The Schick spills forth again. Day school and yeshiva grade school, middle school and high school expert and consultant for the Avi Chai Foundation Marvin Schick explains why newspapers, blogs and sometimes even police and prosecutors expose bad Orthodox/haredi behavior – Jews rat out other Jews and feed the "anti-Orthodox" agendas of the papers, blogs, cops and DAs. And this is especially true, Schick seems to think, when the crime or misbehavior being outed has do with various types of abuse of students in Jewish schools.
Schick uses his weekly paid advertisement in the New York Jewish Week – Schick insists on calling these paid advertisements "columns" – to lash out at…
Marvin Schick makes what is, perhaps, the most foolish argument ever made regarding…
As longtime readers of FailedMessiah probably know, Marvin Schick and I do not see eye to eye on most things.
However, when it comes to the Lipa Schmeltzer-concerts ban, we're…
The JTA reports:
The Chabad-Lubavitch movement has no written conduct guidelines applying specifically to its estimated 4,000 global emissaries, known as shluchim, or its approximately 3,000 multi-use facilities that double as synagogues and are usually referred to as Chabad Houses.
However, many Chabad Houses have adopted behavioral policies originally formulated for the movement´s schools, according to movement spokesman Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin.
In addition, according to Shmotkin, shluchim must strictly abide by the Shulchan Aruch, the 16th-century code of Jewish law that prohibits non-married or unrelated adults of the opposite sex from being secluded with each other.
On the school front
Some of the denominational policies examined by JTA are designed to guard against situations that could result in inappropriate contact with minors, regardless of their sex. They mandate, for example, that at least two adults be present when a child is receiving private religious instruction.
A non-seclusion requirement is among many anti-abuse provisions included in mandatory school behavioral policies adopted by Chabad about five years ago. The policies cover approximately 2,000 personnel at some 350 Chabad schools attended by about 24,000 students.
The policies also instruct school officials to consult two recognized rabbinic authorities — one Chabad-affiliated and one not — regarding the centuries-old Jewish legal injunction known as mesirah, which in some instances prohibits Jews from reporting Jewish perpetrators to non-Jewish authorities.
Mesirah has been blamed for the reticence of some Orthodox sex abuse victims to go public with their complaints. In a spring 2004 article in the anti-abuse publication Working Together, [Rabbi Mark] Dratch of JSafe said that in cases of child sex abuse, "the consensus of contemporary Jewish religious authorities is that such reporting is religiously mandatory."
Now, compare this to Torah Umesorah, the Aguda-afilliated haredi day school-yeshiva movement:
Three years ago, several safeguards were adopted by Torah Umesorah-The National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, a service organization — the largest of its kind in the United States — that provides religious educational materials for nearly 200,000 Orthodox students spanning that denomination´s ideological spectrum.
The Torah Umesorah guidelines, which were presented to school principals, warn teachers and other staffers to refrain from sexually immodest behavior or speech and from inappropriate touching. They also prohibit school personnel from being secluded with students.
But the guidelines are nonbinding because each of the hundreds of schools served by Torah Umesorah are self-governing.
"We´re a service agency, not a governing agency," Rabbi Joshua Fishman, the organization´s executive vice president, told JTA.
Elliot Pasik, a New York attorney and children´s rights advocate, said the way in which the guidelines were distributed calls into question Torah Umesorah´s commitment to protecting students from sexually predatory teachers and other staffers.
The guidelines were accompanied by a Sept. 24, 2003, cover letter signed by Fishman that said in part: "This document should be maintained with a sense of confidentiality. It should only be shared with your educational administrative and teaching staff."
Perhaps as a result of that directive, Pasik said few, if any, parents he knows with children attending schools serviced by Torah Umesorah were told about the rules unless they called the Torah Umesorah national office in Manhattan. Pasik´s children have attended yeshivas affiliated with Torah Umesorah.
Furthermore, he added, "I have personally spoken with several teachers and they knew nothing about these guidelines."
Asked to respond, Fishman declined comment, except to say, "We believe that molesters should be reported."
Pasik said the situation shows the need for a centralized governing body — perhaps a state or federal agency — that can hold schools accountable for the safety of students.
"It´s hard for people in any organization to govern themselves," he said. "We´re not being patrolled or governed by anybody."
Chabad has the better policy and the stronger enforcement. And who is closely aligned with Torah Umesorah? Why, Marvin Schick, the self-appointed day school expert and blowhard. Schick is a big fan of not going to the police.
(Translated from Hebrew to English)
As a Charedi (ultra-orthodox) child he had been through a series of molestations and attempted rapes. Even after he left the religious life, he suffered from nightmares and sleepless nights. Now Menachem Lang decided to gather his courage, confront his attackers, and force the Charedi world to deal with its demons. Dressed as a Charedi, he infiltrated Bnei-Brak and followed them--until he managed to squeeze a detailed admission and request for forgiveness; all in front of the cameras.
Menachem Lang was born as a Charedi in Bnei-Brak. Already at a young age he was discovered as someone who possessed a unique voice for Chazanut (leading the community in religious song)and became the wonder child of the Charedi world. However, alongside the success, Lang was hiding a relentless dark secret.
"The first time was when I was 7 years old," tells Lang. "The attacker took me to the bathroom and spent five hours with me there. He rubbed against me and touched me, breathed like a drunkard. I just lowered my eyes and waited for it to be over." This week, almost 20 years later, Lang went back to the streets of Bnei-Brak--and this time as a non-religious Jew dressed as a Charedi--in order to confront the people who sexually assaulted him.
Menachem, 25 years old, is an actor in the Ensemble of Herzelia Theater, went on the shuddering trip into his past accompanied by Channel 10 reporter Guy Lerer. "I always wanted to do this," he says, "it hurt me that these people are walking free. It haunted me nights, but I didn't have the courage to do this because I didn't have anyone to do it with. I made the decision when Lerer came to me to prepare a report on the show I participate in. I told him about my dream and he immediately told me 'we're doing this!'. During the shooting we walked into the Satmar borough dressed as Charedis, the same Chassidic group that sent its people to meet with Ahmad Nigahd. It is a hard, violent place."
"I am regretful!"
About two weeks ago, Landg and Lerer, outfitted with a hidden camera, arrived in a neighborhood in Bnei-Brak. He waited under one of the houses, dressed as a Charedi. A few minutes later, a familiar figure approaches up the street. Menachem identifys "A", the man who attacked him violently and molested him when he was 13. He goes to him and calls him to stop. "A" turns and flees, Menachem runs after him. Several tens of meters later, he catches him, and the two begin to fight. When "A" understands that he has no place to run to, he stops, and after he calms down a bit an exchange develops between Menachem and him.
Marvin Schick has another disingenuous ad in the Jewish Week. In it, under the headline, "What's Wrong With Mesirah," (informing; telling the police, media or government about crimes committed by Jews) Schick tells us: everything is wrong with mesira.
Schick's argument is simple. American (and Israeli) justice is unfair and imperfect. Criminals are not given the option of restitution rather than jail. Therefore, you should not tell the police about crimes committed by Jews. Schick has one caveat to this blanket condemnation of reporting Jewish criminals to police.
He writes, "There are instances of spousal abuse, child abuse, and other situations where leading Orthodox rabbis have instructed that civil authorities be notified."
What Schick does not tell you in his carefully parsed language is that those instances are few and far between. Only one or two haredi rabbis of note have endorsed going to the police and that endorsement has been on a case by case basis. Indeed, a wide range of leading haredi rabbis both knew about Rabbi Kolko's abuse and forbade victims and parents from going to the police. Rabbis as diverse as Elya Svei, Avraham Pam, and ArtScroll's Nosson Scherman all are said to have known about the allegations. Pam and Scherman fought to have Kolko banned from teaching. None went to the police and Rabbi Kolko continued to abuse young boys. Take a moment and read the alleged history of Rabbi Kolko and the rabbinic coverup.
Schick continues, "The yeshiva deans who compromise the board of Torah Umesorah, the National Association of Hebrew Day Schools, adopted a policy statement …" What is this policy statement? It is an old statement about child abuse, in place during the last years of Rabbi Kolko's abuse but not enforced. Schick does not bring the meat of the policy statement. All we know from what he quotes is that Torah Umesorah agrees that child abuse is bad and that, according to a letter sent by the organization's executive director, "If there is indeed an allegation of child abuse, and that allegation proves to be true, and the matter that had come to your attention was not attended to, you will be liable both in the eyes of G-D and according to secular law."
What Schick does not tell you is that Agudath Israel of America and Torah Umesorah both opposed mandatory reporting law that would have made rabbis mandatory reporters of suspected abuse. If that law had been in place, many of the "gedolim" would now be facing criminal charges in the Kolko affair.
Schick concentrates much of this week's ad decrying the imprisonment of financial frauds, cheats and thieves. What Schick does not tell you is that his beloved nephew is one of them, having defrauded dozens of investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. This would be a disclosure any journalist would need to make. Schick – who uses his bought and paid bully pulpit to club the press – does not make this necesary disclosure because he holds the press to a higher standard of honesty than he holds himself or his community.
Which brings us to the Jewish Week. Schick's 'columns' are paid advertisements, and need to be labeled as such by the Jewish Week. Indeed, the Jewish Week promised me months ago that they would begin doing so immediately. If you look at the PDF of the ad (Download schick_mesira.pdf ), you'll note that, within the borders of the ad there is one small line of type that reads, "This space is privately sponsored." No respectable publication would consider that a sufficient disclaimer. Indeed, the standard disclaimer on any ad of this type (something that does not look like display advertising) is to label it, "Paid Advertisement," and put that label above and under the ad to show the newspaper is not a party to the ad's contents, and to do so in a way that cannot easily be missed.
The Jewish Week ran Schick's paid ads – ads that in some cases libeled others – without a disclaimer. Now it runs them with a small, ambiguous note within the ad itself. Gary Rosenblatt and Company know better. Schick is a stain on the Jewish Week, and that stain is made measurably larger by this type of deceptive behavior. Put more simply, it makes you look dishonest, Gary.
[Hat Tips: Yisroel for the tip and Dr. R-F for the scan.]
Marvin Schick's son Joe writes about abuse he suffered at the hands of a hasidic teacher in grade school. Most interesting is Marvin Schick's knowledge of that abuse and his apparent public silence about it:
When I was in sixth grade [in Toras Emes], in 1984, we had a chasidic rebbe, probably in his mid-30's, for the 12-1 chumash session. One Friday toward the end of the school year, he demanded that a number of kids stay after school. I ignored him, and walked out the door, when, presumably infuriated by the affront to his honor, he grabbed me, slammed my head and body against the wall and punched me repeatedly. This went on for quite a while. When he was done, he warned me not to tell my parents, or he would have me thrown out of the yeshiva.
I did not tell my parents, however, on Saturday night, my mother noticed that my back was badly bruised. I reluctantly told her what happened.
The next morning, my parents went to the yeshiva principal, a man who was principal of the yeshiva for more than 40 years, to demand that the rebbi be fired. It is worth noting that my family had a fairly good relationship with the principal, and that my father was fairly well known in the community.
The principal finished his meeting with my parents, and asked me and the rebbi to come to his office. My parents quietly told me not to worry, to tell the principal exactly what happened and not be scared of the rebbi. I told the truth. The principal asked the rebbi to respond. The rebbi's response was that I was a liar, and had banged my own head against the wall when he demanded that I stayed late, and that he did not lay a hand on me except to restrain me from hurting myself further.
The principal's response was to berate me for making false accusations against a rebbi, and he actually forced me to apologize to the rebbi. The rebbi was not fired and I went back to his classroom.
On the last day of school, the rebbi asked me in front of the entire class to forgive him. I responded sarcastically that there was no reason for me to forgive him, since I had thrown myself against the wall, and he never touched me. He then asked me privately for forgiveness, and I ignored him.
On erev Yom Kippur, I was walking home from mincha in Boro Park when I met the rebbi. He stopped me, told me that he was no longer teaching at the yeshiva (I assume the principal conveniently decided to terminate him at the end of the school year, and berated me only for some stupid purpose of protecting the authority of the rebbis) and that he had been thinking about what he did all summer, that he was very wrong, and since it is erev Yom Kippur, G-d clearly decided to have me meet him for a reason, and he hoped I would grant him forgiveness. I muttered okay, I forgive you, and walked away. Given that I don't recall ever seeing him again (and I lived in Boro Park for 13 more years), perhaps there really was a divine reason for that chance meeting.
Ultimately, I think the principal's actions are as reprehensible as the rebbi's. The rebbi did a terrible thing, and then refused to accept responsibility instead blaming his victim, but at least in the end he seemed to have understood the wrongfulness of his conduct. The principal, a school educator, berated a kid who had been badly beaten by his own rebbi two days earlier for no reason other than some archaic notion of supporting authority figures.
This happened to Marvin "Mr. Day School - Yeshiva Expert" Schick. Imagine what happens to kids whose parents don't come from prominent families and don't have protectzia.
[Hat tip: Dr. R-F.]
Hella Winston's wonderful book, Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels, is now out in paperback. Here is 16 minute interview (scroll down the page a bit) Leonard Lopate did with Hella last year when the hardcover edition was released. Note how she is very respectful of the hasidic way of life and of haredim. (Here's a longer interview from Michael Krasny at KQED, as well.) The point is Hella is more than fair to haredim. Now look at Marvin Schick's attack on Hella Winston. Note the deception and the complete lack of mentchlekeit Schick displays. Winston is secular. Schick is a haredi mouthpiece. Even 10 years ago, at the height of my haredism, I would much rather my children act like Hella Winston than act like Marvin Schick.
At last week's Agudah convention, Rabbi Mattisyahu Salomon, speaking for the rabbinical and political leadership of Agudah, admitted there were many cases of rabbinic and other abuse haredi rabbinic leadership had handled quietly, dealing with the problem and then "sweeping it under the carpet" to avoid bad publicity, etc. The problems with this admission are many, not the least of which is that "sweeping [abuse] under the carpet" allows the abuser to relocate and continue abusing, something specifically alleged in at least two separate cases. But the admission also again proves Marvin Schick to be either willfully naive or a liar, or both. Perhaps it's time for Marvin to apologize to the abuse victims and advocates he has so disparaged. What do you say, oh "day school and yeshiva 'expert'"? Maybe you could use your Jewish Week "column" to apologize – if you have the guts, that is.
Marvin Schick writes several years ago:
…The Catholic Church has been shaken to the core by literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of accusations, as adults have emerged to voice their claims of abusive activities that occurred years ago. Media attention has certainly been a catalyst for many of the accusers being willing to go public, mainly against Catholic clergymen, but also against religious functionaries of other denominations. It stands to reason that if Orthodox Jewry or any other part of Jewish life were awash with sexual abuse against youngsters or in efforts to cover-up abuse, we would have heard about it in the recent period. It is powerfully telling that such charges have not materialized, that despite an atmosphere that is strongly conducive to sexual abuse claims, very little has been forthcoming on the Jewish or Orthodox fronts.
Emphatically, this does not mean that there haven't been any such cases that we do not know about. It does mean that too much of the rhetoric within our community has been overwrought and unfortunate. I hope that those who leap at every opportunity to denigrate the Orthodox will recognize that what they have done is itself a form of abuse.
Rabbi Kolko's abuse went on over a 30 year span and was covered up by many rabbis, including "gadol" Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg. Bryks walks free in Queens, still with official access to children. The Ner Israel perps still walk free, as does Mondrowitz. Rabbis like Scheinberg still intimidate families, victims and advocates. And Marvin Schick is still covering for them all. That, Marvin, is the real abuse.
[Hat Tip: Dr. R-F.]
As a bonus, here is a piece written by Marvin Schick defending convicted kidnapper Rabbi Shlomo Helbranes. Read all of JWB's post (found, as is JWB's unique style, in the comments to the headline) for Schick's piece and lots of other reports making Schick look, well, stupid – which is not exactly hard to do.
Helbranes' Awarness Center page may be easier to follow.
Marvin Schick writes:
…The sad thing about the emerging scenario is that the Orthodox are more alert to abuse issues than other Jews. In some perverse fashion, their alertness is being translated into evidence of a greater incidence of domestic abuse in Orthodox homes, primarily because the media are invited to get into the act by organizations and individuals with a stake in abuse issues.…
The Orthodox, and notably the dynamic yeshiva-world sector, needs to show greater restraint in dealing with the media and government, else there will certainly be a continuing flow of self-inflicted wounds. Prospects for this are not bright because there is a paucity of leadership and far too little discipline among these Orthodox. Contrary to the familiar view that sees these religious Jews as being led from the top by respected rabbinical figures, the reality is one of near anarchy. A price is being paid, although that scarcely seems to be a deterrent.
Marvin Schick denies widespread reports of man-on-boy mikva abuse and has consistently claimed all types of abuse are rare in Orthodoxy, despite much evidence to the contrary. I hesitate to write this, but I can reach no other conclusion: a man who does this repetitively over a period of years, even as accused abusers continue to have professional access to children, often at the very day schools and yeshivas Schick is the "worldwide" "expert" in, and yet Schick does not condemn this access and urges Jews not to cooperate with government bodies trying to deal with abuse – this man is not simply naive, he is evil and as much a part of the problem and as guilty as accused abusers like Rabbis Kolko, Bryks and Eisenman.
[Hat Tip: Dr. R-F.]
Here is Marvin Schick's entire column as a PDF file:
… It seems that a trustworthy witness saw it in action, quite by accident. He needed a Mikva and went to the one in Geula. Imagine his surprise and outrage.
Apparently this happened about a year ago and he wrote a letter to the Edah HaCharedis at the time protesting it:
"(Amongst other things, he wrote) in his letter about how the Gabai of Skver was raping young boys, and the rebbe knew about it, but he did nothing to stop it, because the gabai knew all of their secrets ETC…."
The writer of that letter received an unbelievably tepid response:
“The (response) …from the Bedatz, simply states, they will apoint a gaurd (Only on erev shabbos and yom tov) to make sure it doesn't happen again.”
Is this how some of our rabbinic leaders operate? They refuse to give specific Brachos to the IDF because it would imply support fot the Medina. But a deviant bath-house operating in Geula? … Nisht Geferlach.
How true is this accusation? Read on.
I spoke to Rav Rosenberg. He told me the letter is 100% accurate. He was thwarted by the Edah who refused to shut down this "Mikvah of Molesation". It grosses $500,000 dollars annually for the Edah HaCharedis. He also told me that he was thwarted in his efforts to do anything about it by …one Rav Davidovich… who is head of something called the Vaad Mishmeres Tznius.
When this Vaad was at first approached by Rav Rosenberg, he was told they had no authority since the Mikvah was under the jurisdiction of the Edah. He also told me that this Vaad whose mission it is to prevent boys and girls from eating a Pizza together in a restaurant, thwarted his efforts to close down this “Mikvah of molestation” with 18 people confronting him.
But, Rav Rosenberg has photographic evidence taken with his cell phone of this behavior. He saw a seventy year old man and a 6 year old boy. All the acts he described in the published letter to the Edah are accurate.
Many different types of people use this Mikvah and have been victimized there. Many of the victims are currently under psychiatric care. The Edah’s response was to put a Shomer there on Fridays and on eEev Yom Tovim. They refuse to close down the place.…
I wrote yesterday that Jewish leaders like Marvin Schick and Rabbi Avi Shafran spend their time defending haredim against "attacks" when they should be spending it cleaning up their communities. Gentlemen?
I am sorry to say that horrible stories about mikva'os are 100% true -- and then some.
L'aniyas da'ati, all mikvaos for men should be off limits to any children. No child under the age of 18 should go. Period.
I personally know of many many boys who were molested in mikva'os.
I am in close contact with an ex-chassidishe young adult who, over time, was raped by at least 10 men; among them, rebbeim, often in mikvaos.…
Men like Marvin Schick and Rabbi Avi Shafran close their eyes to this and to many other problems in the haredi world. Their desire to "defend" haredism from "attackers" and to present the community it the best possible light blinds them to the real devastation in their midst. Both are very talented men. If they would direct their energies inward into cleaning up abuses in the haredi world, instead of outward at those who "attack,' they could save many lives. Gentlemen?
In response to this post, JWB points out that alleged pedophile Rabbi Ephraim Boruch Bryks runs a mikva, the Mikva of Kew Gardens, out of his home in Queens, NY – and that mikva is under the supervision of the Queens Va'ad HaRabbonim. JWB also notes that Bryks is alleged to have abused young girls, young boys and also to have had affairs with adult women he couselled.
And apparently Avi Schick, Marvin Schick's son, is a supporter of Bryks, but this isn't particularly surprising – Marvin Schick doesn't believe there is abuse taking place in mikvas, and he believes the abuse in the haredi world is far less than in the secular world – if it exists at all.
Details of the allegations against Bryks – including a CBC TV documentary about him – can be seen here.
Chaptzem has post on alleged man-on-boy sexual abuse at a Jerusalem mikva, where, apparently homosexual acts between adult males is also common. The documents are all in Hebrew and Yiddish. Shmuel, who tipped us to this post, has made a translation of parts of them, which follows directly below scans of the originals. You can click on the scans to see larger images:
Rabbi Nochum Rosenberg
To his honor, the great Rabbi, R’ Yitzchak Tuvia Weiss, leader of the bet din of the Edah Charedit in Yerushalayim, and the Rabbis of the BADATZ and the charedi community in Yerushalayim,
I wish to enlighten you to a story that is awesome and terrible, that in our terrible sinful state…..
It is well known that I travel the globe to fix and prepare mikvaos in order that people should be able to purify themselves for the sake of heaven. ………
I would like to testify in front of a beis din that in my sinful state, I stumbled and entered into a “gay bath house” on Friday, erev shabbos parshas metzorah….
Even though I did not do anything, rather I just saw things, it still made a gaping wound in my neshomah and I needed to travel to the mikvaos in German, Cologne, Worms etc, that have been around since the time of the rishonim, and I dipped myself in the cold water in order to remove the filth from my memory so that it shouldn’t haunt me, yet it still haunts me.
And if you wonder, how could I have done such a terrible thing, to visit a place like that, does it not say in the pasuk that ……(stay far away)and especially, me, who is involved in the purification of jews?
The answer is, this abomination was in the mikvah of Yerushaliyim the holy city, and this was the first time in 30 years that I was in Yerushalayim on shabbos, because I always go to Meiron for shabbos, And even worse, the mikvah is in the midst of the charedi communityof Geulah, in the sauna room of the mikvah, in the mikvah of Zupnik, and I didn’t know that there was there a gay bath house, rather, I thought it was a a holy mikvah, to purify the holy nation. And not, god forbid, in my stumbles, I went to be tovel my body and my spirit and I made the terrible mistake of opening the door to the sauna of the mikvah, and I saw what I saw…woe is to my eyes for the horrors that they have seen.
And this is what I saw in the sauna room of the “gay bath house”
1. 2 large darkened rooms, with meavrim tzarim
2. Sinful people, sitting there on two levels, one on top of the other, kneeling on a stone floor, and massaging one another.
3. on the lower level, …..
4. I saw many sinful people giving a hand…..
I saw with my own eyes that there were small children, age seven or eight, that don’t know the taste of sin, and the sinful people would sit them on their laps, and sin with them the bitter, abominable sin of homosexuality(Molesting the children). The sin that is punished by kares and ariri, (Excummunication and early death) and they would rub the “os bris kodesh” of the children until it was hard and when I shouted in protest, they gave me a whack with…..
And this, is what I saw in the actual room of tevilah:
In the mikvah pit, they were acting with little children in a way that would even embarrass those sinners from from Sodom and Gemorah. A house of ill repute like this doesn’t exist by the Jews in any other locale in the world. (There was once a sauna in a mikvah in Williamsburg, and I fought with them until they closed it, but even there, there wasn’t depravity like there is here)
In the last 20 years, amongst the goyim, there had been a growth in the Gay bath houses of the disease of AIDS. Since then, they have shut these places down. If this place would be in America, all the participants would be in jail, and even according to the laws of the Zionist government, such a place would be closed down. But here, in the holy city of Yerushalayim, in beis zupnik, the mikvah remains open and everything is permissible.
And because of this, we are worse than the non jewish nations, even Pharoe and billam knew that god hates sexual depravity, and I fear that god will strike Jerusalem, In order that god shouldn’t have to ask forgiveness from Sodom and Gemorah, because some of the Jews in Yerushaliyim are far worse. ……
When I brought this up with many rabbis and communal activists, they told me that they knew of this sick happening, but what could they do, since it is under the hashgachah of the bedatz of the eidah charedis.
When I brought it up with the eidah charedis, they told me “what can we do, these people subsidize the mikvah for women and for actual talmidei chachamim” woe to my ears.
I answered them that you are purifying the daughters of Israel on the backs of the abominable actions of the sons of Israel…….
I begged them to close it down. I threatened that if they do not close it in the next 3 weeks, I will go to the following 3 places to complain:
1. I will go to the police, I will testify to all that I saw. I have also collected affidavits from many boys and avrechim that have been sacrificed at this sick altar. (Been abused)
2. I will go to the child abuse authorities
3. I will go to the press and tell them that there is a gay bath house that molest children in yerushalayim with the consent of the bedatz, and I will fight with all of my strength to get it closed.
And don’t try to just put a guard there, that will not suffice, such a terrible place must be closed immediately.
He then carries on in his letter about how the Gabai of Skver was raping young boys, and the rebbe knew about it, but he did nothing to stop it, because the gabai knew all of their secrets ETC….
The letter that follows, from the Bedatz, simply states, they will apoint a gaurd (Only on erev shabbos and yom tov) to make sure it doesn't happen again.
This was posted by Chaptzem last year, well before Marvin Schick attacked Hella Winston for mentioning, briefly, that haredi boys told her they had been abused in mikvas. Schick claimed this was impossible, mikvas are too public, and that Winston was, in effect, an antisemite.
Schick is a bully and a coward. If he were not, he would dedicate one of his "columns" (really paid ads in the Jewish Week) to the issue of pedophilia in the Orthodox world, and would use his bully pulpit to force the rabbis – many of them gedolim, many of them Schick's friends – to stop covering up this abuse. He could also use that forum ot apologize to Winston and to Robert Kolker, the New York Magazine journalist Schick attacked after Kolker broke the story of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko's thirty-year run of allegedly sexually abusing boys.
But, again, Schick is both a bully and a coward. He won't have the guts or the honesty to this.
ABC TV in NYC has a new exposé on the Mondrowitz case. It includes statements by two haredim, one a rabbi, who claim they were abused by Rabbi Mondrowitz, video footage of Mondrowitz walking freely in Israel, and continued allegations about Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, who is widely thought to be bowing to political pressure from haredim in this and in other criminal cases that make the haredi community look bad. But most telling are these statements from alleged Mondrowitz victims:
Although some Orthodox Jewish families had begun to move into the neighborhood, 20 years ago it was largely Italian. All of the children who came forward and accused Mondrowitz were Italian. Detective Keogh says she was told there were orthodox victims too, but she got nowhere with the community.
Keogh: "The attitude that I thought of, was that we were like the enemy ..."
Of course, the police are the enemy. That is the position of gedolim and of haredi organizations, no matter the smooth words spoken by the likes of Rabbi Avi Shafran and Marvin Schick. Has Agudath Israel ever officially called for Rabbi Mondrowitz to be extradited or even to have him prosecuted in Israel? When Rabbi Yehuda Kolko was seen at an amusement park with children, this mere weeks after being outed in NY Magazine as a serial man-on-boy pedophile, did Agudath Israel publicly tell parents to keep their children away from Kolko? Have they taken any steps against Kolko's enablers? Did Marvin Schick write a "column" urging parents to be careful and urging rabbinic leaders to take action? Or were these "leaders" too busy worrying about the "attacks" against "Orthodoxy" to bother?
The real question is why do haredim put up with goons like this? Why do they allow themselves to be led by a bunch of preening hacks? You'd think haredim would revolt. Instead, they go to indoctrination sessions to strengthen their belief in "da'as torah," rabbinic infallibility.
What horrible things rabbis have done to Judaism.
[Hat tip: JWB.]
Marvin Schick insists that haredi man-on-boy sexual abuse is extremely rare. He also insists that mikvas are not places where this abuse takes place – it's all too public for that, he huffs, dismissing those who have suffered abuse, and those who suffered it in the very waters meant to purify. This brief post is meant to add another name to list of people Schick tells you do not exist. Daphna Baram writes:
Goel Pinto, a gay journalist who was raised in the Orthodox religious community in Jerusalem and moved to Tel Aviv after having come out and abandoned religion, told of a sexual assault he was subjected to as a child by an ultra-Orthodox man in the local mikvah…
Pinto did this on his Ha'aretz blog. Interestingly, he opposes having the Gay Pride march in Jerusalem, preferring to leave haredim alone in their sheltered world.
[Hat tip: Dr. R-F.]
Do haredim get a raw deal in the media? Some, Marvin Schick and Agudath Israel's Rabbi Avi Shafran most prominent among them, believe they do.
Schick writes a regular advocacy piece published in the New York Jewish Week. This 'column" is in reality an advertisement and is paid for by a donor. The Jewish Week refuses to disclose the donor's name or affiliation. For a period of months, Schick's ad ran without the requisite disclosure that it was in fact an ad and not editorial copy. (The Jewish Week claims this is an error, and that it will – or already has been – corrected.)
Schick used one of these unlabeled ads to libel (and I do not use that word lightly) Hella Winston, the author of The Unchosen, a book documenting the plight of haredim who seek to leave the fold.
Schick hates Winston, and he does little to hide that animosity. In a column dedicated to 'proving' that there is little sexual abuse in the haredi world, written under the headline, "Group Libel Is Also Abuse," Schick accuses Winston of "claim[ing] that her book deals with sexual abuse among Chasidim," and links her to anti-haredi abuse.
I challenged Schick to provide even one citation where Winston claimed her book is about or focused on haredi sexual abuse. He was unable to do so.
Schick also claimed that Winston relied on "unreliable sexual abuse statistics." It turns out those statistics come from a then-unpublished study (not conducted by Winston) that failed to factor in the presence of ba'alei teshuva in the community. Schick's contention, in effect, is that ba'alei teshuva suffer more abuse and themselves abuse more often than born haredim. Even if this were true, it would barely change the statistical outcome. Nonetheless, Winston told me she added a clarification regarding this in the paperback edition of the book, due out this November. This is all the more remarkable because, in Schick's own words, Winston's book contains "no more than a brief reference" to abuse.
Schick then gets dirty. He writes, "I will add that her dissertation advisor told me that the original manuscript was far more hate-filled than what appears in print." William B. Helmreich, Winston's dissertation advisor, told me this is absolutely false. Helmreich only saw the manuscript – which is not Winston's dissertation – a few days before it was finalized by the publisher. He made no changes. Winston's publisher, which, unlike Helmreich, saw earlier versions of the book manuscript, has no idea what Schick is talking about. There were no edits made to remove hateful or bigoted material.
But what is most shocking is the context of the ad, written by Schick to respond to New York Magazine's story on the thirty-year alleged sex abuse and child molestation carried out by Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, and the ongoing coverup surrounding it. Look again at the tile Schick himself chose for this ad: "Group Libel Is Also Abuse."
Schick has no words of comfort for the alleged victims. He heaps venom on Robert Kolker, journalist who wrote the New York Magazine piece, and on Hella Winston, whose excellent book does nothing more than what it claims to do – document a small subset of haredim who choose to leave.
Schick's own family has itself been at the root of several scandals of note, including the riots caused by his brother's childish reaction to being stopped for a traffic violation in Boro Park. That brother's son was arrested, charged and pleaded guilty to conductiong a ponzi scheme that bilked dozens of haredim out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Schick has not, to my knowledge, written about either episode.
Marvin Schick has done much good in his life, but that good does not excuse his venom, his bias, or his libel. Consider this post to be a stub. Much more on the Schick family to come …
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The New York Times: "The legal conflict has revealed a deep tension within the Orthodox community that has been reported in the Jewish weekly press, and has been the almost exclusive topic of discussion on some Orthodox Jewish Web sites like failedmessiah.com and unorthodoxjew.blogspot.com in the months since Mr. Hikind brought up sexual abuse."
The New York Times: "In Postville, residents were dismayed by a report posted on a Jewish Web site, FailedMessiah.com, saying that Sholom Rubashkin held a celebration in Postville last week after he was released from detention on $1 million bail."
THE COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW: "[Jeff] Abbas passed the video to Shmarya Rosenberg, a blogger in St. Paul, Minnesota, who has provided some of the best coverage of the raid and its aftermath; a few days later, the video was referenced in The New York Times."
The Forward: Postville’s City Council initially voted to support the idea of a community benefits agreement, but later voted to withdraw support for such an agreement — a development first reported on the blog Failed Messiah.
Samuel Freedman in the Jerusalem Post: "[T]the scandal of Agriprocessors has been chronicled from Stephen Bloom's book Postville to Nathaniel Popper's investigative reports in the Forward to Julia Preston's coverage in The New York Times to the muckraking blogger FailedMessiah.com."
Religion In The News: "So authoritative has Rosenberg become that he is now regularly quoted by the Register; and his site has been referenced by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and both the Forward and the JTA."
Tablet Magazine: “If you’re Jewish and you were married five years ago, you have not confronted the problem that exists today,” Rosenberg says. “The problem is much worse for anyone who isn’t Orthodox. As the Haredi strength grows and their control grows, that’ll become clearer.”
Religion Dispatches: "The best collection of articles I’ve found can be perused at failedmessiah.com, the blog of Shmarya Rosenberg, who, with the perspective of insider turned disillusioned outsider, has been probing the nuances and hypocrisies of the ultra-Orthodox establishment since 2004."