Velvel Butman, Shmuel Butman – Father Protecting Son? Defrocked and Deadbeat


Jewish leader’s son is a ‘deadbeat dad’ who refuses to pay child support

Originally Published in the NYPost April 2, 2010

The son of the head of the city’s powerful Chabad Jewish organization is an unemployed deadbeat dad who refuses to give his wife a divorce or pay child support, court papers reveal.

Velvel Butman — whose father, Shmuel Butman, lights the giant menorah in Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza, Times Square each year during Hanukkah — has been battling the court, and his own community, since he first refused to give his long-suffering wife a divorce five years ago, documents and sources say.

Velvel, a 49-year-old dad of eight, once worked for his father as an emissary of the Hasidic movement in Westchester County.

But Velvel was booted as a rabbi after a rabbinic court of Chabad Lubavitch ordered him to give his wife a Jewish divorce, called a get, and he refused.

“He strongly believes that a rabbi’s not supposed to get divorced. Yet he’s no longer technically a rabbi because he’s been defrocked,” said a rabbi who feared reprisal if his name were published.

A Brooklyn judge last week held Velvel in contempt for failing since 2013 to pay child support for his children. Six of them still live with his estranged wife, Rachel, who treks from their home in Crown Heights to her job at a day-care facility in Westchester to pay the bills.

Velvel has been on the hook for $2,000 a month in child support for the past four years but has paid only the first two months, court documents show.

Yet instead of working, he has been gallivanting to Israel and Uzbekistan, allegedly telling the court at one point, “I would have needed to get permission from a rabbinic panel if someone of my stature should be seen [working] in a Starbucks.’’

His father, Shmuel Butman, 73, heads New York’s Chabad Lubavitch.

The judge said Velvel has 60 days to pay $78,400 or he’ll be thrown in jail.

His wife is so desperate to be free of him that she even offered to forgive the child-support debt if he would just sign the divorce papers, sources said.

“[Velvel] has publicly stated that he would rather sit in jail than give his wife the money, and would rather sit in jail than give his wife the get,’’ a rabbinical source said.

Velvel lives with his 73-year-old dad.

“[Shmuel] is supporting his son financially, while his son claims that, given his father’s status, it is below his dignity to work here or there,” the source said.

But Rabbi Butman insisted on Sunday that his son has done no wrong.

“I’m his father, and he’s going to pay,” Shmuel Butman said, though he declined to say whether he would be footing the bill.

Velvel did not return a message. His lawyer declined comment.

Rachel Butman’s lawyer, Joel Yacoob, also declined to comment.

For More Information from the NYPost click here.

Did the Rebbe Hand Out Compassion for the sexually abused children His own Community Betrayed? PLEASE DO NOT CONTRIBUTE!!!










LM – 10/11/15

By the Grace of G-d

Erev Yom Kippur, 5777 • October 11, 2016

Dear Friend,

A few hours before the onset of Yom Kippur each year, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, would enter the synagogue for prayer, holding a bag of coins. The tables were covered with scores, perhaps hundreds, of charity plates, representing an array of causes, from food for the poor and assistance for needy brides, to schools and mitzvah campaigns and more.

Despite his impossibly tight schedule, the Rebbe would deliberately and carefully place coins into every plate, taking great care not to skip a single one. Each represented a community or an individual who needed help, materially or spiritually.

In his urgent desire to help each individual, the Rebbe did not consider even one of them to be insignificant.

•   •   •

Emulating this extraordinary example, when we dig deep into our own resources to fill the plates of others, we encourage G-d to throw open His bank account of abundant blessings to each of us, to be judged with mercy and compassion for a truly happy, healthy and sweet year. And G-d, we know, has plenty to give.

•   •   •

At, where millions regularly turn to fill their plates with spiritual inspiration, Torah learning, or practical tools to enrich their Jewish experience, we try to do our part.

Year-round our rabbis, editors, programmers and designers work with extraordinary urgency and devotion, motivated by the constant awareness that at the other end of the screen is an individual — millions of individuals! — who seek a lifeline.

Our team is able to fill those needs only thanks to wonderful, caring people like you who, recognizing the importance of this mission, happily partner with us to provide the necessary funding.

As Yom Kippur quickly nears, please consider:

Can you please partner with us to fill the plates of the Jewish People?

Remember: For many who turn to us every day, we — you! — are their only Jewish lifeline.

Would you please open your heart real wide and partner with us to help them?

•   •   •

To donate, please click here.

(You can contribute via Credit Card, PayPal, E-Check (ACH) or Bank Wire / Transfer. Checks can be mailed to:
Chabad.ORG High Holiday Appeal • 770 Eastern Parkway Suite 405 • Brooklyn, NY 11213)

•   •   •

May your charitable partnership stand you in good stead as G-d opens His bank account wide, to bestow all of the deepest of His blessings upon you, your family and the entire world, to be inscribed and sealed for a Good and Sweet New Year!


The Team

P.S. – For all of your final Yom Kippur informational needs, please visit our Yom Kippur site. For one of the many inspiring talks by the Rebbe listed there, click here.

P.P.S. – If you have already partnered with us during this campaign, we apologize for the repeated emails. We are trying our hardest to avoid duplication and we are most grateful to you for your support!

Also, if you are unable or unwilling to contribute, please note that this request is not a requirement but simply an appeal to those who are able to help. You are always welcome to enjoy our website and subscriptions, regardless of whether you make a contribution.

Finally, these books make great ones: My Rebbe (Even Israel-Steinsaltz), and the New York Times bestselling Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History (Telushkin) (updated paperback edition).


Rabbi Leibel Groner – Perhaps You Can Address the Topic of Child Sexual Abuse?



Dear Rabbi Leibel Groner:

Will you, the keynote speaker, oblige us by telling us why the Rebbe never mentioned the topic of Child Sexual Abuse?

It is the stuff of legend that the Rebbe answered all manner of questions put to him, be they asked when followers went for $’s or when they wrote to him.

Thousands of questions were asked of the Rebbe on a monthly basis, possibly even weekly and who knows, possibly even more frequently.

The Rebbe was revered for his ruach hakodesh (divine inspiration) and his care and love for all Jews be they observant or not yet observant.

Stories aplenty tell of such times when the Rebbe knew through his ruach hakodesh that a Jew who was alone in a far flung place was about to fry out, perhaps even convert.

The Rebbe would send an emissary to save the hapless Jew just in time.

The child sexual abuse that occurred on the Rebbe’s watch, not just in Melbourne Australia but worldwide and very often in the Rebbe’s own institutions cannot be sidestepped and ignored.

Did the Rebbe have ruach hakodesh or did he not?

If he did not, so be it.

If he did, why did he do and say nothing?

Realistically how could the Rebbe not have known about the DESPICABLE GOINGS ON given that he was the recipient of the thousands of requests from his followers on an almost daily basis for decades?

It just does not pass the smell test.

So Rabbi Leibel Groner,will you please explain?




“The greatest guaranteed assurance for all Jewish parents in need of special help and Deliverance for their children is through their support of those who study Torah.” – The Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Dear ………………..,

Kollel Menachem invites you to Partners in Torah – A Tribute to the Lubavitcher Rebbe and a fundraiser for our Kollel,
ו׳ שבט תשע״ז    
Tuesday 2nd February, 2017
at The International of Brighton,  81 Bay Street, Brighton.
The evening will commence at
7:30pm and supper will be served.

We look forward to welcoming Rabbi Leibel Groner, Personal Secretary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe for over forty years, as our distinguished keynote speaker.

Rabbi Groner will share with us first hand stories and insights of the Rebbe, including the Rebbe’s special relationship with Melbourne.

Please join us in support of Kollel Menachem and participate in the dissemination of Torah throughout the community by booking your seats and sponsorship today.
Tickets are $50 person and seating is separate with a Mechitzah.   Sponsorship of Torah Learning is available in support of a specific day, week, or month of your choice and all sponsors will be acknowledged during the sponsorship period.  It’s a wonderful way to commemorate a Yahrzeit or celebrate a birthday or other special occasion and foster Torah study. Sponsorship is tax deductible. To book your tickets and sponsorships, please visit

ותומכי’ מאושר
“And those who support it are fortunate.”

For any questions, please call 9522 8221 or email

Wishing you a Gmar Chasima Tova!

Kollel Menachem Lubavitch



A Waste of The Talent of a Generation and Slavery by “Education Day U.S.A.”


Enslaving Children By Denying them an Education

We are posting this letter to the editor as an accompaniment to our articles on the subject of enslaving children by denying them an education. We would like to thank the contributor who has chosen to remain anonymous.

September 3, 2016


Dear LM:

A Few days ago I was conducting research for a treatise and I came across an alarming online article that I encountered during my search. It had me unsure whether to laugh in derision or cry in despair. It could be headlined:

Don’t educate your children; it is the equivalent of teaching them idolatry

Some of its points are:

– To teach children science is to teach them that there are pedagogic authorities to be respected other than rabbis – which is undesirable.

– The Baal HaTanya says that secular education is worse than the sins of lashon hara and sinat chinam (slander and baseless hatred), inasmuch as the former sullies the soul, while the latter only sullies the emotions.

(From my long-ago days of studying Tanya, I remember that there were many things in it that I later came to realise did not commend themselves to humanity. This one must have escaped my attention; it astonished me to see it mentioned in that article.)

A possible solution discussed by the article’s author is to censor school text books on science. He rejects the idea – not on principle, but just as being impractical because it could backfire and defeat the purpose.

Please read the article in full – it is a real eye-opener on what drives Chabad (and other ultra-Orthodox) attitudes to secular education.

(Even more bizarre is that the author, Arnie Gotfryd, described on as a Chassidic Jew, is also a PhD scientist (he has a doctorate in applied Ecology) and is educational director of Maxi Mind – his own company. It’s a bit frightening – this is the second example I’ve seen in the last few days of how you can be highly educated and still have a closed mind in thrall to cult indoctrination. It makes me wonder if this guy is also a ‘born again’ Jew with Chabad as obstetrician.)

The above-linked article of his has me torn between thinking:

– let them keep their kids uneducated and unequipped for 21st century life; it will hasten the movement’s collapse or descent into irrelevancy,


– what a waste of a generation and how sad to deny innocent children what people in other countries with much fewer opportunities sacrifice so much to afford their children.

Chabad boasts about its worldwide network of ‘educational’ institutions, and in 1978 it successfully lobbied President Carter and Congress (they are experts at that) to name the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s birthday “Education Day, U.S.A.” But they are charlatans who have hoodwinked America. It is all a sham. To them, schools are not for education, they are nothing more than religious and cult indoctrination centres. If this sounds harsh, read the article and see if my conclusion still seems unjustified.


Scientism in a Chabad School? Continue reading

Shimon Cowan – Another Chabad Intellectual – “Conversion Therapy”? A Lobotomy Perhaps?

Rabbi Shimon Cowan and the “Facts About Sexuality”…

The rabbi who is the subject of the attached article from this week’s Jewish News is Shimon Cowan (son of the late former Governor General, Sir Zelman Cowan.) His extremist attitudes are the hallmark of the religious zealotry that often characterises the ‘born-again’ who either adopt religion or change their religious allegiance to (ultra-)Orthodoxy in middle adulthood.


Understanding the Chabad Cult or Being Indoctrinated?



Yeshivah Shule invites you to an inspiring evening with

Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie
Shliach of Yorba Linda, California
and Author of “The Secret of Chabad”

THIS Motzei Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh Elul, 3rd September 2016
Goldhirsch Hall at 8.30pm

Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie combines the insiders perspective of a lifetime Shliach with the storytelling of a prolific writer, he is an entertaining and inspiring speaker.
This is an evening not to be missed!
Please click here for the flyer or see below.


More Comments from Yosef Feldman

The Feldman Chronicles…. Letter to Follow…

Is it Possible to fix a Skewed and Ethically Challenged Moral Compass? – LM COMMENTS

Lost Messiah, July 25, 2016, Updated 3:16pm

These comments will be followed by another Letter we received from Yosef Feldman. We are assuming it to be the real Yosef Feldman but the reality is, it could be anyone. The narrative is the same.

We at Lost Messiah promised Mr. Feldman that we would print what he writes: Letters to the Editor, etc. In that vein, we are so doing. We make a few preliminary comments, an open letter to Mr. Feldman, of sorts:

  1. He has been asked if he still acts as a Rabbi or rather stripped of his title “Rabbi” and to date has not answered that question.

  2. He has been asked who is running the smicha program, giving smicha, etc. He has to the moment of this edit, not responded to that question.

  3. He has been asked to comment on his understanding of the differences between “covering up” and rectifying mistakes of the past. To date that question has not been answered; but by our minds strategically avoided.

  4. He has been asked to comment on the “ongoing harassment of victims, their families and supporters in Yeshiva Centre Melbourne.” To date, we have not heard any comment on this except to say that there is “change” going on and that it should be discussed privately. As we see it, this should be part of the public narrative, the moral imperative.  Mr. Feldman seems to be speaking as a representative of that narrative, perhaps he should comment publicly.

  5. He has been asked whether “all of the elements of Tschuvah [should] be fulfilled by the offending parties towards the victims.” Again, Mr. Feldman offered no direct comment in response. We feel that since we at LM are being accused by Mr. Feldman of allegedly misrepresenting his statements, or allegedly misinterpreting him or allegedly printing what has been proven untrue, we are entitled to a response.

  6.  He has been asked what he has done to benefit the community and if he can show evidence of such activities. To date, he has claimed to assist his community but we have not been provided with evidence to enforce or dispute his contention of altruism. Please provide.

  7. He has claimed that newspapers which have settled have admitted wrongdoing and apologised. We note that we are not arriving at the same takeaway from those newspapers and their comments.

It is our opinion that they are printing legalese intended to simply say, “without admitting or denying the material aspects of the claim, we are prepared to say that it is possible that we mischaracterized what was said and if that is the case, we apologise for so doing.” 

That is a shallow win for Mr. Feldman but in no way is a victory and in no way, in our opinion, does it touch the merits of his cases, namely that he was defamed/slandered, we are not sure what.

As we see it, if Mr. Feldman had the best interests of abuse victims, children, the future generations of victims at heart, he would not be instituting litigation after litigation. He would not be expending so much money. And, if he were still intent upon so doing, he would set up a fund for victims and their families – some small gesture of kindness and decency to children and families have suffered.

He claims that he has not expended money, that his cases are being handled pro bono. That is not actually true, according to him. He pays out a percentage of his spoils. That is a contingency suit (contingent upon the victory) and not pro bono (altruistic regardless of the victory). The pro bono litigator is acting as attorney because he is trying to do the right thing, as a general rule. The contingency fee litigator is hoping for a quick win or alternatively a big one and ultimately quick settlements are easy cash. They are working for anything but altruistic reasons, except in very rare cases (like poisoned water in an entire neighborhood of people who cannot afford legal representation – representing victims).

Again, we assume for the purposes of our comments and the following letter that we are printing something from the real Yosef Feldman. For the purposes of our comments, however, he could be the proverbial John Doe. It would not matter.

We cannot emphasize enough the way in which sexual abuse ravages the lives of victims, their families and the generations that follow. Abuse survivors are forever plagued and they share that plague with their families, their friends, their offspring. It is the nature of the beast.

For the Chabad Community and our Mr. Feldman, whomever he may be, it is our contention that each and every time you make the narrative about yourself or the community – Chabad, you further abuse the victims and perpetuate the crimes and the ease with which they are committed. You become a co-conspirator. I say this in no uncertain terms: Mr. Feldman, your lawsuits may be giving you some misguided sense of vindication but they are adding insult to injury for each and every abuse victim and they are writing a chapter for future generations. Namely, you will continue to be abused because we really don’t care about anything but our “good name” and “reputation.” We use those terms loosely.

Mr. Feldman, you lawsuits, your comments to this blog and your letters reflect, in our view, an ethically challenged and morally skewed sense of right and wrong. That is a shanda of epic proportions.


Dear LM

So I see you do have a little honesty to post my response. Thanks for at least that.

Just to remind all part of my other post of clarification…

I have financially helped many victims in the past. My main reason for suing is to get them to retract and apologise. The financial aspect is secondary and not that profitable as the lawyers need to get paid and certainly not assured…
With regard to yourself Im seriously waiting for you to retract.
Just briefly to explain it further to you, I NEVER said that I didn’t know it was a crime to sexually touch genitals. It’s in fact legally allowed to
touch genitals for many reasons including a Bris. She was trying to lead me on with the question as though I knew at the time that there was sexual abuse that I didn’t which is why I answered it literally. Look at comments on reddit (who don’t have an agenda…) who recognised this. Many times in the evidence I clearly mentioned that to sexually touch is a crime. Please read my evidence and submission. All of this is coming out in court which is why IBT settled. If you’re an honest person, which it seems from your writing -a little different than Shmarya- that you may be, please retract everything you wrote and apologise.