Miss Chevi Garfinkel, Charismatic Teacher and Alleged Child Molester – Guest Post by Ariella Kay

Ariella Kay’s professional credentials and work history are in genomics and clinical research. However, she is passionate about the public health crises affecting her community. Ariella has been quietly observing sex abuse cases in the Jewish world since the Weberman Trial 2012. It wasn’t until 2016 she became a vocal activist, speaking out against institutions and askanim for covering up predators. In her free time she works for Zaakah and helps survivors seeking legal justice against their perpetrators. When she isn’t doing this she is spending time with her family and loved ones. You may reach her at ariella@zaakah.org or on Twitter @Ariella_Kay.

I met Miss Yocheved (Chevi) Garfinkel during my senior year at Bruriah High School. Part of my 12th grade curriculum included a hashkafa class taught by her. Aside from teaching, she was a featured speaker on school shabbatons. She was a celebrity. People would flock to hear her speak whether it was in person or live broadcast. I remember her being loud, passionate, emotional, and long. I wasn’t a fan of her fire and brimstone Ted-style talks. In 2014, I heard her speak at Brooklyn College’s Hillel Center and was still unimpressed with her intense mannerisms. I always felt something was the matter with ME for not being infatuated by her. 

In August 2021 Chevi was sued for the harm she caused to a then 11-year-old girl for allegedly molesting her, starting in 1994. The lawsuit was filed in Kings County Court against Yocheved (Chevi) Garfinkel, her father Abraham Garfinkel, Yeshiva R’Tzahd, Camp Sternberg, the camp’s parent organization, SHMA, LLC. (Sternberg, Heller and Magen Avraham), and others. Filing as “Jane Doe” she accuses Chevi of molesting her from 1994 until 2001.

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Rabbi Daniel Greer of New Haven Sued for Allegedly Raping a Yeshiva Boy

The New Haven Independent reported today (5/3/16):

A lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses Rabbi Daniel Greer —  who revived a declining neighborhood and has publicly crusaded against gay rights, prostitution, and coed university dorms   —  of repeatedly raping and molesting students at his yeshiva at Elm and Norton streets.

Greer, through his attorney, denied the allegations.

An attorney for Eliyahu Mirlis, the alleged victim, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Haven.

The suit names Greer and the two schools he founded and runs   —  the Gan School, a mixed-gender elementary school; and the Yeshiva of New Haven, a boarding high school for boys   —  as defendants.

The case has already started fraying a tight-knit religious family community centered around the yeshiva, in the former Roger Sherman School building at 765 Elm St. Through a series of corporations, Greer and his family bought, renovated, and have since rented out some four dozen multi-family homes on surrounding blocks, many of them notable for their eight-foot-high stockade fences. Passionate minyanim, or prayer services, occur daily in the morning and evening on the second floor of the school, which has doubled as a small neighborhood synagogue.

Enrollment at the yeshiva dwindled to close to zero in recent months as word about the allegations spread through the Orthodox Jewish community. Officials resigned from the boards of the schools and the real estate corporations.

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JTA Is Wrong: Elimelech Meisels Was Not Sued for Sex Assault, But… (from the archives)

newsboy

A year ago, today, I posted this story. You may want to go back to that original posting for the comments. 

JTA, which bills itself as “The Global Jewish News Source,” first neglected the Meisels story and then blew it. Their August headline, “Orthodox educator Rabbi Elimelech Meisels sued for sexual assault” is wrong. None of the plaintiffs is claiming they or their daughters were sexually assaulted by Meisels. Yet the JTA article starts: “Rabbi Elimelech Meisels, who runs four religious seminaries in Israel for young Orthodox women, is being sued for sexual assault.” The Forward piled on with a subhead, “Lured Teenage Girls to Late-Night Coffee Meetings” Continue reading

More Irregularities Revealed In Legal Documents Between Meisels and Plaintiffs

(See images of the referenced documents at the end of the post)

Meisels Still Claims Control of Peninim of America, Inc

Yesterday (12/14/14) I reported that Elimelech Meisels still claims ownership of the not-for-profit (NFP) entity, Peninim of America, Inc. This claim was part of his response to a complaint by two plaintiffs (Jane Doe # 1 and Jane Doe #2) who allege Meisels sexually assaulted them.

Internet Intimidation

The plaintiffs sought a conference with the court ( which was granted for Tuesday 12/16/14, 1:30 p.m. with Judge Marily Go) because, “In the past week, information concerning the plaintiffs has been posted all over the internet. The personal information concerning the plaintiffs is information that only an insider would have.” The letter is probably referring to information and threats that appeared as comments on the Daas Torah blog with the tacit consent of the blog moderator, Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn.

Rabbi Daniel Edensohn Daas Torah blog

Rabbi Daniel Edensohn
Daas Torah blog

After I blogged to protest implied threats to reveal the identities of the plaintiffs, Eidensohn grudgingly backtracked in part but directed a massive attack at my blog. He and I argued about his allowing a comment in favor of revealing the plaintiff identities if they lied. This was in the context of repeated suggestions by Eidensohn and his favored commenters that the plaintiffs were lying in claiming rape and attempted rape.

Eidensohn insists that there is no proof that Meisels’ misconduct extended beyond a few hugs which may have been consensual and not explicitly sexual. His next few postings claimed that reports of the incidence of rape of college women are exaggerated, that U.S. Title IX legislation (regarding sexual violence and harassment in higher education) is “strongly reducing a man’s presumed status of innocence,” and referenced an article pointing out that the media have a legal right to reveal the identities of John and Jane Does in sex abuse cases.

Eidensohn finally stated, “I of course agree with the standard procedure of not publicizing the names of victims and witnesses.” However, he mitigated his responsibility stating “I approve many comments which I don’t agree with.” However, the plaintiffs, this blogger, and many observers detect an implied threat coupled with the strong suggestion that these plaintiffs are part of a large problem of exaggerated allegations of abuse by young adult women.

Meisels Blames Others for Leaks
Claiming an Attempt to Take Away Peninim of America, Inc

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