A Bodkins Chutzpah Award

Yisroel Bodkins

           Yisroel Bodkins

About a year ago, “Kevin in Chicago” commented on my post about Bodkins:

The rationale for pressuring victims to not testify in secular court is presumably that such offenses should be dealt with within the community. To then turn around and use the victims’ silence to claim a chezkas kashrus (presumption of suitability/of being safe) for the perpetrator so that he will continue to be trusted is worthy of the Annual Rabbinic Chutzpah Prize, Middas Sodom Division.

As I reported at the time, Rabbi Yisroel Bodkins was fired as a teacher in Miami because of sex abuse allegations. Nevertheless a number of prominent rabbis wrote letters proclaiming his innocence. Some of them did it because of the influence of R. Avrohom Chaim Levin.

Emboldened and funded by his defenders, Bodkins sued the blogger, AdKan, who placed Bokins on the blog’s wall of shame.

Ad Kan faced down the lawsuit and prevailed because Bodkin’s backers were unwilling to be deposed. Bodkin’s backers owe AdKan an apology.

I would also urge Jewish Community Watch to put Bodkins on their Wall of Shame. This is a case that has withstood claims of libel. Moreover, Jewish Community Watch held an event in Miami at which they had a victim of Bodkins speak about his abuse. I know there are arguments for and against Walls of Shame. But if a website is going to have one, I can see no reason to keep Bodkins off it. All of us who take risks in supporting abuse victims have to make our own individual judgments about which cases to carry at the risk of being sued. However, I feel we owe each other support when the case is unequivocal and the risk has been successfully weathered by others at great personal cost.

2 thoughts on “A Bodkins Chutzpah Award

  1. I am stepping up to the bat.
    Re JCW and it’s Wall of Shame. I am publicly stating that I will withhold a certain amount of Tsedakah that would otherwise find itself at JCW.

    GET BODKINS ON THE WALL OF SHAME. I am addressing this to the JCW re it’s Wall of Shame.
    Meyer has avoided knowing me, but more important people know who I am, and would vouch for my ability and desire to donate to such cause. Hineh. Meyer. I am not hocking you a chinuk with questions, which you “have no time to answer’. You lost once. Your loss. there are other places to donate.. You have made huge PR mistakes. But, here you are Meyer, I am willing to make a substantial (substantial is always in the eye of the beholder) tentative donation.. I was prepared ages ago, but you sloughed my minute questions off. (Per my go between). (known very well to you)/ Put the Bodkins Minuval on your Wall of Shame. I am not involved in any shape or fashion. Not at all. But, do it, and Levi will explain the rest to you. And Yerachmiel will also be content.

    This is for Meyer Seewald of JCW. sure he reads, and if not, for sure chabad is in every nook and cranny. Tell Meyer. He should have responded to me ages ago. His loss. Second chance, Meyer??? Or is ego more important.
    This is very important to me, not only to support Yerachmiel but to support others, Chabad, if you will (lol in disrepute on most blogs). and to wipe out CSA in our communities. Ask Levke about me. I am not a fly by night, or BS’er. .
    Meyer, you are busy planning talks all over the country, kol hakavod. so, for sure, you are not at the current JLI retreat in DC.
    Of course my intention is to help wipe out child sexual abuse from the orthodox community. and from all Jewish communities, for a starter.

    A stronger statement of support should not be necessary. No Charedy organization doubling and tripling your take. Just me.
    Take it or leave it, Meyer. The Wall of Shame.
    I will find out somehow? nachol, next week after the Natl Retreat

  2. i was abused by bodkins in hebrew academy in 7th grade , i was one of the people who spoke out, my own rabbis were in the letter discrediting us, rabbis i trusted just turned on us. drove my family from the area I still deal with this

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