Update on Call for Apologies from Staff of Meisels for Ignoring his Sex Abuse of Students

Michal Ben Baruch (aka TruthSeeker) informs me that the petition was closed and over 162 names were sent off with the petition to the office of the seminaries. I do not know how they will respond, but a message was broadcast that others expect an apology. The signers came from around the globe with addresses in Israel, France, the UK, Canada, the US and Australia, among others. The American signers came from Brooklyn, Lakewood, Monsey, Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Miami among the many places with larger orthodox communities.

I hope they apologize, though I fear most of those staff still lie and deny their culpability. They seem to still claim there was no way they could have known anything was going on though a number of victims and other students have testified that they informed staff of suspicious patterns and behavior by Meisels clearly out of line with both professional relationships with students and orthodox standards of modesty. Mrs. Soloff saw girls coming and going with him for long van rides long after curfew. Rabbis Kahane, Simon and Mrs. Soloff, and others were told about these things.

Even if we believe no one said anything or they did not believe it, how could they deny what they could see with their own eyes?

He was regularly and openly talking to girls with his body and face just six inches away. That is obviously immodest behavior by orthodox standards for public male-female interactions. It would also be suspect in a secular professional setting for a student-teacher relationship. I have no doubt that each of these staff would have chastised a family member for behaving that way. I have no doubt that this staff which zealously policed hem and sleeve length made a conscious decision to look the other way. So much for their blather about being protective of their students.

Plainly and simply they gave Meisels a free run because he was the boss. All these staff should be fired and I hope they will be. I believe some or all of them will be forced out of their jobs. Otherwise the seminaries will not get back accreditation and will go bankrupt.

As I said, I consider an apology unlikely, because in this, as in many other areas, the orthodox world is more concerned with looking good than being righteous. The Jewish tradition is full of praise and examples of admissions and apologies. Even if we don’t get apologies, we who signed this petition have set down a marker. We have sent a message that there is a public which expects staff to prevent abuse by bosses, and expects apologies when they look the other way.

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16 thoughts on “Update on Call for Apologies from Staff of Meisels for Ignoring his Sex Abuse of Students

    • Highly irrelevat! Ei bodkin lemalo min hamizbeach. Once the Beis Din found them guilty, it is your obligation to prevent our children from future harm bechol mekomot sheheim, sheneemar, “Ze hashulchan asher lifnei Hashem”. Should you have an ‘Irur’, take it up directly with the Chicago Beit Din.

      You must draw the line at some point. See what happens after the supposed upper crust rape our talmidos and get cover from the upper echelons, they get more brazen and commit bigger Chilul Hashem’s that cry up to the heavens. They go rob banks of 20Mil+ through fraud, lies, falsified documents, while at the same time they rob the Government, State and City out of funds designated for the poor through the taxpayers. Little do they know that Hashem does not buy their bloc votes. Not enough they do not put a stop to the shande of being lelaag ulkeles bein hagoyim, they give them support by having their tashbar be mispallel for nesias ponim. If we do not stop this now, chas veshalom falling into the mem tes sharei T, who knows if we can ever recover! Al ele vekaele ani bochoiyo.

      • 100% correct. This disgraceful behavior by so-called pretend hareidi g-d fearing Jews will cause the downfall of our people and continued galus, more than goyim could every do to harm us. The ememy is within. There is a chance when brave people like mr. Lopin provide a forum and rabbis like the Chicago bais din take brave decisive action and are not tainted by the rich and powerful. Thank you!!

  1. what happened to the supposed upcoming title IX action? criminal law suit? RICO I read is being settled? won’t meisels be back in control?

    • Tuition Refunds: We have not heard of any further developments on settling the lawsuit for refunds which included a RICO claim. What we had was a statement from lawyers for both sides asking to suspend the legal proceedings so they could finalize an agreement. Perhaps they are still haggling. Perhaps the negotiations broke down over how much the seminaries would pay for the legal expenses of the parents. Perhaps they even settled. Glad you raised it. I will inquire and get back to readers if I know more.

      Title IX: TItle IX of US education law requires federally funded education programs to have and implement policies to prevent sexual violence and harassment and to address it competently when it does happen. It is clear that they were in violation under Meisels and still are in violation because they have not adopted necessary policies or dismissed/disciplined staff who offended by ignoring the problem and rebuffing complaints by victims and others. Title IX is moot as long as they do not get US govt aid (e.g. Pell grants or loans). Right now the seminaries are not accredited. Because of concerns about Title IX violations they cannot get accreditation until they clean up their act. However, should some US accredited institution attempt to accredit them I expect a Title IX complaint would be filed which would force the accrediting institution to back off. The Orthodox world is quite ingenious in generating new accreditations. I think the reason it hasn’t happened is because of the threat of a Title IX action.

      The clock is running down for the seminaries. Recruiting season is about half over. The deadlines are about two months away. The schools will go bankrupt unless they can restore accreditation. I am pretty sure the seminaries will soon do what they have to have the Chicago Beis Din lift advisory against accreditation. My best guess is that it will happen before November is over. At that point Meisels will have no direct financial or control relationship though the seminaries might have financial obligations to him (e.g., termination payments phased over time). The last form of obligation is speculation. I am just saying he will not be in a position to exert control, let alone return to work there.

  2. I wish this was so. I recall you saying that the registration for this year would be down, and you would report the figures. If you did, I missed it. I know that Chedvas is full.
    the most important thing is not the tuition refund. He took the money. after a fight, he returns it. he lost nothing but some legal fees.
    But what about the criminal action, rumored but never filed, or at least not in the public eye? without that, he is free to walk the streets and continue his life with no retribution, the same as his principals. So far, this is look a monsoon= lots of wind, no rain…crime… pays???

      1. My information is that the seminaries are down 20-30% in enrollment. We know for sure that they closed Pninim shanah bet for a net loss of as much as 35 students out of a previous total for all 4 seminaries of ~300.
      2. As I keep on saying, the question is enrollment for the upcoming year. This year they held on to some students because the parents had no alternatives between their doubts about getting their tuition money refunded and the difficulty in finding alternative seminary slots. Parents do not have those constraints in choosing for the upcoming year. Moreover, without accreditation the seminaries are not competitive choices except for the very few with money to spare who do not care about college credits. The sems will either meet Chicago’s terms or go out of business.

      I also feel that Meisels is a dangerous criminal who should be off the streets. But as always, cops cannot arrest him without a complainant. We all know that the haredi world punishes victims who dare to file criminal complaints. Maybe it will happen. I am glad to support any such complainant in any way I can. Magen in Israel stands ready to offer legal counseling and attorney support free of charge. There are others who have given me commitments to assist in other ways, such as defraying travel expenses for a complainant based in the diaspora who want to file charges in Israel. But we need a nachshon willing to step into the water even if it feels like it is going over her nostrils. We celebrate Nachshon precisely because it was not easy.

  3. Yerachmiel is certainly right — this petition set down a marker, and we shouldn’t forget that.

    Next time (and there will be a next time), how about aiming for a few thousand signatures? We should not set limits on ourselves, nor underestimate the potential for genuine popular protest. On the contrary, one effort should lead to another until we’ve achieved a life that we — and the Almighty — can approve.

    • So let’s take the creative petition idea that she came up with and apply it to any of the other molester enablers that should be facing some accountability for their reprehensible activities.

      YL – would you be willing to feature a weekly molester-protector protest petition? You can call it the “Shonda of the Week” club.

      Each week you could choose a different enabler and encourage your readers to sign a petition demanding that the enabler stop protecting child molesters and start protecting orthodox victims. Let me be the first to suggest someone that I believe needs to be held accountable for his actions and why.

      Rabbi Eliyahu Rabovsky – rabbi of the Young Israel of Boca Raton who has welcomed Rick Andron into his shul. Rabovsky has apparently told someone I know that he truly believes that Rick is a child molester yet he allows Rick to attend his shul. The petition should demand that Rabbi Rabovsky either expel Rick immediately or that Rabovsky should do everyone a favor and resign.

      I’m sure you won’t have any trouble finding plenty “Shonda of the Week” club candidates.

  4. I am kind of puzzled. I spoke to a close friend of mine, a US girls HS principal, and he told me that there were 40 girls who filed or were going to file crimina complaints. how could all that have just evaporated. your yourself said that there was likely to be a criminal complaint filed in this time frame. you are right that it takes a “nachshonah”

    • Individuals make their decisions to come forward. I do not control that. In my experience in the frum world, I would guess only about 1/100 ever go forward in the legal system. The numbers are even lower when it comes to legally adult women.

  5. @ All of the above,

    “Shonda of the week” is a fantastic idea. In addition to the molester protectors, a must add is the Sharp Shooters and “VICTIM SILENCERS”. What they do is silencing the victims and do a “Venahapochi” of “Vehirshiu es haTzadik”, “Vehitzdiku es hoRosho”, EISHES POTIFARS bela”az! By isolating the victims and their supporters and asassinating them is their first line of destruction, thereby ruining their reputation, and Shiduchim prospects. This is their weapon of mass destruction. This was the method of SDOM VAAMORAH, revictimizing the VICTIM all over again into STOM PIYOT. Vayomer H’ zaakat Sdom Vaamorah ki ROBOH, vechatosom ki kovdo meoid.

    Raboisay! Vehoyo kaTzadik koRosho? Cholilo lecho measos kadovor hazeh! Hoya lo sihyeh!

    It is high time to take up on these Character assassins, single THEM out against the wall and LIST THEM out, feather tar THEM one by one kedei lekayem ma sheneemar, “VAASISEM LO KAASHER ZOMAM LAASOS! then we shall see who is the one unable to do Shiduchim, Enough is enough! Vehoka osom leinei haShomesh! Whatever is good for the goose, is good for the gander. If you live by the sword, you die by the sword. We already have a BAS NACHSHON that volunteered to protect ‘Mamme Rochel’s children’, umosro nafsha al Kidush Hashem, we must give her all the support in the world we can possibly offer, and hope and pray that all the other previous 40 BENOS NACHSHON from the “Kindertransport” will rejoin in, ulay yimotzin sham Arboim ulay yerachem – USCHOROM HARBEH MEOD. Yes, there is safety and power in numbers. I hereby appeal to the blog owner Mr. Y. Lopin N’Y’, who dedicates his best efforts, time and space to save Mamme Rochel’s children from pain by posting a LIST of the Sharpshooters, Character Assassins, Silencers, Eishes Poitifars, to relieve our tayere and choshuve BENOS NACHSHON mikol tzaar veyogoin veanocho, veyosir mehem kol tzoro vetsuko veyirpo lechol gufom, ruchom venafshom umeoidom, venomar Amen.

    Mini kolech mibechi, yesh schar lepeuloseich, Veshavu banim ligvulam!

    Veani tfilo, that all other Blog operators will help out and join in as well, vehaKadosh Bouruch hu yeshalem schorom! Thusly, we shall be mekarev the Geulo Shleimo, Thank you all!

    • For the same reason I let through your comment. But if you want an answer, you will need to rise to the level of specificity and clarity. To be fair to you, I wish the previous commenter was less obscure and translated more because this is an English language site. But if you know the Hebrew/Aramaic verses he is quoting, it all makes sense.

    • As the saying goes, if the dog barks, it is a sign the stone hit the target. Veidach, zil ugmor. trans – study up on the rest, I rest my case. Kappish/fershteist?

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