Friday, August 8, 2014

Seminary Scandal - The blood libel of an absurd RICO Claim: Using an Atom Bomb instead of a Key to open the door of their home!

The Orthodox world was shaken this week by a RICO class action filing in Federal court against Meisels, his seminaries and alleged coconspirators. It claims that Meisels seminaries - which have been viewed as premier educational institutions by all - were merely  fronts that pretended to be Orthodox girls seminaries. Their true purpose was simply to defraud the parents of money and to provide Meisels the opportunity to sexually abuse the girls that he and his co- conspirators had recruited. It is beyond belief that any normal human being would make such a claim - especially those who claim to be Orothodox Jews!

The filers of the suit were alleged by my sources to have been aided directly or indirectly by people associated with the Chicago Beis Din -  part of the claims are similar to that made by the Chicago Beis Din. It is also alleged by my informants that this is a direct result of the current conflict between the Chicago Beis Din and the Israeli Beis Din. According to my sources it was also allegedly the (unintended?) consequences of activities by a lawyer by the name of Gottesman because of his perceived humiliation by the Israelli Beis Din.

It is unbelievable that included in the list of defendants is Rav Tzvi Gartner - one of the distinguished members of the Israeli Beis Din - a universally recognized talmid chachom.

Anyone who knows the facts of this case, realizes that the lawsuit is equivalent - in damage to the Jewish community and institutions and in logic used - to claiming that the Jews have a conspiracy to kidnap and kill goyim in order to obtain blood to bake matzoh. Or that the goal of Judaism is to corrupt human beings into rapists, thieves and murderers.

Why have the #%&  who filed this suit not realized that it is using an atom bomb instead of a key  - to open a door of their home! They will not be undamaged by this filing. While the plaintiffs have some legitimate issues as evidenced by the comments of both the Israaeli and Chicago Beis Dins - this is not an acceptable method that anyone concerned about Torah and halacha would ever use. The damage to the viability of the institution of beis din - as well as to the idea of girls going to seminary in Israel - is very severe. Aside from the chilul HaShem and debasement of all Jews.

90 comments :

  1. With all due respect , Rabbi, it's time for you to rethink this whole drama. You got sacked into one side, and at this point, this just doesn't sound like you.
    Let's face it: NOBODY'S playing clean here (including IBD, which ruled way to quickly that sems are safe).
    So suddenly you're going to hold the parents up on a pedestal??
    Things are filthy enough that it's more than understandable that they decided they don't want their daughters to go there and that they want a refund.
    A respectable BD holds that it's not safe to send your daughter there. They tried in good faith to get a refund, and, to put it mildly, saw it ain't gonna be easy.
    So they're taking the next logical step in a FINANCIAL dispute- presenting as strong a lawsuit as they can with the hopes that those in power will back down, and give them a refund.
    Don't blame the victims. Instead, write a post to those in control of the $ to stop the chilul Hashem, and to return the $ to those that request it.

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  2. Now that we read this class action, we understand the true meaning of the Psak by the Israeli Beith din from July 25:

    "There is absolutely no danger to students to be educated in these four seminaries."


    = no refunds for downpayments made to Meisel's seminaries

    "It is prohibited for any other school
    (either preexisting or newly established) to attempt to recruit
    students - either directly or indirectly - who have been accepted in
    these seminaries for the coming year. This is prohibited by a number of
    halachos and we are sure no one will try to do such a sin."



    = Try as you might, dear parents, you will not find an open spot for your daughters in any other seminary in Israel


    Might be that the IBD was not so well advised, after all, in pursuing this strategy.


    I suppose that permission was given to go to "arkaot" once it turned out that no solution could be found via Beith Din...

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  3. Perhaps people are fed up by obfuscation. The perpetrator, seminary staff, IBD, and frankly, your blog, have done a fine job of confusing what is really a simple story. Identify the problem, address people’s concerns, and show empathy for victims - both primary and secondary. Until you do that keep your outrage to yourself.

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  4. Rabbi, as I believe we discussed privately via email over 1 year ago, it was only a matter of time before someone goes to court for something in this realm. Based on my professional experiences, it is clear that the litigants have a long and uncomfortable road ahead of them. Nonetheless, this was only a matter of time. If it wasn't this case, it would be the next one (let's not delude ourselves--there are others out there).
    Clearly, the beis din system has failed in curtailing these types of activity. If for no other reason, the BD system is reactive and not proactive. While the CBD and IBD appear to be trying to remedy issues, the only way that these actions will stop is when 1) the money (property, etc.) are permanently removed from all who committed wrong, their accomplices, and those who were complicit and 2) someone ends up in jail.
    Regardless of whether you agree or not with the litigants, it is irrefutable that they will get their pound of flesh.

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  5. If the schools in question would have just given a refund to parents for the upcoming year, this suit would not have been filed. Practically speaking, since Touro and Skokie will not give them credits (regardless of whether that is justified) the students should have every right to demand a refund and find other schools. The IBD refuses to give them refunds, and banned other schools from accepting these students. The "key" you refer to has been used to no avail in the many requests of parents to be refunded their deposits. The schools and the IBD have no one to blame but themselves. Desperate people take desperate actions, and these parents, faced with the choice of filing this lawsuit or suffering tens of thousands of dollars in losses, chose what seems to them to be the only option.

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  6. Is this a guest post?

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  7. Haimy - you are right I need to rethink this drama - because it is going in a direction no rational human being would go. Up until know I thought is a dispute of rational people with different interests and perspectives.

    I do blame the victims because it is obvious that this RICO suit is not a legitimate or helpful approach to the problem. If the CBD has simply authorized them to go to court to get their money back I could accept that as legitimate - but not this RICO conspiracy delusion.

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  8. the lawsuit does not not mention once credits or grants its all about abuse which has nothing to do with the schools anymore

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  9. A lawsuit will take at least a year or two to resolve. I don't see how a lawsuit gets any parent any money in time to change seminaries faster than beis din could take the case.

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  10. If CBD authorized them to go to court, and their legal counsel advised them that this is their most likely avenue to succeed, why would you not accept it as legitimate?

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  11. I disagree with you. If the money would have been refunded which should have been for many reasons, if the IBD didn't pasken that other seminaries can not take them in, if the seminaries would have put the moneys in an escrow account knowing full well what would be happening in the coming months, nothing like this would have have happened. you are blaming the victim. how about finding out what number to call for a refund instead of claiming there is some type of blood libel, where is not.
    You are wrong on this case defending them and you are wrong defending Weiss who clearly lied and fooled you completely and instead of admitting it, you go nuts blaming victims of a blood libel. Shame on you.

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  12. It is very rational. Knowing what they know, the parents legitimately want to send their daughters elsewhere and want their money back. The IBD are doing all they can to deprive them of the right to do so. Time is running out and desperate people do desperate things. If the IBD weren't so arrogant in effectively forcing the girls to attend a sem they didn't want to go to, none of this would have happened.

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  13. Did you contact the CBD about it?

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  14. So let them go to court and simply say they want their money back because they don't trust the seminaries.
    But they are concocting a ridiculous story about the seminaries merely being device to feed his sexual desires. That is ridiculous.and inappropriate. Plus the standard of RICO claims is higher than regular one and therefore it is likely it will be thrown out. So why is it rational?

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  15. I find it hard to believe that the CBD would authorize this tremendous chilul hashem. I can understand and accept that they might have given permission to go to secular court for a normal suit to regain their money - but not this disgusting sordid tale.

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  16. And there could be nothing better than severe damage to the trend of American girls going to sem in Israel - which mainly serves to give parnassa to the teachers/owners puts ridiculous financial pressure on the parents and has little basis in Torah hashkafa. The quicker the sem complex is destroyed the healthier the frum community will be. The chassidim don't suffer at all for not sending their girls to Israel. If they want to study, they can do so in America, if they want to tour Israel they can go on a two week trip.

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  17. I find it hard for any sane person to blame the victims, but that is your style and your blog. You only answer to your own arrogance and foolishness. Now I understand why you take the side of Weiis against Rivky, and why you took the weiis side against dodelson. You actually enjoy hurting victims, making sure people don't get their divorce. I"m sure you rebbe, if you have one, is proud of you. Your parents must be turning in their grave to have a son like you.No wonder your seforim are not allowed in Yeshivos and are throw out with garbage.

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  18. I would doubt it. R' Eidensohn even speculated that the RICO action was done with the encouragement of the CBD. He has no proof, of course. It might be that CBD gave a heter to go to arka'os, or maybe the plaintiffs went on their own. I have no idea. There's no proof of anything one way or the other.

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  19. 1: Lawsuits are often brought in order to bring pressure on one party to reach a settlement. 2: The Beis Din in Israel was not giving any ground. A year or two is quicker than never.

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  20. See, this is where you really fall into the same trap as so many in the chareidi community. According to you, the CH resides in the filing of the lawsuit. You even had the audacity to say in a different comment that these are 'sordid tales' (shades of the legendary 'tawdry tales' remark by Avi Shafran before the truth on CSA came out).
    To many of us, the CH lies in the בתולות ישראל ענו aspect of these events. The CH lies in a ב״ד בישראל paskening that all is well, when it can't possibly be. The CH lies in a ב״ד becoming involved in חמס וגזל by slamming the door shut to parents to recoup their hard-earned money when they decide they want zero part of this percolating mess.
    For all your good work, you destroy the דרכי נועם aspect of Torah by pulling out the frumkeit card now, in the face of every CH done above. As we said earlier this week:
    אם יהרג במקדש ה׳ כהן ונביא, לא משמיעים

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  21. @Daniel you are either misreading or purposely distoring what I said. The sording tale is the claim that seminaries were machines sole to provide money and girls for Meisels.

    I was not questioning that Meisels did something wrong . Nobody disputes that - even though I haven heard exactly what he did even from non-chareidi sources that have reported the scandal.

    You are so biased against the chareidi community you simply ignored my words and made claims that are untrue.

    You also clearly don't know the details of the what the IBD has done or needs to done. Any yet you call it a chilul hashem. More fantasy.

    Please stick to the facts and stop making claims you have evidence for.

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  22. @Yehoshua - I agree lawsuits are used for pressure. the question though why they are using a RICO claim instead of a normal suit.

    Why are they making up this clearly ficitional story to justify the RICO claim when they could get their money back with a more honoest approach?

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  23. I don't know, I am not a lawyer. I read that with RICO claims there is the possibility of collecting punitive damages; perhaps they feel it will be more effective in pressuring the schools to give a refund.

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  24. The_Original_Bored_LawyerAugust 8, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Without reviewing the merits, this seems like a very poor tactic on the part of the plaintiffs. Federal courts are extremely skeptical about civil RICO claims (other than those brought by the Govt.) because it is an easily abused statute, and most lawyers don't really understand it. Some district courts even have special rules about handling RICO claims, for the same reasons. So, frankly, they are not doing themselves a favor by proceeding this way.

    (True story. I was once called before a federal judge to argue a motion in a trademark case. As do many judges, this judge scheduled several matters on the same afternoon, so we got the pleasure of watching other cases before ours was heard. Ahead of us was entry of a guilty plea by an 18 year old that had been involved in a gang that was selling drugs. The judge took him through the facts, and then asked the Govt. if it wanted him to ask the defendant any questions for the record. Yes, the AUSA replied, ask him if he was a member of a RICO enterprise. Which the judge dead. The defendant got a completely blank look on his face -- RICO enterprise meant about as much to him as the Code of Hamurabbi. His lawyer then whispered in his ear, and he said, Yes, judge. What a farce.)

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  25. RDE- and if the suit had no rico charges and instead focused exclusively on sexual assault it would be less of a chillul hashem?!

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  26. You're overblowing this. While the rico claim looks ridiculous, everyone knows that this is the nature of civil (and even criminal) suits. You shoot extra high with the hope of landing or settling for your real claim. Just look at all the absurdly inflated punitive damages claims we see. These parents were probably just following their lawyer's advice, and I highly doubt that the CBD was called in to discuss the legal parameters of rico.

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  27. Also, while I think it is extremely inappropriate to include r gartner (and i assume the unnamed co-conspiritors inc r malinowitz and r shafran) as a defendant, being that no matter what anyone says i do not believe for a second that the IBD ever had nefarious intentions and was only trying to help the best they could- and this is their reward(!), it could be that if he is in control of the the bank accounts they had no choice but to include him otherwise they might get nothing at the end of the day even if they win.

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  28. And strictly legally speaking, if what the commenters are saying is correct about how non-profits work, then it seems that shifting around the bank accounts between meisels yarmush and r gartner would constitute an illegal sale/fraud/money laundering despite the noble intentions. One unintended sad consequence of this i think is that we will find rabbonim ever more hesitant to get involved in maminos dinei torah bc of the risk of charges like these.

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  29. Daas Torah- sorry to say, but I've been looking at your website the past few days and it is quite clear that you like to create drama out of NOTHING.

    I suggest you get your nose out of other ppls business. The is entire website is just so you can tell other ppl about your *very* subjective and radical opinion.

    There are a number of ppl who claim that you refuse to post many posts that simply disagree with your view.

    I think you need to do some serious contemplating. This site is becoming extremely unreliable bc all can tell that you like to create drama from NOTHING and you are not sensible in any way.

    I won't be surprised if you reject this post- you have already refused to post many of my comments which were harmless.

    This website is of no use and no one is interested in YOUR opinion on things. Give us FACTS and get your head on straight.

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  30. I meant did he contact the CBD in order to get their explanation for their involvement in this legal action.

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  31. Don't worry. The CBD can "leak" any information they would like to get out. They have proven themselves quite capable of getting their message out.

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  32. Wow. No one has a right to publicly concoct baseless slanders and libels on Judaism. No one. There is no justification for this.

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  33. it could be that if he is in control of the the bank accounts they had no choice but to include him otherwise they might get nothing at the end of the day even if they win.


    So the end justifies the means? As Rabbi Eidensohn asked: Why a nuclear bomb when a key would have worked?

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  34. If Meisels is indeed a sexual degenerate who has been taking advantage of multiple girls over many years, why is it a "fictional story" to say that he recruited girls for sex and money? Do you argue that he did it leshem shomayim?
    Of course the staff were not necessarily in on the scheme, but as these were meisles owned and operated institutions, and his motive was solely sex and money, hundreds of parents have been defrauded.

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  35. Actually, both sides have let some key documents emerge to the light of day. However, only the IBD leaked documents unambiguously written as private letters from one person (Rabbi Feldman) to another (Rabbi Malinowitz).

    for better or worse, this is the first such dispute to be openly aired by both sides on the internet in close to real-time.

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  36. Alll the attorneys I have consulted say the RICO claim will be the hardest of all their arguments to sustain. However, only it can yield trebble damages and legal costs. So instead of plaintiff at best getting their money back, minus legal expenses, they can get three times their money back without any deductions for legal expenses.

    Personally, I suspect the attorney used that promise to help recruit parents onto his case. If so, I disapprove of it because it misled potential clients.


    However, I think the attorney is onto something. Meisels sometimes used unusual scholarship offers when trying to get exceptionally pretty girls to choose his seminary and began his charming and exaggerated flattery with them when interviewing them. I absolutely believe that in some cases the recruitment process was part of the overall seduction and manipulation scheme.



    In many such civil cases, a party with substantial wrongdoing will back out of the case and offer a settlement because the discovery and depostions before the trial will reveal a great deal more dirt. By making a RICO charge, If the court allows discovery, the world will learn a lot more about the recruitment process and the role of seminary staff who enabled Meisels by turning a blind eye or rebuffing student complaints.

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  37. There is also a new psak on this by one of the chicago dayanim, R. Shmuel Feurst. http://frumfollies.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/chicago-letter-counters-israel-students-can-drop-meisels-seminaries-and-others-can-accept-them/

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  38. Unlike the IBD, which never leaks anything. Oh, wait.

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  39. I didn't say it does. I just said strictly legally speaking. If u read the rest of what I wrote you'd see i think its terrible. And if the only way to remove r gartner from control of the accounts is to inc him as a defendant, then even though i think it's inappropriate, it would not be like using like using a bomb instead of a key; it would be like using a nuclear bomb where you need a nuclear bomb- it is terrible but if it's the only way you have to do it (i disagree with this but unlike you instead of just fitting my opinions into the story, I try to also understand the other side).

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  40. Honesty, you clearly have no understanding of how the legal system or halacha works. Have you ever heard of ganav nissan ganev tishrei. I do not think they did the right thing but to blow it out of proportion is just as bad and ignorant.

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  41. @Honesty please read ur own words "Wow. No one has a right to publicly concoct baseless slanders and libels on Judaism. No one. There is no justification for this."

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  42. While the RICO claim is clearly spurious, to compare this to a blood libel is even more outrageous. R Eidensohn, b'michilas kivodcha, I expected better of you.

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  43. No. This post condemns them. They should be given the opportunity to defend themselves.

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  44. A motion to dismiss a RICO claim was denied in the Brooklyn Poly Prep case - a sports coach had abused many students. A RICO claim was brought by two alumni who had donated money to the school. Zimmerman v. Poly Prep, 888 F.Supp.2d 317 (E.D.N.Y. 2012).

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  45. Positively correct !

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  46. Sorry Rabbi, I beg to differ. Please don't label people anti-chareidi when they use their G-d-given שכל to see what's going on here.
    Frankly, I'm amazed that you don't see how precisely the same well known communal intimidation tactics were in the works against the registered students and their families. Opt out of these seminaries? No way, according to IBD.
    For someone who knows so much about the CSA problem in our community, it amazes me how obtuse you are being. The MO here is exactly the same, albeit this time the future students and families are the victims, and not the actual abuse victims.
    And please, if you can prove otherwise, do so. Not with smoking guns that aren't, nor with IBD letters that prove how they had no business rendering psak in this case. Solid evidence please, that intelligent people can wrap their heads around.

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  47. 1. there are no punitive damages in a RICO case,. there are automatic triple damages. but you have to prove economic damages. plain refund of deposits are not an economic damage, but plain damages. perhaps waiting a year to go to another seminary, etc. big deal; those are nonimal damages.

    2. i doubt the CBD gave a heter arkaot for a rico / class action. they prob gave a generic heter arkaot; batei din do not get involved in the details of a secular case. (unless, as alleged, they participated in drafting the complaint.,)

    3. dont know chicago practice, but expect the defendants to get out of even answering the complaint. a pre answer dismissal will cost only $10,000 in legal fees, and will be resolved by rosh hashana. (unless they have insurance, in which case, many law firms try to puff up their legal fees to the insurance co, thus inflating everybody's legal fees.)

    4. a better rico case would be against the shidduch system. (sarcasm, but serious)

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  48. @Yerachmiel - by didn't the entire CBD issue the psak?

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  49. #Yerachmiel - do you actually accept the RICO charges as being possibly true?!

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  50. @adsfds - please read the RICO charges again and tell me with a straight face that you believe them to be true!

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  51. @Moshe - obviously it is much worse to make up a false claim that there was a conspiracy amongst many important religious Jews to set up a seminary system purely for the goal of theft and sexual abuse.

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  52. @Yehoshua if there laywer told them that they were more likely to win if the claimed that Jews killed Jesus would you also think ti was a good idea?

    Severely distorting truth and asserting that Jews had a conspiracy to turn a seminary into a machine to steal and abuse - is not a good thing ever! It semply validates what anti-Semites have claimed throughout history.

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  53. No, I wouldn't. I also think that your using comparisons such as "blood libel" and "Jews killing Jesus" are highly offensive, and perhaps you might want to tone it down a bit.

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  54. @Moshe from the BBC

    The term is rarely used in American politics; however when it is used, it generally refers broadly to a person or group being the subject of unpleasant and damaging accusations.

    "While the term 'blood libel' has become part of the English parlance to refer to someone being falsely accused, we wish that Palin had used another phrase, instead of one so fraught with pain in Jewish history," Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement.

    Harvard University's Alan Dershowitz, a prominent lawyer and free speech advocate, told the website Big Government that there was nothing improper or anti-Semitic about Mrs Palin's use of the term, saying it had taken on "broad metaphorical meaning in public discourse".

    "Although its historical origins were in theologically based false accusations against the Jews and the Jewish people, its current usage is far broader," he said. "I myself have used it to describe false accusations against the state of Israel."

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  55. @Yehoshua - if you think about the reaction of the world to Jews making such charges about other Jew - the term bloold libel is very appropriate - see my reponse to Moshe about using the term.

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  56. How in the world can you know what happened in the interviews?? Were you one of the girls? And even if you were (Yerachmiel Lopin is a women!!!???), you imply this happened to numerous. How in the world do you know this. Definitely not first hand. You must have heard it from someone. How can they know? They were in the interviews??? More than one interview. I think they made it up. Certainly sounds suspicious, actually silly,

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  57. I don't understand why you have such difficulty believing that meisels started the sems in order to take advantage of the students both sexually and financially.
    We know he took advantage of the girls sexually and I'm assuming he also managed to line his pockets with the $20,000 dollar tuition fees. What exactly is convincing you that his real aim in starting his seminaries was for any other reason? Do you honestly think his main aim was spiritual education? You must be kidding.

    please defend your position and explain why you think meisels had such holy motives. The fact the staff (probably) wasn't in on his scheme and that most of the girls weren't abused does not in any way mean that it didn't exist.

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  58. The ONLY premises I need for this is that he sexually abused students and that he charged a lot of money for tuition.
    Ask yourself why he started the sem?
    there are two options: he wanted to take advantage of young innocent students or he wanted to spiritually enlighten them.
    Please defend your claim that someone who admitted to sexually abusing students at sems he ran actually founded the sems in order to educate the girls.
    I fail to see the huge amounts of data i am using for which there is no evidence.

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  59. The only facts I am using is that meisels owns sems and abused students in them. Why is it so hard to conclude that he started the sems in order to be in a position so he could abuse the students.

    The onus is on you to defend why you think that the owner (fact 1) who abuses students (fact 2) is running the sems because he truly wants to to spiritually enlighten young women.

    Concerning the accusation of him making money, you are right that I have not seen his bank balance but again the onus is on you to prove that the owner of a sem is not the one getting the money paid to the sem. It must be a rather strange business venture according to you where someone runs a business and does not get the profits.

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  60. @davidhame - no court would convict a person on your fantasies - without some sort of evidence.

    You have no evidence that his seminaries are any different than the other seminaries or that his mode of operation differences significantly. You have no idea of what abuse is involved or whether it was consenusal. None of this has been revealed.

    I gather you will be astonished when the RICO claim is thrown out - which it clearly will.

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  61. No one is saying that the sems didn't work as normal sems. There doesn't need to be any evidence that his sems are different. Maybe they were the harvard of the jewish world. This isn't the issue. They are saying that these 'normal' sems were a cover so that meisels had access to girls. As it is a FACT, not fantasy, that he clearly used them to reach the girls, whatever the abuse was, consensual or not, it is on you to prove that that wasn't the main purpose.
    I fail to understand why you think so highly of him that you just throw out this possibility as ludicrous. Is it so hard to believe that anyone would start an enterprise with ulterior motives?

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  62. 1. Federal rules of civil procedure are here: http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/rules/civil-procedure.pdf
    On numbered page 15 is Rule 11, which concerns the obligations of the attorney of record when he signs a pleading and the sanctions to which he is subject if the court finds he has failed in those obligations.
    2. The biography of the attorney of record is publicly available here: http://www.ahalelaw.com/about/our-people/shneur-nathan/
    Note his (fairly recent) Jewish education.

    Oughtn't we therefore presume for now that his pleading has been made competently and in good faith and (as FRCP demands) "will LIKELY have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery"?

    Are not the plaintiffs Orthodox Jews? Oughtn't we also presume for now that they are acting properly?

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  63. You deny that meisels operated the seminaries for sex and money. This is the central allegation of the case.


    You obviously think that meisels is a tzadik that was nichshal in a weak moment. -Therefore the seminaries are, and always were basically fine. This is a crucial mistake...

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  64. Your outcry against the "Rico aspect" is pathetic. Please clarify what you are talking about with the "key" etc. You're really not making sense.
    The guy was sexually assaulting girls while charging parents a fortune. How on earth are you defending him? Better question why??!
    No normal parent would want to send their kid to a sem in disarray, where the owner was just thrown out, where the staff have not yet been cleared of negligence etc etc.
    All they asked for was a refund on the deposit!!! All you do is scream about whether the degree of lawsuit is justified... You are clearly splitting hairs and have totally lost the argument.

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  65. What is the point you are making?

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  66. Honesty, you clearly have no understanding of how the legal system or halacha works.


    Please, enlighten me. Thank you.

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  67. I don't understand how they could have "used a key instead of an atom bomb" when all other options were closed to them: they could not get their huge deposit back (keep on mind that many families take on a second mortgage or a loan to pay for sem) and could not stomach to send their daughters to seminaries where terrible things had happened. True, the perpetrator is (maybe?) Removed, but its the same administration. Who would risk theory daughters purity? Add to that that all other seminaries were advised not to accept these girls either...really, did these parents have a choice?

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  68. " i doubt the CBD gave a heter arkaot for a rico / class action"

    In fact, R. Fuerst orchestrated this, along with Gottesman, as I heard from one of the parents they approached. R. Fuerst pressured him to sign on, calling it a "psak." The guy was smart enough to decline.

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  69. I don't believe R. Gartner has control of any accounts. And even if he did, he would not be permitted to hand out money to whoever demands it. The IBD holds that demands to return deposits are a Choshen Mishpat question that need a din Torah, as I heard both R. Gartner and R. Malinowitz say on a teleconference call. Without a psak from a beis din, how could he return money that does not belong to him? Unlike certain other supposed dayanim, he actually takes the halachah seriously.

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  70. The CBD orchestrated the lawsuit, as I heard from one of the parents contacted by R. Fuerst and Gottesman.

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  71. The litigants are owed no "pound of flesh." Their daughters have not attended the schools. They are next year's parents. This is about their deposits.

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  72. The IBD never said the girls cannot switch seminaries, nor did they say other seminaries cannot accept girls who wish to switch. They said only that other seminaries cannot recruit the girls. I don't see where R. Fuerst's letter says anything different.

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  73. The IBD never said parents cannot opt out of the seminaries. Nor did they say other seminaries cannot accept the girls. They said only that other seminaries cannot recruit them.

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  74. That may be OK for goyim especially overblown ones like Sarah Palin. Jews are historically conscious and thus much more circumscribed about when they use the term blood libel.


    Alan Dershowitz's defense of Sarah Palin's rhetoric was a lawyer's gambit and shouldn't be credited as a particularly widespread understanding by Jews. I know a lot of Jews, liberal and conservative who cringed at Palin's rhetoric.



    In five years of blogging I have often been harshly critical of individuals and groups but I have never called a Jew a Nazi or accused a Jew of a blood libel.



    Rabbi Eidensohn you are a nuanced writer. Please reconsider your headline and terminology.

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  75. Make up your mind. Am I Gottesman or a girl, or is Gottesman secretly a girl?

    Now let me get serious. I have talked to victims, as well as their friends, relatives, rabbis and teachers. Some of these victims were not in touch with CBD.

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  76. @essyalways - the parents were not told that they could not get their money back - they were told that this was a monetary dispute that needed a beis din to resolve. why is that surprising?. The seminaries have after an intensive investigation by Rav Shafran's beis din (which is superior to the Chicago Beis Din in both dayanim and experience in dealing with abuse issues) been declared safe. Parents claim otherwise - you need a beis din to resolve the issue.

    The IBD did not say that other seminaries could not accept the girls - it said they could not actively recruit them.

    At this point it seems similar to the question of whether it is better to eat meat that never had a shaila or one that there was a question about but a Rav pasken it was kosher. Some prefer the first but there are other who say that not accepting the latter is apikorsus since it denies the validty of rabbinic psak.

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  77. I don't know. Good question.

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  78. Why does it matter if he created the seminaries specifically for the purpose of sexually assaulting girls? The fact is that he DID and continued to use his powerful position to harm innocent girls. And just because any of you find it hard to believe that a Rabbi of such "great" stature such as the Rabbi from the IBD, would be a part of anything shady, does not mean that he is innocent. I personally experienced something like this when I was getting divorced through the Israeli Rabbinical Court in Tel Aviv. The person assigned to my case, who was in a position of power and authority- getting me a date assigned for my get- asked me sexually explicit questions and forced me to listen to stories of his own sexual exploits. I was an innocent young orthodox woman, age 27, getting divorced, and he preyed on me and my need for him to get me a court date. Who knows how many other women he preyed on, perhaps going even further, G-d forbid! People abuse their positions of authority all the time- and should be subjected to the law just like anyone else. This person who abused his powerful position with me, wore a black velvet kippa and looked like any other frum person you would meet. And he had the power of the Israeli Rabbinical Court behind him. Kol Hakavod to the ones filing this law suit which I'm sure was fully thought out and backed up with solid evidence before filing. These people should be applauded for stepping forward no matter how many Rabbis or Gedolim come into question.

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  79. Rabbi, you have invoked Godwin's Law. The discussion is over.

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  80. I move your answer to a separate post

    http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2014/08/seminary-scandal-rico-claim-yerachmiel.html

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  81. Not only did they authorize it, they orchestrated it. I have heard from a parent who was at a meeting called by R. Fuerst and Gottesman that they urged them to sign on to the lawsuit. R. Fuerst even called it his "psak" that they do so.

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  82. I think it's quite likely that parents demanding a refund would prevail in a din Torah. But R. Eidensohn is correct that a din Torah is required.

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  83. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act

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  84. @Moshe - non profits can not be sold but they can be transferred to new managment along with the sale of real estate and other assests.

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  85. I am no lawyer but what real estate/assets? The non-profits'? Unless you mean that concurrent to the sale meisels sold yarmush some private assets. Or that yarmush bought assets from the non-profit just before the "transfer of ownership". But that would seem to me like money laundering and a conflict of intersest of immense magnitude.

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  86. Again, I'm not saying there definitely was fraud, just that strictly legally I can understand where the lawyers are coming from on this point. It needs clarification.

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  87. @Moshe so what is the signifcance that you understand why the lawyers make crazy charges - it doesn't change that they are highly damaging and highly likely to be toss out by the court

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  88. My point is that i'm not sure that fraud is a "crazy" charge if they in fact engaged in fraud as explained. Are you referring to the RICO charges? If so I tend to agree with you. But having some bad charges doesn't take away from the merits of the correct charges.

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