UN-ORTHODOX JEW

NEW ADDRESS-UNORTHODOXJEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM ADD"S" TO JEW

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

NEW ADDRESS-UNORTHODOXJEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM-ADD "S" TO JEW

Readers,
I am in communication with Mr. Pasik Esq., he is spending his own resources trying to institute various laws and programs to protect our children and vulnerable adults from sex abuse. I have done my due dilligence on this gentleman; he has an impeccable reputation in the legal as well as the Jewish community. I am urging members of our community to assist him in this noble and much needed effort.



I'm a lawyer, and I've been active in trying to do something about the problem of sex abuse in our community. In person, on the telephone, and by numerous letters and e-mails with all of the major frum organizations, I've been trying to accomplish two things:

1. Criminal background checks of all employees and volunteers working in yeshivas/day schools;

2. Torah U'mesorah having an internal registry of people who are unfit to work in our mosdos, because of a history of violence or sex abuse.

In May 2003, Torah U'Mesorah had a seminar on the problem of sex abuse, and some of the speakers said that the concept of a registry has been endorsed, but nothing has yet been done.

I got a boost in May 2005, when the RCA at its Convention passed a Resolution that I proposed and drafted, which endorses my two proposals. You can read it on their website, rabbis.org.

At this point, I've written letters to the Governor, and leaders of the Assembly and State Senate, asking for a new statute (law) that would require criminal background checks in all nonpublic schools, i.e., yeshivas, day schools. As I state in my letter, 42 out of 50 states require their public schools to perform background checks; 10 states require their nonpublic schools to do background checks; without compulsion of law, many nonpublic schools and volunteer youth groups are doing background checks, e.g., all Catholic schools, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Little League of America, etc. Only we Jews aren't doing this.

Public support for my proposal would help, and if you, or someone you know, or any other serious person reading this blog would like to invite me to speak somewhere, I am available.

Finally, I hope to form an association of yeshiva/day school parents and friends that will push this proposal, and also explore other, new ways to make our schools a better and safe place for our children. Again, all interested persons can contact me at my e-mail address below. I do have some specific ideas in my mind. I particularly need somebody with computer skills to set up a website, which will include some of my letters on this issue; and I also need lawyers who can set up a nonprofit corporation, eligible for tax deductions.

Kol tuv.

Elliot B. Pasik, Esq.
Long Beach, New York
efpasik@aol.com

132 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Pasik, Boruch Hashem for people like you and UOJ.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 2:04:00 PM  
Anonymous bart simpson said...

hello,

i agree completely...its about time that people like mr pasik and UOJ finally show the dirty little secrets going on in the religious communities-and dont think for a moment that this doesnt affects less religious jews-and plays into the goyim's stereotypes that all jews give a hoot about is money,power and stauts...i have read this blog for a while now..and the abuses...monetary,sexual..and otherwise...just have me shaking my head.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 3:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also agree - I want to feel comfortable sending my grandchildren in cheder & yeshiva. For me, its not about "exposing dirty little secrets" - that's only the means to an end - making our schools safe and hiring teachers and rabeim who present a model of yidishkeit our children can endorse. I wouldn't worry about the goyim too much right now - most Catholic parents won't let their teenage sons go to confession with a priest.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 4:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Only we Jews aren't doing this." -- not true... I know of "out of town" private jewish schools that require comprehensive criminal background checks (fingerprinting, etc.) of all school employees, not just teachers... The fact that Heimeshe schools in NY are reluctant to jump on this bandwagon is an indictment of our leadership. That such a "no brainer" has not yet been implemented is beyond me. Kudos, counsellor.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 4:32:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

It will happen in one of two ways:

1. Parents demand it.

2. NYS Legislature passes legislation.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 4:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is probably the only good thing that's come from this site,but a good thing it is.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 5:17:00 PM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

Thank you for the chizuk everybody.

Anon. 4:32: On a comprehensive, systematic basis, only the Jews aren't doing this. The Catholics, on the other hand, have a central office in Washington, D.C., coordinating nationwide criminal background checks. They hired the number-two official from the FBI, a woman, to start the program, Kathleen something. I have been monitoring their website for a few years, and I have all the documents - too many.

I would suspect that the out-of-town private Jewish schools you refer to that are conducting fingerprint based criminal background checks on their employees (which I'm glad to hear)are in those 10 states that have laws requiring this - and those states are, as I wrote in my most recent letter to Governor Pataki and New York state legislative officials, dated December 28, 2005: Alabama, California, Louisiana, maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington. I've done some spot checking of my own at yeshivas in those states, and unfortunately, I've discovered non-compliance with the law, and just simple ignorance of the law.

I want New York to become an additional state requiring fingerprint based criminal background checks for nonpublic schools. Currently, fingerprint checks are not allowed because of an archaic statute in our Labor Law, from 1937, which prohibits fingerprinting of employees for the purpose of employment - unless there is another law which permits it.

As I wrote in my first letter to Governor Pataki et al., dated March 30, 2005, New York has laws requiring fingerprint background checks of all school bus drivers, and all security guards - so isn't it inconsistent, to say the least, that a nonpublic school can screen those two categories of workers, but not their janitors, kitchen staff, teachers, administrators.

There have been incidents in which convicted sex offenders have been found to be working in our mosdos. At the separate May 2003 Conventions held by Torah U'mesorah and the Rabbinical Council of America, an incident was described in which a convicted sex offender working as a janitor in a yeshiva attacked some children. This was a totally preventable crime - a background check would have stopped it.

Quite candidly, though, I doubt that one lawyer, no matter how compelling the arguments, is going to get a statute passed through the Legislature that will require fingerprint background checks of all of the employees who work in nonpublic schools teaching about 1 million children in New York State. The Resolution from the RCA - an organization of 1,000 rabbis - gave me a big boost, and instant credibility, but I think this issue needs a political push from an organization of parents, some publicity, phone calls to the legislative leaders, more letters, etc. That organization, as I said, can address some other, very important issues - e.g., tuition, secular studies, even our children's diet and exercise.

So I'm available to speak, in a shul, parlor meeting, formally, informally. I have more to say on this, believe me, that for reasons of confidentiality, time, and space, I can't say here. We need a combination of thinkers and doers - the latter not to be confused with the Scotch, Dewars, although I think we need that too.

Kol tuv, once again,

Elliot B. Pasik, Esq.
Long Beach, New York
efpasik@aol.com

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 5:18:00 PM  
Blogger shmuel said...

What are you waiting for? If you set up an organization, with financial transparency and a sound plan of action, I will donate the first $1,000.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 5:28:00 PM  
Anonymous harvey said...

UOJ,

I am an admirer of yours since you began blogging. Great work, I work among 350 people who read you everyday, jews and non jews, you have the balls that we all admire.
By far and away the best jewish blog who actually does someting important.
When you set up the corporation, post it, i will raise $5000.
mazel tov to you and mr. Pasik

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 5:57:00 PM  
Anonymous itzik said...

Way to go UOJ its about time something was done

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 7:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Pasik:

Kudos to you for attempting to register orthodox deviants in order to keep them away from our children.

However, the major issue facing our community is the propensity to sweep these problems under the carpet. Yeshivas don’t hire convicted sex offenders, they merely cover up the actions of those that should be convicted.

How would you propose dealing with perverts who have not yet been convicted, such as Kolko of Torah Temima?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 8:13:00 PM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

Just from publicly held lectures, I know of two cases where convicted sex offenders did assault children in our mosdos.

We also simply don't know whether there are, in fact, convicted sex offenders working in yeshivas - because nobody checks. And nobody tells us. Why? Because there's no parents organization. No oversight. No lawyers looking over somebody's shoulder, with the children's interests at stake.

To convince anybody of the extent of the problem, go onto the website of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, click onto sex offender registry, and there you will find the lowest of the low - thousands of convicted Level 3 sex offenders - those adjudicated to be at the highest risk for repeating (Level 2 is moderate, and Level 1 is low risk, and they don't get onto the public website). You can search by county, zip code or name. And if you search by zip code, type in the zip codes for Borough Park, Rockland County, and Albany, click onto the Jewish names, and then staring you in the face will be Jewish men with beards and yarmulkes - Level 3 sex offenders. And there are other jurisdictions in this country where you can do the same thing. Then consider that any of these men can apply for a job in a yeshiva or day school, not get background-checked, and get the job. I printed some of these web site photos up, and in a discussion I had with a Rosh Yeshiva on this issue, he was very attentive, and supportive, but he wasn't really moved until he saw the photos. It is astonishing.

Ah, what about UNconvicted sex offenders. That is point 2 of my two point proposal. The vast majority of sex offenders don't get arrested and convicted. This is why we need an internal mechanism, possibly under the umbrella of Torah U'mesorah, or a parents organization, for internally disciplining any yeshiva/day school employee who is violent or commits a sexual assault. The New York City Department of Education has such a system and so too does every other public school system. We have 100,000 yeshiva/day school students in New York State. We need our own system, and we don't have one. At the two May 2003 Torah Umesora and RCA Conventions, several speakers told of incidents in which rabbi-molesters move from one yeshiva to another, after credible accusations are made. We have to stop this, by developoing an internal disciplinary system, and registry. The frum organizations have not done this, so we the parents must step in.

This is exactly what the May 2005 Resolution says, which I proposed and drafted - and was totally overlooked by the Jewish media. Its on rabbis.org. First, we need background checks, and next, we need a disciplinary system and registry.

Quite frankly, this is not complicated stuff. We just have to do it. But the RCA is primarily a synagogue rabbi organization, so they can't do it, and Torah Umesorah, an educational umbrella group of 700 yeshivas, which would seem like the right address for this, has failed to act. And even if they did belatedly act, what role do the parents play? Me? You? Where is the oversight?

I have a lot more to say about this subject, believe me....

Elliot B. Pasik, Esq.
Long Beach, New York
efpasik@aol.com

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 8:45:00 PM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

Should be: May 2005 RCA Resolution

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 8:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Pasik,

Let us know who at Tora Umesora you have been talking to.
Hitting these organizations in their pocket is a language they understand.
Picketing their next event or dinner is not a complicated procedure.
Set up the corp, raise some money for full page ads in the "Goyishe", Jewish weeklies, that is certain to get their attention.
I know this blog is read by thousands of Jews, post your stuff here, every shul will be talking about it.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 9:01:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

Mr. Pasik;

Set up that organization. You will be receiving money contributions from parents. This blog is a great way to get the message out.

You are doing a great thing. Please keep us posted.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 9:13:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

Mr. Pasik;

What about Agudah? Have you approached them?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 9:15:00 PM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

I've spoken to everybody, Torah U'Mesorah, Agudah, OU, RCA, NCYI. And everybody agrees that both background checks and a registry should be done. Yet, it hasn't been done. Is somebody dissenting in private, and that's why it hasn't been done? I don't know. In any event, we, the parents and friends of yeshivas and day schools, have to get the job done. And that's fine, everything is for the best.

But we have to organize. One Jewish lawyer working alone won't do it. And I'm not a corporate lawyer, or tax lawyer, familiar with setting up nonprofit religious organizations, and getting IRS tax exempt status, so people can make tax deductible donations. I'm a civil litigator. We need people doing a whole variety of things if we want to this right.

Perhaps to get the ball rolling, if anybody wants copies of my two letters to Gov. Pataki and legislative leaders dated March and December 2005, I can fax them to you, if you email me your fax number. They're together about 11 pages. Believe me, these letters are very interesting, very detailed, and reflect lots of time and research. (I can't email the letters to you, its just too time consuming.) I would appreciate your identifying yourself, but I won't ask you which blogger you were - this way, your blogger privacy is still preserved. You can then privately, in a responsible manner, circulate these two letters in your yeshivas/day schools/shuls, and if you want to contact me to speak to a small or large group, with an eye towards doing some very concrete things, then please contact me by email. I don't want the letters to go on the Internet just yet, or released to any media, because there are a couple items I want to take care of beforehand.

There are also some very interesting additional ideas a parents/friends associaton can address - e.g., tuition, secular studies. I have some very definite ideas, and I'm sure others do also.

I saw one blogger quote Rabbi Hirsch for saying that the shechina comes to the kehilla only, not the individual - and that means the kehilla has to be organized. And Rabbi Hirsch says don't rely on your leaders - if they fail, join together as a kehilla, and do good things!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

The Agudah does not support initiatives that are not their own. Period. They will only comply if they can control the whole idea and sabotage it as if it were their doing.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 11:42:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Mr. Pasik,

Interesting that all the organizations you named would do nothing.

My fear is that they are well aware of the amount of people that have been accused of this heinous behavior, and are concerned that they may be in their organizations as well.

Look at the amount of time it took the OU to get rid of Boruch Lanner; years.

Therefore don't expect them to cooperate, they all have childrens programs, and if they look, God knows what they may find.

I would like to see a list of names of the people you contacted at the various organizations. I know just about all the "leaders", and have ways of reaching them and getting their attention.

This will not be easy or quick; we will make changes.

Kol Hakovod!

Thursday, January 05, 2006 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Mr. Pasik,

Please expect the letters to find it's way to the media once you fax them out to anyone.

I would suggest that you wait until you are ready to have them publicized before sending them out.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 12:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Pasik:

You seem focused on creating a nonprofit entity. Why do you need contributions? What expenses do you intend incurring?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 1:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is someone suggesting that our Yeshiva's refuse to spend a few dollars doing a criminal background check before hiring their teachers? Sounds absurd to me.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 1:07:00 AM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

Vis-a-vis dealings with the frum organizations, sure it has not been easy at times, there are different ideologies, politics, and cultures across the spectrum, but it strikes me as inappropriate to get into particulars, as I believe that all participants do have an expectation of some reasonable level of confidentiality. This is a sensitive issue, and I am result-oriented.

And yes, I do believe we need a distinct nonprofit entity, and I hope to have an article appearing next week in a Jewish publication outlining some ideas for financing Jewish education. I believe at this point that we need a Yeshiva Parents and Friends Association, to take its place alongside the Agudas, the OUs, etc. For too long, we parents are on the outside looking in. We have no say, we have no clout. Criminal background checks, and an internal disciplinary system/registry both should have been done a long time ago, and the fact that they haven't speaks volumes.

As for expenses:

1. We need to fund raise for yeshivas in a major, major way, cut the cost of tuition, and I hope my article on this will appear next week;

2. We need to explore some legal ways to get money out of the Government, possibly to pay for the cost of secular education (the Lawrence Plan), although I certainly acknowledge there are stiff church-state legal hurdles there. But look how much in billions of dollars a legal coaltion got for the New York City public schools from the State Government after going to court.

2. We need to lobby all state legislatures for background check laws, and state government administrative oversight;

3. We need to hire financial consultants to examine our yeshiva's books and records and suggest ways to cut costs, raise money, and at the same time, provide decent salaries to our rebbes, benefits, and health and life ins. A few yeshivas have done this, and have emerged stronger.

4.We need to get into issues like, diet, and exercise for our children.

WIn short, we need to meet, discuss, exchange ideas, and do things.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 1:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the rca is an irrelevant organization.

torah umesorah protects their own, whatever they say in public.

the only logical recourse is uoj.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 1:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The board members of yeshivas, the Agudah, etc. are all parents themselves. You suggest that we need another nonprofit in order to raise money for yeshivas, the yeshivas are aggressively raising funds themselves. Any yeshiva that is willing to open its books has professionals willing to assist them in their management; the problem is with the many yeshivas that won’t open their books.

In short, I don't think we need yet another organization to drain our resources. We need fresh blood in our existing organizations. Perhaps we need the media to expose a few glaring examples of the criminal negligence that allows our children to be exposed to perverts and lunatics. Embarrass the powers that be and they will be forced to take their heads out of the sand and join the 21st century.

If you are sincere in your wish to fix a dangerously broken system, do so from within the existing infrastructure. The number of capable, levelheaded, influential and substantial members of our community who are disgusted with those who have seized the mantle of leadership, will shock you. These are the people who will fuel change; from within the system.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 2:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 2:11 am

How do you fix margulies and kolko from "within the system"?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 8:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Boog said...

Mr. Pasik;

Good ideas to start with. Let us know which periodical your article will appear in...look forward to reading it.

Your item # 4. Exercise. Good luck with this one. Crying need for this but you will meet stiff resistance as this is considered Bitul Torah and Bitul Z'Man.

Never mind the fact that our children are getting fatter by the day on junk-food high-calorie diets and no exercise.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 8:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Boog said...

Anonymous said...

anon 2:11 am

How do you fix margulies and kolko from "within the system"?

8:01 AM
________________________________________

Get rid of them.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 8:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Boog said...

RE: Lack of Exercise and Proper Diet:

We are rapidly becoming a nation of "Big Fleishigs".

Thursday, January 05, 2006 8:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anon.4:32 said...

Mr. Pasik -- you are correct... The private schools to which I was referring are in one of those states that require background checks... I was unaware of the requirement prior to you pointing it out.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 9:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as I see Margolis running a school, as long as I see Koko as a rebbe, this is all talk.
Mr. Pasik before you waste your time i want to see what you do about these 2 criminals.
if you cant handle this, you are wasting our time and our money. these guys are prime examples of why I feel nothing will change. all the organizations and rosh yeshivas know about these criminals one a vicious child molester the other a filthy scoundrel and thief, and a man who has harbored this molester for years and years.
here's your chance to show us what can be done to what the frum world is suffering with. get some action here, you become a hero, you cant do anything here, your spinning your wheels.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous simcha said...

Mr. Pasek,

I agree the above anon. As long as the organizations and rosh yeshivas leave Margolis and Kolko in their positions, we know that they themselves are corrupt.
They have conventions and dinners talking about tznius and other issues when two criminals are right under their noses and they do nothing.
In order for us to have confidence that change is possible, do the obvious get rid of these two bums, if not i too believe you are wasting your time.
I will be happy to make a major donation and so are many of my friends who have read this blog, but not until we are convinced that all these guys are just not covering up for each other.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous boog said...

I agree with you that they have to go but you'll get to the promised land, IMO, much faster if you start at the bottom and work your way up.

Get this registry in place, eliminate the ability of molesters and pervs to get into our yehiva system as employees.

You won't pin Kolko's shmekel to the wall unless and until the parents of these abused kids step front and center and file charges. Till then it's all heresay and unsubstantiated.

As one of the posters here has indicated, yeshiva administrations are aiding and abetting these low-lifes.
I'm sure Mr. Pasik is very familiar with this.

As far as margulies is concerned, none of our "leaders" will do diddly-squat. They have no beitzim and no doubt are covering their own peccadiloes. Hit him in the wallet where he'll feel it. Get his big money baalabatim to pressure him to open the books and accountability, otherwise they close their wallets.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

I am sure if you speak to the right people at the above mentioned organizations this can be put into effect.

These leaders have children or grandchildren in the school system, dont you think they want to protect them as much as you do?

If you come to them with a detailed plan, in writing, with some sort of presentation, not a half ass speech, that they will forget the minute you leave the room. Things can and will be accomplished on this issue.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Mr. Pasik,

We, as baalei batim have been spending huge amounts of money to support these mosdos and yeshivas.

We sit on their boards and sit and sit...as soon as we say something that sounds progressive all hell breaks loose.

Take your own example, these organizations agree with you on something so fundamental; protect our children from abuse. What have they done????

Therefore change from within is not possible as long as there is no vaad controlled by respected lay people that have access to the books and records, and the ability to challenge the "owners" of the yeshivas.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous boog said...

Correct, UO;

Tough nut to crack.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

Good afternoon, everybody, I'm back from court.

Now I'll respond, as best I can, to soem of the posts.

Anon.: The RCA is a great organization, and its executive vice president, Rabbi Herring, is a tzaddik'l. Rabbi Herring responded to my e-mails, took my calls, we met, he asked for some additional back-up materials, I provided them, and he and his group took action. The May 2005 Resolution is very important. Just this morning, I made some phone calls to State Senators and Assemblymen, spoke to some staff, and once I mentioned the Resolution, I had credibility. Enacting resolutions like this should be the essence of any religious organization - speaking with a moral, ethical voice, and effecting positive change.

As for Torah U'Mesorah protecting their own, what can I say? I have no knowledge, and frankly, the subject doesn't interest me. I have a job to do, I am result oriented, and the reason why I went on this blog is to recruit allies.

Anon.: 2:11 a.m. As I keep saying, I need to speak somewhere, and explain what I've been doing for too long a time vis a vis the Jewish organizations, and trying to get them to do background checks, and establish a disciplinary system/registry. A new organization is, in fact, needed, because we parents have no voice. Working through the existing infrastructure is impossible, I've been trying to do it, and it hasnt't worked. We need our own seat at the table, so that we can stop acting like stooped supplicants.
And a new organiztaion would not cost that much, and with the right people, can accomplish some very, very good things.

Sam: Everything I've done vis a vis the organizations has been in writing - this means legal, detailed letters, giving facts, figures, and even annexing forms on how to do background checks. Still, it hasn't been done. And yes, believe me, I've spoken to all the right people, everybody. That'w why we need a law in New York, and ocmpliance with laws in other states.

UOJ: The yeshivas and day schools are not even doing name based criminal background checks through private companies, such as Choice Point. Name based checks are not perfect, they are flawed, because they are susceptible to fraud and error, and they only "pick up" felonies, not misdemeanors, no matter how serious - there are numerous serious misdemeanors like sex assault, violent assault, drugs, etc. Again, this is why we need a law in New York requiring fingerprint based criminal background checks.

Anon.:10:30am, and Simcha: Credibile allegations of sex abuse against any person need to be made by the victim. It is the victim who must go to the police department or DA's office. Hearsay allegations made by bloggers on the Internet do not suffice.

I detect some cynisism, and a can't do attitude among some of the bloggers. I would call this the m'raglim attitude - its pessimism. The inhabitants of eretz Canaan are g'dolim and we're grasshoppers. Fast forward a few thousand years, and some say the problems of today are g'dolim and we're grasshoppers. Rashi calls the m'raglim r'shaim - just for being pessimists. But, there were two m'raglim who were not pessimists, Yehoshua and Calev.

Let me tell you about optimists in New Jersey. In 1994, a 7 year old girl named Megan Kanka lived in Hamilton Township, New Jersey. A convicted sex offender moved into her neighborhood, but nobody knew about it, because at that time there were no mandatory community notification laws on the books; nor was there any public sex offender registry law on the books. This man saw Megan on the street, and invited her into his home, to see his new puppy. Once inside, he raped and murdered her. An outraged New Jersey citizenry collected 400,000 signatures on a petition demanding a Megans Law which would require mandatory community notification when a convicted sex offender moves in, and a public registry. Counting 89 days from Megan's death, a new law was passed in the Legislature, and signed by the Governor.

What are we Jews doing? How many more letters would you like me to write? How many more of my phone calls, e mails, and letters should go unreturned? How many more years should go by before we do criminal background checks, and establish a disciplinary system and registry. At the RCA and Torah Umesorah May 2003 conventions, a very prominent psychologist spoke, and I have the tapes, and he said, there have been an unconscionable number of suicides in our community because of sex abuse. So, cynics, how many more suicides do you want, before we do something? The people of New Jersey did something in 89 days, 89 days, and we are letting years go by.

As I keep saying, I have a lot to say, and I have more to say, but our goal should never be to fight amongst ourselves, no matter how much fun, yes, fun, that might be. We have to protect our children, for goodness sake. What and who are some of us afraid of? We should be afraid of G-d, that's all, and nobody else.

I thank the blogger who sent me his fax number, I will fax you my two letters from March and December 2005, to Gov. Pataki and NY legislative leaders today.

Elliot B. Pasik, Esq.
efpasik@aol.com
Long Beach, New York

Thursday, January 05, 2006 2:13:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Mr. Pasik,

Simple question for you.

Do the umbrella organizations of the yeshivas have a fiduciary responsibilty to their contributors?

If one was to file suit against Torah Umesorah or the OU for example, for breach of their fiduciary obligations, would that lawsuit have any merit?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 3:04:00 PM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

UOJ:

Some "simple" question. Its not so simple.

Certainly, nonprofits can and have been successfully sued in the past, under a variety of legal theories. I recall a case against the Jewish National Fund, based on allegations that they were publicly seeking donations on the representation that they would support projects on the other side of the Green Line, but in fact, they were not doing that.

If you're thinking of a lawsuit against a Jewish organization based on the sex abuse problem, you can be sure I've given that some thought. The OU is primarily an organization that services synagogues, promotes religious programs to youth (NCSY), advocates legal and social positions before the Government, and obviously, is in the kashrus business. It has very little to do with yeshiva and day schools. NCYI is similar to the OU.

Torah U'mesorah is a different story. They are an umbrella group for 700 yeshivas and day schools in the United States, educating 200,000 plus Jewish children. Certainly, their individual schools, and arguably, by extension, Torah Umesorah itself, owe a "special" or "heightened" duty of care to all of the children attending those schools to provide adequate security. Those words are in quotes, because they appear in court decisions.

Some courts refer to this duty as, "in loco parentis" - an ancient Latin phrase that means, in place of the parent. When a parent, under legal compulsion, transfers physical custody of his or her child to a school, that school stands in the place of the parent, and assumes the same duty of care that a parent has toward the child. Just as a parent would not hire a convicted sex offender as a babysitter, a school should not hire a sex offender as a janitor, kitchen worker, teacher, or rebbe.

In my opinion, the legislative route, as I've described, is preferable to a lawsuit, but if the legislative route fails - perhaps because there may be opposition from some quarters - certainly, then, all options should be considered. Public education departments get sued all the time for these kinds of things, and certainly, we all know what has happened in terms of lawsuits against the Catholic Church. We must remember that these are our children we're talking about, not the school's not the rabbi's, our children.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 3:27:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Mr. Pasik,

Why not a letter to Torah U'mesorah putting them on notice that a legal proceeding may be forthcoming?

They ultimately would be forced to respond in depositions.

They have ignored you and us for years, time to get tough big time.
I will contribute to the legal expenses of such a lawsuit.

Shame on Shia Fishman, Avi Shulman and Company. What's their excuse now, Elya Svei is out of the picture?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 3:38:00 PM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

UOJ:

You're right, and I'm right, but no lawsuit now. A lawsuit would be a bloodletting. And the results would be uncertain.

The New York State Legislature's session began yesterday, and ends at the end of June, and we have almost exactly six months to organize, generate public support, and get a law passed requiring fingerprint based criminal background checks for all employees in nonpublic schools in New York State. In my opinion, the legislative route is actually easier than court. Before the legislature, we can appeal to public opinion - and in the words of one blogger, which I've also said, this is a "no brainer".

If we fail in Albany, then we have to think about other options.

But I need soldiers.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 3:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Sheldon Silver friend or foe?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 4:02:00 PM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

Anon. 4:02 PM.

Don't know yet. But his office did get my letters, I called. Its being reviewed, we have to speak next week.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 4:06:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

I agree that the legislative route is best right now. Just imagine if you could get Shelly Silver's ear and support on this.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 4:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prediction: This exchange will go on for a while and then die.

Suggestion: The Forward is a well-respected Jewish newspaper that has no problem exposing serious issues within the Orthodox community. An investigative article in the Forward will grab the attention of the mass media and lead to political action.

The results will be instantaneous. The “leaders” will react and heads will roll, including Kolko and company.

UOJ, please contact the Forward and point their noses in the direction of this particular issue on your Blog.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 5:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Pasik:

Is there a statute issue on child molestation?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 5:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Pasik, are you willing to take a pro bono case and be the lead attorney in a lawsuit against Kolko and Margolies? If yes, there are many victims who will cooperate and the action will blow this issue wide open. Look at the result of the Tendler affair publicity.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 5:24:00 PM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

Anon.5:05. "This issue will go on for a while and then die". Do you want to talk about dying - its the children who are dying, not lawyers and advocates like me, UOJ, and others who want to make things better. You're the other side of the pasuk: Tsedek tsedek tirdof l'maan tichye. Justice justice pursue in order that you may live. So if you don't pursue justice, you die.

Sex abuse, Mr. Pessimist, is a type of r'tsicha - murder. Either by suicide, or slowly, and I mean this quite literally. Several medical studies, and I have them in my file, have established that people who have suffered from child sex abuse live shorter lives - they are at higher risk for drug abuse, obesity, tobacco abuse, high risk sexual behaviors, and other life threatening conditions. I cited one of these studies in my March 2005 letter to Gov. Pataki, and state legislative leaders.

You have the same attitude as some of the benchwarmers I've dealt with at the Jewish organizations - you think I and the other lawyers and advocates are just going to go away. No, we're not. Quitters never win, and winners never quit.

Your suggestion to UOJ to contact the Forward is also interesting. Why in our circles is everything "yenem". Let "yenem" do it. Let UOJ do it. Let others do it. Sir, if you think you have a good idea, do it. The worst that can happen to you is that you fail, but at least you've tried, and you're fighting the good fight. Its a stepping stone to success.

Anon.5:07 p.m. I assume you mean statute of limitations issue, for child molestation, and yes, criminally and civilly.

A civil case for a child, seeking money damages, can generally be brought until age 21 in New York. Just yesterday, however, oral argument was held before New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals, as to whether that deadline can be extended for people beyond that age who want to sue the Catholic Church. Their theory is that the Church was hiding information, there was fraud, etc. We'll have to wait for a decision to see what happens.

What the statute of limitations is for charging somebody with the crime of sexual abuse is, I don't know. I think it varies, depending on whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, and the age of the victim.

Obviously, I am giving very general legal information here, not particular advice, and counsel should be consulted.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 5:40:00 PM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

Anon. 5:24. As I think we all know from what we've read about the Catholic Church, lawsuits for money damages have been successfully brought against many churches, parochial schools, and priests. Nationwide, there have been three Archdiocese bankruptcies. The payouts total over $1 billion, part paid for by insurance, but a very large chunk paid by the churches themselves - many church properties have been liquidated in order to raise cash.

In cases like these, lawyers get paid a percentage of the recovery, a contingency fee, which I'm sure you've heard of.

By the way, that's how I got involved in this issue. My office had a case against a church where a teacher's aide in a church school molested a child. Nobody knew he had a previous record for sex abuse, because nobody checked.

So, since I had worked on previous projects before with one lawyer at a particular Jewish organization, I sent him an email saying, shouldn't we be doing criminal background checks in our yeshivas? Its been a long distance marathon ever since.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 5:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Fellow Yid said...

UOJ, Mr. Pasik, and fellow Yiden,

I am employed at one of the "umbrella" organizations you have referred to. "They" feel sufficiently comfortable that the clout these organizations carry with the politicians will protect them from any legislation that could bring harm to the private school sector.
They watch with amazement how the metziza b'peh issue is going their way where the city has stepped back from protecting their citizens because of the Orthodox political clout.
Mr. Pasik, I am on the inside, we know who UOJ is, he's worked with his chashuva family for years on this and many other issues and got practically nowhere, with all their money.
Somebody needs to go to jail, that's the only language they will understand.
As long as well known molesters and their protectors are out and about, no legislative change will mean anything.
By all means, no harm no foul, someone needs to get nailed, lawsuits have to be filed.....
Tendler has been doing his thing for fourteen years that we know about...he's still a rabbi of a prominent kehilla.
Good luck; take my word, ten thousand letters are not worth one lawsuit.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 7:19:00 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Anon 5:05 Suggestion: The Forward is a well-respected Jewish newspaper that has no problem exposing serious issues within the Orthodox community. An investigative article in the Forward will grab the attention of the mass media and lead to political action.

I hope that was a joke that the forward is a well respected paper. The only information it ever writes about concerning religous issues are problems, does it ever write, how much good the religous community does/??

Anon, please stick to Mr. Pasik's ideas and way of thinking, and keep your sinas chinum to yourself.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 7:19:00 PM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

Fellow Yid: Interesting comment, and something for me to think about.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 7:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Agudah watcher said...

Chaim Dovid Zweibel reads UOJ before he washes nagle vasser. He understands the power of this one family and the fear that a lawsuit is coming with Mr. Pasik or without. The head of the Pirchei, Shimon Grama, is an accused child molester, was kicked out of yeshivas and summer camps and interfaces daily with hundreds of teens. Go figure. Is there an honest man in any frum organization?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 8:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Pasik:

This is Anon 5:05 responding. I am not a “yenem.” I am actively involved in communal work and serve on Boards. I also reserve a healthy dose of skepticism for self-serving activists. Your unwillingness to offer pro bono legal assistance coupled with your ambiguous reference to the sizable awards won by lawyers in the Catholic abuse cases leaves me wondering.

I am well aware of the damage caused by abusive and deviant educators. My point is that your goal of founding a new organization to battle this scourge is ill minded and bound to fail. The unfortunate reality is that it will most likely fail without much notice.

We live in an open democracy with a legal system that sometimes offers justice. While I abhor Sam’s simple minded entreaty that I

“please stick to Mr. Pasik's ideas and way of thinking, and keep your sinas chinum to yourself.”

I do understand his mentality. I disagree with his thinking. He and ilk believe that anyone who criticizes our community is an enemy. Not so. Our community is far from perfect and in many ways needs to learn about basic decency from society at large. The recent Chasidic battles are a case in point.

The Forward is a highly reputable newspaper with a mostly secular Jewish focus that is manned by reporters who have solid American values. As such, they are insulated from our Community’s political influence and do not share our baseless awe for religious leaders who are scoundrels. Lacking this awe they are well positioned to expose the abusers and their protectors (eg. Kolko and Margolies.) As a well respected publication (as opposed to the Jewish Press, Yated, Hamodia, etc.) an investigative article in the Forward will prove more powerful than the political might of Margolies, Agudah, Torah Umesorah, etc, all of whom have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. No politician, and as you must know the DA’s are politicians, wants to be seen as someone allowing crimes against children to go unpunished.

In short, exposure is the only sure route and since we must take that route, better a Jewish paper, albeit a secular one, than a non-Jewish paper. Once exposed, the perpetrators will face the legal and social repercussions of their crimes and cover-ups. We do not have the expertise or the credibility to mount a thorough investigation, they do.

Finally, my purpose in respectfully requesting that UOJ contact the Forward is to offer the newspaper the benefit of his knowledge. He has a group of Kolko's victims willing to talk, I don’t. I believe that once a serious investigation commences, dozens more victims will step forward (no pun intended.) The ultimate outcome, the downfall of Kolko and Margolies will prove cathartic to their victims and will bring the gates crashing down on other molesters and their protectors.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 8:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least The Forward has authentic journalists and not Agudah/Lakewood puppets.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 9:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BOOG:

Anonymous said...

anon 2:11 am

How do you fix margulies and kolko from "within the system"?

8:01 AM
________________________________________

Get rid of them.

8:14 AM

Boog: How do you propose getting rid of them?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 10:51:00 PM  
Anonymous seeker said...

We should be extremely carefull who teaches or comes in contact with our children.Chinuch should be an honored profession, not something a kollel guy does because he has a lack of skills so chinuch is the only way he can be a wage earner.People not qualified for chinuch should not come near our kids,its an concept of pikuach nefesh.I don't understand why we need government intervention to have checks in yeshivas for sex offenders,isn't it obvious>We entrust our kids 8 hours a day to schools that should keep the creeps out.They should embrace checks no matter the cost.Perhapes this is why theres a rise in kids at risk.A call to all yeshivas fully embrace having checks for sex offenders,please.Its crucial and obvious.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seeker,

True, but they aren't doing it. Why? The operators of our schools are not stupid, they simply don't care because they are focused elsewhere.

We need to focus their attention on this issue by focusing the world's attention on them.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please flag this as "prohibited."

It's a Chilul Hashem and serves no good purpose.

http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/rnr/123013967.html

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this too


http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/rnr/123012022.html

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Boog said...

To anon:

See my post above at 11 A.M.
_____________________________________

Mr. Pasik; UOJ,

Actually going to The Forward first, and have them do a series on this topic may give you "Kefitzas haderech" and Hatzlocho vis-a-vis getting legislation passed. The publicity, storm, protests, threats of/or instigation of lawsuits are going to cause a "Va'Yikatz Paroh" among our politicos.

For a politician not to act against sex perverts who molest our children is like them going against motherhood, apple pie, and the American Flag.

DOA at Election Time.

Mr Pasik, I suggest you get together with UOJ, decide on a presentation and go to The Forward. UOJ you can start with Kolko. The parents are waiting and ready.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Friends,

I am communicating with the Forward.

Friday, January 06, 2006 12:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't Wait!

Friday, January 06, 2006 12:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Boog said...

UOJ;

Hatzlocho Rabboh!!!!!!!!!

Keep us posted on your progress.

Friday, January 06, 2006 12:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Boog said...

BTW on a totally unrelated topic to this thread:

Pat Robertson for next Prime Minister of Israel.

Read the transcript of his remarks RE: PM Sharon on his 700 Club Program.

Friday, January 06, 2006 1:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boog,

Don't think for a minute that the Right Wing Christian Evangelists give two shits about the Jews. It's old news that their support for Israel is for self-serving reasons. Their interest only lies with the supposed, final descent of Jesus and the Rapture which can only occur if the Chosen People are in the Promised Land so they can be left there while "Christ" sets up his eternal Kingdom in heaven before converting the Jews.

Shame on anyone who takes this kind of support for Israel seriously.

Friday, January 06, 2006 1:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Boog said...

Know and understand their Lo Lishmah motivation, anon; and I apologize for not being clear.

From my perspective it's refreshing to hear plain talk even though it is not PC.
I'm sure many of the expelled Gush Katifniks are thinking these same words but don't want to spend time in the clink for saying them publicly.

On the other hand, jail might be good; at least they would have a roof over their heads.

Friday, January 06, 2006 1:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why jump to the conclusion that God punished Sharon for expelling Jews?

Perhaps God kept Sharon alive (after all he was always medically, high risk)just to expel the Jews and now that the task has been completed, there is no use for him any longer.

Or, God used Sharon as his messenger and then punished him anyway. My point is, it is silly to say that "this is God's punishment..." Nobody knows why God (or if God for that matter) does anything!

Friday, January 06, 2006 2:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UOJ:

Please post as to your progress with the Forward. I'll do anything I can to assist you.

Friday, January 06, 2006 8:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Boog said...

True, NOBODY KNOWS FOR SURE about why these things happen, just as nobody knows for sure the reason(s)why Hashem brought forth the Holocaust.

I am merely addressing the non-PC, fearless expression of an "opinion".

Friday, January 06, 2006 8:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Front page of the New York Times today.

Lunatic Satmar Chasidim fighting Bloomberg over his attempt to protect our children from their dangerous behavior.

Friday, January 06, 2006 9:58:00 AM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

Some additional responses to Blogger posts:

Somebody asked me yesterday about the statute of limitations, and I addressed myself to that issue in secular court. However, in halacha, there is no statute of limitations - it doesn't exist. Indeed, at "common law", much of which is based on Torah, there is no limitation period for bringing lawsuits. That's why we call them "statutes" of limitations - these statutes of limitations are in derogation of common law.

Thus, where there are credible allegations of sex abuse against any Jew, you can bring an action in Beis Din, and the "statute of limitations" defense will not be available. And there are some trustworthy, credible batei din which exist today.

In secular court, one can, in the caption of the case, identify oneself as John or Jane Doe, and also move for relief that the file be sealed, not open to the public, where the issues may be exceptionally sensitive. I've done this. If I had a case in Beis Din like this this, I would certainly ask for the same procedure, where my client wanted it.

If a client harmed by a Jew against whom there are credible allegations of sex abuse does not have the ability to pay, certainly, I would offer some level of pro bono legal services. I certainly would not charge for an inital conference. The client would also, cleraly, need as to'ayn.

Additionally, by no means should a lawsuit be ruled out, based on the failure of the organized orthodox world to enact reasonable security measures to protect the 100,000 Jewish children attending yeshivas and day schools in NYS, and the 200,000 nationwide. Not to have background checks, and a disciplinary system/registry, is simply unconscionable. As far as the background checks are concerned, in New York it is absolutely clear that the legislative route is currently the way to go. But what about the internal disciplinary system/registry - to compel the yeshiva/day school world to do this, court may be the only way to go.

All of this clearly, clearly, clearly, needs an organization, despite the comments from the sole dissenter, Anon 5:05. None of us, not me, not UOJ, not anybody, can work alone.

I would also certainly cooperate with any newspaper interested in any aspect of this story.

Anon: 5:05. I see no useful purpose in continuing a dialogue with you, because it seems like you've got your mind made up, despite my saying that there are numerous aspects and nuances to this whole story which can't be told on a Blog. There is information out there which you are simply unaware of, and which can only be related in a b'kavodik organizational setting, where there is some reasonable level of confidentiality amongst the people involved, and where there is a thoughtful, intelligent exchange of ideas among activitist people. That's why I keep repeating that a parents group is necesssary. Practically every school in America, public and private, has a parents' organizations, except - did I say this before? - the Jews.

We need oversight, we need ideas, we need activism, we need each other - one more time, these are our children we're talking about.

Elliot B. Pasik, Esq.
Long Beach, New York
efpasik@aol.com

I'm glad to hear that UOJ has gone to the Forward, and I would certainly cooperate with any journalist interested in this story.

Friday, January 06, 2006 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Mr. Pasik & Friends,

Please assist me with the Forward by e-mailing to "letters@forward.com", urging the editors to take on this story.

I'm sorry to say that if they view it as a internal Jewish fight among the Orthodox, adding sexual molestation to the story, in addition to having hundreds of e-mails, chances are they'll be glad to go with it.
Mr. Pasik, kindly e-mail your legislative proposals to them as well.

Guys, Look,
I need help, I am a one man band and have been for years, the blog finally is getting somewhere.

Have your friends, family, kids, co-workers etc... bombard the forward with e-mails.

Thanks,
A very frustrated Jew

Friday, January 06, 2006 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is it exactly we want the Forward to accomplish? What should our letters convey?

Friday, January 06, 2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

That finally something that has been covered up for years is about to be exposed. Get it Mr. Forward before the New York Times gets it.

Friday, January 06, 2006 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous gross said...

Legislation is a small step in conquering our problems within.

Most abusers/molestors have never been through the system. Out concern should be to eradicate from our community (at least our yeshiva/dayschool community) the possibility of a known/abuser employed at an educational institution.

I don't think there are many "certified" child molestors who are then hired to work in a yeshiva. It's the people who have been known to be involved in things like this and have been covered for. It would be very difficult to implement a system to avoid another cover-up - as in actually reporting the
guy.

Friday, January 06, 2006 11:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check this out

http://american-orthodoxy.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 06, 2006 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

I will send my two letters from March and December, 2005, to Gov. Pataki and NY legislative leaders, to the Forward. I have no problem with these issues getting media coverage, as the only way to get a law passed in a democratic society is through public opinion. This is why, originally, I came onto this blog, seeking support.

Anon.: 11:31 a.m. I couldn't find that blog. Are you sure your spelling is correct?

Friday, January 06, 2006 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the contents of Anon 11:31 AM's blog. He is trying to be "UOJ-Lite" but he is nevertheless on the mark:

Mayor Balances Hasidic Ritual Against Fears for Babies' Health

Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times

Orthodox Jewish men visited Gracie Mansion Thursday for a meeting with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

When one of the most revered Orthodox leaders, Rabbi David Niederman, addressed the throngs, he praised the mayor for his push to create more affordable housing, his takeover of the public schools and his support for the constitutional separation of church and state.

For many in the crowd, the last reference was code for the administration's decision to hold off from taking action against an ancient form of ritualistic circumcision practiced by some Hasidic rabbis that had been linked to three cases of neonatal herpes in late 2004, one of them fatal.

But now, with the election over, the city's Health Department, while not banning the procedure, is angering those Hasidic leaders just the same by pushing a public health campaign against the rite, in which the practitioner, or mohel, sucks the blood from the circumcision wound to clean it. The department took the action after linking the rite to additional cases of herpes in infants, one of whom suffered brain damage as a result.

Some in the Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox communities say the city is infringing upon their religious rights. They go so far as to accuse Mr. Bloomberg of reneging on what they say they took as an election-year assurance that the administration would leave the matter to rabbinical authorities. But others outside those communities had been harshly critical of the administration, saying that it failed to take adequate action against a practice that has been endangering the lives of infants.

The dispute, which had the mayor trying to calm rabbinical leaders at Gracie Mansion yesterday in what his aides called a frank exchange, has put Mr. Bloomberg in the rare position of balancing a key constituency against the policies of one of his most trusted commissioners. And it occurs against the backdrop of the roiling ethnic politics of New York, with Orthodox leaders having threatened to disrupt the mayor's inauguration last Sunday by wearing yellow stars like the ones Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany.

The Bloomberg administration denies that politics have had anything to do with its decisions, and administration officials say they made no pre-election promises regarding the rite.

"The mayor has a fundamental commitment to public health," said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the commissioner of health and mental hygiene. "That didn't change when it looked like the ban was going to cost him re-election, and it didn't change in this case."

Still, Dr. Frieden said, there were plenty of other factors to make an issue affecting a small percentage of city Jews as thorny as the smoking ban that the mayor pushed in 2002, which affected millions. In this case, Dr. Frieden said, the administration is trying to balance religious rights against the health of infants by educating parents about the dangers of the procedure. "There's no question this is one of the most delicate issues I've ever had to deal with," he said.

Dr. Frieden and other officials said they were forced to act in recent weeks after discovering the two new cases of herpes infection.

But some Hasidic leaders see political motivations at work. "The whole thing seems to be that Bloomberg before the election just told the health commissioner, 'Listen, cool it down, and wait till after the election,' " said Isac Weinberger, a leader in the Satmar Hasidic sect in Williamsburg. "It was a flip-flop. He fooled the community."

The health department began focusing on the risks of the procedure, known as metzitzah b'peh, after it learned that one boy in Staten Island and twins in Brooklyn, circumcised by the same mohel in 2003 and 2004, contracted Type-1 herpes.

That form of herpes can prove deadly for infants, who, health officials argue, are of particular risk during metzitzah b'peh. Most non-Orthodox Jews have abandoned the practice, as have even many Orthodox Jews.

But Orthodox rabbis who support the procedure say 2,000 to 4,000 such circumcisions are still performed each year in the city. They insist the procedure is safe and does not transmit herpes, which can be contracted by infants from their mothers, during childbirth. For some Jews the procedure is crucial to raising boys in a Jewish tradition.

"We chose America because of religious freedom. That's why we are here," Rabbi Niederman said this week in an interview at City Hall. "There is no compromise on this issue, because we know it is safe."
The issue erupted in August, when the health department prepared an order prohibiting the mohel whom the department had linked to the three cases of herpes, Rabbi Yitzchok Fischer, from performing further circumcisions. After members of the Central Rabbinical Congress promised to keep him from performing circumcisions and to investigate the cases involving him, the health department stopped drafting the order.

The mayor and his health commissioner said they would continue to study the matter but that they would not ban the practice, with Mr. Frieden saying that such a ban could be seen as interfering with religious freedom, and that a ban would be unenforceable anyway.

And, in a message heard loud and clear by rabbinical leaders, Mr. Bloomberg said on his radio program, "It is not the government's business to tell people how to practice their religion," although he also promised, "We're going to do a study, and make sure that everyone is safe."

Some outside the Hasidic communities criticized the mayor's statement, seeing it as a decided change of tack for an administration that had banned smoking and taken an aggressive stand on public health issues in general.

"He has made it legally impossible to have a cigarette and a cocktail at the same time, anywhere in the city," fumed the writer Christopher Hitchens on Slate in August. "I'll trade him his stupid prohibitionist ban if he states clearly that it is the government's business to protect children from religious fanatics."

An editorial last week in a local Yiddish newspaper, Der Blatt, cited the mayor's position then as a catalyst for the huge campaign rally for him on Nov. 5 in Williamsburg.

"What has been promised to us prior to the recent elections - and this was the only request we made - was that the subject of metzitzah b'peh should be completely untouched by the city department of health," the editorial said. "This and only this was the reason why thousands of Orthodox Jews registered themselves to vote, undersigned a petition to the mayor, came out in droves, men, women and children, to an unprecedented rally."

Rabbi Niederman said this week that he believed that Orthodox Jews supported Mr. Bloomberg because of many of his policies, not just his position on the rite, and said it would be unfair to question his political motives. Nonetheless, he said, "Before the election, we were very proud that the mayor did the right thing."

He said he was "astonished" and "shocked" by the city's more recent actions.

In December, Dr. Frieden wrote an "open letter" to Jews recommending against the practice and highlighting an alternative in which a sterile tube is used. He has also announced a plan to hand out literature about the practice's dangers to postnatal mothers. And a new health department alert has reminded hospitals of a mandate to report what Dr. Frieden described as "all unusual manifestations of disease" in newborns.

Dr. Frieden said his hand was forced when his department discovered the new cases of neonatal herpes - one coming in the spring, the other, in which the infant suffered brain damage, coming in October - and conclusively determined that they and the earlier cases were caused by metzitzah b'peh.

He emphasized that the city had no plans to take more aggressive action against the procedure. "I really have bought into the worldview that says for some part of the community metzitzah b'peh is integral to circumcision, and circumcision is integral to being Jewish," he said.

One public health specialist, Dr. William M. McCormack, director of the infectious disease program at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, said Dr. Frieden's move "was probably the least that he could have done with a clear conscience."

But members of the Central Rabbinical Congress said that Dr. Frieden was in effect going over rabbis' heads by talking directly to their congregations in an attempt to persuade them to abandon a centuries old religious practice.

An open letter responding to Dr. Frieden, signed by "a member of the Jewish community" but approved by Hasidic leaders, said, "The citizens of the observant Jewish community live by the our own Director of Surveillance, with mandates that have guided and preserved our families for thousands of years."

Rabbi Niederman, who attended last night's meeting at Gracie Mansion, said the mayor calmed the rabbis by calling for a meeting of doctors who agree with the city and doctors who agree with the rabbis at which they would find "common ground."

"Maybe it needs a Camp David, you know what I mean, for three days, and nobody leave the room until an agreement is reached," Rabbi Niederman said.

OPINION:

I find it odd to hear these uneducated simpletons argue about the preservation of their ancient traditions. What part of their psyche doesn't grasp the historical reality of their relatively recent entry into our religion.

The Chasidic movement is a MODERN movement began a mere 250 years ago. For them to argue "tradition" with a straight face, when the basis of their movement was a challenge to traditional orthodox Judaism, is sheer lunacy. For them to attempt the continuation of Metzitzah B'peh, claiming they have a handle on the medical risks, is against Halacha and shocking.

Perhaps if they had a single medical doctor in their community, they might feel differently.

Friday, January 06, 2006 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

copy and paste the link into the address bar of your web browser. it worked for me.

Friday, January 06, 2006 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the person to contact at the forward is ms. schaechter. her email address is

schaechter@yiddish.forward.com

please be respectful and moderate in your communications with her.

thank you uoj.

Friday, January 06, 2006 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i did a search of this reporter. this is her most recent article.

Rabbinical Court Slams Embattled Rabbi
By Rukhl Schaechter

January 6, 2006

An ultra-Orthodox rabbinical court in Monsey, N.Y., has waded into the battle over a beleaguered rabbi facing allegations of sexual harassment.

Rabbi Benzion Y. Wosner, head of the Shevet Levi rabbinical court in Monsey, issued a ruling last week (dated Hanukkah 2005) stating that Rabbi Mordecai Tendler, the spiritual leader of a synagogue in nearby New Hempstead, is unfit to serve as an Orthodox rabbi. The ruling was widely distributed to the rabbis and congregants of the local Orthodox synagogues, including Tendler's synagogue, Kehillat New Hempstead. Tendler did not return phone calls from the Forward.

The ruling comes just one week after Adina Marmelstein, a former congregant of Tendler's synagogue, filed a civil lawsuit in Manhattan against Tendler, the scion of a prominent rabbinical family, accusing him of giving her "sex therapy" when she went to him for counseling. Tendler was expelled from the Rabbinical Council of America, a Modern Orthodox organization, in March 2005, after a yearlong investigation of allegations that he sexually harassed women who came to him for spiritual guidance.

In the months before the RCA ruling, Tendler's supporters said that the allegations against him were being orchestrated by ultra-Orthodox rabbis who opposed the methods he used in helping women who were unable to secure a religious divorce from their husbands. At the same time, Tendler told people that several of the ultra-Orthodox rabbis in Monsey who criticized his work on women's issues had investigated the sexual harassment allegations and rejected them. However, attached to Wosner's ruling was a clarification signed by seven ultra-Orthodox Monsey rabbis disputing Tendler's claim that they had exonerated him.

In an interview with the Forward, one of the signatories, Rabbi Mordechai Orbach, said he arranged a meeting with Tendler at the beginning of 2003 in Congregation Shaarey Tefilah, Orbach's Monsey synagogue. The meeting was attended by six other rabbis representing the various Hasidic and non-Hasidic ultra-Orthodox groups in Monsey.

The rabbis questioned Tendler and ended the meeting by saying they would investigate further, Orbach said. Since then, Tendler and his supporters claimed on a number of occasions that the Monsey rabbis had cleared him.

In their clarification, however, the rabbis wrote: "Since it has been publicly announced...and printed that we investigated R' Mordecai Tendler and that we were convinced of the truth of his statements, we are hereby forced to publicize that this is an outright lie." Rabbi Shraga Feivel Zimmerman, one of the seven signatories, told the Forward that the clarification "is authentic, and we stand behind the statement contained in it."

Meanwhile, the RCA, the Modern Orthodox rabbinical union that expelled Tendler, has been fighting its own battle with the rabbi.

A Jerusalem regional rabbinical court contacted by Tendler after his dismissal by the RCA has been chastising the organization in a series of letters for expelling Tendler without bringing the issue to an independent rabbinical court. In response, on December 29, the RCA announced on its Web site that it has formally agreed to participate in a Jewish legal procedure, known as zabla, in New York. According to the rules of the procedure, each side of a dispute chooses a rabbinical judge, and the two judges jointly choose a third judge, forming a religious tribunal to hear the case.

"To this date, neither Mordecai Tendler nor his representatives have ever properly communicated his commitment to in fact proceed to zabla," the RCA statement continued.

In his recent ruling, Wosner, the ultra-Orthodox legal authority in Monsey, defended the RCA. According to the rabbi, Tendler questioned the RCA investigation because women are not considered kosher witnesses according to rabbinic law and because Tendler was not present when the witnesses testified. Wosner wrote that in a case where only women could possibly testify, they can and should do so. In addition, he wrote, testimony taken without the defendant present is valid, especially in a case where the defendant has a history of intimidating witnesses.

Citing what he described as incriminating tapes, Wosner wrote, "The RCA had every right to oust this rabbi from their organization, and his own congregation has the same obligation." In conclusion, he wrote, "the rabbi can no longer officiate at divorces, weddings. ... One should never allow their wives or daughters to go to him at all including [for] counseling... and all his rulings are null and void."

Copyright 2006 © The Forward

Friday, January 06, 2006 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mr. pasik, will you be contacting schaechter at the forward?

uoj, will you be contacting her with the detailed information you have?

Friday, January 06, 2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

On Sunday, I will prepare a brief cover letter to her, and together with my two letters to Gov. Pataki and NY legislative leaders dated March and December 2005, mail it out. I've made that commitment, and I intend to keep it.

Friday, January 06, 2006 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesterday, a list of ten states was given where nonpublic schools are already legally required to performed fingerprint criminal background checks. In those states, people should check with their yeshivaS and day schools to see if this is being done, and if not, TELL THE FORWARD. THIS IS PIKUAH NEFESH, AND ONLY A SHOTEH CHUSID WOULD ASK A SHAILAH!

Friday, January 06, 2006 1:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The states are Alabama, California, Louisiana, Maryland, Mass., Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington.

Friday, January 06, 2006 1:31:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

Check out a story in today's NY Post.

NYC Board of Education which has mandatory fingerprint and criminal background checks reports that 2005 saw the greatest number of complaints of sex and physical abuse levied against their employees. Having these safegurds in place as a condition for employment means that if any of these accused are found guilty, it will be impossible for them to get a job in another school system that screens in the same way.

Friday, January 06, 2006 2:11:00 PM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

That's right, Boog, and as I told all of the rabbis, administrators, and lawyers at Torah Umesora, Aguda, OU, RCA, NCYI, the danger here is that the yeshivas and day schools in New York can become a dumping ground for teachers kicked out of other school systems, since we don't do background checks. And according to the sex abuse literature I've read - too much - these miscreants do check things out. They even look to live in states which have weak laws.

I could go on and on - 80 percent of America's Fortune 400 corporations do backgroud checks, according to an August 2004 Wall Street Journal article. So if you get rejected there, you can apply to work in one of our mosdos.

Friday, January 06, 2006 2:17:00 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

Incredible!!!!

What are we worth if we don't protect our children?????

The biggest scandal is that all of our Shayna Yidden "Leaders" allow this travesty and danger to continue.

Know what fellas, my Tyre Shayna Yidden "Leaders". Your Shabbos Hagodol and Shabbos Shuva Droshos ain't worth diddly-piddly squat.

Roll up your sleeves and FIX THIS PROBLEM!

Friday, January 06, 2006 2:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If any of you want to know what is happening to our community all ya need to do is check this out

http://newyork.craigslist.org/cgi-bin/search?areaID=3&subAreaID=&query=frum&catAbbreviation=ppp

Can you say Jews Gone Bad? I know you can....

Friday, January 06, 2006 3:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One major point that Mr. Pasik fails to mention, perhaps because it is obvious to him, is that these perverts are attracted to schools and other jobs where they have access to their prey. A simple concept seemingly lost on the illustrious bureaucrats running our mosdos and organizations.

Sorry to say, but anyone who looks for a career that revolves around children should be suspect and thoroughly investigated. The many wonderful teachers who love children in a healthy way, would certainly not mind the minor inconvenience of a background check if it will serve to protect the children.

Friday, January 06, 2006 4:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sorry to say, but anyone who looks for a career that revolves around children should be suspect and thoroughly investigated."

You made your point but "sorry to say" that is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 5:56:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

Sorry UOJ I don't mean to hijack this thread but I must post this before I explode. Much of this has been said many times over but some people don't seem to get it. Feel free to move this to a new thread if you want.

My blood is boiling at the unmitigated Chutzpah of the ad in this week’s Jewish “Mess” promoting Metzizah B’Peh. The piece has to be the most deceitful occurrence of Yellow Journalism I’ve ever encountered. The part that really infuriated me is that this communist, mafioso, mind police, is urging the community to “report any conversation initiated by doctors, hospitals and other professional caregivers on the issue of Metzizah B’Peh.” Furthermore they are against mandated reporting of any herpes infection following a Bris. This can’t be for real.


This Metzizah issue is an immense Chillul Hashem and, unfortunately will not go away so fast. The reason is that the Rabbinical Court of the Central Rabbinical Congress (a.k.a Satmar) is keeping the embarrassment alive.

When reports of Mohel-to-baby-herpes-transmission surfaced, the Health Department respectfully requested that until the investigation is complete, Rabbi Fischer of Monsey should refrain from Metzizah B’Peh. They did not say that nobody should perform suctioning by mouth – just Rabbi Fischer. Now I have nothing personally against Rabbi Fischer and am not singling him out as the only one who is harmful in the process of MBP. The fact is most adults over the age of 40 are carriers of a strain of Oral Herpes. This particular strain is harmless if transmitted to an adult but deadly when transmitted to a baby. The facts are clear. Research and reliable scientific testing was done to prove this.

The Health Department was in touch with the Agudah who agreed that it was rational that anyone suspected of carrying the Herpes Virus should cease from this practice for the duration of the investigation. As a matter of fact the Agudah thought it reasonable to test Mohels for herpes and anyone who is positive should not be able to perform Metzitzah B’Peh. They basically told Rabbi Fischer to stop (and even suggested someone else perform the Metzizah while Rabbi Fischer performs the Milah!)

The people at the Health Department decided to keep this issue quiet so as not to embarrass the Jewish community or to cause any unnecessary strain on the relations between the Orthodox community and the government/public.

This was quite noble of the Health Department as they could have immediately called a press conference or worse.

Anyway, Satmar was pissed - to say the least - at the Agudah for even entertaining the notion that Rabbi Fischer should at least temporarily refrain from MBP. They “flew off the handle” and proceeded to contact significant donors in order to persuade them to cut off all ties to the Agudah! I’m no big fan of the Agudah but they were obviously in the right and they have a responsibility to ensure the safety of our community. There has been a long-standing feud between Satmar and the Agudah and this issue has widened the rift.

Not only did Satmar refuse to turn over the results of Rabbi Fischer’s herpes test, but Rabbi Fischer continued to perform MBP and the Health Department’s request to arrange a Rabbinical Tribunal amongst themselves and to issue a decision by December 1, 2005, regarding Metzizah, was ignored.

Needless to say, on December 1, Satmar refused to issue a statement to the Health Department based on any internal findings. They were given an awesome opportunity to take care of the matter without the government stepping in and they blew it! Their egos and stubborn self-righteousness got in the way. They thought that they can push off the serious matter and basically “jerk” the Health Department around, however the Health Department was not playing games. The Commissioner had no choice but to issue a statement warning of the potential dangers of MBP. They did not ban it (hopefully they will.) All they said was that there is a danger and parents of newborns should consult with the Mohel several days in advance of the circumcision and discuss the options. They were informing the public as is their duty. This is a great service as many people are still not aware of the medical facts surrounding herpes and potential dangers of transmission to infants.

The Agudah, due to tremendous pressure (I’m sure you can figure out what kind of pre$$ure) caved in and issued an insincere statement that told of “findings” by two Orthodox Jewish Pediatricians that said there is no conclusive evidence that MPB is a danger. Rumors have it that of two doctors that the Agudah cited, one is not board Certified and the other graduate from a medical school in the Caribbean!

I and many others saw the medical data regarding the herpes transmission and the findings are solid. The credentials of the Health Department physicians and scientists are impeccable and the fact that they provided the community a fair opportunity to sort this out amongst themselves, speaks volumes of their honest intentions.

Satmar is causing a tremendous Chillul Hashem by keeping the issue alive. Convening at City Hall is pure Chutzpah and is quite possibly the worst decision they could have made. Unfortunately, Satmar has tremendous influence and the Agudah is frightened of them and so are many politicians.

It is my hope that the truth will prevail and the issue of this dangerous practice is put to rest. The only way to do this is through educating people of the facts. Many people are buying into Satmar’s claim that the government is just trying to stop Brissim! This is patently false and Satmar knows it. The constitutional protection of any religious practice is null and void when a clear and present danger is discovered. Can someone perform female circumsicion (genital mutilation) just because it is part of their “religion?” Will we allow food handlers to refrain from wearing gloves in kosher establishments because they didn’t do so in the kosher establishments years ago?? Of course not!

My advice to the "Va'ad Hamishmeres Bris Kodesh" is to quit while you're ahead and spare the community any more humilation. Be thankful that this government that $upport$ you from welfare, to section-8, to food stamps, doesn't pry into other matters.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 6:34:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Gross,
Excellent post, you are right on.

I have a new post for tonight but there is a technical problem at blogger.
I'll get it up as soon as I am able to.

The rude awakening of how politics plays in New York, regardless of the inherent danger to children by MBP.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 6:54:00 PM  
Blogger Elliot B. Pasik, Esq. said...

Anon.4:17 p.m.: Not a dumb comment at all. As I think some people understand by intuition, some people are in higher risk categories of being sex offenders than others, and that includes people who work around children. All of this is explained in a book I recommend, "Predators", authored by Dr. Anna Salter. She is a psychologist, Harvard undergraduate and grad school, former Dartmouth med school professor, now in private practice and does work for Wisconsin in deciding the risk levels of convicted sex offenders, whether they should be released from prison, or be civilly committed, etc. She is also the author of the most authoritative texts on the treatment of sex offenders. The Predators book is not expensive, and you can get it on Amazon.

At all of the conferences I've listed on audiotape given by the various Jewish organizations on this subject, too many incidents were described in which seemingly trustworthy people who work around children turned out to be abusers, e.g., shul candy man, camp leaders, youth leader, etc.

By the way, somebody had a post up the other day about a statute of limitations question. There's a bill in Albany that, if passed, would revive stale claims, and provide a one year window in which victims could file lawsuits.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 7:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Boog said...

Several point to Gross' post above:

1. Testing a Mohel's blood for herpes and not finding it is a Trojan Horse. He can show negative and still have the virus in latent condition. Currently there is an organization that tests their member Mohel's (No pun intended) twice a year. Testing is Meaningless.

2. The two Boro Park pro- MBP pediatricians are both graduates of foreign Med schools and are not board certified in Pediatrics. Both have not given any stats or clear data to support their pro MBP position.

3. Read the editorial in this week's Yated by Lipshutz on MBP. This man is off the wall and needs help.

4. Good luck in trying to reason with Satmar. Chilul Hashem? You joshing me? From these Behamehs that were involved in a street riot on Simchas Torah and brought in Goyishe goons to physically club the opposition! It is a Bracha L'Vatala. They're animals.

As an aside, perhaps someone can explain to me the phenomenon that I have witnessed countless times in food stores of the clerks handling the food with plastic gloves, making change for the customer with these gloves on, and then handling food for the next customer in line with these same gloves! This you call sanitary?

Saturday, January 07, 2006 8:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You made your point but "sorry to say" that is the dumbest thing I've ever heard."

Dumb? I don't think so. I recall my first interview for high school with a Rosh Yeshiva in Brooklyn. I felt uncomfortable with his close proximity and the kiss he ended the interview with.

The four years I spent with this man was peppered with his inappropriate fixation on sex and masturbation. This guy is still in business. The chinuch business has more than its fair share of weirdoes.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 8:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gloves. Think they change them after they take a piss (or worse)?

Perfect example of letter of the law vs. spirit of the law.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 8:46:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

I can't get anything new up , Blogger is having technical difficulties, I'll keep trying!!!

I agree with Anon & Attorney Pasik in a way.
Not to broad brush this issue, I have always noticed that male teachers that were caught molesting kids had one of these personality traits:

1-Angry people
2-Exhibited feminine traits
3-Immature-they never grew up emotionally.
4-Suffered from huge mood swings, quickly and without warning.
5-Vengeful

Saturday, January 07, 2006 9:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UOJ:

Perfect description of Kolko's behavior as assistant principal in Stolin during which time he was active in his perverse pastime and co-founded Camp Ma-Na-Vu.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 9:31:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon, 8:42

Please e-mail me information on this rosh yeshiva, I would like to gather all the relevant facts on these guys for judgement day.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 9:31:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

Boog,

I am in agreement with you. I was merely illustrating how sick the "Pro-Retzicha" camp is, in their unwillingness to even test a Mohel for the virus or even prohibit Fischer from performing this life-threatening practice. The risk is is akin to that of unsafe sex.

I don't read the Yated. That filth it is poison for my neshama.

UOJ,

Add "intimidating or 'powerful' personalities" to the traits that might indicate trouble with a male teacher. Not many Rebbeim are effeminate - I could be wrong though.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 10:20:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

BTW I have lost whatever respect I had reserved for Zweibel. When I confronted someone close to me who is a member of the Agudah and discussed Zweibel's embarrassing statement and his use of these garbage "doctors" as "evidence," he laughed at the absurdity of it all and admitted that Zweibel is clearly under immense pressure (there goes any shred of credibility.)

Satmar is bigger trouble than we think. That's the sorry consenquence of such a hate-filled, insular way of life.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 10:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To my knowledge, this Rosh Yeshiva has never been accused by anyone. I believe that he has tendencies towards pederasty, but don't think he has acted out on his inclinations. Do you still want his information?

Saturday, January 07, 2006 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Gross,

I found that those intimidating or powerful personality traits in rebbes, especially in yeshiva k'tanas are acts. Those guys are lacking self esteem and need to act tough.

They are not talmidei chachamim, and are generally not making a living at teaching.

No kavod, no mizrach vant, no shishi or shlishi, no parnassah...and you got a loser who is trapped and miserable.

Ever notice that the shortest guys have the biggest mouths?

Saturday, January 07, 2006 10:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kolko taught in stolin?

Saturday, January 07, 2006 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Anon, 10:28,
Yes, I am keeping records of possible potential problems.
It will be kept in the strictest confidence, unless he has hurt kids.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok. how do i email you the name?

Saturday, January 07, 2006 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

My e-mail:

a_unorthodoxjew@yahoo.com

Thanks.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

Gross, that information about Satmar is priceless. Now I understand Aguda/Zweibel. They don't believe their own words. Its all about keeping their Coalition together (pun intended), and money.

Judaism is not a baby sacrifice religion. That's for the jungle "religions" in Africa and South America. Yet, for politics and money, Agudah is selling its soul, and "sacrificing" one or two dead or brain damaged Jewish babies per year.

What's become of us?

Somebody should start an online Metzitzah b'feh petition. I would do it myself if I knew how. You'd get a lot of signers. Speaking of the RCA Resolution on criminal background checks and the registry, the RCA also has a very sensible Resolution on metzitzah b'feh on its website, rabbis.org. That would be a good place to start for drafting the text of the petition. Also, the Jewish Week has quoted three department heads from Hopkins, Columbia, and Einstein as warning about the hazards of metzitzah b'feh - that could be included in the petition, as well as the NYC Health Department letters.

And what UOJ, the attorney, and everybody else are doing on the sex abuse issue is just outstanding. Tizku l'mitzvos.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 10:55:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

UOJ,

The intimidation factor I refer to is common with abusers. They are seen as very powerful to children (and often well-liked by the general public). Therefore, kids are afraid to tell anyone. That is often the reason these sickos get away with it for years. They have the kid believe that if they tell anyone, the will be physically harmed (again) or worse.

My experience with suspect child molestors:

Third grade rebbe: Used to enjoy putting anyone who misbehaved over his lap in middle of class and "gently" spank him. It was even for something as mundane as talking during class (we were seven and eight-year-olds!) I remember two boys who were fighting and the Rebbe called them aside and kissed both their hands and told them how holy it was.

I bumped into him many years later. He is no longer a Rebbe and claims to be in "e-commerce." Perhaps he had "trouble" and was forced to leave.

Fifth-grade Rebbe: Beat kids with a ruler and threatened to pull down their pants. He eeven commissioned help from one of the bigger bochurim to hold down a smaller kid while he spanked him. Note: he never actually carried out this threat.

Menahel: Biggest threat was to pull down a student's pants "in front of the whole Yeshiva." I remember him calling me into the office and telling me how much he loved me...

He regularly spanked kids with their pants on. I see one of the recipients of his beatings, today; he is in his 20s now and there is something, unfortunately, definitely wrong with him.

I’ll tell you camp stories when I have more time

Later-

Saturday, January 07, 2006 10:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anybody know wwhy Sobel is still out there as a mechanech, after having been thrown out of Neveh Tzion in the 80's for abuse?

Saturday, January 07, 2006 11:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gross:

I had similar experiences in a chasidish yeshiva as a kid. i agree with anon above. these sickos are attracted to chinuch.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Rodef,
Thanks, It's a battle that we will win!

Anon,11:07 Which Sobel are you referring to?

Saturday, January 07, 2006 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Rodef,
I sincerely believe in what R' Moshe Tendler from YU said, that we do not know how many children have been affected by MBP.The dramatic rise of the numbers of kids in special education classes could be the tip of the iceberg.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 11:45:00 PM  
Anonymous gross said...

Anon 4:17,

It is wrong to say that anyone who looks for a career with children is problematic. Depite all of this there are still many wonderful Mechanchim

Sunday, January 08, 2006 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

UOJ,

Yes, I also agree with Moshe Tendler, and the Johns Hopkins guy, who is chairman of the infectious disease department there, AND is head of the AMA Sexually Transmitted Disease committee. Because neonatal herpes can be asymptomatic, we don't know how many neurologically damaged babies there are today in special ed.

And I just read on the Lakewood blog, newsfrombmg, that the ACLU has discovered that the frum community there has a higher percentage of kids in special ed. than other groups. I would agree though, that whether that is a function of mbp, or "inflated" psychologists' reports in order to get babysitting services, is a legitimate issue.

And the LIJ doctors approached the haredim and the City Health Department between five to seven years ago!

And Mordecai Avigdor, a former Aguda inhouse lawyer, gets a letter published in the Jewish Week last week (not identifying himself as a former Aguda lawyer) saying that the Health Department should not bypassed the organized Jewish leadership, by making their letter-appeal directly to Jewish parents themselves.

We are a nation being lead by fools! And shame on us for allowing us to be lead by them!

Sunday, January 08, 2006 12:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gross,

suspect, not problematic. of course there are many superb teachers in our schools. the perverts are a small minority. the problem is with the people running the schools who allow the perverts to thrive.

Sunday, January 08, 2006 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger rodefemes said...

Mistake. Not newsfrombmg.

Should be failedmessiah.typepad.com

Sunday, January 08, 2006 12:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TEST!

Sunday, January 08, 2006 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can set up a blog with your letters attached. you dont need a web site.

Sunday, January 08, 2006 3:28:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

PLEASE GO TO UNORTHODOXJEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM

WITH AN "S"- FOR NOW.
THANKS

Sunday, January 08, 2006 4:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

www.unorthdoxjew.blogspot.com

has moved to unorthodoxjews.blogspot.com

I think UOJ got hacked and they took down this site for new blogs.

Sunday, January 08, 2006 9:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

unorthodox jew has a new blog. This one is no longer working. Go to www.unorthodoxjews.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 08, 2006 9:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GO TO:

UNORTHODOXJEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM

add the "S"

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 9:58:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

NEW ADDRESS:

UNORTHODOXJEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM

ADD "S" TO JEW

Saturday, January 14, 2006 11:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NEW SITE

UNORTHODOXJEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM

ADD "S" TO JEW

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 8:17:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

New Address:
theunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 7:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't forget about the day camps. I went to Camp Rochel in Monsey NY approximately 20 years ago. The "frum" bus driver used to have the girls (9 or 10) sit in his lap and he would hold their thighs while he let them steer the bus under the condition that we promise to never tell our parents, or we'd all get in trouble because we were too young to drive. It didn't make me uncomfortable at the time because I was so innocent. But I don't know if he did anything worse with the other girls. Clearly his motives were sexual, because no frum man should be putting 10 year old girls in his lap and holding their thighs. I've never reported anything ... it wasn't traumatic ... but what else did he do?? That's what worries me.

Monday, May 15, 2006 1:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Gerald Deutsch said...

No Redress For Abuse Victim


While you say in your May 26 editorial "Allegations Against a Rabbi" that your position "should in no way imply support for the accused," you seem to strongly disagree with the bringing of the lawsuit and having the plaintiff "publicly accuse another," preferring instead to "have our rabbinic leaders come up with a process that can appropriately deal with these very serious challenges to our community" – with "a course of action compatible with Torah standards."

If you read the article that you refer to in New York magazine carefully, you will note that the victim sought relief from the community some twenty years ago but that the accused rabbi’s employer, "a pillar of the … community, took extraordinary measures to derail a rabbinical court action, or beit din."

It seems it was decided that the appropriate way to deal with the rabbi was to let him continue having his fun with young boys.

At least the Catholic Church transfers offenders to another area.

Gerald Deutsch
Glen Head, NY

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 11:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you will unorthodox-jew, please relay this message to David Framowitz:

Fire your Jewish lawyer and get a non Jewish one. With an orthodox Jewish lawyer you will reach the same inherent problem as dealing with Jews in general, in the end he will not betray his own.

I won't get into it, it's psychological.

Thanks.

Thursday, June 01, 2006 7:13:00 PM  
Blogger Reasonably Nuts Frummy said...

Elliot, I commend your efforts to do something about this grave issue. If I can help in anyway let me know. I am a person with limited means and time (working kollel mother of two little kids) yet I have something to offer that most of you seem to lack: A good reputation and working relationship within our community.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006 11:57:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home