Saturday, August 26, 2023

Aftermath of rescue: boy’s father sues

A Brooklyn father who sent his son to an abusive boot camp for delinquents in the Caribbean is suing a Far Rockaway couple and 30 others for $411 million, claiming they destroyed his reputation. The lawsuit has the blessing of Rav Aharon Schechter, the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn, according to a lawyer for the main defendant.

The main defendants in the suit are Michael Hersh’s sister-in-law, Elizabeth Rebecca Cohen and her husband Raphael Cohen, both of Far Rockaway. The lawsuit accuses them of masterminding an international “pernicious and malicious campaign of harassment” against the Hersh parents. This was done, the suit claims, for Rebecca to “feed her own deranged view of life and intense jealousy of her sister, Plaintiff Miriam Hersh.”

Other named defendants include Tzvi Gluck, several families that housed Isaac and his twin brother Shlomo, and the administrators of a Facebook group that sought to have Isaac freed from Tranquility Bay. The suit also lists the anonymous bloggers behind the Vos Iz Neias news aggregation website, Shmarya Rosenberg of the blog Failed Messiah, and 20 John Does. Lawyers representing Hersh have subpoenaed Dr. David Pelcovitz, Rabbi Avrohom Halpern of Yeshiva Sh’or Yoshuv, and companies like Microsoft, Google, AOL, and the social networking sites Facebook and MySpace, where some of the alleged defamation took place.

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