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

Velvel.aldfkjweporuq

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.

No CVA and $2.1M to Silence Allegations… Protecting Child Molesters

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Report: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish School Promised $2.1 Million To Quiet Allegations It Protected A Child Molester

http://gothamist.com/2016/10/24/yeshiva_sexual_abuse_settlement.php

A prominent ultra-Orthodox Jewish school has reached secret settlements worth $2.1 million with two former students who accused their teacher of molesting them, the New York Post reports. The students were two of several who have accused the man, Rabbi Joel “Yehuda” Kolko, of sexually abusing them, dating back to the 1970s. Experts the tabloid consulted said that this is the first known settlement to come out of child molestation cases in the city’s Haredi Jewish enclaves.

The settlements came to light because the school, Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Kensington, allegedly failed to pay $1 million of the total promised, leading the alleged victims to sue.

The accusers’ lawsuits claimed that the yeshiva has received credible allegations that Kolko was molesting students going back 25 years, but allowed him to retain his role as an elementary school teacher and failed to report the allegations to the police. Rabbis at the school investigated claims of Kolko’s abuse in 1985 and found him innocent, according to a decision obtained by the blog Failed Messiah. In addition to five who sued, at least four other alleged victims have come forward since 2005, The Jewish Week reported, but their cases were beyond the statute of limitations for bringing civil or criminal suits. A lawyer for victims told New York magazine that as many as 20 people had contacted him saying Kolko had abused them.

Former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes reached a sweetheart plea deal with Kolko in 2012 related to the accusations of two alleged victims. The deal allowed Kolko to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of child endangerment and avoid jail time. Hynes’s office claimed that the parents wouldn’t allow the boys to testify, but the parents said that was a lie, and that they were shocked by the deal.

Hynes’s office also dismissed claims of witness tampering by the yeshiva and its supporters, including threatening phone calls the father of an alleged victim said traced back to the school, and a lawyer for the school allegedly contacting the victim’s therapist and asking the therapist to pressure the family. The lawyer denied the claim, which the therapist memorialized in a sworn affidavit.

The settlements are a positive step for victims in ultra-Orthodox communities, where going to the secular authorities with claims against fellow Jews can be considered sinful, according to one authority on the subject.

“If word gets out, other schools will think twice if they hear about abuse,” Rabbi Yosef Blau, spiritual adviser to Yeshiva University and victim rights advocate, told the Post.

Victims seeking recourse in the criminal justice system currently must do so before the age of 23, or 21 if implicating an institution, according to New York’s statute of limitations. A bill currently before the state legislature seeks to extend the statute.

To read the article in its entirety click, here.

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

truth.orwell

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 Chabad.org 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,

or

– 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.

FOR REFERENCE:

Scientism in a Chabad School?

http://www.maplewoodjewishcenter.org/page.asp?pageID=%7BCB009CE5-395D-48D8-AF50-DFAF0E46DD0D%7D Continue reading

An Unprecidented Step – Reporting Sexual Violence

 

FROM THE PAGES OF FRUM WATCH:

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=frum%20watch

This is an unprecedented and long overdue step. These 300 rabbis are to be commended.

However, Frum Watch notes that the bulk of the signers are from the Modern Orthodox camp. It is the insular, self ghettoizing ultra-orthodox communities that lag farthest behind on reporting of suspected abuse directly to the secular authorities. We call upon the rabbonim, dayanim, rebbes, and rosh yeshivas of these communities to join their colleagues and endorse this initiative.

JTA: http://www.jta.org/2016/08/25/top-headlines/300-orthodox-rabbis-urge-reporting-of-child-sex-abuse

 

300 Orthodox rabbis urge reporting of child sex abuse

(JTA) — Three hundred Orthodox rabbis have signed a proclamation urging those suspecting child sex abuse to notify secular authorities and calling on Jewish institutions to take preventative measures to prevent abuse.

The letter, which was released Thursday and signed by rabbis from the the United States, Canada, Israel and Europe, recognizes that Orthodox communities “could have responded in more responsible and sensitive ways to help victims and to hold perpetrators accountable.” It also condemns attempts to ignore or silence abuse victims and witnesses.

Those suspecting sexual abuse do not need to seek rabbinic approval before contacting civil authorities, the proclamation states.

“We condemn attempts to ignore allegations of child sexual abuse. These efforts are harmful, contrary to Jewish law, and immoral,” it said. “The reporting of reasonable suspicions of all forms of child abuse and neglect directly and promptly to the civil authorities is a requirement of Jewish law.”

The letter strongly condemns ostracizing victims of sexual abuse and calls upon synagogues and schools to set up policies to prevent sex abuse, including carefully screening new employees, raising awareness of the issue, and teaching children about sexual development and safety.

The proclamation draws upon the biblical precept not to “stand by while your fellow’s blood is being spilled” (Leviticus 19:16).  One of the signatories likened sexual abuse to murder.

“Every sexual abuser is a potential murderer,” said Rabbi Hershel Billet of the Young Israel of Woodmere. “They destroy the souls of their victims and at times cause the death of their victims.”

The signatories include members of the Orthodox Union, Rabbinical Council of America and Yeshiva University.

In August 2015, more than 100 haredi Orthodox rabbis and teachers signed a proclamation obligating Jews to report suspected child sex abuse to the authorities, citing the same verse from Leviticus.

http://www.jta.org/2016/08/25/top-headlines/300-orthodox-rabbis-urge-reporting-of-child-sex-abuse

D.A. Kenneth Thompson and the Child Sex Abuse Cases You Swept, Sweep Away…

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Guest Author: Eric Aiken

http://protectjewishkids.com/?p=2594

How the Brooklyn D.A. covers-up Orthodox child molesters, 1 of 2

This is the first in a 2-part series

Over a year and a half ago, I made a Freedom of Information Law request (FOIL) to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office. I wanted the photo and arrest report of 15 Orthodox men who were convicted by the Brooklyn D.A. of child sex crimes.

Having access to both the photo and arrest report are important for the public. Parents need a photo so they can identify Orthodox child sex predators in their communities and keep them away from their kids. In addition, many individuals share the same name. Only a photo can help the public separate the innocent from the guilty.

The arrest report also contains crucial information. Few people realize how disgusting, perverted and sub-human Orthodox child sex predators can be without having access to this information, as difficult and horrifying as it is to read.

Moshe Friedman - picture 2The case of Moshe Friedman illustrates why the arrest report is needed. In a criminal case currently in the Brooklyn court system, Moshe Friedman was arrested on child sex abuse charges. His name didn’t show up on any blog, website or media report.

A source gave me a redacted copy of Friedman’s arrest report. The report states that Friedman sodomized a young boy with a banana, bit the boy’s penis, beat him and shoved rags into the boy’s mouth. He then put a gun to the boy’s head, threatening to kill him and his family if he told anyone what happened. According to the report, this occurred multiple times per month and over the course of a year and a half.

Another source told me that when the rabbis at Friedman’s school were informed of the allegations against Friedman, they didn’t call the police. Rabbis rarely do, no matter how serious the allegations. Someone else reported Friedman to the police.

I forwarded the information I had about Friedman to a network of child victim advocates. One of them knew a reporter who sent a photographer to the Brooklyn courthouse where Friedman was being tried. The result is that I (and now the public) have a photo of him and the New York Daily News did a story on him. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-math-tutor-busted-molesting-student-article-1.2718757

Rabbis and Orthodox officials frequently ignore, minimize or cover up known Orthodox child sex predators. They do this to prevent the Orthodox community from discovering the humiliating truth about how common and pervasive child sexual abuse is.

When an Orthodox individual is convicted of a child sex crime, few people know what he did because they rarely have access to the arrest reports. If the public knew, I believe there would be much more outrage about the way that rabbis cover up and protect these dangerous criminals.

The Brooklyn D.A.’s office told me that they didn’t have the photos or arrest reports of any of the 15 men that I asked about – even though the D.A.’s office confirmed to me in writing that they prosecuted and convicted them. The D.A.’s office told me that I should send my request to NYPD instead.

So I did.

NYPD refused to give me a single record that I requested. I appealed NYPD’s decision to the FOIL appeals officer, Jonathan David. He made me wait nearly 5 months before he issued his decision – that he wasn’t going to give me a single one of the records that I requested. He made the ridiculous claim that releasing the photos and redacted arrest reports of any of these 15 convicted Orthodox child sex offenders would identify their victims and thereby violate the victims’ right to privacy.

This is nonsense. Releasing an Orthodox child molester’s photo doesn’t identify his victim and neither does issuing a redacted arrest report. But it does embarrass the rabbis who cover up and protect Orthodox child molesters and run the Orthodox institutions in which the abuse frequently occurs.

Interestingly, Mr. David’s argument that releasing the photos of convicted Orthodox child sex offenders would violate the law doesn’t seem to apply to the 24,000 non-Orthodox registered sex offenders on New York’s public sex offender registry. http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/SomsSUBDirectory/search_index.jsp

New York’s public registry is able to include the pictures and conviction records of 24,000 sex offenders without violating any law, identifying a single victim or violating the rights of anyone. But for the Orthodox men that I want to know about, the Brooklyn D.A. and NYPD is adamant that every single one of them must be shielded from public view.

The Brooklyn D.A. has a long history of ignoring and covering-up rampant child sexual abuse in Orthodox neighborhoods and allowing rabbis to punish victims who testify against their abuser. In the second article of this series, I show how the current D.A., Kenneth Thompson, continues the corrupt legacy of his predecessor, Charles Hynes.

Eric Aiken is the owner of http://www.protectjewishkids.com and an advocate for Orthodox victims of child sexual abuse. “The List” is the world’s largest database of Orthodox child molesters.

Enslaving Ultra-Orthodox Children through Ignorance

Orthodox ‘Dropouts’ Still Tethered To Faith

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new-york/orthodox-dropouts-still-tethered-faith

Orthodox ‘Dropouts’ Still Tethered To Faith
 08/16/16
 Jonathan Mark
 Associate Editor

The Orthodox fascinate and defy the number crunchers. No group is growing so prodigiously: Seventy-four percent of Jewish children in New York are Orthodox and Satmar’s school system is now larger than all but three public school systems in New York State. And yet, of American Orthodoxy’s 530,000 Jews, perhaps more than 10,000 Orthodox Jews have dropped out to varying degrees, according to Nishma Research. Modest numbers, perhaps, but each of those 10,000 likely could tell a story of sadness and disappointment.

Demographer Steven M. Cohen of Hebrew Union College, an adviser to Nishma’s project  — “Starting a Conversation: A Pioneering Survey of Those Who Have Left the Orthodox Community” — said in a statement about the study: “We live in an age of enormous religious fluidity … but there is little quantitative research on Jews who have left Orthodoxy.” This study by Nishma, a new research firm that financed the independent but non-scientific study, is “particularly significant if we are to understand the future of Orthodoxy and American Jewry,” he said.

What becomes of these lapsed Orthodox, referred to in the report and in the vernacular as “off the derech” (road), presuming that there ever was a single derech in the first place? Several OTD memoirs and even suicides speak of severed relationships and estrangement from their communities. Or is that simply the experience of those authors and a tragic few?

As Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach used to say, people left Orthodoxy not because it was too much but because it wasn’t enough. His maxim was verified by Nishma’s study, which reports that most OTDs felt “pushed” off the derech, disappointed by the Orthodox community, rather than “pulled” or seduced by the “outside” world.

Dropouts have always been part of the Orthodox story, but the Pew Research Center’s most definitive 2013 study found dropouts have fluctuated with the generations, the older generation dropping out with far greater frequency than the younger one. Pew states that there was “a surge [78 percent] switching [out of] Orthodox Judaism from the 1950s to the 1970s, followed by a higher retention within Orthodox Judaism in recent decades.” The retention rate is now soaring among young Orthodox adults (aged 18-30); 83 percent of those who were raised Orthodox still are. That means, however, that 17 percent have left.

Well, not all actually left, a finding that casts a fog over any numbers or conclusions. Unlike Christianity, where belief in Jesus provides a fairly definitive line of religious demarcation, Judaism defines religious fidelity not by belief but by action. Religious Christians don’t “somewhat” believe in Jesus, but Nishma found that 45 percent of the dropouts remained “somewhat” Orthodox. It is interesting that 33 percent of OTDs still believed in God, but it is more pertinent to Orthodoxy that 31 percent still kept kosher, 53 percent still lit Shabbos candles, 68 percent still participated in Shabbos meals and 66 percent still felt an attachment to Israel (and the people of Israel). If one keeps Shabbos (to whatever extent) and kosher, when most Jews don’t, how is that person “off the derech”? And yet, in a highly judgmental community, “with Orthodoxy’s exacting standards,” the study noted, “a respondent could consider himself or herself lapsed and still be more religious than most.”

The respondents still wanted Orthodox-literate children; 70 percent send their children to yeshiva or day school, with only 9 percent sending children to non-Orthodox Jewish schools.

And yet, the more liberal Orthodoxy became, the more it disappointed. Modern Orthodoxy, which has done considerably more than any other Orthodox groups on behalf of women’s Torah study, agunot reform, women’s prayer groups, and women’s lay leadership in synagogues and organizations, nevertheless had more Modern Orthodox women dropouts (22 percent) citing the “status of women” as the No. 1 reason they left. Across the quadrants of the survey (chasidic, Chabad, yeshivish and Modern Orthodox), 20 percent of all female dropouts agreed, the status of women was a problem, but only 3 percent of the male OTDs thought so.

In another counterintuitive finding, although Modern Orthodox schools and rabbis are the most liberal in allowing and even encouraging an open exchange of ideas, Modern Orthodoxy had the most dropouts (9 percent) complaining about the “closed atmosphere” of “no questions, unanswered questions, [or] lack of openness.” That was a higher percentage than among the formerly yeshivish (6 percent), who theoretically were living in a more cloistered, ideologically uniform environment. Indeed, none of the divergent educational methods in Orthodoxy proved to be more successful than any other as a bulwark against “general doubts, [or] loss of faith,” a problem shared by dropouts from the chasidic (15 percent), yeshivish (14 percent), Modern Orthodox (11 percent) and Chabad (10 percent) communities.

The goal of surveying those “off the derech” was to “give this group a voice,” said Mark Trencher, Nishma’s founder and lead researcher (and former president of his local Young Israel). He told The Jewish Week that the survey was not scientific, as there was “no hard data” and “no master list” to gauge the OTD population. The survey, therefore, was crafted, said Trencher, as an “opt-in” conversation, with 885 respondents. Most of the respondents were solicited through nonprofits such as Footsteps and Makom (which helped coordinate the survey), agencies dedicated to assisting OTDs.

Although OTD memoirs often discuss family rejection, the survey found that time heals: familial understanding rose from 15 percent, at the time of leaving Orthodoxy, to more than 40 percent after 10 years. Women reported having a harder time with their families than did men. After leaving, a majority (54 percent) of the lapsed Orthodox felt a void in their non-Orthodox communities, with one of the biggest problems being dating and relationships (24 percent). “I haven’t found a community of likeminded individuals,” wrote one respondent, “and don’t feel as connected as I would like in terms of socializing.” Forty-three percent of respondents agreed. Despite the attention given to the difficulty of being Orthodox and single, the so-called “shidduch crisis,” only 5 percent of women and less than 1 percent of men cited it as a significant factor in their decision to leave. Dating on the “outside” could be harder, not easier.

Men were more likely to say that they left because of intellectual issues, with complaints about the “learning and thought processes,” or religion’s absence of “proof.” Women shared those intellectual issues but were more bothered (9 percent) than men (3 percent) by communal “rumors, judging, and gossip.”

LGBTQ Jews left after coming to the conclusion that they would never be accepted within their communities. “My identity as a transgender person was ignored and denied by all the rabbis I reached out to,” said one. “I had many LGBTQ friends and struggled with reconciling that part of my life with my yeshiva life.”

Some OTDs lived a double life, questioning internally, acting Orthodox externally. These “double-lifers,” Nishma concluded, “are not ready to emerge publicly and may never do so,” although 39 percent say they likely will go public, someday.

The survey didn’t indicate that some “double-lifers” happily embrace their ambivalence. Jay Lefkowitz, an attorney, writing in Commentary, explained that he is a practicing Modern Orthodox Jew, though not a believing one, because “I’m a Jet,” like the gang in West Side Story. When you’re Orthodox, you’re “never alone … never disconnected.” Between shul, schools, interests, Shabbos meals, he felt “home with your own” and surely “company’s expected.”

Lefkowitz defined his group as “social Orthodox.” Religious practice, he explained, “is an essential component of Jewish continuity,” so “social Orthodox” Jews “are observant — and not because they are trembling before God.” He puts on tefillin, eats vegetarian in non-kosher restaurants, and yet theological questions “weren’t particularly germane to my life as an observant Jew.”

He’s not alone. The Jewish Week has reported that a substantial number of Modern Orthodox teens might go to shul on Shabbos, but also text on their phones, part of a phenomenon known as “half-Shabbos.” Nevertheless, they consider themselves Orthodox. Others do the same and think of themselves as lapsed.

Lefkowitz attends an Orthodox shul, sends his children to an Orthodox school and sent his daughter to the Israeli army. “I would appear to be the very model of an Orthodox Jew, albeit a modern one,” he writes. In the end, “We behave as Jews so we can belong as Jews … so we will not be disconnected, and we will never be alone.”

Jonathan@jewishweek.org

Read more at http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new-york/orthodox-dropouts-still-tethered-faith#AalRCMEvGFGk6vEt.99

Judging Chabad By Josef Feldman and Orthodox Judaism by the Wall of Shame, Is that Fair? From a Letter to LM…

THE LETTER TO LM THAT SPARKED THIS RESPONSE…

Lost Messiah, August 8, 2016

Yesterday we received a Letter to the Editor, for our eyes only. It was written by someone in a position of power within the Chabad and ultra-Orthodox community who entrusted us with his words to vouchsafe for our eyes only. By that we are humbled.  Even with the accusations that we are nothing more than “bashers” he thought better of us, somehow confident that we will not betray the confidence. For that we owe our thanks. We hope he and his colleagues are reading this and will give thought to our careful consideration of that letter, its contents and what it must have taken him to write and send along.

We must express at least a modicum of respect for the things he has done to shed light on Abuse within the Chabad and ultra-Orthodox community. If what he says is true, he has made a difference. Despite our skepticism, we cannot discount the possibility.  

In the interest of ‘fairness’ for lack of a better word, the letter challenged us to use our right to freedom of the press with a level of equal coverage of the good with the bad. In the views of the author, journalistic integrity demands of us to consider that perhaps there are rumblings of change going on behind the scenes. Perhaps those in power are trying to shed light on abuse, to somehow compensate the victims, help women escape abusive marriages, catch child predators and more. 

While we remain forever critical of the public persona of the ultra-Orthodox and Chabad community and what the author deems to be the need for continued secrecy,  the letter raised some salient points:

  1. Can we judge Chabad-Lubavitch by the incessant rantings of Josef Feldman and are we asking Feldman the right questions?

  2. Can we judge a family by the brothers or sisters who have committed crimes? In other words, would it be fair to judge all of ultra-Orthodox Judaism by those members of the Wall of Shame?

  3. Are we aware that there are those in high positions within the Chabad and ultra-Orthodox hierarchy who are trying to make changes?

  4. Are we willing to accept that while the attempts at change are largely secretive, the reason for that is protection of the victims and not the system that victimized?

  5. Are we aware that there are those within the highest echelons of the Chabad and ultra-Orthodox Jewish circles who are truly sorry for the abuse, who recognize it and who understand the depths at which it is impossible to appropriately compensate the victims?

Our belief, which we conveyed in a response to the author, is that in order to change a system of abuse and cover-ups, secrets enshrouded in the scrolls of the Torah and families silenced by the notion of “Mesira,” one must be a revolutionary. We do not believe that change will happen quietly, behind closed doors, in secret meetings and undercover investigations. We believe that the highest echelons of the Chabad and ultra-Orthodox leadership must begin screaming to their congregants and communities loudly, united in a specific cause: ending abuse and cover-ups, compensating victims and apologising to families. 

The Chabad and ultra-Orthodox leadership must be committed to telling members of their communities that not only is reporting not “Mesira” but it is demanded of by the very beliefs they hold dear.

While we can’t help but feel that the secrecy with which the letter was posted to us is emblematic of the problem at large, we also can do nothing but thank the author for his comments. He offered apologies to the victims, something we have not seen before. He conveyed a belief that there is no method of recompense for the transgressions of the community, which we must recognize represents at least some level of commitment. 

Finally, the author commented that we are asking Yosef Feldman the wrong question. 

TO YOSEF FELDMAN FROM THE AUTHOR:

Are you still involved in shluchim?

TO YOSEF FELDMAN FROM OUR READERS:

Are you still recognized to do smicha? How do you define sexual abuse?

We are reposting the JCW  Wall of Shame in honor of Josef Feldman, who seems unwilling to come to grips with the reality of sexual abuse, it’s meaning, it’s ramifications, it’s shame and the dire need to shed light on the subject. He admittedly makes it difficult to avoid judging all of Chabad-Lubavitch by his ravings. That is highlighted by the fact that by taking his critics to court, Feldman  is ultimately capitalizing on child sexual abuse. 

We have posted our opinions and questions to which Feldman promised to respond and Feldman has instead thrown fuel on the fire. We have given him ample opportunity to shed light on alleged “defamation” and he has deflected. We have given him a voice and he has used it to throw accusations rather than cold, hard facts. 

So, we have posted the facts in living color. The faces on JCW’s Wall of Shame represent only a tiny number of people who are guilty of horrifying sexual abuse. The names are familiar and many took years to be added to the list, all the while continuing to commit crimes that those around them knew they were committing.

It is but the silence that allows history to repeat itself.

THE JCW WALL OF SHAME

Our Criteria

National Sex Offender Registry

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