The Undone Work of the Expanded Beis Din in the Meisels Seminary Scandal

David Morris, writing in his anti-abuse blog, Tzedek-Tzedek, reflected on the findings of the expanded Beis Din for the Elimelech Meisels seminaries scandal. He writes:

The Expanded Beit Din’s assertion that “what needed to be rectified has been rectified” is too flimsy to adequately address the very strong allegations, reinforced now by The Jewish Week, that key members of staff were complicit in the alleged crimes of Meisels and yet remain in their teaching positions.

Without introducing transparency on this issue, public confidence in these seminaries is unlikely to be restored.

Furthermore, the seminaries themselves, more than half a year after the initial public exposure, have still not come clean.

Victims, and the public at large, still awaits a formal statement from the Batei Din/Seminaries.

Such a statement needs to include:
* acknowledging the nature and scope of the crimes and failings of the past,
* offering & expressing unreserved regret,
* reaching out to and showing compassion for the victims,
* adoption of appropriate disciplinary measures against those involved,
* offering full restitution to all those impacted.

Without such a step, a coming clean, “vidui”, the forward-looking protocols and staff training, while positive in themselves, still appear to be merely band-aids covering up potentially septic lesions.

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8 thoughts on “The Undone Work of the Expanded Beis Din in the Meisels Seminary Scandal

  1. Only way this happens is if parents “vote with their wallets” and applications to all seminaries are down significantly. Parents should just have the kids stay home.

  2. Penn State did all this and more. Time and time again when it comes to ethical standards the secular world outshines the world of Torah life. Even the Catholic Church in some of these cases has dealt with sexual abuse better than we have. If the frum world can’t get to a point where our gedolim, our chachamim and our society can maintain standards of basic ethics and morals which secular organizations do, then what good is all our Torah, all our seminaries, all our yeshivos, all our sacrifice? What gets taught in these seminaries and yeshivos is what is modeled. And what is modeled by these scandals is that frumkeit is a fraud, a façade and an exercise in hypocrisy. We can’t keep claiming that Torah is better and we are better than everyone else, if we can’t even live up to the standards of the secular world in our ethics. And we can’t blame the goyim for this. Just the opposite, as it is we who need to learn from them as a model of how to ethically deal with such a case!

  3. Again, Seriously, you hit the mark. IMO, & without at all reducing the terrible impact etc of CSA, what you mention is even more dangerous, as it is all-encompassing. I know those who believe that, were it deemed necessary by certain “G’dolim” (in their eyes), murder would be rationalised using this same hypocrisy…

  4. Eidensohn’s protestations otherwise, this thing isn’t done by a longshot. There will be documents to be revealed, lawsuits to make their way through court, and some slack-jawed idiots that keep saying all the while “but…but…it was just a hug…a CONSENSUAL hug.” Lots more to come, which is only bad for those who continue to lie about the sems and about Meisels.

    • Just-a-hug is an absurd defense. While there are innocent cross-sex hugs in the secular world, the haredi world regards all such hugs as sexual and gross violations of tzniyus. Though of course the Jewish Week article nicely confirms some details I have long claimed, namely, that Meisels is a sexual assailant.

  5. David Morris and the comments hit it 100% correct. Nebuch, the hypocrisy in the frum world will be our downfall as a nation. Yet again, we have only ourselves to blame. Frum parents must speak up and keep their girls safe. The seminary year is a complete unenessary waste of money. What other religious group would send daughters so far from home for so long? We can’t keep the status quo and do as the communal leaders say against our own common sense. Seminary is a money making self-interested business as the teachers and staff of meisels seminary have clearly shown. $ talks.

    • If you want to send to seminary, Intensive seminary in New York is one of the best. No need to spend $25,000 , and they have a very great staff there.
      I personally am against seminary. My daughter got a fantastic shidduch without any seminary.

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