Sunday, February 5, 2012

A case of Rabbinic sexual abuse by Neustein & Lesher

Journal of Child Sexual Abuse


  1. Have things changed since this Abuse Case in year 2000?

  2. for sure!

    The willingness to go to the police is much greater. written psakim from gedolim have been publicized permitting going to the police.

    The problem described in the article unfortunately still exists - but the overall picture has clearly improved.

  3. Moshe Matzah FarkasFebruary 5, 2012 at 11:42 PM

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  4. Chaim Berlin = My Way or the HighwayFebruary 6, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    I am obviously no fan of Chaim Berlin but they mamash HATE Margulies and were really hoping that Rabbi Mendlowitz (UOJ) would finish him and Kolko off. R' Aron's talmidim were saying the site is full of devorim assurim they are unhappy with but that anything said against Kolko and his enablers is 100% justified. They were mocking Margulies besheim Avrohom Fruchthandler that Margulies has zero seichel for not at least putting on the appearance that was going to deal with the problem.

    So as bad as Chaim Berlin has behaved in other abuse cases, they were openly encouraging Kolko victims to go to the police and hinting that anyone who knocks him off is within halachic right altz din rodef and would be doing the world a favor. There have also been reports that the anti-UOJ blog started with the encouragement of Rav Belsky stopped adding new material after Rav Schechter told the author to stop.

  5. Matzah min es mino?February 6, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    I assume you mean the Rabbi Farkas who is shoel umayshiv in Chaim Berlin. He is famous for having discovered the copepod shrotzim in NYC water. He initially called Bodek to inform them he found bugs in their lettuce. It turns out the bugs came from washing the lettuce in Brooklyn tap water, Brooklyn having the most infested water of all the boroughs.

    I don't know which matzah bakery you are referring to. If he was a shutef of Rabbi Puretz that must have been a long time ago.

  6. The alter Voydislaver Rov, who was an adam gadol, was named Rottenberg I believe. He was niftar a long time before this incident. Can I assume that is his son in Monsey who was partially blinded by not wanting to have a disgusting story attached to his father's beis medrash?

    When the Monsey Rottenberg tried illegally building his own yeshiva in Forshay, he was caught & dragged into court by the Town. According to a local newspaper, the next door neighbor Rabbi Kaploun came to testify and complain against the yeshiva. Rabbi Kaploun is a rav hamachshir on kosher hotels who is the shvogger of one of Rubashkin's rabbonei machshir, Rabbi Zeilengold from Minnesota.

  7. Moshe Matzah FarkasFebruary 6, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    So far, a lot of instant spin served up here out of thin air, but is anyone denying that the "Rabbi Moshe Farkas" mentioned in this Neustein and Lesher report is the guy from Chaim Berlin, who while he may check for bugs in lettuce, is also an active unofficial dayan and to'en when he is not at Chaim Berlin acting as a seforim resource center? He was once a partner with Puretz selling esrogim, he definitely owned a shmura matzah bakery, and he is also a very wealthy man from buying all sorts of things on his globe-trotting trips especially to Russia where he is involved in geirus sometimes. He happens to speak Russian fluently from his trips there and from the Russians who used to work for him in his bakery. He is an iluisha mentsch.

    Can anyone please clarify, it could be their others with this name.

  8. I haven't had a chance to read the whole article, but it seems like they're assuming R Menashe Klein's shita of things here, regarding mesira et al. Is there a pdf availible for download?

  9. Will the Real Amy Neustein Stand UpFebruary 7, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Google "Amy Neustein"

  10. Moshe Matzah FarkasFebruary 7, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Amy Neustein is Amy Neustein, like her or not, no need to distract with that, but who is the "Rabbi Moshe Farkas" who intervened to help the pedophile Hafner, if he is not the Rabbi Moshe Farkas close with Chaim Berlin yeshiva, can anyone confirm or deny it?

    The pedophile Hafner case is more than 12 years old and would have remained dead and buried if not now for the present heightened awareness of sex abuse thanks to anti-pedophile and sex-abuse awareness blogs and reports posted on the web. So now again, who is "Rabbi Moshe Farkas" and additionally, how did Rabbi Dovid Feinstein agree to get dragged in, and from that alone one can see that this "Bais Din" was not just "Chasidish" it was very cleverly put together to SHUT THE CASE DOWN as quickly as possible and NOT to do justice to the victims of blatant pedophilia and their families in any way!!!:

    Just read for yourself, this report by Neustein and Lesher specifically clearly states:

    "...In January 2000, Rabbi Solomon Hafner, a member of the Bobov Hasidic sect in Brooklyn, New York, was arrested and charged with firstand second degree child abuse for allegedly twisting and tugging a youngboy’s genitals over eighteen months of religious tutoring...The key to what happened in the Hafner case is found in understanding the
    beth din, which was assembled in February 2000 in response to Bobov community pressure to make its own “inside” investigation of the charges against Rabbi Hafner. The rabbinic court was composed of five rabbis drawn from ultra-Orthodox communities all over New York City and its surrounding territory. At its head was Manhattan’s Rabbi Dovid Feinstein...Remarkably, according to the members of the rabbinic court themselves, no witnesses to any of the “evidence” in Hafner’s favor ever met with the prosecutors. Rabbi Moshe Farkas, a Brooklyn rabbi, and the most active member of the court in its evidence-gathering stages, told the authors that he alone presented Bobov’s case, aided only by Hafner’s lawyer, to Chief Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Albert Teichman, Sex Crimes Unit head Rhonnie Jaus, and ADA Deanne Puccio. Rabbi Rottenberg seconded Farkas’s claim that no witnesses spoke to DA officials. He said that he and another member of the rabbinic panel tried to introduce community witnesses to prosecutors before Farkas’s visit (and Silver’s call), but “they didn’t let us in the door.” Attorney Litman insisted that witnesses were “presented” to DA officials, though he would not say who they were. If no witnesses were actually interviewed by prosecutors, according to Karen Burstein, a former judge, the DA’s office should have required “independent confirmation” of what Farkas said. “I think if I were the DA,” said Burstein, “I would be chary of acting solely on their [the rabbis’] representation.” ... The sketchiness of this evidence did not prevent some members of the rabbinic court from casting aspersions on the boy. “Because he’s hearing impaired,” said Farkas,...By the time of Farkas’s meeting with prosecutors, the rabbinic court had already reached its verdict..."

    So much for true justice and so much for this Rabbi Moshe Farkas's role in perversion of justice. Maybe he should just stick to selling esrogim, baking matzohs, looking for bugs in lettuce and getting rich any way he can and just stay away from batei din of any kind!

  11. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 7, 2012 at 10:49 PM

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  12. Chaim Berlin = My Way or the HighwayFebruary 8, 2012 at 12:17 AM

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  13. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 8, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 8, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    2 of 2:

    "Chaim Berlin = My Way or the Highway said...Maybe you heard of the Chaim Berliner R' Dovid Cohen in the modern designed shul across the street from the yeshiva? His pattern is inconsistent but he tells people all the time to go to the cops. He was protecting Kolko when Greenwald came to him and maybe he is not the most "hayssah" Chaim Berliner"

    RaP: While Rav Dovid Cohen was once a talmid in Chaim Berlin yeshiva under Rav Hutner, he is not affiliated with it and does not speak for it in any way. In fact, since the day he left the yeshiva under a cloud, he is not looked upon favorably by the inner Chaim Berlin crowd who regard him as a maverick and too lenient in pesak. Maybe they are just jealous of his success as well.

    "but one big Chaim Berliner"

    RaP: He must be overweight.

    "in the rabbonus"

    RaP: Not too many Chaim Berliners in the rabbonus and Chaim Berlin discourages its talmidim from going into the rabbonus, so he must be a big exception.

    "did say by kiddush one Shabbos that Kolko has a din rodef."

    RaP: He must have been high on whiskey or too much wine. You are bringing too many alcoholic "boich rayas" mamash.

    "That is very funny for those who get it. The feinshmeckers by the way brag about how their fathers get special VIP higher proof bottles cut straight from a barrel."

    RaP: Like the many new-rich in the frum world today, they are a "ship of fools" and like the French nobility eating, drinking and being merry on the eve of the French Revolution while the poor people were struggling for a piece of bread.

    "That revealation came from Gil Student butting heads with people in the comments on UOJ's blog about 5 years ago. Gil was upset that a UOJ sympathizer had spilled the beans that anti-UOJ blogger Tuvya Chaim Neuhoff told his friend Gil that the blog went inactive after Rav Schechter told Neuhoff to knock it off. Ok so maybe it was because Rav Schechter was afraid that UOJ was going to come after Neuhoff personally which sort of happened anyway. Neuhoff did come to Rav Schechter in a panic when his identity was unmasked being that he couldn't reach Belsky who was away on a trip."

    RaP: They all sound like such babies running hither and thither while the only adult on the scene is Rav Aron Schechter, naturally. They should all stop infantalizing themselves and grow up and take responsibility for their own failures and stupidities.

  15. Chaim Berlin = My Way or the HighwayFebruary 8, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    "It took a long time for anything to be done about Kolko anywhere"

    Mirrer yeshiva did not know Kolko was molesting 45 years ago in the dormitory because none of the victims came forward to complain until 7 years ago which was after YTT victim Framowitz went public. At his next stop, Stolin knew which is why Rav Dishon kicked Kolko out in very short order.

    "Chaim Berliner, Pinchas Stolper was willing to overlook the sexually abusive faults of Boruch Lanner"

    Does anyone know who the "adam gadol" is that Rafi Butler pins his Nuremburg-Defense for Lanner on? Was it maybe Rav Schechter or Rav Scheinberg as I believe Butler learned in Chofetz Chaim where Rav Scheinberg used to be mashgiach ruchni. Rav Scheinberg is of course a huge supporter of Kolko and Margulies and Rav Scheinberg's own nephew Weiner was arrested for molesting at Camp Magen Avrohom.

  16. It's not true that molesting was ignored in the alter heim. The first time they broke a limb or two on the molester. The second time they left him dead in the woods and blamed it on the Cossacks. Most of the rabbonim in Europe actually followed the halacha.

  17. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 9, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    "alter heim said...It's not true that molesting was ignored in the alter heim."

    RaP: The alter heim was a big place where tens of millions of Jews lived and died over many centuries. Just in the Holocaust over 6 million Jews were murdered. The yetzer hora was as active there as anywhere else and pedophilia is one of many problems to face at any time.

    "The first time they broke a limb or two on the molester. The second time they left him dead in the woods and blamed it on the Cossacks."

    RaP: Not sure if "vigilante justice" and outright murder of one Jew by another Jew without recourse to justice, solves anything except to create fear and just paves the way for people to get disgusted, disillusioned and want to leave Yiddishkeit altogether. You can see today how when in Israel or America Charedim react like boorish vigilantes throwing stones or throwing firebombs they only hurt themselves.

    "Most of the rabbonim in Europe actually followed the halacha."

    RaP: By the way, even the greatest rabbonim could become the VICTIMS of child sexual abuse as was recently researched and reported in an important study that the 5th And 6th Lubavitcher Rebbes were sexually molested as children. Rabbi Sholom Dov Ber Schneersohn and his son Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, were both sexually molested as children by the long-time gabbai who was supposed to be taking care of them when they were young. The Rashab and his older brother engaged in forbidden sexual escapades, as did their wives, read it for yourself: Maya Balakirsky Katz, writing in the Association of Jewish Studies Review (April 2010) "An Occupational Neurosis: A Psychoanalytic Case History Of A Rabbi."

  18. Moshe Matzah FarkasFebruary 10, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Independent reliable sources have confirmed that the Rabbi Moshe Farkas mentioned in this report is indeed the Rabbi Moshe Farkas who is close with Rav Aron Schechter and associated with the Chaim Berlin yeshiva.

    Anyone who has positive information to the contrary should please come forth, but the sources are very certain that it's him.

    The next question that comes up, is who hired Rabbi Moshe Farkas to represent Bobov and Hafner and who did Rabbi Farkas consult before he took on such a responsible job that he surely must have carried great risks for him and his reputation?

    One can surmise that twelve years ago in 2000 when this case was being conducted there was less fear of being questioned on the Internet, but were this case to be conducted today with the many concerned groups and professionals being able to express their concerns and outrage, that Rabbi Moshe Farkas would have faced far stronger criticism and would have been ashamed of his actions to defame the victim and free up the perpetrator.


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