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Showing posts from August, 2014

Lema'an Achai Receives Presidential Recognition for Operation Protective Edge

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The Beit Shemesh non-profit organization Lema'an Achai received an honour from Israeli president Ruby Rivlin and Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul this week, for the organization's role in providing civilian support during Operation Protective Edge.

During the 50 days of war in the South and Center of Israel, Lema'an Achai provided substantial aid to IDF soldiers and southern population. This was focused on short term aid - and a longer term rehabilitation project has also been launched.

Lema'an Achai delivered over 280,000 NIS worth of equipment which was requested by specific army units in Gaza. These included:

5000 x Field Cellphone Rechargers
1300 x Army Issue Wearable Water Containers
400 x Army Issue Headlamps
7500 x Socks and Underwear
1000 x Packs of Moist Wipes
250 x Personal Hygiene Packs

These were provided directly to units of Combat Engineers and Infantry, according tho their specific requirements and needs.

In addition, on the Home Front, Lema'an Acha…

Shame on You, My Friend

[This was originally posted as a comment on R.Daniel Eidensohn's Daat Torah blog posting, "Seminary Scandal: A Rambling and Misleading Slander by David Morris",  in response to my article "Meisels Victims"]  Dear Rabbi Eidensohn, I read your response to my post of Friday [8/22/14] with… profound sadness that a distinguished person who has done so much to make the world a safer place for children and all types of abuse victims, should forget all he learned, and all he wrote, and all we learned from him. Many people who have had great respect for you have watched in the last two months as you have chosen to wage a truly bizarre campaign with only one obvious goal – participating in the minimizing, whitewash and cover-up of a painful scandal. There is no need to rehash all the charges and counter-charges. Suffice it to say you have chosen to minimize, distract and obfuscate about an abuser and those who enabled him – you have put the wherewithal of the institutions…

Meisels Victims

Full Disclosure: As Tzedek-Tzedek readers will be aware, I established and run Magen. I initiated the organization as a responsible & professional response to child/sex abuse cases, particularly in the frum community.  
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Yesterday, I attended the grim and tragic funeral of Corporal Dave Gordon z"l.

Dave was a child sex abuse victim, who bravely stepped forward and spoke out publicly, advocating for other victims to also come forward. Dave volunteered his available time to Magen, to help in promoting this cause and protecting other children from being victimized and abused.

In Dave's case, the damage of the molestation he suffered as a child, played out tragically, even in this 21 year old, heroic, served-in-Gaza, IDF soldier.

The psychological trauma sex-abuse victims endured and often continue to endure for years and even decades, cannot be understated, minimized or overlooked.

As many are now aware, there is an extended blog-war (now officially declared a war…

Dave Gordon z"l

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David Gordon z"l volunteered his time and many talents to "Magen", the child protection organization in Israel. 
If you would also like to support Magen's work, you are warmly invited to donate to Magen in David's memory: http://magenprotects.org/donate/

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Dave Gordon went missing this week from the IDF and was found dead today, with his weapon at his side.

As soon as he made Aliya from Detroit, alone, at 21, Dave contacted Magen, the Child Protection Organization based in Beit Shemesh, Israel.

Dave introduced himself as a survivor of child abuse, who now wanted to help others who had suffered similar trauma, and to also raise awareness about the scourge of abuse, in order to prevent further children from being hurt.

Dave's path of coming to terms with his past, and channeling his personal creative talents towards child protection, culminated in a remarkable article he wrote in the Huffington Post, "Why I'm Choosing Leadership Over Privacy"…

Israelis Now Heard of Bradford

Recent outrageously Israelophobic statement by George Galloway, MP for Bradford, have put Bradford on Israel's map.

Galloway is a an anti-Israel/anti-Semitic bigot, who heads the pro-Hamas group Viva Palestina, who recently declared Bradford an "Israel-free zone". Rather too close for comfort to the German expression Juden-rein.

"We don't want any Israeli goods; we don't want and Israel services; we don't wants any Israeli academics...We don't even want any Israeli tourists...!" tiraded Galloway, with a backcloth of the Palestinian flag.

Israelis have never heard of Bradford. Which is not surprising, as it's a post-industrial backwater of West Yorkshire, once known for it's smokey mills and textiles industry, and is now known for...umm, not much.

Actually, my father was born and raised in Bradford - a true Bradfordian. At the time there was a significant Jewish community, many of whom we involved in the textile industry there. There is …

The Meisels Seminaries - The Letter Never Written

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THIS LETTER WAS NOT WRITTEN NOR SENT OUT BY PNIMIM, BINAS BAIS YAKOV, CHEDVAS BAIS YAAKOV OR KESER CHAYA SEMINARIES.

However, if it had been, I believe this situation would be far better today, than it is. 
See previous postings here on Tzedek-Tzedek, Frum Follies (in the CBD corner), Daat Torah (in the IBD corner) and other fine blogs. 
This is a suggested model for such situations in the future. 

You are invited to suggest improvements either on-line or by email to me offline.
I believe that such a letter would have promoted safety and responsibility, in a way which would have given the parents the confidence they need and are entitled to that these Seminaries will be safer for their daughters in the future, than they were in the past.    -----

Date of Letter: [Within One Week of the Seminaries becoming aware of the Chicago Beit Din’s investigation and findings].

To our staff, students and parents,

We are writing to you in the most regretful circumstances in a timely fashion in order t…

Class Suit Filed Against Seminary & Beit Din Heads

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A class suit filing was submitted this week to the District Court for the Northern District of Illinios which accuses disgraced Rabbi Elimelech Meisels,  his sister Rachel Slanger, Yakov Yarmish and Bet Din Dayan Rabbi Zvi Gartner of conspiring to defraud parents out of thousands of dollars in tuition fees and withheld deposits. The four Meisels seminaries (Pnimim, Hemdas, Binas and Keser Chaya) are also identified as defendants.

The plaintiffs names have been omitted from the head of the published document, but are assumed to be parents of girls who attended the seminaries or are now enrolled.

The filing details a gruesome tale of how Meisels and others lured parents and students into their seminaries under false pretenses of ultra-orthodox standards of behaviour, and then Meisels groomed and sexually assaulted the girls, subsequently threatening & intimidating the victims into silence.

"This, it turned out, was a big fraud. It was all part of a scheme whereby Defendant Mei…

Beit Din Leaks

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The astounding case of Rabbi Elimelech Meisels, who is suspected to have molested ("unwanted sexual contact with") his seminary students (Rav Meisels was owner and manager of Pnimim, Chedvas Beis Yaakov, Binas Beis Yakov and Keser Chaya seminaries) becomes more bizarre by the day.

The latest developments have moved away from R.Meisels, his victims, and even the seminaries themselves (safe? not safe?) to a bust-up between the two Batei Din involved - from Chicago and from Israel.

The Chicago Beit Din (CBD) issued a semi-private letter (below, from Frum Follies) confirming their position that, even with Rav Meisels reported to have sold the seminaries, and that he is no longer associated with the seminaries - nevertheless these seminaries themselves are still not safe for students.

This is apparently due to the CBD's knowledge from their investigation that students complained about Rav Meisels sexual behaviour with them, to other key members of staff, and and that these c…

את אחי אנוכי מבקש

This short and powerful movie was screened at the Shloshim (30th day of mourning) of the three murdered boys, Eyal, Naphtali and Gil-Ad.



The feeling of unity throughout Israel, and throughout the diaspora, praying for the safe return of the boys, was perhaps unprecedented - and has now overflowed into universal support in Israel for the current war in Gaza and for our courageous soldiers.