Conditions Imposed on Meisels by Chicago Rabbinical Court

Elimelech Meisels

Elimelech Meisels

The Daas Torah blog of Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn posted the Chicago Beis Din’s (CBD) “Guidelines for Elimelech Meisels from the Beis Din,” signed by its dayanim (judges) and dated May 19th, 2014. The conditions include no contact with girls including present or former students, therapy, supervision, no contact with his seminaries, and clarity that these conditions do no bar anyone from pursuing criminal charges.

There is no signature by Meisels and it is not clear if he ever agreed to it, whether he ever signed it and if so on what date. It is equally not clear if he complied with the agreement.

R. Eidensohn correctly notes that the agreement did not stipulate anything about the sale of the seminaries. However the agreement states, “Elimelech Meisels must remove himself from all the seminaries… This includes never entering any of the campuses or having any decision making regarding the functioning of the seminaries.” This clearly implies that he cannot be a board member or officer of the controlling not-for-profit entity. It would be illegal to sell a non-for-profit. If it happens, it involves some form of money laundering to pass the money to Meisels. Chicago could not make demands that required illegal actions because they have to stay on this side of the law.

I would speculate that Meisels bought time by signalling agreement but then was not following through on many of its clauses, hoping to run down the clock on the start of the new academic year. At some point it is clear, from other information I have, that the CBD tried to interest several different parties to enter into negotiations to take over the seminaries. I strongly suspect that at some point the CBD had to pull the plug on a private agreement because they did not trust him and knew it would be harder to act against him once the academic year started. At that point they publicly revealed his misconduct and ruled that parents should not send their children to the seminaries.

CBD Meisels Conditions

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169 thoughts on “Conditions Imposed on Meisels by Chicago Rabbinical Court

    • Too much discussion about procedure and jurisdiction.

      We need to look at this in simple terms:

      CBD heard the case against Measels. They determined that the schools were not safe.

      An unsafe school is like any unsafe structure. Once experts have determined that a structure is unsafe it must be evacuated and remain empty until experts have determined that all safety concerns have been addressed.

      In other words, until the CBD said the schools are unsafe they had a chezkas kashrus. After the CBD reached their decision they are bechezkas tarfus, so to speak.

      Solutions that might have been the bare minimum before the CBD heard the case are no longer relevant.

      Until the CBD reinstates the chezkas kashrus i.e. they are safe, they are treif, i. e. unsafe.

      If product X were found to be dangerous any normal responsible parent would keep their kids away from it and wouldn’t rush out to buy it again just because the company that created, produced, markets and sells the product claims it has been reformulated, especially if product X is their only product and all their eggs are in that one basket so to speak. Normal responsible parents would swith to brand Y or stop using similar products totally until the government has investigated and declared the new formula safe. Such parents should also take into consideration that all such products ( EY sems) use the same formula and often even the same staff.

    • My understanding is that this conflict right here is part of the problem. What I mean is that on the one hand, he registered Pninim as a tax-exempt organization, aka 501c3. But really, the seminaries WERE for profit, hence the forced sale. Hope that helps.

  1. I know. What I mean is, we kept on saying he had to sell it. Beis Din didn’t address your point. We were told over and over that it was sold to Yarmish. We were debating if the sale was a sham. And know the letter above shows he was able to keep new money coming in. What is going on?

    • This whole topic requires its own discussion. There is a game played by most yeshivish schools and seminaries. They are usually understood to be owned by founding individuals or families. But they are incorporated as not-for-profit (NFP) 501c3 charities. This reduces taxes and allows donors to take tax donations. If they “sell” they are engaging in fraudulent transactions. An NFP cannot be sold. Doing it would be treated by the Attorney General as fraudulent theft from a charity. But the way the game is played is by formally transferring the authority to a new set of officers. Off the books the money for payment is laundered in some way. thus if Zvi Bloom or the other contender before Yarmish, the LA oisher Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, had “bought it” they would have found some way to move money from themselves to Meisels. When ever anyone was speaking of selling they meant formally changing the officers and informally moving the money around. Thus when Chicago insisted on Meisels complete removal from any role they were speaking of the officers changing. They were delicately avoiding directly implicating themselves in the question of the collateral, off the books transaction. Chicago’s wording was lawyerly, but everyone spoke about it colloquially as selling. So RDE is wrong in saying that “selling” was not part of the Chicago order.

      • Eidensohn is wrong on a lot of things. Some of his claims are ridiculous . I will try to answer them even though I admit I didn’t do any research .im sure Mr Lopin will do a much better job then me.
        1. The CBD feels he is a danger, so far they were never proven wrong, no matter how much eidonsohn screams. If the cbd feels that way, then they obviously have a good reason.
        2. Sale was absolute, who knows, who says?
        3. Others were involved according to the cbd, prove otherwise or keep you mouth shut.
        4.the cbd isn’t violating anything. They shared all we need to know. They are not bloggers that have to reveal sensitive information not needed. They don’t plan to speak lashon horah to satisfy eidensohn. It is assur to reveal information not needed to reveal, even if pressured from other batei dinim.
        5.the cbd already said its a danger, if you don’t believe them, so send your girls there.
        6. Making a claim that the CBD isn’t credible , is pure lashon horah and doesn’t need any rebuttal . If anything, eidensohn proved many times over that he isn’t credible.
        9. His comparison of treife meat is a joke. The parents didn’t sign up for such a seminary which has such a bad name and atmosphere. Besides, a seminary which is teaching higher ethics should have its own higher ethics and return the money. The one who bought it, knew in advance what he was getting into, so I won’t shed any tears of him going into bankruptcy, he knew it was a problem before he bought it and he bought it anyway.
        Please feel free to add on or detract from my quick review . I am not in contact with either beis din.

        • Sam- thanks for this post.

          I wanted to write something like this but didn’t get around to doing it. All the things you’ve said I have thought myself about Eidensohn’s blog.

          Thank you for posting this.

      • Please correct me here, as I claim no expertise. Although there is a US NFP corporation that solicits and receives payments on behalf of the seminaries, that does not mean that the seminaries themselves are NFP corporations or subject to the rules governing them. I believe a US NFP can legally pass on donations to unincorporated entities that provide religious/charitable services consistent with the purposes of the US NFP, such as “Elimelech Meisels, doing business as [Seminaries ABCD].”

        If so, the board of the US NFP (controlled, of course, by Meisels) could authorize a change of payment to “Ploni ben Ploni, d/b/a [Seminaries ABCD].” Ploni ben Ploni then operates the seminaries, subject to whatever agreement he might have with Meisels, including, perhaps, a reversion of control to Meisels and repayment to Ploni in the event the seminaries are less successful than stipulated, or perhaps even leaving Meisels in actual control, a true “sham sale.” Honestly, I don’t know, but I wonder who does. Nothing the IBD has done so far inspires confidence that they have honestly reviewed the realities of whatever transaction took place, and not just taken somebody’s word that something of legal significance happened.

      • But the Chicago Beis Din would still allow Meisels to earn profits in some form even going forward (#4), indicating that there would be some type of connection.

  2. If the Chicago BD knew of Meisel’s guilt back in March, why did it take 4 months to warn the public?

    If THEIR daughters had been in these seminaries, how much time would have elapsed before they were taken out?

    It is great that they finally did the right thing. But people are all acting so grateful to them for simply doing what the Torah they claim to follow clearly demands: Lo Saamod Al Dam Reyecha. If they had a evidence that the schools were serving treif meat, would it take longer than ten minutes for them to anounce it?

    • Good point WTF?. YL, can you respond to this, did they really know in march, or was that just the very first complaint, that they needed to do serious chakirah on. It may seem like hairsplitting, but it certainly is not. What finally triggered the CBD to come out “publicly”, i.e. to the high schools etc. what was the breaking point, can you even conjecture? Do you know during what time frame they did all of their interviewing of victims and of the M. himself. curious minds are now alert. Thank you WTF? curiouser and curiouser….and i have no intention of suggesting that the CBD is corrupt or incompetent or wrong, NOT AT ALL. Just, could they have acted sooner?

      • I am under the impression that they first got a complaint and began looking into the matter in March. I would doubt that they could in fairness have been confident of their conclusion in March. However, from the date on the signed conditions they were sure Meisels was a hazard as of May 19th. Unless they were certain that he was complying with their conditions starting May 19th, a good question was raised. The school was in operation for a month or so more. I do know that he disappeared from the school a few weeks before graduation and didn’t even show up for graduation. As for relinquishing his board positions, I assume they expected him to do it in tandem with some financial side arrangements (i.e., “selling” the NFP). At that point, if he was complying with all other conditions, they allowed for some weeks or a month to nail the deal. Chicago’s impression shared with others some two months later was that he wasn’t serious with serious buyers, denying them access to the kind of information any serious buyer would want before signing a deal. By some point in June the word was out in Lakewood that a beis din wanted him to sell his seminaries because of abuse and he was refusing. I assume Chicago assumed he would never “sell” unless there was additional pressure and they put out the letter in public on July 10, but began putting out the word to HS principals earlier so they would understand the official position when it became public.

        I hear the counter-argument that the public would have been better served by an earlier notice. But they had a major PR and legal set of problems with that strategy.
        1. They probably didn’t and probably still don’t have any victims willing to pursue criminal charges. We all know that the young women attending in part for their standing in the shidduch market knew that pressing charges in a criminal was would destroy their shidduch prospects. Unfair, but this is not something the CBD could alter.
        2. prematurely announcing, even obliquely, that he was a sexual predator could have opened them to a liability lawsuit. In such a contest, apart from the legal hassles, there would have been the risk of losing credibility with the American Yeshivish public. Even now look at the backlash. So it was prudent for them to wait until they could get him to agree to appear before the court and get his confession and try (and perhaps succeed) in getting his signature on the conditions they placed.
        3. Because such a court has no legal powers, it made sense for them to try and get him to “sell.” He was playing them and when that became clear they still needed a few weeks to line up their ducks for an unprecedented action.

        I am sure that had they known he would not cooperate from the git-go, they would have gone public sooner. But that is the usual 20/20 hindsight we all have.

        The real and bigger question is what can a group like the CBD or Takkanah in Israel do when they conclude allegations are valid but they have no criminal enforcement powers and the victims are not willing to testify in the criminal justice system. Their working model is agreements about the offender leaving all roles and situations where they pose a danger, monitoring, and exposing them if they break the agreement. Would any such offender ever bargain with such a court if they knew they could not bargain for that much.

        The situation is lousy. The only real solution is a profound change in ultra orthodox culture where victims can and do go public and enough people treat the claims of misconduct seriously whether voiced through media, civil suits or criminal charges. That is the only long term solution.

        • You make good points. Thank you for explaining the situation clearly.

          I want to stress, again, that I am extremely grateful to the Chicago Beis Din for taking what was yet an unprecedented step in warning the public and protecting the girls. Especially in light of R’ Eidenson’s attacking the Chicago Bais Din for taking this brave and bold step, in his misguided effort to defend the Israel Beis Din’s actions.

          Yerachmiel makes a good point about hindsight being 20/20. If the CBD knew that Meisels would reneg on what he agreed to, or stall to the point of evasion, we can assume that they would have warned the public earlier, because they DID warn the public when they felt that Meisels was incompliant with their protective measures.

          I do not believe the CBD was engaged in a “cover up” as R’ Eidenson does. I believe they were trying to protect the victims and protect future victims as much as they could within the Halachic Beis Din system. And within the Beis Din system, it is very clear that at this point that the Israel Beis Din was acting to protect an institutional asset – the 4 Seminary businesses of Meisels – and that the Chicago Beis Din was acting to protect Klal Yisrael from a predator.

          I agree with Yerachmiel’s last paragraph above, and it seems to be the only way to move forward in a way that effectively prevents future victims:

          “The situation is lousy. The only real solution is a profound change in ultra orthodox culture where victims can and do go public and enough people treat the claims of misconduct seriously whether voiced through media, civil suits or criminal charges. That is the only long term solution.”

    • 1) When you do something that the Torah demands of you against extreme opposition knowing that you will be drawn into a long battle and see your reputation trampled-yes you deserve our gratitude. It would have been much easier for them to do a hush up job and they probably could have justified it halachically as well if they wanted to. @WTF if you think it’s so easy why don’t you post with your real name and address maybe adding another real name to the defenders will help. Come on lo sa’amod.

      2)The letter says may, not march.which is when i assume they came to their conclusion.

      3)From what I’ve seen it seems meisels was already removed by then “unoficially”. So they did take preliminary action right away.

      4)Yes. If they had evidence, which is what i assume they spent their time trying to get. Would you say something is treif based on a hearsay without investigating?

      Instead of just bashing the ppl who tried to do the right thing regardless of the trouble it would bring them (can you even imagine how long the BD must have spent on the phone with ppl the past month) why don’t you show some hakaras hatov to them yourself from your comfortable computer chair in blissful anonymity knowing that now you might be able to send your own daughter to seminary not worrying she may get abused bc 3 elderly rabbis with a thousand other things to do already saw fit to give up their comfort and reputations to protect her.

    • 1 – The Chicago BD were the first group of Rabbanim in modern history (correct me if I’m wrong) to come out publically with a psak about a sexual predator that the public heretofore knew nothing about. I give them a lot of credit for that.

      2 – It is my understanding that the Chicago Special Beis Din which was organized to deal with matters of sexual abuse, has been operating for 10 years and in that time they dealt with a number of cases. Obviously they dealt with those cases “quietly” since we know nothing about those cases. Although I am not sure why they feel the need to keep matters quiet when they feel that they can accomplish what is necessary for their Beis Din to accomplish, because after all, even if a sexual predator is a pedophile grandfather who now targets his young grandchildren, even after ALL his grandchildren no longer have anything to do with him, shouldn’t the public be warned that this man should be kept away from children in shuls or mikvas or parks? I have no answer for why the CBD generally tries to accomplish these things “quietly.”

      3 – In addition to your question, mine is what if the CBD would have accomplished everything on their list above. Meisels would STILL be a threat to Frum society. Even if (as the CBD required on their list above) Meisels would be in touch with Rabbanim in Israel to update them on his progress, could we really trust someone who operated in the underhanded way that Meisels did, to suddenly be honest with those Rabbanim? The same goes for how honest Meisels would be with the therapist that would have to disclose everything to the Beis Din (another CBD requirement o their list above). I just don’t understand how the CBD thought they could control Meisels and how they could protect Klal Yisrael from this sexual predator, even with all the measures that they attempted and even with the control that they sought.

      4 – This is an extension of #2. Why is it a value to the CBD, and Rabbanim in general to keep dangerous issues like this a SECRET when the sexual predators the likes of Meisels, are not people whose future actions they can control, when the perpetrators have proved untrustworthy and unethical based on their lifelong behavior up until now (i.e., until they were caught), when it is scientifically proven (observable) that pedophiles cannot be rehabilitated, and when these sexual predators are EXTREMELY dangerous to the Klal to the extent of Sakanas Nefashos? Why the secret tribunals? Why keep it quiet? Why not make the matter public? Especially since the Bais Din cannot possibly control someone who is either mentally ill or whose yetzer hara in these areas has been their guiding light until they got caught.

      • I agree with all of what you say. The real problem is that such battein din come into play precisely because victims for various reasons are not willing to go public. What incentive would a predator have to agree to any of these conditions, some of whch are enforced, if they could get nothing in return.

        Small detail. Chicago Beis Din has been operating since 2000 or perhaps 1999.

        • I hear what you are saying, and that makes a lot of sense. The victims in this case got to bring their case to a court which was willing to keep their identities hidden, while attempting to effect some measure of justice, and attempting to remove Meisels from hurting future victims. Secular court could not have done that while still protecting the identities of the victims who came forward.

          I want to stress that I am VERY grateful to the Chicago Beis Din for taking what was yet an unprecedented step in warning the public and protecting the girls. Especially in light of R’ Eidenson’s attacking the Chicago Bais Din for doing precisely this, in his misguided effort to defend the Israel Beis Din’s actions. It is very clear that at this point that the Israel Beis Din was acting to protect an institutional asset – the 4 Seminary businesses of Meisels – and that the Chicago Beis Din was acting to protect Klal Yisrael from a predator.

        • “Small detail. Chicago Beis Din has been operating since 2000 or perhaps 1999.”

          Thank you for correcting my error.

    • “If the Chicago BD knew of Meisel’s guilt back in March, why did it take 4 months to warn the public? … If they had a evidence that the schools were serving treif meat, would it take longer than ten minutes for them to anounce it?”

      I think this is a reflection of the general approach of Frumkeit today in that mitzvos and aveiros Bein Adam L’Makom are considered to be the measure of what makes someone Frum, while the mitzvos and aveiros Bein Adam L’Chaveiro are not considered to be the measure of what makes someone Frum.

      So if someone eats treif and doesn’t keep all the mitzvos of Shabbos, they are not considered Frum from the Frum world, or are considered to be OTD (off the derech). But if someone continuously transgresses on mitzvos Bein Adam L’Chaveiro, if they keep Shabbos and Kashrus, they are considered to be a Frum person who did things wrong, or is working on that “challenging yetzer hara” of cheating people with money.

      I believe it is a big mistake of Frumkeit today that we have rulers that we hold up for others to measure up to, and that we have requirements of being “Off the Derech” or “Part of the Group” or “Frum” or not. I see this mistake perpetuated by Rabbanim everywhere and by school teachers, yeshiva mashgichim, respected Frum lecturers and by local, regional and national self-declared kana’aim in every Frum community.

    • I was going to reply, but YL seemed to have explained it quite well. I was going to say exactly what he wrote.

      And no, they did not know back in March. The case was very very fresh then. Perhaps they had evidence of his guilt early on, but…just read YL’s point #1 and #2…

  3. People are saying, “since the CBD never demanded that Meisels sell the seminaries at all, how can they complain that the sale to Yarmush was a sham?” Answer: the CBD’s concern was, appropriately, protecting the students. The CBD insisted on rabbinic supervision; “ownership,” whatever that might mean, was secondary. The stipulation, “There will be additional supervision by Rabbanim that we will contact,” clearly means supervision of the seminaries. If Meisels transferred control to a person or entity that did not accept such supervision, because not bound by Meisels’ agreement with the CBD (assuming he agreed to these terms), or that the CBD did not trust to accept such supervision, this provision would have been evaded.

  4. I think that the “Daas torah”-blog-author wants to defend the interests of the “buyers” at all costs, even at the student’s (or their parent’s) expense…
    I suppose that it was not a good deal to “buy” those seminaries, and the new “owner” starts to notice it…

    • Soso- exactly.

      When I first heard abt the sale, I thought it was a sham myself simply bc I thought “who in their right mind would buy these seminaries? They are branded with terrible names and there is no use in trying to ‘save them’ and rebuild their reputations.”

      I believe this was known to Yarmush, and that he was simply a puppet for Meisles while Meilses still had control. The IBD told me on the phone that there were a number of ppl bidding and Yarmush simply made the best offer and got a “gold mine” for a great price.

      My opinion?

      It’s bologna.

      Who were those others who were even slightly interested in bidding on 4 branded seminaries with ruined reputations? If Yarmush is indeed a healthy business man, he would have known better than to ever invest his $ in such a cheap and worthless “gold mine”.

      Just my opinion..

      • Until the CBD issued its public letter the Meisels seminary conglomerate was not a distressed property. I am told the the bidders were both Zvi Bloom (operates Nachlas seminary and is with Torah Umesorah) and Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz of Los Angeles, a tycoon haredi. Neither felt they were getting enough cooperation or access to the books. Once the CBD issued the letter the seminaries became distressed properties. They are bound to lose applicants for 2015-2016. If they lose enough applicants they go bankrupt. In effect, the IBD was acting, not to protect students, but to protect the selling price of the seminaries by declaring them great, now that “he who must not be named” was gone.

  5. Wow. What a piece of work. Eidensohn was well aware that CBD spent months investigating the case. He then claimed that somehow CBD had an obligation to forward the results of their complete investigation to the IBD. This assumes that CBD did everything carefully and gathered all of the necessary information in a responsible way, which is exactly what happened.

    Now, he has a new post criticizing the CBD for allegedly “covering up” the matter for months. In other words, what normal people call an investigation he now calls a “cover up” and the withholding of information.

    Had the CBD done a quickie investigation, people on his side of things would have said that it was incomplete and unprofessional. Now that they did do a professional job, he calls it a cover up.

    Something is seriously wrong with that guy.

    • Not that I agree with Eidensohn, but I think you are misunderstanding what he says. The CBD investigation seems to have been completed by the middle of May, when the above document was written, but the public was not informed until 2 months later. That is the time of the supposed cover-up, not the time they were investigating.

      • Reading between the lines, it seems that they wanted to take care of the problem. The way I read it, there was no need to inform anyone so long as he followed the directives of the letter. In addition, the purview of the Special Beis Din has nothing to do with dinei mammonus, and the CBD allowed Meisels to continue his “ownership” (meaning that he’d get whatever salaries he was already getting, thereby preventing a financial loss.

        That way, nobody could have any crazy claims about the CBD causing Meisels to lose money, but still having fixed the problem of Meisels having any interaction with the girls.

        If you think about it, it’s by far the most reasonable approach.

        But then, something happened. Either Meisels refused to cooperate, or maybe it became known that staff like Kahane were in denial or worse. I really don’t know, but something happened that caused the CBD to change course. And that explains the delayed release of the document. It’s quite clear that it was never intended for public release until that change in metzius happened.

        And now, Eidensohn views a change in metzius as somehow indicative of corruption.

  6. By the way, the IBD says that all the staff are okay because they grilled them for hours. I wonder how that went?
    “Did you see anything?”
    “Me? Chas V’shalom”
    “Are you sure?”
    “Never”
    “Next…”

  7. I think we cannot say enough about the courage of the Chicago Bais Din. True, true leaders of the generation.

    • They are courageous indeed, but they are leaders only if they are followed. Whether they will be followed remains doubtful. And where are they going? The paradigm of ordering a predator removed from positions that give him access to victims, forbidding contact with victims, and requiring him to undergo therapy, all enforced informally by the community (how many shomrim does the CSBD have?) without calling upon the coercive power of the state, is certainly better than avoidance and denial, but it failed to control pedophile RCC priests. Will it work among Orthodox Jews? As YL says, a cultural change is necessary if preventing sexual abuse is truly to be treated as a matter of pikuach nefesh.

  8. I agree. To me they are amazing. Rabbi Feldman is worried about Emunas Chachomim. He doesn’t have to. Reasons for it is more on display here than anywhere I have seen in a long time.

  9. YL,

    It would be very helpful to all of us if you can lay out the timeline in an organized fashion. There are some questions that do need to be answered regarding CBD in a thoughtful manner. I believe that some of it has been discussed/answered in the comments, but a post would help. Laying it out in a timeline fashion with commentary will be very helpful.

    1. Why did CBD first issue guidelines for Meisels and not publicize anything? Don’t you think that they fell into the trap of keeping things hush hush? Did they not fall into the unfortunate mentality that the frum oilam is plaqued by? Even if everything was followed, don’t you think that parents should know what happened..even if it was corrected. Let them have a choice…

    2. What exactly did CBD want IBD to do? Enforce the guidelines that CBD set? Investigate staff?
    Deal with the “sale”…though, despite your pshat…CBD did not seem to require a sale as or loss of profits as part of the guidelines…which leads to another question…as long as he is still profiting, he is THERE….Were the CBD a bit shortsighted in this regard?

    3.What changed when CBD sent the letter to the principals which you posted? Why even at that time did CBD not deem it necessary to let parents know about what was going on?

    4. What requests did Malinowitz make in writing to CBD that CBD refused? This is being used by Daat Torah and Malinowitz to “prove” that CBD is corrupt? What is the response? Were the requests inappropriate? Were they irrelevant to what the IBD was supposed to be doing?

    5. What “proof” does the CBD have that the Yarmush sale is a farce? IBD claims otherwise…What is the truth?

    6. Please clarify Gottesman? We all know that he is involved with the Torah Umesorah arm that was set up to deal with these issues….he probably helped with R Feldman in setting up the IBD to continue what the CBD started….At some point though he sent a lawyer’s letter to R Feldman saying that R Feldman does not have a right to represent his clients…which is odd because R Feldman says in a letter that he never did represent any victims…As lawyer for the victims, what is he doing? civil suits? Why would he turn against R Feldman, a member of the Moetzes?

    7. Is there truth to the claim that Gottesman wanted to buy the schools? seems odd…but where is that rumor coming from?

    Alot of questions…your insight would be appreciated.

    • In brief
      1. I believe that they believed they were securing compliance. The remaining piece, the divestment of the control of the seminary, was understood to need some time. I feel they erred, but in good faith.

      2. IBD is a misnomer, they wanted the assistance of rabbis. Perhaps they were agreeable to a beis din acting in some role between and those who would take over control from Meisels. Chicago was not concerned about him taking money out but from him exerting influence in.

      3. the letter to the principals was shared with enough people once I got hold of it that the issue of the word getting out became moot. I think they needed to send the notice to principals first and talk to them to serve as their local communicators with the prospective students who were almost all enrolled in the HSs to which they sent the letters.

      4. The IBD, with no authorization or request from Chicago took it on itself to kasher the remaining staff. The question of staff enabling was not fully appreciated at first by Chicago. They realized it was happening but not its full scope and all the staff involved. they were initially confident that an appropriate new operator would clean house. But with a problematic new owner, they were concerned. With the IBD hell bent on kashering the staff without having a new owner, Chicago was even more concerned. Chicago no longer trusted IBD to be willing to go the distance to clean house. IBD created an illegal beis din with no representation of the victims to create a fiction that they investigated victim charges and found them baseless. Chicago was not willing to have its victims mauled in an unauthorized, leak prone, kashering prone BD. So Chicago refused to recognize IBD jurisdiction (correctly in my opinion) and would not give over victim’s names or have them deal with IBD.

      5. Chicago doesnt have proof that the Yarmish takeover is a farce. The point is that they have no proof it is authentic. IBD has refused to provide any documentation or details, or even a copy of the transfer. Zilch. All Chicago has is IBD saying, “it is good, trust us.” No responsible court should settle for that little.

      6. Gottesman’s role beats me. Feldman signed as if he represented Chicago on the assurance of Malinowitz. The point of the Feldman>Malinowitz letter was anger at being misled by Malinowitz into believing he was authorized. I will speculate (and that is all I have) that Gottesman produced a lawyers letter citing some of the Chicago Victims to make it clear that Feldman was not authorized. From IBD statements he was nasty. Not nice but besides the point except from the point of view of IBD and Feldman’s ego. If that is what happened, then Gottesman was right. Gottesman is on the board of Torah Umesora. Clearly as of May 19 on the Chicago conditions memo, Torah Umesora is listed as a cooperating group. Since then Tora Umesorah has disengaged. It is no longer clear if Gottesman is now acting without official cover for TU or is acting on his own in tandem with Chicago.

      7. the rumor about Gottesman is coming quite overtly from Eidensohn who says it is coming from IBD. I believe he is telling the truth about it coming from them. I have heard but cannot confirm that Chicago tried to interest Gottesman in taking over the seminaries but he wasn’t even interested enough to explore it.

  10. YL,

    Another point that really needs a good explanation and which Daat Torah is going to town on (and I believe he has a very valid point…though I overall totally disagree with his take on this)

    From DT blog:
    …the parents were told what was referred to as a “Psak Din”; they should sue the seminaries in secular court, in order to get back their deposits. A draft of a lawsuit (now the RICO claim), which I understand was prepared by Rav Feurst and S. Gottesman, was presented to them. In it, instead of focusing on the deposits, Meisels and the seminaries are viciously attacked for misrepresenting Jewish education.

    So here is the big issue…one which only a few people on this blog have agreed with me on. Why didn’t the lawsuit focus on the Deposits? Why drag this into a conspiracy that is highly imaginative even if technically parts are true? By focusing on the “conspiracy” they are adding a dimension that is not necessary and actually makes the frum world look a lot worse for no reason other than perhaps to make more money…Obviously, someone felt that the RICOH/conspiracy was the best way to go. Is that legitimate as a religious person? Even when we go to court, shouldn’t our values and halachic system teach us not to mud sling? As much as our emotions might tell us to go for the gold and do whatever it takes, that is not an orthodox jewish value…so I think this needs explaining

    According to DT, R Feurst was very involved in the lawsuit….Did Gottesman influence him? Was the rest of the CBD against the RICOH action?

    This is not a question that should be taken lightly just because this blog is part of the “CBD” team!
    If they did wrong, they did wrong…bottom line.

    Why go for a Ricoh case…which made it necessary to create a cynical cabal of Rabbis, Dayanim and others whose real interest was to open seminaries just to entice girls to come there and have sex with them? This is a horrible misrepresentation despite what JWB and other have answered to my prior posts?

    If the answer is because that is the best way to win…I still doubt that there is a legitimate halachic justification.

    Kevin is the only one that understood me correctly and pointed to the exact words that I picked up when I read the suit…which is “…it was Meisels true intent…” in other words, the suit is attributing intention to him that they have no way of proving. Totally ridiculous if we put our blinders off and objectively examine this

    Please remember that presumably this blog does care about halacha…if not, we should be on FM’s trash blog.

  11. YL,

    From DT BLog….a very good post in my opinion… in truth, CBD definitely did not take a courageous stance on this from the beginning. What DT says below from an objective point of view does seem correct. Can we all put aside our emotions and predetermined opinions and objectively analyze whether if we had no horses in this race, we would not agree with DT’s take on both the below and also the inappropriateness of the RICOH suit?

    From DT:

    I received a Chicago Beis Din document yesterday – which I posted – which listed their guidelines for dealing with the Meisels affair. The document is dated May 19, 2014. There is no mention of informing the seminaries or the students or the parents of what they perceived as serious sexual abuse and harassment. There is no mention of a concern that staff members might have been complicit in the abuse. There is no mention of the concern cited in the RICO claims that the seminaries and staff were conducting a fake operation whose sole goals were to defraud parents of their money and to provide victims for Meisels sexual appetite. There is no mention that they require Meisels to sell the seminaries. Finally there is no mention of going to the police – either in Israel or America.

    In short the guidelines of the documents are the stereotypic Chareidi coverup of “lets keep silent and handle this ourselves.”

    So why only after they transferred the case to the Israeli Beis Din two months later – for the purpose of clarifying monetary obligation – that they suddenly sent out a warning letter stating that they can not “at this time” advise sending students to these seminaries? Why only at this junction does the HTC block government funding to the students?

    Furthermore if they suddenly woke up to the need to protect the students – why did they renege on their promise to the Israeli Beis Din to share the information they had collected and to provide access to the testimony of the victims? Why did they refuse Rav Aharon Feldman’s suggestion that they form a joint beis din with the Israeli Beis Din? Why did they renege on their promise to remove the warning if the seminaries were sold to Yaakov Yarmish?

    At this point they have refused to answer any of these question – even to the Israel Beis Din.

    So why is their apparent plan of destroying the seminaries – which they clearly viewed as viable and fixable and apparently still do under unnamed conditions – being applauded as sensitivity to the victims? Why is their coverup and insensitivity to the victims and potential victims amongst the students – being ignored. Why instead is the CBD allowed to make the IBD into the scapegoat and blame them for insensitivity. Why is the IBD being falsely accused of being obsessed with saving the seminaries at the expense of the students – but the CBD is viewed as enlightened and solely interested in protecting the students?

    No one seems to know the reason for this injustice.

    • It seems that eidensohn is overly obsessed with the CBD. They don’t have to answer to him or to anyone else, just because he needs something to blog about. So far, he just brings more and more speculation to the table. At this point, I highly doubt the CBD will tell him or the IBD anything what they know. For me it’s enough to know they checked it out thoroughly and used their best judgement to protect all sides.
      If he had maybe a drop,of derech Eretz to rabonim way greater then him, and wasn’t divulging every last news item and acting like the national enquirer ,he might get an answer. But due to the fact, he has shown to all he can’t be trusted, there is no way the cbd will divulge what they know to him. And he is the last guy to tell rabonim what to do.
      His blog is full of sheker, lashon haroh, rechilus and more. He is going crazy or meshuga as you can tell by the amt of time he is devoting to this . The CBD not falling for his trap.

  12. Yerachmiel- you really have to get a response/account from one of the actual dayanim in chicago. The IBD keeps leaking things and the evidence (or at least the rhetoric) against the CBD continues to build yet they remain silent. If this goes on long enough then they will be guilty in the eyes of all the readers of these blogs without even a trial. And they do have some explaining to do.

    • In spite of rumors I do not control Chicago. They have been simple and clear and have protected all confidential information. They have done what they can. They have no legal power to close the seminaries, but the world knows what CBD thinks of them.

      In the end the CBD is an established recognized high calibre BD that got charges, conducted a serious investigation, made a determination of guilt, and did what it could to remedy the problem and warned people when they couldn’t control the other side’s misconduct. Every scoundrel in the world can find a way to contrive an improper BD. Any competent rav knows that IBD has no standing because no victim ever agreed to participate in any of their proceedings. Any rav who defends the IBD is crossing the boundary into halachic misrepresentation. CBD just has to depend on other halacha experts to state the obvious truth. If they won’t, nothing Chicago does will change it because the judgment is based on biased assessments of a Bias Din.

      I do not believe there is anything Chicago can say that would satisfy the IBD or RDE besides crying “Uncle!”

    • In spite of rumors I do not control Chicago. They have been simple and clear and have protected all confidential information. They have done what they can. They have no legal power to close the seminaries, but the world knows what CBD thinks of them.

      In the end the CBD is an established recognized high calibre BD that got charges, conducted a serious investigation, made a determination of guilt, and did what it could to remedy the problem and warned people when they couldn’t control the other side’s misconduct. Every scoundrel in the world can find a way to contrive an improper BD. Any competent rav knows that IBD has no standing because no victim ever agreed to participate in any of their proceedings. Any rav who defends the IBD is crossing the boundary into halachic misrepresentation. CBD just has to depend on other halacha experts to state the obvious truth. If they won’t, nothing Chicago does will change it because the judgment is based on biased assessments of a Bias Din.

      I do not believe there is anything Chicago can say that would satisfy the IBD or RDE besides crying “Uncle!”

      • 1st of all nice line with the uncle. brings me back to the good old days. 2nd I’m not talking about convincing the IBD or r eidensohn, just all of us who see accusations flying that chicago changed their minds and reneged on their commitments multiple times with no explanation. And when there’s no response, even a pro forma “we know you have questions we can’t answer them presently but will in the future”, people start thinking…

        • I have over and over addressed each of those points, at LENGTH. It is impossible for me to respond to your generalized mischaracterization which ignores everything already said and just waste my time saying it over Try to write in a way that acknowledges all that preceeded your comment just in this post. then I will answer. You are getting on the edge of trolling.

          • Sorry i don’t think I was clear. I have read all of your and other ppls explanations and they do resonate with me. My point is not that their actions are unexplainable, rather that we are all just speculating bc no one from the CBD has come out with a statement with their side. Now if they don’t want to that’s 100% their prerogative. But has anyone with broad readership reached out to them to see if they want to post a response?

            • For the purposes of this issue Chicago has said the important things. Meisels is a menuval, the seminaries have enablers who have to be cleaned out and until they have proof that this happened they advise against going there and support parents going elsewhere and getting their tuition money refunded.

              The Israeli Beis Din is misnamed. It has no plaintiff and it has no proof that any victim or Chicago ever gave them authority other than consulting with them. It is not a beis din. Simple elementary halacha. No plaintiff, no beis din. Ask any competent dayan and he will tell you that a plaintiff is essential for an ad hoc (as opposed to a beis din kavuah) to exist as a beis din. They are learned rabbis but they have no more authority than Jimmy, Johny and Jackie Celebreze have authority over me.

              Now, RDE has been leaking all sorts of private documents in desperation to prove things. Frankly they only show that these three rabbis who call themselves a beis din are desperate to save the business and the jobs and can’t be trusted with secrets. In contrast, while Chicago has issued public documents, they have had the confidence of their status to not leak private information or correspondence.

              Just because the three rabbis calling themselves a beis din are tossing mud through a blog called Daas Torah does not mean Chicago is mechuyav to join the food fight. when a drunk starts accusing me of things, I don’t argue with him or make counter accusations. I keep on walking. I cannot waste my time with unfounded accusations. i prefer telling the story about the seminaries and the CBD. What can I accomplish by wasting my time in pilpul to argue against bad pilpul.

              Instead of expecting me to argue with them or you, find one posek who can explain how an ad hoc beis din can be formed with no plaintiff. Lo hoyah vilo yihiye.

            • Maybe the Israel Beis Din (IBD) should be called the “Imaginary Israel Beis Din” (IIBD). The IIBD is conducting a court case with an imaginary (non-existent) plaintiff. The Snufulufugus of the IIBD.

      • And don’t worry I don’t think you control chicago but you seem to be in contact with ppl close to them so I assumed you’d be able to get some sort of statement.

        • I talk to people who hear the same things from them and others as almost anyone who approaches them. I am immersed in the issue and have a few old Chicago connections and a few new ones who sought me out since the start of the Miesah Meisels Mayseh.

  13. YL,

    Thanks for your thorough response. Makes sense to me.

    Do you think that from the IBD, it is Malinowitz who is the problem?

    He sounds like a loose canon to me.

    • I believe R A. Feldman was telling the truth when he accused Malinowitz of lying to him when he persuaded RAF that Zev Cohen of the CBD authorized Feldman to represent them.

      However, the entire IBD and Feldman have such a strong impulse to protect the schools and its staff that they sprang into action to publicly defend it on Sunday (even with Malinowitz sitting shiva in the US) to declare, the seminaries are safe, the staff is great, and no one can compete with these seminaries for their incoming class of students. They declared them safe even before they reported that Meisels no longer had a controlling interest. The weird thing is they are now promising to investigate and remove all culprits found guilty of enabling. Why make that promise if they have already determined all the staff but Meisels is good?

      The IBD knows it has no jurisdiction to evaluate victim claims. That is why they are begging chicago to form a joint beis din. That would retroactively make IBD seem kosher. But Chicago wisely does not trust their motives, the honesty of Malinowitz, or the ability of the IBD to keep information confidential.

      • After studying the anti-CBD positions, here’s a summary of what they believe happened:

        1) The three CBD dayanim invented a fantastical scheme to make money. First, they would find a dupe with some flimsy allegations against his actions. The dupe should also run multiple seminaries for maximum profit.

        2) The CBD dayanim then fake an investigation by also using fake outside resources and respected people with experienced in investigating sexual abuse.

        3) Once the groundwork was laid, the CBD then bring in some guy who has a friend who operates seminaries. This is key because otherwise it will be hard to monetize their profits.

        4) After the outside guy establishes that he can run the sems, the CBD then releases a letter stating that they don’t trust the sems are safe even after Meisels leaves. This provides the opening for Gottesman to offer to buy (again, in collusion with the corrupt CBD) the sems at fire sale prices, as nobody will send their daughters there.

        The above story is basically the story that the anti-CBD camp is putting out there. Needs a lot of proof, and it also demands that we believe in a fantastical story that nobody can prove happened. It also requires that the dayanim were involved in a scam/and or criminal activity. Shameful that they malign such choshuve rabbonim in this way.

        • Triangle,
          Exremely creative logic, kol hakavod. keeps the site a trifle above darkness, with some glimpses of black humor. Some will be offended, even those on the right side.

        • It is truly shameful…ppl cried “loshon hara!” so passionately with Meisles, but now look at how they are speaking about someone like Rabbi Fuerst.

          Additionally, how could a “scheme” so complex as this actually have been planned out and taken course? And you know how the old saying goes…”Two Jews, three opinions.”

          Thank you for the summary, Triangle.

          • The scheme also involved getting numerous young ladies to falsely accuse an innocent man, and to plant such accusations years ago (when girls disclosed to their close friends of what this man did to them, they were really all lying to create this elaborate hoax), and getting YL to come out against an innocent man so as to stir up public interest, and they also needed to get a stationery store to provide them with stationery, but they made sure not to type the Hebrew letters (instead, Rabbi Fuerst wrote them by hand) so as to signal via a secret code to aliens who were waiting in the wings (literally) to swoop down and create hundreds of posts,all of which were fictitious, and this huge ensemble of people (and aliens) had to sworn to secrecy, bli neder, and then they would get DT to write against them, to confuse everyone, and help cover up their tracks, and their intention, ie to destroy the life of an innocent man so they can profit from the sale of 4 seminaries whose reputations have been ruined but somehow are now worth more than will be paid for them.

            It’s all so obvious.

            • I loved it. But you forgot to add #sarcasm at the beginning and the end. Remember Poe’s Law, “without a clear indication of the author’s intent, it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of extremism.”

              If you dont tag your sarcasm you can inadvertantly trigger an angry response by someone who agrees with you. We don’t need that.

            • Triangle andd 5t resident are fated to collaborate on a modern day play re how our forefathers duped us all. I’ve already bought out the entire theater for opening night…..

  14. I was 100% serious. This is all a plot. One huge conspiracy. This is big, big, big. It may get covered by the National Enquirer. It;s a vast conspiracy right-wingorthodox conspiracy that would make Hillary Clinton proud (if you don;t know the reference, you’re too young–or part of the conspiracy of young people against this sage innocent man).’

    It’s all so very obvious.

  15. I think the story gets more and more bizarre by the day. I want to know the truth already and not have to read all these speculations (yes, speculations bec we havent seen or heard any proof from meisels himself saying if he did anything or not) and in my mind, CBD can be just as made up as IBD. I want to know what years all these actions took place, with how many girls, and how far he took it. Until that happens, there will always be a shadow of doubt (not just with me, but with many other people)

    • Your interest is pornographic. What difference does it make if he groped girls or raped them. Either way, multiple victims subjected to “unwanted physical touch of a sexual nature” (also known as groping, in law as sexual assault, albeit a misdemeanor) is enough to make him unfit to be in a seminary. Moreover the IBD also accepts that he is guilty. so why do you need to know these lurid details. Do you want to know it to shame the girls? Are you saying you don’t mind rabbis who grope as long as they are not oiver giluy araiyos dioraiysa?

      Do you also need to know the names of the victims. After all if you don’t trust the beis din unless they give you a pornography transcript, why trust them unless they give you the names. Maybe you will insist on videos of the actions and all of Meisels emails and text messages. Do you also need to see DNA proof? What will satisfy you?

      • Love this response.

        If you DO trust the Bais Din, then no need to hear details, just accept their psak. If you DON’T trust the Bais Din, how would details help.

      • Mr. Lopin,

        In fairness to alum, the specifics of what Monster Meisels did are highly relevant. Groping is sexual assault, but rape is a much more serious violent crime. Both crimes carry jail terms, but if Monster Meisels is a rapist, he is an even greater menace to society and must be put behind bars.

        If MM is a rapist, his victims have a duty to society, painful as it is, to press charges to prevent future victims. Once these cases go to court, the staff will have to be questioned–under oath–and hopefully prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

        • In fairness, he should also be prosecuted for forcibly groping. That is the crime of sexual assault, albeit of a lesser degree.

          Meisels is a menace to society. But so is the shidduch norm that says any girl who admits to being assaulted in any degree and presses charges will be hurt in her quest for a match.

          The real problem for which the CBD is a second best workaround is that the Haredi world punishes sex abuse victims who speak up. A great talmid chochom in Lakewood was forced out of town because he did the right thing and brought to trial, Yosef Kolko, the abuser of his son.

          Luckily for Lakewood, in spite of their boorish treatment of this Rav, Yosef Kolko was eventually confronted with three witnesses of his being an abuser and is now serving a 12.5 year prison sentence.

          the question is do we have our Nachshon ben Aminadav, willing to step forward even though everyone else is intimidated.

    • Alum- I just need to say…

      Are you SERIOUS? You make yourself sound so troubled and personally plagued by all this, yet it is crystal CLEAR that not once have you picked up your phone and called rabbi fuerst.

      Both IBD and CBD agree he is guilty. Plus, if Meisles thought he was innocent, we would see at least SOME defenders etc…but we don’t see any. Not a single one. Why? Bc he’s as guilty as guilty gets.

      Don’t get sucked into the details with rabbi Feldman/the IBD/CBD…I think that is really what’s setting you down. But I am not here to convince you of anything…

      Call Rabbi Fuerst.

      • Truthseeker, what do you mean where are all the Mesels defenders?? They are commenting on Daas Torah about which you commented more than once that they are a bunch of liars and loshon hara speakers. Im sure they are totally turned off by you so stopped commenting on this website. They are definitely around. Plus a lot of the defenders’ comments on this blog get blocked by the moderator.

        • Some get blocked by me. In almost all instances it is because they are simply repetitions with only the slightest wording alterations of statements already made to which there have been responses. We are engaged in a conversation, not simple repetition. I do the same to a number of commenters who side with me in particular threads. I also close discussion on posts when there is no progression.

        • Exactly what YL says. The Meisles defenders repeat nonsensical questions, which are repeatedly answered over and over. I’m open minded to others opinions, but if you have s/t to state then back it up.

          I’ve nvr seen you post before, but if you have something to say on Meisles defense give PROOF or some statement of worth which we can work with.

          You have given none.

        • PS- if you are his defender and claim he, in fact, did NOT do those crimes, then you are going against both batei din (CBD and IBD).

          Nuff said. How would u like to defend Mr. Meisels? Let’s talk about it… 😉

  16. First of all, I dont want any nasty details..I just want to know if its as bad as girls claim it to be, or is it being exaggerated. Not once did I ask for names or videos or messages.

    • how bad would it have to be for you to agree that a rabbi could not stay work in or control a seminary. What would not be too bad? What would you consider an exaggeration. Be specific that is, describe an actual behavior and then tell us what sort of words would constitute an exaggeration.

    • As numerous people have already written, you can call Rabbi Feurst in Chicago. He was on the Chicago Special Beis Din, heard and saw all the evidence and heard Meisels’ confession. As people have said here numerous times, many people called him and he answered them very clearly. His phone number is listed under Samuel Feurst in Chicago IL. Call to him to, as you say, “verify” the “Unwanted Sexual Contact” by Meisels which is described in the original Chicago Special Beis Din letter. Ask him about your time span questions, etc.

  17. A description that would help me in reasoning about many of the conflicting claims of various kinds might be a scale running from noncriminal malfeasance upward through the classes of misdemeanors and felonies. For some purposes knowing the overall time span of offending has seemed relevant to me. At other times I’ve wished for a metric like average number of offences per year.

    Possibly there are important reasons not to divulge even such summary information. If so it shouldn’t be divulged.

    This has almost nothing to do with whether a rabbi could control a seminary. Anyone known to have a proclivity even for noncriminal sexual malfeasance should be completely disqualified. In the Orthodox world repeated flouting of hilchos yichud would be more than sufficient malfeasance. (So I have no doubt that the CBD’s guidelines are not excessive, though I can’t judge whether non-prosecution is too lenient.)

    If possible (and only if) I would want an account that would allow me to make my own judgment of the sanity/appropriateness/health of the communities’ and parties’ responses and their progress. Though I’m inclined to trust the CBD if there’s no alternative, my long-term disillusionment makes me wish for “trust, but verify”. Especially, I wish their – and the IBD’s – professional consultants would speak non-anonymously, subject to the scrutiny of their professions.

    • The Chicago Beis Din (CBD) is trying to strike a balance between saying enough to warn parents away but not casting the net so wide that a cloud of suspicion will hang over all former students. Anyone familiar with the ultra-orthodox world knows that the only thing more common than the admonition about loshon horah, is actual representational demolition by innuendo. As is, many who attended will now be suspect of colluding with Meisels, or even if resisting, of somehow being complicit. Orthodox Jews may not use the term “slut shaming” but the mentality is endemic. “It wouldn’t have happened if she was really a ‘good girl'” is the sort of thing that will be said, or more likely implied. Chicago is settling for the least amount of information that justifies their criticism of the seminaries and their proposed remedies. The more that is said, the more widespread the harm to others who attended.

      I understand the wish for more information, but in the end, the diehard seminary defenders will always want still more and will quibble about all sorts of specifics. Chicago is convinced that presenting the full brief will not change anything since the IBD has already conceded Meisel’s guilt and is now just denying he as any remaining control or any other staff ever were guilty of ignoring or suppressing reports of his all-day grooming and late-night excursions with students.

      • I would like to know what the Aim Habayis has to say about her supervision of the Meisel Dorms – What did she think when she got reports of these late night coffee excursions? Can you imagine how hard she would come down on a student who went to meet a boy for a slice of pizza in town? But go out for hours in the middle of the night with the married menahel – why not?
        It totally strains credulity.
        I think – instead of discussing the specifics of what Meisels did to whom and when – there should be a conversation how the Aim Habayis allowed the girls to disappear with Meisels for hours in the middle of the night.

        • I completely agree with you, but let’s think about the context for a moment:

          Suppose the aim habayis knew what was going on. What exactly was she supposed to do? Say something to Meisels? She would be out of a job so fast her head would spin. Tell someone else in charge? When word would get back to Meisels, she would be fired and labeled a whistleblower. Good luck finding another job! And let’s remember that many of these women have kollel husbands, so losing their jobs means starving.

          I’m sure most people who work in large companies and organizations see things that aren’t on the up and up. But they’re in tough spots because if they say something, they could be out of a job. So they just keep quiet.

          All this said, I am NOT defending any of these enablers. They were 1000% wrong for looking the other way. What I am saying is that the idea that they should have raised hell is much easier said than done.

          Think about that.

          • There has to be a trouble-reporting path under a separate chain of command. Any worker on the Toyota assembly line can pull a cord and halt the line when he finds an out-of-spec part. We vote with our feet for such systems every time we board a commercial airliner.

            Is there someone who can vouch that due diligence was undertaken during the history of the seminaries *before* victims came forward?

            Prudent procedures aren’t magic, but lacking prudent procedures is counting on magic.

          • I agree that some of them valued their jobs over protecting students from Elimelech Meisels. I might be more sympathetic to them if they now came forward and fessed up. Let them say what they saw, what they did or didn’t try to do, and what they feel they should have done. If so there can be some hope that they will never fail in that way again.

            The very things that made them acquiesce under Meisels will now lead them to deny their complicity. They are likely to start minimizing the gravity of Meisels’ offenses and to deny they could have been suspected or stopped. That is not a healthy climate for a school trying to recover from this disaster.

            The negligent and enabling staff have to go!

            • You have a good point that they should now come clean. And I have a feeling that there are some sincere teachers there who at the time rationalized away warning signs in their minds and are now wracked with guilt over the lives they’ve caused to be ruined, and they’d love to confess apoligize and come clean. I also have a feeling that they have gotten legal advice saying under no circumstances will you do any such thing or you will be sued and your own children’s lives will be ruined. I’m not saying they’re right but on some level I can understand where they’re coming from.

            • I agree they may behave that way on the advice of counsel and to protect their own self(ish)-interest. Alas their guilty feelings are not enough to ensure safety. Moreover, such people probably lied to the panel of rabbis in Israel since the panel reports that it determined no one else is culpable besides Meisels. Assuming the rabbis are reporting accurately, we have a problem, staff who are motivated to perpetuate the cover-up of the ways in which they let abuse happen. That is one of the things at the core of the CBD’s continued adverse evaluation of the safety of the seminaries.

            • Unless, of course, they are waiting for the dust to clear. In other words, their employment status, as of now, is still to be determined. And so is the status of Peninim. So if they testify that they knew what was going on but their hands were tied, they are still at risk of getting fired (especially if the Yarmush sale is a sham). So they might feel compelled to keep playing along.

              And let’s face it – with all the leaks we’ve seen, can you really blame them if they don’t trust that their statements will be confidential?

      • My guess is that Meisels had some specific and damaging leverage over the Aim Habayis and she therefore “looked away”.
        Tzarich Iyun.

        • As an alumni of Pninim myself, I know that the aim bayit is usually in the dorm for curfew and then leaves. I would ask the madrichot (who are usually alumni from the yr before) if they suspected anything. Usually at 3am everyone is sleeping, so it could be that they were able to sneak out if Meisels unlocked the door for them…

      • At the same time, they are also willing to disqualify every single teacher on the staff of four seminaries. Talk about painting with a broad brush!

        • When there is a listeria outbreak caused by a restaurant, you close down the place until you can isolate the problem. You figure out the food source and perhaps the others in the processing chain whose neglect contributed to the problem.

          There were abuse enablers among the seminary staff who rebuffed complaints and turned a blind eye to Meisels’ post-midnight excursions with students.

          The IBD has whitewashed every last remaining staff member. Chicago is not saying “every single teacher” is problematic. They are saying: “Until we figure out who has to go, we cannot trust the seminaries as a whole.”

        • Yerachmiel got it again.

          I even spoke to Rabbi Fuerst who said that their issues are with only the teachers and some staff members who enabled and didn’t open their mouths.

          Not everyone. But they are willing to take down the seminaries if they don’t fire those who need to be.

          • Isn’t there a problem with the CBD demanding that someone be fired when that person never appeared before them? It’s one thing to reject the conclusion of the Israeli rabbis who declared there was no problem before even investigating, but something else to say who in particular has to be fired. It would also be problematic to make the new management guess in advance what personnel changes were required to make the seminaries acceptable to the CBD.

            This may be moot. If R’ Kahane’s letter is any indication, the new management is not interested in trying to cooperate with the CBD. They will rely on the Israeli rabbis’ “hechsher” and see what happens.

            • Chicago isn’t demanding specific people be fired. It maintains that they don’t yet have any reason to believe the seminaries are safe. They have not been given any information to change their conclusion that there was enabling nor have they been given any information about the transfer of authority. They have never asserted the right to control the seminaries. Instead they exercise their power as an advice giver to Americans. Their advice: don’t enroll your daughters there. They are saying we won’t change our advisory until and when we get back evidence of a genuine transfer of authority and due diligence in vetting staff and making other changes necessary to ensure safety.

  18. I am curious what the organizational set-up of these seminaries is in Israel? eg. Do they consist of one or more amutot (non-profit orgs)? Is there also a registered for-profit business? If anyone can clarify about the organizational structures, please could you contact me? david@scitronix.co.il

    • Good questions. What is more shocking is that the IBD refuses to share any such information with Chicago. Why should Chicago trust the IBD when they won’t share information such as this which should be on the public record. One of my Israeli colleagues already searched for the seminaries by name in public lists of amutot and could not find anything. But she may have failed to find anything if the legal names bore no relationship to names of the seminaries.

      • YL can you shed some light on this inconsistency:
        RAF states that IBD stated that they were not discussing Meisels because he already confessed. Yet R Maliboitz in his letter to RAF said that any allegations regarding Meisels must be said with Meisels listening in. This indicates that IBD did not establish his guilt. So why don’t they tell him to stay on.

        • Actually, while there were no victim plaintiffs for the IBD, the designated defendants were Meisels and the administrators of the four seminaries. The 3 Israeli Rabbis (3IR) conducted a sham session to assess whether any victims were owed any compensation by those parties in the seminaries. They considered the guilt of Meisels a given. However, as in a secular civil suit for damages, you still need to determine the extent of damage and the amount owed. All the defendants except Meisels testified we were good and did nothing wrong. There were no victims or their representatives in the court proceeding. Thus it was a meaningless sham. Nevertheless the court ruled there were no damages owed and the seminaries were free of any fault at all, apart from the individual misconduct of Meisels.

          you cant make this up. It is too absurd. But that is what happened.

  19. I had a long talk with Yarmush. He has a solid business plans and investors. you take control of a 501 C 3 by changing the boards. Non profits are allowed to borrow money and pay it back. Nothing wrong. sale is fine. meisels is history. Now it is time to move on, on this point

  20. Let’s think about the logistics about how this went down and there might be some understanding how it took a village of enablers to allow this to happen. In terms of the logistics of sneaking out of the dorm at 1, 2 or 3 AM – think about it for a minute. It wasn’t done once -it was done over and over. For years. No girl had her own room – didn’t the girl sneaking out disturb her roommates or maybe someone wakes up at 5 AM and sees an empty bed? Didn’t the roommates cop onto the fact that a girl in their room was sneaking out in middle of the night repeatedly? Didn’t anyone worry?
    I understand the reticence of the enablers to come forward now. It is quite embarrassing to admit. However, newsflash – being a Pninim teacher does not bode well for future employment in the seminary profession. In order to move forward, there has to be clarity how this occurred before all parents decide to keep their kids home – which would threaten the entire seminary business model.
    A crucial element is who knew. Did students tell the madrichot? Did the madrichot not notice anything? The teachers? The Aim Habayis?
    There is a lot of back story missing here.

    • I think there is a fundamental difference between those that rebuffed complaints and those that didn’t notice. You seem to hold the aim bayit responsible however she has the same lack of education and awareness as the victims. Her qualification for being an aim bayit over her charges is that she is married. She is very possibly a young woman whose sole sex education was a semi- efficient kalla class. Your expectation of her perceiving innuendo and risk for what it is, isn’t fair. She most likely 4 yrs back was under the spell of this same rabbi. What you perceive as obvious warning signs she perceived as tzidkut. Until we do a better job with educating (and protecting) our daughters they are vulnerable.

      • One doesn’t have to be sophisticated to notice girls (not one girl and not one time only) disappearing in the middle of the night for hours.
        Wouldn’t you expect a babysitter of toddlers to keep track of their charges? Same level of responsibility applies here.
        This was not a one time sheaking out of a dorm. This was a long term pattern of behavior that couldn’t exist in a vacuum. People knew – even if they were naive – there was a basic lack of responsibility/supervision.
        If the schools are this woefully inept, as I said above, if the Supervisor has no ability to keep track of girls disappearing in the middle of the night – then everyone should just stay home and not be subject to the hefkerus of the Seminaries in Israel.
        When the seminary lifestyle is threatened as a way of life – there may be some “brave” individuals stepping forward.

        • OK, I tried commenting on this once before i think. many years ago, i was a student at an Ivy League University. Dormitory for 4 years. Weekdays 12AM curfew, weekends 2AM curfew. Obviously a secular university. One had to sign out, and sign back in when out late (after 12am).. This was a university with at least 50% fraternities and sororities. i.e. it had a huge percentage of rich, experienced students, from prep schools as well as from public high schools. I was an innocent, two years younger than everyone else, nevertheless, the discussions were always open and honest, and no one was ashamed of admitting to any particular type of behavior.

          Perhaps 1/3 Jewish, but that is irrelevant. And yes, I knew of a very few students, who had significant others, who would stay out all night, easier to stay out all night than come back late. They were a tiny minority. This was open discussion in the dorm. As were far more egregious behavior (NOT at University, but in the past). but again, a tiny tiny handful.

          And here we have, in the 21st century, seminaries for ultra charedi girls, whose parents entrusted them to a school, in loco parentis, where staying out all hours of the night, was accepted with blind eyes. a total shonda, the staff, someone anyone, someone, I, my daughter, with integrity, would have put her career and future on the line, to pursue this, prosecute this, take it to higher and higher levels, despite losing a job, for the sake of justice, and protection of the lives and souls of precious b’not Yisrael. Someone with high integrity would sacrifice most anything to take this up, step by step, to higher and higher levels if not succeeding with lower level kochot. I am positive that my now 24 year old, would have moved heaven and earth to report this situation and get satisfaction. I am positive, she is the daughter of two parents who value integrity far far beyond any other midah. beyond blind following of chumrot.

      • “What you perceive as obvious warning signs she perceived as tzidkut. Until we do a better job with educating (and protecting) our daughters they are vulnerable.”

        I couldn’t agree more.

      • Actually, the aim bayit (house mother) is an older woman. In addition, each seminary has a few madrichot (counselors) who are younger women, a few years out who usually only stay on the job for a year or two. Regrettably, in Meisels’ case, they were often graduates of the same seminaries and already inculcated into his culture, and not inclined to challenge him.

    • Penelope, you raise an excellent point. Unless there are some standards, real-time outside reporting methods, and transparency the seminary business model is doomed. If the IBD succeeds in salvaging these 4 seminaries without radical reforms, prospective parents will have to conclude this can happen anywhere and it will never be addressed or resolved.

    • “…which would threaten the entire seminary business model.”

      I’m not sure why that is a bad thing.

      “There is a lot of back story missing here.”

      Agreed. Unfortunately, we are not going to get much in the way of facts from the schools or the staff themselves. It is all getting covered up and will continue to get covered up, unless some of the girls bring criminal charges which may bring some facts to light, or unless some of the girls or staff talk about what really happened. But right now, it seems that everyone is just running for cover.

  21. There seems to be much talk going on abt aim bayit/ the late night rides. I’d like to put in my own tidbit..

    I was once offered a late-night ride myself. At first, I didn’t know how to react when offered. I asked a girl “is this normal? Why is everyone so comfortable being in a car alone with Rabbi Meisles at 3 am?” Ppl were making me feel like an extreme frummy who needs to chill just bc I didnt feel comfortable with all of this.

    The girl I spoke to seemed fine abt it. As well as many others. They pretty much said “it’s Rabbi Meisles! It’s not weird. He does it to help ppl out. He helps ppl with their luggage to the airport/ sometimes girls are out late from his house and he offers them a ride back to seminary when the buses stop running.”

    No matter how “chessed-oriented” and innocent the rides seemed, I refused the offer.

    Indeed, many of those rides probably did not include touching, but I am assuming that is how he got away with it- bc they were looked at as “chessed rides.”

    Someone mentioned abt him opening the door for girls at night- pls do not spread things which may not be true. That sounds highly unlikely since the dorms were *always* alive and awake at night. No way he would have gotten away with it.

    Additionally, yes, staff knew abt the rides. But no one opened their mouth and I really think it was bc ppl were afraid to/ didn’t think Meisles would harm anyone. They looked at him as someone who saved troubled girls and could relate to them by “bending the rules a bit.”

    Not justifying anything. Trying to make ppl understand…

        • Why would the IBD want to hear this. They already declared that they know the schools are good and safe. They clearly reached their conclusion. But then they reached it long ago. Besides, they are not a beis din. they are just 3 rabbis (albeit very learned) who incorrectly called themselves a beis din. they have no plaintiff, they are ad hoc. Thus they do not meet the halachic definition of a beis din. Henceforth I think will call them the Three Israeli Rabbis (3IR).

          • Yerachmiel I can’t believe you just wrote that. Granted the they are not operating as a beis din and have no authority. So what. The schools are listening to them. Wrongly so but they are. So what’s your point. It could be that what truthseeker wrote will either open their eyes or cause them to get rid of a staff member who otherwise would have stayed. Likely. No. But if there’s the slightest chance that it will save someone else from being abused how in the world do you defend yourself? These are ppls lives you’re dealing with. Please have the objectivity not to let your antagonism of the IBD automatically negate the possibility of them doing something right. How will you feel if a year from now some girl is raped bc the staff member that allowed it to happen wasn’t removed bc you convinced someone not to talk to the IBD. I don’t think there’s any justification for what you just said, but I remain open minded. please explain.

            • Your suggestion that I would offer advice that could lead to a rape is deviously dishonest. Shame on you for invoking the possibility of rape and hurling baseless accusations in your never ending quest to cast doubt about something that is clear. The IBD has not shown an iota of evidence that it cares about student safety. At every stage their top priority has been protecting jobs and businesses. Show me a single shred of empathy in any of their statements. They never got off their butts until Chicago raised the alarm. Then they sprung into action to say everything is safe and good and nobody can compete and parents have no reason to withdraw their kids (and thus no halachic or legal rationale for demanding refunds). They function to obstruct the Chicago Beis Din. Period. Their initial statement even evaded the question of Meisels’ guilt, though we now know they assumed it in their internal deliberations.

              It is terrifying to have to say this but I will. Either they are heartless and with no conscience or they are pious fools who think frumkeit begins and ends with preserving jobs for frum teachers and businesses for frum operators. But it is clear that they will not confront the culture of abuse in the seminaries. They are so derelict in menschlichkeit that they have not expressed a single word of sympathy for the victims.

              Not only isn’t the IBD a beis din, they aren’t even honest defense attorneys. The IBD is a dishonest PR operation camouflaged as a beis din misleading people in the ways they invoke halacha. I understand games and arguments. But I am astounded at your chutzpah.

            • Moshe, I have read many of your comments here and at DT. Thank you for them – to me they have communicated an attitude as nonpartisan as any seen in this scandal. I, for one, do not believe you are “deviously dishonst”.

              Mr. Lopin, please reconsider. Thanks.

            • Yerachmiel, I will try to respond to you, please permit me.

              1) I forgive you for calling me “deviously dishonest” and being “astounded by my chutzpah”. I do not take it personally and have been called far worse in my life. You should see what they’re calling me over at DT. All is fair in blogs and comments. But I will ask the reader to please peruse my “attack” on you as well as my other comments here and on DT and decide for yourself if I have been “deviously dishonest” and “astoundingly chutzpahdik”.

              2) ” Shame on you for invoking the possibility of rape and hurling baseless accusationsin your never ending quest to cast doubt about something that is clear.”

              R eidensohn has written that an insider at the CBD told him they accuse meisels of raping 40(!) different(!) girls and have physical evidence. This is besides for all abuse which would not qualify as rape. Yet you say shame on me for invoking the possibilty?! If it can happen 40 times it can happen again.

              3) “The IBD has not shown an iota of evidence that it cares about student safety. At every stage their top priority has been protecting jobs and businesses”

              So what. Are you saying that bc up until now they gave acted this way there is absolutely nothing in the entire world that can make them remove a staff member. Nothing. Zero. Not even a tiny bit. And your so sure you’re ready to bet a girl’s life on it? We shouldn’t tell them anything? We shouldn’t try to get them to reconsider? We all know that even the cruelest ppl can have moments of kindness. And repeating that they are a sham etc. does not change the fact that at the end of the day the schools are listening to them. I speak from a purely practical perspective here. It is one thing to ignore and discount them bc of your complete lack of trust (or worse) in them. It is quite another to actively discourage others from sharing evidence with them. At the very least it will accomplish nothing, how it can possibly make things worse. When dealing with sakanos nefashos we don’t play pecentages. I cannot understand in the slightest how you seem so sure of yourself.

              4) I think the previous point addresses everything else you write as well. I urge you to reconsider your position.

        • I did not tell the Bais din. When I called the IBD they refused to hear any of my personal accounts (even getting angry at me on the phone when I tried explaining) bc they would not hear anything unless they set up an official “meeting” that would professionally discuss such things.

          Who knows if this meeting will ever happen..

          • Wow. Did you try to set up the meeting. Did it seem like they were just trying to put you off or were they actually interested in meeting you? Did they follow up? Did you follow up? Sorry for the questions but i’m interested in what their investigative method is.

            • I’ll tell you: the IBD said they wanted my name and number and they will call me if and when they have an official meeting (perhaps wih the CBD) about my personal accounts. I don’t know if that will ever happen. When I tried telling him that I went I teachers to complain he did NOT want to hear it. He said only in an offices meeting. Whatever..who knows…

          • I know I’ve said this to a few ppl already but I think you should also post this account on the DT blog. Nothing against frum follies (which i happen to like better-less censorship- even when you’re arguing with or attacking yerachmiel-which is real intellectual honesty, and he’s less condescending to others which speaks to his menchlichkeit. And no, yerachmiel i’m not kissing up to you-i also fully stand behind my comments before) but if the 2 blogs just split into team israel and team chicago nothing much will be accomplished in the way of serious discussion. Anyways r eidensohn is busy talking about how awesome the ibd is and how kahana has “a history of great success in educating girls” and someone has to call him out. I can’t do it alone.

            • Feel free to post any of my comments on DT. Just keep track of what you submitted and when. (If enough time passes and they are not approved come back here and report it. Bloggers have to moderate. But they should be held accountable when they abuse that power.

            • Moshe, i am not a full time YL defender, He blocks 50% of my comments, easily, although today, seems to have been a good yield day, LOL. . aggravating, in general. . Nevertheless, your comment re, YL that ” he’s less condescending to others” etc, etc, i HAVE NEVER SEEN YL BE CONDESCENDING. PERIOD” . He is a real mensch. above and beyond, and that said, i am still aggravated re number of my comments that he does not accept, so please do not see me as an apologist. Just emes, EMET. YL, is the real thing, integrity, compassion, altruism, OK, if I write more, no one will believe me, and he will think i am er uh, secular expression to get privileges. No one in the bloga sphere has his midot, no one, and i spend every day all day, reading Jewish blogs, yes, i know, i should get off and get a life, but at the moment, I read everything all day, every day. No one can light a candle to YL. (and now, i am afraid that due to modesty, he will block this comment). I certainly hope not, Tired of being blocked, even when i am on the “right” side of an argument, i am always too late, ie. others have managed to comment same thing, sooner. So i feel like i am spinning my wheels, but what the heck, that is life. .

    • “…sometimes girls are out late from his house and he offers them a ride back to seminary when the buses stop running.”

      What is the principal of the school doing with girls at his house late at night AFTER curfew (if the busses stopped running, it is WAY past curfew). Shouldn’t the principal be upholding the curfew? And if he doesn’t, shouldn’t he be sending girls back in a taxi if the busses are no longer running? (My understanding is that the busses stop running at midnight, and that curfew is at least 2-3 hours before midnight).

      • It wasn’t a big deal. Some girls who needed a break from dorm life once in a blue moon would stay by Meisles household/visit. He has a big family and his wife was always home. But yes, then he’s drive them back sometimes…

        • I feel like people have to be somewhat familiar with the whole situation, as well as knowing Rabbi Meisels and his personality and tendencies. Him and his wife always made their home welcome to all their students and it never really felt weird to go there. I never was in a car with him…especially not alone, which is why i cant exactly envision what the situation was like. All i can say is that the whole “chessed ride” concept sounds interesting.

  22. I’d just like to illustrate an example of how SICK the competition got between girls to get Meisles’ attention…

    Meisles once gave me a small possession of his. This small possession was infamous amongst the school (for certain reasons).

    After I had a long discussion with him in his office, he took out this possession and gave it to me to keep. I saw no use in it and asked him why he was offering it to me (I KNEW very well that he was trying to win over some affection from me with his ‘gift’). He told me to just take it.

    When I walked out of his office with this item in hand, 3 or 4 girls automatically surrounded me saying “omg how did u get that?! That’s rabbi Meisles’!”

    Standing there awkwardly, I said “ugh…he just gave it to me..”

    Immediately, one girl jumped in my face and said “how much do u want for it?? I’ll PAY you.” Another girl rushed to his office claiming, “rabbi Meisles, I asked for it first!”

    Another girl said “wow. That means he rlly likes u and thinks you’re special.”

    Blah blah all this unwanted attention for something so small, silly, and meaningless. It made girls go crazy.

    I got so turned off by ppls aggressive/ridiculous reactions, that I simply wanted to throw out the ‘gift’. But I still have it. When this scandal came out, I found it again and looked at it and thought “wow. The power such a small item can have to make ppl go wild. I can’t believe how he controlled ppl so easily.”

    • This is sick on so many levels, I don’t even know where to start. But one thing is clear from your accounts – Meisels was a master manipulator who honed his skill at fostering competition with the girls for gaining his attention. I would guess that girls were not fawning like this over other male teachers. Meisels used rejection, exclusivity, played hard to get, and all kinds of tricks to set up his “fan base.” He made himself into a “teen idol.” It is so thoroughly sickening. And what is fascinating is that he did this all in a school which supposedly promoted a Torah lifestyle to many “troubled girls” or girls that were not previously all that interested in Frumkeit. He knew exactly who to target and where.

  23. For those wondering who the supervisors were, see the comment by “alum” above, on 8/13/14 at 12:17 pm:

    “As an alumni of Pninim myself, I know that the aim bayit is usually in the dorm for curfew and then leaves. I would ask the madrichot (who are usually alumni from the yr before) if they suspected anything.”

    And see the comment by “professional too” above, on 08/13/2014 at 3:01 pm:

    “You seem to hold the aim bayit responsible however she has the same lack of education and awareness as the victims. Her qualification for being an aim bayit over her charges is that she is married. She is very possibly a young woman whose sole sex education was a semi- efficient kalla class. Your expectation of her perceiving innuendo and risk for what it is, isn’t fair. She most likely 4 yrs back was under the spell of this same rabbi. What you perceive as obvious warning signs she perceived as tzidkut. Until we do a better job with educating (and protecting) our daughters they are vulnerable.”

    It was this way in the Seminaries for many, many years. And I always wondered about it. The “Supervisors” are generally 19-year-olds, sometimes they are girls at the ripe old age of 20 or even, gasp, a 21-year-old. They sleep in the dorms, and are called “Madrichot.” Their jobs are to supervise the girls when the Aim Bayit is not present (which is all night long except for an hour after curfew). They are 19-20 year-olds who are “supervising” 17-18 year-olds. Who else can they get to sleep in dorms? It has to be single American girls, and the only ones there are very young girls who were seminary students themselves just the year before. The “Eim Habayit” never sleeps at the dorm, as she is married, and it is inappropriate for her and her husband to sleep in a dorm full of single girls who are up at all hours of the night (yes, all hours of the night! That is just how it is in Seminary). An hour or so after curfew after the Aim Habayit finishes taking a headcount to see if anyone is missing, she goes back home to her family for the night. Her job is otherwise during the day, making sure that the dorm is running smoothly, that girls are making their beds, keeping their rooms clean and orderly, etc.

    But otherwise, there is a TREMENDOUS amount of hefkeirus inherent in the Seminary experience. And as you can see, even “Supervision” is a joke. Sure, the madrichot have keys to the building and make sure it stays locked in the middle of the night. But like was said above, these are young girls who were just seminary students themselves a year earlier, and likely are also enamored with all the “Tzaddikim” – the rabbis and teachers in their seminary who are teaching and guiding girls about the holiness and beauty of Torah and Frumkeit. They are not going to question their own role models.

    And even if they weren’t in THAT seminary the year before (though they almost always are), this is hardly the kind of “chaperone” or “supervision” that we think about when we expect that our girls are under “responsible supervision.”

    I’m not sure what the solution is, because it may require a mature adult (age 35+) sleeping in the dorms, or even having an overnight job as a night guard. Obviously this couldn’t be a man. And unless it was an unmarried American widow or divorcee with married or adult children, who would want to sleep there? And how many unmarried American widows or divorcees with adult children are there in Israel? And how many of them want jobs where they have to be awake all-night?

    It may be time to rethink the post high school “need” for Seminary in Israel.

      • Yerachmiel,

        What about EM’s Rebbetzin? Didn’t she even notice *ANYTHING* strange about him going for rides @ 3:00 a.m. in the morning? I haven’t heard a *WORD* from EM’s Rebbetzin in all this. She couldn’t have been pleased with his behaviour.

        • Thats also something I wondered about. Mrs. Meisels is a very smart woman, who would have definitely caught on to this. This whole story (no offense to the victims) is getting more and more bizarre by the day. I know where pninim was 2 or 3 years ago, if something were to have happened in his van, people would have definitely seen it..its yerushalayim, there arent remote parking lots where people can park their car..

          • Meisels had a number of secluded spots for late-night privacy.

            In most such situations people get hung up about loshon horah. Spouses often resist the truth because admitting it means confrontation, scandal, divorce and harm to shidduchim. In the pursuit of more prestigious marriages for their children, some will endure horrible marriages.

        • I have what to say on this, but honestly, my heart goes out to her and I do not think we should drag Mrs.Meisles/ his kids/ or any other family members into our convos…just my 2 cents, of course…

  24. Hindsight is often 20/20. There may be some staff members who saw a thing or two that was a little odd or unusual, but nothing that would make them suspect anything untoward. They may now be hitting their heads and kicking themselves for not realizing that the few benign things they saw, were merely the tip of a very dangerous and damaging iceberg.

    But there are clearly others (according to the CBD) who turned a blind eye to outright complaints that were brought to them, and to things they saw which were obviously completely inappropriate.

  25. It looks like eidensohn is trying to bring down the CBD. I guess he feels since he is so great and smart, he is free to do whatever he needs to boost his honor. There is a verse in mishlei chapter 26 verse 12, “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? For a fool there is more hope then him! ”
    Eidensohn has no understanding that there are people greater then him. The fact that the CBD doesn’t answer to him ,infuriates him. It’s really funny to watch him unravel. As someone mentioned before ,he is acting senile. I think he is showing his true self. By constantly knocking down gedolim, he could be considered an apikores as the Gemara in Sanhedrin says, 99:, what’s an apikores, someone who is מבזה a תלמיד חכם.

    • Yerachmiel, I would prefer to not read comments totally devoid of content that consist of an ad hominem rant and nothing else. “Senile, fool,apikorus” against someone who, although you are on the other side of the fence than him with regard to this issue, is, at the end of the day, a private citizen who is, to the best of my knowledge, well-meaning.

      • I agree the comment about senility was uncalled for. If that was its only point I would have blocked it, unless he could back it up with facts. I don’t like ad hominem arguments. I approved it because it had a lot of other content worth considering.

        I must say, I have found Eidensohn’s arguments bizarre and well below the quality of his work in other cases involving sex abuse. We all have bad days, bad calls and bad posts. We all are entitled to our occasional mistakes but, of late, he has been abusing the privilege.

        I have no trouble trashing his recent postings but I think more is gained by focusing on the quality of the argument and the underlying facts.

    • Sam, agree with everything. “Rabbi” Eidensohn has shown his true self.

      I read some comments on his blog- lol it basically consists on the same 3 ppl. There were a bunch of comments/LIES that Eidensohn and others were saying that Meisles only hugged the girls.

      LIE.

      No one obviously called rabbi fuerst or any of the CBD. Eidensohn says there is a 10 min recording of the confession which he is trying to get his hands on…how utterly PATHETIC and disgusting of him on so many levels that he needs such proof.

  26. we need to be fair. even truth seeker claims that she was the only one who took it seriously and even she says that she never thought it was more than inappropriate flirting etc…. never did she think it was what it turned out to be…I believe she was shocked after speaking to CBD and finding out what really happened..
    so let’s say that the madrichot thought the same….i do not think you can go to town on them for covering things up…they never imagined that that the behavior they may have seen was more than it appeared to be however inappropriate that may have beent…Now, if girls actually spoke to staff members and told them that Meisels engaged in “unwanted” sexual contact that is a different story….

    However, as I think truth seeker said… one of the staff a girl spoke to took it seriously enough to ask her daas torah who basically told her to let the person finish the year and if need be go to therapy when she returns home….Now that is obviously malfeasance. SO do we find out who this daas torah advisor is and go after him?? it is a bit complicated.

    the one person I would let go unless the person issues a clarification and a real apology is the principal whose letter was posted here who tried to persuade the girls NOT to talk about it and pass the test before moshiach. that is COVER UP….I would also specifically investigate what he knew and whether girls did approach him over the years.

    • “However, as I think truth seeker said… one of the staff a girl spoke to took it seriously enough to ask her daas torah who basically told her to let the person finish the year and if need be go to therapy when she returns home….” – huh? Jack, are you saying I said this? I nvr said such a thing…please clarify. I’m confused.

      Yes, I did not suspect what he actually did. But I suspected more than flirting…that’s why I went to such extreme circumstances..

  27. 2 more things-

    1) don’t blame the madrichot. Many times they were alumni of the seminaries themselves/ right out of pninim/chedvas. They were just trusting heir mechanchim.

    2) Eidensohn is writing an enormous amount of LIES on his blog. He’s going so far as to say that the CBD has no proof. I spoke to the CBD many times and let me tell you, THEY’VE GOT SICKENING PROOF.

    Eidensohn, if you’re reading this, TruthSeeker is sparring you no kind words. You are a disgrace to Klal Yisroel and an absolute nut job, especially on the Meisles/weiss/stein issues. And you are a BAAL LOSHON HAARA with a long beard and black hat.

      • Given his proclivity for censoring challenging comments, I suggest keeping a copy and pasting it here. However, please do us all the courtesy of indicating the context by including a link to the post and a brief statement of the context in which you commented.

      • Moshe- I’m surprised he hasn’t blocked you yet. He has done so with others/ refused to post their comments bc it opposes his. He truly controls what he wants ppl to see and hear.

        I am not even remotely interested in wasting my time on his blog. Good luck tho! Stay strong 😉

    • I was able to understand from the original psak of the Chicago Beis Din that they were in possession of incontrovertible proof of his misdeeds because they referred to him as “Mr.” Meisels.
      That was a neon sign that the CBD are comfortable relieving him of his rabbinic title “For Cause”.

  28. Yerachmiel, I will try to respond to you, please permit me.

    1) I forgive you for calling me “deviously dishonest” and being “astounded by my chutzpah”. I do not take it personally and have been called far worse in my life. You should see what they’re calling me over at DT. All is fair in blogs and comments. But I will ask the reader to please peruse my “attack” on you as well as my other comments here and on DT and decide for yourself if I have been “deviously dishonest” and “astoundingly chutzpahdik”.

    2) ” Shame on you for invoking the possibility of rape and hurling baseless accusationsin your never ending quest to cast doubt about something that is clear.”

    R eidensohn has written that an insider at the CBD told him they accuse meisels of raping 40(!) different(!) girls and have physical evidence. This is besides for all abuse which would not qualify as rape. Yet you say shame on me for invoking the possibilty?! If it can happen 40 times it can happen again.

    3) “The IBD has not shown an iota of evidence that it cares about student safety. At every stage their top priority has been protecting jobs and businesses”

    So what. Are you saying that bc up until now they gave acted this way there is absolutely nothing in the entire world that can make them remove a staff member. Nothing. Zero. Not even a tiny bit. And your so sure you’re ready to bet a girl’s life on it? We shouldn’t tell them anything? We shouldn’t try to get them to reconsider? We all know that even the cruelest ppl can have moments of kindness. And repeating that they are a sham etc. does not change the fact that at the end of the day the schools are listening to them. I speak from a purely practical perspective here. It is one thing to ignore and discount them bc of your complete lack of trust (or worse) in them. It is quite another to actively discourage others from sharing evidence with them. At the very least it will accomplish nothing, how it can possibly make things worse. When dealing with sakanos nefashos we don’t play pecentages. I cannot understand in the slightest how you seem so sure of yourself.

    4) I think the previous point addresses everything else you write as well. I urge you to reconsider your position.

    I think that you let your emotions get the better of you before writing that response to me. Please reconsider this issue from a purely rational perspective. I know that this is a little long and somewhat acerbic in attacking you, but I ask you to post it and respond anyways. (you can delete these last few lines if you want).

  29. There’s a lot of talk about supervision. While supervision is nice, the problem isn’t lack of supervision, so it can’t be solved by increasing supervision. That would be like offering a Band-Aid to someone having a stroke – it doesn’t even come close to addressing the real problem.

    The problem is twofold:

    1) We are too trusting. We trust that when individuals LOOK kosher, they ARE kosher. We underestimate their cunning ability to cultivate an image (compassionate, holy mentor) that is the exact opposite of who they really are (selfish, perverted abuser).

    2) Abusers KNOW they can get away with abuse. After all, most of their victims were afraid to tell anyone. Those that had the courage to tell were not believed. No one caught them the last 50 times they did it. They like doing it. Why shouldn’t they do it again?

    This makes an abuser’s job unforgivably easy: BEFORE THE ABUSE, the child or teenage victim won’t dream he’s in danger, because of grooming, naiveté, and manipulation. AFTER THE ABUSE, no one will believe the victim, because of our naiveté and the tzaddik image that the abuser has cultivated.

    This is exactly the kind of environment that abuse thrives in, it’s exactly the world we live in, and it’s exactly what we have to eliminate.

    Here’s what needs to happen:

    We need to educate our children early, often, and with enough detail. Sheltering our children and protecting them from harm have unfortunately become mutually exclusive in our world of today. Since molesters are experts on sweet-talk and know how to secure an individual’s trust before molesting, education must address this reality. Tell your child that the attention may feel very nice, and that the person may seem “good” or “holy” while explaining the abuser’s real agenda. Otherwise, your child will likely consider the molester his “best friend” or “beloved mentor” and be extremely vulnerable, not realizing the potential danger.

    Molesters are terrified to target children with strong self-esteem, healthy boundaries, knowledge of what constitutes appropriate behavior, and open relationships with their parents. So these are things we need to cultivate in order to protect our children. Schools should include sexual abuse awareness as part of the curriculum. Sure, it’s unpleasant, but it’s necessary in order to protect a child from something a million times more unpleasant, not unlike a vaccine. Teachers and parents should be required to attend workshops that describe the methods used by predators and the devastation caused by sexual abuse. Every institution and community must have an appropriate method of investigating allegations of abuse and handling predators. Parents should demand that camps and schools have appropriate policies and systems in place before enrolling their children. Those who take advantage of others must be reported to the police and face the consequences of their actions. Their dangerous illness must be recognized as such. No second chances. Abusers don’t deserve our mercy after they ruined lives without mercy. Giving an abuser a second chance is giving them free reign to abuse more people.

    In other words, we need to create a society where predators are terrified to act on their sick impulses because of the consequences, and where children and teenagers know enough about sexual abuse to recognize danger and protect themselves accordingly. Otherwise, the Peninim students of the world will continue to think that having a beard and the title “rabbi” makes someone above sin, and the Rabbi Meisels of the world will continue to take advantage of that fact to get away with soul-murder.

    Society needs to stop enabling abuse through silence, naiveté, stigmatization, trivialization, denial, and disbelief. Instead, people should insist on awareness, education, transparency, protection, healing, and justice.

    These are what I call real solutions. We have made some progress in the past few years, but a lot more needs to change. Every individual can make a difference by creating awareness, maintaining a zero-tolerance policy for abuse, protecting potential victims, advocating for abuse prevention, supporting abuse victims, and/or bringing abusers to justice.

    Thank you Yerachmiel Lopin for all that you do to protect and heal people.

    • Amazingly written! I think you should print up thousands of copies of that and no school should let a parent enroll a child unless they can recite that by heart.

    • I fully support your plea for better educating children. However, I would add that research shows that child safety programs have limited effectiveness unless coupled with adult education making them better understand the phenomenon, more alert to clues of grooming/abuse, and more appropriate in their responses to the halting vague initial clues emitted by victims. It is the job of adults to be alert, clued in, and proactive.

      I am discouraged by the limited programming in the Haredi world focusing on children and not adults. It is unfair to expect children to bear the burden of dealing with the problem especially in a culture that places a premium on respecting and obeying grownups.

  30. This is for the poster named “Alum”-

    I see you have posted recently on eidensohns blog saying “…what evidence does CBD have that he has “done every sexual transgression”?
    I feel like the girls tended to b a little too dramatic.”

    I’d like to ask you something- there have been *many* times on FF where you came up and said comments with no foundation/ much suspicion/ simply wanted to “get the dirty details” of what he did. What exactly is your motive? To find out the details of his acts and gossip with your friends abt it?

    I want to let you know that many of your comments (esp towards me) have NOT been appreciated and have been *pointless* in furthering useful discussions here. When I quoted some things the IBD told me, all you could think of saying was “they probably just told u what u wanted to hear.”
    What on earth motivates you so ask/state such (excuse me) STUPID and pointless comments to ppl who are actually being proactive and not lazy to find out the truth?

    You keep saying “I’m not a Meisles defender” but you know what? You certainly sound like one.

    No matter how much info/ no matter how much we try to answer your questions, you always seem to be “plauged and troubled” by not simply knowing enough of his despicable acts.

    I will advise you once and no more: CALL. RABBI. FUERST.

    No one is here to convince you of anything. After everything you have heard and read on this blog, u had the temerity to write the above on eidensohns blog, which then created a few more ppl posting how “unreliable and dramatic” the victims are bc of your original post.

    I know I’m not being so nice right now. Alum, I am speaking harshly. You need to learn to use your seichel before you ask ppl questions or write such a bold and non-factual statements.

    • 2 random points. 1- what does it mean when you surround a word with **, is it just for emphasis like bolding something or does it mean something else. forgive me but i’m ignorant in these internet expressions you young bucks use. 2- i actually enjoy the blend of spelling and grammar mistakes, abbreviations and shorthand together with the rather sophisticated vocabulary you use (a la temerity). Just sayin.

    • TS – Don’t bother asking posters like “Alum” what their motives are. It is clear that their motives are to sow doubt about Meisels’ guilt. If you call them out on it, they will claim they are not “Meisels’ defenders.” The best way to deal with them is to answer them once, and then ignore them. Getting upset at them and admonishing them only wastes your energy and doesn’t stop them from their goal which is sowing doubt. Yerachmiel allows comments from those who that do not agree with him, which is to his credit because it fosters intellectually honest conversations, in contrast to Eidensohn’s DT blog which is not allowing any comments of those who do not agree with him.

      As to the comment “Alum” left on the DT blog and the discussion there, forget about it. DT’s silences anyone who doesn’t agree with him by not posting their comments. So any comment disproving what “Alum” writes there will not be allowed to go through, and only those comments that discredit the findings of the CBD will be allowed. The problem with that is that discrediting the findings of the CBD is a small step away from defending Meisels, and so that becomes the next conversation there. You’d best forget about it. A blog that doesn’t allow open and honest conversation is not worth reading, and everyone knows that. People who live in countries where the news is censored do not rely on the news as their source of information, but rather on their relatives from other countries. Anyone reading the Rabbi Eidensohn blog knows that they are getting only censored information, and therefore not getting the whole truth. You’re not going to solve that problem by confronting “Alum” on this blog. “Alum” will not give up if he/she can sow doubt, and you’re best off ignoring him/her, and ignoring what happens on Eidenson’s blog.

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