Perv Peeper Freundel Set Up Dunks for His Viewing

Barry Freundel 1Steven I Weiss continues his excellent coverage of Rabbi (sic) Barry Freundel’s mikvah voyeurism with another article in the Daily Beast, “Women Describe How Top D.C. Rabbi Allegedly Spied on Them in the Nude.” According to Weiss, Freundel would convince conversion candidates to take practice dunks prior to the immersion which would be part of the formal beit din process. In other cases he would convince converts to do another dunk. He would be vague about how and why they needed to do it again and without a full beit din this time. He also offered his students at Towson University the experience of going to the mikvah. In each of these cases he was able to go in beforehand to set up his cameras. Continue reading

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Abuse Survivor Joey DiAngello Died of Drug Overdose (updated)

Joey Dinagello Confronts Nechemya Weberman

Joey Dinagello Confronts Nechemya Weberman

This morning, Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg Tweeted the suicide of Joey DiAngello.

Added at 6 p.m.: Other sources insist it was an accidental overdose. Burial was announced for today (10/19/14) in the Monsey cemetery at 2:00 p.m. But then the burial was done at 1:00 p.m. and over before 2:00 p.m. according to the blog Rare View. This is reminiscent of how the burial society of Skver also concealed burial arrangements of another OTD (formerly orthodox) death to prevent non-orthodox friends from participating. Continue reading

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Meisels and the Seminaries Reached Tentative Agreement with Parents on Tuition Refunds

Elimelech Meisels

Elimelech Meisels

Lawyers for both sides in the refund lawsuit notified the court in writing on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 that they had reached an “oral agreement.” The Failed Messiah blog reported the filing of their Joint Initial Status Report.

This lawsuit was filed on 8/4/14 by parents who enrolled their daughters in Elimelech Meisels’ seminaries for this academic year (2014-2015). They did not send their daughters after the Chicago Beis Din (CBD) reported sex abuse by Meisels and advised against attending these four seminaries (Pninim, Chedvas, Keser Chaya, and Binas).

Within weeks, Touro College and Hebrew Theological College withdrew accreditation. This meant the students were no longer eligible for either US government aid or for college credit. . When these parents requested refunds of their tuition deposits (which could run up to $20,500) they were given the run-around.

According to the recent filing, “Defendants have reached an oral settlement agreement with the named plaintiffs as well as eight other individuals that anticipate becoming named plaintiffs in the event that settlement discussions break down.” In other words, the proposed settlement now covers around fifteen parents. It may end up covering more parents who join before a settlement is finalized. Continue reading

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Sam Kellner’s Lawyer Profiled in Gaelic about the Case

Niall MacGiollabhui, Esq

Niall MacGiollabhui, Esq

TG 4 TV, a Gaelic media outlet, did a 25 minute profile of Sam Kellner’s lawyer, Niall MacGiollabhui, which correctly frames the charges by ex-Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes as Sam Kellner vs. Baruch Lebovits.  MacGiollabhui grew up in Ireland and does his interviews in Gaelic. He intersperses his presentation of his case with descriptions of his current life and his reflections on missing Ireland but loving New York City.  There are also some interesting exchanges with other Irish-Americans including the head of his firm, Michael Dowd and Ray O’Hanl0n, the editor of the Irish Echo, the largest circulation Irish newspaper in the US. Continue reading

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Playing the Frum Card to Finesse Abuse

Manny Waks

Manny Waks

The culture of the frum (orthodox Jewish) community makes it hard to publicly challenge abuse let alone bring charges to the civil justice system. Sometimes those who leave orthodoxy are less inhibited and more effective in fighting abuse.

For example, Manny Waks grew up in Chabad in Melbourne, Australia. During his school years he was abused. As an adult, when he was no longer orthodox, he became an anti-abuse activist, founding and leading Australia’s highly effective Tzedek. He also pressed charges and gave an important statement at the sentencing of his abuser, David Cyprys.

David Cyprys

David Cyprys

No good deed goes unpunished. He was beyond the reach of Chabad. But his parents who supported him and remained committed ultra-orthodox Jews were shunned in the community in which they built their lives. Eventually they gave up and moved out of that community but not out of orthodoxy. Instead they moved to another neighborhood and synagogue and spend part of their year in Israel.

As part of Manny’s anti-abuse activism he personally supports a petition campaign organized by Jews for Justice for Yeshivah’s Victims asking Rabbi Avrohom Glick and Mr. Don Wolf, the leadership of Melbourne’s Chabad Yeshivah Centre, to “Apologise to the innocent victims who were sexually abused as children on your watch and resign from all positions of leadership.” This initiative got coverage in the Australian paper, The Age.

Zephaniah Waks and his son, Manny Waks

Zephaniah Waks and his son, Manny Waks

Some people use the Days of Awe (The period leading up to Yom Kippur) to improve themselves. Then there are others like Mrs. Pnina Feldman, principal of the Chabad girls’ high school in Sydney whose husband, Pinchos Feldman, dominates Chabad in Sydney. Pninah Feldman couldn’t abide the thought of being asked to behave like a good Jew, and have Chabad leadership in Melbourne admit its sins and apologize. So she used the season’s motif to play the frum card and instead chastise Manny Waks. In her sloppiness she addressed the message below to the sheitel business owned by Manny’s orthodox parents. (It was posted last week in Failed Messiah but without the reply by Manny’s father.)

Pninah Feldman 2From: Pnina Feldman
Sent: Friday, October 3, 2014
To: waks wigs
Subject: Re: Grassroots petition re Yeshivah Centre Melbourne

Hi Manny,

Why do you keep highlighting Yeshiva?! Before the pedophile issues you went running to The Age re BER issues. There’s always something with you and Yeshiva. Get over it already- whatever it is that makes you think that attacking Yeshiva justifies your not being frum. There is something very ugly and personal about your antiYeshiva campaign. Just because a security guard molested you don’t blame Yeshiva! A principal in Moriah College (not Jewish) once molested nearly half the girls in the school! NONE of whom have ever blamed the school! Get over it! You need counselling! I haven’t met a person yet with one nice word to say about you. Most people consider you a lowlife- not because of Continue reading

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Brooklyn DA Refuses to Explain Early Release of Lebovits

Lupe ToddYesterday I wrote about the surprising and distressing early release of Baruch Lebovits. This morning I emailed the public information office of the Brooklyn District Attorney.

From: Yerachmiel Lopin <xxx>
Date: 10/1/14
Subject: Is KCDA satisfied that Baruch Lebovits’ release conforms with the terms of the plea agreement?

The DOC records indicate that on Monday (9/29/14) Baruch Lebovits got out of Rikers on a “NYC general release.” Yet the court plea-bargain transcript show that in return for a definite sentence of two years rather than the 2-6 the DA sought, Lebovits agreed to waive his right to early release.

His release has my readers and many others in the community scratching their heads. He served 1 year and 6 days after his initial conviction in 2010 (4/12/10-4/17/11). His current stint was 83 days (7/9/14/-9/29/14) for a total of ~15 months.

If so, I and many others are left wondering if the DA office is satisfied that his early release was consistent with the sentencing terms and Judge Dwyer’s sentencing memorandum.

Is KCDA satisfied that the sentence served is consistent with your plea bargain?
If so, did you know that this would be the outcome when you struck the deal?

The office of the DA promptly replied:

Continue reading

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Lebovits Released from Prison After Only Serving 15 Months of a 24 Month Sentence

Baruch Lebovits mugshot for sex offender registry 9-29-14Baruch Lebovits got out of jail yesterday (9/29/14), just 83 days after he started his most recent stint after sentencing on a plea bargain (7/9/14). He pled guilty to eight E felony counts (PL 130.40.2) of oral sex with a minor (aka “deviate sexual intercourse”) and he is on the sex offender registry.

Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson crafted this insult to orthodox Jewish survivors in the spring, but now we feel the final sting of his whip. Lebovits’ fine cantorial voice will piously intone about repentance on Yom Kippur while he remains an unrepentant sinner. He  never even apologized to the victim who pressed charges, let alone the hundreds of other boys he sexually exploited.

Baruch Lebovits

Baruch Lebovits

Anyone with a rudimentary Jewish upbringing knows that Yom Kippur does not absolve one for sins against another unless one first confesses, experiences regret, attempts rectification of harm, and sincerely seeks forgiveness. Lebovits has done none of these things, except as required to get a good plea deal in a secular lower court.

The unanswered question is why he served slightly more than 15 of the 24 months of his sentence through a combination of 1 year and 6 days after his overturned 2010 conviction and then just 83 days following his re-conviction this spring. Thus he has served a total of one year and 89 days. Mind you, when he was first convicted in 2010 he was sentenced to 10-32 years. Continue reading

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