Why Nuchem Rosenberg Urges Others Not to Trust Kal Holczler

Recently, I spoke to  Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, the Williamsburg based sex abuse activist. A few months ago Kal Holczler initated a relationship with Nuchem Rosenberg. Kal explained he was from Skver (New Square, which is near Monsey), he had been molested there, and he wanted to go after the molesters by working with the police to catch them. Rabbi Rosenberg was favorably impressed at first and he brokered introductions between Kal and some of the survivors in Skver.

Then he heard that Kal was working with the Skver establishment to establish a vaad (community body) to deal with molesting. When Rabbi Rosenberg confronted Kal, he insisted that this was a better way to do things and Skver’s leadership was ready to change. Rabbi Rosenberg got angry. He pointed out that the leadership fully well knew about the problems and even knew who the molesters were. They could have acted and could act without establishing a special vaad. Moreover Rabbi Rosenberg’s initial assistance was premised on bringing cases to the police. At that point Rabbi Rosenberg cut off all further contact with Kal.

I dread to think about what Kal promised to the Vaad and whether he betrayed the survivors who trusted him. It is possible that the vaad is now busy harassing those who were going to report their complaints to the police. It is possible that he never spoke to the police. When I spoke to Kal he spoke hush-hush about his special connections to the FBI. I am surprised he did not claim to be working with the CIA and Mossad as well.

Sadly, this is another instance where Kal Holczler has shown he should not be trusted.

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45 thoughts on “Why Nuchem Rosenberg Urges Others Not to Trust Kal Holczler

  1. Rabosai! The soton (satan) is working very hard to undermine efforts to help am Yisroel get rid of it’s destroyers (molesters, etc.), so not only does he plant undesirable advocates, he also is machshil us – thru so called Rabbis, with treif food, a sin that brings tumah as it say in posuk ונטמתם בם.

  2. why is working with the community leadership and establishing structures so controversial?

    In itself, this would not make a reason to break off ties as far as I can see.

    • a.k.

      To date, structures set up by “leadership” have operated to continue and facilitate the coverup. The solution is to refer cases of molestation to the appropriate civil authorities. Most law enforcement agencies have people specially trained to assist victims.

      Here are two quotes:

      1. Rabbi Michael Broyde, a law professor and a member of the Bet Din of America, wrote an article about informing (http://www.jlaw.com/Articles/mesiralaw2.html). Here is a brief quote:
      “This article is not discussing serial killers, armed robbers, sexual predators or muggers. They must all be informed upon if that is needed to protect society from them.”

      2. Rabbi Yosef Blau, the Mashgiach Ruchani at RIETS/YU, wrote an article about the molestation issue which was posted on the Tzedek Tzedek blog (http://tzedek-tzedek.blogspot.com/2009/09/rabbis-dealing-with-abuse.html). Here is an excerpt:
      “Batei Din in our times are not effective in dealing with criminal behavior. Lacking the investigative arm of the police and having restrictive standards of testimony they can not establish guilt….
      “The desire to protect the image of the community from an outside seen as basically hostile, both prevents going to authorities or media and turns the whistleblowers into the perpetrators. There is a perverted sense of Chillul Hashem that places the blame, not on those whose behavior mocks their external look of piety, but places it instead on those who unmask them.”

  3. One of the things we all must remember is that Kal has come out as a survivor of child molestation too. Like many of us he had a difficult childhood and is attempting to make a difference in this world.

    Though I personally feel Kal’s judgement and the actions aken on advocacy issues are questionable, we all must reach out to him as we would any other survivor. There is a difference between Kal the person who is struggling like any other survivor and Kal, who is ill equipt to do advocacy work, both educationally and psychologically.

    I personally feel that Kal needs to step away from what his dream is for now. He needs to go back to school and get the necessary degrees, including the specialized education and training necessary to do this work — as anyone else who wants to advocate for survivors. We need all of the survivors to be certified and or licensed mental health professionals or trained law enforcement officials.

    I also believe Kal has a great deal of healing to do in his personal life prior to attempting to provide any form of counseling and or support to other survivors. If he’s able to work through some difficult issues and make amends to various people I see him having a great deal of potential; yet he’s not in a place in his healing/recovery to be doing this sort of work

    • The Jewish Star article was a warning sign. Though entitled “a new tool to combat sexual abuse” it had precious little about new (or old) methods, and focused on the personality of Kal.

      If the allegations are true, that that characterization is correct- it is an organization devoted to Kal, and his use of others in the service of his own attempts to overcome his trauma

  4. I read the article about the New Square “vaad” that R’ Nuchom is talking about, and I felt like rending my garments. Woe unto us! If this is called “dealing with sexual abuse”, I hate to see what not dealing with it is. This town and Vaad thinks that they have their own autonomous government where they can decide what type of judgment to render to criminals. They think that by sending child molesters to therapists (not just any therapists, Yiddish speaking ones!), they will solve this problem once and for all.

    A society that doesn’t believe in accountability and consequences for crimes committed is a corrupt society imaging that of Sodom and Gomorrah. This system of protecting child molesters from the law and sending them to Yiddish speaking therapists instead, is another way of saying, “Leave us alone, we know better, we need more coverups, we don’t want any negative publicity, it hurts our bank accounts.”

    This is what the Agudah’s CD Zwiebel was referring to when he mentioned a “power grab from the rabbis” and that we shouldn’t deprive the molester’s family of its “breadwinner”. What a demented line of thinking! If this was an one isolated community that has been enacting this policy, it wouldn’t be so bad. However, this is the same pathetic response that Orthodox communities around the world have adopted. In Bnei Brak, the Beis Din came out with similar chochmos. They proudly declared that the secular courts send the molesters to prison and we offer them the option of therapy! Is it any wonder that child molestation is rampant in New Square, in Boro Park, in Williamsburg, in Flatbush, in Monsey, in Monroe, in Bnei Brak, in Geula, in Mea Shearim, in Lakewood… Did I leave out any shtetl? This “vaad” of New Square needs to be condemned in the sharpest tone and it needs to be disbanded immediately, just like the Lakewood beis din was put out of its misery by Rabbi M. Salomon. Enough coverups! Enough protection of the criminals at the expense of our children. They want therapy? Let them get it after they serve 10-15 years at Rikers. Y’mach Shemam V’zichram!

    • Yerachmiel, or anyone else;

      Can someone please explain to me the following; Ma Nishtana this crime from all other crimes, that the “shtetlach” feel they can handle it on their own, and feel the need to be a part of policing on it. The only logical conclusion I have drawn, is that subconsciously they know just how prevalent the problem is, and that it constitutes a serious crime punishable with years in a jail cell, and it’s a way of keeping the lid tightly or partially shut from allowing this to explode beyond comprehension.

      Is my theory correct? Or is this just another way for some people to feel important about themselves?

      • I agree with you completely. In my last and very long discussion with Kal he kept saying that Skver residents cannot be asked to go to non-Jewish, non Yiddish speaking authorities. Of course, I agreed that all things being equal, they would prefer Yiddish speaking officials. But the actual police and fire departments they call at a wisp of smoke or a flash of a knife are non-Jewish. When they need cancer treatment they willingly use the non Jewish doctor over the Jewish doctor when s/he has a better reputation, or when they don’t have a choice. They shop in the non Jewish store.

        I hate to say it, but there is that old saying about “the soft bigotry of lowered expectations.” It used to be used about whites who patronize blacks by not having comparable standards of excellence. Well I fear that those who say Hasidim cannot be gotten to use 911 are playing the same game. Also the old talk about poverty pimps applies. You have askanim (movers and shakers) who insist that everything has to go through them for their poor ignorant scared fragile incompetent followers. They are not doing it for their follower’s sake. They are doing it to maximize control. Skver may be the most tightly controlled Jewish company town in America. It makes Satmar’s Kiryas Joel like a libertine city in comparison. In a company town a company vaad will take care of the powers that be before the victims. Sure, they will do a few cases right. But push comes to shove they will protect the powerful and when someone gets sent to the police it will be a looser, a schnook who may actually be a molester but may be far from the worst one. It may even be a guy who otherwise offended or threatens the powers that be.

  5. I was very surprised with kal until I read this article

    Details of sex abuse in Skevere rebbes house

    read the article@ http://www.yourjewishnews.com

    It is shocking kal’s sister got married to his abusers son! They sat at the wedding together so now he will not hurt his brother-in-laws father.

  6. I have been told by reliable sources, besides those already mentioned, that Kal Holczler has behaved improperly with survivors of abuse whom he was “helping”. His personal observance is not the issue.
    Yosef Blau

    • If that’s the case, it is not enough for organizations such as the JBAC to merely “sever ties” with Cal. They must publicize that he is an abuser and that no survivors of sexual abuse should go to him for assistance. The organization he started must be shut down immediately!

      • Sexual abuse is a sharp “cherev hamishapeches – rotating sword of fire”. It cuts and burns the victims deeply, and it could rotate and turn them into abusers themselves. On the one hand the victim will be an advocate against abuse, and then rotate and become an abuser himself. The rate, though, of victims turning into abusers is, low, only 3-7%.

        The only way to deal with this blade, is by using a our own rotating sword in exactly the way Steve described; it is not enough for organizations etc.. to merely “severe ties”, we must cut the abuser away totally, regardless of the pain he suffered as a victim himslef. There is no room for wavering on this issue. As the verse says regarding a sexual abuser; “lo sochos aincha” – HAVE NO PITY!!!

    • This comment was written by Rabbi Yosef Blau, Mashgiach Ruchani (Spiritual Advisor/supervisor) for all rabbinical students in the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) of Yeshiva University. He is a highly respected figure in the community of sex abuse advocates. He was more than a decade ahead of most rabbonim in calling for going to the police with accusations of sex abuse. More importantly, he takes a great deal of responsibility for his actions. Around 1990 he participated in a beth din to evaluate charges against Baruch Lanner. The Beth Din had concerns but could not prove the accusations and this left Lanner free to continue to abuse teens for another decade. Rabbi Blau owned up to the mistakes made by relying on a beth din and declared that a beth din is not a suitable way of dealing with individuals who sexually abuse children. I find him prudent and honest. If by chance he concludes he was mistaken in the allegations he made above I am pretty sure he will retract them. However, without even knowing the facts on which he is basing himself I expect he has already exercised due diligence before writing this comment.

      • I am not sure why so many describe Rabbi Blau as an “expert” in the area of sexual abuse. I am not aware of any degrees he has in this area. Yes, he has spoken on the issue but that only demonstrates his past ability to promote himself as an “expert” in an area. Alternatively, “expertise” today means very little.

        My own experience as a graduate of YU is that Rabbi Blau excelled at very little – thats why they made him Mashgiach. Its a cushy job with no accountability to anyone, no shiurim to plan on a regular basis, and plenty of time to develop a “career” in being a public mouthpiece that makes him feel relevant.

        The above comments were posted by someone claiming to be mark appel but Mark Appel has communicated to me that he did not make those remarks and that he holds Rabbi Blau in high regard.

        • Totally rude, disrespectful and uncalled for. Rabbi Blau has been a staunch and outspoken supporter for our cause. Whatever disputes you’ve had with him does not give you the right to come here and write such a denigrating comment. Shame on you!

          ————–
          NOTE BY YERACHMIEL LOPIN, EDITOR OF FRUM FOLLIES.

          Mark Mayer Appel has communicated to me about the negative comments above regarding Rabbi Blau:

          “please remove my name from all comments i have not written those comments about rav blau shlita”

          I have confirmed that this came directly from Mark. I can not determine who posted the original negative comments about Rabbi Blau.

          • Steve,

            I respect the goals here. I just feel it is critical that we have people leading these causes who are real experts in their field and who are beyond reproach. I know, for example, that there happens to be an organization right now that holds itself out as an organization that helps young troubled chasidic kids who were molested, and the guy running the organization is a complete sexual sicko. He’s not a molestor, but he’s really very promiscuous and very sick. We need to be very careful even with Rabbis before we start using the term “expert.” As committed to the cause as he is, I dont believe Rabbi Blau is an expert and I think its important to say so.

            The above comments were posted by someone claiming to be mark appel but Mark Appel has communicated to me that he did not make those remarks and that he holds Rabbi Blau in high regard.

  7. Has any one spoken to any of the survivors who Kal is being accused of acting inappropriately with? What exactly do they and not a third party accuse him of doing?

    What about Vicki slamming Rav David Kohn and the SOVRI line? Is her citicism of them warrented or should we only listen to her in regards to Kal and not R’ Kohn or SOVRI.

    Please help clarify this for me.

    Thank you

  8. well, the beginning of this article;

    “Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, the Williamsburg based sex abuse activist”

    Suppose to read

    “Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, the Williamsburg based sex abuser”

    Just TODAY we heard witnesses and victims claiming that Nuchem Rosenberg sexually abused them in the Satmar Mikvah on Clymer Street Brooklyn, and filing a report.

    Its so shocking, that you cant trust anyone anymore……..

    Nuchem is set to be picked up by authority’s soon.

    • Sammy,

      I am leaving this up to show the low-lifes at work. Nuchem has been accused of all sorts of things, but even his enemies have never accused him of sex abuse. I can find no shred of truth to this story.

      On the other hand Sammy, I have to wonder why you throw out falsehoods. Is nuchem closing in on your gesheft where you groom kids and veiter.

      • Yerachmiel,

        Get Sam’s IP address and send it to the FBI. He is probably responsible for the attempt on Nuchem’s life when a bullet grazed his head.

        • Jewish people always had mosrim and maskilim who tried to bring down klal yisrael, Shebchol dor v’dor omdim oleinu le’chalateinu, and they did not succeed.

          BUT Hakadosh boruch hu matzileinu m’yadam.

          We are NOT afraid.

    • There is two mistakes in the comment accusing Nuchem Rosenberg.

      1.The name of the pedophile from the Satmar shul on Clymer St. is Rabbi Yechkel Shraga Rosenberg son of Reb Yidel Rosenberg zt”l. Yechkel Shraga was the SEXton (shamos).
      Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg collected money in shul to heal the SEXton’s victims. Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg also cleaned out the shul and the mikvah from pedephiles, he also closed the gay sauna that was next to the mikvah.

      2. The pedophile SEXton Yechkel Shraga could not be picked up because G-D picked him up in the past year. Now it is too late for the police to pick him up.

      • I have some advice for the pedophiles and their protectors: When confronted with the truth,shut up and lay low rather than attacking the righteous, otherwise more dirt will surface and you’ll sink deeper in the quagmire. The days of your tactics are over. Yechi Reb Nuchem.

      • I confirmed that the accusation on the deceased Rosenberg is true, how thoughtful of R’ Nuchem not talking any Loshon Horah about him, R’ Nuchem just put him out of business and took care of the victims. I’m sure that if not for the rosho that tried to make up this lie about R’ Nuchem this would have never come out.

  9. The director of Rape Crisis Center at Beth Israel claims that SOVRI does report child endangerment. Can you please clarify this. Thanks.

    • The rub is in the details. I never followed up with BI/SOVRI because Kal had promised to do it for me for almost a month through about a dozen reminders. I think I will now inquire directly. I have spoken to high level folks (sorry no names they would allow to be shared)who said we only do it when there is no other option by law. But in the grey area we dont because this way we are less threatening. So how do we square the contradictions. Simple. When they have to (and only when they have to) they do. However, volunteers do not have to. Bingo!. It is the same as Ohel which announces they comply with reporting laws. Meaning, if there is a gray area, they don’t. To be fair to SOVRI, maybe they can prove that I am wrong. I repeatedly asked Kal to send me SOVRI’s policies and procedures manual, and any relevant training materials. At the end of the day he said they have a speaker come in from the DA’s office. Let us assume he was telling the truth. That is still not the same as saying, when in doubt-report as long as the law allows it.

      I am done searching for material I can’t get. Those of you inclined to disbelieve the attacks on SOVRI can find out the details I am talking about. I would be grateful. I have tried hard in other ways and I have heard from many others who have tried hard for years with both Ohel and SOVRI. The effort is wasted because they are not transparent or cooperative organizations. If you prove me wrong I will definitely retract and apologize. While calling find out how many calls they have taken and how many reports they have made. If they are legit they should have those numbers. Like if they took 3000 calls and made 1 report you would have to wonder. If you would insist on being scientific find out the rates for other hot lines. I am genuinely eager to hear the details. I am always willing to be proven wrong. When I am I eat my hat and apologize and say things are different. I even do for those I still have big disagreements with. I am confident the odds are excellent I will not be proven wrong.

      • A Gutt Voch Mr. Lopin,

        To my understanding SOVRI is an anonymous help line, meaning people who call do so with out identifying themselves, as per their web site;

        “SOVRI is an anonymous and confidential helpline staffed by trained volunteers who provide help, information, support, and referrals to survivors of abuse.”
        Please explain how they are supposed to report any thing if a person call anonymously?”

        So the question you have to ask is how many callers identified themselves and their abusers in order to make a report possible? If the answers 1 out of 3000 and they reported in that case then the line would have a 100% reporting rate in possible cases.

        Vicki’s comments against SOVRI are nothing but “guilt by association” because R’ Cohn is affiliated with Ohel and Ohel has done some thing wrong ad R’ Cohn is also connected to SOVRI therefore there is a problem with SOVRI. Give me a break!

        One last point, it is not up to SOVRI to prove anything to you, you support the attacks against SOVRI you prove it. When people were accusing Lebobits it’s because they had spoken to victims and that was the proof to make the accusation which Lebovits then had to defend.

        Yerachimeil Lopin is child molester, now prove he is not! (this is a false false accusation that I have no proof of) I make the accusation or I support the accusation I proof it, how can you defend yourself from that?

        You don’t like SOVRI because they have not ‘played nice’ with you and given you what you want, fine don’t recommend them and finished, but to propagate that they are part of a problem is not responsible unless you have proof.

        • This SOVRI organization sounds like what Dov Hikind started doing last year, which was to collect information from victims while protecting the identities of their abusers. Somehow, this is meant to protect the victims. However, the only one who is protected is the abuser and his family.

          • Steve:

            Your comment repeats an often expressed accusation against Dov Hikind which is factually inaccurate. He was not, at any point, looking to withhold names of perps from the authorities. He was also not soliciting reports, though he made his office available for people to come forward. Among the reports he received, there were:

            * Duplicates – many victims who reported the same perpetrator.
            * Beyond Statute of Limitations.
            * Some identified perps were either deceased or had relocated to outside of the country.
            * Some perps had been minors at the time, and would not be prosecuted.
            * Victims who only provided information on the condition that it would not be reported to authorities.

            Aside from these, there were 20-some that were reported. Dov publicly urged all victims to report numerous times. The accusation against Dov is false. He is a true advocate. There may be other questions you may have about how he handled some of the issues here, and you should reach out to him and address them. But the accusation here is simply a bad, cheap shot.

            As for SOVRI, if it is an anonymous hotline staffed by volunteers, then there is probably little to demand with regards to reporting. The mandated reporting issue is moot, and the anonymity makes even the moral one irrelevant.

            (Not directed as response to Steve)

            There is a misunderstanding that affects most of those who keep up with the events in this matter. The entire issue of reporting is not about catching abusers. It is completely about protecting victims. All the laws in this area are about a victim making a report, not any individual who knows that there is someone out there abusing unidentified victims reporting the perp. We might debate whether this should be the case. But a situation in which we have an abuser without a victim (either not identified, unwilling to report or testify, etc.) is not useful to the authorities. No charges can be filed, no one arrested, and nothing can be done via the secular authorities. Within the community, there may be actions that remove the individual from access, but the prosecutors have no use for such cases.

  10. Yerachmiel, as you know I am not too familiar with the details in your community, but what you just wrote is 100% right and noting more than commonsense, if the vadd has the Rabbi or Rebbe as the sole authority to make the decision how to proceed with a molester, then the powerful i.e. rich, own family will benefit to the exclusion of everyone else. The fact is that we all have biases what would prevent the vadd to be vigilant, but to a degree, imagine, if the rebbe’s son or son in law is the offender? Or how about this scenario, the offender is family with the vadd itself? The bottom-line is to trust the person to do the right thing; the person must be in law-enforcement. Anything else amounts to a cover-up. Trying to rehabilitate an offender is like making a snowball in hell, it is just not possible. It would be much more productive to report the offender to the police and only seek help for the victim, not the offender.

    • Leo

      Actually your example is wrong, there is a part of hell that you can make snowballs in, namely the גהינם של שלג the hell of snow. But kidding aside you are 100% right.

  11. So NR also claims day and night that he has the FBI etc on speed dial… so I guess Kal and NR have a few things in common

    well, for once Lopin nice job on the Expose, now we will be waiting for the expose on NR et al.

    • I have dealt with Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg for a while and I know others who have dealt with him. He is a man with a mission and completely sacrifices for it. He has accomplished a lot in preventing molesting, helping victims get treatment, and bringing offenders to justice. He is an angry man as he should be. If you can merge a calmer public persona with the same results I suppose they might be even more effective. But he is quite effective.

      If I should ever find out things about Nuchem that convince me he is dangerous to survivors I would also publicly attack him. But now we are discussing theoretical possibilites. Kal on the other hand is a real danger.

  12. Mark,
    I guess you are very unaware of how instrumental Rabbi Blau has been over the last 10 years. He is someone who should be honored and respected.

    If it wasn’t for him the Lanner case would never have gone anywhere. Those of us at The Awareness Center have worked closely with him for years. He’s a Tzaddik for many survivors. I can’t even begin to tell you the things he has done for the movement. Two key players in the early days were Rabbi Blau and JWB (Jewish Whistleblower). If it wasn’t for them, you wouldn’t have ever thought about getting involved.

    NOTE BY YERACHMIEL LOPIN, EDITOR OF FRUM FOLLIES.

    Mark Mayer Appel has communicated to me about the negative comments above regarding Rabbi Blau:

    “please remove my name from all comments i have not written those comments about rav blau shlita”

    I have confirmed that this came directly from Mark. I can not determine who posted the original negative comments about Rabbi Blau.

  13. please remove my name from all comments i have not written those comments about rav blau shlita

  14. Regarding reporting abusers: Every ADULT victim has the choice whether to proceed with a report to the police or not. But licenced health care, educational, and social welfare personnel are REQUIRED to report suspicions of abuse of a CHILD.

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