Featured Post

Free The Hostages! Bring Them Home!

(this is a featured post and will stay at the top for the foreseeable future.. scroll down for new posts) -------------------------------...

Aug 6, 2008

UPDATED POST - abuse in RBS school?

The Unorthodox Jew, the guy who broke the Kolko abuse case, among others, posted a letter from someone about a local RBS sexual abuse case.

I know nothing more than what is posted there, but it seems like it is what the readers were discussing in the comments of this post a few days ago....

I have spoken to people involved and am now familiar with the basics of the incident. I am not going to talk about details, as I do not want to get involved in a fight about who did or did not do what and what was or was not done properly. I only know what I heard, and therefore do not want to get involved in debating the specific details.

So, here goes:
1. The Rabbonim who were brought in to deal with the incident are Rabbonim not connected to the school. The school has been in a transition of sorts, and with nobody running the school in that capacity, the parents or the mediator turned to some of the rabbonim of the neighborhood looking for advice and assistance in dealing with the issue. This did not happen under their watch. I just wanted to clarify that.

2. There is an investigation under way. The investigator is somebody who in other cases the police have approved of his investigative capabilities and methods. Nothing is being covered up - simply it is unclear and there is no reason to ruin the rebbes life on an allegation. If things become clear that he is guilty, I am told the proper authorities will be contacted. (though I have heard that the parents consider him sick and not criminal, and they have no interest in having him arrested. Rather they want him to get treatment, if it is found to be true)

I will add to this point that I cannot see how this can be considered a fair investigation unless he says the rebbe is guilty. Only the police can say innocent and not be accused of a cover-up (and even then...). An outside investigator, especially one connected to the mishmeres hatznius of Yerushalayim, - any ruling of innocence or ambiguity will be immediately considered by many to be a cover-up. His only vindication will be to say guilty. So I do not understand how his investigating the incident can possibly be reasonable.

I read the comments of him not having spoken to people or him yes having spoken to people, I don't know his methods and I do not want to get involved in discussing if they are good or not. I am told that there is no cover-up, but they are waiting for the results of the investigation. When that comes out, they will decide how to proceed.

3. I don't understand - if you really disapprove of the investigation as it is taking place, and if you think there is a cover-up and you disapprove of that, why is nobody writing details of the incident? Why not "out him"? It would take two or three lines of information - write his name, the name of the school (which I think many know already)? Not just here or on UOJ, there are other forums as well - email lists and others. Why not publicize it if you are upset about a cover-up? Why not call the police, especially if it was not just that one family? Nobody can control who you call? If you disapprove of how the rabbonim are handling it, why not circumvent them?
I am not saying to "out him" or call the police, I am just trying to understand why you have not done so, considering your disapproval of the methods being used? I know if I was in this situation, I would seriously consider it.

I have more to write. I have spoken to a few people involved in various aspects of the situation, but I am not sure at this point what. And I am tired. Maybe tomorrow after I digest it all.


  1. Rafi-

    Unfortunately I am very aware of this abuse case.

    I have a child in the class. There has been immense pressure on the parents in the class to accept the rebbe back as well as to bad mouth the parents invloved.

    We were asked about the allowing the rebbe back and agreed if there would be supervision.

    I am in a quandary about what to do. I spoke with my Rav who feels that the Rabbonim should be left to handle this in their "derech".I tend to "go with the flow" and await further developments.

    To the credit(or perhaps not) of the victim family..they have been doing everything al pi the rabbonim and did not run to the police. They are working with a Charedi organization in J-m that deals with this. Some of the parents have contacted this organization as well.

    Even so there is a group of parents who are degrading them and their child. Outwardly I am just keeping quiet but I do feel for them and any other victims.

    The school has been useless in guiding us through this.

    To my disamy I now understand that there may be other victims.

    HaShem Yerachem!

  2. Rafi--I know the case well.The uoj post does not have 3 consecutive true words.Be careful what you are spreading.You know who I am---I gave you a journalistic career in addition to your blogging one.

  3. Rafi-

    I don't about everything that was posted on OUJ but with all do respect to your journalistic sponsor I do know that many more than 3 consecutive words are true.

    As I said before I am a parent of a child in that class. I do know much of what transpired.

  4. I am not sure about a journalistic career... I have not published anything that I am aware of as a journalist... email me offline my career sponsor...

    again - can you say the name of the school? and if you need to be more discreet, can you email me offline the name?

  5. Rafi-

    The school is in very close proximity to your home.

  6. a boys school or a girls school? I have 5 or 6 schools close to my home... is it the school I send my kids to - right down the block or the one next to it?

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. It is a boys school.

    They have classes in your building as well as around the corner.

    I don't know where you send your kids to.

  9. I hear they are in trouble anyways... they have been on the brink of closing, and at least one new school has already come out of parents who left...

    the location of the problem was in the class in my building or around the corner? In my building is just the gan, but the administrator goes there a lot. But the gannenets there are really good and I cannot imagine they would let anything like that happen.

  10. Anon wrote:
    "Be careful what you are spreading.You know who I am---I gave you a journalistic career in addition to your blogging one."

    Are you threatening Rafi who provides an open forum to discuss matters crucial to our community?

    It sounds godfatherish to me.

    Is this another form of Charedi mafia tactic?

  11. I have not spread anything. I know no information other than the little that was posted here, and that was posted by others, not by me.

    I think I figured it out now though what the reference is...

  12. What about the case of the journalist/blogger who, among other crimes:

    -"adpots" innocent Jewish children, then, after a few weeks or months of his own biological children befriending them, kills and devours them (the "adopted" children, not his own), and invites his own kids to partake in the gruesome feast (they are not technically human children, but aren't the Jews compared to birds???)

    -occasionally goes to an undisclosed location to meet with "business associates" and relatives (or, "cousins") to restrain and partially decapitate innocent young, and then brag about his skill with the knife

    -has a "legitimate" job in the jewelry industry, but its just a front, as he could not possibly "administer systems", as he would put it, and spread propoganda about life in his adopted home country in one work day (and I can personally attest to the fact that he doesn't work an especially long day)

    -claims to have a "Yeshiva background", but has been seen wearing sandals on shabbos to shul, hashem yeracheim!

    You know who you are. You should expose yourself now and spare klal yisroel the agony to which it will surely be subjected if you are investigated by the Zionist park-erecting entity! (You may not know who I am, but I used to ride with you on a daily basis, and got so fed up with your behavior that I moved out of town!)

  13. lol...

    if I could chase you out of town, maybe I can chase this guy out of town!

  14. Ahhhh.... I meant to post that anonymously! Now my childred will never get proper shidduchim. (Of course, my wife got a proper shidduch, and look how that turned out!)

    It wasn't just me you chased out of town. We have a whole RBS-refugee population here (though I think I'm the only one from BTYA).

  15. From what I hear this private organization which is supposedly investigating the case did not do a thorough investigation. Their investigator didn't even speak to the child or his classmates. Nor did a professional therapist. I believe that there is enough here to at least warrant a serious investigation. At least one other mother is supposedly saying that her son says that he saw something going on.

    If anybody reading this has first hand knowledge of any of this or if their child does. I would strongly encourage them to call the police.
    If your rav discourages this, please turn to one or more of the widely recognized poskim, and tell them what your rav told you. It could be that the rav is saying this because he feels that there is not a solid case. If you know otherwise, not doing everything in your power to prevent the perpetrator from doing this again and/or making sure that justice is done so future perpetrators don't see the charedi community as a place where they can get a way with this, you could be passively endangering other children and transgress "lo saamod al dam reecha".


    Here is some information on how to keep your children safe:

    See here for R. Sternbuchs psak about telling the police.
    R. Elyashiv, R SZ Aurbach, Tzitz Eliezr (among many other poskim) have said that in a case of child molestation the police should be called without any reservations or conditions.

    Here is R. H. Schachter's view:
    mesirah is permitted in situations where one is a public menace (see Shach to Choshen Mishpat 388, 59), or if one is physically or psychologically harming another individual (for example, in instances of sexual abuse of children, students, campers etc., or spousal abuse) (see Shach to Choshen Mishpat ibid, 45)."
    from: http://www.torahweb.org/torah/special/2007/rsch_mesirah.html

    Please, if you or your child or your friend's child have first hand knowledge of the case DO NOT be passive. We cannot allow this danger to persist. If there is any new evidence present it to the rabbonim. Speak to rabbonim who have experience about such cases.
    A reasonable rav will tell you to go to the police. The major poskim are saying to tell the police, even Israeli police.

  16. links got cut off. here they are:

    jewish press

    keep children safe:

    R. Shternbuch

    R. Elyashiv, RSZA etc..

    R. H Schachter:

  17. Dear Anon of 2:31,

    Please enlighten us as to which words are not true and how you know this.

    Being very close to this situation I know that almost all of what is posted is emes la'amito.

    What is your involvement in this?

  18. ANON #1:

    "To the credit(or perhaps not) of the victim family..they have been doing everything al pi the rabbonim and did not run to the police . . ."

    i'll go with "not." they are further endangering their child's welfare as well as that of your own

    "Outwardly I am just keeping quiet"

    ditto for above

    "The school has been useless in guiding us through this."

    suprise there

  19. LOZ,

    Let's thank the Charedi world and their rabbonim for creating an atmosphere where one will feel uncomfortable reporting.

    Shidduchim are threatened
    Kids are kicked out of school
    Families are treated as freaks
    Informal Cherems are instituted

  20. of course the gannenet wouldn't let it happen. The allegations are in the first grade.
    I heard the kids/parents in the 2st grade weren't so happy.
    I guess now we know why.
    This could be a localized problem in one class. But, the school's merit depends on how the handle this case.
    The plus: they immediately suspended the teacher.
    The minus: they hired him in the first place (ok maybe not their fault).
    They didn't investigate well.
    (ok maybe they're not finished. But if there is a good case and they don't go to the police, then they FAIL.)
    Is this the rabbinical board of their "sister" school that is pulling the strings? Or is it the administrator handling it?
    Is it the outgoing principal?

    Too bad. It had the potential to be a really good school. Maybe they still have a chance to handle this correctly. All involved. Please post your updates here.

  21. 2st should be 1st

  22. I'm sure that the triumvirate of their "merger" partner are behind the cover-up.

    I wouldn't leave it to Kornfeld,Malinowitz or Davidovitz to uncover the truth.

  23. Is the "Rebbe" going to be a Rebbe in the merged school?

  24. as of a few weeks ago he was going to be the teacher in the 2nd grade of the new school. Obviously, things are likely to change now.

  25. To the parent who posted this (or any other parent in the school):
    "I have a child in the class. There has been immense pressure on the parents in the class to accept the rebbe back as well as to bad mouth the parents invloved.

    We were asked about the allowing the rebbe back and agreed if there would be supervision.

    Who pressured the parents to accept the rebbe back ? (It suffices if you mention position in the school/community, if you don't want to mention names)

  26. The parents were called by a parent representative of the school.

    From my understanding it was done on the recommendation of one of the Rabbonim of the city who felt that there was no reason for the rebbe to be out of the class and the kids not learning.

  27. the kids were learning. they hired a sub. the reason they wanted the teacher back was because they wanted to save face.

  28. imagine, the school would have allowed the rebbe back into class. What would the poor kids think?

  29. Of course, protect the rebbe from the kids.

    Olam hafuch hu.

  30. shlomo,

    An anonymous poster on the uoj blog is claiming to be a parent of a child in the class, and is claiming that it is 2 of the rabbis on the rabbinical council of the merger school who were the source of the pressure to return the teacher to the classroom.
    Can anybody else confirm?

    Is it true that the teacher was out of the classroom for a week before the parents knew about the allegations? (This is not necessarily a bad thing. It seems reasonable to conduct at least some investigation before rumors begin to spread.)

  31. I don't know about who wanted the rebbe back. I know a vocal minority of parents wanted him back for some strange reason, but it's not clear to me if this was also coming from the 2 rabbis, although I don't doubt it's true.

    As far as the week of silence goes, yes, that is true. And it was not 'reasonable'. And of course, like all cover-ups, it didn't work.

    In fact there has STILL NOT BEEN ANY CONTACT made to the parents from the school(s) or the rabbis or other officials, or even the 'investigator' contacting each parent in any capacity to give the parents guidance, ask for confirmation, get more evidence, etc.

  32. Anon-

    These 2 rabbis are 2 of the most powerful in the community.

    When I asked who was allowing the rebbe to come back I was given the name of one of these rabbis who said that if the parents are ok with it he should be let back in.

  33. To clarify, no school official ever called us and this is true of at least some other parents we've talked to. We had to talk to them. One parent who decided to act as a spokesperson for the school with no official capacity did contact people after parents started talked to each other and everyone knew already. He didn't know much.

  34. to the person who wrote the first comment and has a child in the class. I also have a child in that class. Plse be in touch with me directly on RBS.parent@gmail.com

  35. I am commenting on the updated post.
    The fact is that they were ready to bring the teacher back after an inconclusive investigation where the investigation was completely inadequate. This is a big tzarich iyun on the rabbis involved. I have no first hand knowledge of the situation. I have only spoken to parents of children in the class, and I personally think that they should call the police already.
    As for the parents who just want him to get treatment, it should not be up to them. This is not just punishment it is keeping all of the other children safe. Unfortunately, treatment does not guarantee that.
    Also, putting a molestor behind bars serves as a possible deterrent for future molestors. Letting him get away with counseling and treatment has the opposite effect.
    "l'maan yishm'u v'yeerau" call the police already.
    I have very good reason to believe that there was inappropriate touching in this case.

    As for the rabbis, I don't know enough to judge, but ultimately their handling of the situation will be judged by the members of the community. The onus is on the community to choose responsible leaders and to hold them accountable for their decisions.

  36. anon - you make a good point. It is not just him and the parents of the kid. There are other kids involved, and if he did it now (if he is guilty) perhaps there are other kids in his past, or potential future.

    I think the rabbonim are presuming his innocence and looking for guilt, rather than the other way around, though I have not spoken to them.
    It looks like they now need to make a decision how to proceed...

  37. my heart is heavy. I am sad.

    I am sad that this is happening.
    I am sad that any parent even has to question if they should contact the police.
    I am sad that these parents are feeling threatened and pressured against doing what logic dictates.
    I am sad for the future of our society.
    I am just sad.

    this is truly an epidemic. what will you tell your children when they are teenagers and accuse you of not standing up for them and their innocence?

  38. RAFI:

    "anon - you make a good point."

    which anon? i can't keep track!

  39. To the Parents of This Class,

    I am certain that you have had the best intentions in defending this rebbe and what he has been accused of doing.

    After all, he is a rebbe, he is a tzadik...how could he do such a thing?

    As a mental health professional let me tell you that just as there is no discrimination regarding who can be abused there is also no discrimination in regards to who can abuse.

    Everyone has a yezter hara. Anyone can succumb to such "netios".

    About calling the police...if a suspected murderer was Charedi would there be a shailoh? If a Charedi neighbor was breaking into homes and stealing, etc..would you have a shiloh?

    Then how could there be a shailoh when precious neshomos are at stake?

    I'm not saying to make a witch hunt or lynch mob HOWEVER a serious investigation must be made.

    What bothers me the most here, however, is the way in which the other parents have treated this family.

    From my understanding they have done EVERYTHING with the guidance of Rabbonim and with the interest of privacy. It would have been much easier for them to just go to the police.

    And you (the parents) BAD MOUTH them? I have heard them been called evil,their family members suspected, etc.

    What is wrong with you people? Have you tried to imagine what this family is going through? The effect it is having on them?

    Do you actually think that they woke up one morning and said "hey, let's accuse the rebbe of molestation...won't that be fun?"

    It may be difficult for you to find the right words of comfort to express but to gang up and disgrace them to others puts you in a sordid category yourselves.

    This family needs all of the support and understanding possible.

    Reach out to them if only through this and other blogs where you can be supportive and remain anonymous.

    The only "evil" people here are those who perpetrate acts against children and their defenders.

  40. Dear Rafi,

    Below is a copy of an old post from Lazer Brody about dealing with child molesters. Have you spoken to Rav K and M regarding the situation? Why isn't the Rebbe on "vacation' or "sick leave" until this is sorted out?

    From LB's site:

    This is not an easy subject; I didn't want to deal with this in public, but after having to advise a heartbroken Baal Tshuva in the USA what to do when a blue-blooded Cheder Rebbe molested his beloved child, we can no longer remain quiet.

    Please excuse my delay in answering you; before I wrote this letter, I sought the guidance and advice of two leading Israeli rabbinical personalities whom I hold in high regard.

    First of all, a child molester is the lowest form of villain. If he carries an appearance of being religious, such as a warped cheder rebbe, he's lower than low by causing chilul Hashem, a defamation of Hashem's name, for which there is no atonement. The minute he lays a hand on a child - or on any other human - he gets the judgment of "rodef", literally "chaser" or attempted murderer. Any person has the right to kill a "rodef" on the spot. By molesting a child, the villain is literally maming the child's tender soul for life.

    Unfortunately, as you say Michael, many community leaders are not aggressive enough against this cancer. By not acting and protecting children from molesters, those leaders are "standing on their blood", a severe transgression of Torah. Here's what we do over here, with iron-fist rabbinical approval:

    The minute a molester (or potential molestor) is identified, he gets a "house call" by 2 or 3 good ol' boys with long payis and very big biceps; they don't lay a finger on the villain, but put a good 10 pounds of fear in his heart and inform him that he must do the following: 1) Tshuva; 2) Resign immediately from the cheder, and to never teach children again; 3) No severence pay; 4) To stay put, so he doesn't move to another town and begin molesting children there. 5) Pay damages to the injured party; 6) Mandatory counseling and emotional rehab. The villain then falls under close scrutiny, and if he even looks at a child, somehow bad things begin happening to him. Such a system prevents Chilul Hashem and is usually adequate.

    If however, the villain tries to hide behind his "meyuchas" relatives or weak rabbis, or fails to make tshuva, we turn him over to the police. Child molesters in Israel get 18 years in the slammer. I used to be the Rav of a prison - I can tell you that the other inmates hate child molestors, and make their lives unbearable. As such, the fear of a stint in an Israeli prison is also a deterrent. Yet, not long ago, one second offender that didn't heed a rav's warnings was sent up the river for the full 18; he went to jail with a cast on his right arm, too.

    Although the thing I love most is "Kiddush Hashem", and the thing I hate most is "Chilul Hashem", protecting the life of a child comes before Chilul Hashem considerations. Hashem is willing to have His holy name erased to make peace between a husband and wife - all the moreso to guard the life a child.

    Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches that not all rabbis - especially in these times before Moshiach - are not exactly worthwhile. If your local rabbi doesn't come down like a ton of bricks on a child molestor - or seek the aid of others that will - don't have faith in him.

    Parents - look for the early warning signs! Don't ever let your child stay after school alone with a teacher, and beware of a teacher that seeks to be alone with a child. Teach your child about the sanctity of the body, and that no one is allowed to touch it.

    Yes, Michael - this abomination is in the tradition of the Flood Generation. May Hashem wipe these villains from our midst.

    May we merit to talk about happier subjects always, yours with blessings, Lazer Brody

  41. My child was rejected from this school as we were deemed not frum enough.

    -The Real Mara D'atra

  42. With all due respect, Rabbi Brody is a great motiviational speaker and all...but he is not a halachic authority.

  43. Sadly each time such a case happens everyone goes into a panic - how to proceed, where the welfare of the children and the good name of the rebbe will be protected until the investigation has been completed.

    I saw an article that there is an organization called Takana that is focusing on exactly this problem - in a religious framework. Perhaps they should be consulted for advice in this case??

  44. Is the Rebbi a chutznik or an Israeli?

  45. Is the investigator really from the mishmeres hatznius of yerushalayim?
    Are they the people that beat people up and burn down stores?

  46. UOJ posted the names of the 2 rabbis involved and one of their addresses and phone numbers, asking people to protest against the rabbi and to inform his employer.
    He has now removed them along with a bunch of other details,
    "The father of a victim asked me to remove the names of the rabbis that covered up for the child-rapist, and to edit out some of this post. I will respect his wishes. He said - they were true, but at this crucial time, he felt his family would be better off if those details and names were to be deleted."

  47. Kol HaKavod to this father who protects not only his family but the rabbonim involved as well (although IMHO the rabbonim should be outed).

    This family has amazing strength and courage.

    Kudos as well to Unorthodox Jew for respecting his request and removing the names. It is a sterling proof that UOJ is in this battle against molesters "lishma".

  48. Here is a piece from the comments section of UOJ:

    Anonymous said...

    Whereas there is credit being taken by various people for "outing" this situation, there are those of us who have known about it for a few weeks already but have had the prudence to keep our mouths shut so that things can get taken care of properly. Unfortunately things have not gone quite as well as the Rabbonim have liked, and that's because there are many people involved who are not listening to the Rabbonim.
    The Rabbonim are absolutely not interested in a coverup. What they want is to find out the real facts in the story so that it can be determined what really happened and the proper steps will be taken thereafter. The professional whom the Rabbonim wanted the purported victims to be taken to is someone with years of experience in this field and who is not shy about telling it like it is. They have never pushed for the rebbi to be put back in the classroom, they have simply taken the proper halachic approach of not judging a man before the evidence is in. We certainly have to be concerned that there may be truth to these allegations. If they are true, all the Rabbonim whom I've spoken to have made it clear that the rebbe must be dealt with accordingly. That means therapy, that means never again being in a classroom, and if necessary, that means jailtime. All of the Rabbonim support that - if it is appropriate. To pre-judge the man is inappropriate and against Halacha. The proper investigation must be done.
    It seems that there is an abundance of misinformation swirling around this case, within Ramat Beit Shemesh, around the world, and particularly on this blog. Aside from being lashon hara, it is malicious in that it airs the pain, suffering, and troubles of the families involved, the school and Rabbonim involved, and that of a community. The value in these conversations seems to be very questionable.
    I commend anyone who properly and with due dilligence weeds out those that are dangerous to our youth and our community. I know firsthand how wuch work is spent on rehabilitating the victims of such crimes, and I'm fully aware of their pain and suffering. But ranting about a situation in which all the facts are not in and perpetuating lies in the process is irresponsible to say the least.

    I sincerely hope that this will soon be properly sorted out and that the healing process necessary for everyone involved will be able to begin.

    9:21 AM, August 06, 2008
    Blogger "UOJ" - "The Un-Orthodox Jew" said...

    Unfortunately things have not gone quite as well as the Rabbonim have liked, and that's because there are many people involved who are not listening to the Rabbonim.

    9:28 AM, August 06, 2008

  49. I heard that the teacher refused to take the polygraph, and the investigator instructed the victim's parents to go to the police.

  50. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  51. Anon,

    Chazal say that after Avraham was saved from the kivshan the King of Sodom balked and wouldn't believe the nais.

    Later he was chased into a lime pit (normally an instant death) and saved so that he would admit to Avraham's nais.

    I hope that your denial of something of which you have no knowledge doesn't cause HaShem to make the same thing befall you.

  52. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  53. Anon,

    My child is one of the several victims.

    What is your clear knowledge?

  54. To the Insensitive Poster Denying Molestation,

    You have the right to your opinion. You may say that you think it didn't happen.

    But don't accuse innocent children and their families of making this up by stating NO molestation happened.

    Are you all seeing and all knowing?

    Do you think that several families conjured this up to get thrills?

    Do you have any idea what these families are suffering through?

    May HaShem have mercy on your sick soul and may you do teshuva before it's too late.

    Your lack of sensitivity is out of place on Tisha B'av.

  55. it is extremely rare that I delete a comment. Unfortunately today I had to delete two comments that were in extremely poor taste. I at first thought they were being cynical and then chose to leave them on, but have decided they were too hurtful to the victims family and could not leave them.


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...