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Saturday, March 26, 2011

A COMMUNITY UNITED IN SUPPORT OF VICTIMS OF ABUSE

(L to R: Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, Rabbi Yanky Horowitz, Mark Meyer Appel, Zvi Gluck, Dr.Asher Lipner)
On Friday March 25, 2011, over 100 people and advocates joined together in one voice to show their support for the two families that were victims of alleged sexual   crimes by Meir Dascalowitz and Nechemia Weberman.
The courtrooms of Judge Dimango and Judge Cyrulnik  were packed with supporters and advocates  in a voice of unity  as we watched  and heard the charges of the crimes of the defendants being read by the clerk.
The tension in the packed courtroom was evident to all of as we sat in silence and prayed that justice will prevail and for the healing process to begin for the victims and their families.  Many in the courtrooms openly wept and cried out loud for justice to prevail.
Looking around the room were advocates and friends who came from various communities and groups with different ideologies but were here as one voice declaring that enough is enough and we as a people will no longer sit in silence a our children are being abused in our own backyards.
The volunteers from Yeshiva University, Dr. Asher Lipner, Mark Meyer Appel, Mrs. Pearl Engelman,Mr.  Zvi Gluck, Ms. Beth Kaplan, Mark Weiss, Pinny Taub, Rabbi Yakov Horowitz of Project YES- Agudas Israel, Haim Dweck representing the Syrian Jewish community as well as representatives of various social justice groups from other diverse ethnic groups that sat together with prayers and unity to support the call for justice.


It is our hope and prayer that this united and strong showing in court will mark a a new turning point in our community’s reaction to abuse survivors and provide a new approach in providing comfort to survivors who were abused in their childhood — who lacked the support structure that current and future survivors will hopefully have. Throughout much of our struggle victims were often ignored and looked at with shame and suspicion  in a cultural phenomenon that has greatly contributed to the under reporting of child abusers in our community.
It is our hope and prayer, though, that all members of our newly united community will develop the comfort level in this justice system to view the authorities who police and prosecute pedophiles to be our allies in our sacred obligation to keep our children safe and secure.
  A special thanks to Sara Porter and Yerachniel Lopin  for all the information provided on how to show your support  to the victims   at  www.SupportTheSurvivors.org

Thursday, March 24, 2011

JOIN RABBI YOSEF BLAU,RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM,RABBI YAKOV HOROWITZ,ZVI GLUCK,BETH KAPLAN.DR ASHER LIPPNER.MARK MEYER APPEL in court FRIDAY 900AM to support to the victims

http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/47600

OP-ED LETTER FROM RABBI YAKOV HOROWITZ FROM PROJECT YES- AGUDATH ISRAEAL OF AMERICA WHY WE MUST BE THERE TO SUPPORT THE VICTIMS

 A SPECIAL THANKS TO THE STUDENTS OF YESHIVA UNIVERSITY AND OTHER YESHIVAS THAT ARE ATTENDING THIS DAY OF UNITY FOR THE VICTIMS

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

OHEL CHILDRENS HOME REMAINS SILENT ON THE EXPOSE BY THE JEWISH WEEK

RESPONSE BY RABBI YOSEF BLAU ROSH YESHIVA YESHIVA UNIVERSITY
               In the March 2 issue of The Jewish Press, Ohel placed a full-page ad responding to criticism that had appeared in another Jewish newspaper. In order to evaluate the ad it is necessary to know what the issues in dispute are. A patient indicated she had abused her own child. The therapists treating parent and child unanimously agreed that the authorities had to be informed. The lawyer for Ohel was consulted and said it was unnecessary and no call was made.
In two cases accused abusers were referred to Ohel by rabbis. Ohel agreed to treat them without demanding they sign a release that would have enabled Ohel to break confidentiality. Both left the program and were later arrested for abuse. Please reread the ad and decide whether the accusations were refuted.
Unfortunately, Ohel in its ad chose to attack a psychologist, a prominent advocate for victims of abuse, for allowing the reporter to use his name. Other sources for the article chose to remain anonymous.
Rabbi Yosef Blau
New York, NY
   Editor's Note: Rabbi Blau is mashgiach ruchani at Yeshiva University. 
In their ad, Ohel attacked the Jewish Week for "only giving them 50 words in their article to say their point of view" which was refuted by the Jewish Week that stated truthfully that they HAD asked Ohel many detailed questions that Ohel, as usual, wouldn't answer.    On the other hand,  Ohel publicly attacked the Jewish Week and the psychologist in question (somebody we all care about) without giving us even one single word to defend ourselves.   How low can you go?  How cowardly?  How babyish? 

Monday, March 21, 2011

JOIN US IN BROOKLYN SUPREME COURT MARCH 25,2011 9:00 AM TO SHOW OUR SUPPORT FOR THE VICTIMS OF DASCHALOWIZ AND WEBERMAN

There are  two cases on Friday march 25 2011 in Brooklyn Supreme Court  320 JAY STREET (FREE TRANSPORTATION)   1- Nechemya Weberman who allegedly sexually assaulted a twelve-year-old girl  and continued doing it till she was fifteen and 2- Meir Dascalowitz who allegedly raped a disabled boy in a mikvah (ritual bath) over a dozen times.  The victims and their families are subjected to all sorts of pressures to drop their cases. .
Both defendants are out on bail facing serious jailtime of decades in prison.
 It is now ten months since Dascalowitz was arraigned on ten Felony D charges of criminal sexual activity-2nd degree with a victim under fifteen years of age (PL 130.45 01). There are many additional felony and misdemeanor charges. Approximately once a month he goes in for a court appearance. For almost a half a year his lawyer, Israel Fried has successfully gotten postponements by dickering with the District Attorney about how to determine if Dascalowitz is mentally competent to assist in his defense. As of a month ago, Dascalowitz had still not gone in for an inpatient evaluation of his mental status.
Weberman was arrested on February 23, 2010, on a small set of charges, which only included one D Felony. On March 8 a Grand Jury indictment was entered into the court record. He was charged with 150 felonies all involving sexual crimes with a child including one B felony in the first degree, 145 D felonies and 4 E felonies. Among other things he was specifically charged with the B felony in the 1st degree, of “a course of sexual conduct” with his victim Trials and sentencing sessions are dramatic. The court appearances preceding a trial are short and quick. A morning in court can include many defendants and very little time for each. The usual outcome is some very small development followed by the scheduling of the next date and the continuation of bail and the order of protection.
phone calls and letters, jeers on the street, and scurrilous rumors about the parents and the kids including charges of promiscuity, other irreligious behavior, theft, and child abuse. They suffer social death in a world where community is everything.
The point of going to court for the sporadic appearances is to show support for the victims, to let the miscreants know that we are fighting them, and to publicize the case during the doldrums between arrests and convictions.

PLEASE JOIN US AS A UNITED COMMUNITY TO GIVE CHIZUK TO THE FAMILIES

FREE TRANSPORTATION WILL BE PROVIDED TO BROOKLYN RESIDENTS
     PLEASE   CALL  FOR INFORMATION           1  800  621  8551                   

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.