Friday, June 20, 2008

Bush Believes An Israeli Convicted Sex Offender Has Been Rehabilitated - Yitzhak Mordechai

Former Defense Minister Mordechai allowed entry to US
By Itamar Eichner
YNet News
May 23, 2008
Visa granted after Olmert tells US officials Mordechai rehabilitated, does not pose threat to American public despite sex offenses

Former Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai was granted a visa by the US embassy in Tel Aviv at Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's request, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Friday.

Mordechai's initial request for a visa, which was filed some four months ago, was rejected by the Americans due to his past conviction for sexual misconduct.

However, during President George W. Bush's first visit to Israel Olmert asked a number of senior US officials intervene in the matter while taking into account that Mordechai had been rehabilitated and does not pose a threat to the American public.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak's office also turned to the Americans on Mordechai's behalf.

Meanwhile, Mordechai also filed an appeal with the American embassy, which was reportedly debated among some of the highest-ranking officials in Washington. The appeal was eventually accepted and Mordechai flew to US a few days ago for a 10-day private visit.

During his tenure as defense minister between 1996 and 1999 under then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mordechai was considered the darling of the US administration and was a welcome guest at the White House and the Pentagon.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rockland Cop Accused alont with Zalman Silber - Fake Gynecologist Case

The Awareness Center says:
Please note that the police officer who is an alleged perpetrator is NOT Jewish.

Police: Accused of Fake Gynecologist Had Cop's Help
CBS News
June 18, 2008

A prominent Hasidic businessman from Rockland County was arrested and charged with impersonating a gynecologist to allegedly sexually assault women.

To make matters worse, the already stunning allegation grew even more shocking when CBS 2 learned that a Rockland County police officer is accused of helping him.

The alleged incidents took place inside a building on Park Avenue between 34th and 35th streets, where women told detectives they'd been molested during what they thought was a gynecological examination.

When Manhattan sex crime detectives who work out of the same building investigated, the man they arrested turned out to be
Zalman Silber, a Hasidic businessman and philanthropist who moved to Rockland County from Boro Park in Brooklyn about a year ago.

Silber's lawyer is the former Rockland County District Attorney, Kenneth Gribetz, who claims that two of the four women did not pick Silber out of a lineup.

"It was a lineup conducted with numerous Hasidic people. Mr. Silber was not identified by two of the victims. Two of the victims did do it," Gribetz said.

The Ramapo Police Department is now also buzzing because a ten-year veteran has been suspended without pay after one of the women told investigators the officer pretended to be a doctor conducting an exam while Silber allegedly watched.

Though no one would talk about this story on the record, there are hearings underway at the Ramapo Town Hall that will determine the future of the police officer.

Gribetz said there is more going on than meets the eye.

"I think the facts will come out that this was an offshoot of a very upsetting divorce that transpired in Mr. Silber's life. And what is taking place is really a disgrace, and society and law enforcement owes him an apology when all the facts come out," he said.

Postponements have caused the hearing involving the Ramapo police officer accused of posing as a fake doctor to drag on for at least four weeks. The next hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Regarding Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch's Guidelines for Calling the Police

Regarding Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch's Guidelines for Calling the Police
© (2008) Vicki Polin - CEO, The Awareness Center, Inc.

It saddens me a great deal to read the posting on Daas Torah's blog. With all the information and education that is available to our rabbonim it appears that they are still refusing to learn from their past mistakes. I'll admit that I have never heard of Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch until I received an e-mail with the link to this blog. (Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, shlita, senior member of the Jerusalem Beit Din Tzedek (Jewish Religious Court)

My hope by providing the following information will help to prevent one more child from being harmed and that those who are already victims of sex crimes, the will be able to receive the proper help.

It's obvious that Rabbi Sternbuch is lacking basic knowledge about sex offenders and the needs of those who have been sexually violated as children. The most important message that needs to get out is that each of us should consider ourselves mandated reporters. This basically means if you SUSPECT a child is in danger you have to call your local hotline, rape crisis center or police. You don't go to a rabbi to get permission or have them make the call. The key word here is "SUSPECT." We need to leave all the investigating and fact finding/gathering to law enforcement and not our rabbonim.

Most children don't come out and say "I'm being raped at home, school, camp and or in shul." If we suspect a child is being harmed or at risk of harm it's vitally important that we don't ask the child leading questions. It's best to have a highly trained mental health professional and or child protection worker who works with law enforcement to talk to the child to get information.

How many times do I have to remind everyone that our rabbis DO NOT have specialized training in collecting forensic evidence nor do they have the education, training or skills to do a victim sensitive interview. Going to a rav "with concerns" just doesn't work. It's much better for the individual who suspects a child is at risk of harm to call their local child abuse hotlines directly.

The concern Rabbi Sternbuch has regarding child protection workers, rape victim advocates and the police not being "sensitive to the needs and nature of the charedi community" is not true in most cases. Most professionals want to do what they can to help and understand the cultural differences. I'm sure that Rabbi Sternbuch knows this and I'm afraid to say I think that he is trying to sell a bag of goods, with his fear tactics of saying the police will not work with or understand the cultural differences.
If you live in Israel and suspect a child is being abused call:
Israel Association for Child Protection (ELI)

In the US call:
ChildHelp USA

Rabbi Baruch Lanner - WARNING TO PARENTS IN ELIZABETH, NJ (From The Awareness Center)

The Awareness Center, Inc.
(the international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault)
P.O. Box 65273, Baltimore, MD 21209

Rabbi Baruch Lanner

The goal of this warning is to protect any more children from becoming the next victim of a convicted sex offender.

Rabbi Baruch Lanner was released from prison back in January of this year. He is currently residing in Elizabeth, NJ. There has been some concerns from community members who keep spotting Lanner hanging out at a local Dunkin Donuts "with several the kids from the local school". Please warn your children to stay away from this man (see photograph below). If you spot any children or teenagers near him call 911 immediately!

Allegations surrounded Rabbi Baruch Lanner for years. The allegations include kissing and fondling scores of teenage girls in the 1970s and '80s, repeatedly kicking boys in the groin, and reports of taking a knife to a young man in 1987, and propositioning girls in 1997 at the yeshiva high school where he was principal for 15 years. He was convicted back in 2002.

For more information on Rabbi Baruch Lanner go to:

For more information on sex offenders go to:

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Zalman Silber Arrested - charged with third-degree sexual abuse

The Awareness Center says:

Zalman Silber, a well-known philanthropist was charged with pretending to be a doctor so he could give unsuspecting women "gynecological exams," police and prosecutors said. Silber was charged with third-degree sexual abuse and unauthorized practice and professions for impersonating a doctor. He allegedly molested two women, ages 18 and 20. But police sources told the News that investigators believe he may have begun his activities in 2003.

He hired as his defense lawyer disgraced former Rockland County prosecutor Kenneth Gribetz, who stepped down after his proclivities for wearing women's clothing and a dog collar were exposed by the Daily News more than a decade ago.

Silber allegedly fooled his victims by saying the exams were part of a medical survey, prosecutors said. Investigators in the NYPD's Manhattan special victims unit believe Silber's "exams" may have started in 2003 and were checking into the possibility that there are more victims.

He was released on $10,000 bail after a court appearance in Manhattan. Gribetz told the judge his client earned more than $1 million a year.

Zalman Silber made millions in the 1990s offering tourists simulated helicopter rides around the city through the New York Skyride at the Empire State Building.

Silber moved to the Rockland County community from Borough Park, Brooklyn, a year ago, neighbors said.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Rabbi Howard Steven Axelman, MSW (AKA: Rabbi Tzvi Axelman, Rabbi Steven Axelman, Rabbi Howard Axelman)

This was originally posted back on October 18, 2006. I was just made aware that the link to my e-mail address was not working correctly. They link has been fixed.

Looking for more information about Rabbi Howard Steven Axelman, MSW (AKA: Rabbi Tzvi Axelman, Rabbi Steven Axelman, Rabbi Howard Axelman)

Tzvi Axelman (2002) / Steven Axelman (2004)

Rabbi Howard Steven Axelman is a man who grew up in Baltimore, MD. He used to daven (pray) in both Rabbis Yaakov Hopfer and Moshe Heinemann's Shuls. He is an alumni of Ohr Somayach.

There have been rumors floating around in both Baltimore and Neve Yaakov (Jerusalem, Israel) that those connected with the Vaad HaRabbonim (Jewish religious court) chased Tzvi Axelman out of town due to allegations of both domestic violence and child sexual abuse. Others say Rabbi Axelman was set up by powerful and influential individuals connected to his ex-wife's family. Rabbi Axelman's ex-wife is a member of a very powerful rabbinic family.

Prior to leaving Baltimore, Howard Tsvi Axelman worked as a social worker at a local hospital and also as a scribe.

Upon arriving in Israel, Howard Axelman started going by the name of Tzvi Axelman (his Hebrew name). He lived in Neve Yaakov, which is a suburb of Jerusalem. He worked as a sofer stam (scribe) during his time in Israel.

According to several sources, prior to his death -- Rabbi Nachman Bulman stated that Rabbi Axelman was accused of molesting boys in the yeshiva. There were also eye-witness accounts of Axelman beating his ex-wife on the streets prior to their divorce.

During an ugly child custody battle, Rabbi Howard Steven Axelman relocated to Lakewood, NJ. This marks the time he began to use the name "Steven Axelman". He secured a clinical position as a social worker at a local hospital. He also began a private practice.

Today Rabbi Steven Axelman serves as rabbi at the Whitestone Hebrew Centre, Whitestone, NY (conservative synagogue). He no longer considers himself frum.

If you have any more information regarding Rabbi Howard Steven Axelman, please post it or send me an e-mail.

Rabbi Steven Axelman (2008)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Israel Hasbara Committee on the "Modesty Patrol"

de-nial is more then just a river in Egypt
Israel Hasbara Committee -- "There is no official ‘modesty patrol’ and if there was it would not do things this way; the Rabbis would never condone such actions."
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
IHC Follow-Up
By Michelle Marcello
Israel Hasbara Committee

Subsequent to the report concerning a 14-year-old girl from the town of Beitar Illit in Israel who had acid thrown on her, the IHC checked out the story with the Beitar Illit authorities to clarify the facts. A 14-year-old girl was in fact burned by acid being thrown on her. However the police have not named a suspect. According to Moshe Friedman, Media Advisor for Beitar Illit, this was apparently a teenage brawl or attack, where youngsters (juvenile delinquents) took the law into their own hands. There is no official ‘modesty patrol’ and if there was it would not do things this way; the Rabbis would never condone such actions. There are fringe groups in every city and Beitar Illit is no exception. The municipality attempts to work with these youngsters in various settings and 90% of them are actively participating in various programs. The municipality assists them in a professional capacity, both culturally, socially and educationally. The city is not ‘partially religious and partially secular’ as reported, but predominantly religious, with quite a few ‘newly returned-to-Judaism’ families whose children are not ‘there’ yet and hence the trouble makers. 75% of these children are dealt with in specific frameworks. Approximately 100 boys and girls do not participate in these specialized settings. It is a very small percentage and should not be blown out of proportion. But this in no way justifies throwing acid in someone’s face which is a criminal act. The victim was 3 days in hospital and was said to be doing well, according to an IHC source in the town.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Canadian Prime minister apologizes to native Canadians

Prime minister apologizes to native Canadians
Associated Press
June 11, 2008

OTTAWA (AP) — Prime Minister Stephen Harper is publicly apologizing to native Canadians who were taken from their families and forced to attend state-funded schools aimed at assimilating them.

Harper says the treatment of children at the schools is a sad chapter in Canadian history.

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 aboriginal children were required to attend state-funded Christian schools as part of a program to assimilate them into Canadian society.

Many suffered physical and sexual abuse.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

OTTAWA (AP) — Michael Cachagee was 4 years old when he was taken from his parents and forced to attend a state-funded school aimed at stripping him of his aboriginal culture.

"The intent was to destroy the Indian," Cachagee said of the decades-long government policy.

On Wednesday, Cachagee and more than 80,000 surviving students will receive a public apology delivered in Parliament by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

At least 200 former students have been invited to Ottawa to witness what native leaders call a pivotal moment for Canada's more than 1 million aboriginals, who today remain the country's poorest and most disadvantaged group.

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 aboriginal children were required to attend state-funded Christian schools, where many suffered physical and sexual abuse, as part of a program to integrate them into Canadian society.

"Aboriginal Canadians have been waiting for a very long time to hear an apology from the Parliament of Canada," Harper told lawmakers a day before the apology.

Canada's Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl said it would be a respectful and sincere recognition of widespread cultural devastation, as well as the physical trauma and sexual abuse, that continues to plague generations to this day.

The aboriginals say they are hoping it will be heartfelt.

"If it's just a hollow and shallow apology he might as well get one of the pages to do it," said Cachagee, who will have a seat on the floor of the House of Commons to hear it.

Phil Fontaine, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, agreed that if the apology is sincere and complete it would go a long way toward repairing the relationship between aboriginals and the rest of Canada.

"The fact that we are going to be there on the floor to witness this first hand, it's quite a moment," Fontaine told The Associated Press. "This is not just about survivors, this is about Canada coming to terms with its past and maturing as a nation."

The apology comes just months after Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a similar gesture to the so-called Stolen Generations — thousands of the continent's Aborigines who were forcibly taken from their families as children under assimilation policies that lasted from 1910 to 1970.

But Canada has gone a step farther, offering those who were taken from their families compensation for the years they attended the residential schools. The offer was part of a lawsuit settlement.

Cachagee spent 12 1/2 years at three different schools in Canada beginning in 1944.

"I was beaten. I was put in tubs of hot water. I suffered great pains of hunger. I was force fed rotten food. They called me all kinds of names," he said.

The federal government admitted 10 years ago that physical and sexual abuse in the schools was rampant. Many students recall being beaten for speaking their native languages and losing touch with their parents and customs.

That legacy of abuse and isolation has been cited by Indian leaders as the root cause of epidemic rates of alcoholism and drug addiction on reservations.

Fontaine was one of the first to go public with his past experiences of physical and sexual abuse.

"All kinds of abuse was inflicted on innocent children," Fontaine said. "There are thousands of these stories, all of them true. I think it's important to acknowledge that."

Fontaine said the prime minister's apology should mention all of the injustices done to Canadian aboriginals, who didn't have the right to vote until 1960.

Fontaine said he's been told the apology will incorporate much of what they requested and said framed copies of the apology will be handed out.

In 1998, Canada's former Indian affairs minister Jane Stewart expressed "profound regret" for the establishment of residential schools, but aboriginals didn't consider it sufficient in detail or substance.

Aboriginals set a sacred fire and conducted a ceremony at sunrise near Parliament to mark Harper's apology. More than 100 people gathered for a ceremony at the site of a former residential school in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, on Canada's east coast.

Television screens are being set up at locations across Canada so the event can be watched live. The House of Commons plans to put aside all other business for the apology.

In addition to the apology, a truth and reconciliation commission will examine government policy and take testimony from survivors.

The commission was created as part of a $4.9 billion class action settlement in 2006 — the largest in Canadian history — between the government and churches and the surviving students. About $59 million will fund the commission.

Also under the settlement, students who attended residential schools are eligible to receive $9,800 for their first they attended one of the schools and $2,900 for every year after. Victims of physical and sexual abuse are eligible for additional funds.

Aboriginal Judge Harry LaForme will oversee the commission and will eventually travel across the country to hear stories from former students, teachers and others. The goal is to give survivors a forum to tell their stories and educate Canadians about a grim period in the country's history.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sex Offenders: Patient release - an unreachable goal?

Patient release - an unreachable goal?
Star Tribune
June 9, 2008

ST. PETER, MINN. - Mike Meyer says that in his 13 years locked inside Minnesota Sex Offender Program facilities, he's gained insight into why he molested 36 children and young adults, and how to stop himself from doing it again.

One technique psychologists taught him is privately repeating a deviant thought over and over until it loses its allure. Another is telling on himself -- confessing to a counselor or support group when he feels a taboo attraction. Both are supposed to break the cycle of thoughts and behaviors that led to his crimes.

"When I was offending I felt like I was a freak -- like I couldn't talk to anybody," said Meyer, 38. Now he recognizes secrecy as "a big red flag."

Meyer completed all the required phases of treatment in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program four years ago and has an 18-page Predischarge Plan listing his strategies for not reoffending. But he remains locked up.

Of similar programs in 19 states, only the 14-year-old MSOP and three others that are much newer have released no patients. While most states leave release decisions to the courts, Minnesota is one of only two states that until this year put that authority in the hands of a political appointee, the human services commissioner, and a paid review board he or she appoints. Their decisions could go to a court only on appeal.

This year, the Legislature removed the commissioner from reduction-of-custody decisions, but left that authority with the appointed review board.

Because no one can guarantee an offender won't rape or molest again, the safest course for political appointees has been to keep offenders locked up regardless of how their treatment has progressed. The result has been a ballooning MSOP population, with each resident costing taxpayers about $130,000 a year, three times what it costs to treat them in a conventional prison.

In the MSOP's history, a commissioner has approved only one provisional release, which was revoked in 2003 for rule violations. That same year a sex offender released from prison murdered 22-year-old Dru Sjodin of Pequot Lakes, and Gov. Tim Pawlenty prohibited releases from the MSOP unless required by law or ordered by a court. Pawlenty's order remains in effect.

The situation has prompted several of the experts who designed and ran the MSOP to become disillusioned and leave. Many patients also have given up -- currently about 20 percent don't participate in treatment -- while dozens who have completed the requirements for release wait in limbo, struggling to hold onto the hope that it wasn't all pointless.

"This place is morbidly hopeless and morbidly depressing," Meyer said recently. "I really have to believe there's going to be something better than this. Because if I don't, I'm going to die here."
Dealing with deviance

Dr. Michael Farnsworth was the forensic psychiatrist at the St. Peter Security Hospital in the early 1990s, when a series of shocking sex crimes prompted Minnesota to become the second state, after Washington, to start committing its most disordered and dangerous offenders to mental hospitals after their prison sentences.

Farnsworth said the hospital opposed the move.

"We said it would be a money pit, that there'd be no end to it, and that there's no proven technology to treat them," Farnsworth said. "Most of the literature said don't even treat these people."

When state leaders pushed ahead with the plan, Farnsworth was assigned to design the treatment regimen. The model he and his colleagues chose -- a cognitive-behavioral approach stressing relapse prevention -- is still in use today, in Minnesota and most other states with similar programs.

It requires offenders to own up to their histories, recognize their "high risk factors'' -- the thoughts, feelings and situations that preceded their crimes -- and learn to interrupt their "offense cycle" when faced with those factors again. Much of this work is done in groups of eight to 10 patients.

One of the "internal high risk factors'' identified in Meyer's case was low self-esteem, which used to cause him to avoid peers and seek out children, with whom he felt in control. Like many offenders, he struggles with his own issues of abuse, having been sexually abused by a farmer for whom he worked when he was young. Psychologists say offenders who were themselves abused may often have difficulty feeling empathy for others and sometimes must learn to recognize and label their own feelings.

Meyer says treatment taught him to recognize when his self-worth is low, through "cues" such as catching himself engaging in "inappropriate attention-seeking," such as horseplay. His planned coping responses include exercise and committing "random acts of kindness."

He also plans to avoid his "external high risk factors," including TV shows and movies featuring the type of children who fueled his fantasies. MSOP's clinicians also challenge patients to revise core beliefs that have led to offending, such as the idea that some women want to be raped or that laws against pedophilia are wrong. Such changeable attitudes or behaviors are labeled "dynamic risk factors," which patients must discard in order to advance in treatment.

Patients aroused by rape or abuse fantasies are taught to avert them by taking whiffs from vials of ammonia or rotten meat. The technique, called "olfactory aversion," is commonly used in sex offender programs, and some studies say it is effective in reducing deviant thoughts.

The MSOP also treats other problems that can interfere with patients' treatment and may have contributed to their crimes, such as chemical addictions, clinical depression and mental illnesses or retardation. Patients must keep journals to improve their self-awareness and insight, and to hold themselves accountable.

"When I was out offending I was extremely immature," said Meyer. "I wasn't clear about what my sexuality was, and I felt sexually inadequate. In treatment, I've been able to deal with those issues."

Realizing he was gay was helpful but also raised other issues, he said. For example, he thinks it's unfair that the program penalizes consensual sex between two gay patients who are in what they consider a healthy relationship.

Department of Human Services spokeswoman Patrice Vick confirmed that the program requires patients to be celibate. She said those caught having consensual sex can be placed in "protective isolation," restricted to their rooms, or otherwise disciplined.

Such sexual activity "is not in keeping with a treatment environment that is attempting to address patients' deep-seated sexual issues and dysfunction," Vick wrote in an e-mail.

Benefits unclear
A report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service in July said that of 2,694 civilly committed sex offenders nationwide in the fall of 2006, only 252 had been discharged, most within the past few years. Experts say it's impossible to tell whether treatment works based on such a small number of mostly recent releases.

As to non-committed sex offenders, a 2002 study found that 12.3 percent of a group of treated offenders committed a new sex crime, compared with 16.8 percent of untreated offenders. The congressional report concluded that "research indicates that there is not enough evidence to definitively prove that treatment for sex offenders works."

Farnsworth said that in the years since he helped set up the MSOP, "there's not been a huge explosion in the knowledge or the evaluation of the efficacy of treatment. And so most of the offenders across the country who have been committed remain committed. So it's very difficult to determine whether this very expensive treatment option, versus simple containment in prison on extended sentences, is really any more effective than doing nothing."

The director of Wisconsin's civilly committed offender program, which is being eyed as a possible model for Minnesota, says treatment does appear to reduce a patient's risk of reoffense.

Since Wisconsin's program began in 1994, it has fully discharged 14 offenders after what was deemed successful treatment, said Steve Watters, director of the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston. Wisconsin courts released another 19 patients after legal challenges or because of reassessment of their risk. Two committed new sex offenses after their release.

Wisconsin's program has a mix of treatment techniques similar to Minnesota's, with the greatest emphasis on changing disordered thinking and core beliefs.

"Relapse prevention was at one point very mechanistic -- 'If x happens, then do y,' '' Watters said. "But you can't [envision] every possible dynamic they'll encounter. It's better to make them understand their errors in thinking, and change their behavior."

Unlike the MSOP, which has no patients in non-secure settings, Sand Ridge is overseeing 16 offenders who completed treatment and have returned to their home communities, to demonstrate their worthiness for discharge.

Agents stop by at random and track their movements with GPS bracelets. If they obey a stringent set of rules for several years, Watters said, the courts typically remove them from supervised status and grant a full discharge.

Watters cites Wisconsin's reliance on the courts for release decisions as one reason for that state's success. In Minnesota, release authority rests with a review board appointed by the Human Services commissioner.

"Obviously there are no guarantees," Watters said. "If you wait until they're 'cured,' you'll never release any sex offender. But I think the evidence would support that well-designed and -implemented treatment does produce a significant reduction in risk."

Slow on purpose
Meyer maintains that his treatment has worked. Last year he petitioned the MSOP's Special Review Board for a transfer to the program's Community Preparation Services unit, an unlocked facility with less supervision, which would put him a step closer to discharge.

MSOP clinicians opposed his petition, saying he needs to pass polygraph and other examinations to prove his deviant thoughts are at bay. A test called the Abel Assessment, which measures how patients respond to various photographs, found in 2005 that he was no longer attracted to deviant themes.

Clinicians said they also want Meyer to prove he can move about the treatment center campus unaccompanied, without creating any problems, before they'll support his transfer.

Despite the program's objections, the review board recommended that Meyer's petition be granted -- a rarity. But Human Services Commissioner Cal Ludeman denied the petition, calling the board's recommendation "premature." Meyer appealed to a Minnesota Supreme Court three-judge panel, which has yet to issue a decision.

Assistant Human Services Commissioner Wes Kooistra, designated by Ludeman to speak for the department, said the process leading to discharge is deliberately slow. "The only way they're going to be even considered for discharge is if they show a pattern over time of changing," he said.

Psychologist Paul Reitman, who has treated and assessed sex offenders for 18 years, examined Meyer for the three-judge panel. "I urge the court to grant Mr. Meyer's request," he wrote. "In my opinion, [he] has made real transformations to become a law-abiding citizen and to control himself sexually."

Minnesota, Reitman wrote, has "committed vast financial resources to rehabilitate sex offenders. ... Either we are committed to rehabilitation, or we are going to keep sex offenders locked up indeterminately."

Also see: Sex Offenders: Problems Our Parents Wouldn't Speak

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Update: Case of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler vs. Kehillat New Hempstead

Appellate Court Unanimously Rules in Favor of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler
PR Web
June 8, 2008

A New York appellate court unanimously reversed a lower court and ruled that a New Hempstead, NY synagogue breached its contract with its rabbi (Mordecai Tendler) when it fired him without adhering to the terms of the contract and attempted to justify its action by later obtaining a unilateral ruling from a purported "rabbinical court."

New York (
PRWEB) June 8, 2008 -- In the long awaited decision, The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court ruled in a decision dated June 3, 2008 that the Kehillat New Hempstead breached the contract of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler when they terminated him in February, 2006.

The court stated: (
"In May 1992 the plaintiff entered into a contract with the defendant...The Parties' contract expressly provided that the Congregation could not terminate the plaintiff's employment as its rabbi "unless" it had obtained prior authorization from a rabbinical court...While implicitly conceding that it terminated the plaintiff as its Rabbi sometime before February 27, 2006, the Congregation contends that it obtained the required rabbinical court ruling authorizing such action. However, the rabbinical court ruling upon the Congregation relies is dated March 21, 2006...Accordingly, the plaintiff established, as a matter of law, that the Congregation breached the contract."

Rabbi Tendler argued that reliance upon a document purporting to be a Rabbinical Court decision authored by Benzion Wosner, of Monsey, New York was untenable inasmuch as it was dated after his termination. Rabbi Tendler was not involved in any such proceeding at any time. In fact, he was never advised of the existence of Wosner's so called "rabbinical court" action until it surfaced in the litigation as an apparent pretext for his termination.

Wosner, an Israeli immigrant, living in Monsey, New York, has been involved in several controversial actions regarding the Eruvs in Flatbush and Washington Heights, New York. ( He also provides Kashrus certification in Monsey New York (

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Modesty Patrol spills acid on teenage girl / News Broadcast on the Ultra Religious in Israel

Modesty patrol' suspected of spilling acid on teenage girl
Religious tensions at boiling point in Beitar Illite as 14-year-old girl attacked by member of town's 'modesty guard'
By Neta Sela
June 5, 2008

A 14-year-old girl from Beitar Illite (also known as Meah Shearim 2) was taken to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem after an unknown person spilled acid on her face, legs and stomach, causing light burn wounds.

The act has been attributed to a representative of the so-called 'modesty guard' in this town where religious and secular residents are increasingly at bitter odds.

MDA received the call just before midnight on Wednesday and paramedic Dror Eini who arrived on the scene to treat the girl also managed to calm her down enough so she could explain what had happened.

Eini told Ynet that “the modesty guards have been threatening her for quite some time.” According to the paramedic the focus of the threats has largely been the victim's 18-year-old sister and some suspect the attacker mistook the younger girl's identity for that of her older sister's.

Eini said the teenager was in a difficult emotional state: “She cried the whole way to the hospital, partly because she was in pain but mostly because she was terrified.” According to Eini at the time of her attack the girl had been wearing loose-fitting long pants and a short-sleeved shirt.

“If she would have been wearing the same thing in Jerusalem or in Tel Aviv, she would not have stuck out in any way,” he added.

An ultra-Orthodox teen from Beitar Illite who is in contact with the girl’s family spoke with her sister who described the incident. According to the boy, the attacker stopped the girl and first asked her for directions. Then, after confirming her surname, he spilled a bottle of acid on her.
The girl was released from the hospital on Thursday and the police sent samples of the liquid she was attacked with for analysis.

According to the young man, her family is under severe pressure. “What makes the treatment of this case so problematic is the feeling that there is no one to talk to in this city and no one wants to find a solution to this problem.” Fingers are being pointed towards the municipality for failing to treat troubled youths.
I thought you might also be interested in this story put together by Dateline's George Negus (Australia). "Israel's Ultra Orthodox" (Part 1 and 2).

Modesty Patrol spills acid on teenage girl / News Broadcast on the Ultra Religious in Israel

Modesty patrol' suspected of spilling acid on teenage girl
Religious tensions at boiling point in Beitar Illite as 14-year-old girl attacked by member of town's 'modesty guard'
By Neta Sela
June 5, 2008

A 14-year-old girl from Beitar Illite (also known as Meah Shearim 2) was taken to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem after an unknown person spilled acid on her face, legs and stomach, causing light burn wounds.

The act has been attributed to a representative of the so-called 'modesty guard' in this town where religious and secular residents are increasingly at bitter odds.

MDA received the call just before midnight on Wednesday and paramedic Dror Eini who arrived on the scene to treat the girl also managed to calm her down enough so she could explain what had happened.

Eini told Ynet that “the modesty guards have been threatening her for quite some time.” According to the paramedic the focus of the threats has largely been the victim's 18-year-old sister and some suspect the attacker mistook the younger girl's identity for that of her older sister's.

Eini said the teenager was in a difficult emotional state: “She cried the whole way to the hospital, partly because she was in pain but mostly because she was terrified.” According to Eini at the time of her attack the girl had been wearing loose-fitting long pants and a short-sleeved shirt.

“If she would have been wearing the same thing in Jerusalem or in Tel Aviv, she would not have stuck out in any way,” he added.

An ultra-Orthodox teen from Beitar Illite who is in contact with the girl’s family spoke with her sister who described the incident. According to the boy, the attacker stopped the girl and first asked her for directions. Then, after confirming her surname, he spilled a bottle of acid on her.
The girl was released from the hospital on Thursday and the police sent samples of the liquid she was attacked with for analysis.

According to the young man, her family is under severe pressure. “What makes the treatment of this case so problematic is the feeling that there is no one to talk to in this city and no one wants to find a solution to this problem.” Fingers are being pointed towards the municipality for failing to treat troubled youths.
I thought you might also be interested in this story put together by Dateline's George Negus (Australia). "Israel's Ultra Orthodox" (Part 1 and 2).

Case of Rabbi Elior Chen - Did A Jewish Community Shelter A Sex Offending Rabbi?

The Awareness Center says:
This case is no different then many of the other cases The Awareness Center has dealt with over the last seven years. The only difference is that Haaretz has the guts to be direct and say that Interpol suspects a Jewish community sheltered an alleged sex offender.

The Awareness Center has worked on cases multiple cases in Chicago, IL; Baltimore, MD; Los Angeles including multiple other locations in New Jersey and New York (Lakewood, NJ; Williamsburg, Monsey, Flatbush, Boro Park) where Jewish community leaders attempted to cover up crimes. We have also and had the experience of advocating for the rights of survivors in various Jewish communities in Australia, South Africa, Canada and Israel where the rabbonim and other Jewish community leaders did and are currently doing every thing in their power to silence and shame survivors of sex crimes in order to protect and promote those who have perpetrated heinous sex crimes.

As we know, pedophillia has no religion, nor does the tradition to cover up any and all sex crimes. We have seen the same thing happen within the Catholic church -- it is exactly what the Vatican has done for years if not centuries with its abusive priests and nuns. We've also seen this happened when any political and or public figure was caught abusing children and unsuspecting adults. This is also what has been happening in both public and private schools when it was suspected that one of it's employees physically and or sexually victimized a child.

This tradition needs to end immediately.

Vicki Polin, Founder and CEO
The Awareness Center, Inc.
Interpol suspects Brazil Jewish community sheltered rabbi wanted for child abuse
Jonathan Lis and Paula Idoeta
June 5, 2008

SAO PAULO - Interpol suspects that the Jewish community in Sao Paulo hid an an ultra-Orthodox rabbi suspected of seriously abusing Jerusalem children, one of whom is in a vegetative state.

Local police arrested
Rabbi Elior Chen Wednesday on a street corner in the Bom Retiro neighborhood after conducting an extensive search through the Jewish neighborhood.

"Apparently he was being protected by the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Sao Paulo, who supposedly didn't know about the accusations against him in Israel," said Menoti Barros de Oliveira, the Interpol sheriff in Sao Paulo. "He was found alone, in the street of Julio Conceicao, so we think he was already separated from his peers."

Chen is considered the spiritual leader of a Jerusalem sect that was found to have abused young children, two of whom, aged 3 and 4, were hospitalized in March in critical condition.

On Wednesday, Chen was reported to have turned himself over to the Brazilian police. Later in the day, however, Sao Paulo police informed their counterparts in Israel that he had not turned himself in, but was arrested.

Chen's lawyer Ariel Atari denied reports on Wednesday that Chen had been arrested and insisted he had turned himself in. "When Elior Chen arrived at the Sao Paulo police department in the morning, he threw police into great confusion. None of them expected him to turn himself in," Atari said.

"Israeli police did not ask the Brazilian police to carry out an extensive search for him," said Moti Edri, a police official in Jerusalem. "It was the Brazilian police's own initiative, undertaken due to a similar case of child abuse there recently."

Police sources say Chen's extradition is currently awaiting approval by the Brazilian Supreme Court. They expect him to be extradited to Israel within a few weeks. Chen had fled Israel to Canada with his wife and their four children three months ago after the arrest of a Jerusalem mother, who was apparently one of his disciples, on suspicion that she severely abused her eight children at Chen's bidding. The mother was indicted for allegedly burning her 3- and 4-year-old, making them eat feces and locking them in a suitcase for days at a time, among other charges.

When he arrived in Brazil, local authorities detained Chen's wife and children, yet he evaded arrest. Hoping to pressure Chen's wife into turning him in, Brazilian authorities removed the children from their mother's custody and placed them with a foster family for two days, after which they were returned to their mother.

Israel Police representatives went to Brazil to pursue Chen last week and an international warrant for his arrest was issued in April.

Brazilian Federal Police released a communique Wednesday to the Jewish community in Sao Paulo informing them of the serious offenses Chen allegedly committed. "Elior Noam Chen, also known as Eliyahu Abuhatzeira, frequented a synagogue in Bom Retiro and we're sure that Sao Paulo's Israeli community, upon learning of the torture cases, alerted the religious representatives of the city and prohibited the community to cover for the fugitive," the statement said.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Update: Case of Rabbi Mordecai Tendler

Arguments heard in case of New Hempstead rabbi accused of seducing woman
Jay Gallagher
Lower Hudson
June 4, 2008

ALBANY - The state's highest court heard arguments yesterday about whether a claim of emotional distress and breach of fiduciary duty should be reinstated against a New Hempstead rabbi on behalf of a woman who says he seduced her.

The case involves (NAME REMOVED), a Manhattan woman, and
Rabbi Mordechai Tendler, founder and spiritual leader of Kehillat New Hempstead.

(NAME REMOVED) claims the two had a sexual relationship from November 2001 to May 2005 after he induced her into having intercourse "as part of a course of sexual therapy which he represented would lead to her achieving her goals of marriage and children."

"Should the predator be allowed to cloak himself in clerical garb to prey on his clients?"
(NAME REMOVED)'s lawyer, Lenore Kramer, asked the seven-member Court of Appeals panel.

But Tendler's lawyer, Richard Bliss, said: "What we have here is consensual conduct. I don't think we should criminalize it."

Bliss pointed to a statute passed by the state Legislature in 1935 that abolished the right to seek monetary damages for seduction.

But Kramer argued that because Tendler was a rabbi, it put him in a position of power over (NAME REMOVED) and that this position separated their relationship from a mere affair.

"This man is a predator," she said.

Could he have seduced her and not faced criminal sanctions if he was not a rabbi? Judge Robert Smith asked Kramer.

"It is an indispensable element" of the action that he was a rabbi, Kramer said. "This is not some man she met in a bar."

The trial-level court, the Court of Appeals, upheld (NAME REMOVED)'s right to seek damages, but the mid-level appeals court reversed that decision in a 3-2 vote.

A decision from the Court of Appeals is expected by early next month.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Israel's ultra-orthodox community often fear speaking up will bring shame on their families

Cloistered Shame in Israel
SECRETS: Abuse victims in Israel's ultra-orthodox community often fear speaking up will bring shame on their families

By Tim McGirk
Time Magazine (CNN)
May 28, 2008

Among Israel's ultra-orthodox Jews, the Haredim, social workers are often called "child-snatchers" and the police "Cossacks," harking back to the 19th century pogroms against Jews in Russia. These cloistered communities, in which women are expected to raise and financially support their large families while their husbands spend their days stooped over the Torah, make up 10% of Israel's population and a third of Jerusalem's, and consider themselves defenders of a core morality in Jewish society. But that moral authority has come under scrutiny since evidence began to emerge in March of incest, rape and child abuse in four different ultra-orthodox enclaves around the country.

Over the last few weeks the Cossacks have arrived wearing the uniform of the Israeli national police force. In a series of raids following tip-offs from victims' relatives, neighbors and hospital workers, the police have arrested ultra-orthodox wives, husbands and yeshiva students.

Community elders were at first appalled. Now they are grateful for the intervention. "The Haredim are shocked by these cases," says Noach Korman, a Haredi attorney in the rabbinical court that adjudicates family and religious law, and the director of a shelter for battered wives. "At first they said, 'These people are crazy, they don't belong to us.' But now I hear Haredi voices saying: 'We should examine ourselves and not close our eyes to why these things are happening.' "Says Naomi Ragen, an orthodox woman who is an author and advocate for gender equality: "These shocking things had to come out. There was no more room left under the carpet."

Sex predators operate with ease among the ultra-orthodox communities because female victims often keep quiet, knowing that to speak out will damage their prospects of finding a husband. "The families all want their girls to have a AAA marriage to a religious scholar from a good family, and nobody's going to marry a girl who gets raped," says Ragen. In Bnei Brak, a predominately Haredi city near Tel Aviv, social worker Doron Agasi says one young Haredi man told him that he had molested more than a hundred girls. Agasi, director of the Shlom Banaich Fellowship, the only organization in Israel that treats pedophiles and their victims, convinced the young man to confess to the police. But, says Agasi, the authorities refused to bring charges because none of the parents of the alleged victims had filed complaints. Agasi says the rapist is now roaming free.

Convincing the Haredi to work with police and social workers has been a struggle, says Miki Miller, a social worker in the newly built Haredi town of Kiryat Sefer near Jerusalem. "The Haredi believe that a closed society is a pure society," she says. But a closed society can hide a multitude of sins. A senior police officer in Jerusalem acknowledges that the instincts of the Haredi community to cover up such crimes undermines the authorities' ability to investigate and prosecute offenders: "We're aware of this phenomenon of sex abuse among Haredis, but an extremely low number of these cases are ever reported."

The first port of call for Haredi families faced with violence or sex crimes is often their rabbi. But religious leaders themselves have not been immune from accusations of abuse. On April 6, a Jerusalem court indicted a Haredi mother of eight for child abuse in light of evidence that she broke her two toddlers' bones with hammers, forced the children to eat feces, and locked them inside a suitcase for hours. The alleged abuses came to light only after her three-year-old son was taken to hospital in a coma with brain damage. The woman claimed she was driving "devils" from her children following instructions from her religious counselor
Elior Chene, who has since fled to Canada. Israeli police are seeking his extradition.

In Beit Shemesh, a town near Jerusalem, another case of abuse centered on a self-styled female "rabbi" who hid her face entirely behind a black veil. Her religious modesty attracted dozens of Haredi female disciples over several years, but her own sister was frantically seeking police intervention to stop the woman from thrashing her children with a rolling pin. Neighbors say she allegedly left her kids tied for hours to a garden tree. After her arrest, one of her children, now an adult, told police that his mother had encouraged incest among her offspring when they were younger.

Family Honor
The majority of ultra-orthodox families are orderly and loving, but for some mothers, the stress of raising an average of seven to eight children while holding down a job is too much to handle. Haredi men place a higher value on spiritual learning than on money or possessions; devout husbands, who wear black hats and long-tailed coats modeled on those of 18th century Polish noblemen, are expected only to study. And when they are abusive, their wives often cover up to preserve the family's honor. Says Ragen: "You hear the Haredi women say: 'I took the stain on me so that my husband could be as white as snow.' "

Social workers at Jerusalem's shelter for battered Haredi women say that family violence often erupts during the ritual Shabbat dinner, when all children are gathered — tempers flare over mundane arguments and the husband strikes his wife. A wife may endure such treatment for years. But the number of women who call a 24-hour hotline for battered Haredi women has jumped from 477 calls in 2004 to 1,402 last year. Social workers attribute the increase to a new generation of rabbis urging women to speak out against domestic violence.

Yet many Jewish feminists say that women are more repressed than ever inside Israel's Haredi community. Anat Zuria, a respected filmmaker who focuses on the Haredim, says that many Haredi now believe that, according to Biblical prophecy, Judgment Day is fast approaching. "The Haredi are becoming more Messianic, and they believe the Messiah will only come if there's purity and modesty among women," she says. To that end, boys and girls are segregated early on. "Everything about sexuality is unmentionable," says Zuria. "There's no Internet, no TV, no books, but you can't kill off the erotic impulse." Author Ragen concurs: "All of these taboos don't necessarily make them saints. Sometimes they become perverts."

That realization is sinking in with some socially conscious rabbis. In Febuary, Rabbi Meir Kessler from Kiryat Sefer called two late-night meetings in which 3,000 parents were urged to warn their children that even men in beards and hats are capable of evil. The rabbi's candid sermon has stirred debate among the shuttered Haredim. One stunned participant told reporters that "not since Moses" had a rabbi spoken publicly on such forbidden sexual topics. The spate of abuse cases prompted Israel's chief Ashkenazi rabbi, Yona Metzger, to call on his fellow religious leaders "to vomit these parents and rabbis out of the camp and do everything in our power to save the souls of these young children."

More openness is the only way to catch offenders and root out the culture that permits them to operate. Teachers in some Haredi primary schools and yeshivas are now taught how to recognize such telltale sights of abuse as sudden moodiness or aggression, injuries or indecent behavior towards other students. In early spring, a teacher in the southern town of Nativot caught one child sexually accosting another. Social workers investigated and found that the boy's mother said she had sex with her child as a way to "punish" her husband for having left her.

It's hard to find positives in such stories. Yet it is better that they come to light than that they remain the dark secret of the Haredi. In Bnei Brak, police say one rapist in ultra-orthodox garb is stalking preteen girls, cornering them in dark hallways or in parks. It took weeks before religious elders alerted the police to the sexual predator, who has yet to be caught. But authorities say it is a sign of changing times that the Haredi children, and their parents, did not endure these crimes in silence.

With reporting by Aaron J. Klein/Jerusalem

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Is this about "rabbi" Hershy Worch from his days in Melbourn, Australia?

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From Anonymous:

See: Comment #3 on AJN (Australian Jewish News) website re: book that resembles allegations against Hershy Worch
#3 - Embi (12/05/2008 1:12:44 PM)
Hmm... the story sounds fascinating but also familiar to anyone who was active in the Melbourne Jewish university community in the 1990s. I don't think Hillel has ever recovered from that disturbing experience. Hope your book has been properly reviewed by the lawyers.

Previous email:
Jewish author connected to Rabbi Hershy Worch's former synagogue
(Hamakom Synagogue) in Australia writes a book about an abusive Rabbi
who is "a charismatic US rabbi who rides into town on a page of
Kabbalah, bringing with him an irresistible mix of personality,
mystical teachings and guitar playing".

Sound familiar?
Yvonne Fein blog (may 6, 2008)
Potent mix of charisma and Kabbalah

It is an ugly fact of life that the very nature of authority guarantees its abuse. And in too many cases, those who exert authority, along with those in whom it is invested will not only abuse it, they will also get away with doing so.

In Jewish life, the corrupt power-brokers have often been our rabbis.

Intended to be men of God, increasingly they have been exposed as having feet of clay.

And those who dare to unmask them risk community opprobrium along with personal discredit and humiliation.

I despise, and always have, those who manipulate others simply because they can. I despise their fraudulence and their cold-hearted abuse of the susceptible.

Yet even worse in my eyes are those who blame the victims, those members of the Beth Din, for example who, as was the case in the US not so long ago, forced victims to apologise to the rabbi who had wronged them.

It was not until the victims put their case before a criminal court of the land that the rabbi in question was found guilty and sentenced to several years’ imprisonment. His was not an isolated case.

This week, Hybrid Publishers will release my latest novel, The Torn Messiah.

Between its covers, I have told a strange and disturbing story about rabbis and students, masters and disciples.

The Torn Messiah is a psychological thriller set in contemporary Melbourne.

It centres on a charismatic New York rabbi who rides into town on a page of Kabbalah, bringing with him an irresistible mix of personality, mystical teachings and guitar playing.

Melbourne’s vulnerable Jewish youth flock to him, hungry for any teaching which will show them a way of identifying Jewishly beyond the narrow confines of Holocaust and Zionism.

And while the protagonists are Jews who walk our well-known, Caulfield streets, the tale inside the novel is a universal one, grappling with a global dilemma.

How should we respond to the enchantment of those who would fill our brains with exhilarating ideas, our hearts with music and pleasure and yet manipulate our consciousness for their own dubious ends -– sexual, spiritual or emotional?

What defence can we mount against such a profound abuse of power as well as against the potent seductiveness possessed by texts, ancient or modern, when they combine with bitter-sweet melodies filtered through generations of suffering.

The Torn Messiah reveals how an authority figure steeped in spiritual mysticism can endanger the susceptible and the defenceless and perhaps it asks more questions than it is able to answer.

I have always thought that the essence of being a Jew was to question and to argue. The humblest can challenge the greatest and all that matters is the truth. No one may be deferred to because of rank.

What is the Talmud, after all, if not one long, albeit incredibly mellifluous, argument down the centuries with scholars challenging scholars -– their peers and those long dead -– over their opinions ranging from the great questions of life and love, of death and the great beyond, to the most infinitesimal, microscopic examination of halachic minutiae.

Arguably, the greatest argument ever recorded.

How is it possible then that matters have come to such a pass that we defer to rabbis, beyond all reason, simply because they have laid claim to the power?

They are men of God, not God himself. And, thank God, Judaism has never subscribed to any sort of doctrine of infallibility.

Once we admit, therefore, to the risk of fallibility in our leaders, it behoves us to keep them honest by a clear-eyed, clear-headed assessment of their actions.

If they act improperly in any way, surely it is a greater crime against the God they claim to serve if we turn a blind eye simply because it is too painful to admit their frailty and their weakness.

The Torn Messiah took me more than five years to write and then another year to sell and bring to publication.

It is not, however, like giving birth to a child. If women had to gestate for five or six years to produce a single offspring, the human race would have died out long ago.

So why did I do it?

I want the story out there. As a Jew, I want people to be aware of the imperfections within a system that is at once flawed and splendid.

As a writer, I am compelled to put words to paper. There is no WA (Writers Anonymous) chapter I can attend, no 12-step program I can undertake to break my compulsion.

It is the hand I was dealt. It is the itch I am eternally compelled to scratch.

And along with it comes a desire to tell stories only I can tell because of the life I have led, to tell them with truth and integrity, to place them in the public domain and let the chips fall
where they may.


NAME Hamakom
CONTACT Yvonne Fein
PHONE 03 9528 4382

Regarding Rabbi Jeremy Hershy Worch - While in Melbourne, Australia From a group of men and women in Melbourne Australia who wish to remain anonymous - December 6, 2004

Hershy Worch came to Melbourne, Australia with his wife and young family in 1995. He was initially employed by the Hillel Foundation.

As rabbi of the Hamakom Synagogue, he was then financially supported by members of his community from the years 1995-1997.

During this time both his behaviour and demeanour with his female students were consistently predatory, manipulative and abusive. He proactively sought 'romantic' and sexual relationships wtih many many women, specifically targeting those who were emotionally vulnerable and fostering acute dependency. He consistently used his role as counselor to make sexual advances towards those who came to him in need. He had 'romantic' sexual relationships with married and unmarried women who ranged in age from 20 to 50.

His inappropriate behaviour towards female students included:

  1. Physical sexual interactions
  2. Predatory behavior in the pursuit of women: e.g. late night phone calls and invitations to teach women privately.
  3. Using the teaching of Torah as a tool of seduction.
  4. Using group situations with himself at the centre - that utilized his musical, vocal and narrative 'talents' - to manipulate individuals and create a cultic environment around 'Kabbalah' classes.
  5. Using his relationships with students to influence them to 'rescue' him by financially and publically supporting and defending him.
  6. His abuse of his position as rabbi, chazzan and counselor traumatized this community leaving wounds that took and are still taking many years to heal. Reputations were publicly compromised and personal lives were taken over.
Those who have followed his career since he left Australia and returned to the United States have observed a repetition of these patterns. We trust that with our testimony and others you will do everything within your power to expose Hershy Worch and warn individuals and communities who may be vulnerable to his 'teachings' and promises of insight and enlightenment.

4) Sample pages from book

5) Interview scheduled in June