Breaking- Pninim Year Two Program Is Cancelled

school closedLate last week, the 15 remaining students enrolled in the 2nd year program (shana bet) of the Pninim seminary controlled by Elimelech Meisels were notified that the seminary program was cancelled this year.

They were not offered any alternative placements. I do not know if they refunded the tuition payments, whether they plan to, and if so, on what schedule.

Last year, this same 2nd year program had approximately 35 students. I do not know if it was grossly under enrolled before the scandal broke, or whether some 20 other students already withdrew.

BACKGROUND

Meisels has been embroiled in the highly publicized “Seminaries Scandal” since July 10th when the Chicago Beis Din (CBD rabbinical court) advised against attending any of the four seminaries he operated because of the results of their investigation into allegations of “unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature” with his students. Pninim was the seminary where he was the principal and spent the most time.

Chicago Beis Din 7-30-14 let re meisels and staff to HTCThree days later an Israeli Beis Din (IBD) declared the seminaries safe because Meisels was gone. Some weeks later they claimed he had transferred all of his control to Mr. Yaakov Yarmush. However they have never offered any public proof and haven’t even named the officers who supposedly took over control.

The Chicago rabbis rejected the idea that the problem was over and raised the problem of other staff that enabled Meisels’ sexual activity with students. In response to the position of the Chicago Beis Din (CBD), Touro College and Hebrew Theological College suspended accreditation. Accreditation is necessary to get college credits which can be transferred for degrees and to get government grants, loans, and tax credits or deductions.

WHY WAS YEAR TWO CANCELLED?

I am not sure. My source heard it was because they do not want the 2nd year students around to talk about life with Meisels. I think it may have been done at the behest of Mr. Yarmush, the current controller of the seminaries according to the IBD. As someone with business experience in asbestos abatement, he knows his property is devalued by the toxic taint of the Pninim culture of charismatic flirting. If he should tire of this drawn out scandal he may want to transfer the seminaries to someone else and no new manager/proprietor will want the taint of the past.

WHAT LIES AHEAD?

The CBD will stick to its guns as will Touro and Hebrew Theological Colleges in suspending accreditation. Not a single American rabbinical figure of stature has challenged their judgment or qualification. Right now the seminaries have no future past this coming year. They are only holding onto some undetermined proportion of their students because they are withholding refunds and alternative seminary slots are hard to find.

Broken piggy bankRecruitment for next year starts in a few weeks and ends when applications get submitted to all the seminaries later in the calendar year. Unless the seminaries get cleared by the CBD, they are doomed to low applications and enrollment, probably so low that they will have to close shop. Some parents and students will not enroll because they are persuaded by the CBD. Others will just not want to risk the stink of scandal rubbing off on the reputations of their daughters.

The only way out is to find another party to take over the seminaries with a good independent reputation who cleans house of all staff implicated in ignoring or covering up abuse. At a minimum, there are some staff unqualified to be educators because they were unable to notice the problems. More likely, a number of them knew of and disregarded the fact that Meisels was violating rules of yichud (seclusion) and negiah (physical contact) with his students. Yet key administrators and staff (including Rabbis Kahane and Simon and Mrs. Ullman and Soloff) gave testimony claiming they saw nothing and knew nothing. Nobody can clean up the seminaries enough to get students for 2015-2016 unless they and other implicated staff are fired.

Elimelech Meisels

Elimelech Meisels

The seminaries also have enormous potential liabilities. They have already been sued for the return of tuition by five households. Others have already followed though they were not part of the suit. Eventually the suit will have to be settled because the alternative is a court battle in which all sorts of evidence of abuse and financial misconduct will be revealed and the suit will in any event prevail. If it isn’t settled, the RICO charges will lead to triple damages. I believe other suits are likely by other victims of sexual exploitation by Meisels this last year or in previous years. Those will be much more expensive to settle.

In a word, the Meisels seminaries are burdened with large potential legal liabilities and little prospect for successful recruitment this fall.

If the seminaries limp along the year, the operators will not invest in the future or even in the present. They will hold on to the tuition money and probably cut costs left and right to squeeze a little more money out of this cash cow before it dies without yielding any more milk.

The abrupt closure of the 2nd year of Pninim is the map for the future of the Meisels seminaries.

IF YOUR DAUGHTER IS ENROLLED FOR THE COMING YEAR

You are now at a critical point. If you put in for a tuition refund you will probably get it either directly or by joining a lawsuit and waiting about 6 months. If you go ahead and start your daughter, it will be much harder to later join the lawsuit. You may still lose your tuition money if the seminaries go belly up before the year is out. Attending in the hope of a successful year is a very risky strategy.

PS. This is my 1,000th post since starting this blog five years ago.

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76 thoughts on “Breaking- Pninim Year Two Program Is Cancelled

  1. This is great news! One down and 4 to go. The administrators and faculty 100% knew. Shame on them for lying to protect their jobs. It’s because of frum fakers like these protectors and enablers that so many kids are OTD!!! I am so upset at these school’s faculty and teachers who protected meisels but I know Hashem will punish them!! What about his wife? Has she no shame? Girls slept in that house on shabbos right under her nose while her husband flirted and molested. All these people care about is $$. It is disgusting and a total disgrace.

    • If you have proof of this, there are many people who want to know. It would completely destroy the claims of many over at DT.

        • Triangle must have thought Bais Dins were about as reliable as the IBD and their “investigations”. Who would have thought that there could be one who did extensive and real investigations in to the issue? Unheard of!

        • @BSA, that’s not what I meant. I am personally aware of the allegations against the teachers, and they make a good deal of sense. Either the other staff were clueless or they covered up, but it can’t be neither. Not when working in such close quarters. Not when Meisels gave private rides in the middle of the night.

          But what is missing is the particulars regarding the accusations against the staff. On DT, they carefully exploit this missing piece of information and say that it doesn’t exist. To say “yes it does” isn’t really a reliable rejoinder to people who basically believe that Meisels was only guilty of a hug, and once at that. A few more specifics of the staff wrongdoing would go a long way towards proving DT to be wrong.

    • i spoke to Rabbi Fuerst on the phone , never said anything about the staff having to be change , only that Meisels had to relinquish OWNERSHIP. There is NO evidence to spread rumors that any of the senior staff willingly knew or covered up anything!! This thread needs to put up the letter stating that or they need to STOP falsely accusing innocent staff members. I personally know Mrs. Soloff and Mrs. Ullman, there is no WAY they allowed, knew of any sexual misconduct to their girls!!

      • The “transfer” or whatever it was, happened a while ago. There are still problems. If the transfer was the only issue, then why did R’ Fuerst himself put out a letter https://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/chicago-letter-counters-israel-students-can-drop-meisels-seminaries-and-others-can-accept-them/ saying that the sems are essentially unsafe?

        I think that several people have brought the claim that victims complained to the staff, and that the staff did nothing. That’s the sticking point. It’s pretty simple. The IBD koshered the sems quite quickly after speaking to the teachers, and the CBD continues to feel that there are still problems with the staff.

        Interestingly enough, the IBD is now requiring that if a girl complains, that the staff can have the opportunity to rebut the claims. However, there was no such concern when the IBD interviewed the staff who were the subjects of the complaints. The girls had no opportunity to rebut those claims, and the IBD went ahead and kashered the sems. Interesting double standard.

      • Ruthy, see here for a letter from the Chicago Beis Din about the staff:

        https://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/seminary-staff-made-it-possible-for-meisels-to-abuse-students/

        Also, it has already been pointed out, that just be YOU cannot imagine someone doing something wrong, isn’t proof that they didn’t. It is only proof that you can’t wrap your head around the facts, and instead of trying to think about and digest the facts, you just publically deny them. Did you ever imagine Meisels doing what he did? Life events are not limited by your particular capacity of imagination.

      • Ruthy, you are either a booster of the sems or misguided. He relinquished ownership along time ago. Why did the CBD still insist that it is unsafe? We have spoken to them and they did mention about other staff being problematic. We spoke to fellow seminary booster, Rabbi Burstyn in LA and he said that Mrs. Ullman was approached, but because of the credibility of the girls involved, she didn’t act. She regrets it now and said that she wasn’t trained for this.

        • Notice Mrs.Ullman using the tried and true trick of discrediting the source of the complaint. Diligence means checking out allegations. We are all entitled to have our doubts, but we are not entitled to ignore allegations.

  2. I know. The blow-hards and junior snarks over at DT screaming about “GOTTESMAN” all day will point at the CBD and say “See? We told you it would happen! The CBD just wanted to shut them down!”.

    But anyone with common sense knows that it didn’t have to happen. Without waiting on ANY bais din, they could have, over the last month or so, made their own evaluations of the staff. They could have publicly announced changes, and I mean proactive changes designed to make the seminaries safe. Instead, they relied on the fantastical hechsher (who says E”Y is more strict when it comes to kashrus?) and did very little. And whatever they did wasn’t made public.

    It’s a crazy situation. They just want to satisfy the IBD without realizing that people all over the world want a safe sem for their daughter, rather than simply relying on the IBD.

    This could have all been avoided, and it didn’t need to happen. And the DT folks are just going to pour out more venom against the CBD. So sad.

    • I totally agree, it didn’t have to come to this. You can put a big blame on eidensohn for this. Instead of simply telling the ibd the obvious consequence of fighting with the CBD , instead of leaking documents which were not at all meant to be public, instead of spending his time and effort trying to destroy the reputation of the CBD , he could have explained to them, the outcome of all the fighting. He didn’t . Instead, he added fuel to the fire, attacking the CBD,bloggers, commentators etc.
      I’m sure he is happy of the outcome he helped cause.

        • But meisels wasn’t the only problem!! The biggest problem we face is the fact that teachers and principals and other rabbis consistently refuse to get involved and look the other way. Meisels is a sick man with a problem that may never be curable. But the others involved have no such excuse. They put their parnassa above protecting the girls and doing the right thing. We see this happening over and over again in abuse cases in our community.

  3. The news is hardly breaking. All shana bet students were informed of the cancellation via email on motzei Shabbos, two weeks ago. The reason is financial. Deposits are being refunded. Your “source” is engaging in wild speculation. The girls who attended Pninim last year have been in touch and did not see any evidence of misconduct. They and their parents have, however, chosen not to comment on your blog and so you have proclaimed a two-week old decision to be breaking news. Quite probably there is other information of which you are not aware.

    • I am sure there is a lot more I don’t know. However, the notices, I have reconfirmed since reading your message, were only sent out late last week. Even if you were right about the timing of the news, this is breaking/important news for those who did not know about it.

      If the reason is financial, that suggests too many students withdrew. Don’t you think other parents are entitled wonder if other schools might close for financial reasons as well?

      Perhaps it is a combination of financial and concern over the messages of the students. As you know if you read Rabbi Eidensohn’s blog, promises are being made that these will be the “safest seminaries in Israel.” Since even their defender, RDE denounced the culture of the old Pninim perhaps they felt the best way to end the culture was to remove any students tainted by it.

      • If it is “old news”, then according to people who don’t like the information, you shouldn’t be publicizing it any more regardless of whether people know about it or not.

    • So please clue us all in on the other information. BTW, no one said meisels abused every girl. He was sneaky and picked his victims carefully. It’s not surprising that some students and parents saw nothing amiss. But that does not mean the victims are lying!! You need to get educated about abuse. Abusers are often very charming and seem quite normal on the surface. That’s how they get away with it for so many years – destroying neshamas in the process. I urge you to read the posts about Dave Gordon, the victim from Detroit. May his soul rest in peace!!

  4. That’s too funny…. They spent two months blasting how not enrolling students will ruin the seminary, and now they close the second year by themselves…

    • The seminaries deserve to be closed just as a place selling non kosher meat deserves to be shut down. I just hope more investigation is done into the principals, rabbis and teachers who enabled meisels so they are also barred from jobs in chinuch. They were all co-conspirators in the abuse and should be held accountable. I wish the Israeli police could arrest them all.

      • Are you aware that most of the teachers teach in numerous seminaries – if you fire the Meisels teachers do they have to quit their other seminary teaching jobs too?
        Enquiring Minds want to know!

        • They absolutely should! But obviously no one will voluntarily do that, especially since these individuals were selfish enough to protect their presitge over the lives of young women placed in their care. Selfish people will not voluntarily quit in shame. But the public should be notified of their failure, and all their employers in chinnuch should fire them. Let them stock shelves in walmart, they have no business being in chinnuch.

      • As I’ve pointed out before, it’s easier said than done to insist that all teachers enabled and thus should be fired. Some might have been against the idea but felt that their hands were tied. What exactly were their options? Tell Meisels that they’re onto him? Then they’re out of a job. Tell some rabbinical leader who would then either insist that Meisels is innocent (“No rabbi would do such a thing!”) or tell Meisels that he has a whistleblower on his staff?

        What should be done is interview them thoroughly and see how they answer questions. If they’re very much against what happened and wished to help, fine. If, however, they give excuses and try to sweep things under the rug, then they’re out.

      • So you are accusing a vast conspiracy from 4 different seminaries staff? There is no evidence of that. No letter from any bais din regarding the staff members.

  5. Thus far, most of those named are principals or house mothers who are full-time. If a teacher is negligent to this degree, or worse, culpable, yeah, I would not want to hire them. Put differently, parents expect the seminaries to be diligent about keeping an eye out for the well-being of their daughters. Isn’t a parent entitled to know that teachers are vetted for attentiveness to these sort of things? In much the same way, I would say a teacher who cannot notice clinical depression, a severe eating disorder, or habitual drug-abuse nodding is also not up to snuff.

    I do not see any teachers volunteering to “quit,” least of all those culpable of complicity or negligence. So the question really is, should they be fired or put on some retraining and probation protocol. Obviously, I think the answer is yes, Including Rabbi Zev Leff, a close buddy of Meisels who taught (?teaches) at Pninim and Chedvas, and perhaps other seminaries. Incidentally, Rabbi Eidensohn points to Zev Leff’s endorsements of his books on his daas torah website. I believe Leff and Chedvas principal, Meir Kahane, share connections through the kiruv movement, Aish Hatorah, which has developed sophisticated manipulation techniques.

        • Penelope, u r so funny! Comic relief is needed sometimes from this shameful situation. I’m so disappointed by the so-called bais yaakov staff I came into contact with at the sems and the entire meislels coverup. It’s amazing more kids and adults don’t go OTD – such hypocracy!

        • PP, you are a riot!!. Not to talk about the depth of your insight and knowledge. I am guessing that you are an attorney, and if not, even more so, yasher koach. Your comments are incredibly insightful…..Or your investigative skills, both, but i would wager you are/were an attorney.

    • Zev Leff trained at NCSY and he was a rabbi in Miami. His wife is a BT from Ellenville. I think he married one of his NCSY fan club…students? Can anyone confirm the news on the street

      • Interesting. Meir Kahane, known as Mikey in his native Memphis, also came up through NCSY.before he went on to the black hat world and Aish Hatorah. Meir had a stint in Miami. I wonder if they overlapped there.

      • For those of you who feel that these blogs are 100% Kosher, look what is happening! Why are you belittling Rabbi Leff, who is actually a tremendous lamdan, Tzaddik and leader in Klall Yisroel. What Chutzpah to write about his background and his personal life – for absolutely no reason! Even calling someone a BT for no reason is Lashon Harah. In addition, assuming you have a Heter to write all of the negativety about a person, you have no Heter to throw in vicious negative adjectives. You may choose to do what makes you feel good, but in the end, remember there will be a price to pay.
        -Innocent Bystander

        • Although I have generally agreed with the tactics on this blog, given tha nature of the threat to our youth, from what I know about Rabbi Leff over a period of decades (including before his making aliyah), I have absolutely no reason to suspect any collusion or enabling on the part of this renowned Torah scholar.

          Wild speculation diminishes the respect for this site and is counter-productive to say the least.

          Devisive, inflammatory comments made in a forum accessible to a billion people, made on erev Rosh Chodesh, during the time thousands of us were saying tikun Rosh Chodesh, and tens of thousands of us were praying for the safe return of the missing yeshiva boy, with hundreds of thousands of people worried about the very lives of acheinu bnai Yisrael, suggest that more is going on here that the search for truth and appropriate emotional support for the victims — past, present, and future — of vile predators, whom I have condemned on this site and continue to condemn and act against in my professional capacities.

          • The question I and many others are struggling with is why R. Daniel Eidensohn has behaved in this case so differently from almost all others. I reject the idea that he is taking bribes suggested by others. But many of us cannot shake the suspicion that his understanding is being colored by others to whom he is close who while themselves truly decent are nevertheless biased by friendship. Hence the wondering. It was reasonable to wonder about the influence of RDE’s nephew, Shmuel Zalman Eidensohn, especially since RDE never denied getting his information from him. It is natural to wonder about whether his connection to Rabbi Leff may be influencing his judgment given that Leff in turn was close to Meisels at several levels. Sometimes the people who influence our judgment can be personally clean but nevertheless let their judgment be clouded by personal friendships. At this late date, it is suprising for RDE to speculate that maybe Meisels was only guilty of a hug. Very strange for him to imagine that the CBD would try to bring down so much over that. So one is left wondering and trying to connect the dots.

            • Why is it that Rabonim don’t know when to remove themselves from a situation due to what might even seem as a conflict of interest (let alone the many situations where there is). You have the cult following who believe it is impossible for Rabonim to be influenced, but a lot of people also see the problem and it is a chilul Hashem.

            • I can give you one admirable example of someone who did recognize he had a conflict of interest and removed himself from the case. Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Levin, RY of Telz-Chicago and and a member of the Moetzes of Agudah is a long time friend of the Meisels family. His study chavrusah as a student was the father of Elimelech Meisels.

              Rabbi Levin is also one of the four permanent members of the Chicago Special Beis Din for abuse. He recognized his conflict of interest and excluded himself from being part of the panel and this case. Instead, Rabbi Zev Cohen, who is normally the secretary/admin of that Beis Din, became the third dayan. Rabbi Levin has taken no public positions on this case to date.

            • I don’t want to detract from what he did, but he may have been conflicted in both directions.

        • this is totally true, Comments against Rabbi Leff are outrageous. When this scandal broke, I called him. He had no idea of what I was talking about. He spends 1 hour a week at Chedvas. 1 hour. May not even know the name of the girls he lectures to. And, he was not sure if he was teaching this coming year in any event. That was in July.
          If you were intellectually honest, YL, you would apologize for this slur on a fine , fine man, who is almost 80 years old, for gosh sakes!!!!! I know him 40 years quite well You should be ashamed of yourself

  6. I dont think the end goal is firing ALL teachers. I think what CBD and most even minded people would like to see for starters is a professional approach to what is a disasterous discovery. A statement of regret, sympathy, horror etc would have gone a long way. A dedictated confidential hotline for former students to call him and get help/counseling…..

      • And affected parents would I’m sure like to receive apologies from these so-called bais yaakov ladies so frum etc that cared more about protecting their parnassa than keeping the students safe. and how about tuition refunds??

  7. tova, I’m sure u don’t mean from your earlier post about Eli “I prefer sheer” Meisels that he is not culpable b/c he had “incurable” sexual desires…

    • Good point – Correct! Yes of course meisels is culpable!! But the so-called bais yaakov women who were supposed to be protecting the girls just totally disgust and disappoint me.

      • Blind enablers are the equivalent of complicit, i do not care about their parnassah, when human lives and souls are at stake, any decent Jew, not to talk about Mechanchim, would have found a way. would have escalated, one level does not work, you go one level higher, in hanhalah, or govt , that doesn’t work , you escalate, if you have an ethics or integrity, you sacrifice everything to save lives. And, b’ chadrei chadarim, it is inconceivable that at least two teachers never ever, furtively discussed this, looking over their shoulders. There, more support,……. we are talking about a multi-year abuse scheme. And these are Jewish charedim (ultra?) correct? To cast a blind eye, is so inconceivable to me, here, particularly where we are talking about FEMALE teachers and mechanchim. How could they, did they not have daughters of their own???? Did they not? none of them. They just hoped it would go away? maybe the staff changed over every year, but no one has claimed or documented that. The sins of M. are also upon his enablers. They should never be trusted again in an educational environment where souls of b’not yisrael are at stake. Not even as asst gananot. g-d forbid. There is always MacDonald’s. Or selling sheer stockings at Hamashbir, but the Satmar won’t buy sheer…..(hat tip to PP)

  8. Does anyone know if the closing of Peninim Shana Bet affects Chedvas?????? aren’t they in the same building and have joint classes???? we need to know now.. help!

    • I would suppose “They” are crunching numbers at this very moment to see if they can still earn from these former cash cows. Seminaries, as we learned are a good business.

      1. Chedvas (which is a shana bet program, exclusively) moved to a separate building a few years ago. Before that it had the basement of the Pninim building. So I am not assuming any direct effect. But of course anything that affects the profitability of the group of seminaries, affects each one. The only question is by how much? I do not know, but I suspect the impact is significant, even if not immediately fatal. As noted in the posting, there are many other factors which make it inevitable these seminaries will go out of business unless they make the changes needed to satisfy the Chicago Beis Din.
      • I suspect that the number of girls that are cancelling are a tightly held secret known to very few. Clearly, if word went out that girls started cancelling others would follow suit.
        Can’t imagine that there is such a ‘herd mentality’ that parents won’t say ‘wait a minute – why am I sending my daughter here? For what reason? The role models are women that put their personal self interest of their careers ahead of the well being of their students.
        Please, girls, stay home. You won’t go wrong if you follow the gedolim in Chicago.

        • From what I heard, everyone from Baltimore is sending. Lakewood as well. Chicago and I think St. Louis aren’t. I haven’t heard about NY, however NY is a free for all and I’m sure each person will do their own thing.

          • Of course NYC is the largest and most important market so we are left with a lot of uncertainty.

            I know of some rabbis in the 5T are advising against sending. I don’t know about LA, but the menahel of a Bais Yaakov, Burstyn, was supporting the IBD/Yarmush.

            Very important also is Monsey, and the non-Hasidic neighborhoods of Brooklyn, as well as Passaic.

  9. Only qualified women should be allowed to administer and teach in seminaries for the female gender just like only men are halachically allowed to teach in men’s seminaries and yeshivos.

  10. Something broken that can’t be fixed. We officially gave up. We were turned down by our last hope because the school didn’t want to infringe on Peninim. This other school advised us that she is fine staying home and she will do well. Yesterday was the deadline for her to sign up at college over here. She will go to a local seminary as well and get a job. We will have a very hard time forgiving this. I wish the students well, but I also hope that no one will even consider sending to these evil people next year.

    • I don’t know your situation, but I can tell you that Bnos Chava does have room for American girls that would fit their standard.
      It is also possible that Bais Chaya Mushka in Tsfat has room. Even though this is not a place that you would think, or consider [ we are litvish, by the way] it has a totally outstanding reputation, and is only “chabad light”. Spoke to a ton of people and yesterday spoke to a parent from Woodmere( not exactly a chabad hideout) about their daughter who came from a coed HS in Woodmere and had a wonderful year there.

  11. Interesting that the news about closing the second year of pnimim did not yet reach the “daat-torah”-blog

  12. Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn wrote today around 3:30 a.m. EST/10:30 a.m. Israel time):

    “Meisels does not deny that he did something. He resigned and both the IBD and CBD accept as fact that he did inappropriate touching. Meisels denies doing more than that. The CBD has not publicly claimed he raped 40 girls though they seem to be saying so in private. If that is true they have an obligation to go to the police. (http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2014/08/seminary-scandal-how-to-give.html)

    In response, I just submitted the following comment (@ ~1:45 p.m. EST/~8:45 p.m. Israel time) which is awaiting moderation:

    Rabbi Eidensohn,I have heard of the CBD saying four things about sexual misconduct by Meisels:

    1. he did “kul davar ossur” (every forbidden thing) This implies much more than touching but does not necessarily mean rape, let alone rape in every case.
    2. the victims of which they are now aware (as of a few weeks ago) number about 40. (which does not mean he did every ossur thing with every one). Nor does it mean that they took testimony from 40 girls. In some cases they later heard about it from the same rabbonim and mechanchim I heard from around the US. Each of these sources reported hearing directly from a few local students. I have heard this from a few rabbonim/mechanchim. I assume, once the CBD went public, they heard it from many more. In addition, I am aware of victims I directed to talk to the CBD after the psak who did not even know the CBD was taking on the case. Thus their pool of knowledge keeps on growing. Rabbi Eidensohn, you and I have both experienced this in other cases. Only when the offender is publicly named do other cases come out of the closet.

    3. In some instances CBD rabbonim are clear that his sexual conduct was forced (which allows for the possibility that it was not in other cases)

    4. There are indications of serious misconduct conducted through email and texting.

    I have been in touch with quite a few people who have spoken to one or another member of the CBD. Not one of them claimed that a CBD member said Meisels raped 40 girls.

    I think we can usefully narrow the discussion by saying that the CBD absolutely insists that Meisels did much more than inappropriately touch a few girls. At the same time, I am not aware of any CBD member claiming Meisels raped 40 girls. This does not preclude the possibility of rape but it does not automatically imply it.

    BTW, I do not know what Meisels admitted to the CBD. I am going to guess he admitted to only those things which they could prove with either records (eg texts, emails, etc) or with multiple credible witnesses. Rabbi Eidensohn, as we have seen in many other cases, culprits often then deny even those things they admitted in BD.

    I agree with you, Rabbi Eidensohn, that either way, Mr. Meisels is disqualified to operate or teach in seminaries. However, the extent and scope of his misconduct is pertinent to whether other staff were likely to be culpable of either negligence or worse. If he indeed only touched two girls in circumstances completely hidden from others, it is possible that no other seminary staff are complicit.

    Rabbi Eidensohn, given the scope described by the CBD members, it is very hard to believe no other staff are complicit.

    However, as we both know, most such victims will not go to the police because the trial will expose them and damage their shidduch prospects.

    Rabbi Eidensohn, are you saying all battei dinim should refuse to hear cases unless they get permission to report all crimes to the police, even when they are not mandated reporters? Or, do you accept that sometimes battei din should accede to the privacy concerns of victims and leave the choice up to victims? It is clear that the CBD has not in any way stopped anyone from reporting to the police, per the text of their conditions for Meisels which you posted.

      1. controlled is past tense.

      2. two paragraphs down I wrote: “An Israeli Beis Din (IBD) declared the seminaries safe because Meisels was gone. Some weeks later they claimed he had transferred all of his control to Mr. Yaakov Yarmush. However they have never offered any public proof and haven’t even named the officers who supposedly took over control.”

      • Besides, in the JTA article, he says, “My attorney has advised me to pursue legal action against all those who are wronging myself and the seminaries.”

        As Jewish Whistle Blower pointed out, if he’s no longer in control, why would be fighting back? Shouldn’t it be the new owners’ problem?

  13. The seminaries are Israeli based under Israeli jurisdiction and the US courts lack jurisdiction or reach to be able to enforce any judgement against them.

    • The Seminaries are subsidiaries of a 501c3 not-for-profit charitable entity chartered in the state of NJ. The defendants are all US citizens. The tuition payments were sent to their NJ office and cashed into US bank accounts which where they still were when refunds were requested. Dan, you baffle me. Where do you get your facts other than from wishfullness on behalf of Meisels et al.

  14. The US court case and appeals will drag out for years, not 6 months. Even in the unlikely event there was a judgement for a refund and even in the more unlikely event the US judgement was enforceable in Israel and even if there were funds at that time to pay it out, we are talking years down the road after all appeals, enforcement actions, cross-jurisdiction international formalities, etc.

    And most likely it will be tossed out of court on jurisdictional issues, lack of proper filing as a RICO when it should have been a civil suit, or simply lost at trial.

    Then those parents silly enough to have besmirched their names by participating in a lawsuit in non-Jewish court will be out of their money and reputation.

    That’s even if they’re able to afford paying for another seminary this year without getting an upfront refund. Even assuming other seminaries have room and are actually willing to accept girls enrolled in these four seminaries.

  15. Your remaining facts are as erroneous as your previous comments. Read my posts about the RICO suit and about the JTA’s coverage. My attention to facts is no match for your willful distortions to suit your agenda.

  16. rico, triple damages. the lawsuit is for………………$75,000. so triple damages is $225,000. does not seem that this would break the bank exactly

    • Your calculation assume other parents will not join the suit. A number of parents waited till the last minute to not send their daughters. It depends on how many of them join the suit. a judgment would also include legal expenses. Meisels would have to pay legal expenses for the plaintiffs plus his own. But the most important reason that Meisels, R. Gartner and Mr. Yarmush will settle is that once the discovery phase starts there are depositions and documents need to be turned over. There is enormous risk of additional damage to the Meisels and chevrah from the revelations.

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