Rabbi Shemtov has money for  yarchie Kalla but teachers aren’t paid     

Rabbi Shemtov has money for  yarchie Kalla but teachers aren’t paid

Commitments made to Bais Rivkah teachers in the past year have gone unfulfilled, leaving many to wonder if Crown Heights’ largest girls’ school will open on time for the coming school year.

During the 2016-2017 school year, a number of activist teachers organized a crippling strike in grades 1 through 3, with some teachers claiming that they ‘felt like pawns’ in a power skirmish. Ultimately the strike was resolved, a new board was instituted and commitments to paying the teachers were made.

“When we went back to work we were promised that all future paychecks will be paid on time, and all the past owed paychecks will be paid throughout the summer,” teachers have told CrownHeights.info, “we are still owed seven checks from the 2015-16 year, and three from the 2016-17 year.”

In the discussions to end the strike, the board had pledged to cover all the paychecks going forward, and the school’s executive director, Rabbi Avraham Shemtov, had pledged to cover all the backpay by the end of the school year – a promise which has since gone unfulfilled.

Speaking with sources in the school, they said that officially school is starting on time, and there have not been any indications that there would be any delays.

Repeated attempts to reach members of the board were unsuccessful, and messages went unreturned. Messages left for Rabbi Shemtov have also not been returned.

23-Year-Old Jewish Man Killed Over Parking Spot

23-Year-Old Jewish Man Killed Over Parking Spot

From VIN News by Sandy Eller:

A dispute over a parking place in the Bergen Beach section of Brooklyn went horribly wrong last night, ending in the death of a 23 year old member of the Sephardic Jewish community.

The incident took place just before 11:30 Sunday night in front of 1253 East 73rd Street, two doors away from the three story brick home where 23 year old Omari Dahan lived with his 29 year old brother.

Police said that a fight broke out between the elder Dahan and two men who had reportedly blocked Dahan’s driveway with their vehicle and when the altercation became more heated, Dahan went inside to get his younger brother Omari to back him up.

At some point during the dispute, one of the two men from the parked car pulled a knife, slashing the elder Dahan in the arm and stabbing Omari Dahan in the chest.  The two men fled the scene in a grey Volkswagen Jetta with TLC license plates.

The elder Dahan was treated on scene for his injuries. Omari Dahan was taken to Beth Israel where he was pronounced dead.

Last night’s fatal stabbing is not the first tragedy to strike the Dahan family. As previously reported on VIN News, Omari Dahan’s father, Shlomo Dahan, and his then 23 year old brother Harel Dahan, died in 2009 when they were overcome by toxic fumes while cleaning a well at a waste transfer station in Queens.

The Dahans lived just two blocks from the water of the Paerdegat Basin and neighbors told CBS News that parking is tight in the area, often leading to fights.

Police have yet to release any description of the suspects as they continue their investigation.

Bagel murder suspect had been cut out of family fortune weeks before killings, documents show

Bagel murder suspect had been cut out of family fortune weeks before killings, documents show

The Telegraph
Son of bagel dynasty Joshua Cohen arrested on suspicion of murdering his mother and sister
Son of bagel dynasty Joshua Cohen arrested on suspicion of murdering his mother and sister

A son suspected of stabbing to death his mother and sister at their £1.5m home had been cut out of the family’s bagel baking fortune just weeks earlier.

The wealthy bakers were found murdered in the family’s home in Golders Green at 8.50pm on Friday in what police have described as “a devastating attack”.

Joshua Cohen, 27, was arrested in a park on Saturday after his mother Leah, 66, and sister Hannah, 33 were killed.

He was charged with murder on Sunday night, and has been remanded in custody until Monday, when he will appear before Hendon Magistrates Court.

Family tributes describe them both as “loving and wonderful” people.

Mr Cohen’s late father Asher was one of the founders of the world renown Beigel Bake in Brick Lane, London, and just weeks ago probate was granted on his estate only naming Mr Cohen’s two older brothers Nathan, 30, and Daniel, 34, as directors of the company.

Hannah Cohen
Hannah Cohen, 33, was found stabbed to death with her mother in Golders Green, north London.

His father died last December at the age of 81.

Probate on his estate was granted on July 27 and on the same day the directorship of the Beigel Bake empire was altered to list two of Mr Cohen’s brothers as directors.

All three brothers had worked in the family business.

On Sunday tributes were paid to his mother and sister.

Beigel Bake - Credit: Jenny Matthews / Alamy Stock Photo
The family run the Beigel Bake business in Brick Lane. Credit: Jenny Matthews / Alamy Stock Photo

Hannah, who had studied psychology at City University London, was a former pupil at the prestigious Carmel College, Wallingford, which has since closed.

Her former schoolfriend told the Telegraph it was a “tragedy”.

She ran a cake business called Coco Cakes with her sister-in-law Deborah Cohen.

Hannah Cohen (lt) with her sister-in-law Deborah (rt blond).
Hannah Cohen with her sister-in-law Deborah.

Mrs Cohen, who is married to Daniel, told the Mail: “She was a loving aunt to her niece and four nephews and the older ones loved nothing more than baking with her.

“She was absolutely selfless and did everything for everyone else.

“She was the greatest cook. We went over there every Sunday to eat together as a family and she made the most amazing food. My kids absolutely adored her.”

Yesterday a message on the company’s Facebook page stated: “I’m very sad to say, there will be no more cakes by Coco Cakes.”

Hannah’s mother Leah was described by her family as “a loving, generous and a wonderful mother to her five children”.

Cohen murder - Credit: Paul Grover
Police at the scene of the double murder of Hannah Cohen and her mother Leah in Golders Green. Credit: Paul Grover

Formal identification and post mortem examinations have yet to take place but police are confident they know the identify of the victims.

Their next-of-kin have been informed.

Staff at Beigel Bake were too upset to talk last night.

Mr Cohen senior, who died in December aged 81, arrived in the UK from Israel in the 1960s and worked at his brother’s bakery next door initially before branching out and opening his bagel business.

Golders Green murder - Credit: Paul Grover
 Forensics the house in Golders Green Crescent at the scene of a double murder. Credit: Paul Grover

Beigel Bake was set up by Mr Cohen senior with his brother and another partner in 1974 and was first Britain’s first bagel bakery.

It started out as a wholesale business and almost everything was made by hand in traditional Jewish style and is famed for its salt beef bagel.

It remains a 24 hour bakery and produces 7,000 bagels everyday.

The Fire of Torah – Rav Aharon Kotler – The REAL Story to follow.

Should the book be titled,  “Responsible for bochurim dying in shanghai
the quest to change historical facts”
This book doesn’t tell the story of how chassidic  boys died  from hunger because of rabbi kotler.
A book is being written now from a modern orthodox rabbi that is telling the whole story.
The  world will be shocked

The fire of Rav Aharon Kotler and his mesirus nefesh for Torah in America are captured in these amazing firsthand accounts of students and askanim for 1940 to early 1960. Each unforgettable story is told by a person who was there and actually witnessed it unfold, recreating the experience of being in Rav Aharon’s presence.

Be inspired by his insatiable thirst for Torah; feel his live and concern for every Jew. He was a man of action and truth, hard as steel in fighting with all his strength for what was right – but soft as a reed with talmidim and family. These astonishing recollections reveal Rav Aharon’s keen perception, holy spirit, and intensity of commitment to do Hashem’s will.

Here is an awe-inspiring glimpse of the colossal gaon and tzaddik who revolutionized the world of Torah Jewry.

Hypocrites     a vaad for chinuch but no stopping molesters 

Hypocrites     a vaad for chinuch but no stopping molesters

A new “Vaad HaChinuch” was appointed to advise on all Chinuch matters at Bais Rivkah, the new Board of Directors has announced.

While most are enjoying their summer break, and school and its schedule are all but forgotten with vacation’s welcome change of pace, the newly appointed board at Bais Rivkah School in Crown Heights has been hard at work planning for the upcoming school year.

The new board, which includes members Rabbi Avrohom Shemtov, Chairman, Mr. Mendy Gansburg, Rabbi Ephraim Goldfein, Mr. Yerachmeal Jacobson, Mr. Dovid Junik, Mr. Yoseph Kazarnovsky, Mr. Yigal Niasoff, Mr. Itchik Orimland and Mr. Dovid Sputz, was finally legally installed last June after months of negotiation.

Members told principals, teachers, and parents of the school’s 1,800 students that they are committing to turning the school around for good and ensuring transparency of legal and financial affairs.

“We have spent several tireless weeks in fast-paced and goal-oriented preparation,” a board member told COLlive.

In a further effort to advance the educational standards at the school, the board has announced the formation of an additional board of “esteemed educators and community leaders,” whose aim is to “pave the way forward in terms of the school’s ruchniyus,” they said in a letter to parents.

“The Vaad HaChinuch will work together with Bais Rivkah’s principals and teachers, addressing, guiding and advising on all chinuch matters within the school,” they said.

The new Vaad HaChinuch includes members Rabbi Levi Garelik, Mara D’Asra of Bais Shmuel Chabad, renowned educator and communal activist; Rabbi Nachman Twerski, Long time Magid Shiur and Mechanech in Mesivta Oholei Torah, and Rabbi Boruch Hertz, Rov of the Lubavitch community in Chicago and Congregation B’nei Reuven and Dean of the girl’s school in Chicago.

“The esteemed members of the Vaad HaChinuch look forward to working with the community and hearing the thoughts of both parents and alumni of Bais Rivkah,” they said. “We wish the new Vaad HaChinuch tremendous hatzlacha and look forward to working with them on implementing the Rebbe’s vision for the Chinuch of our daughters.”

The Board of Directors said they are also available and accessible to parents for questions related to tuition or general school concerns the board should be aware of and address.

“We are happy to receive input from parents so that we can work together on forming goals and making progress to benefit students and teachers alike,” they said.

Orthodox Judge Blames Religious School System for Overdose

The Orthodox community was rattled last month when 20-year old Malky Klein, daughter of Avrohom and Rifka Klein of Boro Park, died of a heroine overdose.

Social media flooded with tearful reflection. A podcast interview with Klein’s father went viral. A video tribute to the young woman got 28,000 views within a week. Over $250,000 was raised online, in Malky’s memory, towards an Israeli organization which works on early intervention in the Orthodox community.

But what stood out most was the reaction of Ruchie Freier, the only Hasidic woman judge in Brooklyn.

In an essay for the Haredi site VosIzNeis rife with religious terms and quotes from holy texts, Freier implored her community to consider the much deeper root of the problem which killed Klein — far deeper than any drug epidemic. Instead, she blamed the school system for Malky’s death.

In far too many Orthodox schools, children with learning disabilities are ruthlessly discriminated against, often thrown out of schools for their academic track record alone. Not a single religious girls high school would take Malky Klein, Freier writes, no matter how hard the girl tried:

“Malky personally wrote letters to other school principals and begged to be given the chance, all to no avail. Alas, despite all her efforts she cried to her parents ‘What it takes girls in my class seconds to learn, takes me hours. If this is what it means to be a good girl, it’s not for me!’ And that was the beginning of the tragic end for Malky. A sweet girl, who was so misunderstood and hurt, despite the unconditional love of her wonderful parents.As we reject more children, the death rate goes up. The Chazon Ish said that a decision to expel a child is Dinei Nefoshos [a judgment of life and death] and halachically requires a Bais Din [religious court] of 23 members.”
But Malky’s situation is far from unique. Freier is describing a problem that has become tragically common in the community. In a world ruled by paranoia, where social status is everything — slightly above Divine Torah or law — parents will do everything necessary to keep their child in as elite an environment as possible, for the sake of a family’s reputation and of course their marriage prospects. And if it means pushing another child out, so be it.

Freier describes how she herself went to a principal, to plead for Malky to be accepted, despite her challenges. The principle was reluctant to take Malky in, “because there was negative information out there,” Freier writes:

“The principal quietly told me that several mothers were calling her, exclaiming that if Malky Klein is accepted, they will take their daughters out of the school. In fact, the principal said that one of the mothers explained that she was related to the Kleins and thus had first hand information of what transpires in their home and strongly urged the Rebbetzin not to accept Malky. This required my investigation, which revealed that no such cousin existed. This is merely one example of the exaggerated and/or false reports that were made by mothers in the class.”
Vicious rumor-mongering, and the inability to accept someone slightly different, is having deadly consequences.


Freier notes that it wasn’t always like this. “I had classmates from a variety of backgrounds, and some girls had parents who were not frum [Orthodox] from birth,” she writes. “We all got along, our teachers valued each student, and encouraged us to reach greater heights in our connection to Hashem. Some girls in my class had learning disabilities, but in those years, we didn’t know it, we just knew they failed most of their tests. No one thought that these girls didn’t belong….no one’s parents called the school to complain or have them expelled.”


But a shift has occurred since then, and Freier notes its source.

“We thought we knew better than our parents and we were going to bring Torah to a level of unsurpassed excellence – we heralded the advent of Mitzuyanim [‘excellers’] — yeshivas and schools with higher standards, and disenfranchised many students who could not keep up. Thus began the Churban [‘destruction’] of our generation….the rejection of so many innocent children left behind, hurt and destroyed.”
Freier is brave for speaking out — few can, not least because those who do so are often pressured back into silence. In January 2016, Orthodox LA-based philanthropist Shlomo Rechnitz gave a blistering speech at a Lakewood charity dinner, accusing religious schools of “bloodshed”, describing the situation of children being turned away as a “mahalah”, a disease, which has infected Orthodox society at large.

“Many of us have created for ourselves a new Torah, a new Yiddishkeit [Jewishness], that makes us feel good about ourselves, but has little to do with the Torah that He gave us 3,300 years ago,” Rechnitz said. “We turned our frumkeit [Orthodoxy] into an idol, and we have forgotten some of the basic tenets of Yiddishkeit.”

Rechnitz blasted the “elitism” of the community, and the “ugly superiority complex” that has been adopted. But he was pressured to recant, and ultimately agreed to “remove himself from the conversation”.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

Read more: http://forward.com/opinion/378991/orthodox-judge-blames-religious-school-system-for-overdose/



Is this a turning point in the battle against abuse?

Last month, Aharon Shlomo Lisson (Lyson), a Chabad teacher from Beitar Illit, was sentenced to 7 years in prison for sexually abusing three brothers. That evening, his oldest victim, Yankie Rainitz, released a powerful post on Facebook which quickly went viral. (You can read a translated version of his Facebook post HERE

The following day, COL, the largest Chabad news site in Israel, published an unprecedented editorial which we’ve translated from its original Hebrew below.

What you are about to read is not a standard article. It will not increase respect for Chabad Chassidim or the community. Many of you may believe that our dirty laundry should not be aired in public. But the city is burning. If there ever was a moment to put our honor aside, this seems to be the moment.
We were all shocked yesterday when we heard (again) the story of the teacher who abused his students in such a severe manner. We were all shocked when we read the cry of the abused. Everyone feels that he must do everything in order to eradicate this plague from our camp. To protect his children – to protect our children! Everyone is thinking about the next step. How do you stop it? They promise themselves that this will never happen to their child.


Indeed, we hope that this will be so, and that no student nor parent will have to go through the hell that the young children and their parents have undergone.


In a moving post published by one of the victims, he described in a heartrending way the abuse he and his family underwent. By reading between the lines, one can detect his anger and hurt at the lack of support and belief by the community. From the moment the family followed the only possible course of action by reporting the abuse to police, they received a cold shoulder and were even ostracized by many good people. Not only that, but astonishingly, during the long trial (which included 59! terrible and intimidating court appearances by the victims) many avraichim, educators and lay leaders came to support the abuser and to testify as character witnesses. Of course, from the point of view of halacah and from a legal point of view, everyone has the presumption of innocence, but apparently, no real attempt was made to see if perhaps the person they had known since birth and who appeared to be the biggest chassid, actually hid a terrible secret.


It is of course difficult to imagine a man who appeared to be so nice and chassidish as a monster, but based on recent experiences, alarm bells should have gone off.


When educators and influential people stand in support of the abuser, what is a child who is being abused in school supposed to think? What can he conclude from this? His only conclusion will be that he has no one to report to. The assumption of trust will always be with the educator, the principle the mashpia, but never with the victim.


This disturbing support should be of concern to every parent, not just the parents of the victim. Each and every parent who cares about their children must wake up and cry out, how!? How do you dare cause, G-d forbid, that when my child is in need, he will feel that the last person he can turn to is his teacher or mashpia???


The community members as well – not all of them but unfortunately too many – at best were indifferent or in the worst cases revealed a skepticism and mistrust of the family. There was too much talk and gossip claiming that this was all a plot to extort money.


What would a child who held a terrible secret inside him think when he hears such talk at home or in the shul? What chance is there that he’ll believe that he would get the adult support he will need to overcome the obstacles of reporting his abuser?


And worst of all, what do abusers think – the one who might be sitting next to you in shul – hearing this distrust for the victim? Seeing the support for the abuser? Does it encourage him to continue his actions or will it make him try to stop? The answer is painfully clear.


Unfortunately, what is done is done, but there is one act that can rectify the injustice and even make a real statement. The avraichim, rabbis and educators must go and apologize to the family, and repent for their sin. Firstly, this is their halachic and moral obligation, but above all, this will be a real statement that what happened here will not happen again. Never again will an abused child have to fight against the whole world. Never again will an abuser feel wrapped in an embrace of support.


Dear chassidim, this is in your hands, put your honor aside.


Do not remain silent at this time.