Frum Follies Apologies to Midreshet Moriah

I posted an incorrect report alleging that Midreshet Moriah had a sex abuser working for them. I was wrong. It involved an otherwise trustworthy source and two people with very similar names, both originally from the same place.

I apologize for my error.  I have no reason whatsoever to believe there are any such problems involving any of the staff at Midreshet Moriah.

I apologize to Midreshet Moriah.

If any of you have circulated my original erroneous post, I urge you to take steps to remove it and to instead send this correction. Because this is the recruiting season for post-high school year-in Israel programs, it is especially critical to do this as soon as possible.

I thank my readership and others for taking this action.

Yerachmiel Lopin


P.S. I try very hard to get my facts right and when I make mistakes I correct them as soon as possible. This doesn’t happen often, but even one mistake, is one too many. To date I have deleted approximately 5 posts out of about 1,100 since I started blogging. All the corrections were made within hours or days of the error, as soon as I confirmed the error. Each time I make a mistake, I take a hard look at how to avoid that mistake in the future. Based on this one I have made some decisions about further checking information in the future which I will implement. In the meantime, while it is embarrassing to me, I encourage all of you to broadcast this correction in the interests of fairness to Midreshet Moriah.

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Clergyman Fails to Get Abuse Case Tried in Religious Court

scales of justice and child

Trigger warning
This post includes graphic descriptions
of sexual violence

A vile specimen of humanity raped a ten-year-old girl but claimed consent and insisted on the milder punishment since she was not married and thus it was not adultery or rape.

According to news reports, “the rape had been so violent that it caused a break in the wall between the vagina and rectum, a fistula, which had to be repaired surgically.” Continue reading

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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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