Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Brooklyn child-molest monster ‘got away with it’ after fleeing to Israel


But in 2010, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled Mondrowitz was grandfathered and exempt from the revised treaty. He was freed for good.
Weiss, now 45, a married father of three in Highland Park, N.J, is one of dozens of Mondrowitz’s known Jewish victims, advocates say. He and others came forward too late to press charges because of the statute of limitations on sex-abuse claims. Some abused drugs and committed suicide to escape the pain, he said..
“It totally stinks to know that this guy has escaped justice and is entitled to live a stable life smack in the middle of a Jewish community that ought to know better. It’s a failure of an entire society that is paralyzed to take action action, Weiss said.
“I believe he will one day answer to his maker — and that time is coming.”

Mondrowitz: Lawyer alleges cover-up

Five Towns Jewish Times

Abraham Mondrowitz can be known as the man with nine lives. How so?

1. Twenty five years ago, he was somehow able to elude any charges being pressed by the young men that he counseled in his role as a therapist working for Yeshivas.

2. He was able to avoid any repercussions to his ability to be hired by yeshiva after Yeshiva.

3. He managed to elude prosecution in the United States while living here.

4. He managed to flee the United States and live in Israel when finally facing an indictment by the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office. [...]

R' Zwiebel & history of inaction against child abuse

I recently responded here and here to Rabbi Zwiebel's statement in the May 2012 interview that the bloggers made the issue of child abuse be taken seriously. Rabbi Zwiebel is an intelligent lawyer who is well aware of the significance of words. The interview was in a magazine where the interview was obviously reviewed and edited. So it was not a slip of the tongue that he made this comment. He also noted that he wasn't sure whether the price being paid for having these blogs (i.e., lashon harah and bitul zman) was worth the benefit of having abuse being taken seriously. As can be seen from the numerous citation that follow - the issue has been documented that gedolim have know there was problem for at least 28 years dealing with Kolko and Mondrowitz - so why was it necessary for the bloggers to make child abuse to be taken seriously? Bloggers have only dealt with the issue for about 7  years - starting in 2005 with UOJ and the Kolko case. I started blogging about abuse in 2007

Mondrowitz was 28 years ago. In 2003 there was a clear declaration from Torah U'Mesorah. In 2006 Meir Frischman - the director of Orthodox Camps provided guidelines for the camps . In 2007 Declaration of Baltimore Rabbis against abuse and acknowledging that Rabbis can't handle it properly. (In 2010 I interviewed one of the Baltimore rabbis responsible for the declaration and asked him why the declaration had produced no changes in dealing with abuse? He responded simply that the rabbis regretted having published the declaration - because every case needs to be decided by a gadol) However not until 2010 does Novominsker Rebbe publicly acknowledge problem at Aguda Convention

And even then no concrete changes proposed or instituted

As I document in my Child & Domestic Abuse books (also confirmed in recent law article by  Prof Resnicoff) the issue is not primarily a halachic issue but is a social one involving lack of resolve to deal with the problem or being more concerned with public image then the welfare of the victims. Public pressure is critical for rabbinic leaders to deal with the issue.

The following are from Child & Domestic Abuse vol I

2003 - Acknowledgement of Torah u'Mesora that there is a problem
At recent meetings of the Rabbinical Board of Torah U’Mesorah, attended by Rav Dovid Feinstein, Rav Yitzchok Feigelstock, Rav Aharon Feldman, Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, Rav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, Rav Avrohom Chaim Levin, Rav Yaakov Perlow and Rav Aaron Schechter, shlita, the following statement concerning a painful issue was issued:
We address ourselves to the problem of child molestation in our community. A small number of individuals have caused untold pain to many children, primarily varying in age from three to fourteen. In addition to the sins which they have committed, they have created painful memories in the minds of their victims, memories which can have a devastating lifetime impact.
It is incumbent upon everyone to use every means to stop these violations of children, including, at times, exposing the identities of the abusers and even their incarceration. At times, our primary intent may not be to punish the perpetrators, but rather to help them. Therefore it is preferable, wherever appropriate, to force them to undergo appropriate professional therapy.
Torah U’Mesorah is issuing a set of behavioral and reporting standards for principals to implement in their yeshivos and day schools, which, it is hoped, will strengthen the protection of students. It is well documented that molesters are rarely strangers to the child; they are usually relatives or neighbors – and in rare occasions, even teachers. They are able to act because they have the child’s confidence, and then, after the act, they usually threaten him or her with punishment if he or she reveals what has occurred or they shame their victims into keeping a secret.
It is important that parents advise children in an appropriate manner to beware of potential molesters. Children must be told to advise their parents of any abusive behavior, and assured that they will suffer no consequences if they do so. We encourage rabbanim throughout our communities to address this issue, which, in itself, will serve as a deterrent to potential abusers. Rabbanim must also help and support anyone who has fallen victim to abuse, as well as refer them to seek professional help from frum private practitioners and/or organizations in their community. It goes without saying that rabbanim should take precautions that accusations are not made maliciously or without basis.
2008 Claims ignorance of severity and magnitude of problem until recently. Acknowledges problems in correctly handling abuse cases.
Rabbi David Zweibel executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America The Jewish Daily, October 10, 2008
“Until not terribly long ago, the issue was very much in the shadows,” said David Zwiebel, director of government affairs and general counsel of Agudath Israel of America. “The fact that there were isolated reports here and there of cases arising in yeshiva settings, it was known, but they were very isolated.”
“Sometimes they were dealt with correctly and sometimes incorrectly,” Zwiebel added, “but the severity of the problem and the possible magnitude were really things that most people, including myself, just didn’t understand.”
Bloggers legitimately target the Aguda over child abuse
 Rabbi David Zweibel executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America (Jewish Star November 12, 2008):
“[Sexual abuse] is an issue which has come out of the closet in a certain sense and is engaging the attention of our community and its leadership and that’s ultimately a good thing. That’s why it’s hard for me to be totally annoyed with some of the excesses of the blog world. Their outrage, anger, and sometimes excessive advocacy and negativity towards the establishment, it’s a terrible thing, but at the same time, I know that their hearts are in the right place and it is stuff to be very upset about. Is Agudah a fair target? I think we could always use a healthy dose of introspection and honest assessment of how well we as a society have performed in this area and lots of other areas.”
Community can't handle abuse - but D.A. should not be viewed as taking power from rabbis
New York Times (October 14, 2009 Orthodox Jews Rely More on Sex Abuse Prosecution By Paul Vitello):
David Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America, a group representing many chareidi factions, offered the moderate view. “A broad consensus has emerged in the last few years,” he said, “that many of these issues are beyond the ability of the community to handle internally.”
But he added that prosecutors should recognize “religious sensitivities” by seeking alternatives to prison, to avoid depriving a family of its breadwinner, or by finding appropriate Orthodox homes for children removed from abusive families.
“The district attorney should be careful not to be seen as making a power grab from rabbinic authority,” Mr. Zwiebel said.
 Financial well being of yeshivos take precedent over victims
New York (April 2009) - Agudath Israel of America and Torah U’Mesorah
 The National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, upon consultation with their respective rabbinic leaderships, respectfully submit this statement regarding legislative proposals to amend existing statutes of limitations for civil claims, including claims against schools and other communal institutions, based on allegations of child sexual abuse. We do so only after much serious thought, after weighing all relevant arguments and for the sole purpose of protecting the most fundamental interests of our community.
Agudath Israel and Torah U’Mesorah fully acknowledge the horror of child sexual abuse and the devastating long-term scars it all too often creates. Our rabbinic and lay leaderships are acutely aware of the emotional trauma and damage caused by the perpetrators of such abuse. Our hearts go out to their victims, and we share in their pain. We realize that for too long many victims have suffered alone. We are committed as a community to do whatever we can to root out perpetrators of child abuse from our schools and other communal institutions, and to help victims on the road to healing and recovery.
Indeed, in recent years, as awareness has increased and sensitivity has been heightened regarding the incidence of sexual abuse and its severity, both in the broader society around us and in our community specifically, Agudath Israel and Torah U’Mesorah have taken a number of concrete steps to help ensure that Jewish schools, extra-curricular youth programs and summer camps implement policies and procedures designed to protect children against such abuse. Our organizations have also supported legislative efforts to furnish such protection, including the recently enacted legislation in New York authorizing nonpublic schools to screen all prospective employees through the state’s fingerprint checking system. [...]

Stated simply, legislation that would do away with the statute of limitations completely, even if only for a one-year period, could subject schools and other vital institutions to ancient claims and capricious litigation, and place their very existence in severe jeopardy. Agudath Israel and Torah U’Mesorah most vigorously oppose any such legislation.
We must continue to seek out ways to protect our precious children and help eradicate molestation and other forms of abuse. We must also redouble our efforts to help those who have suffered the horrors of child abuse obtain the healing they so desperately need. However, we dare not bring down our most vital communal institutions in the process.

Child abuse - Mondrowitz ABC News

ABC News reports:

Oct. 11 2006

Retired New York Police Department Det. Pat Kehoe still remembers a phone call she got more than 20 years ago, from a person making allegations that a rabbi was sexually abusing children in his neighborhood.

"I never received a call like that in my whole career in the New York City Police Department. Never," Kehoe told Cynthia McFadden in a recent interview.

"I'll never forget it because unfortunately it was my birthday, November 21 1984. I was working in the Brooklyn Sex Crimes squad and I received an anonymous call from a male who started to say that there was a rabbi and gave the name and he was abusing people on this block," she said.

Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz, as he called himself, lived on a tree-lined block in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn. Kehoe and her partner, Sal Catafulmo, went out to the neighborhood where Italians and Hasidic Jews lived side-by-side.

At one of the first addresses they tried, she says a resident told her "Everyone knows Rabbi Mondrowitz. He's good to all our children. He buys them bicycles and takes them away on weekends and things."

That might sound like a recommendation, but not to Kehoe. "With that information I got very scared," she said. Kehoe's background in an NYPD pedophilia squad taught her to recognize the signs of pedophilia."Pedophiles have a pattern with children to get their confidence and send their so-called love, you might say, and buy them things," she said. What she heard from the children themselves only confirmed her gut feelings.

"We brought them in without their parents," Kehoe said. "They started to tell us, 'The rabbi is our friend. He takes us away,' and things like that. As the questions became more difficult for the children -- 'Did anything ever happen? Did anything sexual ever happen? Are you aware of it happening to anyone else while you were there?' -- they all broke down and cried, each one separately."[...]

Supreme Court refuses to extradite Mondrowitz


The Supreme Court determined Thursday that Abraham Mondrowitz, who is accused of committing severe sex crimes against minors in the US up to 25 years ago, will not be extradited.

Mondrowitz, a psychologist by trade, resided in the US until 1984, when he immigrated to Israel. A few months after his arrival he was indicted in his home country on charges of sexual abuse of minors.

Mondrowitz :Who protected the monster from deportation?

Times of Israel   There is a monster in Jerusalem as well. No one has ever laid a hand on him either. But this one is definitely real. His name is Avroham Mondrowitz.

Mondowitz is a paedophile who molested up to 300 boys in Brooklyn in a mainly ultra-Orthodox section of the city — we’ll never know the real number of victims — and then skipped out to Israel in 1985 where he twice fended off efforts to send him back to face justice. Mondowitz, who presents himself as an ordained rabbi and Columbia-trained psychologist, and is neither, lives free as a bird in the neighborhood of Nachlaot in central Jerusalem.

The US twice sought his extradition from Israel, in 1986 and again in 2008. The first time the two states discovered incredibly that their extradition treaty covered only sexual abuse crimes against females and not males. The second time they worked with a revised treaty. A lower court ruled for the extradition. The Supreme Court nixed that saying that Israel had 20 years to get this guy hiding in plain sight and to come along after such an extraordinary period of time violates his civil rights. You can’t make this stuff up.

He may gone off the radar in Israel but they have not forgotten Mondrowitz in New York. Just last month the Post ran still another article on how the man they call “New York’s most notorious child molester … got away with it.”

Ultra-orthodox rabbis are renown for spending their entire lives memorizing a multitude of precepts produced by a multitude of sages down their ages and then applying them to every situation in their waking lives so that every minute of every day they will always be doing the right thing. But when it comes to paedophiles in their community somewhere along the line they reached outside the box for their guiding precept. They adopted it from Mizaru, Kikazaru, and Iwazaru. These are Japanese monkeys. Their names mean see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. In an amazing triumph for the ecumenical movement it turns out that Catholic prelates adopted the exact same precept in regard to paedophiles among the ministers of their faith. Some like the Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia, who got up to six years for “child endangerment,” are now in prison. The judge convicted him of shielding, protecting and aiding “monsters in clerical garb.” Mondrowitz got help along the way too up to and including illegal acts of obstruction of justice but we’ll never learn from whom. The Catholics operate in a strict hierarchical system. There but for the grace of decentralization go our child endangerers. [...]

He used the boys sent to him as sex toys, In ultra-Orthodox culture members of the flock are expected to choose a rabbi. When they need guidance in any matter not excluding their personal lives, they seek it from their rabbi. What he tells them is binding. From empirical evidence it appears that all the rabbis on the subject of paedophilia imposed “omerta,” an Italian word meaning a code of silence. No one reported Mondrowitz to the authorities. Then he got careless. He lived in a mixed neighborhood. Mondrowitz developed an appetite for boys of Italian extraction. Their folks were not bound to any omerta. Parents of four boys went to the police. Two cops came round to arrest Mondrowitz. They were too late. He was already en route to Canada and from there headed to the Promised Land. [...]



Most people have never heard the story of Avrohom Mondrowitz, which has received only a smattering of headlines in the Jewish media. A charismatic and eloquent member of the Ger Hasidic sect of ultra-Orthodox Jews, the 63-year-old claimed to be both a rabbi and a Columbia-trained psychologist. Though he was neither, for years he ran a psychology practice out of his basement, as well as a school for troubled youth. He is also alleged to be one of the worst sexual predators in Brooklyn history.


Lawsuit Revives Victims’ Hopes That Alleged Abuser Will Face Justice


The suit alleges that during their mandated counseling session, Mondrowitz — who at the time had a popular radio show and was revered by many within the charedi world as a talented psychologist despite having faked his credentials — molested Zuckerman. After the incident Zuckerman says Mondrowitz took him to a bookstore and bought him an expensive set of young adult books he wanted, written by the 19th-century German rabbi and author, Marcus Lehmann.

The teacher took him to the office of the school’s spiritual supervisor, Avrohom Leizerowitz, who, Zuckerman claims, “berated him for his ‘dirty mind’ and instructed him that he would be required to receive counseling” from the very man in the basement, Avrohom Mondrowitz.
(In 2006 Leizerowitz fled to Israel after allegations surfaced that he had molested boys. A post on the website of the now-defunct Awareness Center reported that a civil suit was filed against him alleging that he improperly touched a boy during a one-on-one help session in his office.)

The complaint, filed Monday in Brooklyn Supreme Court, takes advantage of a law passed last year allowing victims of childhood sexual abuse a limited window of time in which to pursue abuse claims even if the statute of limitations has run out. Zuckerman also asserts in the complaint that after he reported the abuse to Leizerowitz he was expelled from the yeshiva, which is affiliated with the Ger chasidic sect; the expulsion came, he told The Jewish Week, via a letter written to his parents explaining that he “didn’t fit the school and they should find another school.”

Longitudinal evaluation and decline of antibody responses in SARS-CoV-2 infection


 This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review [what does this mean?]. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice.

Antibody (Ab) responses to SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in most infected individuals 10-15 days following the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. However, due to the recent emergence of this virus in the human population it is not yet known how long these Ab responses will be maintained or whether they will provide protection from re-infection. Using sequential serum samples collected up to 94 days post onset of symptoms (POS) from 65 RT-qPCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals, we show seroconversion in >95% of cases and neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses when sampled beyond 8 days POS. We demonstrate that the magnitude of the nAb response is dependent upon the disease severity, but this does not affect the kinetics of the nAb response. Declining nAb titres were observed during the follow up period. Whilst some individuals with high peak ID50 (>10,000) maintained titres >1,000 at >60 days POS, some with lower peak ID50 had titres approaching baseline within the follow up period. A similar decline in nAb titres was also observed in a cohort of seropositive healthcare workers from Guy′s and St Thomas′ Hospitals. We suggest that this transient nAb response is a feature shared by both a SARS-CoV-2 infection that causes low disease severity and the circulating seasonal coronaviruses that are associated with common colds. This study has important implications when considering widespread serological testing, Ab protection against re-infection with SARS-CoV-2 and the durability of vaccine protection.

Immunity to Covid-19 could be lost in months, UK study suggests


People who have recovered from Covid-19 may lose their immunity to the disease within months, according to research suggesting the virus could reinfect people year after year, like common colds.
In the first longitudinal study of its kind, scientists analysed the immune response of more than 90 patients and healthcare workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust and found levels of antibodies that can destroy the virus peaked about three weeks after the onset of symptoms then swiftly declined.
Blood tests revealed that while 60% of people marshalled a “potent” antibody response at the height of their battle with the virus, only 17% retained the same potency three months later. Antibody levels fell as much as 23-fold over the period. In some cases, they became undetectable.
“People are producing a reasonable antibody response to the virus, but it’s waning over a short period of time and depending on how high your peak is, that determines how long the antibodies are staying around,” said Dr Katie Doores, lead author on the study at King’s College London

Trump on private border wall segment: ‘It was only done to make me look bad’


Saying it was done to embarrass him, President Donald Trump on Sunday said a reportedly defective section of his new border wall should not have been built by a private company.
ProPublica and the Texas Tribune reported Thursday that a segment of the wall along the Texas-Mexico border was showing dangerous “signs of erosion“ only months after being completed. The section was constructed by Fisher Industries of North Dakota, whose owner called the design a “Lamborghini.” It cost $42 million.

Health Ministry chief: 2,100 cases in just over 36 hours


Prof. Hezi Levi feels people do not understand the extent to which Covid-19 is spreading in Israel.

Ministry of Health director general Prof. Hezi Levi has been trying to explain the severity of the growing spread of Covid-19 in Israel. "Yesterday there were 1,221 new people who tested positive and today since midnight there has been 900 more. There are more than 40,000 confirmed cases in Israel and divided by age 25% are under 18 and 8% over 65. There are currently 525 people hospitalized, of whom more than 100 are seriously ill and 54 people are on ventilators. 354 people have died. The infection rate is growing and rising, and the number of daily tests we are conducting is increasing. We are performing about 28,000 of which about 6% are positive."

Trump spreads conspiracy from ex-game show host Chuck Woolery

Acosta to McEnany: Why not have the guts to trash Fauci with your own names?