Friday, April 04, 2008

YTT has no morals - evil place must be shut down. Lipa Margulies belongs in jail!



http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c36_a7198/News/New_York.html

Yeshiva Fired, Then Paid, Rabbi Charged With Abuse

Kolko got big bucks from Torah Temimah while ‘on leave’; lawyers suggest it’s hush money.


Rabbi Yehuda Kolko: Court documents reveal payments going back to 2006.

by Hella Winston/ Larry Cohler-Esses

A Brooklyn rabbi charged with having sexually molested his students has collected almost $70,000 from Yeshiva Torah Temimah and entities linked to it since the school put him on administrative leave 22 months ago.


Rabbi Yehuda Kolko received payments ranging from $3,000 to $9,000 per month between May 2006 and December 2007, according to court records obtained by The Jewish Week.

The court records also suggest that before Rabbi Kolko left the school, he received tens of thousands of dollars above his reported yearly income at the school’s direction.

Rabbi Kolko faces trial on charges of molesting two boys at the school and attacking an adult former student within the past several years. He remains free on $60,000 bail since his arrest and indictments in December 2006 and September 2007. A trial date has not yet been set.

Four former students have also filed separate civil suits against Torah Temimah, alleging they were molested by Rabbi Kolko and that the school covered it up. The suits seek damages totaling $50 million.

This week, a fifth plaintiff came forward. Identified in his complaint only as John Doe No. 6, the former student, now in his mid-20s, alleges Rabbi Kolko molested him when he was between the ages of 11 and 13. The abuse, he claims, took place in the yeshiva’s basement and in Rabbi Kolko’s private office, among other places.

As with the previous plaintiffs, the new one alleges that Rabbi Lipa Marguiles, the school’s chief administrator, “knew of allegations that Rabbi Kolko was sexually abusing boys at Torah Temimah years before” but failed to act.

Unlike the other suits, this one names Rabbi Marguiles personally as a defendant.

Michael Dowd, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, voiced concern Tuesday that the newly disclosed payments might influence Rabbi Kolko to remain silent about any knowledge or neglect by the school or Rabbi Marguiles regarding his alleged conduct. He noted that the yeshiva was effectively subsidizing Rabbi Kolko’s criminal legal defense while the school itself was being sued by his alleged victims for neglect.

Dowd, who represented plaintiffs in suits against the Catholic Church involving sexual abuse, said he saw the same pattern of continued payments in those cases.

“These child abusers could literally sink the institutions with the[ir] knowledge,” he said, explaining what he saw as the motivation for payment.

Still On The Payroll

It was in May 2006 that Yeshiva Torah Temimah announced it had put Rabbi Kolko on “administrative leave . . . on advice of counsel and by mutual agreement.” The announcement came shortly after two of the civil suits were filed, followed by a New York magazine exposé alleging years of child molestation by the rabbi and a decades-long cover-up by the yeshiva.

Despite Rabbi Kolko’s departure, canceled checks and other financial records show the yeshiva or entities linked to it continued to pay the rabbi substantial sums almost every month.

After repeated questions from The Jewish Week about the money, and repeated statements empahsizing the schools break with the rabbi, his attorney, Avi Moskowitz, said the funds were severance payments.

Significant gaps remain in the financial records. But from June 2006 — a month after his “administrative leave” was first announced — through August 2006, Rabbi Kolko received at least $6,000 per month from the yeshiva.

Attorneys for his alleged victims are still seeking yeshiva financial records for September and October 2006. But in November 2006, there was a change. That month a $6,000 check came from Yonasan Tendler, a Torah Temimah parent. The check was written out to “C. Grosnass,” apparently Rabbi Kolko’s married daughter, Chana Grosnas.

There is no record, once again, regarding payments in December 2006. But a payment for $9,000 in January 2007 came to Rabbi Kolko from Congregation Tzorchei Amcho, a Brooklyn-based religious charity headed by Tendler. Rabbi Kolko continued to receive payments, of $3,000 per month, from this charity through July 2007. In several cases, the charity paid Rabbi Kolko this sum the day after receiving an identical amount from the school.

After this, except for September, where there is another gap, the payments resumed from the yeshiva directly: $6,000 in August and October; and $3,000 in November and December, the last month for which records are available.

Regardless of who issued the checks and who received them, Yeshiva Torah Temimah can be assumed to have organized the payments, with Rabbi Kolko as the beneficiary. The yeshiva turned the records of these payments over to the court in response to a discovery request seeking all disbursements to Rabbi Kolko or his “agents” from the school or its “related entities or agents.”

Reached at home, Tendler, the head of the charity, which he described as a free loan fund, said, “I don’t think [Kolko] received any payments from the organization and I don’t have anything to talk about. Keep well.” In a follow-up call, he added: “I don’t know why payments made from a free loan fund or whatever should be a matter of public record.”

After checking with the school, Moskowitz, its attorney, said the checks to Kolko after his departure were severance payments, issued on the basis of a “halachic concept,” or religious law, that mandates one month’s pay for every year served for laid-off employees.

Moskowitz noted that Rabbi Kolko had worked at the school for about 35 years.

(That concept is not universally accepted. A Modern Orthodox Bet Din ruled in 2002 that such payments are not religiously required.)

Court records show that in 2006, the school reported Rabbi Kolko’s salary to the IRS as a little more than $1,000 per month. Moskowitz did not respond to a detailed message asking how this comported with the payments of $3,000 to $9,000 per month to Rabbi Kolko in the months following his departure.

Asked about the payments to Rabbi Kolko via Tendler and Congregation Tzorchei Amcho, his religious charity, Moskowitz said that the yeshiva had borrowed money from the fund to pay Kolko’s severance.

“They had a payroll to keep, and they didn’t have the money for it,” he said. “He [Tendler] fronted the money.”

As for the payments the yeshiva made to Tendler’s free loan fund the day before the fund made payments in the exact same amount to Kolko, Moscowitz said: “The yeshiva has borrowed money from this free loan society and they pay back all the time.”

Halachic Justification

It is unclear just when Yeshiva Torah Temimah terminated its ties with Rabbi Kolko, necessitating severance payments.

Moskowitz said initially that Rabbi Kolko “was put on administrative leave at the beginning of the school year” in 2006 — a termination time at odds with the school’s May 2006 announcement. Asked to explain the meaning of “administrative leave,” Moskowitz said, “Kolko was taken out of the classroom ... until they [could] figure out what to do. He is not employed by them.”

Yet, when pressed on Rabbi Kolko’s status, Moskowitz said, “He is not on leave. The employment relationship has been terminated.”

Asked whether Kolko had been fired, Moskowitz said that the yeshiva “obviously anticipated that he is not going back there. The relationship has been severed.”

Attempts to reach Rabbi Kolko at home were unsuccessful and calls to his civil attorney, Robert Mercurio, were unreturned. Jeffrey Schwartz, Rabbi Kolko’s criminal attorney, said he was not familiar with the financial terms of Kolko’s departure from the school.

But David Framowitz, an alleged victim of Kolko and the subject of the New York magazine piece, said he was “totally shocked and appalled to hear that Yeshiva Torah Temimah has been and is still paying Rabbi Kolko a monthly salary since supposedly firing him in May 2006. YTT has been misleading the public for almost the past two years with this lie. ... Is this what parents are paying their hard earned tuition for?”

Tax Discrepancies On Pay

Meanwhile, the records filed in response to the discovery request show another anomaly. Prior to his departure, Rabbi Kolko apparently was paid sums by the school or entities linked to it far in excess of the salary the school reported to the IRS.

In 2005, the records show, Torah Temimah reported Rabbi Kolko received $10,067 in wages, tips and other compensation. But financial transaction reports filed with the court show the school paid him $73,400, in multiple payments of varying size each month, all of them described as “reimbursement.” Moskowitz said these payments were actually Rabbi Kolko’s salary, dismissing their being labeled “reimbursement” as “an internal accounting issue.”

In 2006, an employee earnings statement for Rabbi Kolko lists his “reg[ular] salary” from the school for the months of June through August as $1,000 per month. But an additional statement shows him getting the same amount during this period from the Religious Education Association, a religious charity founded and controlled by Rabbi Marguiles, the yeshiva administrator.

Financial transaction records also filed with the court show checks that appear to correspond with these outlays. Deductions seem to have left Rabbi Kolko with $1,844 per month from these two sources, for a total of $5,532 during the three months in question. Additionally, the transaction records show, the school disbursed another $12,900 to Rabbi Kolko, once again, all listed as unspecified “reimbursements.”

For the entire year of 2006, these records show, Rabbi Kolko received more than $53,800 from the school and from Rabbi Marguiles’ charity — considerably more than the $1,000 per month listed as his school salary.

Moskowitz, the yeshiva’s attorney, did not respond to repeated detailed messages seeking clarification of these discrepancies. But in earlier interviews, he strongly defended the school’s payments to Rabbi Kolko after his departure.

“You mean that they give somebody that has not been convicted of anything, who worked for an institution for 35 years and then gets laid off, [severance] is newsworthy?” he said. “I don’t think so.” Rabbi Kolko, he noted, has not so far been convicted of anything.

Dowd, the attorney for those claiming Rabbi Kolko had molested them, would have none of this. “If you want, hold the money someplace . . . and then pay him later on if he is exonerated,” he said. “Who is going to complain then? But the idea that he’s being bought in order to defend himself, and if you will, his defense is being paid by the school that was charged with the protection of the children that he abused, it’s an outrage.”

Noting the New York City Department of Education’s policy of suspending teachers charged with sexual misconduct without pay, Dowd said, “I would hope that a yeshiva would hold itself to a higher standard than the New York City school system. ... The only severance that he should have received was a boot out the door.”

Hella Winston teaches sociology at Queens College. Larry Cohler-Esses is editor at large.

Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels (Hardcover)
by Hella Winston (Author)

Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

which tendler is this?

which tendler is this? said...

Yonasan Tendler, a Torah Temimah parent. Head of this charity. Not sure where he fits in the family tree - but I believe all the Tendlers are related.

Anonymous said...

http://theunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com/2008/04/yeshiva-fired-then-paid-rabbi-kolko.html

Chana Grossnas said...

I didn't think it was a good idea when Yonason Tendler laundered Tatty's check in my name.

I'm the brunette that Tatty always said he would find the "BEST" guy for.

Tatty would always try to get European Briskers in Lakewood who probably didn't hear about any Kolko scandals in far away lands.

So Tatty found me a chain-smoking Brisker from South Africa whose father was originally the rosh kollel in Blackpool, England.
1:04 AM, April 04, 2008

Newsday said...

newsday.com/news/local/ny-liside0406,0,2216529.story
Newsday.com
Diocese gets low marks for sex abuse response

BY BART JONES

bart.jones@newsday.com

6:36 PM EDT, April 5, 2008

Six years into the church sex abuse scandal, two-thirds of Long Island's Roman Catholics believe the Diocese of Rockville Centre did a poor or fair job in addressing the crisis, according to a Newsday poll.

Conversely, 20 percent said it was doing an "excellent" or "good" job.

The national figures were even worse: A total of 85 percent rated the church's performance "fair" or "poor," while 14 percent deemed it "excellent" or "good."

Poll respondent John Jandras, 72, a Rockville Centre resident who was raised Catholic but no longer practices, called the church's handling of the scandal "terrible."

"I don't have a problem with the church trying to suppress it, but I do have a problem with what they did with the offenders, with the pedophiles themselves and not dealing with them harshly enough," he said in a follow-up interview.

Even some respondents who described themselves as faithful Catholics gave the church poor marks.

"I think right now they are in cleanup mode," said Lynn Cooney, 38, a parishioner at St. Anthony of Padua in East Northport.

"I think while it was happening, it was horrible. They were moving people they knew were guilty. ... That was horrible, and I can't even imagine what those people who survived it went through. Right now, it is almost too little, too late."

Some church observers, including those critical of Bishop William Murphy on some issues, nonetheless credited him for taking steps to address the scandal.

Chief among them: a requirement that all church workers and volunteers take Virtus safe-environment training. The program aims to prevent sex abuse by alerting people to possible signs of abuse, among other methods.

The Rev. Patrick Bonner, chaplain at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, said he had to go through extensive background checks before he was allowed to come to the diocese on a temporary basis from his native Ireland.

"They go to great lengths to protect our children," Bonner said.

At the start of the scandal, he added, "I don't think they [church leaders] realized the extent and the heinousness of the crime."

Staff writer Joie Tyrrell contributed to this story.

Peter said...

Some of the biggest guilty parties in all of this sad debacle are the YTT parents themselves.

Yemen Rabbi said...

Rabbi house

Also on Sunday, the rebels destroyed the vacant house of Yemen's top rabbi, a security official said.

Residents said the assailants destroyed the house of Yehia Youssuf in Saada. The security official said it was not immediately known what weapons were used in the attack.

About 200 Yemeni Jews who lived in Saada, including Youssef, have been living in the capital Sanaa due to sporadic fighting between government forces and the Zaidi rebel group, known as the Houthis, after their leader.

The on-off insurgency has claimed thousands of lives since 2004. Their aim is to restore the Zaidi imamate, which was overthrown in a 1962 republican coup in one of the world's poorest countries.

The rebels reject the regime of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh as illegitimate, although Saleh is himself a Zaidi.

Sunni Muslims make up the majority of Yemen's 19 million population, while most of the rest are Zaidis. Jews are estimated at a few hundreds.

Rabbi Herbert Friedman, U.J.A. Leader, Is Dead at 89 said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/06/nyregion/06friedman.html?ref=nyregion

Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, who as chief executive of the United Jewish Appeal raised more than $3 billion to support the fledgling state of Israel and led efforts to close the educational gap there between European Jews and those from other lands, died Monday at his home in Manhattan. He was 89.

Rabbi Avi Shafran said...

Why would I have comment on something that happened in Israel? Was this lady employed by Agudah? Do we have two kosher witnesses who can say they saw her abusing her children?
---

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3528332,00.html


Jerusalem mother charged with child abuse

Indictment reveals rabbi instructed woman to 'repair' her children through 'beating, tying, burning organs and feeding them with faeces'

Aviram Zino
Published: 04.06.08, Israel News

As her three-and-a-half-year-old comatose son continued to lie in his hospital bed, a Jerusalem woman was indicted Sunday by the Jerusalem District Court of abusing him and his four-and-a-half-year-old brother.


The court also indicted a family friend accused of conducting a "tikkun" (exorcism) on the children under the influence of a rabbi who fled to Canada.

Shortly after the indictment was submitted, the remand of another suspect involved in the affair was extended. The man, a acquaintance of the mother, allegedly took part in the abuse.


According to the indictment, "During the months of February and March, the accused and her children moved to her mother's apartment in Jerusalem. During this period, the mother found it difficult to cope with the burden of raining her small children, and particularly with their education.



"The defendant turned to a rabbi and asked for his advice in terms of his children's education. The rabbi concluded that the children were 'possessed' with evil spirits and advised the defendant and other suspects to carry out 'tikkunim' on the children in order to help them get rid of those demons."



The indictment went on to say that the rabbi instructed the mother to conduct "tikkunim" on the children – "meaning, jolting, beating, tying, burning organs, feeding them with faeces, and more.



"Two of the suspects were put in charge of educating the children, and systematically abused them and the defendant's other children in a large number of cases, for a long time, claiming that these 'tikkunim' were aimed at removing these evil spirits from the children."



Some of the acts of abuse were also described in the indictment. "The defendant, who knew about the abuse, continued to desert her children."



The mother was accused of "cooperating with some of the other suspects in forcibly jolting the children in at least 40 cases, grasping them in the back or shoulders, or grasping them in their hands and legs and shaking them with their heads moving back and forth and from side to side.



"The defendant and the other suspects also used to tie the children's hands and legs with plastic restraints and ropes for many hours, as well as hit one of the children in the face and bend his hands behind his back, throwing him in the air."


'Police veterans were shocked'

In one of her remand hearings, the police representative presented the judge with a photo album containing shocking pictures of the children.



"The Jerusalem Police veterans found it difficult to listen to such a shocking story," a police representative said during the previous hearing.



The mother admitted to the suspicions and went back on her confession, while the father and another person arrested denied the allegations.



"Evidence submitted to the court testifies to a long and harsh abuse," a police representative said during the hearing.



The small son, who was hospitalized at the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital's intensive care unit, suffers from brain damage which has left him in a vegetative state.



Efrat Weiss contributed to this report

Margo said...

My yeshiva is the best. There has never been any abuse that I am aware of.
-

State helpless in face of skeletons in haredi closet

In spite of efforts by welfare officials, local rabbis, state authorities are unable to curb rampant child abuse in ultra-Orthodox families

Yael Branovsky
Published: 04.03.08, 08:03 / Israel Jewish Scene

One harrowing case after another, yet welfare officials stand by helpless: Faced with a string of heart wrenching cases of child abuse in the haredi community, even state officials now concede that they have only been able to reach this closed community on rare occasions, and often too late.



One recent, disturbing case, for instance, in which a Netivot mother had sexually abused her son, only came to light when the son began to attend boarding school and molested a fellow pupil. The social workers who handled his case quickly realized that the child had no idea that what he was doing was wrong. Dalia Lev-Sade, director of community services at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, stated in an interview with Ynet that seeing as the haredi community is so sequestered, haredi children enjoy less exposure to societal conventions of right and wrong.



“This is a group that is extremely closed off from the rest of the world, and so many times we are unaware of problems within the community and cannot intervene.”


“The case in Beit Shemesh is a classic example,” recounts Lev- Sade. ”Even though the family was monitored by welfare services, the social workers involved could not fully understand the family, nor the essence of the problems it was facing, because they kept such closely guarded family secrets. Only when something drastic occurs can we actually begin to take action.”


The ultra-Orthodox community, however, is slowly becoming more open, according to Lev-Sade. “The haredi community is slowly opening up and coming to realize that you can’t keep the skeletons in the closet forever.”


Orlet Moyal, director of welfare services at the Bnei Brak Municipality, tends to haredi families on a daily basis and knows all too well that that road to reaching this clandestine community is long and torturous. “It was nearly impossible to reach the haredi community just a few years ago, but we began to come up with creative means of reaching this community without offending its sensibilities.


“We wanted to be able to reach the haredi community before things became disastrous,” says Moyal, "and so we contacted local rabbis and rabbinical councils and urged them to mediate and intervene when families were reluctant to accept help.”


'More willingness to report abuse'

Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, head of the National Council for the Child, believes that it is the closed and reticent nature of the haredi community that in many instances precludes intervention by state authorities in child abuse cases.



“The haredi community firmly opposes airing its dirty laundry out in public, like we saw with many kibbutz communities in the past. The haredi community is extremely concerned about its public images, and in many cases rabbis did not allow families to go to the police and report abuse.”


Kadman noted, however, that this trend is mercifully changing. “In recent years there is more willingness among haredi families to report abuse. In our council alone, 30% of individuals involved in a project tending to victims of sexual abuse are haredi.”



Doron Aggasi, director of the Shlom Banecha foundation, which aids victims of sexual abuse and violence in the haredi community, stated that the recent public cases of child abuse within the haredi community indicate that the haredi world is changing for the better when it comes to reporting such crimes.



“These kinds of cases were often stifled in the past, because the haredi community was unwilling to disclose anything. Now however, people are far more aware of issues such as sexual abuse and familial violence, be it through exposure to the internet or other sources.”

Aggasi maintains that it is rabbis that are at the forefront of these positive changes in the haredi community.



“Rabbis have asked me about the best treatment options for pedophilia and sexual deviance, and we are currently training social workers to treat both victims and perpetrators.



"In this respect, the haredi community has bypassed its secular counterpart by far, because this is a very motivated, obedient society that has taken heavy handed measures to help curb such phenomenon.”



Roi Mandel contributed to this article

Margo said...

This article doesn't say it's forbidden to abuse boys; just women.
-
'It's strictly forbidden to beat a woman'

He said the change in the rabbis' position regarding the phenomenon was also instrumental encouraging more abused women in the community to seek help.


"Haredi women are becoming more and more aware of the dangers related to domestic violence, and the new generation of rabbis is encouraging them to file complaints and break the cycle (of violence)," Korman said.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3458853,00.html

Penetration Scheinberg said...

Why arrest these frum women and cause such a big chilul hashem. Was there any sexual penetration involved?

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Jerusalem Affairs: Mothers from hell
Etgar Lefkovits , THE JERUSALEM POST Apr. 3, 2008

One after another, within the course of an hour, the two women made their way to the Jerusalem court for their latest remand hearing.

Both mothers of young children.

Both accused of severely abusing their children.

One a resident of Ramat Beit Shemesh; the second an American immigrant who resided in Jerusalem.

The first came to to the court covered from head to toe in black clothing.

Not even the judge's request to remove the veil from her face would be met, lest she have any interaction with members of the opposite sex.

The second, who was more moderately dressed, covered her face with a Book of Psalms.

The two back-to-back grisly child abuse cases, which came to light within weeks of each other, shook a country more used to dealing with Palestinian terror attacks or, on the domestic front, wives being abused by their husbands.

The two women, who have been remanded in police custody through the duration of their trial, are accused of severely abusing their children.

The Beit Shemesh woman, who has been dubbed the "Taliban Mother" because of her garb, is suspected of repeatedly beating and otherwise physically abusing six of her 12 children, giving them electric shocks and beating them with belts and sticks.

According to the indictment, the woman also beat one of her daughters in the face with a rolling pin, and slammed her face into the marble kitchen countertop.

She is also accused of forcing her children to sleep outside in a locked shed when she felt they had come home late, tying up her mentally impaired son for hours at a time and ignoring his cries for help, cutting her daughters' hair as punishment, and throwing water on her children to wake them up.

Her physically and psychologically abused children committed incest when they were locked up in the shed, the charge sheet says.

The woman's husband, who is under house arrest in the North, is suspected of knowing of and taking part in the abuse, though on a lesser scale than his wife.

The close-knit extremist family managed to evade law enforcement officials - despite years of reports of neglect and violence - by repeatedly moving all over the country and refusing to cooperate with social workers, the police said.

The Jerusalem woman, who is expected to be indicted on Sunday, is similarly accused of severe child abuse.

According to police, several months ago her relations with her husband broke down, and he was forcibly removed from their Jerusalem residence by two men whom the couple had brought into their home to educate their children.

The two men remain at large and are wanted by police.

The mother told police that since they were unable to educate her children in the "standard" way because they were "mischievous," the two men "made corrections" in the children, a police representative told a Jerusalem court at a pre-trial hearing this week.

The "corrections," which took place in the mother's presence, included beatings, tying up the children, shaking the children dozens of times, setting their fingers on fire, bathing them in hot and cold water and breaking their bones by beating them with hammers and blows, accord to the testimony of the police representative.

Her three-year-old child remains hospitalized in critical condition with severe head injuries, and is likely to remain in a vegetative state.

The children's father, who has been released from custody, was allowed by the court to pray at his child's hospital bedside in the presence of social workers.

Then, as the two women were in court, when it seemed that every red line had been crossed by the two mothers a new case came to light: A 38-year-old mother of eight was arrested in Netivot on suspicion of having sex with two of her sons, eight and 11.

The woman justified the act by saying she wanted to take revenge on her ex-husband.

Esther Tauby said...

By Sara Tzafona

Listening has becoming a lost art, I think. Oh, I know there are those that make a stab at it, but so many of us seem to become easily distracted while someone else's words become lost in our own need to express our opinions or relate our latest crisis. Sometimes we just can't be bothered to pick up on the nuances of our friends' words. We've become lazy, maybe even uncaring.

But for Esther Tauby of Richmond, BC, listening is a way of life. Her own tragic experiences of losing two children have enabled her to reach out to others in distress. She has finely honed her listening skills so that she can hear the silent cries of a child in emotional pain or sense the needs of one of her students who is grappling with his or her identity, or simply the lesson of the day.

She can hear the silent cries of a child in emotional painEsther is an expert in time management, combining a busy family life with many community responsibilities as well as her work which includes teaching in various Jewish and secular schools. She's a graduate of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and is currently working part-time towards a Masters degree in Education, specializing in Counseling Psychology at nearby Simon Fraser University where she is an honors student.

Esther is also a writer, having been published in various publications throughout the world. She has also written many children's stories which she hopes to have published soon.

Esther's day begins at six in the morning when she heads off to the women-only gym near her home for an exercise class, followed by a full day of work, family and community responsibilities, often ending at midnight.

As one of only two Lubavitch community leader's in her city, Esther's house is always open to anyone who needs a warm welcome or a temporary home. Oftentimes, she has people staying over who have nowhere else to go and she cares for them as if they were family members. For Shabbat and holidays, she tries to invite people who haven't had the benefit of an extensive Jewish education or religious upbringing so that they can experience it firsthand. "We've tried to create a real Chabad House," she said.

Esther also finds time within her busy schedule to volunteer her expertise to teach young girls before their Bat Mitzvah and brides before their wedding. For the past seventeen summers she has organized and taught a class in Pirkei Avot, (Ethics Of Our Fathers) for the women of Richmond on Shabbat afternoons. She teaches classes for women in her home throughout the year as well. Being an ESL teacher, she also helps new immigrants with English. She is also readily available to anyone in crisis or those who simply need advice. "My phone rarely stops ringing," she said.

Esther Tauby (née Nemtzov) was born in Toronto to Orthodox Jewish family whose Chabad roots trace back to the city of Lubavitch in White Russia. She was nurtured in the love of Judaism at home, at shul and at Jewish day schools in Toronto and Miami Beach. After graduation from the Lubavitch Girls High School in Miami Beach, Esther moved to New York at the age of seventeen to attend Beth Rivka Teachers Seminary in Brooklyn where she earned her early childhood and elementary school teacher's license.

"I'm a religious woman who feels comfortable in both the Jewish and secular worlds"Esther was introduced to her husband, Rabbi Avraham Tauby, in Brooklyn, soon after her graduation. They were married in Crown Heights at the Lubavitch World Headquarters (770) in January, 1981. In March of 1982, the Taubys, with their newborn son, moved to Vancouver as emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe where Rabbi Tauby took the post as the first rabbi of Beth Hamidrash, a Sephardic congregation.

Esther has always loved Judaism, she told me, never once considering shrugging off her religion or blending into secular society. Nor does she consider herself isolated by her Orthodox beliefs. "I'm an example of a religious woman who feels comfortable in both the Jewish and secular worlds. I live and work with many non-Jews and have the utmost respect for people of all religions and cultures."

Our commentaries," she continued, "explain that when G‑d gave the Torah to the Jewish people, He said 'Ko Tomar L'bet Yaakov' - so shall you say to the house of Jacob - which our sages explain is the women (Exodus 19:3).

"G‑d knew that we would be the ones to embrace it, ensure that our husbands study it, and then teach it to our children. In this way, G‑d guaranteed the continuation of the Jewish people for all future generations. Women are analogous to the "shamash" or helper candle during Chanukah," she explained. "It is the special candle designated to light the others without diminishing any of its own light. By empowering others and touching other people's souls, we strengthen our own." (See Esther's article Lessons From the Lights.)

Golda Rochel Tauby, almost four, of blessed memory
Esther's own light was nearly extinguished nineteen years ago. Just before Passover in 1989, Esther and her family were awoken from their sleep by an upstairs smoke alarm which alerted them to a raging fire in their home. Two of their children (Moshe Zev, aged five and Golda Rochel, almost four) died as a result of smoke inhalation. She thanks G‑d daily that her three other children, including an infant daughter, and her husband, survived the flames.

"A tragedy like ours defies human comprehension. There is no way to understand it." Esther credits her faith as well as the support and prayers from family, friends and the global community for keeping her going. "I also benefited from a superb medical team as well as grief counselors. I'm proud to say that I'm a functioning member of society, in spite of our devastating loss. There is no such thing as 'getting over' being a bereaved parent," she continued. "It's a chronic condition and one you learn to live with."

They needed to be in the Rebbe's comforting presenceAs Chassidim of the Rebbe, Rabbi and Esther Tauby felt the need to travel to New York soon after the death of their two children. They needed to be in the Rebbe's comforting presence and to receive the Rebbe's advice and blessings. "Although it was more than eighteen years ago, I vividly remember the meeting. We poured our hearts out to the Rebbe. The Rebbe blessed us as only the Rebbe could. He gave us the courage and strength that he knew we needed to carry on with our lives and goals.

"The Rebbe also told us that we should remain in Richmond (where the fire occurred) and help to kindle many souls in our community with the warmth and light of Judaism and Chassidism. In essence, the Rebbe was giving us a mission, a holy task, one that we will continue doing until the Redemption arrives, hopefully very soon. Then we will all be reunited with our loved ones, young and old, who have left this world."

But at twenty-nine-years old, learning to live with the pain of losing two of her precious children, her home and all of its belongings was not easy. Esther had to start over.

Moshe Zev Tauby, 5, of blessed memory
One day, when she was feeling overwhelmed with the enormity of her losses, she looked into the Rebbe's writings for some comfort. She came across, by Divine Providence, an article about the Rebbe's teaching on the Holocaust. Esther devoured every word as she felt somewhat like a survivor herself.

"The Rebbe," she explained, "said that the most important thing about the Holocaust was not whether or not we understood the reasons for it, but what we did about it. The Rebbe said that if we allow the pain of the loss to overwhelm us and to keep us from raising a new generation of Jews with a strong commitment to Judaism, then Hitler will have won. But if we rebuild, if we raise a generation of proud and committed Jews, then we will have triumphed."

The Rebbe's words comforted her and she took them to heart, understanding what she must do. She continued teaching with perhaps a clearer purpose and need to imbue Jewish children with pride and commitment. She did this, not only as a teacher, but also by establishing and maintaining Hebrew schools for Jewish children who attend public school.

Then Esther realized that not everyone was as lucky as she was to have so much support, and so she sought not only to educate herself and others, but to diminish the pain of a broken world.

"I try to listen with my heart as well as my ears"After intensive grief counseling and on the recommendation of her grief counselor, Esther herself underwent the necessary training to become a grief counselor. Who better than she would know the human souls' nooks and crannies that is home to debilitating pain? Who better than she would know what steps to take in order to reawaken a spirit that has been bludgeoned by loss?

Esther is a registered professional counselor in Canada. "I see counseling as an extension of teaching, especially with the cognitive behavioral model of therapy," she explained. Also, when you counsel, you have to practice active listening. It is so important to listen. Listening was the hardest thing for me to learn, as I'm usually the one doing the talking." But she has learned it well. She listens to everyone, young and old, Jew or non-Jew. Her clients include children with emotional and behavioral disorders such as autism, adults who are suffering from any type of loss, and families dealing with anticipatory grief of loved ones. "I try to listen with my heart as well as my ears." Esther listens and guides them on a path to healing.

She also teaches through her writing. Her written words enlighten the inner core of Torah and teach its importance, and encourage Jews to be the best that they can be.

"It seems as if I never do quite enough. No matter how much I do, there is always more that needs to be done," she said. "I try to do my best every day and try to never waste time. I teach my children and student's that time is the most precious commodity as it can never be replaced."

This Passover will mark nineteen years since the fire that irrevocably altered the lives of Esther and her family. They are years filled with teaching and healing. "I'm very blessed, you know. Thank G‑d, I have five wonderful children, including four sons and a daughter, in addition to the son and daughter who died. My children have given me so much nachas, such joy, and the two oldest boys and their wives have also given me three beautiful grandchildren, thank G‑d."

Esther's children and grandchildren along with countless other children that she has taught and counseled are part of a new generation of proud and committed Jews. Esther has truly triumphed.

Posek Belsky said...

To show a movie aboard an El Al plane is a grave sin. Chas vesholom someone will be affected by the tumah.
---------------------------------

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/972147.html

Last update - 13:33 06/04/2008
Ultra-Orthodox passengers riot aboard El Al plane over screening of film
By Zohar Blumenkrantz, Haaretz Correspondent

Ultra-Orthodox passengers on an El Al flight to Kiev caused a serious commotion Sunday morning after, according to their testimony, a movie was screened on board the plane.

The Haredi men, en route to Uman, Ukraine to visit the gravesite of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, said that the airline had promised not to show a film during the flight.

When the screens began to unfold in preparation for the screening, the ultra-Orthodox men began going wild. "It was a pretty frightening sight," a passenger on the plane described the events. According to witnesses, the men began shouting and physically trying to prevent the movie screens from unfolding.

This is not the first time that El Al is faced with problems with ultra-Orthodox people on board flights to religious sites. In 2002, a flight crew had to prevent an ultra-Orthodox passenger, flying from Israel to Britain, from wrapping himself in plastic bags. The pilot was forced to return to Ben Gurion International airport in order to remove the passenger from the plane. The passenger, a Cohen, wrapped himself in plastic bags for fear that the plane's route would pass through the air above the Holon cemetery and he would consequently become impure.

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, the leader of the Lithuanian Haredi community in Israel, published a halakhic ruling in the past stipulating that Cohens mustn't fly in this plane because they are prohibited from flying over a cemetery. Later, Rabbi Eliashiv found a solution to this issue, ruling that wrapping oneself in thick plastic bags while the plane crossed over the cemetery is permissible.

Agudath Israel Of America said...

This is even worse than someone sexually molesting a child. We find this to be reprehensible and against halacha. The Novminsker says he will only get involved if this was a Boro Park issue.
--------------------------------

06/04/2008
My big fat gay Jewish family
By Caryn Aviv

I will never forget the day I was propositioned to become a gay co-parent. I was 32 and had already been thinking about the baby question, but was still single and fuzzy on the details. So when David gingerly popped the question, "Would you be interested in having a kid with me and Gregg?" I thought the earth was moving underneath my car as we drove through the Castro district in San Francisco.

David and I met a few years earlier at Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, the local gay and lesbian synagogue. I had recently arrived in town to start a new chapter in life after finishing research in Jerusalem for a Ph.D. Newly out of the closet and eager to connect with the gay Jewish community, I signed up as a part-time Hebrew school teacher. David had returned from his graduate school research in Moscow with his husband Gregg, to resume his post as head of the synagogue's school. We hit it off immediately, so much so that we started writing the first of our three books together.

Two years later, my would-be gay dads had moved to Denver for David's teaching gig at a university. I was still living in San Francisco, and we were still talking about co-parenting. But now the weekly conversations became complicated by distance. How would an overeducated, nice Jewish girl from Chicago make such a life-altering decision? I decided to develop a Powerpoint presentation analyzing all the pros and cons of all the various options.

Did I want to be a single lesbian mom by choice in San Francisco and have either David or Gregg act as the sperm donor and "special uncle?" Certainly not, given Bay Area real estate prices, and no viable partner on the horizon to help with diapers and a mortgage. Did I want to act as a surrogate for David and Gregg to have and raise a baby in Denver? That idea seemed even more unappealing. If I moved to Denver, would I ever find a suitable girlfriend, instead of the revolving door of Jewish recovering alcoholics and emotionally needy cat-lovers I had been dating in San Francisco? Could I consider living in a state without a Trader Joe's? Clearly, the stakes were higher than I thought.

I spent a year exploring a move to Denver. It was a gamble to leave behind a well-paying job, my beloved city, and a seemingly endless supply of inappropriate lesbian dating choices. I reasoned that we would either figure it out or not, and if the whole plan didn't work, I could always move back to California and learn to love cats.

While debating a move, I put my research skills to work. From my contacts at the synagogue, I interviewed lesbian moms and gay dads who were doing this already. "Just make sure you have all your agreements in writing in case people split up!" intoned one solemn lesbian mom who was battling her ex-wife in court. "Try to find a duplex to make daily logistics easier," advised a happy gay dad who lived with his partner next to his lesbian co-parent and kid in the Castro.

Fast forward another year. I moved to Denver, and rented an attic owned by a lovely gay couple who applauded my moxie and family plans. David and Gregg and I began to spend a lot of time together, essentially weaving ourselves into a family even without the presence of a kid. After six months of intense conversation, we decided to seal the deal, with a contract, of course.

We had worked through all the usual things that straight couples negotiate (except the sex), like values, money, and which families we'd visit for Rosh Hashanah and Passover. We also considered our legal options, given that Colorado law doesn't really know how to handle a family with three parents. I think we all felt giddy about the prospect of trying to get pregnant, and our plan was to start inseminating at the beginning of the school year. All our parents began buying baby clothes as soon as they heard the news. Life was ripe with possibility.

On our second try, a great miracle happened. I got pregnant. Who knew it would be so easy? In retrospect, I wouldn't have chosen to experience the insomnia and hormonal lunacy of pregnancy as a single person. But in a sense, I wasn't really single. I had the support of not one, but two excited future dads who watched with fascination and awe at the growing blob in my belly that waved and gurgled on the ultrasound machine at the OB's office. Nine months later, I showed up at the hospital with my birth ball, doula, and two dads. The nurses didn't know what to make of us, but I was too engrossed by the crazy things that were happening to my body to care much by that point. And even though I don't consider myself religious, the first words out of my mouth after our daughter Sasha arrived were "Baruch Hashem!" (Blessed is God!)

Fast forward another two years. It's been almost a decade since I first met my gay dads. We often simply watch with delight as our daughter Sasha happily runs around after David and Gregg's two dogs. It gives me indescribable pleasure to watch Sasha laugh, dance to Shir-La-La (outrageously hip Jewish kiddie rock), and get excited at the prospect of lighting candles for Shabbat.

Many straight folks, when they hear about my family, earnestly ask me how we do it. I often get questions like, "Does Sasha get confused about who her parents are?"

I've learned to answer these questions graciously, reminding myself that it's a learning opportunity for people to expand their understanding of the word "family." In other words, I have lots of chances to act as a poster child for the gay rights/gay family movement, and I take that responsibility seriously. Here's what I tell people: "Think of a divorced family in two houses, except in our case, there's no acrimony, just lots and lots of love." Their eyes light up with this analogy, but in many ways, the shorthand is completely wrong.

Unlike divorced families, we intentionally created this family structure, without any legal recognition, and without any of the rupture and pain that often accompanies divorce. Clearly, we need to find better and more illuminating explanations. But perhaps it would be better if we gay folks simply stopped relying on straight analogies altogether to describe our families.

I know that this kind of co-parenting isn't for everyone. And I know that some people reading this will probably cringe out of fear for our child's future and bemoan what is happening to the Jewish people. That's okay.

What I do know is that for me, my gay dads, and hopefully for our daughter Sasha, the big fat gay Jewish family we've chosen to create makes perfect sense. And at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

Caryn Aviv is a lecturer at the University of Denver and the author of 'New Jews: The End of the Jewish Diaspora'

Shas said...

Shas: Selling hametz on Passover 'black stain on Israel's Jewish identity'
By Barak Ravid ,Haaretz Correspondent

The raging debate over a recent court decision to allow the sale of hametz (leavened products) during Passover reached the Knesset on Sunday, with Shas leader Eli Yishai calling the move a "black stain on Israel's Jewish identity."

Yishai further claimed that public opinion was mostly opposed to the decision, and called on Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann to order an appeal by the State Prosecutor.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Knesset that the State must not allow a court ruling to turn into a "culture war." "We must preserve unity and remember we are one nation."

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that religious parties' monopoly over all issues relating to Judaism in Israel had provoked unnecessary anger and tension. "I disagree with religious parties on many things," she said, "however I have a vested interest in the preservation of symbols and values of a Jewish state."

Livni said that unfortunately, religious parties had used their influence in government only to push issues and raise funds for the minority religious sector and not the greater Jewish public. She blamed tensions caused by this for detracting from the larger aim, which she said was "preserving the Jewish identity as something that concerns all of us with no connection to the Haredi sector's interests."

Rubashkins Cruelest said...

What's wrong with a lamb sacrifice?
--------------------------

Court nixes Passover lamb sacrifice at Temple Mount
By Nadav Shargai and Amiram Barkat

In their efforts to sacrifice a live animal at the Temple Mount, the New Sanhedrin Council adopted an almost underground modus operandi. Rabbis Adin Steinsaltz, Israel Ariel, Yishai Baved and their associates secretly located a butcher, found a Cohen hailing from a lineage 1,000 years old and worked out a plan to quickly erect an alter on the Temple Mount.

They tried to revive the customs of the ancient Sanhedrin tribunal, which was the highest judicial body for the Jewish people in Israel some 1,600 years ago. They sought to slaughter a sacrificial animal across from the Western Wall.

Israel 60-Year-Old In May 2008 said...

http://themoderatevoice.com/places/asia/middle-east/palestine/gaza/18803/israel-60-year-old-in-may-2008/

A birthday celebration of nation should also be an occasion for sober introspection. Israel and Palestine have become such emotive issues that few are ready to discuss the plight of these two (and their people) without taking sides.

I have great love, admiration and sympathy for both Israelis (Jews and others) and Palestinians who have been caught up in a vicious circle of geo-political ambitions of other nations, as also historical developments, several decades before the birth of Israel.

This post would attempt to first highlight the circumstances leading to the birth of Israel. Later, what best can be done to alleviate the suffering of the people of Israel and Palestine. But before that, an introductory remark as to why I suffer at the continuing agony and pain of Israeli/Palestinian men, women and children, and the prevailing madness. Imagine there was a time when Jews and Arabs lived in that region peacefully, and both had objected to the settlement of outsiders there.

My first hand introduction to Israel was through a friend who went to study there in the early 1980s. He was totally impressd by the warmth and sincerity of the people. He told me of the hard work put in by the people who had settled there from different countries and turned the once barren land into a prosperous one. I was not surprised that he fell in love with an Israeli girl, and would gladly return there given a chance. My other friends who visited Israel had similar stories to tell.

My encounters with Palestinians were during my journalistic stint in Saudi Arabia in the late 1970s. I learnt that they were not welcome there, or any other Arab country, and looked upon with suspicion, as happens to any people who are rootless and thrown out of their lands. I found them as warm, sincere and emotional as the Israelis.

So why are we witnessing decades of horrible fights between two wonderful peoples…the likes of whom you may find with great difficulty in the present day world?

AP said...

Passover 101: What you need to know

April 6, 2008
BY JULIE WIENER Associated Press

The first time Abigail Auer attended a Passover Seder she was eager to make a good impression and asked the hostess -- also her future mother-in-law -- to suggest a dish she could bring.

Auer, who is Roman Catholic, spent hours chopping and pureeing squash for a casserole.

As she spread on the bread crumb topping, she asked her future husband and his roommate, both Jewish, "How come you can have bread crumbs, but not bread?"

"Their faces just said, 'Oh no,'" recalled Auer. Her mother-in-law, who had provided the recipe, had forgotten it included a bread crumb topping, which the family had always left off in adherence with kosher-for-Passover laws.

So Auer left the casserole at home and brought flowers.

For Passover novices, an invitation to a Seder can be exciting, and a bit intimidating.

The most widely celebrated Jewish festival, Passover (which begins at sundown April 19), also known by its Hebrew name Pesach, commemorates the ancient Israelites' liberation from Egyptian slavery.

At a Passover Seder, a celebratory meal, the story of the exodus is retold through readings, rituals and symbolic foods.

While some foods, such as matzo and bitter herbs, are required eating, others (including bread) are forbidden.

To a newcomer, the numerous rules and traditions can be overwhelming. Here's what you need to know:
The basics
All Seders include a few basic elements, such as kosher wine, matzo (unleavened bread), a Seder plate (a special plate that displays symbolic foods) and a reading of a Haggadah, the book that serves as a guide to the ceremony. Beyond that, family traditions generally dictate.
Four questions
Early in the Seder the youngest participant typically will ask "The Four Questions." These are:


• Why one eats matzo (to remember their ancestors, who fled Egypt in a hurry and did not have time to let their bread rise before the journey).


• Why one eats bitter herbs (a reminder for the bitterness of slavery).


• Why one dips parsley in salt water (a symbol for the tears shed by slaves) and bitter herbs in charoseth, a sweet fruit paste (the texture evokes the mortar slaves used when making bricks).


• Why one leans on a pillow or reclines during the meal (to symbolize the comforts of freedom).
The food
Passover lasts eight days and begins with two nights of Seders. Traditions vary greatly depending on a family's background.

Most Jews eschew "the five species of grains" -- wheat, rye, oats, barley and spelt, all of which contain gluten.

The exception is matzo, which is made from wheat, but has not been allowed to ferment. Matzo must be baked within 18 minutes of the flour being combined with water.

So what is allowed? Fruit is always a safe bet, as are potatoes and other root vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, eggs, fish, dairy and meat (although, in accordance with kosher laws, meat and dairy must be served separately).

If, like most American Jews, your hosts are of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) descent, you are likely to start the meal with chicken-matzo ball soup, as well as gefilte fish (ground fish mixed with matzo meal, eggs and seasonings).

Other Passover favorites include brisket, roast lamb and a variety of side dishes, such as potato kugel, tzimmes (sweet potatoes and carrots) and assorted casseroles bound together with eggs and matzo meal.

For dessert, expect macaroons, fruit compote, candy and cakes and tortes made with ground nuts or other kosher-for-Passover flours. Beer and most liquor is not allowed, but wine generally flows freely throughout the Seder.
The rituals
The Seder consists of 15 rituals, most of which occur before the meal is served. They include lighting candles, blessing wine, washing hands, breaking the matzo, dipping vegetables and telling the story of the exodus from Egypt.

Usually, one of the hosts serves as the leader, but guests take turns reading sections from the Haggadah.

Interspersed are various traditional songs. Many Seders also feature contemporary readings on the themes of slavery and liberation.

Nissim Oron said...

Kosher Eatery’s Identity Crisis

By Marissa Brostoff
Thu. Apr 03, 2008

There’s a new glatt kosher falafel joint in Manhattan’s East Village, but we can’t tell you what it’s called. That’s because, though it’s been open for a month, it won’t have a name until someone wins the Name Our Glatt Kosher Restaurant contest.

The eatery, which bills itself as one of the only glatt kosher establishments in the neighborhood, serves shawarma, falafel and other classic Mediterranean street fare. But its owner is offering an even tastier treat to the person who can come up with the best name for the restaurant: $3,000 in cash (and, according to a press release, “bragging rights”).

Nissim Oron, the restaurant’s owner, said that nearly 7,000 contest entries have already been received. “We’re going to choose at the end of April,” he said. Oron declined to reveal any of the entries, but according to New York magazine’s food blog, Grub Street, suggestions have included Gentle Lentil, Glat-o-Mat, Hummuscidal and, yes, Your Mother Eats Falafel Balls.

If a name contest for an East Village falafel place sounds familiar, that’s because Oron held an almost identical contest four years ago, when he opened the popular Middle Eastern chain ultimately named Chickpea. Oron later sold the Chickpea franchise but held on to one of its storefronts, where he has opened the new glatt kosher falafelry.

Now all he needs is a new name.

Yudi Kolko said...

So many molesters like me are on the prowl.
------------------------------

Gets 50 years for sex crimes

A Carmi man convicted by a jury here in January of four counts of sex crimes will be imprisoned until he is an old man.

Joseph E. Hoover, 38, was sentenced Thursday in White County Circuit Court to 50 years in prison.

He had been convicted Jan. 24 of one count of class X felony predatory criminal sexual assault--one for each of his victims--and three counts of class 2 felony aggravated criminal sexual abuse, two for one victim and one for the other.

Judge Mark R. Stanley of White County conducted a sentencing hearing Thursday. Acting on a defense motion, he reversed the verdict of the jury on one count (aggravated criminal sexual abuse) on the grounds that the alleged victim did not identify the perpetrator. However, he denied the defense motion that the other verdicts be overturned.

Judge Stanley then sentenced Hoover to 40 years in prison on the class X charge and 10 years on the others, with the terms to be served consecutively. State's Attorney T. Scott Webb said Hoover will have to serve 85 percent of the predatory charge. Thus, he will actually serve around 39 years, the state's attorney said.

The victims in the case were 5 and 7 at the time of the offenses.

A jury of eight women and four men heard testimony and arguments during the three-day trial.

Yeshiva Of Brooklyn said...

We are not responsible for the physical and sexual torture in our boys and girls divisions. We have our own set of rules we follow. The goish courts can kiss our behinds.
---------------------------------


Rockford parents: School liable for sex abuse
By Corina Curry
RRSTAR.COM
Posted Apr 05, 2008 @ 10:15 PM
ROCKFORD —

The parents of a Rockford public schools first-grader say their daughter was sexually harassed and abused during the 2006-07 school year by a classmate, and the district and school did nothing to protect her.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Rockford this month, the parents, identified only by their initials, say their daughter suffered emotional and physical trauma as well as loss of education because of the actions of the first-grade boy and eventually had to transfer to a private school.

The lawsuit alleges that the boy made sexual requests of their daughter, stalked her, touched her inappropriately and abused her in a janitor’s closet at Rolling Green Elementary School, where the boy and girl were enrolled in the same class. It further states that the girl’s parents warned the school of the inappropriate behavior a number of times but were told it was “nothing to worry about.”

District denies charges
School District attorney Stephen Katz said the district “vigorously denies the allegations of the complaint” and plans to argue its case in court.

The matter has been referred to U.S. Magistrate Judge P. Michael Mahoney for
hearing, but no court date has been set.

Experts say these types of allegations among students of this age group are not uncommon in today’s society of sexually themed media messages and the sexual victimization of children. Children often mimic what they see or are subjected to, they say, which is why sexual language or behavior from a child often is sign of something going on in that child’s life.

“The most common root issue is they are victims themselves,” said Kathy Pomohac, executive director of the Carrie Lynn Center, a Rockford agency that provides services for child victims of physical and sexual abuse. “A lot of it is environmental. You have to look at what’s going on in the kid’s life. Where are they getting it from? ... Kids don’t just learn this.”

Kids tend to copy what they see and hear, too, said Dr. Terry Lichtenwald, a clinical psychologist in Rockford who treats children and adults. Or they can be using the behavior to intimidate another kid or get attention.

“I have so many kids these days acting out MTV ‘Cribs,’ ” Lichtenwald said. “Do well in school, get a job, fall in love with someone, have a family, find success and meaning in your community. ... Where’s the TV show about that?”

‘Didn’t heed warnings’
The lawsuit does not list the boy or his parents as defendants. Rather it makes the argument that the district and school are to blame because officials failed to take precautionary measures to protect other students from the boy, nor did they heed warnings from the girl’s parents or react promptly or appropriately to their concerns.

The lawsuit states that the boy transferred to Rolling Green just before Christmas 2006. The suit alleges that the district was informed of the boy’s history of behavior problems, including incidents of sexual misconduct, by school records or the boy’s parents or guardians.

Attorney Joyce O’Neill Austin, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the girl’s parents, could not be reached for comment. Rolling Green Principal Kenneth Held, who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, declined to comment when reached by telephone Friday.

The lawsuit is asking for an unspecified amount of reimbursement for the girl’s medical and counseling costs, future medical and counseling expenses, compensatory damages for past, present and future pain and suffering, and attorney’s costs and fees.

Staff writer Corina Curry can be reached at 815-987-1395 or ccurry@rrstar.com.

R' Shmuel Kaminetsky said...

Is this article referring to me?

newsday.com/news/local/ny-liside0406,0,2216529.story
Newsday.com
Diocese gets low marks for sex abuse response

BY BART JONES

bart.jones@newsday.com

6:36 PM EDT, April 5, 2008

Six years into the church sex abuse scandal, two-thirds of Long Island's Roman Catholics believe the Diocese of Rockville Centre did a poor or fair job in addressing the crisis, according to a Newsday poll.

Conversely, 20 percent said it was doing an "excellent" or "good" job.

The national figures were even worse: A total of 85 percent rated the church's performance "fair" or "poor," while 14 percent deemed it "excellent" or "good."

Poll respondent John Jandras, 72, a Rockville Centre resident who was raised Catholic but no longer practices, called the church's handling of the scandal "terrible."

"I don't have a problem with the church trying to suppress it, but I do have a problem with what they did with the offenders, with the pedophiles themselves and not dealing with them harshly enough," he said in a follow-up interview.

Even some respondents who described themselves as faithful Catholics gave the church poor marks.

"I think right now they are in cleanup mode," said Lynn Cooney, 38, a parishioner at St. Anthony of Padua in East Northport.

"I think while it was happening, it was horrible. They were moving people they knew were guilty. ... That was horrible, and I can't even imagine what those people who survived it went through. Right now, it is almost too little, too late."

Some church observers, including those critical of Bishop William Murphy on some issues, nonetheless credited him for taking steps to address the scandal.

Chief among them: a requirement that all church workers and volunteers take Virtus safe-environment training. The program aims to prevent sex abuse by alerting people to possible signs of abuse, among other methods.

The Rev. Patrick Bonner, chaplain at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, said he had to go through extensive background checks before he was allowed to come to the diocese on a temporary basis from his native Ireland.

"They go to great lengths to protect our children," Bonner said.

At the start of the scandal, he added, "I don't think they [church leaders] realized the extent and the heinousness of the crime."

Staff writer Joie Tyrrell contributed to this story.

Put kids' needs first in cases of abuse said...

April 6, 2008

Put kids' needs first in cases of abuse

This past week in The Leaf-Chronicle, we examined the investigation and prosecution of child sex abuse cases in Montgomery County.

What we found was those who work in the field believe that as a community, we've come a long way in dealing with these cases. But there still is more ground to cover.

Investigating and prosecuting child sex abuse cases can be a difficult process.

Then, if a person is charged or even convicted for child abuse offenses, the system does not always work in the victim's favor.

This legislative session, State Rep. Joe Pitts has tried to carry forward proposals to make thing tougher on those committing sex crimes on children.

The measures were based on a local resident's petition drive.

All three of them, however, have run into constitutional or price tag troubles. Pitts vows to continue on, and he's urged to do so.

We also looked at the sex offender prevention center that has opened in the city.

While society wants to keep the offenders behind bars, the reality is that they eventually will be released. The new Associates for Sexual Prevention Services looks for ways to give sex offenders the tools to lower their risks for repeating their offenses.

Ultimately, the children and their needs must be put first.

They put their faith in us adults to do right by them, and we must not let them down.

Janet Reno said...

I'm scared, am I next?
---------------------

Transient arrested for sexual abuse of 91-year-old woman

Last Update: 4/04 3:02 pm

PORTLAND – After a two-week investigation, a transient has been arrested for sexually abusing a 91-year-old woman.

Police say on March 20, 35-year-old Robert Orr broke into the victim’s Northeast Portland home and sexually assaulted her. He then remained in her bedroom and talked to her for several hours. She says he came back two more times in the middle of the night but did not assault her.

The victim did not report the crimes to police due to family concerns, but after the third occurrence, she decided to report the crimes out of fear for her safety. Detectives located obvious signs of forced entry and physical evidence left at the scene. The woman was able to give a description of the suspect to officers.

Friday, a Portland police officer spotted a man walking within a block of the victim’s home that matched the description given to police. Detectives were called in and arrested the man later identified as Orr.

Orr is charged with sex abuse and burglary. He is booked at the Multnomah County Detention Center.

Detectives are asking anyone with information in this investigation to call Det. Mary Wheat at (503) 823-0885.

exposemolesters said...

http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,23496231-2682,00.html

Thousands of SA child abuse cases ignored

COLIN JAMES and KIM WHEATLEY

April 07, 2008 07:35am

THOUSANDS of reports of suspected child abuse are not being investigated because of a chronic shortage of social workers, the State Government admits.

Families and Communities Minister Jay Weatherill yesterday said most of the reports involved allegations of emotional abuse or neglect, which were given a lower priority than child sex abuse.

The Public Service Association, which represents social workers, disputed that, saying cases being closed without assessment or investigation included allegations of "sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect".

That was supported by Guardian for Children and Young People, Pam Simmons, who said the child protection system was unable to keep up with the growth in demand, despite significant funding increases in recent years.

Ms Simmons said she had detailed her concerns to child sex abuse commissioner Ted Mullighan, QC, who last week told State Parliament the system was in "crisis", with too few social workers to help at-risk children.

Mr Weatherill told The Advertiser the number of allegations being made to the Families and Communities Department had steadily increased since the introduction of mandatory reporting of child abuse in the late 1960s.

"We have 30,000 calls to our crisis lines each year, with most involving allegations of emotional abuse and neglect, not sex abuse," he said.

"We assess every notification but if we investigated each and every call, like other states are trying to do, our child protection system would be crippled.

"It would require a massive devotion of resources with a very poor return and it also upsets those families who we are trying to help."

Mr Weatherill said the State Government had decided to concentrate on improving support programs for at-risk families to try to prevent abuse.

"We believe that it is better to shift our resources to supporting families rather than investigating families," he said.

Ms Simmons said her office was aware many low-to-medium reports of suspected child abuse involving emotional or physical abuse were not being investigated. Some at-risk children in state care had not been assigned social workers.

"There are social workers who are having sleepless nights because they simply can't keep up with the demand for their services," she said.

Ms Simmons, however, said recruiting more social workers was not the only solution. Such other measures as support programs for at-risk families had to be addressed.

"Despite the best efforts of staff, the focus in child protection and family services is sadly narrowed to short-term intervention in crises," she said.

In his 600-page report, tabled in Parliament last week, Mr Mullighan said social workers were "carrying heavier workloads than they should".

"In summary, the evidence to the inquiry indicates that there is a problem with recruiting and retaining social workers, which has resulted in a lack of experience; inexperienced social workers having insufficient professional support and supervision; workloads being too high; and a staff shortage," he wrote.

The department said in 2006-07 it received more than 16,000 notifications of child abuse, of which 3385 involved suspected sexual abuse.

Public Service Association general secretary Jan McMahon said under-staffed "intake teams" concentrated on Tier 1 cases – children in immediate danger. Only half of Tier 2 cases – high or moderate risk of significant harm – were being dealt with. "As a matter of course Tier 3 matters (low risk of harm) are filed as Closed No Action. Some of these cases being closed have long, horrific histories of abuse which have never been responded to."

Ms McMahon said social workers were concerned many children in state care did not have allocated case officers, as required under law.

"The PSA has been raising these issues for many years and, despite supportive statements by the Government, there are still staff shortages at every office and kids at severe risk," she said.

Mr Weatherill said a special unit had been established in his department to implement Mr Mullighan's recommendations. That included recruiting and training more social workers.

ken kay said...

I am the President of WWASPS and my son owns and runs Tranquility Bay. Here is my sworn testimony regarding molestation:


During sworn testimony in the August 2004 case of WWASPS vs PURE, Ken Kay stated that in his opinion, sexual activity between staff members and students is "not necessarily" abuse.

WWASPS said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Wide_Association_of_Specialty_Programs_and_Schools

World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The World Wide Association Of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASPS or WWASP) is an organization based in Utah, in the United States. WWASPS was founded by Robert Lichfield and was incorporated in 1998. WWASPS states that it is an umbrella organization of independent institutions for education and treatment of troubled teenagers, all operating in accordance with WWASP guidelines. Many outside observers believe, however, that the WWASPS-affiliated institutions are actually owned (through limited partnerships, many of which have used the same street address) by WWASPS or its principal officials or their close relatives.[1] WWASPS is connected to several affiliated for-profit companies. These include Teen Help LLC, the marketing arm of WWASPS and the entity that processes admissions paperwork; Teen Escort Service, a teen escort company that forcibly removes teenagers to WWASPS facilities; R&B Billing, which does tuition billing and payment processing;[2] and Premier Educational Systems, LLC (also called Premier Educational Seminars), which conducts orientation and training workshops for parents whose children have been sent into WWASPS facilities.[3] Since its inception, WWASPS claims to have helped over 10,000 students with issues related to personal behavior.[4] WWASPS has faced widespread allegations of physical and psychological abuse of the teenagers sent into its programs, resulting in a lawsuit filed against the organization in 2006.[5]

Facilities

WWASP operates, formerly operated, or is associated with, several facilities in the United States and in other countries, including the following:

[edit] Currently operating

[edit] United States

* Academy at Ivy Ridge in Ogdensburg, New York (no longer affiliated with WWASP)
* Carolina Springs Academy in South Carolina
* Cross Creek Programs in Utah
* Darrington Academy in Georgia
* Majestic Ranch Academy in Utah
* Midwest Academy in Keokuk, Iowa
* Horizon Academy in Amargosa Valley, Nevada
* Red River Academy in Lecompte, Louisiana.
* Royal Gorge Academy in Canon City, Colorado
* Spring Creek Lodge Academy in Montana (claims to be no longer affiliated with WWASP)
* Woodland Hills Maternity Home in Utah

[edit] Other countries

* Pillars of Hope, (previously the site of closed school Academy at Dundee Ranch) in Costa Rica
* Tranquility Bay in Jamaica (subject of several documentaries detailing severe abuse)[6]
* Seaside Academy near Ensenada, Mexico (previously the site of Casa By The Sea)[7]

[edit] Now closed

[edit] United States

* Bell Academy in California (shutdown after issues with state Social Services)[8]
* Bethel Girls Academy in Mississippi (shutdown after state officials investigate reports of abuse)[9]
* Brightway Hospital in St. George, Utah (closed by authorities for providing inadequate care and abuse)[10]
* Sky View Christian Academy, for boys, in Hawthorne, Nevada. Enrolled about 120 students and employed about 63 staff and teachers, with a total annual payroll of $1.57 million. Closed abruptly in 2007 after a hazing incident.[11]

[edit] Other countries

* Casa By The Sea Ensenada, Mexico (investigated and shut down by the Mexican government after allegations of abuse )
* High Impact in Tecate, Mexico (investigated and shut down by the Mexican government after allegations of abuse)[12]
* Morava Academy, Czech Republic (closed in 1998, when Czech police charged and arrested its managers with child torture)[13]
* Sunrise Beach, Cancún, Mexico (raided and closed by Mexican authorities over abuse)[14]
* Paradise Cove, Samoa (shutdown by Samoan authorities because an investigation determined credible allegations of abuse)[15]

In July 2007 World Wide's president, Ken Kay, told the Salt Lake Tribune that only two schools remained in the WWASPS network, including Majestic Ranch Academy, which he said was likely to sever its ties with the organization.[16]

[edit] Related and spinoff programs and projects

Some personnel formerly associated with WWASP schools and programs have gone on to establish or work at other similar institutions:

* In 2005 Robert Lichfield and the Utah-based holding company, Golden Pond Investments Ltd., made an offer to buy the campus of the Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri, to open a new school for adolescents needing help with discipline, responsibility and leadership skills. It was announced that the school would be directed by former WWASP staff member Randall Hinton and his brother Russell Hinton. The Hintons told Boonville officials that the proposed school would not be a part of WWASP.[17] The Boonville City Council rejected the proposal.[18]

[edit] Controversy

The treatment methods employed by WWASPS institutions are said to be controversial, as there have been allegations of severe abuse and torture by staff at programs supported by WWASPS.[19] The programs have been the subject of legal investigations by several U.S. states.[20]

Numerous former students or their parents have filed lawsuits against WWASPS, its personnel, or individual schools. Most have been settled out of court or dismissed for procedural reasons. For example, a 2005 lawsuit filed in California on behalf of more than 20 plaintiffs was dismissed because the judge found that California lacked jurisdiction. In June 2007, Utah attorney Thomas M. Burton told a reporter that six suits he had filed against WWASPS on behalf of his clients had been dismissed on procedural grounds. WWASPS president Ken Kay told an interviewer that lawsuits against WWASPS are ploys to get money, brought by people who "are never going to be happy."[21] A lawsuit filed in 2007 against WWASPS and its founder, Robert Lichfield, on behalf of 133 plaintiffs alleging physical and sexual abuse and fraudulent concealment of abuse has brought negative publicity to Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, because Lichfield was one of six co-chairs of the Utah state fundraising committee for Romney's campaign.[21][22]

On August 31, 2007, Randall Hinton was convicted of one count each of third degree assault and false imprisonment, for mistreating students at the WWASP-affiliated Royal Gorge Academy, of which he was manager and co-founder. However, the jury returned verdicts of "not guilty" on four other counts of third-degree assault and one other count of false imprisonment.[23] Hinton was sentenced to jail followed by probation.[24]

exposemolesters said...

"During sworn testimony in the August 2004 case of WWASPS vs PURE, Ken Kay stated that in his opinion, sexual activity between staff members and students is "not necessarily" abuse."
==================================

Ken Kay is obviously a moron and a big fool. People like him make this world a dangerous place. Shame on him!

EM

Anonymous said...

Italy
VATICAN: ROME RABBI CRITICIZES VATICAN

(AGI) - Vatican city, 4 April. - "We are not satisfied: what we wanted was to hear a Vatican statement in touch with the times and to hear that the Church does not pray for the conversion of Jews, or at least that it will not pray for this until the forever and that God only helps one group of people". This statement came form the head Rabbi in Rome, Riccardo Di Segna, when addressing the Vatican statement which was released today.
He went on to say that the Vatican's statement "did not clarify this point: the question remains completely unresolved". The Rabbi went on to say that after the council "the subject of conversion of Jews was said with a degree of reticence. In other words, the subject was raised. But this attitude was briefly interrupted by the new form of prayer for Jews". The announcement released by the Vatican today guarantees that "the new Oremus format, in which some of the expressions of Missal from 1962 have been modified, did not mean in any way whatsoever to show that the Catholic Church had changed its attitude towards Jews, but to adopt the doctrine of the council of the Vatican II. It repeated that it has great hopes that the two communities can come to understand each other better and to value each other more. The term 'conversion' does not appear in the statement released today, and the this new prayer book in question does not ask for the conversion of Jews but simply to spread the light of God over them.

Yemin Moshe said...

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/972243.html

02:38 07/04/2008
Forty years on, they still come back to pray
By Nadav Shragai

The Great Sephardic Synagogue in the Yemin Moshe neighborhood of Jerusalem is a story of continued social protest. Almost 40 years have passed since the municipality evicted the neighborhood's veteran residents. Nevertheless, every Shabbat and holiday they continue to come, from all corners of Jerusalem, to the synagogue they had restored with their own hands. They hold lessons and prayers according to the traditions and melodies of the Turkish Jewish community, and they find it difficult to forget the eviction they consider an insult.

The municipality evicted the Yemin Moshe residents after the 1967 Six-Day War to set up an artists' colony in the quarter. The synagogue left behind is not merely a place of worship, but also a means of returning week after week to what once was, to the Yemin Moshe of those days.

Reuven Gafni, an expert on Jerusalem synagogues, has published a new book about the synagogues hidden in the heart of the city ("House of Prayer," in Hebrew). The Yemin Moshe experience, he says, represents a unique form of social protest: "While it is possible to remove the residents from the neighborhood," says Gafni, "it is not possible to remove the neighborhood from [the hearts of] the residents."

Meager compensation

Until 1967, Yemin Moshe was, in effect, a border neighborhood. The new immigrants housed there, mostly from Turkey, faced financial and security woes, with shooting from the Jordanian side of the border making their lives in the quarter especially difficult. However, post-Six-Day War, none of the powers that be remembered how the residents had managed to survive those difficult days. The city paid the residents little compensation for their homes. Despite protest, almost all of them were forced to leave.

In the 1970s, the quarter's colorful lanes, emptied of the less well off, became the home of the rich.

The first families in Yemin Moshe had been mostly Sephardi, and they wished to establish a Sephardic synagogue in their neighborhood. They were allocated an unusual space for a synagogue - inside the windmill next to Mishkenot Sha'ananim, which was built in 1860, some 30 years before Yemin Moshe. A few years later they asked for a permanent site and they had quite an original plan. It is customary in Jerusalem for one of the walls of a synagogue to face the Western Wall of the Temple, but the Yemin Moshe house of prayer was built as a continuation of the row of houses attached to it higher up the street, so for worshipers to face the Western Wall in the east, the Holy Ark was placed in its northeastern corner, and the bima in the center of the prayer hall, on a slant, so it would be opposite the Holy Ark.

Getting there on foot

Old-time former residents were not eager to talk about their eviction. Haim Yom-Tov, the cantor, Yaakov Gabai and their friends recall a proposal to turn the synagogue into a small museum on Yemin Moshe's past. The worshipers turned it down, preferring to come to the synagogue from their new homes, though some were distant. Haim Yom-Tov comes there on foot from his home on Bethlehem Road. Others walk and some come by car. Haim Mills comes from the northern neighborhood of Neveh Yaakov; Mordechai Fransis from Katamon; Menashe Penso from Bak'a and Yaakov Gabai from Malcha. Yemin Moshe, they say, was characterized by an atmosphere of a community with "open doors" with the synagogue serving as a focal point of their lives, nothing like today's affluent neighborhood of artists, journalists and foreign residents, some of whom live here only a few months a year.

Early on Yemin Moshe was known as a neighborhood where rabbis and scholars lived, the vast majority of them from the Sephardi community. Gafni says that over the years, quite a few well-known rabbis served in the neighborhood synagogue. A well-known Torah scholar, Rabbi Yitzhak Ben-Michael Badahav, lived for several years in a room under the synagogue. He was also an important collector of books and manuscripts. Another well-known book collector who prayed at the synagogue was Rabbi Ben Zion Koyanka, who was best known for editing and publishing a journal about Torah studies, "Hame'asef."

Rabbi Yaakov Hai Bechor Nissim was the chief beadle in the early years, and other founders were Rabbi Shmuel Meyuhas and Rabbi Yitzhak Dassa, who used to earn a living by grinding flour in the mill he owned in a nearby Arab neighborhood. In the 1940s, the British authorities appointed his grandson, Moshe Nissim Dassa, the "mukhtar" (chief) of the quarter. He served in this post until the area was evacuated during the War of Independence. After the war, the Dassa family founded an alternative synagogue for the refugees from Yemin Moshe, in the Lifta Illit quarter of Jerusalem, which was called Beit Yaakov, after Rabbi Yaakov Dassa, the last Sephardi rabbi of Yemin Moshe.

A hideout in the Holy Ark

The synagogue reflected the security difficulties the neighborhood faced. When the residents were forced to leave for a few months during the War of Independence, the synagogue stood deserted. Gafni writes in his book that as early as the 1930s, the residents of Yemin Moshe tried to reach an accommodation with the Arabs living on the slopes of Mount Zion and its surroundings (who would shoot at them) by making a covenant with the (Arab) Dajani family who lived on Mount Zion.

After the anti-Jewish violence of 1929, in which Yemin Moshe was attacked, the neighborhood committee put up iron gates that were locked at night. But homes and the synagogue still came under fire and were hit. With the help of the Haganah, the pre-state underground army, residents created hidden weapons caches. One of them was in the Sephardic synagogue's Holy Ark.

Early in 1948, the Arab forces repeatedly tried to break through to the houses of the quarter, and during February almost all the residents of Yemin Moshe fled to other neighborhoods. The synagogue was converted into a military outpost.

When the war was over, those who had been evacuated did not return. The quarter was populated with new immigrants. One of the first steps the mostly Turkish Jewish immigrants took was to restore the empty synagogue, but the security problems did not disappear and during the 19 years from 1948 to 1967, the neighborhood and synagogue suffered repeated salvos of fire from the positions of the Jordanian army. The bullet marks are still visible on the eastern side of the bima.

Aaron Schlechter said...

What's so bad about this? I believe the mother was just trying to be mechanech her disturbed children.
------------------
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/972167.html


'The mother forced her children to eat feces, burned their hands'
By Ofra Edelman and Ruth Singer-Heruti, Haaretz Correspondents
Tags: Israel, child abuse

An indictment was issued against a Jerusalem mother of eight Sunday, alleging that she forced her children to eat feces, burned their hands with a lighter and a stove and bent their fingers, among other things.

The indictment includes descriptions of various acts of abuse perpetrated by the mother against her children, mainly two of the eight. The indictment reveals an incident in which the woman had allegedly stuffed her children into a suitcase and locked them in for three days, allowing them to come out from time to time.

Police arrest man allegedly tied to Jerusalem child abuse case said...

Police have arrested a man suspected to be connected to the case of a Jerusalem mother of eight who allegedly abused her children, officials said Sunday overnight.

On Sunday, the 38-year-old mother was indicted in a Jerusalem court.

The woman was arrested last month after the two children were taken to the hospital, the three-year-old in an unconscious state. The child remains hospitalized in critical condition with severe head injuries, and is likely to remain in a vegetative state.

chaim said...

Nussbaum is a rasha gamur. Everyone I speak to tells me this bastard abused them in some way - physical, sexual, or both.

Police seek extradition of rabbi from Canada said...

Click link to see a picture of this beast and also to watch the video.
-----------------------------

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1207486207691&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Police seek extradition of rabbi from Canada
ETGAR LEFKOVITS and HILARY LEILA KRIEGER/Toronto , THE JERUSALEM POST Apr. 6, 2008

The police will issue an international arrest warrant this week against an extremist rabbi who fled to Canada and is a key suspect in one of the worst child abuse cases in the nation's history.

Police said Monday that Rabbi Elior Chen and his followers are suspected of severely abusing two children, aged 3 and 4, who were savagely and systematically beaten with hammers, knives and other instruments for months until the younger child lost consciousness last month.

The three-year-old suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the systematic and brutal abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother and her companions, according to an indictment filed against his mother this week in a Jerusalem court.

He is expected to remain in a vegetative state for the rest of his life.

Chen, who served as a spiritual mentor to the abusive mother and who provided explicit written instruction on how to abuse the children, fled to Canada last month after the case came to light to avoid arrest, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said. He apparently does not have Canadian citizenship, Ben-Ruby said.

According to the charge sheet, the woman's relationship with her husband broke down last year, and she expressed her desire to divorce her husband, who subsequently left their Jerusalem home, leaving his eight children in the care of his wife and two men who were charged with educating her children.

The men, who allegedly carried out the abuse with the mother, received instruction from Chen on how to "fix" the children's behavior, and "cleanse" them of their Satanic possession, the indictment says.

During a search of Chen's Betar Illit home, police found evidence that appears to link the rabbi to the abuse, including notebooks that document the violence, police said.

"Put stones on a [Shabbat] hot plate . . . when they are boiling, put them on the bodies of the children and then they will be cleansed," the instructions read.

Chen also instructs his followers how to tie up the children, and to prepare alcoholic drinks made of salt water and turpentine, which, he writes, should be given to the children in order to "vomit out the devil from themselves." Among the items police discovered at Chen's home were hammers, iron bars, turpentine, sticks, and handcuffs.

The other key suspect in the child abuse case, identified as Shimon Gabbai, remains at large and is also wanted by police.

Meanwhile, another suspect arrested by police late Sunday night was remanded in custody on Monday for five days by a Jerusalem court.

The suspect, Avraham Maskalchi, a yeshiva student who twice tried to flee arrest and was nabbed after a police chase, allegedly took part in the abuse of the children, a police representative told the court.

One of the woman's eight children identified him as taking part in the abuse as well, the police representative testified in court.

The charge sheet in the gruesome child abuse case recounts that the mother allegedly forced her children to eat feces, locked them in a suitcase for three days - letting them out only for brief periods of time - repeatedly beat, whipped, and shook them, burned their hands with a lighter and a heater, and gave them freezing showers.

The abusive mother and "educators" are also suspected of pouring salt on the burn wounds of the child, stuffing his mouth with a skullcap and sealing his mouth with masking tape, and giving the children alcoholic drinks until they vomited.

The woman remains in police custody.

Since her arrest last month, the mother was repeatedly shown pictures of her children's injuries, but on most of the days she was in remand, she did not inquire about the children nor did she ask who was taking care of them, the police said.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police would not confirm whether they were working with Israeli police to track down Chen, saying that releasing that type of information could harm the investigation if one were ongoing.

The Canadian Justice Ministry also declined to confirm whether it had received requests from Israel for Chen's arrest and extradition, citing the confidentiality of communications between countries.

But should Chen be found in Canada under an international arrest warrant and Israel requests extradition, a Canadian judge will determine whether the suspect can be deported under the extradition treaty existing between the two countries, followed by a review of the attorney-general, a Justice Ministry spokesman said.

According to the extradition agreement between Canada and Israel, for extradition to go forward the suspect must be accused of having committed an act that is considered a crime in both countries - as child abuse is. Extradition would also be held up if there was concern that the suspect was being prosecuted for political motives or could face the death penalty, the latter of which has sometimes complicated extradition from Canada to the United States but shouldn't affect deportation to Israel.

The main issue from Canada's perspective is "are we respecting the person's rights and the [Canadian] charter's rights," explained an aide to MP Irwin Cotler, who served as attorney-general and justice minister in the last government and has argued cases before the Israeli Supreme Court.

A Haaretz report quoted an associated of Chen's as saying that he chose to flee to Canada because "the extradition law is tough." But observers say that assertion might not jibe with the reality, though extradition from Canada can take a long time because of protections including the right to appeal at different points in the process.

"He's going to be in for a surprise," said Canadian Jewish News editor Mordechai Ben-Dat.

"This is a more law-and-order government than other governments," he said of the current Canadian leadership, meaning the attorney-general was unlikely to stay an extradition judgment.

Ben-Dat said that while the Canadian Jewish community is a tight-knit one, it also has many different haredi groups, groups which might be sufficiently cut off from the outside world and media to know that Chen is accused of committing serious crimes.

Chen might be able to take advantage of these enclaves, Ben-Dat said, "if he wants to disappear."

Canadian Embassy said...

Israel seeks extradition of rabbi from Canada on suspicion of child abuse

JERUSALEM — Israeli police say they have begun extradition proceedings against an Israeli rabbi who went to Canada after being suspected of abusing the children of one of his followers.

A police spokesman says two children, aged three and four, were burned and severely beaten with hammers, knives and other instruments.

The three-year-old suffered brain damage, he added.

The children's mother has been charged with abuse.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says the rabbi hasn't been charged with a crime.

But police have identified the suspect being sought as Rabbi Elior Chen.

Rosenfeld says the rabbi had travelled to Canada in the past few days.

Officials at the Canadian Embassy in Tel Aviv were not immediately available for comment Monday.

http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5i1YBiS9Da1SSnKOGnub-Bt7DAUuQ

HAARETZ said...

Police to demand extradition of Rabbi believed behind child abuse sect
By Uri Blau, Yair Ettinger, Jonathan Lis and Ofra Edelman, Haaretz Correspondents and AP

Israel Police said Monday they will begin extradition proceedings against Rabbi Elior Chen, who fled to Canada shortly after one of his followers was charged with systematic child abuse including burning her toddlers, making them eat feces, and putting them in a suitcase for days.

Chen was not charged with anything, but fled as news reports of the Jerusalem mother's detention were circulated, and it appeared she had committed the abuse following instructions from him on child disciplining techniques.

During a search of his home Thursday, police found evidence that appears to link the rabbi to the abuse, including journals that document the violence.

Chen may be meeting other members of the sect in Canada, where the family of one of the members lives, according to a friend of Chen's who is familiar with the group but doesn't belong to it. The friend said Chen fled with Joseph Fisher, whose name was not mentioned in an indictment filed yesterday against the mother of the children suspected of being abused by Chen's followers. The remand of the mother was extended Sunday until April 14.

Two of the family's eight children, aged 4 and 5, were hospitalized in serious condition two weeks ago, after Chen allegedly ordered two of his followers to discipline the children by beating, burning, pushing and shaking them, and tying them up as a way of "correcting" their behavior.

The 4-year-old remains in a coma. Police suspect that Chen's supporters also doused the children in hot and cold water and broke their bones with hammers and blows. The mother was charged with forcing the children to eat feces, beating them unconscious and locking them up in a suitcase for three days.

Jerusalem police also arrested an additional suspect in the case, and have issued a gag order regarding his identity. The Magistrate's Court extended his remand by five days.

Chen and three of his supporters allegedly began providing the family with "educational lessons" several months ago. They allegedly kicked the father out of his home and began abusing several of the family's eight children, especially the two youngest.

Chen and Fisher left the country legally, and their exit was registered at border control. Afterward, their wives and children went into hiding. The Fisher apartment has been cleared out and its contents have been placed in storage.

Police said they do not know the location of Chen's and Fisher's families, but Chen's friend said they were hoping to go to Canada as well and may have already left the country.

Chen and his supporters chose Canada in part, the source said, because "the extradition law is tough" there. "Only in very exceptional cases does Canada extradite," he said.

Elior Chen's father, Yaakov Chen, told Haaretz he did not know where his son or his son's family was hiding. "I didn't see him, I don't know where he is," he said. "The last time I saw him was three weeks ago, after he had a girl. I went to his home in Upper Betar, gave him a present and that's it. I haven't seen him since. I'm sitting at home and eating my heart out."

rabbi shlomo mandel the putz said...

The kids probably deserved it.
----------------------------

Graphic photographs were reported found in the police investigation.

And the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot reported that journals recovered by police allegedly had writings such as: "Put stones on a hot plate ... when they are boiling, put them on the bodies of the children and then they will be cleansed."

Yehuda Nussbaum said...

sexual abuse is just another form of chinuch. I don't have a problem with it.

Pastor John Hagee said...

"We do not seek to tell Israelis what to do," Pastor John Hagee told a group of reporters Monday, following claims made last week by the president of the Union for Reform Judaism suggesting that he and his organization, Christians United for Israel, were a threat to the country's security

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said...

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef declines to sign boycott letter
The rabbinical leader supports negotiations with Alon Group.
Ilanit Hayut and Globes' correspondent
Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef as well as top Lithuanian rabbis have decided to withdraw from the threat of a boycott of retail chain Shefa Shuk, a unit of Alon Israel Oil Company Ltd., owned by chairman David Weissman.

A mediator between Blue Square Israel Ltd. (NYSE: BSI; TASE: BSI), which owns the retail chain, and haredim (ultra-orthodox) said, "As of now, there is a dispute between the rabbis because some of the hassidic leaders are determined to confront David Weissman because another of his retail chains, AM:PM is open on Shabbat. The hassidic rabbis refuse to sit down for negotiations."

Aides of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said today that he refuses to sign the boycott letter on which other leading rabbis have signed. The aides added that Yosef supports negotiations with Alon Group. They said that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has never signed any boycott letter of any kind.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 7, 2008

Rabbi Shlomo Amar said...

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar on Monday urged IDF reservists not to dodge their army service.

Reservists need "special blessings" as they "leave their jobs and families" in performance of their service, Amar added during a Torah scroll inauguration ceremony at the Tzehilim training base. The ceremony was also attended by Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger.

Leib Tropper said...

My conversions are the most reliable.
---------------------

Meet Rabbi Naftali Schreiber, an activist from Rabbis Against Conversion. He is a fairly familiar figure among the Russian-speaking public; to veteran Israelis, he is a foreigner.

Forget everything you knew about rabbis and conversion: He is not Rabbi Druckman, lenient when it comes to conversion for nationalist reasons; he is not one of those rabbis who makes things difficult in the name of stringent halakha. He is simply opposed to the conversion system for immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

As for his motives, it depends who you ask. Some suspect he is serving foreign interests; Schreiber himself is convinced he is preserving Israel while representing a liberal agenda of freedom of choice.

Facebook said...

Terror experts probe Facebook death threat

Published: 04/07/2008

A Jewish woman in Melbourne received a death threat on Facebook from a man claiming to be a Hezbollah member.

Australian counter-terror experts launched an investigation following the threat by a man called Ibrahim Dirani, according to a report Saturday in The Australian newspaper.

According to police documents, the member of a Lebanese-based Facebook group allegedly wrote after the Israeli woman rejected his offer of an online friendship, “I am Hezbollah and I am going to kill you and all of your family -- promise you.”

The man is now believed to have been banned by the online social networking Web site.

Experts say terrorists trawl through Facebook because it offers in-depth profiles of more than 60 million users.

A Facebook group was established last month to memorialize the Palestinian who killed eight yeshiva students in Jerusalem.

Avremel Schor said...

Berlin Jewish museum cancels concert

Published: 04/07/2008

The Jewish Museum in Berlin has withdrawn as the host of a concert after learning the performer planned to missionize.

Pianist Sam Rotman planned to talk during the concert about his acceptance of Jesus, according to a statement released Monday by the museum.

The Berlin-based missionary congregation Beit Sar Shalom and the U.S.-based European Initiative, an evangelical group, had arranged to rent the museum's auditorium for the show.

"It was not known to us that the concert by Sam Rotman would also be used for missionizing," the museum said in the statement. "After we discovered this and saw that the European Initiative had advertised this as such on their Web site, we decided not to offer the Jewish Museum as a location for the event."

The statement added that Beit Sar Shalom had been informed of the decision.

A museum spokesman told JTA that it believed the Israeli Embassy in Berlin was supporting the event; the advertising posters include the logo for Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations. But an embassy spokesman said the embassy signed on because it believed the event was being co-sponsored by the Jewish Museum, which gave it the look of legitimacy.

Beit Sar Shalom in its posters noted Rotman's identity as an "orthodox Jew." On his own Web site, the pianist describes his transformation to belief in Jesus, and adds that he uses his musical career to talk about his spiritual journey.

The European Initiative on its Web site prominently features the concert, saying that "Mr. Rotman, while raised Orthodox Jewish, came to faith in Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah. He will tell his fascinating story at the concert."

exposemolesters said...

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23502207-421,00.html

Fuel cost 'a bigger worry than child sex abuse'

By Liza Kappelle

April 07, 2008

AUSTRALIAN governments are being overwhelmed by the scourge of child sex abuse but petrol prices are seen as a bigger concern, a conference has been told.

Ted Mullighan, a former judge who has exposed systematic child sexual abuse in South Australia, told the National Family Law conference in Adelaide today that at least one in every five children would be sexually abused before they turned 16.

"Government, I can tell you, is overwhelmed by this problem - in every state in Australia and in every place overseas where it is taken seriously," Mr Mullighan said.

But surveys showed people misunderstood child sexual abuse and thought children exaggerated, he said.

"And when asked to place in order the matters in society that concerned them most, rising petrol prices came first and child sexual abuse came 14th out of 15.

"When it was explained, in the follow-up, child sexual abuse rose dramatically as a matter of importance."

Mr Mullighan, who released his report on the Children in State Care commission of inquiry last week, said child sexual abuse was not just a government problem.

"It is society's problem. In SA, there is a child abuse line, a phone-in, and there are 30,000 calls a year. They are not all about sex abuse ... but you can see how almost impossible it is (to respond to)."

Education at all levels was needed to make the nation safe for children, he said.

Mr Mullighan, who today described the plight of Aboriginal people as the nation's greatest social issue, will complete his report on sexual abuse in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in SA's far north by the end of April.

The law conference is hearing from a range of people including UK barrister Nicholas Mostyn QC, who led Sir Paul McCartney's legal team in his recent high-profile divorce proceedings.

YOB - TB said...

ATT: Parents

We at Tranquility Bay and Yeshiva of Brooklyn - use severe corporal punishment to reprimand youngsters such as your very own disturbed boy or girl.

Send your juvenile rebel to us and we guarantee that your child and other dangerous kid (such as Isaac Hersh) will be taught a lesson of respecting their parents.

Tuition: $32,000
*EXTRAS: $20,000

* Extras includes the following perks. (highly recommended)

a) sexual discipline
b) physical pain
c) verbal penetration
d) shower time
e) yoga stretch
f) dirty play

Endoresed by the ketanim chamorim drek society ---

Avi Moskowitz said...

I'm such a lying putz!
--------------------------

Moskowitz said initially that Rabbi Kolko “was put on administrative leave at the beginning of the school year” in 2006 — a termination time at odds with the school’s May 2006 announcement. Asked to explain the meaning of “administrative leave,” Moskowitz said, “Kolko was taken out of the classroom ... until they [could] figure out what to do. He is not employed by them.”

Moskowitz drinking the coolaid said...

After checking with the school, Moskowitz, its attorney, said the checks to Kolko after his departure were severance payments, issued on the basis of a “halachic concept,” or religious law, that mandates one month’s pay for every year served for laid-off employees.

Moskowitz noted that Rabbi Kolko had worked at the school for about 35 years.

Rabbi Marguiles said...

Vats di matter? Why can't you mechuzufim leave me alone? From what I hear de crayzee lawyer (Dowd I think his name is) that is suing me personally has some set of batzim. I hear he has a nasty right hook. Im gradeh misht moichel anyone who doesn't take my side of the myseh.
-------------------------------

Unlike the other suits, this one names Rabbi Marguiles personally as a defendant.

Michael Dowd, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, voiced concern Tuesday that the newly disclosed payments might influence Rabbi Kolko to remain silent about any knowledge or neglect by the school or Rabbi Marguiles regarding his alleged conduct. He noted that the yeshiva was effectively subsidizing Rabbi Kolko’s criminal legal defense while the school itself was being sued by his alleged victims for neglect.

Dowd, who represented plaintiffs in suits against the Catholic Church involving sexual abuse, said he saw the same pattern of continued payments in those cases.

“These child abusers could literally sink the institutions with the[ir] knowledge,” he said, explaining what he saw as the motivation for payment.

Michael G. Dowd overview said...

http://www.michaelgdowd.com/firmoverview.jsp

Michael G. Dowd
Overview


Our firm handles legal matters in the following practice areas: Criminal Defense, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Harassment, Domestic Violence, Clergy Abuse, Commercial Litigation in all Courts.

Michael G. Dowd
Offices


Office Location(s)

New York, New York

112 Madison Avenue, 3rd Floor
New York, New York 10016
Telephone: 212-751-1640
Fax: 212-398-2693

mdowd@mgdowdlaw.com

Yonasan Tendler said...

I think any person with a brain can smell something fishy going on here. Monies have changed hands - can you figure out the parties engaged in our transactions?

Aaron Twerski said...

The polygamists are honorable people!
............

Over 400 children taken from Texas polygamist ranch

By Ed Stoddard

DALLAS (Reuters) - Authorities have now removed 401 children from a remote ranch in west Texas belonging to a breakaway Mormon sect linked to jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, Texas authorities said on Monday.

Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said 401 children have been taken from the compound. He could not confirm local media reports that said all of the children had now been taken away from the ranch.

"Investigations at the compound are still continuing," he said in a telephone interview. He also said that 133 women had left the premises. Authorities have said an undisclosed number of men remain on the compound and have not been allowed to leave while the probe is in progress.

Local TV footage showed young girls in long, conservative dresses boarding buses.

Lisa Block, a spokeswoman with the Department of Public Safety, said one person had been arrested at the compound for "interfering with the duties of a public servant" but no one has yet been arrested on charges related to the abuse probe.

Law enforcement officials initially swooped on to the compound late last week in a remote, semi-arid region of west Texas northwest of San Antonio in response to a complaint of abuse by a young woman there.

They have yet to identify the woman.

It is unclear how many people have been living at the compound or precisely who is in charge. Continued...

John McCain said...

I wonder if Jews are going to vote for me.
----------------------------

McCain: Democrats' Stance on Iraq Flawed

By LIBBY QUAID

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Monday that calls from his Democratic rivals to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq stand as a "failure of leadership" as they are making promises they cannot keep. Democrat Barack Obama said the failure rests with McCain's support for an open-ended occupation of Iraq.

Addressing the Veterans of Foreign Wars, McCain criticized Obama and Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and insisted that last year's U.S. troop buildup in Iraq brought a glimmer of "something approaching normal" there, despite a recent outbreak of heavy fighting and a U.S. death toll that has surpassed 4,000.

Pulling out now would jeopardize recent gains, McCain said.

"I do not believe that anyone should make promises as a candidate for president that they cannot keep if elected," McCain told the crowd of about 130 people, mostly veterans.

"To promise a withdrawal of our forces from Iraq, regardless of the calamitous consequences to the Iraqi people, our most vital interests, and the future of the Middle East, is the height of irresponsibility," he said. "It is a failure of leadership."

He took a brief tour of the National World War I Museum afterward.

McCain, the presidential nominee-in-waiting, is closely tied to the unpopular, five-year-old war. McCain was a vocal advocate of the troop increase strategy eventually adopted by President Bush, and is seeking to convince people the strategy is working. He also argued that Iraq will need more money and aid for reconstruction.

Clinton and Obama, still battling for the Democratic presidential nomination, dispute the claims of success, arguing the war has failed to make the United States safer.

"It's a failure of leadership to support an open-ended occupation of Iraq that has failed to press Iraq's leaders to reconcile, badly overstretched our military, put a strain on our military families, set back our ability to lead the world, and made the American people less safe," Obama said, using McCain's own words against him.

Clinton chastised McCain's Iraq strategy as "four more years of the Bush-Cheney-McCain policy of continuing to police a civil war while the threats to our national security, our economy, and our standing in the world mount."

"We simply cannot give the Iraqi government an endless blank check," she said. "It is time to end this war as quickly, as responsibly, and as safely as possible."

Debate will intensify this week as Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker testify to Congress. Clouding their testimony is fighting that erupted late last month as U.S.-trained Iraqi forces attempted to oust Shiite militias from Basra in southern Iraq.

For his part, McCain suggested the Democrats' promise to withdraw troops was motivated by ambition rather than honesty.

People deserve a candid assessment of progress in Iraq as well as of the serious difficulties that remain and of the consequences of hasty withdrawal, McCain said.

McCain warned against the swift withdrawal of troops advocated by Obama and Clinton, saying Iraq could quickly become a terrorist haven.

"These likely consequences of America's failure in Iraq would, almost certainly, require us to return to Iraq or draw us into a wider and far costlier war," the Arizona senator said.

He highlighted a sharp drop in violence in recent months in his speech to the VFW at the National World War I Museum. From June 2007 until last month, when McCain visited Iraq, violence, he said, fell by 90 percent, and deaths of civilians and coalition forces fell by 70 percent.

"The dramatic reduction in violence has opened the way for a return to something approaching normal political and economic life for the average Iraqi," McCain said, making the case for staying in order to take advantage of the gains.

Despite the positive numbers he cited, 2007 — the year of the troop buildup — was the deadliest yet.

McCain insisted he could rally support from the majority of Americans — even though, according to public opinion surveys, they believe the war is going badly and the troop buildup has not helped.

"If we are honest about the opportunities and the risks, I believe they will have the patience to allow us the time necessary to obtain our objectives," McCain said.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iE2JCSH5p9r2GBkQWS9TWAMzmuvQD8VTE5QO0

Rabbi, wanted in child abuses, hiding in Canada said...

Israel to seek extradition for radical, so-called spiritual mentor of a group involved in systematic torture of children

MARK MACKINNON

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

April 8, 2008 at 2:26 AM EDT

JERUSALEM — A radical rabbi once linked to a plot to fire a missile at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, is hiding in Canada, Israeli police said Monday, announcing that he is wanted for his alleged role in a series of ghastly abuses of his followers' children.

Israeli officials have issued an international warrant for the arrest of Rabbi Elior Chen, and were planning to ask Canada to extradite him.

“He left [Tel Aviv's] Ben Gurion Airport. He flew to Canada. We know that he's in Canada at the moment,” said police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld.

Mr. Chen, who is in his late 20s, hasn't yet been charged but he has been described as the “spiritual mentor” of a group involved in the systematic abuse of children, allegedly using his status as a rabbi to convince a mother of eight that her children's shortcomings could be beaten and burned out of them...

Canadian Jewish Congress said...

Media statement from Canadian Jewish Congress

CJC calls on Israeli rabbi to report to Canadian authorities

OTTAWA, April 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Officials in Israel have issued an
international arrest warrant for Rabbi Elior Chen who is alleged to have
counseled his followers to utilize abhorrent physical abuse against children.
Some of the abuses against these children have resulted in serious and life
threatening injuries. Israeli authorities believe that he is hiding somewhere
in Canada.
"If Rabbi Elior Chen is in fact in Canada, as Israeli police have
suggested, Canadian Jewish Congress is calling on him to report immediately to
the local authorities." said Rabbi Reuven P Bulka, co-President of CJC.
"Canadian Jewish Congress is willing to assist in facilitating his
surrender to Canadian authorities." Rabbi Bulka continued. "If Rabbi Chen so
desires, we encourage him to contact our offices."
"We have complete faith in the Canadian and Israeli authorities to
conduct a full and proper investigation so that justice is served." said CJC
co-president Sylvain Abitbol.



For further information: Jordan Kerbel, National Director of Public
Affairs, Canadian Jewish Congress, (416) 635-2883 ext 142, jkerbel@on.cjc.ca

Pearl Kaufman from Be'er Hagolah said...

I disagree. People of color cannot be Rabbis.
--------------------------

Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Judaism all ordain both women and men. People of color can be rabbis as well. And, since the invention of the electric shaver, even Orthodox rabbis don’t necessarily have to wear long beards.

Why, then, when a design contest at Pixish—a site that connects image designers with buyers—asks for images of a “friendly cartoon rabbi,” are all the submissions of bearded white guys? Danya Ruttenberg raises this question over at Jewschool, noting also that each rabbi also looks quite old.

Since Ruttenberg’s post, a couple younger-looking rabbis have joined the contest. (One has a guitar and rainbow-striped pants.) Still, three white-bearded white guys and two brown-bearded white guys hardly represent the diversity of the modern Jewish clergy.

—Steve Thorngate

Anonymous said...

What is it about not incorporating secular studies into the curriculum. Isn't poverty caused by this?
--------------------------

Unlike other religious schools, or yeshivahs, in Boca Raton and elsewhere in South Florida, the mesivta will not have any secular classes, focusing instead on the Talmud, Hasidic philosophy, Jewish history and writings of the prophets, among other religious subjects, he said. The closest mesivta is in Baltimore, said Denburg, who sent two of his sons to Chicago and a third to Israel to attend similar schools. The eldest is now a rabbi — he'll teach at the new mesivta — and the younger two are still in school.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/services/newspaper/printedition/local/sfl-flbschool0408sbapr08,0,3150433.story

Jewish Group Angry Over Banned New York Radio Ad said...

A Jewish advocacy group is steaming after a classical radio station in New York refused to run an ad that described the daily threat of missile attacks facing Israelis in the Gaza border city of Sderot.

WQXR, which is owned by The New York Times, decided not to run the 60-spot from the American Jewish Committee because it was out of the bounds of acceptability and could alarm the station's American listeners.

AJC Executive Director David Harris issued a lengthy statement on the group's Web site decrying the decision as an attempt to "silence" the group's viewpoint.

Harris complained the station's managers wanted acknowledgment of Israel's own military actions in the ad. He wrote, "In other words ... the only way to broadcast the plight of Sderot's residents over the airwaves is to equate Israel's right of self-defense with Hamas' and Islamic Jihad's right to strike Israel at will."

He continued: "I can only imagine what would have been the response had we done a spot during the London blitz. Would it have been turned down as well, perhaps on the grounds that we failed to refer to reciprocal British military actions against Nazi Germany?"

Harris said he's done a weekly 60-second radio spot broadcast nationally for the past seven years on the CBS Radio network, and that earlier this year tried to expand through WQXR.

The latest ad stirring controversy starts with Harris describing the countdown to a missile attack in Sderot, on the border of the Gaza Strip.

"Fifteen seconds. Imagine you had 15 seconds to find shelter from an incoming missile. Fifteen seconds to locate your children, help an elderly relative, assist a disabled person to find shelter. That's all the residents of Sderot and neighboring Israeli towns have," he says. "Day or night, the sirens go on. Fifteen seconds later, the missiles, fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza, hit. They could hit a home, a school, a hospital. Their aim is to kill and wound and demoralize. Imagine yourself in that situation."

The ad ends with a countdown as Harris says, "The time to seek shelter has ended. The missiles hit." He then asks listeners to visit his group's Web site.

Catherine Mathis, senior vice president of corporate communications for The New York Times, said in a statement that the radio station ran eight other AJC ads read by Harris over the past three months, but that his March 31 ad about the missile attacks went too far.

"This specific ad was rejected for several reasons. Primary among them was the concern that the message does not make clear that the potential target of the missile is not our listening area and, as a consequence, runs the risk of raising anxiety in a misleading way," she said.

AJC said...

NY TIMES are anti semitic. I think we all recognize that.
-----------------------------

http://www.ajc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=ijITI2PHKoG&b=838485&ct=5156529&printmode=1

Radio Commentaries

Only 15 Seconds to Find Shelter
David A. Harris
Executive Director, American Jewish Committee
Week of April 1, 2008

Listen to this week's commentary >

Fifteen seconds.

Imagine you had fifteen seconds to find shelter from an incoming missile.

Fifteen seconds to locate your children, help an elderly relative, assist a disabled person to find shelter.

That’s all the residents of Sderot and neighboring Israeli towns have.

Day or night, the sirens go off. Fifteen seconds later, the missiles, fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza, hit.

They could hit a home, a school, a hospital.

Their aim is to kill and wound and demoralize.

Imagine yourself in that situation.

The sirens blast.

15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The time to seek shelter has ended. The missiles hit.

This is what those Israelis experience daily. But, amazingly, they refuse to be cowed.

Help us help those Israelis. Visit ajc.org.

This is David Harris of the American Jewish Committee.

exposemolesters said...

Bottom line is this - Hillary is a slimy politician that will back stab you in a heartbeat - Jew or not. I can't believe this fabricator of sniper bullet fire is still in the hunt for the presidency.
====================================

http://www.pjvoice.com/v34/34009hillary.aspx

Hillary Clinton
Outreach to the Jewish Community.

-- Bonnie Squires

Mark Aronchick, Esq., vice-chair of the Hillary Clinton Campaign in Pennsylvania, opened the meeting of Jewish leadership discussing Clinton's stand on issues affecting the Jewish community. Ann Lewis, senior advisor of he Hillary Clinton Campaign, had come down from New York, specifically to answer any questions about Hillary's positions on various topics. Susan Stern, chairman of the campaign's National Council of Civic Leaders, a friend and neighbor of Senator Clinton's, shared her experiences on various trips to Israel when she had accompanied the senator, describing Hillary's compassion in visiting victims of terrorism at Hadassah Hospital and in their homes.

Stern also pointed out that the trips in 2002 and 2005 also heartened Israelis because of the support economically which Hillary's trips represented. One example was of a press conference held at the Sbarro's pizza shop which had been re-built after a terrorist bombing. Hillary would not allow her people to leave after the press conference was finished, insisting they all stay and buy pizza. She even got Ehud Ohlmert to stay for lunch .

Stern also said that Hillary had worked tirelessly for many years to gain acceptance for Israel's Magen David Adom in the International Red Cross.

David L. Cohen, chairman of the Clinton campaign in the state, explained that he is supporting Hillary Clinton for President "because of what the Clintons have done for me and for Philadelphia on a wide variety of issues." Cohen said that Clinton has a track record of consistent support for Israel, which is very important to the Jewish community.

Ann Lewis continued that Hillary Clinton's life was consistently focused on Tikun Olam, repairing the world. She assured the audience of 100 or more that Hillary has a commitment to Israel's continuance as a Jewish state "with definable borders," and that Senator Clinton had signed onto the security fence and brings the media to the fence on each of her trips to Israel.

Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz came back from Washington to participate in the session, praising Hillary Clinton for having imported an Israeli child care program, when Clinton was First Lady of Arkansas, a program which has now spread to dozens of states.

Each of the presenters was careful to avoid saying negative things about Senator Obama, while praising Senator Clinton's long-time commitment to Jewish concerns and to the state of Israel.

Interested participants and hosts of the session on April 1 at the Marvine Comiskey Conference Center included, among others, Leonard Barrack, chairman of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and his wife Lynne, Marcel Groen, chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee, Joe and Renee Zuritsky, Betsy Sheerr, Robb Fox, Deborah Willig, Betsy and Hershel Richman, and others involved in the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and JAC (Joint Action Committee, a Jewish women's political PAC).

avi shafran said...

Conservative and Reform Jews are to be looked upon with disdain and disgust. The Only real Jews are the Orthodoxmesiters.
-------------------------------

I bring this up because of recent reports suggesting a "man drain" in religious settings, including synagogues. The research in Jewish institutions is piecemeal, but Conservative and Reform leaders see clear evidence that women and girls are more and more likely than men and boys to be active in their synagogues, youth groups, summer camps, and membership organizations. That the trend exactly coincides with the gains women have made in terms of gender equality has been an occasion for gloating by some traditionalists, while feminists fear a backlash...

About Me

My photo
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!!!!!!!