What a Meisels Seminary Is Saying to Parents

Rabbi Meir Kahane, Principal Chedvas Bais Yaakov

Rabbi Meir Kahane, Principal Chedvas Bais Yaakov

On Sunday (7/20/14), Rabbi Meir Kahane, menahel (principal) of one of Meisels’ seminaries, Chedvas Bais Yaakov, sent the email which is below this posting. In it he:

  • Ignored the allegations that Elimelech Meisels, the owner, sexually abused seminary students. However noted that Meisels at “At the hadracha of daas Torah (guidance of rabbinical authority), Rabbi Meisels retired six weeks ago.”
  • Made sure to say that Meisels would sell the seminary real soon, but this was part of a long-standing plan.
  • Chicago is not the presiding beis din (rabbinical court). “The Bnei Brak beis din is the most updated and informed and their guidance is being followed every step of the way.  The case is still in its beginning stages.  No conclusions or decisions have been made.” However, they ruled: “that there is no risk of harm to any student who attends.”
  • “Call us with questions or the independent source… Rabbi Yoel Burstyn, the principal of Bais Yaakov Los Angeles.”

Rabbi Kahane is also conducting a campaign against loshon horah (gossip) about Meisels’ sexual misconduct, according to sources who have been in touch with me.

This letter screams whitewash. There should have been a different letter which it  standard at other schools with episodes of alleged abuse. Such letters, acknowledge the incident, describe the scope of the alleged problem and describe the status of investigation and suspensions or firings, offer help to any other victims, assist in locating other victims, and urge all victims to contact the police to further their investigations.

———————–

From: Chedvas Bais Yaakov <chedvasbaisyaakov@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 5:30 PM
Subject: Regarding the Current Situation

L’chvod Esteemed Chedvas Parents amus”h,

Nixon whitewashAs I am sure you are aware, the school is presently going through a difficult situation.  I am certain that you have questions and concerns. I wanted to be in touch to clarify a few specific details so that you will have a better handle on the situation, and clarity with regards to the upcoming year:

1) Firstly, Chedvas (and all of the schools) will definitely be opening in September. We are looking forward to a wonderful and inspiring new school year.

2) At the hadracha of daas Torah, Rabbi Meisels retired six weeks ago, and will have no further involvement in any of the schools (- a process he began a number of years ago).   With respect to Chedvas, Rabbi Meisels’s involvement has been extremely limited the past few years, particularly this past year where he had no educational involvement or interaction at all.

3) Rabbi Meisels will have no financial involvement in Chedvas, or any of the schools, whatsoever.  The entire institution will be sold to a new owner.  The process of finding the appropriate buyer is taking some time, however it is imminent.  We will inform you immediately when the sale has been finalized.

4) The beis din in Chicago who wrote the letter you may have seen, is not the presiding beis din for the case.  The case is being handled by a choshuv beis din in Bnei Brak made up of Rabbi Mendel Shafran (of Rav Nisim Karelitz’s beis din), Rabbi Chaim Melinowitz (of Ramat Beit Shemesh), and Rabbi Tzvi Gartner, as the letter from the Chicago beis din states.  The Bnei Brak beis din is the most updated and informed and their guidance is being followed every step of the way.  The case is still in its beginning stages.  No conclusions or decisions have been made.

5) The Bnei Brak beis din has put out a public letter stating that the seminaries are under their hashgacha and that there is no risk of harm to any student who attends them and that they do not do not hesitate to recommend  any student to attend them.   Their letter (in Hebrew and English) is attached to this email.

6) Any students or parents who would like more clarification, may call me (052-604-2933) or Mrs. Lorch, the assistant principal (052-534-7390).  If you would like to speak to an independent source not affiliated with Chedvas or the institution at large, you may call may call Rabbi Yoel Burstyn, the principal of Bais Yaakov Los Angeles, he has all of the details (323-938-3231,323-930-6970).

Hashem should give us siyata dishmaya to continue to be marbitz Torah and mikadesh shem shamayim.

Once again, please feel free to be in touch with myself or Mrs. Lorch.

Rabbi Meir Kahane
Menahel
Chedvas Bais Yaakov 

Israel Office:
28 Sheshet HaYamim, Givat HaMivtar, Jerusalem
Phone: 02.625.0991     Fax: 02.625.0991
Mrs. Aviva Fischer- Office Director/Registrar

Mrs. Henna G. Eisenman- Tuition
Miss Michal Shaw- Transcripts and Credits
U.S. Office:
315 Squankum Rd., Lakewood, N.J. 08701
Phone: 732.363.9456     Fax: 732.363.9459
Mrs. Rochel Slanger- Office Manager

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93 thoughts on “What a Meisels Seminary Is Saying to Parents

  1. This Meir Kahane is originally from Memphis. He is also on the faculty of a division of Aish Hatorah together with Mordechai Tendler’s son in law.

    Rav Nissim Karelitz is a big tzaddik and I don’t think he would support this nonsense with Shafran. Rav Karelitz has been in & out of the hospital lately and probably doesn’t know what’s going on.

    • This guy gives me the creeps even more than Meisels. Something really seedy about someone who talks so frum, about seyata deshmaya for hatzlochah in harbotzas torah, but dresses and grooms just a little too much.

      • Per his Kahane minuval, “Rabbi (sic) Meisel’s involvement has been extremely limited the past few years, particularly this past year where he had no educational involvement or interaction at all”. Bravo!! He was too “deeply” involved with his female students at other his institutions. Hard to balance teaching with entrances. Kahane does not explain why Meisel had no time to be involved educationally, what did he imagine Meisels was doing in his newly found “spare time”. corrupt of the corrupt. the corruption spilleth over. the cover-up will unveil a host of complicit others, from teachers, mechanchim (sic), administrators and Mar Kahane. good try kahane, you are now in deeper than before your whitewash attempt.
        Pray, tell us more, on the record, of course????

  2. It’s amazing how brainwashed and/or robotic he is. Yes, yes, hashem will surely give you siyata d’shmaya. Yes, yes, you are being mekadesh shem shamayim by hiding what happened under the rug. Yes, it will go away.
    But it won’t. Times have changed. People have louder voices now. The chicago beis din has spoken. The internet ban did not work.
    Rabbi Kahane, please know that one who enables an abuser is just as bad as the abuser himself. Please know that your silence here regarding the victims speaks louder than any words you can say. Please know that GOD, any god, has long ago left your camp. You are on your own here, and may heaven help you.

      • Well for one, the ‘Office Manager’ listed is a Meisels and is his sister! How could he claim that the seminary is in process of being sold for a few years?? sheker! These “employees” need to admit to the AVLA that was done and what they will do about it. If it was’nt for the Chicago Beis Din, the Israeli one would have no Juristiction in this matter.

      • btw, my friend got this letter. it went to parents of incoming students next year not past parents. my friend was very impressed with the letter, no criticisms, and he appreciated the update and it was a follow up to a phone call discussing the situation, prior to which he didnt know all that much about the issue. so seems like a good letter. also, with this in mind, your critique that he should have offered assistance to victims etc.etc. etc.would be awkward in this letter to incoming parents… they were never in the school yet 🙂 🙂

      • Oh yes, it is a beautifully written letter.
        But there are several things seriously wrong here:
        1. They diss the Chicago beis din, which has done a most heroic thing by standing up to someone with Meisels yichus and power.
        2. They whitewash what happened and portray Meisels as possibly innocent.
        3. They show no concern, compassion or support to the victims.
        4. They make no commitment to investigating how this terrible travesty happened under their watch and how they will prevent something like this from happening again. ie, training staff members, setting up a reporting system, firing those who enabled him. Meisels did not operate in a vacuum, there were plenty of warning signs here that were conveniently ignored.

        • i was also annoyed byt hese points. but as i pointed out earlier, i called my friend who received the letter and he clarified:

          1. – the letter from the chicago bais din itself says the case was handed to a responsible beis din in Israel. this says nothing more than chicago said.

          2. – this letter was to parents of NEXT YEAR’S STUDENTS so its weird to offer them therapy and compassion etc. they were not part of the issue. (my friend actually said that they told him in the phone call they are working on a thereapy fund for victims and are in the process of raising money, actually.)

          3. – this letter was a follow up to a phone call in which the allegations were explained and modifications for the upcoming year was discussed some of which Chana listed (good thinking!).

          4. this was a concise follow up letter to a phone conversation not meant for a blog or as in depth explanation for a strategy of modification.

          • 1. Chicago’s Special Beis Din never handed over it’s case to the Israeli Beis. It recognized its existence and conceded an American Beis Din cannot ordinarily have jurisdiction in Israel. The best proof is that Chicago continues to stand by it’s psak for US students not to go to these seminaries, even though the Israeli Beis Din says there is no problem with enrolling. The Meisels seminaries are lying when they claim otherwise.

            2. No document from Israel has ever acknowledged abuse, let alone made any offer of assistance.

            3. In fact several alumni were told that Meisels is innocent and was framed.

            4. This is not a letter following up to a single individual. It is clearly intended for a mass audience.

  3. This is sick and getting sicker.

    The Truth Teller probably does not know what happened during the Kolko escapade of about 9 years ago because of her age. It was wilder than this because it was the first time that people were talking about these things and doing something! UOJ led the charge. I will say that there was a single individual, just one individual, who as a parent at Torah Temimah spoke up publicly on UOJ’s blog, sharply criticizing the Yeshiva after he had tried speaking to them and was stonewalled.

    He was excoriated in the community…big Rabbonim told him that they would not do anything. Manhigim were suddenly non-leaders.

    It sounds like more of the same here. You are it appears the only one who spoke up. Hard to believe that no one else cared, but we have seen this before. The Yeshivas and seminary can only get away with it because parents allow it. Sad.

    A simple solution would be for parents across the States to unionize. A parent group across all Yeshivas. If a parent anywhere has an issue, it is first investigated internally by the group. If need be, the group hires and independent investigator.

    The reason this is such a great idea is because the power now shifts to the parents. Instead of timid individuals doing nothing, all parents will feel safe going to a group that they are a part of and which packs real power.

    For instance, if the group decided that a certain Rebbi needs to be removed and the Yeshiva is not complying, they call on all parents of the school to pull their kids out and refuse to pay a penny of tuition until the matter is resolved.

    We have waited for the past number of years for a solution and while there is more education and awareness, bottom line is that progress is slow and that Rabbayim are still a protected class. This needs to change.

  4. It may be interesting to note that Rabbi Chaim Melinowitz is known for Covering up for sex offenders in his Ramat beit shemesh neighborhood.

  5. This is interesting. The Bnei Brak Beis Din states that there is no risk of harm to any student coming from the United States? Are they willing to indemnify the seminaries in question should their solemn promise prove premature? It would be nice to know – since my home town’s Beis Din is apparently not presiding (despite all of the evidence to the contrary) – whether the Bnei Brak Beis Din is willing to put its money where its mouth is.

    • Just off the top of my head — there is a problem all unions face — the “free rider” problem. An independent organization to review yeshivot and seminaries would be a good thing — but how to pay for it? Who would compel parents to join such a union and pay dues? I would think it would be halakhically unacceptable to withhold negative information about a yeshiva or seminary from non-payers, since this is not “Consumer Reports” and children are at stake, but how would you insure that those who used the information paid for its collection?

      Unions solve the problem with “union shop” contracts. But it’s hard to imagine a parents’ union having such leverage that they could persuade institutions to agree to take only children of union members. An alternative would be institution-paid accreditation by an independent accrediting agency, akin to kashrut certification, but that would add costs to be passed on to parents, not to mention the inevitable conflicts around finding truly independent rabbinic authorities respected across the Orthodox spectrum.

      Blogs and the internet are changing things. We are seeing right now how blogs can enable information exchange among parents, and between parents and institutions. If one parent demands transparency, or questions someone’s explanation of something suspicious, others can join in at little cost. If institutions claim it is beneath them to respond to anonymous questioners, parents can decide it is beneath them to send their children to a place that prefers secrecy. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in a few years.

      • I agree with your analysis. All sorts of mechanisms could be developed but the problem is the balance of power in the community and the fear of publicly taking positions and the corruptibility of almost everyone in the system.

        • “[T]he problem is the balance of power in the community and the fear of publicly taking positions and the corruptibility of almost everyone in the system.” B”H for the “almost.” That last phrase reminded me of something, which turned out to be Tehillim, perek 53.

    • Yes!! Great idea!! We can’t trust the “rabbis” to watch over our kids! Maybe Parents should pool together and hire security and private investigators!! I also think the meisels seminary tax returns and financials should be made public for all parents to see!!!:)

  6. There was an attempt by Elliot Pasik Esq to start something similar to a parents’ union several years ago. It did not get off the ground. (He then formed the Jewish Board of Advocacy for Children.)

    Nearly all chareidi parents feel beholden to the yeshivas and seminaries, afraid that any sign of independence might harm their children’s shidduchim.

    However, it is possible (albeit a long shot) that cases like this one can galvanize parents. That would be better in my view that wholesale abandonment of seminaries.

    By the way, boys are also subject to abuse. Many are influenced by cult-like rebbes who urge them not to go to college or learn a trade, but rather to stay and learn–at their parents’ expense–in their yeshiva for several years, without any rabbinic ordination or any other document to show for their efforts.

    • Yes! Sheer craziness and self interest in their own parnassa. The top 10% of boys should learn the rest should get jobs and work to support their families and communities!! Does anyone else agree??

  7. “At the hadracha of daas Torah, Rabbi Meisels retired six weeks ago, and will have no further involvement in any of the schools (- a process he began a number of years ago).”

    “Peter B” noted on 07/21 at 1:45 am on the earlier post, “HTC Suspends Accreditation of Meisels’ Seminaries …. ” that http://www.pninim.org/staff.html listed:
    Principal –Rabbi E. Meisels
    Administration — Mrs. T. Meisels

    Out of curiosity, I checked and they are still listed. Did “daas Torah” direct Rabbi Meisels to retire, but not to tell anyone? Heaven forbid that anyone confuse “daas Torah” with “advice of counsel.”

  8. After all this, is there anyone who still doesn’t understand that our ‘leaders’ protest against the internet as much or even more because it threatens their ability to hide their guilt than it does with porn and sex?

    No wonder the word ‘leaders’ is so often mentioned alongside the word ‘gutters’.

  9. This guy gives me the creeps even more than Meisels. Something really seedy about someone who talks so frum, about seyata deshmaya for hatzlochah in harbotzas torah, but dresses and grooms just a little too much.

  10. It bothers me greatly that he writes, “the Bnei Brak beis din is the most updated and informed and their guidance is being followed every step of the way.” The victims did not testify to the rebbeim of the Bnei Brak beis din, and according my sources, they still have not. How can any “conclusions or decisions” be made if they haven;t even heard the testimony or seen the evidence that propelled the Chicago Beis Din to put out the letter?

    • Many people are bothered by this not-so-subtle manipulation of words. And this is why Chicago openly disagrees with the Bais Din in Israel. Not only that, but once Chicago determined that the abuse happened, it’s a done deal. Israel was only brought in to monitor Meisels’ exit. That’s it.

      Anyone with half a brain sees it exactly the way that you do. The problem is that some people are willing themselves to be blind to the obvious.

    • Especially since one of the members of the beis din was sitting shiva at the time, it is unreasonable to assume he played any investigative role at all.

  11. Lopin- thank you very much for posting this. I was waiting for it.

    For all who want to know, I am an alumni and received Rabbi Kahane’s “Against Loshon Hara Campaign ” email.

    IT. WAS. ATROCIOUS.

    It had zero sympathy towards the victims and encouraged students to keep quiet about the Meisles situation. He then went so far as to state “I am have feeling we’re going to being Moshiach” as if he is some sort of profit.

    Manipulative, corrupt, and disgusting.

    This should be the last and final warning to all parents NOT to send their daughters to this school.

    I don’t know about you, but I would never want my daughter to be in a seminary where they are expected to look up to teachers who support a sex offender and look the other way towards atrocious crimes.

    No sympathy in any of his words. Not for the victims, and not for any alumni, or parents of the victims.

    Call up the people he suggests to call- they will put down Rabbi Fuerst and tell you that Meisles was framed.

    Guaranteed.

    • Did you forward the letter to YL so he can post it? BTW, nice unintentional play on “profit” and “prophet.” He evidently sees himself as navi for the naive. Maybe his theory is that if all the Jews keep silent and pretend to follow the mitzvot, Moshiach will pretend to come.

      • Haha Kevin- “pretend to come.” Made me laugh.

        As far as your questions…I was the one who first showed Lopin the email. I was alarmed.

        There is more to this, but I asked him not to post it for other reasons.

        (Your mouth would drop if you read it.)

    • Where have I seen this before? Oh (almost) every other “frum” molester tries to shush things up under the guise of not speaking lashon hara. How convenient when the halahchos come thru for you like that. After ignoring yichud, negiah, and various “do not harm your fellow man” type directives. Oh yes but the yichud and negiah are alright because technically a man can have more than one wife. LOL. The justifications and twisting of halacha are quite creative when one has sexual demons to feed.
      I was molested by another rabbi (unrelated to this case but with some similarities) and while he was in the midst of abusing me he said “even if you do leave and tell someone, no one will find out because people do not speak lashon hara”. Several years later I was online and saw that this rabbi was defending another abuser and berating some bloggers for “speaking lashon hara” about him.
      Thus began my speaking out. I will not be silenced.

      • Good for you, Chana. Yasher Koach. Do not give up, do not be silenced. A few thousand of you, and maybe some progress will be made. we need every last person, articulate, to fight this battle. Kol Hakavod. and I pray that you find maximal recovery. Full recovery is never possible, as nothing is ever erased from the brain. But there are levels, of recovery, where, barring new and different traumas, the past can be gently put aside, not forgotten, but without the terrible otsma of pain. In the residuals of the mind, but without the power to cause current pain. Until, some new, and different trauma occurs, and then all of the older ones, mostly resolved, or shall i say, “dealt with” now in the background, rear there ugly heads. And it does not require a related trigger. Any new trauma of any sort, can re-awaken those from the past, including of course abuse, that have been faced head-on and therapized and controlled. I know.

  12. I also would like everyone to know that it is TRUE that Meisles was most prob asked “not to be as involved in the seminaries” over the past few years.

    After I tried getting him fired, I was told by one of the rabbis that he would work on trying to slowly get him less involved and away.

    I’m glad to know the teachers might have done something right.

  13. I also got it confirmed thru a source that Rabbi Kahane has not called the Bais Din at all about the Meisles situation. Only in terms of losing students to the school.

    Parents- how much more proof does everyone need? They support the criminal clearly.

  14. Has anyone called Kahane to ask about the fact that Meisels admitted his actions to the Chicago Bais Din? I would love to know what he had to say.

  15. The blog, Rare View: Dus Iz Nies, just posted another Chedvas email by Rabbi Kahane to his students telling the girls to shut up about Kahane’s guilt. Like most defenders of perverts, he misuses the rules of loshan horah. See for yourself: http://dusiznies.blogspot.com/2014/07/r-kahanes-letter-to-chedvas-seminary.html?m=1

    Meanwhile, a member of the staff at one of the seminaries is telling callers that Meisels “was framed” with the implicit rechilus (defamation) that either the girls lied or the Chicago beis din is corrupt.

    Several alumni who used to think the world of Rabbi Kahane are reeling in shock, not knowing how to reconcile the rabbi they admired with someone who is behaving like a Catholic archbishop covering up for an offending priest. The answer was provided by Kevin in Chicago in his post about “clerical narcissism.” https://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/israeli-beit-dins-problem-isnt-naivete-its-narcissism/

    • Yerachmiel: do you think this deserves it’s own article/section from the website?

      These schools are going down the drain officially…

      • I think it deserves it’s own article! I also find the way he addresses the the students as “my army……my chedvas graduates” really disturbing. He has no ownership over these women! They are not “his!” As a married women, a few years out of seminary, I would be horrified if my seminary Rabbi referred to me, or anyone as “his.” Maybe I’m just sensitive due to what happened with EM. Furthermore, essentially he is telling his former students to ignore the psak of the Chicago Bais Din. I guess when your parnassa is at stake, everything else goes out the window…

      • Sorry to go on a soap box, but I think his rhetoric clearly showcases how unhealthy relationships between seminary students and rabbis are manifested…

    • I read it, and although my jaw didn’t drop, my eyes rolled. There are slick cover-ups, and sick cover-ups. Can R’ Kahane even hope anyone takes this seriously? Suggesting that Israel will be saved from its enemies by the great zechut/merit of resisting the nisayon/temptation to talk about the sins of a philandering seminary principal? “Do you hear Hashem speaking to us?” Rabbi Kahane asks.

      Umm, Rabbi, do you? And speaking of nisayonot, do you really want to go there? I doubt that Hashem decides the fate of Israel based on “your” seminary girls, but Hashem might be more concerned with certain nisayanot that were not resisted by those to whom these b’not Yisrael were entrusted.

      You give yourself away by saying “I have a sinking feeling we’re going to bring Mashiach.” If Hashem chooses to send Moshiach because Jewish leaders have so perverted the Torah that Jews believe that not talking about evil acts committed by Jews is more important than preventing them, seeking justice, or healing victims, the arrival of Moshiach will not be a happy time for them.

      • Perhaps it was jaw-dropping to me and other alumni bc we know rabbi kahane. We know the “guilt speech” he tends to do. And we also know him as someone we looked up to and now see him protecting a sex offender.

        Either way, it’s ridiculous. So so many commenting were ridiculous and alarming (“Moshiach”).

        • Truthseeker…”ridiculous and alarming”????? uhhh, a bit extreme?? ur starting to lose any smidgen of credibility you had. id advise you to tone it down a bit, for your sake. exaggeration looks foolish…

          • You obviously so not understand the depth of the letter.

            It is ALARMING (yes, it will stick to that word) for many reasons.

            I don’t have time and patience to list all the reasons. But if you can’t figure out some reasons for yourself, then…sorry..no comment.

            Everyone has the right to their point of view and opinion, including myself and you as well. Again, you obviously are taking this letter at very surface level and do not understand it’s severity and ripple effects.

            • And I am not the only person who used the word “alarming” to describe the letter.

              Again, you were also not a student at the schools (or maybe you were idk), but this speaks differently to past alumni.

  16. Birds of a feather flock together. Chedvas is telling parents to trust supposedly independent Rabbi Yoel Burstyn, a rabbi notorious in LA for always being driven around by girls and young women. Just saying….

    • Yerachmiel – in your ‘holy’ pursuit of justice is okay to slander other Rabbanim? If you have real accusations then go to the police if not what gives you the right to slander anyone who you don’t agree with.
      Is your pursuit of justice so hefker that you can attack other Jews viciously? Are Rabbanim from L.A. hefker, is a sister of the accused hefker, is a son-in-law of a Rabbi hefker?

      I have edited your name so as not confuse you with another Steven who comments here regularly- Yerachmiel Lopin

  17. The author* of this letter may be right. After all, the Gemara describes the sorts of perversions of morality and justice that will permeate society prior to the arrival of the Mashiach.

    As they say in yeshivas, “he is mechaven…”

    PS: I use the term ‘author’ and not ‘rabbi’ because I believe the term ‘rabbi’ (and certainly ‘rav’) is for a spiritual leader knowledgable in Torah and someone who acts in accordance with halacha.
    Ignoring a myriad of halachic imperatives and twisting the laws of loshon hara to condemn, publicly, a renowned beis din while failing to protect dozens of past and future victims is not an approach that in my view is consistent with either title.

    • Nice use of “author”.

      Just one thing- using the term “Moshiach” and “saving the world” is something that has been used by Kahane throughout his teaching years.

      Unfortunately, for us alumni, it’s been overused WAY too much. I personally, am a little sick of hearing it (and trust me- I really would like to save the world).

  18. why don’t you talk to Rabbi Kehane/We did as we have a daughter enrolled there. and we spoke to him for about half an hour.

    The important points:
    a. Meisels has not stepped foot in Chedvas in years.
    b. He wouldn’t know a Chedvas girl if he tripped over her, as we say in the American vernacular.
    c. If he didn’t know them unti now, it is a kal vechomer that he doesn’t know any of the girls coming in now.
    d. we have friends who sent their daughter there last year and 2 years ago. They never heard of Meisels.
    d. we are very comfortable with our decision to send our daughter there, based on this information.
    e. I think it is very unfair of you to attempt to destroy this school the way you are, with no substantion.
    f. We know nothing of any of the other schools. My remarks only pertain to Chedvas.

    • I must say, HALF of rabbi kahane’s “points” to you are 100% incorrect.

      I want to believe he did not staright out lie to you. I hope he wouldn’t do that. But I am CONFIDENTLY telling you that those points are highly inaccurate.

      He wants to save his parnassah. I don’t blame him.

      Also, Meisles sister is currently office manager in Lakewood- if Meisles wanted any info on any of the girls, it is easily accessible to him. There are many any more points I can make on this.

      I think you need to call Rabbi Cohen if you havnt done so yet.

      Kahane is VERY good with words and persuasion. Please keep in mind that he will show/tell you what he needa to in order to keep the school from drowning.

      – An alumni from the schools

        • Beg to differ 😉

          Strongly, in fact.

          Additionally, who cares if Meisles was indeed limited in his involvement with Chedvas?

          Kahane clearly does not sympathize with victims or anyone. And the school has not yet taken responsibilities for “shooing off” past stud eta who complained about Meisles, myself included.

          Did anyone ask him THOSE questions over the phone?

          Probably not.

          I rest my case.

  19. Truth,

    Hard to believe anyone ever respected this guy.

    He sounds like a manipulative person.

    Throwing lashon hara at the students…as if that is a bigger sin than Uvearta Hara Mikirbecha

    Our mechanchim have totally lost their sense of balance

    • In part this may reflect Kahane’s roots in Aish Hatorah. Their kiruv operation is successful if judged by dollars and numbers. But it is often very manipulative and dishonest. A number of their BTs have bitterly recanted, not because they did not find the beauty of halachic life but because they came to feel deeply manipulated and deceived by the very rabbis they trusted the most.

      With the seminaries drawing more heavily on charismatic Aish types for teachers, these tactics have moved into the FFB yeshivish world, in this case, to disastrous effect.

  20. Truth,

    you went to peninim not chedvas.

    as lousy as meiseles is, is it possible that he did not step foot into chedvas and that none of this stuff happened over there?

    If so, if he sells the schools, putting emotions aside, it would seem that the commenters have a point.

    • I’m assuming Truth refers to me?

      If so, you are wrong in which schools I attended/did not attend. But that is all I will say.

      The reason why I am STRONGLY refuting the commenters is bc know what is fact and what is not.

      Fact: Meisles was a teacher in chedvas and indeed apart of the school. Pninim and chedvas, in the past, were in the same building even. There is a lot I can say on the fact that Kahane probably was not truthful about his involvement. I am not sure of Meisles involvement in the past 2 years or so after making kesser Chaya and Binas but in the past he very much had an influence (every single person knew who Meisles was. He owns the school. So that is silly to say that “no one even knew who he was”, like Kahane told these ppl. I find it very hard to believe such a statement.)

      Listen, I’m not giving my opinion, I’m stating facts. That is all. I am not here to convince anyone of anything, only trying to make ppl more informed.

    • 1. At first I thought Meisels misconduct was confined to Pninim. I have now heard accounts of misconduct at two of his other seminaries.

      2. The debates about the faults of the girls is misplaced. Chicago Beis Din did not rule that these girls are qualified to head seminaries. Their mistakes and faults (to the extent that is true. We should not exclude the possibility of forcible assaults) are legitimately their private faults and issues they should work on and already are in the cases with which I am familiar. I would venture to say, these girls are very unlikely to repeat the same mistakes.

      The issue is whether Meisels is fit for chinuch and whether those seminaries are dangerous environments because they enabled the misconduct by turning a blind eye. Thus, as an advocate against abuse I will keep my focus on Meisels and his protectors. As for his victimes, whatever their mistakes and failings, the cure is not blame but education in how to avoid manipulation and confront authorities when they cross a line.

  21. chedvas parents have checked into this thoroughly. we found no girls to have been molested in chedvas, by meisels or anyone else. as of 4 am friday, meisels is out. this will be in the public press shortly. no girls have withdrawn. kehane is well meaning. he does his best to listen to da’as torah. if you do, or don’t like his style is your choice- but he is an ehrlach person.

  22. you might want to consider the latest psak from israel beis din of this morning:
    Last night, Rav Aharon Feldman brought the case to Beis Din here (Rav Mendel Shafran is Rosh Beis Din). They sat for 8 hours hearing testimony from everyone involved, and wrote up their official Hachlatot.
    ================
    They concluded

    1) There is absolutely no danger to students to be educated in these four seminaries.

    2) The staffs of these schools are incredible and they have done their work with mesiras nefesh, faithfully and with yeras shamayim. They have succeeded in producing a large number of students over the years who have produced distinguished frum homes that are faithful to G-d and His Torah and they are capable of producing more.

    3) We request that Touro certify these seminaries for past credits

    4) It is prohibited for any other school (either preexisting or newly established) to attempt to recruit students – either directly or indirectly – who have been accepted in these seminaries for the coming year. This is prohibited by a number of halachos and we are sure no one will try to do such a sin.

    5) It is prohibited to defame or slander these seminaries in any manner

    6) There are those who have intervened without authority who haven’t heard all the facts and should be ignored.

    7) There are additional issues regarding this case but they are not discussed in this ruling but will be fully addressed at a future time.

    do you want the hebrew?

  23. I am a therapist, frum, no not just frum but FFB. I am American born and bred, practicing in Israel. I am not a newcomer comer to Yeshivos and Seminaries, like I have said I grew up in the mainstream frum American world (rare among therapists, and even more rare among mechanchim in Israel. But I write this as a regular yid, who happens to have inside exposure to the mess.

    I pride myself in having gone to Yeshivos and my family in every direction too. There may some due criticism for all mosdos, and lots for specific ones, but by and large they do devoted and hard work for our children, as was done for us.
    Firstly, let us acknowledge this; the vast majority of people working in chinuch are devoted and honest people, who are moser nefesh for a praiseworthy goal. Those who don’t live up to this standard, who are not honest and fair and even worse abusive are the exception. Thank you to all the special true mechanchim!

    Now, yes with heartbreak, we must admit not all, and yes it is becoming more and more common, are people we should trust our children, teens or adults too.

    As a therapist, I often deal with such cases, of neglect and outright abuse of all types. Whether the issue stems from parents, friends, strangers or the teachers themselves, too often mechanchim and even rabbonim are implicit. It is simply rare to find people who will stand up for the truth, who are not afraid of it. Who will get up and put down their foot to protect and prevent abuse.

    At the end of the day, adults are responsible for themselves, people need to fight for their rights, fairly and honestly. Parents are responsible for their children, and as such all I can say, is that it is FRIGHTNING how foolish and willfully blinded people can be when making decisions on where and why it is safe to go places.

    (It causes great harm when so many innocent are accused, often by rumors or clearly non-reliable people and their lives ruined without fair and honest investigation. Please, lets be wary of unconfirmed rumors, and be very careful who we really can trust to say one was guilty. Ironically the guilty usually get away and the innocently framed get nailed and shattered).

    For many of us in the field this specific expose came as no surprise, nor is it the first time such ‘problems’ were discovered in seminaries. The writing has been on the wall for years! People in the know make no secret of the questionable situations which come up constantly for young impressionable girls away from home. The options include but are not limited to; hashkafic crumkeit (the majority of seminaries proudly entertain all types of ‘Jewish thought’ -little do parents knew what their child will be exposed to), sexual education -undesired, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, manipulating for egotistic reasons, peer abuse, dangers of all sorts from within and without seminaries, and more. Every year a number of girls learn the hard way. Not a small number, I myself have a connection with a few dozen a year! And I obviously do not come across all. (I am not only referring to abuse, but also other situations, such as girls getting a lot deeper than they planned or their parents can imagine with other people, etc..).

    So, pray tell, Who are we relying on to protect the young and dumb? How do we expect young trusting girls to see through delicate guises?! I hate to say it but the recent letter from one unscrupulous ‘menahel’ forces me to cry out! To cry out with the pain of those precious souls we fool ourselves these people are protecting, I have seen too much to be quiet!

    We don’t need to be savvy to realize that a person who abuses, is rarely a one time crime. Common sense (and statistics) tell us that those who abuse their powers of charisma and stature are generally repeat offenders. It doesn’t compare to a one time drunk attacker. And yes, if a Beis Din of the stature and worldliness of the Chicago beis din, stood up and made a hard statement after months of investigation, clearly only a fool will still be unsure. If they stood up to the danger of taking on a man is not a nobody, a tough guy from powerful background close to home for themselves, this wasn’t a joke. And like I noted, for those in the now the writing has been on the wall for a while.

    Just in case anyone could still believe no one knew something was amiss, that not one staff member of this person wasn’t privy to real life stories or grounded suspicions is ludicrous.

    Most people shuddered when they read the words of Kahane, one of the henchmen. No this is not his fist blatant attempt to cover-up evil for his own advancement. The same manipulative; “you are the saviors, You are my army, Mashiach is coming I have inside info, just follow me” is standard methods for narcissistic manipulators.

    This year there was case involving a student in Kahane’s ‘care’. Nothing that would have implicated him, it actually had no connection to him nor did he bear any responsibility for it. His only connection was that he knew for a while something was desperately wrong and not only did he not deal with it properly, he made sure to control the situation and use it to manipulate the student to remain silent. The name of the seminary stood before him, sic. Somehow the cover-up ended up at the door of one the leading English Rabbonim. This Rov in turn bravely didn’t just go to the next caller, like others might but begged a close student of his, a Rabbi and Therapist trained specifically on abuse, to help and evaluate the situation. Warning he Rov of the working of these ‘mechanchim’, but infuse with a sense of duty, not to allow these people to continue to push peoples pain under the carpet, they took it on.

    Sure enough it was soon confirmed that there was a real problem, and worse the seminary and others were exasperating it. At first he repeatedly stated, that proper help was expensive and not his problem (this is called a caring mechanech? “who cares” its not my problem. But he adamantly refused to concede and allow the proper services to be offered. When he saw his sweet assurances that he knew all and was taking care of were not being accepted due to there absolute falsity.

    As soon as this ‘Kahane’ realized his sweet talk didn’t work, he went on an all out battle against this therapist. Literally threatening him that he will ruin his name, reputation, harm his family, frame him, etc. “you are young and know nothing about the real world, if I let people now you are making trouble, your whole life will be ruined. You’ll be done, for your own good look away” All along kahane swore that anyone but himself would only cause damage to the victim, only he knew (by prophesy we can assume, same channel as ‘sinking feeling mashiach is coming bec of him’) how to deal with it and what was good for her. Go wonder why he threatened, but refused to prove the proper care was actually being offered. Can we believe a word from such a source?
    Worse yet, this Rabbi and Therapist had confirmed (through myself and knowledge from my cases)and in consultation with leading Mental Health Professionals and Rabbonim that Mr. Kahane himself was fully implicit and perhaps more.

    I still can hardly believe it but so recklessly and foolishly was he determined to cover-up and ‘be in control’, that Kahuna went so far as to summon the police to the home office of the therapist in middle of the night on supposed fear of an endangered missing student! (At times, therapists see clients in safe conditions at off-hours, especially in delicate student situations so as to avoid unwarranted attention and danger from others. As protocol, such sessions are recorded and a witness remains throughout to maintain safety of the therapist and client.) Of course the police, were quite suspicious being called down to a certified session and having been directed exactly where to find an adult student ‘missing’. And the attempted threat to the therapist backfired as the police interrogated the student, worried for her safety in school. It turned out that she had actually arrived directly from Kahuna’s home after her having summoned her there at night and she had told him she was going to the therapist. Luckily, the therapist was able to use connections in police to assure them there was no immediate danger with kahuna. No, not for kahuna and his seminaries business, but for the sake of the frightened young girl.

    I can still hear the worry and pain in the voice of this special therapist, when I was woken by him to consult in middle of the night, he was sick to the stomach at the cruelty this mechnaech had shown to a suffering young child crashing her only safety and subjecting her to the horrifying experience. He cried as he described how she had collapsed with fear when the police arrived and begged in tears that she not be left alone to return to seminary. (A kind frum officer and the therapist kindly escorted visibly trembling back to her dorm.)

    Immediately, kahane used his full manipulative skills to scare the student away from seeking help or getting guidance from anyone. And Meisels, the owner of the seminary himself worked hard to make sure the police and others stay away.

    When attempting to have other seminary collogues and some Rabonim assist him in intimidating and threatening the therapist from steering her to help, kahane realized that not everyone was fooled by his charisma, and more importantly that this particular therapist had strong connections to back him in Mental Health circles, Rabbinic circles and power centers that be. Only then did he drop the offensive. In the end, due to the reckless endangerment he was subjecting this student to, after consultation with myself and other collogues we were forced to step away (I must note, this brave therapist, made one last attempt at personal financial expense to circumvent the monsters and not abandon the victim, though he will never get credit for his act or even be able to see the results). I don’t know if this girl will ever realize how much trouble ‘this loving father to his chedvas students’ caused her.

    The words of his Folly https://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/kahanes-folly/ sicken me to no end, having closely seen how narcissistic this man can be, how dangerous people of his like are.
    He has not and will not offer to help his students receive help from this scandal, he will do whatever it takes to ensure his position and protect himself by crushing any attempts to open the box and look around.

    As is evidenced in several places firsthand, he wasn’t unaware, girls complained to him many times. On young woman described in detail phone conversation she had with Kaahane. I can attest to the truth, as the conversation transcribed is so perfectly his style it could not have been made up by someone who doesn’t know him. -though that doesn’t prove its his words, it does show it is a student.

    To all the students of his out there, and of Meisles and others, all I can repeat is the words of one of your peers; “Do not talk to me about the fact that I “need a shidduch and the malachim in shamayim might talk bad about me to HKB”H” (-threat from Kahane) like you did on the phone. I am not in seminary anymore and am ZERO interested in a seminary mussar schmooze. I am living in the real world and I know who I am inside. And TRUST ME, HKB”H knows as well and He has my back.”

    As was mentioned in some the discussions; Kahane is not a representative of the proper Yeshiva world. Thankfully we can say his approach to human pain, to Torah, to teaching yiddishkeit and to self proclaiming himself an mechnaech and General of his army, are the products of our yeshiva system. As is often the case, the ones who live and work through false manipulation are the kasha ksapchas. The people who come from elsewhere and tout themselves as great mechanchim, baalei haskafah and experts. The same ideals and goals which taint the education the slyly fill young girls with, tell them to cover and confront anything which gets in their way, it is not just a slight, that he can publicly dismiss the clear and public decisions of Chicago’s most senior Rabbonim or in the above incident Yerushalyims senior Poskim.
    These people are represented of Torah MiSinai, their strength in kiruv arises from mastering manipulative techniques. The new development is their people have moved into the seminary business and used the same techniques on Bais Yaakov girls who are more vulnerable because unlike the secular Jews, they are not used to thinking critically about the positions of rabbis.

    The four seminaries involved in this scandal, were heavily staffed by out-of-the-box teachers and Rabbis. Is there a shortage of normal, ffb, who can give over the same chinuch and haskafah we guarded for generations? There not. For some reasons, Measles chose, as do many, to surround himself with pawns, people with their own agendas who would not wish to ruin their own careers and agendas with some bothersome incidents. Of course, he forgot to mention in either letter that he feels sorry and wants to help any victims of his partner, of course he will do all he can regardless of the facts to silence with holy reasoning any whistleblowers.

    Parents, girls, be careful! Don’t just allow the human desire to imagine all is fine to fool you. We need to be careful. If it is necessary to send a young girl far away on her own, we need to be very wary of whose care we entrust her!

    As far as the letter from Kahane, please use your sechel, there is nothing more I can say than:
    Manipulative, false, corrupt, disgusting and scary.

    • Hurt for my girls therapist, you have written an amazing post!! I urge you and the other therapist to please call rabbi Zev Cohen and rabbi Shmuel Fuerst in Chicago! They need all the information and back up they can get. Sounds like kahane should be thrown I jail with meisels or at least stripped of their “rabbinic” titles. Thank you for sharing your amazing post it gives chizuk to the victims and parents!! I know that a “therapist” in Israel told a victims meisels was sAfe and it was ok for her to go on late night rides with him. This poor girl had the sechal to ask her therapist but the therapist protected meisels!!! I have never imagined such brazen craziness could occur in a “religious” environment!!!!

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