Kal Holczler Can Not Be Part of the Movement to Fight Sex Abuse

This morning Vicki Polin put out an announcement on behalf of the Awareness Center that they were cutting all ties to Kal Holczer and his sex abuse oganization, Voices of Dignity (VOD).. I applaud Vicki for calling a spade a spade. I agree with her understanding of the facts and her analysis of the problem. I plan to write about it at more length in the coming days. However I wanted to share some of my first reactions. I posted slightly different version of  the following comments on Failed Messiah, below Vicki’s announcement.

I too was once a booster of Kal and have now concluded that Kal must go. I encouraged the  Jewish Star’s reporter, Michael Orbach, to seek him out when he went to the Brooklyn courthouse where Lebovits was being tried. To my subsequent regret, Kal got a flattering profile in the Jewish Star billing him as a rising star. I plan to write about him at more length in the coming days. His problematic traits include lying, spending money for which there are no plausible legitimate sources, playing every side of the fence, claiming to be all things to all people, and advocating sexual healing to survivors by having sex with him.

For weeks now I have largely limited my direct communication with kal by phone and email to two main issues: why refer to a hotline that does not report suspected abuse to the police; why support the idea of using a community beth din or vaad when even the ultra orthodox Jewish establishment had admitted that this is an approach that does not adequately deal with sex abuse.

He is charming. He listens well or seems to. He promises to think about these issues. He promises to investigate the facts. He promises to “kick ass” on the other end to put things right. He promises. At the same time he promises other things to other factions. At the end of the day he is still promising. Yesterday, knowing that he was at the end of the line with me, he finally addressed my points in detail articulating them very well in a long email. He then promised to look into it. I no longer want to waste my time time talking to him because he has repeatedly and deceptively wasted my time with lies and promises. But not wanting to work with someone is not a reason to tear him down publicly.

He re traumatizes survivors. He betrays their trust in him for personal sexual gratification and he lets individuals who are abused go to hot lines that are dark holes from which their stories will never reach the authorities.

We survivor advocates have correctly faulted the charedi establishment for protecting their own. Well, we can’t levy the charge without taking the unpleasant responsibility for policing ourselves. I have many disagreements and criticisms with one or another survivor advocate, just as they no doubt have about me. I have never to date publicly criticized another survivor advocate in public. I go to great lengths to work together with all sorts of folks. But this is not a petty spat. This is about the principled question; do we cover up for our own to avoid embarrassment or do we do right by survivors and call a menuval a menuval. Kal is a menuval. I sympathize with him about his personal travails. But he has cannot be one of the leaders or public voices of the movement to fight sex abuse. It is not dignified and he is not honestly giving voice to our values. Voices of Dignity is a sham. We have to say it publicly or we are in no position to criticize others who cover up sex abuse.

13 thoughts on “Kal Holczler Can Not Be Part of the Movement to Fight Sex Abuse

  1. I highly suggest readers to take this bashing of an individual with absolute caution. Vicky Polin has a history of destroying the individuals she is jealous of or doesn’t agree with. The compassion is not for the victims only, rather for her own fame.

    • Malky,

      I did a posting. I stated my reasons for opposing Kal. I staked my credibility on the accusations. You conveniently ignored everything I wrote. You conveniently ignored all of the substance of what Vicky said. You focused your attack on her. I can vouch for the fact that in a half a year of working with her, her information about abusers has been accurate in every instance.

      I can also vouch for the fact that Kalman has regularly lied about all sort of facts. During the coming days and perhaps even weeks I will post more examples of his duplicity.

      Malky, Why do you seem to rely on Vicky bashing as a substitute for reasoning. There is a disease of adhomineitis, attacking the person and not doing any thinking. Tell me simply, do you think Kal is OK. Which part of the story don’t you believe? What counter proof do you have. What evidence do you have that Kal is a man of good character? What reasons do you have to believe Kal has ever accomplished anything?

      You can even say that Kal deserves the benefit of doubt unless more people say the same thing about him.

      Malky, at least, when commenting on my site, you should attack my character and credibility as well if character of the complainants is how you will defend Kal.

      Malky, give us something real!

      • I note that Vicki did NOT bash Kal in her posting. She was very cautious in what she said about him. She did not call him an abuser (which according to other details that have been mentioned, would be more than warranted). She simply stated that he attempts to help abuse survivors using controversial and potentially damaging techniques, with no training or supervision.

  2. This was left out of your posting.

    Declaration of the Rights of the Child

    (Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1959)
    Proclaims this Declaration of the Rights of the Child to the end that he may have a happy childhood and enjoy for his own good and for the good of society the rights and freedoms herein set forth, and calls upon parents, upon men and women as individuals, and upon voluntary organizations, local authorities and national Governments to recognize these rights and strive for their observance by legislative and other measures progressively taken in accordance with the following principles:

    Principle 1 The child shall enjoy all the rights set forth in this Declaration. Every child, without any exception whatsoever, shall be entitled to these rights, without distinction or discrimination on account of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his family.

    Principle 2 The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.

    Principle 3 The child shall be entitled from his birth to a name and a nationality.

    Principle 4 The child shall enjoy the benefits of social security. He shall be entitled to grow and develop in health; to this end, special care and protection shall be provided both to him and to his mother, including adequate prenatal and postnatal care. The child shall have the right to adequate nutrition, housing, recreation and medical services.

    Principle 5 The child who is physically, mentally or socially handicapped shall be given the special treatment, education and care required by his particular condition.

    Principle 6 The child, for the full and harmonious development of his personality, needs love and understanding. He shall, wherever possible, grow up in the care and under the responsibility of his parents, and, in any case, in an atmosphere of affection and of moral and material security; a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother. Society and the public authorities shall have the duty to extend particular care to children without a family and to those without adequate means of support. Payment of State and other assistance towards the maintenance of children of large families is desirable.

    Principle 7 The child is entitled to receive education, which shall be free and compulsory, at least in the elementary stages. He shall be given an education which will promote his general culture and enable him, on a basis of equal opportunity, to develop his abilities, his individual judgement, and his sense of moral and social responsibility, and to become a useful member of society.
    The best interests of the child shall be the guiding principle of those responsible for his education and guidance; that responsibility lies in the first place with his parents.

    The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation, which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavour to promote the enjoyment of this right.

    Principle 8 The child shall in all circumstances be among the first to receive protection and relief.

    Principle 9 The child shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation. He shall not be the subject of traffic, in any form.
    The child shall not be admitted to employment before an appropriate minimum age; he shall in no case because or permitted to engage in any occupation or employment which would prejudice his health or education, or interfere with his physical, mental or moral development.

    Principle 10 The child shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious and any other form of discrimination. He shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal brotherhood, and in full consciousness that his energy and talents should be devoted to the service of his fellow men.

  3. Well done, Yerachmiel. Sad to see Kalman away like this but I should of seen it coming. I was too drawn into making excuses for him. I now have to alert all those whom I refered to Kal. Things like this happen, but it is how we react to it that counts.
    Although I have to say I very much hope these allegations are not true.

  4. who really knows the real “Kal”- one thing is for sure, how could anyone take anything he says seriously when he completely abandoned his wife and daughter in Israel and refuses any responsibility whatsoever…. a liar and scammer…. an understatement

  5. There is no mention here of the fact that he was at one point in time married in Israel, had a baby boy, and then eventually left his wife and child because he couldn’t handle the pressures of adulthood. He essentially has become a deadbeat father.

  6. I hesitate to dignify this gossip with a response, but because I recognize from personal experience the inaccuracy of these last two posts, I feel that I would be remiss if I do not support my friend, Kal Holczler, with a factual riposte. The facts themselves will speak to the truth of his character, which is wholly good. I have known Kal personally for years. I have met his former wife. She was in my home and broke bread with my family. Now, it must be remembered that anyone can type disparaging words about someone online – regardless of whether the sentiments are true or not – and the harshness on the screen will inevitably sting the reader as it is deciphered, leaving an imprint on their consciousness forever. These irrevocably harmful actions are not ones I wish to emulate, so I will not type ill of anyone. I will, however, say this: Kal did not abandon his wife or his child. Kal loves his child and thinks no evil nor wishes any harm to his former wife, nor to any other human being on this earth. The same cannot be said for others regarding their words or deeds towards him. I, myself have experienced a marriage that did not work out. This is a most painful and confusing experience to go through. The only two people who ever know the truth of such an event are the two who were once married to each other. Even to those two it can sometimes be hard to suss out the objective truth, as the human mind has myriad ways of dealing with painful reality and the stresses of such a personal failure amidst the birth of a child. The fact is that Kal loves his child from afar – and continuously and eagerly awaits the exceedingly rare and tiny bit of news about the child, relishing any that comes his way, as it sustains him. If he were not prevented from participating in the child’s life, he would seize the opportunity and gratefully fulfill his fatherly duties. However, Kal is not one to cause pain to others in order to benefit himself. He is that rare type of person who is willing to sacrifice the desires of his own heart, if it will permit others to live peacefully and free of distress. Many do not understand this type of person, and many people fear and then choose to hate that which they do not understand. I am afraid that this phenomenon is what we are seeing here underlying the disparagement of Kal and the defaming of his character. Fear. Fear is the opposite of love. Fear unattended will breed hatred and evil. Love brings only light and goodness. Kal Holczler is one of many such lights in the sky of my existence, which is an increasingly good and beautiful one.

    • I question your authority on this subject and doubt that your reaction to someone’s comment could be more than an opinion. It seems that you forgot the responsibility you have as a writer. If your intention was to bring light to whatever issue you set forth in this article, I regretfully inform you that you have done just the opposite by turning it into a gossip column and breeding ground to all the darkness the mind can muster up and project into someone’s life.

    • And what’s the problem with “Our Gourmet Life”
      It’s a beautiful dinner place. Yes, sensual dinner. But what is the problem with that? Everyone participating in those dinners are adults and giving their consent. Nothing to do with child abuse at all.
      Not defending Kal. Just enlightening you with why Lina answered you that.

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