Alleged Abuser Meisels Still Claims Control of Peninim of America, Inc

Elimelech Meisels speaking poster brooklyn Jan 11 2014 cropped andwatermarked and captionedIn a Friday (12/12/14)  submission to the court hearing the allegations that Elimelech Meisels sexually abused students, Andrew T. Miltenberg, the  attorney for Meisels, claimed that the Internet threat to expose plaintiff identities was the doing of:

Persons whose agenda includes undermining Rabbi Meisels’ defense of this matter and causing him further embarrassment, all as part of the continued campaign to seize control of Defendant Peninim of America, Inc. This is not mere conjecture; we are presently gathering evidence of efforts to threaten Rabbi Meisels into giving up his assets in connection with the allegations in this lawsuit and we suspect the leaking of the details of the allegation are part of this.

Rabbi Daniel Edensohn Daas Torah blog

Rabbi Daniel Edensohn
Daas Torah blog

Notice that Meisels still claims to control his assets. So much for repeated claims that Meisels was no longer in control. This is one of the reasons why Touro College still has not reinstated the accreditation of the seminaries.  This is consistent with a letter by the Chicago Beis Din (CBD) in September, but calls into question how the safety of the seminary could be assured by the Israeli Beis Din (IBD)  on July 13, and then the enlarged beis din this month. I am guessing the enlarged Beis Din was willing to encourage parent confidence because they were depending on Touro to do the final vetting of the transfer of control. But Meisels is still playing games and not ceding control. I consider it entirely possible that he is so determined to stage a comeback that he is willing to risk destroying the seminary business in the process. He is counting on everyone else backing off rather than have the employees lose their jobs. I think he is overplaying his hand, especially so close to the end of the application period for next year.

Daniel Eidensohn’s blog, Daas Torah, is where the threats originated through comments allowed through moderation, and by some menacing themes in the blog postings. Such activity is in violation of the court order in this case which is partly sealed. It is bizarre that Meisels seems to be accusing Eidensohn of trying to steal the seminaries from him. But then, Meisels is bizarre. the only question is why it took others so long to notice. Alternatively, Meisels is content to let Eidensohn take the blame for a campaign he is obviously orchestrating. In effect perhaps Eidensohn is so much a tool of Meisels that he will let this insult go unchallenged to help Meisels maintain plausible deniability about victim intimidation.

More information will follow in the coming days. Meanwhile parents, hold off on believing the seminaries are safe and beyond the control of Meisels.
.meisels claim internet leaks on those trying to seize seminaries

Advertisements

69 thoughts on “Alleged Abuser Meisels Still Claims Control of Peninim of America, Inc

  1. Again, anything Danny touches turns to mud in his face, it’s extremely bizarre that he decided to start defending sexual predators and intimidating witnesses. Instead have helping the downtrodden,he bullies them. Instead of helping agunos, he terrorizes them. Instead of respecting beis din, he claims conspiracies .
    But then, eidensohn is bizarre. the only question is why it took others so long to notice.

  2. Let the shouting continue: “Gottesman! Gottesman! Gottesman!” Not that he has anything to do with it, in reality.

    What document did you clip from, and what other gems does it contain?

  3. Yerachmiel – do you have any info on how his lawyers can refer to his control of “Peninim of America Inc” as “his assets” when the company is a non-profit organization? If it’s a non-profit company, even if he is president of the company or chairman of the board, aren’t the company and it’s assets not allowed to belong to Meisels himself, as an individual? If so, there is no asset he can be allegedly forced to give up in connection to this case, other than any money the court may eventually determine would be owed to those bringing the lawsuit. I don’t know the legalities of non-profit companies, but my understanding is that both the company itself, or any assets the company owns cannot be assets belonging to an individual person, but rather can only be owned by the non-profit company itself to use in furtherance of the company’s interests, be they educational, religious practice, etc.

      • I wonder if there is anything here of interest to the IRS, re Meisels’ personal “assets” having non-profit status.

        • He is probably shooting himself in both feet .. over and over again. Meisels is a Narcissist. He got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and still thinks he can keep explaining it all away .. and even moreso .. lets make his woes everyone elses fault.

          • I agree with your analysis. What is amazing is how the IBD allowed this farce to go on and claimed he had relinquished control/sold. Furthermore, I am amazed at Eidensohn’s propagating the myth that this was about helping the CBD and G “steal the seminaries.”

          • I specifically remember Malinowtiz telling me over the summer how he sold the seminaries and it is ridiculous to ink it was a hoax. The IBD should be embarassed at their foolishness.

  4. I am so profoundly sickened and disgusted by the whole “Bais Sheker” system. HOW DARE THE CBD KASHER THE SEMS WHILE DEVIANT-IN-CHIEF MEISELS IS STILL IN CHARGE!!!

    While the CBD might not be as determinedly corrupt as the IBD, they are also beyond infuriating in their cowardly shirking of their basic moral responsibility and passing it off to Touro.

    I have changed my screen name from “Something Stinks in the IBD” to “The Bais Skeker System aka The Theatre of Thieves”. What did the CBD steal? Our grossly misplaced faith in their concern for victims. The CBD abused our belief in their moral decency and stole our last shred of hope that rabbinical leaders give a one freakin’ damn about the safety, sanctity and sanity of Jewish children and the next generation of the Jewish people.

    Even non-Jews are commanded in justice as part of the seven Noachide laws, but the present generation of Jewish “leaders” cant even grasp the most universal human concepts of fairness, justice, and protecting innocent victims from deviant sexual predators!

    • I understand your disappointment. However, you can better locate the problem in the pressures placed on the Chicago Beis Din. The problem was acquiesence, not corruption. The problem is the way the system of leadership can and does exert pressure through its ultimate pooh bahs, daas torah gedolim. Five of them signed a letter placing pressure on the CBD. The CBD did better than any previous beis din in resisting pressures and even now continuing a fight for a better outcome in the enlarged beis din (whose final ruling is still being negotiated) and is expected to appear in public at some point.

      • While I ultimately trust the CBD and agree with all this .. ultimately this can further hurt their cause .. which has been operating for over 14 years. If anyone else feels their case would turn into this sort of circus … they will begin to do everything outside the BD .. I just wish victims had the strength to go straight to police …

        • Victims can’t have the strength to go straight to the police until our community gives them that strength, supports them and stands behind them in every which way. Right now in the frum community, any girl(s) in such a case who would come forward would be blacklisted, rejected and a concerted social effort orchestrated by the “chashuv” defendant to paint her or them as problematic girls. These girls would never get a shidduch, their siblings would also suffer as people would be told to “stay away” from those families, their parents would suffer, and shame and judgment of the VICTIM would abound. How can a girl come forward in this climate? Confounding this is the fact that predators prey upon WEAK TARGETS. Who is a weak target in the frum world? Someone who already has personal or familial problems and issues and who wouldn’t be believed by the frum world when they bring allegations against someone who the frum world considers “Chashuv.”

          This is not happening in a vacuum, but rather in the setup of our frum society. Until we change the way frum society works, very few girls with any notion of self-protection will step forward and bring allegations to the police. We, as a frum community, need to offer them the support, strength and backbone to do that. We need to show that we support the victims and will stand behind them, even in the face of disagreement from the rabbinic establishment which is busy protecting their own personal “assets” and schools and jobs and friends and institutions all while calling it “Daas Torah.” We need to collectively call out “The Emperor Has No Clothes!”

          But that will not happen while the “Emperors” are all “Daas Torah” and have comingled their own self-interests with Torah interests. Sure, most of the time they may be dispensing “Daas Torah” – but it’s that nasty other percentage of the time when they use their leadership strictly to protect the jobs, assets and institutions of themselves or their friends, or when they use their power strictly to retain power – all having nothing to do with Torah. Until we can take “Torah” back from “Daas Torah” which abuses it’s power for self-interest, there will never be a change and innocents will be sacrificed on the mizbei’ach of “Frum Torah Life” and our Top-Down frum lifestyle where the naked Emperors rule.

          • Or, as in the Weberman case, the only victims that could nail these bastards are the ones that go OTD and are no longer subject to threats of not getting a shiduch or being blacklisted. As and aside, I think the shiduch system has deteriorated to such a point that the blacklist may lose its potency as a threat, since it’s extremely difficult for young women who haven’t been blacklisted to get a date anyway.

            • Actually, the Weberman victim and her husband describe themselves as Modern orthodox. But to Satmar I suppose that is Off the Path, and not really orthodox.

            • They are not OTD and her husband stood by her through all of it. I truly believe that someone who takes the reigns and says I will not allow myself to be a victim and do what they can via police and court with such confidence and security will garner themselves the respect of the right future spouse for them. They will also start breaking through the walls of unnecessary stigma. In addition, all those who do not publicly come out to fight for their rights because they are worried about the shidduch and stigma .. will ultimately marry under a cloud that has the ability to kill their marriage before it begins. The more there is abuse in the charedi communities and the more it is denied, dismissed and not dealt with, it won’t matter what shidduch that victim got because I truly believe their experience will negatively affect that shidduch and the divorce rate will keep rising. Also, many times the abuse victim who does not really face their experience becomes a constant abuse victim.

            • I didn’t know that the Weberman victim who testified was still Orthodox. I have long suspected that cultural ennabling of sex abuse was less likely in the MO world, despite the scandals at YU. People who identify as MO seem less likely to make excuses for their rabbis, or to consider them “too big too fail”. Of course, I know a few young adults who were raised in MO families who now identify as charedi. They want a more restrictive lifestyle, I guess, and maybe the deification of gedolim is attractive to them. The grass is always greener elsewhere, isn’t it?

            • In some ways the Modern Orthodox world is better. In theory, it supports reporting sex abusers to the authorities. In practice there are attempts to discourage reporting but they don’t invoke mesirah (snitching). The big difference is that if a victim goes forward to the police they will not kick families out of shuls, schools and livelihood.

            • “The big difference is that if a victim goes forward to the police they will not kick families out of shuls, schools and livelihood.”

              This is a tremendous difference and can make all the difference in victims of sexual abuse feeling able to come forward and report to the police thereby getting predators off the streets and ending the abuse.

            • Absolutely. I agree. However, just in the last week I heard another story of a Modern Orthodox family pressured into not reporting a sexual assault on their underage daughter because the rabbi and the shul president convinced them not to. There were no threats, but they were successfully intimidated into feeling that life would not be the same for them in their community if they went forward. I am just saying, that while better than the Haredi world, there is still a serious MO problem of not reporting sex abuse because of social pressure.

            • “The grass is always greener elsewhere, isn’t it?”

              Sheri – It’s more often that it has an illusion of being greener. They want to believe that they are “safer” in the Chareidi world, believing they are in a more “pure” environment. They don’t see all the flaws and brown spots on the Chareidi lawn until they are well rooted within Chareidi life, at which point their cognitive dissonance will work overtime to keep them from seeing and hearing facts that would show that in certain very basic ways the Modern Orthodoxy they grew up with was a lot more “Honest Orthodoxy” and “Ethical Orthodoxy” than Chareidi Orthodoxy is or can ever hope to be with its current value system. But at that point it’s too painful for them to admit to themselves that they sacrificed so much for nothing better than what their parents gave them, where they came from and what they moved away from and rejected for something that merely was a façade of “holier” or “more spiritual.”

            • Fortune – Your comment at 12/15/2014 at 2:23 pm is very idealistic, but not based in much reality, and strikes me as very naïve.

              The family of the girl who testified in the Weberman case were severely socially ostracized by the community. Their livelihood was targeted, their siblings were targeted, they were rejected and were caused to suffered greatly because of her testifying. She is brave as ever, and she and her family deserve gratitude and commendation from everyone who wants to see sexual abuse brought down. But she and her family were also made into an example. Ditto for Kellner.

              Additionally, a victim does not necessarily need to bring charges of abuse to the police, go public and risk and suffer all the social ostracizing which the Chareidi world will heap upon themselves and their family, in order to “face their experiences.” Much can be faced in private without the public stage, the criminal courts, or civil courts. Of course it would be ideal for victims to report to the police. But the climate in the current Chareidi world does not allow one to do so without risking everything, and even harming their family members by virtue of association.

              “I truly believe that someone who takes the reigns and…. all those who do not publicly come out to fight for their rights because they are worried about the shidduch and stigma .. will ultimately marry under a cloud that has the ability to kill their marriage before it begins.”

              You can “truly believe” whatever you want, but until you are in that position, don’t judge the many frum girls and women who did not choose to be a Nachson ben Aminadav. There is only 1 in a generation, and most above average people are not up for the task.

              And no matter what a victim of sexual abuse does in terms of reporting to the police or not, they will ALWAYS “marry under a cloud that has the ability to kill their marriage.” Sexual abuse is a horrific experience and devastating to the victim, causing lifelong struggles.

            • Thank you for another of your many excellent comments. I want to add on something to your statement, “Don’t judge the many frum girls and women who did not choose to be a Nachson ben Aminadav. There is only 1 in a generation, and most above average people are not up for the task.”

              I would add on that midrash tells us that one Nachshon was enough to part the sea. What would have happened if there needed to be two or three Nachshons. In the frum world, when one victim goes to the police, people scream that the fact that there is only one complaint means it is probably not true.

            • That’s a great point! It would take an army of Nachshons to part the sea of denial and condemnation from both the laymen and the leaders in cases of sexual abuse in the frum community.

            • Yerachmiel – Re your comment at 12/16/2014 at 5:26 am –

              Being in the yeshivish world, I was not aware that there was so much social pressure not to report in the MO world. This is very, very sad. It was my hope that at least a part of Orthodoxy was upholding the social justice which Hashem told us (through the Nevi’im) is more important to Him than any of the korbonos in the Beis Hamikdash.

            • Just to be clear, that is not what always happen. It does not even happen most of the time. But it is also not rare. In addition, the victim has the RCA on his/her side. They explicitly say all assaults should be reported directly to the proper civil authorities. There is a video of the then head of the beis din of america, Rav Gedalia Dov Schwartz. He made it clear that there is no prohibition of mesirah. He was asked about calling the police on shabbos about an assault. He said treat it like a medical emergency and call without hesitation.

            • Well, that’s a bit of a relief. Thank you for clarifying. It sounds like the MO world is only about 35% as bad as the Chareidi world. Certainly much better, but far from good. A 65% on an exam is usually on the cusp of failing. But credit is due for at least trying, and for being 65% better at dealing with the problem than the Chareidi world is.

            • Truthseeker, I think I have to make a Shehechiyanu. This is a first – my words having been found worthy of your endorsement and compliment! I’ll give kiddush in shul this Shabbos!! LOL

              In all seriousness – it’s not just the mike that has to be given to the victims, but the support, respect, care and protection of the community from those – even powerful figures – who would attempt to undermine and bad-mouth the victims.

            • Thanks TS. I applaud your strength and courage to do the right thing and fight for justice.

    • A Bais Din like CBD giving into pressure maybe non-premeditated corruption, but is a corrupted process nonetheless . In caving to pressure, the CBD failed to live up to the only reason for their existence: the relentless pursuit of jusitice.

      The IBD is MUCH MUCH WORSE as they are GUILTY of PREMEDITATED CORRUPTION . But neither the IBD nor the CBD have shown the moral character needed to properly protect our young from predators.

      I dont care have much pressure was exerted on the CBD. These are our dayanim and leaders and they must be courageous and resolute for the sake of justice or they should be held accountable and be forced to step down as they are not up to the task. Would society accept a SWAT team caving to fear and retreating in the case or terrorists attacking a school? I think not. They would all be fired.

      I am not sympathetic to the CBD’s cowardice in caving to pressure when, as I stated in an earlier post, tens of thousands of 18 -22 year old Israelis unflinchingly face FAR FAR FAR WORSE DANGER in Hamas and Hezbollah yemach shemam, all for the sake of protecting their fellow Jews.

      Bottom line, if the CBD is the best the “crum” world can do fo protect victims of abuse, then it is more clear than ever the mindless futility of turning to batei sheker or rabbis in cases of a abuse. Every person should know they must go directly to the police immediately for any factually supported criminal matters involving safety.

    • A Bais Din like CBD giving into pressure maybe non-premeditated corruption, but is a corrupted process nonetheless . In caving to pressure, the CBD failed to live up to the only reason for their existence: the relentless pursuit of jusitice.

      The IBD is MUCH MUCH WORSE as they are GUILTY of PREMEDITATED CORRUPTION . But neither the IBD nor the CBD have shown the moral character needed to properly protect our young from predators.

      I dont care have much pressure was exerted on the CBD. These are our dayanim and leaders and they must be courageous and resolute for the sake of justice or they should be held accountable and be forced to step down as they are not up to the task. Would society accept a SWAT team caving to fear and retreating in the case or terrorists attacking a school? I think not. They would all be fired.

      I am not sympathetic to the CBD’s cowardice in caving to pressure when, as I stated in an earlier post, tens of thousands of 18 -22 year old Israelis unflinchingly face FAR FAR FAR WORSE DANGER in Hamas and Hezbollah yemach shemam, all for the sake of protecting their fellow Jews.

      Bottom line, if the CBD is the best the “crum” world can do fo protect victims of abuse, then it is more clear than ever the mindless futility of turning to batei sheker or rabbis in cases of a abuse. Every person should know they must go directly to the police immediately for any factually supported criminal matters involving safety!

      • I agree. If abuse victims want justice they should go to the police, not a beis din. But the frum world exerts even greater pressures on victims who report assaults than they placed on the beis din. Sadly, some could describe the frum world as an enormous pressure system for concealing the crimes within the community. Over the years I have supported a number of frum victims who went through the criminal justice system. The system gave hell to every last one of them. Real hell. Nothing you can imagine. In fact, when a frum victim tells me they want to press charges I spend time encouraging them to build up a support network and getting therapy. (obviously that is about assaults in the past, not about someone just raped where the priority is medical care, a rape kit, and prompt reporting before evidence is lost). The extraordinary thing about Meisels is that he was such a serial predator that eventully there were many reports about his misconduct. Believe me, the one-time offender or innocent rabbi in a seminary has little to fear from Title IX.

        • Thank you Yerachmiel for detailing the terrible price Jewish victims pay for seeking protection and justice from the ONLY source that has a any credible record of doing so: the American (or Israeli) criminal and civil legal system. It is a devstatingly sad commentary on the state of Jewish non-leadership. It brings me to tears.

          I am sympathetic to the bais din’s lack of power to subpeona, investigate, enforce etc. What I cant accept or forgive is that even the best batei dinim engage in a disigenious charade of pretending that they are able to protect victims and seek true justice and that they are 100% resolute in the pursuit of their essential goals when in fact, all – or almost all – present day batei dinim/batei sheker will cave under pressure from powerful litigants, rabbinical peers or communal constituents.

          • Yes, alas. Whether the best of them caves depends on the political circumstances and allignments. Justice is an accident of the political forces being sufficiently fractured and at least one powerful actor being on the right side, or the accused being a schmendrik with enough enemies and few or no allies. If the culprit had been a lesser figure than Meisels or if AC Levin had not been nogeiah with the Meisels, the outcome might have been different, or if Malinowitz had not been on that court, etc.

            But in a proper system, a just outcome should not be an accident of politics.

            The only positive thinig may be that this case will put an end to falsely placed confidence in the idea of relying on beis din for justice, except in rare cases when you can be confident of the allignments. To be sure of that one needs a lot of inside info which most victims do not have.

          • Yes, alas. Whether the best of them caves depends on the political circumstances and allignments. Justice is an accident of the political forces being sufficiently fractured and at least one powerful actor being on the right side, or the accused being a schmendrik with enough enemies and few or no allies. If the culprit had been a lesser figure than Meisels or if AC Levin had not been nogeiah with the Meisels, the outcome might have been different, or if Malinowitz had not been on that court, etc.

            But in a proper system, a just outcome should not be an accident of politics.

            The only positive thinig may be that this case will put an end to falsely placed confidence in the idea of relying on beis din for justice, except in rare cases when you can be confident of the allignments. To be sure of that one needs a lot of inside info which most victims do not have.

  5. Open letter to Touro College President/Dean in the Jewish Press or Jewish Week. Please, someone.

  6. Many people want Meisels punished. i am one of them. I don’t know if he did enough to be prosecuted and convicted. There are questions of jurisdiction and whether the victims would actually testify in court.
    There is a way. NO ONE should register his daughter in any of the Meisels schools. All four of them are owned by him. He profits. No school means no profit. No school means he can’t even sell it to someone else. Why give him the opportunity to make money by selling these schools. Don’t worry. There are other schools.
    There is another benefit to these schools being sold. The enablers will lose their jobs. I’m positive that any other seminary will be very careful before hiring any former employee of meisels. I certainly don’t believe they’re all guilty. But, you can bet that anyone with the slightest suspicions against them will not be hired. This will knock out Kahane, Ullman, and whoever else.
    Be strong people! Don’t send your daughters to these schools!

    • You have a very good point when u said we should just let him keep the schools and hopefully have them close down. That way he doesn’t profit in a sale. But I also don’t agree abt the staff- they will get hired elsewhere. Trust me. Kahane is connected with Aish. They’ll find other options..

      • Aish needs to fire Kahana ASAP. If you are a supporter of them, please let them know that your continued support is contingent on them ridding themselves of this vile enabler and re-victimizer.

    • I think you underestimate the peoples’ penchant for flat out denial, and for the leadership’s ability to stonewall. It seems some prominent rabbonim are encouraging parents to send their daughters to these sems. There will definitely be some parents who will listen. They’ll keep believing the rumors that it was just a hug, it was one crazy girl out for revenge, and anyone who tries to support victims in any way is not really frum. What makes you so sure that the enablers won’t be hired with the slightest suspicion against them? For how many years were there suspicions against Yudi Kolko? For how many years were there rumors, batei din, discussions? Yudi’s enablers did not lose their jobs, the principal did not lose his school. Scheinberg is remembered as a gadol hador, despite his evil psak din that you only have to fire a pedophile working in a school if there is penetration involved, and probably only then if you have pornographic-grade proof that it ever happened.

        • It is irrelevant. No point in talking about a gadol that has been niftar. R’ Elyahiv paskened clearly that law enforcement needs to be involved and that an abuser is a mazik d’rabbim. These are non-negotiables and the Special Beis Din follows that approach. It is much more important to try to affect as many people as possible in one-on-one interactions and to win as many hearts and minds as possible. Tell people what you think about what’s been happening in the sems.

          We can’t change the past but we can very much impact the future. Please keep that in mind.

          • Triangle – I beg to differ. It is very relevant. While it is obvious that efforts should be focused towards the future, you can’t just snap your fingers and take away harm done by saying “it’s the past, he was a gadol, and he was niftar.” What he did was despicable. And if those to whom he did it were to publically discuss the details, perhaps Klal Yisrael would realize that venerating men who go by “gadol” as though they were gods, is just as much avoda zara as any stone carved idol in the Torah was. Men create gedolim in what they perceive to be God’s image. It is a false god, to be sure. Gedolim need to be held accountable for their mistakes, just as any leader. If someone gets a free pass for inflicting harm and not apologizing for it simply by virtue of word of mouth as to his “gadol-ness” – then what kind of society have we created? This problem will continue as it did in the past if we don’t find a way to rectify it. This is what sets the stage for abuse – our supporting a climate of “Untouchables.” Maybe our veneration of men should be reexamined. Maybe we should vote for our gedolim, not have them be imposed upon us, determined by their popularity within a yeshiva full of adolescents and adults who have not matured past adolescence or experienced a single day out in the real world. Maybe our granting of “Gadol-ships” needs to be changed, and how such status is earned needs to be reexamined, because the system as it currently stands it is bringing frum society down. Maybe we need some real changes, and only by examining past mistakes can we even hope to change the future.

        • Yael – Contact UOJ privately, his identity was made public a few years ago. He has all the information on the original beis din that Scheinberg was involved in while making that ruling.

            • Reading through this again, all I can think is, Zu Torah V’Zu S’chorah? When I found out about this around 2006, I literally screamed my head off about this to everybody I knew. I just could not comprehend their indifference. Once I convinced people the story was true,nobody cared! Before that time, I knew there was corruption, but I could never have imagined how bad it really was. I thought I was living in a civilized society, and learned that I was living in a jungle.

            • Sheri – I went through the same thing starting back in 2006, and it only got worse over the years. I am certain that this is why rabbanim assur the internet – because of everything they want to hide. The way our community is set up with everyone looking over their shoulder and dependent upon the community for approval in order to retain their proper standing and acceptability, nobody was ever able to be a whistleblower. Anyone that ever was a whistleblower was ostracized and was coming from “Chutz L’machaneh” and was dismissed as a lone nut case, or a one-time rare event. It was only with the anonymity of the internet that was able to expose the rabbinic corruption of Torah values on the massive scale in which it occurs. Only on the anonymous internet were people coming forward, saying they too were abused, they too were pressured to go along with the rabbinic cover it up, and all the many stories came tumbling out.

              I think it started with Rabbi Slifkin who used his website to defend himself against the charges of Apikorsus that were unfairly lobbed against his books and himself. Then JewishWhistleblower started exposing scandals involving rabbanim who were getting away with lots of financial, ethical and immoral fraud and cover-ups. Then FailedMessiah came along and opened shop. But it wasn’t until UOJ blew the Kolko scandal out of the water that it sent shockwaves through the frum world – or at least those willing to “listen to lashon hara” (an absolutely pathetic, unhalachic and sad excuse for not wanting to hear that there is a sexual-predator / soul-murderer at large in Brooklyn targeting frum children). The Kolko story was what pushed me over the edge. The decades-long scale of it, the complete silence from rabbanim and gedolim. The fact that the school principal stood behind Kolko. The lack of secular justice due to the block vote in the frum world influencing the DA’s treatment of the case and giving Kolko barely a slap on the wrist. The whole thing just opened up my eyes to the fact that our rabbanim are not only not leading, but they are corrupting the system to serve their own self-interests, and that this is going on on a massive scale across the board, with “The Gedolim” at the helm.

              At first I gave the rabbanim the benefit of the doubt, made excuses for them, etc. But then I saw that it was the Gedolim running this racket. The Gedolim who HAD their power, had their honor, had their well-heeled reputations, had their well-monied yeshivas and family-businsses (otherwise known as “Torah institutions”). And when I saw that they would not only do absolutely nothing to protect the weakest of society, but they would take steps to protect their friends, their assets, and put their friends’ yeshiva businesses before any measure of justice for those who were trampled on by the very Torah world they supposedly represent – then I saw that it was all a house of cards. This was not the Torah I was taught and believed in. These Gedolim were not leaders. The emperor was naked.

              But surely, I thought, it was better in past generations. Unfortunately, I started reading Historiah – Jewish history – from the point of view of an adult, instead of as a child memorizing the material for my high school test. Ironically, I started with ArtScroll’s book covering the time period of Bayis Sheini. Read it and you will weep. You will also wonder why we would ever “long” for the times of the Beis Hamikdash. They were not good times. Then I went back and read through Neviim and Kesuvim, and wondered when it was ever good for us? When were we ever not killing each other? When was there ever no corruption and abuse of power? Maybe for a few years when Shlomo Hamelech was king? Then, maybe when Chizkiyahu was king? But that was it. Those were the only times in our history that things were good and when we weren’t (LITERALLY) killing each other or our leaders weren’t sacrificing the poor and weaker of society in order to retain their power.

              Here’s the ArtScroll book on the history of Bayis Sheini. And what do you know – you can get it now for 20% off during their annual Chanukah sale: http://www.artscroll.com/Books/9780899064543.html

              Read it and weep.

        • Excerpts:
          http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2012/03/scheinberg-letter-2006-kolko-innocent-456.html

          http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b71f69e20167640f65a4970b-400wi

          For the first time, here is the 2006 letter written by haredi ‘gadol’ Rabbi Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg affirming that he ruled in 1985 that Rabbi Yehudah Kolko was innocent of all allegations of pedophilia and should not be fired from his teaching job.

          Also note that the letter does not give the halakhic basis or reason(s) for finding Kolko innocent. It just states that he is innocent and that Kolko’s employer, Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Brooklyn, acted properly. The letter does not contain any of the embarrassing details of that 1985 ruling – a ruling Scheinberg made himself and coerced Rabbi Brown (see below) to reluctantly go along with. Rabbi Friedman (see below) refused to give in to Scheinberg’s demand and did not agree with the ruling.

            • Seriously? This in reply to your long post above, re: your thoughts about what’s really happening under the guise of Torah leadership…I’m really sad, b/c I have a sinking feeling you might be right. This is the first blog I’ve followed- and I’ve learned a lot; more than I really wanted to know, truthfully. But once you know something, you can’t un-know it right?
              Yours is one point of view, and admittedly there seems to be many structures of regular “yeshivishe” life that are corrupt. But still, I think, still…there are so many holy Jews, devoted to Torah and Avoda. Where does the disconnect happen between regular frum pple & this terrible institutional ugliness?
              Oh, and Rabonim couldn’t have anticipated how the internet would become the location for these kinds of conversations. New technologies are always used in new, unanticipated ways.

            • But the IBD got it from the beginning when their very first public statement of July 14, 2014 stated: “We turn to the community of school principals and parents [to advise them] not to give credence to various pronouncements by those who are either anonymous or use fictitious names. These pronouncements are motivated by intentions that are argumentative and by agendas different from those they claim.”

            • To “really?” –

              I’m addressing your last statement first:

              “Oh, and Rabonim couldn’t have anticipated how the internet would become the location for these kinds of conversations. New technologies are always used in new, unanticipated ways.”

              Rabbonim did not anticipate how the internet would become the place for these conversations. They only started reacting to it after they realized it’s potency. At first their fear was “Information.” There is a lot of information out there, and a lot of it can be very challenging to the emunah of very sheltered Yeshivish people who learn things that they didn’t know about before being exposed to the information. Things that contradict with what they have been taught, and what they have always believed to be true. This can cause major emunah upheavals for a Yeshivish person who was taught that Torah is all black and white. So, the first fear of the internet that the rabbonim were reacting to was Information (with a capital “I”). But once the blogs started exposing so much institutional and rabbinic corruption, the rabbanim started screaming from the rooftops about the internet being assur, even talking about “evil bloggers” at the Agudah convention.

              And now the bigger question:

              “Where does the disconnect happen between regular frum pple & this terrible institutional ugliness?”

              There are many theories. I have a few of my own. But I would be curious as to what you and others think.

              “But still, I think, still…there are so many holy Jews, devoted to Torah and Avoda.”

              Yes, there ARE so many “holy Jews, devoted to Torah and Avoda.” There are many sincere people who are just trying to do the right thing. But unfortunately, most are taught not to think for themselves, and to simply follow their leaders. And unfortunately, they are being misled. Many are more than happy not to have to think for themselves, believing that “Daas Torah” will guide them and that they check their own seichel in by the door for their entire lifetime. Others wake up at some point (myself included) and say “What in the world IS THIS?! Is this Torah? Is this “Ohr L’goyim?” If Penn State, a secular institution, can act more ethically (to it’s own detriment!) than our own Torah Institutions, and our Gedolim, then what in the world is all of this Torah and Mitzvos for? If we are sacrificing children on a mizbe’ach of “Frumkeit” simply because some men who learned a lot of Shas became our leaders and they told us to sacrifice our children – isn’t this Avodah Zarah? And since when does anything other than the 3 Yehareig V’Al Ya’avor stand in the way of Pikuach Nefesh? It is widely known at this point that sexual abuse causes children to take their own lives, be it as teenagers, young adults, or even older adults. It is equal to murdering a child. And yet we worship “Chashivus” and “Gadlus” before protecting the lives of our children or other people’s children?

              Most of us love the cocoon of belief that all is good and well in the frum world. It makes us feel good to believe that Torah makes us better than everyone else, that our lives have deeper meaning, and that we are holy and devoted to eternal ideals. If that keeps us emotionally (relatively) balanced and mentally protected from knowledge to the contrary, our minds are not going to give up on these ideas very fast. They are our security blankets. But how can “holy Jews who are devoted to Torah and Avoda” be holy when they are hypnotized to the extent that they just stand by when the very people who are dictating Torah and halachah are the same people who are orchestrating cover-ups and power-plays and practicing and encouraging outright ethical misconduct while hiding behind the banner of “Gadol b’Torah”?!

              Those of us with a semi-working conscience can’t just sit and watch as the only Torah that is kept and honored are ritualistic habits, while the Bein Adam L’chaveiro – the ethics and morals – are not only not honored, but are conveniently disregarded and trampled upon by the very ones who we call “Torah Leaders.”

              Ironically, it is not the good ones who are in power. The good ones run from power, machlokes, and corruption. The good ones don’t want to lead because they know the immense responsibility involved in doing so, and they know that power corrupts, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Rabbanim and Gedolim are given absolute power. This is part of the problem. And good, sincere, holy Jews need to take off their blinders and create a grass-roots movement from the bottom up (not from the top down) to take Torah back to it’s ideals. When Hillel was asked to say all of Torah on one foot, he did not say “Learn yomum v’laiylah” or “make sure to check your strawberries for bugs” or “it’s better not to eat that which you have a kashrus doubt about” or even “daven 3 times a day with a minyan and put on tefillin 6 times a week.” He said not to do to another human being something you wouldn’t want done to you, and that the rest of the Torah is commentary. And yet we, on a communal level, seem to have reversed all that and put ritualistic OCD mitzvah observance before everything and everyone, and our leaders keep encouraging it and everything keeps getting stricter and stricter. But to what end? And more importantly – to what purpose? Zu Torah?

          • Thank you for your comment above, Seriously. I have a long list of books to read and a short attention span, but I think I’ll check out your recommendation. Though I really don’t know if I need to give myself more reasons to weep.

            • I understand on each point. And honestly, none of us need more reason to weep. The book is simply a relatively honest (for ArtScroll) book of history, and may not be as eye-opening for you as it was for me. Perhaps for me it was just the timing at which I read it.

  7. His lawyer seems to have a good strategy saying when he claims that Meisels does not want the identity of the victims leaked – he is trying to paint Meisels as a respectable, kind, and forgiving man who has been wrongly accused but isn’t looking for revenge.

    Funny though – because I know people in his camp harassed victims and threatened to expose them.

    • He can always claim plausible deniability: Eidensohn isn’t related, the commentators even less so, etc, etc. He can claim that many layers separate them, unless someone can prove otherwise.

      • I think eidensohn is really independent. He has way of making everybody hate him. Did the same in the Weiss-Dodelson divorce case.

        • He has gone from independent to paranoid. He has attacked many people that he considered colleagues in the struggle against abuse. Since he went over the edge on Meisels he has attacked the rabbonim of the CBD, Gottesman (whose publications he used to quote), David Morris of Magen, Harry Maryles (and his blog Emes Ve-Emunah), Rabbi Yosef Blau (Mashgiach Ruchani at Yitzchok Elchanan), and several former students at the seminary who dared to speak their minds and reveal either the misconduct of Meisels, the enabling of staff, or the duplicity of R. Chaim Malinowitz in refusing to accept evidence against enabling staff. Eidensohn used to be his own man, for better and worse. Now he is a tool, a poodle of Meisels, Malinowitz, Kahane, Ullman and other seminary staff. He was always stubborn but now he is also indulging in witness intimidation and absurd argumentation. I actually feel for him because I don’t think he will ever be able to restore his credibility. He seems to be spiraling into paranoia.

    • Do you think we should demand the real identity of kishkayum ans more Ginsburg? Many people have speculated about their identity and it would be devastating if one of thenm were Meisels.

See Commenting policy ( http://wp.me/pFbfD-Kk )

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s