Rabbi Twersky, His Secrets, His Control, His Victims

by LostMessiah, March 4, 2016, Corrected March 5, 2016

Rabbi David Twersky

NEW SQUARE

A Community that Hails its Criminals as Heroes, Worships its Grand Rebbe as a G-d and Hides its Secrecy by Threat, Force and Intimidation

TWERSKY

Much has been written about Rabbi Twersky and his Hasidic enclave located in New Square, a small incorporated village within Rockland County. But Rabbi Twersky’s dirty laundry has only been aired by courageous few.  To his followers, known as the Skverer Hasidim,  Rabbi David Twersky, is nearly akin to G-d. He prays in his own sanctuary, has his own Mikvah, exclusively for himself and his sons; who would not diminish themselves to the use of the communities’ Mikvah. Rabbi Twersky travels in a black Cadillac XTS, chauffer driven, and vacations at his multimillion-dollar riverside vacation home in Upper Nyack, New York, also adorned with its own private Mikvah. While most of his followers live below the poverty line (many getting help from government welfare programs and subsidies) and while they likely should be angered by his unabashed (and in our view embarrassing) wealth, he is instead revered, a tzadik, who his followers believe is deserving of his immense wealth. He is… idolized.

Rabbi David Twersky is also in supreme control over his followers, keeps them on a tight leash, an iron hand, determining where they educate their children, pray, reside, to some extent whom they marry and how they raise their children. When his Church… no, sorry, synagogue members decide to pray outside of the community, he orders that they be “frightened”, including the case of a man, Aron Rottenberg, who was burned outside his home, an act supposedly intended to frighten him. Rottenberg was burned over 50% of his body on May 22, 2011. Prior to the incident, the perpetrator, Shaul Spitzer (then 18) and a group of Twersky’s hired guns, had lived with the Rebbe to serve his daily needs. Shaul Spitzer, despite claims that he acted with others, was the only perpetrator who went to jail. Spitzer was released early after a judge decided that he should have been granted “youthful offender status” when the attack happened. Upon release this past summer, a celebration, including dancing in the street, delighted residents of New Square.

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FailedMessiah, on October 28, 2015, reported that free coffee was being distributed in honor of released arsonist Spitzer, a hero to the community. The poster, written in Yiddish, refers to Spitzer’s release [corrected 3.8.16] as “HaChesed HaGadol” meaning the great pious act, and states that there should be great joyousness over his release. It does not mention that the explosive device was initially intended for the house of a man and his children. The fact that there was a sleeping family, including small children in that house, is of little consequence. The fact that Spitzer’s victim spent months in a hospital, went through dozens of skin grafts and has little use over part of his body, is also of little consequence. 

Officially, Rabbi David Twersky owns nothing. His vacation home is owned by a company called Menucha of Nyack LLC (menucha translates from Hebrew to English as “rest”). His car is the property of another LLC. Money gets transferred back and forth amongst different LLC entities for purposes like payment of taxes, or alternatively avoiding taxes, as in the case of transfers to and from the community’s synagogue. In one example of a paper trail the referenced article indicated that one LLC  paid the taxes on the multimillion dollar home by selling the home to another LLC for the amount of taxes owed. Once the taxes were paid the home got transferred back to Twersky at no cost, all through differing LLC’s. There are various examples of financial and tax manipulation. All of the  paperwork between the LLCs skirts the lines of legal and illegal behavior, crawling in and out of legal and tax loopholes. The various transactions float within a grey area that would require a team of forensic accountants to decipher. If we had to put a label on it, we’d go for money laundering, but that’s just us.

w-4rabbi-shouse2-120314-1425564422Twersky’s Vacation Home

And, officially while Rabbi David Twersky demands control over every minutiae of activity within his community, he refuses to take ownership, not only of his wealth, but of the sins of his community. In addition to the burning referenced above, which in a series of articles Rabbi Twersky claimed was an “unfortunate incident” (and presumably not committed under his direction ); and the vast array of cases of intimidation, there are countless accounts of sexual abuse within the Skverer community that have been covered up or enshrouded in secrecy. In an article in Lohud on July 8, 2014, entitled Sex-abuse Victims Lack a Voice in New Square, Lohud described the silenced voices of abuse victims.  Despite intimate knowledge of the cases of abused children, the vulnerable victims are silenced by Rabbi Twersky and his followers.

Herschel Taubenfeld, who had been prosecuted and convicted was in some sense unique in that he acknowledged guilt. It was not surprise when he received a sweetheart deal. When his brother, Rabbi Moshe Menachem Taubenfeld,  was accused of multiple sexual assaults of a boy over a period of years, the results were vastly different. In one Lohud article, dated July 18, 2015, the author comments that the victim of an abuse case testified “in excruciating detail” about the years of sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of Moshe Taubenfeld.  At the time we, who followed the case, were certain that finally an abuser within that community would be held criminally liable. Yet, while the Moshe Taubenfeld case should undoubtedly have yielded a conviction, particularly in light of the horrifying testimony of his victim, an utterly shocking verdict led to his being found not guilty, on July 30, 2015. Taubenfeld abused numerous children over the course of many years. It is reported that Rabbi Twersky knew; and he did nothing. In fact, to the contrary, he protected the abusers.

According to FailedMessiah.com, posted on the date of the verdict of Taubenfeld, quoting from Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg a longtime haredi anti-child-sex-abuse activist, “the judge owes his election to New Square’s block vote.”

Rabbi Rosenberg, for his part in regularly commenting and recognizing the abuses within the greater Hasidic community, in 2012 had bleach thrown in his face.

In an article in the Forward entitled Hasidic Enclave keeps its Secrets Amid Elucive Rebbe’s Tight Control, the author writes:

“In 2008, a committee of six prominent members of the New Square community was established to handle sex abuse cases from within. Known as the Vaad, the committee was formed with help from the Orthodox children and family services agency, Ohel. The committee cites three foundations for its mission: education, prevention, and taking care of the abusers and their victims. But in a 2010 interview with the Jewish Star, an Orthodox publication, its chairman, New Square businessman Isaac Breuer, did not respond directly when asked if his committee would report child sex crimes to law enforcement authorities.”
To date, however, the Vaad, has done little to reduce the number of cases of sexual abuse.  Although there are members of the Vaad who are well-intentioned, in a community which frowns upon claims of abuse, it is all but meaningless lip-service. The Vaad is little more than a means of tightening Rabbi Twersky’s control over his community and further enshrouding the abuse in secrecy. Although an abuse victim should get psychological counseling, with the Rabbi’s hands in that cookie jar, what should happen and what does are generally on two separate sides of the spectrum.
In honor of Laiby Stern, Abe Weiss, and the many victims of child sexual abuse; in honor of  Shulum Deen who has had the courage to speak out about the secrets within the Hasidic community and his own suffering at the hands of the community, we will be reporting, investigating, trying to shed light.
In loving memory of Deb Tambor z”l– who left the New Square Community, divorced, lost her custody battle after her own father testified against her, and then took her own life at the age of 33, may you have found peace.
We hope to give you justice.
by LostMessiah, March 4, 2016

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio Kisses Ring of Skver Rebbe David Twersky, February 24, 2015 [The Jewish Daily Forward]

Outcast Mother’s Death, and Questions About Jewish Sect’s Sway Over Children, November 21, 2013 [The New York Times]

Chemical Thrown at Rabbi Who Aided Abuse Victims, December 11, 2012 [The New York Times]

Related to Taubenfeld:

Alleged New Square Sex Offender Arrested, December 14, 2011 [FailedMessiah.com]
Alleged Haredi Pedophile Arrested, January 17, 2014 [FailedMessiah.com]
New Square, New York – Man Charged with Sexual Assault on Minor, January 19, 2014 [BrooklynNewYork.com]
Skvere Rebbe Allegedly Covered Up Latest Case of New Square Child Sex abuse, Allowed Alleged Molester to Continue to Teach in Square Schools, January 19, 2014 [FailedMessiah.com]
Alleged Victim Testifies at new Square Child Sex Abuse Trial, July 17, 2015 [FailedMessiah.com]

 

 

21 thoughts on “Rabbi Twersky, His Secrets, His Control, His Victims

  1. The sign does not call Spitzer “hachesed hagadol” as the caption indicates – it says it was a chesed that he was released

    Like

  2. I wonder just how much “welfare” or Section 8 funds went to this “cult Leader”.
    This situation must be corrected. He’s all full of bullshit, and the people just lap it up.

    Like

    • Mr. Cohen, officially he gets nothing and gives nothing. Every penny, more or less, runs through multiple LLC’s. Unofficially, we’re betting taxpayers foot the bill for most of the financial escapades of that community.

      Like

  3. twersky lives in luxury bc he keeps all the ‘tzedakah’ profits for himself and does not give anything to his members in need or to his congregation.

    ….’twersky owns nothing’….. his funds transfers to fraudulent LLCs should get him to be arrested , pretty easy to have him arrested , an FBI investigation will do it .

    Liked by 1 person

    • M – thank you for your comments. Unfortunately, he has evaded arrest for years and our guess is that he has a team of insiders who make such arrests exceedingly difficult. While we hope to change that, we likely have our work cut out for us.

      Like

    • Twersky is nothing more than a piece of sh*t con artist who needs to be jailed immediately. All his assets need to be seized and sold at auction to pay back the vast sums he’s stolen out of the pockets of taxpayers all these years …….. this man is the Devil’s right hand man. A true sinner and criminal.

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      • We could not agree more. We add to that, the fact that he has covered up the sexual abuse of hundreds, if not thousands of Hasidic children. This sinks him even further. Were he to be in jail, perhaps the criminals in his cell would show him the same horrors he has allowed the Hasidic children to experience. We are working on it.. Any information you have, send along. Please share the site.

        Like

  4. Do you have permission from Diversified Holdings, LLC to copy Right from their site?! Expect to be served with papers by a bunch hungry lawyers.

    Like

    • Messiah, well… you see.. ironic thing copying “right from their site”, the internet, the public domain…. Funny thing you see… We derive no benefit (financially or otherwise). Great that the items are archived outside of the current FailedMessiah site (found in FailedMessiah’s own “Fair Use” statement), publicly available and accessible… The articles are not part of the connected EruvRav site…. All parties are appropriately credited. If anything, the new site could be gaining a significant financial benefit from the re-posting of their materials in another context. Look at all of the attention? According to Rosenberg’s own comments “This also boosts news outlets’ search engine scores, which also raises news outlets’ ad revenue. They benefit even if some of their articles are archived here.” (quoted from FailedMessiah.com – Fair Use Statement)

      We might suggest that the “bunch of hungry lawyers” to which you refer check the “Fair Use Doctrine”. With regard to broadband, they should check the “Fair Access Policy”. They could also check the Berne Convention rules, etc. etc. etc.

      We are not so sure that they will find much to feast on to satisfy their hunger, you see… Erstwhile… legal papers can become public very, very quickly and… how would that appear?… Publicly…

      So much law… so many lawyers… so few damages…. no monetary benefit… you see where this is going…?

      Like

  5. One wonders how anybody could treat someone — even a rabbi (!) — with such devotion. But then we remember that they withhold education and “outside-ness” from their sheep. Without such roadmaps, how are they to know that their emperor has no clothes?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarek, we find the devotion of this community to their Rabbi, eerily similar to the devotion of Warren Jeffs by the LDS group. There are numerous unsettling similarities, not the least of which is the intimidation, sexual abuses, cover-ups, secrecy, financial shenanigans and insularity. The only real difference is that with Jeffs, he too, has been accused of sex crimes. So far we have not found anything directly linking Rabbi Twersky to acts of sexual violence. Frighteningly, we do not think that Jeffs and the LDS have the type of political power wielded by the Hasidic community. It is no secret that they are courted for votes by local officials (including zoning board, judges, DA’s etc), regional officials (like Governor Cuomo) and national officials (which some link to the Clinton pardon in 2008). That political power makes Twersky, his minions, and all those like him extremely alarming, at least to those of us paying attention. It also puts the Jewish community as a whole in a precarious position as public perception crosses racial, socioeconomic and religious lines.

      Like

      • Prophets Prey was shown in Australia recently, and I immediately thought of Jeffs who chose which children married which adults. But then, that is the definition of a cult. Hatzlocha work the website.

        Liked by 1 person

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