Real Safety and Fake Safety

Yisroel Reisman 3

Rabbi Yisroel Reisman

In 2000, an event was organized for Haredi leaders to talk to laity about child sex abuse. It was held in Rabbi Yisroel Reisman’s Flatbush synagogue, Agudath Israel of Madison. Speakers included Rabbi Avrohom Pam, ZTz”L, Rabbi Dovid Cohen and Rabbi Reisman. Rabbi Cohen declared molesters were rodfim (life threatening pursuers) and could and should be reported to the police. R. Reisman talked about the terrible crime and described cases of molesters who were non-orthodox. He ignored the fact that most abusers come from within the community.

Meanwhile, then and thereafter, he’s regularly protected Jewish molesters. For example, during the trial of Yona Weinberg, he rallied support for Weinberg including mobilizing the writing of letters to the sentencing judge to ask for a mild sentence after he was convicted of nine separate crimes — seven counts of sexual abuse in the second degree and two of endangering the welfare of a child.

Judge Gustin Reichbach was distressed by the attitudes he saw among Weinberg’s supporters. According to the NY Jewish Week:

He found it “troubling” that the community “seeks to blame, indeed punish victims who seek justice from the … civil society…” He went on to add that the Orthodox community’s religious courts are “inappropriate” and “incapable” of dealing with criminal matters……

The judge spoke of receiving more than 90 letters attesting to Weinberg’s character and innocence. None of the letters, the judge noted, “displays any concern or any sympathy or even any acknowledgement for these young victims which, frankly, I find shameful.”

Reichbach referred to one letter in particular, written by a Mrs. Mandel and expressing sadness “that Weinberg’s love of humankind has turned against him,” as being “the height of chutzpah.”

Reisman offered false safety. It was the secular “dayan” Reichbach who did his best to protect frum children.

Fake Safety Reporting

Hamodia ran a headline this week, Lost U.K. Bachurim Rescued by Coast Guard  It began:LONDON – A group of 36 bachurim and adult volunteers from the Ahavas Yisroel Community Centre in the London neighborhood of Stamford Hill were rescued Monday evening when a coastal hike went badly wrong. The group was enjoying a walk near the town of Dover, when they realized they were lost and at risk of being stranded on a beach, with the tide rapidly coming in.

According to the Telegraph (UK):

By the end of the rescue mission, 31 of the walkers were rescued by lifeboat and taken ashore. The remaining five were lifted to safety by helicopter and flown to the Dover Coastguard station.

Hamodiah thanked the rescue workers but spent more time on the ingenuity of the boys in using their cell phones as beacons to their rescuers. They also spent a lot of time mentioning the orthodox pseudo-police, the Shomrim, who showed up and didn’t really do anything besides “liaise.”

Missing, was this from the Guardian:

“It is very inhospitable. We are not talking about little rocks. There are some pretty hefty boulders down there. They weren’t dressed for it at all, didn’t have the correct footwear.”

“Less than two hours later, they would have been swimming, because the tide is rising all the time. They were cut off by the tide. There is no footpath in this particular stretch of shoreline. It is purely a rocky walk.”

He said the group were in high spirits and had not seemed to appreciate the danger they were in, which was spelled out to them when they got back to Dover. The RNLI said the group had walked past nine signs warning them not to continue.

How in the world could a group of boys with 2 adult leaders ignore nine danger signs? Were they illiterate in English? Where they foolishly unaware of the meaning of the signs? Were they thinking these are outside rules so we don’t have to listen to them? Those are the most common reasons I can think of. Whichever one it was, it speaks to qualities in the community that regularly put children and adults at risk.

Which ever one it was, that should have been the focus of the Hamodiah article instead of a celebration of the use of phones as beacons or the swarming of Shomrim.

[update 6/16/16- This was not the only such episode. Miriam Shaviv documents several more instances of Haredi school field trips in the UK that were dangerous and required difficult rescues. No doubt, Haredi media did not draw any cautionary lessons from them. nor did their schools.]

The Predators inside the Community

Mendy Samuel Shmuel Israel

Mendy (Samuel, Shmuel) Israel

If Hamodiah really cares about the safety of children inside the community it would talk about the greatest single health and safety risk, sexual abuse. Based on available data, roughly 20% of all frum children will be molested before they turn eighteen. This will cause untold suffering, mental illness, substance abuse, suicides, failed marriages, loss of connection to the community and other problems. Yet Hamodiah never warns the community about the molesters roaming inside.

It falls to us bloggers to warn the community about the likes of  Mendy Israel, board member of the Boro Park Y, who was arrested and charged with multiple rapes of a child under 13. Yet he is allowed to roam free. It falls to exceptional Rabbonim, such as a few in Passaic, NJ to warn their members of the likes of Stefan Colmer.

Whispering Woods

Whispering Woods bungalow colony, Woodbridge, NY

It falls to me to inform people that Mendy Israel owns a bungalow in Whispering Woods (Woodbridge, NY) a large colony full of children. What is whispered in those woods is Mendy’s history. But shouldn’t Hamodiah be serving the community by shouting about the  danger of an alleged child rapist? More Jewish lives could be saved by such warnings than all the other safety alerts from Shomrim.

Shame on Hamodiah, Yated, the Yid, the Blatt, Algemeiner and other publications which abandon our sheep to wolves while wasting their warnings on goyim. Shame on Shomrim for doing hardly anything to warn the community about the molesters on their lists. Shame on all those in the community who know the truth of some of the stories in the blogs and nevertheless attack them. It is chutzpah for all of them to celebrate various safety programs while surrendering to the shah shtil (be quiet) mandates of askanim (movers and shakers) and rabbanim (rabbis) who are not faithful to the d’oraisa  (Vaykra/Leviticus 19:16) of לֹא תַעֲמֹד עַל-דַּם רֵעֶךָ (Biblical injunction: “Do not stand by idly on the blood of another” ).







6 thoughts on “Real Safety and Fake Safety

  1. Rabbi reisman and Rabbi sheinerman who is a relative of Weinberg came to Israel to get people to stop harassing yona Weinberg. When he got to Israel he realized after speaking to the rosh Yeshiva of the boy that Weinberg got away lightly. And seems to have been worse then his conviction so he laid off. Weinberg sued Yaakov horwitz and anyone who is trying to bring out the truth. No one really cares about anything in our world look at weinberger who is back in the five towns how could that be. Because no one cares. Klal Yisroel is in real danger and is very messed up because no one cares. Everyone has to learn the chafetz Chaim on what to say ltoeles. Because keeping quiet causes much more damage than lashon harah sometimes.

    • I would be good to really learn that Rabbi Reisman has changed. But I know for a fact that he counseled a victim against testifying in another case where he readily admitted that the offender was guilty of prohibited sexual acts of abuse of the most extreme nature. Now, if Rabbi Reisman has really done teshuvah, let him publicly admit his errors in the past and advise all with current complaints to come forward to the authorities. Let R. Reisman pledge to support future victims.

      But you know, I don’t buy his newly discovering Weinberg’s abusiveness. All the details were spelled out at his trial.

    • For a predator who destroyed marriages along with the innocence of young unmarried and married ladies — possibly ruining lives in the process–to have the chutzpah to shop and daven in the area where he wreaked destruction is unbelievable. For that two-legged beast to get kibbudim at a Chassidish shul in FR is unbelievable.
      One only has to imagine what sort of reception such an individual would have received in an Italian or Irish or secular Israeli community.

      The loshon hara campaign was and remains a very dangerous one. Well-meaning but naive children and young adults misunderstand these halachos, due to the poor chinuch and even indoctrination they received, and are easy prey for predators and sociopaths.

        • I have had the honor of conversing with several leading poskim in the US and abroad. According to the way hilchos loshon are understood by our children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, and all those indoctrinated by slick videos on Tisha b’Av, these poskim were by and large sinning.

          A more mature understanding of these halachos will lead one to understand that there is a time and place for everything. Sometimes, it is forbidden to say something, occasionally it is permitted to say something, and many times it is imperative to say something negative about someone–such as a two-legged animal posing as a rav or counselor for women.

          Years went by when there were repeated rumors, from more than one source, and no action was taken. Dan l’kaf zechus, dan l’kaf zechus, yada yada.

          Someone I know respectfully asked a rav who has defended a two-legged animal and who cast doubt on the veracity of the many women who asserted molestation, seduction etc happened what he himself would have done had this animal attacked his wife or daughter. The rav immediately said he would physically assault the animal, then became enraged at the person for even bringing such thoughts into his holy mind.

          Ergo: It’s okay if someone has been suspected of molesting / assaulting OTHER daughters and wives, as long as its not HIS daughter or wife.

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