Can Seminaries Be Run by a Toxic Waste Hauler?

'Sure it's safe to haul toxic waste. I've been doing it for five years.'Mr. Yaakov (Yankie) Yarmush hails from Brooklyn where he built a business of asbestos abatement. He admits to not knowing anything about education. Still, he must realize that once there is a toxic substance it has to be dealt with.

We are told he now controls four seminaries once operated by Elimelech Meisels. They are bedeviled with allegations of the serial sexual abuse of students by Meisels and the complicity of staff that ignored the clues, rebuffed the reports, and discouraged reporting. What is worse, more than six of them lied about their complicity. I say that because Rabbis Shafran, Gartner and Malinowitz say they interviewed the heads of the seminaries ( and other staff) and concluded that no one else in the seminaries was implicated. It is on that basis that the three rabbis of the IBD concluded that the seminaries were safe and there was no reason for parents to withdraw students.

These seminary heads include Rabbi Baruch D. Simon who pretty much ran Pninim under Meisels and Rabbi Meir Kahane who ran Chedvas Bais Yaakov (and taught for years in Pninim). Pninim was where Meisels spent most of his time (though he gave classes in the other seminaries) and where he conspicuously groomed students with late night rides, long meetings at all hours behind closed doors and other obvious violations of yichud (rule against private seclusion by unrelated adults of the opposite sex). Kahane wrote a maniacal letter all but promising his students they could bring the moshiach closer by being sure no one spoke about Meisels’ misdeeds. He has still not apologized for the letter or retracted it. He also wrote a misleading letter claiming “Rabbi Meisels retired six weeks ago… a process he began a number of years ago.”

Asbestos doesn’t always have to be removed. Sometimes, it can be contained by enclosing it so it won’t leak into the air. Cover-ups are different. Once they have started, those involved are trapped by their previous lies. They now have to insist they could not have seen what they should have seen. They have to minimize Meisels’ guilt to lessen their guilt in ignoring it and lying to a court proceeding. They have to educate students to a standard of diminished vigilance. Because they can never admit the truth, they cannot openly derive and teach the appropriate lessons.

Mr. Yarmush, unless you haul out the toxic waste, you have no business running these seminaries.


101 thoughts on “Can Seminaries Be Run by a Toxic Waste Hauler?

    • Meir- Rabbi Simon happens to be one of the most incredible human beings I know.

      Unfortunately, he knew Meisles was a problem and received complaints (I’m not sure if sexual contact, but def inappropriate behavior). I know this 100%.

      • TS,
        In the beginning you were for a day or two ambivalent about M. You know what kind of posts I am referring to. Then the ambivalence completely disappeared. Well, I would like to point out that while, on one hand, claiming that Rabbi Simon “happens to be one of the most incredible human beings I know”, on the other hand you are 100% positive that he knew, at the minimum, of “inappropriate behavior”.
        There goes that ambivalence again. You 100% agree that he was an enabler, at the minimum. Another word for enabler is complicit. although they are not synonyms. In the situation of two “Ktanim Hador” running a yeshivah, one would be hardpressed, based on your above comment, to accept the “incredible human being” appellation.

        • Knew someone would mention this. Chashdan, your inquisitiveness on my comments are valid and understandable. Unfortunately, I cannot answer all your questions bc I cannot reveal certain information.

          I’m sorry if I’m causing ppl confusion.

  1. Why would anyone in his right mind buy 4 seminaries under such circumstances? Was this a fire sale? Is this really just a way to pretend the seminaries were sold so they can remain in business?
    If everything is honkey dorey, why haven’t the 2 accrediting institutions resumed their affiliation?

    • I am guessing the “buyer” assumed the IBD could outmaneuver the CBD and kasher the sale. They certainly wrote how wonderful and kosher it always and still was (apart from he who must not be named).

    • Why would anyone buy it? Hmm, let’s do the math. Four seminaries with 120 students each times $22,000 a year equals = a million dollar business.

      • Only Pninim is over a hundred students with 2nd year students. The total is more like 300 students for all four seminaries combined. x $20500 = ~$6,000,000 gross revenue (but minus scholarships, probably closer to $5,000,000) and then there are expenses (Jerusalem rent/utilities/food/ special trips which are part of the package, and most of all, paying teachers and other staff). Still there is some nice money to be made if you can come close enough to filling them up and management is decent. I have no idea of the details in Meisel’s case. But the seminary business must be profitable or private business people would not keep opening up more and more of them.

        But the Meisels seminaries will have vacancies which will reduce profit. Any buyer must discount for legal liability for abuse and penalties in the refund lawsuit, and lawyer fees. So it is hard to say what they will be worth.

        • Let’s remember that the Israeli salaries are much lower than what the teachers would make in the U.S., so the profit has got to be up there when you run such a big organization.

  2. You just might get your wish.

    There are rumors on DT that Teichman from BYA is now the owner of the Seminaries.

  3. Yerachmiel, you are a Rasha. You and Gottesman will burn in Gehenom.
    I was thinking about this for a while that I really would like to write to you. As a jew to a jew. What are you going to say to Hashem when you go up to heaven?
    Hi, here I am, so and so aka Yerachmiel Lopin. I am the one whose been saying loshon hora and motzi shem ra about your children as my life mission. I made sure the whole world would know about things that your children did/ didn’t do, and made sure to create machlokes amongst your children.
    What do you think Hashem will say? I really wonder what your plans are for the future. Don’t you think it’s time to do teshuva? You are really ruining your neshama. I hope you can still have a kapara, even though in my mind you don’t deserve one, but Shaarei teshuva lo ninalu.

    • If I go to gehenim it will not be from saving people from abuse. But if I do go, Meisels and his enablers will be on the hottest rotisserie. So yes, I am afraid of being sprayed by their schmaltz drippings.

      • I think he accidentally typed in frum follies instead of daas torah and then just clicked the add generic comment button.

    • Yochi- another gehenom talk, eh?

      True, I also don’t agree/love every single post YL puts on the blog, bc I feel it creates pointless l”h.

      But I and others will stick to this- FF is helping the world in ways which you WISH you could EVER have the guts to do.

      If you didn’t agree with Lopin, the least you’d do is reply “I appreciate the blog and the info and making ppl aware…but pls watch out for needless posts that can create l”h.”

      But you don’t say that. You go so far as to call YL a rasha. You’re clearly a Meisles defender.

      When we get up to shamayim, we’ll see what HKB”H thinks about all this. I have a sure feeling the flames of hell are waiting for others more deservant than Lopin…

      • Yochi is a typical Yeshivish/Chareidi person who likes to threaten people and attack them personally rather than dealing with the issue and disputing it with intelligence. You would think that the world of people who learn Talmud would actually produce critical thinkers – in practice we see that this is not the case as the Yeshivish system just produces cult thinking without anything more.

        • You are onto something but you are generalizing to excess when you write ” the Yeshivish system just produces cult thinking without anything more.” Yeshivas vary as do their students. But I agree that compared to the glorious world of learning in Lithuania before WWII the old relish for sharp debate has been swamped by a strong tendency to mindless conformity. That, I believe is why, Lita with way fewer full-time students, produced many more extraordinary talmidei chachamim.

    • If I had to guess, I would guess that Elimelech Meisels or one of his temporarily employed minions is posting as Yochi.

    • Who really ruined neshamos? I’d say the award goes to Mr. Meisels. Wouldn’t you? People like you always mix up ikkar and tofel.

      For the record, check out Moed Katan, 5a, right where the lines get wide. The rabbomin have a DUTY to prevent danger to the public, and that’s exactly what the CBD did. The gemarah also says that in case they don’t get rid of public danger, the blood of those harmed is on their hands. Pretty serious stuff. Yerachmiel Lopin is simply helping to get the message out.

      Unlike you, I can’t claim to speak for Hashem (and those of you, who do, are always first-rate crazies anyway) but I have a feeling that Hashem wants us to protect the innocent, and not to sympathize with a monster.

      But then, I’m not the one who wrote the crazy moshiach email, and you are.

    • If you can’t handle the facts, and you can’t control others from publicizing the facts, just threaten them with gehenem and Hashem’s wrath. Works every time.

      • If threats of Gehinnom work every time, those who drive accusers out of town, destroy their livelihoods or throw bleach in their faces must be seriously lacking in emunah. [sarcasm]

        • Don’t worry, I didn’t reveal our most secret, most effective methods of mind control. After all, they’re not on a high enough madreiga to understand it.

    • Yochi, since all of this is solely about your concern for YL’s neshama, and you don’t bring any factual information for blog readers to consider, why didn’t you just send this to YL as a private e-mail? Aren’t you concerned that a public, false accusation of motzi shem ra is itself motzi shem ra? Why endanger your own neshama?

      • Kevin, you should be complimenting his mesiras nefesh. He is willing to sacrifice his own afterlife to fulfill the mitzvah of rebuke and save YL from eternal damnation. We need more such heroes.

        • Splendidly fallacious analysis! You forgot to mention that even more heroically, he did it anonymously. Speaking of mesiras nefesh, yasher koach for braving the slings and arrows and respectfully raising halakhic questions on a certain misnamed blog.

      • Kevin, you are a killjoy. You are underestimating the salivation inducing, utter simcha of lashing someone in public for loshon horah. Where is the fun of doing it in private. Kevin, he may be a Hasid he believes all mitzvos need to be done in joy and even a simpleton simple person can rise to great heights through joy. #sarcasm

        • OK, I see, it’s about salivation, not salvation. Putting one’s tongue in one’s cheek can also induce that.

        • This is for Seriously? at 12:59 AM, below. (8/20). There was no way to reply there.
          Re: “LOL. You guys are on a roll”, and here, in my innocence, I thought it was a BBQ skewer in Gehenom.

        • Chashdan – It is! That’s the joke. This world IS Gehenom. But sshhh. It’s a secret. Only a select few of us are privy to this secret information, which we pass down, generation to generation, to only a select few who are on a high enough madreiga to understand it.

    • Are only the abusers and the accomplices/enablers Hashem’s children, or are the victims also His children? How about potential future victims c”v if the environment remains the same? Do they not count as His children? Only those with rabbinical titles or some kind of power to potentially abuse?

      The more that Yerachmiel Lopin spreads information about those adult children who abuse (or shield the abusers) in our community, the more safe us average shmoes will be. Assuming Judaism is just and Hashem is just, there must be some kind of reward for that activity. I’d bet it’s a rather great reward.

      • Someone should answer, “amen,” so I will — Amen! There seems to be an unspoken assumption among some people that children will “get over it” and are less deserving of justice than the perpetrators, whose exposure will ruin their lives. As you say, the victims are equally Hashem’s children.

  4. Now you are Nechemie. Other times you comment here as Nathan. Make up your mind. In the menatime both your names are banned because you are a sockpuppet. YL

  5. WOW.

    I just read on DaatTorah that ppl think I’m a fake person and created by Lopin.

    I don’t know if I should laugh or cry…this whole thing is messed up.

    • When you have the facts on your side – argue the facts.
      When you have the law on your side – argue the law.
      When you have neither on your side -scream as loud as you can and hope no one notices.

    • My point, Truthseeker, is that people have no way to refute your real time experiences.
      So they think by making noise & creating confusion – they distract from the real issue.

      Sorry Elimelech & Company -this ain’t going away. (If Rabbi Feurst doesn’t call him Rabbi – I don’t have to either!).

    • I am so sorry you had to see that. But they have been consistently denying that there are anything more than one or maybe two victims. They are in complete denial, and whenever it’s brought up, EIdensohn goes on and on about how victims must call either the police or the IBD. Weird.

      And then there are the people like our friend Kahane above, who simply scream “Gottesman” whenever they have nothing else to say. It’s a real hot mess they have over there. Several people are pointing out that Eidensohn has gone off the deep end. Worse, there are many posters who are saying awful things about the CBD. It is just terrible.

      My fervent hope is that in some way, the scope of the allegations can be publicized. For example, the number of accusers (we all know it’s a sizable number) and the fact that it was more than a hug. And also that the staff heard the complaints and did nothing, which we also know to be true. These are the reasons the CBD still feels that the sems are unsafe, and that’s why something needs to be publicized in a way that proves the Meisels Weasels have been lying all along.

    • Don’t worry TruthSeeker, we know you’re real and that only Hashem and your parents created you. Besides, why would anyone spend hours and hours commenting for weeks on end, if they didn’t have a horse in this race?

      It sounds like the DaasTorah blog has gone off the deep end. Wild and convoluted conspiracy theories abound, claiming people who have spent weeks commenting in their own specific style are now “fakes” created by the blog owner. Ludicrous, and untrue, with no basis in reality. Besides, why would Lopin care to create a new, fake personality specifically for this case, and not the 30+ other cases which he has blogged about over the past 5 years? It doesn’t matter what motive they could possibly contrive for him to do it, it simply isn’t true.

      Oh, and to all DT people – I am also real. For a while I was just a wooden puppet in a woodcarver’s shop. But to the joy of Geppetto and with the help of a segulah or two, I magically turned real!

      • “Besides, why would anyone spend hours and hours commenting for weeks on end, if they didn’t have a horse in this race?”

        Um, if that’s part of your satan worship cult you’d do it too. Exactly what is so hard to understand about it?

        • I guess I just haven’t experienced the drug-like highs of the “satan worship cult” so I don’t relate. Though I did, regretfully, belong to the gadol worship cult at one time, way, way back when. Is there much of a difference?

      • Careful, they’ll ask to measure your nose! And don’t reveal the secrets of Gepetto (Yosef ben Betzalel), who studied with the Maharal! 🙂

        • Unfortunately, someone from Prague must have given those secrets away about 30 years ago, as is evidenced by the myriad golams to suddenly emerge in the frum world, blindly following, with nary a hint of sechel to be found.

    • TS, so sorry for the aggravation. A few points. Please stop reading that blog over there, the highly unethical one, it will just give you high blood pressure.
      . It does not even matter if everyone on both blogs is a fake, since the CBD did due diligence. and extensive chakira, of victims and Meisels. And their reputations are pristine. It would not matter if these two blogs were written by Martians. Eidenssohn has an enormous ego and needs professional help in my opinion. Even if you did not exist (and I mean, not ever have posted here, NOT that you don’t exist, just not participated, I have no doubt that you are real),. that has no bearing on the CBD’s psak and emes. And as far as YL goes, the idea that he would create you is outrageously funny, for so many reasons. It’s also plain outrageous a hideous tactic by DT.
      . I completely believe, through reading YL for a long time, that his integrity is pristine and beyond reproach. And he also is very smart, so that If he really would have wanted to create a fake character, he would have made her clearly a victim of rape and sodomy clearly stated. I mean if you are going to fake and lie, then go for the big one. LOPIN does not fake and lie, and has never been accused of that when fighting abuse of many other minuvalim over the years. And, were he to do such, which is just plain absurd and motsi shem rah, he is smart enough to have created a real victim with a “really good” graphic description of what . M. had done to her. Eidenssohn, would guess must be capable of pulling out all plugs and going for the jugular, for blood, if he came up with that claim against you. You owe him nothing. He owes you request for mechila.

      • Thanks Chashdan.

        To top it all off, why don’t they all visit Lopin’s post about “How Meisles Recruited”.

        I was fiercely against YL’s decision to post that entire thing and made my strong opinion public. Why on earth would Lopin “create” TruthSeeker and then post against himself? The ppl on DT obv haven’t been reading any posts on FF since the beginning.

        But enough about me..on to more important topics…

  6. Bloggers are using guerilla tactics to attack the Establishment which protects vile individuals for financial and political reasons.
    Sometimes, there is collateral damage.
    That’s understandable in a battle–which in this case is a battle to end soul murder en masse.

  7. I don’t care to comment on eidensohn’s blog. But someone can kindly send him a message (and to all his followers) that TruthSeeker doesn’t CARE whether they believe her or not. They are a waste of time and are illogical. Eidensohn says on the blog “if there is anyone who can prove that ppl complained to staff then let’s see proof.”

    Yet after being SHOWN proof from all of my endless comments, all him and his followers have to say is: “she’s obviously fake.”

    Eidensohn, u and ur followers are WEAK and embarrassing yourselves by your weakness. He wants names. He wants my full name, address, and SS# to make sure I’m not “fake”. That is what it will take. And I will NEVER reveal that to anyone (but I did to both Bais dins, who all have my name, #, and where I come from, and also Lopin.) Eidensohn, you and your followers are quite despicable for claiming me and all of my experiences to be “made up.” Now, YOU are acting like a sex-predator cover-up.

    Again, I’m not here to convince anyone of anything. I KNOW what I heard and been thru with everything I’ve posted is 100% Emes through and through. You, the readers, make the judgment of whether I am “fake” or not.

    It a pretty sickening to know ppl still think that of me after all the info I have put out there for everyone….

    Someone asked “why didn’t she call rabbi Eidensohn?”

    Um…why SHOULD I exactly? His blog and the comments are atrocious and make no sense.

    Sorry off topic..but not gonna lie…I’m pretty angry.

  8. At the risk of being labeled “meisels defender” or any other name that i have been called on this blog, I have to say that there is a difference between warning a person about a potential abuser, and ripping the abuser apart on forums that the whole world can see. I still dont know whether or not these allegations are true, but Lopin, or TruthSeeker, how would you like it if you did something wrong and the whole world was exposed to it? Any parties that needed to know about this situation new well before you and DT posted it. The message is out! Everyone will be more careful! Enough of all these follow up articles that obviously dont change a thing! At this point, it is unnecessary and 100% loshon hora!

    • Alum, you have proven yourself as highly untrustworthy on multiple occasions.

      You are two-faced, border-line trolling, naive, and many more things. These are not names which I simply want to “bash” you with. They are factual and true of your nature.

    • There is a big difference. Check out the fake Daas Torah blog, where people consistently deny basic facts about the case. As long as they continue to denigrate the CBD and as long as they deny the truth, they need to be fought at every turn. Or do you care at all about the truth?

    • Sounds very much like stockholm syndrome kicking in or some kind of brainwashing…
      There is a red line that was crossed here. This person did not simply “do something wrong.” He victimized the community. Don’t you see a difference? Everyone makes mistakes, but this was not a mistake. This was abuse.
      “Everyone will be more careful” is not enough. Those who covered up or assisted must also be removed from society to prevent the danger.

    • I apologize for posting you comments on DT and getting you upset but i couldn’t help myself. You can see from the reaction there what a nerve it touched. Please forgive me.

      • Moshe, I am not upset at you at all.

        In fact, I THANK YOU for bringing me. It was exactly what I hoped for someone to do after reading that Eidensohn wanted proof of ppl who complained etc.

        I FULLY allow you to repost my response above on his blog. If you want..

      • I see you’ve posted it. Good.

        I am not sure why so many ppl are saying “why hasn’t she called?” “What, she doesn’t own a phone?”

        Do ppl on eidensohn’s blog not know how to read? I HAVE, as clearly stated by your post.

        I am fuming. Ppl have no way of denying everything I’ve been thru, so now they r attacking back “she’s fake!”. Pathetic. Truly pathetic.

        Feel free to post this as well if you’d like. I’m quite done for now.

        • Try not to visit the other blogs. Why aggravate yourself? If they think you are thin skinned and attacking your credibility will shut you down, they will proceed with guns blazing.
          Don’t let Meisel surrogates and apologists wear you down.

        • TS – Don’t let the turkeys get you down. They’re pushing your buttons, trying to get to you. Don’t let them. You said you had a thick skin. Just ignore them and stay the course. The truth will come out, and hopefully, thanks to you, to Yerachmiel, to the CBD, and most of all to the extremely brave survivors of Meisels’ abuse who have been working with the CBD, the truth and some measure of justice will prevail. Don’t let the naysayers win by getting to you. They’re like annoying bullies. Just ignore them and eventually they will scurry back to their holes in the ground. The truth will win in this case. There’s too much garbage in this case to sweep it under the rug anymore. The balloon was burst, and the x hit the fan. There aint no getting those worms back in the can now. Meisels & Co know they are in trouble. Stay vigilant. Stay the course. (And let me know if there are any clichés I have left out of this comment 🙂 ).

        • What makes the knuckle dragging Eidenson Gang think anyone owes them an explanation or a phone call to verify they exist or for any other purpose? So Chaim Malinowitz can unleash the attack dogs and harass the accuser?

          The CBD says Meisels is a pervert and there are staff members who ignored it. Game over. The fat lady has sung. The show is over.

          Torahless Daasless – no one cares about your opinions. Deal with it.

          Your lunatic ideas tell the rest of us you both have problems dealing with the female half of the human race as full fledged people rather than chattel and sex objects.

          Women have rights, even if that upsets your unbalanced cart. Deal with it.

          Your hero Chaim Malinowitz has lost credibility in matters involving women and no one worries about his opinion any more than they worry about yours. Deal with it.

          You’re just couple of maladjusted misogynists suffering from delusions of grandeur. Get help. You both desperately need it. Lots of it.

    • You go girl!! (Are they using that expression this decade? It’s hard to keep track. I’ve been lost since “Groovy.”)

    • that cartoon was below the belt. All you are doing is making yarmush, who is trying hard, think about dropping out.
      He hired Reb. Birnbaum ,who we spoke to today and is an excellent person and a great choice for mashpiah, and whom we think will be an excellent addition, reconsider the whole thing.
      You are taking on your shoulders the responsibility for many, many girls.

        • myself and wife. bleemy birnbaum,.it is Rebitzin. i just abbreviated. Her husband is a rosh yeshiva in pachad yitzchok,

          • I am amazed by the contradictions. If the IBD is so sure that the seminaries are totally safe, why would they need an outside mashgichah? Moreover, are they really so certain all the toxic waste was removed. I was not ridiculing Mr. Yarmush. I respect all work involved in cleaning up hazardous substances. I understand his business is professional and up to standards. My point is that the seminaries are infested with people who enabled and now have a motive to lie forever. the alternative for them is to admit they lied before a beis din. The place can’t be cleaned up without admitting it was infested. Now that is extremely unlikely to ever happen.

      • I do not know Yarmush/Rebbetzin birnbaum. I am not questioning whether they are great ppl etc.


        Yarmush knew FULLY WELL what backlash he was going to get for buying the seminaries. He knew the CBD and others would make a stink out of it bc he has connections to Meisles and his wife works in one of the seminaries. The prerequisite for buying them was that the buyer have NO CONNECTION with anything from before.

        I do not feel bad for him at all. He knew what he was getting himself into.

  9. All of these discussions of the Meisels seminaries are missing the main point. The root of the problem is the hat on Elimelech’s head. I see it in all of the internet images of Mr. Meisels. Patience and I will explain. That hat is a fedora. The fedora hat first appeared in 1882 as a female hat. That is the year of the first production of a play “Fédora” by the French author Victorien Sardou. He wrote the part of Princess Fédora Romanoff, a title role, for then famous actress Sarah Bernhardt. In it she wore center-creased, soft brimmed hat. The hat was soon a popular fashion for women especially for the feminists of that time. Within a decade or so this fashion passed on to the “dandies” of that time. (“Dandy” was what we now call gay.) Only after 20 years or so did this hat style become popular as a general fashion item for men. Anyone who doubts this narrative can quickly check it out on the internet.
    There is an absolute issur: לא ילבש גבר שמלת אישה . Period. The fact that this fashion was adopted by the Litvak community and then by the sefaradi charedim does not change the issue. It is a female item, and worse yet it was adopted by the dandies! My great grandfather in Kovna Gebirne would not have dreamt of putting such a hat on his head. When that hat is on the head of a Yehudi it generates negative energy downwards – to all parts of the human body. This item warps all those who are under its influence; this is unstoppable. And the final proof: fedora backwards is . . . “a rodef ”. I assume that all of the other rabbanim in the four seminaries have the same hat; this perversion must be reversed.

    • Mad Hatter,
      Fantastic story, and conclusions. On the list for the Pulitzer Prize. I am particularly impressed with the fedora-rodef connection. YOU ROCK!

    • Mad Hatter, I’m not sure if you are serious about saying that Orthodox men should chuck their fedora because of its history, which will impact them with its negative energy. Not sure if this is just plain satire or if you mean it.

      Assuming you are serious, I would point out that in that same century that the fedora appeared, only prostitutes wore make-up. Any respectable woman, let alone a frum woman, would not have dreamed of putting rouge on her cheeks. Using your logic, would you then say that women today should not wear make-up, as its negative energy will flow to all parts of their bodies? Would you say that you assume that all the female staff involved in the cover-up wore make-up too; therefore we need to reverse that trend?

      Finally, is it fair to say that all men who wear black hats are under its evil influence?

      If this is satire, please disregard this entire comment; I will just add then that it is in poor taste.

      My apologies to Mr. Lopin for going off topic.


      • Ah, Dina, your rouge analogy is completely inappropriate.
        לא ילבש גבר שמלת אישה .
        It doesn’t matter what is common today. I will give you another example. Wrist watches from the time of Queen Elizabeth (the first) to the early 2oth century were worn exclusively by women; men used pocket watches. My grandfather had a pocket watch – never never did I see him with a wrist watch. Now it is well known that on several occasions HaRav Chaim Kanievsky has told men who came to talk to him that it is assur for them to wear their wrist watches for this reason. That’s a fact. But you might say that it is also true that Rav Kanievsky wears a fedora. Why is that? I guess he does not know the history. I have thought of shlepping to Bnai Brak to explain the situation to him, but I haven’t done this because I am sure the guardians at the door would not let me in. Now I don’t know if Meisels wears a wrist watch – the internet images are only head shots. But even if he does this is not so terrible. The negative energy generated by this device is not as massive as that due to the fedora. It probably does not get past the elbow. But the damage due to the fedora is horrible. Especially considering the wide brims common in the chareidi world today – often 5 inches wide or more! Those fedoras generate negative radiation downward over a 40 inch diameter! Another example: The Frierdicke Rebbe of Chabad wore a shtreimel; when he was nifter the last Rebbe switched to a fedora – as did all of the chabadniks who dutifully mimicked the wardrobe style. And what happened? The Meshichist movement was born. Every time I hear one of the Chabadnicks scream out Yechi etc. I know this is due to the fedora on his head.

        • Because I have a sense of humor I cannot resist this discussion (though I am breaking my own rule about going off topic). R. MM Schneerson wore a trilby, not a fedora. Somewhere along the way, whatever the origins, the Yeshivish fedora, became something very different from the fedora. Borsalino got rich selling hats with Chazon Ish-sized brims. Now if the Yeshivish hat got brims three times as large, I have some questiosn.

          1. Would you still say it is a fedora?
          2. would people go crazy as mad hatters paying for them?
          3. would the distance between people wearing them get so large that clal yisroel would go deaf from the shouting.

          I am also disturbed by the Yeshivish-centric focus on federa hat sizes.

          What’s about streimel inflation? Take for example Satmar. There are some facts known to those who either saw the first Satmar Rebbe, Yoelish, with their own eyes as kids (me for example) or saw his pictures. His Striemel’s fur was only about 6 inches from top to bottom (we are not discussing diameter). Nowadays everyone in Satmar from the new chosson to the Rebbe brothers has hats over a foot high. This is not an issue of women’s wear. I am not even concerning myself with the fate of Canadian sables. But this is an issue of breaking with minhag avos. Maybe all the terrible fighting in Satmar is caused by a breach of minhag, something which matters especially much to Hasidim when it comes to clothing.

          Now folks let’s try to stick to the topic, “Can Seminaries be Run by a Toxic Waste Hauler.” At work they wear hard hats. It is well known that a hard hat is a macho symbol.

  10. I rlly don’t myself to be the focus of so much discussion but…Eidensohn just posted an entire post just for me on his website.

    As I refuse to directly comment on his blog, someone needs to tell him that I never ever accused the IBD of “sweeping it under the rug” when they didn’t want to hear my accusations over the phone. Go back to my comments, Eidensohn. I said nothing of the sort. EVER.

    I was simply giving over exactly how the phone call was played out. And yeah, I do not ever know if the IBD will ever call me back. They don’t seem to be doing their job too well bc if there ARE teachers who covered up abuse and they haven’t already heard teatimony from students in an official meeting, then they’ve FAILED miserably at their job of protecting students bc school starts in about 2 weeks.

    They had their chance to do things properly. And failed. Eidensohn, you should w embarassed at your recent post. But I’m honored you made it just for me ;).



    • Someone please post this on DT. I just don’t want to start commenting myself bc I know I will be attacked at all ends and it will get bad..I don’t trust myself…

        • There’s no reason he shouldn’t allow it. He made a terrible mistake and needs to face it and show everyone.
          If I see it hasn’t gone thru in the next few hours, maybe I’ll try myself..

    • TS,
      have you ever let it be known to either of the bd’s, or to either of the blogs, which teachers, menahalim, knew for sure, per your absolute knowledge about the abuses, any level of abuse, did you ever tell either BD, or YL. EXACTLY WHICH employees knew 100%. i call them employees, because that is what they are, no special privileges, whether or not semicha or rebbetzin or i do not care. did you ever tell anyone which you knew for certain. And beyond that, there is of course the likelihood that others knew, via other means….. I think this is a really impt question at this point. Maybe I am full of it. and even if not, it may not have any effect on any outcome at all. Just , call me curious George, and since that is a famous secular series of books, i should tell you that…… having been a yeshiva student… “curious George” is well well known in the secular world…… and you would knock me over if you had heard of the series of books, not that it is an issue of impt knowledge. i was told to avoid hebrew at all costs, and am having trouble here, but i think it is clear. Curious George really wants to know, not that he has any particular zechut to the emes…..

    • To be clear we are talking about administrators, teaching staff (many of whom are part time), house mothers (eim bayit), and madrichot (counselors just a few years out of seminary). About 5 names have come to my attention but I am nowhere near having spoken to enough former students to have a full picture. In general I would say that the most likely recipients of the messages were the administrators (including the 2nd or 3rd in charge) and the aim bayit (as women, and regular presences responsible for overall well-being. Some teachers who were part time and pretty much went from street to class to street may have justifiably never have had a clue, especially if they were not the type who inspired personal bonding and confidences. The only way to know for sure is to bring in a trusted independent outsider, give them the full lists of alumni going back some years, have them send out requests for input to all such students and former staff, and give them access to emails, phone records and other such stuff. That is what other institutions do when they have abuse problems. It is not cheap. There are firms that specialize in this sort of thing. Such an effort takes months. At the end, the report can reasonably apportion blame or exoneration and can suggest aspects of the culture that were problematic and suggest future prevention policies. Even all this is for naught if no one acts on the findings and recommendations.

      The CBD did a fine job, afaik, of investigating claim of misconduct by Meisels and issuing a finding. Incidental to their investigation they found complicity and much more after they released their finding and others got in touch with them. But even so they have come nowhere near to doing a full investigation. Going forward, the priority is the investigation of complicity, and taking actions to remedy it including firing/demoting staff, retraining staff, altering the seminary culture, and establishing policies and an independent ombudsman. Many will correctly point out that most other seminaries have no strong policies and ombudsmen. I would argue they too should have them. This is the norm for most private and public schools and colleges in the US. The frum world prides itself on having much higher standards of tznius, why shouldn’t they want mehadrin standards in this area? All seminaries, schools and yeshiva’s meed it. But it makes sense to start where the stench of scandal is overwhelming.

      The IBD has no credibility in this regard. Others are needed to do this job properly. Till then it would be foolish to believe the seminaries are safe.

    • I can’t say..and I don’t want to use the term “cover up”.

      I’d rather say it as “had complaints brought to them but did not take a proactive stance on the complaints.”

      Listen, I want to be objective in all this…perhaps they DID do some proactive change after hearing complaints of inappropriate behavior…which is why Meisles was losing connection with the seminaries over the last 3 years…maybe that was due to a staff member realizing…maybe that was the only way they could slowly get rid of him bc otherwise they were afraid to lose their jobs and stand alone…idk…

      But if complaints of actual physical contact were brought, that’s a diff story…

      (I am simply making speculations. I do not know if any of the above is real and 100%).

      Jack- I know at least 4 staff DEF had complaints abt Meisles’ flirty and boundary-less behavior. But it’s complicated for certain reasons…

  11. Look at what happened to Penn State. Abuse was covered up for years, and when it finally was brought out in the open, Louis Freeh – the former FBI head was brought in to do a thorough review of what happened and how. He got full access and cooperation.
    The results were brutal. Te president of the university faces criminal charges.
    The school was fined $60M by the NCAA & won’t be eligible for bowl games (huge moneymakers). Additionally, the NCAA vacated 13 years of victories wiping the legacy of Joe Paterno.
    That is the way you deal with abuse. Top to bottom clean out house.

    • Thank you for your interesting and useful summary of the range of seminaries from the very modern orthodox to those oriented to promoting the kollel ideal. I would love to see you get into the range within the yeshivish world from the academic, to the hashkafic, the Chedavas Bais Yaakov Model of Meir Kahane which promises training for kiruv work.

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