Monday, November 12, 2007

Looking For Survivors of Rabbi Ben Zion Sobel


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."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kol hakavod for covering this. He had this iron door outside his office and would molest the bochrim there. I was at the yeshiva, but fortunately got out early. He would encourage the kids to use the swimming pool and then hang out with them there. Kids complained that he was hitting on them, and no one believed them because they were all labeled as "troubled kids" at the yeshiva high schools they were at in the USA. The "man" was a monster, and was at it for years, molesting incredible numbers of unfortunate talmidim away from their parents sometimes for the first time.
When it all came out, during a trip to California, he was quickly whisked off to a job in Feldheim, after all, he was a rosh yeshiva. Now Migdal Ohr has him fund raising for- a yeshiva for troubled boys...

November 13, 2007 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of his behaviors in this regard occurred in Israel and not in the U.S. The combination of short memories, players having passsed on, and lack of a system to adjudicate there has made any conclusive punitive steps highly improbable. That's why Israel has uunfortunately become a country of refuge.

November 13, 2007 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say that the "survivors" of BZS include either:

(1) those who are too psychologically or Jewishly messed up today to be reached by this blog.

(2) have adjucted somewhat over the years and have no desire to revisit the disturbing chapter of their lives.

As the other Anonymous said, given that most of what he did took place in Israel and many years ago at that, the legal avenues of justice are virtually nonexistent--be it in secular or religious contexts.

Perhaps if his personal contact and residential information could be posted for anyone who cares to pay him a visit, that may be of value.

November 14, 2007 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Vicki Polin said...

Using the legal system in the United States is much better then paying someone a visit. The goal is for him to be arrested and there be a trial. If Sobel molested anyone in the United States and then fled the country before the statute of limitations ran out, there's a chance that he can still be held accountable for his actions.

Many survivors dream of having their offenders be convicted. Even after 50 - 60 years.

The other important thing to remember is that once someone files a police report on their offender it makes them eligiable for the Federally funded Victim-Witness Act. The funds can be used to pay for counseling. Those who have been sexually victimized should never have to pay out of pocket expenses to heal from a violent crime. All sex crimes are considered violent crimes.

November 14, 2007 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In his case, most of the abuse took place in Israel. If he ended up in Israel as a result of fleeing from a legal situation in the U.S. in a matter of historical conjecture.

November 14, 2007 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were rumors of some earlier "activity" when he was in the USA, he taught briefly in a yeshiva high school somewhere and then was quietly "moved on", but no one seems to know where this happens. I heard this from a very prominent rav in benei berak.

November 15, 2007 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Vicki Polin said...

Please go to the rav who told you about the allegations and ask him to tell the survivors to contact The Awareness Center. If the rav only knew of the rumor ask him to go to the person who told the rumor. We need to track down the survivors in hopes of there being justice in the case of Rabbi Ben Zion Sobel.

Times have changed and survivors voices will be heard and believed!

The Awareness Center

November 15, 2007 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BZS committed his abuse when little was known about the phenomenon, especially in the Yeshiva world (which is still in a state of denial). Rather than call a special Din Torah at the time, the thinking was to try to suppress and put it behind them. After all, a public hearing could draw nagetive attention to the Yeshiva way of life in general and few wanted that. The "compromise" was to let him slide, ban him from education, and collectively move on. What was of course ignored was the impact that such a strategy would have on validating survivors, not to mention their trauma as a result of the molestation.

November 15, 2007 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One wonders whether BZS is concerned that he may be subject to the same fate as Mondrowitz. Unfortunately, since the abuse occurred in Israel and no one has pressed charges there, he is probably immune from being hauled in.

November 19, 2007 10:00 AM  

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