its about Moshe Malamud and his behavior
Two Brooklyn families harassed by a pair of slumlords to move out of their rent-stabilized apartments believe justice has been served — but lessons were not learned.
Zaida Paris and Michelle Crespo attended Brooklyn Supreme Court on Wednesday for the sentencing of their former landlords Amrom and Joel Israel — but the hearing didn’t go off as planned.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun gave the pair six months last November to pay the families back almost $250,000 before they can be sentenced to five years’ probation and perform 500 hours of community service.
Michelle Crespo (right) and her two children were victims of slumlords Joel and Amrom Israel.
Michelle Crespo (right) and her two children were victims of slumlords Joel and Amrom Israel. (CHRISTINA CARREGA/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Zaida Paris (right) and her daughter were also slumlord victims.
Zaida Paris (right) and her daughter were also slumlord victims. (CHRISTINA CARREGA/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
The brothers pleaded guilty for maliciously destroying eight of their tenants’ apartments in 10 buildings throughout Bushwick, Greenpoint and Williamsburg to push them out and charge higher rent.
Brooklyn slumlords accused of forcing out tenants working on deal
Prosecutor Gavin Miles only learned “within the last day or so” that Amrom and Joel Israel fulfilled the monetary portion of their plea, which did not get the court enough time to prepare particular paperwork for sentencing.
If they hadn’t taken the plea, they would have faced up to 15 years in prison for the burglary.
Paris and Crespo were still allowed to give their victim impact statements on Wednesday.
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“I truly hope they learned their lessons because they don’t know the heartache and despair our families went and are still going through,” cried Paris, 50, who lived at 15 Humboldt St. since 1996 before she was subjected to their unscrupulous tactics.
From 2010 until 2014, the families had to endure destroyed bathrooms, kitchens, holes in the floors and other unlivable conditions.
Amrom, 39, and Joel, 36, illegally pushed out their tenants paying $650 to $1,000 a month and replaced them with others who forked over almost $3,500, prosecutors said.
“We went through 18 months without a kitchen and bathroom and were so grateful when (late Brooklyn District Attorney) Ken Thompson noticed our case,” said Crespo, 36, adding, “but I don’t think they learned their lesson.”
The Israel brothers will return to court on Aug. 16 for sentencing.
Agudah Follows the Romans For the Same Dirty Reasons
Zweibel and Cardinal
David Zweibel of Agudah and Cardinal Dolan
Only two important groups stand in the way of strengthening legislation against child sex abusers in New York State: the Roman Catholic Church and its pipsqueak partner, Agudath Israel of America (aka Agudah).
Both groups decry sexual immorality, preach protection of the weak, and rhapsodize about their children. Yet they both have long, ugly histories of helping their molesters escape prosecution and financial reparations.
In 2010, Governor Andrew Cuomo badly wanted to legalize gay marriage in NYS. As always, the obstacle was the lobbying of the RCC and Agudah. So he cut a deal with them. They would denounce the act but not pressure legislators. In return they got his off-the-record promise not to extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse. Instead, NYS would continue to have one of the shortest SOL’s in the US, requiring survivors to file criminal and civil complaints before their 23rd birthday.
Most survivors need more time before they are ready to confront their own demons and take on their abusers. He also protected them from what they feared, a window allowing survivors to sue for abuse that happened before the SOL’s were changed. Such windows expose abusers and force culpable individuals and institutions to compensate victims. They are embarrassing and costly for institutions that long covered up abuse, such as yeshivas, camps (e.g., Camp Agudah), and the RCC.
That deal has stuck. Every year since then, SOL reform legislation gets passed in the NYS Assembly and dies in the NYS Senate. Last year Cuomo promised to get such legislation passed. But it again died in the legislature. When Cuomo really wants something, it gets passed.
It seems to be happening again this year. A bill passed by an overwhelming margin in the Assembly and various SOL extensions are proposed by senators, but none seems likely to succeed. All sorts of spurious arguments are offered. The RCC and Agudah insist it would cost too much to comply and would bankrupt their institutions. As Marci Hamilton points out, the only bankruptcies were engineered by Catholic dioceses to shield assets. I have no doubt, that if a window is opened for suing for abuse in the past, some yeshivas and camps will also try to go down that route. Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz in fact floats the idea of exempting institutions with new management. He conveniently ignores how easy it is to change the formal management while leaving the same players and beneficiaries behind the scenes.
If you are upset about all this, contact Governor Cuomo and your NYS senators and let the know this is your big issue. Unless they are committed to get an SOL reform passed, let them know you will vote against them in the primaries and elections if they fail this test. Act now because there is only about a week before the legislature goes into recess on June 23.
Governor Andrew Cuomo:
HOW TO CONTACT YOUR NYS SENATOR: If you don’t know who your senator is, go here to find out. But don’t waste your time on a written message if you can spare 5-10 minutes to call. That has much more impact. So now go to this site to find your senator by name. Click on their name, then on their contact tab. They will list their offices and their phone numbers. For good measure, call all their offices. Then get ten of your friends and family to do the same. There is only one thing certain about 99% of politicians. They want to get reelected. Let’s make them earn it.
New Haven Independent
Branford Eagle Valley Independent Sentinel La Voz
Jury Awards $20M In Rabbi Sex Case
by CHRISTOPHER PEAK | May 19, 2017 2:10 pm
(25) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author
Christopher Peak Photo
CHRISTOPHER PEAK PHOTORabbi Daniel Greer and wife Sarah leave court after verdict.
Hartford — A federal jury Thursday ordered prominent Rabbi Daniel Greer and his Elm Street yeshiva to pay $15 million in compensatory damages to a former student who said the rabbi raped and repeatedly abused him 15 years ago.
The jury awarded an additional $5 million in punitive damages, to pay the lawyers.
In adjudicating a civil lawsuit brought by Eliyahu Mirlis, a former high school student at the Yeshiva of New Haven, the jury deliberated in U.S. District Court here for 12 hours over two days before coming to its unanimous decision.
The eight jurors slapped Greer with the eight-figure bill for the emotional suffering he caused Mirlis by assaulting and battering the boy over a three-year period, from his sophomore to senior years at the high school. The panel calculated the total after also concluding that Greer and the yeshiva had shown recklessness and intentional infliction of emotional distress and the school separately had displayed negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
That sum was less than half of the $38 million that the plaintiff’s attorney, Antonio Ponvert III, had requested.
Jurors also requested that the court nail Greer with extra punitive charges to pay Mirlis’s lawyers. That added another $5 million to the bill.
“This completely justified all my faith in the justice system. Even an incredibly difficult case can be resolved fairly on the facts,” Ponvert said. “What the plaintiff suffered and what has been suffered by children for generations need to stop, period. Child abuse, in all forms, is a plague that we all need to work together to stop.”
When asked why he believed his side prevailed, Ponvert responded, “The truth.”
Greer’s defense said the rabbi plans to appeal the verdict.
“We are extremely disappointed by the jury’s verdict, and intend to pursue all potential options to set it aside, including an appeal,” defense attorney David Grudberg wrote in an email.
The verdict followed a suspenseful four-day trial here at U.S. District Court, with a cliff-hanger ending about whether the yeshiva was also liable.
Two victims — Mirlis and the yeshiva’s assistant dean, Aviad Hack — both described their underaged sexual encounters with Greer in graphic detail. Shira Mirlis, the victim’s wife, said the abuse had hardened her partner, preventing him being vulnerable. An expert in childhood sexual abuse and a University of Connecticut professor, Julian Ford, explained to jurors that the inability to trust was an normal response to “betrayal trauma,” as he diagnosed Mirlis with post-traumatic stress disorder.
From Greer’s side, the jurors didn’t hear much of a denial. The rabbi repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. (He denied only one accusation: That he’d had sex with Mirlis on a forested parcel of land in Hamden.) The defense’s other witnesses presented only mitigating evidence: Neither the rabbi’s wife, Sarah Greer, nor his secretary, Jean Leadbury, had noticed anything unusual, they testified. The team’s defense instead, relied heavily on a set of cheery wedding photos showing Mirlis continued to maintain a relationship with his abuser, honoring the rabbi at life milestones.
Final Stabs At Character Assassination
Antonio Ponvert and his paralegal, Julie Vassar, outside court.
The final day in federal court Wednesday wrapped up with attorneys presenting 40-minute closing arguments from a podium arms-length from the jury box. The lawyers’ summations of the case volleyed from high-minded (with references to the Founding Fathers) to ad hominem (with accusations of deception and cheating).
Ponvert, Mirlis’s counsel, said the two victims’ testimony and an expert’s diagnosis proved the accusations against Greer were more likely than not true — meeting the lower standard, a preponderance of the evidence, used in civil suits as opposed to in criminal trials.
Ponvert, from the firm Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder, argued that the yeshiva also deserved blame. Hack, effectively the school’s manager, had suspected the rabbi was abusing Mirlis, once even trying to beat down a locked door where Greer was having sex with the boy inside. He failed to report his suspicions to child welfare and law enforcement authorities as required by law.
The defense, Ponvert added, still hadn’t fleshed out its counter-arguments: why Greer couldn’t deny the accusations, why Mirlis would want to attack someone he revered, why Hack admitted to only one sexual encounter as a student if he truly wanted to bring down the rabbi, and why the University of Connecticut pyschiatry professor might have been so “duped” by his client.
In closing, Ponvert asked for $38 million in damages to repay Mirlis for his stolen childhood and his pain since. He argued that Mirlis’s first experience with intimacy should have been dating a girl he loved. “Not a forced kiss, not fellatio, not anal sex. Not with a man and not with a rabbi. Not pseudo-romantic nights in motels with alcohol and hot tubs. Not coerced intimacy but real intimacy,” Ponvert said. “What this man did to Eli Mirlis has affected him in such a way that he cannot have a trusting relationship. And at the end of our lives, ladies and gentlemen, what do we all have but relationships with people that love us and the people we love, the moments we share with them and the experiences that bond us? Eli doesn’t have that.”
When defense attorney William Ward stood up, he first thanked the jury for being in attendance — “more than I can say for the plaintiff,” the lawyer added, pointing out that Mirlis had been largely absent throughout the trial aside from a few hours on the stand Monday afternoon. He then argued there was no hard evidence of abuse in the exhibits. He called Mirlis a “liar” and a “cheat.”
“That’s not even an inference; it’s an admission,” Ward said. Mirlis “told you some other lies, big or small.”
The defense attorney made one last attempt to explain why Greer hadn’t denied the accusations. Because Mirlis had spoken with police a year ago, keeping silent on “anything that tends to incriminate you” by pleading the Fifth would be “wise,” Ward explained. “That could mean anything that puts Mr. Mirlis or Mr. Greer alone in the same room during four years in high school, anything.” He added that Ponvert had fired “loaded questions” throughout the trial, cornering Greer into remaining silent.
Ward repeatedly sought to impeach Mirlis’s credibility. Mirlis, for example, testified that his grades suffered when he rebuffed Greer’s entreaties, but Ward pointed out that his report card didn’t reflect this, with five As and two B-pluses in classes Greer supposedly taught.
Several times, though, Ward himself twisted Mirlis’s testimony to make it sound deceptive. In one misrepresentation, Ward claimed Mirlis had lied about when he first informed his wife about Greer’s abuse. Ford, the UConn psychiatrist whom Ward described as a “hired gun,” said Mirlis kept the molestation secret during couples counseling — a fact that wasn’t incompatible with Mirlis’s account of first telling his wife when they were dating. But Ward conflated the two, making it sounds like Mirlis had misled someone. That’s despite the fact that Mirlis testified, under oath, that Ford didn’t ask when he first confessed to his wife, so he didn’t tell the psychiatrist.
In another attempt to portray Mirlis as dishonest, Ward said Mirlis had lied about having sex with Greer repeatedly for 26 hours at a hotel in Paoli, Pennsylvania. Ponvert had indeed tried to portray the stay as an overnight orgy, but Mirlis had corrected him on the stand. To avoid violating the Sabbath, Mirlis indicated that they had sex only before Friday’s sundown and after Saturday’s sundown. By closing statements, Ward had reshaped that exchange to look dishonest. “It’s not ‘the 26-hour sex-fest’ that he told you in direct, isn’t it? It’s a lie, it’s a lie,” Ward claimed.
Ponvert fired back with a seven-minute rebuttal, calling Ward’s speech the “most bizarre and inaccurate” closing statement he’d heard in his career. Flustered with anger, he paused once to compose himself.
“I’m so frustrated I don’t know what to say at this point. Everyone wants this man out of here!” he exclaimed, his voice rising. “He’s [Greer’s] a child molester.”
Ponvert ended by saying it had been an honor to represent Mirlis, as well as a weighty responsibility. “I share that with you,” he said. “I ask you to accept that burden.”
“Dunkin’ Donuts Please”
Defense attorneys David Grudberg, William Ward and Amanda Nugent.
During the two full days that jurors argued in a locked room, starting at 11:35 a.m. on Wednesday, the rabbi paced around the courtroom, asking his lawyers about court procedure, gossiping with his wife about spectators and making several trips to the bathroom. Sarah Greer serenely read a book in the stands.
At 3:03 p.m. on Wednesday, jurors knocked on the door to indicate they had a question. They handed an unsigned, yellow sheet of paper to the marshal. It read, “If we finish this evening, will [we] be able to render a decision tonight or still have to come back tomorrow?” Judge Michael P. Shea sent his deputy into the room to let them know that if the court accepts their verdict tonight, they wouldn’t have to return.
At 3:19, they sent out another note. “We could use fresh coffee and donuts. Dunkin’ Donuts, please.”
The jurors sent out a note at 4:35 p.m. asking to replay Hack’s deposition. At 5:01 p.m., a second note said they’d finish deliberations on Thursday.
Back in the courtroom at 9:10 a.m. on Thursday, jurors examined the last 20 minutes of Hack’s deposition. Under pressure by Ward to name exact dates when Greer had sex with him as a student, Hack said he could not remember a single instance, aside from the first fondling. In the same clip, Hack said he knew about mandatory reporter laws, “certainly by 2007” — two years after Mirlis graduated.
For nearly four hours, the jury discussed whether the yeshiva had been negligent. After lunch, they wrote in a note that they couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict on that specific charge.
At 12:51 p.m., Judge Shea asked them to shrug off any fixed conclusions and reassess the evidence. “This is an important case for all parties. Therefore it’s important for you to reach a verdict without anyone surrendering a conscientiously held view,” Shea said. “There does not appear to be a reason why this case could be tried better or more exhaustively on either side, nor that any other men or women will be more intelligent, more impartially chosen or more competent to decide the case than you.” He added that jurors in the minority, in particular, should reexamine why more of their colleagues had tipped to the other side. “Take as much time as you need to discuss things; there is no rush.”
At 3:39 p.m., the jury handed back their ruling. After reading through verdict form, count by count, each juror stood individually to affirm agreement with the decision.
The defense team left silently, hurrying outside into oncoming traffic. Red-faced, Greer hugged Ward in the parking lot behind the courthouse, then slid into his minivan.
Beginning in the 1980s, Rabbi Greer oversaw the revival of the neighborhood around his yeshiva at the corner of Norton and Elm streets, renovating neglected historic homes.
Over the years, Greer has also crusaded against gay rights in Connecticut, at times played an active role in politics and government, and advocated for keeping nuisance businesses out of the Whalley Avenue commercial corridor. He and his family earned national attention for exposing johns who patronized street prostitutes in the neighborhood, for filing suit against Yale University over a requirement that students live in coed dorms, and then in 2007 for launching an armed neighborhood “defense” patrol and then calling in the Guardian Angels for assistance to combat crime. In the 1970s, Greer also led a successful campaign to force the United States to pressure the Soviet Union into allowing Jewish “refuseniks” to emigrate here and start new, freer lives.
Previous coverage of this case:
• Suit: Rabbi Molested, Raped Students
• Greer’s Housing Corporations Added To Sex Abuse Lawsuit
• 2nd Ex-Student Accuses Rabbi Of Sex Assault
• 2nd Rabbi Accuser Details Alleged Abuse
• Rabbi Sexual Abuse Jury Picked
• On Stand, Greer Invokes 5th On Sex Abuse
• Rabbi Seeks To Bar Blogger from Court
• Trial Mines How Victims Process Trauma
• Wife, Secretary Come To Rabbi Greer’s Defense
Join the Protest Against Agudath Israel’s Protection of Child Sex Abusers on Sun. 6/25 @ 3 p.m. in Midwood, Brooklyn.
This event, which I heartily endorse, was announced on the Hareini blog of frum anti-abuse activist, Asher Lovy. It is sponsored by Zaakah, the group that organized the protest against the pidyon shvuyim fund raiser for now-convicted child rapist, Rabbi Nechemya Weberman.
Agudath Israel of America (aka Agudah) continues to deter reporting orthodox sex abusers by misrepresenting the halacha and claiming one must always consult with a rabbi before reporting child sex abuse to the police. In an unholy alliance with the Catholic Church they lobby state governments to make it hard to prosecute and sue abusers. In his post, Protest Agudah’s Abuse Enabling and Opposition to SOL Reform,” Asher lays out the case against Agudah.
Novominsker Rebbe – Yaakov Perlow
I have often written about Agudah’s disgusting culpability in protecting those who desecrate our children with its horrendous effects on child victims, and adult survivors. In fact, I stumbled into blogging because I was angry enough to write a trenchant satire of an imaginary Agudah speech on abuse (Moetzes Gedolim Speak About Znus Affecting Children) This was back in 2009. Since then they have actually openly spoken about abuse. While their speeches have not been as funny, they have been as evasive and destructive. See for example the most recent speeches by the head of their moetzes (Council of Torah Sages), the Novominsker Rebbe, Yaakov Perlow.
Agudath Israel Head Opposes SOL Reform or Going Straight to Police about CSA While Complaining that Bloggers Lie about Haredi Rabbis
Evaluating the Novominsker Rebbe’s Call to Action on Molestation
This must stop. But it will only happen when enough frum Jews let Agudah know they want the change. Save the date, help share the message, and take the time to attend this protest in Brooklyn.
Be there at 3 PM on June 25th, at 1146 East 9th street in Midwood, Brooklyn, 11230
Below is the full text of the original announcement of the protest:
Author’s Note: Here is a link to the protest event, which will be taking place at 3 PM on June 25th, at 1146 east 9th street in Midwood, Brooklyn: https://www.facebook.com/events/1861272087529969
Agudath Israel, headed by Chaim David Zweibel, as been opposing and lobbyig against the Child Victims Act, which would protect children from sexual abusers by eliminating the Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse. Currently, according to the New York Statute of Limitations laws, child sexual abuse survivors can’t prosecute or sue their abusers in court once they’re older than age 23.
According to many studies, it takes, on average, between 10 and 30 years for victims to even come forward about being abused sexually. Agudath Israel, the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah, and Chaim David Zweibel know this, and yet they continue to oppose legislation which would eliminate the Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse, and open a 1 year retroactive window for old cases, thus allowing survivors of child sexual abuse to get justice from their abusers and the institutions that protect them.
Furthermore, it is the official policy of Agudath Israel of America, The Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, and Chaim David Zweibel, to forbid victims of child sexual abuse and the parents of victims of child sexual abuse to go immediately to authorities to report child sexual abuse. They require that victims and their families first consult a rabbi who can choose whether or not he wants to give them dispensation to go to the authorities.
This law is not just grossly illegal, but it also ensures that coverups continue unchecked in the Charedi community that constitutes Agudah’s base. Thousands of children are put at risk, and scores of abusers are protected, by this policy. Abuse is routinely covered up, and abusers are routinely protected by this policy as a matter of course.
That’s why ZAAKAH will be protesting outside of the house of Chaim David Zweibel, 1146 east 9th street Brooklyn, NY 11230, at 3 PM on June 25th, to send a message to him, and the other members of Agudath Israel of America, that they don’t get to escape the damage they’re causing by supporting these harmful and illegal policies. Their policies continue to make homes and communities unsafe for victims of child sexual abuse, so we’re bringing the issue to their homes and communities, and confronting them there where they can’t avoid it.
The only way we will ever truly end child sexual abuse in the charedi community is by making Agudath Israel of America, headed by the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah, and Chaim David Zweibel, change this harmful, illegal policy, and support legislation that will end the Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse, and give existing victims the window they need to get restitution for their suffering from the people and institutions that abused them.
For more information, please contact Asher Lovy at Asher@Hareiani.com.
we would like to make clear that moshe malamud is not a part of the malamud family business with sam and yossi
we just received a tip from those in the know that moshe malamud has a history of scamming his partners and was asked to leave the family business
Like in the Franklin Mint and now with his planes M2jets
Malamud e also pocketed the money for all the extra curricular activities that occurred on his planes
We are wondering if he will be brought into court to testify about those flights arranged for platinum partners with the hookers
women if your husband uses malamuds flights you might want to be tested
Crown Heights community member Chaya Sara Waldman penned the following open letter to Rabbi Motty Gurary, director of Bnos Menachem, in response to his letter requiring all parents to adhere to strict Tznius guidelines – including no denim, long shaitels or dark nail polish – in order for their children to be considered for the coming school year:
Dear Rabbi Gurary,
Your letter triggered so many responses in me, I don’t know where to begin. By questioning why a man – especially a frum man and a chossid – could ever imagine it is appropriate to speak to a woman about her body? By marveling at the incredible irony of a letter inspired by pursuit of dignity and aidelkeit being a crude public itemization of what women should or shouldn’t wear? By wondering what the role is here for the husband who signs this letter – is it to inspect and approve his wife before she leaves the house? By marveling at how you have turned tznius – a beautiful concept about moderation and refinement in human behavior and dealings, something that’s supposed to translate into cars and homes and the way we make simchos – into something that defines solely the real estate of the skin of women’s bodies? But I decided to respond to the most worrisome concept this letter symbolizes: the prioritization of Women’s Clothing over all other community issues, as your school – and other institutions in Lubavitch – recently have.
To me, more appalling than denim, is the eight-year-old boy who has been bullied since he was four. More obscene than a three-year-old girl’s bare calf, is the shameless conspicuous consumptionism of a bar mitzvah I recently attended of one of our staunch standard-bearers of the BM “Tights Imperative”. More dreadful than red nail polish, is the silent serpent of poverty that poisons the happiness of young families who can barely make ends meet (who attend the extravagant functions of the “role models” of our neighborhood). More offensive than a shaitel that hangs below the shoulder blades, is the gross lashon hara that makes for Shabbos table conversations. More shocking than leggings, is the growing mass of young teenagers quietly throwing away a yiddishkeit they don’t understand and have come to hate. More alarming than a tight skirt is the rampant consumption of alcohol by our children in yeshivos.
I understand that the way that women look in public colors the whole community because of its overt nature. One need look no further than this week’s parsha in Likkutei Sichos (chelek 2), where the Rebbe discusses Kimchis, who merited to see her sons be kohanim gedolimbecause of her vigilance in covering her hair. But what I don’t understand is how this has become the most prioritized issue, emphasized with a single-mindedness above all other community issues. After all, looking through many of the Rebbe’s other sichos, the recurring, persistent and primary message is ahavas yisroel, helping a fellow Jew, even a rasha, as the Rebbe mentions a few parshiyos earlier in that same chelek. Not only does the new cultural stress on what you refer to as “tznius” not deserve the spotlight, it inevitably directly contradicts that which does – ahavas yisroel – when proponents employ harsh judgment, humiliation and shaming to “offenders”, employing the new catch-all-phrase: “ahavas yisroeldoesn’t mean that…”. “Tznius” is important, but if you really want to “elevate the kedushah in our neighborhood”, let’s take a cue from the elements of yiddishkeit the Rebbe actually focused on. And if you want to elevate the standard of tznius, let’s talk about tznius –the whole concept – not just women’s (and little girls’!) legs.
Aside from your choice of focus, I also have to question your tone and approach. Wouldn’t your position of authority and leadership in this community be better served to healing us as a people, a fragmented community in pain, an individual and another individual and another individual just trying to do his/her best – like you. What has always distinguished Lubavitcher chassidim is our focus on ruling by light, not by darkness, the focus on each, individual yid, as a precious and valuable piece of Hashem to be treated with respect and kindness and care. The Rebbe’s way didn’t seem to be the way of prohibitive takanos like the ones you put forth. Rather, encouraging us all to be “street signs”, placed at the intersections of the paths leading to arei miklat. Our job is to stand at the crossroads as our friends wander through their existential crises and to support them, to guide them with cries of, “miklat, miklat!”, with warmth and support and empathy, and cheer them forward with positivity and love (as the Rebbe discusses in that same chelek 2).
Hatznei leches im Hashm elokecha is a fundamental principle of Jewish life. How has that been subverted to become this obsession about women’s toes and little girls’ legs? If you are looking to highlight one element of yiddishkeit – one ultimate value – to mandate the parents of your school to sign off on, ayn lanu ela divrei ben Amram. Your school represents the Rebbe. Why corrupt his legacy by distorting the meaning of “kedusha” in his shchunah.
Chaya Sara Waldman
Crown Heights Girls’ School Bnos Menachem sent out a letter yesterday to all parents informing them of new standards of modesty it expects all its students’ mothers to adhere to over the coming school year.
The letter, written by school director Motty Gurary, says the aim of the new standards is to “create a ripple effect in the community at large.”
“As a group, we can make a significant difference if we try. We should not throw our hands up in despair, but rather, should unite to show our children that there is a better way,” the letter says.
All applications for the coming school year will have to be accompanied by a signed agreement to abide by the rules, which include: not wearing “loud” nail polish, no denim, no long shaitels, no tight-fitting clothing, no leggings, no elbows; feet or neckline showing, and only mid-calf skirts.
“It should not be hard to meet these requirements, as our students need to keep similar rules and it is imperative that the home and the school follow the same standards. By showing our girls how to dress with finesse, they will have good, true Chassidishe role models,” the letter says.
See the full text of the letter below: