The Jewish Week Exposes Meisels, the Orthodox Bill Cosby

Elimelech Meisels speaking poster brooklyn Jan 11 2014 cropped andwatermarked and captionedThe New York Jewish Week just posted an excellent article by religion reporter Rachel Delia Benaim about the Meisels scandal. Here are some excerpts.

“He tried to connect with us by flirting,” a 2008 alumna said. “It was weird, but I didn’t say anything,” said the young woman, who is now married. This characterization of flirtatious behavior was heard most often among those interviewed, like always telling them they were pretty. A 2010 student said “he would use curse words in front of us,” and another former student said the rabbi told her about a student “who was addicted to calling sex lines — that’s just inappropriate to talk to me about.” A former Peninim student said the rabbi asked her, and other young women, about their sexual history. But “he was trying to help us,” she maintained.

Elimelech Meisels Purim Punk Pninim Rabbi watermarked finBeyond allegedly crossing verbal boundaries, former students said the rabbi drove alone with girls late in the evening, drank with them on occasion and smoked a hookah, or water pipe, with them in his office. At the same time, the women described Rabbi Meisels as a mentor who encouraged them to dress modestly in long skirts and tights.

One former student, who became a whistleblower and brought her case to the Chicago beit din, clearly was tense and spoke quickly when she recounted the rabbi’s alleged sexual advances toward her at the end of the school year.

“He said he wanted to give me a hug goodbye,” she said. “He was crying. He said he was going to miss me.” She asked him about shomer negiah, the Jewish prohibition against touching members of the opposite sex other than one’s spouse. Didn’t that matter?

Elimelech Meisels

Elimelech Meisels

He responded that he was her “Tatte,” using the Yiddish word for father, and it was OK. No, she told him, it wasn’t OK. He continued to advance. The whistleblower was frozen in her seat. What was happening? There he was, inches away. She curled into a ball in the chair in his office. Suddenly, Rabbi Meisels collapsed onto her body, sobbing uncontrollably, she said. He hugged her from behind, caressing her and kissing her head. “Why wasn’t she hugging him back,” she recalled him asking her. When he finally moved away, she bolted for the door. He let her go.

Some time later, after this student had already left seminary and had settled in New York, Rabbi Meisels, who was in the U.S. for official seminary work, asked her to get together. She said she accepted, never considering the possibility of another episode. But as he was driving her to where she was staying in Brooklyn, he brought up their last encounter. “He told me it was my fault, that I was a bad girl, that I made him attracted to me,” she said. Facing her, “he said it was allowed for men to have more than one wife,” she remembered. (He is married and has many children.) According to her account, the rabbi pinned her to her seat in the car, she told him to get off of her, and when he didn’t, she screamed and pulled away. He kept on grabbing her back, she said, and then “I scratched him, and ran out of the car.”

In spite of these and many other shocking behaviors Meisels still has many defenders among the staff, students and alumni of his seminaries. They defame his accusers as dishonest attention seekers and insist, that at worst, he hugged a few students. They utterly deny that anyone else at the seminaries could have known about his misconduct.

There is more to this article by Ms. Benaim. She is to be commended for her success in connecting to many former students and getting their accounts. Please take the time to read the entire article along with a valuable article by Alona Ferber in Haaretz. The media onslaught is going to accelerate.

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104 thoughts on “The Jewish Week Exposes Meisels, the Orthodox Bill Cosby

  1. This is for you Meisels, because I know you are probably looking at this blog:
    You should be ashamed of yourself! Taking advantage of poor young girls and literally betraying the trust of so many of your previous students. How do you sleep at night knowing how many girls you hurt? Do you even care? Probably not, because if you did you would apologize! You are now on the same level as Bill Cosby…who would have thought???
    Have fun in Hell!

  2. This is for the staff of Peninim, Binas and the other Seminaries: You promised to take good care of and protect our daughters – but you did the opposite. You looked the other way and blamed the girls. It’s about time you all apologized for the pain you have caused. The Bais Yaakov world needs to take strong measures to educate all teachers and rabbis about sex abuse and how to identify narcissistic abusers like Meisels – and how to deal with them and protect girls and young women from ever being exposed to such a horrific situation, especially with a “Rabbi.” You are all a huge Chilul Hashem – you should be begging for mechila from the students and parents. You are not really “Bais Yaakov” women!! Stop living in your fantasy world and justifying Meisels’ disgusting conduct. In my opinion, you should all lose your jobs and be barred from Chinuch.

  3. Great reporting by Ms. Benaim. Do you have a copy of the complaint in the more recent law suit she mentions? Do you know which court it was filed in?

  4. If I read the statement about what happened in the car correctly, it took place in New York. What he did was assault her, and that would absolutely be covered by New York law. Unfortunately, it would most likely be a he said/she said type of thing, since any scratches she made are long healed.

    • Not Available to the Public: You are 100% correct. Months ago I checked with the police in NY. ANY unwanted touching – even a “hug” is an illegal assault and can be prosecuted, if the victims are willing to come forward. I think the victims would be very compelling witnesses and Meisels would not be convincing – he is obviously a slime ball. I urge all victims of any abuse that occurred in the U.S. to go to the police. That is the best way to put a stop to Meisels and others like him. Don’t be afraid. There are abuse services out there to support you!! By coming forward to the police you will help protect other girls!! Victims of Meisels – please step forward and tell your stories and go to the police!!

      • Why does the abuse have to take place in the US? Perhaps he can be tried in the US for tRansporting American teenagers across international boundries for the purpose of.sexual.assault? Not a lawyer, just a suggestion

        • We are not talking about minors in this case. Nor is it clear that he played any role in arranging, conducting, or paying for the transportation to the US. However, the second sexual assault did occur in the US and would be prosecutable in the US. Based on my knowledge of timing it would be within the statute of limitations. As always there is the question of the willingness of the victim to press charges and endure the ordeal of a trial.

  5. Instead of calling the orthodox bill Cosby (why call him orthodox and insult the orthodox everywhere?) let’s call him Bill Cosby Meisels.

  6. Finally a balanced report of what actually happened to the main victims. The car incident especially finally illustrates the actual abuse (and attempted rape) that took place.

  7. One would get thrown out of these seminaries for being in possession of a smartphone, but rape or attempted rape? That seems to be permitted by these moronic mechanchos.

  8. Princesssnyc, You point out a very disturbing irony. Smart phones are banned in the Bais Yaakov seminaries – but groping and assaulting girls and taking them out for secluded late night rides and manipulating them is all just fine and dandy. What a world! The mechanchos are beyond moronic. So disappointing. Such a chilul hashem!

  9. Mr. Lopin i do feel bad for you but the story is over after we have the psak from the bies din THAT ALL SEM. ARE OK so i see u starting to attack miesels again after no one was kicked out of any sem. i think you should start looking for a new story (i have one if you want something hot on the lopin fam.)

    • The story is not over because Meisels and the seminaries are being sued for his sexual assaults. Such lawsuits can move into the realm of organizational culpability by negligence of bystanders. A civil court can compel testimony, documents, depositions, etc. The other question is whether enough parents trust these seminaries enough to enroll their daughters. If not, the community verdict will be delivered in bankruptcy court.

      • Please stop trying to introduce reality into the parallel universe operating in the heads of the Eidenson freaks.

  10. somebody help me out here–he collapsed on her in his office and cried like a lunatic, and she barely escaped–and then….she GETS TOGETHER WITH HIM IN NY?????????-am I wrong to have some skepticism re her story?-I am not in any way defending him, but I AM defending objectivity–Now, it would be nice to have non sarcastic and insulting responses–Yeah, I know, I have unrealistic expectations, but it would be nice for once to be countered with logic instead of insult.

    • tThere is your logic and then there is the logic of the manipulated heart and mind of a daas torah naive girl. Robert Millman, we need to educate girls to trust themselves enough to say, “Buzz off rabbi, you are bum” to a Haredi rav and principal. Tell me which Beis Yaakov teaches that? Instead they are routinely told to surrender their judgment and seichel to their rabbonim.

      Any system that teaches total surrender of independent though and action leaves its acolytes very vulnerable to manipulation. This is a fact of human tendencies, whether we are dealing with cults in Judaism, Christianity, Islam or Hinduism.

      • Yes, except that…she had enough logic to realize that something was extremely wrong when he tried to touch her, etc,-enough that, even after he said it was ok to touch her because he was her tatty, she had the guts to stand up to him–she then ran the heck away from him when he kept coming–so, this girl, apparently, had gotten to the point where she did, indeed say, according to her words “buzz off rabbi, you are a bum!!”-if so, and she was as you say therefore one of the few that had developed this perception in spite of the bais yakov “brainwashing”, then….why the HELL would she meet with him again?????-she couldnt “dream” that he would try it again??-helllooooo??-anyone home???-doesn’t THAT smell just a tad fishy to you? I have absolutely NO dog in this fight, but…I have this thing about trying to remain objective and consider all the facts before reaching a conclusion, and these seem like important facts–in spite of what the feminist movement says….women DO LIE about these things–now, I understand that they would only say its women accusing clinton or kennedy that lie, but, there just MIGHT be a few others??

        • Actually, there is a big difference between sticking to rules of negiah (to repulse advances) and saying “Rabbi, you are a rotten bum.” It is the difference between controlling your own behavior and rethinking the integrity of the other. Obviously she has now rethought it but many manipulated victims go through a struggle in making that transition.

          I hear you saying you think she is lying. Obviously some people, not just women, but men, rabbis, commenters on blogs, bloggers, and humans of all sorts lie. However, there is no reason to assume she is lying just because she thought that he had a momentary lapse and she now had it under control and he would not repeat it since he saw her repulse him. Big mistake, but loads of people make the mistake of taking too long to realize that some offenders will keep on trying. She probably figured he was the sincere decent person she saw in other settings. She may have even been counseled, god protect us, by some other rabbi who told her to be dan l’kaf zchus. Just remember that the overwhelming attitude in the frum world is to claim that sex offenses are usually transient offenses and we should assume the offender did teshuvah. Teshuvah on these matters has been devalued from a demanding process to an all purpose alibi.

          Robert Millman, you are no doubt familiar with many cases of battered women who can take a long time to realize that even if their husbands are sometime loving, kind, etc, they cannot be trusted to stop abusing and may even escalate.

          If you have a thing about feminism, that is your shtick. But don’t go off the deep end into thinking all oddities are survivor accounts derive from the fact that women lie. You have crossed over into libelous misogyny. Remember, Meissel spent almost year grooming her. We don’t know what messages of apology he sent her inbetween the two episodes. I believe he did things that were positive for her in the grooming stage.

        • I spoke this evening to the young woman in this story. She told me that after the first episode Meisels was very apologetic and assured her he would never do it again. She pointed out to me that she had no idea that he assaulted other girls. She assumed it was a one-time temporary lapse, and she had found him to good and trustworthy on all other occasions. Obviously, in retrospect, she wishes she had not trusted him. Robert, I hope this helps answer your question.

        • Robert, u have a very valid question. One I asked myself, actually.

          Listen, no one is going to understand what Meisles was like unless u knew him. He was an expert mass manipulator. Very very frightening. She was a young girl, very naive and impressionable. Mix those 2 together and you can see how it isn’t that hard anymore to see how she gave him a second chance.

    • Yerachmiel–your statement “I see you say she is lying” astounds me-Questioning based on events whether or not one is telling the truth does not “say she is lying”. This is a very simple distinction that one that runs a blog seemingly in search of truth should be able to grasp. If you were being accused of something, I have no doubt that you would want observers to examine ALL the evidence before reaching a conclusion–I would suggest that you remain objective when it comes to accusations directed against others.

      Truth Seeker-Thank you for validating my question-I am glad that I am not the only one that realizes that accusations need to be examined in light of ALL events. You are correct in that, not ever having been a young girl (actually, that term is not accurate-she was NOT a young girl-that term would be more accurately used for a 5-15 yr old, perhaps-she was a young woman–she was actually old for a girl) I cannot personalize her situation. I can, however, still wonder how she was strong enough to tell him to get away from her and then go back and meet him again. I would be very disappointed to know that the young women I know, and I have raised 3 of them, would be so easily fooled, especially once they have seen through the charade already.

      • Robert, you clearly insinuated deep skepticism about her credibility in the context of asserting that complainants do lie. Perhaps I took a verbal shortcut but I see no need for you to huff and puff. At best you owe me a more nuanced complaint.

        You conclude by saying, “I would be very disappointed to know that the young women… would be so easily fooled, especially once they have seen through the charade already.”

        However, the essence of my previous comment is that she observed the behavior but did not see through the charade. She took Meisels at his word that it was a one-time lapse and he would not repeat it. That was a charade. But we are not doing a good enough job educating children to be naturally more willing to trust their instincts and know how to smell a rat, even if he has the title of rabbi and wears the Haredi costume. I am glad if your daughters are immune, assuming they actually were/are. Perhaps it is because you raised them with a proper level of skepticism about authority. But, Mr. Millman, any honest observer of Haredi education has to admit that their rabbis are put on a pedestal and kids are trained to override their perceptions and defer to rabbis as wiser and always trustworthy.

        You are correct to call Meisels’ victims young women and not girls. However, not for nothing, are sem students always called girls. The students, staff and others in the community always speak of them as girls. Moreover, in terms of development they are fresh out bais yaakov HS’s. A different seminary culture might have done more to facilitate their transition into adult autonomy. But Yeshivish seminaries instead promulgate compliance, deferencce to rabbis and mail s

        • Thank you for clarifying-I NEVER meant that I thought she was lying-RE the “deep skepticism”-As I have said, I have no dog in this fight–I am deeply skeptical of the innocence of one who has had so many detailed accusations thrown against them. However, I have skepticism, but not DEEP skepticism, of one that would go back to spend time with someone they recognized as a perpetrator. I try not to automatically take anyone’s word for anything regardless of how long their beard is, or, on the flip side, how innocent and easily manipulated the person may be.

      • Yes, ur question is def valid and a logical one to ask. I am a previous student and trust me, the man was frighteningly good at manipulation. She was at an impressionable age. Also, please see Yerachmiel’s response. He spoke to the girl.

        • Agreed that there is smoke galore–but–the following article will show how one must ALWAYS stay objective, even in the face of all the arrows that will be fired in one’s direction–and, as a self professed TruthSeeker, is good to remember. As my favorite philosopher (me) always says, “leading with the heart leads to disaster, don’t let emotion be your master”.

          Rolling Stone magazine apologized to readers Friday for a story it published chronicling one woman’s account of a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house and the school’s failure to respond to that alleged assault.
          The magazine editors made the choice not to contact the man who allegedly “orchestrated the attack on her nor any of the men she claimed participated in the attack for fear of retaliation against her,” a decision Rolling Stone says it now regrets.
          “In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in (the woman’s) account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced,” Rolling Stone said.

          • Robert, you are correctly raising reasons to view claims skeptically. You are thoughtful and raise good questions, though I think you are wrong in your skepticism in this case. My position is not just based on logic, but on facts obtained through research and connections to multiple sources. You make no such claims. You just offer up analyses and questions.

            I would love being sure that you are only acting out of thoughtfulness and not bias. Please show us your stuff in critiquing the arguments coming from the Meisels camp.

            • the only place I have seen this story is on failed messiah and here, along with just discovering “daas torah” blog about 10 minutes ago in response to one of the posts here-apparently that is the place they make their case, and i will read it-one of the posts i saw there was that the blogger attempts to mollify the critics by differentiating between forcible hugs and sexual violence-and, in that, and ONLY that, i would agree with him—they are both disgusting–if it is indeed true that this man actually forcibly hugged any woman, especially seminary girls under his charge, then he should be, at a bare minimum, never allowed near young women again–however, i think to classify it with the same term as a brutal rape is inaccurate, and does not at all do justice to victims of true rape-I would rather call it extreme sexual impropriety.

            • Some over there are denying the hugs were forcible. I agree there is a continuum of misconduct. I think the key distinction is between halachic social impropriety, and illegal sexual assault, whether a grope or a rape. The differences of degree obviously matter for the law and halachah but any of those acts would make Meisels a criminal sexual assailant.

            • “…I would rather call it extreme sexual impropriety.”

              Robert – It is also clergy abuse. As their Rabbi, the abuse of his authority over them is extremely psychologically traumatic and damaging.

              In regard to the argument of IF we are “only” speaking about forcible hugs – these were not forcible hugs of married women, or of girls with any experience with physically intimate relationships. Rather it was of 18-year-old girls who spent their entire young lives in the sheltered world of the Bais Yaakov system, being forced to stay away from boys, to cover every inch of their bodies with loose-fitted clothing, and to be hidden and tzanu’ah in every thought, every word and every action they take, including how they walk down the street. A forcible hug from their Rabbi, or from any man, for a girl like this – may not be “rape” – but certainly it is far more grave than a “sexual impropriety.” It is assaultive in how it is experienced by the victim.

          • Robert – I recommend you you call either Rav Cohen, Rav Fuerst, or Rav Schwartz. All of their phone numbers are available online. They are the ones who spoke to Meisels directly and heard testimony from victims. Any of those rebbeim can tell you what exactly Meisel’s confessed to and how many victims they spoke to. The IBD never claimed to investigate Meisel’s actions, just those of the school in regards to whether or not they are complicit in the coverup. Additionally, the most recent Beis Din meeting had nothing to do with Meisel’s conduct, just an assessment of the schools and their role in this tragedy.

  11. Yes it is “unbelievable,” but unfortunately it is true. Teachers either didn’t take girls complaints seriously or chose not to take action out of fear of losing their jobs.

  12. Please see – https://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/breaking-no-accreditation-for-seminaries-until-other-staff-testify-some-staff-are-fired-and-meisels-surrenders-control/

    At the bottom are the documents signed from R’ Schwartz – stating that Meisels confessed to behavior that is considered to be “sexual violence.”

    On Daas Torah – Eisensohn is ranting about how Meisels confessed to “only hugging.” The guy has lost it, and it seems like all his croonies are either Meisels or staff members at the school.

      • Seems like Hindy Ullman watches Gilligan’s Island when she is not commenting on blogs. Who wants to post as Ginger?

        • I checked out the Daas Torah blog and I am honestly trying to figure out Eidenson’s position. Is he saying that 30 (or 40) frum girls took the trouble to give statements to a bais din, surely humiliating themselves in the process. Then the bais din collected all the information and processed it for a long time.And now we find that all of this was “only” about some hugging? He keeps saying the CBD has no evidence of anything worse. Why would all these girls and their parents have bothered?
          Another thing, I once went to a shiur where the speaker was going nuts about frum dating or engaged couples who decide not to be shomer negia. He kept screaming about it, saying you could be chayav kares for that. So why is the hugging all of a sudden being treated like such a minor thing, even if that’s “all” it was?
          You know, I was once enthralled by a charismatic Rabbi who I considered to be my “Tatty”. We spent a lot of time together. We were never, ever, closer than two feet apart. We never had anything like an explicit discussion about sex. There was never even a hint of a possibility of any physical contact, not even a handshake. Why does Eidensohn seem to not be seriously disturbed by anything less than those standards?

        • Sheri – Why don’t you ask HIM? Post this exact comment on his blog and let us know if he publishes it, or how he responds.

          Frankly, I don’t care much, if at all, about Eidenson. He clearly doesn’t know how to say “I was wrong, I made a mistake.” What is most disturbing to me is the groupies in his echo chamber. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if 90% of them are either Meisels’ family and his employees who looked the other way, and now need to defend themselves in their own minds, and can’t scream and protest loud enough. Throw in a couple of quacks for good measure, and I think that’s about all his blog following amounts to. A lot of noise from a very small group which is highly invested in echoing their own lies and distortions.

          But try to post your comment. I would be curious what people would respond to it, if Eidenson has the guts to post it.

      • I just called her out for letting Meisels rape her students on his blog. I’ll probably be banned. Oh well… Hashem knows the truth and we need moshiach.

        • Sheri – Was it a computer thing that wouldn’t let it through, or is it waiting for the moderator’s approval? If the latter, remember that he is in Israel and the there is a 7 hour time difference. If the former, try using a different browser, sometimes that helps.

        • Amen!! Just checked out eidilsohn blog. It’s crazy and nonsensical. These people should take responsibility and apologize. The enablers should all be fired. I don’t understand how meisels wife puts up with it. If I was her, I would have kicked him out and taken over the seminaries myself. Guess he has his poor wife manipulated and controlled just like his staff of groupie women who may have had illicit relationships with him as well, if he was so charming and irresistible as he has claimed:)

      • I personally know who Maryanne is. While I’d enjoy reading your blog at times I can say that your assumption that it is Ullman is so wrong and ludicrous that I’m beginning to question the validity to any claims made on this blog. It’s a pity seeing you lose focus from the real issue of a girl being abused and important concerns being brought up on this matter.

        • It may be wrong but it is not ludicrous. Maryanne rants as Ullman did at the diyun. It references her daddy in ways one would expect of an admiring but spoiled daughter. It replicates arguments she has used. Perhaps it is her alter ego or booster or close relative.

    • Eidensohn doesn’t seem to able to distinguish between fact and fiction, between truth and fantasy. If you read some of his conspiracies on this case you would realize there is something missing there. When every fact is his conspiracy, and his conspiracies turn into facts, you realize, nothing there can be trusted.
      He takes private e mails which were never intended for public consumption and publicizes them even though, or because it embarrasses the author. Forget about cherem of rebeinu Gershom, lashon horah, etc, simple logic tells you, don’t publish private e mails. If someone trusted you enough to send a private e mail, you are a רשע for printing it.
      If he can’t understand that, why do you think he can understand anything? His brother set up a web site to promote פלגשים as answer to the עגונה extortion problem. Do I need to say more?
      Did they ever think to themselves that they could be wrong ? By banning people from answering his foolish comments, doesn’t make it more right. I won’t even try to comment on his blog. I read it knowing whatever he writes, the opposite is true.

      • I’m sorry WHAT. Tell me what this site is called that Dovid Eidensohn is promoting pilagshim to “solve the agunah problem”. Is this true? My heart is beating so fast. They are mamesh dangerous for the world. Oy.

          • The Eidenson blog on promoting Pilegesh:

            http://www.torahhalacha.blogspot.ca/2014/11/pilegesh-solution-only-for-those.html

            Not a bad idea, actually. Sounds to me that he is advocating a secular marriage in order to avoid all the problems of Get and how frum society creates problems with Kiddushin because of the problems of Agunos, Get extortion, etc. Drop Kiddushin is what he is saying. Kiddushin causes too many problems. It can’t be trusted. It’s a mess. Rabbanim are not fixing the mess. So, secularists had it right all along?

          • it is important to remember this is not the eidensohn of daat torah. it is his brother from monsey, dovid eidensohn. people have enough trouble being responsible for themselves. I don’t think they are responsible for their brother’s shtuyot

  13. Wow. Just wow. You knew it was coming eventually. A full-throated, albeit very poorly worded screed insisting that Meisels is, in the words of Maryanne Ullman “innocent.” Something must have caused her trip-wire to spring. As an aside, it’s pretty amazing that someone with such a poor command over the English language could have such an important position. Clearly, she writes with a lot of passion, but it also has the tone of someone cornered, fighting to the bitter end. She let some details slip about what allegedly happened at the diyun, and now Eidensohn has let a few things slip, as well.

    Together, they say that there’s a “lack of evidence” which I cannot understand, as the girls’ testimony seems to constitute evidence all on its own. Not only that, but many people are aware of numerous texts and emails from Meisels himself that also provide ample evidence.

    I wonder if they are just talking about evidence pointing to the guilt of the principals? The whole thing just sounds like the rant of someone experiencing a mental episode, or something.

  14. I just had to re-post this special bit of the Ullman tirade . This is Maryann Ullman talking about herself.

    “And Mrs. Ullman being Rabbi Shmuel Fried’s daugher was fearless. Is special. And was not scared to bring Furst down by that diyun, she probably knows more in learning than he does. Shmuel Fried was behind a master plan here and don’t worry it aint over until its over. Furst will have a lot to answer in beis din or in court for being Motsi Shem ra against Rabbi Frieds daughter. All is taped. He was too stupid to forget that when it comes to a lie, you dont accuse Rabbi Frieds most special daugher”

    Anyone with a teeny bit of insight can see the exaggerated sense of self, and the entitled attitude. The desire for revenge, and the strange Daddy issues. From what I’ve read about Meisels, the two must make a fabulous team.

    • Maryann Ullman mixes her tenses. She “was special” and “is fearless”.
      Strange Daddy issues indeed. Wonder why Maryann Ullman sees nothing wrong with Bill Cosby Meisels.

      • Maybe ullman and other gems
        Female staff were also having relations with meisels. I suspect the staff are so protective of meisels for a good reason – more than parnassa. He must have something on these ladies and i wouldn’t be surprised if he “hugged” and took them for secluded meetings. Something is very wrong here . It’s not normal for women to defend an admitted sex abuser. He must have some power over them that is greater than parnassa. If they are such talented teachers surely they would have no problem finding jobs elsewhere in the booming seminary industry. Anyone else agree??

    • Whoever “Maryanne” is, she or he is clearly flexing the muscle of being “THE daughter of THE Rabbi Shmuel Fried” and how DARE anyone say that HIS daughter could have EVER done anything wrong? Even SUGGESTING that will be met with fury and punishment from THE obviously very powerful Rabbi Shmuel Fried and THE powerful political influence he wields.

      This is a claim to being stronger, not to being just. This is precisely how predators like Meisels get away with their crimes – they target people will little to no social influence who couldn’t hope to stand up to the political power and “chashivus” of their accuser, whether by way of a powerful father, sibling, family, or other powerful connections.

      Mrs. Ullman may or may not be guilty of what she is accused, but it has nothing to do with who her father is, how politically strong her father is, how fearless she is, or how special some people perceive her to be.

      Whoever wrote this is both childish and immature. How old are Mrs. Ullman’s children? Are they up to blogging and mindlessly defending their mother at the cost of dignified arguments, believing that the person who screams the loudest or hits the hardest is right?

      • Ha, but I really like the way she calls Frum Follies a powerful blog. The only people I’ve met who even heard of it are the hapless parents of a girl who was molested. Other people in my social circle couldn’t care less about this blog or the issues it covers. I think it was Mr. Lesher who said that apathy is a form of fear. Not sure about that. I think people suffer from the misconception that their children are safe, and they just don’t care about other people’s children. Well, Mr. Lopin, don’t let all this power go to your head..then you’ll lose your sense of humor and become just like every glib, arrogant and mind numbingly boring rabbi out there.

    • Wow, did I read that right ? Is mrs Ullman in seriousness insulting and threatening rabbi Shmuel Fuerst, the esteemed Dayan of Chicago who is a great Talmud Chacham ? He could perhaps sue her for liable. Incredible.

  15. Don’t know how to embed, but this is basically what the Eidensohn post sounds like now, (slightly not safe for work)

  16. Omg! Eidensohn won’t let me comment on Ullman’s “Megillah” she wrote on DT. This man..what a blog he made…not allowing others to post simple comments and questions.

    I asked Eidensohn what R Mailinowitz thinks of Meisles guilt. He REFUSED to post the question. I smell something fishy…

    • I agree. There is something very suspicious about Malinowitz and Eidensohn. Clearly, he’s the one leaking the documents. I believe they are both in the same RBS community and I remember reading somewhere on the blogs that they have a close relationship? I don’t want to say I know that as a fact, because I do not…

      I’m wondering why Malinowitz cares so much about saving the seminaries/ insisting that Meisels only “hugged” girls. Do we know if he has any family that works there?

  17. All this and yet most chareidim scream and rage that they wont allow their sons or daughters to share in the collective responsibility of either defending Jewish lives in fully religious army units, or helping the underpriveledged and needy through sheirut leumi — all in the name of tznuit!

    Yet many of these same chareidim have no problem kashering the staff of a seminary were at least 30 female victims were sexually assaulted at the hands of their twisted, wretched, and execrably manipulative and malicious “rabbi”. Additionally, at least two students were victims of rape and attempted raped according to a pending federal lawsuit. Yet these same staff threatened, attacked, intimidated and shamed victims. In fact, some of these still employed staff CONTINUE TO DO SO WITH IMPUNITY, all in the name of protecting the honor of Torah and the integrity of their institutions…. in other words $$$ and jobs.

    What depraved hypocrisy on the part of those who continue to support the enabling and attacking staff of these seminaries while they refuse to allow their children to share in the burden of defending and supporting fellow Jews in strictly single sex, fully religious contexts!

  18. So glad to see an article that is describing this situation and bringing it even more public so that people get what is happening to our girls!

    The story brought down in the Jewish Week article is painfully filled with detail, and I cringe with anger and sadness whenever I read it. But I am really so impressed by the fact that the victims came forward exposed Meisels’ and his disgusting activities with the hope of keeping him far far far away from other girls so that he doesn’t repeat his illicit and disgusting activities.

    These girls should get a medal for being so brave! I hope that they move on with their lives very soon and find nice boys that will take care of them and make them happy. While obviously the greatest revenge would be for Meisels to be thrown in the deepest, hottest and darkest pits of gehenom, it would be such a sweet victory for all of the victims to move on with their lives and return to normalcy while Meisels rots in a pit of his filth.

    • “I am really so impressed by the fact that the victims came forward exposed Meisels’ and his disgusting activities with the hope of keeping him far far far away from other girls so that he doesn’t repeat his illicit and disgusting activities. These girls should get a medal for being so brave!”

      I agree!! Instead of honoring wealthy people, the frum world should be honoring these girls who are protecting future generations of girls – your own daughters and granddaughters – from experiencing the same fate. Additionally, they have put another crack into the wall of silence and communal denial surrounding such shameful behavior of rabbis. Years ago it was believed that there was no such thing as frum alcoholics or frum men beating their wives. Now there is much more awareness that these things DO happen in our society and that we need to protect ourselves and our children from them. The same goes for sexual predators of all stripes. It was too shameful a thing for the frum world to accept, acknowledge or talk about in the past. But that denial was to our own detriment. As a society, I would like the believe that we are now older and wiser. We now know that when a child is sexually abused, it murders his soul and we have to be grateful for every day that he is able to live another day without taking his own life as we know many do. We now know that a pedophile is a rodef. Likewise, hopefully we have now learned that our society which places great value on yichus, Torah achievement and family chashivus, unfortunately also makes our society dangerously prone to collective denial of horrible acts by those who hold such power and prestige. Hopefully we learned that even the most “chashuv” people, whose families are steeped in dedication to Torah values, and who are respected and well known, can not only be monsters in their private lives, but can use their power and prestige to take horrible advantage of those who are weak and powerless. And that to get away with it, they need only rely on their “chashivus,” their family’s yichus, their political power or their own communal popularity to get away with horrific abuse of those without social prestige, of those who are struggling or downtrodden, or for other reasons aren’t seen as “the cream of our crops.”

      The girls who stepped forward should be the anonymous honorees of the next Agudah convention. They should get every level of kavod our society can offer. But in the meantime, they should at minimum receive our support, our love and our belief of their horror stories, together with our utmost respect for coming forward with all the pain and shame they experienced and continue to experience in doing so.

        • Yes, of course. That’s the point. As a frum society we do not honor whistleblowing victims of rabbinic abuse, we shame and attempt to silence them. We allow our cognitive dissonance to convince ourselves “It’s not pashut” or “it’s more complicated, we don’t know all the details” or “Daas Torah says it’s not a clear cut case.” The whole setup stinks. It is full of cronyism and protection of reputations and protection of institutions and the individuals who are hurt, whose spirits are murdered and destroyed for life are merely seen as collateral damages. If frumkeit cannot function without collateral damage by way of the destruction of a percentage of it’s adherents, how holy and Godly is it? And why is it any better than any secular lifestyle? Worse, if the collateral damage is due to claims of holiness, a NECESSARY factor to keep the up charade of “Am kadosh” – then how terrible that these individuals need to be sacrificed to do so. We pride ourselves on the fact that while the nations of the Earth were all giving human sacrifices to their many gods, OUR God was never so barbaric as to ask for such. But clearly today’s rabbanim who claim to represent “Daas Torah” ARE so barbaric as to ask for the destruction of a percentage of individuals, on the alter of, and for the sake of, continuation of our way of life. If those individuals agree to be sacrifices, it is another story. But none of them do. They are victims, and are usually the weakest and least influential of society. How cruel a system do we have?

          Rabbanim are assumed to represent Hashem’s will. And yet Rabbanim with prestige or yichus who take advantage of their power and act with malice and self-interest and hurt and murder the spirits and destroy the lives of individuals can get away with it because we have no system in place to prevent that from happening. It’s all about power and prestige, how much “Daas Torah” a man has, or how respected his family is, becomes the determining factor of how powerful he is. And because there is no balance to that power, he can get away with murder or it’s equivalent – sexual abuse.

          Look at the difference between how we handled this case, and how Penn State handled their case of sexual impropriety of their staff member. Penn State is hurting, no doubt, but they did the right thing. We can’t even do the right thing. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that we, the frum world, can’t even compete with the moral and ethical standards of a secular institution. How can we still call ourselves am hanivchar? Stand up and give speeches, one after the other, comparing ourselves to “the goyim” while selectively nitpicking how wonderful we are, and forgetting that our SYSTEM is set up in a way that is destroying souls. Calling ourselves a “Goiy Kadosh” time and time again, patting ourselves on the back for all the halachic stringencies we have developed since the end of WWs. As though God is pleased with all our “progress.” Our parents didn’t hear of or know about half of the halachis stringencies that our kids come home from school talking about. So we tell ourselves “look how great we are.” Seriously?

          • I once thought the label “Am Hanivchar” was meant to be vehicle to take on the responsibility of striving to live up to high moral standards in bein adam l’chaviro. Instead, it just seems to be an excuse to lord it over the rest of the world without doing any real work. I’ve come to realize that people are people, religious Jews, secular Jews, and non Jews. I no longer believe anyone is entitled to feel or act superior simply because of an accident of birth. Or because of OCD adherence to a particular set of rituals. We need more humility in the world,less posturing and sermonizing.

  19. Let’s try to stick to the issues. Maryanne is likely Fried himself. With that said, clearly his daughter told him a story that is totally different from what we are hearing over here. According to her or whoever the inside source is, the CBD did not do a good job and looked like idiots. I doubt that is true, but what facts can Lopin come back with to disprove what Maryanne is saying? Simply screaming at Maryanne and mocking her is not the answer. In other words, why did the CBD agree to this BD? and why did they agree to a psak that did not include firing the principals? I don’t know much about Ulman but Kahane deserved a severe consequence if only because of his infamous email. SO why did they give in?

    I will also add that I think it is very low of Lopin to “out” this Adina Cohen. You could have posted it without her name….Clearly she is just a young girl under Meisel’s spell and cna not face the truth. It was important to share the email to bring light to how the girls are still under his spell and that he is likely still in touch with the girls. However, I am very unhappy that you shared her name on the blog. I think it was a very nasty thing to do.

    • Jack, I appreciate your tone and your logical arguments. I few points:
      1) There is clearly a difference of opinion as to what happened at the diyun. I imagine that certain facts will come out over time, but I have a feeling that each side will simply use them to their own advantage, which has been par for the course since day one. Look, if people can sit and argue over a cop choking someone to death, then people will argue over what, exactly happened at the diyun.

      2) Someone passed information to Lopin that two staff were demoted. Eidensohn denied it. Where’s the truth? I know who I trust, but I would bet that the other side will have their “sources” as well.

      3) I agree that screaming at Maryann isn’t the answer, but you have to take it in its full context. I know about certain people who received several communications, in the form of both email and text messages, from students and staff like Ms. Ullman (cannot confirm if she herself sent them) that included relentless personal attacks. In that case, it shouldn’t be surprising that people would want to yell to express some frustration.

      4) CBD only agreed that the seminaries were safe. That’s like asking for a restaurant recommendation and then hearing that the food is safe to eat. It says nothing about the actual taste, or the ambiance, or the service. Just that you won’t get food poisoning. “Safe” means that a girl likely won’t be violated, but it doesn’t mean that the very same cruel, vindictive people in charge have changed their personalities.

      5) Why is Adina Cohen still under Meisels’ spell in November 2014? He removed himself from the seminaries before the beginning of the year. Meisels is supposed to have no presence or influence in these seminaries at all. Yet, it seems that his presence is felt.

    • Jack, I am not exposing a private email. It was a mass email. Even if foolish, it was consequential. Had I not identified the sender I would have been roundly accused of fabrication. As it happens we now have Adina acknoledging and defending it on the Rare View blog. So apparently she does not feel I wronged or hurt her. She just thinks I am foolish to be criticizing her.

  20. Let me be very clear. Eidensohn is not a trustworthy individual. He has proven this over & over.

  21. To: Mr. Bill Elimelech Meisels who watches this blog very carefully:

    Puttting aside all your criminal sexual assaults and rapes you committed against your students, how can you even hold up your head after violating Hilchus Yichud so many times, after committing chibuk veneshuk so many times and undoubtedly causing yourself zera livatalah many times? You trampled on the Torah causing a world wide Chillul Hashem just by being in violation of these Issurim! As far as your assaults and rapes, I predict you will end up behind bars for a long time. The Jewish Week got the ball rolling, it will not stop with this article. Stay tuned, Mr. Bill Elimelech Meisels. You also might want to stop off by Walmart to get some big air conditioners for after you are finished in jail and go downstairs to hell where you are headed for. You piece of manure!

  22. The Jewish Week just published my letter to their editor with the caption:of their choosing, “Blogger’s Contribution.” It appears in their online and printed editions. The full text of my letter is:

    “As Beit Dins Spar, Apparent Abuser Remains Free” (Dec. 5) is a valuable article. The reporter, Rachel Delia Benaim, and The Jewish Week served the community well by exposing an alleged rapist who remains free. This story is unusual because the secret workings of Jewish religious courts (batei din) were exposed through a set of leaks on my blog, Frum Follies, and Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn’s blog, Daas Torah. Both of our blogs are heavily focused on sex abuse in the Orthodox community and have been around for more than five years. But for the postings on our blogs, many critical documents would not have been available to be quoted in this story. Yet the story never acknowledges these sources either by name or link.

    Readers seeking the full source documents on which the above was based should visit my blog, Frumfollies.Wordpress.com.

    The Jewish Week complained to The New York Times when The Times published articles about sex abuse, which drew heavily on the work of Hella Winston, reporting for The Jewish Week, without crediting her. The Times Public Editor investigated and credited Winston’s work. I hope The Jewish Week will do the same and identify my contribution.

    If you wish to reinforce my message please go to the Jewish Week site to share your thoughts either on the page for their original Meisels article (http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/national/rabbinic-courts-spar-apparent-abuser-remains-free) or on the page for the letter to the editor(http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial-opinion/letters/bloggers-contribution)

    Unfortunately they did not correct the article. As I pointed out in a communication to them:

    Instances of unattributed use of material from Frum Follies include:

    “In an unusually strong statement dated July 14, the court, based in Chicago, wrote that “based on the testimony and documents” it received, “including testimony by the claimants [several former students, over the age of 18] and by Elimelech Meisels, the Beis Din believes that students in these seminaries are at risk of harm and it does not recommend that prospective students attend these seminaries at this time.””

    “In a letter issued by the Chicago Beit Din on Sept. 4, Rabbi Meisels is said to have confessed to serious misconduct. As the letter noted, “some of the misconduct to which he confessed constitutes, to our understanding, ‘sexual violence’ as that term is understood in the context of Title IX.” Although the confession occurred in late spring, this information was not publicized until Sept. 4, when a letter from the Chicago beit din, which has handled more than a dozen sexual assault cases since its founding in 2000, made its way to the charedi blogosphere, which has been covering the Rabbi Meisels story closely. The letter was sent to Aaron Twersky, the schools’ lawyer; Touro College, which was a university partner to the schools but is no longer affiliated with them; and Hebrew Theological College, which also suspended its accreditation of Rabbi Meisel’s seminaries.”

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