Israeli Beit Din Announces Removal of Meisels from His Seminaries and Gives Green Light for Attendance

Elimelech Meisels

Elimelech Meisels

On Friday I posted a 7/10/14 Chicago Beit Din ruling about an investigation into sexual misconduct by Elimelech Meisels which advised against sending girls to Meisels’ four Israeli post-high-school seminaries. Last night (7/13/14) an Israeli Beit Din issued a ruling reporting “the removal of the party responsible” [i.e., Elimelech Meisels] and a legally binding agreement empowering the Israeli Beit Din to make, supervise, and control changes in the ownership and management of the seminaries. Based on these interim measures, the Israeli Beit Din advises parents and principals of US and Canadian girls’ high schools to feel comfortable sending students to these seminaries.

Below is an image of the Israeli ruling and my rough translation.

A few observations are in order about this Israeli Beit Din ruling:

1. I am aware of the reputations of Rabbis Shafran and Malinowitz as men of great intelligence and integrity. This is not to say that they are right, but I do believe they are being honest to the best of their understanding.

2. This ruling was a rush job in response to the pressures created by the Chicago ruling. I know they had been in session for a while trying to reach some agreement with Meisels to remove himself. Rabbi Malinowitz, one of its members was in the US sitting shiva for his brother, Rav Zalman Malinowitz when this ruling was issued and they must have secured his signature by fax. Yet under this pressure they got some interim agreement with Meisels and produced a ruling.

3. This ruling neither confirms nor dismisses the allegations of sexual abuse by Meisels. It merely bypasses them by saying he is no longer part of the seminary. In fact they even avoid using his name. But since they reference the Chicago ruling they are clearly referring to him when they speak of “the removal of the party responsible.”

4. They go to great lengths to praise the other staff of the seminaries and quality of the education and its graduates. However, they completely bypass the question of how and why others in these institutions may have overlooked his misconduct over the years. Several of the students of these seminaries have privately informed me that that they raised Meisels’ misconduct and were advised he was too powerful to fight. It is not clear how the seminary can become a safe place for students without addressing those who, covered up for, and enabled Meisels’ misconduct.

5. Meisels did not merely operate these seminaries. His family owns them. Nothing in the ruling suggests his family has sold these seminaries. It is hard to keep someone away when he has financial control. The Beit Din uses vague langaguage to assert that procedures and controls arrangements exist or will exist to deal with these issues. It is possible that they will make that happen but it could not be accomplished that quickly. Moreover, the seminaries’ sale value would have plummeted if it lost students.

6. Because of the haste of the decision, this Beit Din is stating they will address other issues of control in the future and they are empowered to enforce this through agreements signed by the owners, the Meisels family. Thus it is possible that they will force true divestiture or effective control by a third party.

7. They take a swipe at parties who are anonymous or use pseudonyms and have alternative agendas. This is not an attack on the Chicago rabbis who clearly used their own names. It is probably an attack on yours truly, other bloggers, and perhaps those commenting on blogs. I am sure they resent the way this issue snowballed out of control and they were forced to act precipitously. I can live with this criticism if the combined actions of the Chicago rabbis and Frum Follies forced Meisels to finally come to agreement and the seminaries are cleaned up. In fact those rabbis should probably thank us for giving them the bargaining muscle to finally get results. It is also possible they are attacking the young women who made the allegations against Meisels to the Chicago rabbis.

8. Sadly, there is no commitment to ensure an investigation of the abuse claims against Meisels. He will probably be allowed to move onto other rabbinical roles where he will again abuse.

scales of justice and childFINAL SCORE: This is a partial victory for those concerned about Meisels’ misconduct, for the Chicago Special Beis Din, and for the bloggers. In combination, their actions forced Meisels to withdraw and empowered the Israeli Beit Din. However, the devil is in the details. It will be a hollow victory if Meisels retains controls and eventually worms his way back in. Moreover, the Israeli Beit Din may be overly concerned about the continuing viability  of those seminaries and unwilling to act forcefully if Meisels does not follow through on his commitments. After all, they could have forced the issue sooner by doing what the Chicago rabbis did, threatening to destroy the seminaries by cutting off the supply of paying students. On the other hand, they may now be full of resolve, and the gentle language may merely have been a face-saver for Meisels’ family to smooth other concessions. Sadly, in the end, it does not seem likely that the Israeli Beit Din will ever decisively rule on the trustworthiness of Elimelech Meisels in working with young women.

FINAL TAKEAWAY: Institutions resist change and are usually too interested in their self preservation and perpetuation. Sometimes the only way to get necessary changes is by threatening destruction of those institutions unless they deal with their problems. Paradoxically, sometimes caring too much about preserving institutions condemns them to self-destruction by allowing evil to fester.

TRANSLATION OF ISRAELI BEIT DIN RULING (copyright by Yerachmiel Lopin/Frum Follies)

Announcement to the Public

We were asked by the Rosh (head of ) Yeshiva of Ner Israel of Baltimore and a member of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of America [The Council of Torah Sages of Agudath Israel of America], the Gaon (sage) Rabbi Aaron Feldman Shlita, and also by Rabbi Zev Cohen from a beit din in Chicago and Rabbi [Shlomo or Ronald] Gottesman [esq.] [Torah Umesorah], to conduct beit din sessions for clarification of the complaint that came to them in reference to the seminaries Pninim, Binas Bais Yaakov, Chedvas Bais Yaakov and Keser Chaya to rule and to decide on the monetary claims pertinent to this case, and to change and to correct what ever needs correction in the seminaries within this framework. The administration of the seminaries agreed to comply with all we say and also empowered us halachicly and legally to rule on the implementation of all the arrangements and changes that are necessary.

Also, before the clarification of the claims and the arguments themselves, we saw a need to promulgate a number of interim decisions for the purpose of establishing the administration of the seminaries in the best possible way from a spiritual perspective.

A.    We are talking about well known and popular seminaries that educate for fame and glory (lishem ulitiferet) a large population of young women graduates of Bais Yaakov high schools in the US and Canada; the staff of the seminaries does its work reliably and in the course of the years sent forth from their trusting and loyal hands whole legions of trainees who established households which are kosher and true to G-d and Torah.

B. The problem that was of late revealed through the claims to the beit din in Chicago from a part of the seminaries reached resolution through the removal of the party responsible from every function and connection with the seminaries.

C. The beit din will shortly sit to clarify the complaints themselves and the implications at different levels to add financial and educational clarification of the controlling staff that are said to be customarily in place in such seminaries and the correction of that which needs to be corrected.

D. In light of what is said, there is no cause to refrain from sending girls to study and dorm in these seminaries. It can be confidently assumed that the distinguished staff does its work trustworthily and it will continue to educate Jewish daughters for Torah and purposefulness.

E. We turn to the community of school principals and parents [to advise them] not to give credence to various pronouncement by those who are either anonymous or use fictitious names. These pronouncements are motivated by intentions that are argumentative and by agendas different from those they claim.

We arrive at this with the help of G-d, this Sunday of the week of the parsha “Our Children should live in secure cities” [matot] 16 Tammuz, 5774 (July 13, 2014)

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Hacohen Shafran, Head of the Beit Din
Rabbi Chaim Halevi Malinowitz, Rabbinical Judge
Rabbi Tzvi Gartner, Rabbinical Judge

Hat Tip to DEH for help on translation

Click on image to enlarge and sharpenPsak about Seminaries and Elimelech Meisels by Israeli Beit Din

Psak about Seminaries and Elimelech Meisels by Israeli Beit Din

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84 thoughts on “Israeli Beit Din Announces Removal of Meisels from His Seminaries and Gives Green Light for Attendance

  1. Yerachmiel ,I believe that once u have taken a side in this case that is now pushing you to interpret the Israeli beis din letter the way you want.Fact is the letter clearly states that Meisels agreed to whatever beis din wanted from the start and with that being the fact it calls to question why did the Chicago Beis Din release their letter in the first place?Did someone there have a axe to grind?Additionally by clearly writing that the investigation is ongoing and no conclusion has been reached as to the allegations,that too stands in stark contrast to what the Chicago Beis Din wrote

    • No one knows if he is guilty or not except him and the girls in question and most importantly Hashem!. Howvever – The Israeli Beis Din was in a rush to get this psak out and could not fully investigate the situation as the Chicago Beis Din has. That is why they did not clear his name but rather, Meisles removed himself so the Beis Din could give a letter of clearance for the girls to attend seminary this year. That does NOT mean that I or other mothers/fathers are comfortable sending our girls and we will have to come to some sort of conclusion. I just wanted to clarify that this Psak does not exonerate him nor does it implicate him. The other question I have is how can Meisles not have a financial connection to the school anymore – he couldn’t have sold it that fast and i am sure he relies on this as his parnossah and therefore i would be shocked if he really had no financial connections anymore.

        • Just want to clarify the Chicago Beis Din clearly stated Meisels was guilty of sexual misconduct with girls at his seminaries. You can choose whether or not to believe the esteemed Rabbis of the Chicago Beis Din – but obviously they had no reason to make this up and they investigated the situation completely before coming out with their letter.

          • The original comment by Asher was deleted for trolling, a violation of commenting policy.

            Asher, reread the policy, figure out how to comply with it and come back, commenting appropriately.

            Enough with the nitpicky inventories of imagined issues in long lists mixed with inflammatory invective.

            Disagreement is fine, but contribute to an intelligent exchange which builds on previous comments and respects them by paying attention.

            Yerachmiel Lopin

  2. Very hard to understand now why the Chicago beis din
    A- wrote what the allegations were before anything was confirmed – just writing the allegations kills r meisels name et
    B- recommended not to send to the seminaries – the damage that has been done through the Chicago letter will be very hard to undo – which is obviously what the Israel Beth din is trying to do. Very hard to understand

      • Yerachmiel ,do you then agree that obviously the Israeli beis din does not agree with the Chicago beis dins assessment that the allegations are confirmed.Do you now agree that it might not be as open and shut as you originally thought?

      • Mr. Lopin, I would also like to stress that seminaries were female administrators and teachers were complicit and covered up for Meisels is not a safe place. The Israeli Beis Din needs to do a much more thorough investigation of all the women and men that were involved in covering up for Meisels over the years. One male poster on this blog even admitted that he knew Meisels was famous for his late night van rides and had problems – so why did that man do nothing???? That man was a coward!!

        The multitude of Meisels advocates that have made posts here demeaning the victims and calling them names have caused a tremendous amount of pain to the victims that they will never be able to make up for. I hope all of you Pninim “girls” that posted disgusting and disparaging remarks about the victims will think hard about the pain you have caused the victims. What you did is beyond shameful.

        The brave girls who took risks and suffered the shame of talking openly about what happened to them and traveled all the way to Chicago to testify (in order to protect other girls – not to get back at Meisels) to the esteemed rabbis of the Special Chicago Beis Din (which is a special Beis Din expert in areas of abuse) these girls are all heroes!!!! I hope that everyone who reads this blog will daven for the victims – that they should recover completely from the nightmare of abuse and betrayal by a “Rabbi” they trusted and admired – who fooled many people and took advantage of the girls who trusted him.

        I feel very sorry for his wife and children and for the innocent people that will lose parnassa because of him. But Meisels brought this upon himself – he has no one else to blame. He should be begging for mechilla instead of running blog, text and email campaigns to disparage the victims and save his “reputation” and money making seminaries. Hashem sees everything.

    • if the gedolim in Chicago made the psak and publicized it they obviously knew the implications, the fact they sent it out proves that they felt it was important information.
      I think that if someone is deciding whether or not to attend one of the seminaries next year they should a) speak to their rav in conjunction with b) speaking to one of the three rabanim of the Chicago bes din.
      all three rabanim on the Chicago bes din are tremendous gedolim, all of whom belong to different “groups”

  3. Dear Mr. Lopin and all others. Looking at this from a neutral and unbiased perspective, I think we can safely see that some mistakes were made on both sides. However, as many writers here have viciously slandered Rabbi Meisels on a public forum, they must ask him for forgiveness before Hashem can forgive them. Details are still unclear, but it is apparent that many false accusations were lobbied against Rabbi Meisels, whether or not he actually committed any sins. Of course we have seen and read that you were doing all of this to help the community. Thus, I am sure that if you write an apology in the same forceful way that you wrote the accusations, both Rabbi Meisels and Hashem will forgive you for the slander which has hurt so many in such a short period of time. Please try to look at things clearly and in an unbiased way however difficult this may be. It takes a great man to admit his mistakes but Rabbi Meisels and his Seminaries have clearly been wronged here, and we must beg forgiveness from him, as well as all those involved who may have been inadvertently hurt along the way. Do the right thing and try to bring Achdus to the Jewish people in an effort to hasten the coming of The Messiah. Thank you

    • Not a single word was said by the Israeli Beit Din which exonerated Meisels. Not a single word. They said he removed himself and the seminaries are safe and did good work in the past. The Israeli Beit Din dodged the issue. Meisels will doubtlessly use this failure by the Beit Din to insist he is exonerated and then to go on and misbehave again.

      I do not owe Meisels any apology. But if I colluded in his claims of innocence and another girl was harmed, I would owe her an apology.

      • it was written as “siluk”, thrown out. My “even shoshan” is in house in LI, as is my “Dan Ben Amotz” dictionaries, but “siluk” is not just simply removal. I am repeating this, The Israeli Beit Din letter has all sorts of innuendos if one is familiar with modern Israeli Hebrew. sorry. l’salek, tistalek me po, is very very strong.
        and, again, takalah is not just a little minor problem, usually, used for major problems….usually
        I spoke Modern Israeli Hebrew amongst college educated people for my entire adult life. I’m no slouch, albeit not perfect. but these are words that i am familiar with from day to day usage. There is more, but i need a magnifying glass…..

      • I am blown away by the comments here – how can people read the same things I am reading and come away with such a drastically different read is incredible. People need to get their heads out of the sand!
        First of all, the Chicago bais din, which has shimush and experience in evaluating accusations of a sexual and molesting nature, investigated Meisels and came out with clarity saying he engaged in patterns of behaviour that were predatory, harmful and inconsistent with the head of a torah institution.
        That bais din, in addition to the three signers, also included Rabbi First, and R Chaim Dov Keller.
        These are believable people, who are standing up and saying they have investigated, and they should be believed.
        Then you have a hastily put together bais din in Israel, who have had all of 5 minutes to try to come up with an action plan.
        They come out and say that Meisels has resigned, and has agreed to remove himself from any and all contact with these sem’s. This is in itself an admission that the allegations are true. (Although I think we can safely say that we are dealing with facts, not allegations).
        Now, if his removal from the schools was believable, meaning he didnt OWN the schools still, as a parent I still would NEVER EVER send my daughter to one of these schools, because clearly the staff is still in place – staff that either knew what was happening and ignored it, in which case they are criminals and should be prosecuted as well, or didnt know what was going on, in which case they are grossly inept and incompetant.
        Either way, the bais din in Israel is not saying nothing happened.
        Quite the opposite, they are CONFIRMING the chicago bais din letter, just they are saying that Meisels has “promised to be a good boy, stay away from the schools, and not do it again”
        Wow. Problem solved.
        (not).

    • really????? you don’t sound very neutral. I don’t think there is enough to say wither way who is right – the Beis Din did NOT clear his name. They had him step down to avoid the situation. No one knows if he is truly guilty or not except Hashem, himself and the girl/s in question so i dot think you should be taking sides one way or the other or telling people who they need to as for mechila from.

      • Actually, only the Israeli Beit Din is neutral. the chicago beis din clearly found Meisels guilty. We humans have to act, even if we can never have perfect knowledge. The action take-away is “Do not trust impressionable girls and young women with Elimelech Meisels. He is a menuval.” The Torah is not a prescription for ignorant obliviousness; it is not a call to be suckers for charlatans.”

    • How can you say that the accusations were “false”? Chicago determined otherwise. As for Israel, they are still investigating.

  4. This idea to sending to seminary sounds quite foreign to me. I sent my first daughter when the price was still semi reasonable, but haven’t sent my next few daughters. IMHO ,it’s a waste of money. Can someone explain to me, why you would spend close to $25,000 for a few months of more intense learning after they just finished high school!?

    • You are a smart man! I hope you start a trend! The expense and pressure to send girls away from home to seminary for shidduch purposes is such a scam. Not worth the risk! Girls should stay home and stay safe. I have heard too many bad stories about seminaries and just not meisels.

  5. However you slice this, it makes the Chicago beis din look bad. 1- As they clearly stated in their letter they were in touch with the Isreal beis din and therefore had to know that the Israeli beis din did not agree with them about a- the validity of the allegations b- there being any threat to the girl’s to go to the seminarys for next year. And C- That Meisels was following exactly what the beis din was asking of him! Being that as it is the question must be asked why was the Chicago letter put out? What were their agendas? If there’s no toeles what was the point? Meisels was out either way! It looks like there is alot more unknown then known in this case .And truthfully if Meisels will continue following beis dins directives then the story is probably dead too since besides for gossip what difference will it make! One last point is a takala is commonly used as a code word for a breach in hilchos tznius, not any kind of sexual abuse that so many have been talking abt.

    • Yossi, an elementary rule of deducing causation is paying attention to the sequence of events. For A to cause B it must precede it. Meisels only agreed to quit the scene when his business was on the verge of becoming valuless because students wouldn’t come. that only happened when the Chicago Beis Din issued its ruling. the Israeli Beit Din did not have to repeat the allegations because they were already out there. But nor did they repudiate the claims. Instead they emphasized that Meisels had skedaddled. Once again, there is NO INFORMATION STATING OR IMPLYING meisels was ready to jump ship until Chicago acted.

      • If you carefully read the letter, it states clearly that Hagaon R ahron Feldmen and R zev Cohen of the Chicago beis din asked the Israeli beis din to look into the allegations בירור התלונות not to get Meisels out as you are implying. That was not what they were requested! What they then write is even before anything has been clarified in regards to the allegations Meisels proactivly agreed to step away

        • The opening sentence of the Israeli Beit Din text encompasses an omnibus request covering many issues. They never make clear which points they dealt with and which they did not. Also why would the chicago be requesting a ruling on Meisels’ sexual misconduct. They have already ruled on the point.

          I must say that your attempt to whitewash the menuval Meisels is a good illustration of why it is a mistake to go easy on such folks. give them an inch and they start claiming they were exonerated.

          There is a world of difference between bypassing an issue and exonerating someone. In legal parlance, this was not an exoneration, it was an implied suggestion that Meisels’s guilt was moot because he was outside the seminaries and they would be supervising new seminary arrangements.

    • No toeles? How about people not sending to seminaries led by Meisels, for starters. And even with Meisels gone, judging by the comments of their supporters as well as from what I’ve heard, one should think long and hard before trusting a holy daughter to a brain-washing facility such as his.

      • PROFOUNDLY DISAPPOINTING!

        I agree with you Yerachmiel, not using his name in the psak has done significant damage to Klal Yisroel and specifically Bnos Yisroel. His name should be all over that psak and he should be “google searched” and never get a job again in any area for the rest of his life. Creep. Owe him an apology? There is a special place in Gehinnom for people like Meisels and Weinberger who prey on the defenseless, manipulate, and abuse them. I fully rely on Rabbi’s Schwartz, Feurst, and Cohen who all found him guilty and are all top-notch Rabbonim and ishei emes. This is a terrible loss for us, the good people who are worried about innocent girls. I cannot fathom except that this was a rushed job how they can say the rest of the seminary staff are totally fine? They didn’t have time to investigate thoroughly! Obviously there are guilty VPs, eim bayits, and teachers. Of course somebody had to know and was either manipulated, meameid zechus, or threatened. Don’t send your daughters to any of those seminaries! It’s mamash a sakanah until the house has been cleaned and it hasn’t yet. Very disappointed.

        • For those who follow these cases it is on course with the all too predictable road to nowhere. The Israeli BD tells the general public that they are in control, everything is ok, don’t worry etc, (essentially you cant get your deposit refunded) then they let you know that they will look look into it. That is where it will end. Give credit to Chicago BD, they spoke their mind in a clear way. NO mumble jumble

  6. http://dusiznies.blogspot.com/2014/07/elimelech-meisels-owner-of-3-girl.html

    Beit Shemesh said…
    Not good if Chaim Malinowitz is in charge. Ask anti-molester activist David Morris about him covering up for the Beit Shemesh pedophiles.

    And is Rav Shafran any relation to the Agudah’s Avi Shafran who launches PR assaults on anti-molester advocates?

    http://theunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com/2011/01/this-man-rabbi-malinowitz-is-danger-and.html

    This Man (Rabbi Malinowitz) is a Danger and Must Be Stopped!
    July 11, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    Old Williamsburg said…
    Philip Fishman who is today a modern orthodox scientist at M.I.T., grew up at the Agudah of Williamsburg.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sukkah-Burning-Remembering-Williamsburgs-Transformation/dp/1938223314

    In his memoir he writes about an Agudah macher who was molesting kids on Shabbos afternoons in the building. He gives you every hint that it was Mike Tress without actually saying his name.

    A rov told me there were rumors for years of Mike Tress being detained by police multiple times but was released after intervention by powerful government figures.
    July 11, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Lakewood said…
    Tress grandchildren and molestation?

    http://theunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com/2013/08/jews-for-money-shameless_8.html

    Where have we heard that before?
    July 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Yerushalayim said…
    http://survivorsforjustice.org/images/stories/pdfs/legal/Yeshurun-15-Shaarei%20Halacha%20Pamphlet.pdf

    Rav Tzvi Gartner is a big talmid chacham & one of the good guys. He wrote a teshuva here (page 634) that says forget about beis din and report molesters to the police.

    • I am not aware of any family relationship between Rabbi shafran of the Beit Din and Avi Shafran, the Agudah press spokesperson. Rav Shafran, in other cases has been a force for supporting victims of abuse in going straight to the police, with him insisting they were obliged to report the abuse.

  7. Yerachmiel,It sounds from your writing, you truthfully feel this blog is all leshem shamyim.If that’s the case, then this should be an opportune time to shed a major light on a victory, which while you did acknowledge, you did it quietly.That is, that Telse Yeshiva took on one of their most powerful, influential, and wealthy alum.They didn’t protect and shield them! That’s amazing! What a victory for all those that really want to believe in the wonderful Rabbonim, who are true leaders and truly Moser nefesh for Klal Yisroel. You should be promoting this story as much as any other, so perhaps more people of influence could be mechazek when they are faced with this nisyon of bringing out the truth no matter what!! Isn’t that all we want?

  8. Triangle, you’re very quick to jump to conclusions, malign, demean , and name call everyone who disagrees with you- all based on very little information . Especially now, that the Israel Beth din seems very inconclusive and they said that people could and should send their daughters there , you are showing more and more that are very not objective but that you have an ax to grind and are coming with an agenda – the facts make no difference to you .

    • I have read and heard elsewhere that the Chicago Rabbonim are still telling people not to go even if Meisels isn’t there anymore. It’s still a family-owned business, and many have speculated that the abuse could not have happened without at least the knowledge of some of the staff. In other words, the sems are all rotten.

      Furthermore, while we’re discussing facts, it seems that Meisels admitted his guilt to the Chicago Bais Din after being presented with c’yaduah, physical evidence of what he did. These are fact that make a great deal of difference.

      I have no axe to grind other than wanting people to understand that based on what several people have said, and based on my sources, including members of the Bais Din itself, that Meisels is a monster and that his sems are a bad place to send any girls. Don’t believe me? Investigate for yourself and call Rabbi Fuerst. He will give you all the facts you need to make an educated decision.

  9. I believe that those who cover up for sex offenders, or as in the Meisels case, staff at these seminaries who chose not to act in the best interest of their students, are far worse than the molester himself.

    Sex offender = sick individual
    Cover upper = an evil individual

    It seems clearly obvious to me who is worse.
    The only reason why the sick individual continues to destroy lives is because the evil individual allows him to.

  10. Has anyone checked with the Chicago BD to see if they’re now ok with sending girls to these seminaries next year?

  11. mr.lopin-thank you for holding everyones feet to the fire.yasher koach to the chicago bais din.we have lived for far too long without a bsis din talking about these menuvulin predators.all the people that curse and threthan you should get it back in spades.

  12. It is a disgrace that all of the “mainstream” jewish media ( Yated, Hamodia, Mishpacha, Ami, YWN etc. )hide their heads in the sand and keep on reporting on how everything is great and wonderful in their fantasy world. Wake up already we are in 2014. (we all see you following Mr. Lopin on twitter and on facebook)

    Why would it be more important to protect a molester and his family than 100’s of innocent Jewish children???

    Yes, they talk about protecting jewish neshamos – some of them will even write an article about it; how about doing something!? Like printing the psak of a bais din that finally exposed a rasha for what he is (and protecting innocent boys and girls).

    Thank G-d for the blogs and free speech on the internet. This is kedushas yisroel.

    Yerachmiel Lopin you are a true tzaddik!

  13. 1. I am aware of the reputations of Rabbis Shafran and Malinowitz as men of great intelligence and integrity.

    Who are Rabbis Shafran and Malinowitz and what and how do you know of them?

  14. http://haemtza.blogspot.com/2014/07/unwanted-physical-contact-of-sexual.html#comment-1485114412

    Jerusalem • 26 minutes ago
    This “seminary in Israel” business is a racket. Seminaries are for-profit institutions that rip off foolish parents who don’t know any better… Besides the money, this seminary racket produces canon fodder for the kollel system…they produce “kollel wives”… Get back to me in 10-15 years… let’s see how they’re doing then…
    Foolish parents send their 18 year old daughters to these greedy lowlifes – to have them brainwashed into marrying so-called “learning guys” – and becoming “kollel wives”…

    The parents are spending $20,000 a year to have their daughters brainwashed – and now it turns out, sexually abused…

    These men who teach 18 year old girls are failures. Otherwise they would be teaching boys/men…
    LOL at these foolish “seminary girls who develop a crush on their seminary heads”… These are the future “kollel wives” – who all want to marry a “learning guy”…

    Youngerman • 2 hours ago
    The fact of the matter is that the context is ripe for this type of thing to happen. Many of the “BY” type seminaries in Israel are essentially for-profit businesses. They get some seed funding through family and relatives and open up shop. There is little transparency and accountability on a regular basis (and it is telling that a Beis Din in Chicago has to get involved to compensate for a total lack of infrastructure of oversight). They leverage the “Bais Yaakov brand” which is the suffix of their seminary name and utilize familial connections and yichus to garner legitimacy and seed funding. They then market themselves to high schools with which they are in collusion for referrals and students. Many of their recruitment and entrance processes are reflective of this. Some of the Directors play mind games when interviewing the girls who are desperate to be accepted into the “right” seminary—or for some, ANY seminary. You often hear of the “hoops” which the girls are put through to even be considered, at inconvenience and expense to parents. Plus the application fees are easy revenue streams, certainly out-costing whatever administrative costs might have been incurred.

    The setting is therefore ripe for predators to do their thing, preying on the vulnerability of young women who are away from home. Some of the young women have issues at home which can be exploited by the predators. I suspect that many feel that they are above Hilchos Yichud. Ironically, many of these schools ban or
    restrict cell phone use, ostensibly in part as a way to prevent the girls talking to boys. Yet, this also cuts of an important communication lifeline with parents for these types of predatory scenarios.

  15. Always be concerned if someone wants to limit your child’s access to you–whether in camp, in yeshiva, in seminary, wherever.

  16. Are you sure that the Telz Chicago rosh yeshiva is against Meisels? Not only has he protected molesters in the past but the Levins & Tresses are mishpocho

    http://matzav.com/wedding-of-grandchildren-of-rav-avrohom-chaim-levin-and-lbclc-rav-manis-mandel-ztl

    The wedding of a granddaughter of Rav Avrohom Chaim Levin, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Telshe-Chicago, will be held tonight in Williamsburg. The chosson, Mutty Levin, is a son of Rav Yisroel Menachem Levin, rov of Beth Tefilo Emanuel Tikvah in Southfield, Michigan, and menahel of Yeshiva Gedolah Ateres Mordechai of Detroit. The chosson is also a grandson of Rav Yisroel Pichey of Kensington, a longtime mechanech. Rav Pichey is a son-in-law of the legendary Agudah leader, Reb Elimelech Gavriel (Mike) Tress zt”l, and his wife, lhbcl”c, Mrs. Hinda Tress.

    • You need to get back on your meds, and stop spreading libelaous falsehoods abour Rav Elimelech Tress, who did more for Klal Yisrael than you can even imagine. You should never again utter his holy name even out of your filthy mouth.
      And Rav Keller and his bais din stood up and exposed Meisels for what he is, even though he was a supporter of their yeshiva, and that exposure will protect thousands of girls from being future victims of his – your comments show that you have major issues…

      • If Ari was paying any attention he would see I was pointing to information elsewhere on the internet. That’s pretty funny though that Ari is conferring semicha on Mike Tress.

  17. Yerachmiel Lopin, I hope you burn for all the horrible Lashon Hora you wrote. You don’t know the story, you chose to take sides. I know the Chicago Beis Din is corrupt, The were paid off to ruin his name and to make all these rule and regulations toward Rabbi Meisles, Just as they were paid off to says a Chicago resident was not found guilty, when my cousin was owed THOUSANDS of dollars by this Chicago resident! In regards to Hilchos Yichud, I was a student in one of his seminaries, I am very close with Rabbi Meisles and he NEVER EVER talked to girls in a private setting, his door was always open, unless his wife (who by the way shared an office with him) was in the room. Other than that, people would constantly be walking in and at of his office, with the door opened wide. To all those people to think that Rabbi Meisles is a sexual predator, you should also burn. He lives his life in a complete Torahdig way and has never done and will never do something untznisious like this! The truth will prevail, and this horrible girl, with a fat wallet and psychological issues, who decided to ruin Rabbi Meisels life, will burn along with you Yerachmiel!

    • Wow, fine character your sem builds. You accuse honorable rabbis of corruption, you malign victims, you malign bloggers. You do everything but consider the possibility that anyone but Meisels is at fault. I credit Meisels with creating true devoted yeshivish chasidim. I am only waiting for the miracle stories.

        • May I suggest, young lady, that you take the only appropriate action under the circumstances: stop hiding behind your ‘truth’ moniker, come out with your real name, and let the Chicago rabbis have it for their corrupt and perfidious conduct. Surely the world needs someone with your level thinking and yashrus to set us all straight as to what the facts really are. Ladies first…..go for it.

          Daniel

    • If you believe that Rabbis Fuerst, Cohen or Schwartz can be paid off, then you have several screws loose. Call and ask. He’s a predator. There was evidence and Mr. Meisels admitted wrongdoing. There was PHYSICAL evidence.

    • How can you know the Chicago beis din discussed here. They have no history. They got together for this one case.

      • Wrong, they have existed as a “Special Beis Din” since 2000 and convene as needed and have dealt with a number of other sexual abusers. It is the Shafran Beit Din, apparently commissioned by Torah Umesorah that is a group for the first time. This may be why they are not as adept with the special issues related to sex abuse.

    • TO ALL THOSE IN DENIAL:

      Do you have to be molested yourself in order to acknowledge that such a phenomenon exists in our circles? Must you watch your own child suffer unspeakable pain before you recognize the damage done by these evil perpetrators? Does a tragedy need to occur to someone close to you before you will comprehend that the abuser is frequently a charismatic, manipulative genius who succeeds in not just fooling everyone else, but also in making them think he is G-d’s biggest gift to mankind? Molesters do not label their foreheads with “Pervert.” That is why they often succeed in devastating so many lives before they get caught, r”l.

      People like you, who are in denial about the existence and ramifications of abuse — your children are unfortunately at a much higher risk of being targeted by a predator. This is because the predator knows that if he abuses your child, you will likely not believe your child if he has the courage to share his experience. You can be angry at me for pointing out your ignorance, or you can be smart and think about what I said. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself so that you can teach your children and protect them to the extent possible.

    • I hear exactly what you are saying…that is exactly how i felt when I first saw this article.
      However his wife was not around at night..thats where alot of the shady stuff went down. Its hard to believe that such an influence can stoop to such a low level..but u a have to realize that it might possibly be true..

  18. Comment deleted by editor and user banned- used foul, disgusting language unbecoming a decent human being. Yerachmiel Lopin

    • My understanding based on close sources are the Meisels was confronted with the physical evidence and then admitted his wrongdoing. There is a reason that the Chicago Bais Din referred to him as “Mr. Meisels”. It wasn’t based on speculation, and it wasn’t based on one or two girls. It’s also the reason that Meisels tried to mitigate the whole situation by “stepping down”.

      And now I’m hearing that some of Meisels’s own staff are besmirching some of the alleged (and unconfirmed) victims. These sems are poisonous. Even the female staff are cruel, vindictive, and vengeful. We’ve seen it right here in the comments.

      • That’s exactly my point. Even you, who talks with authority as If you’ve seen the actual evidence just heard from sources etc. I’m not saying that this is not true but there is something very fishy about this whole thing. Unfortunately I’ve seen very good innocent men taken down by a few unstable girls testifying etc batei din etc

        • I have seen innocent victims of abuse slandered by people who say, “I am sure he is innocent because I know, like, and respect him.” That is not proof and no match for the due diligence of an investigation by impartial and thoughtful people of integrity. Remember, most sexual abuse occurs in secret, precisely because the abuser is ashamed of his misconduct and cannot afford to be caught. Yet they are so selfish and driven that they do abuse.

  19. Wait… so while R’ Malinowitz was sitting shiva he had time to do research and investigation? Oh… he rubber stamped a ruling by others… where have we heard THAT before? On this blog, no less?
    Meisels may be guilty for all I care. I just wish you wouldn’t all worship the decisions of batei dinim when it suits you and excoriate them for following each other like bleating sheep all other times.

  20. It’s all a conspiracy to get this heilege Torahdig rabbi who’s responsible for saving more lives than any other Jew in history, whose mere glance at a young seminary girl would melt the girl’s yetzer hara. The corrupt rabbis (in Chicago and Israel) conspired with several girls to produce fake false evidence and to testify falsely. They were all paid off. Y.L. was paid the most. Actually, he gets $1 for every positive post and $2 for every negative post here. That’s why he does this: for parnossa. Unlike this heilege rabbi who gets close to girls only to bring them close to Yiddishkeit.
    It’s so obvious. Everyone is conspiriing against this rabbi, because theyre jealous of his success with young impressionable ladies–in turning them on , to Yiddishkeit of course.

  21. Deleted for extremely crass and derogatory comments about the victims which are also false. Yerachmiel Lopin

  22. Yerachmiel, great analysis on the letter, and excellent job on this whole issue.

    These conversations have to be had in public so that the lame excuses and lies be exposed for what they are and for the truth to prevail.

    What I find interesting is that so many of those who disagree with Yerachmiel post ridiculous threats of how he will burn in hell. First of all, why not inform the Rabbanim of the Chicago Beis Din about burning in hell as they were the ones who wrote the psak, and they are not trying to keep it a secret but are more than willing to give information to anyone who calls them. Second, are you in charge of who goes to Heaven and who burns in Hell that you feel so sure of who is going to which other-worldly space? Who died and appointed you as God? And finally, is that all you’ve got? Threats about what YOU think Hashem is going to do to Yerachmiel after 120? Seriously?

  23. YL deserves this dreadful punishment because he is going against the Godol HaDor who only bonded with the BTs and others who attended his various seminaries into to bring them closer and closer to him which means to Torah, since he is the personification of Torah.
    It is loshon hara and a great chillul Hashem for anyone to bring to light such allegations.
    Besides which, it could not have happened.

    A NY Times article this week recounted a case wherein a young college students alleged she was raped by a gang of male students, led by a star on the college football team.
    A friend of this college student found her bent over on a table, being assaulted.
    One question asked by the college’s panel of professors who were supposed to investigate was whether anyone saw the chief perpetrator’s organ actually inserted.

    The answer to all of us is obvious: this assault could not have happened, it is loshon hara and a chillul Hashem to even suggest it, and if anything did happen the perpetrator did not do what was alleged, and could not have done what was alleged because he never did that to any of his fans who now may rush to defend him.

    Of course, the fact that this football star was crucial to the success of the team and hence to the financial success of the college (which derives much money from its program) had absolutely nothing to do with the final decision of the committee of professors to fully exonerate the attackers.

  24. Attention all Pninim girls- please dont comment on the blog- Pninim is coming across as unintelligent and sheltered. There is no proof R Meisels has done anything but if he was completely innocent then this never would have came about in the first place. Everyone has yetzer horos and even the most holy people can be overcome by them at times. It does not take away in the slightest from all the amazing things R Meisels has done for Klal Yisroel in the least bit. But please stop shouting his innocence when in fact you have no proof other than his sterling character. And to everyone else- please stop shouting his guilt when there is no proof. If it does come to light such a horrible thing occurred then we should all daven for him- but not blog about it. The back and forth comments arent helping anyone and only add more fuel to the fire. Mr. Lopin thank you for posting this from the Beit Din but you should disable comments if youre truly only doing it for the good of everyone and not just to gossip.

    • One of the reasons for abusers getting away with their misconduct it the shortage of open discussion about the issue and the cases. The frum world allows no discussion of the issue in most of its forums. For all of the problems with the back and forth, I believe people are learning things from hearing the claims and counterclaims.

    • Meisels admitted to having some type of sexual contact with his students. Rabbi Fuerst will confirm it for you. Nothing else needs to be proven. Of course it takes away from everything that he’s done. He’s a monster and a predator, preying on the weak. He’s a toivel v’sheretz b’yado. Tamei forever.

      But you actually made me laugh when you suggest that Pninim girls shouldn’t post here. Umm, the proverbial toothpaste is already out of the tube. The other thread with more than 500 comments, some of the alleged Pninim girls, has already shown people everything they need to know about the personality cult that is Pninim. No way I would ever send my daughter there, regardless of whomever is technically in charge, due largely to the comments seen here.

    • i respectfully disagree that sexual assaults do not take away from “all the amazing things” a predator supposedly did “for klal Yisroel.” We know that there are certain acts, the gravity of which is so severe that they cause one to lose olam ha’ba. Molesting mulitple young ladies in search of greater ruchnius with the tremendous chillul HaShem this causes certainly qualifies as acts which “take away” from a predator’s “amazing things.” Mafia dons give money to local block parties, and donate to certain hospitals on Long Island and elsewhere. That does not mean much given their occupation.

      Furthermore, to say that the response of seminary girls should they finally become convinced that “such a horrible thing occurred” is that they “should all daven for” the perpetrator is at best misplaced. Why not daven for the healinng of a predator’s numerous victims, as well as the family members whose lives may very well be affected by association with a monster. But to daven for the monster? Wrong religion.

  25. Mr. Lopin, I reserve the right to remain unconvinced of Rabbi Meisel’s guilt. However, if he did the things that are alleged then he has certainly committed unforgivable grievous acts. With that said, I believe seminary girls are not children. They have been schooled in hilchos yichud and in maintaining their distance with the opposite sex. They know what is expected of them. What is the explanation for taking late night rides with the principal or placing themselves in any position that would have brought this about? I am not saying they are not his victims. However, I am at a loss in understanding how any of this came about. Please explain it to me. Thank you.

    • Dear Rational Thinker: You have to remember it is the culture of these people to look up to these types even when their own intuition, knowledge and beliefs tell them differently. Especially if girls who think little of themselves are involved. I have taught in an Cheredi school-please remember their actual age of years hardly matches their understanding. In the school I taught in-the fifth graders were on the emotional level of second and third graders. Plus many are taught to think what the group thinks—and thus they doubt themselves. They are very easily swayed…it is so sad. The parents have so many children and really do not talk to them of these issues. They are so sheltered to the point that anyone can come-if it is the right predator-and do a tremendous amount of damage. And we have seen-parents are afraid to even protect their own children because of Orthodox Cheredi retribution.

  26. Am I missing something here in the whole conversation. The most casual form of negia certainly when it occurs in situations of yichud is assur and extremely worrying in an environment of trust/power. This should be a conversation about all seminaries and yeshivas for that matter that need to have procedures in place to ensure that the gedarim of the Torah/chachamim are observed to the maximum. There needs to be a clear and transparent reporting mechanism that ensures the transmission of accurate, reliable and actionable information while it discourages, reveals and delegitimizes false, vindictive agenda driven slander often from troubled individuals.

    • Thank you. Seminary students are not little girls. Many are over 18 years of age. They have learned hilchos yichud and need to take some measure of responsibility. If Rabbi Meisels has committed reprehensible acts, I certainly will not back him up. However, what about the adult seminary girls who did not follow what you have referred to as the gedarim of our Torah? I have yet to receive a response to this point. In fact, Rabbi Meisels surely didn’t attack his students. Any student who abides by hilchos yichud will likely never be in the position of feeling violated in a manner that is life altering.

      • You are locking the barn after the horses got out. Of course there are lessons in this for following din yichud and negiah. No doubt everyone of his victims is sorry to have allowed themselves to be persuaded by his deformed version of halacha to breach the understood standard.

        However, there is a prohibition on throwing harmful words and reminders at a baalat teshuva. I have little doubt that most if not all of his victims have gone through regret and determination to change, and have changed and will not make that mistake again, especially with the likes of a charmer like Meisels. But why are you harping on this? It feels like you want to lay too much of the blame on the victim. When a teacher/rabbi/principal does wrong things together with a student, don’t you think we should lay most of the blame on the older adult rabbi and not on the students.

        But, there is one lesson worth passing onto all students, not just sem girls, not just students: If a rabbi asks you to do something that seems wrong and contrary to your shared basic values and rules, tell him/her to stuff it. Is that the message you want to pass out. Because I believe all these students knew the dinim of yichud and negiah. they lacked the ability to tell him to stuff it.

        • No, I am careful to say that if Rabbi Meisels did indeed do what he is accused of, there is no excuse! However, the victims are not children who were molested. They are likely above the age of 18 and adults. Perhaps, the laws of yichud seem archaic to some. But, to me It seems the laws of yichud are in place to protect both men and women. Any woman who practices the laws will likely never experience life altering trauma. Perhaps, sticking to the rules is as important as eating kosher….

          • You have repeated yourself about a dozen times. You are veering closed to trolling. You have made your point, others have replied. In the interests of not degrading the discussion, please move on to new points. Otherwise you are not just putting out your point of view, you are hocking away. Enough.

      • thank you Rational Thinker, I totally agree. We are not little girls, and as a regular Bais Yakkov girl who went to one of the seminaries, I just want to let e/o know that I, and every girl except for a select few had absolutely nothing to do with him, and we would never have thought to even do something inappropriate C”V. I probably said a mere 2 words to him during my seminary year, and this goes for all the other girls as well. They are regular, cream of the crop Bais Yakkov girls. The select few who were in contact with him, (and not really from the Bais Yaakov Seminaries,) actually approached him to discuss life issues, and I’d have a hard time believing that he actually did anything as bad as all this exaggeration sounds. If you go back to the very beginning, he was accused of doing something of “sexual nature.” In other words, what it means to be, and at worst; a fatherly hug. I am in no way defending that, and it is completely assur, but stop saying all this disgusting Lashon Hara and all of your sick opinions before evaluating them. And most of all, STOP calling everyone who seeks to defend “vulnerable.” To add to what Rational Thinker says, we are mature, growing Bais Yakkov girls, who know our boundaries, and to take caution when necessary. Likewise, to all those concerned about shidduchim, it should not affect the shidduchim in any way, being that most of the girls had, as previously mentioned, NOTHING to do with him. Shidduch references would know that. AND I’M SICK AND TIRED OF SEEING THESE COMMENTS THAT SAY “U ARE COVERING UP…” NO, I PROMISE YOU, THAT I AM NOT COVERING UP A THING, AND HAD ZERO TO DO WITH THE GUY, MOREOVER BARELY SAW HIM SAVE FOR THE ONCE A WEEK LECTURE HE GAVE US.

          • I think that if this in fact true, there needs to be more information.
            The names of the victims must come out and the acts he has done, as disturbing as they might be, must come out. Over the past month, there has been alot of speculation especially between alumni of his seminaries, whether this is true or false. Besides for the CBD ruling, there is no real evidence of him doing anything..and thats pretty much the only way that you can convince anybody..

            • If you were a victim of such abuse, would you ever talk to a beis din if you knew your name would come out together with a pornographic level of detail. Chicago has correctly protected the privacy of the victims (and even protected the privacy of the Meisels conditions. OTOH we have seen that IBD leaks like a sieve including even private emails between R. Feldman and Malinowitz where RAF accuses M of being a liar. No one will ever go to BD to share abuse. If it is all going to come out they would be better going to court, prosecuting criminally, and then being in a better position to sue in a civil trial.

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