Rabbi Meir Pogrow Denounced for Sexual Misconduct by Six Rabbis from US and Israel

meir Pogrow img4

Pogrow

An Israeli rabbinical court issued a ruling (6/14/16; 8 Sivan 5776) denouncing 46-year-old Rabbi Meir Pogrow for sexual misconduct with women (see image below). The court ruling which I hope to translate  [translated] in full was signed by Rabbis Menachem Mendel Shafran (Bnei Brak, Israel; a Hasidic posek on the Bais Din of R. Karelitz), Chaim Zev Malinowitz (Beit Shemesh, Israel; the dominant Yeshivish rav in Beit Shemesh), and Gershon Bess (Los Angeles, CA; a product of the Lakewood BMG constellation of yeshivas). The ruling was written as a set of directives to Meir Pogrow about restrictions the Beit Din is imposing on him.

The ruling was followed by a Public Danger Warning with a synopsis of the ruling in Hebrew and English telling the public to avoid Pogrow in all sorts of roles. The advisory to females focused on any sort of interaction. The advisory section addressed to males spoke of not using his website or learning from him. He was explicitly called a rasha (evil person), a status with halachic implications. For example, one does not console a rasha in mourning.

The danger warning is undated but was in circulation by 6/20/16, within about a week of the original ruling.The warning was signed by two members of the rabbinical court (Rabbis Malinowitz and Bess) and three additional signers:

  • Rabbi Mordechai Willig (a prominent member of the faculty of the RIETS rabbinical seminary of Yeshiva University),
  • Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits (Sanhedria, Jerusalem and Previously with Aish Hatorah as Rosh Kollel), and,
  • Rabbi Elimelech Kornfeld (Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel, the son-in-law of the Ner Israel Rosh Yeshiva, R. Aaron Feldman).

Below is the English text of the summary and warning. Items in rectangular brackets were inserted by Yerachmiel Lopin for clarification or annotation.

Public Danger Warning

Upon issuance of the decision of the Bais Din [rabbinical court] that determined with absolute certainty and established by reliable and credible witnesses and other proofs (all conducted in a manner which leaves no room for doubt), regarding the most severe sins involving issues of [sexual] immorality and the like,

Heaven protect us by Meir Pogrow (of Beit Shemesh and America) and hearing about the damages that he inflicted on women (including single, married, Jewish and otherwise) who were under his influence (many of whose lives he destroyed) [but] due to modesty, we are unable to describe his actions in detail [though] the details are held in confidence under seal by the Bais Din;

After the Bais Din heard his (Pogrow’s) responses;

It is our obligation to notify and warn women and girls in the strongest and most urgent terms to distance themselves from any interaction from this individual as well as from his presentations [through Master Torah, etc.] or from any sphere of his influence in any possible manner.

It is our opinion that men who listen to his lectures and/or follow his learning program, are absolutely obligated to cut off all personal interaction with him, as our rabbis warned us: “Do not associate with an evil person.”

His supporters must understand that they are enabling Pogrow to continue his above-referenced activities.

May Hashem [G-d] protect his nation from breaches of morality and the men and women of Israel from stumbling due to individuals (such as Pogrow) of whom it is stated: “Torah when studied improperly becomes a deadly poison.”

What Was Left Unsaid

It is not clear that they are asking men to stop using his programs and materials. They are just saying not to interact with him. And yet they have called him a rasha. I can think of no other person designated a rasha by Haredim whose materials are deemed OK to use. Heck, they sometimes  ban materials just because they come from authors with a modern orthodox hashkafa.

Pogrow’s misconduct was known or suspected for many years by many parties.

YULA: In Fall 1995, the Ohr Somayach alumni newsletter, B’Yachad, announced that Meir Pogrow, an alumnus of their Ohr Lagola program,  started teaching at the Yeshiva University Los Angeles high school, YULA. He was forced out after girls complained he was creepy.

MICHLALAH: In 2001 he was forced out of employment by the Michlalah Seminary in Jerusalem because of authoritarian-cultist control of students and extensive off-hours interactions with students. His wife was kept on and she kept bringing home students and she was kept on for quite a few years. But nobody else was publicly warned.

AISH HATORAH (JERUSALEM & AUSTIN:After six years of working for Aish Hatorah including one running their kollel in Austin, Texas, he was forced out around 2007 for sexual misconduct with women.

Meir Pogrow and Rav Steinman in Hamodiah 12-5-07

Meir Pogrow and Rav Steinman in Hamodiah 12-5-07

MASTER TORAH: In 2007 he announced a new program for teaching methods of learning and reviewing talmud. He got rave reviews in the Dec 5, 2007 issue of  Hamodia. At the time he claimed he was phasing out his work in Austin to concentrate on Master Torah for which he already had an URL. He piloted his program giving lectures in  Beis Tefillah Yonah Avraham Aish Kodesh shul of Rabbi Chaim Malinowitz (a member of the beis din that denounced him. He was a member of that shul until some months ago. It is not clear when if ever he stopped being allowed to teach there. This makes one wonder. If he was allowed to continue until recently, why was Rabbi Malinowitz not more diligent. And if he forced him out, what if anythig did he do to warn others.
I believe he formed Master Torah because nobody would hire him. Over the years he had fewer and fewer speaking engagements in mainstream orthodox settings because word kept spreading about him and he was largely confined, if hired, to work with males. The last significant engagement I can find was 2011 with a male audience of  Chabad. Yet the broader public was not warned.

His main sources of income were enamored donors including a very significant grouping in Toronto, some of whom also gave to Aish Hatorah. Had Aish warned those donors he would have had less travel and hotel budget for his misdeeds. But Aish took a pass.

BEIT DIN 2016: The Beit Din and the signers of the warning did a good thing, as far as it went, but they are almost all of the school of avoiding the police, at least in practice, if not in theory. Two of the dayanim of the Beit Din, Rabbis Malinowitz and Shafran, were involved in the shameful protection of employees of Elimelech Meisels’ seminaries who ignored abuse by Meisels and refused to respond to students reporting sexual assaults, and in at least one case, rape. I documented this in posts on Frum Follies. For example see, Whitewashing the Meisels Seminaries and Their Principals

At the end of the day, the deep flaw of the Haredi system is that it only exposes molesters late, very late, way too late to save many victims years and decades of suffering. Pogrow should have been turned in for prosecution years ago. In Israel, even his adult relationships could have been prosecuted even if legally consensual. That is because, under Israeli law, all sexual contact between a teacher or rabbi (or imam or priest) is illegal with individuals they see in their professional capacity. This is similar to American laws that bar “consensual” sex between patients/clients and psychiatrists or other mental health professionals. The reasoning is that these roles encourage trust in the professional and leave the other party vulnerable to manipulation.

If by some chance Pogrow could not have been prosecuted, he should have been publicly denounced the first time an institution felt the need to force him out.

Pogrow’s paternal grandfather was a YU man and his father went to Harvard, but by the time Meir was sent to school it was Haredi schools such as Bais Mikroh in Monsey, and then Mesivata Bais Sharaga and Yeshiva Torah Temimah.
While Pogrow was in high school he spent his summers in a bungalow colony in Tannersville. Rabbi Hershel Schachter, the great talmid chochom of YU tutored him, something he only did for extraordinary talents. But he dropped that connection and great opportunity at the urging of his Haredi mentors because it would hurt his standing and career in the Haredi Yeshivish world. I have many complaints about how the modern orthodox world handles abuse. But the Haredi world is worse. Or from the point of view of a serial abuser, better. Better because Haredim are way less likely to crack down on abusers like Pogrow.

So with mixed feelings I conclude that I am glad about this action, this time, by this Beit Din and those who signed onto the warning. But also sad about how much needless destruction preceded this action, and how many other abusers are known but not outed.

I will be posting more revelations and analyses about this scandal in the coming days.

see also a full English translation of the beit din ruling.

For other Frum Follies posts on Meir Pogrow, click here. For other Frum Follies posts on Meir Pogrow, click here.

Pogrow Meir  Beis Din's announcment page 1

Pogrow-Meir-Beis-Dins-announcment-page-2

 

 

 

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68 thoughts on “Rabbi Meir Pogrow Denounced for Sexual Misconduct by Six Rabbis from US and Israel

  1. Yerachmiel, sounds like you are well acquainted with the whole history. So I am left wondering why we had to wait for Tamara Schoor? Why didn’t you come out with something before she had to stick her neck out publicly?
    Keep up your great work

    • Considerations that I am not free to disclose. I did in fact investigate extensively hoping for this moment. You will notice that my recent post on Pogrow had a lot, and there is a lot more coming out, most of it gained through research I did two years ago.

      • What about the female accomplice referred to in the psak din? She is a “victim” of his as well who was groomed into a position of predator alongside him. Will she escape scrutiny?

      • I guess those considerations must be very serious. It must be a difficult balance to strike, between keeping confidences on the one hand, and on the other hand knowing that more innocents could fall victim at any time. Maybe you could write about that balance…

  2. This is exactly what is needed in London
    Regarding Chaim Halpern.

    The allegations on him have not been cleared up and in fact he continues to give marriage guidance to females alone.

    The fact that this has NOT been cleared up either way by a prominent Beis din leaves the threat open that young couples steel feel a threat by asking questions to any Rabbi

  3. How do people fall for such things. According to the release, we are talking about אשת איש וחייבי כריתות, don’t they know it’s not allowed?
    I’m not blaming at all the victims ,just trying to understand how he fooled so many people.

  4. I together with an org that exposes abusers alerted the many sites who had talks by pogrow and they have all been removed immediately without mishap. (one more to go). Lets give them some credit for their immediate responses. (names of site will not be mentioned so as not to associate with the monster). Instead of sitting on blogs and bashing, a little action is all it takes and the worthy people will act.

    It scares me that Yerachmiel admits to having known of these actions fr at least two years?!? Why did you not expose this info to those Rabbonim you do know will act and to the organizations that will rise up against such things. Yerachmiel why did you not share this until now?
    one example is JCW, who is busy all day with chabad abuse cases and exposing the guilty. Pogrow was big in chabad and prominent on their sites etc. JCW should have been notified by you. Please explain

    • After pious talk about being constructive you engage in outrageous allegations about my negligence. JCW, Magen in Israel, and many other activists shared information about Pogrow, in ways designed to remove him, but for a variety of reasons, which are often understood, we were not free to act in any decisive ways. Ask JCW to explain to you that not every case of an abuser can be exposed.

      • “but for a variety of reasons, which are often understood, we were not free to act in any decisive ways.”

        Weak, Yerachmiel, very weak (and indeed, I think that if the Rabbonim tried to use your response, you would accuse them similarly).

        Directing people to JCW, and not addressing this issue directly, is not something I would expect of someone like you. Where’s your moral fortitude?

        I’d argue that you should feel some of the shame. The pain of the victims may be on your head as well.

        • Regarding this and the above attack of Yerachmiel by “Shainson”:

          Yerachmiel has demonstrated over many years that he is a true advocate for victims. His record is impeccable.

          If a female victim of Pogrow disclosed information to Yerachmiel in confidence and specifically asked him NOT to reveal the information on his blog because of their own fears due to their personal circumstances, Yerachmiel needs to first and foremost protect the victim. He can recommend that they report the abuse to rabbanim and to the police, but he cannot go on his blog and make the information public if the victim asks him not to. If he knows of someone who is currently a threat to the greater public, as he said himself, he makes sure the information is reported to an organization which is in contact with Rabbonim who have the power to investigate and do something about it. So let’s be clear about who has the power and the obligation to effect real change when it comes to sexual predators and to protect Klal Yisrael from them – The Rabbanim.

          As a blogger, Yerachmiel has little power but that of publicity. He has to balance that with the emotional needs and trust of the victims who confide in him.

          That said, if Yerachmiel, a mere blogger, knew about Pogrow for 2 years, how many years did the RABBANIM know about him? Surely longer! How many victims’ cries to Rabbanim in positions of power fell on deaf ears? We all know that one is too many, and who believes that there was only one Rov who was approached about a predator like Pogrow who has been actively engaged in these behaviors for many years?

          The Rabbanim are the ones who owe explanations to Klal Yisrael, and it is their excuses that are “Weak, very weak.” Rabbanim have been given positions of power, trust, kavod and have a RESPONSIBLITY not only to the Torah which they represent, but to the people who depend on them for leadership. Yerachmiel, on the other hand, is an anonymous blogger doing a volunteer, thankless job for years on end which takes many hours upon hours of work on behalf of the klal, with no public recognition, no kavod, and no power.

          You have entered this issue with no information and baseless accusations. You seem determined to discredit him even though you do not know the underlying, private facts of the case.

          By all means, start your own blog on this sensitive topic and then see how easy it is to balance the interests of the victims when they conflict with the public interest. But before you do that, ask the Rabbanim who have and had the power to effect real change regarding Pogrow (such as a signed public proclamation), why they waited so long to act?

          • Just to clarify, within the limits of the situation of a victim survivor, I promote and support reporting to the civil authorities and others able to stop abusers. Reporting to rabbonim is sometimes the only option when specific crimes are not prosecutable for all sorts of reasons (e.g., SOLs, crimes committed in other jurisdictions, technicalities, etc). In some cases, I have and do use my blog to expose abusers. That also has limits. I also must have enough information and confirmation to be confident about my reported details and must be able to defend myself if sued.

            I am open to further discussion of this complicated issue but not if the demand is that I break confidences. Furthermore, I am not open to responding to simple, mindless repetition of the same points. But if reactions and criticisms usefully raise new points, they deserve an airing and discussion.

            I wish fighting abuse were simpler. I wish I did not have to blog to fight cover-ups because they just wouldn’t happen. I wish the orthodox world had a simple consistent response to all reported abuse: go to the authorities, cooperate with them, and support the victim who is brave enough to report it.

            But that is not our situation at present. So I will keep navigating the treacherous shoals created by the community’s leadership, hopefully with good judgment and to good effect.

      • The Litvish world knew for many years about Pogrow’s behavior but did not let it known for quite some time, When he came to Lubavitch he spoke about his great success in the Litvish world and that now he was branching out into the chassidisch world.
        Per Chabad people in the know, it took about a year until they learned the emes of his nivul, amongst litvish world which was well known amongst livshes who did what, exactly? well nothing, did they publish it in voz iz nieas? but
        NOT, so everyone else was guilty, , bs,
        covering up one’s menuvalim sooner or later the charah hits the fan,
        and then when finally opened up, he was let go from chabad,
        Ship the menuvalim to israel or australia or new zealand,
        I’m sure that some will not agree with the chabad story, but one thing is certain, this POS did not start his evil behavior at Chabad,
        Can someone bring proof that chabad knew???
        please, give dates and details.

    • After pious talk about being constructive you engage in outrageous allegations about my negligence. JCW, Magen in Israel, and many other activists shared information about Pogrow, in ways designed to remove him, but for a variety of reasons, which are often understood, we were not free to act in any decisive ways. Ask JCW to explain to you that not every case of an abuser can be exposed.

    • It scares you?
      Doesn’t it scare you more that these Rabbonim had people complaining to them for years about Pogrow (see Lopin’s newest post) and they did nothing about it until now?
      Choose your words wisely. Instead of pointing the finger at YL, maybe point it at the ridiculously twisted system who would have ignored anything YL said to them in regards to abuse coming from a rabbi figure.
      Think a little before you post.

      • Relax. We are not comparing who is worse. If one is twisted it doesnt make the other automatically straight. Shainson may sound a little arrogant but on the surface he seems to have a legitimate question. If sites tht do great work always tell us the importance of letting people know about abusers he was only asking why it wasn’t done so. His question can be taken to allude to some double standard or as an honest question. Either way you can either trust the answer from FF like you obviously do or insist that it sounds like rabbi double talk of just trust me on this one. In my opinion FF has proven himself overtime to be a champion of survivors so although it does sound a little weird how no one was able to share publicly about someone like this I do believe him that he wasn’t able to share.

        • Clearly you don’t understand my response. There’s no “comparing who’s worse” in any of this. Shainson’s comment showed a clear cut view of how little he/she knows of the system. He/She said the words “I find it scary” when referencing Lopin. Those were certainly offensive choices of words to use.
          Shainson (and Arthur, for that matter), instead of discussing hypothetical talk here, why don’t you simply call YL. He has always been open to talking to people over the phone if they need explanations.
          PS- I happen to have spoken to him tonight and know a little more details instead of just running to conclusions. Sexual abuse is a sensitive case. If you want an answer to your legitimate question, Shainson (which was more of an accusation, let’s be real), then contact YL.

          • I’ll repeat my opening word. Relax. I believe we are on the same side here. Nevertheless if you feel it’s a legit question then ff could have answered more than just he couldn’t. Which leads me to think that if random Arthur wants to speak to him he would not risk losing his anonymity to speak to him.

            • I fear too much is being promised on my behalf. One of the factors that gets in the way of answering is respecting the confidentiality of victims/survivors who confide in me.

            • I will not break confidences to get someone to stop accusing me. I believe my record speaks for itself. TruthSpeaker can confirm that there were things as a witness (not victim/survivor) she shared with me that were harmful to the reputation of elimelech Meisels, that were not shared publicly for a while, out of respect for her situation.

            • YL does not force people to lose their anonymity when speaking to him. Instead of repeating the word “relax”, understand that sex abuse (like I said above) is a complicated matter. See YL’s response to you. Maybe you can figure out why he chose to keep this under the radar. Seriously, be proactive and talk to people instead of just writing back and forth on a blog. Good luck

        • am in total agreement,
          not sure if i am able to get more specific details from chabad specifically as to why it took them either so long to learn or so long to process before letting him go, Not sure if there is a point to this, but i might possibly be able to get better answers, if i push,, but i tend to agree completely with YL,
          yup, a groupie,

  5. Reblogged this on LOSTMESSIAH and commented:

    LM had written up an article on Rabbi Pogrow. We had been provided with significant information, including a copy of the Beit Din from the Rabbinical Court in Israel. We also noted that the Teudat Zehut Number (the Israeli Identification Number) is one that is granted to New Olim or new citizens of Israel. We had planned an extensive article based upon the information we had obtained. We could not have done the article justice so we are relying on Frum Follies for their eloquence. The story needed to be told and they did far greater justice to the story than we could have ever even contemplated. Thank you to those who provided us with information also.

  6. Am I correct that this is the first unequivocal Charedi ban on an abuser? Meisels for example seemed to get a mixed review – many hesitant to condemn him. Was that because what he did to women was less severe, or because he was (is?) still living with his wife?

  7. this guy was smeling for years like kolko, mondrowitz, oberlander, rosenblatt , weingarten, when there is smoke there is fire, when there is a lot of smoke its a big fire, but people like bodenhiemer who were in chinuch for 45 years with never a peep and u are ready to belive anything and publish anything shame on you , when u could have been telling people about pogrow you were silent and instead you were posting about a falsly accused guy with an impeckable reputation,

    • Gavriel Boednheimer pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a child. He had well paid legal assistance. He is not innocent. The lucky guy avoided doing jail time and you want me to feel sorry for him.

      • He just did not want to go to trial, as many in the frum community feel they will get a guaranteed conviction even with the most well paid defense. He was strongly urged to take a plea by family friends and askonim . b”h he did a butifull shiduch for his youngest child not long after. I have not met 1 person who believed the charges besides y.l. even the prosecutor was not very convinced

        • It is not true that a frum Jew cannot get an acquittal. It is illegal for a prosecutor to press charges if they believe the defendant is innocent. If you have proof that the prosecutor believed that you can get him disbarred.

          What is true is that it is insane for a prosecutor to prosecute an innocent Haredi in Monsey.It costs him in votes. The opposite is true. In Rockland County and in Brooklyn, Haredi defendants get such sweet plea bargains that non-Jews takeh say, “higdil hashem laasos imanu.” Like every other Haredi defendant I know of he was out on bail pending trial and he had enough money to pay a lawyer to mount a good defense.

          It is sad fact that most of the frum world has so little interest in sex abuse that such misbehavior doesn’t affect shiduchim. In Monsey, Leib Tropper still gets kibudim in shul even though he was exposed on video having sex in a threesome with his wife and another woman. Additionally he was caught on tape extorting sex from a woman studying for geirus as a condition for his beis din approving her conversion. If Tropper can still get kibudim, a shidduch for Bodenheimer’s child proves nothing. In Monsey you lose shiduchim for drinking stam cholov, not for sex abuse.

        • It is not true that a frum Jew cannot get an acquittal. It is illegal for a prosecutor to press charges if they believe the defendant is innocent. If you have proof that the prosecutor believed that you can get him disbarred.

          What is true is that it is insane for a prosecutor to prosecute an innocent Haredi in Monsey.It costs him in votes. The opposite is true. In Rockland County and in Brooklyn, Haredi defendants get such sweet plea bargains that non-Jews takeh say, “higdil hashem laaso imanu.” Like every other Haredi defendant I know of he was out on bail pending trial and he had enough money to pay a lawyer to mount a good defense.

          It is sad fact that most of the frum world has so little interest in sex abuse that such misbehavior doesn’t affect shiduchim. In Monsey, Leib Tropper still gets kibudim in shul even though he was exposed on video having sex in a threesome with his wife and another woman. Additionally he was caught on tape extorting sex from a woman studying for geirus as a condition for his beis din approving her conversion. If Tropper can still get kibudim, a shidduch for Bodenheimer’s child proves nothing. In Monsey you lose shiduchim for drinking stam cholov, not for sex abuse.

      • Yerachmiel, read the guilty plea deal. He NEVER pled to sexual abuse of any kind. he pled guilty to slapping him. He slapped us plenty, but we all know that he is NOT guilty of sexual abuse. Talk to any of us alum. We may hate him but the sex abuse stuff is bs. shame on you for locking in on a lie. It makes all you do stink.

        • This comment by you properly belongs on my posts about Bodenheimer’s plea, not here. But since your raised it, I will respond briefly here, this once.

          Yes, Bodenheimer’s plea was to the charge of child endangerment. However, while entering his plea he was required to specify the acts to which he was pleading and his statement including acknowledging sexual abuse.

          See http://www.lohud.com/story/news/crime/2015/11/04/rabbi-bodenheimer-sex-offender-probation/75111582/

          I had an email exchange at the time with the reporter who wrote that article and was in the court room. He confirmed the admission of sexual abuse.

          the terms of probation also make it clear that he was a sex offender.

          The fact that he beat kids does not prove he did not also anally assault this one over a period of a year (per indictment). In fact, a principal who beat kids would have had an easier time intimidating them into silence.

          See my reply to the idea that he should only be seen as phycially abusive and thus not sexually abusive Monsey Rabbis Declare: Bodenheimer Is Not Zimri – SATIRE

          • nothing in that article talks about admitting to sexual abuse. shocking that you buy the reporters word that she never printed because she would be sued.

          • I searched sex offender registry in nys I did not find him
            NO SANE JUDGE LETS A GUY WHO HE BELIEVED GUILTY TO PLEAD GUILTY WITH OUT A STIPULATION REQUIREING REGISTARATION WITH THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY
            also the fact that there was no civil suit after the guilty plea is also very telling

  8. Some of the “signers” of the warning letter and Psak Beis Din are quite guilty here as well. Malinowitz and Kornfeld have known about Pogrow for many years and chose to either defend him or ignore the issue. Both of these Torah “scholars” are of the sweep it under the carpet rule and have many offenses to answer for. They even established their own abuse organization so as to have control over reported cases.
    They, like Pogrow, are a symptom of making Torah and Judaism out of men, rather than the opposite.
    I hope that their and other communities wake up before more such travesties occur.

  9. Various commentators have asked the question why YL and others who were aware of the accusations against Pogrow didn’t go public earlier. This goes to the heart of the problem of responding to accusations of abuse, particularly in the Orthodox community. When a victim comes forward with his or her story to an advocate, blogger or organization he or she trusts they give her support. If the abuse is criminal they encourage the victim to go to the authorities who are trained to investigate the accusation. Most often the victim is not ready to do so.
    Conducting any kind of investigation is difficult. When reports of other victims are made the victims are unwilling to testify. Even the victims who came forward are rarely prepared to directly confront the abuser. Institutions where the abuser had works don’t cooperate or claim that the accused left for a different reason.
    Going public without any corroboration is counter productive. In the
    Pogrow case only after many years and his wife receiving a get was the Beis din prepared to conduct a full investigation and publicly denounce him. Their statement had credibility because it came after a process wher many reports were made and the abuser was given a chance to testify. In the Meisels case even though the victims went to a known Beis Din and he made a partial confession,matters became muddled and much of the community thinks that he is innocent.
    Only a change of mentality in the community will make it possible for victims to come forward and an accepted process to be created for accusations to be investigated; then abusers will be held responsible for their actions.

    • If people are thinking meisels is totally innocent, you can thank Eidensohn for that. He attacked the beis din involved claiming all sorts of stuff against them and made it sound that meisels didn’t really do anything and he had backing from the same beis din that is now going after pogrow. Part of this beis din attacked Rav Feldman and many other Rabonim who disagree with them. I won’t rehash all the details but there is something suspicious in my eyes when Eidensohn attacks somebody and has a certain Rav backing him and his relatives. I’m sure YL can fill in the details and follow the trail better then I can.

  10. Do you know for certain that Michlalah, Aish and any other employers not specified, were definitely aware and chose to remain silent? How much did they know at that stage (several years ago)? Thank you

  11. Can someone please explain why Rebbetzin Pogrow needed to have her Get before the Beis Din felt ready to conduct an investigatin then publicly denounce Rabbi Meir Pogrow? Has he or will he be tried in a Criminal Court? What kind of punishment is it for people to stop listening to his shiurim, or not having direct contact with him? That is just a slap on the wrist.

    We need to create a culture where victims go directly to Law Enforcement authorities instead of Rabbanim who still perpetuate, wrongly, that it is a shonda to publicize/accuse abusers.

    May every victim of abuse have complete mental and physical recovery, survive, and thrive.

    May all the perpetrators be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

    Kudos to those who pursue Justice.

    • You are asking a very good question about timing. I wondered the same myself. Malinowitz is a devious, and not very honest player, so it is hard to know what his game was or is.

      • Yerachmiel,

        Your important work is greatly appreciated.

        Your comment in this post is troubling.

        As Rabbi Malinowitz signed the letter re: Pogrow, if someone wants to come forward to a Rabbinical authority regarding abuse, are you advising or suggesting that they not approach Rabbi Malinowitz?

        This would be a VERY important point for someone who is preparing to open up regarding their own wounds in order to help prevent others from similar abuse.

        Thanking you in advance for your public service,

        Red

        • In Israel I would suggest they contact Magen. Rabbi Malinowitz has a track record of refusing to listen to witnesses who don’t suit his agenda. See comment by TruthSeeker.

  12. Doris Jaffe,
    First, thank you for your comment,
    Next,
    There is hope and there is prayer, but,
    quoting you and this is not an attack , not at all in any way, you wrote ”
    may every victim of abuse have compete mental and physical recovery, and survive and thrive. NICE.
    And I am on your side,
    first of all, nothing is EVER ERASED FROM THE BRAIN<, NOTHING EVER”,
    Some of the survivors are, for whatever reasons, more resiliant that others,
    very difficult to compare side my side the extent of the abuse,:
    duration, perpetrators’s relationship to survivors, extent if any of violence, well, i have a list of 50 or so, all of which would influence outcomes, ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL.
    BUT WE ARE NOT ALL EQUAL ARE WE???
    Some people i know seem to have survived far better than most, why>
    elohim yodeah, Statistically does not seem to be an inyan of degree of molestation, nor personage,
    nor ,,,,,,nor.,,,,nor.,,,,
    Fact of the matter is, if the external objective observer were to pay attention, some were not so very badly abused, and yet,,,,,
    and maybe not then, and maybe a decade or more ater or several decades,
    and the effect may have ramifications far far beyond your worst nightmares.
    otoh, most of the survivors life may have been, or seemed perfectly normal.

    NOTHING IS EVERY ERASED FROM THE BRAIN,
    A NEW AND EXCITING FIELD, EPIGENETICS IS OF GREAT INTEREST,
    ISRAELI RESEARCHER,

    LOL, why, please, elohim? bichlal?
    PLEASE STAY TUNED……
    ONE MORE

    • Please have Rabbi Rubin Rabbi ostrov Rabbi Moshe shternbuch Rabbi perlow the novominsker rabbi revson sign a letter against Efraim Becker who signed he will not see women in 2008 and still does. You put out his letter. He abuses and mind controlled quite a few women that some of these rabbis included Dr levit and his daughter sharon Slater have first hand testimony. It has been taking too long. Longer than the pogrow story. Also Tzvi feuer was thrown out of Beit Shemesh out of maaleh adumim and now out of Lakewood another charismatic mind control monster. Please have this publicized about these reshaim.

  13. People must know if you come forward you are not at all a “moiser”
    You are doing a mitzva saving innocent souls and preventing further abuse!
    “Lo Sa’amod al dam reyecha!”

  14. Why are women and girls (from now on I will say women, but I mean young and old, married and single) not taught the laws of yichud and negiah? It is doubtful that many of these molesters would try their shenanigans if there were other people present.

    My wife attended, one time each, shiurim given by two men who “counsel” women. This counselling takes place in a situation of yichud. I told her not to go to those rabbis ever. A mature, white bearded rabbi saw my wife at a bus stop and asked why she doesn’t come to his shiurim any more. Another “rabbi” to be avoided.

    It may be permissible for a rabbi to touch a woman other than his wife to stop dangerous bleeding, to save her from drowning, or a few other very rare circumstances, but certainly not in the course of counselling or answering halachic sh’eilos.

    Men should not be “mentoring” women at all. They should not be developing intimate relations (physical, spiritual or otherwise) with women.

    If a man, rabbi, teacher, friend, acquaintance or stranger invites, convinces, cajoles or tries to induce a woman to enter into a situation of yichud, it is time for her to run away, or at least leave quickly and to have nothing further to do with this man.

    If a man comes too close to her, even without touching (yet), it is time for her to leave. If he does touch her, it is time for her to scream and run away.

    Now for a couple of the details of yichud:

    It is not considered yichud if there is a door open to a public place. Some claim that it is adequate if the door is unlocked, even if it is not actually open. Another heter is the heter of “her husband is in town”.

    Let us not be sticklers for the strict legal boundaries here, let us consider the intention of the halacha.

    In a NY or Jerusalem apartment building, religious Jews do not walk down the hall trying door knobs and entering if the apartment is unlocked. Even if the outer door is gaping open, the most that is likely to happen is that someone will call in to remind the householder that the door is open. The possibility that someone may knock and seek admission (whether the door is locked or not) is certainly no deterrent.

    If a woman’s husband is in town, according to some this is a heter even in a big town where he is an hour away. But as a practical matter, if he doesn’t know where she is, is not expecting her to come home for a while (or in the case of a stupid husband, he actually knows that she is going for a private session with some “rabbi”) what deterrence is the fact that her husband is in town?

    Another issue is the case of the doctor. We are told that the doctor is “tarud b’melachto”. He is so busy thinking about the medcal issues and treatment that he is totally not considering the woman before him as a woman. We are told this even if she has to remove her clothes and the doctor has to touch or insert his fingers into a woman’s intimate parts. Women not only go to male doctors for life threatening situations, they go for minor maladies, routine checkups and things which are totally elective. Some women even go to male fertility doctors to be artificially inseminated.

    I am not here arguing the strict halacha (on which there may be diverse opinions) but a simple google search will show hundreds if not thousands of cases of doctors who took time from their busy tarud b’melachto to abuse their patients sexually.

    Therefore, wherever practical, women should only go to women doctors. Where not practical, they should bring a husband or woman friend along with them who will be in the examination room. If the doctor doesn’t allow this, it is time for a different doctor.

    I think that this is especially so in the case of gynecologists. Remember, there is a reason that he chose to be a gynecologist, and it might not be just that they make lots of money.

    There are people who go further. They justify women appearing in their bathing suits in front of male lifeguards, because they are tarud b’melachto. And not just lifeguards. The guy selling the ice cream and the guy renting out the chairs is also often a man, even at the so called women’s only beaches of Israel. In Israel, the law is that the lifeguard at the ocean must be a man.

    If women feel that they need to go to the beach where there is a male lifeguard or other worker, they a bathing suit is not adequate cover. They must be covered at the very least from knees to neck and down to the elbows.

    There are even so called rabbis who extend the tarud b’melachto concept to gym coaches: https://www.ou.org/life/health/physical-health/working-out-in-a-skirt-i-kind-of-disagree/

    That is ridiculous.

    Young women/girls do not always know what the intentions of the predator are. Especially in hareidi circles, girls (i.e. unmarried females) are kept ignorant of basic concepts of procreation and male desires. They do not always know why the “rabbi” or other man is trying to touch them. I spoke to a few educators about this. They wanted the girls to retain their “innocence”. I think that they will retain their innocence better and longer if they are not subjected to sexual abuse.

    In conclusion:

    Girls and women need to be told/taught to scream and to run in certain circumstances. They need to learn about and be very machmir about yichud. They need to be told what to look out for and how to respond to it.

    • Seichel is the key in both knowing when and who to trust and who not to. Piling up chumros is not the solution. Are children any safer because of heightened demands about tznius? What difference does it make if skirts are longer when dealing with someone who lifts a skirt?

      There is a lot to be said for women seeing female doctors, but I take exception to casting aspersions on the motives of doctors as a group. It is also now common practice for male doctors to have a nurse present during gynecological exams.

  15. Am I pointing out the obvious when I say that Pogrow went to Beis Mikroh and we have a potential cycle of abuse situation. If not direct abuse then exposure to abusive chinuch behavior. It reminds me of the Chazon Ish’s comment in Emunah Ubitachon that a mechanech has to realize that “angry and forceful” chinuch even if it seems like it brings results, it also teaches people to act that way, and is pasul

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  17. A few points:

    I personally know that Rav Malinowitz encourages victims to report to the police… But, in order for the police to take action you need more VICTIMS. It’s VERY hard for victims to come forward and that’s why the situation is not moving forward, legally. Nothing to do with the Rabbis.
    The law in Israel stating that Rabbis, Priests etc. who sexually abuse, assault etc. their followers – receive three years in jail, was only passed in March, 2016 and is not applicable for cases that “exploded” before that date.
    Rabbi Malinowitz is NOT the Rabbi of Eish Kodesh (wich Pogrow belongs to). He is the Rabbi of Beis Tefilla and Pogrow had nothing to do with Beis Tefillah shul for years already!

    Please make sure your information is accurate before posting.

    • Wrong. Police will investigate and prosecutors will press charges on basis of one victim. Harder but it is done.

      I have corrected the shul reference.

      Malinowitz has been known to obstruct reporting. No one knows of a single case where he facilitated and defended reporting. Maybe he is a tzadik nistar, but he is a bit too much of a power monger and extrovert for me to believe it.

      BTW, if you can show me a public document of R Malinowitz where he encourages reporting directly to the police, I will be glad to post it.

      it could be worth a fortune to collectors like a pair of tefilin worn by Theodor Herzl.

  18. This is an absolute tragedy for his victims and for klal yisroel. I debated even posting this because my writing on this blog goes against what I am about to say. But it must be said so here it goes. I don’t know this guy or if he has kids but outing him publicly like this is a crime against his family which is probably, assumedly, almost as devastated has his victims. This guy should be in prison or in a mental health ward if the allegations are indeed true – but why should his family suffer the busha, the ostracism, the stigma that comes with being related to this sick individual? There has to be a better way of exacting justice than flashing his name all over the place – doesn’t that create even more innocent victims of his crime? Even if people think he deserves all of the suffering that goes along with what he did – does that mean his family deserves it? Just food for thought. Being dan l’caf zechus on the beis din, maybe they did try every other method and this was a last resort – I don’t mean to question das Torah – just want to understand the rationale for a public ruling about such an explosive topic. And no – I am not suggesting that we bury this – just saying that possibly ruining the shidduchim of his innocent family will not restore the innocence lost to the victims.

    • Meir Pogrow is a dangerous man who manipulates and destroys unsuspecting women. There is no way to expose him without hurting his family. It is the community that should be shamed for punishing his innocent family members because of his misconduct.

      I don’t believe in using yichus to evaluate the suitability of relatives. But if you really believe it, then this is the inevitable consequence. Otherwise yichus rating becomes something based on lies.

      • YL,
        excuse me, i am posting this comment here, and not after one of two MF posts, and i thank that poster for his info re the conference,
        No one finds MF more despicable than I,
        he changed my life,

        However, i just wanted to add/interject one comment.
        As the prior commentor has written extensively,
        MF went over the top in his “meeting” with group of psychologists,
        Somehow, the media seized on his comment comparing sexual abuse to diarrhea, that is not exactly what was said, but unimportant,

        For anyone who watched and listened, the diarrhea comment was pressworthy, but far less shocking than the following, and i am amazed and have been since MF changed my life:
        Kacha:
        In the video, talking to Jewish psychologists, MF RELATES, AND YES, BOASTS, RE WHAT HE TOLD TO A YOUNG JEWISH LADY. PLEASE NOTE PAY ATTN AND FORGIVE THE CAPS
        ok, MF RELATES WITH GA’AVA, HOW HE COUNSELED A YOUNG LADY IN HER 20’S WHO SOUGHT HIM OUT, she had been abused as a youngster, and could not trust men, and told him that , that she could never marry,
        and our STAR told her, per his words, of which he was super proud, MF TOLD THIS YOUNG LADY, WHO WENT TO HIM FOR HELP, ONE MUST CONCLUDE, , HE SAID, PER HIS OWN WORDS AND I THINK THIS IS EXACT QUOTE BUT TIME HAS PASSED, HE RESPONDED TO HER, “WHAT? ARE YOU SO HOLY THAT NO ONE CAN TOUCH YOU?”
        ENOUGH, NO??
        MAY MF ROT, YSZ,
        BUT HE CONTINUED SOMETHING ABOUT OUR ANCESTORS IN RUSSia, pogroms etc.
        but i wander.

        imho the diarrhea comment pales in comparison to his comment which i have quoted above,

        Not only has chabad not excommunicated him, they continue to promote him as speaker at one and all chabad events, he brings in money,
        simple,

        If one has contacts, there are multiple highly esteemed chabad rabbis who find this anathema, but, as one said to me on the phone, “we don’t always get to choose with whom we share a bima”,
        It is hideous and disgusted that MF IS still out there, as a chabad guru,
        one of the lamed vovnikim, oy va voy, chas v’shalom
        If chabad had any integrity, (and who is chabad today, krinsky, kotlarsky, etc etc etc, none of them have yechus, wrong shtetl, wrong yeshiva
        lo chashuv,
        if one chabad rabbi with beitsim would stand up, and say, dai, maspik, we don’t want Jews to see MF AS CHABAD, OY, CHAS V’SHALOM

        WELL, AS CHABAD IS ORGANIZED I HAVE NO CLUE,
        WHO AND HOW AND WHY THIS MIGHT OCCUR IN FUTURE,
        BUT, BUT, STAM, L’DUGMA,
        LONG ISLAND NY HAS OVER 50 CHABAD HOUSES, FIRST ONE I BELIEVE OPENED BY rabbi tuvia teldon and his amazing wife, chaya,
        so now, it seems that he might be head over all of LI and seviva?
        at least 50 chabad rabbanim, i happen to know a few, , would any of them have the beitsim to step up to the plate, and sign a document that tuvia teldon would have to initiate,

        We, the undersigned, do not agree with, concord with, much or all of the preachings of MANIS FREEDMAN, AND NO LONGER CONSIDER HIM A REPRESENTATIVE OF CHABAD,

        is that possible, hey, i personally know 3 or 4 chabad rabbis, some better than others, my feeling is that, they would rejoice, but no one has the guts,
        oh my, the guts, oh, more than 4, another couple of chabad rabbis who’s wives i unintentially upset when i called and made my anti MF plea. Some took it wrong as a personal attack,

        too long comment,
        main idea is that MF’S MOST HIDEOUS COMMENT WAS NOT RE DIARREA BUT RATHER THE COMMENT “WHAT , ARE YOU TOO HOLY FOR ANYONE TO TOUCH YOU”.

        PLEASE, I REST MY CASE,

        MF IS A SCOURGE ON CHABAD, HE MUST BE ANNIHILIATED, REMOVED,
        IF ONE IS IN ANY CASE ANTI CHABAD, THIS SHOULD NOT MATTER, BUT FOR THOSE WHO WOULD HOPE TO SEE A NEW LIGHT??

        MF MUST BE EXCOMMUNICATED .
        CHABAD GOES ON PROMOTING HIM SINCE HE BRINGS IN AUDIENCES, THE MONEY,
        SOME, I HAVE SPOKEN TO, SOME REBBEIM ARE APPALLED BUT WHO WOULD SPEAK OUT,
        BAD ENOUGH THAT RE CSA ALL ARE TERRIFIED RE SHIDDUCHIM, THIS IS FAR LESS URGENT, AND EVEN RE CSA, VERY VERY VERY FEW WILL SPEAK UP,
        HEY IF YOU HAVE 13 KIDS TO MARRY OFF, WILL YOU ENDANGER THAT BY ATTACKING MF, CERTAINLY NOT, NOT EVEN TO SAVE THE SOULS AND LIVES OF HUNDREDS OF CHABAD PREPUBESCENT BOYS WHO ARE ABUSED EVERY YEAR.
        SHEESH, I REST MY CASE,
        NOT ON FB, AND WILL NOT BE, SO FEW WILL INTERACT WITH THESE IDEAS,
        SO BE IT,

    • This is called oy l’rasha, oy l’sh’cheino. Perhaps it would be better to dump him in a pit from which he can’t escape, but in today’s world, people very seldom deal with a rodeph according to what is fully necessary.

      The greatest good for the greatest number dictates that the public be informed.

      It maay be sad for his family, but that does not justify one more innocent girl being preyed upon or one more eishes ish being destroyed.

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