Rabbi Daniel Greer, What Have you Been Up To?

Greer

RABBI ACCUSED OF RAPING STUDENT ORDERED TO TESTIFY AT TRIAL

 

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A rabbi accused of repeatedly raping and molesting a teenage boy has been ordered to testify at a civil trial after invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during a deposition.

Jury selection for Rabbi Daniel Greer’s trial in federal court in Hartford is scheduled to start Wednesday. Jurors could begin hearing evidence later in the day or Thursday.

Greer, 76, remains the principal at the Yeshiva of New Haven school. A former student at the Jewish boarding school, Eliyahu “Eli” Mirlis, now 29, is suing Greer and the school on allegations of sexual assault, infliction of emotional distress and other claims.

Mirlis, who attended the school from 2001 to 2005, also alleges in the lawsuit that Greer sexually abused at least one other male student. The Associated Press generally does not name people who allege sexual assault, but Mirlis wanted to come forward, his lawyer said.

Greer has denied the allegations and has not been criminally charged. New Haven police say they’re looking into a sexual assault complaint filed by Mirlis’ lawyer, Antonio Ponvert III.

Greer and his lawyers, David Grudberg and William Ward, did not return phone and email messages seeking comment.

According to court documents, Greer invoked his right against self-incrimination at a deposition last year. His lawyers asked a judge to bar Mirlis from calling Greer to the witness stand, but the request was denied.

“Parading Mr. Greer before the jury to repeatedly invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege will only serve to paint him as ‘a criminal who has probably eluded justice’ in the eyes of the finders of fact, which will cause significant and irreparable prejudice in this case,” Grudberg and Ward wrote in a motion filed last month, adding that Greer also would invoke his Fifth Amendment right if called to testify.

Although Judge Michael P. Shea denied the request this month, he said Greer’s lawyers could object to specific questions to prevent Greer from having to repeatedly take the Fifth on the stand.

Ward has questioned why Mirlis came forward with the allegations years later and did not take the matter before a rabbinical arbitration court. He said the allegations have damaged Greer, his family and the good reputation he spent years building in the community.

Greer is a graduate of Princeton and Yale Law School who has testified before the state legislature several times on a variety of issues, including opposing same-sex unions in 2002 before the state approved same-sex marriage. He also is a former member of the New Haven police commissioners’ board and a past chairman of the New Haven Redevelopment Agency.

He also led efforts to improve New Haven’s Edgewood neighborhood.

Greer’s daughter was among a group of Orthodox Jewish students who sued Yale University in the late 1990s, claiming the school’s requirement that they live in coed dorms violated their constitutional rights. A federal judge disagreed and dismissed the lawsuit.

http://staging.hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_RABBI_SEX_ABUSE_LAWSUIT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-05-09-10-10-24

CHILD VICTIMS ACT – Legislation and Justice – SIGNATURE REQUESTED

Houses of worship and a person’s experience of their faith should be free of sexual abuse.

Shockingly, when victims of child sex abuse by religious leaders and other perpetrators come forward to seek justice and stop abusers from causing more harm, they are blocked by current New York State law. New York ranks among the very worst in the nation — alongside Alabama, Michigan and Mississippi — for how the courts and criminal justice system treat survivors of child sex abuse.
Mental health experts know it can take decades for a victim of this abuse to overcome the fear, shame, and trauma to be able to come forward to confront their abuser, but our current law allows survivors of abuse to pursue criminal or civil justice only until the age of 23 — a statute of limitations of, in some cases, only five years.
A bill called the Child Victims Act can change that at the upcoming session. It will extend or eliminate the statute of limitations so victims come forward and perpetrators can be prosecuted, helping victims get justice and taking unknown abusers off the streets. April and May are critical months for clergy to demand that officials introduce and vote for the bill.

Add your name to demand action here

Right now, many Republican members of the New York legislature are opposing the bill. Some religious institutions are pressuring legislators to reject the bill because it could mean holding them accountable. Religious groups and others are threatening to thwart the re-election of members if they pass the bill.
Clergy for Child Victims is mobilizing faith leaders to sign this petition to the governor letting the governor, state assembly, and state senate know that we stand behind the governor’s support of the bill. On May 9, a group of clergy will make a lobbying trip to Albany to try and get new legislation passed before budget negotiations start.

Sign and share with your colleagues here

As an influential faith leader in New York, I urge you to sign the letter to demonstrate widespread support from multi-religious faith leaders.
Thank you for supporting this crucial effort.
In faith,
Rabbi Ari Hart

The Halachic Obligation to Report Abuse

scales of justice and child

http://www.kollel.edu.au/single-post/2016/12/25/The-Halachic-Obligation-of-Reporting-Abuse-to-

FACING CHALLENGES, REPORTING ABUSE, AVOIDING HARM…

We are surprised by this. You may be too.

“Don’t Stand Back. Don’t Withhold Yourself.”

 

The following is a link to a video regarding the obligation to report abuse.

http://www.kollel.edu.au/single-post/2016/12/25/The-Halachic-Obligation-of-Reporting-Abuse-to-

 

Australia – Abuse Victim Suing Yeshiva Centre – a Groundbreaking Development

Abuse victim suing Yeshivah Centre

https://www.jewishnews.net.au/abuse-victim-suing-yeshivah-centre/56689

Shimon Walles. Photo: Peter HaskinShimon Walles. Photo: Peter Haskin

A CHILD sexual abuse victim of Rabbi David Kramer has gone public for the first time, claiming his negotiations with Yeshivah Centre for compensation have hit a roadblock.

Shimon Walles, who was sexually abused by Kramer when he was a Yeshivah student in 1990, spoke to police for the first time in 2008.

In 2013, Kramer pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting Walles among others, and received a jail sentence.

“When Kramer was convicted I was more traumatised by the re-victimisation,” Walles exclusively told The AJN this week, referring to his treatment by some members of the Yeshivah community.

“At the time, the retribution was so bad that I couldn’t live in Australia.

“I was just trying to move on with my life and at the time I never thought of civil action.”

According to Walles, when he returned to Australia in 2014 the victimisation and intimidation continued.

He said he felt like he was being driven out of the country ahead of the Royal Commission. He then contacted Yeshivah for the first time to seek compensation through mediation.

He claimed that over the course of two years Yeshivah failed to adequately respond, and that earlier this year his lawyer told him to start proceedings in court.

“I told my lawyer that I want to keep things civil with Yeshivah, and instead of going to court to write them another letter and try and go to mediation again.

“I wasn’t looking for a war with Yeshivah, I just wanted to be peaceful.”

But last week, after another round of negotiations with Yeshivah, Walles finally gave up and decided to take legal action.

“I’m very frustrated and unfortunately it has come to this, but if they can’t wake up after everything that has happened what choice do I have?

“I am now ready to start exposing it for what it is.”

Walles said that deciding to publicly reveal himself as a victim was difficult, but made easier given his treatment by the community.

“I know they speak about me behind my back and do terrible things behind my back, so at this point in time what do I have to lose?”

In a statement to The AJN the Yeshivah’s management said that ensuring that survivors of child sexual abuse are treated with respect and dignity has the highest priority.

“Measures have been put in place through education and training to try to ensure that survivors are treated with sensitivity and compassion,” the statement said.

“In recognition of past abuse, the centre also established a redress scheme offering redress including monetary payments and access to counselling which is available to survivors in a respectful confidential manner outside the legal framework.

“The centre takes all such claims seriously but is understandably not in a position to make public comment in relation to a particular claim or individual making a claim.”

JOSHUA LEVI

 

https://www.jewishnews.net.au/abuse-victim-suing-yeshivah-centre/56689

Nechama Bendet – Inconsistencies and She Claims Libel? An Utter Disgrace!

 

Bendet

 

THE HERALD SUN:

Jewish college director sues over sex abuse claims on Facebook

A SENIOR administrator of Yeshivah College is suing for libel, claiming she had been accused of pressuring child sex abuse victims not to pursue their complaints with police.

The orthodox Jewish school’s former general manager, Nechama Bendet, has lodged a writ in the Supreme Court seeking damages over five Facebook posts by Bruce James Cooke, whom she describes as a “vocal member of the Jewish community”.

Now the school’s director of development, she claims Mr Cooke suggested she had sought to ostracise two victims by calling them “mosers” for going to police and had thereby tried to pressure them not to pursue their complaints.

“Moser” is an offensive ­Hebrew term for one who breaks a code banning Jews from informing on one another to secular authorities.

This year, Ms Bendet told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse that the college had never discussed investigating claims of a cover-up after a former Yeshivah guard, David ­Cyprys, was accused of child sex crimes.

David Cyprys
David Cyprys

In 2011, it approached Robert Richter, QC, who ­advised it on public relations and dealing with victims, she said.

In her statement of claim, she says Mr Cooke’s posts suggested that she knew of abuse but did not report it to police; that she had shown complete disregard for victims by asserting the school had no legal obligation to report their abuse; that she condoned not reporting child sex abuse and rape to police unless there was a legal requirement to do so; and that there were reasonable grounds for police to investigate whether she had engaged in criminal conduct in relation to abuse.

Ms Bendet claims he also suggested she bullied and intimidated teachers and staff at Yeshivah and at Beth Rivkah Ladies College; that she abused her position by terminating a security contract for personal reasons; and that by her behaviour she was destroying the Yeshivah Centre and must be immediately removed.

She claims the posts were published without an honest belief in their truth or with reckless indifference, that her feelings, credit and personal and business reputation had been gravely injured, and that she had been humiliated and embarrassed.

Ms Bendet is also seeking a permanent injunction restraining Mr Cook from making such publications.

Mr Cooke’s lawyer, Chris Stakis, said his client would defend the case because he believed the publications were part of a legitimate debate on matters of importance.

 

 

At What Point Does the Ultra-Orthodox Community Tackle Abuse Head-On?

 

 

https://www.blogger.com/static/v1/jsbin/4044097237-ieretrofit.js
Unorthodox-Jew A Critical View of Orthodox Judaism

“A society that refuses to rally against its own criminals at least with same roar as it rallies against other sectors of society is indeed doing a lot of harm to itself.”

The Hasidic teachers in court, Tel Aviv, August 2, 2016.

It’s Time for the ultra-Orthodox Community to Tackle Sex Abuse Head-on

A society that refuses to rally against its own criminals at least with same roar as it rallies against other sectors of society is indeed doing a lot of harm to itself.   

Last week in a bold and unprecedented move, Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau penned an open letter to Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) educators cautioning them to “deal seriously” with instances of child abuse that have been reported at educational institutions and in some homes. “Burying our heads in the sand is not the answer to these difficult and painful issues,” Lau wrote, urging members of the community to take responsibility for the atrocities.

Lau’s letter came in the wake of a report that as many as six teachers from a Hasidic school in Tel Aviv have been charged with abusing almost two dozen preschool and elementary school students. This is by no means an isolated incident: In the last few months at least three Israeli Torah scholars have been accused of sexually abusing women and girls, and in two of these cases the victims involved close members of the perpetrators’ families.

To make matters worse, such abuse within the ultra-Orthodox community has not been confined to Israel. Similar abuse cases, in which rabbis preyed on naïve young women, have been reported in the United States and the United Kingdom, while Australia has established a royal commission to investigate why a school had concealed the abuse of its students for 20 years. We know about these cases because the authorities have managed to prosecute and punish these criminals. There are other cases where offenders have evaded punishment by exploiting the Law of Return and escaping to Israel. Sadly, there are some rabbinical miscreants who not only go unpunished – they continue to occupy their pulpits owing to the victims refusing to press charges and the communities that wish to sweep such allegations under the rug.

This shocking situation obviously does not mean that the ultra-Orthodox community is uniquely guilty of sexual abuse. A community as large and diverse as this one surely deserves the presumption that most of its adherents are decent individuals who strictly uphold religious law. Indeed, the overwhelming majority frowns upon any sexual impropriety, and barriers are set up to avoid such eventualities. Men and women are rarely on a first name basis and meetings between the sexes are always held with open doors to prevent any hint of intimacy. Children, from a young age are not placed in close confines with relatives of their extended families of the opposite sex, and religious teachers are trained to spot and report suspicious signs of child abuse.

The problem is that the community often fails to report and publicly protest crimes such as child and sexual abuse – a failure that may be traced to Haredi culture. From a young age, the Haredi child is taught that emunat hakhamim, belief in Torah sages and rabbis, is such an important principle that it renders many sages infallible in their eyes. They are also familiar with the dictum that the Torah serves as an antidote to one’s evil inclination. These combined beliefs place Haredi children in a double bind, so that not only are their teachers “incapable” of erring, they have also been “immunized” from committing evil acts.

Given such a framework, what is a Haredi child (or naive adult) with personal knowledge of sexual crimes meant to think when he knows the perpetrators are Torah scholars? How can he contemplate that his teachers or mentors are sexual deviants? And if these perpetrators are so evil, why is it only the Chief Rabbinate that reacts? The only body that counts within this community is the Council of Torah Sages; while it regularly calls for mass protests when it feels its religious lifestyle is under threat, the council has remained eerily silent on the subject of abuse. How are these children to know that such actions are intolerable and that any Torah taught by such offenders is worth very little?

Sadly, they probably won’t. A child growing up in an insular Haredi neighborhood will learn by the ever-present posters he sees, and by the demonstrations he attends, that sexual deviancy is not all that important. It certainly does not trump the issue of dead bones being exhumed to make way for a highway or hospital. It is no more important than secular Jews wishing to enjoy themselves at the cinema on a Friday night, and is probably no less evil than a Haredi traitor who dares put on an army uniform.

In such an environment, why should there be any incentive to report sexual offenses? This is especially true where reporting comes at a cost: whistleblowers and victims are keenly aware that any exposure severely harms their own and their progeny’s marriage prospects. Is it any wonder then that abuse continues as long as it does until one courageous man or woman has the guts to go to the police?

Unfortunately, this situation is not mitigated by the argument that the Haredi sector’s individual members and organizations have done much to benefit society as a whole. And yet a society that ignores its own internal problems, that refuses to rally against its own criminals at least with same roar as it rallies against other sectors of society, and that steadfastly conceals its misdeeds, is indeed doing a lot of harm to itself.

If the Haredi community in Israel and abroad is to reclaim the public’s trust it must shun all acts of sexual abuse. It must act seriously and it must act now. The time has come for the community to demonstrate to itself as well as to others that there is zero tolerance for harming the sexual integrity of anyone created in G-d’s image, especially children.

David Fachler has a Masters in Law from South Africa (LLM) and a Masters in Contemporary Jewry from Hebrew University, Jerusalem (MA). He is contactable at davidfachler@yahoo.com.

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.737652

Nechama Bendet – How Many Lies, Half-Truths and Lies of Omission Did You Tell the ARC?

Bendet

Nechama Bendet…. Lies?

Several weeks ago we were provided information regarding Nechama Bendet’s testimony before the Australian Royal Commission. It was suggested that the testimony she gave to the Royal Commission regarding child abuse, were lies, lies of omission and her half-truths. It took us some time to put the whole thing together, to compare her statements to the RC versus the realities of letters that circulated to and from Ms. Bendet within the commission. We thank our contributors for that. We think we have it all now. You can decide for yourselves.

Ms. Bendet, as she herself states was part of the Executive Committee and was privy to information, including but not limited to responses regarding child abuse. She states in 2015 that there had not been previous discussions regarding compensating victims, general meetings, etc. That is simply, based upon the information we have and have posted for your review, NOT TRUE. The top eschons of  the Executive Counsel fo Australian Jewry was well aware of abuse. It had been going on for a long time. Ms. Bendet, like others, simply referred to those who reported abuse as “Mosers” and turned a blind eye to the children, the victims.

Despite efforts by Yosef Feldman and his rantings and ravings and accusations, curses and wishes of rape upon others, despite the private email we received disclaiming statements from Feldman, which email came from someone in the top echelons of the community, we have a hard time believing that we are receiving anything more than lip service. 

For reference, we have provided PDF documents, screenshots and other information which we hope will provide you with a timeline and a sense of what was and continues to be happening, despite efforts like those of Ms. Bendet, to keep them quiet.

Lest’s take a look at what Nechama Bendet has to say and the inconsistent timeline…

 

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