Friday, June 29, 2007

Israeli President Moshe Katsav will not face rape charges

Israeli President will not face rape charges
by Dan Izenberg

Jerusalem Post
June 28, 2007

also see:

  • Analysis: A low point for law enforcement
  • Gov't watchdog urges Mazuz to quit

  • Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz faced a barrage of criticism and calls for his resignation on Thursday for the plea bargain agreement that he arranged with President Moshe Katsav in the state's lengthy and highly public investigation of numerous claims of sexual misconduct.

    But legal experts said it was highly unlikely that the High Court would accept petitions to strike down the plea bargain, and that Mazuz could not be forced from office.

    Rather than face a trial on charges including two counts of rape, the president has agreed to admit to committing an indecent act without consent through the use of pressure, sexual harassment and harassing a witness.

    The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison - but Katsav will not spend a day behind bars, because the state has agreed to a one-year suspended sentence.

    The president is also due to hand in his resignation from the office on Friday. His full seven-year term of office was due to end in two weeks.

    Legal experts, MKs and women's groups reacted to Mazuz's announcement of the plea bargain with fierce criticism, shocked by the dramatic reversal in the case.

    University of Haifa law professor Emmanuel Gross said he could not understand the drastic turnabout in Mazuz's decision. "I don't understand the reasons for it, the factors involved and certainly not its logic," he said in a TV interview. "From the point of view of someone not directly involved in the affair, this is one of the less attractive days for Israel and the institution of the attorney-general. The turnabout is absolutely illogical and absolutely unreasonable."

    Former justice minister Amnon Rubenstein told
    The Jerusalem Post the decision "will have catastrophic effects in terms of the public belief in the rule of law," and called on the government to establish a commission to review practices in the Attorney-General's office.

    Yoram Shachar, professor of Criminal Law at Herzliya's Interdisciplinary Center, described the plea bargain to the
    Post as one of the most problematic events in the history of Israeli law enforcement.

    Former Tel Aviv University professor Gad Barzilai said that if Katsav's lawyers had presented new evidence that changed Mazuz's mind, then "why had the police, the investigative branches, the senior members of the state prosecution and the attorney-general not uncovered it themselves? Something very improper, to say the least, took place in Mazuz's kingdom; the affair requires a widespread public examination," he wrote in an article on the Ynet Web site.

    Meanwhile, the Movement for Quality Government in Israel demanded that Mazuz resign unless he could prove that Katsav's lawyers had presented new evidence to justify the plea bargain arrangement.

    The watchdog organization said that "time after time, despite evidence that was sufficient to convince the police and the state prosecutor to put senior elected officials on criminal trial for serious crimes, a decision was made to go very easy on those senior officials."

    It is possible that groups or individuals will petition the High Court of Justice to overturn the plea bargain agreement, but experts say it is unlikely that the court will intervene.

    And despite the criticism of Mazuz, there is no way to force the attorney-general to resign before his term expires.

    The plea bargain indictment is a far cry from the draft charge sheet that, on January 23, Mazuz said he planned to file against Katsav, pending a hearing to be granted the president and his lawyers.

    According to the draft indictment, Katsav was to have been charged with two counts of rape regarding a woman identified as the "second Aleph," who worked in the Tourism Ministry when Katsav served as minister.

    The draft indictment also included several charges against Katsav for actions allegedly carried out against the "first Aleph," who served as his office manager in the president's residence. The prosecution decided to drop all the charges against Katsav regarding the "first Aleph," and added that the prosecution had decided to do so independent of the plea bargain negotiations with Katsav's attorneys.

    The amended indictment that is due to be filed against Katsav on Sunday includes charges involving only two women. Mazuz also agreed to drop a separate charge against the president for giving gifts provided by the state to be given in public affairs to members of his family and friends. Instead, Katsav will repay the state for the value of the gifts.

    Katsav's lawyers welcomed Mazuz's decision.

    Before the hearing, attorneys Avigdor Feldman and Zion Amir had announced that they would present new evidence to Mazuz. But on Thursday, Feldman said it was not the new evidence that had persuaded the attorney-general to change his mind. Rather, he said, "It was the way we presented the evidence [gathered by the police]. We demonstrated clearly that it did not justify an indictment."

    Feldman insisted that Katsav had done nothing criminal and made it clear that the president had agreed to plead guilty for pragmatic reasons only.

    "We almost had to use force to persuade the president to plead guilty to the charges because, had he not done so, the prosecution would have filed an indictment including two rape charges," said Feldman. "He would have been acquitted in the end, but he would have gone through the hell of a prolonged trial, media attention, media hullabaloo, sitting on the defendant's dock and facing harsh and humiliating accusations."
    Feldman said that, in the plea bargain discussions, he and Amir had first asked Mazuz to drop the case in return for Katsav's resignation.

    Mazuz refused, but "in my opinion," continued Feldman, "it would have been better if no indictment were to be filed in court."

    During his press conference on Thursday, Mazuz tried to preempt his critics. "The plea bargain arrangement," he said, "achieves the main aims of the investigation in this case. This includes disclosure of the incidents that took place over many years, which also led to their cessation and the acceptance by the president of public and legal responsibility for his deeds."

    But Mazuz also admitted that the evidence the state had gathered against Katsav was problematic.
    "At the heart of the plea bargain arrangement was the fact that the case was a very complicated one in terms of evidence. There were significant difficulties with the evidence which had an effect on the chances of gaining a conviction.

    "We worked on the principle that if we could not reach a plea bargain agreement, we would file the indictment. However, when you file an indictment, you have this or that much chance of winning a conviction. In a plea bargain agreement, you win a guaranteed conviction, even if it is reduced [in scope]."
    Mazuz rejected accusations that the investigation and the suspicions against Katsav had yielded insignificant results.

    "We have here a situation in which the president of the state is convicted on his own plea of guilt of serious sexual crimes for a series of indecent acts and other crimes involving more than one woman, and another serious criminal act which is not sex-related. This is no simple matter - and if anyone thinks it is a molehill rather than a mountain, I know of no molehills that are so big."

    One of the most controversial aspects of Mazuz's decision was to drop all the charges against Katsav with regard to the "first Aleph." It was the alleged threat by the "first Aleph" to Katsav that she would reveal his sexual approaches or other alleged crimes that triggered the entire investigation.

    In the draft indictment, the state intended to charge the president with a series of crimes against her, including forbidden intercourse with consent by exploiting his authority in employment or service, committing an indecent act without consent, committing an indecent act by exploiting his authority and sexual harassment.

    The "first Aleph" held a press conference Thursday afternoon to protest the attorney-general's decision. During an hour-long presentation, she described Katsav's alleged sexual misconduct against her, charging that he had harassed her for months and eventually turned her into a sex slave. She charged that the prosecution had betrayed her by not including her in the indictment against the president and urged other women not to complain to the law enforcement agencies against sexual offenders because they would not help.

    Mazuz explained that the prosecution had decided not to make charges against Katsav with regard to the "first Aleph" because the evidence was complex and contradictory. Nevertheless, he described the relationship between the two as "clearly exceeding those of a purely work relationship, contradicting the sweeping denial of the president. The picture that emerges is one of an improper relationship involving anger, jealousy and ill will."

    Nevertheless, Mazuz continued, the investigators could not determine the substance of the relationship and could not prove with the degree of certainty required by the court that it involved criminal deeds.
    "Aleph" said at her press conference that she had been told by Jerusalem District Attorney Eli Abarbanel that the prosecution had decided to drop the charges because two women had contradicted her testimony.

    Thursday, June 28, 2007

    Feedback please: is one Oklahoma man's effort to target, expose and impact street and organized prostitution and the sexual trafficking of individuals.

    Do we encourage Survivors of Sex Crimes To Remain Jewish?

    I support The Awareness Center. I think you should too. I received the following letter from them today.

    Dear Friends,

    I have good news: The demands for The Awareness Center's Services grows each day. More and more people seek to share their stories, to seek support, to break the silence. As paradoxical as it might seem that more survivors are in need of help could be a good thing; the reality is that they are now able to seek help and trust that they will find a safe harbor in which to weigh down anchor after years of silent drifting in seas of loneliness, shaming, and secrecy. More and more people learn that they no longer need to carry the burden of their hurt alone. They call. They e-mail. They ask for help.

    We are honored by their trust and admiring of their bravery. However, there is also worry. Worry that as the demand for our services grows, our ability to meet those services is in serious danger as we lack the funding and resources to assist those who contact us in their hour of need. We are struggling to stay afloat.

    When survivors contact us, we spend hours trying to locate the right resources for them. We have colleagues who volunteer their time seeking help through connections all over the world with people who specialize in the particular needs of each survivor, each family of survivor, each family of abuser who asks for direction and support. The brave people who contact us are that important!

    Without guidance survivors often end up in the hands of missionaries who are all the happier to zero in on a survivor's anger with their abuser and their disillusion with their communities; and to turn them away from Jewish life altogether. People who work in counter-missionary organizations have voiced overwhelm with the number of survivors who turn to missionaries for love and support in times of confusion and hurt; equating Jewish life with isolation and taboo. Survivors who walked that path often told us that they didn't know where else to go. That they didn't know ANYONE in the Jewish community cared. That they didn't know they had an option to remain Jewish, to rediscover their connection to Jewish life. They are relieved to hear that The Awareness Center is the Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse and Assault--that it is there for THEM.

    We want to continue to provide a safe harbor for people from our communities to seek shelter and assistance in. Without the funds to operate, however, we end up risking becoming ourselves a ship without an anchor; filled beyond capacity with refugees who are thirsty for support and hungry for understanding. We risk having no safe harbor for the very people who need it most of all.

    Survivors of sexual assault are very much like refugees. Many are emotionally and psychologically destitute. Many are torn away from all they knew, shunned by the very people whom they loved or wish to love. They are vulnerable. Can we, Jewish people who know all too well the agony of refugees who sought safe-harbor only to be denied it, close the doors on other B’nai Israel calling for our help?

    Please become part of solution; become a healer that helps hold an open harbor for weary survivors seeking shelter. Help us continue to help the refugees of assault. The Awareness Center cannot operate without your financial support. You can help. Please do not turn those in need away.

    Your contribution to The Awareness Center, Inc. will help guarantee that Jewish survivors of sex crimes stand a chance in getting the help, information and resources they need. You will also be helping to educate Jewish communities all over the world on sexual abuse/assault prevention.

    The Awareness Center, is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, are deductible for computing income and estate taxes.

    Donation can be made by credit card, checks or money orders. To learn how to become a monthly financial supporter go to:

    The Awareness Center, Inc.
    (Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault)
    P.O. Box 65273
    Baltimore, MD 21209

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    Quote For Today

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
    -- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

    CALL TO ACTION: (Nevada) Carson District Judge William Maddox calls offense 'natural impulse'

    The Awareness Center, Inc.
    (The Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault)
    P.O. Box 65273, Baltimore, MD 21209

    CALL TO ACTION - Comments by Nevada's Carson District Judge Bill Maddox

    Please join The Awareness Center, Inc. in expressing outrage over the detestable comments of Carson District judge Bill Maddox (article below). If comments such as his are permitted to stand without an outcry from the public survivors and victims to be are in grave danger. Judge Maddox's comments seem to be an attempt to normalize pedophilia which he indicates is only illegal because there is a law against it not because it is evil per se.

    Please go to the website of the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline at to print out a complaint form. Please speak up, you do not have to be from Nevada to file a complaint. Let Judge Maddox and the Nevada Judiciary know that we are watching and that there must be disciplinary action as well as in depth education of judges regarding sex crimes.

    Carson District judge calls offense 'natural impulse'
    by F.T. Norton
    Neveada Appeal - March 28, 2007
    A Carson City man was sentenced to up to 18 years in prison on Tuesday for possessing more than 800 images of child pornography.

    Jason Excell, 36, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of possession of child pornography. In exchange for the plea, additional charges were dismissed.

    "These kinds of offenses are problems with impulse control," said Carson City District Judge Bill Maddox prior to sentencing. "When I say that, it's my understanding that most men are sexually attracted to young women. When I say young women I don't just mean women that ... you should be attracted to. I mean women from the time they're 1 all the way up until they're 100."

    Maddox noted the legal terms malum in se, a Latin phrase meaning an act that is "inherently evil," and malum prohibitum, which means acts that are not necessarily inherently immoral or hurtful, only wrong by statute.

    He said child pornography could be considered malum prohibitum because in some countries and cultures it is acceptable to engage in sexual conduct with young girls.

    "As an example, having sex with a girl between 12 and 16 is prohibited because we say it's prohibited. It's because we decided as a civilized society you do not want adults engaging in sexual conduct with children below 16 years of age, which flies in the face of our, I guess for lack of a better description, our normal impulses," he said.

    "I guess we could just ignore them, say it's just like a traffic ticket, it's malum prohibitum, it's only against the law because it's prohibited. Or we could say that because we're trying to control what's an otherwise natural impulse there has to be consequences.

    "The bottom line on it all is the way we're going to control it in my opinion is to ensure that everybody understands what the consequences are if you engage in ... a lack of impulse control. It's likely that most people would find young girls sexually attractive. But we're civilized to the point that we're taught to control our impulses. When you don't, there has to be consequences."

    In sentencing Excell, Maddox said he wanted to send a message to others in the community who might possess images of child porn.

    "I want it to be clear to anybody out there that is thinking of downloading them or getting them on CD or ordering them through the mail or whatever, if you get caught possessing them you're going to go to prison in Carson City," he said.

    Excell was arrested March 3, 2006, after his wife turned over photographs she found on his computer.

    According to Deputy District Attorney Kristin Luis, the images are of children "easily under the age of 10," being sexually violated by adults or engaging in sex with other children.

    She said at least 88 of the photographs were of children who have been identified by federal authorities through other child pornography cases nationwide.

    Maddox could have sentenced Excell to between 10 and 60 years. Parole and probation suggested a sentence of two to 12 years. Maddox opted for an additional six years on Excell's sentence so that if he were paroled, he'd be under state supervision longer.

    Excell is eligible for parole in two years. He was given credit for serving 391 days in jail.

    click below for the entire transcript of senenceing of Jason Excell on child porn charges

    Tuesday, June 26, 2007

    Quotes For Today

    "Pedophilia has no religion"
    -- Na'ama Yehuda

    "We've made contacts with several victims of sexual abuse. It's extraordinary to see how little people get punished for it. I've met people who''ve gotten years in jail for snatching purses and writing bad checks, yet these guys get probation. Justice is wrong somewhere."
    -- James Nelson

    "Dissociation is usually indicative of early childhood sexual abuse."
    -- Merle Friedman

    Chief Rabbinate to discuss stripping rabbis of title

    I wonder if the rabbis in Israel have been paying attention to The Awareness Center's calls for action to do this on other cases?
    Sex-case rabbis to lose title
    Chief Rabbinate to discuss stripping rabbis of title following investigation against Nahariya rabbi for rape

    By Chaim Levinson
    YNet News
    June 26, 2007

    The Chief Rabbinate will discuss a proposal to strip rabbis found guilty of sexual offenses of their title, Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported on Tuesday.

    The matter arose following an ongoing investigation against a Nahariya rabbi for raping minors.

    Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu came up with the proposal, according to which a committee will be set up to examine accusations against rabbis accused of sexual offenses and will hear all parties before revoking the rabbi's title.

    In a letter sent to the members of the Chief Rabbinate, Eliyahu wrote, "Someone in the position of a rabbi should be a man of values, moral and conscience, an impeccable man, and certainly innocent of forbidden sexual relations.

    "It is our duty as rabbis and members of Israel's Chief Rabbinate to set rules according to which a man who is suspected of forbidden relations is temporarily suspended from his role. A man who confesses must not be able to serve as rabbi in a public role."

    The subject will be discussed at the Rabbinate's next meeting on Thursday.

    The Power of All of Our Voices!

    Below you will find two different video's. The reason I'm posting them is because I want every survivors and individual who supports survivors to realize how powerful their voices can be when they unite and speak out.

    Many of us are afraid to come out and say "I was abused". Yet, if at least a quarter of us used our voices we could make the laws in the United States, Canada, Israel (and beyond) that much better.

    What I think is important about these two video's is that it can show survivors what it's like to provide testimony at a legislative hearing.

    In most court cases that involves child witnesses the child is usually given a tour of the court house. It helps reduce some of their anxiety. My hope is that by watching the following video's more survivors will see what it looks like and realize that it's safe. Please come forward and speak out when there is legislative hearing in your community.

    Remember there is power in numbers -- Let your voices be heard!
    Senate Hearing in Annapolis, MD
    By ChildHaveRights
    The following photographs were taken in Annapolis at the senate hearing on extending the statute of limitations on civil suits on sex crimes against children. The only opponent was the Catholic church. It appears that the government in Maryland is ran by the Church and not the people.
    Testifying in Washington DC
    By ChildHaveRights
    The following pictures were taken on June 1, 2007, at the Executive Office of the Mayor - Council of the District of Columbia.

    There was a huge difference testifying in DC then in Maryland. In DC the Catholic Church didn't run things. Survivors were treated with dignity and respect, instead of looked upon as demons.

    Monday, June 25, 2007

    Did Robin Williams go to far?

    While on "The Tonight Show," Robin Williams made fun of Catholic priests. Is it OK to bash Catholic priests or other religious leaders?

    Watch the video and post your comments. Let's talk about it. Could we be saying the same thing about rabbis? click here

    "Men or Rats" - Must Read Book

    Vicki Polin says:
    It's not often I read a book that is so compelling I couldn't put down. The book "Men or Rats" by Simonne Levi-Jameson is an incredible autobiography of Dr. Simonne Levi-Jameson as a child during the holocaust. See below for a more in-depth review of Levi-Jameson's book.

    Cost $20.00 (US dollars). Make checks payable to: Children's Rights Foundation, Inc. ELPIDA, Dr. Simonne Jameson, 620 Mt. Aitken Rd., Sunbury, Victoria, Australia 3429

    Click here for more books recommended by The Awareness Center.

    Dr Simonne Jameson with her eldest son, Jean-Christophe Burckhardt.
    Photo: Ingrid Shakenovsky

    Out of the Darkness
    By Lexi Landsman
    Australia Jewish News
    June 8, 2007

    SHE was only 12, but she can still recall the rotten smell of the wood, the musty dry air, the dust, the perpetual darkness and the rats.

    More than six decades later, Dr Simonne Jameson, who now lives in Melbourne, still cannot shake the memories of her three years living in hiding in an underground cellar of the National Library in Paris during the Holocaust.

    She tries to forget about the daily rapes, the small food rations, the loneliness and the unwavering fear.

    Instead, she focuses on the books, which she says “kept my sanity and gave me a refuge from reality”.

    Dr Jameson’s parents chose her out of their three children to send into hiding, after a police commissioner convinced them that he would “protect” her.

    Her parents fled with her younger brother and older sister to Bordeaux to escape deportation, leaving young Simonne behind.

    Within days of hiding in the rat-infested cellar, the rapes by pedophile police began and continued daily for three years.

    “I remember the books and the rats,” she recalls. “The books kept me alive. They gave me an escape from the pain and abuse, and gave me some hope and optimism.”

    Dr Jameson says she always had a feeling that she would survive and so she found solace in the philosophical books, which were kept in the cellar. A particular favourite was Candide by French philosopher Voltaire, which she credits as helping her survive.

    It was during those three years of living in captivity that Dr Jameson discovered her passion for psychotherapy, art and books.

    Since then, Dr Jameson, now 79, has taken that passion and become a renowned psychotherapist, child psychologist, art critic, philanthropist and author.

    She vowed from the moment she left the confines of the cellar that she would dedicate her life to helping children of abuse. And in 64 years, Dr Jameson has gone far beyond her word.

    In 1981, she founded the Children’s Rights Foundation (CRF), which provides free therapeutic services to disadvantaged families, and later the Arts Sans Frontieres, an art gallery where all profits go towards helping abused children.

    In 2003, she released a memoir of her experiences called Men or Rats. The book will be made into a Hollywood film later this year. Directed by Mark Medoff (producer of Children of a Lesser God and City of Joy), the film will star Thomas Haden Church, Anna Paquin and Alfred Molina. The role of Dr Jameson has yet to be cast.

    “It’s good that people will be able to know that you can survive anything. I hope that the film will send a positive message.”

    DR Jameson was born in 1928 in France in the annex of the National Library, where her father worked.

    Twelve years later the place of her birth would become her prison.

    “I had a very rich life before the war. I met lots of authors at the library and I was always a positive, trusting person. I was always optimistic,” she recalls.

    Dr Jameson slept between two bookshelves in the library on a metal military bed. She was fed a small ration of bread and water each day. Some days she went without any food at all. The only human contact she had was with the French police officers who sexually abused her. And apart from the abuse, she was also fearful of the rats.

    “The rats were very big and I feared that they would attack me one day but they never did. I think in some way, the rats adopted me as one of their own.”

    In her first few months in the cellar, Dr Jameson became critically ill. She recalls overhearing a conversation between the officers discussing what they would do with her dead body.

    “I never thought about escaping,” she explains. “One of the officers had shown me a bar of soap and he said that it was made of the fat from the Jews in Auschwitz. He told me I would become a bar of soap if I tried to leave. It haunted me.”

    At one point, Dr Jameson considered giving up.

    “I remember taking a piece of the mirror and thinking that I would cut my wrists, but something kept telling me that I would survive. So I didn’t.”

    In the last six months of captivity, an elderly police officer was sent to feed her and started crying as soon as he found her. He let her out into the courtyard for the first time to get fresh air.

    But, one week before she was freed, no-one came to feed her. She was starving and close to death.

    When she was eventually freed in September 1944 by the elderly officer, Dr Jameson weighed 38 kilograms, had tuberculosis and couldn’t walk.

    After being treated by a doctor and spending time in a sanatorium, she went back to the library where her father worked.

    “I went back there with hope, and when I knocked on the door, it was my father who opened it. I couldn’t believe it. My family had been told that I had been deported. It was overwhelming to see them.”

    Dr Jameson says that writing her book six decades after being freed was cathartic.

    “I wrote my book at a time that I was not well I wanted it to be like a will that I would leave my children. It was very therapeutic.”

    Last year, Dr Jameson went back to the cellar with the film crew who are expected to go into production later this year. She says she was shocked to find that nothing in the cellar had changed.

    “I thought going back wouldn’t affect me after so many years. But it did and it brought back a lot of traumatic memories to see the books and the archives just as they had been. I stood there and I was 12 years old again.”

    In her clinical life, Dr Jameson has developed an impressive curriculum vitae.

    She studied psychoanalysis with Carl Jung, psychotherapy with Carl Rogers, psychology with Dr Jolande Jacobi and philosophy with Salvador Dali. She has diplomas in nutritional medicine, orthomolecular nutrition, clinical hypnosis, criminology and biofeedback.

    She is a doctor of homeopathic medicine and alternative medicine. She’s studied the effects of alcoholism and drug addiction, as well as terminal illness, cancer therapy, meditation and palliative care.

    She can speak five languages – French, Italian, English, Spanish and German. She’s won numerous awards, including the Gold Medal of France for services to humanity and was a nominee for Australian of the Year in 2006.

    She’s currently the director of both the CRF and Arts Sans Frontieres and at 79, she shows little signs of slowing down.

    She’s lived her life with a philosophy of forgiving and not forgetting, and focuses always on helping others move forward, instead of looking back.

    “To be positive is the most important thing in life. If you don’t want to become sick yourself, you must forgive,” she explains. “If you hate people, you are not damaging them, you are damaging yourself. Forgiving and love are two very important parts of life.”

    Later this month, she will give a series of talks in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide about her life and experiences with Carl Jung, Salvador Dali and Dr Jolande Jacobi. She will also hold an intimate all-day seminar in Sunbury, Victoria, next month.

    Dr Jameson’s studies with the renowned theorists, particularly Dr Jacobi, were immensely influential.

    She formed a special relationship with Dr Jacobi, a Jewish psychotherapist and founder of the Jung Institute, who Dr Jameson says got her through a difficult time.

    “I learned a lot of psychology from Dr Jacobi, who was very compassionate woman and very similar to me. She was also a Jewish person who had suffered a lot. Without her I would not be who I am today.”

    But Dr Jacobi was not only her tutor and therapist, she became her companion and fulfilled a maternal role.

    “I had difficulty forgiving my mother for leaving me behind, but I did. I couldn’t understand why you would leave someone behind. I felt rejected by her and I felt accepted by Dr Jacobi. She changed my life in many ways.”

    Dr Jameson says her lectures this month “pay homage” to Dr Jacobi.

    Dr Jameson now lives in Melbourne and has five children, one that she was counseling and later adopted, and seven grandchildren. She says that her family “have played the most important role in [her] life”.

    “They brought a lot of love into my life. It’s like a boomerang – when you give love, that’s what you get in return.”

    And despite all the trauma she’s suffered, Dr Jameson’s message is one of optimism and faith in humanity.

    “I am a very positive person. I believe in forgiveness I believe in the human race. Life is too short not to look forward. Life is beautiful, it’s important that we live to the fullest with a lot of passion.”

    click here: for more information.

    Sunday, June 24, 2007

    A Word About Getting "Counseling"

    In the Jewish world there continues to be a problem of individuals parading around stating they are "counselors" offering help to those in a crisis. The problem is that many do not have the proper credentials to provide counseling.

    In the United States in most states one must be a licensed mental health professional to offer counseling of any kind. To be licensed one must have at least a masters degree in a clinical mental health field.

    I keep hearing stories about "professionals" in the counter-missionary and kiruv fields. These "professionals"are proclaiming they are experienced "counselors", yet lack the degrees to back up their claims. When confronted with this issue, some "professionals" say they are providing "spiritual counseling" in an attempt to get around the law.

    In many states the only individuals who can call themselves "spiritual counselors" are ordained clergy.

    I strongly want to encourage those who are seeking any sort of help to make sure they get the help from licensed professionals.

    Pedophilia: a Universal Problem

    Walking down the street today, I passed a elderly man holding a sign. It read "Vatican Hides Pedophiles". While this is a Jewish blog, I thought I'd share this story since it is universal.

    I stopped to give him some encouragement and he shared his story.

    He said,
    "I know some children are abused for months or years, and I can't even imagine how they withstand that. I was abused twice when I was 15 and it totally changed who I am. It was so traumatizing that I immediately repressed it. From that day on, my personality and physical appearance changed. I went through life thinking I was just a sad person. I spent my life alone, avoiding people.

    "Then one day over 30 years later, I remembered what happened. Since then I have been trying to get some accountability from the Vatican. Their response has been to ridicule and harass me. They call me names like playground bullies. So I stand holding this sign in hopes of raising awareness of this issue and holding the Vatican accountable."

    Friday, June 22, 2007

    The Chabad Hipster Hassid?
    How common is this practice in the hassdic world?

    I guess what's more important to ask is which rabbis and in which yeshiva's are young men being taught that "anal sex and that it was the perfect way to evade the virginity doctrine"?

    I've heard to many stories of observant men sexually assaulting women in this same fashion. Does this making it halachially correct?

    Please note, the article may be triggering to some survivors.
    HIPSTER HASSIDS: A semi-shiksa lusts for her ultimate fetish: a cute Jew-boy
    By A. Pinsker
    New York Press
    June 22, 2007

    Part 2: Rabbi Shea Harlig (Chabad of Southern Las Vegas) Vs. A Rape Victim

    The Convicted Sex Offender
    Cantor Michael Segelstein

    The Rabbis
    Rabbi Krinsky
    Rabbi Krinsky / Rabbi Shea Harlig

    The Politicians
    The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
    Judge Timothy C. Williams /Rep. Shelley Berkley /

    The following was posted in the comment section of Failed Messiah's posting on Chabad of Southern Nevada. I thought it was important and wanted it to be easier to be found.

    Posted by: Dovid| June 22, 2007 at 01:48 AM

    In this case legal fees were awarded because the victims lawyer did not do any depositions and or discovery and the victim was not allowed discovery ever it was closed by Judges who had recived donations.

    The victim (of cantor Michael Segelstein) then became a victim in what is called Civil Conspiarcy, falling as I understand under RICO laws. Starting with a sex crime, civil conspicarys and ending in bankruptcy.

    The sex offender by records at district records in this case filed bankruptcy a few days before trial and advoiding a fair trial for the victim and that just happened to be after he had just been released by the State of Nevada Correction Probation Department and he completed that as State records show on line.

    As I read by motions at the court house:

    Victim was taken and driven by an employees car from one law firm to another law firm who was to take the case for the victim. Because that law firm leading manager shareholder was the President of the shul were the sexual assult happened. Conflict of Interest.

    The next week that same law firm took the case for Chabad against the victim Conflict of Interest. Maybe Planned.

    Conflict of Interest and Torts to a vcitim of a sex crime and insult to injury as I have been told. What a crime of corruption I belive.

    The legal fees were paid for by SAFECO/AMERICAN a Sexual Molostation Insurance Policy in which the Catholics use as well for a free pass. Las Vegas Chabad must have on record by District Court Motions the same insurance company and they just happen to have this on hand for this case and this is a free pass to do what you want and cost Chabad nothing.

    What a way to play with human lives and victims lives and cost you nothing.

    In this case everyone in Las Vegas knows there were donation sheets in the Judge name that had been donated from the lawyers for Chabad and inside of the camp.

    Conflict of Interest and not disclosed to the victim that Conflict of Interest by donation to the Judges be exposed to her. They were keept secert. Not giving victim the right to refuse the Judge. Who would want a Judge like that over your case.

    The claims in the legal fees were not for frivolous. As I understand and think in my own mind a way to get a victim to back down from there maybe Federal case which should be filed at once in federal Court.

    Clergy abuse statue is extended in Federal Courts.

    Victim I guess was under the due care of Chabad it seems. Her trust I take it in them was breached by fiducary duty and or I take it negigenced by Chabad is in the thoughts of any victim if this happened to your family? Word is she trusted Chabad many have made that mistake. Poor girl what a shock.

    Rape is when something that is inserted as I understand right?

    Were you there?

    Were you invovled?

    Did you see these crime?

    Did you help protect anything in this case?

    What is with this "Chabaddick" in a religious parking lot. What was he thinking?

    Word has in in court on line records that "plea bargins" were in this case.

    What a crime I belive this to be out right Exploting and Extortion of a victim in my belifs.

    Well if semon is on the victim? I'M not a FBI AGENT who is invovled in criminal justice. To me just common thoughts. But it sounds like a free pass to rape if you are spilling your seeds. As well that is against American law and Halakha to a married woman not your wife!

    Lets face it if semon was on the victim. One thing for sure the semon did not come from Lilith traveling around and put on a Jewess in a Temple parking lot. Right?

    The question is do you know what happened and how is was done?

    Contact Information for Judge Tim Williams

    Judicial Executive Assistant - Lynn Berkheimer 671-4406

    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    Rabbi Shea Harlig and Chabad of Southern Las Vegas Vs. A Rape Victim

    Rabbi Harlig is attempting to sue a rape victim for attorney fees. This is a rape victim of a convicted sex offender who is on the national sex offender list. Right before Passover, 2007 Rabbi Harlig is seen at the US House of Representatives. The rape victim in this case has been trying to fight the corruption in Las Vegas for the last several years. What chance does she have when she's fighting the mob?

    Here's a video of Harlig's Chabad of Southern Nevada (Las Vegas). The same location where a crime was committed.

    Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg - Sermon on Sexual Abuse in the Baltimore Community

    The following sermon was given by Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg as a reaction to the case of Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro being published in the Baltimore Jewish Times and the letter that was created by the Vaad of Baltimore.

    Shavuot Yizkor Sermon
    (Sermon on Sexual Abuse in the Baltimore Community)
    May 24, 2007
    Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg

    For 23 years not I’ve paused at this moment to say Yizkor for my father. And so many different memories of him are recalled. Today for the first time, I pause to say Yizkor for my mother, or blessed memory. What memories did she leave me? Well, this I can tell you: the memories that I will always have of my mother are going to be quiet different than the memories Ale Baldwin’s daughter is always going to have of her father.

    Even those of us who usually are not caught up in the latest Hollywood gossip or scandal could not help but take note of what recently took place with the actor, Alex Baldwin and his daughter. As upsetting as it was, it can serve a positive purpose in helping us better understand the strange rabbinic commentary and verse in The Book of Ruth we read this morning, will help us better understand the meaning of God and the giving of the Torah we celebrate on Shavous. It will also help us better understand the tragic affects of sexual abusers and will help us better understand the purpose of the Yizkor memorial service we are about to recite.

    Alec Baldwin is divorced from his wife, actress Kim Bassinger. They have been involved in a bitter custody fight over their 11 year old daughter, Ireland. On April 11th Alec Baldwiin called his daughter and when she wasn’t there to answer, he called her a “thoughtless little pig” and went on to say, “Once again I have made a ____ of myself trying to get you on the phone. . . I don’t give a damn that you are 12 years old or 11 years old or a child, or that your mother is a thoughtless pain the ___ who doesn’t care a your ___ out.” It is a terrible thing for any father to say to a child under any circumstances. But here the circumstance made matters even worse because everything Alec Baldwin said to his child had been recorded on the phone’s answering machine. And it is suspected that Baldwin’s ex-wife, Ms. Bassinger, - atstaska in her own right -- made the recording available for the world to hear.

    You have to wonder if Mr. Baldwin would have spoken differently if he had known that his words would go public. According to our sages, he most certainly would have! Our sages expressed this thought in commenting on an incident in The Book of Ruth we read every Shavuot. The story of Ruth is a beautiful, moving and touching one; a story exhibiting the goodness and devotion of plain and ordinary people. Ruth, a Moabite woman, widowed, was a devoted daughter-in-law, a righteous convert of our people. One day, searching for food in a time of famine, she meet a true gentleman named Boaz who generously gives of his own food to her, described by the Bible with the touching words, “Vayitzavat la koli v’tochal vatisba vatotar -- these words our sages in the Midrash, recognizing the generosity of Boaz, still go on to say, “Had Boaz known that the Bible would eternally record that he gave Ruth some parched grain to eat, he would have given her a royal banquet.” Yes, Boaz, you didn't realize it but your actions were being recorded. Sure it was nice that you gave Ruth something to eat . . . but you would have given a lot more than “parched corn” if you knew people would be reading about it until the end of time. If only you had realized it, you would have acted differently. And that’s what the Torah means when we are told, right in the beginning of Genesis: “Zeh sefer toldot ha-Adam-- this is the book of the story of man.” Just as the story of adam and Abraham and Moses and Boaz are recorded in this book, so too all of our lives are being recorded. As we are told in The Ethics of the Fathers: “V’chol maasecha b’sefer nichtavim - all of your deeds are being recorded in a book.” It’s not just Alec Baldwin speaking to his daughter. . . it’s all of us in our day to day existence whose words and actions are being recorded.

    Many of our children, when asked to choose a reading for their Bat Mitzvah service, have recently started choosing a reading called “When You thought I Wasn’t Looking:”

    When you though I wasn’t looking,
    you hung my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to painting another.

    When you thought I wasn’t looking,
    you fed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be king to animals.

    When you thought I wasn’t looking,
    you baked a birthday cake just for me, and I knew that little things were special things.

    When you thought I wasn’t looking,
    you said a prayer and I believed there was a God and that I could always talk to.

    When you thought I wasn’t looking,
    you kissed me goo-night and I felt loved.

    When you thought I wasn’t looking,
    I saw tars come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt -- but that it’s all right to cry.

    When you thought I wasn’t looking,
    you smiled and it made me want to look that pretty too.

    When you thought I wasn’t looking,
    you cared and I wanted to be everything I could be.

    When you thought I wasn’t looking,
    I looked . . . and wanted to say thanks for all those things you did. . .

    When you thought I wasn’t looking,

    The poem makes a very important point. . . whether we know it or not, we’re no different than Alec Baldwin. Everything we say and do is being recorded by our children: the amount of charity we give, the excuses we offer for not giving, the comments we make behind the back of friends, our business ethics, our moral behavior, what we eat, drink and watch on TV . . . all of impact that had on us, she would look puzzled and say it was not big deal. But, God Almight, what a big deal it was! What it said to us, how it made us feel, what it meant to us. . . can never -- and will never -- be forgotten.

    The poet-Laureate of our people, Chaim Nachman-Bialik, captures this feeling in his poem “Shirati” where he tries to trace the origin of the sigh, the sob, the krechts, so frequently found in his poetry. He describes the misery of his childhood; his father died when he was very young. His mother slaved in a little store supporting his brothers and sisters. Only inn the evening could she begin her cooking, cleaning and sewing. late one night the little boy rose from his bed and saw his mother cooking in the kitchen. In utter exhaustion she was weeping as she kneaded dough for bread. As she baked by candle light, her lips moved in prayer, “May I bring my children to be God-fearing. May they be true to Torah. May they never disgrace me.” As she prayed, the tears rolled down her sweet, tired lonely cheeks. She did not realize it, but her tears mixed with the dough. Little Bialik saw this heart-rendering sight and returned to bed. The next morning he ate this very bread. “as I ate, I swollowed my mother’s tears. Part of my mother was in that bread! And now I know why there are tears in my eyes, why there is a sigh in my breast.”

    I exaggerate not. A portion of our parents is implanted within us. Unbeknownst to them, they made indelible impressions on us that have been permanently recorded into our very beings. Their obituaries do not lie buried in some old newspaper. It is recorded and alive in our hearts and souls!

    In describing death, the Bible frequently uses the phrase, “he was gathered into his people.” that’s were we wind up - in people. People wind up in people, not in the ground. This, then, is a basic truth of human experience. Whether we like it or not, we are being recorded all the time. Our obituaries are constantly being written and are opened for all of us to see. In the biographies of our loved ones and fellow human beings, in the record of the general community, in the chronicles of Judaism, we are constantly making entries.

    In these moments before Yizkor when we remember the entries of those who preceded us, let us ask: “What entries are we making, what actions are being recorded in the lives of those that will follow us?” In the moments before Yizkor I remember countless moments of joy shared with my mother. . . the warmth and love she enveloped me with. What will my children remember? What are they seeing when I think they aren’t looking? Yizkor beckons. We pause to remember: “T’hey nishmosom tsurorom b’tsror hachayim - May the souls of our dearly departed be bound up in the bond of eternal life.” And let us add the additional prayer: “T’hi nishmosi - God, allow my life to be bound up in the lives of others who are living so that after the fullness of my days, others will gather to bless my name for having lived and shared and given and cared.” Amen.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    Case of Jonathan Berkowitz, MSW, CSW, LMSW (AKA: Yochanan Berkowitz, Johanatan Berkowitz)

    The following information is provided in hopes of preventing another woman from becoming the next victim of a sex crime.

    From The Awareness Center's daily newsletter:
    Case of Jonathan Berkowitz, MSW, CSW, LMSW
    (AKA: Yochanan Berkowitz, Johanatan Berkowitz)
    Yoga Instructor, School Psychologist, Clinical Psychotherapist

    Attended Ohr Somayach - Monsey, NY
    New York City, NY; Passaic, NJ; Clifton, NJ

    There have been numerous allegations that Jonathan Berkowitz (AKA: Yochanan Berkowiitz) has been sexually inappropriate with women he has dated in orthodox circles, which includes a case of alleged date rape back in 2004.

    The alleged survivor filed a police report, went through a rape exam at a local hospital and attempted to pursue this matter with the criminal court system.

    A Grand Jury reviewed the matter and considered the evidence involved. As a result of its review, the Grand Jury did not find probable cause for the return of an indictment. Therefore, criminal prosecution was not pursued on this case.

    Over the last several years The Awareness Center has also received several phone calls from various women regarding Yochanan Berkowitz's behavior while dating. Many have described his behavior as being sexually inappropriate for an orthodox man. A common theme has been for Jonathan Berkowitz to present himself as a psychologist to potential dates, and to ask several women at the same time to date him exlusively.

    According to the state of New York only individuals who hold a Ph.D. or PsyD may call themselves a "psychologist. According to the New York licensing bureau, Yohanan Berkowitz has a Masters Degree in Social Work, holds a
    LMSW (Licensed Masters of Social Work)

    Definition of Acquaintance Rape (including Date Rape) is any non-consensual sexual activity between two or more individuals who know each other. Acquaintance Rape can happen between friends, spouses, girlfriends and/or boyfriends, people who just met, etc. Acquaintance and Date Rape are often very difficult types of crimes to prove in a court of law.

    According to the US Department of Justice
    61% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.
    84% of all rapes in the United States are Date (Acquaintance) Rapes
    A woman is 5 times more likely to be raped by someone she knows.
    57% of all sexual assaults take place on dates or in the context of relationships
    If the rape is reported to police, there is a 50.8% chance that an arrest will be made.
    If an arrest is made, there is an 80% chance of prosecution.
    If there is a prosecution, there is a 58% chance of a felony conviction.
    If there is a felony conviction, there is a 69% chance the convict will spend time in jail.

    So, even in the 39% of attacks that are reported to police, there is only a 16.3% chance the rapist will end up in prison.

    Factoring in unreported rapes, about 6% of rapists—1 out of 16— will ever spend a day in jail. 15 out of 16 will walk free.

    Are Girls Being Sexually Abused Too?

    What's happening with all the cases of sexual abuse where the victims are either girls or women? It seems in the Jewish world all that gets written about are the cases with male survivors. Statistically girls get abused a little bit more, yet one has to wonder why we are not tell their stories too.

    Survivors Testimony Needed in Dover Today!

    “The last true frontier in civil rights in the United States is that of children's rights. It is our country's ugly secret that massive numbers of children are abused. Yet the law has been excruciatingly slow both in stopping ongoing abuse, and in deterring abuse before it happens.”

    It is not too late to speak up for children.

    After nearly 20 hours of debate in committees and on the Senate floor, the Child Victim’s Act, Senate Bill 29, will finally be heard before the full House.

    The opponents of SB 29 are trying to derail this critical civil rights legislation for children in any way possible. We must not let this happen. The children of Delaware need your help one more time. Please come to Dover for the hearing on Tuesday, June 19 at 3 p.m. (Note: The starting time is dependent on the length of the caucus meetings that must be over before the hearing can begin.)

    Wear red. Wear your SB 29 buttons. Bring a carload of friends. Come to Dover today.

    For directions and more information, please visit

    Thank you,

    Coalition to Pass SB 29
    E-mail: info@child

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Various Types of Orthodox Ordinations

    I've recently learned that there are three different types of ordinations that an orthodox rabbi can have. I'm sure I'm not the only one who didn't know and would be interested. Can someone explain why we need three different kinds?

    Yoreh Yoreh
    The usual ordination is the "Yoreh Yoreh -- He may guide, he may guide". A conjugation of the same word as "Torah". This is minimally mastery of Yoreh Dei'ah, the section of the Shulchan Arukh on kashrus and laws of sexuality. Most ordaining schools won't send someone out to be a rabbi without his also knowing Orach Chaim, the daily laws of prayer, Shabbos and holidays.

    Yadin Yadin
    A judge gets a second ordination, "Yadin Yadin" (He may judge, he may judge). This shows qualification in the laws of courts and monetary law in the Shulchan Arukh Choshein Mishpat. Since, unfortunately, much of court business nowadays is divorce law, many yeshivos require knowledge of that as well.

    Rav Umanhig
    "Rav Umanhig" (rabbi and leader). This is someone who is capable of leading a community and answering day-to-day halachic questions, but isn't qualified to be a full "Yoreh Yoreh". Typically this is a teacher, say in adult education, who could use a title to aid his getting his work done.

    Is Dating On Frumster Safe?

    Do you think that an individual who has a history of being sexually inappropriate on dates should be allowed to date on Frumster?

    Please be aware that the individual was once removed by Frumster, yet recently has been allowed to find dates again using their service.

    Go to Frumster. The code for the individual is: 60206

    Contact Frumster

    Global Pedophile Ring Busted - 700 arrested

    Toronto cops help bust global pedophile ring, 700 arrested
    By David Helwig
    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Thirty one children have been rescued and more than 700 suspects arrested worldwide after British police broke up an alleged pedophile ring linked to an Internet chat room called "Kids the Light of Our Lives."

    The chat room "featured images of children being subjected to horrific sexual abuse," the Associated Press is reporting.

    About 200 of the suspects are believed to be from United Kingdom.

    The following statement was released this morning by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre:

    Global online child abuse network smashed

    CEOP lead international operation into UK-based paedophile ring

    An online trading ground for indecent images of children and live exchanges of abuse has collapsed following an international operation led by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.

    The last 10 months of this complex investigation has resulted in the co-ordination of law enforcement agencies from 35 different countries and their subsequent, ongoing investigations – intelligence from which indicates that there were more than 700 suspects worldwide.

    The UK branch of the investigation centres around 200 suspects, the majority of which are currently subject to active police enquiries at this time.

    Further information can not be released until these enquiries have concluded.

    To date, the international operation has led to 31 children being rescued from abuse or positions of harm.

    ‘Kids the Light of Our Lives’ was an Internet chat room dedicated to the sexual exploitation of children.

    Hundreds of members worldwide used it to trade a range of material, including photographs and videos of children being subjected to sexual abuse and serious sexual assault.

    The man behind the network has been convicted at Ipswich Crown Court and now awaits sentence.

    27-year-old Timothy David Martyn Cox hosted the website from his home address in Buxhall, masquerading behind the online identity ‘Son_of_god.’

    When trading, he used the name ‘I_do_it’.

    Cox was identified after intelligence linking the chat room to the UK was passed to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre by Canadian partners within the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) last August.

    On receiving this information, specialist officers immediately began enquiries to trace the host, using a range of techniques and undercover online activity.

    Cox was located and subsequently arrested by officers from Suffolk Constabulary on September 28 2006.

    This allowed uncover officers from the CEOP Centre to infiltrate the room and gather valuable evidence.

    Over a period of ten days, officers from the CEOP Centre and Toronto Police conducted online surveillance.

    They were able to identify further suspects and secure vital information regarding potential victims, before closing down the site.

    When Suffolk forensic teams examined Cox’s computer they found 75,960 indecent and explicit images in addition to evidence that he had supplied 11,491 images to other site users.

    Cox was subsequently charged with nine offences, relating to the Possession and Distribution of Indecent Images of Children.

    In September last year, Gordon Mackintosh from Hertfordshire also became a key subject in the UK inquiry.

    The 33-year-old attempted to resurrect ‘Kids the Light of our Lives’ following the Cox’s disappearance as host.

    Officers from the CEOP Centre carried out extensive work to identify and locate the individual behind the usernames ‘silentblackheart and ‘lust4skoolgurls’. Alongside Hertfordshire Police, they arrested Mackintosh on January 9, 2007.

    CEOP officers, alongside VGT partners from the Australian Federal Police, ICE (US Department of Homeland Security) and Toronto Police undertook 24-hour online surveillance to infiltrate the room for a second time and collate details of all the offenders attempting to trade material.

    McIntosh’s computer was found to contain 5,167 indecent and explicit images of children, in addition to 392 indecent movie files.

    He pleaded guilty to 27 charges of making, possessing and distributing indecent images and movies.

    He awaits sentence.

    “Today’s verdict serves as a powerful warning to those using the Internet to facilitate the sexual exploitation of children,” said Jim Gamble, CEO at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and Chairman of the Virtual Global Taskforce.

    “From the apparent ‘safety’ of his home, Cox spent hours each day planning, promoting and encouraging the abuse and exploitation of innocent young victims. In doing so he provided a service to hundreds of like minded individuals, enabling those with a sexual interest in children to share indecent images and discuss further plans for abuse.

    “Any individual who thinks they carry out such horrific activities undetected is in for a very rude awakening. The belief that the Internet provides anonymity is unfounded and for Cox and Mackintosh it has already proved to be a costly misconception.

    “Thankfully both are behind bars today. As predators become increasing sophisticated in their use of the Internet for exploiting young people, so too do the techniques we use to detect them. We will continue to work alongside local police forces and our law enforcement partners worldwide, to track and prosecute those who prey on young victims and to protect greater numbers of children from harm.”

    Saturday, June 16, 2007

    Looking For More Alleged Survivors of Rabbi/Cantor Tobias Gabriel (Toronto, Canada)

    Rabbi/Cantor Tobias Gabriel

    Background Information
    The Awareness Center, Inc.
    June 16, 2007

    Rabbi Tobias Gabriel has been accused by more then one woman of clergy sexual abuse /professional sexual misconduct.

    Early in 2007, the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) and the Cantor Assembly (CA) organized a tribunal headed by Rabbi Harold Kravitz of Adath Jeshurun Synagogue (Minnetonka, MN), to hold a hearing in Toronto as part of the investigation of the allegations.

    Beth Tzedic synagogue has also conducted its own internal investigation, yet the results of that investigation have never been made public.

    Upon hearing of the intention of the RA and the CA to come to Toronto to investigate the allegations, Rabbi Gabriel resigned from both organizations and is no longer a member of either. As past policy, upon Gabriel's resignation the tribunal cancelled its investigation.

    Recently Rabbi Gabriel re-applied for admission to the Rabbinical Assembly and the Cantor Assembly . He was informed that he could not be re-admitted without them first completing their investigation. They are now scheduled to hold meetings in Toronto this coming August.

    If you or anyone you know feel they have been sexually manipulated or victimized by Rabbi Gabriel please contact The Awareness Center immediately: 443-857-5560.

    Background History of Tobias Gabriel
    • (Born) La Paz, Bolivia
    • (1949) Lima, Peru
    • (1955 - 1959) Telzer Yeshiva (High School) - Cleveland, OH
    • Yeshiva University (Cantorial School) - New York, NY
    • (1966 - 1968) MBA in International Marketing - City University of New York - New York, NY
    • Mexico
    • President, Zionist Federation of Peru - Peru
    • Cantor, Religious Affairs Director and Bar Mitzvah Instructor - Peru
    • Israel
    • (1990) Toronto, Canada
    • (1968 - 2006) Former Member - Cantor Assembly (CA)
    • (1990 - 1992) Former Cantor, Shaar Shalom - Thornhill, Canada
    • (1994 - Present) Cantor, Beth Tzedec - Toronto, Canada
    • (2002 - 2006) Jewish Theological Seminary (Rabbinical School) - New York, NY
    • (2006) Camp Ramah
    • (2006 - 2007) Former Member - Rabbinical Assembly (RA)
    • (2006 - Present) Rabbi, Beth Tzedec - Toronto, Canada

    Friday, June 15, 2007

    Stefan Colmer arrested in Israel on sex abuse charges

    Israel Nabs Brooklyn Sexual Predator
    New York Post
    June 15, 2007

    Brooklyn, NY - A suspect of preying on as many as a dozen young boys in Brooklyn, NY was arrested in Israel following his indictment on charges he abused two 13-year-olds.

    Stefan Colmer, 30, a computer technician and salesman, was picked up by Israeli police in Jerusalem at the request of the U.S. Justice and State departments.

    Colmer was indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury for allegedly abusing boys. He was charged with eight counts of committing a criminal act and faces up to seven years in prison. "We are looking to have him extradited," said Sandy Silverstein, a spokesman for Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes.

    The investigation began last fall following rumors that Colmer had lured boys at the Mirrer Yeshiva to his nearby home.

    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    The heartbreaking cry of abandoned agunot

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    The heartbreaking cry of abandoned agunot
    Australian Jewish News
    June 15, 2007

    FOR two years of my life, when I was a doctoral student in England, I spent my days reading newspapers that were published in the ’60s – not from those

    radical days of the last century when students took to the streets, but from a century before my time.

    The newspapers I studied were not unlike our own
    Australian Jewish News in form and content, except they were published in biblical Hebrew, which only an educated elite, mostly ex-yeshiva students, could read; contraband issues were passed around the great Lithuanian yeshivas like forbidden copies of Playboy.

    The newspapers were published in the emerging Jewish cites of Eastern Europe – in Warsaw, Vilna and Odessa – and concerned themselves with everything from politics outside the ghetto to the new technologies of railways and steam ships, book reviews and social reform.

    However, my favourite section was the classifieds, and as is the habit of Jews today on a Friday night, I would turn to the hatch, match and dispatch sections and then to the back page, which was filled with boxed advertisements for products ranging from lottery tickets, unemployed cantors, cheeses, kosher wines and salted herring.

    The section, however, that most attracted my attention appeared exclusively in
    Hamagid, a newspaper published in an obscure town called Lyck, which was located on the Prussian side of the Russian border where the censor’s pen could be evaded.

    The advertisements, which over the course of the 1860s spilled from one page to the next, were on behalf of agunot, women who had been abandoned by their husbands. According to the editor, an indefatigable campaigner and hero in my eyes, there were literally thousands of women whose husbands had dumped them to seek their luck in other parts of the world, travelling by train to Germany or France, and by ship to America, and yes, to Australia.

    ONE hundred and fifty years after the event, my heart still breaks for Beila Gishe, who has come to symbolise for me the continuing inequity (and iniquity) of a halachic system that abandoned these woman to the cruelty of their husbands. Listen to her voice, from 1869: “I cry out to you, noble sons of Israel, who are in Melbourne: it has been 15 years since my husband, Joseph X has left me to wander the breadth of the globe.

    "Until four years ago, I had been receiving letters from him stating that he had had settled in the town of Melbourne, the capital of Australia, that he has grown in stature and acquired a large fortune ... And now my wretched daughter’s time has come to marry and I am bound with the bonds of desertion and poverty together. Who among you, rabbis of Melbourne, is God-fearing and intelligent, that he may listen to the groan of a mourner recounting how she has been deprived?”

    Who among you? Who among us will not listen to the cry of this woman, joined to the cry of tens of thousands of other women whose lives were destroyed because the law could not find a way – a legal loophole – to alleviate their suffering?

    The past is the past, and the name of the man who abandoned Beila Gishe no longer matters, and might bring shame to a family, even today, if I were to reveal it. But the real shame is that we allow this same system to continue to abuse Jewish women.

    It is estimated that in Israel today there are thousands of women whose husbands refuse to give them a divorce, or who use the rabbinic courts to blackmail their wives into unjust financial and custody settlements.

    The rabbis have been master magicians when it has come to bypassing obstacles involving limitations of commerce; for example, during the sabbatical years or on questions of interest loans.

    And to their credit, the rabbis of the distant past have also listened to the cry of women like Beila Gisha, devoting whole passages of Talmudic hair-splitting to help them remarry. After the Shoah, when the surviving remnant of women trickled into the displaced persons’ camps, the rabbis found the heart to allow them to start new lives and marry, even though there was always the risk (and it happened) that a husband might miraculously reappear, leaving the new children bastards in the eyes of the law.

    Yet today, Beila Gisha’s cry is left unanswered. "And the rabbi, in his great righteousness, shakes his head from side to side, blinks, whistles and speaks in a still, small voice: Deserted women? It is best for a man like me to remain silent.” The editor of
    Hamagid still speaks to us today.

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    Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    Denial, Rationalizations and the case of Rabbi Alan Horowitz

    There's some days it's difficult to be proud that I'm Jewish. The reasoning has to do with the way our rabbinic leaders have been handling sex crimes through the ages. Their rationalizations, ignorance and denial is enough to make anyone atheist.

    Today is one of those dark days.
    I received an e-mail from a friend which contained part of a letter from a rabbi who some consider being an advocate for survivors. The comments are regarding The Awareness Center's call to action regarding "defrocking" rabbi Alan Horowitz.

    Why don’t you just "decide" that he is not really a rabbi – no rabbi will ever admitted to giving him ordination – assume that it is bogus – YOU remove his ordination – and challenge him and whoever supposedly gave him smicha to stand up and “take credit”. This will force his hand to say who his supposed smicha is from.

    My friend responds:
    Does it really matter what I "decide"? According to the FBI, Interpol and the television show "America's Most Wanted", Alan Horowitz is an ordained orthodox rabbi.

    "Defrock" Rabbi Alan J. Horowitz - Convicted Sex Offender

    The Awareness Center, Inc. is demanding that the Orthodox Union (OU), the Rabbinic Council of America (RCA) and Agudath Israel of America make a public statements denouncing the actions and behavior of Rabbi Alan J. Horowitz. By not doing so is condoning this serial child molesters criminal behavior.

    The Awareness Center, Inc. is also demanding that rabbis around the world find a way to remove Alan Horowitz's rabbinical ordination and that of other known sexual predators (who are ordained rabbis).

    After Rabbi Alan Horwitz's 1983 conviction for child molestation he was placed on probation. Arrangements were made for him to live on the Ohr Somayach campus in Monsey, NY. Ohr Somayach is a Yeshiva serving young male students. Horowitz was treated by Dr. Joseph F. Chambers MD (Maryland) and Dr. Yitzhak Twersky (Monsey, NY).

    In the past both the RCA (Rabbinical Council of America), Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America have stated that there is nothing they could do regarding Rabbi Horowitz since was he not a member of their organization.

    Rabbi Horowitz is a convicted sex offender. Be aware that it takes a village to raise a sex offender and to enable them to continue molesting children or raping adults. Rabbi Horowitz is everyone's responsibility, including all rabbinical organizations, rabbis and Jewish communities.

    It is time for all of us to stop passing the buck. Do the right thing, publicly denounce this man and remove his rabbinic ordination!

    Contact Information:

    Rabbinical Council of America (RCA)

    Rabbi Marc Dratch - Chairman of the RCA's Task Force on Rabbinic Improprieties

    Phone: 203-858-9691

    Rabbi Basil Herring, Executive Vice President

    Phone: 212-807-7888 x 5


    Orthodox Union

    Rabbi Hershy (Tzvi) Weinreb

    Agudath Israel of America

    Rabbi Shmuel Bloom, Executive Vice President

    Rabbi Avi Shafran,

    (212) 797-9000