuse victim could go to the courthouse and find that the statute-of-limitations lock had been taken off the courtroom door. And in they went — about 850 Catholic clergy abuse victims and 150 others who sued churches, the Boy Scouts and other institutions for employing known molesters. Even as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down California's window for criminal prosecutions, the window has been held open for civil lawsuits.

In the Boston Archdiocese scandal, victims faced "charitable immunity" laws that limited the amount of financial damages they could recover. Expired statutes of limitations also weakened their cases, and as a result, they received much less compensation per victim. With the statute of limitations set aside, California plaintiffs came to the justice system with much more powerful claims.

The window law is the sole reason California dioceses and members of the church hierarchy, such as L.A.'s Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, were forced to face the prospect of truth-revealing trials and substantial damages. Once other California diocese settlements came in — and showed that plaintiffs had increased legal bargaining power — victims were able to demand release of church personnel files. The church has resisted releasing such files, but lawsuits filed under the window law revealed the identities of many perpetrators and their institutional enablers.

California's window legislation has a beneficial ripple effect across the country as well. Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in John Doe vs. Archdiocese of Milwaukee, for the first time permitted a clergy abuse case to go forward, and it is highly likely that facts from a California case involving Father Siegfried Widera made a big difference. Widera had been transferred back and forth between Wisconsin and Southern California, and his California victims had laid out their horrific stories in court. The church hierarchy knew Widera was a convicted serial child molester and hid that fact from parishioners in both states.

California may be starting a trend toward unlocking courthouse doors for childhood sexual abuse victims. Just last week, Delaware became the first state to follow suit with a window law of its own. Its Child Victims Act creates a two-year window to file suits and abolishes the civil statutes of limitations on sexual abuse cases going forward. The New York Assembly has passed similar legislation, hearings have been held by the District of Columbia City Council, and the introduction of window bills is likely in a number of states this fall.

The beneficiaries of such bills extend well beyond clergy abuse victims, and the statistics are sobering. Multiple studies have concluded that at least 20% of boys and 25% of girls have been sexually abused — the majority by family or family acquaintances. There is a crying need to give these victims a shot at justice. One incest victim told me that she didn't come to terms with her abuse until her 40s, and when she did, she told her father she was going to sue him. His response? Don't be silly — I have the benefit of the statute of limitations. This is a woman who deserves the California-type window, and there are millions like her across the country.

It is shameful that most states have had such short statutes of limitations on childhood sexual abuse. Even though states, including California, have been lengthening those limits, that doesn't help past victims whose claims have expired. These victims have been foreclosed from justice while predators enjoy a system that protects their interests first and foremost. California has shown the rest of the country a more heroic and noble path to follow.

Tisha BeAv - The Ninth of Av said...

Tisha B'Av -- A "Taboo" Day

by Caryn Meltz

Tisha B'Av (the ninth day of the Jewish calendar month of Av) is considered to be a "taboo" day -- a day that we are fearful that something bad is going to happen. This feeling is justified for history has proven itself to be true.

History of Tisha B'Av

Before the Children of Israel were to enter the Land of Israel, they wanted "proof" that the land was prosperous and safe. As a result, Moses sent a representative ("spy") from each of the 12 tribes to survey the land.

The spies came back after 40 days and gave their interpretation (instead of the straight facts) to the Children of Israel. Numbers 13:27-8: "We arrived at the Land to which you sent us, and indeed it flows with milk and honey and this is its fruit. But the people that dwell in the Land are powerful, the cities are very greatly fortified and we also saw there the offspring of the giant …" Numbers 14:1: "The entire assembly raised up and issued its voice; the people wept that night." The spies made it seem that the Children of Israel would be overtaken by giants and never survive. They did not put their full faith in G-d. After all the miracles they witnessed firsthand after the exodus from Egypt, they became fearful and lost their trust in G-d.

The Punishment

God decreed that the Children of Israel would wander in the desert for 40 years -- one year for each day the spies surveyed the land. The generation that left Egypt would not merit entering the Land of Israel, only their offspring would; they would perish in the desert during the course of the 40 years. Because the Children of Israel wept without cause, G-d declared that He would make that day a day for weeping. That day was Tisha B'Av. Taanis 29a: "G-d said, '"You wept in vain. I will establish this date for you as a time of real weeping for all generations.'"

Historical Events on Tisha B'Av

History has shown us that Tisha B'Av is indeed a day for mourning. There are five main tragedies that occurred on this day:

1) G-d told the Children of Israel that the oldest generation would not enter the Land.
2) The First Temple built by King Solomon was destroyed by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE.
3) The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.
4) The city of Betar was captured and thousands of Jews were killed in 135 CE.
5) The Roman emperor made a pagan temple on the site of the Temple and rebuilt Jerusalem as a pagan city in 136 CE.
It has also been claimed that the Jewish expulsion from Spain in 1492 began on Tisha B'Av as well as World War I.

Historical Events on 17 B'Tammuz

The mourning is not exclusive to Tisha B'Av, in fact, the mourning period begins three weeks prior on the date of 17 B'Tammuz (17 day of the Jewish calendar month of Tammuz). Since the destruction of the Temple began on 17 B'Tammuz, it marks the beginning of the three-week period. We continue to mourn until Tisha B'Av when the walls of the Temple were completely destroyed. Five tragedies occurred on this day as well:

1) The first tablets containing the 10 commandments were broken by Moses.
2) Two daily sacrifices were ceased during the time of the first Temple.
3) The Romans broke through the outer walls of the second Temple.
4) The Torah was burned.
5) An idol was erected in the Temple.


Tisha B'Av and 17 B'Tammuz are both fast days -- days to spur us to do repentance and remind us of our and our forefathers' actions. It's a way to bring us back to the path of Hashem.

During this three-week period there are several customary prohibitions which include not getting engaged or married. As it gets closer to Tisha B'Av, the restrictions become more stringent. The Nine Days before Tisha B'Av it is customary to refrain from eating meat or drinking wine (except on the Sabbath) since animal sacrifices were made during the Temple times and we no longer have the Temple. On Tisha B'Av itself, we are forbidden to eat, drink, bathe, have marital relations, wear leather shoes, and learn Torah (except for topics pertaining to the day).

Book of Lamentations

The Book of Lamentations, written by the prophet Jeremiah, is read in the evening of Tisha B'Av. Jeremiah's tears were not for himself but for his fellow Jews and the predicament they were in. His tears were also for the presence of G-d being forced into exile. Jeremiah spent years warning the Children of Israel that unless they repented the First Temple would be destroyed. To his dismay, his prophecy came true and a large population of the Jews were dispersed throughout the world.

Jewish history plays itself over and over. G-d is waiting for us to repent so that He can bring about the Third Temple. It is the same tears that tore us away from the Land that will bring us back to G-d and the Land of Israel. We should read the Book of Lamentations with the hope that we will bring ourselves back to the high holy status we were once at and that next year Tisha B'Av will be turned into a day of joy and celebration.

Anonymous said...

You would think on Tisha B-Av of every year the great Rabbis would get together to dwell on how to stop sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, and all types of Jewish abuse. Yet, it's another day where some weep and cry for naught. They cry for themselves and not for Klal Yisroel. They fake their tears to make themselves look holy. They ignore the poverty, the deceit, the crimes, that they enable day-in and day-out to occur. They are fakers and criminals. They fear-not Hashem, they fear for their pride. They fear for their kovod. And they give not one iota about protecting and saving Jewish lives.

exposemolesters said...

KASHRUT ABUSE is terrible to begin with, but when animals are being tortured in the process, that can be compared to harming children, they simply cannot and do not have the means to fight back.

Associated Press
Prosecutor to Investigate Meat Plant
By TIMBERLY ROSS 07.24.07, 3:49 PM ET
OMAHA, Neb. -

A special prosecutor has been appointed to look into allegations of animal mistreatment at a Gordon meatpacking plant.

In a complaint filed July 9 with the Sheridan County Attorney, the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said Local Pride LLC allows cows to remain conscious for up to two minutes after their throats are cut during the kosher slaughtering process, among other things.

PETA's senior counsel Lori Kettler said County Attorney Jamian Simmons notified PETA last week that she was petitioning the court to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the claims.

According to Kettler, Simmons cited a conflict of interest within her office.

Simmons did not immediately return a message left Tuesday at her office.

Sheridan County District Court clerk Eloise Kampbell confirmed Simmons' request and said Dawes County Attorney Vance Haug has been named special prosecutor.

A message left Tuesday at Haug's office was not immediately returned.

Local Pride opened in June 2006 under an agreement between the Sholom Rubashkin family of New York and the Oglala of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The Rubashkins also own the world's largest kosher plant, Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa, which was scrutinized last year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for cruelty to animals. The investigation came after Agriprocessors' slaughtering methods were criticized by PETA as cruel and inhumane.

The U.S. attorney's office in Cedar Rapids did not file charges in that case.

PETA said in its latest complaint that an undercover investigation of Local Pride was carried out in May as follow-up to its claims against Agriprocessors.

The alleged violations of state, federal and kosher laws cited in the complaint include: the animals are allowed to writhe in pain for up to two minutes after their throats are cut; and staff tear the animals' necks with a meat hook and cut tags from their ears while they are still conscious.

"The intentional infliction of cruelty at Agriprocessors' Gordon, Nebraska, facility is ... part of a continued pattern of disregard for the welfare of animals - and the cruelty-to-animal statutes - in the locales where Agriprocessors operates," PETA said in the complaint.

A woman who answered the phone Tuesday at Rubashkin's Iowa office said he was out of the building. She would not take a message.

According to PETA, a similar complaint filed June 29 with the USDA has prompted a federal probe of Local Pride.

A USDA spokeswoman said earlier this month that a specialist was sent to the plant to observe the slaughtering process, but no violations of the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act were found at that time.

On Tuesday, USDA spokesman Steven Cohen said: "We are continuing to monitor that facility and talk to our own inspectors there and make sure they understand fully what the responsibilities are."

He explained that the kosher slaughtering process is exempt from the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act "as long as the certifying authority verifies that it is in keeping with those procedures of that religion. Then it is, by definition, humane.

"If (a claim of mistreatment) falls outside that, then that's another situation."

In the act, kosher slaughtering is described as the death of an animal resulting from loss of blood flow to the brain caused by the severing of its carotid arteries with a sharp instrument, as well as the handling of the animal during that process.

PETA has said that the Orthodox Union, the primary certifier of kosher slaughterhouses, has launched an investigation of Local Pride.

A message left Tuesday for the Orthodox Union's kosher division was not returned. The office was closed for the Jewish holiday of Tisha B'Av.

Under Nebraska law, cruel mistreatment of animals is a Class I misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class IV felony for subsequent offenses.

Not Everything is Kosher at So-Called Kosher Slaughterhouse
Friday, July 13 2007 @ 02:58 PM PDT
Contributed by: Oread Daily

Earlier this week PETA filed a formal complaint with Sheridan County Attorney Jamian Simmons asking her to prosecute the Rubashkin-owned Local Pride kosher slaughterhouse in Gordon for apparent violations of Nebraska's cruelty-to-animals statute. PETA's complaint follows a two-day undercover investigation during which an investigator documented the following abuses:

Oread Daily http://oreaddaily.blogspot.com/

Before you get started, stand warned, if you are not Jewish there are parts of this article you are likely to just not get.

Also, many of you will simply wonder why I bothered with all the religious stuff. The last paragraph of this "introduction" will give you some idea of the reason for that.

Earlier this week PETA filed a formal complaint with Sheridan County Attorney Jamian Simmons asking her to prosecute the Rubashkin-owned Local Pride kosher slaughterhouse in Gordon for apparent violations of Nebraska's cruelty-to-animals statute. PETA's complaint follows a two-day undercover investigation during which an investigator documented the following abuses:

* Cows remained conscious for up to two minutes after their throats were cut open.

* Workers ripped into conscious cows' throats with a metal hook.

* Workers mutilated conscious cows' ears to remove identification tags.

Under Nebraska law, cruel mistreatment of animals is a Class I misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class IV felony for subsequent offenses.

According to the blog "heeb'n'vegan" published by a Jewish Vegan, "...numerous experts have come forward to condemn the cruelty of the practices observed at the Local Pride slaughterhouse.

Of particular interest to me, the blog publisher states, are the words of Dr. Bernard Rollin. Dr. Rollin is a distinguished professor who received his Ph.D. from Columbia University (1972). He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Unheeded Cry: Animal Consciousness, Animal Pain and Scientific Change and Farm Animal Welfare. He is one of the leading scholars in the field of animal consciousness, and he has given more than 1,000 lectures around the world. He writes,

“When I was a boy learning the precepts embodied in the Jewish tradition, I was taught that the suffering of living things—tsaar baallei chaim—is morally and religiously intolerable. … What is depicted in this video is a mockery of these precepts, and a disgrace to Orthodox Judaism. … The drooling, the vocalizing, the manifest distress [depicted in the video] all serve to demonstrate that animal handling procedures at that abattoir are well below the threshold for acceptability. … In this video … the animals suffer while conscious for prolonged periods, in one case over two minutes. … In the same vein, the evident insertion of the meat hook to increase bleeding is both inhumane and a violation of the principles of kashrut. The ripping out of ear tags before the animal is unconscious is equally morally and religiously illegitimate. The vocalization and struggling after the cut is made speak for themselves and evidence suffering and a callous disregard for that suffering that should be abhorrent to and condemned by all observant Jews.”

In fact, three years ago when another Rubashkin family slaughter house was in the news, Rabbi Yudel Shain of the Lakewood, NJ-based Kosher Consumers Union made serious allegations about the state of kosher supervision at AgriProcessors. The Kosher Consumers Union is America's foremost advocate of issues Concerning the kosher consumer. One of its aims is, "...protecting the kosher consumer by informing about mislabeling and false advertising that applies to food products that are falsely held out to the public as having met the Kosher Consumer's standards."

Among the explosive charges made by Rabbi Shain:

1. I photagraphed at AGRI an animal that was still very much alive (after shechita) & they shot it in the brain right away & it was used as a kosher animal. It is an accepted practice by Rabbinical certifiers NOT to use such an animal.

2. Rubashkin’s so called “Bais Yosef” meat is all a “sham”. The RUBASHKIN Certifier is of the stated opinion that all of their meat is “Bais Yosef” & that nobody really knows what is or is not Bais Yosef meat. (FYI contrary to Dayan Kohn BaisYosef means “no lung adhessions whatsoever”.) RUBASHKIN commonly send to caterers so called Bais Yosef meat for Sephardim and there will be 1 or 2 pieces marked accordingly “Bais Yosef’ & the rest isn’t Bais Yosef”. … Their so called Bais Yosef meat is a consumer sham! including the beef & veal certified by Rabbi Hatchuel.

3. The system at RUBASHKIN is that non-Jews do the physical “nikur” [removal of forbidden fats] which is then checked by the “Mashgiach” [rabbinic supervisor]. The Certifier was shown that the “Mashgiach nikur” physically can’t handle the load and some meat goes by without being checked. He responded “there isn’t enough full time work for 2 people, only for 1 1/2 people & we can’t hire half a person so we’ll leave it with one Mashgiach till there is enough work for two full time people”.

4. The quality of RUBASHKIN’s cattle is the cheapest available in the market (per USDA inspector, “low grade”) yet they have the highest ratio of “Kosher, Glatt, Bet Yosef” (including their veal) than most others. [Low-grade cattle normally have significantly higher levels of non-kosher and non-glatt than high-grade cattle.]

5. RUBASHKIN commonly switches labels, as it was found on numerous occasions that on top of a nonGlatt label was stuck on a Glatt label, ‘cause they were short for an order. The Non-Jewish RUBASHKIN truck drivers have in their possession a box of different kosher labels to put on to boxes of meat as per a store’s request (I have 1 of those boxes of labels that I saw fall off a truck).

6. The lung in an animal is an organ that constantly expands & contracts in the cavity of the animal. The lung is a relatively free hanging organ attached to the animal mostly by the tissue & muscle of the trachea, and slightly to other areas by some membranes. Once one cuts the supporting tissue & muscles around the kunah [lung] it is basically detached easily from the animal with a good pull or via a meat hook.

Immediatly after shechita while the animal is still in the schechita position, a non-jewish worker (the Shochet leaves the room) utilizes an 8 inch (approx) knife to enlarge the opening around the trachea & also cutting into the “diaphragm area. He then use a meat hook to grab & pull the trachea a few inches & cutting off the trachea near the lung.

The concerns are that by making the cut along the diaphragm area & around the trachea one may (in)advertently also puncture the lung. The knife is inserted quite deeply into the neck area thereby risking cutting the sirchos of the upper lung lobes. (Simlah Chadosha.)

Another serious concern is that by hooking & pulling on the trachea it will rip and dislodge the sirchos / adhesions that go from the lung to the Ribs and / or also some sirchos on the lung itself and then having the $$ opportunity to call it Glatt or at least kosher.

After the above procedures, it is practically impossible to check the lungs properly for Glatt or sirchos.

7. The “Weinberg pen” allows a shechita munachas, which is the preferred method of shechita throughout history. The design of this pen’s head restrainer is not proper. The metal bar should come way below the neck’s shechita area. The Shochet is obviously afraid of nicking his knife on the metal bar, so he must do a controlled shechita with 7-8 back & forth knife strokes (a possibility of shehiya exists). An experienced Shochet utilizes 1-2 Back & forth knife strokes. Because of this “controlled cut” the Shochet obviously is not severing all of the arteries, requiring an unacceptable “2nd cut”.

Severing all neck arteries causes an almost immediate total collapse of the animal.

8. Some 6-7 months ago a Shochet from a prominent “Torah community” was invited to see the beautiful “Rubashkin system” of shechita. He was impressed by the “show”. Now when the Shochet saw the PETA pictures he was aghast! While he was there they weren’t ripping tracheas, animals weren’t walking, thrashing around after the shechita etc. “I was taken for a ride! How can I believe “anything” I saw?” The Israeli Rabanut’s representatives claim they never saw many of the unacceptable items depicted on the PETA pictures.

The "heeb'n'vegan" blog cites an interesting article about shechita, titled "If Cows Could Talk, Like Balaam's Donkey," by vegetarian rabbi Haviva Ner-David in the July 9 issue of The Jerusalem Report. Ner-David lives in Jerusalem and is the founding director of Reut: The Center for Modern Jewish Marriage.

Ner-David begins by talking about how repulsed she was by a cow's suffering at a
kosher slaughterhouse she visited. She writes that "the way shehita is carried
out today cannot be called kosher in terms of both the spirit and the letter of
the law. The Shulhan Arukh (Code of Jewish Law) tells us that an animal about to
be slaughtered should not see the animal being slaughtered before because fear
will cause the animal to flinch and therefore be rendered a treifa because the
knife will not cut smoothly. This rule (as well as other ways this cow's
suffering could have been minimized) was blatantly ignored by the slaughterhouse
I visited that day."

According to many halakhic authorities, shehita is
meant to minimize the animal's pain ("Guide to the Perplexed," 3:26). In the
past, shehita was a more humane way of slaughtering animals than was common in
the surrounding cultures in which Jews lived. This is no longer true. Though
stunning prior to slaughter has become the norm in non-kosher slaughter,
halakhic authorities do not allow stunning. In addition, though not an absolute
halakhic requirement, ultra-Orthodox rabbinic authorities and the Israeli
rabbinate require that the cow be inverted during shehita, which is not the
common position in non-kosher contexts.

Truth be told, if we consider complying with the requirements of tza'ar ba'alei hayim a requirement for meat
to be considered "kosher," today's food industry renders all meat production
non-kosher. Until recent times, animals were raised on private farms, under
relatively humane conditions, and when the time for slaughter arrived, it was
possible, at least, to treat the animal with dignity. This was true for kosher
slaughter as well.

Today, mass production has taken over. Under these
conditions, it is impossible to treat animals in a way that would comply with
the laws of tza'ar ba'alei hayim. This is why all Jews concerned with Jewish
values and/or Jewish law should consider vegetarianism.

A side note: The slaughter house processes kosher beef, lamb and bison products using workers from the nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The website "Failed Messiah.com" written by a disgrunlted ex-follower of Chabad Lubabvitch says:

The Jewish community has a long history with Pine Ridge and the Oglala Sioux. Most of it good; some, not. The tribe’s positive exposure to Orthodox Judaism has largely been through left-leaning Orthodox Jews, including at least one rabbi, Moshe Lichtman, who practice a sort of social action, peace and justice style, Judaism and who work with non-Orthodox Jews.

But the Rubashkin family has a history of illegal and anti-social behavior – a history that includes bank fraud, misappropriating union dues paid by it’s employees, the documented recruitment of illegal alien workers, repeated EPA violations and the original Postville controversy.

One wonders whether the Oglala Sioux have trusted too much, based on their past experience with an atypical "bein adam lehaveyro"* Orthodoxy.

As a vegetarian Jew myself who during one of my stranger "periods" became pretty darn religously observant, I would call upon the Jewish community to, at the very least, openly condemn the most blatant animal cruelty displayed at she so-called kosher slaughterhouses run by the Rubashkin family.

The following is from The Forward.

Video Renews Beefs About Slaughterhouse’s Practices

A video from a kosher slaughterhouse in Nebraska is reigniting concern about the way the nation’s largest kosher meat company handles its animals.

The three-and-a-half minute video shows bloody images of cows being killed at the Local Pride slaughterhouse in Gordon, Neb., which is owned by the Brooklyn-based Rubashkin family. The footage was filmed and released by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The Rubashkins, adherents of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic sect, also own the Postville, Iowa-based AgriProcessors, the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse. In 2004, AgriProcessors came under sharp criticism from a number of rabbis and animal rights activists after PETA released a separate video from the Postville slaughterhouse that showed gruesome footage of cows walking around after having their necks cut. Since then, AgriProcessors has also come under fire for the treatment of its workers.

The new video shows much less gut-wrenching detail than the one from 2004. A PETA spokesman said that allegations this time around are more limited. Unlike the previous video, which was filmed clandestinely, the new one was made with the knowledge of the workers, according to PETA. The group alleges that the video provides proof of the Rubashkins’ failure to follow through on reforms that they agreed to make after the previous video was released, including a promise to use a gun to immediately kill any animal that is not rendered insensate after the kosher cut is administered.

“It’s extremely disappointing to find that three years later, AgriProcessors still can’t slaughter without horrible abuse of the animals involved,” Bruce Friedrich, PETA’s vice president of international grasssroots campaigns, told the Forward.

PETA has filed complaints with the county attorney in Nebraska and with the United States Department of Agriculture.

Calls to AgriProcessors’ headquarters and to an AgriProcessors’ spokesman were not returned before press time. Nat Lewin, a Washington lawyer who has defended AgriProcessors in the past, said that the video does not show anything illegal or out of the ordinary in slaughterhouses.

“All I can conclude is that it proves that PETA is out to destroy or make unlawful [kosher slaughter] in all its actual implementation,” Lewin said. “The purpose of the video is to have people say, ‘Look, there is a man with a beard and a long knife.’”

The new footage comes from a Nebraska plant that the Rubashkins opened in 2006. It is staffed by residents of a nearby Indian reservation. The Nebraska plant is reported to have 100 employees, an eighth of the number who work at the Iowa facility.

In the new video, the cattle appear be moving their eyes, necks and tongues long after their throats have been slit. In one case, PETA says the movement went on for two minutes. In testimony gathered by PETA, a number of veterinarians hold that cows are still conscious until their eyes roll back. Lewin said that “after [kosher slaughter,] animals may move, but when an animal moves that does not mean it is conscious.”

The video appears to corroborate PETA’s allegation that factory workers cut off the ears of cows while the cows are still moving. Other footage appears to show a worker using a metal device — a hook, according to PETA — to reach into the throats of the animals after the cut but before the animals stopped moving.

The most controversial scenes from the 2004 video showed a worker using a hook to pull out a moving cow’s trachea. AgriProcessors had promised to stop the practice.

Among the critics of the new footage is animal rights expert Temple Grandin, who was also a prominent critic of AgriProcessors after the release of the 2004 video. She visited the Iowa plant last year, after a series of reforms had been implemented, and gave it a clean bill of health. Now, in response to the new footage, she is again criticizing the company.

“They’re not working on fixing the details of their procedure,” Grandin told the Forward. “Now, it’s nowhere near as bad as the other AgriProcessors thing. I would label that atrocious. This I would label poor.”

The kosher slaughter at the Nebraska plant is certified by a number of Orthodox authorities, including the leading kosher certifier, the Orthodox Union. In 2004, the O.U. initially defended AgriProcessors but soon thereafter assumed a more critical stance, demanding that changes be implemented.

The CEO of the O.U.’s kosher division, Menachem Genack, told the Forward that he had not had a chance to watch the new video. He said that after hearing from PETA, he had asked one of his inspectors to go to the plant. Genack said that based on what he had learned, “this is nothing like the same story as Postville.”

A spokesman for a branch of the United States Department of Agriculture, Amanda Eamich, said that her agency had sent a veterinarian to the Nebraska plant after receiving the PETA complaint. Eamich said that her agency is “reviewing the procedures” at the Nebraska plant but has not made any conclusions.

In 2004, PETA made complaints to the local prosecutor in Iowa and to the USDA. A USDA investigation found that the plant had “engaged in acts of inhumane slaughter.”


PETA Calls for Slaughterhouse Probe
By TIMBERLY ROSS 07.09.07, 3:18 PM ET

An animal-rights group has called for a state investigation into a Gordon meatpacking plant it claims mistreats animals during the slaughtering process.

In a complaint filed Monday with the Sheridan County Attorney, the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said Local Pride LLC allows cows to remain conscious for up to two minutes after their throats are cut during the kosher slaughtering process, among other things.

PETA vice president Bruce Friedrich called the practice illegal and cruel.

Local Pride opened in June 2006 under an agreement between the Sholom Rubashkin family of New York and the Oglala of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The Rubashkins also own the world's largest kosher plant, Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa, which was scrutinized last year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for cruelty to animals. The investigation came after Agriprocessor's slaughtering methods were criticized by PETA as cruel and inhumane.

The U.S. attorney's office in Cedar Rapids did not file charges in that case.

PETA said in its latest complaint that an undercover investigation of Local Pride was carried out in May as follow-up to its claims against Agriprocessor.

The alleged violations of state, federal and kosher laws cited in the complaint include: the animals were allowed to writhe in pain for up to two minutes after their throats were cut; and staff tear the animals' necks with a meat hook and cut tags from their ears while they are still conscious.

"The intentional infliction of cruelty at Agriprocessor's Gordon, Nebraska, facility is ... part of a continued pattern of disregard for the welfare of animals - and the cruelty-to-animal statutes - in the locales where Agriprocessors operates," PETA said in the complaint.

A video of the alleged mistreatment at Local Pride was posted Monday on PETA's Web site.

A message left for Rubashkin at his Iowa office was not immediately returned Monday.

According to PETA, a similar complaint filed June 29 with the USDA has prompted a federal probe of Local Pride.

USDA spokeswoman Amanda Eamich on Monday confirmed that a specialist was sent to the plant to observe the slaughtering process, but said no violations of the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act were found.

Under Nebraska law, cruel mistreatment of animals is a Class I misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class IV felony for subsequent offenses.

The Sheridan County Attorney's Office said Monday that it could not comment on the complaint.

When Local Pride opened last year, the company employed nearly 100 plant employees and slaughtered about 110 cattle per week.

A plant manager contacted Monday would not release updated figures and referred all questions to Rubashkin.

PETA Urges County Attorney to Charge Gordon Local Pride Slaughterhouse for Abuse

Undercover Investigation of Kosher Slaughterhouse Reveals Mutilation of Conscious Cows

For Immediate Release:
July 11, 2007

Matt Prescott 757-622-7382

Omaha, Neb. -- This morning, PETA filed a formal complaint with Sheridan County Attorney Jamian Simmons asking her to prosecute the Rubashkin-owned Local Pride kosher slaughterhouse in Gordon for apparent violations of Nebraska's cruelty-to-animals statute. PETA's complaint follows a two-day undercover investigation during which an investigator documented the following abuses:

* Cows remained conscious for up to two minutes after their throats were cut open.
* Workers ripped into conscious cows' throats with a metal hook.
* Workers mutilated conscious cows' ears to remove identification tags.

PETA submitted its findings for scientific review by top experts in animal welfare, slaughter systems, and veterinary medicine--including a former federal chief slaughterhouse inspector--all of whom strongly condemned Local Pride's practices. Colorado State University Professor Dr. Bernard Rollin--a leading scholar in the field of animal consciousness--wrote, "[T]he evident insertion of the meat hook to increase bleeding is both inhumane and a violation of the principles of [kosher law]. ... The vocalization and struggling after the cut is made speak for themselves and ... should be abhorrent to and condemned by all observant Jews." PETA has also sent letters to both the owner of the company and the Orthodox Union--which certifies kosher meat--asking them to assure that these abuses will be stopped.

PETA has also filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service asking it to investigate possible violations of the federal Humane Slaughter Act documented at Local Pride.

In addition to Local Pride, Sholom Rubashkin owns AgriProcessors, whose Postville, Iowa, slaughterhouse was the subject of a 2004 PETA investigation, during which conscious cows were documented having their tracheas ripped from their throats. The investigation prompted an investigation by the USDA, which concluded that AgriProcessors had violated federal law.

"Rubashkin's slaughterhouses should not be allowed to continue violating state, federal, or kosher laws," says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. "We're asking Ms. Simmons to prosecute the company for its allegedly illegal and cruel practices, and we're reminding the public that the best way to stop cruelty to animals is to go vegetarian."

For more information, please visit PETA's Web site GoVeg.com.

PETA slams AgriProcessors

(JTA) -- An animal-rights group says America’s largest kosher meat company still isn’t treating its animals humanely.

People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals (PETA) released a new video showing that AgriProcessors, which produces the Aaron’s Best line of kosher meats, has not followed through on its pledge to shoot with a gun any cow that appeared to be alive after it had been through the kosher slaughtering process.

AgriProcessors came under fire in 2004 when PETA released a video it had shot surreptitiously at the slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, showing gruesome footage of cows flailing after they had had their throats slit in accordance with the practice in kosher ritual slaughter. After the video’s release, the slaughterhouse agreed to reform its work practices, but PETA now says AgriProcessors has broken that agreement.

Attorney Nathan Lewin, who has defended AgriProcessors in the past, said the new video “proves PETA is out to destroy or make unlawful” kosher slaughter, according to a report in The Forward. AgriProcessors did not return calls seeking comment, according to the report.

Video Renews Beefs About Slaughterhouse’s Practices

Nathaniel Popper | Wed. Jul 11, 2007

A video from a kosher slaughterhouse in Nebraska is reigniting concern about the way the nation’s largest kosher meat company handles its animals.

The three-and-a-half minute video shows bloody images of cows being killed at the Local Pride slaughterhouse in Gordon, Neb., which is owned by the Brooklyn-based Rubashkin family. The footage was filmed and released by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The Rubashkins, adherents of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic sect, also own the Postville, Iowa-based AgriProcessors, the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse. In 2004, AgriProcessors came under sharp criticism from a number of rabbis and animal rights activists after PETA released a separate video from the Postville slaughterhouse that showed gruesome footage of cows walking around after having their necks cut. Since then, AgriProcessors has also come under fire for the treatment of its workers.

The new video shows much less gut-wrenching detail than the one from 2004. A PETA spokesman said that allegations this time around are more limited. Unlike the previous video, which was filmed clandestinely, the new one was made with the knowledge of the workers, according to PETA. The group alleges that the video provides proof of the Rubashkins’ failure to follow through on reforms that they agreed to make after the previous video was released, including a promise to use a gun to immediately kill any animal that is not rendered insensate after the kosher cut is administered.

“It’s extremely disappointing to find that three years later, AgriProcessors still can’t slaughter without horrible abuse of the animals involved,” Bruce Friedrich, PETA’s vice president of international grasssroots campaigns, told the Forward.

PETA has filed complaints with the county attorney in Nebraska and with the United States Department of Agriculture.

Calls to AgriProcessors’ headquarters and to an AgriProcessors’ spokesman were not returned before press time. Nat Lewin, a Washington lawyer who has defended AgriProcessors in the past, said that the video does not show anything illegal or out of the ordinary in slaughterhouses.

“All I can conclude is that it proves that PETA is out to destroy or make unlawful [kosher slaughter] in all its actual implementation,” Lewin said. “The purpose of the video is to have people say, ‘Look, there is a man with a beard and a long knife.’”

The new footage comes from a Nebraska plant that the Rubashkins opened in 2006. It is staffed by residents of a nearby Indian reservation. The Nebraska plant is reported to have 100 employees, an eighth of the number who work at the Iowa facility.

In the new video, the cattle appear be moving their eyes, necks and tongues long after their throats have been slit. In one case, PETA says the movement went on for two minutes. In testimony gathered by PETA, a number of veterinarians hold that cows are still conscious until their eyes roll back. Lewin said that “after [kosher slaughter,] animals may move, but when an animal moves that does not mean it is conscious.”

The video appears to corroborate PETA’s allegation that factory workers cut off the ears of cows while the cows are still moving. Other footage appears to show a worker using a metal device — a hook, according to PETA — to reach into the throats of the animals after the cut but before the animals stopped moving.

The most controversial scenes from the 2004 video showed a worker using a hook to pull out a moving cow’s trachea. AgriProcessors had promised to stop the practice.

Among the critics of the new footage is animal rights expert Temple Grandin, who was also a prominent critic of AgriProcessors after the release of the 2004 video. She visited the Iowa plant last year, after a series of reforms had been implemented, and gave it a clean bill of health. Now, in response to the new footage, she is again criticizing the company.

“They’re not working on fixing the details of their procedure,” Grandin told the Forward. “Now, it’s nowhere near as bad as the other AgriProcessors thing. I would label that atrocious. This I would label poor.”

The kosher slaughter at the Nebraska plant is certified by a number of Orthodox authorities, including the leading kosher certifier, the Orthodox Union. In 2004, the O.U. initially defended AgriProcessors but soon thereafter assumed a more critical stance, demanding that changes be implemented.

The CEO of the O.U.’s kosher division, Menachem Genack, told the Forward that he had not had a chance to watch the new video. He said that after hearing from PETA, he had asked one of his inspectors to go to the plant. Genack said that based on what he had learned, “this is nothing like the same story as Postville.”

A spokesman for a branch of the United States Department of Agriculture, Amanda Eamich, said that her agency had sent a veterinarian to the Nebraska plant after receiving the PETA complaint. Eamich said that her agency is “reviewing the procedures” at the Nebraska plant but has not made any conclusions.

In 2004, PETA made complaints to the local prosecutor in Iowa and to the USDA. A USDA investigation found that the plant had “engaged in acts of inhumane slaughter.”

Forward-thinking Family Feasts

By Marcia Whyte Smart
Greenlight Magazine in partnership with Earth 911

Sitting down to a beautiful family meal is all the more meaningful when you know that the ingredients are free of toxic pesticides and other worrisome chemicals and that the dishes have been prepared with care, keeping our earth's most precious resources in mind. Here's how you can be earth-conscious while creating menus that fit seamlessly into any family's traditional festivities.

The Basics

It almost goes without saying: Steer clear of prepared, processed and canned foods as much as possible. For your staples, use organic vinegars and extra virgin olive oil, fresh organic fruits and vegetables, and home-made stocks from organic and free-range poultry. You may also want to try hand-raked sea salt from Brittany (as opposed to iodized salt made in gigantic salt mines).

Healthy & Festive

An elegant trout and endive appetizer special enought to take to a party, a hearty root vegetable medley in place of a goo-topped sweet potato casserole, fresh pumkin custard instead of a store-bought pie.

These Earth-friendly recipes make use of traditional ingredients and flavors and should fit perfectly into your family's winter dinner events.

Know Your Labels

Organic: Produce labeled "organic" is grown in compliance with the USDA's Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, which requires that no pesticides, toxic fertilizers or genetically modified seeds be used in their cultivation.

Natural: Food labels that say "natural" don't necessarily mean that the contents are organic (if they are, this will be specified). "Natural" can actually be very misleading, because it may simply mean that the food was produced without one of the following: additives, artificial colors, hormones and/or antibiotics. Naturally raised meat is typically meat from animals that have been raised without growth hormones and/or antibiotics or that weren't fed any animal by-products. Animals from the most respected meat producers receive no antibiotics, hormones or animal by-products.

Grass-Fed: "Grass-fed" means just that: The animals were raised in a pasture, eating natural vegetation instead of the fattening whole corn given to cattle and other livestock at feed lots. Meat from grass-fed animals contains none of the hormones and chemicals found in industrially raised cows because the animals are not forced to grow fat in an unnaturally short time. Grass-fed cattle also benefit from not eating corn, which is not part of the animals' natural diet. Though it can damage their digestive and immune systems, it is used by feed lots because it's easier and cheaper (thanks to government subsidies). Grass-fed meat is more natural because the cows are eating the diet they were made to eat. Grass-fed meat is also lower in calories and fat, and higher in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Look for labels that say "100 percent grassfed" or "pasture-finished." While some argue that traditional corn-fed beef has better flavor, it's worth noting that the famed steaks of Argentina are grass-fed.

Heritage Main Courses

Consider ordering meats that come from a heritage breed, such as Lasater beef, American Bronze or Bourbon Red turkey, and Kurobuta or Red Wattle pork. These animals tend to be raised in pastures and don't receive antibiotics or hormones. Fifty years ago, heritage breeds were common on family farms, but with the industrialization of the livestock industry many have become nearly extinct. In encouraging farmers to keep raising heritage breeds. You'll be doing your part to continue the cultivation of rare livestock and to ensure genetic diversity. Organic holiday ham can take on myriad savory flavors, including smoke, honey, bourbon, pepper, apple and maple. More and more supermarkets now carry organic items.

What About Kosher Meat?

Kosher meat is considered safer and cleaner than conventional meat. Jewish law requires rigorous inspections, and Kosher beef inspectors reject about 50 times as many animals as USDA inspectors do. The animals must be active and healthy before slaughter, and some people consider the slaughtering process to be more humane and hygienic. But safer, cleaner meat doesn't guarantee that it's better for you: Kosher animals are raised on conventional farms, which often administer growth hormones and antibiotics. Kosher hot dogs can be loaded with nitrates and saturated fat. If health is your goal, choose organic Kosher meat.

Other Sources for Earth-Friendly Meats and Foods

Other earth-friendly meats and foods include kosher turkeys; organic turkeys; organic produce; the bounty of local organic farms, farmer's markets and organic meat producers.

Finishing touches

Consider serving kosher or organic wines, which are made from pesticide-free grapes. Round out your meal with organic and fair-trade coffee.

Posek Yisroel Belsky and Agudas Yisroel of America - the child killers of today, stick their noses in on this one:

Radical vegetarian group seeking to slaughter one of the world's largest kosher meat processors

By Binyamin L. Jolkovsky

PETA's latest ploy

The NYTimes gets scooped of its own story!

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the radical vegetarian group that in an advertising campaign once compared the slaughtering of chickens to the murder of Holocaust victims, is taking aim at one of the world's largest kosher meat processors.

AgriProcessors Inc., the Postville, Iowa-based firm that markets meat under the Rubashkin and Aaron's Best label and is found in America's biggest supermarket chains, is being accused by the group of violating humane slaughter laws and Halacha, or Jewish ritual procedure.

Complaints against the company began a year and a half ago, when PETA wrote the meat producer and in unspecific terms expressed its dissatisfaction with the company's operating procedures. The company's lawyer, Nathan Lewin, responded by offering to discuss and, if necessary, fix any problem the group had. But he said he never heard back from them.

Last week, Mr. Lewin, regarded as one of the country's leading authority on church-state issues, was contacted by the New York Times seeking comment on an undercover videotape the paper received from PETA, in which it claimed to document abuses by the meat manufacturer. On Friday, Mr. Lewin traveled from his home in Washington, D.C., to The New York Times' Manhattan offices to watch the video with Rabbi Chaim Kohn, Chief Dayan of Khal Adath Yeshurun, AgriProcessors' New York City-based kosher certifying agency.

The film, which Mr. Lewin describes as having no audio track but uses titles with dates of supposed abuses — from August and September of this year — depicts the slaughtering process in gory detail. Viewers see the shochet, or ritual slaughterer, cutting in one uninterrupted incision the esophagus and trachea. Then, another person facilitates bleeding in order to render the cow unconscious.

While there is much blood, explains Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, one of the nation's leading authorities on the kosher slaughtering process, and a head of the kosher division of the Orthodox Union, it is precisely the bleeding that renders the slaughter the most humane because it makes sure the animal feels absolutely no pain because it is totally unconscious.

Mr. Lewin charges that "all PETA wants to do is inflame the public against kosher slaughter." The group, he added, "just doesn't understand shechita — what's permitted under Jewish, and consequently, American Law."

The video also shows cows appearing to still be alive after the slaughtering process. But, "reflexive movement", wherein dead creatures appear to be alive is quite common, Rabbi Belsky said. "Think of chickens running without heads," he said.

Donate to JWR

News of PETA's attack against a prominent kosher meat manufacturer forced a historic vote at the Agudath Israel of America's annual convention in Stamford, Connecticut. Moments before the end of the powerful Orthodox umbrella group's four-day strategizing session yesterday, David Zwiebel, its executive vice president of government and public affairs, took to the microphone urging all in the room to remain seated. By unanimous vote, the group condemned what it termed a "vicious and unethical attack on Jewish religious practice."

Though PETA had previously compared the slaughtering of chickens to the murder of Holocaust victims, the Agudath resolution noted that among the first organized efforts the Nazis did against Jews was "peddling photographs of allegedly 'cruel' kosher slaughter." PETA, the resolution added "now follows in that vile course." Jewish tradition, the proclamation said, "introduced human society to the concept of humane treatment of animals and that, even today, is well ahead of organizations such as PETA in its concern for welfare of all living creatures."

Agreeing with PETA, however, are two rabbis: Shear Yashuv Cohen, Chief Rabbi of Haifa and President of the Haifa District Rabbinical Courts, and Rabbi David Rosen, the American Jewish Committee's director of Interreligious Affairs, according to Mr. Lewin. However, PETA did not point out in its material that both rabbis identify themselves as vegetarians.

PETA officials could not be reached yesterday for comment.

Rabbi Cohen was unaware that he was being used by PETA in any way, according to Mr. Lewin. He told the lawyer that he was approached by an Israeli animal rights activist, Tal Ronen, who told him he was a baal teshuva, or recently-turned Orthodox Jew, who was interested in the proper treatment of animals.

Yisroel Besky the Putz said...

The Truth About Milk & Cookies Print
Written by Avi Frier
Jul 18, 2007 at 11:08 AM

Kashrut authorities differ on the use of the “D.E.” designation on Kosher-supervised products

If David Clements of Hollywood takes a bite of a food containing even the slightest traces of milk, he is in for a potentially life threatening allergic reaction.

“We have to be very careful,” said Stephen Clements, David’s father. “At camp a few summers ago, someone dished out non-dairy sorbet using a spoon that had been used to serve ice cream. A little while later, David took sorbet from that container and wound up in the emergency room.”

But Clements, a rising eleventh grader at the Weinbaum Yeshiva High School in Boca Raton can eat an entire bag of Oreo cookies without so much as a tickle in his throat, despite the fact that the Orthodox Union (OU), which provides Kashrut supervision for Oreo and other Nabisco products, has designated Oreos as dairy.

This is because the OU has opted to mark all products produced on the same equipment used to produce dairy products as dairy, even if the equipment has been cleaned and no dairy ingredients can be found in the product. Other national Kashrut agencies, such as the O.K. and the Kof-K designate these foods with “D.E.” an abbreviation indicating that the product’s ingredients are completely Pareve (neutral, containing no meat or dairy), but that it was produced on dairy equipment.

Jewish Law forbids mixing milk and meat, and requires the use of separate dishes and utensils for meat and dairy foods; additionally, after eating meat, one must wait a number of hours before eating dairy (the number of hours varies by custom, and can range from three to six). According to all Ashkenazic and some Sephardic interpretations of Halacha (Jewish Law), Pareve foods produced on dairy equipment may not be eaten with meat, and may not be prepared or served using meat utensils, but may be eaten immediately after meat.

Rabbi Yaakov Luban, Senior Rabbinic Coordinator at the OU Kashrut Division, says that the OU has fielded numerous requests to adopt the D.E. designation, but they have resisted the change.

“Our purpose is to bring Kashrut to the masses,” Rabbi Luban told the Florida Jewish News. “Since most people do not understand the ramifications of the D.E.’s Halachic status, adopting the D.E. would create confusion for Kosher consumers.”

For those who are familiar with the ramifications of the D.E. status, a call to the OU’s Kashrut hotline (212-613-8241) can reveal which products marked OU-D are actually dairy and which are only produced on dairy equipment. But the OU representative answering the phone told the Florida Jewish News that they don’t publish a list of these products; consumers must ask about specific brands. The OU did confirm that as long as no dairy ingredients, such as milk, whey, or casein, are listed on the package, Oreo cookies are indeed Pareve, but produced on dairy equipment.

Rabbi Yehuda Rosenbaum, Administrative Director at the Kof-K, says that labeling a product as dairy, when it was only made on dairy equipment, is what creates confusion for the consumer. Rabbi Rosenbaum points out that it can be a dangerous habit to rely on ingredients to determine a product’s status, and not on the Kashrut organizations that are entrusted with disseminating this information.

One of the biggest problems with relying on the ingredients to determine a product’s Pareve status is that there are several dairy ingredients that consumers might not recognize as dairy when they see them listed by name. Some of the most common are whey, lactose, casein, sodium caseinate, and calcium caseinate. Even when “natural flavors” appear on the ingredients panel, these flavors can be dairy derivatives.

To add to the confusion, even products labeled as non-dairy, such as coffee creamers, can be dairy according to Jewish law. According to federal regulations, creamers containing less than a certain percentage of milk fat must be labeled “non-dairy,” however these creamers do contain sodium caseinate, which renders them dairy according to Jewish law.

“That’s why we always write something under the Kof-K symbol on every package, whether it’s meat, Pareve, dairy, or D.E.,” Rosenbaum said. “If you see a Kof-K with nothing under it, which under normal circumstances would never happen, that’s when you should have to call and ask.”

In 1986, Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, Rosh Yeshiva of New York’s Yeshiva Torah V’Da’as, was a Halachic consultant for the Kof-K. It was then that Kof-K administrators, who had encountered a situation of Italian ices being produced on the same equipment used to make ice cream, first posed the question of whether they could designate products with a D.E. Since this was not yet a well-known concept, Rabbi Belsky permitted the designation, as long as efforts were made to educate the public as to the Halachic intricacies involving Pareve products produced in this manner. Rabbi Belsky also asked the Kof-K to urge other Kashrut agencies to begin using the D.E., so that consumers would grow accustomed to seeing it.

Rabbi Belsky, who is on summer vacation and could not be reached for comment, is now the Senior Halachic Consultant for the OU Kashrut Division.
Chalav Yisrael

Another issue figuring into the D.E. debate is the law of Chalav Yisrael. Halacha dictates that a Jew may only consume milk produced in the presence of a Torah-observant Jew, since without proper supervision, one does not know whether the milk came from a kosher or a non-kosher animal (the latter would render the milk non-kosher). Although most modern day Halachic authorities have ruled that government regulations are stringent enough that Kosher consumers in the United States can be lenient with this law (especially in communities where Chalav Yisrael products are not easily available), there are many who opt to keep it.

For this reason, the Baltimore-based Star‑K also does not use the D.E. designation. Star‑K President, Rabbi Dr. Avrom Pollak, told the Florida Jewish News that people who keep the laws of Chalav Yisrael consider non-Chalav Yisrael milk to be non-Kosher altogether.

“According to them, any food produced on the same equipment would be completely tref (non-kosher),” Pollak said. “For their sake, we don’t put our seal on these types of products.”

But O.K. head Rabbi Don Yoel Levy contends that ­there is no assumption made by Chalav Yisrael consumers that products marked dairy or D.E. are Chalav Yisrael unless they are specified as such.

“We were the first to use the D.E. when we began placing it on Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews in the late 1970’s,” Levy said. “Since then, the majority, if not all of the products we’ve marked with the D.E. were not Chalav Yisrael.”

People who are meticulous in the area of Chalav Yisrael know what to look for, and will not be misled by the presence of the D.E. mark, Levy said.

yisroel belsky from Wikipedia said...

Rabbi Yisroel Belsky is an important posek in the United States, residing in Brooklyn, New York. He is the son of Rabbi Berel and Chana Belsky. His maternal grandfather is Binyomin Wilhelm (the founder of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, which Berel attended) and who was one of the few American students who attended the Radin yeshiva in Europe [1]

Rabbi Belsky received Semicha from Yeshiva Torah Vodaas in 1962, where he currently serves as a Rosh yeshiva, and from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein in 1965.He also studied in Beth Medrash Elyon for a number of years. He also serves as a senior Halachic decisor for the Orthodox Union, a post he has dually filled since 1987.

Although Rabbi Belsky never attended secular college, he is extremely knowledgeable in the sciences (particularly astronomy) and technology. He was also a teacher of mathematics at the high school division of Torah Vodaas.

Some of his recent legal positions as posek of OU Kashrut, as found on web announcements, include[citation needed]:

1. Allowing genetically modified food.
2. Allowing unfiltered NYC water.
3. Allowing human hair wigs from India.
4. Accepting meat from Postville, Iowa despite the scandals, stating that the kashrus was never impacted.
5. Forbidding the use of the Borough Park and Flatbush Eruv.
6. Encourages strictness concerning "bishul akum" by discouraging the reliance on igniting pilot lights.

[edit] Works

* Piske halakhot (Brooklyn 2002) - responsa
* Einei Yisroel on Chumash (currently Bereishis and Shemos) (Kiryat Sefer 2005) - adapted from the lectures by Moshe Armel and Reuven Mathieson

Rabbi Belsky also answers moral questions on a series called "Honesty" found on Torah.org.

[edit] References

1. ^ M. Samsonowitz (25 August 1999). The Founding of Torah Vodaas - Reb Binyomin Wilhelm. Dei'ah veDibur.

This biographical article about a person notable in connection with Judaism is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

exposemolesters said...

Trusting in Yisroel Belsky on ANY matter, is like trusting that Hamas will make peace with Israel. The guy is a fraud as are his psaks.

Yisroel Belsky was just in camp agudah demonstrating with latex gloves on - to the boys - the Halachas of Shechita (kosher slaughtering). Ironic it is, since Belsky knows a thing or two about butchering, children that is, just ask Yudi Kolko and Lepel Margulis!

rabbi concert ban - what's next? said...

Concerts? Heaven Forfend!

Another ban. This time it isn’t Rabbi Silfkin. And it isn’t Rabbi Kaminetsky. It is Avraham Fried and Yaakov Shwekey.

I am not going to go into the Halachos of listening to live music post Churban Bayis Sheni. That is part of the over all the Halacha which limits how much enjoyment we may have since the Holy Temple was destroyed. And that includes listening to live music. That issue has been addressed by people far greater than I.

But Halacha does allow for live music in certain circumstances. There was never a total ban on it. Poskim have permitted live concerts for various reasons. And concerts by people like Avraham Fried and Yaakov Shweky have been a staple on the Orthodox Jewish scene for many decades with the full knowledge and approval of many rabbinic leaders.

I remember a concert by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach when I was in elementary school. He came to Yeshivath Beis Yehudah back in the late fifties or early sixties when he came out with his first album ‘HaNishama Lach’. He sang and played the guitar for us right in the Shul of the boys building. He was a friend of Rabbi Sholom Goldstein a vice principal of the school and a pioneer of Chinuch in America, sent to Detroit by Reb Sraga Feivel Mendelowitz himself.

That such a ban comes out now in light of the events taking place in the Catskill Mountains as witnessed by Rabbi Horowitz is demonstrative of just how out of touch these rabbinic leaders are with what’s going on in the Jewish world outside of their own.

I want to focus for a moment on their specific Issur directed at mixed seating at concerts. They left their strongest language for this:

"We trembled at hearing about the terrible breach in our camp of 'music evenings' and 'concerts' in which musicians sing before men and women sitting together, Heaven forefend, and even not together. All Torah leaders have in the past clearly forbidden these events, even when men and women are separate." The rabbis say the ban applies to men, women and children and of course the performers. Newspapers are not permitted to advertise these events, according to the ad, and musicians who sing "in front of men and women together" must not be invited to sing at other events.

I am reminded of the event in Ramat Bet Shemesh that took place a couple of years ago on Lag B’Omer. That event was trashed by a group of Kanaim led by a local Charedi Rav because of the mixed crowd in the park. Were those intruders right? Maybe their methods were a bit extreme but it seems that right along with them in spirit were Rav Elayshiv, Rav Steinman, Rav Sheinberg, Rav Wosner, and the Gerrer Rebbe.

Maybe there is a underlying reason for this Takana. Maybe there was penetration. We know that if there wasn’t they could even teach our children Torah, let alone sing at ‘other events’.

This new Takana is mind blowing! Singing in front of a mixed crowd gets you a comment this:

‘We trembled at hearing about the terrible breach in our camp of 'music evenings' and 'concerts' in which musicians sing before men and women sitting together, Heaven forefend’

But a child molester who has been destroying lives for over twenty years gets to keep teaching if there was no penetration?!


In trying to asses this new ban, I am reminded of the event in Ramat Bet Shemesh that took place a couple of years ago on Lag B’Omer. That event was trashed by a group of Kanaim led by a local Charedi Rav because of the mixed crowd in the park. Were those intruders right? Maybe their methods were a bit extreme but it seems that right along with them in spirit were Rav Elayshiv, Rav Steinman, Rav Sheinberg, Rav Wosner, and the Gerrer Rebbe.

Clearly this is not Halacha. If it were no concert like this would have ever been held. And they are held all the time as fundraisers for worthy causes. …or as inspirational events. And those concerts are not exclusively separate seating. Yet we see the kind of strong language issued here for this.

I plan to ignore this ban right along with the other two famous bans. I will not stop going to concerts including those that that have mixed seating. But there are plenty of people who will say ‘Daas Torah has spoken’. ‘And we must listen’.

What are these people going to do to keep their families sane at those times when their children are not in school? …or during vacations?

They have so precious few recreational activities their families are allowed to participate in. No Internet. No TV. No movies. No Ipods. No theater. No secular books. No Sports. For girls, no bicycles. And now no concerts. And as I write this I am informed of yet another ban, no recreational hiking.

What is left for these youngsters to do in their spare time? …smoke cigarettes?! I guess so, judging by at how much of that goes on in the Charedi world in Israel today.

How can these rabbinic leaders look at the epidemic of young people dropping out, the dire poverty of its most loyal adherents, the numerous instances of child molestation, the violence on the streets by some of its sects and come out with a ban on concerts?! Is this the most important issue of our day? And why now? Didn’t these Gedolim know about the concerts before now?

It’s almost as if they are doing their level best to break the spirit of the Jewish people. Let’s see what kind of world they have built for the world of Charedim in recent times.

*They have created a system of Jewish life where men do not work. They instead all sit and learn no matter what their capabilities are.

*They have banned secular studies as at best a waste of time for their students.

*Women may not advance their careers by any more than two years of formal education beyond high school. This applies to even Limudei Kodesh studies… let alone secular studies.

*No sporting activities are permitted to their students. There is virtually no recreational activity available to them.

*Woman must dress so that they do not give away that they are women. Clothing stores will now be certified and those without certification will be boycotted.

*Charities are now selling Segulos as a means of fundraising.

*And in some of the more extreme quarters of the Charedi world, those who participate in violent protest are given sympathy for their goals if not for their methods. Torching clothing stores, and dumpsters, burning tires, shoving women around in buses, spray bleaching passers by… all somehow tolerated though ‘officially’ rejected.

None of that is addressed. I can only surmise that the one person keeping Moshiach away is Avraham Fried.

exposemolesters said...


Rabbinical "Ban" on Hassidic Music Concerts
21 Av 5767, 05 August 07 11:51
by Hillel Fendel

(IsraelNN.com) Hassidic music stars Avraham Fried and Yaakov Shwekey are to perform in Jerusalem before an audience of over 10,000 Thursday night - but leading hareidi-religious Rabbis Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the Gerrer Rebbe and others say it's forbidden to participate or attend events of that nature.

Flashy posters all over Jerusalem and elsewhere advertise a high-powered Hassidic music concert scheduled for Thursday evening at Teddy Stadium. It features two of the genre's greatest stars, Fried and Shwekey, as well as guest appearances by Aharon Razel and the up-and-coming Elad Shaar. Called "L'Chaim in Jerusalem," the event commemorates the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, and will feature an extra-large orchestra.

A damper was placed on the event, however, in the form of a rabbinic ban appearing in the hareidi-religious press. The ban is signed by leading rabbis including Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the Gerrer and Bezler Rabbis, Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, Rabbi Shmuel HaLevy Vozner, Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Sheinberg, and more. .

The Rabbincal statement reads: "We trembled at hearing about the terrible breach in our camp of 'music evenings' and 'concerts' in which musicians sing before men and women sitting together, Heaven forefend, and even not together. All Torah leaders have in the past clearly forbidden these events, even when men and women are separate."

The rabbis say the ban applies to men, women and children and of course the performers. Newspapers are not permitted to advertise these events, according to the ad, and musicians who sing "in front of men and women together" must not be invited to sing at other events.

A source close to one of the above rabbis told Arutz-7 he was unsure of the grounds for the ban. He opined that it could be because of the mixing of the genders outside the event, but added, "This is very puzzling, because why then is there a difference between performers - who are penalized only if they sing before a mixed crowd - and the general public, which is forbidden to attend under all circumstances?" Another source said that it was possibly the rock-and-roll atmosphere prevalent at events of this nature that might be the problem, though this was not mentioned in the ban.

One source said he believes one of the rabbis signed this ban several years ago, and that it was not presented to him again. Others expressed a lack of confidence in the entire system of "signed rabbinic decisions," in that it is not clear how the situation was presented to the rabbis. There have even been cases of rabbis who said their names were "signed" on various announcements without their permission.

"It is known that Rabbi Moshe Feinstein [the pre-eminent Torah authority in the U.S. in the 20th century - ed.] permitted events of this nature if the proceeds were for charity," a source close to one of the rabbis said, "as is the case in Thursday's concert, so I'm not sure how to understand this."

Producer Moshe Ben-Zimra told the NRG website in response: "Men and women will be totally separated at the event, including separate entrances, and everything is taking place under the supervision of great rabbis. I greatly respect the rabbis who signed the ban, but they were misled by their underlings whose purpose is simply to liquidate Hassidic music in Israel. The rabbis don't realize that this event is kosher and maintains the laws of modesty. Over 10,000 people have already bought tickets, and they can rely upon the Torah rabbis who support separate and modest events of this nature."

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It is unfortunate that it has come to this. It is a big darn shame it has come to this. It is very hurtful that it has come to this. But yet, IT HAS COME TO THIS. It has come at the price of a GREAT CHILUL HASHEM. It has come to Hashem having to allow his holy name to be DESECRATED so that his CHILDREN remain SAFE. Shame on all those responsible for enabling and permitting Hashem's name to be desecrated! When you save children you save the future. You save the future you save generations. You save generations you save lives. You save lives you have saved the world!!!!!!!