Barry Freundel Issues Public Apology

Unlike his lame apology at sentencing for mikveh voyeurism, this has the ring of truth. It is of course hard to know how sincere it is vs how much it is just an attempt to regain at least some of his old connections.

I suspect we never would have gotten it before his heavy sentence and the victim statements made at his sentencing, something he acknowledges in his apology. I leave it to his victims to decide whether they either believe he is sincere or want to accept it.

See the full text of the apology in the Washington Jewish Week.

I would appreciate the reactions of readers and his victims to this apology.

Meisels’ Staff Could Learn Menschlichkeit From Oregon State University

Petition for seminary apology for MeiselsIn 1998 Brenda Tracy was gang raped by Oregon State University (OSU) athletes. She reported her assault to the police and cooperated with them. The police gathered enough evidence to charge defendants. But Brenda then lacked the emotional strength to follow through on prosecution.

Now she has come forward, sharing her identity and story. She was heartened by the belated response of OSU and the coach of the team. Ms Tracy  is willing to do public talks to the football team and others at the university.

OSU President Edward J. Ray issued the following statement of apology:

I learned the details regarding this assault on Friday. Apparently, statements were taken from Ms. Tracy and the suspects, two of whom were on the Oregon State University football team at the time.

We are told that law enforcement officials in 1998 were not able to bring criminal charges because Ms. Tracy did not wish to participate in a prosecution.

OSU cannot control the criminal justice system, but I have asked university staff to obtain the police reports for the case and to determine if there are any actions we can take now under OSU’s code of student conduct. There may be no formal course of action available to us but we must try. While legal minds could no doubt explain how it makes sense to have a statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes, I find that appalling. Hopefully, justice delayed is not justice entirely denied in this case.   We are currently trying to get the facts regarding OSU’s handling of this matter in 1998, including what efforts were made then to reach out to Ms. Tracy to help her deal with the terrible physical and emotional harm she suffered. If a case of this nature was reported to the university today, OSU’s Office of Equity and Inclusion would work to stop the sexual misconduct, assist the survivor and prevent a recurrence.

Ms. Tracy’s journey has been simultaneously heart-breaking and inspiring because of her own capacity to reclaim her sense of self-worth and pursue her education so that she can help others through her work as a nurse.

There is no statute of limitations on compassion or basic human decency. I understand that Mike Riley, who was our football coach at the time, has offered to meet with Ms. Tracy and would like to have her speak with the football team if she wishes to do so. The immediate response from us to Ms. Tracy is to ask how we can help her address the effects of this violence. It is our hope that any role she is willing and interested in pursuing to help educate our community on the horrors of sexual assault by sharing her story could bring some healing.

This would be of great interest to us, but only if it is helpful to Ms. Tracy in continuing to deal with all that she has suffered.

We cannot undo this nightmare. I personally apologize to Ms. Tracy for any failure on our part in 1998 in not helping her through this terrible ordeal. This is a moment from which each of us can learn. But it is mostly a moment for us to help Ms. Tracy heal.

Elimelech Meisels

Elimelech Meisels

As Jews who teach about teshuva (repentance), the staff of the Meisels seminaries should also have apologized. Instead they pervert the meaning of teshuva by thinking it is enough that Meisels entered therapy. The seminary staff preach midos (ethical conduct) while OSU just demonstrated them in practice. They preach emes (truth) but they are telling lies to their alumni denying Meisel’s abuse and their culpability for knowing about his misconduct and doing nothing.

Because they didn’t step up to the plate, a petition appealing to them to apologize was posted and submitted by TruthSeeker.  I hope they come to their senses though I doubt they will. My remaining hope is that most of the administrators and others are fired soon. If that doesn’t happen, I hope the school goes bankrupt. Other seminaries will take up the slack and will be mindful of the risks of ignoring abuse.

Update on Call for Apologies from Staff of Meisels for Ignoring his Sex Abuse of Students

Michal Ben Baruch (aka TruthSeeker) informs me that the petition was closed and over 162 names were sent off with the petition to the office of the seminaries. I do not know how they will respond, but a message was broadcast that others expect an apology. The signers came from around the globe with addresses in Israel, France, the UK, Canada, the US and Australia, among others. The American signers came from Brooklyn, Lakewood, Monsey, Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Miami among the many places with larger orthodox communities.

I hope they apologize, though I fear most of those staff still lie and deny their culpability. They seem to still claim there was no way they could have known anything was going on though a number of victims and other students have testified that they informed staff of suspicious patterns and behavior by Meisels clearly out of line with both professional relationships with students and orthodox standards of modesty. Mrs. Soloff saw girls coming and going with him for long van rides long after curfew. Rabbis Kahane, Simon and Mrs. Soloff, and others were told about these things.

Even if we believe no one said anything or they did not believe it, how could they deny what they could see with their own eyes?

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Schnitzler Expressed No Remorse Over Bleach Assault in Pre-Sentencing Letter

Meilech Schnitzler

Meilech Schnitzler

Meilech Schnitzler got the deal of a lifetime. He assaulted Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg by throwing a cup of bleach into his eyes. But for helpful bystanders who helped douse Rosenberg’s face with water, Rosenberg might be blind. Schnitzler got off without spending a day in jail, even though he pleaded guilty. At his sentencing today (6/18/14), According to DNAInfo, Judge Joseph Gubbay said

He didn’t “see remorse” in the man’s confession letter.

“Were you sorry?” Judge Joseph E. Gubbay asked Meilech Schnitzler, who nearly blinded Rabbi Numech Rosenberg in December 2012 when he hurled a cup of bleach into his face in what Rosenberg called an attempt to silence him from defending sex-assault victims in the Orthodox community. “The facts are very Continue reading