Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Schlesinger Twins: Beth asks that you send an email to Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky

Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky is the director of the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries and Vice-Chairman of Merkos L’lnyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Rabbi Kotlarsky travels the globe establishing Jewish centers for the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, becoming known as “Judaism’s Globe Trotter”. In many countries he is the public face of Chabad, visiting heads of state and opening new Chabad centers worldwide.

Please send your letter to Rabbi Kotlarsky at or  - or copy the following and send it to him
SUBJECT: Rabbi Kotlarsky - your help is urgently required
Dear Rabbi Kotlarsky Shlita,

It is with great reluctance that the step has been taken to approach you in this way. All other avenues to raise this matter to the highest echelons in Chabad have so far been fruitless which is why you are receiving this message.

I understand this is a busy time in your calendar, shortly before the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Shluchim (Kinus), when so many emissaries come to Crown Heights from all over the world. But it is precisely at this time, when such a pool of immense talent and global influence is concentrated in one place, that the biggest breakthroughs can be achieved.

In July 2011, 2 year-old twins Samuel and Benjamin Schlesinger, were ripped from their mother's arms and handed to their father, Mr Michael Schlesinger, on the immediate instructions of an Austrian court ruling. Their mother, Beth Schlesinger (nee Alexander), has been awarded pitiful visiting rights and hasn't seen her children on Shabbos or Yom Tov since this time (with the exception of one Shabbos in August 2014). The courts in Vienna have behaved extremely strangely in the father's favour throughout the proceedings by discounting important facts, twisting medical reports and other evidence of bias. The response has been a global campaign backed by a Beis Din, multiple Rabbis, British Politicians and many supporters globally. See

An anonymous Chabad posek has stated that these children should be living under the custody of their mother on the basis of a handwritten note written by the Rebbe himself:

In an unusual move, Rabbi Jacob Biderman, the head of Chabad in Austria, voluntarily involved himself in the court case some time ago. Unfortunately, the father still has sole custody of the twins and he regularly cancels the few visits awarded by the court to the mother. We urge the Chabad leadership and the greater Chabad movement to stand behind Rabbi Biderman and provide him with all the tools he needs to be able to contribute further to the court case such that the mother's plight is accurately presented and that the judge should revisit her custody and visitation rulings. In this way it is hoped the custody arrangement will be revised and the children can have a better childhood than the one they currently face.

Chabad do wonderful work in some of the most inaccessible places on earth and we hope they continue to have resounding success as they have done over so many years. I am sure I don't speak alone when I say I would like to see this success and fantastic reputation continue, without the distraction of the case of the Schlesinger twins in Austria.

For more information, please watch this short clip.

Wishing you and your Shluchim every Hazlacha.


your name and address
Here is a video of Rabbi Kotlarsky speaking at this annual conference in 2012. He quotes a previous Lubavitcher Rebbe in the his address saying “no matter how engrossed we may be, in whatever it may be, we may never fail to hear the cry of a child”. We can only hope he hears the cries of Samuel and Benjamin Schlesinger in Vienna.

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  1. What will be discussed at this year’s Kinnus conference in November? Will Rabbi Krinsky and Rabbi Kotlarsky be prepared to face the harsh reality of what this movement has become? Will they be addressing the tough decisions in bringing corrupt shluchim to account? Will any thought be given to those who have suffered at the hands of a small number of Chabad Rabbis to the silence of the rest of the movement? Or, as I suspect, will the focus be simply on how Chabad can raise more funds?

  2. The topic here is Chabad in Vienna, Austria, and not anywhere else in the world. The person legally responsible for all the Chabad facilities in Vienna is Rabbi Joseph Biderman. He is the man who has all the power and influence in Chabad Austria, both with the Austrian authorities and with his own Chabad community. Therefore he is the one person in Vienna who is able to influence Michael Schlesinger to behave like a true Jew. This should not be necessary - Michael Schlesinger is an adult from an old Viennese family - but as we have all seen over the past 3 years, not even adults from old Viennese Jewish families behave in an exemplary manner.

    Let us hope that at the upcoming Chabad congress in NYC there will be sufficient pressure exerted on the Vienna leadership for Samuel and Benjamin Schlesinger and their mother Beth Alexander to finally obtain - through the Austrian Family Court - the justice they deserve.

  3. WRONG!!!!

    The topic is not simply Chabad in Vienna, but Chabad as a movement and all the Shluchim whom it comprises. Biderman has involved himself in the court case voluntarily by telling lies. Lets not cloud the issue by trying to divert responsibility here. There may be others at fault too, but that does not absolve Biderman from what he has done. No other Rabbi has involved themselves in the court case like Biderman has.

    Biderman is registered as a Chabad Shliach who ultimately has Rabbi Kotlarsky as his boss. still lists Biderman proudly as one of his Shluchim, thus Kotlarsky must take responsibility for Biderman unless he is removed as a Shliach. Anything less sends out the message that Kotlarsky and the Shluchim around the world are proud to have Biderman as one of their representatives.

    "Confident", your ill-informed comments are offensive, inaccurate and have no place in any rational debate.

  4. ...and will any pressure be applied to Biderman at this congress to ask him to submit another statement to the court? The only difference being that this time he paints a truthful picture and acknowledges the massive injustice against the twins and their mother! Biderman is massively at fault yet no doubt he will be welcomed to the conference by his fellow Chabad colleagues.
    I wonder whether Rabbi Schneerson would be proud of today's Chabad movement.

  5. fedupwithcorruptrabbisNovember 6, 2014 at 6:24 AM

    If you are going to complain against Biderman from Vienna, will you also complain against Chabad of Las vegas for expelling Meir Kin from Shul on the request of ORA even though halachacally they have no grounds to do so or are you going to play the double standard game and just request relief for BETH?

  6. Please can you show us some evidence that meir kin has been expelled from that chabad shul.

  7. I don't think it is for anyone to badmouth Chabad! But, I think if they don't bring Rabbi Jacob Biderman to account, bbecause by certain actions he has helped in bringing suffering to two young children and their mother (which according to Rabbi Kotlarsky and all the ever increasing publicity they put out regarding helping every child and their Neshamas), then Chabad will be doing untold damage to themselves!.

    Sometimes companies have to write off their "bad debts"! This has to happen after the accounts have been audited!

    Chabad are going way past their due date
    by not bringing Biderman to account and like in any business, need to be heavily fined!

    Directors need to be fired as they are not
    acting in the best interests of their shareholders, which no one will ever condone!
    The Schlesinger case is too big now for Chabad not to act against Biderman to save
    themselves and their reputation or like any Company they may have to disband!

    Accounts have to be

  8. fedupwithcorruptrabbisNovember 6, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    TO MONTY: Please call Chabad of Summerlin and ask yourself. Did i ask you to show proof that Beth doesnt have custody? I am merely citing the inconsistencies of all of you that are so passionate about Beth's cause. There are many more CHABAD injustices being committed. Somehow the feminist movement sympathizes only when women are the victims!

  9. I'm asking this question with sincerity.

    I listened to the video of Rabbi Kotlarsky for a number of minutes. I repeatedly heard Rabbi Kotlarsky refer to "the rebbe", but I never heard him say "the rebbe zatsal".

    Can any Chabadniks explain why Rabbi Kotlarsky does not seem to use the phrase "the rebbe zatsal"?

  10. I have no doubt that there are probably many more Chabad injustices happening around the world right now. Try googling Chabad in Australia for some dreadful Chabad behavior.

    The reason we are all behind the mother of the Schlesinger twins is not down to feminism, as you wrongly accuse. It is because she has her own comprehensive and detailed website: and we have seen actual court documents from case:

    No one could possibly fabricate all this without getting found out very quickly. That is even before we look at the extensive media coverage and British Government backing.

    All we ask is that you set up a blog site detailing the main points of your story. Right now, all you have given us are some anonymous comments and a half-baked story.

    In the meantime, I would politely ask the moderator to refuse to publish off-topic comments like yours until the above has been provided.

    I hope this answers your questions.

  11. Fedupwithcorruptrabbis

    If Chabad never acknowledges when one of their representatives is doing bad, how can anyone recognise the good they try to do?

    Beth is showing evidence of Biderman's wrong doings, so must you!

    Providing meals out in the sticks somewhere is simply not enough! It is clear that Biderman is going against the ethos of Chabad and against all Kotarsky said in this video!

    The world cannot be fooled anymore and we can see by so many blogs on Facebook how dissatisfied people are becoming and voicing it!
    If Chabad don't act and help to put things right they will find themselves on a very
    slippery slope! A point of no return, as cover ups, injustices and suffering children will not be tolerated!

  12. fedupwithcorruptrabbisNovember 7, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    CHAIM: So the lesson here might be to follow the MONEY TRAIL! If you believe that Biderman is wrong for supporting Dr Schlesinger, then its either the money or influence that he has over him or the Judge, or that something was evident in the courtroom that showed her to be an unfit mother to receive full custody.

  13. Fedupwithcorruptrabbis

    I think you may have knocked the nail on the head MONEY and INFLUENCE. One other thing is BLACKMAIL!

    Why else would Biderman cover up for Schlesinger? Why would a Chabad rabbi go against the whole ethos of Chabad and knowingly cause suffering to two defenceless and vulnerable children?

    Court commissioned assessments were done on Beth and she was found to be physically and mentally healthy. This is why she has had unsupervised visits with the children, and recently some overnight
    stays, for three years. This is in contrast to Schlesinger! He only had supervised visits
    for eighteen months, until the judge
    suddenly and without reason gave him full custody. No assessments have been done
    on him!

    This is why the case makes no sense! We
    have all seen in photos and videos what a wonderful mother Beth is to the boys and how they love being with her.

    However where is the evidence for the father?

    It's corruption all the way and the Heads of
    Chabad need to recognise it and act
    without delay., If not, they will be as guilty
    as Biderman. If Biderman cares about the children or Chabad he'll come out publically
    and tell the Court the children need their
    mother and save everyone from any more

  14. Fedupwithcorruptrabbis
    Beth, in her blogs, has stated how she has had court ordered assessments and that she is perfectly well both mentally and physically. Why hasn't the same happened for Dr Schlesinger?

    Dr Schlesinger had only supervised visits with the children until one day the court reversed their decision, and without reason, gave him full custody!

    This sounds very strange indeed, especially as Rabbi Biderman also sent a voluntary statement to the court saying that his colleagues were harassing him! He also said that the children were doing well when one was self-harming!

    We read in the blog above about Freundel aand how no one dare say anything about him! Look at what he has done and the outcry!

    Chabad need to make Biderman account for his actions, which go against the ethos of Chabad and that of Judaism!

    Perhaps doners should be encouraged to
    stop donating until they recognise the bad amongst them and do something about it!

    Money talks in all sorts of ways!

  15. Why is there so much online about Chabad? And so often showing it in a bad light? Is Chabad trying to take over the Jewish world? Is it really the dishonest movement websites like this one make it out to be?

    Or are obviously deviant rabbis such as the one in Vienna merely an exception?

    If they are, why is no one taking those who are acting against Chabad principles to task? The Vienna rabbi lied in court and remains silent when two small, defenceless children from his kindergarten are cruelly separated from their mother. This guy's boss, Rabbi Kotlarsky, needs to act fast to have this man removed from office, no matter how long the latter has been in Vienna or how many influential people (judges, Lord Mayor, etc) he may have been collaborating with.

  16. Websites like are often lacking a serious halachic analysis of the issues regarding Chabad, so they tend to resort to sensationalism to attack Chabad. The main problem with Chabad does not seem to be violence or criminal activities, rather Chabad seems to be driven by a very erroneous messianic "theology" with elements of minus (mee-noos), ie idolatrous conceptions of Hashem.

  17. This seems crazy . I'm advocating a case right now where an
    Israeli father had custody ripped from him as an extortion method. In
    this case a Vienna judge found the father
    more competent, the father has also raised questions about the wife's
    religiousity, (generally ex spouses do not speak well of each other so
    I'm not taking his allegations at face value, just saying that it's far
    more complicated than some extremely biased agenda-based internet
    posters who don't know either parent from a whole in the wall presuppose
    it to be) and the local rabbi, who does know the case, also supports
    the husband in this matter.

    What does the other side offer?

    rabbi lied in court" - That's certainly not true and the posters don't
    even try to back up the allegation with any real fact.

    anonymous Chabad posek says" - Anyone who believes that obviously

    doesn't know how poskim work. They don't make "anonymous piskei din".

    the best - "a handwritten letter from the Rebbe," except when you click
    on the "helpbeth" link where it's supposedly posted, a blank page comes
    up? Do these people have any shame?

    I know about this case is that the judge and local rabbi felt the
    father a better parent and the mother has tried to interrupt an
    international convention of people who have nothing to do with the case
    in return. I'm sure that motivated Rabbi Kotlarsky to set aside
    building shuls, helping shluchim and growing the organization to help
    rip kids away from an ehrlicher yid and father who both the judge and
    the local rabbi strongly believe to be the better parent.

    are bound to ask what are the best interests of the children. They are
    not bound to ask "what are the best interests of the mother who's
    posting outright lies on the internet and has recently sought to
    interrupt an unrelated international convention."

  18. This
    whole thing is going from bad to ridiculous. Adrian, you asked me to
    research it, I did. The local judge, who actually met both parties,
    believes the father to be more competent. I don't know. What I do know
    are the outright fabrications and spin that your side has posted.
    Rabbi Biderman, he testified only that his staff in the kindergarten
    find no signs of abuse and that the children are well taken care of.
    He also gives aliyos to a man who has done nothing wrong (I do wish he
    were more liberal with custody, but maybe if Beth would stop her antics
    he would be more trusting). I know that Gillian has a problem with
    this. I don't.
    question is whether Beth is sane and competent. Harassing an
    international organization when one of its rabbis simply wrote that he
    sees no signs of abuse would do more to back up Dr. Schlesinger's
    assertions than hers. And yes, I recognize that they tried to fault
    Rabbi Biderman, for passing on an email. The fact that it comes from
    the same people who were asking Rabbi Biderman over and over again to
    pass on their messages to the father doesn't go over my head.
    is serious and this kind of stuff fits the bill. As I stated before,
    if she wants more custody, and a better long term relationship with her
    kids (which would almost definitely not be the case if she got custody
    and maintained this attitude that she'll tear the world apart when
    things don't go her way), she should seek treatment. Unfortunately
    she's clearly aligned herself with militant NYers who could care less
    about her, who are actively making a fool out of her in the eyes of
    anyone with experience in custody matters (including the judge...), but
    have found a new cause celebre with which to act out their hatred.

  19. The children also want to spent time with their mother. The mother is not allowed to be in their sons lifes at all! For the past 4 years!! Why not? Is that really in the best interest of (very young) children? Not even every other weekend (the whole weekend). What don't you understand?
    I thought Jewish people are good religious people but so little visiting hours is really absurd. Nowadays it is 50/50, if the parents hate each other or not. Is Austria that old-fashioned? It is so childish what is happening here. It has nothing to do with the children anymore. They will grow older and hear and read about this. I really don't think they will blame their mother for fighting for them. Maybe the children want to see their mother more time than those stupid few hours.... Did anyone ask them??


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