13 thoughts on “Article Removed Due to Not Meeting Journalistic Standards

  1. All those who work in the field of prevention of child abuse or sexual abuse are aware of the fact that unless the victims are willing to come forward to the police and have them prosecute the predator, there is not much that Rabbonim, lay leaders, mental health professionals or anyone can do to publicize the names of the villains. These evil people fight back and will sue alleging liable and defamation. Usually pedophiles and molesters are charismatic, powerful, cunning and brilliant; often with a huge following of admirers and people who respect and love them and cannot or will not believe that they are sociopaths. That is how they are able to seduce their vulnerable victims. They are also very very careful to choose victims who do not have a strong network of support (and therefore will most likely not be believed).

    I’m not “chos ve’sholom” blaming the survivors of abuse for not coming forward. They fear that they will not be believed when accusing a person of stature of a horrendous crime. They certainly do not want to be labeled as victims of abuse for the rest of their lives, and if the perpetrator was a family member, the entire family will also be ruined. (Look at what happened to the Kolko family.) They also can and likely will be sued by the predator in Beis Din or the secular courts for defamation. Just look at what happened to Rabbi Yakov Horowitz of Project YES, who is being sued in Israel for liable by a Level 3 Child Molester, for warning parents of his presence in their community.

    It would be great if there was a solution to this problem. But when people come forward anonymously (and wishing to continue to remain anonymous) claiming that they are the victims of abuse, exactly what are these Rabbonim supposed to do? They aren’t detectives. They can whisper to their Mispallalim to warn them. But, if they come out publicly, they and their Shuls may end up being sued for everything they own.

    • Not every sexual assault is prosecutable for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with the truth of the claim.
      Independently of whether an assault is prosecutable, many victims, both secular and religious, just don’t want to go through the ordeal
      Since when can a shul be sued for removing someone for any of a number of reasons. Yeshivas and shuls kick out people all the time for all sorts of reasons and sometimes for no good reason.
      Publicly calling someone an abuser is indeed defamation and if the claim is false one can have to pay up. If true, truth is always a defense. Being sued is a hassle, but some hassles are the price of leadership.
      Years ago, a kosher agency removed an hashgachah and said the product in question was not kosher. They got sued and it cost them something. Ever since hasgachah agencies take the legally safer strategy of just saying “we no longer supervise,” or “we do not recommend…” Legal problem solved. No one has a legal right to be a member of a shul. All a rabbi has to do is say, “In my religious judgement he does not belong here.” US courts are especially unwilling to second guess religious judgments.

      This is all a long way of saying that we should not say that criminal prosecution is the only option and shuls are in terrible danger if they dare to act when they believe someone is a public hazard. And yeah, they should talk to their lawyers to figure out how to do while minimizing their risks.

      PS- Had Rabbi Horowitz consulted with lawyer, he could have done his Tweets differently and with way less legal exposure. For example, he wrote that Yona Weinberg “fled the US.” Weinberg claims it had nothing to do with fleeing. It was just normal aliya. I would have avoided the term fled and instead written: “Weinberg is a convicted sex offender. New allegations were brought to the NYPD by two boys. A warrant was issued to arrest him for allegedly harassing these boys after they made these charges. Within days he went to Israel, and because it is a misdemeanor he will not be extradited.” No use of the word fled. No inferences about his motives, just descriptions of the fact. No one can argue about the sequence. Any reasonable observer will infer he fled. But no legal liability, no complicated legal case. Of course he can still sue, but if he does he will be stuck with the lawyer bills for both sides and the defendant will have way less legal hassles getting that outcome.

  2. Sorry, I’m still not buying into this. True, I do respect him a lot, and I know him well.
    But, I know him well enough to also know that there is a group of people (Stoliners and others) that are out for blood. There is a reason that most Rabanim are still supporting him, it’s for this precise reason, because they know about the dirty politics surrounding this case.

    • Which rabbonim are still supporting him? It is my impression that many of his former supporters have gone mute.

      I am hearing allegations from people unrelated to Stolin.

  3. 1) You say: “Of course he can still sue, but if he does he will be stuck with the lawyer bills for both sides…” That is only if the Defendant can afford a lawyer to defend him and assert the truth and then win the case. Have personal knowledge of someone in such a situation — their legal bill was $250,000!!!! My understanding is they had to suck it up.

    2) Accusations of abuse need to be taken seriously. But if there are no victims coming forward, not a single one, only anonymous messages sent via email and social media that cannot be confirmed as real people, it is not EVIDENCE. And it is therefore wrong to repeat this gossip, which in this case is classic loshon hora — an attempt to destroy a person’s reputation, livelihood, standing in community. Has a single person of credibility been able to come forward and say I personally spoke to a victim and I believe what I was told?

    If not, what appears to be a witch hunt has ought to stop. It’s really wrong.SO far there has NOT BEEN A SINGLE RABBI OR LAYPERSON who has been able to state there are any victims.

    3) This is dangerous and it is way too easy to destroy a person with such grave accusations. I, myself, was once a victim of a Rabbi trying to protect a bais din’s wrongdoings, who went through all sorts of shenanigans to set up bogus emails, and emailing non-existent people, and then having them email me as if it was a whole conversation of numerous people. When in fact it was a lone person behind a single computer screen. As in all criminal matters, with time, the rabbi was eventually outed by others for his common habit of “sock puppetry.” Who would imagine a Rabbi, a law professor, a respectable dayan on a beis din, would go through all of that manipulation? And yet he did. A lesson never forgotten of the extent people will go to achieve their goals — whether for good or bad.

    The lesson is– listen and take serious an accusation of improper conduct, but don’t let “anonymous” boogeymen be the accusers.

    • There is a halachic concept of kolo delo passuk, a persistent, widespread allegation. Rabbi Bleich indeed has such a reputation based on statements by many females.

  4. YL,

    Based on statements of WHICH females?
    I understand that NO ONE has come forward.
    It’s a bunch of people saying they spoke to a bunch of people, not one real name is out therr.

  5. About 20 yrs ago I was at a sheva brachos for a baalat teshuva who was older. She was a counceler at a camp in Russia. Bleich was flirting with her at the sheva brachos and the chassan wanted to leave. The chassan was going nuts. Eventually around a, month later they got divorced. I then got a phone call from far Rockaway to find out if I knew anything about bleich because he started with a girl from far Rockaway in his Russian camp. But as usual everyone was scared to come forward. I see that every dog has his day and finally things are coming out

  6. Reading your posts in the last few months, It is my to my understanding that this case has brought forward many many cases. Like Yerachmiel says not everyone wants to testify. You mentioned that there are many Rabonim who are familiar with this case and have seen/heard first hand evidence but for their own interests will not cooperate and come out with some kind of a kol korah or anything the like that should be done to avoid anybody getting abused/raped in the future.

    HOW SAD!

    Will these so called rabonim be able to say
    ידינו לא שפכו את הדם הזה??

    RTK posts a story of Bleich in past playing around in his camp with girls, does anyone know if he is making this year a camp as well for girls? If so how can one let this happen?

    But the rabonim will not do a thing.

    To you Yerachmiel if you feel so strong about this case and it seems you have all the ins of what went on, why isn’t anything being done besides a post every here and there?

    Why not post the names of all the rabonim who know but are scared to do anything?

    And at the same time if nothing is actually true than why not close the case?

    • I publicize what I can without breaking promises of confidentiality to sources, exposing the identities of victims who are not willing to be identified, or risking legal liability when I know the facts but cannot get notarized affidavits from my sources.

      I also work hard, behind the scenes to increase my ability to tell the story or to otherwise help survivors and curb abusers.

  7. Avreich, you are basing what you say (many many?) on what you read hear? Rediculous, there has been no concrete proof here at all.

    YL,
    Do you know anything for a fact or is it based on a conversation with 1 or 2 individuals who have a vendetta against the Rav?

    I know for a fact that there is a Rov in Monsey who has had it in for Rabbi Bleich. He is the only one that I know of who is pushing this (outside of some micharcherei riv in Stolin). That Rov in Monsey is not kosher liedus for this case and hence that is why no other Rov in Monsey is willing to touch it.

    That is my understanding of what’s going on.

    To me the question is not Avreichs question, it’s why is YL believing that one Rov in Monsey or the Stoliners, both of which are not to be believed when it comes to Rabbi Bleich.

    PS I also reached out to 2 Rabanim in the European Conference (both are mid level Rabanim there, but I think they are in the know)
    And they each independenly told me that Rabbi Bleich was NOT asked to step down.

    • There are multiple rabbonim apart from Stolin and some of the shul rabbonim in his neighborhood who are absolutely convinced from multiple accounts that Bleich is a predator. These rabbonim include prominent gedolim in the Yeshivish world.

      Regarding the Conference of European Rabbis, either you or your source are fabricating facts. Bleich resigned rather than being kicked out. At their meeting in Antwerp in May the decision was shared and other rabbonim shared stories they had heard about his depravity. The leadership of the CER has the backing of their membership on the decision to not have him continue on in the CER.

      In spite of your utterly inaccurate claims, I thank you for coming here to comment. It helps me know how Bleich is trying to defend his soiled reputation. Your further updates will be welcomed and posted.

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