Class Suit Filed Against Seminary & Beit Din Heads

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 Meisels and his co-conspirators would induce young girls to travel thousands of miles away from home under the guise of Jewish education only to forcibly engage them in various sexual acts and take their money in the process. 

"Defendant Meisels, like many other sexual predators, preyed on the vulnerable. He did this by developing mentor-mentee relationships with girls and exploiting these relationships to lure the girls into late night coffee meetings and other private settings and then sexually assaulted them. 

"Once the sexual assaults were complete, upon information and belief, Defendant Meisels would intimidate his victims by telling them that no one would believe that a rabbi and author with his reputation would have done such a thing. 

"Moreover, upon information and belief, Defendant Meisels would threaten his victims that if they shared their story with anyone, he would draw on his vast contacts within the Shidduch system to ruin their reputations and ensure that no viable candidate would want to take their hand in marriage."

The filing also describes how the scheme and assaults were exposed by the Chicago Beit Din, following which the Israeli Beit Din (Rabbi Zvi Gartner is named; there are also "unnamed co-conspirators", which I understand to mean Rabbi Shafran and Rabbi Malinowitz) concocted a sham "sale" of the seminaries to Yakov Yarmish, hastily and irresponsibly declared the seminaries checked & safe for students, and tried to place a ban upon other seminaries accepting the trapped students.

Distressed parents of enrolled girls requested their deposits back and were given the run-around, apparently by design & conspiracy, by Yarmish and Rabbi Gartner.

Seven different charges are laid out against the defendants:

* CONVERSION (a fancy way of saying stealing)
* RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR (this is a term which covers an employer being responsible for acts of the employee, as the employers agent).

The suit asks for class-suit status (ie representative of many or all the other girls and parents), a jury trial and financial damages.

This class suit is the beginning of the closing chapter on the Israeli Beit Din's (IBD) systematic endeavours to hush the allegations up; quietly move Meisels out of public view through a "sale" of the assets; and to continue the seminaries, business as usual. All this while the IBD systematically bullied and intimidated parents, students, bloggers(!), lawyers, competing seminaries, Rabbi Aaron Feldman and the whole Chicago Beit Din, through the IBD's dogmatic and increasingly shrill quasi-halachik declarations and denunciations.

The wheels of the justice system are starting to turn, as the parents are mobilising to protect their daughters and their money, from allegedly unscrupulous and corrupt hands.  


  1. Great synopsis of the case and issue. Kol hakavod for your work on the issue.

  2. Why don't you read the lawsuit before you make comments about it. The lawsuit clearly says who the coconspirators are. Why do you keep doing this and making a fool out if yourself. Rabbi Malinowitz is NOT a coconspirator neither is the beis din. You are being very dishonesty

    1. From eidensohn himself,
      :I do blame the victims because it is obvious that this RICO suit is not a legitimate or helpful approach to the problem.
      So you have one beis din trying to get back money for the victims, and you have eidensohn words who blame the victim.

    2. Anonymous of 14:53: If you look carefully at the lawsuit, you will see that there is a category of "unnamed co-conspirators" with Rabbi Gartner.
      For example, see Clause 57: "They sought to draw on Defendant Gartner’s status as a rabbi in Israel and the status of two other unnamed co-conspirators to perpetuate their fraud and assure the Class plaintiffs that The Seminaries are safe."
      Also clauses 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67 ad nauseam.
      The co-conspirators with Rabbi Gartner referred to are clearly his colleagues on the IBD - Rabbi Shafran and Rabbi Malinowitz.

  3. Any idea who poskined that it was mutar to file a lawsuit like this in secular court? Generally doing something like this is assur and chilul Hashem.

  4. Anonymous do you really need a heter to for this?

    I thought based on all these 'frum' blogs that once an alleged sexual offense is committed everything is mutar. It is clear that the laws of lashon hara, motsei shaim ra, bizion talmidei chachamim, attacking and insulting all Rabbanim that have different opinions than you, wild accusations without proof ... are all free game when it comes to this issue.

    I guess once an alleged sin is committed then it is permitted to violate tens of other sins for the alleged intent of protecting the public.

    1. b'diyuk. Now everybody can understand why rabbanomim say not to be involved in blogs like this. I admit my sin today.

    2. Anonymous & Steve
      I am not a rabbi nor any kind of halachik authority.
      I have observed that "Loshen hora", "motsei shem rah" "chilul H", "moiser" etc are habitually used as cards in the pack held by the alleged perpetrator and their wider group of supporters.

      These cards are used exclusively to shut-up and intimidate victims, and their wider group of supporters. Basically, "G-d says shut up".

      There are halachik authorities who have ruled that none of these cards can be legitimately used in a case of child abuse and other private & public safety issues - obviously, subject to case-by-case halachik guidance.

      Meantime, these cards are used as a tactical decoy to draw public attention away from the real source of Chilul H, etc, which is the alleged acts of the perpetrator and (too often) of their enablers.

    3. Dear David,

      I agree one shouldn't use these cards to shut up a real crime. However, you can not also ignore these cards and make the Torah hefker.

      The question has been asked under whose halachik guidance is this lawsuit in secular courts, which is a chilul Hashem, being done. That question hasn't been answered?? Did the Chicago Beis Din approve of it??

      Under whose "case-by-case halachik guidance" has many of the blogs made this case into another vehicle to publicly attack and insult Rabbanim, Principals, sisters of the accused, staff members, the Charedi system ... ?? Can you name that respected halachik authority who permitted it?? [a claim that a Rav gave permission to publish the findings of the Beis Din - is not a heter for all the other disgusting comments that are filling these blogs that I can't imagine any posek would permit]

    4. I don't know what halachik authorities bloggers ask their shailos to.

      I'm rather curious where the Israeli Beit Din obtained a heter to publicly declare these seminaries "safe " when, by their own admission, they know nothing about the nature of the allegations against Meisels and against other staff members?

      What is their source/makor that preserving institutions as ongoing concerns, over-rides issues of public safety and permits them to lie about that? Which gadol poskened that sheilo?

      Where did they get a heter to release private correspondence between Rav Malinowitz and Rav Feldman to the aforementioned Blogs (whose kashrus in these matters they seem to suspect) - and in which Rav Malinowitz openly disparages other rabbonim and Batei Din?

      On what halachik basis did they oversee and announce to the public the "sale" of a non-profit organization - which I understand is not possible under Israeli law?

      Aren't all of the above asor as Chilul H and bizayon talmidei chachamim, motsei shem rah, etc.

      When it comes for these serious halachik issues, Motsei shem rah, bizayon, etc.. isn't what's good for the goose, also good for the gander?

    5. Dear David,

      I don't know their sources. But they are Halachik authorities who have the right to pasken shailos - you (as you yourself stated) and the other bloggers are NOT halachik authorities.

      Concerning your stated philosophy : "isn't what's good for the goose, also good for the gander" - I think any self respecting person and certainly not a frum Jew who is striving to serve Hashem would be ashamed to have that as their standard for ethical behavior.

    6. David,

      Thank you once again for standing up in order to protect the children in our community. I am constantly amazed at the misplaced priorities of those who jump in to defend the gedolim, when they know that there are actual victims. When will we learn?

    7. Steve - my comment wasn't clear enough.

      My reference to the goose and gander is regarding the use of quasi-halachik cards (you're saying motsei shem rah, you're mezalzeling chachomim) which are habitually used by perps and their supporters (goose) - can equally well be used as cards by the victims & supporters (gander).

  5. thank you for taking up this issue and for publishing a different view than the so-called "daas torah" blog.

    Since censorship is heavy-handed on "daas torah" blog for all those who do not agree with the blog owner, it is very refreshing to find a blog that present different views and does not censor comments.

  6. I appreciate that you don't hide yourself, your picture and bio is here for everybody to see. Now Yerachmiel Lopin. . . I wonder who he really is

  7. Three answers:
    (a) He is a lamed-vavnik who cannot reveal himself.
    (b) Why does it matter? Does your ignorance of his name, face and bio keep you from showing he is mistaken, if he is?
    (c) Isn't it a bit chutzpedik, Anonymous, to demand Lopin's identity? At least there is only one "Yerachmiel Lopin," but no one can be sure which "Anonymous" you are.

  8. Did you know? it's out in the open, as it's published here: that "On Aug. 4, seven plaintiffs — four from Illinois and three from New Jersey – filed a class action complaint in Chicago’s federal court against Meisels and Rachel Slanger, Yaakov Yarmish and Tzvi Gartner, whom the suit asserts work together to operate a group of Jewish seminaries in Israel represented in the U.S. by Peninim of America Inc...The named plaintiffs are Gary and Malka Miller, Staci and David Margulis, all of Illinois, and Eli Rosen, Dovid Newman and Chaim David Perkinoff, each of New Jersey." And that "The plaintiffs are being represented in the case by attorneys Andrew M. Hale and Shneur Nathan of Hale Law LLC in Chicago...According to the suit, there are an unknown number of other potential class members who have been similarly defrauded and violated by the defendants."


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