Yeshiva Camp and Alcohol Use – A Community Ignoring a Problem and a Rabbi Taking Action

Dear Reader:

We are publishing this Letter to the Editor of Yeshiva World News because we think it is information that needs attention. We do not know if the writer of the letter reads our site, nor was it sent to us by him. He does state that he sent it to several publications that took no interest in his concerns; something we find both reprehensible and endemic of the society in which this problem is being ignored.

This problem cannot go away if it is not actively and openly discussed and addressed. We commend the author’s courage.

LM

The Alcohol-Drinking At Yeshiva Camps Is Out of Control And Being Ignored

Dear YWN readership.

I regret saying this, but my letter was sent to 4 Jewish publications before the summer, and unfortunately, it was ignored. I have since updated it to reflect new information (from as recent as last night), and humbly request it be published for the sake of saving lives.

Parents sending their boys to summer camps in the Catskills may think their boys are safe, but they aren’t.

No, I am not referring to pedophilia. That problem has Boruch Hashem been dealt with by organizations such as Amudim and the Gedolim behind them who devote their lives to helping the victims.

The topic I want to address is alcohol-drinking in camps. But not just any camps. I am referring to the elite “yeshiva / learning” camps. I have decided to leave the names of these camps out and hope that this letter alone will hopefully awaken the masses.

Please don’t start telling me that this is a minor percentage, because it’s not. This is a roaring problem that is largely being ignored and not being taken seriously by the people running these camps. I humbly question why the Roshei Yeshiva of these boys allow them to go to any of these camps as it’s no secret regarding the alcohol consumption at these camps. In fact, I have had many conversations with leading Roshei Yeshiva about this, and they just shrug their shoulders.

Just last night a bunch of these camps joined together to go to a well known amusement park. The day was capped off with a concert and a band with singing and dancing. I don’t think your readership needs to see the footage of the drunk boys staggering all over the place, so I’ll hold that for round two – If immediate action isn’t taken.

What are these camp owners waiting for? Do we need a few boys to die of alcohol poisoning before people boycott these camps? Why is the “zero tolerance for a smartphone” enforced but the drinking epidemic being ignored?

I should add (not that it makes any difference) that I am not referring to drinking beer. I am talking about bottles of hard liquor that the boys have stashed away.

I am demanding that the camps take action before I and others like myself take appropriate action to ensure the problem is dealt with another way. We will make sure your camps are (legally) exposed and blacklisted by every single family in America.

Thank you for publishing my letter, and I am sorry for being so harsh, but the reality demands this.

Have a wonderful and safe summer.

Yeshaya Dovid Braunstein – Lakewood

Rabbi Menachem Chinn, Charged With Sexual Assault of a Child

 

A School for Special Needs Children and a Rabbi without a Conscience – Indefensible

-cf5e36a40b8651b2

Lakewood rabbi pleads not guilty to stealing public funds from special needs school

NEW BRUNSWICK — A Lakewood rabbi who runs a school for children with developmental disabilities pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of stealing public funds for personal use.

Osher Eisemann, 60, the founder and director of the School for Children with Hidden Intelligence in Lakewood, is accused of using a private fundraising nonprofit for the school to launder $630,000 in public tuition funds.

He was indicted last month on charges including theft, money laundering, corporate misconduct and misuses of government funds.

Eisemann, through his attorney, pleaded not guilty to all charges before Superior Court Judge Benjamin Bucca in Middlesex County.

Deputy Attorney General Anthony Robinson told Bucca the state has offered a plea deal that would require a prison sentence of five years in exchange for Eisemann admitting to a second-degree charge of theft by unlawful taking. As part of the plea deal, Eisemann would also pay restitution, Robinson said.

Eisemann, of Lakewood, faces up to 15 years in state prison on the charges.

An attorney representing Eisemann, Lee Vartan, declined to comment after the brief court hearing. However, Vartan maintained his client’s innocence in a previous statement given to NJ Advance Media.

“Rabbi Eisemann has never taken any SCHI funds for his personal use, and we strongly deny that there was any ill intent in the use of SCHI funds,” Vartan said in the statement. “We look forward to the complete exoneration of both SCHI and Rabbi Eisemann in this investigation.”

In Lakewood, new scrutiny on ‘business as usual’ | Di Ionno

Schools, zoning, poverty rate pose questions about town powers

SCHI receives $1.8 million a month in public tuition from the Lakewood School District to teach students with special needs. Authorities said Eisemann took $430,000 of that money for a personal business venture, the clothing company TAZ Apparel, LLC.

Authorities said Eisemann also laundered an additional $200,000 of the funds in a scheme “intended to make it appear that he was repaying debts he owed to the school using personal funds.”

SCHI officials previously called the attorney general’s investigation “baseless” and said the school has a long history of providing a “superior level of services to meet the unique needs of severely-disabled, medically fragile, and socially-emotionally challenged children and youth adults.”

An attorney representing SCHI, Robert Rabinowitz, declined to comment after Monday’s arraignment.

Attorney General spokesman Peter Aseltine said the arraignment was held in Middlesex County because three of the districts that send children to SCHI are in the county: Highland Park, Edison and Monroe.

Eisemann is scheduled to be back in court on June 12.

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

161024YehudaKolko.jpg

 

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