A Thin Line Separates Charisma from Manipulation: A Call for Meisels Examples

The great flaw of the Israeli Beit Din dealing with the sex offending Elimelech Meisels (see here) is thinking they are dealing with isolated violations arising from spontaneous lust for which Meisels has repented. In truth they are dealing with a manipulative man who strategically and aggressively groomed his victims, often starting at the admissions and scholarship stages. He created cliques of his favorites that he showered with attention and was often publicly abusive to others, including staff. His manipulations succeeded to the point that housemothers invalidated or berated the concerns of students.

Manipulation cartoon mathThis was also the pattern for serial offenders like Rabbis (sic) Baruch Lanner, Dovid Weinberger, and Motti Elon. All of them persisted in their manipulations even after they offered (insincere) apologies.

In Dr. Nachum Klafter’s typology of offending clergy, they are predatory offenders who should not be trusted again in any professional roles which require ethics and integrity.

Manipulation cartoon meatIf you want to understand the manipulative educator, read Paul Shaviv’s Pied Piper. To see how it was done by Baruch Lanner read the comments on my post: A Call for Examples of Lanner Manipulations.

Following that model, I am limiting comments on this post to examples of manipulative behavior by Elimelech Meisels at his Jerusalem seminaries: Pninim, Binas Bais Yaakov, Chedvas Bais Yaakov and Keser Chaya. Comments outside that topic will be deleted. I want to emphasize that manipulation isn’t necessarily about sex. It is of course about power. But examples of non-sexual manipulation often help illuminate how Meisels also manipulated students into unwanted sexual contact.

Please share your comments if you have examples of manipulative behavior by Eli Meisels. Thank you.

 

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78 thoughts on “A Thin Line Separates Charisma from Manipulation: A Call for Meisels Examples

  1. Incredibly important to continue the dialogue since it seems that unless there is a graphic video or a visibly pregnant & single seminary graduate, people will continue to disbelieve. Even with the prominent rabbis signing the document. I am stunned.

    • I think a lot of people feel that way, Penelope. I would like to see people post their experiences, and at the same time allow them to at least start the healing process. Until now, many have kept silent with the fear that nobody would believe them. To all of you girls who have been abused, you should know that many of us believe you. The more of you that speak out, the easier it will be to understand that you’re not alone.

      • Yes! Post as much details as possible, we need to keep the blog rolling, Lets proceed with the healing! – great idea Triangle!

  2. I have no bone with any particular seminary because I am not aware of where the problems are, but I think you should re-evaluate your policy, within reason, of no comments allowed.

    I say this because I have heard from insiders who attended closed door national Agudah meetings that Rabbi Zev Cohen has been very doggedly protesting there for several years now that high school & seminary girls are being taken advantage of by mechanchim.

    He has gotten nowhere because of certain powers that be not wanting to deal with it. Shlomo Gottesman plays a big role in that which I will address in another comment soon. They are using the excuse that Rabbi Cohen gets very excited & upset about it as a reason to not take him seriously. How cynical.

    • 1. I only closed the comments on one post. Besides with over 500 comments on that post there was almost no chance that new readers would ever get to the last ones.

      2. I think it is important to illuminate the role of Gottesman. I just wrote someone:

      The Torah Umesorah Beit Din assumes that the mosdos are too indispensable to be dismantled and that there is always a way to fix them. This is like the incesting daddy who has to be dealt with without whacking his earning ability or presence in the home. That is a profoundly self-limiting bargaining position.

      When will Torah Umesorah rename themself Mosdos Ubaalebatim? Their best work and longest-running efforts on sex abuse, focuses on avoiding liability. Paul Mendlowitz is right. His grandfather, Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, would cry.

  3. Shlomo’s grandfather Avremela Gottesman was a wealthy man in Munkatch, Hungary. After losing his fortune, he became secretary of the Agudah in Belgium before immigrating to Williamsburg.

    Shlomo has a long history of protecting child molesters. When Shea Fishman was forced to run for the exit at Torah Umesorah out of shame from being publicly exposed as participating in the persecution of Kolko’s victims, Shlomo was almost as hastily brought in to replace him. Shlomo has slightly more polish than Shea in trying to keep a lid on things.

    After publishing in his halacha journal some teshuvos of Rav Elyashev & other gedolei haposkim on reporting molesters to police, Shlomo cynically announced that the teshuvos are vague which he claims means that you still cannot call the police with clearing it with rabbis first. Shlomo was not just being misleading as the teshuvos do NOT state go to rabbis first. He may have been outright lying. Shlomo claims that nowhere does Rav Elyashev lay out the criteria of raglayim ledavar when in fact there is a different teshuva of Rav Elyashev that Shlomo never bothered to publish that sets a very easy to achieve threshhold for raglayim ledavar. But at least Shlomo was not as dishonest as Zweibel who describes Rav Elyashev’s criteria as something impossible to achieve.

    Shlomo has a reputation as someone who loves to barter, so much so that he rarely pays any bill with cash / check / credit card. Being that Shlomo had a son in Margulies’s yeshiva, it is assumed that he owed Margulies. There may be some indication of that when Margulies > demanded < on giving a hespid at the levaya of Shlomo's father Shaya Alexander Gottesman.

    My sources believe that Shlomo has or had a couple of daughters in Sara Schenirer, so you could say that he also "owes" the Meisels family. What kind of outcome do you then think Shlomo seeks when he handpicks the beis din in Israel, of which one of the dayanim has a history of protecting molesters?

    Lipa Geldwerth works for both Margulies & Gottesman. Geldwerth is a despicable Margulies-Kolko henchman who rises (or sinks as it were) almost to the level of Yisroel Belsky.

  4. Yerachmiel,
    Do you actually know that Meisels was a manipulator (as in you personally know the stories that might find their way to this post) who conditioned his victims or have you speculated and are now looking for the backup.
    in any population there are going to be some percentage of ‘cultivators’ and some (likely larger) percentage of one time ‘lost-themselves’ offenders, and we should treat them differently.

    Everything I know about this case I know from you – but I cannot tell whether you know that he is a cultivator already or you are simply fishing (no- i did not read all 600+ comments and replies)

    • I have personally spoken to individuals who experience or witnessed his manipulation. I have heard of more from second-hand sources. I have no doubt that he is a manipulator. There are some instances I am not free to share because of commitments to my sources. But crowdsourcing will seriously enlarge everyone’s understanding of how he operates.

      • Deleted for violation of many commenting rules – more than I care to explain. If you want to participate, read the commenting policy and abide by it. One more violation and you are permanently banned.

        YL

    • For the record, this comment by “joe” was not written by me (I’m the “Joe” who commented a number of times on the Weinberger threads, and a couple of times on the Meisels threads).

      “joe” – if you would be willing to use a different name for future comments, it would help avoid confusion, and I would very much appreciate it.

      Thank you very much!

  5. I am very close with one of the victims. She went to one of these seminaries years ago, and has shared with me many gruesome stories about mr. Meisels abuse. She told me that he picked her up for a drive multiple time at 3 A.M and was always trying to discuss sexual topics with her. He found ways to spend alone time so that they could discuss her “personal growth.” One of the more graphic stories include him sliding his hands up her skirt and explaining to her how the Torah allows for his behavior and that Hashem says having multiple wives is okay and so therefore this is all kosher. These stories are just a fraction of what he did. I lose sleep at night seeing the look on this girl’s face when she told me about what happened to her.

    • Dear anonymous, please tell the victim you know that I and many others believe her 100%. She did nothing wrong. She is a brave person for sharing her story and I pray that Hashem protects her and blesses her of with much happiness.

    • I encourage all victims of Meisels to contact Rabbi Fuerst or Rabbi Zev Cohen in Chicago. Any unwanted touching is illegal whether it’s a hand up a skirt or much much worse – according to the NYC police dept. – I spoke to them first hand. It’s not too late for the victims to sue Meisels for civil damages ($$) and there are lawyers that have been contacted that are available to help. Criminal charges can also be filed either in Israel, NY, NJ and wherever the abuse occurred. Meisels company is incorporated in NJ and he is probably a US citizen and can be extradited. The more victims come forward the more can be done to punish him. Mr. Lopin, thank you for continuing this blog for for sharing your knowledge of sexual abuse. It is so important for all girls to know that sexual abusers typically hide behind charm, charisma and flattery. The most likely abuser is someone you know and trust – not someone who will grab you from the street.

      • Thank you for noting the various civil and criminal remedies that may be available. Let me add on two more possiblities:

        if the abuse involves travel over state or international boundaries paid for by Meisels or arranged by him it may very well be a Federal crime. Dont try and be sure about the law on your own; call the FBI whose phone number can be found easily. They will know what to ask you to determine if there was a prosecutable crime.
        Even acts that some would call consensual are prosecutable because he exploited his position as a clergyman. That is definitely illegal in Israel. It is also grounds for charges in some other countries and some US states (but alas not in New York State).

        Many jurisdictions have special units for sex crimes. It is usually best to seek them out instead of just going to a plain police station. That is especially important for crimes that happened in Brooklyn.

    • Classic..and correlates with what I understand happened with a different young lady (who was reportedly assaulted).

    • THIS MESSAGE IS FOR EVERY VICTIM AND SURVIVOR OF MEISEL’S ABUSE

      Thank you very much for sharing your friend’s story. Please tell her that many of us not only believe her, but are hoping and praying for her to be able to recover as best as she can from what he did to her. Please tell her that she was an innocent victim, and a survivor of what is called “Clergy Abuse.” Please tell her not to blame herself in any way. And please tell her that she should not feel badly if she does not sue or report his crimes to police (if they are within the statute of limitations). There was no sympathy in the past for the victims, everyone used to believe the abusers, and it is just now coming to the forefront that monsters like this exist. Meisels was very powerful and would have tried to ruin her life further if she would have tried to report or sue. Please tell her that if she hasn’t yet, she should try to get therapy for what she went through, as it was very real abuse. There are therapy clinics where only minimal therapy fees are charged and which take insurance, and she should not hesitate to use them, be they Jewish therapy clinics or secular ones.

      Please tell your friend that she has many “friends” on this blog. And that one day, perhaps the frum community will even do the right thing and raise money for support groups for the victims of Meisel’s abuse. In the meantime, a lot of frum people are scared themselves, and are acting as prisoners to the system. But that doesn’t mean they don’t believe her. Many, many, many of us believe her and know that she was wronged and deserved to be protected by the frum community and to feel safe reporting this and being believed. Hopefully things will begin to change now. Hopefully she will be able to witness that change and feel supported.

      If there are others who went through this, please either post about it or ask a friend to.

      We know it is emotionally difficult to write about it, as the whole experience was often traumatic. But if you are able to write some of it down, it will help others understand what went on with Meisels and other rabbis who have done this. Remember that you come first. Do not re-traumatize yourself if you don’t feel up to going through the process of writing about it. But if you feel you can, you will be helping people understand how a sexual predator seeks out his victims and slowly and calculatingly keeps pushing boundaries while giving compliments and using their power to manipulate their targeted victim. Much of this is “normal” courting behavior in any other context, but the CONTEXT makes all the difference. Because it is being done by someone who holds power over you, such as a rabbi, teacher, therapist, or doctor, it is abusing the power they have over you, which makes it predatory, manipulative and most of all horribly abusive.

  6. My daughter is a couple of years away from Seminary and I made up my mind she will definitely not go. My mother did not allow me to go and I turned out more than good.
    I don’t think we should “outsource” our daughters chinuch to anybody, male or female. Too many pervs in this crazy world.

  7. Chashdon, your posts are very valuable and insightful!! Please don’t stop. Fighters against abuse need all the help we can get. Check out rabbi yaakov Horowitz latest letter posted today. It’s great!

  8. >If you want to understand the manipulative educator, read Paul Shaviv’s Pied Piper.

    Shaviv’s article is based on alleged child molester Rabbi Avichai Zehavi that taught from 2000-2005 in CHAT, the Canadian high school that Shaviv used to run. Paul Shaviv’s post reproduced recently on the Daas Torah blog discusses Zehavi without naming him.

    See:
    http://cjnews.com/node/84186
    http://www.cjnews.com/node/84115
    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2009/09/star-teacher-who-volunteered-with-ncsy-arrested-for-child-sexual-abuse-456.html
    http://www.daattorah.blogspot.com/2011/04/charisma-note-on-dangerous-outer.html

  9. You know I really hope that people will see meisels for what he is and how he is manipulating the Israeli BD (hard to say how much manipulation they need – after all I think it takes a lot of chtzpa to just steamroll over the Chicago BD on this as if R’ Fuerst (and R’ Schwartz even if he is the Other) is some yingle. R’ Cohen might have the same TC stature as the other 2 rabbonim but Kol haKavod lo as being the main force behind this. He is a very serious person and would only get involved if he thoguht that it was k’tza’kosoh.)

    But on the serious odds that there will be enough who don’t and will enable the meisls sems to open next year.

    playing dirty might be the only way to prevent these sems from opening and they must be prevented. How – these places receive monst of their funding though PELL TAP Masa etc.

    Q. If the gov’t/private cash sources for the sems were to find out that taxpayer/donor money was going to a school which advances the sexual molestation of it’s clientele – how much damage/salvage can that do?

  10. How do you know that the stories you are going to receive on this blog are real and not fabricated?

    • Because I have direct contact with some of his victims and they are consistent with each. Obviously, I cannot be certain of each one, but if I see definite evidence of a comment being fraudulent (either in defending or attacking him) I delete it. That is rare, and there are problems in crowdsourcing, yet still all in all, it does increase our understanding of what happened with Eli Meisels.

  11. Recall how the earlier blog post was packed with Meisels defenders. The posters were irrational, inconsistent & shrill. It is not easy to be brave and discuss one’s experiences with Meisels- even in an anonymous forum like this.
    Please, please try. For the sake of this never happening again, please try.

  12. Chaval Meisels didnt have Monica Lewinsky in his Seminary. Then we would have a blue dress and it would be case closed. Or in this case, Seminary closed.

  13. Is it just me, or does this post seem awfully quiet? after 600+ people seemed to have a lot to say about EM guilt, there has yet to be a first hand story of his alleged “abuse”. (and don’t give me this ’embarrassed’ BS, this is an anonymous forum)

    • Shawn,

      As the close relative of a victim of abuse (not by Meisels), I can tell you that victims are often very sensitive to discuss or write about their experiences, even in an anonymous forum. I can’t say I fully understand that, but it’s a fact. So, silence from actual victims proves nothing.

      To the credit of what had to have been multiple victims, they had the courage to overcome this sensitivity in order to testify before the Chicago Beis Din. Who knows how many lives they saved by doing so?

  14. He was known for late night rides and inviting girls to sleep over

    He gave some girls more attention then others

      • Exactly. He would try to figure out a girl when he spoke to her and would either drop her if interested or continue.

        He would have long lines outside his office and he would be hard to reach- I think it was an act so girls would go crazy.

        He would discuss boyfriends with girls and ask innapropriate questions. He would gossip about his students and wasn’t
        confidential

        The girls that liked him were in competition

        • I can COMPLETELY agree with literally every single word posted here.

          Literally. Every. Word. No exaggeration what so ever. You can takes word for it.

          (Student in the school)

  15. Shawn – Sexual abuse is extremely traumatic. If you have ever been through something very traumatic you would know that writing about the details brings up the trauma all over again, to the point where the trauma is often re-experienced, relived as though it just happened again. Re-experiencing the intense emotions of extreme trauma is not necessarily helpful for those who are trying to get past the trauma and move on.

    Obviously, there were first hand stories which were told to the Rabbanim in the Chicaco Special Beis Din. The fact that victims are not willing or able to put themselves through that again on an anonymous blog for the whole world to read what for them was likely a very shameful experience, does not mean that they do not exist. It means that they are trying to move on and reliving their trauma by way of writing about it will hinder their emotional healing, or they simply are not up to putting themselves through reliving their trauma again on an anonymous blog where they fully expect people to attack them on either this or other posts saying they are lying and it never happened, or for a host of other reasons. Remember, there were many comments in other posts denying the possibility that Meisels did anything wrong, there were attacks on the victims, saying they are emotionally troubled girls, or they are sluts, or that they are lying just to get back at Meisels for something. Who wants to put themselves and the intimate details of their traumatic experience onto a blog, even anonymously, where they can be attacked and invalidated?

    I predict that some time in the future – in a year or 2 or 5 or 10 from now – his victims will start coming out with their stories either by starting their own blogs, or submitting their stories to other venues. Right now this whole issue is probably too raw and intense for them, as they may have read all the posts of the people who didn’t believe the Beis Din. But somewhere down the line, after the dust settles and they feel stronger, I have a feeling that some of them may write about what happened to them. Or not. The details are obviously very intimate, and they may never be able to overcome the shame they feel about what happened to them. But either way, the Beis Din had sufficient information and enough of the details to render a psak. The stories are true, even if the victims are not running here to post about them.

    • Just a PS to the above. The victims should know that they do not NEED to feel ashamed, and that Meisels is the ONLY one who should be feeling shame for what happened. But shame is a natural initial response of victims of abuse. It takes a lot of time and healing to get over the shame which victims feel. But in referring the shame, in my comment above, I want to make clear that I am NOT AT ALL implying that the victims should be feeling shame. To the contrary! They should feel proud to have survived something that may have completely broken others in their shoes. And the shame should ONLY be felt by Meisels for the despicable things he did. The stories of the victims are those of survival and strength to prevail, not of shame. I just wanted to make that clear.

      • Sociopaths — and many predators fit the profile of a sociopath– simply do not feel shame. The smart ones learn to manipulate others by appealing to their conscience, sense of shame, etc.

        Not that it really matters what a predator thinks or feels. His actions speak volumes.

  16. I was abused by a (different) rabbi who was counseling me and manipulated me into a sick sexual relationship. I was also given the line how men are allowed to have more than one wife so it’s ok. I was also taken at night in the minivan and touched, etc. Middle of the night phone calls. I was a little older than seminary age and I know all too well how vulnerable frum women that age are to the attentions of a charismatic rabbi. The imbalance of power, “daddy issues”, mental health issues that they are hiding because of the stigma, the stigma of going to a therapist. Most girls don’t stand a chance once the “rabbi” has her in his crosshairs. Frum girls get no sex ed and have no experience dealing with regular teenage boys. This would usually be their first “sexual” experience of any sort. My first kiss was from this rabbi. I was disgusted when he used his tongue, I had no idea at the time that that was how people kissed. I was disgusted when he put his penis in my mouth. So disgusted.
    He later said it was my fault. He called me a housebreaker. Years later he is still in his rabbi position, wearing a black hat and all the gear, walking around pretending to be a good and pious man. I know first hand how sexually deviant he is and how sick he is. How manipulative he is and what he is capable of. People who knew my story tried to monitor him and make sure he didn’t re-offend but who knows.
    I went to the rabbis that be in the yeshivish world but no one took any significant action. No other victims came forward and he didn’t actually have sex with me so they washed their hands and moved on to the next fundraiser. In truth what he did do to me sexually was far more harmful than just having sex with a normal boy my age. The manipulation, power plays and sexual deviance were devastating and permanently changed the course of my life.

    • Chana,

      Your story is heartbreaking. I hope you are getting the help you need from a good therapist who is experienced in this area. As my close relative (a victim of Dovid Weinberger) has discovered, there can be life after abuse (it takes time, however).

      If you haven’t done so already, I would strongly urge you to contact Yerachmiel privately and let him know who the abusive “rabbi” was. There may be other allegations against him, and yours could be the nail in his coffin. It is intolerable that he is still in his position, and hopefully that can be rectified soon.

      Hatzlacha to you!

    • Can you please clarify…are you claiming abuse from a rabbi from a Meisles school?

      That is right. Ppl must be very careful and realize how impressionable young girls are while they are taken away from their home for a year and are following someone very charismatic.

      Thank you for sharing your story. Heart breaking.

    • Thank you for sharing your story.

      Honestly, I have no words of comfort to offer you. What you went through is devastating and horrific. And I am so sorry. You deserved so much better from the Frum community and the rabbis who you went to, to report the abuse.

      Hopefully people will see from your post how much needs to change in the Frum world, and how we each need to be a part of making it change. We need to not be afraid to demand change from those in positions of power and prestige. There is power in numbers.

      Chana, you have many here who are rooting for you, your recovery, and your success in life. That rabbi may have gotten you down at some point, but you are strong and you will overcome it. I know that because it took extreme courage to post your experience here.

    • Chana,

      There are no words to describe the magnitude of the wrong that was done to you. Your experience resembles mine in many ways. I was also manipulated and sexually abused by a pervert who was known to the community as a Rav. I want you to know that I consider you a heroine because I know firsthand the inner strength it takes just to function after such intense betrayal and devastation. May Hashem send you the right messengers and circumstances to enable you to heal.

    • Chana,
      Your story is heartbreaking and you are very brave to post about it, even on an anonymous site. As others have pointed out, putting it out there in words can still be traumatic. Yasher koach to you. I wanted just to make one observation that no one else seems to have noticed. You write that those powers that you went to did not do anything about it because “HE DIDN’T ACTUALLY HAVE SEX WITH ME”.
      What he did was abuse/ molest you, which albeit short of penetration is indeed still having sex with you. It does not diminish his guilt in any way whatsoever, and many victims of abuse have been violated short of intercourse, and the trauma is often (usually??) just as great for the victim and the crime/sin of the offender is not diminished.
      Of course the “rabbis” should have taken action.

      I pray that you find some skilled specialized therapist and can still find happiness. Therapists who specialize in sexual traumas and abuse (I do understand that you were a bit past childhood) have many patients who first come to them even many decades after the traumatic abuse.

    • Chana,
      How terrible what that “rabbi” did to you! Oral sex is still sex. The rabbis that did nothing when you reported should be outed along with the abuser. It doesn’t matter if you were over 18! Any unwanted touching (even a hug) is a crime. I urge you to contact rabbi yaakov Horowitz at project yes, the chicAgo beis din (rabbi Zev Cohen and rabbi fuerst) And mr. Lopin. It may not be too late to call the police. It’s worth a call to check on the statute of limitations. Please know you were an innocent victim and did nothing wrong. May Hashem bless you with much success and happiness going forward and keep you safe.

  17. I was a student at the school. Meisles one time recorded me with his phone in his pocket during a private conversation we were having in his office.

    I was raving to him about his inappropriate behavior with students passionately and he then said “you know, you sound ridiculous right now and embarrassing.”

    I said, “huh? No I don’t. I’m talking to you about something just very passionately bc I am worried.”

    He then non-chalantly took his PHONE out of his white shirt pocket and said, “oh really? Because I just recorded you right now. Would you like me to replay it for you so you can hear yourself?”

    Enough. Said.

    He is deceitful, manipulative, and untrustworthy in very way and people need to realize that. All his “charm” over the years was just so he could make a cult and be safe if anything came out.

  18. Even if they’re not online, it seems that more and more victims are making themselves known. The monster Meisels carved a path of destruction that would make a tornado jealous.

    That said, I wonder where the defenders are. I think that most were likely sock puppets, close staff that drank deeply from the Meisels-flavored Kool-Aid. Maybe there were a few girls who defended him, but they’re noticeably absent. Maybe defenders who were real sem girls realized the truth?

  19. Meisels made comments about my appearance that were not ok, and I told him it made me uncomfortable, but he continued.
    He was very into looks. He had clear “favorites.” He was full of himself and extremely haughty.

    • I feel that he did not see me for my insides, but as a body. He did not see me as a person, but as a “girl.” I felt this way due to the comments he would make and the looks he would give me.

    • I went to one of Meisels’s schools and left for a short while. Upon my return, meisels asked me if my blonde hair color was natural. I blushed, feeling victorious inside because he had noticed my appearance. For a fleeting moment I wondered if that was inappropriate for a rabbi to comment on my appearance, then I pushed the thought away thinking that it was innocent curiosity.

      Another time I expressed some concerns to him about entering the shidduch world after seminary. His reply? “You’re a beautiful girl, you do not have to worry about shidduchim.”

      Myself and so many other students were manipulated into accepting this flirty behavior from him, rationalizing that it was harmless. In fact, many of us craved the attention from him.

      Thank God nothing more ever happened between meisels and me, but I’m horrified at what could have happened.

  20. As a person who sent a child to one of his schools for multiple years I am sick about the details that have come out and that teachers and counselors did not believe the girls that came forward
    previous years. I know first hand about the sexual acts of Miesels and have letters from him stating what good care he takes of the girls and how special they are to him. I have been pushing for the girls to come forward but many unfortunately are so traumatized by not being believed that they didn’t tell their parents at first and many still haven’t. When women teachers they trusted covered up and defended Miesels they felt they had no one to turn to in Isreal. There has to be a better system and place for these girls to go to. There is still time for them to be heard and for them to get proper care & support.

  21. Chana,

    The US Justice Department defines rape as penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina, anus, or mouth by a sex organ. This was rape.

    You were almost certainly not the surface nor the last victim of this predator. The tactics you describe are those of an experienced predator and not of a novice.

    I’ve had numerous young ladies disclose to me their having been sexually abused. Some have never told anyone else. (I am not a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker, but I’ve worked with these professionals, and have learned how to read between the lines and ask the right questions, and listen attentively, when patients in distress come to me with various bodily complaints.)

    It is absolutely imperative that victims of sexual abuse, especially those in our community, receive ongoing psychotherapy from experienced, trained, and credentialled mental health professionals. This is not something for a “life coach,” ” mental heatlh counselor,” or newly minted social worker or psychologist. This is the real deal and needs to be treated as such.

    You need not get help from someone frum, although there is an advantage to having someone familiar with our societal mores, prejudices, insularity, and xenophobia (to name a few). The generic response of any organization, including rabbis, schools, etc is to deny what happened, defend the accused, and stymie any investigation.

    Those who get help often turn out okay. Don’t who do not get help very often sufffer innumerable consequences, which affect not only their lives but those of their loved ones–including spouses and even children.

    I have had success in convincing victims to disclose their abuse. In one case, 4 other young ladies came foward, and the predator is facing serious jail time if convicted.

    PLEASE get help and continue to obtain long-term counseling. And please disclose the name of the animal who did this, because that animal belongs in a cage. He should not be roaming around to rip into the souls of other victims.

  22. I was a student of one of Meisels Seminary years ago. This is not shocking news at all! He was the most perverted man i knew. He clearly picked his favorites meaning the pretty girls. He would view them as his girlfriends.For example he would comment on their clothing, weight loss and would gaze at girls figures all the time. The girls that didn’t make it onto his radar were well aware that he had no interest in them.He was such a sketchy guy even when he taught us years back. I’m happy the world finally knows the truth about this. Has-hem will pay him back after 120 for all the anguish and abuse he caused to these wonderful innocent girls.

    • Hi, I am an alumni as well.

      He def singled out the pretty ones whom he knew he could subtly charm over.

      I am embarrassed to say that I was once called “one of his favorites”. No matter how on-top-of-his-case I was, he enjoyed the fact that we both share similar conversation topics of intellect, which he could discuss with me. Also, objectively speaking, I do not think I was his preference in pretty. So I want to think that being “one of his favorites” was not in a girlfriend way.

      However, I am very embarrassed to say that he was guilty of doing most those things you listed to me at least once (commenting on my clothing, and even once or twice gazing at places on me which he should not be looking at. One time in his office, I turned bright red bc i saw him staring. After some time, when he realized what he was doing, he quickly looked away, shut his eyes, and whispered something to himself. I had no clue what to do. I choose not to remember those times though. I want to believe it was an accident on his part- or just to make myself feel better).

      I think my point is that even if a girl wasn’t constantly picked out to be included in his “pretty bunch”, I think most girls (if at least average pretty) experienced one or two times where they fell prey to his lurking eyes etc.

      I joked to myself once that all a person needed was for them to have an X and Y chromosome and he’d flirt with them.

      (And yes, he once commented on my friends weight loss as well).

  23. The problem is the unchecked power these institutions provide that allows these crafty, manipulative filth to act out their selfish, abusive desires.

    What makes these crimes sicker is that they happen many times because of spoiled second generations given power, unearned, by others who built these institutions through extreme selflessness and mesiras nefesh. I can’t think of one case where the builders who came from nothing have scandals surrounding them. It’s always the second generation. The people who come from “yichus”. The people who never sacrificed themselves for it.

    I think it’s endemic to religion and other closed institutions that have no lay oversight. (Frum Schools are a one-two combo for this). Look at the Baal Shem tov. But go to the bsht’s students and grandson already and it’s rife with stories of corruption and power grabs. Chassidus today, forget about it. These opportunistic bastards come out of the woodwork the second no ones looking. I think we can prove by a case by case example that it’s not the exception, it’s the rule.

    Every yeshiva that’s established follows the same rule with few exceptions. Even with the most selfless men leading and watching over it initially. They die and leave over this institution built on their personal work and investment that people trust. And that trust is just picked up and worn like a coat and very quickly applied to the son and his institution because no one suspects anything. We should immediately point out the obvious- hey it’s not your coat! put it down and find your own.

  24. I once had a discussion with Meisels regarding shidduchim. He said don’t worry about anything your gorgeous and all the boys will run after you. I almost fainted on the spot!!!! I never expected a “Rabbi” to say that to my face.

    • Were those his literal words though? (Dw I’m not doubting you- he’s said similar things to my friends).

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