Malinowitz Responds to Feldman’s Letter

See Tzedek-Tzedek’s translation of the Malinowitz repsonse to Rabbi Feldman regarding the Elimelech Meisels seminaries. 

Rabbi Chaim Malinowitz

Rabbi Chaim Malinowitz

David Morris offers an excellent analysis of the letter and offers further reasons for the public and the Chicago Beis Din not to trust the Israeli Beis Din (IBD) of Rabbis Shafran, Malinowitz & Gartner.

Go to Beit Din Leaks.

Advertisements

85 thoughts on “Malinowitz Responds to Feldman’s Letter

  1. This read like a soap opera. How can anyone respect these clowns? (Malinowitz specifically). Go’al nefesh mamash. Shmutzadik.
    Had Gartner and Shafran seen this letter prior to it “going public”????

  2. One think for sure , whoever leaked these documents, and the one who put them up for all to see, transgressed the most basic halachos, that one cannot tell somebody else something if you know that person doesn’t want to spread, כ״ש when it involves major cases of beis din, the one who spreads it, is עתיד ליתן את הדין. These were private e mails, which were not meant for the public, for someone who calls himself daas Torah, to spread such e mails has no מחילה. One thing for sure, if I was on the cbd, I wouldn’t share anything with the other bd, knowing it’s being leaked to the dt blog. I don’t know what’s worse now, the original claim, or how it’s being handled.

    • just a little curious why the CBD is not guilty of the same thing as all there letters that were not meant for the public were leaked to this blog?

      • The Chicago documents i obtained and posted were their piskei halachah advising against attending. Not internal private communications. the other documents I posted were communications sent to dozens of students or dozens to hundreds of parents. I got them from bonafide recipients of the communications. If a school sends out a letter saying hunky dory, why should the recipient be barred from sharing it. I reposted stuff that was already out their. If you have issues, discuss them with Rabbi Eidensohn since he posted the Malinowitz-Feldman correspondence that was clearly a 1 person to 1 person communication.

          • It was sent to HS principals of schools with students who might be attending the Meisels seminaries. The CBD anticipated the principals sharing it with parents. Thus its intended audience was hundreds of parents. Some principals were failing to believe it or share it with parents. I assume that CBD wanted the message to reach as many parents as possible.

      • The Chicago documents i obtained and posted were their piskei halachah advising against attending. Not internal private communications. the other documents I posted were communications sent to dozens of students or dozens to hundreds of parents. I got them from bonafide recipients of the communications. If a school sends out a letter saying hunky dory, why should the recipient be barred from sharing it. I reposted stuff that was already out their. If you have issues, discuss them with Rabbi Eidensohn since he posted the Malinowitz-Feldman correspondence that was clearly a 1 person to 1 person communication.

        • I would like to add to Mr Lopin’s answer. It seems to me quite clear that the correspondence between Rabbis Feldman and Malinowitz were specifically not made to be public and there is no purpose for it either, which then falls into the prohibition of lashon horah , unlike the directives of the cbd, where ,number one, they seem to have wanted it publicized , and two, there is a purpose for it. And , I don’t plan on taking this up with eidensohn, as he already banned my comments on his blog.

          • I just attempted to ask the same question, on DT, re from whence cometh his samchut, or zechut to publish these personal letters??. I had issues with not having various social media accts. Thought i just signed up for discus, but that was not an option. Since, kivyachol, the blogger, of DT has an impeccable reputation, this further turns this entire affair into a circus. a veritable circus.

            My opinion? unsolicited., is dump all Batei Din, and get this case into a secular court, perhaps in both countries, and not only re sexual abuse of an authority, but also, perhaps re financial fraud. Someone posted to the effect that selling a non-profit is “unusual” , I know nothing re this issue. Cut the toxic stuff, and get it out of the batei din, and then the Rebbeim can continue their mutual flagellations, that is a euphemism……

      • The CBD letter was meant for semi-public consumption. It was sent out to Principals of High Schools and for a toyelis, to protect the girls.

        What was the toyelis of the IBD releasing private correspondence?

    • good point. Yes, if I were a victim who testified to the Chicago BD, I would be terrified of having very private, traumatizing facts broadcast to the world just to help IBD protect the seminaries. In contrast, Chicago has not leaked any details of a private matter,just their overall position and findings.

    • Only R’ Eidensohn knows for sure, but I doubt that anyone but R’ Feldman himself “leaked” his letter to the IBD, because the statements in the letter, if true, reflected favorably on himself and not the dayanim of the IBD. This leak then probably provoked the separate responses of the dayanim. The (secular) legal maxim is “cui bono?” (“who benefits?”).

        • Maybe he didn’t — and I acknowledge that David Morris (“Tzedek-Tzedek”) believes R’ Malinowitz was the “leaker.” But that “private” letter could be seen as R’ Feldman’s attempt to exonerate himself, notwithstanding its awkwardness, and his “leaking” it provoked R’ Malinowitz’s response, which in turn was “leaked” to R’ Eidensohn. In any event, “who leaked” is less important than “who lied.”

  3. (lehavdil ) When a federal district court transfers a case to another district court in another state, there usually is a formal opinion accompanying the formal order with the rationale for the transfer. And that of course is preceded by a formal motion by a party. Some process akin to all that would have been desirable here to avoid the confusion (to say the least) that has ensued in this matter. Yet another reason why batei din need clear, uniform rules that are accessible to, and followed by, all. Unfortunately, something that will never happen in our lifetimes ….

    • just one question in the letter from the IBD it said they asked chicago for info regardless of the whole question of jurisdiction why would the CBD ignore them totally without a proper response explaining their stance and why would R zev cohen deny the fact that the IBD asked for info when R feldman asked him about it

      • 1. Why should any court which ruled on specifics agree to have their case retried. Chicago investigated, had shtarei berurin from student victims and from Meisels, took testimony from both, got some confessions from Meisels, and ruled the schools were not safe. Now the only question was what if any changes would be sufficient to make them safe.

        Chicago no doubt communicated. They just refused to allow IBD to torture the girls with a second trial of the issues on which they ruled. Ordinarily, a beis din’s findings are not subject to appeal. Read the text of a standard shtar berurin. It practically indemnifies the rabbonim from even mistakes in gemorah and mishnah. If a beis din can be forced to let another retry a case, the entire system of battei din collapses. there would never be a definitive psak. Whoever loses will just shop for another beis din.

        You are misunderstanding. R. Feldman was not saying that R. Cohen of Chicago refused to answer his messages. He was saying that someone misled r. Feldman. Feldman had been told by Malinowitz that R. Cohen authorized RF to represent the victims. But Cohen told Feldman that this was not true. That Chicago never authorized Feldman to represent the girls or the CBD. Feldman, believing Cohen, implicitly accused Malinowitz of lying when he said he cannot believe that r. Cohen is lying. That is why Malinowitz starts his reply to Feldman by writing:

        in the same way that you state that it doesn’t seem that someone like Rav Cohen is able to lie in this manner, I trust that you also hold the same regarding Rabi Malinowitz…

        But obviously Feldman does believe Malinowitz lied. Right now either Malinowitz lied or both R. Feldman and R. Cohen lied. While a monumental miscommunication is possible and no one lied, I find that unlikely.

          • the exact wording from R feldman was how can u (r malinowitz ) say you contacted the CBD when R zev cohen claimed so forcefully that you did not why would R zev deny such a thing

  4. i was always taught to follow the money an important question to clear up here is who is hiring (paying) the IBD to be involved in this. you could ask that q about the CBD and we know the answer, this has been a BD working on these problems for 14 years and the dayanim are in well paid rabunus positions to lead the community’s that they are employed by (if they are paid at all for this side BD responsibility of there’s it is a small amount) they are involved because girls from there communities attend these sems contrast this with the IBD who the girls attending the sems are not from there communities, non of the daynim have solid well paying jobs, if suddenly they are hired to sit on a one time BD well there are a lot of chasunas to make it will save a trip to America… so it only makes sense that the IBD would only get involved if hired the CBD has no reason or budget to hire them so that leaves the meisels family for them it would be kadie to spend a pretty penny to hire a BD to say the semanary is kosher this would explain why the IBD writes in its letter there main concern is to make sure the sems open also the whole confusion of who started the case and then contacted whom stems from this that the IBD (after being hired by meisels family) told the CBD that they are already taking care of this matter so the CBD does not need to get involved

    • While I agree with the principle of “follow the money,” it’s one thing to actually follow it and another to suggest where it might have come from. That the members of a B”D do not appear to have dependable sources of income does not justify a belief that they can be corrupted, much less that they have been. From what we know, I believe the IBD acted irresponsibly and less than honestly, and YL has suggested that their value system wrongly privileges institutions and jobs over preventing abuse, but corruption is something else, the explanation of last resort. Let’s dan l’kaf zechut — within reason.

      • i believe the fact that they are getting involved in a case that has no shichus to there community is fishy to me i doubt they would be hearing this case pro-bono (and who brought it to there door in the first place? certenly not the girls who do not live in israel) and they are not a B”D kavooah so i think who hired them to hear this case is a very legitimate question, and the answer may shed some light on there focus on reopening the sems
        if the CBD hired them they could simply fire them now if on the other hand they were hired by the meisels family and they told the CBD to lay off because they are dealing with it already things would fit a lot better
        so lets just be mevar with the IBD who is paying them for hearing this case? is it CBD or meisels or girls or some unnamed player that has kept out of the drama hire them to investagate

        • I agree it’s a legitimate question, who organized and paid the IBD. I don’t think anyone is saying that it was the Chicago Special Beis Din. It could have been Meisels, it could have been the prospective buyer of the seminaries, or it could even have been the faculty and staff of the seminaries who didn’t want to see their jobs disappear. We don’t know, so although it’s a legitimate question, so far no one has a legitimate (i.e., more than speculative) answer.

  5. Rabbi Lopin

    Just following up on our previous discussion. I have no idea why you think the involvement of a bes din requires a tovea. The very tshuva you quoted me (IM CM 2/7) states explicitly that it does not require a tovea to investigate allegations of averos that would require the removal of an individual from a teaching position. Now its true that it is acting within a different capacity as a BD to conduct investigations. However that does not mean that its involvement is predicated on a tovea. Now r moshe says in that tshuva that those that appointed the individual to his position and those that agreed to his appointment are the ones who are achrai on setting up the investigating rabbis.

    In our case I do not see how the CBD has more of a connection than the IBD. In fact neither have any connection. The complaints to the CBD are not relevant to establish the presiding bes din given that what is going on (as you astutely point out) is not an actual BD case adjudicated al pi halacha which would require normal procedures. I ask you again to explain (or to simply agree that you are trusting the conduct of the CBD for your knowledge of what you consider to be proper procedure) why you think the definition of bes din kavua applies to the CBD. I have argued (and I have heard R Asher Wiess make this point) that BD kavua means geographic with the samchus of the kahal. As an aside he made the point as well that the power of makin vionshin shelo min hatorah is applies only to bate din with samchus hakahal (see shut maharam lublin 10 )

    To be honest I dont really understand what a shtar berurin could mean between the two bate din. Perhaps they are using it as a mechanism to resolve who will do what.

    Please explain how a CBD pask about a man and an institution removes the chezkas kashrus from others who worked there? Please use halachik sources to do so.

    As with everything else we do as Jews our cadences of argument must reflect our shibud to the halacha. If we do not know what the halacha is lmad lishoncha lomar eni yodea.

    • You do not understand what it means for a community to set up a בית דין to deal with complaints about abuse.

      A young woman from Chicago came to the Beis Din which had been setup in Chicago with an allegation and Meisels signed an arbitration agreement (שטר בירורים).

      The claim that this doesn’t give them a greater connection then a בית דין that wants to get involved after the the first בית דין already gave a verdict is without foundation.

      The position that after a פסק is issued the loser can try again is totally against halachah. If it became adopted it would destroy the already embattled system of battei din. Why get or issue a psak. In a dispute there is often a loser. How could anything ever be settled if every loser can shop for another rabbinic court.

      while you claim to be upholding halacha you are proposing radical reform ideas way more of chidush than shopping rabbis for a psak.

  6. Rabbi Feldman wrote: “Rav Malinowitz asked me at that time (and so I immediately wrote myself a note, which I have) to supply the BD with the names of the accusers.”

    It seems clear to me that R’ Malignowitz is interested in obtaining accusers names on behalf of Measels in preparation for upcoming criminal proceedings. R’ Malignowitz NEVER asked the CBD what Measels admitted to.

    Once he got their names, I assume that they’d be hounded by Measels supporters and pressured to retract their accusations.

    Sad thing is, at this point in time, you can’t put this back in Pandora’s box. This case could mark the watershed of how SA cases are handled in the era of the internet.

  7. Kesser chaya has two principals Rosenberg and Soloff. Soloff is a first cousin and veryvgood friend with one of malinowitz’s daughters in law.

    Maybe he is too close to this, maybe he is not

  8. Arent the names of victims of sexual abuse kept confidential in secular proceedings? For better or worse, the names of those who accused the former Israeli President of sexual assault were never publicized.

    Certainly, the threat of publicizing these names would have a chilling effect.

  9. K. I want to throw straight out facts for everyone-

    I have been in touch with both members of the CBD and IBD-
    The CBD says they nvr asked for info.
    The IBD says they have asked many times for info and can even prove it with documents (but we havnt seen any).

    This is very problematic, as this is becoming another case of he-says-she-says (like the Yarmush sale).

    Just in my opinion (anyone has the right to disagree), I think the communication between both BD should be kept mostly private when it comes to ‘miscommunications’ like this.

    After speaking directly to the IBD, it was disappointing to me bc it was crystal clear that they handled this so so POORLY. When they first heard of the allegations against Meisles, they fully trusted the CBD and did not ask for any evidence. They simply did a “quick cleaning” and removed Meisles. I know this bc I spoke directly to the IBD who told me this. Just appalling.

    Chicago does not trust the IBD. If a BD did an investigation in 8 hours and now claims to want evidence, I wouldn’t trust them with my LIFE. This could very well be one reason Chicago refuses to give info over. I’m just speculating tho.

    This is hard for me bc I do not want to disrespect anyone Rabbi like r malinowitz (even tho he has proven himself as incompetent to so many ppl). But I cannot help but say that he has lost/is continuing to lose the respect of so many people.

    His approach is very feeling oriented. He simply FEELS that the staff couldn’t have known about misconduct.

    He simply FEELS the Yarmush sale is fine (without investigating).

    And he simply FEELS the seminaries are safe.

    All feelings. No facts.

    Again, I know this bc I have been in direct contact. Not from second-hand sources.

    • TruthSeeker — first, a joking comment. Why do you keep referring to “he says, she says,” when none of the rabbis involved are women, and any liar is male?

      More seriously, men commonly accuse women of basing their judgments upon feeling, precisely what you accuse R’ Malinowitz of doing. I’m not suggesting you are wrong about R’Malinowitz. Perhaps it has been historically more acceptable for women to assert opinions based on feelings, while men have been expected to provide more concrete justification, because men have been publicly held accountable for their opinions much more than women. So perhaps as important rabbis such as R’ Malinowitz have been less frequently held accountable in Orthodox communities, they have unconsciously come to believe that their feelings alone are enough to justify their psak.

      You are right in seeing this as a problem. While we may properly respect a rabbi’s subjective sense of what the Torah requires in halakhic matters and questions of individual choice, i.e., his “da`as Torah,” there should be no such room for subjectivity with respect to questions of fact, e.g., “has Meisels truly been removed from any connection with the seminaries?” or “is the sale of the seminaries a genuine transaction?” The danger of believing the more likeable person, or the person known to the rabbi/dayan, should be obvious. While Pirkei Avot advises us in general to “dan l’khaf zechut,” a judge is told to regard both litigants as in the wrong until the case has been heard and decided. (Pirkei Avot 1:8). This the IBD apparently failed to do — assuming there were really two litigants before them in the first place.

      It looks like the truth will only come out slowly and in pieces. Thank you for helping to pry some of the pieces loose.

      • Kevin, your comments are always appreciated 🙂

        My comments on the BD is simply what he told me. I’m just passing on what the conversation was about. If r malinowitz had said “I have proof the sale was kosher/I have proof the teachers are clean” etc etc, then I’d tell it differently on this blog. But he didn’t. It was all “I feel” statements.

        I simply speak straight out facts and I enjoy giving over exactly what was said to me to the public bc I feel it is highly reliable/ more valuable than just ‘my feelings on things’ (but I do that as well).

        The “he-says-she-says”…I thought that same thing myself 😉 (aren’t they all Rabbis?). I think that is just how the expression goes though…

        • I don’t think this is a gender difference. Even the most rational of human beings is influenced by emotions and neural intuitions. However, even when using identical thought processes, women tend to say “I feel” while men tend to say “I think.” This tendency of males is especially pronounced in the hyper-rational Litvish yeshivish world. It is a manageable problem when intutions are subjected to critical self-evaulation and tested against the evidence. however, the cult of gedolim, rabbinical infallability, daas torah, emunas chachamim can go to the heads of some rabbis who feel they are beyond accountability.

          This is especially true because some rabbis confuse mastery of rabbinical literature with knowledge of the specifics in a case. The great Chazon Ish once said, iirc, ‘Most bad psak is not because of rabbis who don’t know halacha; it is because of rabbis who don’t put enough effort into the metzius (facts of the case).’

        • I don’t think this is a gender difference. Even the most rational of human beings is influenced by emotions and neural intuitions. However, even when using identical thought processes, women tend to say “I feel” while men tend to say “I think.” This tendency of males is especially pronounced in the hyper-rational Litvish yeshivish world. It is a manageable problem when intutions are subjected to critical self-evaulation and tested against the evidence. however, the cult of gedolim, rabbinical infallability, daas torah, emunas chachamim can go to the heads of some rabbis who feel they are beyond accountability.

          This is especially true because some rabbis confuse mastery of rabbinical literature with knowledge of the specifics in a case. The great Chazon Ish once said, iirc, ‘Most bad psak is not because of rabbis who don’t know halacha; it is because of rabbis who don’t put enough effort into the metzius (facts of the case).’

    • this would not answer why R zev cohen and the CBD are denying that the IBD ever asked for info on the case

      • There is no record of Rabbis Cohen and CBD denying that they got requests. The point is that they did not feel they should turn them over because the abuse allegations were already evaluated and judged true. The more important question is why can’t the IBD provide a single piece of evidence that they were ever authorized to rejudged a matter settled in court or ever delegated to ursurp the role of the Chicago Beis Din.

    • just one question why would R zev cohen deny the IBD ever asked him for info like he did to R feldman as it clearly states in R feldmans letter to IBD

      • I don’t know. I want to say that this was a big miscommunication between both BD and that no one can be branded as a “liar”.

        But I remember speaking to r fuerst as well and I’m pretty sure he denied them asking for info as well.

        I have a feeling that we r just seeing only parts of the puzzle. We obv do not know all the details. Again, call the CBD and find out why. I have my opinion, but won’t state it now…

    • When you say that you are in contact with each Beis din what do you mean – with a spokesperson or ( somehow) with all three members sitting together in each case? And why should or could they talk to you as an outsider I.e., not a direct party? Don’t such ex parte contacts have the potential to taint? I ask these questions because I simply do not understand what the “rules” are and how they are set and observed. Thanks in advance for a response.

      • Ss- good question.

        I think this is a question a lot of ppl have still. Many are intimidated/afraid/uncomfortable speaking straight to BD bc they aren’t sure if “the rules”.

        There are no rules. When I say I spoke directly to them, I mean that I literally spoke directly to them. From the CBD, I have spoken to 2 of the dayanim who signed their letter and from the IBD I spoke to 1. My friend in e”y got me the number and he was willing to talk to me just like any other person.

        Did this answer your question?

        • Yes thank you. My last comment on this is that certainly under “normal circumstances” (which this may very well be not) I would be leery of any Beis din that responds to outside parties about a proceeding they conducted. And yes – I am aware that there are (basically) no rules which iIMHO is part of the problem here and why I had the word rules in quotes. Thanks again for responding.

  10. Just want to express my feelings to parents who have been denied a refund from the seminaries-

    I truly feel very bad for your situations. Seminary is a straining cost, and no parent ever saw this scandal/psak from Chicago coming their way.

    YL- do you or anyone else have any info to help parents get $ back? Or is this a hopeless situation?

  11. I must say Mr. lopin u should be ashamed of u self a day after ט’ באב and u still busy writing לשון הרע ורכילות i am not saying what side is right just stop talking and killing peoples life did any of the 2 bies din ask you for advice or you דעת בעל הבית? how can you take the risk on u own hands to wright any לשון הרע are u not scared after 120 in שמים i know when גדולים fight i stay aside so just leave for the 2 bies din to fight them self!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • To quote the Rav, Joseph Dov Soloveitchik:

      Neither ritual decisions nor political leadership constitute the main task of halakhic man.

      Halakhic man cannot be cowed by anyone. He knows, no fear of flesh and blood…Precisely because he is free from fear of flesh and blood. He takes up his stand in the midst of the concrete world, his feet firmly planted on the ground of reality and he looks about and sees, listens and hears and publicly protests against the oppression of the helpless, the defrauding of the poor, the plight of the orphan. The rich are deemed as naught in his view. He is the father of orphans, the judge of widows. http://wp.me/pFbfD-13X

      The rabbonim in question are giants in their realm. They include a member of the Moetzes, the editor of the ArtScroll shas, heads of the largest shuls in their large communities the head of a kollel and distinguished dayanim and poskim. In comparison I am an annoying gnat that can at worst inflict a few unpleasant bites. However, the victims of the likes of Meisels, Dovid Weinberger number in the hundreds or even thousands. They were naive young women when they are sexually manipulated and exploited for the coarse personal gratification of corrupt rabbis. Many other rabbis failed them when they cried out for help in stopping these monsters. Many of them suffer gravely for years as it interferes with their faith, self confidence, capacity for trust and thus intimacy, ability or inclination to get married, and even their sanity. In some cases it has led to suicides or death by drug overdose.

      Rabbonim who fail in their responsibility to protect these females (or in other cases, male victims) have betrayed their core responsibility as leaders. It is the leaders who are responsible for this massive scandal.

      Bimokom Chillul Hashem Ain Cholkin Kovod Lirav (Where there is a desecration of G’d’s name we do not accord honor to a rabbi).

      • In my experience, there are three things that are widely misunderstood on the topic of sexual abuse. I described them below in the format of myths and truths. Please feel free to add to my list if I left anything out.

        1) FREQUENCY OF OCCURENCE

        Myth: “Sexual abuse barely happens to frum Jews.”

        Truth: Unlike many people think, sexual abuse occurs regularly in our frum circles. You don’t know anyone who was abused? Then they simply haven’t told you. Just because people don’t talk about it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Abuse is an intensely private struggle. Stigma and misplaced shame prevent people from sharing it with the world. Many victims choose to share their experience with only a small handful of trusted confidantes. Even that takes tremendous courage and is not a given. One third to one quarter of us will go through some form of sexual abuse in our lifetime. Be grateful if you have been spared – others wish they could still afford to be skeptical and naïve. I guarantee anyone reading this that several of your own extended or immediate family members, friends, and/or coworkers have been sexually abused. In a class of 25 students, easily 7 or 8 have been molested in some form. By the way, believing the awful reality makes you much more likely to be chosen as a trusted confidante than sticking your head in the sand.

        2) PROFILE OF MOLESTERS

        Myth: “Abusers act crazy, weird, sinister, suspicious, or creepy in public.

        Truth: Abusers look exactly like a normal person. If you met one on the street, you would likely be extremely impressed with his dignity and eloquence. Molesters are experts at not only hiding their misdeeds, but also at making themselves beloved and indispensable to parents and communities. This way, they can easily satisfy their desires in private, committing soul-murder with as little risk as possible. They carefully cultivate an image and use it to their advantage all the time. In fact, child molesters often wait many months before touching a child. First, they develop a friendship with the child’s parents so that the child won’t be believed if he has the courage to share what happened. Don’t be fooled! If you believe that an alleged molester “would never do it,” maybe that’s what he cunningly had you believe. I know he may seem extremely generous and kind. Think “by design.”

        3) DAMAGE CAUSED BY SEXUAL ABUSE

        Myth: “He will get over it; it’s not the end of the world.”

        Truth: Sexual abuse has a devastating, long-term impact on the victim’s life. While most people understand that sexual abuse is wrong, they fail to recognize the intensity of the damage it causes. I could write a book on this subject. For now, I will summarize some of the effects of sexual abuse. Not every victim suffers every one of these consequences — each has his own unique, painful journey. The impact of abuse depends on the age of the victim, his relationship to the abuser, the reaction of others, the duration and type of abuse, and other factors. Here goes: First, if the abuser was known to the victim, there is a tremendous feeling of betrayal, and ability to trust is weakened or lost. The victim feels tremendous shame and self-hatred, as if something were deeply wrong with him or her. Her self-image is colored and tainted by what happened, and she feels different than everyone else. Self-esteem is crushed, and the feeling of worthlessness is reflected in all the victim’s interactions and achievements. Cynicism and bitterness toward religion is common especially if the abuser was a rebbi, rav, or other religious figure. As a survival tactic, many of these victims abandon religion entirely, since it understandably represents all their pain and terror. Difficulty forming and maintaining healthy relationships is common for sexual abuse victims, and isolation results. They frequently suffer from flashbacks and other symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Concentration suffers, distraction rules, and grades plummet. Sexual abuse can cause eating disorders, drug overdose, depression, promiscuity, addictions, self-mutilation, and suicide. Trauma and confusion associated with sexuality cause much strain on a marriage and have led to divorces when not addressed in therapy. Victims frequently wish to die. Parents watching their children suffering from the effects of sexual abuse have called it “a fate worse than death.” In the best-case scenario, thousands of dollars and many pain-filled months or years are spent on recovery. This list is not even close to complete. It is merely to provide a taste of the suffering that victims are forced to endure.

        Important note: Counseling can minimize the terrible impact of sexual abuse on victims to the extent possible.

      • “Many of them suffer gravely for years as it interferes with their faith, self confidence, capacity for intimacy, ability or inclination to get married, and even their sanity. In some cases it has led to suicides or drug overdose.”

        100% accurate. Thank you Yerachmiel Lopin for building awareness about the devastating impact of sexual abuse on victims. For a more detailed description of the effects of sexual abuse, see my myths and truths above.

      • Mr. Lopin,

        Do you have any Rabbi you speak to? You make decisions about who is right, what you are allowed to say etc. all by yourself? Have you recently reviewed the halachos of Lashon Horah? Have you ever learned those halachos thoroughly? I have. And you are definitely transgressing many many serious prohibitions. Issurim D’oraissah. Besides Chilul Hashem D’oraisah. Don’t answer back until you show your blog to a competent Rabbi and ask! Ask someone! You make these decisions by yourself with out being knowledgeable in these laws. And even if you would know the halachos, you are a nogea b’davor and cannot pasken yourself.

        I am willing to guarantee you that the CBD is not proud of you or your blog. I am sure that if they do know about this blog, they would love for it to shut down. I personally know two of the three members of the CBD. They would never approve of your blog snd comments. Maybe call them and ask them if what you are doing is o.k.. Does anybody back you?

        • Prominent Haredi rabbonim have privately given me chizuk and urged to keep at it. Many of them are distressed at the current cover-ups but feel unable to publicly fight the problem. I have been praised by a number of them in the past. While not everyone agrees with each of my decisions or my choice of tone, in general they feel I am on the right path and my reporting of facts is responsible and important for people to know.

          They won’t say it but I will. You can’t sweep out a chazershtall (pig sty) with silence.

          • A little transparency, please! Names of Rabonim? Did they actually see what you report? Do they see the comments you allow. Why do you expect the IBD to let you everything, but you will not tell us who supports you!?!

            I honestly do not believe you have any “prominent Rabbi” backing you. It is impossible. There are so many serious Issurim D’Oraissah being transgressed in this blog.

            Let’s have one name we can call. Give us just one name. Just a little transparency!

            • No. For all of your hectoring, the answer is no. You are clearly haredi. You know perfectly well that Haredi rabbonim regularly give a psak allowing something but not giving permission to use their names. It happens for contraception, abortions, arcaos, prosecuting molesters and crooks, and many, many other things. This happens all the time and you are not protesting this fact. It is regrettable, but the bullying and intimidation of rabbonim who defy cover-ups is even more shameful. Yes, my endorsements come from people who have read my posts. I don’t hold from rabbis who permit or ban things they have not read, or in some cases, materials that are in languages they do not know how to read.

              Sorry, you are a victim of an education that stopped after the Torah admonished against gossip and never got to the end where there is a ban on standing by idly on the blood of another. Yiddishkeit is about balancing those two. The people that privilege only the first half of the posuk and use it for cover-ups are mutilating the Torah. Find yourself a rav who can get through the whole possuk. They know more.

        • Ploni- YL has said a number of times that he consults with Rabbonim over his site.

          No one can guarantee that this site is 100% l”h free, but it is needed.

          The unfortunate handling of this sex abuse issue has inevitably caused ppl to lose some respect for certain Rabbanim (and unfortunately I am not just talking about BD members), which may explain why you feel the blog is disrespectful and over on many issurim.

          I hope this can all be solved in some peaceful way and our trust in chachamim can be restored…for now, let’s all admit- they are human who make mistakes, no matter the amount of Torah knowledge.

        • PLONI,
          You write “I am willing to guarantee you that the CBD is not proud of you or your blog”. Can you get a written statement by the CBD stating that??? You are willing to guarantee. nice rhetoric. now prove it….. thank you….
          Does anybody back you in your attack, ploni ben ploni????

      • YL – So well said. Look at all the back and forth of IBD. So worried for the schools and staff. Somewhere out there are distraught girls, nary a mention or a good word about their plight and/or courage to come forward.

    • Stop wasting precious time with bid just open a class action law suit in the millions of dollars and the girls who were abused should put him in jail.
      Rabbi shakran wrote a tesuva that it’s ok in the Halacha .

      • The issue with lawsuits is that confidentiality is at risk. It’s likely that the victims are in shidduchim and are scared of stigma if their names are made public.

  12. Truth,

    When you spoke to both BD, did you need to identify yourself or were they willing to talk to you anonymously?

    • Jack-

      Yes, they ask for your name. I was perfectly comfortable sharing my identity. I told them I am an alumni of the schools as well. I think it is fair to share just your name bc they speak to so many ppl and they do not want to speak to complete strangers. For all they know, you could be one of the seminary staff members calling “undercover”. It is simply respectful to tell then who they are speaking to.

      If you’re worried about confidentiality- don’t be. They will not expose your name to anyone.

      • With over a decade dealing with victims to help them come forward I learned 2 things
        1 most of the problem get healed when the victom speaks out in public.
        2 it’s very bad to ignore it & lie about it it will destroy the love and respect between the couple.
        Also remember we also have molested boys and together the will struggle and succeed I’m”h

  13. R Burstyn says he has a document where it says that R Feldman and Meisels signed off on the transfer to IBD.

    Now, it could be that there was a written transfer, but even so if CBD thinks IBD dropped the ball, they have a chiyuv to take it back…

  14. I think it’s come to a point where my involvement in all this has lessened…I don’t have the desire to get into the nitty-gritty of “who’s lying/ did they pass on power to IBD/ was r Feldman asked to get involved or not”.

    All I wanted was for Meisles to get what he rightfully deserved and to spread the knowledge of his misconducts that I’ve experienced. The teachers who might have enabled his abuse will live with the guilt for the rest of their lives and will, no doubt, have difficulty receiving other jobs in future schools.

    I feel these huge ‘miscommunications’ (or whatever they may be) needs to be discussed with both CBD and IBD, not really the public.

    I think we can expect the schools to close down/ we can expect teachers to get fired in the end.

    The CBD is not backing down and the IBD has proven themselves incompetent since day 1. Let’s face it- even tho the IBD is considered a real beis din, Chicago’s influence over this issue is much much greater.

    For now, let’s celebrate over these brave girls who came forward and for the CBD in finally stopping an evil man pursuing his sick desires.

    *Cheers*

    • What can the individual person do to help here? You are brave and courageous & you won’t back down – Kol Hakovod! What can everyone else do?
      I wish a fund could be established – c/o Rabbi Fuerst of Chicago to hire a top notch lawyer to at least get the deposits back.
      In the end – its all about the money – if his seminaries close no one will have motivation to defend him – there will be no jobs/financial incentive.

      • I am confident that those inclined to pursue legal remedies have their attorney’s lined up or will get help in locating them. If anyone approaches me I will also be glad to assist in finding the right attorney. If there is a need for funds to support legal remedies I will draw attention to appeals as long as I can confirm that the money will be handled responsibly and spent as promised.

      • For the moment the most important thing is spreading the word, encouraging and supporting parents in decisions to withdraw students from the Meisels seminaries, and communicating your concerns to rabbis, educators and other Jewish communal leaders. The leadership must know how many people are concerned about this and how strongly they feel. Leave them with no doubt that you expect them to support the Chicago Beis Din. If enough people do that it can make a real difference.

  15. Prediction:
    This is the last year of any of these schools. Many parents have backed out and the ones that didn’t, many of them will send because they A) won’t get a refund B) other schools won’t take them because of the psak. As a parent, I know this. After this year, very few people in their right minds would send without the coercion. It seems to me that the point of this year is to give all of the staff time to plan their future. They will probably have to let some staff go anyway. Everyone will be looking for other employment throughout the year. Everyone in the school will be somewhat depressed. It will be hard to hide this.
    Final prediction – as they won’t have enough funds to cover the year (parents backing out, the school losing funding from the programs – $8,000 a person), Yarmish and the M. family won’t invest extra money. They will be cutting corners all over and somehow students will be told of a whole bunch of things not included.
    If they would’ve come clean and made a real sale and replaced some of the staff it could’ve been avoided. There are 2 scandals here: Rabbi M. and almost as big at this point is the way the schools, the IBD and all of their cheerleaders have handled this.

    • I completely agree with your last statement. Had the schools dealt with the situation appropriately, owned up to the issues and made real attempts to correct the institutions, the seminaries could have saved. If the schools had issued a public apology to the victims, fired certain staff members, and came up with a plan for how to ensure that abuse would never happen again, this whole situation could have been prevented.

  16. I don’t understand why anyone (including the Israeli Beis Din) thinks that these non-profit 501(c)3 seminaries can be sold?

    “No one person or group of people can own a nonprofit organization. You don’t see nonprofit shares traded on stock exchanges, and any equity in a nonprofit organization belongs to the organization itself, not to the board of directors or the staff. Nonprofit assets can be sold, but the proceeds of the sale must benefit the organization, not private parties.

    If you start a nonprofit and decide at some point in the future that you don’t want to do it anymore, you have to walk away from it and leave the running of the organization to someone else. Or, if the time has come to close the doors for good, any assets the organization owns must be distributed to other nonprofits fulfilling a similar mission.

    When nonprofit managers and consultants talk about “ownership” of a nonprofit organization, they’re using the word metaphorically to make the point that board members, staff, clients, and the community have a stake in the organization’s future success and its ability to provide needed programs.” http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/understanding-nonprofit-ownership.html

    Mr. Meisels could not have “owned” these seminaries (since they were registered as non-profits) or legally made a profit from them; he would only have been allowed to collect a salary as their administrator/principal/fund-raiser. It would not have been legal for him or his family to receive any monies from the “profits” generated, aside from salaries and remuneration for documented business expenses.

    Therefore, he cannot “transfer ownership.” Someone else could be hired by the board of the non-profit to take over his responsibilities, but that person too would only be allowed to collect a salary and reimbursement for expenses. No one takes over a non-profit to get rich. Another non-profit can take over this non-profit. But there is no earthly reason why a businessman would want the headache of assuming the responsibility of running a non-profit that is riddled with scandal and subject to potential civil and perhaps criminal lawsuits and a thorough auditing of their books.

    Mr. Lopin, am I missing something here? I’ve heard mention that there’s a lawyer, Gottesman, who has been trying to arrange for the “sale”. A lawyer would surely know that it can’t be done.

See Commenting policy ( http://wp.me/pFbfD-Kk )

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s