Enlarged Beis Din Met Again About Meisels Seminaries

Elimelech Meisels speaking poster brooklyn Jan 11 2014 cropped andwatermarked and captioned

Elimelech Meisels, serial sex abuser

The enlarged beis din met again on two evenings this week by teleconference to finally resolve the transfer of authority from Meisels who retains a financial interest and is accused of using his position for sexual violence against students. However the teleconference was acrimonious and there was no resolution. As things now stand, they have still not effected a transfer of authority completely removing Meisels from control sufficient to satisfy some of it members or Touro College. So they are still unaccredited. The enlarged beis din consists of the members of both the Special Beis Din in Chicago (CBD) and the Israeli Beis Din and its av beis din is Rabbi Eliezer Brudny, Rosh Yeshiva at the Mirer Yeshiva in Brooklyn.

For an overview of  the current situation, see my last post on the seminaries scandal. For all posts on the scandal, click here.

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58 thoughts on “Enlarged Beis Din Met Again About Meisels Seminaries

  1. Thank you for the update!
    (And now that we know of the Israeli Amutah filings, any false claims will become apparent in the annual filings.)

    • Dershowitz is quite busy defending sex offenders and he does not work for free. Besides Epstein he defended Baruch Lebovits, Mike Tyson, and a few others. He also has his own reputation to worry about right now.

  2. Well, no resolution may actually be a good thing because it sounds likethose Rabbi’s that are supporting the victims and fighting the system and Touro College have not backed down, but are standing strong against sexual abuse of our girls. It gives me hope the there is some sense in the frum world and not everyone is out to make money and protect their self-interest at the expense of doing grave harm to others.

  3. Acrimonious?? But, but the geniuses over at Daas Torah all said that the CBD has now totally agreed in every way with the IBD? How is it possible that they could have any disagreements? /Sarc

    This thing is going nowhere fast. Or, as the DT people say “it will destroy the seminaries.” Somewhere, Gottesman, whoever he is, is smiling.

    • The DT blog has been fairly busy lately with medical issues responded to by people who make the dumbest comments that are not based on medical fact and seem to turn Dor Yeshorim, and Vaccination issues into anti-feminist agendas. I think it’s gone satire.

  4. As I see it, it boils down to Rabbi Krupka of Touro understanding the issues involved and the exposure to Touro. So far, so good.

  5. One of the problems is that even if the system finally eliminates the abusers, the protectors and enablers still thrive. Excerpts from a NY DOE document a few months ago (the comprehensive background checks in the public DOE system are unheard of in our system) which refers to a Rabbi that has spoken at Agudath Israel conferences in past years that allowed alleged pedophile Rabbi Ephraim Bryks to run a school for Russian boys with him despite publicly acknowledging he knew of the allegations against Rabbi Bryks at the time. His new organization provides services in the public school system. And our leadership is trusting the lives of children with these people who have demonstrated a complete lack of trustworthiness. When will it end?

    http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/5D3A75F5-5910-41D8-8D53-309252848AD8/170267/RFPRAAddendum4.pdf

    ADDENDUM TO REQUESTS FOR AUTHORIZATION TO CONTRACT WITH PROVIDERS
    OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION SERVICES FOR FOUR-YEAR-OLDS IN THE
    UNIVERSAL PREKINDERGARTEN (UPK) PROGRAM (RFP R1015)

    Funding Source
    New York State Education Department (NYSED),
    Tax Levy

    Contract Manager
    Danielle Kolker
    Director of Operations
    Division of Early Childhood Education

    Lead Contracting Officer
    Sophia Pappas
    Executive Director
    Division of Early Childhood Education

    Division of Contracts & Purchasing Contact
    Jay G. Miller
    Chief Administrator
    Vendor Research and Price Analysis

    PURPOSE
    On May 29, 2014, June 24, 2014, July 30, 2014, and August 21, 2014, the Panel for Educational Policy
    (Panel) approved Requests for Authorization (RA) to contract with 199, 55, 46, and 1 vendors,
    respectively, to provide high-quality instructional programming as part of the Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) program. As indicated in the approved RA, all of the vendors and their principal owners and officers were subject to a comprehensive background check, but these checks were not all completed prior to Panel approval.

    Vendors approved at the August 21, 2014 Panel Meeting
    Previously Unreported
    – All My Children Daycare and Nursery School
    News reports indicate that a principal officer at All My Children cofounded another school in
    Kew Gardens with Rabbi Ephraim Bryks. Rabbi Bryks was accused of sexually molesting 3
    little children at his congregation in Canada in 1988, but the DOE has confirmed that Mr. Bryks
    has no affiliation with All My Children.
    In 2013, DOI received complaints regarding the alleged segregation of students at All My
    Children programs, unqualified staff and failure to provide appropriate meals when the kitchen
    was closed due to a Jewish holiday. As a result, ACS began a heightened monitoring program
    on All My Children to ensure contract compliance. The DOE has been advised by ACS that
    the heightened monitoring ended as of July 1, 2014, though ACS is performing “ongoing
    monitoring.”
    Accordingly, the DOE does not believe this precludes a determination that the vendor is
    responsible.

    • Dude, or Dudette,
      Could you stop with the overly-long, windy, and cut-and-paste thread-jacks that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand? Go and write your own blog and do it there. You do this in multiple places, and it’s annoying. Thank you.

  6. Yeshiva Berachel David
    see: http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2002/113/559/2002-113559356-1-9.pdf
    Trustees were Rabbi Ephraim Bryks, his wife Yochevad (Brenner, daughter of the late confessed/convicted child molester and long time NY/NJ Jewish educator Rabbi Lewis/Lipa Brenner) and Bryks’ eldest daughter Elisheva Chana (Bryks) Wollner (LCSW frum therapist who specializes in treating eating disorders in the frum community), Rabbii Shlomo Nisanov and his wife Ora Nisanov.

    Rabbi Shlomo Nisanov is a past president of VAAD Rabbanim of Queens:
    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/03/prweb359023.htm

    Rabbi Nisanov is a regular speaker and honoree at Agudath Israel of America’s functions:
    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/human-interest/236126/videos-photos-1500-attend-agudath-israel-of-americas-annual-dinner.html

    Rabbi Shlomo Nisanov is President of All My Children
    http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2013/113/371/2013-113371679-0a8aa14b-9.pdf

  7. I know for a fact that Yeshiva of Brooklyn is currently recommending Binas to their students… It seems crazy, but people might really go there next year!!

    • Meanwhile, another seminary claims the girls are safe but their purses have been repeatedly cleaned out this year. From what I hear, this shabbos the take was over 2K.

      Think about it. Your kid is doing OK if they only get robbed in their dorm and don’t get Meiseled. Great system we have going.

      Parents get fleeced, daughters get robbed or molested, American mechanchim/mechanchos get kick backs, Israeli seminary owners get rich and Malinowitz gets to call himself a bais din.

      In short, we’re a bunch of suckers supporting life styles we cannot afford for ourselves.

      • Yep. Or follow the “Yichus” or “Chashivus” or Shidduchim or family tree or “Negiyus” (no pun intended) as in “Nogeiya B’davar.”

      • I don’t think it’s that. Face it, many people just don’t take these stories seriously, especially when they think so highly of the people involved. In the summer, I spoke to many people about this story, and some people were more upset at me, for being outraged, than at the actual people accused of wrongdoing!!!

        • Next time that happens, point out to those people what they are doing. Tell them that they need to take a step back and look at this picture from the outside. Ask them why they can’t handle the truth. Then tell them why they can’t handle the truth if they don’t figure it out for themselves. Tell them that they are allowing the idea of a “Perfect World of Frumkeit” to turn them into a child holding their hands over their ears screaming “La La La, I can’t hear you!” simply because you are talking about things that bother their idea of a perfect world. Ask them what is more important – the lives of innocent girls who get taken advantage of and sexually exploited, or their worldview of perfection? Tell them straight out that they are reacting irrationally to horrific facts of abuse, due to their emotional discomfort with it. Ask them if they would feel and/or react the same way if it was their daughter or sister or niece who was sexually abused. And then point out that by responding the way they are, they are setting the stage for the next generation – possibly their grandchildren – to be the next generation’s victims of all these sexual abuse cover ups.

          • Based on my experience, Rachel would never have a chance to say all of those things. The people she is interacting with have shut down their minds, and will probably never listen to anything like a reasoned argument. There are others, however, who do listen, who do come to believe at least the possibility that these “stories” are true. But for some reason they are not outraged the way I am. The ” stories” don’t cause them to question the whole system. And even if they admit the system is no good, they’re more interested in mundane matters (styles, recipes, gossip). They cluck their tongues and say it’s terrible, but what can we do about it? They hint that I should keep my mouth shut because by speaking out I’m not helping anybody and I may hurt my family. But every Friday afternoon I pray for righteous children (and even though it says bonim u’vnei bonim, I have my daughters in mind as well). I would rather have righteous children who remain single, if that what it comes to and as painful as that would be for me, then married children who are just more fodder for a corrupt system.

    • Just had a conversation with a coworker who says her granddaughter applied to Binas and Chedvas recently. She said, ” I told my daughter not to let her apply there, but they don’t listen. They say everything is okay now”. Normally, I don’t think it’s a good idea for grandparents to mix in, but I strongly suggested that my coworker make an exception here.

  8. So, what can we do? I plan to “just say no” to the seminaries, to the learning lifestyle, and so on. I tell my daughters, “Mammeles, I don’t know how everybody else is doing this, but Abba and I simply can’t afford it. You wouldn’t want us to borrow money that we know we can’t repay, would you?That would be stealing, and isn’t that against the Torah? Of course we’ll support you in any way we can, but I’m sure H-shem doesn’t want us to steal so that you could marry a Kollel guy. Look, if you want to take government handouts after your married, that will embarrass me, but that’s your choice. But just make sure you don’t violate the Torah by lying and cheating, because I’m sure that’s not what G-d wants. What do you think?” Of course, the response to this speech is many eye rolls, and some hysteria about us being poor. I have to explain that we’re not poor at all, except by comparison to the ridiculously extravagant Charedi lifestyle.

      • I have been teaching that lesson to my children from the earliest moment in their lives that they could possibly understand the concept. What I did not know when they were little is how pervasive the learning lifestyle would become, and how I would have to subvert the lessons they were learning in school. That is a risky business, because you never know which authority they will follow, parents or school. I wish I had other options for schools, but for various cultural reasons, they would have been very uncomfortable in more “modern” schools.

      • Of course it’s ideal to start young, but it’s never too late to learn anything in life. Better now than never. It will just mean having to deal with kicking, screaming and protesting adolescent children, which is very challenging, but it’s not too late. One can also explain to children, which they wont understand until they are much older, that getting everything handed to you on a silver platter takes away one’s motivation in life, which is bad for the psyche, the brain, and the general wellbeing of a person.

  9. Binas is outstanding seminary. Meisels has nothing to do with the seminary this year and has not been to the sem at all. I have a daughter there and if my next one is accepted I would be thrilled to send her. It is the most unbelievable place. I truly believe that it is the best seminary that exists. If you are looking for outstanding classes, wonderful academics, superior trips,wonderful girls and an extremely warm atmosphere Binas is the place, if they will accept your daughter. Any girl that attends will feel how privileged they are. Many of my daughters friends come to visit her and say how lucky she is and how much better her sem is compared to theirs, although I am sure that they all have their good points,. Binas has many good points. Do not listen to the Loshen Horah, speak to the girls in person, they will tell you that this year has been the most wonderful year of their lives. Binas is a hidden Gem.

    • “Kalman”, I want to believe you are a well-meaning individual. I am not here to disclaim anything you’ve written. Indeed, your daughter may be having a spectacular year in seminary (so did I, btw, in two different Meisels seminaries).

      However, Kalman- do you realize that by sending your daughter and encouraging others to attend Binas is supporting a SEX OFFENDER? That’s right. Meisels still owns the schools. That is not up for debate. Both batei din know it (even tho the IBD naively doubted it at first. Chicago was much smarter in this case).

      If you are a well-meaning person, I ask you- Why on earth would you ever, ever encourage for parents send there daughters to a place where a sick man like Meisels gains Parnassa? Why would you do this? And who are you to say that this blog (which has done so much good in informing others) is “loshon hara”? Because of people like Lopin, parents were warned about a serial sex abuser and much more.

      I stand my ground when I say that NO ONE should send their daughters there until there is a very public apology/ confession from the teachers of the poor way they handled everything. I know individuals who were at the Bais Din. The enabling of the staff was shocking. They are guilty. And the principle of Binas, Mrs. Hindy Ullman, is queen of it all. She embarrassed herself in front of the Bais Din and that is putting it mildly.

      To the staff at the seminaries (because I know you are all monitoring the blogs very closely): SHAME. ON. YOU. You are fakers. You don’t care to do the right thing. You dress in your sheitals, knee-length skirts, and black hats but you have turned your eyes, and ears away from sex abuse.

      To my seminary mechanchim: since you all know who I am, you probably are wondering how could I have betrayed you? But guess what Rabbi Kahane and the rest of you- I continue to be the student you knew. I spend my time listening to intensive shiurim on topics like hilchos kashrus, brachos, bishul, arima L’akum, how to thoroughly check for insects in every green leaf out there. When I’m not doing that, I sit and continue my reading on the bio of the Chazon Ish, Rav Moshe and the like.

      I haven’t changed. It is all of you who have changed. You have let everyone down. I speak for some of your other students who are afraid to tell you this as well.

      I am embarrassed to have gone to your seminaries. Let HKB”H judge you all when the time comes. As for the other Meisels seminaries- let them all close to be an example of just how the orthodox community should handle sex abuse and enabling.
      I truly hope that the teachers are able to make parnassah and support their families after this. I mean that sincerely. BUT…not in chinuch.

      Some deserve to stay in the classroom, and some I think need to leave. Either way, you have created an awful reputation for yourselves and you have no one to blame but the person in the mirror.

      Hatzlacha and may HKB”H have rachmanus on you all,

      TruthSeeker

      • Truthseeker, I have to admire the way you’re able to take to heart the lessons in frumkeit you learned in seminary, while (rightfully) trashing the very teachers who taught those lessons. Personally, I have a much harder time being inspired by Yiddishkeit in general ever since I’ve learned how often I’ve been lied to by gedolim, rabbonim, and Bais Yaakov teachers.

        • Ditto. In my mind, if the lying is so rampant on every level of “gadol,” and rov and “mechanech” then what else did they lie about? And for how many decades and centuries have the lies been disseminated, handed down in a mesorah, a game of telephone, from generation to generation? We believe what we want to believe. But how often was the arrow shot and then a target drawn around wherever the arrow landed?

          TruthSeeker, I admire your strength in fighting abuse. And I hope you find meaning and fulfillment in your intense practice of bug-checking-frumkeit. But for the record, the books that you read on the Chazon Ish and Rav Moshe are “Hagiographies,” they are not “Biographies.” Rabbi Nosson Sherman, one of the ArtScroll general editors, admitted to that in an interview.

          What else did they lie to us about? Tzei U’lemad. Or, alternatively, just follow the leaders, the gedolim, who are always willing to exert their power and control, while we are always willing to relinquish ours to them.

          • I am well aware of how misleading those bios of Gedolim can be. I take them with a grain of salt and gain what I can. Sheri- these people do not represent Yiddishkeit. Inspiration must come from inside of only one’s self. Because bottom line…every human being will disappoint you in life, let you down, and reveal their flaws. My interest in Halacha etc has nothing to do with my sem teachers (who betrayed me). They mean nothing to me anymore. However, it has everything to do with what I believe G-d wants me to do in life. It can be discouraging, but remember that G-d is frowning down upon those who misrepresent Him.

        • Ditto. But, I think the problem goes even deeper. There are many teachers nowadays, who aren’t intentionally covering anything up. They were brought up in the same education system, and they honestly don’t know any better. They are just teaching what they know!!!!

      • Hi TruthSeeker,
        Hope you are well. Was it emes, or facetious, your comment about checking every green leaf out there? Seriously?
        I understand that one can study b’dikot green leaves, for esrot shanim. and still not have mastered the creepy crawlies completely. Better to throw it out, after 4 hours of kale checking. Seriously, this from a master mashgiach.
        Not worth the time..

        time to move on to agunot and the lovely heart felt judaism m’achorei chaining. BUT, praise be praise be, there is a solution, HETER 100 RABBANIM. oops, that’s only for the y chromosomes who started the entire problem to begin with. How could i have made such a mistake….

      • -Let HKB”H judge you all when the time comes.- If your down for letting Him judge then why are you attempting to do it on your own? Why is it that you judged people that you never came in contact with ? Did you go to Binas? Did you call people who went to sem, as I did? Did you know people in Keser Chaya, as I did? From what I understand, you only went to CBY and Pninim, when Binas and KC weren’t even open. So where is all the knowledge of allegations against all the staff at other schools coming from?

        • To answer every question of yours-

          1) I came into contact with about 80% of the teachers present at the BD. I had them all as teachers. So, in fact, I DID come into contact with the majority of them.

          2) I know someone who was present at the BD and heard both sides. I know which are guilty and which were “semi-guilty”. Most were very guilty of enabling.

          3) I never ever said it was “all the staff”. Ever. U can look at my past posts here on FrumFollies and I make it my business to say that some were not involved. But yes, many were and they are running away because they knew they enabled.

          There were many students who commented about his inappropriateness towards girls who told teachers. The teachers made excuses/ ignored it. Like I said, I know someone who was present at the BD which was hours long. I will know more about this case than anyone here. Done.

          • There you go, Truthseeker, trying to speak rationally again. Why do you even bother? I recognize the likes of Ms. “real truthseeker”. She doesn’t care who gets shechted, as long as her image of her beautiful (fantasy) religion is maintained. She dares to threaten those who might speak out against evil with H-shem’s judgment. Is she a neviah? So now it was only two seminaries, not four, and oh no, it wasn’t unwanted sexual contact, only a consensual hug. The G-d I worship will judge me for not speaking up enough against corruption and evil. For going along with events like that ridiculous Internet Asifah, nodding my head and repeating what I was told about how evil the Internet is. I should have been there supporting those people who protested that Asifa, the victims of abuse who insisted that sex abuse and corruption are the real problems.

        • The educational institution that takes credit for your education should issue a refund immediately. Never end a sentence with a preposition.

  10. Att Rabbi Moshe Krupka, Executive VP, Touro College:
    Please, please read Truthseeker’s heartfelt & moving comment above and understand you have great responsibility here.
    It seems that now, it all boils down to accreditation.

    • Really interesting, isn’t it, that our “gedolim” – those who tell us what Hashem wants from us, down to the microscopic bug in orange juice – are not able to stand up for what is right, and we have to rely on the administrator of a secular college in order to do the right thing in order to have some measure of justice prevail, and to protect us and our children from monsters like Meisels. (Touro is a Jewish but secular college, is an equal opportunity educational institution, accepting students of all races and religions. For a full view of the different religions represented by their student body one needs only visit Touro’s Manhattan and Long Island campuses.) The gedolim are impotent and all but silent. Only the legalities of a secular institution can act to close Meisels’ sexual-abuse businesses. These are our gedolim. I don’t know about you, but if Touro does not accredit the Meisels seminaries and if they close as a result, I would vote for Rabbi Moshe Krupka as Gadol. Too bad Gadolships are not voted for, they are imposed upon us and are usually awarded non-transparently by measures of… yichus, political power, wealth, or by virtue of the man who can memorize the most shas in yeshiva and who the bachurim all like. Or, in Israel, by the oldest living member of Kollel, Anyone under age 85 or without yichus need not apply.

      • B”H” Rav Shteinman is still alive and supposedly highly cognitively functioning. Woudst that someone would admit the reverse. Per Shteinman, any teaching of secular subjects in Charedi schools in E”Y will DESTROY E”Y, completely. thus spaketh shteinman. the elf. But not so in US.
        Waiting on pronouncements from the twerski’s and the satmar’s brother and brother.
        All charedim should spend a year, minimum, in cleaning kale. at least one year.

    • The standoff persists. The seminary will not fire any staff or completely sever some financial connections to Meisels. Touro College/HTC will not accredit the seminaries. It is extremely unlikely they can enroll enough students to be profitable unless they get accreditation. So I expect some of those seminaries to go bankrupt before they even open in the fall. Clearly protecting some jobs and reputations is more important than taking the necessary corrective action.

      The enlarged joint Beis Din is also stalemated and unable to agree on a broader statement detailing the problems. I expect to have another posting close to the fall announcing bankruptcies.

      • Are the 4 Meisels seminaries accepting students enrolling into their schools? Obviously they can’t be claiming that government college tuition assistance can be used to pay for seminary, since they are not accredited for that. Are they offering college credits?

        Do you really think that a school with only 60 girls instead of 120 girls, would be completely not profitable? Or perhaps it would just not be AS profitable. The Seminaries are said to be “Cash Cows.” What if instead of “Cash Cows” they were just “Small Cash Goats”? They may not earn for Meisels the immense funds that he was accustomed to, but maybe he will settle for only thousands instead of the millions that he made in the past. In that case, the schools wouldn’t go bankrupt. They might shrink in size, sell off a few assets as they wouldn’t need as many buildings, but possibly still be viable small businesses. This is all conjecture because I just don’t think Meisels would keep seminaries that would lose him money. There must be something in it for him to be holding out for.

        • Seminaries are cash cows when full or close to full. The first ~70% of enrollment covers the fixed costs of staff, overhead, facilities, marketing, etc. It is the last ~30% that are mostly profit apart from the modest additional cost of food and utilities which is a small fraction of the total tuition.

          Additionally, to compete with seminaries with FASAP the Meisels seminaries will have to offer tuition reductions. Even if they come up with some fake accreditation it will cost and it will not be transferable to Touro, an important option for many sem students.

          Now it is possible that Meisels and Yarmush are willing to operate at break even in the hope they can eventually get reaccredited, but that is a gamble and a financial sacrifice for the owners who could invest their money somewhere else and make money.

          Now Meisels may be a gambler willing to take the risk in the hope of staging a comeback. The principals are willing to do it because otherwise they will have to enter the job market stained by the scandal.

          As sociologists like to joke when criticizing historians, prediction is hard, especially when it involves the future. But I would guess the sems are moving towards either an abrupt closure or even bankruptcy.

          • I’m pretty sure 2 out of the 4 seminaries are recruiting students and at least some people I know really don’t care about any of the information covered on this blog and don’t even seem to care about not getting credits. I have stopped trying to explain the situation to these people, they just don’t want to hear about it.

            • The question is not whether they can get some; it is a question of numbers. It is a question of whether they can reach the break even point. If not, the question is who will subsidize the loss. Meisels might have the motive or rehabilitating his reputation, but why would anyone else want to operate a seminary at a loss? All this unprofitable persistence makes me even more suspicious that Meisels is deeply involved in spite of contrary claims by him and IBD.

  11. Hey, Seriously?, Happy Purim! Didn’t see any goiylam costumes today, but then most of the frum people in my neighborhood wouldn’t have to be in costume for that. Was telling my brother earlier at the Purim seudah that I’d rather see my children and grandchildren not religuious at all, but with some sense of right and wrong, than be like my coworker’s daughter, who sees no problem at all sending her daughter to one of the seminaries. It was all enough to send me running to the alcohol tonight…….

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