Oct 12, 2008

RBS case - response from the principal

I have it on good word that the principal of the school that is currently employing the teacher under investigation for possible sexual molestation and pedophilia is willing to make a change to that situation. But it is dependent on certain things happening.

Whether he was right or wrong for hiring the guy in the first place is moot, because he has already been hired. He truly believes in the teachers innocence, and he considers him a very close personal friend.

The principal says he has not yet been contacted, either officially or unofficially, by the police or by social services regarding this case. He has not been told by them anything, let alone that the teacher is under a serious investigation or that he is a danger.

He is not willing to fire the teacher based solely on a post on a blog with lots of anonymous comments saying that it happened. He needs something slightly more official... (hmph!)

He would be willing to fire the teacher if any one of the following three things happen:
  1. The police either send him an official letter, or even just call him, stating that the investigation is serious and the teacher is truly suspected of what he has been accused of.
  2. The social services caseworker sends him an official letter, or even just calls him, stating that the investigation is serious and the teacher is truly suspected of what he has been accused of.
  3. One of the families involved meet with him. As of right now it is just anonymous people saying we were a family involved. That means nothing to him. If he could see a face and name and that person would tell him the claims are serious and it happened to them, he would fire the teacher. He would be willing to meet the willing parent anywhere, and he would guarantee the continued anonymity of the person he talks to - he just needs to know it for himself.
Is this another delay tactic? I don't know. The person who met with him and heard this from him felt he was truly being forthcoming and not just finding another way to push it off.

You ask, what about the restraining order? Doesn't that tell him there is something going on, even if there was a mistake in it?
From his perspective it does not. As a matter of fact, he saw the restraining order and sees it as a way of the police avoiding telling him what to do. The police knew the school does not exist anymore, yet they wrote up the restraining order against that school alone. As well, anybody can get a restraining order against anybody just by their say-so with no proof of anything. If the order was serious, the police would not have written it against the original school only, and they would have fixed it immediately if it really was a mistake. So from his perspective, they had to give the order because someone requested it, but they did it in a way that they knew would not make the school get rid of him.

So, if any of you are involved in the case and want to make progress on this, be in touch with the social services or the police about getting them to notify the principal. Or consider meeting with him yourself.


  1. I also met with R Gottleib
    . I found him to be polished but arrogant .He said that there are probably problems with the evidence of the victimms, their families etc and it was clear to me that he would find some reason not to believe them .
    He could not stop saying how he loves the rav as a brother and will do eveything to protect his "family"

    Victims...stay away from this man ..he will not believe you!!!
    you have been through enough

    The only way he will fire the teacher is if he is forced to.

    If the police are sloppy in their work then he will be teaching for many more years.

  2. If R Gottleib and Kagan are as close as brothers why did Kagan leave TE for YL to begin with?

  3. that is not really a good question. he could have left for any number of reasons. Maybe he saw it as an opportunity to advance his teaching career - he was becoming the main teacher in a new and young school. Maybe he was offered more money. Maybe one of many more reasons.

  4. I am the parent of one of the victims.

    R' Gottlieb knows who I am.

    In his "investigation" he has not tried even once to speak with me.

    Both the Pikidat Saad and the head of Merkaz Lshalom Hayeled have informed me that they contacted the school many weeks ago about the threat of this man.

    I have also heard what he said about the families of the victims.

    What a class act.

    This is a standard form of deception on his part.

  5. Rafi wrote:
    "He would be willing to fire the teacher if any one of the following three things happen: ..."

    Did you confirm the accuracy (as you wrote it up) of these 3 things with the principal before you posted. There have been many rumors flying around - how accurate is this?

  6. a certain social worker interested in the progress of the case had a meeting with the principal and gave me that information.

  7. if they are as close as brothers, how can you expect him to make a rational decision?
    He is still in denial. Unfortunately, his students will be the ones who suffer.

    What a travesty.

  8. Rafi wrote: a certain social worker interested in the progress of the case had a meeting with the principal and gave me that information."

    I understand but that is not the same as "response from the principal". I assume he didn't review and confirm the 3 conditions that you posted.

  9. you are welcome to call him and confirm it with him. Somebody else told me (offline) that they too spoke with him and he told them the same thing.
    He had other things to say about the principal about how he left enough wiggle room to get out of this as well, and why they are vague enough to be unbinding, but the point is that this is what he told separate people.

  10. I find it very instructive to compare this case with the Slifkin case. It would seem to me that Mr. Slifkin's parnassoh/life has been severely cramped, his crime being relying on opinions of Rishonim which are deemed to be "outdated". Yet the benefit of the doubt/coach deHetera was consistently not applied in that case. And, the case reverberated around the Jewish world, making in to ears of a number of gedolim.
    Would anyone agree that contrasting these two cases brings to light a number of troubling issues about our Kehilah?

  11. Anon of 11:40,

    No way can you compare the two.
    R Slifkin is a talmid chochum who brought to light some controversial ideas. His books harmed no one nor will there be lasting effects.

    The molestation case however is where children have been violated and scarred.

    Perhaps our rabbonim should spend more time battling the real offenders and leave people such as Rav Slifkin alone.

  12. Anon of 1:17:
    I guess I should be more explicit:
    I meant to say that in the case of Slifkin, even though it was not directly damaging to anyone, nobody seemed to hesitate to ruin this mans life in the name of a greater good. However, when it comes to child molesters, we are quick to give the benefit of the doubt so as not to ruin the perpetrator's livelihood. And to boot: lectures are given around the yeshiva world as to how this Slifkin fellow is poisining the souls of our youth, whereas the child molestation cases are the stuff of blogs alone
    In short, I think this "livelihood" argument could be at least a bit valid, were it not used so selectively.

  13. anonymous wrote: "The molestation case however is where children have been violated and scarred."

    "He is still in denial. Unfortunately, his students will be the ones who suffer."

    Can we please all remember: Nothing has been proven. No arrests or convictions have been made. I assume we all hope that he is really innocent (or would some of us prefer that he is guilty and the school is wrong and once again it proves that the Charedi approach is terrible)

  14. some of us KNOW he is not innocent and the teacher needs to be kept away from children.
    This is nothing about chareidism.

  15. Unfortunately, our rabbinical leadership is lacking.

    see: http://blogs.jewishtimes.com/index.php/jewishtimes/philjacobs/
    Written by Baltimore Jewish Times editor Phil Jacobs and posted on the Jewish Times website on 10/06/08 at 01:12 PM.

    Are You Really Sorry?

    A rabbi friend called me the other day to wish me a Happy New Year.
    He then told me that he thought that I was being too critical of the Orthodox rabbis.
    “They did sign that document,” he said, referring to the April 11, 2007 condemnation of child molestation.
    I told him that since April 11, 2007, little or nothing has changed.
    There are still children facing the dangers of life-changing acts of molestation. The use of drugs and alcohol seems to be on the rise, and the connection between molestation survivors and the need to abuse drugs is becoming more and more linked.
    And here they are on the threshold of a new year, just saying words out of a Makzor. They are Millie Vanillie in black hats, just lip-synching their prayers, nothing more.
    Why is that a rabbi can still live at our area yeshiva even though the college “leadership” knows that he is a concern? And they even know who his victims were. Happy New Year.
    And why is that a young woman in Israel continues to speak publicly and urgently about the abuses of her father back here in Baltimore. Yet to discount her, they call her “crazy?” Who is crazy, the molester or the survivor?
    Two women I know molested by a rabbi in this town are too afraid to use their names. This rabbi hires legal counsel for protection. Happy New Year.
    Last year, we finally had a case come to trial involving a child molester. And all that Israel Shapiro could do to stay out of jail was to resort to an Alford plea. He was given five years of supervised probation. An Alford plea allows the defendant to circumvent a guilty plea, but accept the consequences of a guilty verdict. Happy New Year.
    There’s an emerging group of women in town referred to as “buttoned down and shut tight.” They are frum women who dress modestly, were educated in girls’ only schools, but were molested. Some can’t even date men they are so frightened. Some resort to eating disorders to deal with their pain. Look around you, they’re here. Happy New Year.
    At a conference recently in Brooklyn, two issues stuck in my head. One, hearing a state legislator, a frum man, call molestation within the frum community an “epidemic.” The other was hearing a formerly frum young man talk about how molestation is now a “rite of passage” in some yeshivas.
    You know what I think?
    And people here in this community are concerned about the shidduchim of the relatives of these men, the innocent family members who aren’t at fault.
    They then turn the accusers into the reasons for their misery, not the perpetrators. They turn the reporters of this information into ones at risk. Rabbi Ben Zion Twersky was named to head an anti- molestation task force in Brooklyn. Soon people wouldn’t acknowledge his existence. His children felt their future shidduchim threatened.
    So here’s the idea.
    Why don’t these family members buy billboard signs or advertisements apologizing for the acts of their relatives? Wouldn’t it make for an even greater shidduch possibility if one knew that your family was publicly and absolutely sorry for their family member’s transgressions. Wouldn’t it take a sheer act of uncommon bravery to do such a thing?
    Is there anyone brave enough in Baltimore’s Orthodox community who could stand up and apologize for all of this.
    What about you Vaad Ha Rabbanim? Is the word “brave” in your lexicon of chumrahs?
    I think not.
    But I do know that on Thursday late afternoon when that Book of Life is getting ready to be sealed, you better be sorry.
    And you better be genuine about your sorrow.
    If not, even the brave won’t be able to help you.
    So, yeah, I’m critical of the rabbis.
    But next time don’t produce a letter if you don’t mean anything by it, or if it’s the work of the younger rabbis in town, not the real consensus.
    Better yet, why doesn’t the Vaad rent a billboard apologizing and seeking forgiveness? Place it on Reisterstown Road in Pikesville so that we can all take a look.
    That would beat a meaningless letter any day.

  16. These people will twist and turn any way, to avoid taking responsible steps to protect the children under their care.

    First the school said there were no allegations against the teacher.

    Then they said there was an allegation, but it was just one kid from a troubled background.

    Then they said that there have been no complaints to the authorities.

    Then they said there have been several complaints to the authorities, but the authorities closed the case.

    Then they said that they just need official documentation and they'll take this seriously (ie send the teacher home).

    Now they've seen the Police tzav harchaka/ restraining order, and they say this isn't good enough, they want to interview the parents of the victims (urr?? what gives them the right to do that in the middle of a criminal investigation?!!).

    Blieve me, if this teacher was arrested, charged, brought to trial and found guilty of molesting children, the school will be saying "since when can you trust the secular/State/kofrim system of justice, against my heilige brother?!"

    Unfortunately, R.Gottlieb is arrogantly, simply leading you along, Rafi et al.

  17. "Then they said there was an allegation, but it was just one kid from a troubled background."

    I am a parent of Yishre Lev.

    I don't know all of the children who were victims but I do know about the one they say came from a "troubled background".

    This child was one of if not the top in the class. His parents are two of the most respected people I know (and they were very respected in their community in Chul).

    The bogus idea that this is a troubled family shows the type of people who are defending this rebbe.


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