Thursday, October 08, 2009

"Personal Hygine And Poetry" - Avi Shafran Explains

The Perception of an Illusion is Deception, even when you believed it was real! Perception of Deception is not an Illusion at all!

Carl Stoynoff


A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


A wise architect observed that you could break the laws of architectural art provided you had mastered them first. That would apply to religion as well as to art. Ignorance of the past does not guarantee freedom from its imperfections.

Reinhold Niebuhr
1892-1971, American Theologian, Historian


Give us a religion that will help us to live -- we can die without assistance.

Elbert Hubbard
1859-1915, American Author, Publisher


Cause and effect do not always offer the same results. It is the eventual effect of causation that is different for each of us.

Carl Stoynoff


Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.

Cato The Elder
BC 234-149, Roman Statesman, Orator


Ignorance is dangerous, but knowledge without responsibility is more dangerous.


The price of greatness is responsibility.

Sir Winston Leonard Spenser Churchill


Why Bad Hygiene?

If you ask a group of Chronically Normal People (CNP's -- a term invented by Fred Frese, a psychologist who has schizophrenia) to describe mentally ill people, you will inevitably get answers like "they smell,""they wear their clothes weirdly", and "they have wild hair." It would be nice to be able to dismiss these descriptions as purely prejudiced and totally unfounded. But the truth is, many mentally ill people are dishevelled and unwashed. The primary reason for this is, of course, the high rate of homelessness amongst the mentally ill. Homeless people have no easy way of keeping clean and they often have to wear all the clothes they own.

However, many mentally ill people look unkempt, even if they who are housed and have a job. Ordinary things can become monumentally difficult when you are mentally ill, and sometimes, the effort involved in taking a shower is just too much. Unpleasant thoughts and/or auditory hallucinations can be so distracting that the person can't pay attention when they put on their clothes, and so they may end up wearing a shirt inside out or leaving zippers unzipped and buttons unbuttoned.

Another reason why mentally ill people may be unkempt is that dressing carefully seems unimportant or even ludicrous in the mentally ill person's universe. If you are tormented by suicidal thoughts or living in a delusion in which you are being chased by the CIA, you do not worry about taking a shower. There are more important things to deal with, such as planning (or trying not to plan) a suicide attempt or evading your pursuers.

So what's the moral? Silly as it may sound to those who comdemn "political correctness," people who are "differently kempt" should be a tolerated and protected minority. When you run into someone who smells, it is rude to mention it or sniff repeatedly. That's just the way they are. You wouldn't sniff at someone who has a skin color you consider ugly. Likewise, making fun of or being rude to a mentally ill person who is dressed oddly is unacceptable. If you are a very, very close friend, you may want to tell the mentally ill person that their shoes are untied or that they have body odor, but be careful of doing this. The person may simply not have the energy or concentration to deal with such a thing. They may know already that they look funny and feel helpless to change their appearance.

I sometimes think there is a secret set of instructions on how to look normal that mentally ill people don't have. I was once called in to my boss's office to be told I didn't dress well enough when I clothes that were almost identical to my boss's. The problem was that I looked unkempt and sloppy in the very same clothes that made her look attractive and professional.


Shimon said...

Why didn't he (Shem Tov) get involved? Had he, perhaps some Philly kids could have been saved.

Was R' Shmuel Kamenetsky aware of Levitt? Assuming he did, he would not have done anything other than ship him off to molest elsewhere.

[Rabbi Abraham Shemtov -- who has overseen Lubavitch efforts in the region for decades and who chairs the movement's umbrella body -- said that Levitt used to attend his synagogue, but that he no longer does.

Shemtov said that there were "lots of rumor that flew back and forth" about Levitt over the years, but he never got involved, and the rumors have stopped.

"No one came to me either seeking a solution or asking for help," said Shemtov.

With these kind of rumors, "unless you can be of help or assistance, you don't get involved," he added.]

phoney baloney jewish press lauds agudath israel said...

And Agudath Israel is sponsoring a series of workshops to urge its member organizations to obey all state and federal laws, in the name of Jewish ethics. A first workshop in late September addressed administrators of charitable funds, including synagogue funds, and similar workshops are planned for yeshiva and day school administrators, as well as other fervently Orthodox groups.

Jewish Exponent 1 said...

Local Rabbi Faces Abuse Charges in Boston Court
October 08, 2009 - Bryan Schwartzman, Staff Writer

A rabbi living in Northeast Philadelphia has been charged in Boston for allegedly sexually abusing two students at a day school there more than 30 years ago.

He was released on $5,000 bail following his arraignment on Oct. 7 on four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child. His trial is scheduled to begin July 12, 2010.

In the past decade, Rabbi Stanley Z. Levitt, 63, has faced similar charges here in Philadelphia.

Local court records show that in three separate cases, from August 2001 to May 2003, Levitt -- who also goes by the first name Zusia -- was arrested on various charges related to claims of indecent assault against three boys from the Rhawnhurst section in the Northeast.

In one case, Levitt entered a plea of no contest to indecent assault and corrupting a minor -- both classified as misdemeanors. He was sentenced in 2004 in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to five years probation, which will be up in December.

Another case went to trial and resulted in a not guilty verdict. Charges were withdrawn in the third case, court documents show.

According to court records, a number of the alleged incidents took place from 1999 to 2002 inside Congregation Lubavitch, Lubavitcher Center, at 7622 Castor Ave., where Levitt attended services for a time.

A number of sources within the Orthodox community declined to speak on the record. But several said that Levitt -- who apparently hasn't worked as a rabbi or teacher in the local community for years -- was essentially shunned following the accusations.

Jewish Exponent 2 said...

For his part, Levitt said that he is "totally innocent.

"The entire thing is horrendous; it's a nightmare," Levitt declared earlier this week, before he appeared in court in Boston. At the Boston arraignment, Levitt pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Scott Curtis, the attorney representing Levitt in Massachusetts, said, "We are going to fight these all the way. He said he would raise questions about competency and motives in the case.

Jonathan James, an attorney who represented Levitt in Philadelphia, could not be reached.

Rabbi Abraham Shemtov -- who has overseen Lubavitch efforts in the region for decades and who chairs the movement's umbrella body -- said that Levitt used to attend his synagogue, but that he no longer does.

Shemtov said that there were "lots of rumor that flew back and forth" about Levitt over the years, but he never got involved, and the rumors have stopped.

"No one came to me either seeking a solution or asking for help," said Shemtov.

With these kind of rumors, "unless you can be of help or assistance, you don't get involved," he added.

The father of the boy whose accusations resulted in the no contest plea here said that Levitt had been a trusted friend and neighbor.

At the time, that boy and the other two boys involved in the Philadelphia cases were students enrolled at Politz Hebrew Academy in Northeast Philadelphia.

"The children called him 'uncle,' " said the father, who asked not be to identified to protect the privacy of his son, who is now in his early 20s and living in New York.

The father said that he was incensed that Levitt "seems to be walking around the Northeast as if nothing had ever happened. It's very hard to restrain myself."

The charges in Boston date back to 1975, when Levitt taught sixth grade at the Maimonides School, an Orthodox day school in Brookline, Mass.

He has been accused by two former students who were 11 years old at the time, and are now in their 40s.

Jewish Exponent 3 said...

Assistant District Attorney Wayne Margolis of Suffolk County. Mass., said in court that "a third victim has come forward in recent days" after hearing about the case in the media.

Usually, a statute of limitations makes it difficult for adults who were victims of abuse to come forward later in life and press charges.

However, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley, the Massachusetts statute was rendered null and void when Levitt moved to Pennsylvania in 1980.

"The clock stopped and left him open to these charges," Conley said in a news release.

The current indictment states that one 1975 incident allegedly took place when Levitt visited a student, Michael Brecher, at Children's Hospital in Boston after the boy had an accident -- he got his finger slammed in a door and wound up having part of it reattached -- in the classroom.

The now 46-year-old unemployed actor said in a telephone interview from Baltimore, where he now resides, that he has suffered from depression most of his adult life, although it wasn't until five or six years ago that he linked many of his emotional problems to the abuse he allegedly suffered as a boy.

Jewish Exponent 4 said...

He said that he contacted the Boston police about the incidents a year ago.

"It affects a person at the most intimate level of relationships, and the damages are just incredible," said Brecher.

"I don't know what God wants of me, I don't know what I'm supposed to do in this lifetime," but pursuing this case is one "obvious thing," he said.

After the indictment was handed down, Jeffrey Swarz, who chairs Maimonides' board of directors, sent a letter to parents.

"For me, the news of these allegations from the past is an unwelcome but timely means to redouble the sacred work of providing a safe, secure, Torah-centered educational experience for our children," wrote Swarz.

Over the last decade or so, a number of high-profile cases involving sexual abuse in several Orthodox communities in other cities have come to light.

Some claim that Orthodox religious leadership has, on more than on occasion, decided to handle allegations internally, rather than involve outside secular authorities.

"They don't have education [in the field], don't have training, and they end up blaming the victim," said Vicki Polin.

Polin, a Baltimore resident, founded the Awareness Center: The International Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault. She said that she has followed the Levitt case and has also advised Brecher.

"The time has come to break the taboo and allow all Jewish communities to face reality," said Polin.

The father of the boy in the Philadelphia case said that several members of his community had implored him not to go to the authorities. He declined to name them.

It's difficult to paint a full and accurate picture of Levitt's life, but it appears that for a time he moved from city to city. Currently, he has a Philadelphia address.

Sources said that Levitt grew up in the area and attended the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia.

According to a Maimonides yearbook from the mid-70s, he earned his ordination at the Rabbinical College of New Jersey, which later became the Rabbinical College of America, which is affiliated with the Lubavitch movement.

The same yearbook notes that from 1968-70, he taught at the Hebrew Day School of Eastern Connecticut in New Haven before moving to the now-defunct Beth Jacob School in Elkins Park, where he worked from 1970-72.

From 1972 to 1974, he was employed at the Hebrew Academy of Atlantic City, N.J., before moving on to Maimonides in Massachusetts, where they noted that he stayed until 1977.

Philadelphia court records from the early 2000s show that Levitt was then unemployed and living on a pension.

In the past few years, Levitt had been attending services at Young Israel of Oxford Circle in Northeast Philadelphia, which closed earlier this year, according to the synagogue's president, Stanley Grosswald.

Grosswald added that Levitt, whom he knew as Samuel Levitt, had helped out the congregation from time to time, including trying to sell the synagogue's scrolls when it was attempting to stay afloat.

Grosswald also said that Levitt had been in a car accident several years ago and now walks with a pronounced limp.

He said that these days, Levitt supports himself in part by getting work repairing damaged Torah scrolls.

Grosswald said that, for his part, he had never heard about the accusations against Levitt.

exposemolesters said...

Thanks to UOJ, Failed Mesiah and to othere countless empathic individuals - the world is a lot safer.

The uproar they created resonates loud and clear. Even the charlatan cannot pretend or ignore the manifestation created by their own cowardliness.

True, the ice has been broken. Yes, awareness in the media and blog-sphere induced arrests and prosecution of some orthodox sexual predators. Correct, the contemptibly timid have been boxed into a corner with no place to hide.

However, we mustn't forget the child molesters still roaming freely, namely - "Rabbi" Ephrayim Byrks "Rabbi" Moshe Eisenmann, "Rabbi" Yehuda Nussbaum, "Rabbi" Avrohom Reichman, the mikvah rapist (never found) and so many others.

Stanley Z. Levitt said...

I put on a shtaddy suit and washed my beard with soap to impress the judge at the advice of my lawyer. I kindly request that if Avi Shafran is reading this that he write about the heroism he sees in me.

agudath israel senior citizens division said...

This is an outrage! How dare they? Do they know these false accusations are older than a lot of us?

Rabbi Moshe Eisemann said...

reading this makes my juices flow if you know what i mean

Identical Twin Pediatricians on Trial for Sex With Boys, Bribery, Child Porn, Drugs

Accomplished identical twin pediatricians Mark and Scott Blankenburg are on trial for using their practice to pay boys for sex and photograph them. Thousands of photos showing teen boys, focused on the groin/buttocks, were found in their possession.

One trial is for Mark, for providing prescription drugs to three male minors, paying for sex, and paying them off. Another for Mark addresses child pornography from online. Scott's trial involves illegal use of minors in nudity-oriented materials.

The unique trials present many challenges: if one brother suddenly takes all blame, witnesses who disappear or won't talk, and the second defendant's attorneys can watch the first trial to see what sort of tactics the prosecution uses.

Rabbi Gil Student said...


My message here is that the Internet is dangerous. If you take care to avoid the trash and start out with a Torah-based worldview, exposure to the outside world will enrich your life. How to ensure that everyone has that worldview is beyond my expertise. I leave that to educators like Rabbi Gottlieb.


There is much more to discuss but not much more space. I do, however, want to address the issue of lashon ha'ra (defamation). That seems to be the biggest complaint about blogs, and rightly so. Lashon ha'ra is bad and blogs make it worse. There are blogs that do any number of improper things, such as reveal private information, mock and insult communal leaders, and misrepresent statements in order to create or exacerbate controversy. I can go on but I think that is bad enough. Some people I greatly respect have been targets of blogs, as have I.

How do we deal with this?

Earlier we asked whether the Internet is different from the telephone. Let's go a little further. As we said earlier, blogs are tools. Newspapers, magazines and books are also tools and they can be used to transmit the same improper messages we just attributed to blogs. Should we oppose all newspapers because of this? I don't hear people condemning newspapers as a medium but rather specific newspapers and their particular flaws. It seems to me the same standard should be applied to blogs.

Also remember that bloggers are people too. Like newspaper editors and organizational spokesmen, they sometimes make mistakes. Condemning them is not generally a good policy, not only because it will fail to help but because there are avenues open for making a positive difference. Instead of denouncing all bloggers willy-nilly, cut them some slack, offer constructive advice, and encourage those who are responsible.

There is no reason to give up on the whole medium simply because of its growing pains and mistakes, any more than you give up on other media due to their problems. Problems can be fixed. But the medium isn't going to go away just because you disapprove of it.

It is extremely important that we all remember the laws of lashon ha'ra apply to all forms of communication. The same standards we see in newspapers should be expected from blogs, but the same leniencies for talking about communally important issues also apply when appropriate. Not everything is lashon ha'ra. There are important discussions that we, as a community, need to have and there is critical information we need to disseminate. While newspapers and newsletters used to shoulder this entire burden, some of that has now shifted to the less formal but more immediate medium of blogs.

Nevertheless, we must be ever vigilant to avoid reading or writing defamation. It is the responsibility of every blogger to discuss these issues with his rabbis, and of every reader to ask the same halachic questions he does regarding any sort of reading material.

Just as we do not discourage people from finding appropriate books in the library despite the vast amount of inappropriate material there, we similarly encourage them to find the right ways to use this tool that is redefining life in our day.

Rabbi Gil Student is managing editor of OU Press and author of the recently published book, "Posts Along the Way: Torah Insights from the Hirhurim Blog." He blogs at

hahaha... what a joke... said...

“Agudah is pleased to have established such strong bonds of friendship with our elected representatives in Washington DC, Trenton and across the state,” said Josh Pruzansky, director of Agudath Israel of New Jersey. “It is a tribute to their leadership that they recognize the needs of all of the communities they represent.”

YWN gives kovod to enablers of abuse said...

On Tuesday evening, a joyous occasion was held at the Agudah of Avenue L (Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyomin), with the Hachtara of the Shuls new Morah D’asra, Rav Moshe Tuvia Lieff Shlita.

Rav Lieff was the Rov of K’hal Bais Yisroel in Minneapolis for more than 20 years, and replaces Rav Pinchos Breuer Shlita, who moved to Eretz Yisroel a few months ago.

Dozens of Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbonim attended the event, with speakers including Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky Shlita (Rosh Yeshiva Philadelphia), and Rav Shlomo Mandel Shlita (R”Y of Yeshiva of Brooklyn)

Rav Lieff attended Yeshivas Kol Torah in Yerushalayim, where he studied under the Posek Hador, Hagon Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ZATZAL, and received Semicha & was a close Talmid of Maran Hagon Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, ZATZAL, Rosh Yeshivas Mirrer Yeshiva in New York.

Rav Lieff has addressed hundreds of events across the nation as a guest speaker, is known as one of the Magidei Shiurim on Dial-a-Daf, and Torah Tapes, and has been the Rov in Minneapolis for the past 19 years.

Rav Lieff has received a Bracha from Maran Rav Chaim Kaneievsky Shlita and other Gedolim that he should have much Hatzlacha in his new position.

Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyomin was founded over 21 years ago by a few Baal HaBatim and has grown into a Kehilla of well over 200 Families K”Y. The first Morah D’asra was Harav Ytzchok Hacohen Isbee ZT”L who led the Kehilla for aprox 10 years until his untimely petira in 1997.

“The board and membership of AIBB feel Blessed by Hashem to be able to find a Rov with such renowned and extraordinary qualities. We pray that we may look forward to a very long and rewarding bond with this exceptional and gifted Morah D’asrah”.

Rabbi Aaron Shlechter said...

When I walk into the Chaim Berlin building, everybody makes room for me to walk. It's like the yam-suf splitting.

Agudah opposes Child Victim Act despite conflict said...

Agudath Israel of America acknowledged a possible conflict of interest but will oppose legislation to allow victims of child sexual abuse currently beyond the statute of limitations to bring their cases to court.

Agudah and educational affiliate Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, said last week they would not object to legislation “designed to give victims of abuse greater recourse against perpetrators.” However, they “vigorously oppose” doing away with the statute of limitations, even temporarily for a year, since that “could subject schools and other vital institutions to ancient claims and capricious litigation, and place their very existence in severe jeopardy.”

Agudah acknowledged a conflict related to a lawsuit against Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Brooklyn, and longtime rebbe Yehuda Kolko. The Agudah-owned Camp Agudah, Inc., is a defendant in a 2006 suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court that alleges that David Framowitz, identified as John Doe No. 1, was molested by Kolko at Camp Agudah in the summer between seventh and eighth grade.

“It is not anything that was ever hidden,” explained Rabbi Dovid Zwiebel, Agudath Israel’s executive vice president.

“The camp is the same name. Notwithstanding that this group of rabbonim who sat on this question for the last number of weeks is among the most senior and respected rabbonim and roshei yeshiva, when you get to that level, chances are you’re going to be affiliated with institutions that operate programs that young people participate in. It’s impossible to imagine a question of this nature should not be considered by the leaders of the community simply because they are affiliated with institutions.”

Rabbi Zwiebel added: “If we’re sinister, we should surely do a much better job of covering our tracks.”

Agudath Israel’s position applies across the nation, according to Rabbi Zwiebel. It pits Agudah against the Child Victims Act, sponsored by Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Queens) that would extend the civil statute of limitations by five years and open a yearlong window for civil cases currently beyond the statute. Agudah supports a competing bill by Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) to extend the civil statute by two years; it does not include the yearlong window.

Critics refer to the Lopez legislation as “The Hide the Predator Act.” Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton called the Agudah position “indifferent to the safety of children.” Similar laws in California and Delaware led to the identification of 360 previously unknown sexual predators, she said.

“Without the window, the predators remain in the shadows so that they can groom more children for abuse,” she explained. “A stand against the window is a stand for the predators.”

Rabbi Yosef Blau, mashgiach ruchani (spiritual guidance counselor) at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, said “the old system does not work” and the only way to fix it is “a communal responsibility to bite the bullet.”

“This is the only way that institutions will take responsibility and abusers will not be given the opportunity to move from one place to another,” he asserted. “Institutions that have been completely negligent should be sued.”

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz said...

Don't be fooled. My loyalty lies with Agudah and always will.

If I cared deeply enough about kids being abused, like I claim I do, don't you think I would not have opposed Markey's bill?

Rabbi Shloime Mandel said...

Roger that Yankel!

Yudi Kolko said...

In the summer I made my way from bungalow colony to bungalow colony and was even given an aliyah. This is proof me worthy as a counselor at Camp Agudah in summer of 2010.

Please petition

Camp Agudah
140 Upper Ferndale Rd
Liberty, NY 12754

The Truth About Agudah said...

Rabbinic Sex Abuse In Ultra-Orthodox Judaism

around the blogs said...

For those unfamiliar with the position Agudah takes in endangering the welfare of children.

click here

around the blogs said...

Not giving AS a fair shake? Some argue that point at "Honestly Frum" blog.

around the blogs said...


Sunday, December 10, 2006
Agudah Leader on Kolko Arrest
Steven I. Weiss e-mails Rabbi Avi Shafran of the Agudath Israel, asking for a statement on the Kolko arrest. Rabbi Shafran responds:

Why would we have comment about the arrest of an individual? Because he was an employee, more than 30 years ago, of one of the camps we run (that have had thousands of employees over the years)? I don’t think that requires comment on our part.
We are not even a party anymore to any lawsuit filed against the accused, as I understand it. The suit of the accuser who included Camp Agudah in his action (John Doe #1) has been dismissed (without prejudice, I believe, so it can still be refiled, but hasn’t been).

????? Is Rabbi Shafran kidding with this response that somehow this issue bears no relevance to his organization?

First of all, he answers his question of "Why would we have comment about the arrest of an individual" in a very specific manner when he says "Because he was an employee, more than 30 years ago, of one of the camps we run". Um, yes.

But in addition, the fact that suddenly an Agudah spokesman is trying to distance the organization from an occurrence in the Charedi world that they would rather ignore is just laughable. When, in regards to ANY other issue facing the Charedi world, did the Agudah EVER distance themselves? They don't run blogs, yet they were concerned enough about their detrimental effect on the Charedi community to denounce them as having "declared war on Torah authority"? I see their point. I mean, what's the future of a few thousand kids left in the position to be molested when there's the undermining of Torah authority to focus on?

Rabbi Moshe Tendler said...

Rabbi Elyashiv: Don't go to Temple Mount

Head of Lithuanian haredi stream tells President Peres, 'According to halacha Jews forbidden from going to Temple Mount…beyond halachic aspect, it could lead to bloodshed' Peres says in response, 'Your position must be heard'

Rochelle Elman said...,0,6618363.story
Rabbi's enablers are guilty, too

5:00 PM EDT, October 7, 2009

Kudos to The Baltimore Sun for publishing this sad article, and shame on all those persons who knew about Rabbi Jacob Max's horrific sexual tendencies for 'keeping quiet" ("Breaking decades of silence," Oct. 4). The emotional devastation this deviant caused innocent woman will only be known to those who were preyed upon by a man whom they thought they could trust. How dare the parents of these children keep quiet and allow Rabbi Max to continue his sexual abuse for so many years? How can they justify their silence?

Would they have kept quiet if he had raped and brutalized their daughters? I pray not. By allowing Rabbi Max to continue to exploit these innocent women, their parents and members of the community who knew of this are as guilty as he is.

Rochelle Elman, Ocean Pines

Send your comments to

APP said...

A township teenager has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a violent robbery of a rabbi last year.

Superior Court Judge James Den Uyl imposed the prison term Friday on Timothy Swift and ordered that he serve 85 percent of the term before he can be considered for release on parole, under the state's No Early Release Act for violent criminals.

Swift, 19, pleaded guilty in July to the robbery. Authorities said that on July 8, 2008, Swift accompanied Jose Diaz, 42, of Seaside Heights and Devon Hardy, 20, of Lakewood to a location in Lakewood where they robbed a rabbi, Jack Goldbaum, then 41, in front of his home. Goldbaum was punched and stabbed, and his wallet was stolen.

Hardy and Diaz are awaiting sentencing for robbing Goldbaum and another Orthodox Jew, David Davidovish. Davidovish was struck with a baseball bat and robbed of his laptop computer and several hundred dollars as he sat in a car in front of a convenience store on Route 9 in Lakewood on May 25, 2008.

Davidovich, then 38 and visiting from Israel, suffered a broken nose.

Authorities said that the trio targeted Orthodox Jews because they believed they would be unlikely to resist being robbed.

Where is Malka Leifer hiding? said...

What is the most shocking thing about the convictions of Vanessa George and Angela Allen?

Is it the nature of the sexual abuse that they engaged in, using sex toys and other implements to assault very young children? Is it that George worked in a nursery and parents placed their toddlers in her care? Or is it that these abusers are women and mothers, people whom society views as naturally nurturing and caring?

A common experience among survivors of female sexual abuse is that for many years the professionals who were supposed to deal with their trauma — doctors, psychologists, counsellors and police — did not believe them.

One woman who was sexually abused by her mother from babyhood until she was 16, finally spoke to talk to her doctor when she was 30.The GP told her “not to be so silly” and added: “Mothers don’t abuse children sexually, but don’t let your imagination run away with you.”

A man of 60 recalled his experience trying to tell a therapist about his ordeal 25 years ago: “She told me that I was having fantasies about my mother and that I needed more therapy to deal with it. In reality, my mother had physically and sexually abused me for as long as I could remember.”

Disbelief and denial are slowly turning to a realisation that female abusers do exist. The cases of George and Allen follow other recent examples where women have been convicted of serious cases of abuse.

Last year Katie Scott, 26, from Northamptonshire, was jailed for four and a half years for abusing a four-month-old child. In 2007, Monica McCanch, 55, was sentenced to six years for being part of a group that abused two children. In California, police are holding Nancy Garrido and her husband for involvement in the abduction of Jaycee Lee Dugard.

Detective Superintendent Graham Hill, the head of behavioural analysis at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), said that female abusers were more prevalent than anyone likes to believe.

“We try to teach police and child protection officers that they have to open their minds to all possibilities. There are women out there who have a sexual interest in children. Not all women in these situations are coerced by or under the spell of a man,” said Mr Hill.

CEOP has begun to debrief women convicted of abuse to learn why they offend and try to identify the threat to children. Mr Hill said: “What we have learnt so far is that female abusers tend to be at the more serious nature of offending. The ones we have talked to — and it is a very small pool — all claim to have been sexually abused at a young age.”

Sharon Lambert, who has lectured to law enforcement agencies, said that between 5 and 20 per cent of victims in studies identified their abuser as female. She focused on how women abusers use the internet and studied one site where users called themselves “girl lovers” and shared experiences.

One subscriber to the site wrote: “I am a 21-year-old and for as long as I can think back, I have been attracted to young girls, around 5-12 years old ... I buy movies just because there are little girls in them ... I am not a lesbian; I am not attracted to women, only young girls, and I am not attracted to little boys at all — just men, and little girls.”

Dr Lambert said that society is just beginning to understand that there are women who have a predatory sexual interest in children. “Twenty years ago people didn’t talk about sexual abuse by members of the clergy. I think that is where we are now with the idea of female abusers,” she said.

WhatIsItNow said...

This is what's scary about statues without limitations periods: This poor man probably does not even remember who this alleged "victim" is. Now he's got to defend against charges about something that happened 40 years ago, and it's his word versus a sympathetic ("I was molested") victim.

Nowadays, this sort of thing has to be a lasting nightmare for any teacher - any caretaker of children. Forty years later, an accusation can come out of the blue. And there are false accusations. There are even honestly false accusations.

And yet on the other side: Even if he's guilty it's not fair. People have to be able to have a fair shot at defending themselves, and what on Earth can he possibly do to defend himself other than deny this ancient accusation? (If you think otherwise, perhaps you should consider moving to a country such as China, or perhaps Iran).

EAdams1581 said...

WhatIsItNow: your words are like poison on this site. You state "This poor man probably does not even remember who this alleged "victim" is? Does this make it okay? If someone molested your son or daughter and didn't remember, would it be okay for them to walk free and not pay for their crime? Your comment makes me nauseas. The law states innocent until proven guilty but your comment is way out of line and is an insult to the victim and his family in the case this potential monster and predator is found guilty of the charges. You are a sick person.

realsupergirl said...

I agree with EAdams1581. The whole purpose of the statute of limitations being eliminated if the alleged perpetrator moves out of state is to protect future victims - otherwise it would be far too easy (easier than it already is!) for pedophiles to just move out of state until the statute of limitations is up.

I am sickened that a rabbi would do something like this. As a Jew, I now know how Catholics felt hearing about priests committing sexual abuse.

Lepold Margulies said...

I vood heve slepped the yingels face mit ganseh koyach. Sheker gumur! ich vill oichet fregen pinches sheinberg de shileh oiv penitration.

One of the alleged victims contacted Boston police about a year ago, saying Levitt visited him at Children's Hospital in Boston on May 1975, while he was recovered from an accident, and that Levitt sexually assaulted him at the hospital. The other alleged victim told authorities he was assaulted on three occasions by Levitt, during a three-night visit at the teacher's former home on Chiswick Road.

Rabbi Aaron Shlechter said...

The attacks against Avi Shafran and Agudah are not warranted. Where would we be if not for the lobbying by them for government assistance to the Jewish communities they represent? And where would I be if not for their lobbying against the "Child Victims Act Of NY"?

Where would we be without YWN snapping photos of me and Shloime Mandel and printing it in the yated? Where would all the Agudah rabbonim be? This is all made possible by Shafran and Agudaha. All the rabbonim who sweep under the rug couldn't manage to hide it Without Agudah. We are not irrelevant. We keep our jobs, we remain dictators, because Agudah knows how to spin the media. Yasher Koyach!

exposemolesters said...

Brooklyn Hasidic Sexual Abuse Attorney
Child Sexual Abuse in the New York Hasidic Community

Sexual abuse can occur in any community or situation in which adults have complete authority over children. Recently several members of the Hasidic Jew community have come forward to report sexual abuse at the hands of rabbis (or rebbe), teachers and other individuals in positions of authority. Unfortunately, no group is free from the dangers of child sexual abuse.

Even in the most tightly-knit religious groups, the abominable act of child abuse at the hands of authority figures can occur. After certain individuals within the Hasidic Jewish community coming forward to accuse their abusers, many more have found themselves able to make similar accusations. When one survivor of sexual abuse comes forward to tell their story about a particular individual, be it rabbi or other, it can give strength to other victims who were unable or unwilling to speak about their similar experiences.

Traditionally, Hasidic sects such as Satmar, Vizhnitz, Bobov and others each have their own Beth Din, which is a religious court in which disputes or crimes are discussed and punishment is meted out. It is often difficult for Hasidic community members to bring their problems to civil authorities such as police or social workers.

If your or a loved one has survived sexual abuse at the hands of Hasidic rebbe, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced lawyer at the Zalkin Law Firm. It is well-known that sexual abuse experiences during childhood can cause feelings of shame, regret, fear and other unwanted emotions that can make life difficult for the survivor. It is very important that you know that there is help. The Brooklyn rabbi abuse attorneys at the Zalkin Law Firm will be able to meet you and discuss your situation.
Have you been sexually abused by a member of the New York Hasidic Jewish community?

It is very important that you make yourself aware of your rights as a survivor of sexual abuse. You deserve justice if you were forced to endure any type of sexual assault, abuse, indecent conduct or other form of inappropriate activity. It is also necessary to remember that sexual abuse comes in many different forms. Even sexual conversation between an adult and a child can consititute abusive behavior that can result in problems for the child later in life.

Contact a New York Rabbi Abuse Lawyer at the Zalkin Law Firm today if you or a loved one has been sexually abuse by a member of the Hasidic Jewish community.

Zalkin Law Firm, New York Priest Abuse Attorneys & Lawyers - Located at Seven Times Square, New York, NY, 10036

Contact Us
The Zalkin Law Firm, P.C.

Toll Free: 800-724-3235

New York, NY
Seven Times Square
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212-889-1300

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San Diego, CA 92130
Phone: 858-259-3011

yob sux said...

Please look further into the relationship between shlomo & yaakov mandel. The brothers have a history of tormenting children. 'Scum' in the dictionary should have their images next to the meaning.

They butchered too many souls. They think they can hide behind the statute of limitations. They won't manage to do it forever.

Sheltering Nussbaum and providing him with continued employment is despicable but not surprising in the least. Beasts will remain beasts.

I commend you for the effort & dedication to OUR cause. Been with you the whole entire way. Sooner or later the YOB butchers are going to pay for their crimes!

Attorney Irwin Zalkin said...

Attorney Irwin Zalkin said he was unsurprised by the Vatican representative’s remarks. Zalkin has represented hundreds of victims of sexual abuse in lawsuits against the Catholic Church.

“They just don’t get it. There’s still a complete failure to take responsibility,” Zalkin said. For centuries, he said, Catholic leaders have tried to sweep under the carpet the problem of child sexual abuse. “The sin of scandal far outweighs, in their institutional response, any concern for the safety of children. That has been the problem.”

Zalkin said he has also represented sexual abuse victims in lawsuits against Jewish organizations, Protestant churches, the Boy Scouts and other secular groups, but that the overwhelming majority of people who contact him have claims against the Catholic Church.

“Does [child sexual abuse] exist elsewhere? Of course it does,” Zalkin said. “But not really in the numbers we’re seeing in the Catholic Church.”

Zalkin noted that he is receiving a growing number of inquiries from alleged victims of sex abuse in New York’s Orthodox communities.

“There’s a similar circle-the-wagons attitude, a similar response to that of the Catholic Church,” Zalkin said. “It’s unfortunate.”

In the best-case scenario, Potasnik said, other religions will learn from the Catholic Church’s example and become more responsive to and vigilant about child sexual abuse. Like many other Jewish organizations, the New York Board of Rabbis has crafted guidelines for working with children intended to prevent abuse.

Because of the Catholic scandal, Potasnik said, “The clergy are much more sensitive. There’s a greater sense that we cannot afford to close our eyes.”

Contact Rebecca Dube at

margo was calling his therapist said...

Bus driver gets fired for using cell phone when driving

A bus driver in Stockholm has to quit his job after using his cell phone when driving the bus.

The driver was caught on tape this Tuesday when a passenger filmed him with a mobile phone camera. On the film it seems like he was sending text messages while driving the bus with his forearms.

The driver, who had a trial employment, says to the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter that he only tried to get in touch with the management since they had tried to call him just before. The management does not want to comment on this particular case but says that they never call the drivers when they are driving.

Representatives for the trade union believe the company puts all the blame on the driver to avoid criticism against their own practice and regulations.

childhood cancer said...

The effects of childhood cancer treatment, not to mention the psychological effects of battling the disease itself, linger in ways that are only beginning to be explored. Three new studies offer a possible glimpse at life years later.

- In one new study, researchers took data on 8,928 adult survivors of childhood cancer and 2,879 of their siblings and compared their marital status. They found that survivors were less likely to wed, with those who had been treated for central nervous system tumors the least likely to wed. But divorce patterns for all survivors were similar.

The abstract for the study, published this month in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. And the Yale University news release.

- Other researchers found that children born to female survivors were slightly more likely to be born early and small, but otherwise fared well. The abstract, published this month in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

- And children born to male survivors have been found to be at only a marginal risk of having a low birthweight, compared with the general population. Otherwise, they too fared well. The abstract, published in the same issue, and the news release from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on both studies.

Here's an overview of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study from the National Cancer Institute. And a story from the Los Angeles Times on this new field of research: "Health of childhood cancer survivors is still at risk: About two-thirds of pediatric cancer survivors experience at least one late health effect of treatment, and for more than one-quarter of survivors it is severe or life-threatening."

-- Tami Dennis

Anonymous said...

Agudath Israel of
America's support has
steadily declined in
recent years. They turned
what was once a
proud organization - founded by the true and pious - into a total
The mockery of
Jewish values cannot
be overlooked here.

Tropper must be stopped said...

The man is not kosher. Rabbi Leib Tropper is trapped in a pit with no escape.

just another rabbinic cult movement said...

Great, another kol koreh for the "instrument of impurity" finds the cult Rabbis issuing warnings and threats.

"Boys and girls whose homes have the instrument of impurity called the Internet cannot receive a Vizhnitz education in any shape or form," leading Vizhnitz rabbi Yisroel Hager told followers Saturday in Bnei Brak.

Great, take the frustration out on the children once again.

Great, this they open up their mouths
for objection, but child molestation that's not objectionable. No sermons dedicated for such impurity.

"Every day," he said, "I hear stories about young people, both boys and girls, who have gone downhill via this horrible instrument to the edge of the abyss. This epidemic must be stopped."

How many times have we witnessed the rabbinic cult movement threaten parents with expelling their children from their yeshiva's?

Talk about frosting with indecent behavior, perhaps it's time for these imbeciles to look in the mirror and issue some pertinent lecturing, the ones they are unforgivably silent about.

Yisroel Halevi Besky said...

When I saw Brackman's headline, I admit it made me a little nervous. But after reading the article, I noticed Brackman was careful to name only the Hollywood rabbis.,7340,L-3788112,00.html

Identifying a phony rabbi

Relationship between clergyperson or spiritual guide and guidance seeker or congregant must be very different from any other type of professional relationship
Rabbi Levi Brackman

There have been numerous examples over the last year of religious leaders causing difficulties for the people that they guided or advised. The most famous amongst them was Barack Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Obama was forced to distance himself from his pastor after Wright was exposed as making anti-American comments.

Then there was the story of John McCain and Pastor John Hagee. After it was alleged that John Hagee made anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic comments, the then Presidential Candidate John McCain publically rejected Hagee’s endorsement.

But it is not only politicians who have very public relationships with their religious guides. Madonna is often outspoken about her respect for Michael Berg at the Kabbalah Center. And Tom Cruise is public about his faith in scientology. In fact Scientology leader David Miscavige was best man at Tom Cruise’s wedding to Katie Holmes and in 2004 Miscavige awarded Cruise a medal for being “the most dedicated Scientologist I know.”

Now clearly the rich and famous are as much in need of religious and spiritual guidance as anyone else. And any successful spiritual guide or clergyperson will count the rich and famous amongst those that they have relationships with.

There have been lots of discussion about the authenticity of spiritual and religious leaders such as the Berg family of the Kabbalah Center, David Miscavig of Scientology and those who have tried to cultivate an image of spiritual guide to the stars.

shlomo mandel of yob: resign now and take nussbaum with you said...,0,501647.story
Cover-ups of bad rabbis are too common

As a former student of Rabbi Jacob Max's Hebrew school at Anshe Emunah Congregation, I was shocked to learn about his years of sexual predation ("Breaking decades of silence," Oct. 4). Thank God I was spared -- my parents thought girls didn't need a bat mitzvah. Now that he has been exposed and brought to justice, I pray his victims can at last find healing.

As for the solution to the years of cover-up, Malka Levine's proposal (Readers respond, Oct. 6) -- better knowledge of Jewish family laws -- is at best simplistic and at worst chauvinistic. The reasons for the Baltimore Jewish community's ostrich-like reaction to Rabbi Max's detestable behavior are all stated in The Sun's article of Oct. 4: the victims' shame and fear of his power; others' disbelief of accusations; the standing of and attitudes toward women at the time; avoidance of community embarrassment. The same reasons have allowed sexual predators to "get away with it" for years in other Jewish communities.

In New Jersey, the principal of a Modern Orthodox high school and leader of a national youth group persistently molested teen girls. An expose in the Long Island Jewish Week (whose editor, Gary Rosenblatt, is a former editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times), finally ended these young women's misery. Wasn't this Orthodox community well-educated in Jewish religious law? This same newspaper also brought to light teachers who molested young boys in ultra-Orthodox schools (both stories made many readers unhappy for "embarrassing the community").

The principals -- mostly rabbis -- of these schools did little to get these sex offenders out of education and into the courts. Instead, they covered up the crimes. Surely, these men were very well-versed in the Torah. These same scholars must have also been aware that the Talmud teaches one must obey the laws of the country in which one lives. New York State law demands that school officials who know of sexual abuse must report it to the proper authorities. So, Torah knowledge did not prevent a cover-up of molestation. Indeed, these Torah-educated people committed as evil a sin as the abusers. Not only did they allow the abuse to continue, they disobeyed civil law, Torah law and were hypocrites. Such actions by religious leaders have turned many victims away from Judaism.

What the Jewish community needs is to stop denying that Jews, whatever denomination or depth of religious education, are immune to sexual violence, domestic violence and drug addiction. We have to end the fear of shame. Only then can we help heal those afflicted with these scourges that affect all ethnicities and religions in our society.

Dr. Margo Hausdorff Vale, Huntington, N.Y.

Send your comments to

Agudas Israel, Senior Citizens Division said...

A Ft. Payne man was charged Friday with two counts of sexual abuse related to alleged sexual activity with a child.

Ft. Payne police said Grady Lee Hughes, 78 was arrested on charges related to first-degree sexual contact with a female minor under the age of 12. These incidents occurred in Fort Payne, police officials said.

Hughes was transferred to the Dekalb County Jail, where bond was set at $10,000 for each charge.

The Novominsker Tush said...

So far no child abuse cases have been
brought to my attention in all of Borough-Park.

Only 37% of haredi men work said...

Only 37% of haredi men work, as opposed to some 80% of their secular counterparts, according to statistics presented to Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer while touring centers for women's employment in the ultra-Orthodox town of Modiin Ilit.

Among working women, there is also a significant gap. Some 49% of haredi women are gainfully employed, while 70% of secular women work.

The average gross monthly salary of haredi women is NIS 3,690 (about $980), about 40% lower than haredi men's gross monthly salary, which stands at an average NIS 6,123 (about $1,625).

The gap in earning power between the sexes is lower in the secular population, in which women earn 36% less than men. The average gross monthly salary for secular women is NIS 5,698 (about $1,512). The average gross monthly salary for secular men is NIS 8,955 (about $2,375).

This puts the average gross monthly salary of haredi women at about 35% lower than that of the average gross monthly salary of secular women. The gap between secular and haredi men is narrower, with haredi men earning on average 30% less than their secular counterparts.

Some 52% of haredi men reported that being unable to cover their monthly household expenses in contrast with 42.4% of secular men.

Following these findings, Minister Ben-Eliezer said that his ministry would take measures to integrate the haredi community into the workforce, through initiatives such as professional training courses and additional benefits. Despite the dim statistics, some 63% of haredim said they were highly satisfied with their lives, in comparison with only 28% of seculars.

avi shafran wants to know why Bernie Madoff did not make the hero list said...

19 local Jews in running for national ‘hero’ award

Rabbi Avi Shafran said...

Let me tell you who I would have nominated for the Hero award, Agudas Yisroel of America.

Like a Poet who opts not to shower, we at 42 Broadway are committed to lobby in the best interests of the Orthodox communities.

It is true I tried to compare personal hygiene in defense of the Rubashkins', but perhaps some of you realize by now that that analogy is a big goof on my part.

One might interpret my actions as an indication of having no compassion for humans or animals.

That person may conclude that Agudah stomp on Halacha and ethics, hence they are not Hero-worthy, based on my poet analogy.

The only way to sway such a thinker to my side is by writing some more fascinating Op-Eds, triggering a positive influence over my critics.

Utah rabbi nominated for Hero award

Published: Friday, Sept. 25, 2009 6:01 p.m. MDT

Rabbi Benny Zippel of Chabad Lubavitch in Salt Lake City has been nominated as a Utah Community Jewish Hero by United Jewish Communities.

The Jewish Community Heroes campaign celebrates the selflessness and courage of those who put others before themselves.

During the next three months, anyone across North America can go online, submit nominations and vote for the candidates they believe best embody the spirit of the award.

Five finalists will be honored this November at a General Assembly in Washington, D.C. Of the five finalists, one will be named the Jewish Community Hero of the Year.

The Hero of the Year will be provided with $25,000 to be used as an investment in his or her community project or nonprofit effort via that person's local Jewish Federation, or another recognized 501(c)3 charitable entity or Canadian equivalent, and he or she will be invited to and recognized at next year's General Assembly.

The remaining four finalists will receive a smaller amount to be used as an investment in their community project or nonprofit effort via their local Jewish Federations, or recognized 501(c)3 charitable entities or Canadian equivalents.

"As I was nominated a Jewish Hero, I'd like to ask you that you kindly help support our important outreach work throughout Utah by voting for me," Rabbi Zippel said.

He has worked with Salt Lake area youth dealing with substance abuse and related addiction issues.

To vote for Rabbi Zippel, go to:

— Lynn Arave

AP said...

Man guilty of murdering boy in Ga. trailer park

By RUSS BYNUM (AP) – Oct 5, 2009

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A jury deliberated for about two hours Monday before finding a Georgia man guilty of murder and child molestation in the death of a 6-year-old boy whose body was later discovered wrapped in trash bags and dumped near a road.

The jury in coastal Brunswick convicted David Edenfield, 61, in the March 2007 sexual assault and choking death of young Christopher Michael Barrios.

The jury now must decide whether to sentence Edenfield to death or life in prison.

Edenfield is the first of three suspects to stand trial for the boy's slaying. His wife and grown son have also been charged with molesting and killing the boy, then hiding his body.

Rabbi Yosef Schneider said...

Add me to the list of putz Rabbis' who are frauds.,7340,L-3789574,00.html

As time went by and no products were supplied, the inventors began questioning Schneider, who allegedly provided them with fictitious invoices indicating the manufacturing process was underway.

The police allege that Schneider defrauded both his clients and his business partner to the amount of millions. Early Tuesday morning, police officers raided Schneider's office, arrested him and confiscated computers and various files.

Schneider will be arraigned later Tuesday and the police are expected to ask the court to allow him restricted bail. said...

On sex abuse, haredim are fed up
Tuesday October 13, 2009
Categories: Judaism

Now this is news. Finally, the wall of silence within New York's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over child sexual abuse has begun to crack, as ordinary Jews get fed up with a religious establishment allowing children to suffer to protect the image of the community.

"What we have witnessed in the past year is completely unprecedented," said Rhonnie Jaus, chief of the Brooklyn district attorney's sex crimes bureau. "This would be inconceivable just a few years ago."

Children in haredi families are no more or less likely to suffer sexual abuse than others, according to several recent studies. But Ben Hirsch, founder of Survivors for Justice, a New York group whose members include ultra-Orthodox Jews molested as children in communities nationwide, said the clandestine handling of molestation cases had kept leaders from dealing with the problem and made it easier for predators to operate.

Mr. Hirsch credits the Jewish press, therapists and rabbis in the Orthodox population itself, and organizations like his, with bringing the issue to light. Jewish blogs like and, he said, have also been "a major catalyst," giving abuse victims their first opportunity to vent and connect without fear of being identified.

"People are rising up," he said.

Thank G-d! And why are they rising up?:

The father of a Brooklyn 10-year-old said in an interview that the mishandling, as he viewed it, of sex abuse cases by rabbinical courts had persuaded him to contact the police immediately when his son told him last year that a neighbor had abused him.

"I'm not one who believes rabbis are capable to handle this," he said.

Of course not. By now, everybody should have learned from the bitter experience of the Catholic laity in these matters. Go straight to the police. Don't give it a second thought. It doesn't make you a bad Jew, a bad Catholic, or a bad anything. Religious authorities are not to be trusted to handle these things justly. If, God forbid, something like this were to happen to one of my children in the Orthodox Church, I would let my priest and bishop know after I had already spoken to the police. Nothing personal there; I have no reason to suspect that my particular priest and my particular bishop would be anything but responsible in such a case. But I would take no chances.

I am reminded of a Latino immigrant father in one diocese about a decade ago -- I wrote about the case -- who arrived in the US to find that a nest of abuser priests at the local parish had set upon his young son, who had come earlier to this country with his mother. He went to the vicar for Hispanic affairs to report the situation, and was confronted by a bishop who pulled out a checkbook, and offered to write him a check for thousands of dollars, in exchange for the father's signature on a piece of paper giving the diocese's law firm the right to "represent" the boy in this matter. The father may have been an immigrant laborer, but he knew he was being had. He marched out, got a Jewish lawyer, and sued their sorry butts. Haredim parents might want to take a lesson from this, though I don't know about the hiring a Jewish lawyer thing in this context.

What this signals is a breakdown of trust within a community. It is wrong that any parent should feel compelled to seek recourse in the civil courts, or with the police, for crimes like this. But when religious authorities have failed in their duty to the victims, to their families, and indeed to God, what choice does the laity have?

NYT said...

October 14, 2009
Orthodox Jews Rely More on Sex Abuse Prosecution

For decades, prosecutors in Brooklyn routinely pursued child molesters from every major ethnic and religious segment of the borough’s diverse population. Except one.

Of some 700 child sexual abuse cases brought in an average year, few involved members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community — about 180,000 followers of Hasidic and other sects who make up the largest such cluster outside Israel. Some years, there were one or two arrests, or none.

But in the past year, there have been 26. District Attorney Charles J. Hynes has brought charges against a variety of men — yeshiva teachers, rabbis, camp counselors, merchants and relatives of children. Eight have been convicted; 18 await trial.

If the sudden spike in prosecutions is startling, even more surprising is the apparent reason: ultra-Orthodox Jews, long forbidden to inform on one another without permission from the rabbis who lead them, are going to the police and prosecutors on their own.

Members of this close-knit community, who refer to themselves as the “haredim,” meaning those who fear God, reject modern secular culture and keep strict control over what they consider internal affairs. For centuries, disputes involving children, marriage and business have been decided by rabbinical courts called beth dins, which do not report their findings to the secular authorities, even when they judge someone guilty. Taboos codified long ago during times of persecution discourage community members from informing on other Jews; violations can result in ostracism.

Now, a growing number of haredi Jews in Brooklyn say they do not think they can get justice from the rabbinical courts, which in several high-profile cases have exonerated people who were later criminally convicted of child abuse. And although some advocates for victims contend that the district attorney has been too accommodating of the rabbinical hierarchy — a charge that Mr. Hynes denies — more families are turning to his office for help....

CHABAD said...

On Rosh Chodesh Kislev, Chabad Houses around the world will commemorate the first anniversary of the Mumbai massacre. Chabad Houses, communities of Anash, and Jews all over the world will remember the brutal murder of five Jews, including Shluchim Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg HY"D •

At the Kinus Hashluchim in New York, to take place November 11-16, participants will be able to write a letter in the Torah in memory of the Holtzbergs. It will be completed Thursday night, November 12, and will be led to 770 with dancing, Hakafos and a special Farbrengen.

Both their fathers, R' Nachman Holtzberg and R' Shimon Rosenberg will be present and will address the crowd.

In addition, the following events will take place in Israel and India.

Wednesday, Kislev 1:

Morning visit to the graves of the Holtzberg couple in Har Hazeisim in Jerusalem.

A large prayer gathering at 770 in Kfar Chabad, Israel, with rabbis and public figures.

Thursday, Kislev 2:

Celebrating the 3rd birthday and Upshernish of Moishy Holtzberg at the tomb of Rashbi in Miron.

Sunday, Kislev 5:

Concluding the letters in a new Torah in memory of Rabbi Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg HY"D.

Thursday, Kislev 9:

A memorial ceremony at the temporary location of Chabad in Mumbai, India. said...

New York’s Ultra-Orthodox Jewish population is beginning to see the limits of traditional proscriptions on talking to authorities outside the faith about certain matters, such as crimes against members of the community itself.

Case in point: child sexual molestation, a crime that for years, an Oct. 13 New York Times article said, saw a number of arrests made annually in every demographic in New York except for the Ultra-Orthodax.

But recent headlines and efforts by DA Charles J. Hynes have helped convince the Ultra-Orthodox of something they simply did not used to believe: that there could be child molesters in their midst.

The culture’s strict disapproval of involving outside authority in matters concerning family and business had long kept child molestation cases involving the community, who call themselves the haredi, from the criminal justice system.

However, the rabbinical courts that are meant to address such issues are now being seen as inadequate to handle cases of child sexual abuse.

The New York Times article quoted one father who said, "I’m not one who believes rabbis are capable to handle this." The man’s son, 10, informed him last year of abuse allegedly perpetrated on him by a neighbor. Rather than leave it to the rabbinical court, the father went to the civil authorities.

"What we have witnessed in the past year is completely unprecedented," the artricel quoted the chief of the Brooklyn DA’s sex crimes bureau, Rhonnie Jaus.

"This would be inconceivable just a few years ago."

But in that time, the media have played a role in educating the haredi as to the nature and extent of the problem, which is believed to be as prevalent in the Ultra-Orthodox community as in any other demographic.

Newspapers and other media have taken note of such crimes within the haredi culture recently, leading to headlines in cases such as that of Rabbi Yaakov Weiss, founder of an upstate New York Hebrew school who is accused of improper contact with two male students in a ritual bath.

The case of Brooklyn Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, accused of abusing at least three victims over the course of decades, was also profiled in the media, including online at a Web site called Exposemolesters.

Survivors for Justice founder Ben Hirsch called Jewish online publications and groups like his own "a major catalyst" in convincing haredi victims and parents to go outside of rabbinical authority in such cases, despite traditional proscriptions, the Times article reported.

Ancient religious proscriptions among the haredi may be giving way to more contemporary understanding in other ways, as well. Though some haredi do not even admit that gay exist--at least, not among their community--otehrs have begun to address the issue openly, such as Rabbi Menachem Burstein, an Ultra-Orthodox who has a comparatively compassionate view on gays....

Lepold Margulies, Shloime Mandel, enablers of child molestation said...

Four years before Louis Jay Levine was indicted on charges of producing child pornography, someone complained to the state that Levine had sexually abused him years earlier.

At the time of the complaint, Levine was working as a substitute teacher at Metro Nashville Public Schools and also taught nature-related programs at the Jewish Community Center. A then 42-year-old man told the Tennessee Department of Children's Services that when he was a teenager Levine sexually abused him. He reported the alleged abuse in 2005 in hopes of preventing Levine from working with children any longer.

Though the DCS complaint was made four years ago, it wasn't until April of this year that Levine, 52, was arrested by federal agents on charges of producing child pornography with an extensive hidden camera system in his home. He also has been charged in state court with multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and sexual battery by an authority figure. Reports filed this week in Davidson County Criminal Court document the extent of accusations against Levine by more than a dozen people — young people who spent time at Levine's Alton Road home recently, and adults who frequented the house when they were teenagers decades ago.

Rob Johnson, spokesman at DCS, said he can't speak specifically about the 2005 complaint made about Levine, but the agency is not able to launch a search for possible victims based on something that may have happened years ago.

"We, as a government agency, are required to weigh the rights of individuals who may be targeted for an investigation against the rights of children to be protected from any abuse," Johnson said. "We would always err on the side of child protection, but we would need specific enough information to know whom we are protecting, and from what."

The complaint to DCS notes that the allegations were referred to internal affairs.

No information was filed with the court about the outcome of any DCS investigation.

A police investigation began in late March, when a concerned parent told a Metro detective that her teenage son and other teenagers were given alcohol and marijuana at Levine's house and allowed to use the bedrooms for sex.
(2 of 2)

Investigators allege that the teenagers were taped having sex and hundreds of home videos were found at the house.
Concern raised

Just before the federal investigation began, a teacher voiced a concern about Levine at the Murfreesboro City Schools, where Levine began teaching full-time in 2008.

The human resources director, Lee Wilkerson, told investigators he had gotten an e-mail from another teacher saying Levine was paying a lot of attention to a certain student and took pictures of him, according to court documents.

No action was taken until the school district learned of the federal investigation.

School officials interviewed the elementary school student and he said he didn't feel like Levine was paying him any special attention, Wilkerson said.

Once the teacher made the complaint, Wilkerson said that Levine, who taught districtwide, never returned to that particular school.

He was arrested soon after on federal charges stemming from the investigation in Davidson County.

"As soon as we began to ask questions, that's when the (federal) investigation began," Wilkerson said.

Levine is also facing a civil lawsuit from a family that says he victimized three of its children. The family got permission from a judge to leave their names off the suit, filed last week in Davidson County Circuit Court.

The family is asking for $1 million in damages from Levine for each of the victims, alleging that his conduct in videotaping the children had intentionally caused emotional distress...

Hazmana Belsky said...

Get the name, number and address of this man for me right away.

"A then 42-year-old man told the Tennessee Department of Children's Services that when he was a teenager Levine sexually abused him"

42 is too old an age to remember a thing from youth.

You saw how quick with my pen I can be. As you may recall during kolko's unfair ordeal, It was I who issued moitze shem rah Hazmanas to those responsible for the demise of Lipa and Yudi.

Yosef Shalom ben Chaya Musha said...

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv was hospitalized Wednesday night at Sha'arei Hesed Hospital in Jerusalem with symptoms of pneumonia.

The nonagenarian rabbi, considered to be the greatest living authority of halacha, was suffering from a high fever and a cough.

Leaders of the haredi community called on the public to pray for the rabbi whose mother's name was Chaya Musha.

According to Jewish custom a sick person's name followed his or her mother's name is included in prayers for the person's recovery.

David doesn't get it said...

Bloggers mentioned in the NYT are thriving and are a strong deterrent for pedophiles. We need them because the orthodox leadership are phony and frauds who when asked to intercede, instead chose to throw victims under the bus.

Many are anonymous because of various legitimate factors, namely being ostracized and threatened by Rabbinic figures and community members who protect molesters and engage in massive cover-ups. In the orthodox world coming out as a victim is very difficult and shameful, some would argue more so than other religions. Hence; the refuge they desperately seek is outing their tormentors anonymously in cyberspace, and that is perfectly legitimate.

As far as being held to journalistic etiquette, that is a silly argument, as they do not need to conform when they are not journalists, but are human beings who we can not do without - unless you are a proponent of child predation.

Without any ruckus from bloggers, the recent arrests of pedophiles within the Jewish communities would not have occurred.

Rod Dreher has a strong and important post up about sexual abuse in the Haredi community. My only reservation, and I've thought about this for a long time, concerns Jewish and other blogs like the ones mentioned in the New York Times article that Rod cites. Some of these crusading blogs allow, even encourage, anonymous or poorly sourced accusations. This is absolutely ripe for a different but also insidious kind of abuse.

Yes, Jewish and Christian spiritual leaders have been shown to harbor a certain number of sexual predators, but the Internet too harbors its share of people psychologically and spiritually twisted in other ways who use the power and lack of accountability built into the medium to hurt or humiliate, with no proper journalist's regard for truth. If we can believe that rabbis and priests do terrible things, we can also believe that anonymous Internet users would use blogs to strike at clergy members (or whole religions) they hate, using this most hideous of accusations, including for reasons that have nothing to do with sexual abuse.

There are a lot of crazy, spiteful people out there, and a whole lot more who are eager to pass on rumors and innuendo if it suits their prejudices. Very tragically, rabbis and priests cannot any longer be assumed to be reliable. But neither can people who write on the Internet, especially when they do so anonymously or pseudonymously.

Anonymous said...

October 14, 2009 1:04 PM


YOU write on the Internet.

Yes, there are unreliable bloggers, some with agendas.

There are also victims and victims advocates who, if exposed, would face tremendous censure from their religious communities – including religious communities you regularly write about in positive terms.

Caution should be used.

But doing nothing about child sexual abuse is not an answer.

And that, David, is meant to be personal – YOU can not sit back and do nothing.

And you must shift your priorities from attempting to make religions look good to making those religions accountable to the weakest among them.

I mean "must" as a moral imperative.

God doesn't care about flackery or PR, David – he cares about those kids.

David Klinghoffer
October 14, 2009 1:55 PM

Welcome, Shmarya. You know I have mixed feelings about your site. I do feel that for all the good it has done, it does as much evil by presenting a grossly distorted picture of Orthodox Judaism, as if it were all filth and corruption. That contributes to a different source of pain -- cynicism, negativism, despair -- that itself won't in the end leave children (or adults) unharmed. Rod's simple message -- "Go to the police" -- seems much more responsible and untainted by spite.

Elior Chen said...

Elior Chen to be extradited in the coming weeks
Oct. 15, 2009 staff and Dan Izenberg , THE JERUSALEM POST

Elior Chen is set to be extradited to Israel from Brazil in the next few weeks, Justice Ministry officials assessed on Thursday, signaling an end to the long legal battle over the fate of the suspected ringleader in one of the worst child abuse cases in Israeli history.

The Justice Ministry in Brasilia has already signed the extradition order, having refused to grant Chen refugee status in the country.

Chen, a self-styled rabbi, allegedly influenced members of his flock to abuse their children in order to "correct their corrupt souls."

His alleged crimes became known after two brothers, one three years old and the other four-and-a-half, were rushed to hospital on March 12, 2008 after suffering from abuse. The younger child suffered severe brain damage and has not recovered. The older one, who was admitted with burns, was released three weeks later.

Their mother was indicted for the crime. It emerged that she belonged to a cult led by Chen, who, after the affair became public, fled first to Canada and later to Brazil.

After a search of several weeks, Israeli authorities discovered that Chen was hiding in Sao Paolo. On April 23, 2008, Israel asked the Brazilian authorities to arrest and hold him in custody so it could file a formal request for his extradition.

It took more than one month to locate him and he was arrested on June 3, 2008. He decided to resist his extradition.

Chen will now be brought to trial in Israel.

Etgar Lefkovits contributed to this report
This article can also be read at: /servlet/Satellite?cid=1255547730157&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

When is mondrovitch being extradited? said...

The bastard needs to pay.

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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!!!!!!!