Friday, January 18, 2008

Baltimore's Rabbi - Yisroel Shapiro Pleads ‘Not Guilty’

Phil Jacobs / Rabbi Yisroel Shapiro

From The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter:
CALL FOR ACTION: Phil Jacob Going Soft on the case of Rabbi Israel 'Yisroel' Shapiro

The Awareness is thankful to Phil Jacobs, executive editor and the Baltimore Jewish Times for continuing to write about sex crimes in the Baltimore community. The problem is that Phil Jacobs keeps referring to Rabbi Israel (Yisroel) Shapiro as "Mr." instead of using his ordained title of "Rabbi". This is a case of clergy sexual abuse and should be referred to as such. By not doing so takes away some of the influence and status he had over the children he molested.

Rabbi Israel (Yisroel) Shaprio is the son of the late Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro and the brother of two other ordained rabbis. One of his brothers is living in Maryland and the other residing in Massachusetts, both are Rosh yeshiva's (deans) of two different Jewish day schools. His family has a great deal of influence and clout in the orthodox community of Baltimore, which includes connections with the administration at Ner Israel Rabbinical College (and high school), Rabbi Moshe Heinemann and Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer.

Some time ago The Awareness Center put out a CALL FOR ACTION on this case, which you can download at: It's odd that Phil Jacobs never mentioned any of the following demands in his article:

The Awareness Center is asking that everyone contact Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz and the Baltimore Vaad HaRabbonim and ask them to:

1. Make public the plan they established to notify parents in the community of the potential dangers of their children being left alone with Rabbi Yisroel Shapiro.

2. We are also asking that this statement include the safety plan created when Yisroel Shapiro is davening (praying) at Darchi Tzedek or any synagogue.

3. They also need to make public the safety plan they established for Wasserman's and Lemberger," the retail business in which Shapiro is employed and also for any other public location Shapiro may enter.

Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer - President
Vaad Harabbonim of Baltimore

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz
Congregation Darchei Tzedek
410-486-0445 (Rabbi Horowitz)

Considering the fact that Phil Jacobs is the executive editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times, I'm sure he has influence in how long or short a story is in his paper. Please call and or write to Phil Jacobs and ask him why he's going soft on this story.

Phil Jacobs, Executive Editor
Phone: 410-752-3504
Fax: 443-451-6025

Yisroel Shapiro Pleads ‘Not Guilty’
Israel Shapiro Gets April 1 trial date for multiple molestation charges.
By Phil Jacobs
Baltimore Jewish Times
January 18, 2008

“Not guilty.”

This was the plea entered into court record by Israel Shapiro before Judge John Miller Tuesday morning in Baltimore City Circuit Court.

Mr. Shapiro made his plea in response to charges of three counts of child sexual abuse, three counts of third degree sexual offense, three counts of fourth degree sex offenses and six counts of second degree assault. The charges were brought to court by the State’s Attorney’s Sex Offense Unit.

Unless a plea deal is made, Mr. Shapiro will appear in court for an April 1 trial.

The allegations made by plaintiffs dated back to 1987-88 and 1993-94. click here to read more


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this posting. I agree with it 100%, yet I also want to honor Phil for the stories he's already written.

I was shocked that in his stories he never mentions Vicki Polin or the Awareness Center. They really are the people who got this movement off the ground. What bothers me the most is that this is a Jewish organization that is based in Baltimore. If it was based in NYC I might understand, but it's based right in the center of the orthodox community.

January 20, 2008 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous 7:18 PM. I think Phil Jacobs and the BJT was wrong. I'm no longer going to buy the paper. I started purchasing it weekly after the whole affair with rabbi Heinemann, yet if the paper is avoiding to honor an organization that's been dealing with sexual abuse, then I can no longer support that paper.

January 20, 2008 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched the video put out by TAC and in it Dr. Leventhal-Baker stated every adult in the state of Maryland is a mandated reporter.

Considering Phil Jacobs lives in that state I'm curious why he hasn't made a hot-line report against one of the individuals he has interviewed? Or did he and he is choosing not to write a story about what he knows?

January 21, 2008 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Luke Ford on rabbi Eleizer Eisgrau said...

(Back in 2004) Stories are told from first-hand observation of rabbi Eisgrau getting drunk on Purim and pulling kids on to his lap, smothering them with physical affection, and telling them he loves them. Some of the kids get a horrified look on their face, freak out, struggle out of his arms, and run off.

On three occasions, rabbi Eisgrau has been accused of sexually molesting children. Two allegations were made by former students and one by his daughter. At least one of his accusers now live in Silver Spring, Maryland (the frum community south of Baltimore right outside DC).

Rabbi Eisgrau is protected by the two leading Orthodox rabbis in Baltimore (Yaakov Hopfer and Moshe Heineman who believe Eisgrau is innocent).

Rabbi Eisgrau's eldest daughter has been excommunicated from her family and the Baltimore community and those who allege they were molested by Eisgrau have been labeled as crazy.

Police were stonewalled by the Orthodox community. Few would talk to the detective from within the community. They wouldn't acknowledge that they knew who the children were who accused the rabbi of molesting them.

Aaron Goldberger, the brother-in-law of rabbi Eisgrau, was tried and convicted of sexual abuse.

A pediatrician who did a medical exam on the kids who say they were molested by Aaron Golderberger, was told, according to my sources, to get rid of the evidence.

Baltimore Jewish Times editor Phil Jacobs, Modern Orthodox, was working on a story on this and then he spiked it. Some believed Jacobs was under the thumb of his rabbi Menachem Goldberger of Tiferes Yisroel.

Some of those who alleged that rabbi Eisgrau sexually molested them were devastated when Jacobs abandoned the story. "We know there will never be any justice in this lifetime," one person said.

"Torah Institute of Baltimore 35 Rosewood Lane Owings Mills, MD 21117 410-654-3500 Principal: Rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau Orthodox boys school for nursery/preschool through grade 8. Intensive Judaic and secular studies. Summer camp program available. Located on 12-acre Owings Milll campus."

People are terrified about speaking up on the case of rabbi Eisgrau. They have been so threatened by the Orthodox powers that be in Baltimore, they won't even speak to the police, let alone journalists. Police have never seen a community so unwilling to speak up about such matters because of threats.

Just working to expose the story can be cause for having your life threatened by members of the Orthodox community. On the other hand, you can have people crying at your feet about Eisgrau -- that you've never met a holier man. He's so pure.

Eisgrau's daughter went to a world-renown American rabbi (circa 2002, Dovid Cohen (independently wealthy), halachic advisor to Ohel Children's Home and Family Services, friendly with Lewis Brenner's family), famous for fighting sexual abuse, with her story. He was nice. He said he would get back to her. He called the rabbis who rule the community in Baltimore. Several sources say he was threatened that if he got involved, all backing for his institutions would dry up. A source in the Orthodox rabbinate say that serious Baltimore Orthodox rabbis investigated the charges against Eisgrau and found them baseless. They relayed this to rabbi Dovid Cohen who then dropped out of the case.

When Eisgrau's daughter called him back, rabbi Dovid Cohen said, I'm sorry. I can't have anything to do with you.

Rabbi Cohen spoke at a Nefesh convention circa 2000. He encouraged the therapists there to raise public awareness of sexual abuse.

(Luke Ford in 2007)
Baltimore Jewish Times editor Phil Jacobs interviewed rabbi Eisgrau's daughter. He's told people he could not authenticate her story and that's why he didn't publish it. He's told people that her story has changed. Along with Baltimore's Orthodox establishment, he's said that she is not credible.

A Baltimore police detective (Richard Hardick) investigated the abuse complaints about rabbi Eisgrau. He did not find enough evidence to persuade the district attorney to bring charges. The detective has told people that he believes Eisgrau committed abuse. The detective has said that he never encountered such opposition to a child abuse investigation from a community as he encountered in Baltimore's Orthodox community.

January 21, 2008 8:47 AM  
Anonymous More from Luke Ford said...

I've spoken to the author of the letter. I've spoken to others who have researched this story. There was a police investigation (by detective Richard Hardick). The Baltimore Jewish Times editor Phil Jacobs interviewed at least one person who says he/she was molested by rabbi Eisgrau. Jacobs did further investigation. Jacobs got threatened by powerful members of the frum community. Jacobs decided he did not have a story. One of Baltimore's leading rabbis told the Eisgrau family and the Baltimore frum community to put the daughter who alleged the sexual molestation into cherem. These are indisputable facts.

Phil Jacobs is a member of rabbi Menachem Goldberger's shul Tiferes Yisroel, which claims it is open to all Jews. All Jews except those who investigate this case. One such person has been banned from the shul and refused membership, even though the person is a Jew, born a Jew, and identifies Orthodox, solely because the person was looking into the Eisgrau story. Phil Jacobs and rabbi Goldberger know exactly what I am talking about.

Me, an anonymous poster on Protocols who I have gotten to know well over the past six months through private emails etc, and somebody with enormous credibility in these issues, writes on Protocols:

I have specific information regarding a relative of a victim of sexual molestation who approached Rav Dovid Cohen for help regarding a Rabbi who had a long documented history of sexual child abuse (not Eisgrau). Rav Dovid Cohen pretty much called this person a liar and refused to listen or help. Rav Dovid Cohen is just another protector of the abusers within the rabbinate.

One of the problems with the Shalom Task Force is that it is closely connected with its affiliate organization, Beit Shalom (Bukharian Jewish Women’s Organization). Ora Nisanov wife of Rabbi Shlomo Nisanov, runs Beit Shalom.

Ora Nisanov and her husband Rabbi Shlomo Nisanov also ran a Yeshiva called Berachel David. Both were directors of the Yeshiva according to public records. The principal at their school? Rabbi Ephraim Bryks, who had a long documented history of sexually molesting children. The Nisanov's were aware of Bryks' history at the time and still support him. The school has since closed.

These people are the problem not the solution.

January 21, 2008 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Beaches of Yellow said...


From The Beach of Yellow, a poem about the daughter of rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau who was exiled from her Baltimore community by rabbi Yaakov Hopfer:

I heard a voice coming from the fields beyond the synagogues and the black-hatted masses beyond the halls of study and the ritual baths beyond the chambers of rabbi's courts.

I followed the voice and found a spirit wandering in the wind.

I asked her why she wanders so. She replied:

I have been banished from the family of my youth

Cast away from the people to whom I belong.

Why is that so? I asked,

For I knew of her family and their people,

I knew of the deeds of kindness they had done

I knew of the outstretched arms they offer to lost cousins.

Her voice came to me,

Plaintive as the wind whispering in the reeds

She said: I opened my mouth and told the truth.

That is my sin. This is my punishment.

What is your truth? I asked.

She said: I was but a child at the time,

I was violated in unspeakable ways by my very own father.

My mother did nothing to protect me. My siblings stood by silently.

I, too, kept quiet for many years, hoping to bury the pain.

But the day came when the truth burst out from my heart

In a river of tears, in a sea of pain

In an ocean of grief and self hatred.

I went to those whom I trusted, but they did not believe me.

They told me I was mistaken, that it did not happen.

But I cannot deny the truth that lies in my heart

I refuse to betray the child within me by denying her pain.

I told the truth.

It is ugly and hideous, but it is the truth nonetheless and I will not be silent to protect the honor

of he who does not deserve to be protected.

I have been ex-communicated because I have spoken the truth.

So, I shall wander here, in these fields of barley

Until the day when the piercing blast of a ram's horn rips away the layers of denial and lies and the truth is known to all.

January 21, 2008 8:52 AM  
Anonymous More from Luke said...


According to a well circulated story, a tough guy upset at stories he'd heard about Rabbi Eisgrau abusing kids, met the rabbi in the mikveh when no one else was around and knocked him out.

January 21, 2008 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Phil???? said...

Why has it been that Phil Jacobs has not written a story about the Torh Institute principal? What has he been waiting for?

January 21, 2008 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you get it???

Phil won't ever do the story because it's been up on the Awareness Center's web page for the last five years. How can Phil state this is a new story if it's been out here in bloggispher for so many years?

Is Goldberger still controlling Jacobs? or is it someone new?

January 21, 2008 8:58 AM  

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