S-I-L of Rav Aaron Feldman of Baltimore’s NIRC Is Covering Up for Maklev

On 5/20/16 I reported the arrest of Naftali Maklev for hundreds of sexual offenses against his own female relatives starting when one was only six years old. Maklev worked as the spiritual advisor in

נפתלי מקלב Naftali Maklev

נפתלי מקלב Naftali Maklev

Yeshiva Beer Hatorah in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem. That yeshiva is run by Rabbi Gavriel Yosef Levi. In his circles he is called GI”L, the Hebrew acronym of his full name. GI”L has acquired a reputation for ruthless climbing on top of others, very sharp elbows, and invoking the aid of his father-in-law, Rav Aaron Feldman, the head of Baltimore’s Ner Israel Rabbinical College (NIRC).

I have heard from a number of sources that Maklev also molested boys in the yeshiva.

The Hebrew language Israeli website, Bichadrei Charedim ran a headline this morning (5/24/16) “Head of the yeshiva where the molesting mashgiach works: “Whoever talks will be thrown out.” While the report uses no names they are clearly referring to GI”L, the employer of Naftali Maklev at Beer Hatorah in Bayit Vegan.

According to this report, GI”L gathered a group of students in his office and declared:

If this [allegation] is not true, it is lashon horah [gossip] and obviously forbidden to say. If this [allegation] is so, one definitely should not speak of it and [instead] be silent.  For every moment that a person seals his lips he merits the great hidden light that no angel or creature can imagine.

אם זה לא נכון, זה לשון הרע ופשוט שאסור לדבר, ואם זה נכון אז בוודאי לא לדבר על זה ולשתוק, כי על כל רגע ורגע שאדם חוסם פיו– זוכה לאור הגנוז שאין כל מלאך ובריה יכולים לשער

Until I read this I thought he was merely a power-hungry scoundrel and a cover-up artist. Continue reading

What You Should Know to Lessen the Chance Your Child Will Be Molested in Camp

Summer sleep-away camps are an environment rife with risks of child sex abuse. The child is not easily able to reach parents, staff have access to kids 24/7, and the grounds are full of nooks and crannies along with spaces outside of buildings.

The Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) has produced an excellent hour-long video, “Preventing Sexual Abuse at Overnight Camps.” The main presenter, Rahel Bayar, is a sex crimes prosecutor, mother, and a previous contributor to this blog. She answers questions from an experienced camp director covering topics such as

  • Educating children for safety
  • Camp policies for preventing abuse and detecting it
  •  Questions parents should ask of camps to determine if they follow best practices

Check it out!

Rahel Bayar video image for JOFA


Jerusalem Yeshiva Mashgiach, Naftali Maklev, Indicted for Molesting 3 Girls in His Family

Jerusalem MashgiachUpdate-5/20/16 7:20 p.m. (US/EST)- Contrary to earlier claims in Kikar Hashabbat, Maklev’s recorded Torah talks have not been removed from the website of Bechol Lashon as of the beginning of Shabbat in Israel. See screen capture at the bottom of this page.

Update 5/20/16 10 a.m.- The alleged offending mashgiach is Rabbi Naftali Maklev (נפתלי מקלב). His brother, Uri Maklev, was a member of Knesset for Degel Hatorah, the party directed by Rabbis Steinman and Kanievsky, the leaders of the main Yeshivish Lithuanian ultra orthodox faction in Israel. The full indictment, in Hebrew, can be read on Nuchem Rosenberg’s blog. (you will have to page down through multiple windows to get there). I have changed the posting title to include his name. As reported earlier, he does indeed have a child married to the grandchild of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky. He is/was a mashgiach ruchani (spiritual advisor) at Yeshivat Ba’er Hatorah’s Bayit Vegan branch on Rechov Hapisgah in Jerusalem.

Update 5/20/16, 7 p.m.– The lower grade (ketanah) yeshiva where Maklev worked is locally known as GIL the Hebrew acronym of the yeshiva head, Gavriel Yosef Levi. Rabbi Aron Feldman, the Head of Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore is the father-in-law of Rabbi Levi (aka GIL) Rabbi Levi has many enemies because of his sharp elbows and ruthlessness in his rise as well as using the influence of his prestigious father-in-law. So there is some schadenfreude piling on going on by his enemies. Equally, R. Kanievsky’ enemies in the Shmuel Auerbach camp are also piling on to discredit R. Kanievsky. To be clear, while there are important family and influence connections between RCK and the defendant, there is nothing reported so far implicating him in either the evil deeds or a cover-up. In fact, the prosecution praised some influential rabbis who aided the prosecution. Who they are yet is not clear, but it appears that there was a Beit Din (rabbinical court case) in the court of R. Karelitz in Bnai Brak. Available information suggests the court supported reporting, but that is not yet confirmed.

 UPDATE 5/20/16 7 a.m.– The Hebrew language website, Kikar HaShabbat reports that the alleged offender’s recorded lectures were removed from the the website, Kol Halashon.

Update 5/20/16 7 p.m. – Contrary to earlier reports, on Kikar HaShbbat, the lectures are still up or were restored.

original article starts below——-

The Israeli news site, Arutz Sheva, reports:

Jerusalem prosecutors filed an indictment against a rabbi who served as a mashgiach [spiritual advisor] at a yeshiva in the city, for a series of rapes carried against a number of female relatives over the course of several years.

The accused began his horrific campaign of abuse when his first victim was just six years old, and continued abusing her and other female relatives by various means of coercion and manipulation…… Continue reading

Cuomo’s Rapidly Changing Stance on SOL Reform

scales of justice and childThis morning’s (5/19/16) New York Daily News ran a headline, “Gov. Cuomo will push law allowing child-abuse victims to seek justice as adults.” The URL tells a different story about his position when they first created the article: “http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/gov-cuomo-pushes-liquor-law-reform-ignores-child-sex-abuse-vics-article-1.2641982.” Its seems the spirits have moved the governor to a new public stance. Continue reading

Lost Messiah Site Hacked but Restored

Update- 5/18/16 2 p.m. (EST): The Lost Messiah site is back up. The original title of the post has been corrected.

One of the sites that attempted to fill the gap by the takeover of Failed Messiah was Lost Messiah. Sometime last night or this morning visitors to the site encountered a screen which said, “lostmessiahdotcom.wordpress.com is no longer available. The authors have deleted this site.” Continue reading

Dealing with sexual abuse – a view from the Principal’s office

aaeaaqaaaaaaaamqaaaajgy5otjlodm2ltzimzqtndi0mc05zdg1ltq5nza1nze5mjixnaBy Paul Shaviv*

Dealing with allegations and issues of sexual abuse are very difficult for school Administrators. Cases which reach the public – either online or in the press – tend to be very clear-cut, or at least feature very strong allegations based on strong evidence. The school Principal often has to deal with facts which are much less clear.

First – some clarity: in every jurisdiction, explicit sexual relationships between teachers and students, any age, any gender, are illegal. A teacher is a professional in a relationship of authority, and just as physician-patient relationships are ipso facto held to be an exploitative abuse of professional status, so are teacher-student relationships.

Relationships which do not include full sexual relations, or constitute harassment (unwelcome attention, touching, remarks etc.) are breaches of professional standards and certainly breaches of school protocol; they may not be illegal. The school has to judge their severity, and the professional/disciplinary consequences.

A school Administrator or teacher who comes into the possession of information that suggests an illegal act has taken place, or that a child is in physical or sexual danger, has a duty to notify a Child Protection Agency, and/or the police. (If the student is above the age of 18, a Child Protection Agency may not be involved, but the relationship is still illegal.)

Legislation, and policies, differ from place to place, but a Head of School should be familiar with local law and local practice.

How does the Principal learn about these allegations?

Sometimes directly: a student, parent, or teacher will disclose that they have witnessed some disturbing incident, or become aware of a serious situation. A parent may bring printouts of incriminating emails, or texts, or pictures. A School Counsellor will inform the Principal that a student has confided something (in such cases, the Counselor has a legal duty to disclose). In such cases, the Head should immediately consult a lawyer familiar with school law, and immediately call a Child Protection Agency.

But often the information is much less clear. Unsure and possibly afraid of how to proceed, a parent, teacher, student, alum or community member may drop hints.

  • If anyone ever found out what went on in old Mr X’s class, there would be a scandal!”
  • Well, of course, it was obvious that s/he would get the lead part in the play! It’s a disgrace, and I’m surprised the school allows it.”
  • The rumors going around are terrible!”
  • I happened to see that young teacher in town last week, with one of the students.”
  • A parent may express concern that their son “spends every Shabbas with Rabbi X – he keeps him company while the rebbetzen goes to care for her parents”.
  • The Principal, whose job involves developing very sensitive antennae, may see or sense something ‘not quite right’ in the school.

In these cases, an investigation of greater or lesser intensity, must take place. The careful procedure for carrying our such investigations should be known to every Principal; it is also good process to consult a school lawyer and follow that advice to the letter.

A cardinal principle is that no-one can be above suspicion – “Mrs X – can’t be!”. Continue reading

Satmar Issues Slick PR Statement about the Video of Rabbi Klein and the Child

A shocking video  is ricohcheting around the Internet which was reported by several media outlets. It shows the principal of the Satmar lower school in Kiryas Joel, NY, rocking a child squeezed between his legs against his groin while he is rhythmically moving in ways suggesting masturbation. The boy who appears to be about six years old struggles to get away during this video which runs for eleven minutes. The principal, Moshe Hirsch Klein, uses his hands to alternately caress the boy, stroke his back, and pull him in tighter as the boy repeatedly struggles to get away. See my previous posts, here and here, for more about this case which the police and DA are looking into.

The exhibit du jour is a press release issued today (5/10/16), doubtlessly written by a professional PR firm, claiming they of course care about and don’t tolerate sex abuse, and claiming they fully cooperate with the criminal justice system. Naturally they deny anything happened in this case and the principal is a great guy with an unblemished reputation.

But to really know their mentality consider a speech given by the grand rabbi of the village of KJ, Aron Teitelbaum, openly saying that the authorities were willing to look the other way about their failure to fulfill secular schooling requirements, but for some snitches. See Daily News. Sadly that is also true about sex abuse, as long as the offender is a fellow Hasid. This is because the community intimidates witnesses and delivers block votes which help determine who is elected DA.Faced with difficulty prosecuting cases and mindful of the block votes, DA’s in with large Hasidic block votes, such as Kings (Brooklyn), Rockland, and Orange, they just don’t do their darnedest to protect ultra orthodox children.

And now for your entertainment here is the press release. Continue reading