Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New York Times on Isaac Hersh - WE ALL MUST SAVE HIS LIFE!!!

CALL TO ACTION: Everyone Please Call Your Local Television Station - Encourage Them To Do A Story To Save Isaac Hersh's Life and ALL of the other Children in Tranquility Bay!!

New York Times:
March 25, 2008

A battle has erupted in an Orthodox Jewish community over a Brooklyn teenager, Isaac Hersh, 16, who was sent by his family to a behavioral “boot camp” in Jamaica that his lawyer says has abused him. The boy’s father, Michael Hersh, is chief executive of a large Orthodox volunteer ambulance service, Hatzalah; the boy, one of eight children, had been living with another Orthodox family in Texas. [Daily News]

Jewish family sues Jamaican reform school for troubled teens

By Kirsten Danis, Daily News City Hall Bureau Chief

New York Daily News

Tuesday, March 25th 2008, 4:00 AM

A battle has erupted in the Orthodox Jewish community over a Brooklyn teenager sent by his prominent family to a behavior boot camp accused of terrifying abuse.

Isaac Hersh, 16, has been trapped since last summer at Tranquility Bay, a reform school on the island of Jamaica with a soothing name - and harsh discipline, according to the lawyer hired to try to get him out.

"It's a modern-day concentration camp," said Maryland lawyer Joshua Ambush.

Isaac's estranged parents sent him to the boot camp last year after luring him back to Brooklyn from his new home in Texas, court papers claim.

Isaac's twin brother, Sol, is panicked he's next to go.

"He's very worried about his brother. He's very worried about himself, too," said a friend of the family who asked to remain anonymous.

Tranquility Bay offers the promise of turning bad boys into focused achievers, but the walled-off camp with barred windows has been called a nightmare.

Children have been beaten, forced to eat their vomit and made to stand in painful contortions for hours, according to a separate suit filed in Utah by former students against private boot camps, including Tranquility Bay.

The case has so riled up members of the normally insular Orthodox community that several are taking the rare step of publicizing Isaac's situation.

One one side is Isaac's informal Texas foster family, who are also Orthodox, and their supporters, who prompted a nonprofit to file suit in Washington last week on Isaac's behalf.

They claim he was lured to Brooklyn with the promise of a job, handcuffed and thrown into a van that took him to the boot camp as he cried and begged to be released, the suit says.

On the other side are the teen's father, Michael Hersh - CEO of Brooklyn's huge Orthodox volunteer ambulance service, Hatzalah - and his wife, Miriam.

"Hatzalah will carefully monitor these proceedings, taking into account the seriousness of the allegations," the organization said in a statement.

The couple has a prominent supporter in Rabbi Aaron Schecter, head of Brooklyn's tight-knit Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin, according to the suit.

It is unclear what prompted the parents to send Isaac to another country. Michael Hersh did not return a call for comment.

They had a troubled relationship for years, according to the suit.

Isaac, one of eight children, was sent to schools in Virginia and Long Island before the family moved to Israel in 2002, where the parents were accused of abusing Isaac, the suit says.

From there, the boys went to live with families in Texas, although the parents never lost custody.

"They're healthy, good, normal teenage boys," said the family friend.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone done anything to get the other 6 children out of the home of Michael and Miriam Hersh? It's obvious they should not be allowed to care for their own children.

March 25, 2008 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand.

The kid is a minor.

He is not in the United States.

What in the world does a lawyer think
he is doing?

Someone clear this up for me.

Did the kid hire this lawyer?

If the kid is a minor and he is not in the United States, what is going on here.

From what I read, this place sounds creepy.

But what is the connection of this lawyer to the case?

March 25, 2008 10:33 PM  
Anonymous open letter said...


After speaking with numerous Hatzoloh members it has been made clear that the people primarily responsible for the hiring of Michael Hersh and seeing Hatzoloh dragged into the public eye are;

Zelig Gitelis (F-19) who lives at 1319 East 26th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11210 [Cell no. 1-917-612-3519 – Home no. 1-718-434-5359];


Yitzi Stern (B-30) who lives at 1405 48th Street, Brooklyn NY 11204 [Cell no. 1-917-559-8880 – Home no. 718-633-3905].

They were the active members of the Hatzoloh search committee and offered the most vocal support for his hire. They failed us and their executive responsibilities by hiring someone with no previous employment history and a record of child abuse. In addition, the fact that we’re paying him an annual salary $250,000 is an outrage.

All this on the say of Rabbi Aaron Schechter.

Their responsibilities are to Hatzoloh and the Jewish community who support Hatzoloh, not to any individual or other group. We hold them personally responsible for this embarrassment of Hatzoloh, Klal Yisroel’s proudest organization, and demand they take immediate action to see that Hatzoloh is kept out of the news and can return to their incredible mission of saving, not assisting in the destruction of, Jewish lives.

We are going to research and post the names of all the guilty members of the Hatzoloh board that caused this travesty and hold them personally responsible for their actions.

March 26, 2008 1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This case is so sad. Everyone related to Michael knows he's crazy. His children are in desperate danger and we all should be encouraging child protection in NYC to remove the remaining children in the home. They would be much better off living in relative foster care. but they should be living with relatives outside of NY. It's way to dangerous for them in NY.

March 26, 2008 8:57 AM  
Anonymous SadHatzalaMember said...

Not only should the rest of the kids be removed from Micheal& Mirriam Hersh's custody, Rabbi Aaron Schechter should lose custody and visitation rights for his children,grandchildren, and Talmidim.

March 27, 2008 12:25 PM  

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