Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Press Release - VoJ Response to OHEL's Ad in the Jewish Week
Response to OHEL's Ad in the Jewish Week
CONTACT: MARK M. APPEL (917) 804-3942 cell
FOR PUBLIC RELEASE Wednesday, March 2, 2011
OHEL's attack response to the Jewish Week article by Hella Winston is both outrageous and insulting to the entire Jewish Community. Instead of responding to specific charges in Ms. Hella Winston's article they decided to launch a vicious attack on the character of all advocacy organizations, as well as our own Dr. Asher Lipner, the co-founder of the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children (JBAC). It is without question that the community's confidence in OHEL, as well as the respect of the professionalism of OHEL has been diminished greatly in the minds of the community under the leadership of David Mandel and the present Board of Directors. The truth is that the OHEL Children's Home, at the present time, has a dark cloud surrounding it due to the skepticism and suspicion by major advocacy groups across the country.
To date, neither OHEL nor has the executive leadership of OHEL accepted responsibility in the serious abuse cases in our community, whether it is the specific information written by Hella Winston on this case or other cases, like the MONDROWITZ case or COLMER case, etc. At the very least OHEL should have been at the forefront of expressing remorse and compassion to those victims and survivors who suffered at the hands of these savage criminals.
By insulting Dr. Asher Lipner you are insulting the Jewish Leadership of America. It was Dr. Asher Lipner who garnered support from the Jewish Leadership in America for the declaration of National Jewish Week for Prevention of Child Abuse. Dr. Lipner united us all by bringing in the Orthodox Union, Rabbinical Council of America, National Council of Young Israel, the Rabbinical Alliance of America, The Chicago Rabbinical Council, J-Safe, as well as Boro Park Local Community Organization, Bikur Cholim of Boro Park, Maimonides Hospital and the Vaad Harobinim of Brooklyn. OHEL has not partnered in any of these educational programs, which brought so many leaders together from so many communities in Chicago, Brooklyn and New Jersey.
Anyone who has partnered in the Brooklyn and Chicago Seminars felt a relief that individuals like Rabbi Yosef Blau, Rabbi Shea Hecht, Zvi Gluck and Mr. Elliot Pasik, the President of JBAC, Rabbi Gershon Tennenbaum as well as Assemblymen Dov Hikind are a unified ONE VOICE with all major organizations and have called for a unity in ONE VOICE in dealing with abuse in our community. Notably absent from all these events and using his political skills was David Mandel, CEO and the staff of OHEL Children's Home.
One must only look at the YouTube video of David Mandel addressing smaller groups, delivering scripted speeches, which lack any emotion or compassion, and is further introduced by Dr. David Pelcovitz, wherein Pelcovitz introduces Mandel as an expert in child abuse. A Masters degree in Business Administration does not qualify an individual, i.e. David Mandel, as an expert in child abuse. We as a community need less talk, which carries no substance, but more action.
The Voice of Justice, as well as the Jewish Board of Advocate for Children, has worked 24 hours a day to provide emotional support as well as financial support in reaching out with a hand of compassion to the families of the victims and survivors. On a daily basis we have attended court sessions, formal court hearings and stood by these families as a true partner in the work dictated to us by G-D ALMIGHTY to stand by families who are suffering so terribly.
TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND LEADERSHIP OF OHEL WE URGE YOU ONCE AGAIN TO STOP THE POLITICAL GAMES WITH OUR CHILDREN AND TAKE ACTIONS FOR YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS ONE OF THE LARGEST NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS DEALING WITH FAMILIES. You definitely have the resources to be more compassionate and supportive of victims' families. We hope that the Jewish Week article by Ms. Winston, as well as the grassroots movements to help these families, bring about a stronger and united community.