Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Agudah Motto: Sanctuary For Pedophiles...

Protest At Agudah

Rally outside Agudah dinner protested group’s opposition to pedophile legislation. Hella Winston
Rally outside Agudah dinner protested group’s opposition to pedophile legislation. Hella Winston

Click Here For Jewish Week article

by Hella Winston

The battle over legislation that would remove the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse for one year took to the streets Sunday night, complete with a dose of sophisticated street theater.
The scene was the New York Hilton Hotel, where the haredi umbrella group Agudath Israel was holding its annual dinner. The organization — along with Torah Umesorah, the Orthodox educational network, and the Catholic Church — opposes a bill authored by Assemblywoman Marge Markey that, if passed, could potentially end up costing Orthodox institutions tens of millions of dollars. The bill provides a one-year window during which alleged victims can file civil suits regardless of when the abuse took place.
A small group of supporters of the Markey bill, in standard protest style, picketed the Agudah dinner, displaying signs that read “Agudah Stop Protecting Pedophiles.” But the group went a step further. It handed out forged fliers designed to look exactly like those e-mailed to Agudah members. On one side was a copy of the Agudah’s joint press release with Torah Umesorah opposing the Markey Bill. On the other was a fake statement from Rabbi David Zwiebel, Agudah’s executive vice president for government and public affairs.
The fake message — in which “Rabbi Zwiebel” claims to have been ordered to work with the Catholic Conference of New York State in this “holy mission” and calls upon Agudah members to decide how the organization should respond to the “epidemic of sexual abuse” —— appeared real enough to at least one Jewish leader who saw it. He called The Jewish Week to tip the paper off about the “statement.”
Among the protesters were Mark Appel, a community activist from the Upper West Side; Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, an activist and advocate from Williamsburg who claims he was shot in the head for speaking out about child sexual abuse in his community; Levi Goldenberg, also from Williamsburg and the founder of an organization called The Committee for Safeguarding Orthodox Jewish Children; and Joe DiAngello, a member of the group Survivors for Justice who alleges he was raped in a mikveh when he was 7.
According to Rabbi Rosenberg, the protesters were there “[to let] Jewish people who are supposed to be Torah-observant people know that we are not allowed to have any kind of pedophilia in our community. And [unfortunately] the Agudah and these rabbis with them are backing these pedophiles on a very, very bad level.”
He referred specifically to the case of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, who is alleged to have abused what some believe could be dozens of children with impunity for over four decades, both in schools and at the Agudah-owned Camp Agudah, Inc.
At one point, the protesters got into a confrontation with Israel Lefkowitz, who identified himself as an Agudah trustee “proud to be an Agudist since 1940.” Through the open window of his car as he entered the Hilton, he told protesters that he “was against sexual harassment for all the children.”
When asked by The Jewish Week whether he thought people should report allegations of abuse directly to the police, Lefkowitz did not respond, but chided the protesters for demonstrating in public.
“We are on the same side,” he told them. “The problem [with the Markey bill] is that somebody can wake up after 40 years and say that he was molested.”
Rabbi Zwiebel said in an e-mail, “Obviously I don’t like it when people use my name and image falsely.
“But,” Rabbi Zwiebel added, “Lefkowitz is essentially right: the protesters are our brothers and sisters, and they have a special claim on our attention and conscience. We may have disagreements over specific strategies and approaches, which at least from our end we are determined to keep civil, but we need to remember who/what the real ‘enemy’ is: apathy about the underlying problem. I hope the day will come when we can all look back and say that we took steps that made a real difference.”

Jewish Week article here

"What Agudath Israel and Torah Umesorah must object to, however, is legislation that could literally destroy schools, houses of worship that sponsor youth programs, summer camps and other institutions that are the very lifeblood of our community."

Visit VIN for complete statement!


care said...

Child abuse can be defined as causing or permitting any harmful or offensive contact on a child’s body and any communication or transaction of any kind which humiliates shames or frightens the child. Some child development experts go a bit further and define child abuse as any act or omission, which fails to nature or in the upbringing of the children.

Eliyahu said...

Agudah is a disgrace. By siding with the catholic church they show they truly don't care about the lives of children.

Israel Lefkowitz said...


Inside the grand ballroom of the Midtown Hilton in Manhattan, Agudath Israel of America’s annual dinner was unfolding according to plan. Men and women dressed in traditional yet elegant clothes dined on salmon and listened to Senator Charles Schumer and Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledge their fealty.

Outside, a storm was brewing.

A dozen protesters stood in front of the Hilton’s parking garage and waved signs that said “Agudah: Stop protecting pedophiles.”

Most attendees waved off the protesters or ignored them with a look of distaste.

But Agudath board of trustees member Israel Lefkowitz rolled down his car window to chastise the protesters.

“I am against sexual harassment for all the children,” Lefkowitz said. “But you don’t do this in public.” The angry exchange outside the annual dinner May 15 for Agudath Israel, a national ultra-Orthodox umbrella group, encapsulates the escalating battle within the Orthodox community over sexual abuse of children by rabbis, yeshiva teachers and other religious authority figures. On one side, a band of loosely organized victims of sexual abuse and their supporters are crying out for community leaders to take a tougher stand against pedophilia. On the other side, many powerful leaders regard any public airing of sexual abuse allegations in the Orthodox community as hillul Hashem, a desecration of God’s name.

Mark Appel is a REAL JEW said...

One of the protesters, Mark Appel, yelled at Lefkowitz in his car: “Your children are being molested, and you know that [officials from Agudath] are not doing anything about it.”

“Why are you so angry?” Lefkowitz asked.

“What is Agudah doing to my molester?” asked Joe DiAngelo, who says he was raped as a child in a Brooklyn mikveh.

In his defense, Lefkowitz replied that he booted out a principal who was molesting boys at his son’s school.

“What happened to him? Why wasn’t he arrested?” asked Levi Goldberg, a soft-spoken young man wearing a traditional black suit, hat and peyes.

“I do not know,” Lefkowitz said. He called the protest “a desecration of a Godly institution.”

"Rabbi" Avi (no comment) Shafran said...

“Reasonable people can disagree on this,” Agudah spokesman Rabbi Avi Shafran said inside the dinner hall. “We have no problem with extending the statute of limitations, we have no problem with anything preventative, we only have problems with the so-called ‘window’ provision.”

Novominsker Tush said...

Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, the Novominsker Rebbe and Rosh Agudath Israel of America, took a harsher tone in his dinner address, chiding “the bloggers and the picketers, presumptuous promoters” for the notion that “they know better [than Agudah’s Council of Torah Sages] what is good for the Jews.”

Perlow called child sexual abuse “a serious issue.” He acknowledged a need “for correcting the past – and for addressing the future, creating means to guide against wrongdoing to children.”

Elliot Pasik said...

Elliot Pasik, a director of the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, a group in favor of the window legislation as well as mandatory fingerprinting of private school teachers, said he’s disappointed by Agudah’s response.

stalling...stalling... stalling said...

The protesters find Agudah’s statements short on specifics.

They accused Agudah of a conflict of interest. The organization is named as a defendant in sex-abuse lawsuits involving Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, accused of molesting dozens of students, including boys at an Agudah-run summer camp, and would likely face more lawsuits if the window legislation passes.

Appel, one of the protesters, is founder of a Jewish community group called Am Echad aimed at promoting Jewish unity and supporting social services. It is New York-based with chapters in other cities.

“I’ve met kids who have been abused [recently] by people who were abusing kids 30 years ago,” said Appel. “These guys [Agudah] are just stalling – they’re emotionless on this issue. So they’re going to sit here tonight and have a nice collective meal, and meanwhile their community is being torn apart.”

exposemolesters said...

Why is Agudah against the one year window? It is a rhetorical question with an obvious answer.

An answer that tells a story of sex-abuse against children that has been buried under the rug for decades.

A script that writes of unspoken horrors of children getting brutally violated time and time again, while the Rabbis and Torah greats stood idly by in deathly silence.

Stolen innocence, threats, bullying and shots to the face of anyone who dared seek redress for their pain and suffering.

And now--- And now--- And Now the Noviminsker Tush and his Agudah gang are caught in between a rock and a hard place. A fetal position unlike never seen before. The hook is coming at them fast. Reality and justice will prevail.

All these years they were RUNNING, HIDING, LYING and MANIPULATING the facts.

Let the bodies hit the floor. The Rabbinical Shyster Bodies that is.

Drek Rabbi said...

What's so terrible abut fraud operations? As long as you have a long beard and call yourself a rosh hayeshiva and have a black robe and run a "not-for-profit business" - it should all be kosher. As long as the feds don't get involved what can be so bad about it?

Rabbi Ben-Artzi's abductors suspected of massive fraud operation

Court remands arrest of four students suspected of imprisoning rabbi for over three years, seizing control of his non-profit organization to steal tens of millions of dollars

around the blogs said...

What is Real Torah, and Who Decides?
Wednesday May 20, 2009
Categories: Judaism, Religion

An ongoing conversation with a deeply reflective and thoughtful, though not traditionally observant, Israeli friend yielded the following e-mail about Jewish laws of sexual modesty in general and Kol Isha, women's voices in particular.

Whatever one thinks about these rules, my friend's questions are really about the nature of what "really important" according to the Torah, what's not, and who gets to decide. Those are essential questions with which all people that care about a tradition wrestle. I hope that his comments and my response are useful in your own thinking about what really matters in your own spiritual journey.

"Don't recall the live broadcast of Moses coming down from the mountain with god's voice exclaiming Kol Isha is forbidden but hey that's me. I love your ability Brad to hide behind the text old baboons wrote ages ago providing you with a check blanko excuse for moral high ground no matter the circumstances. What we have here a third or fifth derivatives at best, of a rule which belongs in Kabul. The Neanderthals feel under attack by the society they live in, so in a cowardly way, they took it on teenagers, I'm impressed.

Secular Jews know damn well that after we get the song and dance from the Orthodox about brotherhood, no compromise is ever made, and I challenge you for a concrete meaningful example showing about the Orthodoxy making a real compromises.

I'm not afraid of these halakhot (laws) since I live in a society which already abides by them in my very home. Fact is the Rabbinic dogma is found right here amongst us when we peel away the thin facade of intellectualism and liberalism."

G, as always, the questions are smart and good, if a little harsh, and I want to respond to each of your four paragraphs.

1. What do you recall Moses coming down and saying? Was there a Moses? If he did exist, did he really talk with God? If he did so, is our Torah an accurate record of that conversation? and if it is, is that Torah limited to the Humash (Five Books of Moses)? Does it include the Talmud? Everything any rabbi teaches? This conversation?

I think Giora that you confuse what's "really Torah" with those rules you can live with. And again, that makes you exactly the same as the typical Haredi Jew, and many other kinds as well, all of whome confuse Judaism with their own way of being Jewish. I simply prefer to admit that Torah manifests itself in many forms and that good people can disagree about what is and is not Torah, what is and is not essential.

2. I share your frustration about some of the inconsistencies in the RJC community, but are we without our own? It doesn't excuse them one bit, but focusing on theirs does not excuse ours either.

3. You are 100% right about the abuse of clal yisrael (whole Jewish people)- and ahdut- (togetherness) based arguments which come out of the Orthodox world. They are typically nothing more than an excuse for granting Ortho's hegemony in the name of unity. It is shameful. But it is not the whole story.

In fact, if it were, there would be no Haredi (ultr-Orthodox)movement, which is itself a response to the myriad ways in which Orthodox Jews, beginning in the 19th century, combined participation in the larger world while remaining orthodox both in their own minds and in the minds of others. They effectively re-defined, or at least made viable a new definition of, orthodoxy. That's what freaked out the Haredim (plural of Haredi) and gave birth to their entirely modern and reactionary movement.

4. The fear to which I alluded is the one to which you alluded in your earlier message i.e. that our kids will run away from Judaism if we are "too strict". That argument is simply the flip-side of the position that both you and I abhor -- that unless we are that strict, our kids will fall away from Judaism altogether.


Agudas Israel Senior Citizens department said...

Agudas Israel is vehemently against this statement as it can be construed that we are in agreement with the Catholics. While we concur the opposition to the Markey bill means we are on the same side, nevertheless, we can never bring ourselves to apologize to the hearts and souls we sabotaged forever.


"Sexual abuse was endemic in boys' institutions," said the long-awaited official report.

It was known to religious authorities to be a "persistent problem in male religious oganisations", it went on.

"Nevertheless, each instance of sexual abuse was treated in isolation and in secrecy by the authorities and there was no attempt to address the underlying systemic nature of the problem."

The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, apologised for the abuse and said he was ashamed by what the report had found.

"It documents a shameful catalogue of cruelty, neglect, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, perpetrated against children," he said.

"I am profoundly sorry and deeply ashamed that children suffered in such awful ways in these institutions."


Forward said...

Religious Dissent: Demonstrators at the yearly dinner of Agudath Israel, an Orthodox umbrella group, voice their anger over what they view as its weak stand against rabbinic child molesters.

yob sux said...

Yeshiva of Brooklyn still employs child molester and kid puncher Yehuda Nussbaum. Stop protecting pedophiles - shlomo mandel. You in your own twisted mind freak games abuse them too.

wikipedia said...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The term pedophilia or paedophilia has a range of definitions as found in psychology, law enforcement, and the vernacular. As a medical diagnosis, it is defined as a psychological disorder in which an adult experiences a sexual preference for prepubescent children.[1][2][3] According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), pedophilia is specified as a form of paraphilia in which a person either has acted on intense sexual urges towards children, or experiences recurrent sexual urges towards and fantasies about children that cause distress or interpersonal difficulty.[4] The disorder is common among people who commit child sexual abuse;[5][6][7] however, some offenders do not meet the clinical diagnosis standards for pedophilia.[8] In strictly behavioral contexts, the word "pedophilia" has been used to refer to child sexual abuse itself, also called "pedophilic behavior".[6][9][10][11][12]

In law enforcement, the term "pedophile" is generally used to describe those accused or convicted of the sexual abuse of a minor (including both prepubescent children and adolescent minors younger than the local age of consent).[13] An example of this use can be seen in various forensic training manuals. Some researchers have described this usage as improper and suggested it can confound two separate types of offenders.[13] In common usage, the term refers to any adult who is sexually attracted to children or who sexually abuses a child.[12][14]

The causes of pedophilia are not known; research is ongoing.[15] Most pedophiles are men, though there are also women who are pedophiles.[11][16][17] Due to the stereotype that pedophiles are always male, it has been difficult to determine the prevalence of females with pedophilia; however studies in the UK and USA suggest that a range of 5% to 20% of child sexual abuse offenses are perpetrated by women.[18]

In forensic psychology and law enforcement, there have been a variety of typologies suggested to categorize pedophiles according to behavior and motivations.[19] No significant curative treatment for pedophilia has yet been found. There are, however, certain therapies that can reduce the incidence of pedophilic behaviors that result in child sexual abuse.[6][20]

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said...

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Thursday that all of Jerusalem would always remain under Israeli sovereignty, in comments likely to spark consternation among Palestinians who hope to make the city the capital of a future state.

"United Jerusalem is Israel's capital. Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours. It will never again be partitioned and divided," Netanyahu said at a state ceremony to mark Jerusalem Day.

Netanyahu said he had made the same declaration during his visit to Washington this week, where he met with U.S. President Barack Obama and discussed the peace process and Iran's nuclear program.

Jerusalem Day celebrates the conquest of the city during the 1967 Six-Day War, before which Jordan controlled East Jerusalem, while Israel had the western section. Shortly after the war, Israel annexed East Jerusalem.

"Only under Israeli sovereignty will united Jerusalem ensure the freedom of religion and freedom of access for the three religions to the holy places," Netanyahu added.

The ceremony took place at Ammunition Hill in East Jerusalem, the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the city in the 1967 war, and now part of a Jewish neighborhood.

"Jerusalem was a city whose main streets were lined with shelters from sniper fire," Netanyahu said, referring to the period when the city was divided between Israel and Jordan. "A city whose residents could not move freely from place to place. All that changed forever in 1967."


yehuda koko said...

Ages 6+ is acceptable. but even my standards don't stoop this low.

Man gets life for raping infant

I can’t even imagine the physical pain, damage and torment this baby went through and will continue to deal with for the rest of her life. It wouldn’t suprise MT if she’s never able to have her own children when she grows up.

MT would love to be a fly on the wall when he’s released to the general population in prison.

A 31-year-old Kapolei man was sentenced to life in prison this morning for repeatedly sexually assaulting his infant child and videotaping the crimes.

Rabbi Yehuda Levin said...

A New York rabbi made the case against gay marriage over the weekend, arguing that if gay marriage is approved, marriage counselors would have to work with homosexual couples.

There was also something in there about accountants having to put together tax statements for married couples who are gay. Imagine that atrocity.

Finally, the rabbi was offended that more Jews didn’t show up at the rally. Actually, rabbi, 64 percent of Jews support gay marriage.

Rabbi Yehuda Levin of Brooklyn was an invited guest at the rally organized by state Sen. Ruben Diaz, a vocal opponent of gay marriage.

Thanks to the Albany Times Union Capital Confidential blog for finding this on You Tube. If you can sit through the nearly 10-minute diatribe, here you go …

Brooklyn Daily Eagle said...

SCHERMERHORN STREET — Lincoln High School basketball star Lance Stephenson appeared in Brooklyn Criminal Court Wednesday to face charges of sexual abuse.

Yeshiva of Brooklyn said...

Sounds like the way we run things here.

Evidence of beating and sex abuse ignored


Thu, May 21, 2009

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: THE DEPARTMENT of Education was strongly criticised by the commission for failing to ensure rules in relation to corporal punishment were adhered to in institutions, and for failing to properly investigate some complaints, while completely ignoring others.

Complaints about sexual abuse were “generally dismissed or ignored”, the commission found.

“A full investigation of the extent of the abuse should have been carried out in all cases. All such complaints should have been directed to the gardaí for investigation,” its report states.

It adds that while sexual abuse by members of religious orders was seldom brought to the attention of the Department of Education by religious authorities because of a culture of silence about the issue, “on the rare occasions when the department was informed, it colluded in the silence”.

The commission found the department’s system of inspections was “fundamentally flawed and incapable of being effective”.

There were too few inspectors, school managers were alerted in advance that they would be calling and when they arrived they rarely spoke to the children.

It points out that the Department of Education had legal responsibility for all children committed to the industrial and reformatory schools. But, in reality, inspections were “too few and too limited in scope”.

Nonetheless it says officials were aware that abuse occurred in the schools and they knew the education was inadequate and the industrial training outdated.

The commission also found the department “lacking in ideas about policy”. It said it made no attempt to impose changes that would have improved the lot of the detained children.

“Indeed, it never thought about changing the system.”

The failures by the department, it added, can be seen as tacit acknowledgment by the State of the ascendancy of the congregations and their ownership of the system.

The commission also found that the rules and regulations governing the use of corporal punishment were disregarded by schools with the knowledge of the department.

“Complaints of physical abuse were frequent enough for the Department of Education to be aware that they referred to more than acts of sporadic violence by some individuals. The department knew that violence and beatings were endemic within the system itself.”

The report adds: “Punishments outside the permitted guidelines were ignored and even condoned by the Department of Education.”

The commission concluded that the deferential and submissive attitude of the department towards the congregations compromised its ability to carry out its statutory duty of inspection and monitoring of the schools.

Shaarei Torah Elementary School said...

34 Students Hurt in Grate Collapse at Brooklyn School

The school, the Shaarei Torah Elementary School, is a Jewish girls’ school at 222 Ocean Parkway, near Church Avenue, in the Kensington neighborhood, south of Prospect Park. The school has about 300 students from kindergarten to eighth grade.

A woman who answered the office phone at the school hung up, refusing to answer questions. The school is part of Yeshivat Shaare Torah, an Orthodox educational institution.

Is Mondrowitz Next? said...

Rabbi suspected of horrific child abuse

Austin News.Net
Friday 22nd May, 2009

A Brazilian Supreme Court has ordered that a Jewish rabbi should be extradited to Israel to stand trial on child abuse charges.

Rabbi Elior Chen is the alleged ringleader in a child abuse case where he and his followers are suspected of the savage beating of two brothers, aged three and four.

It is alleged the boys were attacked with hammers and knives over a period of many months.

One of the boys suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the abuse and is expected to be in a non-responsive state for the rest of his life.

It is believed other children in the same family were also abused by the men.

Five other people, including the mother of the children have already been indicted.

Chen was arrested in Sao Paolo last year and has been fighting his extradition ever since.

Agudas Israel, protectors of pedophiles said...

One major study showed 10,667 claims by minors of sexual abuse by priests over the past 50 years, said attorney Richard Hollow of Knoxville, who is representing The Commercial Appeal.

"If that is not a public issue, then we would be hard-pressed to find one," said Hollow. "This issue has to have a public airing."

Anonymous said...

It certainly is clear that Agudas Israel of America has much to hide.

Not until the blogosphere outed them for their hypocrisy, did they even remotely acknowledge there was a problem.

They were forced to face child sex abuse, but they still refuse to fix it, so shame on them, they are as corrupt as convicts in the penitentiary. God will deal them a terrible blow, measure for measure, eye for an eye.

Let us hope they crumble apart and stop boasting of how they represent us Jews, because woe is to society if this is the leadership we embrace.

avi shafran the putz said...

Oh shucks. Madoff is my favorite person who happened to make an error in judgment.

Merkin is my friend too, but I don't think he's as smart as Bernie.

Sully, on the other hand, endangered the lives of his passengers by choosing the waters as a landing spot. How the heck are those who can't swim supposed to make it out alive?

Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer and Rabbi Moshe Heinemann said...

Cut us some slack, not everything in Baltimore is our fault. The Rabbonim in Baltimore have great yiras shomayim,
Baltimore police have charged a former church deacon with sexually molesting a boy who had been a member of his church.

Forty-eight-year-old Curtis Allen of Baltimore has been charged with 13 offenses, including rape and sexual abuse of a minor. He was arrested on Wednesday and is being held on $250,000 bail.

Allen is a former deacon at Beth-El Temple Church of Christ in Baltimore.

Police say the 16-year-old youth contacted officers last year. The boy was between 13 and 14 at the time the alleged abuse occurred.

Police say the youth told them he was molested three times, usually between morning and evening services.


Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com

helpguide.org said...


Child Abuse and Neglect
Warning Signs of Abuse and How to Report It

In the USA, an estimated 906,000 children are victims of abuse & neglect every year, making child abuse as common as it is shocking. Whether the abuse is physical, emotional, sexual, or neglect, the scars can be deep and long-lasting, often leading to future child abuse. You can learn the signs and symptoms of child abuse and help break the cycle, finding out where to get help for the children and their caregivers.

Magen David Yeshiva Closed Due To Swine Flu said...

Magen David Yeshiva, [the flagship Yeshiva of the Flatbush Syrian Community,] will be closed due to confirmed cases of Swine Flu in the Yeshiva. Magen David Yeshiva is located on McDonald Avenue near Avenue S (in Flatbush). There are rumors circulating regarding another Yeshiva in Flatbush, but nothing has been confirmed as of this posting.


The following is an email sent to the parents of Magen David Yeshiva:

May 22, 2009
28 Iyar, 5769

Dear Parents,

We were informed today, that two students, one in the High School, and one in the Elementary School, have been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus, commonly known as “swine flu.” Although, Baruch Hashem, neither case is serious, we have decided to close school this coming Tuesday and Wednesday so as to minimize the spreading of the virus.

If you suspect your child is getting the flu, you should take your child to see a physician for an accurate diagnosis. Flu-like symptoms include: fever (over 100 degrees F.),
feverishness, cough, sore throat, runny nose, or stuffy nose.

Additional symptoms may be experienced with swine flu, including muscle pain, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting or diarrhea.

It is important to teach your children how to reduce their risk of getting the flu and protect others from infection.

-Teach your children to wash their hands often. Washing with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds is ideal.

Teach your children the proper use of hand sanitizer. Gels, rubs, and hand wipes all work well, as long as they contain at least 60% alcohol. Hand wipes must be disposed of properly. Always read and follow label instructions when using hand sanitizer.

-Teach your children to keep their hands away from their face and avoid touching their mouth, nose, or eyes. Teach your children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or by coughing into the inside of their elbow. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve—not your hands!

-Help your children to learn these healthy habits by setting a good example and always doing them yourself.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our children healthy.

Mr. Richard Altabe (Principal, High School)
abbi Dr. Baruch Hilsenrath (Principal, Elementary School)

Assemblyman Dov Hikind said...

In addition, at least four yeshivas in the greater Flatbush area of Brooklyn have voluntarily closed due to swine flu, according to Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who represents the district.

The schools were Magen David Yeshiva, Yeshiva Tiferes Yisroel, Masores Bais Yaakov and Yeshiva Shaarei Torah.

Each school had an unusually high absentee rate, and upon investigation this weekend, school officials discovered probable or confirmed swine flu cases.

Anonymous said...


May 24, 2009

Enforce codes for Bobover Yeshiva

Surprise, surprise.

Our good neighbors, the Bobover Yeshiva, still operating illegally at 609 Route 306, have hired an attorney to represent them in court. ("Ramapo grants requests on cow, chicken cases," May 20.) Instead of paying the penalty for their violations that they have said they are so sorry for, they would rather take up more of the Town of Ramapo's court time than do what is right.

This property has been in violation of the zoning codes since it was bought in September 2006. Why can't we get an answer to why this school has not been shut down?

Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, it it time to step in and enforce the laws and codes that all people in our town should have to follow.

Carol Friedman


Michael Rosch said...

Possibly the most absurd argument Donohue makes here is the one where he passionately declares how most of the rape that we now know was deliberately covered up took place way back before 1970. Ohhhh! That’s different. As everyone knows, rape becomes more and more acceptable the further back in time you go. Give me a break! Who gives a sh*t when the rape occurred? What’s important is that it happened and that it was covered up, which only ensured that it would happen again. And we now know for a fact that the rape did continue for many, many years.

Donohue even arguably blames the victims themselves when he drops the line:

More than 30,000 children, most of them delinquents, passed through one or more of Ireland’s Catholic-run institutions from the 1920s through the 1980s.

I can’t even fathom why he’d feel the need to even include the part that says “most of them delinquents” if not to suggest they somehow brought this on themselves or somehow deserved it. If anyone else can think of an alternative theory as to why he includes this, I’d really love to hear it.

And sadly, Donohue isn’t the only Catholic nutcase who’s response to these findings is disgraceful. The new head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichol had the audacity to praise the abusers’ “courage” to “face these facts from their past, which instinctively and quite naturally they’d rather not look at.” This sort of backwards thinking reminds me of Rabbi Avi Shafran, who in a single column criticized Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger for being not as heroic as the media hype while praising Bernard Madoff for his “courage” in owning up to his crimes. And to further illustrate how misplaced Archbishop Vincent Nichol’s priorities are when it comes to abuse, he along with his predecessor launched a “joint offensive yesterday against atheists and secular society,” according to this aptly titled Times Online article, “Archbishops of Westminster attacks atheism but says nothing on child abuse.” Nichols views myself and Richard Dawkins as worse sinners than than repeated child rapists. Huh?

The GOD Blog said...


And you thought the U.S. Roman Catholic Church, and to a lesser degree Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community, had a sexual abuse scandal. Ireland had its own tragedies. And a long-awaited reported published today reveals just how profound those problems were:

A fiercely debated, long-delayed investigation into Ireland’s Roman Catholic-run institutions says priests and nuns terrorized thousands of boys and girls in workhouse-style schools for decades — and government inspectors failed to stop the chronic beatings, rapes and humiliation.

Nine years in the making, Wednesday’s 2,600-page report sides almost completely with the horrific reports of abuse from former students sent to more than 250 church-run, mostly residential institutions. But victims’ leaders said it didn’t go far enough — particularly because none of their abusers were identified by name.

The report concluded that church officials always shielded their orders’ pedophiles from arrest to protect their own reputations and, according to documents uncovered in the Vatican, knew that many pedophiles were serial attackers.

The investigators said overwhelming, consistent testimony from still-traumatized men and women, now in their 50s to 80s, had demonstrated beyond a doubt that the entire system treated children more like prison inmates and slaves than people with legal rights and human potential.

“A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from,“ the final report of Ireland’s Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse concluded.

The leader of Ireland’s 4 million Catholics, Cardinal Sean Brady, and religious orders at the center of the scandal offered immediate apologies.

“I am profoundly sorry and deeply ashamed that children suffered in such awful ways in these institutions. Children deserved better and especially from those caring for them in the name of Jesus Christ,“ Brady said.

The Truth About Agudah said...


A Partial Biography of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko & Rabbi Lipa Margulies

[This summary was written by an anonymous ultra-Orthodox insider and published as part of an open letter during the first week of December, 2006. The events dated after July, 2006 have been added by this website's adminstrator.]

· 1967 – While working as Dormitory Counselor at Yeshivas Mir, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko calls a student (name withheld) out of his dormitory room and begins discussing matters of a sexual nature with him while rubbing up against him in an aroused state. This abuse continues for the remainder of the school year and into the summer season at Camp Agudah [then owned by Agudath Israel of America]. This student is now a distinguished Manhattan attorney living happily with his partner in New York City and insists that his lifestyle choice has absolutely nothing to do with his abuse by Kolko.

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

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

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

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

The Truth About Agudah said...


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

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

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

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

The Truth About Agudah said...


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

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

· 1985 – Upon the dissolution of the above Bais Din, Rabbi Lipa Margulies retains Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg to convene a second Bais Din for the purpose of clearing Rabbi Yehuda Kolko’s name. Rabbi Lipa Margulies then drafts Rabbi Friedman (the Tenka Rav) and Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Brown to serve on Rabbi Scheinberg’s Bais Din. Prior to convening the Bais Din, Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg speaks with several of Kolko’s victims and asks them to describe what Kolko has done to them. Upon hearing the allegations Rabbi Scheinberg informs the boys that in the eyes of Halacha they had not been molested. Rabbi Scheinberg also calls the Askanim and tells them to cease and desist in their attempts to remove Kolko from Chinuch. Rabbi Avigdor Miller disagrees and instructs the Askanim in no uncertain terms to do whatever must be done to protect children from Kolko. Rabbi Pinchus Scheinberg convenes the Bais Din and takes the position that Rabbi Kolko has a Chezkas Kashrus absent any testimony by two adult witnesses to any single event. Rabbi Friedman takes the position that in light of the persistent rumors Rabbi Kolko must be kept away from children. Rabbi Brown ultimately concedes that there is no Halachic evidence against Kolko and the Din Torah is concluded. Rabbi Lipa Margulies insists that he has a Psak from this Bais Din but to this day has refused to produce it. Regardless, it is of note that no victims testified before this Bais Din.

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

The Truth About Agudah said...


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Truth About Agudah said...


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

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

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

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

The Truth About Agudah said...


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

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

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

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

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

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

- December 6, 2006 – A civil suit is filed against Mesivta Torah Temimah in Kings County (Brooklyn) NY by the parents of a boy, now 9, who claims Rabbi Kolko abused him in 2003 and 2004.

- December 7, 2006 – Rabbi Yehuda Kolko is arrested in Brooklyn on criminal abuse charges.

not ashamed said...

A Chillul Hashem is repeated over and over again by Agudah. This because they are more worried with saving themselves than saving others.

In this day and age when the whole world it seems points the finger at the Jews - Agudah gives them more ammunition to do so.

iamthewitness said...


More evidence that these people who claim to be Jews are God's enemies and not His chosen people. I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and [I know] the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are NOT, but [are] (Idumeans) the synagogue of Satan.

King of kings' Bible - Revelation 2:9
Know a tree by the fruit it bears.

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into The Fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Matthew 7:16-20

Travis said...

Story should be titled "Pedophile free to commit more crimes". Unfortunately he will strike again. Why can't we use him to test shampoo to see if it stings human eyes, or high doses of laxatives to see how much is too much?

Pedophile nanny released from prison after 13 years - Greenwich...
A convicted sex offender who molested two young boys while working as a nanny in Greenwich and Armonk, N.Y., was released from federal prison Monday after serving nearly all of his 14-year jail sentence.

Full Story: Greenwich Time


Lipa Margulis said...

dis is rong! vy vood dey vant a zukain mit a veelchair and yene machalos in jeil?


Judge decides sex offender will stay confined at age 89

By Missy Diaz

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

May 25, 2009

He's the state's oldest living sexually violent predator, but who is the real Ralph Hawker?

To some, he's an infirm World War II veteran who will turn 90 in September and uses a wheelchair because of the effects of diabetes, Parkinson's disease, thyroid and heart disease.

To others, he is a pedophile who, despite his age, would continue to prey on young boys if given the opportunity.

"I don't think anybody's concerned about [Hawker] putting on his Nikes and running down the street chasing kids," Palm Beach Circuit Judge Chuck Burton said at a court hearing May 18 to decide whether the convicted pedophile should be released from a civil commitment center where he has been locked up since 2000.

"But he's stubborn as hell," Burton said. "What do you do with somebody with an attitude like that?"

You leave him in Arcadia's Florida Civil Commitment Center, Burton ruled Thursday.

"If he were in the company of a young teenage boy whom he deemed to be consenting to sexual activity, this Court has no doubt that Hawker would offer sexual gratification to the boy," Burton wrote in his order. "He sees nothing wrong with it as long as the child had participated in some type of sexual activity previously."

In 1988, Hawker was sentenced to 10 years of probation for molesting two pre-teen boys, one of them a relative.

Just before the sentence ended, Hawker violated the terms of his probation by being in the company of an unsupervised minor. He was imprisoned...

7 Industries That Are Still Making Money in a Recession said...

Auto Repairs, Home Repairs

April's retail sales numbers showed consumers are still shunning big-ticket purchases. So instead of buying new cars or upgrading to bigger homes, they are spending money on maintaining what they already own.

Auto repair shop sales grew 2.4% over the last 12 months while car dealership sales declined by 9.7%, according to Sageworks.

As more people remodel and fix their homes instead of moving, revenue for electricians, plumbing and heating contractors has grown 4.6% in the last 12 months while home builders' sales declined by more than 5%.


Many consumers are looking to save money by eating at home more than eating out. This trend has favored grocery stores, resulting in a 6.7% sales increase for supermarkets in the last 12 months.

By comparison, Sageworks' data showed family-style restaurants logged a slower 3.9% sales increase.

Trade Schools

With an average of 600,000 Americans losing their jobs every month, many are going back to school to learn new skills and improve their chances of rejoining the workforce when the economy rebounds.

Revenue at trade and technical schools has grown by 9.1% in the last 12 months, a faster pace than the 5.9% growth in 2007.

Dentists' Delight

Hamilton said health care has been one of the most recession-resistant sectors, since people regard it as a necessity.

Sageworks' data showed the average dentists' office logged sales growth of 6.9% in the last 12 months, up from 4.9% in 2007.

Looking Good

Personal care extends to looking good through the recession. While Americans may be making concessions on high-end services, they are still getting regular haircuts and manicures.

Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and spas logged sales growth of 4.5% in the last 12 months, according to Sageworks.

Help With Finances

Many consumers aren't shying away from paying for financial advice to help them make it through the recession.

Sageworks' data showed that the accounting industry ranked among the top 10 industries in terms of revenue growth, with a 10.2% gain in the past 12 months.

"These patterns show that the recession has been lopsided," said Hamilton. "Although the economy has slumped, we're not getting a decline across all industries. Very specific industries like real estate are creating a big drag on the broader economy."

unbelievable said...

Agudath board of trustees member Israel Lefkowitz said:

"I am against sexual harassment for all the children," Lefkowitz said. "But you don't do this in public."


Lefkowitz has some chutzpah! You don't rile against pedophilia in public? Why? Oh, because it makes Agudas Israel look terrible? So in essence, Lefkowitz gives us a glimpse into what we already knew. Aguadas Motto: Sweep under the rug and look the other way while children are raped. Way to go Lefkowitz. Loser!

Holocaust survivor, 103, tells his tale said...

After being brutalized as a Nazi prisoner, Leopold Engleitner was given many opportunities to leave the concentration camp where he was being held — if he would just renounce his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness.

Engleitner, then 33 years old, was told to either sign a declaration saying he was no longer a Jehovah’s Witness or expect to leave the camp “through the chimney,” as one captor warned him.

Many Nazi concentration camp prisoners were killed, their bodies burned in ovens at the base of chimneys that towered over the camp where Engleitner stayed.

“I will not sign or leave through a chimney,” Engleitner told the Nazis. His wish was to go home but only on his terms.

Sticking to what his admirers call his “unbroken will,” Engleitner chose his faith over his freedom.

For that, and his refusal to serve in the German military, he was sent to two more concentration camps in six years. He left weighing a mere 62 pounds....


shlomo mandel of yob: resign now said...

Shlomo mandel, you are one wicked soul. Your childhood buddy, yehuda nussbaum, sexually molested boys and still teaches at yob. how dare you not dispose of him? How dare you not dispose of yourself too. You beat and brutalized kids too. You and nussbaum are sickos who deserve what's coming to you.


We can all agree that protecting children from sexual predators is among the highest priorities we have as a free, civilized society. But, I am afraid on that front, there is both good news and bad news to report.

First, the bad news.

The statistics on the sexual abuse of children are heart-breaking. One in five girls and one in 10 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18.

Aggravating this already horrific phenomenon is that most of these victims will take years to come to grips with the abuse, by which time they are usually left without criminal and civil recourse.


Because the governing statutes of limitations ("SOLs") typically block them from seeking a remedy........

Anonymous said...

In the mid 90's, a teacher in New Jersey would have over teenage boys for sleepovers/meals and then abuse them sexually. I am one of those guys. He would come to my bed while I was asleep and start massaging me working his way into my private parts. When I asked what he was doing, he said "just relax."

I told his wife but she wouldn't believe me. Eventually he moved away to California I'm told.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? I'm wondering how many guys he did this to and if he is still doing it. I think he is lubavich.

Asher Lipner Special To The Jewish Week said...

(In Part)
Confronting Pedophilia: Two Views

The Markey Bill And Beyond: If The Rabbis Really Cared ...
Asher Lipner
Special To The Jewish Week
For years I was a proud, card-carrying member of Agudath Israel of America, a leading haredi communal organization; sadly, I have allowed my membership to lapse. But I, like many others, do not feel that I left the Agudah. Rather the Agudah has left us.
The Agudah has come out in opposition to the Child Victims Act, known as the “Markey Bill” in the New York State Legislature (its lead sponsor is Queens Assemblywoman Marge Markey). The bill would allow victims of childhood sexual abuse recourse toward obtaining justice against their abusers by providing a one-year “window” in which to file a civil lawsuit at any
age, and would extend the statute of limitations for pressing criminal charges from age 23 to 28.
Many survivors of child abuse have been waiting for years in shame, pain and agony, hoping that one day our religious leaders would hear their cries and address their plight. Survivors were just beginning to feel empowered and accepted after recent media attention and political and communal statements calling attention to their suffering.

Irish said...

Shamed by child abuse, Ireland to reform services
Tue May 26, 2009 5:37pm EDT

By Andras Gergely

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland will reform its social services for children in line with the recommendations of a report cataloguing decades of abuse by priests published last week, Prime Minister Brian Cowen said on Tuesday.

Cowen apologized to victims for the state's failure to intervene in what the report described as endemic sexual abuse and severe beatings in schools for much of the 20th century and he urged religious orders to pay additional compensation.

"It is deeply shameful for all Irish people that this happened in our country and that for so long it was not confronted," he told a news conference.


Orthodoxy in America said...


Five challenges are especially worth noting:

First, Orthodox Judaism in America has had trouble retaining its members. According to demographer Sergio DellaPergola of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, it loses more of its members over time than any other Jewish religious movement — understandably so, since it is harder to be Orthodox than to be any other kind of Jew. Since Orthodoxy represents, even by the most generous estimate, only 13% of those who define themselves as Jewish in America, that represents a significant demographic problem.

Second, Orthodoxy in America is suffering from a severe leadership crisis. The greatest of its 20th-century leaders — Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Rabbi Aharon Kotler, Rabbi Moses Feinstein, the Lubavitcher Rebbe and others — have all passed from the scene. Their successors, who do not carry the mantle of the great pre-war European yeshivas, have not achieved the same breadth of acceptance. Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, who is Soloveitchik’s son-in-law and now the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel, has bemoaned “the current dearth of first-rank gedolim,” or giants, in America. Historically, religious movements that cannot count on indigenous leadership to direct them have not fared well in America — at least not for long.

Third, American Orthodoxy is experiencing a significant brain drain. It sends its best and its brightest to Israel for long periods of yeshiva study, and unsurprisingly, many of them never return. One can think of multiple examples of remarkable Orthodox men and women who might have had a profound effect on Jewish religious life in America but preferred to cast their lot with the Jewish state. Can a movement that sends its most illustrious sons and daughters to Israel truly expect to triumph here in the United States?

Fourth, American Orthodoxy remains deeply divided over the issue of how to confront modernity. This is not a new problem; tensions between “accommodators” and “resisters” in Orthodox life date back to the 19th century. But now, in the absence of broadly respected leaders, the fault lines between Modern and right-wing Orthodox Jews have deepened. The question is whether Orthodoxy can survive as a very broad “big tent” movement or whether, like Conservative Judaism of an earlier era and like so many non-Jewish religious groups that have faced similar challenges, it will ultimately polarize. Big tents have a bad tendency to collapse and split apart, especially in the absence of a strong center. The fact that Orthodox Judaism does not have any strong institutional ties binding together all its factions makes the danger of schism all the greater.

Finally, American Orthodoxy is facing its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The crushing losses experienced by some of its most generous philanthropists, the billions of dollars in endowment lost in the Madoff scandal and the projected collapse of numerous day schools suggest that Orthodoxy’s best days may be behind it.

In the world of religion, smugness and self-assurance are usually risky. As Reform Judaism, Conservative Judaism and Mainline Protestant denominations have discovered, success in the present provides no guarantees for the future. If anything, saying Kaddish for other religious movements has often been the first sign of a movement’s own impending decline.

Jonathan D. Sarna is the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and the author of “American Judaism: A History” (Yale University Press, 2004).

Ask the Rabbi: Rabbinic salaries said...

Q Our veteran rabbi wants to be more commensurately paid with other well-trained professionals. While not necessarily greedy, this doesn't seem too pious!

- Michael M., Illinois

A Are you sure that you want to ask a rabbi this question?

In seriousness, I naturally side with my colleagues, who make significant (and underappreciated) sacrifices in service of the community. Nonetheless, the historic issue of rabbinic compensation entails a complex web of moral and legal values that deserves continued reflection.

In a famous talmudic maxim, Rabbi Tzadok exclaimed, "Do not use the Torah as a crown for self-glorification or a spade for digging." One may not use his knowledge to seek acclaim or as a tool to amass wealth. Hillel further warned that such a person will perish (Avot 4:5). Moses himself, the Talmud claimed, exhorted future scholars to teach Scripture without charge (Nedarim 37a).

In this spirit, many talmudic sages earned their livelihood through various (and sometimes laborious) trades, such as farming, tanning and wood chopping. Naturally, these limitations led to socioeconomic hardships and, occasionally, divisions between poorer scholars and those who were independently wealthy. Exemptions from communal taxation and preferences in certain trades helped alleviate these pressures. Most importantly, scholars were permitted to receive sechar tirha and sechar batala, compensation for preparatory efforts and income lost while performing religious services. Thus Karna, a distinguished wine connoisseur and judge, could receive a standard and equal payment from each litigant before issuing his verdicts (Ketubot 105a), while elementary-school teachers could receive compensation for the "day care" aspects of their jobs (Nedarim 37a).

shavous: the torah cries after being trampled on by agudah "rabbis" said...

In case you think studying on Shavuot is boring, check out these classes:

• “Shavuot and the Grateful Dead;”

• “From Sinai to Cyberspace;”

• “Are You Ready for some Torah?”

• “Moses at Sinai: You Were There.”

No, we didn’t make these up. These are just four classes that will be taught tonight, Thursday, May 28, during Jewish Pittsburgh’s first communitywide Tikkun Leil Shavuot.

There are more traditional topics, too, such as “Judaism, Justice and Healthcare,” “Physician of the Soul: Maimonides’ 21st Century Message,” and “Face to Face: [How] Do Jews See God?”

Nineteen rabbis from nearly every stream of Judaism have agreed to teach 24, 50-minute classes between 10 p.m. and 12:50 a.m. on erev Shavuot — all at the Jewish Community Center. Dessert and coffee will be served during each break.

Each rabbi will teach his or her own class.

“One thing we insisted on was that everyone have an equal time slot, but doing their own thing,” said Community Scholar Rabbi Danny Schiff.

The rabbis also whipped up their own topics, though Schiff offered some constructive advice whenever there was overlap, “and that indeed happened.”

Though it’s the first time Jewish Pittsburgh has had a communitywide Tikkun Leil Shavuot, it’s a model that has been used in other cities. Pittsburgh, however, has taken a different approach to learning on this holiday.

Certainly, Jews in Pittsburgh have always studied on Shavuot, but the model was different.

“Classically, this has been the domain of the synagogues (in Pittsburgh),” Schiff said. But feedback to the Agency for Jewish Learning indicated that the events were sometimes lightly attended and that bringing all elements of the community together could create a significant learning opportunity.

Barbara Shuman, co-chair of the AJL’s adult learning committee, said people interested in learning with different rabbis on Shavuot often ran into problems. They didn’t always know what, if any, programs were happening at other synagogues. And even if they did, they might not feel altogether comfortable going.

“This way, all the students and teachers are together under one roof at the same time,” she said. “Because it’s a parve setting, I can feel quite comfortable studying with Rabbi (Yisroel) Miller or one of the Chabad rabbis; it broadens my experience.”

The AJL, JCC and the United Jewish Federation are jointly sponsoring the Tikkun Leil Shavuot.

Learning takes on special significance on Shavuot since it is the holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah at Sinai.

How many people will actually attend tonight is not clear, and in a way, not really relevant, Shuman said.

“To me, the news is not how many people show up,” she said, “but that we’ve been able to bring teachers and students from every corner of the Jewish community together to learn.”

“But I’m hoping this will not be the last time,” she added, “that it will be the start of a community custom.”

(Lee Chottiner can be reached at leec@thejewishchronicle.net.)

Anonymous said...

so rabbi yaakov hopfer of baltimore is busy protesting chilul shabbas, but the molesters living in his very own community he doesn't protest. These so called leaders are sicker than sick and need to be relieved of their positions now.

posek belsky said...

This isn't any worse than paying me under the table for divorcing unhappy couples.

Mitchell Levinton said...


Passaic predator case shows change in Orthodox community's response

An Orthodox community in North Jersey is trying to reconcile the arrest of one of its own on charges of attempting to have sex with two 14-year-old boys.

Already a convicted Megan's Law offender, 48-year-old Mitchell Levinton of Passaic Park was working for a kosher catering company in 2006 when he befriended the boys and invited them to home, where he exposed them to pornography and graphic sex, Passaic County authorities said this week.

The boys told investigators he then offered them money for sex, but that they refused.

The charges come at a crucial moment in the history of Orthodox Jews nationwide, as they try to determine how best to deal with predators in their midst.

Levinton, who is being held on $300,000 bail in the Passaic County Jail, spent nearly a year in jail and was placed on lifetime probation after being convicted of a sex crime involving an adult in Atlantic City.

He already is awaiting sentencing on a lewdness conviction for exposing himself to a 17-year-old developmentally disabled boy in Passaic in May 2008.

This time, Levinton -- an electrical contractor who also uses the name Levington -- could go to prison for up to 40 years, in addition to 18 months for violating parole, if convicted.

The Orthodox community, while wanting to help an obviously troubled individual, also cannot overlook the alleged offenses.

"I am pleased to say that by far most of the rabbis in Passaic have been supportive of the alleged victims and of bringing the allegations to law enforcement authorities," said attorney Michael Lesher, who has worked to protect children nationwide from sexual abuse....

Anonymous said...


There is also a school of thought that believes it represents a trans-generational cycle of abuse while others dispute this.

Similar differences exist with the role of celibacy. Some draw attention to the likelihood of male priests abusing post-pubescent boys while the disputants point to the similarity in prevalence rates of paedophilia among Protestant, Jewish and Catholic clergy.

Cultural factors such as the sexualisation of women have also been cited.

Finally, treatment is difficult and there is no cure although with psychotherapeutic interventions it may be possible to reduce recidivism. The chemical treatments are in dispute, with some being used to lower testosterone and hence reduce libido.

Arising from these uncertainties and disputes, there are those who argue that paedophilia should no longer be considered a disorder within the psychiatric guidelines. This is deeply unsettling since it would then become virtually impossible to maintain its criminal status and it could easily slip into being regarded as one among the various sexual orientations about which nothing can or should be done. Inevitably child protection would vanish.

Calls for explanations as to why clerics, male and female, behaved as they did are unlikely to be reliable or helpful in our present state of ignorance.

The only certainty is that those against whom complaints of sexual abuse were made should have been fully investigated, and when upheld, the perpetrators should have had no contact with minors.

That aside, we are now in the invidious position of claiming knowledge that is shrouded in ignorance. This is worse than no knowledge at all.

- Patricia Casey


Roger Moore said...

Former James Bond star Roger Moore lashed out on Tuesday against the sexual exploitation of children, urging those who abuse minors to be pursued across national borders.

Speaking at the publication of a new UNICEF report on the sexual abuse of children, Moore said: "Childhood is being destroyed by sexual abuse, violence and neglect. We must stop it. If we do nothing, our silence would mean acceptance."

The 81-year-old British actor, a longtime UNICEF ambassador, added: "I can hardly imagine a more shameful violation of the rights of children as the deliberate exploitation of their bodies by unscrupulous adults to serve their sexual appetite."

"They destroy the childhood of their victims and do harm to them that lasts throughout their lives."

He called for better cooperation between police forces, public prosecutors and the business sector.

"Perpetrators must be followed across borders," he urged.

The UNICEF report quoted data from a 2006 World Health Organization (WHO) document estimating that as many as 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 are "every year forced into sex".

Meir said...

Agudah is against gay marriage, making it clear in a Jewish Press ad this week, that as Jews we should oppose such a reality.

This all good and nice, but what does this say about having their priorities scrambled?

Isn't child molestation against the Torah as well?

Agudah obviously does what's best for themselves; not what's best for klal yisrael.

Margo rescued from ditch with help of crane said...

"I've fallen and I can't get up!"

An 11 year-old elephant meandering through a tea plantation in West Benal, India fell into a ditch and couldn't get itself out. Rescuers ran to the elephant's aid, but needed a crane to lift the elephant out of the shallow ditch. Once on its feet, the elephant scampered away as fast it could.

Anonymous said...

what is with these agudahniks? are fressers or are the helper?


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It is unfortunate that it has come to this. It is a big darn shame it has come to this. It is very hurtful that it has come to this. But yet, IT HAS COME TO THIS. It has come at the price of a GREAT CHILUL HASHEM. It has come to Hashem having to allow his holy name to be DESECRATED so that his CHILDREN remain SAFE. Shame on all those responsible for enabling and permitting Hashem's name to be desecrated! When you save children you save the future. You save the future you save generations. You save generations you save lives. You save lives you have saved the world!!!!!!!