Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Thread #2 - Case of Shmuel Juravel (Baltimore, MD; Savannah, GA)

Due to the volume of postings in the prior thread on Shmuel Juravel, let's continue here.


Anonymous yacov said...

positive changes that have occured in baltimore since the case of juravel has become public information:

1) 4 survivors have gone to the FBI or to the awareness center for that purpose, in connection to the juravel case.

2) there is now a SUVIVORS support meeting in baltimore.

3)several Rabbi's and educators from our community along with a number of resources were invited to be educated about sexual abuse so they can speak about it PUBLICLY. some have accepted the invitation, others havent responded yet.

4)7 survivors have volunteered(to this date) to share thier stories with aforementioned Rabbis and educators.

5)another potential child molester in under investigation by the authorities i.e. police.

i can only give you answers if i have them. so like i said before, only juravels family and his victims can answer your questions. go ask them. in answer to the question what type of jewish community would shelter a child molester? ANY community steeped in ignorance, controlled by fear, and living in denial. and we intend to change that one person at a time.

April 11, 2006 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great, I wish you luck in your quest for change.
Perhaps these questions will be answered:
1: Did juravel's family, Rabbi'r, et.al. know about his sickness long before he was caught ?

2.Is it true that he was "sent away" to a western state to get him out of Baltimore ?

3. What credibility do the Rabbi's have if they swept this under the table.

4. I uinderatand that juravel was raised with 11 siblings. What if any thing went on in that household? Just basic questions that law enforcement would like to know as well as the community.

5. How many other misdeeds did Juravel participate in.
1. Stock Licence taken away in 2001.
2. Caught for child molestation.
Keep this guy behind bars where he belongs.
Don'tr listen to the Rabbi's who will tell you what they want to tell you to protect themselves and the jewish community. Listen to the FBI and the charges. Find out the facts..and only the facts.

April 12, 2006 12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Ribbono shel Olam wants to forgive him, even if you don't.

The public shame, incarceration. What's your obsession with "despot?" Where exactly did he rule?

I'm not defending dishonesty and certainly not child molestation. But, face facts: if there is no evidence of his actually molesting kids in Georgia, how can any court justify putting him away for decades?

The firm could have stopped payments for his suits if they wished to. After the fact, it's easy to say he "stole" his suits. He took advantage, to be sure, and has serious problems. Is there no hope of rehabilitation?

I have kids. I have reason to worry about them too.

But, while I find this behavior very negative, I trust in the Ribbono shel Olam who put him where he is in the fair state of Alabama where justice is prized.

If Hashem lets him off slightly easier, it's His world, and if he's ever caught, or fails to register etc., after whatever time he almost certainly will have to serve, the Feds will put him away for life or worse. Judaism believes in a second chance. But, he needs treatment. I think he must be mentally ill and mentally ill "despots" deserve a chance at rehabilitation.

The State of Alabama agrees with you.

April 12, 2006 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the last person who posted.......consider one thing:
If it was your son or daughter that Juravel molested, showed dirty magazines to, or violated, would you be so quick to "rehabilitate and forgive?"
Give me a break! You are just as guilty as those who knew and said nothing.
Alabama agrees? What, you now represent the whole state? As a Jew and a parent I am offended by your ignorance. This was my favorite comment you wrote:
" I'm not defending dishonesty and certainly not child molestation. But, face facts: if there is no evidence of his actually molesting kids in Georgia, how can any court justify putting him away for decades?"

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Evidence? Children have spoken and come forward to the FBI you moron! He was caught with condoms, porno, a digital camera and had TWO boys waiting for him to abuse! THERE IS NO REHABILITATION FOR A CHILD MOLESTOR and if you care for your own children educate yourself a little before you start "forgiving and rehabilitating" Shmuel Juravel.

April 12, 2006 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone read about a court date?

April 13, 2006 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, there is a court date: Published Friday the 14th in the Daily U.S. Court Registrar of Birmingham the case of Shmuel Juravel-Sexual Violence and Attempted Sexual Violence to minors. According to a press release read by John Armstrong of the FBI/Birmingham U.S. District 4 said, “The FBI and the Alabama Superior Court has agreed to schedule formal trials in this matter to commence 12:00 p.m. CDT on a minimum of four accounts of sexual deviance with minors. Court will take place in Superior Court, Jefferson County, Judicial Branch, 3rd Floor, Room 318 and is open to the public.”

According to the report, arrest are pending by local and Federal law enforcment agencies in Baltimore, MD, Savannah, GA and in the state of Wyoming. Extradition is pending in all three locations with Savannah likely to have first right to extradition. Mr. Juravels last known residence was Savannah and it is believed many of his victims are living there. Special Agent Armstrong indicated that, “…the Juravel trial will be open and shut. The government did it by the book and Juravel buried himself.” Armstrong would not take question.

The Birmingham trial is expected to take two to three weeks. Then Juravel will be flown to Savannah and held in solitary confinement in the county jail where he’ll wait trial. Because of the magnitude on his Savannah victims over an alleged eight-year period, a trail date may take a few months. Local and Federal agents are currently building cases in both Baltimore, MD and the state of Wyoming.

Daily U.S. Court Registrars for most cities are available in the courthouse.

April 15, 2006 1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a way to verify the court information on line? If so can you let us all know how to do it?

April 15, 2006 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone have any clue as to why Juravel was in Wyoming? A previous post stated that he was "banished" to a state out West, but if Wyoming, why such a small state, with very few Jews, where he would be conspicuous?

Or did he go there on his own while living in Savannah?

April 15, 2006 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever posted the information about the court dates, could you please paste the web adress where the rest of us can access this information.

April 16, 2006 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To say there are no treatments for child molestation indicates a lack of education. There are chemical treatments.

My kids have been exposed to SJ. He did not molest them.

I cannot justify this behavior, but regret that he didn't seek, accept or have an opportunity to receive treatment at an earlier juncture. As a parent, I relate to his parents too.

But, society must protect its weakest vessels. If the cases, and therein lies the tragedy, are open and shut, shut up he will be.

Am I no better than those who "protected" him? I cannot answer that question. Surely, you are.

But, only they can answer, and they should be called upon to answer, why they didn't insist upon his receiving treatment when they knew he had problems.

The schools involved should be questioned by the appropriate authorities.

April 16, 2006 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what interest does the state of Wyoming have in this case? and, it's stated that there is a trial date set but didn't list the date? anyone know the answers to these questions?

April 16, 2006 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If "none" of them are successful, why isn't the recidivism rate 97%?

I've seen lower statistics than 52% too. If half don't repeat their crimes, I suspect prison, once tasted, isn't an experience anyone wants to repeat.

Had SJ and others like him enjoyed the hospitality of a county jail, with long term probation, on meds, I think we can see why not everyone repeats criminal behavior. When they get away with it and the problem festers, there isn't much anyone can do.

But, to say nothing works when at least 48 percent respond demonstrates a lack of objectivity.

April 16, 2006 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forget that people often become worse in jail. This is a Catch-22 because Juravel certainly needs jail. Jail is often worse for child molestors. Many do not make it out alive. Here is a quote from a prisoner which was reproduced in a legal journal in an article about Rape in Prison: (I will try to censor the extra explicit language, but you should get the idea)-

"I had no choice but to submit to being [an inmate’s] prison wife. Out of fear for my life, I submitted to sucking his d$%#, being f@#$ed in my a$$, and performing other duties as a woman, such as making his bed.”
“I'm a tall white male, who unfortunately has a small amount of feminine characteristics…These characteristics have got me raped [in prison] so many times I have no more feelings physically. I have been raped by up to 5 black men and two white men at a time.”
“I go through nightmares of being raped and sexually assaulted. I can't stop thinking about it. I feel everyone is looking at me in a sexual way.”

Shmuel has always been pretty feminine. I don't think he stands much of a chance of not becoming Bubba or Tito's wife. You hope for rehabilitation, but it is more likely that he will get out of prison (if at all)with more issues than he has now. But there is no other solution.

April 17, 2006 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you really comftorable with a 48% "success" rate? If so, are you willing to put your child in a room with Shmuel and flip a coin, heads he molests, tails he doesn't? Seems like a pretty important issue to determine with a coin flip.

April 17, 2006 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you delighting in his suffering? Your "subtlety" implies that you are.
If so, shame on you.

Shame on abusers too.

this situation is tragic all around. I am not privy to the details so cannot and will not presume to judge him. The Federal Justice system, however, is and will.

Rabbis speaking out about this problem means about as much as civil litigation which might benefit the awareness center.

If our nation's educational institutions and the families affected would deal with these problems properly when they first appear, treatment would help.

But, judgemental people deny mental illness in society. Through their ignorant and arrogant ways (does this apply to JT at NI?) they bear some responsibility.

April 17, 2006 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The statistics do not name specific individuals. Why must you? Your ethical sense isn't very refined.

If you study the literature objectively, you will see statistics lower than 48%. Repeat offenders are a major problem, I agree. They are put away. The issue here is that when someone is denied treatment, this seems unfair.

Every time wee enter a public space we are exposed to nuts, people with problems. Society neutralizes the dangerous ones, as we must. The Jews don't give up on anyone, do they?

Would you be happy knowing your children were being mainstreamed with the retarded? If children steal, should they be educated not to or thrown away?

If their problems are biochemical, they don't need psychotherapy from art therapists. If they are dangerous, they need to be put away.

April 17, 2006 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear you on the "coin tossing!" That was my point the other day about rehabiliation. The odds are not good. The probability that he will molest again (if given the chance) is really high.
For the people so eager to forgive and look the other way and preach about percentages,therapy, blah, blah, blah, have never been directly affected by a child molestor. I repeat: THERE IS NO CURE FOR A CHILD MOLESTOR. Think about Shasta, Carly,the newest victim in the media, ROSE,and all the others who we have read about that were brutally raped and murdered by repeat offenders! Judges gave them all second chances, hoped for rehabilitation, and felt these people were "okay" to place back into our world. They are not okay and they WILL molest as long as they are free to do so.
As far as Bubba and Tito, they could never do to Shmuel or anyone inside those prison walls who have molested children what they have all done to innocent children who will never be the same again.
To the poster who keeps talking about the SMALL percentage of rehabilitated offenders, 1% is too many!!! You can "educate" yourself on all of this as you suggested I do, and I can assure you that the reasoning and logic you are working with has no validation or merit. NONE of us know what SHMUEL's family knew, what really happened to him IF anything, and he came into a community and abused TOO many to name, took away the innocence of young, vulnerable children, and does not deserve and will NEVER get forgiveness from this parent! EVER!

April 17, 2006 7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This case goes so much deeper that schmuel juravel !

Why was a frum boy send away to Wyoming to begin with. Was it to hide hime from the Baltimore community ? You mean to tell me that his mother & father didn't have an idea when there son went away. "Gee mon and dad, I think I'll go live in Wyoming for the heck of it. I underatand there's a great frum communmity there ! I don't thing so. DID HIS PARENTS KNOW..i DON'T CARE IF HIS FATHER IS A rABBI..dID HE KNOW..WAS THIS AN ATTEMPED COVER UP. If so, arn't those responsible for trying to pull this cover up off just as responsible and liable and sick and juravel is. The frum community must open up to the world and give us answers or all credibility within the frum community will be lost.

April 17, 2006 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just did a web search on sex offender treatment and found this link

New hope for sex offender treatment
Research suggests psychological treatment helps reduce recidivism among convicted sex offenders


Please note that they are only discussing sex offenders who have been convicted. The vast majority of sex offenders have never even been arrested. According to stats on the US Dept. of Justice web page. Only 16% of sex offenders prosecuted ever spend a day in prison.

April 17, 2006 10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

USA Today, that's what the experts read.

April 18, 2006 12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that no one wants to come forward or speak about what schmuel juravel's parents knew about his past ? Were they the ones that covered the abuse that he was proforming in Baltimore. Did they send him away to Wyoming ? What's that story about.

You mean to tell me that NO ONE in Baltimore knew about this pervert.NO ONE ! What was he doing in Wyoming ? This is a community that is supposed to be G-D fearing and yet it's obvious that they can't stand up and face Hasham in the right way. Come forth, tell us what you know. Admit it and get on with your life..if you can.If not,you wil always carry the stigma that the community will think you knew..Tell the truth..no matter who you are.

April 18, 2006 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truth is I had no idea.

April 18, 2006 5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing ! No one has any idea. This kid just up and leave to go to Wyoming..no reason,just goes.
Parents didn't think yo ask him why he's going to Wyoming ? Hey mom and dad, I'll see you when I get back.Don't know what I'll be doing in Wyoming, don't have a job, fews Jewish..but I'm goin..ByBy.. and no one knows !!!
A strange community !

April 18, 2006 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one knows nothing !
It's like this guy Juravel just wasn't even born,at least according to the "frum" community.
No past,no history. Wyoming,why not.Wyoming,Why ?
The black hats can keep quite all they want BUT in the hard way or the easy way, the FBI will come out with the truth. Who knew what and when. Were the relitives responsible for a cover up. Was the "community" responsible for a cover up ! What kind of people are these people ? The truth will prevail.

April 20, 2006 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

+This person Juravel..just goes away. No one wants to admit that they knew him. Off to Wyoming, Why not ? Off to Wyoming. Why?
Did his relitives protect him. Did the frum community protect him. Some kind of secret society ? Hopefully the FBI will get to the true story and people will have to be accountable for their actions,be it a cover up, complicity or just shame. Shame on the community for not coming forward.

April 20, 2006 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


April 20, 2006 11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know how this stuff happens? Just look at the latest comments from those who think Aron Tendler is innocent at:

I think this response post to these non-believers is the appropriate response:

"This is ridiculous. The denial is ridiculous. The people that think this guy is innocent just because of his name and grandather-you are ridiculous, naive, and pretty stupid. You show how arrogant you are. There are so many allegations surrounding this guy it is unbelievable. Where there is smoke there is usually fire. There is a lot of smoke surrounding this Tendler, as well as his brother Mordechai. "Oh, he is so frum...He is a Tendler...." Shut up! You people are a major part of the reason this molestaion stuff occurs. You give voice to the guilty and silence the victims. I have news for you- All molestors do not have tatoos on their arms, look like molestors, or have molestor written across their shirts. Rather, they look like ordinary people. They look like you and they look like Tendler."

April 21, 2006 2:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please be precise in your terms. Molester, does this apply to one who cheats with married women?

The law recognizes rape, sexual harassment etc. but molestation is a phenomen we associate with children. Call abusers wife abusers, abusers of married women etc. but don't add injury unless you are prepared to back up your allegations with facts.

I'm not defending those who do wrong, whatever their name or station in life, but the world isn't black and white. Adults are not children.

April 21, 2006 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True. Adults are not children. But Tendler was accused of molesting girls in high school as well. You may consider high school girls adults, but the law does not.

April 21, 2006 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Questions about Juravel still haven't been answered.
1. Did anyone know about Juravel ?
2. Did his family know about him ?
3. Why and what was he doing in Wyoming,of all places. (just the right place for a "frum" guy.
4. Was he "sent there" to get him out of town.
5. No one in the Baltimore community seems to know about this person and yet all know his family.
6.How many children did he try to
molest in Savannah.
7. Did any one in the Savannah community know about this person.

Is it true that there are charges in three states against this person ?

Very simple questions..no answers.
Is the frum community protecting this person. Why would they do so ?

April 22, 2006 8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read this old case. I think you all should too. http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/Hafner_Solomon.html

It reminds me of the Weinberg, Juravel and also the Eisgrau cases.

Since when do rabbis know how to conduct an investigation regarding childhood sexual abuse?

"A panel of Orthodox rabbis cleared a Brooklyn rabbi of molesting a 7-year-old boy -- a move that might keep witnesses from the grand jury probing him, The Post has learned.

The panel, reportedly headed by Manhattan Rabbi David Feinstein and two rabbis from Brooklyn and two from upstate Monsey, cleared Bobover Rabbi Solomon Hafner on Thursday evening of any wrongdoing, sources said."

April 22, 2006 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course they don't know how to conduct an investigation , although
they will tell you that from their knowledge of Torah, they know all.

Nonsense..They will keep any investigation close to their chests,for the protection of the "community".

April 23, 2006 7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm hoping someone here can explain something to me.

Our rabbis can figure out:

* how to make treif dishes kosher
* how to put up a kosher eruv
* how to "encourage" a man to give a ghet.

Yet our rabbis have not figured out a way to take an rabbinic ordination away from a sex offender.

Can someone explain to me why this is so difficult to do?

April 23, 2006 11:14 AM  
Anonymous yacov said...

for those interested, the first meeting between baltimore rabbis and survivors has been scheduled. if you want to participate or want more information,please contact me at yacovsurvivor at yahoo dot com.

April 24, 2006 11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish you well in your meeting.
What do you hope to accomplish ?
What are you going to discuss.
Who knew what ! Every Rabbi will certainly tell only what he wants to tell with most saying "I had no idea".

Perhaps some direct questions can be asked regarding Juravel and why he was "sent" to Wyoming. Did the Rabbi's know about him. Quite frankly, I doubt if you will get any "honest answers" or direct reply's to any direct questions.

Did Juravel's family have any hint of his actions. Rumor has it that "they" all knew" but tried to keep it under wraps because of his father. Any truth to that !

Anyway,hope you accomplish what it is that your trying to do..

April 25, 2006 4:45 AM  
Anonymous yacov said...

we are reeducating the baltimore jewish community about sexual abuse, one rabbi at a time. the rabbis are not coming to answer questions or even to speak. they have volunteered to come and LISTEN to survivors share their stories. after that the next step will be to connect the rabbis with resources for themselves and survivors. and our major goal is to have the rabbis speak from their podiums about sexual abuse to help break thru the denial and shame and to give us as a community power and safety to nurture, heal, and protect ourselves with all the resources available.

April 25, 2006 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But, Yaakov, aside from the validation you and others feel when anyone speaks out, what impact do you expect speeches to make? The topic is distasteful.

April 26, 2006 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A native of baltimore,I visited Savannah several times en route to Miami. I met SJ there; he was laning(doing an excellent job)and he and his wife were charming. I am an attorney and am greatly disturbed by this news. A criminal law specialist, my greatest fear is that those who are less physically adept run a very high suicide rate in prison. I only hope that this fate does not befall SJ.

April 26, 2006 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

My heart goes out to Shmuel's wife and kids. Does anyone know if there is a place to make a donation to help them e.g. help with school tuition? Or any ideas of something I can do to help? I don't live in Savanna.

I have been very impressed with all the support and help the Savanna community has given the family in this hard time. I would like to do something as well.

April 26, 2006 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly Shmuel's wife is from a very wealthy family. Wouldn't they be willing to help her and their grandchildren out? Also wouldn't Shmuel's family also want to make sure their grandchildren get the help they need?

I keep thinking of Shmuel's survivors. Who's taking care of them? Shouldn't someone be setting up a trust fund or something for them, and all the other survivors out there?

April 26, 2006 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard for me to believe that SJ was an actual abuser, molester, rapist, enough that anyone would actually be marred for life. His survivors know what is true.

The fact that he went to another city suggests his worst thoughts were saved for strangers. The facts will be revealed.

April 26, 2006 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. Have any survivors come forward from Savannah?

April 26, 2006 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"It's hard for me to believe that SJ was an actual abuser, molester, rapist, enough that anyone would actually be marred for life. His survivors know what is true.

The fact that he went to another city suggests his worst thoughts were saved for strangers. The facts will be revealed"

ARE DISTURBING. Are you really that naive? These things don't only happen on TV. They can happen to any person and in any place. For your information, there are many survivors and victims in Savannah and elsewhere. Some have been in contact with the authorities (i.e. the FBI). A major concern regarding many of these children, however, is the stigma associated with being one of the victims. As such, the majority of the victims have been reluctant to go forward and discuss their traumatic incident with SJ. Once a victim comes forward and goes on the record that victim can often be compelled to go to court and testify. This alone can be extremely traumatic for a young teenager.

I cannot believe that I keep seeing comments by people who refuse to believe that SJ could do this or that he would do it in a frum community. SJ was known for encouraging young teenage boys to hang out at his house on Sabbath afternoons. He regularly took young teenage boys to Charleston for the day on Sundays. Most people thought that this was normal. Indeed, it might have been if SJ was merely a guy who liked to help out and befriend young teenage boys. SJ, however, is a pedophile, and none of this was normal.

Furthermore, it has come to light that SJ showed young boys pornography at his house (most likely to weaken their resolve).

Wake up and smell the coffee.This happened, there are many victims, and the whole situation is horrible for everyone. Stop justifying why you thought SJ was such a great guy. Many of us did, but we were wrong. Perhaps that is the most disturbing fact in all of this-many of us were seduced by SJ's charade. This is why he was so successful. Stop trying to find a way to excuse or diminsh SJ's actions and start thinking about how we can help the victims.

April 26, 2006 8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never met the guy, knew the wife's family. Nice people, nice community. Don't deserve this kind of grief.
If he's guilty, lock him up and help the survivors.

April 26, 2006 11:18 PM  
Blogger miriam said...

I know Yacov very well, I am supportive of his efforts and I applaud his methods. He is staying clearly focused on positive actions that will produce positive results. I hear the anguish of the people of Savanna - you want answers, you are outraged that it appears as though Baltimore "dumped” its shameful garbage in your front yard at the expense of your children, your community’s peace, and SJ's wife and family. So what would I do? If my child or relative was harmed in anyway -that includes pornography exposure- Call SJ’s parents and their Rabbi! Call Baltimore’s rabbinic leaders i.e. Rabbi Heinemann or Rabbi Hopfer! Pose your questions to them. I, personally, would want to know, who was the shadchan (matchmaker) in this travesty?! In my opinion - the shadchan should have heard the whispers and checked them out. You might get some well deserved apologies - it won't take away the pain and betrayal but it would be validating. Excuse me for being a little of the wall myself and I am by no means always rational - If I lived in Savannah I would rent some buses and roll on up to Baltimore and meet with the Rabbis and say "What the h%&*?" Please don't misunderstand me – I AM NOT saying that any rabbi knew -but rather than everyone conjecturing, call them up and ask! PS I personally know three victims from Baltimore’s Talmudical Academy's Summer Camp. SJ was a "beloved" counselor there. Does anyone know if TA has done the menshlich thing and contacted ALL parents of campers during those years that could have been potential victims? That is the right thing to do! Maybe we should make a petition for them to do so - not because we want to dish out dirt and hurt his relatives but to offer help and support to those carrying the shame of sexual abuse. It really destroys children and the stigma against the boy victims is horrific. On a lighter note - anyone who would like to be part of Yacov's delegation can stay with me and my family. I hope Savannah victims feel encouraged to come forward with the Baltimore victims/survivors to show this rabbinic delegation the extensive damage of just one protected pedophile from Baltimore. Please email Yakov! I pray all of our outrage and anguish can be channeled into efforts like his for the greater Tikkun Olam

April 27, 2006 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Savannah native, I want to address the comment about going to Baltimore to ask questions.

If I thought that we would receive any answers that would be honest, helpful, and useful, I would agree.

Right now, I would not trust the answers coming from the leaders in Baltimore.

April 27, 2006 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with those in Savannah, contacting the rabbis in Baltimore would do no good. They are only interested in protecting themselves. They don't give a ____ about those who have been victimized. They only care about protecting their own "good" reputations.

April 27, 2006 9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"PS I personally know three victims from Baltimore’s Talmudical Academy's Summer Camp. SJ was a "beloved" counselor there. Does anyone know if TA has done the menshlich thing and contacted ALL parents of campers during those years that could have been potential victims?"

I personally think the best solution is for those who have been abused to seek an attorney to see what legal options are open to them. If this is like other cases in Baltimore the various rabbis were aware of the allegations against the alleged offender and did nothing except to cover it up.

Juravel might be a serial sex offender, but the community of Baltimore is also responsible for the continuation of his offenses. They could have done something to stop him fifteen years ago.

April 27, 2006 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What "good" reputations? In my book thay are all bad right now. I know that they really are not all bad, but because I know about all of the Rabbis that cover this stuff up I am beginning to stereotype them-even though I know that this is not a good thing to do. See Rabbis- you are trying to pretend this stuff does not happen so that you look better. Instead, people are beginning to think worse of all of you- even the good ones. All Rabbis in Baltimore- Do Something! Make your fellow Rabbis who do know about these events do something. And someone, please start investigating Eisgrau. How can a guy who has been accused of molesting children several times be the principal of a school housing a whole community's children? Dont convict him unless he is guilty, but start a credibe investigation. Do not let the Rabbis lead the investigation. Make the police do it.

April 27, 2006 10:00 PM  
Blogger miriam said...

I would like to respond to those who commented on my suggestion. It is VITAL that as Jewish people we don't turn on each other with ignorance or stereotyping. Baltimore or Savannah, Orthodox or Secular we are Am Yisrael. And from what I gather we are angry and betrayed. But please do not stereotype all of Baltimore's Rabbis just like the same way no one should stereotype the family SJ married. I read those inappropriate comments and I personally feel this is not the forum to attack the character of others who may have been manipulated and hurt as a result of SJ.

As a survivor, Baltimore's blindness and cover-ups have disgusted me for a long time. Yacov has figured out one approach to get the awareness out. All I hope is that we succeed in educating parents that-
"Yes! Sexual abuse happens! This is how you can talk to your children . . . and this is how you can protect them."
I don't want to hear in 2016 that another SJ type was caught after being shuttled to another Jewish community. I don't want to hear that boys or girls lost their innocence and were abused at camp in the summer of 2006.

Like I said before - stop conjecturing and pick up the phone! You as a community was victimized - Demand accountability from those leaders - You are not criminals, so don't take on any shame.

In fact write to the Baltimore Jewish Times -they have never hesitated to report shortcomings or criminal behavior of Jews in this community -But when I emailed Phil Jacobs (editor in chief) He was cowardly in his lack of response. SJ abused boys for a number of years as a camp counselor at TA. And our own newspaper refuses to report the facts about SJ thus denying an opportunity for other victims of his to come out and receive the support and compassion that they deserve. Maybe even testify against him as step in their healing. We will never know.

But there are Rabbis in our town who are starting to emerge from the fortress of denial and indifference Baltimore's old guard built long ago.
Silence with issues such as this breeds ignorance and ignorance begets indifference. I encourage y'all ((sic)I spent many summers in Valdosta) to SPEAK UP AND SPEAK OUT! Don't let SJ's perversity rob you of your voice.

April 27, 2006 11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They tried investigating Eisgrau several years ago, but the investigator got stone-walled. If no one is "allowed" to talk to the police, how can the police do an investigation?

Look at the cases of Shapiro or Fleishman.

April 27, 2006 11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miriam and Yacov,
I think the two of you are living in fairyland. It's time to wake up and see reality.

Miraim said. . .
"It is VITAL that as Jewish people we don't turn on each other with ignorance or stereotyping."

When a community has years and years of experience covering up cases of sexual abuse, and are still refusing to change, you need to speak out as loudly as possible. The rabbis in this community know a lot more then you think. They are pretending to be naive. They have their "interests" to protect.

Did you ever stop and ask how much money does a sex offender have to pay for protection from rabbis?

This isn't about "turning on each other," it's about demanding changes be made. We can't wait another day for the changes. Children are being abused as the two of you are spreading your loving ways.

Yes, you are right there are a few rabbis very quietly, secretly wanting to do something more. But they won't unless there is public demand. They too are afraid of the wrath of Heinemann and Hofner.

April 28, 2006 12:08 AM  
Blogger miriam said...

Ahh fairyland - I wish!
If you know those things to be true i.e.

"The rabbis in this community know a lot more then you think. They are pretending to be naive. They have their "interests" to protect.
Did you ever stop and ask how much money does a sex offender have to pay for protection from rabbis?"
then who am I to say they are or not.
I hope you made those statements based personal knowledge and not reactionary imaginings written just for sensationalistic effect.
Forgive me for not making my point clear. Allow me to present this
-If parents, due to religious convictions, don’t watch TV or the web. AND they have not had a close friend or family member experience the trauma of sexual abuse.
Are they adequately educating & protecting their children from CSA (child sexual abuse)?
Remember this is supposedly about preventing of CSA (child sexual abuse).
Stay with me on this
So - HOW can this group of people be approached in order to educate them on how to protect their most precious blessings?
How do we let this particular type of parents, who may already have a victimized child, know that they and their child are not alone? They need not be embarrassed, or succumb to pressure to ignore the incident thereby unwittingly silencing their child into a life of fear and shame.
Any Ideas how to go about doing this? Anyone?
OK, so if these parents are approached by or are exposed to some well-meaning, albeit misguided, people ranting and raving about all the evil and corrupt rabbis of their community WHAT is the predictable response?? Anyone? Anyone?
Will they get defensive and thereby shut their minds to the message? Will they reject the entire subject because a holy position in their beloved faith was stereotyped, generalized and attacked?
Now the final stretch –What will be the final outcome concerning these CSA ignorant and alienated parents?
More children at risk to be abused
More children to be preyed on by charming pedophiles in nice suits
More children to be exposed to pornography at the hands of some sicko

So if I am offending people for “spreading . . loving ways.”
TOO BAD!!! This is NOT about me, my rage, my ego or my abuse experiences. I will NOT use such things to fuel attacks against an entire religious occupation in order to satisfy a selfish craving for vengeance. I acknowledge that indeed SOME RABBIS KNOW of CSA occurrences and stay silent AND YES, SOME RABBIS use their rabbinic mantel AND ABUSE CHILDREN. To accuse all rabbis of this and lump them together by observance or demographic IS WRONG.
Fairyland, my hurting friend, is from where people who believe and practice those insensitive, offending, hate mongering tactics to prevent CSA, keep house.
On a side note - The disease of ignorance I previously mentioned does not only infect the ‘isolated,’ media-wary, ‘ultra orthodox’ perhaps living in Baltimore. As a convert to Judaism – I assure you that the non-discriminating disease of ignorance infects many gentile parents and non-Jewish religious and community leaders all over the country.
As Jews we simply live in a microcosm within the American macrocosm.

April 28, 2006 3:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the Savannah native who commented that I would not expect useful answers in Baltimore, I want to elaborate.

It is clear to me that what we all need is for victims to come forward. We need victims with clear facts that can come forward. Without clear evidence and/or proof, we only have allegations.

If we could have been fooled in Savannah, I can believe that people in Baltimore could be also. I want to believe that even some of the Rabbis in Baltimore that are being condemned probably did not truly understand the extent of the problem.

Victims need to be encouraged to contact the fine organizations that fight this problem. The impartial professionals with experience dealing with these issues need to be contacted. Local police, the FBI, etc. would be good places to start.

In the case of SJ, the FBI saved us and I for one am very thankful that they are involved.

When there is clear evidence developed, those who are truly guilty or threats to our children can be locked up where they will not threaten our children.

Those who are innocent can be cleared.

The goal is to protect our children. At the same time, we don't want to engage in slander that hurts and makes it worse.

When victims do come forward, we all need to rally to help them. We need to encourage them and their families and support them. In this way we can turn this tide.

April 28, 2006 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's some information on various cases from Baltimore:

Letter from A concerned member of the Baltimore community

Protocols - November 9, 2004


The following has been circulated, and mailed to several different Jewish newspapers. As of today, no one has published it. Through my sources, I know who wrote this. The letter and its author are credible.

To the editors

I would like to address a very important and very troubling issue affecting our entire community and its future.

The taboo surrounding the issue of child sexual abuse in general, and even more so within our own community is very real and difficult to surmount for many reasons. Our silence is what child sexual offenders count on to enable them to continue abusing. We must break this silence and as a community begin to address this issue openly.

This sensitive issue becomes even harder to deal with when allegations are made against a rabbi or trusted leader within our community. Most of our rabbis and leaders are not child molesters, but most also have no training or expertise in this area. Most rabbonim confronted with allegations of abuse against a trusted and respected colleague are simply not equipped to deal with the situation. Obviously, they do not want to believe the allegations. It is a lot easier to stigmatize an obviously troubled or angry victim then to believe that a well respected, influential, colleague could be a sexual predator.

Instances of childhood sexual abuse are very hard to prove (or disprove), as there are rarely any witnesses, or visible scars. Training in recognizing the short and long-term effects affects of abuse is essential, and the responsibility of every Rabbi to obtain.

We have recently read stories of perpetrators within our community who have used the silence of the community and its leaders to allow them to continue abusing children, sometimes for decades. Some say that it is a chillul Hashem for papers to have published such information. The sad truth is that going to the papers is the only thing that finally stopped the abuser and prevented future victims. The real chillul Hashem is that many Rabbonim knew of allegations for years and did nothing. The real chillul Hashem is that when a sexual abuse or assault victim dares to speak out publicly, instead of helping the victim, and confronting the issue, Rabbonim and community leaders rally around the accused perpetrator trying to protect the image of the community at the expense of his victims.

Many of our "at risk teens" who have gone "off the derech" are victims of childhood sexual abuse and have gotten the message loud and clear that they will not be helped or believed, and so have left the community.

When allegations are brought against a person who is in a position of authority over innocent children this person should very quickly be directed to another line of work. To date there is no known cure for pedophiles. The only way to manage these tendencies is for perpetrators to never be alone with a child.

Parents have a right to know about allegations made against those caring for their children and to make an informed decision about the risks that they are willing to expose their children to. The Baltimore community must be made aware of and take responsibility for any accused perpetrators in our mist, especially when they hold positions that enable them to continue to offend.

Rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau, the principal of the Torah Institute, is one such individual. Rabbi Eisgrau has, on at least two known occasions, been accused of child sexual molestation and on at least one occasion of physical abuse. (He allegedly hit a child in the face and broke his glasses.) One of the accusations of sexual abuse was made by a former student, and the other by one of rabbi Eisgrau's own daughters. (Both of his alleged victims are now adults.)

The charges brought against Rabbi Eisgrau by his student were formally investigated and later dropped because of insufficient evidence. In the words of the investigator, Detective Richard Hardick, he was "stonewalled" by the community. Concerned and aware members of our community (including myself) who have tried to speak out about the potential danger to our children have been threatened with loss of their job, membership to shul, and even personal safety. Rabbi Eisgrau's rav has advised rabbi Eisgrau's other children to excommunicate their sister unless she agrees never to speak out about her experience. This, in my opinion, is a horrible chillul Hashem and abuse of rabbinic authority.

Let us, as a community, take responsibility for protecting our children and educating ourselves about sexual abuse. A good resource, which deals specifically with sexual abuse in the Jewish community, is The Awareness Center at, www. theawarenescenter.org.

Rabbi Yosef Blau (mashgiach Ruchani of the Rabbi Isacc Elchanan Theological Seminary) in his article, Confronting Abuse in The Orthodox Community, (Nefesh News, 7:9, July 2003) writes:

"Our community has not been educated to recognize abuse nor to appreciate the ongoing trauma of victims...Often the response is to express anger at the paper (publishing letters such as this one) and then ignore the abuse. Until the mentality of the community changes little progress will be made."

I hope everyone reading this will take his message to heart.


A concerned member of the Baltimore community.

April 28, 2006 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Story of Survival - Surviving Incest

© (2005) By Survivor of Rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau

The reason I am telling my story is because I want people, especially rabbis, to realize that when allegations of child abuse are made by a child against a parent, (regardless of whether the allegations are true or not) it is an indication of a serious problem in the family. When abuse is covered up and denied it is usually handed down to the next generation. Cutting off the family member who dares to expose the family's pain and shame does not make the problem go away. My family and I needed help and the rabbi's failed us. My family and I still need help and the rabbi's are still failing us. If I had a child who said I had sexually abused them, whether I thought I had or not, I would realize that there was a serious problem in my relationship with that child. I would do all I could to help my child understand what had happened. I would get my whole family help.

When most people in the orthodox community look at my family they see a normal family. Everyone is religious, married with kids, seems happy, and appears not only to be functioning well but also contributing to their community.

I come from a very large orthodox family. Most of my early childhood was spent in a small town on the east coast. My father met and married my mother there while he was a student at her father's yeshiva. My grandfather's yeshiva was in a remote area jewishly and otherwise, and we were very isolated. We did not go to school and had no contact with children outside of the family.

My father was physically abusive and sexually molested me repeatedly while we were living near my grandfather's yeshiva. I was also molested by some of the students in the yeshiva. I don't remember their names. My father stopped abusing me when we moved to Baltimore and he started teaching.

My grandfather was also inappropriate with me. He exposed himself to me once when I was three. When I was seven he had a serious discussion with me. He told me how lonely he was and ask me if I thought he should get remarried. At that age he told my sister and I that he loved one of us more than the other. I was sure it was she who he loved more than me.

I know that my grandfather physically abused my mother, (although she will insist that her experience was not abuse). She would get hit, for example, if she couldn't keep the baby from crying. My mother is the oldest of ten children. Her mother died of an illness when she was fifteen. She said that my grandfather always hit his children too much, but after her mother died it got worse. She told me that her brothers would try to protect her. My mother's brothers are the only safe men who I remember having close contact with in my childhood.

My father was physically abused by his mother. She would hold his nose to force him to swallow foods that he d. She would beat him with a broomstick. He was a troubled teen and was kicked out of more than one yeshiva. He told me that my grandfather rescued him, "pulled him from the garbage can." He shared with me his first encounter with my grandfather. He said that when my grandfather was speaking to him he raised his hand to make a point, and my father instinctively ducked under the table. He thought he was going to be hit.

My grandfather also rescued Aaron Goldberger. He had been expelled from a yeshiva for "homosexual behavior." Knowing his background, and despite many warnings, my grandfather allowed Goldberger to marry his daughter. Years later Goldberger was convicted of molesting his own children and lost custody of them as a result.

I was a troubled child and an angry teen for obvious reasons. I was also extremely depressed. My mother would tell me repeatedly that I had nothing to be sad or angry about and that I should put a smile on my face.

When I was in the fourth grade I discovered by that I needed glasses. A classmate had a pair and I tried them on just for fun. When the room jumped into focus I realized that I needed glasses. I told my mother who said, "No you don't need glasses, you see well enough." Her response was typical.

When my fifth grade teacher sent a note home asking my parents to get my eyes checked they finally took me to an eye doctor. The doctor assured my mother that he could see by the shape of my pupil that I was nearsighted but she was still unconvinced. She told me that I was getting glasses not because I needed them but to get the teacher off her back. My sister taunted me "you don't really need glasses you just want attention."

As a child I often wondered what I could possibly do to become real in my parent's eyes. I remember watching other children in school and wondering what it was about them that I was missing that allowed them to exist, and have real needs and feelings. I thought there was something inherently wrong with me.

When I was sixteen I left home to go to school in Israel. When the Gulf War broke out my parents forced me to come back home and refused to let me return to Israel. When I was eighteen I ran away from home and went back to Israel. My father came after me. He told me that the only reason he could think of that I could possibly have run away was that I had lesbian relationship with a friend whom I had met and become close to while in school there.

My father said that he wanted to help me and would take me to see a psychologist if I came home with him. He took me to his friend, Dr. Aviva Weisbord, who agreed to see me as a favor to him. (Apparently he had helped her with one of her children who had been having problems.)

Dr. Weisbord should never have taken me on as a client due to her obvious conflict of interest. She allowed me to come to her house during the course of therapy and sleep over. She violated confidentiality by meeting with my parents against my wishes. She violated confidentiality by telling people that I had been a client of hers and that in her "professional" opinion my father had not abused me.

During the course of my treatment with Dr. Weisbord she and I both realized that I had been sexually abused. She kept asking me about my uncle, Goldberger, whom I had contact with as a young child. I did not remember any specific instances of him abusing me. I did not tell her about my father. She was very willing to believe that my uncle, a convicted offender, abused me. But I knew she would not believe me about my father. She made it clear that she trusted and respected him. At some point she realized that I was hiding something. She told me that there were serious boundary issues in my family. That there were things that I wasn't sharing with her, and that she did not want to hear. She told me that she was ending our relationship and sending me to someone else.

My next therapist would not speak with my parents at all, and when my father found out that I was talking about the abuse he told me that I had to stop seeing her. He threatened to take her to a bais din for "convincing me of things that never happened." He told me that I was heading down a dangerous path. That reading books on the subject of abuse was putting ideas into my head. He told me that he was the only one who really loved that and me if I wasn't paying my therapist she would throw me out onto the street. That was the day I left my parents home.

I had nowhere to go. In desperation, I called a woman whom I had met only once, Hinda Goliger, and she invited me to come live with her. Many people including my parents, tried to pressure the Goligers to throw me out so I would be forced to go back home. The Goligers refused to bow to pressure. They promised me that their home would always be a safe place for me and it was. They were truly there for me when no one else was. They believed in me, and I will always be grateful.

The abuse by my father and others left me with many issues. But even worse than the actual and abuse was the revictimization that I encountered from my family, and community, when I tried to reach out for help.

No one would believe me that my father or my grandfather had done these things. My siblings were very angry with me and treated me like I had some horrible disease. My mother told me that she knew that nothing happened to me and that basically I was saying these things to get attention. One of my uncles told me that saying that my grandfather abused me meant that I d the Torah. Another Rabbi who I spoke with, after asking me for my grandfathers name, told me that it was my imagination that I had been sexually abused and that I should just forget about it and get married and everything would be fine. Once again I was being given the message that I was not real. My memories were not real. My feelings and experiences were not real.

During this time one of my brothers, then in his teens, forced a six-year-old in the neighborhood to expose herself to him. He threatened to hurt her if she didn't comply. The child's mother told me about the incident. She told my mother about it too. My mother's response was that she needed to talk to my brother about staying away from s, and that my father needed to learn with him more often.

I told my therapist about the incident. She informed me that what my brother had done was considered sexual abuse and that she was mandated to report it. I begged her not to. I knew that my family, who were already very upset with me for saying that my father abused me, would think that I had reported it. She finally agreed to ask her Rabbi, R' Menachem Goldberger, what to do. Rabbi Goldberger. told her to make the report which she did.

Another Rabbi who I turned to for help was Rabbi Moshe Heinemann. I did not know how to approach him. I decided to ask him a halachic question that had been bothering me for a while. It was a question that one of my aunts had asked me when I told her what my father had done to me. I asked him if I was allowed to marry a kohen if my father abused me. I was hoping that he would hear the inherent pain in my question and offer to help me. He asked if it happened before or after age three. I said after. He then told me that if I decided to say that it never happened then I could marry a kohen but if I said that it did happen then I couldn't. End of conversation. That was the only time that I spoke with Rabbi Heinemann about this, or anything else. Some years later parents of a child in the Torah Institute went to ask Rabbi Heinemann about the allegations against my father. He told them to disregard what I said as I was, "crazy and not frum."

I went to other Rabbi's for help and I was told, "we know sexual abusers exists in our community but we know that your father is not one of them."

I already felt inherently damaged, and traumatized, as a result of the sexual abuse but the way my family and the rabbi's were treating me made the pain unbearable. Like all survivors of trauma I needed to talk about what happened to me in order to process it and heal. I needed (and still need) my truth to be heard. My family did not understand this and accused me of trying to hurt them by telling people about it.

I thought that because no one believed me I must be crazy. I wanted to believe that my family was right and I was sick or evil but deep down I knew that I wasn't and that I was remembering these things because they had happened to me.

I was in a tremendous amount of psychological pain. I often begged God to remove me from this world. I wanted to die to find out the truth. And I wanted to escape the pain. I attempted and was hospitalized. During my hospitalization I was diagnosed with a dissociative disorder (that I have since recovered from) whose only known cause is severe and repeated trauma in early childhood. I was also diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder.)

While all this was going on I was teaching preschool at the Torah Institute. The preschool director was shocked when I told her that I was quitting because I was suicidal and needed to be hospitalized. She simply couldn't believe it. She said that I was doing a great job teaching and that she thought I was the most `together' of all my sisters. I told her that my family specialized in seeming `normal' and `together' and that I was good at it, but I was tired of pretending to be ok. I needed help.

At first the director said that she believed me that my father had sexually abused me. She told me that she knew more than one rebbe at the Torah Institute with sexual issues. She wanted to be supportive but at the same time she begged me to consider the damage that speaking about my experience would cause my siblings. She told me I could ruin my sister's chances of getting a shidduch if I didn't keep quiet.

She offered to let me stay with her for a couple of weeks while I waited for a bed to open up on the dissociative disorders unit. During this stay she changed her mind and told me that although it was obvious to her that my parents had caused me severe emotional damage, she just couldn't believe that my father had physically molested me.

During one of my many hospitalizations Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer came to visit me. I told him about the memories that I had of my father molesting me. I told him that I hoped my family and everyone else was right about me and that somehow my mind was playing cruel tricks on me. It was easier for me to believe that I was crazy then to believe that my father did these things to me. I wanted my family back.

Eventually, I rented my own apartment and applied for another job in a new preschool that was opening up in the community. I was hired as a teacher for the three-year-old class. A few weeks before the start of the school year the director informed me that some people in the community threatened not to send their children to her school if I was going to be teaching there. They told her that there must be something wrong with me because I had moved out of my parents home. This woman, not knowing that there was a connection between us, asked Dr. Aviva Weisbord for advice. Dr. Aviva Weisbord told her not to let me teach but to give me a job in a back office so that no one would know I was there.

I became completely disillusioned with yidishkeit because of the way I was being treated by the community and my family. People who should have been helping me were calling me crazy and evil. I wanted nothing to do with any of it anymore. I stopped keeping shabbos and kosher. I had to find a new way to relate to God. I also had to find a new God. One who had not allowed me to be abused in a yeshiva and by people who were supposed to be frum and uphold the Torah. A God who was all knowing and all loving and believed in me and wanted me to heal. I had to leave yidishkeit to find this.

I explored other religions. I spoke to priests, ministers. I came back to Judaism, mostly because I missed shabbos. I had to come to the realization that my parents and the Rabbi's who hurt me did not own God or Judaism and that their behavior had nothing to do with Torah. Although I am now shomer mitzvoth, to this day I can never completely trust a rabbi. And I doubt I will never feel completely safe or comfortable in the frum world.

About eight years after my conversation with Rabbi Hopfer my father became the principal of the Torah Institute. I had received excellent help in the trauma disorders day hospital at Sheppard Pratt and had with much effort pulled my shattered life back together. The chronic depression and psychological pain that I had carried around with me for as long as I could remember slowly dissipated as I worked through the traumatic memories. I was in school. I was working. I met and married a wonderful man. I gave birth to a baby. I was very happy. Every day felt like a miracle.

I was very concerned when I heard that a former student had accused my father of child abuse. I had thought/hoped that his abuse had stopped with me. It suddenly occurred to me that maybe the reason the abuse stopped when we moved to Baltimore was because my father had access to other children.

I told a parent of a child in the school that I was concerned that my father was not safe around children. It got back to my siblings and they went to Rabbi Hopfer for advice. Rabbi Hopfer told my siblings to give me an ultimatum. I was to promise never to talk about what my father did to me, or they would cut me out of the family. I told them there was no way I could ethically promise that.

I wrote Rabbi Hopfer a letter asking him why he had not contacted me before he gave my family this advice. He did not respond. Some months later I called him up several times, and finally he called back. I asked him why he had not contacted me before telling my family to cut me off. He became very defensive and angrily asked me why I believed that my fathers other accuser was credible? Why had I not bothered to check it out?

I told Rabbi Hopfer that I had checked it out and that although I was not in the room and could never know what really happened to this student, that based on my own experiences with my father I believed that it was possible that he had abused again.

I told Rabbi Hopfer that I wished that he and my family would also admit that they were not in the room when my father was abusing me and could never be completely sure what my father had done to me.

I asked him again why he had not contacted me. He said he had already spoken to me eight years earlier when he had visited me in the hospital.

Me: I am a different person now, in a totally different place then I was eight years ago. I was going through a serious crisis then. A lot has changed. I think you should have realized that and called me. Do you remember our conversation in the hospital?

Hopfer: No.

Me: So you made the decision to break up a family based on a conversation you had eight years ago that you don't remember?

Hopfer: I made my decision then that you were not credible and I stuck with it.

Me: I think you should have contacted me. Why don't you believe me about my father? Do you think I am crazy or evil?

Hopfer: No, but your siblings say that your story is inconsistent. First you said your uncle abused you, then your grandfather, then your father.

Me: When I first started dealing with this, I did not want to believe that my father abused me. Like you, I would rather have believed just about anything else. My therapist at the time wanted me to think it was my uncle.

Hopfer: Your own therapist doesn't believe you.

Me: The only therapist I worked with who is unethical enough to break confidentiality and speak to you about what she believes and doesn't believe about me, is Dr. Weisbord and she is also a friend of my father.

I'm trying to understand why you would advise my family to do such a terrible thing? What good could this possibly accomplish?

Hopfer: They have too choose between you and your father. They can't be loyal to both of you. They can't stand seeing the pain you are causing him.

Me: I wonder why you and my family are so focused on my fathers pain, which I didn't cause, yet no one seems to worry about my pain. I have lost my entire family because of this. And you have ruined any chances of my family taking any responsibility in dealing with this. Any chance of healing our relationship. If they want to cut me out let them at least own their own decision. Don't you realize that they take your advise as a psak, as da'as torah?

Hopfer: Yes. I realized that.

Me: would you consider changing your ruling.

Hopfer: No, I still think they have to choose.

Me: Is it because you don't believe me, that my father sexually abused me?

Hopfer: Yes, I don't believe that he did that.

Me: How can you be objective about this considering that you trust my father so much? He has taken over your shiurim for you when you are out of town. He has taught your children. Don't you think it would have been more responsible to send my family to someone else for advice about this? Someone who is not so close to the situation?

Hopfer: I believe that I made the correct decision.

In the end my father is still the principal of an elementary school. If the Rabbi's in Baltimore care at all about the safety of the children in their community they would insist that my father be evaluated by a professional who is trained to evaluate potential offenders. If they continue to try to "protect" him and demonize, discredit, and isolate me, they are continuing to perpetuate a tremendous evil for themselves and their community. They share some of the responsibility for the horrors I went through and they will be responsible for any new victims of abuse by my father.

I am still treated like I do not exist by my family. I don't know which of my siblings are married, and I have not been told of any births or s that have occurred.

I am still looking for a rabbi who is willing to stand up for me and challenge Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer to take a second look at what he is doing to me and to my family. Whatever the outcome, it would help me heal my relationship with Judaism to know that there is someone representing Torah who is willing to stand up for what is right.

April 28, 2006 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weinberg Case / Protocols - Blogspot


Below are some of the comments made regarding the case of Rabbi Matis Weinberg

A thought @ 1:28PM | 2004-04-30

If years ago the Jewish community had stepped in and cleaned things up we wouldn't have gotten to this point. These problems go back at least 4 decades when the first signs began emerging at Ner Israel (Baltimore and Toronto) and today we have the following Ner alumni making news:

1) Rabbi Israel Kestenbaum - probation, trying to meet underage teenage girls for sex on the internet

2) Rabbi Ephraim Bryks - resgned from the RCA under cloud of child molestation allegations

3) And now Rabbi Matis Weinberg


A thought @ 1:31PM | 2004-04-30| permalink

60's article on Ner Israel Toronto when it was run by Matis' father before they returned a year later to Baltimore:

Student Rabbi expelled for 'causing unrest'

Toronto Star (Canada), Sat., May 31, 1969 p.6

An American student has been expelled from Ner Israel Yeshiva College on Finch Ave. for allegedly causing unrest among studentd at the associated Ner Israel high School on the same campus.

Faculty president Rabbi J. S. Weinberg said Joseph Markin, 22, a visiting student was "out permanently" for "deliberately provoking younger students into feeling that injustices had been done before discussing the matter with me."

Markin studying to become a rabbi, said he was accused of instigating a protest demonstration last wednesday. He said he knew about the protest but did not suggest it or take part.

Rabbi Weinberg denied that there had been a demonstration, but said some people had tried to cause trouble. A mimeographed list of "abuses" by Rabbi Weinberg, including staff changes, was circulated at the high school and the college.

The rabbi said a high school student had been "interrogated against his will." He said he was taking disciplinary action against those responsible.

(Alleged Victims Name withheld), 16, a high school student, said he was assaulted by two college students seeking names of those behind the protest.

(Alleged Victims Name withheld) said he and 14 other students were suspended for a day on Wednesday morning to prevent them from holding the protest. Rabbi Weinberg said 15 students were suspended for oversleeping and missing morning prayers.


me @ 11:07PM | 2004-05-04| permalink


The Awareness Center also has this story of abuse regarding Ner in the 50s. I think it gives at least a sense of part of the problem.

1) young vulnerable children from dysfunctional family being sent to remove them from that dysfunctional situation

2) same children at the mercy of older children, bullies and other troubled children

3) unaddressed systemic sexual abuse problem in institution

4) victims treated as guity party and tossed out just like abusers

5) staff does not have the training or experience to deal with the problem

6) victim is made to feel they have no where to turn

7) the more isolated they are, the easier they become prey

April 28, 2006 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a link to Rabbi Yosef Blau's excellent article:


April 28, 2006 12:44 PM  
Anonymous yacov said...




















April 28, 2006 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your comments but using all caps makes it hard to read. Also on line it means you are screaming.

I'm a survivor of child abuse. When people scream at me I often end up in flashback.

What you are saying is important so please say it in a tone that we can all hear.

April 28, 2006 3:57 PM  
Anonymous yacov said...

no problem! ican use lowercase letters. thankx for pointing that out to me.

April 28, 2006 6:49 PM  
Anonymous yehudah said...

I was wondering if everyone who is a survivor of Shmuel Juravel contacted the FBI and shared their stories?

I know many people may be afraid to do this, but if you don't report it, you become a part of the problem.

The only way things will ever change is if you find the courage to report. I know that many of us are afraid that if we do, we may not be able to keep our identities confidential. The important thing to remember is that you have done NOTHING wrong. You were a victim of a horrible crime. If you were robbed on the the street at gun point you would have reported it immediately to the police, you would have also told everyone you know about it.

When you are sexually abused or sexually assaulted it is the same thing. WE ALL NEED TO REPORT THESE CRIMES.

I was told that in Maryland there is NO statue of limitations on sex crimes against children when it comes to criminal charges. I was also told that if you report what Juravel did to you, it will help the current case against him.

By speaking out you are also speaking out for all survivors of other sex offenders. They are not as lucky as you are, their offenders have never been caught. Please help, and report. Work with law enforcement. Do your civil duty and report the crimes.

April 29, 2006 11:28 PM  
Anonymous yacov said...


i appluad you for your courage! and i could not agree with you more. the simple truth is that change lies with us. we need to be the ones to make the changes or it wont happen.

i know of 4 survivors in baltimore who have reported to the FBI thier sexual molestation by juravel. and i also know that one of those survivors was encouraged directly by his Rabbi to go to the FBI.

an update: the meeting is still scheduled for may 7 at 5pm. we now have a committment from 8 courageous survivors who are willing to share thier stories with rabbis in our community.these rabbis have volunteered to be a part of the positive changes that we all want to see happen in our community. please participate! the more survivors that we have coming forward the more powerful our message will be. i can be contacted thru email. be a prt of the difference!

April 30, 2006 12:49 PM  
Anonymous yehudah said...

yacov, the idea of a meeting with rabbis sounds great. But what rabbis will be present?

I'll be honest with you. I don't know if I would feel comfortable telling my story in front of just any rabbi. I also don't know you, and I don't trust e-mailing people I don't know especially when it comes from someone in Baltimore. I've been burnt by the community there already.

Who can vouch for you being authentic?

April 30, 2006 12:54 PM  
Anonymous yacov said...

the people at the awareness center and the people at the sidran foundation know who i am and what i am doing. you can contact them. i am not affilited with either of them, but they know me. also, many other survivors in baltimore know me. im not hard to find.

April 30, 2006 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone REALLY think that they can or will get any straight or true answers from any of the Rabbi's. No way.
The Rabbi in Savannah was told by three people (2 in person, 1 by a unidentified phone caller) that something was strange about this person Juravel..this was over 5 years ago and yet he allowed this person to lead the service on Shabbos. This juravel kid raised money for the Shul..That blinded
the big shots to anything that they were told. Money became the issue rather then Hasham.

Any Wyoming..Certainly his parents had to know why he went there.
and yet, no response to repeated
questions as to what or why he was there. I've certainly lost my faith and confidence in the Rabbi's. I'll go direct to Hasham from now on ; can't trust the rabbi's for the truth. That's a shame.
It's all about $$$, the rabbi's making a living , protecting themselves.

It seems that this person juravel never even existed in Baltimore. NO ONE seems to know why Wyoming,of all places..The FBI will get to the bottom of all of this..The rabbi's who knew should be held accountable,as well.

May 01, 2006 11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miriam did yossi kushner guy know about SJ when he made the shidduch were they good friends?

May 01, 2006 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just doing a search on special schools in Wyoming, just wondering if that's why someone keeps asking about Juravel being there. I came up with this: WYOMING BOYS' SCHOOL. When I went to a site it came up with information on People Finders

I have no idea if these are places that the Shmuel Juravel lived? I also don't know if there is more then one Shmuel Zev Juravel.

If these are places Juravel lived, I'm curious if there are boys who were victimized by Juravel in these towns too?

Comprehensive Background Report


2 unique addresses in Brooklyn, NY
1 unique address in Scranton, PA
1 unique address in Cleveland Heights, OH

1 unique address in Pikesville, MD
2 unique addresses in Detroit, MI
1 unique address in Oak Park, MI
4 unique addresses in Savannah, GA
2 unique addresses in Baltimore, MD
2 unique addresses in Far Rockaway, NY
1 unique address in Staten Island, NY
1 unique address in Airmont, NY

May 02, 2006 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the link that brought me to People Finders.com


May 02, 2006 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wyoming Boys' School

Gary Gilmore, Superintendent
(307) 347-6144 � Phone
(307) 347-4869 � Fax

The Wyoming Boys' School (WBS), under the Department of Family Services, serves as a rehabilitative/correctional facility for court ordered delinquent boys, ages 12 through 18. Located five miles south of Worland, WY on approximately 40 acres of land, the WBS has four Dormitories, which house up to 95 students. The on site, year round school, is WSDE accredited for grades 7 -12 and also offers a GED program to qualified students. The average age of the students is 16 years. Lengths of stay ranges from 90 to 120 days on the short term Dorm to over a year on the long term Dorm. Students placed at the Boys' School have had on average 5 previous out of home placements.

May 02, 2006 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funding for the Wyoming Boys' School is $9,288,545 for the 2003-2004 biennium. Most of this funding comes from the State general fund. There are 94 staff positions appropriated for the Boys' School.

The Wyoming Boy's School provides a safe and structured environment with programs designed to meet the students' needs. A variety of group learning sessions in areas such as victim awareness, criminal thinking errors, substance abuse and family dynamics are coupled with counseling and Psychiatric support provided by Washakie Mental Health Center and the Department of Health.

May 02, 2006 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally, someone is shedding some light on this Wyoming stuff. That school in Wyoming has a sex offender treatment program, or so the information says. As far as Pikesville- that is where SJ lived as a child in Baltimore. Savannah is where he has lived until now. He also went to yeshiva in Far Rockaway for awhile. Many of the other adresses you listed are surrounding areas of the places SJ was known to have been. Maybe he set up multiple residences to cover for his illegal activities. On anywho.com there are many listings for Samuel Zev Juravel, Shmuel Zev Juravel etc. Many of them overlap to the same Shmuel so it is probably safe to say that he was in many of these places. Some of the listings show a Shmuel Zev Juravel that is a few years older than the one we are talking about. However, this SJ also is related to many of the same people as this shmuel. Therefore, it is likely the same Shmuel. He probably registered as a few years older for something when he was younger in order to meet some age requirement for some offer.

May 02, 2006 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any proof that SJ went to the Wyoming School? or that he actually ever went to Wyoming?

If he did go to Wyoming, or attended the school, does anyone have proof why?

May 02, 2006 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure that someone knows whether he went or not. Even if he did not, he is still a sick pervert. But if he did go there, well, it certainly makes sense, because again, he is a sick pervert.

May 02, 2006 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somewhere in these blogs, there was a report that after his trial in Alabama, three states have put in for extradition to pursur charges against him. Sav.Ga. , Balt,Md, and Wyoming. The case against this creep is building by the day.The FBI will get all the answers !

May 02, 2006 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why he went to Wyoming but he did go,that's for sure.
I have no idea if he went to school there..doesn't matter .

Wyoming is in line for extradition to Wyoming to face charges,after
the federal trial coming up in Ala.

May 03, 2006 4:05 AM  

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