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August 14, 2012

Baltimore Haredi Rabbi Warns Community About Pedophile

Rabbi Stanley Z. LevittA warning signed by Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer is posted in at least two Baltimore synagogues, Congregation Kol Torah (headed by Rabbi Yosef Berger), and Kehillas Bnai Torah (headed by Rabbi Jonathan Seidemann.)

Rabbi Stanley Z. Levitt warning signed by Rabbi Hopfer 8-2012

Pictured above and above right: Convicted pedophile Rabbi Stanley Z. Levitt.

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I would grab my crotch to protect my jewels if I see him anywhere near me.

Googleing Yaakov Hopfer reveals many citations claiming that he is in fact an enabler of child abuse who opposes reporting to the civil authorities in favor of bringing matters before a Beth Din.

Query whether this is a change in position or whether it is simply an unavoidable reaction to a guilty plea.

Notify congregants?? Puff. Call his probation officer.

Israel Shapiro a well known Baltimore pedophile has worked at Wasserman & Lemberger's for years. If the community wanted to get rid of him all they need to do is boycott W&L and watch how fast they fire him. I stopped buying by them just for that reason alone. Sadly I think many people feel that Shabbos chulent meat is more important than his crimes against children. Someone should put this asshole out of his misery.The "rabanut" here is 2 steps below useless.

…Someone should put this asshole out of his misery.…

Posted by: BaltimoreYid | August 14, 2012 at 01:29 PM

Way out of line.

…Query whether this is a change in position or whether it is simply an unavoidable reaction to a guilty plea.

Posted by: MarkfromShortHills | August 14, 2012 at 01:20 PM

Seems to be the latter.

Someone should put this asshole out of his misery.…

Posted by: BaltimoreYid | August 14, 2012 at 01:29 PM

Way out of line.
--
Vulgar slang notwithstanding, I have no problem with the death penalty or vigilante justice for child molestors. They get away with it because they know they have nothing to fear from the justice system.

Israel Shapiro's brother David, was the principal of Maimonides School in Brookline, Mass. He covered for Levitt and now he made aliyah (fled to Israel,) so he can't be implicated.

>Boys allegedly sexually abused at Jewish
>summer camp in N.Y.
>August 14, 2012
...
>The 5 Towns Jewish Times reported that
>the alleged intruder is Golden Taste
>employee Yoel Oberlander, a convicted
>molester and registered sex offender from
>Monsey, N.Y., who pleaded guilty to
>molesting an 11-year-old girl in 2002. He
>was sentenced to six years of probation.

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/08/14/3103941/boys-allegedly-sexually-abused-at-orthodox-jewish-summer-camp

I understand their issue. Fine line between outreach to prisoners, and having one among the kids.

We've had to deal with this at our shul a couple of times - and legally, they cannot REALLY prevent him from attending.

Baltimore had a serious pedophile problem which they took care of. So why all of a sudden a picture. Are they going to start posting all the pictures of convicted P's.
They will have to get a bigger bulletin board in their shuls.

Posted by: jewishwhistleblower | August 14, 2012 at 02:01 PM

I reported this days ago, JWB. And as I noted then, it is far from clear that Oberlander was in that camp when the abuse happened.

Citing a story that has no original reporting and which names a person without any real support for doing so is unethical.

>Citing a story that has no original
>reporting and which names a person
>without any real support for doing so is
>unethical.

The Jewish Star apparently named him which would constitute original reporting. I can't link to that article as it is not currently online. I can only link to the JTA article that refers to that article. I don't believe that is unethical on my part unless I knew that the Jewish Star had no basis for the claim, which I do not know and could not possibly know that to be the case.

The Jewish Star apparently named him which would constitute original reporting. I can't link to that article as it is not currently online. I can only link to the JTA article that refers to that article. I don't believe that is unethical on my part unless I knew that the Jewish Star had no basis for the claim, which I do not know and could not possibly know that to be the case.

Posted by: jewishwhistleblower | August 14, 2012 at 02:16 PM

No, JWB. You've never met an accusation you didn't like.

Go back and read my report (which the Post used as a basis for their horrible piece) and you'll see what you could have done.

JWB, why did you post this in this thread and not in the thread where the story was originally reported?

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2012/08/bobover-boys-camp-sexual-abuse-molestation-678.html

>I reported this days ago, JWB. And as I
>noted then, it is far from clear that
>Oberlander was in that camp when the
>abuse happened.

I am aware of that. The fact that a convicted child molester apparently makes deliveries to a children's camp is significant regardless of the seperate abuse allegations.

As to your allegation that "You've never met an accusation you didn't like." That's absurd, false and uncalled for.

>Go back and read my report (which the
>Post used as a basis for their horrible
>piece) and you'll see what you could have
>done.

Again, I can't link to the Jewish Star article as it is not online. I can only link to the JTA Article that refers to it. I did not cite the portion of the JTA article that refers to the NY Post article or the Times Herald-Record article.

You seem to have some difficulty with the fact that the Jewish Star has made a serious allegation against Oberlander in print, not I. That is quite a distinction.

Posted by: jewishwhistleblower | August 14, 2012 at 02:28 PM

Please.

YOU seem to have a problem understanding that Oberlander was, allegedly, used as a scapegoat by Bobov, and the abuser may actually be someone else – as I reported.

Moreover, the JTA is treating the Jewish Star article as original reporting and has cited from it in an article that will now be disseminated world-wide and republished in various publications that subscribe to the JTA service.

>YOU seem to have a problem understanding
>that Oberlander was, allegedly, used as a
>scapegoat by Bobov, and the abuser may
>actually be someone else – as I reported.

While that may or may not be true, protocols should be in place to prevent Oberlander from having any access to children. That is regardless of the identity of the abuser.

If Oberlander is a scapegoat, then the true abuser should be exposed and those who deliberately used Oberlander to protect another abuser should be charged with obstruction of justice (if possible).

And as a result of the Jewish Star's article and the JTA's citing of it, Oberlander's name has now been widely distributed as a suspect.

I am only aware of one named source who has gone public with the identity of the abuser. Rabbi Rosenberg claims his sources say it is Oberlander.

http://nochemrosenberg.blogspot.com/

Rabbi Rosenberg has posted the following: "I got this information from Bobover sources, that it is Yoily Oberlander, however Ari Mandel (Rachmuna Litzlon) Who posted it on his Facebook page, claims that it is not him."

Posted by: jewishwhistleblower | August 14, 2012 at 02:58 PM

Please.

Oberlander's name has been "widely distributed as a suspect" because careless people "widely distributed" it.

You can see clearly from my report that I know about Oberlander. But I don't mention his name.

We don't even know he works for Golden Taste, let alone if he has the route that includes that camp. We don't know if he was working that day or if he's really on the security video.

But we do know the people who claimed it was him lied about a number of other things.

And we also know that people who did not lie and who know a lot about what happened say it isn't Oberlander.

But like I said, you don't meet accusations you don't like.

So again, explain to me how I am "unethical" as you claim and how I've "never met an accusation (I) didn't like".

Because this is not my allegation nor do I claim to have any non-public information like you.

The claim I've linked was published in the Jewish Times, cited in the JTA and confirmed by a post from a named individual Rabbi Rosenberg.

As best as you can claim "We don't even know he works for Golden Taste, let alone if he has the route that includes that camp. We don't know if he was working that day or if he's really on the security video." That doesn't answer the question whether Oberlander had any ability to access children in the recent past as alleged by the Jewish Star, the JTA, Rabbi Rosenberg etc. Unless you can confirm that Oberlander did not have the access alleged, I do not see why he shouldn't be part of the discussion whether he was the alleged abuser or simply a scapegoat for him.

Posted by: jewishwhistleblower | August 14, 2012 at 03:16 PM

Please.

Nuchem had zero first hand info. Everything he has was based on secondhand stories from Bobov – except, of course, for the reliable info he was given that those Bobover were being lied to by their rabbis.

At any rate, it is clear that in your mind, any accusation that someone reports is valid, and you can spew it out and regurgitate it with no real regard for its validity.

And that is very sad.

If you want to name Oberlander, name yourself, as well.

If you can't do that then have the decency to refrain from naming Oberlander until something approaching evidence exits.

Firstly, you referred to Oberlander in your original post as a suspect without naming him but giving sufficient details that he could be readily identified not only by those in his community but also by those outside it: "The man camp officials allegedly saw on the recording is a Level 2 sex offender who agreed to chemical castration as a part of his probation. His wife, a community source tells me, is pregnant. But it is unclear whether this is actually true or whether someone else is actually pictured on the security video and the convicted sex offender is being scapegoated by Bobov to protect someone else."

Secondly, Oberlander was named and discussed in the comments to your original post days ago starting August 10, 2012 at 04:02 PM and not by me.

You clearly must have been aware that Oberlander had been named in the comments when you posted a reply some dozen comments down from several naming him on August 10, 2012 at 07:10 PM without comment or removal of the earlier comments.

Having said that, if you are convinced that Oberlander has been unfairly named, remove my comments here and the comments at your original post and edit out his identifying personal details in your original post. Then you can lecture me about "decency".

And as to your claim "At any rate, it is clear that in your mind, any accusation that someone reports is valid, and you can spew it out and regurgitate it with no real regard for its validity."

That's not my criteria, its the criteria used by those involved with documenting the problem of abuse in the religious community, published news reports. See for example the Catholic example http://bishop-accountability.org

And by the way, the Forward is also citing the Jewish Star report and naming the "suspect".

JWB –

1. I didn't remove your comment, either. But I did point out that posting it was irresponsible – and it is.

2. Secondly, you seem to think that if unnamed sources cite rumors and an irresponsible paper prints those rumors with no documentation to support them, it allows you to cite those rumors as if they are credible and then name the alleged abuser. But you're wrong.

3. For example, would you approvingly or neutrally cite reports in a haredi publication, based solely on rumors from unnamed haredi sources in Lakewood close to Matisyahu Salomon, that claim Rabbi Blau is a criminal? Or would you question those sources or ignore them entirely? You would, of course, question those those reports. But when you swap out Rabbi Blau for a Level 2 sex offender, and Lakewood for Bobov, you cite the report without qualification. And you should be ashamed of that.

And by the way, the Forward is also citing the Jewish Star report and naming the "suspect".

Posted by: jewishwhistleblower | August 14, 2012 at 04:08 PM

So the most craven and unethical 'secular' Jewish publication when it comes to child sex abuse names Oberlander based on nothing more than rumor, and you think that kashers you?

Please.

The JTA and Forward as far as I am aware are considered legitimate news sources that are considered to have journalistic standards unlike the "haredi" publications you appear to refer to.

If you are correct and consider the comments "irresponsible" then it is unethical for you not to remove them as you claim to have more direct information and assisted with any "rumor mongering" by giving specific characteristics in your original post.

"the most craven and unethical 'secular' Jewish publication when it comes to child sex abuse". While it prints articles I don't agree with, don't like and are at times wrong in their assertions. I don't believe your analysis is how the Forward (or JTA) is seen in the journalism community, either secular or Jewish.

You may want to consider in your analysis how many Jewish/Israeli publications routinely republish articles from the Forward and JTA.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong but I do not believe that the Charedim think child molestation is a serious crime, or even recognize it as such. Child molestation is very clearly a serious crime in secular law but I am unaware that it is a clearly unnunciated prohibition in Halacha. I am sure it is wrong in Halacha for a variety of reasons however, but for the Charedim it is just not clear what the prohibition may be.

Moreover, the public naming of this "suspect" has resulted from the silence of your "truthful sources" that have not contacted these publications or attempted to stop the publicizing of his name. All which could have been done without attribution of your sources' names.

And of course the detailed identifying characteristics of the "suspect" that you posted in your original post and the comments that you did not remove or challenge in your original post.

JWB –

Again, your reasoning is circular as are your sources.

If a person lies, a paper prints that lie without confirming it or questioning it, and then other papers pick up that lie based on that paper's report, it does not make it correct or ethical to cite any of it without pointing out the lie.

But you can't process that.

And instead of owning up to your error, you try to smear me for allowing you to post it – as if I have time to read every comment and am actively censoring them. But, of course, I don't do that.

What you very well may be doing, JWB, is helping Bobov cover up for a Bobov pedophile.

But, heck, what does that matter when you can point to a previously convicted sex offender and blame him?

Moreover, the public naming of this "suspect" has resulted from the silence of your "truthful sources" that have not contacted these publications or attempted to stop the publicizing of his name. All which could have been done without attribution of your sources' names.

And of course the detailed identifying characteristics of the "suspect" that you posted in your original post and the comments that you did not remove or challenge in your original post.

Posted by: jewishwhistleblower | August 14, 2012 at 04:30 PM

No, JWB.

Nuchem made a mistake.

I reported correctly.

The Forward, the Jewish Star and Post all had access to my reporting and all knew that there were clear and credible allegations being made that the perp isn't Oberlander and that Bobov was implicating him to cover for one of its own.

But each of those publications chose not to report that, some because to do so they would have to cite me (and thereby acknowledge they were beaten to the story) or because their reporters are dull or unethical.

The problem isn't the sources I had contact with – it's those papers, and it's you.

JWB vs Shmarya - And the score is.....

I saw r. Levitt recently in shul. One time he came with a walker another time leaning on a cane. He looks ill and always seems very sad.
Granted what he did was evil and probably has bad effects on those children to this day, however shouldn't our repulsion and desire to punish him be at least somewhat balanced by common sense.
The terms of his probation are that he can't be in the vicinity of children unsupervised. Wouldn't it make sense to simply have volunteers from the community watching him whenever he is in shul for prayers? I'm sure it is not that hard to find people who would want to help this unfortunate individual to be able to daven with a minian while making sure the terms of his probation are satisfied and no children are placed in danger.

Concerned Jew:

He's a rodef. He should stay at home and not bother the rest of the community. Just like some others in Baltimore - http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeyttl9/

I'll make some popcorn, and be back in a few minutes to see the latest score, JWB vs. Shmarya. Maybe next Asifa we'll do a parody of this.

@Concerned Jew

That is exactly what will be done - or should be. Coordinated with probation officer with an absolute promise that he will be in jail faster than he can say the shema if he steps out of line.

i enjoy most all of the debates which take place in the comments, but not this one. shmarya and JWB are clearly both on the right side of exposing molesters and their enablers and i dont like seeing them at odds.

#Concerned Jew

You are a perfect example of what the great Rabbis meant when they said:
"He who is compassionate to the cruel will ultimately be cruel to the compassionate."
-- Midrash Tanhuma Metzora 1; Yalkut Shimoni I Shmuel 121

Let him daven at home so we don't have to assign watchmen for him in every shul at all times.

Rebitzman
I like your style.
Need to be practical in dealing with people in real life communities.

Fahfafooey

Posted by: bob abooey


ok, we get it. flaflaflohi,tahtahtoothey, mamamonkey.

Thank you Rabbi Hopfer for warning the community!
http://www.examiner.com/article/thank-you-rabbi-hopfer-for-warning-the-community

thought you'd be interested in this article

I understand their issue. Fine line between outreach to prisoners, and having one among the kids.

We've had to deal with this at our shul a couple of times - and legally, they cannot REALLY prevent him from attending.

Posted by: rebitzman | August 14, 2012 at 02:01 PM

I would keep him away from the youth and teen minyan. I would also say that he should sit in the front so everyone can keep an eye on him.

It really is not too hard to set up a safe environment without baring him from attendance.

well done.
all shules should adopt this approach. particularly in Australia.
Particularly with regards to Lubavitch organisations.

Concerned Jew,
Your description of this criminal sounds like Mr. Herbert on Family Guy.

http://familyguy.wikia.com/wiki/Herbert

Hey Chad Green-
If you have proof that Rabbi Shapiro "covered up" for Levitt, I want to see it. I grew up in Boston, went to Maimonides for over ten years, had daily interactions with Rabbi D. Shapiro, public and private, and have found his conduct as an educator and personal character to be unimpeachable.
Put up or shut up.
DGB

CHAD GREEN
Please provide support for your statement about R. Shapiro, you make serious allegations without any back up.

CONCERNED JEW
Why so much compassion for the rodef, what have you done to help the victims?

>We don't even know he works for Golden
>Taste

Actually we do. His employer information is part of his sex offender registration.

Dumb question but if it is alleged that when the security recording was viewed it depicted an individual worthy of a cover up (ha) is it alleged
(A) that they then set out to find a patsy to finger, or
(B) did they already know the delivery guy was a sex offender but didn't care because that activity is not viewed with concern by this community in which it is endemic?

oops, sorry, meant to post that elsewhere

Shmarya,

Sorry if you think I stepped over the line regarding Yisroel Shapiro. It's your blog so I respect your limitations. I am the father of 4 great children,I know one of Shapiro's victims & for the record if he ever touched one of my kids, well I won't step over the line again.

It appears from CBS news reports that your sources are mistaken or perhaps more than one predator was active in this camp.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/08/15/sources-registered-sex-offender-sneaks-into-catskills-sleep-away-camp/

Excerpt:
...
Security cameras caught the images of the intruder inside one of the boys’ dormitories. Young has learned the footage shows the man in a hallway and that he steps out of sight several times for short durations of time.

Examination of the image indicates the man is a registered sex offender who works as a deliveryman for a kosher food service, police said.

His name, Young has learned, is Yoel Oberlander of Monsey and camp directors said he had no reason to be near the dormitory or any of the children staying at the sleep-away camp.
...

Posted by: jewishwhistleblower | August 16, 2012 at 09:44 AM

Please post your comments in its correct thread! Your comments have absolutely nothing to do with Yaakov Hopfer and the Baltimore Jewish community.

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