The Grey Area of Rape Culture in the Black and White World of Jewish Orthodoxy

by Esther Tova Stanley*

Esther Tova Stanley

Esther Tova Stanley

“Yeah, but he’s a man.”

That was the actual reason I was given as to why a rabbi’s sexual predatory behavior was OK. Well not , “OK,” but y’know, understandable.

In the wake of sexual assault allegations brought against Elimelech Meisels, a “rabbi” who controlled and operated numerous seminaries for post high school girls, a very unseemly side of our Jewish orthodox culture is raring its ugly head, yet again. The side that excuses men for being unable to control their sexual urges and, on occasion, even has the audacity to blame the victim for it.

“Well, what was she thinking getting into the car with him?”
“She’s troubled; she misunderstood what really happened.”
“She’s a crazy, manipulative liar.”

Yes, these are actual responses I got when I asked community members why they continued to support this sexual predator/rabbi. Was I surprised? Unfortunately, I was not. Continue reading

Posted in Sex Abuse | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Todros Grynhaus Retrial to Start on Monday April 27th in Manchester, UK

British sources inform me that Grynhaus will be retried this coming Monday (4/27/15) in Manchester UK on charges of sexually assaulting girls between the ages of 13 and 15.

He was first tried in February but the jury was hung. Justice has been long-delayed because he fled the country when first indicted using a false passport and had to be extradited back from Israel. Continue reading

Posted in Sex Abuse | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Gavriel Bodenheimer Trial Starts On May 27th

Rabbi Gavriel Bodenheimer Bais Mikroh, Principal

Rabbi Gavriel Bodenheimer
Bais Mikroh, Principal

Rabbi Gavriel (Gabriel) Bodenheimer’s trial on ten felony counts alleging  criminal sexual acts with a child under eleven years of age is now scheduled to start on Wednesday May 27, 2015 (right after Shavuot) in front of Judge R. Thorsen in the Rockland County Courthouse.

Bodenheimer, Principal  of Bais Mikroh elementary school in Monsey, was arrested in August 2014 on charges dating backing to 2009. Continue reading

Posted in Sex Abuse | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Let’s Get the Enablers Instead of Just the Abusers

Bishop Robert W Finn

Bishop Robert W Finn

There is some good News from Kansas City via the Vatican:

The Holy Father Francis has accepted the resignation from the pastoral government of the diocese of St. Joseph-Kansas City, Mo. (U.S.A.) presented by His Excellency Msgr. Robert W. Finn.

According to Joelle Casteix, Continue reading

Posted in Sex Abuse | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Rabbi Lichtenstein on the Rape Conviction of President Katsav

Rabbi Aaron Lichtenstein

Rabbi Aaron Lichtenstein

This morning, Rabbi Aaron Lichtenstein was buried in Israel. He was one of the true luminaries of the orthodox rabbinate. Here is a snippet of an interview he gave to the Israeli news outlet, Walla, in 2011.

Motti Levi: You recently signed an open letter of protest opposing the rabbis who announced their support for President [Moshe] Katzav [who was convicted in Israel of rape]. What was the basis for your position? Continue reading

Posted in Sex Abuse | Tagged , | 3 Comments

More Security Theatre by Agudath Israel

David Zweibel of Agudah and Cardinal Dolan "Our rabbis are as bad as your priests"

David Zweibel of Agudah and Cardinal Dolan
“Our rabbis are as bad as your priests”

The TSA’s airport regimen has been derided as security theater. It is bumbling, intrusive, and only minimally effective (compared to the skillful handling of security by El Al Airlines). At best, at enormous cost, terrorism has not so much been reduced as moved from airlines to other venues like malls, movie theaters, and the streets. But politicians love it, just as they love our absurdly high levels of imprisonment. These measures may not work, but they convince the public that government is protecting them.

Agudath Israel also plays that game when it comes to children’s safety. The single greatest danger to ultra orthodox children comes from sex abuse which probably impacts 10-20 percent of all children before they reach adulthood. I say probably because I am extrapolating from research about the general public. I would love to have better statistics about the orthodox world, but generating them would require orthodox cooperation with such a research project, something the orthodox leadership will not allow. Their media spokesman, Avi Shafran insists that orthodox rates must be lower because of their fear of heaven. But if they were really that confident they would promote such research. Continue reading

Posted in Sex Abuse | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proof the Molester Wasn’t Haredi

Earlier this week I posted Yeshiva World News Finally Reports about a Child Molester. Continue reading

Posted in Sex Abuse | 1 Comment