Monday, June 11, 2012

Yosef Kolko: How is the victim being protected?

The following recently appeared in a Lakewood paper. Trial is set August 6. The family of the victim has already been driven out of Lakewood. Witnesses have been intimidated. What are the gedolim doing to protect the victim and ensure a fair trial? "Outraged" demanded to know what is the current problem - well here is a good example!


  1. RDE: Why are you referring to the accused simply as "Kolko", as to sow confusion and cause readers to think it is somehow related to the well-known Rabbi Kolko from Brooklyn, which it isn't?

    And is he not entitled to full and fair defense with the best lawyers? Why do you seem to deny that?

    And what does this defendant have to do with the victim's primary case?

    1. Changed the name as you requested.

      I don't deny that alleged perpetrator is entitled to the best defesne possible - but I do find it problematic that the alleged perpetrator always seems to be defended while victims are attacked and their family's ostracised and driven out of town. Is there any doubt that abuse does happen in our community?

      Same issue with the Weberman case and many others

    2. You got the name wrong. It's Yehuda Kolko.

    3. Rabbi Eidenshohn, can you please explain what you mean by “the alleged is entitled to the best defense possible?" I know that secular law allows you to get the best defense possible, regardless whether you are saying the truth or not. But according to Torah is it really meritorious to enable someone to get the best defense possible, even if that involves distorting the truth, and thus also distorting justice?
      Like these individuals contributing to the accused to get him the best defense, are they not taking the risk that if the alleged is actually guilty, (regardless whether he's "found guilty" or not,) then they actually have helped a perp continue his crimes, and have denied the victim the healing that comes with seeing that justice is served. After all, don't we say "melech Ohev tzedakah Umishpat?" And furthermore, by helping this guilty individual get off the hook aren’t these Rabbis guilty of encouraging abuse, rather than doing whatever they can to stamp it out? Can these Rabbis really say “ידינו לא שפכו את הדם הזה "?

  2. Sorry. I didnt' realize there's another abuser in the same family. I was just corrected.

    1. This Kolko in this story is NOT accused of any abuse.

      And his relation to the other R. Kolko, if anything, is distant.

    2. from Asbury Park Press March 2011

      The victim's father has been chastised by the Orthodox community in Lakewood for bringing the case to secular authorities instead of allowing religious leaders to handle it.

      But according to papers filed in court by Senior Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Laura N. Pierro, the victim's father first brought the accusations against Kolko to the Beis Din in Lakewood, a council comprised of three rabbis, shortly after his son came forward to him with the allegations in February 2009.

      The Beis Din hired Brooklyn, N.Y., social worker Gavriel Fagin to interview Kolko and determine the legitimacy of the allegations, according to the papers filed by Pierro.

      Kolko later entered counseling but discontinued his treatment shortly afterward, prompting the victim's father to bring the allegations to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office in July 2009, according to the court papers.

      As a result of the prosecutor's investigation, Kolko, 37, of Lakewood, was charged in an indictment last year with molesting the boy, whom he met at Yachad, a summer camp at the Yeshiva Bais Hatorah School on Swarthmore Avenue in Lakewood.

      The alleged molestation occurred between September 2007 and February 2009 when the boywas between 11 and 12 years old, according to the indictment.

      Kolko at the time was working as a counselor at Yachad, and previously taught at the YeshivaOrchos Chaim on Oberlin Avenue in Lakewood, officials have said.

  3. Sorry. I was just corrected. I did not know that Yosef is ANOTHER abuser in the same family. UGH.

  4. This is the saddest thing ever.

    I know the chasidim would hardly consider me a Jew, but not defending a child is evil. Plain and simple.

  5. Jessica:

    Regardless of what they think of you, your opinion is a lot more likely to be representative of that of the rest of the world. When rabbis from a particular community make it obvious they care ONLY about public perception of a child molestor.

    It's rabbis thinking that the rest of us are too stupid to believe a rabbi can be a child molestor.

    We're on to you guys. You're just like everybody else, and your title doesn't make you any less sick and twisted. In fact, the fact that you took on studying for your title, and then molested kids might make you more sick and twisted. You might be using the title as a means of power play with which to intimidate your victims.

  6. Dovid: You say Yosef Kolko is not accused of any abuse?

    Would that be the guy at the center of this story?

    If not, to which Yosef Kolko are you referring, and why are they raising money for him?

    As for a relationship to the other abuser? Are you geneaologist? Either Yosef IS a relative of Yehuda, or he isn't. And if you don't know enough to declare authoritatively whether he is or isn't, how can you determine whether the relationship is distant or not?

    If you're a Lakewood apologist trying to make your people look good, you're failing. Lakewood looks bad right now. Any Jew considering living there should probably take what the beis din did into account before deciding if they want to live there.

    The fact that your leaders aren't out yelling for this guy's head on a platter, along with the heads of the beis din rabbis who covered up for Kolko demonstrates how Lakewood feels about child abusers and children.

    Dude, I hope it never happens to your kid. But if it does, and rabbis cover it up, you will have been an enabler in the rape of your own child. How does that feel?

  7. So here we are 4 days now, after I have repeatedly asked for confirmation from the documentary record from Rabbi Eidensohn for the evidence of his claims that the nesius of the moetses ( or is it really that his story stops at the moetses minus the nesius) currently committing ongoing chillul Hashem, as he claims in the past as well.

    And for 4 days Rabbi Eidensohn won't document for us what I have asked in previous comments. Regarding past chillul Hashem i asked for one documented example of a rabbi on the nesius hearing from 3 ( or even 2) different children and their families- claiming unambiguous reports of molestation- and the rabbi ultimately sweeping it under the rug by allowing the accused molestor to continue to work with children.

    No case has been provided by Rabbi Eidensohn yet, and nonetheless he freely calls the nesius of the moetses ( or just the moetses) a walking ongoing chillul Hashem.

    So lets recap- Rabbi Eidenshon wont provide the past worst example documented, and he claims that the ongoing lack of protocol for stopping abuse by the agudah's nesius current chillul hashem by the nesius of the moetses of the aguda in America. Has he documented the protocol he thinks should be in place and instead is not in place? I dont see anything.

    Regarding the past, Rabbi Eidensohn will not provide one past case. Let's see the documentation showing even 2 children with separate unambiguous reports against one molester, swiped away put under the rug by the supposed rabbi on the nesius ( or the moetses) that kept the children with the accused molester.

    And he hasnt named the name of the gadol who authorized him-RAbbi Eidensohn- to call the nesius of agudas yosroel a walking chillul hashem.

    And Rabbi Eidensohn still hasn’t explained if the CURRENT chillul hashem contains within it any SUBSTANCE OTHER THAN that Rabbi Eidensohn claims there is an absent protocol...a protocol that he will not provide against what he claims is an absent Nesius protocol.

    This is very deficient journalism- actually it cant be called journalism- until he stops the rhetoric and backs himself up with the minimal sorts of justification called for regarding this issue.

    And to list the Kolko ad and write that it is a response to what I am looking for is quite deficient in all respects.

  8. I don't publish anonymous comments

  9. Outraged your last comment was such a major distortion of what I said that I simple rejected it. Since was an amplication of the distortions that you have already stated - so nothing was lost.

    Without having to go into cases such as the Novominsker refusing to get involved in the Kolko case because it was in Flatbush and he was half a mile away in Boro Park so it wasn't his jurisdiction - I simple expressed outrage based on what R. Zwiebel admitted and my knowledge of the facts and the halachos.

    Let me make it simple for you. When Rabbi Zwiebel publicly acknowledged that as the result of the activities of bloggers the issue of child abuse was taken off the back burner and taken seriously - that means that the gedolim were not taking it seriously before. The gedolim have been aware of the issue of abuse for at least 30 years. They have known that it is bad and they know that it exists in our community. For them not take the issue seriously until the bloggers complained about the chilul hashem - is a chilul hashem.

    When he says that the lashon harah etc was a high price to pay - that implies that there is no heter to speak lashon harah regarding molesters - which is a clear perversion of the halacha.

    When he acknowledges that the issue was not taken seriously until the bloggers came along - that means the pain of children who were molested and raped - wasn't a major concern and wasn't taken seriously. Perhaps even more devastating was the fact that these victims and their families were also subjected to betrayal by the rabbis who failed to comfort and protect them - as we see repeated here in the Kolko case. Instead they ostracized and humiliated further by rabbinic leadership and the community.

    Do you really have trouble characterizing this as a disgusting perversion of yiddishkeit and a chillul hashem.

    In short - you don't need your multiple cases etc etc - it is enough what R' Zwiebel has openly admitted - everything I said can be derived from that. A Confession is a good as 100 witnesses.

    Here are my original words:

    Unfortunately what he says is one of the must incredible and disgusting perversions of Yiddishkeit that I have ever read. It shows not the slightest awareness of the halachic issues or the horrible consequences of abuse. He is totally clueless as to what a chilul hashem his words are as well lacking any understanding of why the Aguda's handling of this issue - including the actions of their gedolim - is so incredibly shameful. And despite the egregious errors of judgment that he unwitting reveals about the Aguda's gedolim he concludes "that the process of decision-making through the Moetzes is as close to perfect as can be."

  10. I knew Rabbi Eidensohn was going nowhere with his rhetoric.

    RE: “Without having to go into cases such as the Novominsker refusing to get involved in the Kolko case because it was in Flatbush and he was half a mile away in Boro Park so it wasn't his jurisdiction - I simple expressed outrage based on what R. Zwiebel admitted and my knowledge of the facts and the halachos.”

    There is so much wrong with this sentence of yours. You drop the Novminsker bomb and then attach it to a reference about Zwiebel… and you wont spell it out. Therefore your reference to Zweibel and your allusion to things are irrelevant to public discourse.

    You claim to know that the THE Torah allows here what is normally considered from the worst of aveiros- being mevazeh a talmid chacham which is aino cheilek liolam haba—you Rabbi Eidensohn knows that the Torah requires this of you because of an act of omission which you claim is a chillul hashem. You will not tell us your knowledge of further facts other than this claim about Novminsker committing what you claim is a sin of omission.

    I have never heard of anything so outrageous and once again, after censoring my post, which is fine, you will not adequately answer any of my questions.

    You wont even tell us the name of one gadol who authorized you to be mevaze the Novminsker for what you are claiming is a chillul hashem via a sin of omission.

    Who do you think you are?

    You actually are putting out there for all to see a claim that you have a heter to do something that, without the heter, would be your loss of olom haba since the aveirah of a biyoyon of a talmid chacham is eino chelek liolom haba.

    And referring to what was asked in previous posts you wont even give a case of at least 2 children who gave credible and unambiguous claims of molestation, who spoke with their families to a member of the nesius, and the member of the nesius accepted the testimony as credible and yet the rabbi didn’t remove the molester from the children and prevent, one way or the other, the molester from being around kids in the future.

    I asked for one case of documentation and you provided nothing.
    You provided a claim you wont document about Novminsker which- if correct- doesn’t have a heter to call a chillul hashem, doesn’t have a heter to publicize, doesn’t have a gadol authorizing your incorrect behavior and without being correct, is among the sins for which you lose your olom haba. And with all of this riding in such a severe aveirah, your justification for publicizing your claim is nowhere to be found.
    Plus you wont provide one case of a sin of commission from 2003 until today and, my guess, you probably wont provide one case from 1999 until today.
    And you wont publish this letter either just as you didn’t publish my other one even though in this comment I am not attributing to you anything for which you can use to excuse yourself of having censored my comment.

    You need to stop your YOUR sins of commission as I have identified above .

  11. the fact that you veer off on Zweibel means you have some emotional issues going on in your life. I hope you get help.

    You cant even stay on a topic and answer it without veering off and attibuting to Zweibels quoted statement things he never implied.
    its pathetic writing: you have an uncontrolled addiction to inserting acknowledgements into what others say.

    ....that means the pain of children who were molested and raped - wasn't a major concern and wasn't taken seriously. Perhaps even more devastating was the fact that these victims and their families were also subjected to betrayal by the rabbis who failed to comfort and protect them - as we see repeated here in the Kolko case. Instead they ostracized and humiliated further by rabbinic leadership and the community."

    you write this in a way that leads the reader to believe the nesius didnt take pain seriously despite never speaking to them yourself. You're a fraud

  12. and you need 4 days a week of therapy. I am going to over the nexct months try to find out what people have a hashpah on you so maybe someone can help bring you down from your fantasy perch.

  13. even yur ridiculous obsessive compulsive behavior on not publishing anonomous comments even though a fake name is an anonomous comment as well is a sign that you are unhinged. go to a shrink. it isnt unknown that shrinks need shrinks and with your obsessive compulsive disorders and your flights of fantasy it is clear that you need help.
    I just am amazed that you are mevazeh talmidei chachamim in public and dont feel the need to get authoriuzation and to detail the claims.
    publishing this stupid claim that all he excused himself for was that he was 1/2 mile away and there is nothing more to the story is pathetic. You need serious teshiva. The thing we know is that it is impoortant to do the teshuva before Hashem bring your life into a downward spiral because then the din is so much harder to do teshuva and roll back.

    I didnt know why in the past when your name was mentioned ( to people having nothing to do with this molestation issue) there was a hesitation when they said yes he knows alot.
    Now I do

    I'm actually waiting for you to claim that Rav Sternbuch authorixzed yout opublicly be mevaze the Novminsker.
    Do teshuva before Hashem brings your life downward, it could be sooner than you think

  14. another sing you are unhinged is that you write massive tomes of rhetoric...but when it comes down to your being a heter away from losing your olom haba you just drop a two line bomb about the Novminker.

    You need therapy
    massive therapy
    maybe Hashem wont nail you. Maybe he knows you are already gone and for whatever Hashem;'s reasons are, maybe on account of hoosing you to be the kli to write the molestation awareness books, he is keeping you around.

    But your nehavior is definitely a pircha in the weltanschung of kla yisroel.

  15. Outraged,

    You must be quite the psycho-therapist to be able to diagnose someone entirely through internet interaction. Do you mind if I ask you your rates? It would be great to be able to get therapy from such an expert without having to leave my home or face the embarrassment(not to mention the damage to shidduch prospects for children) that come with being seen going into a mental health facility.
    I know people who could really use your services.

  16. I have on occasion taken issue with things that Rabbi Eidensohn has allowed on this blog. I still find it laughable that someone going by "outraged", slinging hysterical commentary and manic spouts of derision, would call Rabbi DE "unhinged". This whole "you need therapy" course of rhetoric is seriously inappropriate and sleazy not to mention immature.

  17. Yehuda Kolko, working at Camp Aguda, was complained about decades ago as an abuser. There was an aborted beis din in the mid 1980s relating to more charges. Moetzes and Nesius rabbis knew about this, and did nothing to stop it. They also did not warn parents.

    Moshe Eiseman was complained about, as an abuser, at Yeshiva of Philadelphia. He was sent to Yeshiva Ner Israel, where he continued to abuse boys. Moetzes and Nesius rabbis knew about this, and did nothing to stop it. They also did not warn parents. Eiseman still lives on campus today, and continues to tutor boys.

    1. Kolko has nothing to do with Eisemann. I followed the Eisemann story closely as a former talmid, although I was theoretically (although admittedly biased) open to the possibility that he was guilty. Eisemann was not complained about as an abuser in Philadelphia, and he did not work with young boys in NIRC. He was the mashgiach for the Beis Medrash, not the mechina. He did not learn individually with anyone in high school then, and certainly not now. Unlike some of the other legitimate molesters whose exposure has spawned more victims from all corners and dozens of people who claim to have known about it twenty years ago, Eisemann elicited the opposite reaction. UOJ did a post on him that was patently ridiculous - dozens of victims! Orgies in the Dorm! - especially when contrasted with the dead silence from any more alleged victims. Then Phil Jacobs posted an appeal on UOJ that stood for months, begging victims to come forward and promising them anonymity. Nobody did, and in the end, his article was six months late and was about "whispers" on the internet and one former student who says he thinks Rabbi Eisemann looked at his crotch. You can find it on The Jewish Times website.
      To this point, in direct contrast to Kolko and his ilk, the only flesh and blood accuser is Asher Lipner, and even he does not claim overt abuse - he says that the rabbi groomed him for a long time, and then when he touched the boy's backside, the boy told his mother, who warned the rabbi to keep his distance. This story is given to more than one interpretation.

  18. It is getting frustrating to read an article posted on this site that contains little to nothing of substance. Actually, the article addresses an issue, agree or disagree, but the comments deteriorate into a personal volley of accusations and defenses.

  19. Rabbi Eidensohn, I continue to encourage to keep educating and informing your readers about the abuse in the Frum community. You have given us much practical information and a forum to know that victims, families, and the regular "Joe" is not alone when dealing with this horrific subject. Thanks, A Regular "Joe"

  20. 1. Josef is the Nephew of Yehudah Kolko the subject of a long New York Magazine article about his pedophilia and the community cover up.

    2. Rabbi Eidensohn, I feel "outraged" is abusing the comments section with rants, obsessive circular reasoning etc. He confuses his emotional bond to the community or Kolko's reputation with a sense of justice. Up to a point, OK! Everyone is entitled to his own opionion (though not his own facts). Still OK up to a point. Rebutting foolish arguments keeps us on our toes and helps us sharpen our presentation of our facts and views. Everyone is even entitled to be a little over the top, but "outraged" abuses that privelege. In fact his extended rants reek of bullying and intimidation.

    But I do not want to go to far in wasting our time limning the mind of someone I don't know. But I do know that when I am a guest I don't sprawl on the couch and force everyone else to sit on the floor squeezed together. Outraged is abusing the hospitality you provide by operating the blog and moderating the comments. In the interests of your other guests on your blog I urge you to block his comments or even delete them.

  21. Asher Lipner, Ph.D.June 12, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    If you heard me tell my story, then you know that regardless of how you interpret a grown man groping the behind of a teen age boy, there have been many more than one victim.

    When, in 2006, I went to the Yeshiva with my allegations, another person did so as well. And I also told the hanhalla of a third person and they admitted to me about knowing of a fourth. Victim number three was indeed underage, making Eisemann guilty of child sexual abuse (unless you hold like Rav Sheinberg that its ok as long as there is no penetration).

    There are more who have approached me since then either directly or through a therapist.

    The hanhalla never questioned or doubted us because they already knew it was true, but asked us to give testimony to Rabbi Hopfer. Rabbi Hopfer then confronted Rabbi Eisemann who confessed, just as he had confessed twenty five years ago to Rabbi Tendler who was the head of the mechina.

    Rabbi Hopfer "paskened" that Eiseman should "retire" and should leave the campus. We were told that he "might" go to therapy, and that he would be monitored. In the end they allowed him to stay on Yeshiva Lane because Rabbi Hopfer said that it had "upset the rebbetzin to have to move."

    Sheftel Neuberger and Berel Weisbord came to New York to "thank us" for giving them information about our abuse, but made it clear that they were not going to apologize, nor did they feel any need to help us with our requests. The number one request was to publicize the danger that this hypocritical "talmid chochom" represents to young men and boys everywhere.

    Our request was denied. Rabbi Hopfer told me he was concerned that if it became public knowledge, that all of the people Eisemann had "made frum" would be disillusioned and go off the derech. Rabbi Ahron Feldman (Rosh Hayeshiva and Agudah Moetzes member)went one further and told my friend that for victims to publicize his abuse, it would be just as abusive as what he had done. He also said that he knows for a fact that Eisemann has done Teshuva and no longer has the Yetzer Hara.

    If you don't believe me call Rabbi Hopfer and the Neubergers. Call Eisemann himself. If any of them deny any part of what I wrote, come back here and tell me, what they deny. Since I have gone public with the story, I have always wondered what they are telling people. I assume that most frum people in Baltimore don't care enough or are intimidated enough by the "Daas Torah" in town to be asking many questions. For example, can you imagine that the Yeshiva put up Mattis Weinberg to say a hesped for his mother? If he had become Jews for Jesus, or even a reform rabbi, they would never ever have allowed it. But the fact that he was run out of the country by Elya Svei for molesting boys, and has since been fired by another Yeshiva in Israel for the same thing, does not disturb the Yeshiva quite as much.

    This attitude fits in very well with the Agudas Yisroel's approach of covering up and protecting molesters at all costs.

    Rabbi Eidensohn, thank you in the name of all the abused children and suffering adults, girls raped by their fathers, boys sodomized by their rabbis, adults suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, substance abuse, depression, sexual dysfunction, and even the suicides that I work with in my practice, and for all of Klal Yisroel.

    Keep up the good work. M'chayil El Chayil.

    When is the next sefer coming out?


    1. Asher:

      I read your comment with an open mind, and your clarification of the facts is appreciated. I was, however, put off with one line at the end where your venom, and perhaps your own anger issues emerged. The one about Agudah covering up and protecting molesters at all costs. That was a baseless and vicious accusation, and this is shameful. I am no more pleased by Agudas Yisroel's failure to take an adequate stand on abuse, and I was among those who protested their "statement" last summer (respectfully). Agudah may be guilty of inaction, and their positions have failed to go far enough. Your bitterness will not sway them. Try a less combative approach, as others have done successfully. You can help. Your experiences, both clinical and personal are valuable. Be an informer, not a combatant. Then watch the progress. The children of Klal Yisroel will benefit. What a zechus!

  22. Thank you Yerachmiel. I agree - "Outraged" is totally abusing his privilege of being allowed to post on this blog. Rabbi Eidensohn, you have a right and duty to your readers to not allow his distasteful rhetoric to get out of hand.
    Asher, thank you for clarifying your story personally. It seems to me that there's a lot of misinformation on this site - people just writing second-hand stories.

  23. After a period of being in deep shock I went back to the dayschool/big shul type Modern Orthodoxy I had known from my youth in order to preserve my Yiddishkeit and sanity.

  24. Destroy evil:

    Ironically, your words are quite closed-minded and perhaps venomous.
    Why do you need an open mind to read his comment?
    "Anger issues emerged?" How very "(respectful)" and informative of you.
    "Your 'bitterness' will not sway them." And why not? And how do you know?
    "Less combative approach, as others have done succesfully." That is laughable by your own admission and hypocritical.
    "What a zchus!" you make me nauseous with your weird "righteousness". Kudos to your protesting. Keep your ambition to yourself, and think before you speak. You sound very egotistical and you think you're a big baal deiah. And even if you'd be right, Lakol Zman Voeis.
    Asher bravely and responsibly comes out and gives us the real perspective and you have the chutzpah to anonymously bash without basis. You yourself needed his clarification. Shame on you.

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