Thursday, January 11, 2007

Moshe Rosenberg, Rabbi Yosef Blau, JJ Goldberg and Gil Student

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Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg / Rabbi Yosef Blau / JJ Goldberg

Originally I had an e-mail posted here regarding the presenation of Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg, Rabbi Yosef Blau, Gil Student, and JJ Goldberg. I have recently learned that the posting was inaccurate and have since removed it.

You can now download the Etz Chaim Kew of Garden Hills presentation:

Covering and Uncovering Scandal in the Jewish Community
Audio from this popular symposium is now available for download. Streaming Audio will be available soon. Please note the file size is 100MB! [Download]


Blogger Gil Student said...


The gentleman sent around in an e-mail a number of things I said in a private conversation and remembered many of the details incorrectly. For example, the rabbi of the shul never (at least in my presence) mentioned anything about this blog. I heard speak (in public) about the negative nature of blogs in general. Also, the details about Chaim Neuhoff are all confused. Nor did I "admit" that I am friends with him as if it is some sort of crime or any secret. I also did not contradict myself about this blog or blogs in general. I both criticized and praised UOJ, I think even referring to him as a hero and someone who has saved children. My main point, and I don't know how this gentleman missed it, is that parents are obligated to demand accountability from their childrens' yeshivos.

I was told that the audio of the speeches is going to be put up on the shul's website.

As to why I spoke, I specifically did not present myself as an expert but as a parent. I was invited, so I went.

And if anyone is in touch with the gentleman who sent the e-mail, please tell him that I followed up on the matter we discussed and he is incorrect.

January 08, 2007 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Response to Gil Student said...

I was tipped off by a friend late tonight about your post. I would much rather be getting some sleep right now, but I feel I cannot wait until tomorrow to respond. The ground rule of the forum indeed was that no names could be mentioned, but I don't think you're naive enough to assume that any informed person didn't know exactly who was being discussed. Even without blatant references to the NY Magazine article, you said yourself - repeatedly - that the mystery blogger is the most widely discussed issue in town. Even if the audience had been held incommunicado for the last year, they have enough clues to find out who UOJ is in no time flat.

It seems that someone other than myself might be confused about Neuhoff. I asked you point blank if you are friends with him. You unequivocally responded "yes". You in fact did both criticize & praise UOJ, which I believe sounds contradictory to reasonable people, at least as far as why you criticized him. I also happen to be a critic of UOJ as far as his attacks on gedolim who do not enable abuse, but you stated in your public remarks that UOJ is mowing down many a yeshiva and organizational official without just cause. You explained that they are not guilty as UOJ would have them, but rather inept. If that is not a whitewash of enablers who conspired to preserve the status quo of abuse, then I must have been hallucinating. Starting with the well known rabbi who handed Tora Temima a list of all victims who came forward, I shudder to think the din vecheshbon these people will have to give. Certainly they are not the well-meaning patsies that you would have us believe.

It is my belief, based on your body language, as well as your speech, that you reluctantly attributed credit to UOJ after practically demonizing him at length. You made sure to point out that you hold UOJ in such contempt that you will never utter his name anywhere, not just in the shul that night. If UOJ is so "obnoxious" and resorts to such nefarious tactics, I think it a fair question to ask why Neuhoff has been spared your wrath. Here is a blogger, who also hid behind a cloak of anonymity, except this time he was on the payroll of alleged abusers & enablers, in the role of attack dog, unleashed on those who would fight injustice.

It is true that you modestly downplayed your role that evening. My comment on your role was directed at how the moderator introduced you as the most widely known figure in the J-blogosphere. In fairness to you, I should have pointed that out. I may have gotten carried away because I have a problem lately with "experts" being inserted where they don't belong, like Rabbi Twerski, who is better suited in the role of juris doctor, than being presented by "honorable" men as some sort of guru in areas beyond his scope. As the Wall St Journal editorial page often mockingly notes, "what would we do without experts?"

I see that you take offense at my revealing what you said to me after the forum concluded. I did not think offhand that you revealed any secrets and our conversation was within earshot of others who were at times listening in and eventually interjecting. I do not take giluy sod lightly, as outlined by the Sefer Chareidim and others as an issur. It was public knowledge that Rav Belsky directed Neuhoff, as Tuvya himself proclaimed on the blog. If R' Aron Schechter's involvement was not for public consumption, please be moychel me for causing you discomfort.

I have been more careful of late to limit my distribution of controversial emails to a select group, but I see that even that can spiral out of control. Now that this is in the open, I hope that I have not erred in any other way. My feeling is that I have not.

I got the feeling in general from the other item we discussed, that you can be a valiant ally in the war on child abuse. I just feel there is room for improvement in the area I highlighted.

Response to Gil Student said...
Because I was exhausted last night, I missed the opening thrust of Gil Student's post. My email only revealed a single item that was discussed in semi-private, the Neuhoff topic, not multiple items as is mashma from "a number of things." Gil writes in the same paragraph that this very topic of Neuhoff is no secret, which sounds to me like when Avi Shafran communicates the Aguda party line to an inquirer, then grumbles that some sort of confidentiality agreement has been broken if the person "reveals" the big non-secret.

January 09, 2007 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Confused said...

Who is Gil Student anyway? I have only recently heard of him. Everyone knows UOJ, Luke Ford, Jewish Survivor, Jewish Whistleblower. But who is this Gil Student? Which blog is his?

January 09, 2007 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Confused said...

Who is Gil Student anyway? I have only recently heard of him. Everyone knows UOJ, Luke Ford, Jewish Survivor, Jewish Whistleblower. But who is this Gil Student? Which blog is his?

January 09, 2007 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gil Student is the "Mr. Jump in the abuse issue", so I can promote my publishing company. He's a nobody that is trying to squeeze his way in here for profit. He should be ignored, he's part of the problem.

January 09, 2007 11:55 AM  
Anonymous get with the program said...

January 09, 2007 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gil Student is a nobody trying to pass himself off as an expert. He's out of his mind if he thinks anyone takes him seriously in this or any other area. He's a bookseller, and not a good one at that either. They guy is pathetic.
He's taking on UOJ a guy that really knows what he's doing, look at the results! Unreal idiots jumping in to cash in here.

January 09, 2007 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the 2005 Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards, Gil Student's Hirhurim won Gold in Best Jewish Religion Blog, Bronze in Best Overall Blog and Bronze in Best Series.

January 09, 2007 8:02 PM  
Blogger Michael Feldstein said...

Gil Student produces the blog Hirhurim(

He has covered the subject of sexual abuse within the Orthodox community in several posts in a responsible fashion.

I know Gil personally, and he is a decent, thoughtful person who is very concerned about the same things that those who read this blog are concerned about.

Why the Jewish Survivors blog had the need to ridicule him and tarnish his name in print without checking his side of the story first is beyond me.

I think you owe Gil (and all those who respect him) an apology.

January 10, 2007 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was inaccurate about the post and who did you learn about it from ? Did you hear both sides of the story ? I checked the shul website and they have not yet posted the audio so that anything can be absolutely verified. I happen to know the person in attendance who recorded what happened. He is known to be a very straight shooter who hates dishonesty. He is knowledgable, a musmach from a prestigious yeshiva and is close to some of the true gedolim in our times, who are much greater than anyone on the Moetzes or who cover up abuse. You don't hear from these gedolim because they are too old and frail to get involved and are largely ignored by the Agudah politicos.

January 10, 2007 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect, I believe that all the presenters, save for rabbi Blau, have biases that could possibly lend them to improperly agree with Gil's side of the story. Even if it came from rabbi Blau, I suspect there may have been some kind of miscommunication.

January 10, 2007 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gilligan is a snake. He plays all sides of every issue. Who cares about his bronze blog stupid rewards, nobody pays any attention to him.

January 10, 2007 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos for doing the responsible thing and removing that post. I am a reuglar reader of hirhurim and know that Gil Student speaks strongly about abuse and molestation and didn’t deserve that post.

For the record, I know Neuhoff and asked him myself for corroboration of what was stated on that post. I am taking the liberty of clarifying some misinformation.

1) It was his own decision to start the blog (not Rabbi Belsky). As stated on his blog, this was based on his distaste for the sensationalism, disparagment of Torah leaders, and inaccuracies reported on the UOJ blog. Rabbi Belsky was only approached regarding the question of publicizing UOJ’s identity.

2) The blog was "clean" throughout and is still left up for those who wish to investigate (tuvyasblog). In fact, he publicly credited UOJ on the blog for his role in making Torah Temimah safer.

3) He said that his involvement in Torah Temimah was as follows. Torah Temimah asked him in June to work for 2 hours weekly in the school, which he agreed to. His involvement in the blog had nothing to do with Rabbi Margulies and T.T. (in fact, Rabbi M. was upset about it because he felt that UOJ should be ignored). When his name was publicized, he called T.T. immediately to inform that it would be perceived as a conflict of interest and informed them that he will not be working there. He has had nothing to with T.T since and has not received a penny from them. He also has had nothing to do with blogging since.

January 11, 2007 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jewish Survivor blogger,

Please don't fall for all the spin that's being posted here in defense of Neuhoff & Gil Student.

It is possible that Neuhoff is not working for Torah Temimah right now, but he was still there for a while after he was exposed.

This copy of a letter from the yeshiva, dated in August, proves it.

UOJ had a team of IT experts that include a former VP from IBM and former NYPD officer track down Neuhoff and learn his identity.

It is much more than a coincidence that another Temimah employee was unmasked as the author of another attack blog called "Mr. Rosh yeshiva"

It is well known that Margulies had a team of people digging up any dirt they could find on the 2 people they suspected were UOJ, on Eli Greenwald who defended the victims without hiding and on the victims themselves. UOJ's IT people were busy warding off posts that smeared the victims. These posts were being typed from multiple computers and contained information that only people closely involved could know.

January 11, 2007 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Moshe Rosenberg said...

The recording of Saturday night's program can now be accessed at Any excerpt or report cannot do the topic justice. Please come and listen and form your own opinion.

Moshe Rosenberg

January 11, 2007 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please refer to the audio file of Gil Student's public address.

Gil started off in his first "for the record" post here by saying that Rabbi Rosenberg never mentioned anything about UOJ, which would have me putting words in his mouth as it were. Very true regarding Rabbi Rosenberg and also very misleading because Gil himself referred to the NY Magazine article at 1 hour and 47 minutes into the forum. This was after all the other dead giveaway clues that Gil provided. How do you spell comic relief ? It's not R-O-L-A-I-D-S. It's Gil Student giving a speech on U-O-J. If Gil wants to play dumb he will have to find another choir to preach to.

Gil said that I mistated the Neuhoff details that he told me. That is simply not true.

Gil has adamantly stated that his words that night can only be interpreted as lauding UOJ. He then tried to "clarify" by saying he was not attacking UOJ on his core mission of stopping molesters, but over what Gil feels are peripheral issues, like UOJ maligning people that are "remotely involved" or who "merely mishandled" the situation. Gil was mocked at the time for not making sense about the enablers who are much more complicit than he would like us to believe.

I will now demonstrate that the audio shows, in my view, that Gil also contradicted himself on the core inyan of UOJ vs molesters.

45 minutes into the audio - Gil makes what sounds like an odd statement that he is not interested in molesters going to jail. That he feels, is for victims interested in "revenge". Gil says he is only interested in protecting his children. Pray do tell Gil, how you can ensure your children's safety if predatory beasts are allowed to roam free ?

46 minutes - Although Gil later commends UOJ, he describes UOJ's tactics of stopping molesters as "offensive"

48 minutes - Gil informs us that what UOJ did (in the context of stopping molesters) was "ossur" - "but he saved children."

50 minutes - The same UOJ that Gil claims he called a "hero", is labeled a "malcontent". I'm not sure which definition Gil bears in mind but the word was apparently first introduced to English in the Middle Ages. In Shakespearian & later Renaissance literature, the morality and sympathy of the malcontent is a massive variable.

1 hour & 17 minutes - Rav Blau shlita criticizes the parent body of Tora Temima for enabling Margulies and setting back the fight against molestation in general by leaving their sons in the yeshiva. Allow me to derive from this that Gil's friend Neuhoff is in the same boat, if not worse, for accepting Margulies's offer of employment. To my knowledge Gil has never criticized Neuhoff at all, although the apologists have begun littering the blogs with alibis for Neuhoff, which will probably be invoked. Neuhoff mind you, has had time to sanitized his blog by deleting many revolting items that would be difficult to defend against. Furthermore, Gil has not bestowed any of the plethora of rosy appellations on Neuhoff that he applied to UOJ, like "obnoxious", "malcontent", etc

1 hour & 26 minutes - Gil admits that no one has been unjustly fired as a result of being accused. In the same breath he then says he would still not employ UOJ's methods.

1 hour & 29 minutes - be'neshima achas, Gil says that UOJ saved children AND that UOJ attacked "well meaning" people (I can't make this up)

Gil says he is most upset by the Rabbi Schiffenbauer "revelation". I did not hear any mention of the minyan on the recording although I am sure it was part of the public comments. I don't know who it was that uploaded the tape after almost a week and wether there could have been some sort of glitch or edit. I was sure that Gil mentioned the minyan, most likely after enumerating the various yeshivos whose talmidim he said follow the blogs. I cannot even figure out a context where it could have been inserted in our semi-private conversation. (I believe there is one other remark made last week, one that is a political hot potato, that is mysteriously missing. I would have to listen to the audio again to be certain). Still, I am guilty of at least one error here. There was really no need for me to farentfer myself. Gil does not accuse me of fabricating that story and I did not blow some kind of secret as Rabbi Schiffenbauer gave the remarks in his shul where it was surely at least be'apei tlasa. As I mentioned earlier, I also had no idea who Gil was referring to. Abstract parties filled in the blanks because it was already public knowledge.

Getting back to the contradictions that are like tantzerei bei alleh chassunos, I would ask the real Gil Student to please stand up.

January 12, 2007 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Get Help Now said...

You're losing it man. Just quit before you make a bigger fool out of yourself.

January 13, 2007 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Cosby said...
sounds like getting Gil Student to explain his shitos is like trying to nail a piece of Jell-o to the wall

January 13, 2007 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard the audio and he was clear as day if you just listen to what he says and it makes perfect sense. You can think he's wrong but don't pretend that he's contradicting himself when we can all hear for ourselves that he's consistent. You just don't like that he criticized the hailiga UOJ for going too far but I bet most people agree with him about that.

January 14, 2007 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Gilligan Spin Machine is Wrong Again said...

Most people, including Gil's critic, are upset at UOJ's outrageous attacks on rabbanim who have nothing to do with abuse cases. Gil Student's critic elucidated quite well how Gil contradicts himself on the most critical issue that concerns us all, UOJ's methods to expose actual abusers and enablers. It's as simple as pie, unless of course you are trying to cover for Gil's derriere. There is also recent material on UOJ's blog exposing Gil's foolish & irresponsible behavior regarding his protection to some extent of a crackhead who was robbing shuls & yeshivas in Brooklyn. I looked into this after reading the allegations and found that the rabbanim whose mosdot were broken into are not exactly happy with Gil. They think he's out of his mind.

January 14, 2007 10:20 AM  
Anonymous The topsy turvy world of Gil & friends said...

Speaking of Charlotte Schwab who is not qualified to deal with victims, Gil Student's friend Tuvya Neuhoff also has questionable credentials. UOJ and co are reporting that they tried looking up the state registry and can't find him anywhere. This guy was working as Torah Temimah's in-house psychologist, hired as part of the PR effort, after Kolko was exposed. He said he quit Torah Temimah because of a conflict of interest after being exposed himself as the anti-UOJ blogger. It seems that the more immediate "conflict" he had were threats to report him to authorities for practicing without a license.

January 14, 2007 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I looked into this after reading the allegations and found that the rabbanim whose mosdot were broken into are not exactly happy with Gil."

You obviously don't know the whole story and since there's only two shuls we're talking about and one of those rabbanim is very close with Gil, it's obvious who the rabbi you're talking about is and he probably doesn't know the whole story either or he wouldn't be upset with Gil. He should act like a mensch and ask Gil about it or even ask Goldstein or Hirsch. Or he could ask someone who davened by Shiffenbauer this Shabbos and heard Gil's story.

January 14, 2007 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just for your info, the burgler was caught red-handed at two shuls but is a suspect in many other break ins. There was a lot of talk about this at the time and others including rabbis and homeowners were angry or dismayed with Gil. What's this code talk? Who was by Schiffenbauer? One of the names mentioned supporting Gil is not taken very seriously and may have been part of problem. Also, the police gave Rabbi Goldstein a set of keys that didn't belong to the two shuls in question. Where were those stolen from?

So what is Gil's side of the story? It had better be a good explanation.

January 15, 2007 12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gil doesn't want the story posted on the internet but he said that the guy was in his house for only a few hours for a Shabbos meal and he was never asked to testify. He immediately told a bunch of rabbanim in the neighborhood including Goldstein before the guy even went to Kingsway and broke in. After the fact Hirsch told him that he should act exactly the same way if it ever occurs again. He was telling this to people at his table during the kiddush at Schiffenbauer's shul and a bunch of people overheard.

I don't think he cares if Zucker doesn't like him because he usually davens in other shuls like Hirsch and Mendelson and Kingsway where he's buddies with the rov.

January 15, 2007 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Madison said...

Slight correction.

It was a different rabbi that got the keys from police.

Maybe Gil can explain why he took in a stray cat. It's something else if he thinks he's going to weasel out of his responsibility to testify.

January 15, 2007 8:14 AM  
Anonymous How Convenient said...

"Gil doesn't want the story posted on the internet"

So now he's going to obfuscate like he did about UOJ?

With the guy at the Queens shul, it was he said, she said. It was hard to know if the guy or Gil was telling the truth about the private Neuhoff discussion. I'm inclined to think now that Gil is full of it. Why? Because I know for a fact that Gil was asked to testify. There were discussions in the neighborhood at the time, not just with the rosh yeshiva you mentioned, about getting the criminal put away and how Gil was squirming out of his reponsibilty like a slippery fish.

Gil likes word games. Everyone knows he was talking about UOJ but he denies it because he didn't actually say U O J. So maybe nobody used the word T E S T I F Y when he was approached. Hey Gil: Rochel - bitecha haktana and lehavdil, I did not have sex with that woman. New topic - Monica Lewinsky.

It figures he is friends with that slime Tuvya "I am against molestation of any kind" Neuhoff. He probably consulted with Neuhoff about the thief too. "I am against breaking and entering of any kind."

Gil, is that you yourself posting all these shvach defenses of yourself?

"Yashar" Books is getting a little too steeradick. Change the name to Evasive Incorporated.

January 15, 2007 11:18 AM  
Anonymous the maggid speaks said...

Only in Brooklyn would somebody think to ask why someone invited a stranger with no place to go for a Shabbos meal.

January 15, 2007 4:33 PM  
Anonymous mp muser said...

Gil has never denied talking about UOJ and it's only people who refuse to listen that think he did just listen to the audio and show me one place where he denied that he was talking about UOJ. What he denied in the comment here was that Rabbi Shiffenbauer was talking about UOJ because he was talking about blogs in general. You seem to have some need to turn him into a bad guy but it isn't going to work. And now you're accusing him of posting this himself because he definitely doesn't have anyone in the blog world who is willing to defend him. I just called him now 10:15PM and he said that he was never asked to testify. If you have information that he was asked to testify then please let us know who asked him and when.

January 15, 2007 9:21 PM  
Anonymous My observation said...

I'm from central Flatbush, not near the shuls discussed, but I happen to know about the story. I find it funny how Chassidei Gil Student which as someone points out may consist of Gil, himself and he, are presenting this. They admit that Rabbi A.Z. is probably upset with him, but dismiss him because they think he doesn't stack up against some no name rabbis defending Gil. Is this just pretend or do you really think that only one rabbi is upset? There were other crime scenes all over town that probably lead back to the same culprit.

I also chuckle at Chassidei Gil getting tied up in knots with all the silly diyukim. The bottom line is that Gil gave a confused speech.

Regarding the comment about Shabbos guests in Brooklyn, the way I recall the story is that he was a sleepover guest by the Students. Even if I'm wrong, it was inferred that the gonif, besides not being frum, had an appearance that should have raised questions.

January 16, 2007 12:21 AM  
Anonymous from mp also said...

Something tells me that this is all one guy attacking Gil because kol haposel bemumo. I don't know what your problem is. In your perverted religion only people dressed fashionably get invitations. The rest are left to spend Shabbat in the street. Is that what the Chafetz Chaim would have done? You are probably not even Jewish because you lack basic rachmanut. Maybe that's what they teach in Zucker's yeshiva. Be cruel and don't help others. Then you wonder why no one will try to help children being abused by their rebbes. You mock people who help others in need.

January 16, 2007 6:37 AM  
Anonymous chassidei gil said...

ROTFL if that's all you got then Gil must be squeaky clean

January 16, 2007 7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am from Marine Park. I wrote the "How convenient" message. There are other messages here disparaging Gil, calling him a snake etc, that I did not write. My "agenda" is to protect my community and my home. If in the process, Gil Student looks like an idiot, than so be it.

MP claims we have a weak case against Gil and pulls out the kol haposel card. He then states his case buoyed by snarky remarks against a respected rosh yeshiva. Let the public decide which side is standing on thin ice. Rabbi Zucker, who you wrongly assume is ganging up on Gil as some sort of solo critic, has a very successful yeshiva and shul. Gil davens in some hole in the wall with about a dozen regulars. They can't even get a minyan together sometimes. Gil's rabbi has attempted getting more than one yeshiva off the ground that have been dismal failures. That takes care of that.

Before the trial, Gil was approached by someone. I probably need permission to post his name here. Gil said he asked a rov and got a "psak" that it's mesirah to testify. No one could believe that nonsense. The word got around town that Gil is some kind of oddball who is off his rocker. I can tell you from my personal experience, that people from at least 3 shuls on the other side of Nostrand were talking about it. I also fielded at least two inquiries from former Flatbush residents living out of town.

If Gil wants to operate a homeless shelter, that's his business. In today's day and age you have to be crazy though if you don't take a lot of precautions. You don't just take in anyone suspicious looking unless you find out who they are. What about if Gil's family had been harmed?

You suggest that we are all about "bad middos", yet if it were up to Gil, a dangerous criminal might not have been locked up and enablers of child abuse are nice guys who made a simple mistake.

And you Mr. MP, have your own misguided affairs to get in order. Accusing someone of having non-Jewish yichus is a serious aveirah.

January 16, 2007 1:08 PM  

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