The Foul Traits of A Member of the Staff at Binas Seminary

Rabbi Meir Kahane,Principal Chedvas Bais Yaakov

Rabbi Meir Kahane, Principal Chedvas Bais Yaakov

Last week I posted a mass email by Adina Cohen, a former madricha (dormitory counselor) in the Meisels seminary, Binas Chedvas Bais Yaakov. She messaged some 70 alumni, almost all from the Chedvas Bais Yaakov seminary where Meir Kahane is the principal. In this email Adina appealed for support for Rabbi (sic) Elimelech Meisels as if he merited respect, as if he was innocent of serious allegations of sexual abuse, as if he still deserved to be called a rabbi. This concerns me because denying  anything happened  is telling students they  will not be believed if they report abuse.

What I did not know when I posted is that Adina Cohen is also a foul-mouthed, obnoxious mean girl who is abusive to anyone who disagrees with her about Meisels.

She angrily called  TruthSeeker to attack her leaking her mass email to me. Actually, I got that email from a different source. Truthseeker said as much to Adina. But she did not believe her and sent a torrent of abusive messages to her phone including this gem. “You b*tch, your going to pay for this.”

adina Cohen text message, just b-tch sentence

I am amazed that any seminary would employ such a dorm counselor. It does not square with the Israeli Beit Din position that “There is no cause to refrain from sending girls to study and dorm in these seminaries. It can be confidently assumed that the distinguished staff does its work trustworthily and it will continue to educate Jewish daughters for Torah and purposefulness.”

Are we to believe that a former staff member who texts “You b*tch, your going to pay for this” did her work “trustworthily … and will… educate… for torah and purposefulness?”

Elimelech Meisels Purim Punk Pninim Rabbi watermarked finSimilar sentiments of denial about Meisels misconduct and sympathy for the man they keep calling Rabbi Meisels is still rampant among the staff of the seminary. It is clear that the Israeli Beis Din’s blanket endorsement of staff was based on a very restrictive understanding of proof and a presumption of acceptability  (chezkas kashrus). But their flowery language deceived the public into believing that the staff are great. In reality a number of those staff are just not provably guilty because other staff and starry -eyed, mean alumni and students are intimidating witnesses into silence.

If you don’t believe me about this student check out ” Adina Cohen Attacks Victims of Meisels Seminaries” and look at some of the comments she posts to attack others. Here are a few more of her gems:

  • Anonymous writer #1 this has nothing to do about beauty, you shallow girl, but I guarantee you I’m 10 times prettier than you.
  • PPS, Anonymous number two; do you even know who my dad is?!??!? he is a US Air Force Rabbi, he freaken worked in the Pentagon, and went out to do services for soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Qatar defending your miserable life.

In the near future I expect to post other specimens of these sentiments by other alumni being fueled by back channel messages from staff.


75 thoughts on “The Foul Traits of A Member of the Staff at Binas Seminary

  1. Just read the father’s latest comment on Dus is neis, and have a few points:
    1) According to the father, Adina Cohen’s mother was murdered in Yerushalayim in 2010. This alone is reason to go easy and to be extra sensitive (keeping in mind that we also need to be very sensitive to the Meisels victims as well)

    2) The father put up all of his personal information, and has directed all questions/comments to himself. In modern parlance he “lawyered up”. He said that Adina herself will no longer be commenting.

    3) This actually shows that Meisels developed special attachment to girls that were weak, for one reason or another.

    4) He mentioned that Adina is actually involved in the diyun.

    5) He repeated the Eidonsohnesque line that it was only 3 girls who came forward, which many here know to be not the case. A simple phone call to any member of the CBD would verify the actual number.

    6) He also admitted that the case if far from over, which is obvious to anyone except for those who live in the dream-world that happens to be at Eidonsohn’s blog.

    • Whether or not her mother was murdered, she’s clearly got some serious mental health issues. While there’s no excuse for her continued employment, it’s delusional to believe that everyone employed by chinuch organizations is sane. We have all met crazy, even if non-abusive teachers, principals and teachers’ aides. None of these people should be working with children (including seminary girls), but given that the chinuch fields employ a large proportion of all Orthodox Jews, it’s a given that there are seriously sick people in our schools.

      • Let me add that I am not a health professional, and mindful of the fact that Adina herself used the diagnosis “psycho” about others, I join others in suggesting that Adina make the decision to seek therapy and treatment if warranted.

        I do believe that in the case of severe behavior and/or psychological issues in staff members, OJ organizations will close ranks to protect employees in a way that public institutions cannot.

        • I completely agree the Haredi institutions are very protective of the jobs of their employees, even at the expense of the customers (i.e., students). Chinnuch and rabbanus are a growing job market and industry.

      • Tesyaa, I agree that no staff of 150 will be perfect. In fact no individual is likely to be perfect. But Adina is not the only staff who is manipulative and bullying. The question is how did nobody notice her deficits. I think the answer is that Meisels and his administrators valued cult-like loyalty over other qualities. In turn, employees were also expected to reinforce the cultish atmosphere.

        Cults are rarely undone by bringing in some trainers for a day.

        • Exactly. The loyalty is much more important to them, which basically makes it into a cult of personality. I believe that it’s yet another reason why we’re all still talking about Meisels’ continued influence on the sems, even though he supposedly left at the beginning of the year. It sure looks like a cult of personality.

    • When a girl acts like that .. and had two parents .. it is more than the loss of one that has her displaying this sort of behavior. If her mother was actually killed 4 years ago .. and she acts with such wrath and immaturity, it means she has not healed. The responsibility became that of her fathers to see that she can become as whole as possible. Whether or not we should be sensitive to her on a personal level is a separate concern from the fact that she is clearly NOT in a position to be a mentor or caretaker of other impressionable girls. Her father should have been aware of that enough to keep her out of the seminary and of course .. it is very telling of the danger that continues to lurk in this seminary, that they would have such a girl on staff.

  2. I wrote this to her father on Rare View-

    “Avraham, your daughter was NOT part of the diyun. I had a very long talk with her the night she called me up harassing me and calling me a “B*TCH”. Don’t believe me? I have the text to show u. Your daughter is not a dignified “kosher bas Yisroel” like u claim. She has NOTHING to do with the Meisels case bc she has kept herself ignorant all this time. And there was not just 3 girls. I know for a fact. Adina made that up bc she was repeating false info and twisting the words that everyone is telling her. My goodness, u are both embarrassing yourself on this site…”

    • Maybe she was a character witness? I don’t know. I’m just saying that this girl seems to be messed up, and she seems to have a pretty good reason to be messed up. Point being, she’s much more of a symptom of the problem rather than the problem itself.

      That doesn’t give her a hetter to act the part of a Mean Girl to anyone, including to you, but the focus should be on Meisels and his enabling higher-up staff.

      • I think the focus should be on any staff. Please take it from me who went I the schools: Meisles hired those who would stay loyal to him and that that’s it. Including madrichot. My point would be that if Debbie Gross had to train the teachers, she should be doing so for the madrichot as well.

    • After reading this story and the comments that followed, I have concluded that the girls were indeed victims, that Adina Cohen is full of B.S., and that I hope to god that this “rabbi” goes to hell. I offer my sincerest apologies for what you girls had to go through, and I want to let you know that I’m with you 100%.

  3. While it is clear to me that this young lady is in need of assistance, I am sickened by some of the comments being made about her. She is a Bas Yisrael, and as Yidden we shouldn’t stoop to a level of such disgusting baseness (2 wrongs don’t make a right). I don’t want to diagnosis her with anything, it isn’t my place, but if it is true that her mother was murdered and the Meisel’s were there for in the immediate aftermath, than that is a lot for anyone to deal with, even without the fact that she must now face that her beloved “Rabbi Meisels” is in fact not a good person or someone she should associate herself with. I hope that her father gets her the help she needs so she can gain the tools she needs to deal with this. Meisels’ victims are not just the ones who he did these horrific things to, but also the girls who have lost their trust in someone they admired. That isn’t something that should be ignored or dismissed. We should have rachmanus on her and daven that she is able to successfully deal with everything….

    • Most likely her father needs some help as well. I assume from the comments by her father and googling him to find out places he was stationed .. such as Iraq and when that his daughter was NOT with him. It seems that he left her in the hands of inept, victimizers to be raised and coddled. He now would like us to accept that she lost her mother and that 4 years later .. a girl who refers to others as psycho and bitch only does so because she lost a parent. I know young adults who lost a parent at an early age .. including Holocaust survivors who then had to practically be raised by “foster” parents .. and NONE of them act out in this capacity. The idea that we should accept the loss of her parent as a justification for her behavior is a ruse. Only because we are supposed to have rachmanus for the widow and the orphan .. do I feel bad for her .. but she is no longer a child. She is now an adult and is accountable for her behavior and actions. If she can not be honest with herself over her actions and accept that she is behaving poorly and seek help to remedy this issue .. she will be this sort of person into old age.

      • At this point, we can all understand that she likely has some mental health needs that are, at this point, largely unmet.

        However, I do not want to detract from Yerachmiel’s main point which was that this is but one of what is likely many examples of spiteful, mean and enabling staff that remain employed in these sems.

    • You are not aware of the times I tried to speak to Adina and her disgusting responses. She has put down the victims numerous times and has said very not nice things to those who try to stand up for them. Her character is nowhere near a “bas Yisroel” and having a mother who unfortunately passed away is horrible but has NOTHING to do with her sick responses. (Altho I wish ppl would stop speaking abt her personal life. That, I think, is crossing a line and is no one’s business).

  4. According to eidinsohn’s latest post, he can’t figure out why people are upset about this whole meisels story, all it was is that he gave one girl a hug, and the staff right away kicked him out.
    There is nothing more to the story then that he claims. For some reason, I don’t believe a word he says. He showed his true colors on this story, and now he is bringing himself down even more.
    Someone tell him, he has no credibility left on anything.

    • I’ve been “telling him”. He will be embarrassed by himself very soon. Whenever I comment, all I get are a bunch of nasty comments saying I’m a child. Not going back there.

      • Why do you keep responding to the Eidenson freaks? Right now their credibility couldn’t possibly be any lower. By posting and arguing with the two of them you feed their delusion that there are people who care what (or if) these two losers think.

        Sorry, but they aren’t worth your time and certainly not worth rolling in their mud. Leave them and Malinowitz to enjoy each other’s shmutz.

    • First, he posted months ago saying “Yay! It’s all over now! Bye, bye!”. Then, he posts that “All is well! The joint beis din said so!”. And now, he sinks to comparing those who actually believe that Meisels is guilty of far more than a hug to the accusers in the UVA fake rape case.

      I honestly can’t see how he can retain even a shred of credibility outside of the teeny echo chamber that is his own blog. Yes, the same 3-4 people will go crazy and denigrate the CBD, but at this point, all of the yelling and screaming over there accomplishes nothing. No minds have been changed, and any proof or documentation that’s shown to them is, to them, just a lie, or a fabrication of the CBD. Yes, even the Adina Cohen story was just a lie. To me, it’s like arguing the merits of yiddishkeit to the chevrah at Stormfront. Pointless.

    • How can he say one girl, when the CBD says 30? Even if he doesn’t trust them entirely, surely he doesn’t think the CBD went to the trouble of fabricating an outright lie, replete with mock-ups of statements given by 30 people? Surely he doesn’t think that when members of the CBD are contacted by phone and asked about the case, they fabricate stories about seduction, rape, and forcible touching? No matter what their agenda might be, surely the CBD as a frum organization would have a greater motive to suppress this story rather than expose it, if they didn’t truly feel that Meisels and his enabling staff were an extreme danger to students.

      • His proxies over there, with names like “kishke” and “(dis)Honest” are saying EXACTLY that. It actually frightens me to think of the punishment for someone who not only refers to members of the CBD by their last names, without the title of “Rav” but also has the temerity to call them (ofrah l’pumei) dishonest. I can’t even type the words without shaking. I saw Rav Schwartz today giving his Daf Yomi shiur this morning, and he looked like a malach. But none of this matters to the low-lifes over at the Eidensohn blog. To them, anything is mutar to defend Meisels. Anything.

  5. More than anything .. this girl is dumber than a doorknob. I guess the “army brat” was never taught that when you WRITE things and send them out into cyberspace, you have relinquished all control of that piece. The more she writes the more a) people will know exactly who she is b) she reveals her true personality.

    The irony is it is someone like her who should most likely have a hard time finding a shidduch .. NOT the victims.

    I hope she gets the help she needs.

  6. Again this appalling grammar & spelling? They learn nothing in this seminary, nor in the schools they went to before that. This is reason enough not send daughters there.

    • I don’t think that any of the seminaries, whether Chareidi or Modern orthodox, have English grammar lessons on their curriculum.

      • But all the HS’s do and when seminaries choose staff they ought to wonder about someone who did so poorly at basic skills and never remedied it, let alone, is a guttersnipe.

  7. I believe Adina Cohen’s statement “you are going to pay for this” to is a bold faced threat and should be taken seriously. I advise Adina to call the police, file a police report and stop contact with Cohen. Her statement is down right scary. It’s very disturbing to see how Meisels has his staff all fired up still defending him, with ugly and threatening statements. This is more evidence meisels in a dangerous narsissitic abuser. These schools should be shut down immediately in my opinion. If I were a parent I would bring my daughter home right away. Disgusting behavior. Adina seems to be under meisels spell.

  8. Can you please address the claim over at Da’as Totah that she in fact is not a madricha, but is a former madricha who now lives in the U.S.?

      • Your primary error was not Chedvas vs. Binas, but in that you categorize her as a madricha in a seminary. She is not a madricha anywhere. This is a vital distinction in terms of determining whether her email was approved by the administration of the seminary or not. Additionally, you call out the seminary for employing her, when she is not employed by any of them.

        • She was a madricha at Binas run by Mrs. Ullman, someone likely to be fired before the seminaries get their accreditation restored. I have corrected the post to reflect her current vs her past status. I am not perfect and I truly regret my errors in this posting. But the essential fact is that her sort of thinking and bullying has been manifested by many other alumni egged on by a number of current staff who are bad mouthing victims and alumni who support them. I have some other specimens produced over the last few months which I have not publicized but I think I may now post. I feel it is important for people to understand the climate of denial and bullying that continues.

  9. Yerchmiel, you corrected the post to state ‘a madricha in Binas’, but your post still states ‘Obviously the Israeli Beis Din missed this miscreant.’

    I do not know whether Adina went back from Binas to the USA recently or some time ago, but unless she returned very recently, if she is no longer at Binas then the Israeli Beis Din did NOT miss her – as she was not there for them to miss. And therefore if so, your post is still wrong and misleading in bringing evidence against the IBD from Adina’s case.
    Please clarify.

    • It is now corrected. I regret an error about the specific seminary in which she worked which grew out of the fact that virtually all the ~70 students addressed in her email were Chedvas students. In my haste i slipped and ignored my notes. However, I am wondering if she did not also send separate mass emails to lists she picked up from staff to alumni and staff of other seminaries. A number of other outrageous mass emails have been sent out since the scandal broke in July. There were many other nasty messages sent to dissenting students to intimidate them into silence about the goings on at the seminaries.

      I stand behind my claim that this is not an anomaly but is woven into the warp and woof of the culture of the staff which they spread to students. Staff are playing a two-faced game. On the one hand they are claiming that they knew nothing about Meisels at the time but they are now better trained to spot and report either a climate of grooming or reports of abuse. On the other hand they are busy minimizing Meisels misconduct to “Just a hug.” and stoking gratitude and sympathy for poor Rabbi Meisels who “has suffered enough.” It is a culture of denial by minimization. It is a culture of resentment toward those who exposed Meisels. It is a culture of hostility to any of his victims who dare to report their suffering at the hands of Meisels.

      • The mass emails, the threats, and the attempts to silence are far more significant than one detail. As you say, the “culture of hostility” is exactly the problem with the sems, and it seems that the culture has not been cured.

        I wonder why, after repeated claims that the ONLY purpose of the recent joint beis din was to determine the level of staff guilt, they are now on a rehabilitation tour of Meisels himself? They are also screaming “Gottesman!” louder than ever. Something is up.

        • What is up is an attempt to distract attention from the fact that Touro College and its subsidiary affiliate, HTC are not going to restore accreditation until two more conditions are met:

          1. confirmation that authority over the seminaries has truly been transferred away from Meisels and there no more financial contingencies that might allow him to regain control
          2. At least one current staff member is fired outright.

          Touro’s representative said this no uncertain terms to one of my colleagues. So for all of Rabbi Eidensohn’s headlines about the seminaries being OK, they will be forced to complete additional steps or go bankrupt because without accreditation they cannot successfully recruit enough students. Accreditation is vital for their continued financial survival. Rabbi Eidensohn can continue to rage against me. But I am inconsequential compared to the decision makers at Touro. I am merely the messenger.

          • It’s entertaining how eidensohns does his best to find fault in you. Let’s assume you made a mistake, which is now corrected, big deal ,it was an honest mistake and you admitted it.
            But I never saw him admit any of his glaring mistakes, to numerous to go into, weather it’s Halacha ,like the prenup, protest for gittin , totally false information etc. his only answer is, you don’t know the facts and are to stupid to understand . And of course, any beis din which has the chutzpah to disagree with him are either corrupt, extortionist or mamzer factories. Any godal that thinks otherwise doesn’t know Halacha .
            Anyways, nobody il know of takes himat all seriously. Ask him what happened when his brother david went to lakewood to give his misguided shiurim.
            כל הפוסל במומו פוסל.

            • This made me laugh bc it was so on target with everything of Eidensohn (the prenup, Meisels, not admitting mistakes, being disinvited to an event etc…). Oh, and I find it funny how Eidensohn is demanding I apologize to Adina when she is the one who harassed me and called me the ‘B’ word.

      • Thanks for correcting.
        The situation is sickening enough (a chilul hashem beyond belief), but that behooves all parties to be fastidious with their arguments.
        Your arguments in general are evidence based, spot-on and accurate, but this particular argument was fallacious so thank you for correcting it.
        If you are able, please take an extra deep breath (you normally do, but this indicates maybe a need to take an extra one every time), and try and ensure errors do not occur again.
        We count on you for your good work, that continuously saves numerous, numerous people from becoming victims (and which would be justified if it only saved one person one-time) .

  10. All of you can go and eat kugel i never saw such a stupid blog i am really sick of all comments
    but i made my home work and found out that the ones who had issues in sem. in fam. problems tznies mentel problem and much more(and i would not say what) are the ones with the name Truth seeker and Triangle and the few nuty girls what came up with this story so who is the real B**CH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    EDITED BY Yerachmiel Lopin for vulgarity

    • Thank you for Exhibit A of a completely typical denialist, victim-intimidating message. Many of these messages are being sent out privately to girls to make them afraid to think out loud let alone report things. The price of staying inside the alumni clique is going along with this sort of garbage. The claim is being made that the problems at the seminary were rectified. I think, not!

      This message like most of the really obnoxious ones about Meisels came from an Israeli IP. I suspect seminary staff and theie relatives/friends are doing this together some who are close to Meisels. I hope it is not the current students because then things are really bad.

    • If what you say is true, Meisels is double the rasha. He took already suffering girls, heaped upon them more abuse, and now they are being discredited simply because of their original suffering. Meisels probably hand picked the girls least likely to be believed. I pray there’s a G-d who is reserving a special seat in Gehenom for him.

      • Having heard first hand of one girl who was, herself, groomed by Meisels, I fully agree. This girl also talked about Meisels’ ability (hindsight being 20/20) to find girls that were weak, a bit needy, and thin. He specifically looked for them and treated them differently. Recall that the girls would dress and put on makeup just for Meisels’ class. Things like this make my stomach turn, especially when the Meisels defenders spout off about the “just a hug” business.

        • I was once a young and vulnerable girl myself, though I was never thin. I was depressed, however, and a charismatic rabbi took an interest in me. I had the benefit of dealing with a decent person who would probably never even think of doing what Meisels did. But I can imagine, had it been different, how nobody would believe my story because of my original suffering. As an aside, I realize now what a dangerous relationship that was.If my daughter was involved in such a relationship today alarm bells would be ringing in my head.

    • Wowzers. Whoever u are, everyone already knows my name, so ur not exposing anything. A lot more to say, but I just simply feel bad for u “kugel”. What a heimish name for someone with such foul language. Lopin, I think u should gather up these curses coming from the those who defend the seminaries and hand them to Kahane. Lol I’m sure he’d be very happy to see them.

  11. First, I think TruthSeeker deserves some praise here after this most recent sample of the threats and verbal abuse she has endu

    Second, as others have pointed out and at the risk of being a bit pedantic, I want to stress that we shouldn’t allow knee-jerk defenders of Adina Cohen or the seminaries to obscure the obvious issues at hand.

    One of those issues (to which I want to call attention) is the glaring double standard of the defenders themselves. Let’s be clear what Cohen did. She slandered victims of abuse. She lied. She publicly endorsed, as a teacher, a man who — by his own admission — committed grossly inappropriate acts with young students. She urged others to do the same. She then made profanity-laden threats against another woman whose “crime” was to have sent one copy of her mass email to an unintended recipient. None of this is (or can be) in dispute. And all of it necessarily involved the seminary staff whose important former employee she is and on whose behalf she publicly appealed.

    Remember, this is a staff that knows its religious bona fides are on the line. Can you imagine how assiduously they, and their apologists, would have rushed to disown Cohen if she had, let’s say, urged all her readers to have more contact with non-religious Jews? Or if she had urged former students to criticize Meisels instead of lauding him?

    Now compare their actual reaction to the treatment the SAME people meted out to the brave women who came forward to accuse Meisels of sexual abuse — whose veracity has been confirmed by a respected rabbinic panel and (partially) by the accused himself. In Cohen’s case, the slightest detail is enough to extenuate her offenses; no such considerations ever diluted the staff’s attacks on the victims. Cohen is defended as a “bas yisrael” with good deeds to her credit; nothing of the kind was ever said in defense of the victims, though it is doubtless true and presumably relevant to their credibility. We are urged to tolerate Cohen’s abusive behavior because she suffers personal difficulties; the (false) imputation of personal troubles to the victims was made only to mock and to discredit them.

    More could be adduced along these lines, but this is enough to make the point. What we observe above all is the scale of moral priorities implicit in all this hypocritical about-facing. To the seminaries’ defenders, slander, threats, supporting a sexually abusive rabbi — that’s within the pale of pious sympathy; it can be condoned or ignored. Only telling the truth is unforgivable.

    That is where THEY stand.

    If TruthSeeker can talk patiently with such people, she must be a kinder person than I am. But I do think it’s worth talking — to anyone genuinely willing to listen — about the grave insult to Torah, and to all religious Jews, offered by seminary staff that doesn’t see anything wrong with slandering young women victimized on their watch, while giving kid-glove treatment to a lying propagandist and threat-monger ostensibly acting on THEIR behalf. Maybe they can find some sort of excuse for Cohen, but what’s THEIR excuse? For that matter, what’s their religion?

    • Great post. U know how to word things well, as always. And thank u- I won’t lie…it is very hurtful that Eidensohn is so ruthlessly still attacking me and wrote a public post about how I need to apologize to this girl…when she was the one who harassed me and called me the ‘B’ word. It’s truly hurtful and emotionally abusive even…(and unfortunately there were a number of other mass emails from my seminary grade that were the same as Adina’s- “poor Meisles, crazy girls who want $, let’s show our support”….it’s so sad.

    • I also want to say that, yes, I was more hab just patient with Adina. I was abnormally nice. After she cursed me out, I spoke calmly and answered any question she might have. That lasted for about 2 hours. Literally. And by the end of the convo, she says something like “I don’t care what proof u have or whatever u have to say. U have done nothing but twisted ppls words and made up lies.” (The funny thing is, SHE ended up lying abt things over our conversation. I fell for it bc I thought she was a well-meaning person. I wasted 2 hrs of my life talking to her. Oh well…)

  12. Why do you (and TS) insist on giving the Eidenson freaks legitimacy be responding to their nonsense???

    There isn’t a rov or rosh yeshiva of any standing who cares two cents worth about them and their foolish opinions. The closest they have to an ally in rabbinic circles is chaim malinowitz who garners little respect from anyone who matters.

    • You’re correct. I’m trying to limit my comments (or trying not to comment all togther). I just do not want lies being spread about the CBD and what happened at the Bais Din/ abt the victims. I don’t want ppl going on the site, reading the comments and thinking they are true, so I attempt to refute them. Although, it’s a lost cause and waste of time prob.

      • I gave up on commenting on Daas Torah – it’s not worth the energy and just fuels Eidensohn. B’H the full truth will come out in time…

        • True Vera! The truth will come put. Altho it’s been 6 months and I can’t help but say that I am disappointed with the CBD in not further exposing Meisles.

          • It doesn’t seem to me that Eidensohn cares very much about what the CBD says. He seems to be saying that the CBD is a group of liars. Glossing over the Daas Torah blog, it seems that in the past, he has been on the right side of most issues. Why the sudden turnaround? I’m usually not a conspiracy theorist, but is it possible that Eidensohn is being threatened by somebody powerful?

            • He has some connections to R Malinowitz, which may color his judgement. I wonder how he would feel if he spoke to some of the victims and heard the tales of his gross violations of both halacha and common decency. I am not sure of the standard of “proof” that the joint beis din required, but the list should be posted prominently somewhere. Among the things that I heard directly were:
              1) Coming in and out of the dorm at all hours of the day and night
              2) Grooming girls and telling them how attractive they are
              3) Taking girls for drives in the middle of the night to places such as the Yaar Yerushalayim
              4) Asking girls about their sexual histories
              5) Telling girls that he was their Tatte
              6) Threatening girls in case they thought of telling people
              7) Telling girls that it was ok for him to have multiple wives (pilegesh, perhaps?)

              These are some of the things that should be no surprise to the regular readers here, but now, they have all been reduced to a little hug. Keep in mind that it’s very difficult to prove any of it. Meisels is a weasel, but nobody said he was stupid. He very carefully groomed and selected his victims, according to many accounts. Again, all of this is quite difficult to prove. At the same time, there were numerous emails and texts that I understand were presented which showed some of the above to be true. Hopefully the full truth will come out sooner than later.

            • I have no information that he is being threatened or bribed nor do I think it likely. I am reluctant to delve too deep into his motives for his whacky turn to the dark side. I think what matters are the facts not Eidensohn. Focusing on Eidensohn distracts from the main action, Meisels’ misconduct and this disgraceful attempt to kasher him both to lay the groundwork for his eventual rehabilitation and to protect his enabling staff.

              But since you ask, I will speculate. Like you I am mystified. My best guess is that he is a lonely bitter man. His misogynistic hostility to all women seeking a divorce is shared by his brother David. This makes me wonder about his family background and his present marital situation or lack thereof. Similarly, I do not recall him ever writing about his children so I wonder if he has any and if they are estranged from him. i suspect a bitter man allied with his bitter brother. The apple of Eidensohn’s eye is his nephew in Beit Shemesh (BS), an askan who runs 4 schools and together with Malinowitz dominates the haredi political scene in BS. BS is Israel’s premier orthodox Anglo town so it is an important part of the seminary ecosystem which is about American students and Anglos in Israel both as students and teachers. Remember, these schools depend on good English speakers. I believe Eidensohn is taking as gospel whatever he hears from Malinowitz or his nephew or any others they point him to. He has clearly suspended his critical judgment in favor of reliance on these sources. As they change their positions he changes his own.

              I think another factor is that all these victims are legally adults. While he can be very sympathetic to male and female child victims, his sympathy for females tapers off as they age and his misogyny kicks in. He makes me think of the opening line of Amichai’s poem:

              God has pity on kindergarten children.
              He has less pity on school children
              And on grownups he has no pity at all,
              he leaves them alone,
              and sometimes they must crawl on all fours
              in the burning sand
              to reach the first–aid station
              covered with blood.

              Thus I suspect he harbors a victim blaming mentality where he believes they “consented.” He refuses to answer whether he thinks the abuse or even the hugs were “consensual.” While he disapproves of the flirtatious environment in the seminaries, I think he also blames the students for that more than the staff. It is almost as if he thinks they “were asking for it” and Meisels is a tragic victim of immoral seductive students.

              But again, all this is speculation and rather that post about this I want to keep my eye on Meisels and ignore Eidensohn and his adoring trolls (most of whom are connected to the sems and have Israeli IP addresses for their computers).

              A wise colleague offered me some advice today. I can’t remember the exact words but it was roughly something like this. “You work on the basis of the truth and Eidensohn and his camp do not. It is hard to win a debate where they are not constrained by the truth and you are. Don’t waste your time arguing with them. It’s a distraction.”

  13. Yerachmiel, what your colleague advises is a lesson I learned (or think I did) many years ago when I was a columnist at the University of Virginia and exposed some skullduggery in one of the student elections. Suddenly, I found myself being screamed at by a woman I had not actually accused of wrongdoing (though she benefited from it) who insisted I had besmirched her reputation. I couldn’t quite believe that anyone could appear so hurt and outraged over such a long period (our phone conversation ran to an hour or more) unless some wrong had actually been done to her — and that troubled me.

    To make a long story short, I wrote a followup column apologizing to her for the one thing I had done wrong — namely, not trying to reach her for comment before running my first column — only to discover that 1) I couldn’t have reached her in any case, a fact she knew and I didn’t, and 2) she had planned all along to use my apology as a weapon against me with the aim of discrediting everything I had written, all of which (needless to say) had been right from the start.

    I am a good deal older than the columnist who wrote that apology, but I hope my moral sensitivity hasn’t dulled with the years. (And I have learned to be thorough in my fact-checking.) On the other hand, I’ve also learned the lesson Yerachmiel teaches here: that only some of us are actually guided by a concern for the truth. Others — and there are many — are playing by a radically different set of rules. From time to time members of the two groups may find themselves aligned toward some common goal or against a common enemy, but that isn’t a measure of kinship; at bottom, the two groups are as immiscible as oil and water. And yes, arguing with people who aren’t governed by truth is a waste of time.

    I still believe one can try to understand them — and of course, the pure hatred one can direct at dishonesty, or at corrupt institutions, necessarily becomes more complex and ambiguous when pointed at human beings, however wrong they are. But I still think it’s more productive to outflank the Eidensohnians than to try to correct them. Reach around them to a less biased public; keep telling the truth; hold fast to principle; don’t give ground. If you must pay attention to the Eidensohnians at all, let it be because their screeching tells you when you’re making headway. Otherwise, I think we answer to higher priorities. As Thomas Hardy put it, thinking of his own work as a novelist: “Never explain. Never retract. Get it done and let them howl.”

    Thanks to Yerachmiel, and to TruthSeeker, for proving this point so clearly.

    • Yes Michael. Sometimes the howeling is useful. I am thinking of medical exams where the doctor pokes till he finds the spot that hurts. I like the howl that rises when you expose the nexus of their dishonesty.

  14. I think the work you do to expose the follies of the Rabbinate is noble and should continue until the Jewish community stops trusting blindly in they who continually disappoint it. However, saying that someone doesn’t deserve the title ‘Rabbi’ because of bad things they do is counterproductive. The point of this blog is to show that Rabbis are fallible and they often act selfishly absent proper oversight. Taking away the title ‘Rabbi’ implies that the problems this blog exposes are outside of the Rabbinic institution, rather than a consequence of the blind trust in the Rabbinic institution. We shouldn’t take away the title of people like Rabbi Meisels, we should continue to call them ‘Rabbi’ and to highlight the evil they do, so that eventually the message will sink in that these people aren’t aberrations, but a result of countless generations without oversight of the Rabbinate. When a Catholic priest commits a crime, it is not a viable solution (for the Church) to simply disown him as a priest. It must restructure itself to prevent further problems. So too the Rabbinate cannot disown individuals who embarrass it. It must restructure itself to prevent further problems. This will be accomplished when people stop trusting Rabbis after red flags.

    • You have an argument in the longer term across the broad landscape. However in the short term, in this round which involves a dispute between rabbis, I am trying to emphasize a point made by the CBD in their first public document (July 10th) where they pointedly called him Mr. Meisels.

    • Eli,
      Your thinking is so truly above the pale. (as contrasted to, below the pale)/
      Kasheh to respond, eleh rak l’ahagid: that these miscreants, these pedophiles, have tormented enough kinderlach. From whence sprouteth the ta’ava for pre-pubescent boys??? Why are our miscreants so well accepted in their communities???

      PLease please. these Rebbeim must be outed. Why are there so many? That is long sociological, psychological, treatise. but please.
      No RED FLAGS are necessary in order to,,out these menuvalim. Just say NO.

      • I do not know that are more haredi or orthodox pedophiles than in any other group. What I know is that way too many of them are allowed to escape the consequence to then go on to abuse again. I am not sure why we are talking about pedophiles in the context of a case of someone who is alleged to have assaulted young adults. There have not been any allegations that Meisels is a pedophile.

    • BTW, my usual policy on reporting is to call them rabbi on the first use in a posting and drop the honorific after that. My rule is if they went by that title till the day they were outed, that is what they are called (whether or not they had smichah). For example if the yeshiva rebbi is called rabbi, that is how I describe them. OTOH, even if they have ordination, but are not using the title (e.g., if they have gone into business and no longer have any rabbinical role) then I do not call them rabbi.

      This posting was unusual in that I built the question of title into the argument of the article. But it was a one-off, not a precedent.

  15. I really don’t get how ppl in the Jewish sircle is so messt up how can u guys oppenly put out names and talk about this topic publicly big Chillul hashed not about the story but about how all you guys can oppenly talk about it. and mess ppls live over. There is ways to deel with this but not publicly from the story itself to any one that has to do with it . And just bc in your mind this girl could b Wong I’m not the one to decide it gives no right to put her name out like that and judge u guys have a lot of ppl to ask michiela to b4 Rosh hashana bc gods the only one to judge nun of u guys .big let down on ur comuinty.

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