Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ohel on Child Molestation

From The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter:

Vicki Polin says:
On February 20, 2007 I wrote a comment regarding David Mandel writing articles on sexual abuse and being used as an expert, which can be read by clicking here:

What I want to reiterate is that:
Over the last several years various papers have quoted David Mandel as an expert in sexual trauma and offenders. Mandel is the chief executive officer at Ohel. The problem is that David Mandel's education, degree and experience is in business. Quoting Mandel on these issues would be very similar to the New York Times quoting Donald Trump as an expert in halacha.

One very important comment made by David Mandel in
an article written by Shlomo Greenwald is the fact that "very few people can treat it (sexual abuse/assault and offenders) because few therapists specialize in abuse."

The truth is outside the orthodox world there are many extremely qualified psychotherapist who have the necessary training and experience. Until orthodox professionals catch up to the secular world in their education in treating sexual trauma -- we need to utilize the best of what's out there. The goal is to help survivors heal and find ways that actually work in stopping sexual predators from re-offending.

A comment made by George at 9:52am September 23, 2007 on the Unorthodox Jew Blog
The Jewish Observer article is an attempt to paint themselves and their rabbis as active in preventing child abuse. In fact every single person including Mandel has been involved in covering up for the child predators. It's become fashionable and "in" to jump on the UOJ bandwagon. If you can't beat him, join him. I say screw you Establishment. UOJ beat the living daylights out of your cover, you guys are a bunch of no good bastards that deserve to be locked up.
Chava made a comment on this blog on September 23, 2007

Bravo, BRAVO To Vicki and George. This is an attempt to INTELLECTUIZE a subject by rabbinic quotes and thereby being ABSOLVED FROM DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT.


A group of us protested when Mandel was invited to my town to no avail.

Since sexual is an issue of Power and Control the leadership identifies with keeping the power in their court and abusing the public by creating the mythology that quoting Torah. They have refused to take proper action.

This is the same cloak of false respectability the sexual predators use to continue to abuse the powerless.


****************************************
CHILD MOLESTATION IN THE JEWISH COMMUNITY
By: David Mandel - Chief Executive Officer of Ohel
(Published in the September 2007 issue of The Jewish Observer)

Abstract: A more open dialogue on the issue of child molestation is a key to prevention. It is not stranger danger; child molestation most commonly occurs by a person known to the child. By having a dialogue with your children on personal safety we can help prevent the victimization of children. By removing the shame and stigma associated with victimization, children, adolescents and adults will not be as fearful to report and to seek support. Perpetrators may be less likely to offend children knowing their community will not tolerate their behavior.

Child molestation in the Orthodox Jewish community is not a new phenomenon. This problem, as other social ills, has existed for generations and centuries. The problem of men (and some women) inappropriately touching children, young boys and girls was sufficiently recognized by our great sages. They addressed it in several responsa (Minchas Chinuch, Mitzvah 209). The issue of drug usage has also been commented on, Rav speaking to his son Chiya (Arvei Pesachim 113a). Is our community responding to this problem? The answer, in these past years, has been a resounding yes. Is it enough? NO! There is still so much to do.

Our Roshei Hayeshiva have publicly addressed the issue. In September 2000 at a forum titled “Let’s Talk About What Never Happened, But It Did”, Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky shlita, stated “such an evening brings this issue out from under the rug, and people who need help should seek it from a Rav, a psychologist or a psychiatrist”. Harav Pam z”tl, at the same forum on the issue of depression, spoke of bochurim who believed they sinned based on what they may have learned in divrei mussar, “Don’t let the past linger and paralyze you, don’t feel worthless”. The Rosh Hayeshiva was speaking to victims of molestation who have suffered, who have been burdened, who feel it was their fault. Thousands of tapes of this forum and of a subsequent forum in November 2001 have been disseminated by OHEL.

HaRav Avrohom Chaim Levin, Shlita, Rosh Hayeshiva of Telz Chicago, addressing several hundred principals at a Torah U’Mesorah convention in May 2002 on the issue of child molestation stated, “there is no more room under the carpet”. And most recently at Torah U’Mesorah’s convention in May 2007, HaRav Levin encouraged every yeshiva, day school and high school to address and respond to this issue.

In September 2003, Torah U’ Mesorah, the National Council of Hebrew Day Schools, under the signature of leading Roshei Hayeshivas issued standards and guidelines on prevention and response to child molestation. On the issue of mesirah, reporting, it states “such action may include, under appropriate circumstances, reporting to the civil authorities when the principal determines that there is reason to believe that inappropriate activity has in fact occurred, insofar as halacha and secular law require such reporting”. Professor Aaron Twerksi, Dean of Hofstra Law School, and OHEL were instrumental in working with the Roshei Hayeshivas of Torah U’Mesorah in preparing these guidelines.

Prevention of unwanted touch means parents speaking to their children. Children are unprepared and don’t know how to respond to these terrible acts which go way beyond the boundaries of yichud. Prevention involves yeshivas and day schools providing information and education, parents and teachers becoming more alert to red flags, and Rabonim addressing the issue in shuls. An educated, informed communal response by parents, educators, and Rabonim – three primary sources of information and learning for children at an early age – would lead to fewer children being hurt. Equally important, it could lessen the shame and stigma associated with being a victim of child molestation, which remains the primary reason for underreporting.

This is all not limited to a one-time conversation. A parent knows their child best, what and how many words to use – V’higadita l’vincha bayom hahu. Rabbi Yehoshua Fishman, Executive Vice President of Torah U’Mesorah, notes the primary responsibility for teaching children these personal issues lies with the parents. Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe z”tl, in Planting and Building: Raising a Jewish Child, describes how the Chofetz Chayim z”tl spoke with his sons at age fifteen (Feldheim Publishers 1999, pg 67). As Rav Pam z”tl said, there was only one Chofetz Chayim. It is up to every parent to determine at what age to speak with their child and how often to reinforce this message. Dr. Susan Schulman, a pediatrician in Brooklyn, describes prevention as speaking to your child about good and bad touch at a very early age, then again when they begin school, then again when they go on a bus, then again when they go to camp, then again when they go to a sleep-away Yeshiva. Hillel Sternstein, Coordinator of OHEL’s RESPECT Program on abuse, describes it as teachable moments.

Ninety percent of children who are molested know their abuser. Parents cannot speak about “stranger danger” with their young children and expect them to understand this also means not becoming a victim at the hands of a relative, neighbor or rebbe. This lies at the heart of the complexity of child molestation, being hurt by a person a young child or teenager knows, trusts, loves or admires.

Several yeshivas that wanted to hold seminars on safety and prevention from unwanted touch were reluctant to do so lest they be perceived as engaging in sex education or worse, stigmatizing themselves as a school with a problem.

Professional staff in OHEL’s school-based mental health program and in other well regarded organizations, such as Debbie Fox of Jewish Family Services in Los Angeles who developed a prevention model, provide this information to students, faculty and parents in dignified, professional, age appropriate ways and in lashon nekia (clean language). Yes, it is true that some children may be hearing concepts and words they don’t yet fully comprehend, that by engaging them at an early age we may be opening a door to more information than we would like. On the other hand, one can posit it is better for the child to learn in a structured, safe environment where they can ask questions and know they can turn to parents, a rebbe, morot or teachers to ask questions. This is a much better option than “learning on the street”.

Schools can incorporate these forums for parents into their PTAs, train faculty as part of an educational curricula day or a special workshop, and educate camp counselors during their summer orientation. Students in 5th through 12th grades can participate in prevention workshops. Ten year olds begin to hear, understand and experience life events and a new sense of self. Finally, a shul or community center or a group of synagogues and community centers can host a lecture on the issue.

In these discussions with parents and educators red flags are described, behaviors a child may display when victimized, and how to respond to the child. At community forums, Ohel disseminates information on thirteen stages a child may go through from being a victim to becoming a survivor and how best to develop a community protection plan. Often the question and answer dialogue becomes an integral aspect of the forum. There are several good handbooks and guidelines parents can reference. Examples include, “What do we say to our children who are molested? A guide for parents” by David Mandel and Dr. David Pelcovitz (www.ohelfamily.org/articles.cfm), The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (www.missingkids.com) and more. OHEL also has an educational videotape that can be used by schools and community groups. The Task Force on Children and Families at Risk, a consortium of thirty social service organizations across the Orthodox community, has played a leading role in hosting seminars on abuse.

How prevalent is child molestation in our community? No one knows for sure. It is vastly underreported as it is in every community. For decades, police departments across the country publish crime statistics and asterisk sexual assault, a range of crimes historically underreported. This is not a problem restricted to the Orthodox Jewish community as some in the media portray. People, by nature, are private and modest. G-d instilled a sense of shame and guilt in us. People in every culture possess shame. It is a good trait. It is one of our characteristics that keeps us civilized. Indeed, contemporary “mandated reporting laws” were legislated to force licensed professionals who were viewed to be ignoring and underreporting these events, to make formal reports to child protection agencies.

It is widely documented that China and India, the world’s most populated countries, have experienced similar issues with regard to vastly underreporting and responding to child molestation. So too, Muslims, the Amish and countless other peoples across the spectrum.

Uncomfortable as it may be, we are now forced to be more open and confront this painful discussion; child molestation is a serious problem. Hundreds if not thousands of children, teens and adult survivors have been victimized. It is a problem in our community albeit at a much smaller number relative to the general population. We must embrace this discussion and respond on a communal level.

Dr. David Pelcovitz, a child psychologist and a leading expert in treatment of children who have been abused, notes the extreme rarity of a child self-disclosing s/he was a victim to this type of abuse. Children do not disclose due to a combination of fear, shame, loyalty and stigma. At varying ages, each of these issues may be internalized in the child or outwardly displayed in a different manner. And because most children are hurt by a person they know, these issues become embedded in the child’s psyche.

A primary reason a child does not disclose he or she was molested is fear. The child may be afraid of his or her parents’ reaction. The child may be afraid to speak lashon hara. The child may fear his abuser who may threaten to hurt him or his parents if he discloses.

A second reason children do not disclose is shame. The young child or adolescent may be confused about what occurred and is embarrassed about his involvement and response. The molester may have said to him he will tell everyone what they did together. He is afraid he will be made fun of by his friends.

A third reason is loyalty. To disclose that a person they love hurt them would be disloyal. As difficult as this may be to understand, remember, it is a person s/he likely knows and trusts, a parent, relative, neighbor, role model or other such person close to the child. These are all people the child has loyalty to.

A fourth reason children and their parents do not disclose is stigma. Does this require much explanation in our community? The stigma of shidduchim for this child or siblings becomes an overriding concern. Or it is the stigma of people saying ‘well, they’re a dysfunctional family anyway’.

Any one or a combination of these four factors would lead the victim to not disclose and to keep the abuse a secret and to intensify the painful consequences of these experiences. This person may hold the secret for years and decades. Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky was so moved to receive a letter from a 70 year old woman who, after sixty years, related for the first time of being abused as a young child by a relative that the Rosh Hayeshiva related this story numerous times.

Demonstrating support to a child or adolescent who has been victimized involves telling them you believe them, you love them and it wasn’t their fault. We cannot do this enough for our children under conventional circumstances, how much more important is this for children under extreme stress. This begins the healing process and the transition from being a victim, which is a passive term, to becoming a survivor, which signifies strength. Parents should neither overreact and blame their child nor deny them the opportunity to heal.

The overwhelming majority of children who are molested can and will, Baruch Hashem, grow up healthy and lead normal lives. Children, as Dr. Pelcovitz notes, are resilient and will be able to cope and deal with this as they progress and mature. They may never forget “the event” or the perpetrator, but they can move on. In the aftermath of the tragic events at Virginia Tech College, the murder of thirty two students, the resilience of the students and community was often cited as an important coping mechanism in the healing process.

A small percentage of children and adolescents are so traumatized they will need psychological treatment. This should be provided by a person with a specialty in this area, and not by a general mental health practitioner. They may require short-term treatment lasting several months or possibly several years. Girls who are molested as adolescents are especially vulnerable due to a sense of shame and pre-marital concerns. This becomes even more complex if the girl had been molested by a family member or a person she idealizes. These young women should receive professional treatment to help them cope and transition to marriage as they may experience relationship and communication problems with their husband. It is tragic that we may avoid seeking treatment to protect our children’s future opportunities for good marriages, only to see the problem surface again with greater complexity within the marriage.

How does a perpetrator succeed in luring children? A perpetrator works through a process called grooming. He cultivates a relationship with the child involving friendship and trust. He then transitions to a physical relationship first with a “light” touch followed by more physical involvement. Using incremental steps, the perpetrator gently gets close to the child’s mind and heart.

Perpetrators “look normal”. They have a variety of respectable jobs. Many are married and parents.

Perpetrators have preferences. Data available on several dozen perpetrators in our community is consistent with data on perpetrators in the general community. That is not surprising. Pedophilia, meaning love of children, is a psychiatric illness and follows a pattern. A pedophile is likely to be consistent in seeking out a young boy or a girl or a male or female adolescent.

A perpetrator will generally not stop on his own. Once again the data is consistent. The majority of perpetrators reveal they molested several children repeatedly. As time goes on the perpetrator may develop more complex rationalization for his deviancy. There are also men (and some women) who reveal involvement with a significant number of children over many years and decades.

Pedophilia is considered a treatable, manageable illness. Treatment generally consists of a comprehensive evaluation and weekly individual and group sessions lasting two to five years. A person must learn to behave differently, to modify or suppress their deviant interests and to be truthful. Treatment also incorporates the spouse who must work through her own issues of shame and guilt, especially if victims included her children. Rarely does a perpetrator self-disclose and seek treatment; they need to be pushed into treatment with some form of “stick” swaying them.

The public discussion in our community in recent years has directly resulted in greater disclosure by victims. This has resulted in evaluation and treatment of scores of perpetrators. It has become more safe for victims to disclose and for parents to seek help. This has been one of the most important and dramatic shifts in our community, a recognition that disclosure and obtaining treatment is more important than living with shame and guilt. More mental health professionals are developing a specialty in this area. At virtually every workshop my colleagues or I give on prevention and safety throughout the United States and Israel, at least one adolescent or adult will privately share with us their experience of having been molested. That several Roshei Hayeshivas have spoken publicly and encouraged victims and parents to seek help has been an enormous catalyst towards a communal attitude change. The most recent letter by the Vaad HaRabonim – Rabbinical Council of Greater Baltimore (Abuse in our Community - April 11, 2007) should act as a precedent for other communities to issue similar letters.

That most perpetrators do not go to jail is not a Jewish phenomenon. Former Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro was noted for her aggressive pursuit of pedophiles. In six years of sting operations, 1999-2005, she succeeded in the arrests of 111 men with a 100% conviction rate. The overwhelming majority received probation with only eight perpetrators sentenced to jail (New York Times, 10.13.06).

The shame and guilt of our communities that prevent our children and families from reporting these crimes to our authorities also protect the perpetrators. He is impervious to the community’s concern. A public discourse involving education and awareness, vigilance by principals, educators, youth and camp directors, drashas by Rabonim will inculcate a zero tolerance mindset into our community and inoculate our children. It goes without saying we need a system to protect children by preventing mechanchim and other educators whose harm to children has been substantiated from moving to another school to do more harm.

Several Batei Dinim have been established in major Jewish communities across the country to deal specifically with allegations of child and adolescent molestation. These batei dinim also rely on advice of mental health professionals who may be asked to interview the victim(s) survivor, evaluate the alleged perpetrator and recommend appropriate treatment. Professor Aaron Tweski and I have been privileged to meet with numerous Rabonim in the establishment of Batei Dinim.

It is most important to keep the perpetrator in the community under a watchful eye, not to push them out so they can move to another community or another city and continue their horrible acts. A perpetrator who discloses his wrongdoing, who actively participates in treatment and who remains under watchful supervision in the community has the best chance of not re-offending. If Chas v’Chalila he does re-offend, his treatment and supervision may limit the number of victims and the severity of the offense by detecting the re-offense sooner.

My colleagues and I at OHEL have been led by a Board of Directors whose vision and sense of communal responsibility has enabled us to speak publicly and develop services in this sensitive area. Ohel has been fortunate to have Harav Dovid Cohen, shlita, as our Morah D’asra. Our ability to speak with gedolei haTorah throughout the country provides hadracha and strength. This has enabled us to provide consultations to Rabonim, principals, yeshivas, day schools, and community groups.

When asked if I’m frustrated by all that isn’t accomplished by the glacier progress in this area, I respond, it took 5700 years to come to this point, we have to concentrate on tomorrow not on yesterday. As my colleague Hillel Sternstein points out, discussions on child molestation have moved from private midnight talks to daylight seminars that are open to the community. Yet we can’t dwell on or be satisfied with accomplishments. Children are being hurt every day. We must respond to them and prevent tomorrow’s child from being hurt.

The best way to stop perpetrators is by teaching children and encouraging a greater openness in the community, as has begun. Perpetrators who know that parents, principals, Rabonim and the community will confront them are less likely to hurt children. Children who know they can report an incident without being fearful, shamed or stigmatized may stop a perpetrator from hurting the next child.

It is now time to have these discussions with our children. Today. And in the future.

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WARNING: If you or a child has been sexually victimized do NOT go to Ohel. The only people they help there is the sex offender. They help them by doing nothing!

September 23, 2007 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard stories about boys being molested at the Telz yeshiva in Chicago. If anyone has any information please post it here.

September 23, 2007 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Chava said...

Bravo, BRAVO To Vicki and George. This is an attempt to INTELLECTUIZE a subject by rabbinic quotes and thereby being ABSOLVED FROM DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

A group of us protested when Mandel was invited to my town to no avail.

Since sexual is an issue of Power and Control the leadership identifies with keeping the power in their court and abusing the public by creating the mythology that quoting Torah. They have refused to take proper action.

This is the same cloak of false respectability the sexual predators use to continue to abuse the powerless.

September 23, 2007 7:30 PM  
Anonymous The Unorthodox Jew (UOJ) said...

I put up Mandel's piece to show all that are interested how words can be mangled ad absurdum. Mandel is a lying hack for the black hats, he has no intention telling it like it is.

Dovid Cohen is presently thwarting a dangerous child molester from being brought to justice. Shmuel Kaminetzky was clear to Colmer victims; DO NOT GO TO THE POLICE!

Shmuel Kaminetzky knew about Eisemann 40 years ago in Philadelphia, so did his son in-law, Tzvi Berkowitz,
20 years ago in Baltimore.

I wonder what would happen to Mandel's $300,000 job if he told the truth.

The charedi rabbis at Ohel and throughout the charedi world are the greatest enemies of the spiritual and mental health of our children!

Don't be fooled for one second...our battle has no end in sight!

September 23, 2007 7:43 PM  
Anonymous The Unorthodox Jew said...

Dovid Cohen is presently thwarting a dangerous child molester from being brought to justice. Shmuel Kaminetzky was clear to Colmer victims; DO NOT GO TO THE POLICE!

Shmuel Kaminetzky knew about Eisemann 40 years ago in Philadelphia, so did his son in-law, Tzvi Berkowitz,
20 years ago in Baltimore.

I wonder what would happen to Mandel's $300,000 job if he told the truth.

The charedi rabbis at Ohel and throughout the charedi world are the greatest enemies of the spiritual and mental health of our children!

Don't be fooled for one second...our battle has no end in sight!

September 23, 2007 7:46 PM  
Anonymous From the Failed Messiah Blog said...

The Jewish Observer, the PR organ of Agudath Israel of America, has piece this month from David Mandel of Ohel on child molestation and sexual abuse in the haredi community. Emblematic of Mandel's approach to this is issue is his understanding of what should be done when a rabbi sexually abuses a child:

In September 2003, Torah U’ Mesorah, the National Council of Hebrew Day Schools, under the signature of leading Roshei Hayeshivas issued standards and guidelines on prevention and response to child molestation. On the issue of mesirah, reporting, it states “such action may include, under appropriate circumstances, reporting to the civil authorities when the principal determines that there is reason to believe that inappropriate activity has in fact occurred, insofar as halacha and secular law require such reporting”. Professor Aaron Twerksi, Dean of Hofstra Law School, and OHEL were instrumental in working with the Roshei Hayeshivas of Torah U’Mesorah in preparing these guidelines.

In other words:

The principal, the rabbi in charge of the school determines if abuse allegations are credible, not police or other trained individuals.
The principal in all likelihood is a friend of the accused abuser and his social peer. The child is unlikely to be either a friend or a social peer of the principal. In most cases, this is true of the child's family, as well.
Ohel and Torah U'Mesorah therefore leave the decision on whether to go to the police in the hands of a man who has no training or background to allow him to diagnose or investigate abuse and who may very well be a friend of the accused abuser.
It is also important to realize that the principal may often have financial motivation for covering up sexual abuse and molestation. A school with the reputation of having an abuser on its faculty may suffer enrollment declines and drops in donations. Even more so, it may become stigmatized.
The Torah U'Mesorah guidelines state that the "civil authorities" may be contacted. Note the careful use of language – "civil authorities" does not automatically equal police. Indeed, it may never equal police.
The guidelines also say reporting to "civil authorities" should happen if the principal determines there is reason to report and "halacha and secular law require such reporting.” What does this mean? I think this:
Halakha rarely requires reporting sexual abusers to police. Why?
There are haredi rabbis who hold no Jewish criminal of any type may be reported to police. Others have a more nuanced view. A few hold that any Jewish criminal should be reported. But there is no consensus on this and the halakha is not clear.
Therefore, unless it is a rare case where the school in question relies on a particular haredi rabbi who allows reporting to police, the molester will not be reported.
New York State, the place most haredim in America live, does not require rabbis and teachers at private religious schools to report child sexual abuse and molestation to police. Rabbis and private religious school teachers are not mandatory reporters. Why?
In large part because Agudath Israel of America has worked hand-in-hand with the Catholic Church to stop all legislative attempts to make rabbis, priests and private religious school teachers mandatory reporters.
Then we have this troubling statement from Mandel, in his own voice, quoting no sources other than Ohel's own Dr. Pelcovitz:

The overwhelming majority of children who are molested can and will, Baruch Hashem, grow up healthy and lead normal lives. Children, as Dr. Pelcovitz notes, are resilient and will be able to cope and deal with this as they progress and mature. They may never forget “the event” or the perpetrator, but they can move on. In the aftermath of the tragic events at Virginia Tech College, the murder of thirty two students, the resilience of the students and community was often cited as an important coping mechanism in the healing process.

A small percentage of children and adolescents are so traumatized they will need psychological treatment.…

Why would Mandel write something that is so clearly false? Perhaps for this reason – in NY State, I believe psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health therapists are mandatory reporters. Children brought to them for counseling will trigger a police investigation, which would expose the rabbi-abuser and his school administration to possible criminal prosecution and legal scrutiny.

But, as I noted above, thanks to the hard work of Agudath Israel of America and the Catholic Church, rabbis and yeshiva teachers are not mandatory reporters.

Also note the careful parsing of words in many the various rabbinic statements quoted by Mandel and the self-congratulatory tenor of the piece. with regard to 'how far' the community has already come.

And Mandel is correct – there are no good statistics on how many haredi molesters and victims exist. But what he does not tell the reader is that many professionals who work with the haredi community have anecdotal evidence of increased rates of molestation among haredim, and professionals who deal with child molestation and abuse find the haredi community's structure an ideal breeding ground for molestation and abuse. Mandel surely knows this.

Before reading Mandel's entire piece, posted after the jump, please keep the following in mind – David Mandel's academic background is in business. He is not a trained mental health professional. And according to the Awareness Center he has allegedly participated in covering up specific instances of rabbi-on-child sexual abuse and molestation…

September 23, 2007 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.canonist.com/?p=1278#comment-72107

Rabbi Mordecai Tendler and his endearing wife Rebitzen Michelle Tendler but also his insider group worked with Ohel and CPS to take children away from Bal Teshuvah families that needed help. They also conspired against families to social services and cps to remove the children that could be adopted to orthodox couples who could not have children . The one’s who didn’t want to be adopted were sent to foster homes.

http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/Tendler_Mordecai.html#JFS

Jewish Family Service of Rockland County, Inc.
http://www.jewishfamilyservice.net/bio.asp?bio=mtendler

http://www.jewishfamilyservice.net/staff_board_directors.asp

April 7, 2005


It has been brought to the attention of The Awareness Center that Rabbi Mordecai Tendler still serves on the board of directors of Jewish Family Services - Rockland County.

Below is the contact information for anyone would want to contact JFS regarding their choice halachic advisors (Jewish legal advisory).

Phone: (845) 354-2121

Fax: (845) 354-2928

You might also want to contact the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Rockland County. Since they are a major funding source for the counseling center.

Shimon H. Pepper, Executive Director

(845) 362-4200 ext. 121

shimonp@jewishrockland.org

http://www.canonist.com/?p=1278#comment-72308

In one such case 10 children that were deported to foster homes and Ohel by accusations made by Rebitzen Michelle and Rab Mordecai Tendler.The parents were eventually stripped of all their rights and lost their children for good. Some now grown have come back. The rest are in foster homes and some where sent to Ohel and were adopted by childless orthodox couples. The Tendler’s are worse than Kapos. Kapos did things to survive . The Tendlers did it for money and revenge.

September 23, 2007 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is someone going after Dovid Cohen because of the Russian bochur who complained to him about Eisemann?

September 23, 2007 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Bullying No More said...

Several years ago Rabbi Dovid Cohen who isthe Rabbi Of Ohel had his life threatened because he was was trying to help a survivor of sexual abuse. Ever since he's been an advocate of offenders.

September 23, 2007 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with Rav Cohen is he has no Baitzah.

September 23, 2007 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Stephen Colmer said...

Dovid Cohen can always join me in Israel where I'm fighting extradition.

September 23, 2007 7:59 PM  
Anonymous The Unorthodox Jew (UOJ) said...

Just a few weeks ago I was made aware of a case of a child molested by a family member (rebbe) and Dovid Cohen among other "rabbis" threatened the family of having their other kids tossed out of yeshivas if they came to me. Well, Cohen they came to me!

Nothing has chnaged if they feel they can conceal the crime and get away with it. Of course, no cops were called either.

Cohen I'm on to you and your group of hoodlums! Now sit at the computer and wait to see the headliner when I'm ready to put it up!

Cohen & Co., if this family is hurt or ostracized in any way, I'll have you picked up in middle of the night by the cops! I know..you think I'm bluffing, well you are warned!

September 23, 2007 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

otice the mention of Rabbi David Cohen towards the end of the article. It is truly a disgrace that he is the mara dasra of Ohel. This the R. Cohen who has said that it is only permitted to inform on a child molester if he is molesting Jewish children but not if he is only molesting gentile children. This is the R. Cohen who has made vile statements regarding gezel akum and tax evasion that have been reported elsewhere on the internet (he said that we can simply ignore what the Shulchan Aruch and all of the other great poskim say about these matters). This is the R. Cohen who built his shul with money from a known fugitive. Please do not think that R. Cohen represents the views of the Orthodx rabbinate. Many Orthodx rabbis who are aware of his views have described him as an immoral individual who distorts the Torah in the worst ways and who is no better than a reform rabbi because he ignores our halachik mesorah in respect of business ethics. Rav Herschel Schachter of YU publicly condemnned him and his shul. It is no wonder that the Agudah will not let him have any role at any of their conventions and that so many YU roshei yeshiva have condemnned him in the harshest terms. We as a community should be embarrased that he has any role in any of our communal organizations.

September 24, 2007 6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more point about R. Cohen is that he had the chutzpa to publicly humiliate and heckle Rav Soloveitchik ztl in front of thousands during a hesped that was given by the Rav at Lamport Auditorium on the YU campus. He had to be dragged out of the room by none other than Rabbi Dr. David Hartman. He is known to proudly repeat the story and you can hear R. Cohen speaking about the incident (without any apparent regret) at the following link http://www.yutorah.org/showShiur.cfm?shiurID=709746 -- the story begins on minute 17 and R. Cohen begins speaking about his heckling of the Rav around minute 27. What is even more troubling is that the RCA website indicates that R. Cohen serves on the Vaad Haposkim of the RCA (even though R. Cohen is not a member of the RCA as he is probably way too chareidi to want to be a member). This is the same RCA that views the Rav as its spirtual mentor. People should contact the RCA and ask them how they allow R. Cohen to serve on their Vaad Haposkim. Shmarya, this is probably worthy of its own post becasue it is indicative of how some in the Modern Orthodox world have surrendered to chareidi rabbis like R. Cohen despite the fact that he treated the Rav with utter contempt and he publicly makes the extreme anti-gentile statements mentioned in the prior email. The vast majority of the RCA rabbis would be outraged by R. Cohen's anti-halachik statements regarding gentiles and his public humiliation of the Rav.

September 24, 2007 6:52 AM  
Anonymous The Monsey Tzadik said...

he commenter notes that Rabbi Cohen has ruled that Jewish child molesters who molest non-Jewish children should not be turned over to police. He also allegedly ruled that Jewish law permits stealing from non-Jews.

Does not surprise me , I heard this attitude many times before. There is a Rambam which says that If a Jew rapes a non-jewish little girl (older than 3 years and one day) the girl is being killed, Yes the LITTLE GIRL is being killed.

Some charedi rabbis like Leib Tropper say that it applies even today. Come to think about it Tropper is a talmid of Pini Scheinberg of ‘No Penetration No Harm Done’ and a cousin of Shlomo Carlebach a child molester.

http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/Carlebach_Shlomo.html

So it seems to me that in the charedi world for some rabbis and askanim sex with children is not the worst thing in the world.

Yes, Carlebach went to Torah Vadaat, Chaim Berlin and BMG, all charedi yeshivas

הרמב''ם גם פוסק, כי יהודי האונס ילדה קטנה גויה, הורגים את הילדה הנאנסת, מפני שגרמה ליהודי לחטוא.

רמב''ם הלכות איסורי ביאה פרק יב

ט] גוי הבא על בת ישראל--אם אשת איש היא, נהרג עליה; ואם פנויה היא, אינו נהרג. [י] אבל ישראל שבא[ על הגויה--בין קטנה בת שלוש שנים ויום אחד בין גדולה, בין פנויה בין אשת איש, ואפילו היה קטן בן תשע שנים ויום אחד--כיון שבא על הגויה בזדון, הרי זו נהרגת: מפני שבאת לישראל תקלה על ידיה, כבהמה. ודבר זה מפורש בתורה, שנאמר ''הן הנה היו לבני ישראל . . . וכל אישה, יודעת איש למשכב זכר--הרוגו''

September 24, 2007 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Monsey tzadik, I am pretty sure that the commentators on the Rambam state that he is not referring to rape and that the word "zadon" refers to the Jewish person. I would also note that 99.99% of the poskim state that gezel akum is prohibited -- R. Cohen may be the first Rabbi in one thousand years to say otherwise. That is why the Rabbis who are familiar with his views are so outraged.

September 24, 2007 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Shalom said...

I've heard that what Rambam writes is not written anywhere else, and the shulchan aruch and talmud do not follow this ruling or even mention it.
I also have to wonder how the Rambam could say that, given what it says in the book of Ezra, 7:21-26 "And from me-I, King Artaxerxes is issued forth an edict...And you, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God, which is in your hand, appoint judges and magistrates who will judge all the people beyond the river, all who know the laws of your God, and whoever does not know, you shall teach them... And whoever does not fulfill the law of your God and the law of the king promptly-judgment shall be inflicted upon him; whether to be executed, uprooted, fined, or tortured."
And then Ezra 10 ""We have betrayed our God, and we have taken in foreign wives of the peoples of the land, but now there is hope for Israel concerning this...And now, let us make a covenant with our God to cast out all the wives and their offspring, by the counsel of the Lord and those who hasten to [perform] the commandment of our God, and according to the Law it shall be done...And they completed everything concerning the men who had brought in foreign women, until the first day of the first month...And they advised them to cast out their wives, and the guilty ones [to bring] a ram for their guilt."

As you can see, there is no mention of executing the foreign wives. They were simply cast out "hotzee" with the children they bore. Ezra was given the power to execute people as mentioned above, yet he did not kill any of the foreign wives.

September 24, 2007 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Nigritude Ultramarin said...

Not to be a pedantic jerk, but the phrase you are looking for is mandated reporter. I only know this because my wife is one (she's a social worker).

September 24, 2007 6:55 AM  
Anonymous MalachHamovies said...

The JO piece (as noted by several commentators) is full of fluff and bullshit.

Sorry for the harsh language. But i'm sitting here crying for the thousands of victims that even mandel claims were molested.

The agudas yishmoel didn't even have the decency to highlight the article as their main piece in the magazine.

They will cover up until with the help of bloggers and the media will collapse completly.

September 24, 2007 6:56 AM  
Anonymous Lev said...

"Civil authorities" mean not only police but County(5 boroughs)D.A., US Attorney for Southern and Eastern Districts, even State Police.
This what it means. Yes, I,too was abused by Them, lied by Them but civil authority is Authority.
Monsey Tzadik, I know what you went through, I know what kind of beria is Leibb Tropper. I met many of your classmates if you went to "Kol Eisav" or whatever its called now.
ALL of them were mental cases, belonging in Bellevue Mental Ward, with deep hatred of ANY LESS RELIGIOUS JEW, and, of course, everyone else.
One even told me that frum kids with learning disabilities are...GOIM!!!
"They don't want to learn!"
You might know this guy, nebah.
Monsey community leaders should've close down the Institution on Maple Avenue...
Anon, David Cohen is a sick jerk, empty capote, his Pinky Green's temple is HALF-EMPTY Shabbos morning.
He is probably the worst product of Chaim Berlin machine, and they try to stay away from him.
Malachhamoves, I put similar thoughts under Shmarya's Credo, but money-base is huge and nobody collapsing...

September 24, 2007 6:57 AM  
Anonymous MalachHamovies said...

Lev,

Many huge corporation and nations fell. One day Agudah will have their downfall. Mark my words.

September 24, 2007 6:57 AM  

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