Friday, November 30, 2007
We are still waiting to hear what happened today on the case of Rabbi David Alan Stein. If you have information please post it.
Stein was arrested and charged with eight counts of having sex with a student. The alleged sex acts occurred on campus during the 2006-07 school year. The student was a 16-year-old male.
If you or anyone you know was sexually abused by Rabbi David A.Stern contact the North Carolina Coaltion Against Sexual Assault: 919-870-8881 or Toll Free: 888-737-CASA (2272). Or The Awareness Center 443-857-5560.
Pedophiles have less brain white matter: Toronto study
November 29, 2007
Pedophiles have significantly different brains than people without the condition, indicates new research, suggesting pedophilia may have physical causes.
Pedophiles have considerably less brain white matter than people not sexually attracted to children, says the research released Wednesday from the Toronto-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
It was published online earlier this week in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.
White matter, found in both the parietal and temporal lobes of the brain, contains nerve fibres.
Researchers used MRIs to scan the brains of 127 sexual and non-sexual offenders. The sexual offenders were recruited from the Kurt Freund Laboratory of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Patients who had committed one or more sexual offenses against children aged 14 years or younger but not against young adults aged 17 and older were allowed to participate. Non-sexual offenders were recruited from provincial and federal parole and probation offices in the Toronto area.
Of the 65 sexual offenders, researchers classified 44 as pedophilic based on their offences with children 14 and under.
They discovered that in the brains of men who were sexually attracted to children, the frontal parts that govern a person's reponses to sexual stimuli had less white matter.
The researchers theorize pedophilia is the result of a "partial disconnection within that network.
"The most straightforward explanation of the present result is that low white matter volumes increase the risk of developing pedophilia," they write. "Regardless of whether white matter deficiencies produce pedophilia or a susceptibility to it, the present results suggest the need to pursue what causes the white matter deficiencies."
They add that white matter abnormalities have already been implicated in other psychiatric illnesses, including bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
'I planned to murder Mondrowitz'
By Aviva Lori
November 29, 2007
"I wanted to murder him. Or to kidnap him and beat him to within an inch of his life and then dump him somewhere. Or to drag him to the American embassy and then send him back to the United States." The speaker is T., who says he is one of the victims of Avrohom Mondrowitz, the alleged pedophile from Brooklyn who styles himself a rabbi and psychologist, and whose misdeeds were described recently in these pages ("In the basement, behind a closed door," Haaretz Magazine, November 16). T. says that last year he paid someone who came to Israel to come up with an operative plan to assault Mondrowitz. "I sent someone to Israel. An American guy who came on one of the educational programs for American Jews, someone who is not afraid of anything. He did not work alone. He has connections with a few guys in Israel, who were going to do the actual deed."
Then why didn't it happen?
T.: "Mondrowitz was very careful and never went into the street alone. He knows that someone will finish him off one day. Someone who will decide that he doesn't care if he spends the next 50 years in jail. The person I sent on the mission is still in Israel. He sat for four months, preparing a plan - how and where. We found out everything about him, where he lives and how he behaves, but it is very hard to get close to him without anyone seeing, so after four months the guy said he was giving it up."
Would you really send someone to assassinate him?
"If it could be done without being caught, I would definitely do it. I don't want to, but all I know is this: If the law didn't manage to bring him to justice after so many years, the feeling is that no one cares. He isn't just some crook who robbed a store. He destroyed people's lives. I am still going to therapy twice a month. I have problems. I don't trust anyone, don't believe anyone, I am a very suspicious person. I talk to my children about it every week, and it's very hard to tell children not to be friendly with people. In our synagogue there was someone who went over to children and hugged them. Most people thought he was just being sociable, but I went over to him in the middle of the synagogue and gave him a real beating. I said to everyone, 'I am not going to wait around until he does it to one of my kids.'"
T., now 38 and living in New York, was almost 13 when he first met Mondrowitz. Since then he has been haunted by nightmares. "My life today does not exactly follow some 'golden way,'" he says in the Hebrew he learned during his stay in Israel. "I have no doubt that it started there, in that disastrous meeting with Mondrowitz. For some reason, I never told anyone the whole truth."
T.'s parents, Holocaust survivors, settled in Brooklyn's Williamsburg section. After his bar mitzvah he was to enter the Bais Yisroel yeshiva run by the Gur (Gerer) Hasidic sect in Borough Park, Brooklyn. To prepare him for yeshiva life, his parents sent him to a summer camp run by the Gur Hasidim in the Catskills, where he met Mondrowitz for the first time. "He would show up in his car, an Oldsmobile that was as heavy as a Merkava tank. That summer he started to buy me things. He asked me what I liked. I still have a set of books he bought me. He would take me to a pizzeria. I asked him if that was all right, if I was allowed to leave the camp, and he said, 'Yes, of course, I will get you permission.'"
T. doesn't recall Mondrowitz trying to touch him at camp. But he still remembers vividly what he later saw in the yeshiva. To mark the anniversary of the death of the Admor of Gur (the sect's founder), the students made a torch from wax candles, which they cooked in a large pot in the yeshiva's basement kitchen.
"I went down to the dining room, where the kitchen was," T. relates. "It was a bit dark and no one was there, but suddenly I heard noises. I looked around and then I saw them. A boy from the yeshiva, my age or maybe a year older, was leaning on a table. Mondrowitz was on top of him and both of them had their pants down. I was flabbergasted. It was like a nightmare.
"I ran upstairs, into the classroom, and told the teacher what I saw. Straightaway he went out of the classroom with me, and in the corridor he saw the boy and Mondrowitz coming up the stairs. So he saw that I wasn't talking nonsense." (Years later, T. says, "I found out that the boy never did well in life, that he was mentally ill.") The teacher then took T. to the principal and told him what happened. "I remember the principal shouted at me in Yiddish that I was a boy with a filthy mind. We went back to the classroom as though nothing had happened. At around 4 o'clock, Mondrowitz came and said he wanted to take me to his office, that he had to talk to me. He was an authority figure and I couldn't object. I went to his car, and he stopped at a store on 16th Avenue, took me into the store with him and said that the tzitzit [ritual undergarment worn by Orthodox Jewish males] I was wearing was not Hasidic enough and that I needed a more expensive one, made of wool. My father was poor and bought me a simple tzitzit. Mondrowitz then bought me a Coke and for the first time took me to his home, where he started to explain to me that every person needs a different form of therapy and that some children need to have a good feeling. As he was talking, he stuck one hand into my pants and the other into his pants. If I remember well, his wife was home. I went into shock. He asked me if I felt good. I said no, but he kept on and then he said I was too young, that one day I would find out what was really good for me."
The next day, T. told his teacher what had happened at Mondrowitz's home. The teacher promised to deal with it. "The following day, my father got a letter from the yeshiva saying that I was unsuitable and they should look for a different institution for me."
Before the age of 14, T. was sent to a Gur yeshiva in Israel, but was soon expelled, without any explanation. Maybe because he told his friends what he had seen in Brooklyn: "I discovered that there were six kids in the yeshiva whom Mondrowitz had treated."
After that T. stayed with his sister and with another relative, trying to get accepted to other yeshivas, but to no avail.
T. became a street urchin. He slept in the Jerusalem Central Bus Station, sold pictures that he drew, and lived a hand-to-mouth existence. "The Jerusalem bus station was my home. Sometimes I went into a synagogue to sleep. At the age of 21 I was married. I worked for a solar-heating company, rented a place in Ramat Gan and forsook religion.? After 10 years in Israel, T. was divorced. He returned to the United States, found religion again - "I don't believe in religious people, I believe in God" - remarried and raised a new family.
Road to extradition
Avrohom Mondrowitz, 60, a Gur Hasid, was indicted in the United States on charges of sexual abuse, including sodomy, against hundreds of children, mainly Haredim (ultra-Orthodox), in his neighborhood of Borough Park, Brooklyn, in the early 1980s. The investigation began in 1984, following an anonymous phone call to Patricia Kehoe, a detective in the Brooklyn police sex crimes unit, about Mondrowitz's behavior. But by the time an arrest warrant was issued, Mondrowitz had disappeared. He and his family settled in Jerusalem. He was indicted in 1985, and Israel was asked to extradite him. This was not possible, because at the time the extradition agreement between the two countries did not define sodomy as a felony that mandated extradition. Mondrowitz lived comfortably in his Jerusalem home in the colorful Nahlaot neighborhood, teaching (until he was fired this year), praying three times a day in a local synagogue and, in his leisure time, apparently collecting and watching pedophilic movies and selling fake academic degrees from various universities to all comers.
Last May, local police raided Mondrowitz's home and found four pedophilic films. Two months ago, he was detained and questioned, but released under restrictive conditions. In September, the United States renewed its extradition request after the agreement with Israel was amended at the beginning of this year, so that sodomy is now an extraditable offense. But nothing happened. The police said they were in the midst of an investigation; the Justice Ministry refused to divulge information about its intentions. Mondrowitz continued with his regular routine.
Two weeks ago, on Friday, the day after the article's publication (on Thursday, in the Hebrew version of the Haaretz Magazine), Mondrowitz was arrested for the purpose of extradition. Three days later, he was brought before the vice president of the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, Judge Shimon Fineberg, who extended his remand by a week and wrote that the findings of the investigation "create a reasonable suspicion that [Mondrowitz] is still an active or potential pedophile. The fact that he does not have a police record of sexual abuse in Israel does not render the danger void. It is well known that with offenses such as these, particularly in the Haredi sector, to which the respondent belongs, the victims and their families often do not file complaints with the police owing to their desire to try to solve the problems without involving the police, in order to avert shame in the family. By this I do not find that the respondent committed offenses in Israel, but neither do I find the opposite."
The news of Mondrowitz's arrest was widely reported - more than 70 items appeared all over the world: in The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Pravda, The New York Daily News, the news agencies and, of course, in the Jewish press. The reports prompted more people who said they were Mondrowitz's victims to come forward.
One of them is B., the mother of M., an apparent Mondrowitz victim, who committed suicide last year. B. had long agonized over whether to go public. The latest round of reports gave her the impetus she needed. "Before this I didn't know that he had molested so many pure, innocent children," she says.
An Orthodox Jew, B. believes that God took her son in order to alleviate his unbearable pain, which, she says, was inflicted on him after a year of intensive "treatment" by Mondrowitz. Of B.'s three sons, she says two were victimized by Mondrowitz. They were sent to him for therapy when she and her husband were going through a divorce. M. was then nine and a half; G., his brother, was 11.
G., now 38, also takes part in the conversation. He says he was lucky: "He didn't really manage to hurt me, because I ran away. This was in 1981. My parents had just been divorced, and my mother sent me and my younger brother to him for professional help. I remember him as a very impressive person. He smoked a pipe and had a convertible sports car, which attracted a lot of attention. He was cool, you know. The first time I came to him he sat me on his knees and started to kiss me on the lips and fondle me in all kinds of places. I jumped up in a fright and escaped. He told me that if I told anyone, he would hurt me."
In what way?
G.: "I don't know, but he had a terrible look in his eyes and I was really scared."
Did you understand that what he did was wrong?
"I knew that I had a teacher in school who did [bad] things to me, so I knew it was wrong."
G. did not show up for the next session with Mondrowitz. He walked around the building for an hour, but did not go in. Two weeks later, he informed his mother that he would not go again. "We had a big fight. She wanted to know why. I only told her that I didn't like him. She was deeply involved in the divorce and didn?t press the issue."
His younger brother, M., continued to see Mondrowitz. It was not until 10 years later that he disclosed that the man had abused and raped him.
In 1988, during a visit to Jerusalem, G. and his brother saw Mondrowitz at the Western Wall. "I ran to him and started to hit him," G. recalls. "My brother restrained me and separated us. I shouted that this man is an animal who has to be arrested, but in the meantime he ran off."
G. has the names of eight additional people who say they were victims, who contacted him after the article appeared. They decided to urge the U.S. authorities to pressure Israel to extradite Mondrowitz.
"[My brother] M. married but wasn't able to have sexual relations with his wife," G. says. "He got divorced and became a homosexual."
Because of what Mondrowitz did?
"Obviously. Two weeks before his death, he told my father: 'I am not sure that even if Mondrowitz is brought to trial it will ease my suffering and reduce the pain.' We knew that something was not right with him - he did not behave normally. He became sentimental in his relations with people.
He had a problem with religion: He didn't understand how someone could teach religion and do things like that. He couldn't abide the hypocrisy. He used drugs and sank into even more pain. The drugs helped him cope. One day last year he took pills and didn't wake up again. He died in his sleep."
M. was 35 at the time of his death. His mother cannot forgive herself for having sent him to Mondrowitz.
"He was so popular, everyone recommended him," B. relates. "I heard him on his radio program and was impressed by the advice he gave. I was sure that I was helping my children. You don't expect a rabbi to do things like that. Now it turns out he was not a rabbi at all, that everything he told about himself was untrue. That man persuaded me to leave my children alone with him. That way, he said, he could help them more. But one day M. broke down and told me everything. I couldn't believe it. I was in shock. I hugged him and we both sat down and cried and cried without end. I told him, 'Don't ever dare look at that man again, ever. I will see to it that he pays for what he did.' But by the time I figured out what to do, he had already escaped to Israel."
Did you feel that something was amiss with M.?
B.: "I am sure that if I had felt that, I would have done something, but [Mondrowitz] hypnotized him. Afterward I found out that he would convince the children that each of them was unique and special, and that he loved them more than anything in the world, even more than their parents did. He would fill their head with all kinds of crazy things that influence children of that age. He would buy them things and seduce them."
B. says she does not understand why the other rabbis kept silent and did nothing. "It is very hard for me to understand why they protected him. Now I understand that there were too many rabbis who did the same thing. It destroyed the children; even those who remained alive are not really living. It is hard for me to believe that he didn't do it to children in Israel, too, because it's a sickness. Why didn't the police arrest him long ago? Never in my life have I had such a strong urge to kill someone as with this man. The only way to deal with him is by cutting off you know what, and do it very slowly. Let it hurt him, let him suffer like the gentle and pure children whose lives he destroyed. That is the pain I want him to feel."
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
By Debra Black
November 22, 2007
Rachel Shtibel, now 72, spent two years of her life living in a bunker – 3 metres by 3 metres – underneath a barn in Poland during part of the Holocaust. "There were ten of us," she said. "We were lying like sardines. When one had to turn all of us had to turn." The men went out at night to get food. By day they all remained as still as possible. Her father had smuggled her out of the local ghetto in a sack of garden tools, warning her to be dead silent or they would be shot.
During the time she and her parents and others hid in the bunker, a family friend – a doctor molested her. Even after the war was over she never told her parents about the sexual abuse, fearful they wouldn't believe her. She speaks of it now as if she were another person. "I was mourning this little child," she said. "I felt so sorry for her – helpless."
Shtibel's story is one of six Canadian memoirs of Holocaust survivors published by the Azrieli Foundation, a Toronto-based charitable organization. She and other survivors read excerpts of their stories last night at a launch at the Bloor Cinema in downtown Toronto.
The books are to be distributed free of charge to libraries across Canada as well as Holocaust memorials around the world. Individuals can go online and order them free of charge shortly. The Azrieli Foundation has close to 170 such memorials it plans to publish.
Shtibel's message is one of hope – hope that the Holocaust will never happen again. The horror and the terror of not knowing whether she would live or die was just one of the burdens she shouldered as her fellow Jews were slaughtered.
But for Shtibel the shame of being molested wasn't the only secret in the family. After the Holocaust, Shtibel inherited her uncle's violin – which had been buried near a walnut tree near their old home in the Jewish ghetto. With it were old pictures of herself as a baby and of her uncle and another unknown woman. Her parents encouraged her to learn to play the instrument.
Fifty years later she found out – after her parents died – that her biological father was in fact her uncle – the violinist. And the unknown woman in the picture was in fact her biological mother and the love of her father's life. Today, she still plays that violin – now more than 100 years old – and cherishes it for both its music and the secrets it holds engrained in the wood.
Still the Holocaust hangs heavy over the survivors. "I wanted the world to know (what happened)," she said. "We are the last generation to witness the Holocaust."
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Confronting Sexual Abuse in the Jewish Community
Seating is Limited - Reservations Required!
There are two opportunities to catch the controversial, acclaimed film "Narrow Bridge", which has been making waves in the Orthodox Jewish community. it is the first film of its kind to break the silence on the issue of sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community.
Following the film there will be a panel of experts in the field of sexual abuse to answer questions.
These events are sponsored by The Awareness Center, Inc., (the international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault). For more information call: 443-857-5560 or send an e-mail to vickipolin @ aol.com.
December 18th - Washington, DC Panel will include:
- Vicki Polin, MA, NCC, LCPC - Founder and Executive Director, The Awareness Center, Inc.
- Nicole Jalazo, MSW, LCSW - Childhelp USA, Experienced working with survivors, including sexually reactive children.
- Murray Levin, JD - Photographer, Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse, and Advocate for Legislative Changes.
- Bob Russell - Legislative Coordinator, SNAP-MD (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
- Rachel Steamer, JD - Attorney who specializes in representing survivors of child sexual abuse.
January 2nd - Baltimore Panel will include:
- Mesa Leventhal Baker, MD - Medical Director, Baltimore Child Abuse Center
- Murray Levin, JD - Photographer, Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse, and Advocate for legislative changes.
- Vicki Polin, MA, NCC, LCPC - Executive Director, The Awareness Center, Inc.
- Bob Russell - Legislative Coordinator, SNAP-MD (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
- Joyanna Silberg, PhD - Coordinator of Trauma Disorder Services for Children at Sheppard Pratt Hospital.
Mesa Leventhal Baker, MD
Dr. Baker is on the advisory board of The Awareness Center. She has been board certified in pediatrics since 1991 and a Fellow of the AAP since 1994. She has held Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatric posts with the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda and the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu. She is currently an Associate Professor in Pediatrics with the University of Maryland and a Special Consultant in Child Abuse to Sinai Hospital.
After working in private pediatrics and forensic pediatrics part-time for a year, Dr. Baker became the Medical Director of the Baltimore Child Abuse Center in 1998. For the past 6 years at the Baltimore Child Abuse Center, Dr. Baker has seen 600-700 children per year, to reach a total of well over 3000 forensic sexual abuse exams.
Nicole Jalazo, MSW, LCSW
Nicole Jalazo graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her Master’s of Social Work from The Smith College School of Social Work in Northampton, Massachusetts.
In the past Nicole has worked at Duke University Medical Center in the Mother-Baby Unit, High Risk Obstetrics Clinic, Post Partum Depression Support Group and practicing general outpatient therapy. She also worked at The Center for Child and Family Health, specializing in prevention, early intervention, research, and treatment of children whose lives are interfaced with the issues of maltreatment and mental health trauma.
After relocating to Charlotte, NC, Ms. Jalazo worked with sexually abused children and facilitated the Nurturing Parenting Program. She also served an agency representative to Pat's Place, which was a local child advocacy center.
Nicole relocated to New York where she worked as an outpatient psychotherapist with the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services. In June of 2006, Nicole began working for the Inova Kellar Center as a therapist with the Abused Children Treatment Services, working primarily with child survivors of sexual trauma. In August of this year Nicole joined the mental health team at Childhelp Children’s Center of Virginia in Fairfax, Virginia continuing her work with child survivors of sexual abuse and also has a private practice.
Murray Levin, JD
Murray Levin is a well known photographer in the Baltimore Jewish community. He is also a survivor of clergy sexual abuse. After 52 years, Mr. Levin finally had the courage to share his story with the Baltimore Jewish Times article, "Baltimore Confronts Sexual Abuse in Rabbinate". Since going public Murray has testified at the Senate committee hearing in Annapolis, Maryland and also at the hearing at the Executive Office of the Mayor - Council of the District of Columbia, for the Childhood Sexual Abuse Prevention Amendment Act 2007. Murray also attended the media event at Cardozo Law School in September, 2007.
Vicki Polin, MA, LCPC, NCC, ATR-BC
Vicki Polin is the founder and executive director of The Awareness Center. Vicki is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the state of Illinois and is a Board Certified Art Therapist.
In the past Vicki has qualified as an expert witness and provided testimony in juvenile court on cases related to childhood sexual abuse and neglect. She has presented educational and experiential seminars to community groups, universities, and at professional conferences on both a local and national level. Vicki served as a board member of several different not-for-profit organizations, which included VOICES in Action, Inc and Alternative Behavior Treatment Centers: For Juvenile Sex Offenders and Sexually Reactive Youth). Vicki also served on the planning committee of Jewish Women International (JWI) 2nd International Conference on Domestic Abuse.
Bob Russell is the Legislative Coordinator of SNAP-MD (Survivors Network of Abusive Priests). Bob first disclosed publicly that he was molested by a Catholic priest as a child in July, 2001. To his credit, Mr. Russell became the force behind his school publicly apologizing for allowing the victimization to occur and also disclosing their role in covering up sex crimes. Bob also made sure that his school contacted every student that attended between the years of 1969-1973, in an effort to find other survivors. Back on March 6, 2005, Bob Russell's story was told in the Baltimore Sun's article: "After Decades of Silence Pain, a Victim Resolves to Stop Running from 'It".
Bob's activism continues to this very day by coordinating the legislative movement in Maryland to abolish the statute of limitations or granting "windows legislation" regarding the civil laws that govern child sexual abuse.
Joyanna Silberg, Ph.D.
Dr. Silberg is the Coordinator of Trauma Disorder Services for Children at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and past president for the International Society for the Study of Dissociation. In addition to her role as a clinician, Dr. Silberg is an Associate Editor for The Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Trauma Practice.
Dr. Silberg is the recipient of the Walter P. Klopfer Award, 1992, for outstanding research contribution and the Cornelia Wilbur Award, 1997, for clinical excellence. She is the co-editor of the book Misinformation Concerning Child Sexual Abuse and Adult Survivors (Haworth Press, 2002). She has presented at 100s of professional conferences and conducts training workshops around the world on the treatment of traumatized and dissociative children. She has authored approximately 20 professional articles and book chapters.
Rachel Steamer, JD, Esq.
Rachel Steamer is a lawyer who specializes in representing survivors of sexual abuse. Notably, as an associate at the law firm of Ross & Rubino, LLP, Rachel was involved in litigating more than 100 cases in coordinated proceedings against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Diocese of San Diego. A graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (Yeshiva University) in New York City, Rachel acted as chief research assistant to noted First Amendment scholar Professor Marci A. Hamilton, with whom she co-authored The Religious Origins of Disestablishment Principles, 81 N.D. L. Rev. 1755 (2006). Rachel is admitted to practice law in New York.
Monday, November 26, 2007
It never ceases to amaze me the game playing that goes on with some of our religious leaders. Need I say more?
The following message comes from The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter:
Message from Sol Werdiger and the Gerer Rebbe Regarding Avrohom Mondrowitz
November 25, 2007
Below is a copy of the CALL TO ACTION, The Awareness Center forward to you which was originally posted by blogger -- Unorthodox Jew (UOJ). The CALL TO ACTION was regarding the case of Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz's extradition from Israel back to the United States.
Tonight I received a phone call from an extremely reliable source who spoke to Sol Werdiger regarding Mondrowitz.
Sol Werdiger stated that both he and the Gerer Rebbe are not trying to stop the extradition of Avrohom Mondrowitz. Both are advocates of the legal process and feel Avrohom Mondrowitz should be extradited and that those he allegedly victimized should be allowed to have their day in court.
I got the impression from my source that both the Gerer Rebbe and Sol Werdiger feel that Avrohom Mondrowitz is guilty of his alleged sex crimes.
Executive Director - The Awareness Center
At the request of Blogger - Unorthodox Jew
URGENT CALL TO ACTION:
Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz is currently sitting in a jail in Jerusalem, Israel awaiting an extradition trail scheduled for November 27, 2007. The Gerer Rebbe has been doing his best to stop the extradition.
Call Sol Werdiger and tell him to convey the following message to the Gerer Rebbe:
1. That as a people we are not going to tolerate any more coverups and whitewashings for Avrohom Mondrowitz; that it is manditory this man must face justice for his alleged sex crimes.
2. That anyone who aids or protects this criminal is morally as culpable as the criminal himself; and that we will be sure to expose anyone guilty of coverup just as we are succeeding in exposing the story of Mondrowitz.
3. You might want to mention Pirkei Avoth, 4:5: "Whoever is mi'chalel Hashem in secret will be chastised publicly."
Contact info for Sol Werdiger:
CALL TO ACTION: Help Unsuspecting Families Connected to Agudath Israel of America!
Rabbi Avi Shafran
From The Awareness Center:
CALL TO ACTION: Unsuspecting Families Connected to Agudath Israel of America Need Our Help!
Over the last few years Rabbi Avi Shafran (public spokes person for Agudath Israel of America) has had many lengthy telephone conversations and e-mail exchanges with many experts in the sexual violence field, including The Awareness Center. Unfortunately Avi Shafran is more interested in protecting the assets and image of Agudath Israel of America then reality when it comes to protecting innocent adults and children from becoming the next victim of a sex crime.
It's time for everyone to contact Avi Shafran and Agudath Israel of America. Let them know they need to change their perspective. Demand that they hire an organization like The Awareness Center to do intensive training's with them.
Rabbi Avi Shafran, Public Spokes Person of Agudath Israel of America:
New York, NY 10004-1617
Phone: (212) 797-9000
- No Religious Haven From Abuse
New study finds Orthodox women are sexually victimized as much as other American women are - by Debra Nussbaum Cohen
- Shafran's Letters to the Editor of the New York Jewish Times
- Rabbi Yaakov Blau's Letter responding to Shafran
- Michael J. Salamon's Letter responding to Shafran
- Rabbi Yosef Blau's Letter responding to Shafrain
- Sin and Subtext - By Avi Shafran (WARNING: this blog is owned and run by alleged sex offender - rabbi Yaakov Menken)
- Rabbi Avi Shafran, Agudath Israel of America and Rabbi-on-Child Sexual Abuse - By Failed Messiah
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Thanksgiving and Survivors of Incest and Child Sexual Abuse of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Monday, November 19, 2007
Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz
CALL TO ACTION:
Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz is currently sitting in a jail in Jerusalem, Israel awaiting an extradition trial scheduled for November 27, 2007. The Gerer Rebbe has been doing his best to stop the extradition.
Call Sol Werdiger and tell him to convey the following message to the Gerer Rebbe:
That as a people we are not going to tolerate any more coverups and whitewashings for Avrohom Mondrowitz; that it is manditory this man must face justice for his alleged sex crimes.
That anyone who aids or protects this criminal is morally as culpable as the criminal himself; and that we will be sure to expose anyone guilty of coverup just as we are succeeding in exposing the story of Mondrowitz.
You might want to mention Pirkei Avoth, 4:5: "Whoever is mi'chalel Hashem in secret will be chastised publicly."
Contact info for Sol Werdiger:
CALL TO ACTION #2
You are being asked to I send an e-mail to Israel's Department of Justice. The Israeli government needs to be made aware of how important it is to bring alleged serial child molester - Avrohom Mondrowitz, back to the United States to be brought in front of a court of law in regards to the serious allegations made against him.
The e-mail address is :YaelK@ justice.gov.il
Subject: Avrohom Mondrowitz' Extradition
I am writing to request that the Israeli government comply with the U.S, Department of Justice's request to have Avrohom Mondrowitz extradited so that he can face charges of rape and sodomy.
I am asking that this request be fulfilled immediately so that justice should not be delayed any further. There are scores of individuals who have been sexually victimized by Avrohom Mondrowitz, and they have been waiting unjustly for 23 years. Now is the opportunity for the Israeli government to do the right thing, by extraditing Mondrowitz immediatly. Please note, the American public (both the Jewish and Non-Jewish) will will not rest or stand still if justice is delayed any further in this case. I hope that you see the urgency of this matter and work diligently to expedite the extradition.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
From The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter:
Download this pdf file and share it with everyone you know.
Please make the phone calls regarding Moshe Eisemann. The only way to make change is if everyone participates and puts pressure on Ner Israel, Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer and Artscroll to do the right thing.
It's important to be aware that Phil Jacobs and the Baltimore Jewish Times were limited in what information they made public when they published the story on Moshe Eisemann. Several of the survivors did not want to be interviewed for fear of retaliation. It's vitally important for each survivor to have choice, because while they were being abused choice was taken away from them. The problem is that when survivors choose not to be public it makes it difficult to make changes in hopes of protecting any more innocent children and adults from becoming the next victim of a sex crime.
The other dilemma faced by the Baltimore Jewish Times was that some of the information they were privy to was confidential and could not be published.
Many people have asked why we are asking that Eisemann's writings should be banned. One response is that many years ago Rabbi Moshe Feinstein made a decree that the songs written by Shlomo Carlebach after he went off the derech (path), should no longer be song, yet his older songs were ok. The same decree should apply to the writings of Moshe Eisemann.
Click here to download: CALL TO ACTION
Friday, November 16, 2007
The Awareness Center seems to have all the articles up on their site about Mondrowitz. Instead of posting them here, it might be easier to just go to that site: Case of Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz.
Police arrest purported rabbi charged with sexual abuse
November 16, 2007
Abraham Mondrowitz will be remanded on Sunday, said the Justice Ministry spokesman, Moshe Cohen. He could not give further details.
The US Justice Department had two months ago resubmitted a 22-year-old request to Israel to extradite the suspect who may have abused hundreds of children, Ha'aretz reported Friday.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
New York Times on Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz
22 Years Later, a Child Abuse Suspect’s Extradition Is Sought
The Following Note comes from The Awareness Center:
The Awareness Center wants to thank the survivors for their courage and determination over the years. We also want to thank all of those who have been diligently doing what they can to make sure Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz is held accountable for his actions.In the basement, behind a closed door
The Awareness Center also hopes that all of the individuals who helped Mondrowitz elude law enforcement over the last twenty years will also be held accountable. If Mondrowitz molested any more children after they first learned of the allegations and especially after they helped him leave the United States -- those individuals should be held responsible for the creation of more survivors of child sexual abuse
By Aviva Lori
November 15, 2007
A community psychologist
. . . Avrohom Mondrowitz, 60, was probably born in Poland and settled in Israel with his family after World War II. He grew up in Tel Aviv, but in the 1950s the family immigrated to Chicago. He attended the Telshe Yeshiva, in Wickliffe, Ohio, run by the Lithuanian branch of Orthodox Jewry. In the 1970s, he came to Brooklyn, saying he held a master's degree in the sciences, a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Columbia, and another Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Florida, in addition to being an ordained rabbi. The Jews of Brooklyn were impressed, and Mondrowitz began to acquire social status. He wrote articles on education for the Haredi press, had a radio program on which he gave listeners advice on how to treat children, established a yeshiva for children in distress and was active in Ohel, a large New York organization for orphans and children from broken homes. Finally, he hung a "psychologist" sign on his door and started to receive patients.
"He made a name for himself and was very respected in the community," says a Brooklyn Hasid. "Children were referred to him, hard cases from Ohel, and he treated them. Rabbis also referred children to him for treatment. His expertise was treating children who had been sexually molested."
Children who visited his office, which was located in the basement of his home, remember him boasting about the "bragging wall," on which hung his diplomas and certificates, all finely framed, which attested to his qualifications as a therapist. But according to Patricia Kehoe, a retired New York Police Department detective, "his diplomas turned out to be fakes, including his rabbinical ordination."
The police suspect that in that office, behind a closed door and drawn curtains, he sexually abused children, including with acts of sodomy. In many cases, the parents were waiting in the next room for the treatment to end, so they could take the children home. Those are the facts as collected by the Brooklyn police and told by the children. . . Click Here to read more of this story
Click Here for more information on Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Rabbi Avi Shafran Not Understanding Sexual Abuse
by Rabbi Avi Shafran
New York Jewish Week
November 7, 2007
The headline of your article on a recent study about sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community (“No Religious Haven From Abuse: New study finds Orthodox women are sexually victimized as much as other American women are,” Oct. 26) is grossly misleading.
A little Statistics 101: A “self-selecting” sample — like the women who responded to flyers providing questionnaires about their sexual lives and attitudes — is simply not comparable to another sample whose members were selected at random. For this reason, the study itself, which appears in the American Journal of Psychiatry, emphasizes that “those who chose to participate may not be representative of the [Orthodox] population,” and that the unfeasibility of obtaining a representative sample constitutes a “major limitation of this study.”
The study also notes that “there was a high proportion of subjects receiving mental health treatment in this group [the sample recruited for the study].”
And so the article’s unequivocal claim that “Orthodox Jewish women suffer as much [abuse] as other American women,” based as it is on comparing, in effect, apples and tractors, is not supported by the study cited.
If a self-selecting Orthodox sample — including “a high proportion of subjects receiving mental health treatment” — yields about the same percentage of abuse victims as a “larger world” representational one, it would seem to indicate, if anything at all, that the problem is considerably less common in the Orthodox community.
Abuse is a serious problem and, tragically, it exists and must be addressed in every community. Misrepresenting its extent in any subset of society does no service to that goal.
Rabbi Avi Shafran
Director of Public Affairs
Agudath Israel of America
Missing The Point On Sexual Abuse
by Yaakov Blau
New York Jewish Week
November 14, 2007
In a Nov. 9 letter to the editor, Rabbi Avi Shafran questioned the validity of the study about sexual abuse in the Orthodox community. One point that he stressed more than once was that the sample had “a high proportion of subjects receiving mental health treatment.” Somehow in Rabbi Shafran’s mind, this undermines the legitimacy of what those subjects had to say.
Well, I think he missed a fairly obvious point. The reason so many receive mental health treatment is most likely because they suffered sexual abuse. I suppose that Rabbi Shafran thinks that all the abuse victims in the non-Orthodox world (he is willing to admit that abuse goes on in some parts of the world) live well-balanced lives with no aftereffects caused by the abuse they suffered.
In general, Rabbi Shafran seems to feel that his job is to always explain why the Agudah world does not share any of the problems that plague the rest of America, and his columns and letters are constantly exonerating that community of any problems. I think that the Agudah community would be much better served by facing up to its problems and dealing with them, rather than persisting to keep its head in the sand.
Rabbi Yaakov Blau
Letter to the Editor
Sexual Abuse Statistics
by Michael J. Salamon
New York Jewish Week
November 14, 2007
Rabbi Avi Shafran (Nov. 9) responded to your article “No Religious Haven From Abuse: New study finds Orthodox women are sexually victimized as much as other American women are” (Oct. 26) in a most disingenuous fashion. While his statement that the headline is grossly misleading may be accurate, his interpretation of the research is in fact more misleading.
It is true, as Rabbi Shafran states, that a self-selecting sample is not comparable to a sample selected at random. But to suggest that this implies that rates are lower is to display a deep misunderstanding of statistics. Comparability is affected by selection. However, to understand the true meaning of it in this case requires a knowledge of survey research and statistical design referred to as non-parametric
statistics. Someone with knowledge of these scientific techniques would in fact know that it is just as likely that this is an under-representation. In other words, based on this one study one might just as easily conclude that there may be a higher rate of abuse in the Orthodox community than in the general population.
Further, to imply that because many of these women are receiving mental health services somehow makes the study less reliable shows a complete lack of understanding of the trauma caused by sexual abuse. It is a fact, supported by an abundance of research over many years, that sexual trauma causes significant psychological problems for many people. Indeed, in randomly selected groups, those reporting a history of sexual abuse are also more likely to be receiving mental health services.
I suggest that Rabbi Shafran, or other doubters, speak with mental health providers in the Orthodox community. He will find that the problem is quite real and very much present. To dismiss this critical survey in so offhanded a fashion is to deny the community the help it needs.
by Michael J. Salamon
Adult Developmental Center
Dr. Salamon is also on the Executive Board of Directors of The Awareness Center, Inc.
Letter To The Editor
by Yosef Blau
New York Jewish Week
November 12, 2007
Rabbi Rabbi Avi Shafran's letter (Nov 9) questioning the accuracy of the study described in the article "No Religious Haven From Abuse" (Oct. 26) reflects both the strength and weakness of a professional defender of a community. Self esteem is protected but problems are denied rather than addressed. The study is about the effect going to Mikvah regularly hason marital happiness. Questions about health, both mental and physical, and history of sexual abuse were included to separate out other factors that might influence marital happiness. The results are limited to women who are neither too young nor to old to go to mikvah and who were willing to fill out a lengthy questionaire. It is difficult to claim that these limitations should bias the resulting percentage of women who reported incidents of sexual abuse in either direction. The Orthodox Jewish community is begining to create mechanisms to protect our children and women. The assertion, which is not based on any study, that only a tiny percentage have suffered from abuse is not helpful.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Rabbi Ephraim Bryks
From The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter:
CALL TO ACTION:
Contact Rabbi Paysach Krohn and demand that he stop promoting alleged child molester, Rabbi Ephraim Bryks. Remind him if another child is harmed that he could be held liable in a civil suit.
Rabbi Paysach Krohn, Rabbi Lipa Brenner and Alleged Sex Offender Rabbi Ephraim Bryks
The following article was written by Rabbi Paysach Krohn, and is about convicted sex offender, Rabbi (Lewis) Lipa Brenner. While reading the article remember that Rabbi Paysach Krohn is married to Rabbi Ephraim Bryks's sister. Rabbi Ephraim Bryks's wife is Rabbi Lipa Brenner's daughter.
It's a known fact that Rabbi Paysach Krohn has a long history of protecting those who allegedly, perpetrate crimes against children. An example of this is the fact that to this day he still helps his brother-in-law, Rabbi Ephraim Bryks get speaking engagements.
In the book "Around The Magid's Table", Rabbi Paysach Krohn portrays Rabbi Brenner as a righteous man even though he was being accused as being a child molester at the time. When Artscroll learned that Rabbi Brenner was barred from Yeshiva Torah Vodaas because of his sex crimes, they removed the story from later editions of the book. Back in the 1990's rumors circulated that Krohn new about the allegations when he published his book, yet decided to ignore them.
The original charges against Rabbi Brenner included, 14 counts of sodomy, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. Brenner agreed to plead guilty to one count of sodomy in the third degree, a Class E felony, in exchange for a sentence of five years' probation.
Prosecutors said Brenner had sexual contact with a youth he met in the bathroom of the synagogue they both attended. The molestation's allegedly took place over a three-year period that ended in 1995 when the victim was 15 years old.
- On June 24, 2007, both Rabbi Paysach Krohn and Rabbi Ephraim Bryks presented at a Shabbaton (weekend retreat)
- Case of Rabbi Ephraim Bryks
- Case of Rabbi Lippa Brenner
Monday, November 12, 2007
Rabbi Ben Zion Sobel
If you or anyone know you know was sexually abused by Rabbi Ben Zion Sobel and the abuse occurred in the United States please contact The Awareness Center: 443-857-5560
From The Awareness Center's web page on Sobel:
The past tradition in handling sex crimes was for the local rabbis to handled "situations" quietly within their own communities What ususually happend was the alleged offender would have no choice but to move to a new community.
In the case of Ben Zion Sobel, there were never any police reports made, which meant there was nver any official criminal investigation.
A rabbi who wishes to remain anonymous has stated:
"Rabbi Ben Zion Sobel is one of the most notorious pedophiles he has ever known. Leaving hundreds of boys he has victimized."
"At one point Rabbi Shach made a rabbinic decree stating that Rabbi Ben Zion Sobel could NEVER teach again."
"Ben Zion has left survivors in both the United States and Israel. "His modus operandi was extremely violent and barbaric."
Israel to extradite to US man accused of molesting two American minors
November 11, 2007
Israel will extradite Steven Colmer, who is accused of molesting two American minors, to the United States, the Jerusalem District Court decided Sunday.
Israel OKs extradition of Brooklyn pedophile suspect
BY MATTHEW KALMAN
New York Daily News
Monday, November 12, 2007
JERUSALEM - A suspected Brooklyn pedophile hiding from sex abuse charges in Israel will become the first American extradited to the U.S. under a revamped treaty, a Jerusalem court ruled Sunday.
Stefan Colmer, 30, was indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury on charges he sexually abused two 13-year-old boys from the ultra-orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn where he lived.
Hoping to avoid arrest, Colmer, a computer technician and salesman, fled to Israel and changed his name to David Cohen.
Jerusalem police arrested Colmer in June and have held him pending Sunday's extradition hearing, at which an Israeli judge ruled he must be returned to face the charges in Brooklyn.
Before a January change to the treaty, Israel and the U.S. had agreed to extradite suspected sex criminals only if they had been charged with rape.
Colmer is suspected of performing oral sex on the two boys over several months last year after luring them to his home from a nearby yeshiva high school, according to the U.S. Justice Department's extradition request.
The Brooklyn grand jury indicted Colmer on eight counts of criminal sexual acts. If found guilty, he could face up to seven years in prison.
The Justice Department also has requested the extradition of another alleged Brooklyn child molester, Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz, who fled to Jerusalem 23 years ago amid allegations the former counselor and principal molested four boys.
Mondrowitz was arrested last month by Israeli police but was released. The Israeli Justice Ministry has refused to comment on the case. Attorney Michael Lesher, who represents six men who have accused Mondrowitz of molesting them as children, said Mondrowitz must be returned to face charges.
"I am certainly delighted to see that Colmer will be extradited to face justice in Brooklyn," Lesher said. "But we certainly will not rest until the same is done with Avrohom Mondrowitz."
Friday, November 09, 2007
The following message from Rabbi Yosef Blau was posted on the Unorthodox Jew Blog
Ephrayim Bryks has become a rabbinic marriage counselor. The term marriage counselor or life coach can be used by anyone. He is not the only "rabbi" suspected of sexual abuse using one of these titles to access vulnerable individuals or couples both here and in Israel. Consulting actual professionals is expensive and unless the community publicly warns against going to these charlatans (often worse) many innocents will continue to be hurt.
Don't forget to watch the CBC broadcast about Rabbi Ephraim Bryks.
The Investigative documentary: "Unorthodox Conduct"contains graphic information regarding the case against Rabbi Ephriam Bryks. It was produced in 1994 by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Case of Hbrandon Lee Flagner
(AKA: Chico Virgilio Tenorio, Brandon Flagner, Brandon Lee Flagner)
Watch this newscast and write about what you think about the new television show that will be airing in April , 2008. The month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness month.
Click here: Inmates become crimefighters
Tiffany Jennifer Papesh - Circumstances of Disappearance
Papesh went to a neighborhood store for a quick errand in 1980; she never returned home. Papesh was apparently seen at the store, but disappeared afterwards. Police suspect that foul play was involved in Papesh's case. Brandon Flagner confessed to killing Tiffany in a 1983 letter to the FBI. He was indicted in June 1985 on two counts of aggravated murder and one count of kidnapping. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Left: Papesh, circa 1980; Right: Age-progressed image of Papesh at age 36 (circa 2007)
Missing since June 13, 1980 from Maple Heights, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
- If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Maple Heights Police Department: 216-662-5884 OR Federal Bureau Of Investigation: 202-324-3000