Winds of Change in Australia: Cover-Up Rabbi Telsner Resigns

Zvi Telsner

Zvi Telsner

Rabbi Tvi Telsner was finally forced to resign as head of Melbourne’s Yeshivah Centre. His misconduct over the years included helping accused molesters flee the country just ahead of the cops (e.g., Malka Leifer), threatening and shunning victims who went to the police, and orchestrating a barrage of abusive comments about victims who dared to go public with their charges.

ABC in Australia reports

Manny Waks, who went public in 2011 with allegations he was repeatedly sexual abused as a boy at Yeshivah College and accusations of a cover-up, said the rabbi was “at the heart” of the scandal, and said his position had been untenable for a long time.

“He has caused immense pain and suffering to the victims, to our families, but also to the broader Jewish community — not just to the Yeshivah community — because he has tainted all of us,” he said.

Zephaniah Waks and his son, Manny Waks

Zephaniah Waks and his son, Manny Waks

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Board Chair Liss who Protected Sauna-Bonding Rabbi Rosenblatt Is Accused of Inappropriate Conduct with Child

Dr. Donald Liss Board Chair, Riverdale Jewish Center

Dr. Donald Liss
Board Chair, Riverdale Jewish Center

Andrew (Andy) Blumenthal was a child in Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt’s Riverdale Jewish Center (RJC). According to Andy’s posting, during that time, Andy, from a less well-off family, was befriended and groomed by RJC member, Dr. Donald Liss, with home invitations, babysitting jobs, vacation invitations and a paid job in Liss’ hospital.

Dr.Liss repeatedly touched him, fawned over his developing muscles, orchestrated situations to be naked with him in a gym, and got naked before Andy while also in the presence of Mrs. Liss. Even as Andy got uncomfortable and tried to distance himself, Liss persistently tried to deepen and further the connection. Andy finally acted on his growing discomfort and terminated the connection. Yet Liss continued to pursue him for years. Whether or not this went still further, this is classic pedophile grooming and illegal as misdemeanor child endangerment, at a minimum.

Dr. Liss is now the Board Chair of the Riverdale Jewish Center. Together with President Samson Fine, he overrode the will of the majority of the board which voted 34-8 to buy out Rabbi Rosenblatt’s contract.  The majority sought the buyout to rid their synagogue of the scandal of Rosenblatt’s outrageous and persistent exploitation of his relationship to manipulate boys and young men to spend time with him while naked, all under the guise of bonding through sports. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

How Much Perjury at the Trial of Moshe Menachem Taubenfeld?

Testifying for the defense, Mr. Pachtman, principal of the boy’s Yeshiva in New Square stated that his school complies with NYS’s laws about reporting sex abuse. That should have set off guffawing in the courtroom among those who knew the culture of Skver. Skver, like other Hasidic groups does not believe in mesirah (snitching) to outside authorities in ways that could get one of their members criminally charged.

Yet defenders of Taubenfeld speak of how the testimony of the defense witnesses disproved the abuse claims of Laiby Stern. Continue reading

British Judge Explains 13-Year Sentence for Todros Grynhaus

Todros Grynhaus

Todros Grynhaus

The London Jewish Chronicle reports Mr Justice Timothy Holroyde’s explanation for the thirteen-year sentence he gave Todros Grynhaus

This was a refined degree of cruelty on your part. You knew what you were doing and you knew what harm you would cause. You are an utter hypocrite. You professed your religion whilst cynically condemning your victims to suffer and giving false evidence seeking to cast blame on them.

“I have no doubt that you felt able to rely on a prevailing attitude of insularity which you hoped would prevent these allegations from ever coming to the attention of the police. You hoped that, at worse, you might have to pay a form of financial penalty as directed at the Beth Din.

“You believed that the combination of the girls’ sexual ignorance and the attitudes of some within your community would make it even harder for your victims to complain about you, and you came close to getting away with it.

“Even when the allegations were reported to the police, I am afraid the evidence I have heard shows that many in your community were taken in by your lying protestations of innocence. Others will have to examine their own consciences, and should reflect that, but for the courage of your two victims, your serious crimes would have gone unpunished. Continue reading