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Friday, 19 Tishri, 5780
  |  October 18, 2019

LA Rabbis Explain Abuse Policy

The Halachic Advisory Board of Los Angeles discuss their policy on abuse in response to a recent speech by a survivor. Full Story

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Finally!
Guest
Finally!

I am now fully confident that this issue will be put to rest. The truth has been told! The rabbis were prevented by law from doing any more than they did.

Happy Pesach to all.

Wow, they still don't get it!
Guest
Wow, they still don't get it!

All this addresses how the Rabbinical Council deals with the offender. Nothing here describes their protocols for dealing with the victim!!!

This is as incriminating a response as could be imagined!

Finally
Guest
Finally

Thanx for the statement. Clarifies things for us

Jews against Jews
Guest
Jews against Jews

I’m not understanding… This isn’t even the Royal commission trying to intentionally find wrongs in our Jewish nation. It’s our own doing everything they can to trash our own!!!!! To bring out bad…. It’s not like the went out intentionally and said… I Wanna do something. Im sure they did all they can in every way to do what they thought is the best!!!!

So people… We are lowering ourself to the level of goyim… If thy aren’t coming at us, why are we coming at us!!!!!????

Hiding
Guest
Hiding

Using slander and libel laws, as well as rabbi/congregant relationships as a basis to protect the anonymity of the abuser is utter nonsense. Stop protecting the abusers.

Inexcusable
Guest
Inexcusable

It is all very easy to try to shift blame that the family should have gone to the police. The Rabbis should have encouraged the family to do that. I am sure that the same would have happened with any Rabbi in any city/country. It is time that Rabbis step up and do the right thing finally.

Very Happy!
Guest
Very Happy!

I’m very happy the LA Rabbi’s didn’t stoop to the lowly and unprofessional level of JCW by responding (now) in public to a specific case but is informing the public about the complexities of what could and can’t be done when a alleged victim doesn’t go to the authorities. Hopefully this will initiate a dignified dialogue about policy and further encourage victims of abuse to make a police report!

Okay but!!!
Guest
Okay but!!!

We still don’t know how they handled or dealt with this situation.

Thank you
Guest
Thank you

Thank you for this insight and information.

kol hacovod
Guest
kol hacovod

Kol hacovod,to the Rabbis in LA, I knew I can trust them. Thanks for clarifying.

Shame on Who?
Guest
Shame on Who?

Shame on those that disrespected our rabbis, especially rabbis that took a position on this matter way before others that have positions today,
כבוד התורה

HOW DARE PEOPLE SLANDER INNOCENT RABBIS
Guest
HOW DARE PEOPLE SLANDER INNOCENT RABBIS

Sima, you owe a public apology to Rabbi Shusterman,
Rabbi Union, Rabbi Bess, and Rabbi Goldenberg, who clearly sent you to the police (Bishop). When you refused to press charges, they begged you to.
To come 10 years later and blame them just shows on your lack of integrity. We all know the magnitude of lashon hara….
What you did was a total Chilul Hashem. Hashem does not remain a baal chov….

A little vague
Guest
A little vague

I am glad of the committee decided to come forward with the response to the issues raised. This statement is a little self-serving without addressing any of the key issues that were brought up.

A Chag Kosher v’samech
Concerned member of Anash in LA

we didn't see that happen
Guest
we didn't see that happen

If this will help for the future then Mrs. Yarmush has already accomplished a lot. Chag Sameach

brushing off the real issue
Guest
brushing off the real issue

That is no reason why the Rabbis shouldn’t show their support. One Rabbi helped Sima’s abuser and even told her parents not to tell the communtiy the real reason why her abuser left. The Rabbis didn’t warn anyone!!! Quite the opposite, they tried to keep it quiet. How do you explain that??? The reason for remaining quiet? You know how many dangerous situations can be prevented.

Where are the real rabbis who can't be bought off?
Guest
Where are the real rabbis who can't be bought off?

Rabbi Tauber and Rabbi Schochet know how to put abuse where it belongs rather than being bought off or being polticaly correct.We are in golus because of these Rabbis who follow the ways of what they call order. SAD INDEED!!!

From the inside
Guest
From the inside

if only Sima would have filled charges. Sima said she was behind a Mechitza in her interactions with the rabbis. That means that had no clue who she was and couldn’t get a call from them to get more information, or find out how she was doing. Why she turned on the rabbis. …. turn to JCW fur answers.

The Rabbonim did everything in so many cases. A shame this case was blown out of proportion by JCW.

Sima is now a victim twice.

What a shame!!
Guest
What a shame!!

Literally, they released a load of hooey erev pesach, knowing a response will be limited. Secondly, they failed to apologize to Sima, to reach out to Sima or to acknowledge any wrongdoing. What a shame.

shocking
Guest
shocking

what a lame statement. dumb.

HOB
Guest
HOB

These protocols themselves are the problem. It says we know it, but it hasn’t been proven in court, so will not do anything about it. We will not warn people, we will not let the community know. You’re on your own. They’ll take the abuser, send him to “therapy.” So what purpose do they serve? Essential Judaism is: we protect our children. The HAB is not protecting our children. Their protocols themselves say that they shouldn’t exist because they’re useless. “We are protecting ourselves from a lawsuit; that is more important to us than the safety of your children.” It… Read more »

Sounds unfair to me...
Guest
Sounds unfair to me...

Only after a public confrontation between an alleged victim and the responsible authorities, do these authorities react? What is wrong with preemptive measures? I wager that if no victim ever spoke out, the responsible authorities would continue to keep silent out of concern for outwards appearances. I wish we had a Rebbe who would speak out against such anti-Torah arguments. To determine that publicly sharing a bad experience seems to be the only way to get a decent response is heartbreaking.

Responsibility and emotionalism
Guest
Responsibility and emotionalism

Thank you for clarifying your honorable record. We commend you for all your difficult work and sensitivity. I am sorry that there was such dishonor, and disrespect to the rabonim. I hope that col will be more careful about providing a platform for lashon harsh and motza Shem ra . They have a responsibility to the public,and the community.

is this to share info or to defend?
Guest
is this to share info or to defend?

because I’m pretty sure they didnt do this with Simi: “Since their inception, they have sensitively provided support, security and resources to victims of abuse. ” She clearly expalins that non of them have even contacted her to see hwo she was doing, nor did they give her any resources to help herself, nor any updates aboutt heir case, or process, to make her feel secure in her decision.
“They have undergone numerous training sessions from experts in the field and have trained groups around the country.” clearly, may not have been enough….

Thank you
Guest
Thank you

Thank you for clarifying

Yoni K. Los Angeles
Guest
Yoni K. Los Angeles

I support Rabbi Shusterman 100%!!

You'r sorry???
Guest
You'r sorry???

it would be nice to see some recognitation of the disgasting “mistakes” you made. Just go to the police people!

Notifying the community
Guest
Notifying the community

Although I feel terrible for what happened to her, asking the rabbis to notify the community would be illegal. The only real option was for Sima to press charges and she didn’t. I can’t fault her for that, but that was really the only legal option available at the time.

Apology
Guest
Apology

What a bunch of nonsense they wrote.
All they had to do is apologize and say they were wrong, that they should have gone directly the police.

Rabonim in LA live on!
Guest
Rabonim in LA live on!

EXSACTLY!! If you want to protect urseof and not go to police ain’t nothing none can do about it… Dont complain later on….

disappointed in LA
Guest
disappointed in LA

Its like they never heard Sima’s speach. It for sure deserves better than this canned response. That still blames the victim.

Sad!!

don't buy it.
Guest
don't buy it.

Rabbi Shusterman didn’t even want the name of the abuser to be named by the victim in front of his board.
Rabbi Shusterman told the victims parents that they have no moral, halachic, etc. claim against the Abuser.
This board should never have relocated Rabbi Abuser Levitansky to other Jewish Communities with children to be preyed upon. Maybe this board should have stood by and supported the victim and her family in their local community.
No support, just silence.

ALFRED E NEWMAN
Guest
ALFRED E NEWMAN

How to say a lot without saying anything!

Tachlus: Does the Halacha Advisory Board permit an abused person to go straight to the police, YES OR NO!

not impressed
Guest
not impressed

So they are defending themselves, without offering a word of apology to a victim who felt she was wronged by them after going to them for help. Before talking about their policies, which sound extremely vague and not reassuring at all, I think it’s important for them to first appologize for what happened. people want to hear, bottom line, will they make sure an offender does not have access to kids?! To me that’s what it boils down to. If an offender is know, all precautions need to be taken to ensure that he is not in a position to… Read more »

Let's get a summary.
Guest
Let's get a summary.

Why did they not let it be known that that man had abused young girls?!

why won't they answer the most important question?
Guest
why won't they answer the most important question?

How did the RCC allow the offender ti get another job as a rabbi in California?

Blablabla
Guest
Blablabla

Talk talk talk. When is action???

Important statement
Guest
Important statement

Just one correction, with deep respect to the esteemed Rabbonim sheyichyu:
Chas vesholom, it should never, ever happen again…
As the Rebbe said regarding the holocaust: לא תקום פעמיים צרה!
Only besuros tovos and true Refua for the victims beezras Hashem!

JCW provides a good service
Guest
JCW provides a good service

But, unfortunately, this video set back the cause of protecting children from abuse. The survivor, as many have already said, deserves our sympathy – no one should ever have to suffer what she suffered. But her speech, although the truth, was not the whole truth. She misrepresented and maligned individuals who are, in fact, those who advocate strongly and passionately for protecting children. It’s too bad that the rabbis she refers to can’t refute some of her assertions. It’s too bad that she had an opportunity to let people know about the horrors of molestation, and used it instead to… Read more »

Thank you for sharing.
Guest
Thank you for sharing.

I was somewhat disturbed when the survivor bashed the Rabbi’s, I appreciate shedding light on this issue!

Amazing
Guest
Amazing

Thank you for protecting our community.

This does not explain Rabbi Shusterman's Ruling!
Guest
This does not explain Rabbi Shusterman's Ruling!

RABBI SHUSTERMAN MUST MAKE A PUBLIC STATEMENT. THIS DOES NOT EXPLAIN IN ANYWAY WHY THE CHOICE TO TELL THIS FAMILY NO TO GO TO THE AUTHORITIES WAS DECIDED UPON.

Emes Emes tirdof
Guest
Emes Emes tirdof

Finally the truth is told. Belief in our Rabonim is reinforced. Thank you. Thank you.

I don't get it..
Guest
I don't get it..

I’d like to know more… What do they do to help victims?

What do they do to ensure that the predators don’t hurt others?

Why didn’t they warn the community that he moved to that they had a predator in their midst?

Don’t they have an obligation to ensure that others aren’t hurt by the predator that comes to their attention?

How can they say “Sadly it will happen again.” and not be doing something so that it shouldn’t?!

Do they think that what they did in Simi’s case is enough?

Are they justifying what they did/didn’t do?

hmmmm
Guest
hmmmm

The Halachic Advisory Board worked in conjunction and under the auspices of Aleinu and Debbie Fox…Interestingly, neither are mentioned at all in the response. Why not? Hmmmm…it seems that there is much more to this story that is not being disclosed as we all know at this point that both Aleinu and Debbie Fox were directly involved.

Feeling dumb
Guest
Feeling dumb

I’m not understanding the point of this article. Would love an explanation.

I don't buy it
Guest
I don't buy it

If all of the above is true then I do not understand how it was possible for three of my highschool friends between the years of 1988-1991 to have been abused and manipulated by Rabbis in the community. One if these two friends had been approached and groomed by her abuser at the age of ten. This relationship escalated until my friend was 18 and literally moved out if state. Two of these friends were pursued by their respective abusers post high-school. I had approached one of the Rabbi’s mentioned in the HALACHIC Council. In addition, the friend that had… Read more »

Enough
Guest
Enough

Let’s move on to a different subject please . Honestly sick and tired of all this abuse talk ( and I was abused too)!

YICHUD
Guest
YICHUD

To begin with I don’t get how YICHUD and shalom levitanski didn’t raise eye brows.

Agreed with 27 & 28
Guest
Agreed with 27 & 28

The letter is really just another smack in the face too the victim

deal with the police
Guest
deal with the police

god forbid anyone starts with my kids i go sstraight to the police! !!!very simple!nothing to do with rabbis! end of story!

Larry
Guest
Larry

Now you see why the victim suffers twice

mandated reporting.. hellllllo
Guest
mandated reporting.. hellllllo

These rabbis should not stand on board and deal with any type of abuse.

clearly we need rabbis who follow the law, back up the victim, and encourage them to do what needs to be done to protect others. These rabbis didn’t do that, proof is in the pudding.

Siyug lchochma shticka.. seriously

sherman oaks
Guest
sherman oaks

The “rabbis” failed to notify the sherman oaks community about this preditor, covring up for the molester.

First hand experience
Guest
First hand experience

From my first hand personal experience if you go to the Rabbonim They do not help, they just want you to go away and stop talking about it. Then if you go to the police the community and its Rabbonim come out against you and if and when the abuser is convicted and sent to prison the Rabbonim come out against the whole family of the victim and as I found that I have been put in an unofficial cherim. That is all fact, and while this is all going on the community and its Rabbonim do go full out… Read more »

Protocals
Guest
Protocals

Listing protocols is a slight of hand. 1. We have no idea when they were established. 2. We have no idea if they are or were actually followed. (I have stated protocols in life that I rarely live up to). 3. Does not address this case at all…… Further, if the Protocals were real the committee should have been at the speach showing support, not trying to stop the event or at least pressuring rabbis not to attend (at least one of the members of the committee tried to do this).

to #32
Guest
to #32

In fact, the rabbis told her over and over again to go to the police. It was HER OWN CHOICE to not go to the police.

she was bullied
Guest
she was bullied

she was bullied by the bullies to serve their own agenda. they are not completeley committed to protectecting our children at all. They first want to take down All their Rabbbis they are angry with. Thank You rabbi Shusterman for being the most amazing Rov.

No right
Guest
No right

Since when does a victim of one crime have the right to commit another crime.

REVICTIMIZING THE VICTIM
Guest
REVICTIMIZING THE VICTIM

JCW has revictimized the victim. Shame on the JCW! Instead of advocating for victims and protecting our children they have an agenda to destroy communities who did everything right. It is now obvious that the LA rabbis did everything right at that time, continue to do so and follow the law. By making this poor woman get up there and say half truths and leave out key parts of the story the JCW has done a great disservice to victims and potential victims (R”L) and has set back their cause significantly. Mark my words… we will soon see the JCW… Read more »

how dare they
Guest
how dare they

Continueing to abusethe victim. Sick!!

times are changing
Guest
times are changing

Now Rabbonim are issuing directives to go directly to police. Until now victims were pressured to keep away from goyish justice systems and not mosser the abusers.
I’m sure Sima and her family would handle things differently now. I hope the Rabbonim would too.
Finally, what unnerved me is that the abusers have rights to face their accusers. How scary for the victims to have to be forced to do that, panim to panim.

the real world
Guest
the real world

Friends….it is clwae that most of the posters here are very very insulated in the heimishe world (BH)…because many of you keeo defending their actions However, IN THE REAL WORLD, if any of these men on the Halachic Advisory Board worked for Los Angeles Unified School District or if they worked for the city or county or government or even law enforcement in some capacity THEY WOULD ALL BE TERMINATED OR FORCED TO RESIGN as a result of this mess…end of discussion…the goyish news media would pick it up and then run with the story and they would all be… Read more »

abuser/abused
Guest
abuser/abused

In this case the RABBIS helped the ABUSER and JCW helped the VICTIM. Everyone on this thread, Whos side are you on, Who do you choose to protect? The rabbis sending him to another community instead of ensuring he has no role as a rabbi shows who they chose to PROTECT MORE!

truth
Guest
truth

The Rabbis don’t have to DEFEND themselves. They did nothing wrong. They are not trying to defend themselves. The Rabbis DID tell her to go to the police. She said herself that she did not want to go because it would ruin her chances of a good shidduch. There was a mechitza there – she clearly said that – because she insisted in remaining anonymous. Then she goes and blames the Rabbis for not calling her once to see how she was doing… um… there’s something wrong with that…. The rabbis begged her to go to the police. No rabbi… Read more »

#59
Guest
#59

Could not agree more. Jcw definitely started with good intention but is now an organization run completely based on emotion. Just like the liberal leftist media it will use public platforms to attack people that they feel (not think) has wronged the people. Listen up the people are fine with leaders that the people chose and trust on matters of life and death. We don’t need people with their own agenda attacking and even manipulating victims to atack rabbis. Rabbis are what make the jewish people and it would be in your best interest to stand up for the right… Read more »

To all those negative comments about our LA Rabbis!
Guest
To all those negative comments about our LA Rabbis!

You guys have no clue how amazing these Rabbis are, you are sitting in NY just writing disgusting things and you don’t know exactly what’s going on. I don’t either, but I doubt for a second that one of our rabbis would make any mistakes like you think.
Now #18, you should stick to a different Hobey because your comments are really not nice and you have no idea what’s flying, maybe go learn some Tanya and something about Ahvas yisroel which most of you don’t seem to have!

To #46
Guest
To #46

Please,I beg you,contact JCW regarding this abuser! We’ve got to protect our children!

to #59
Guest
to #59

No one made Sima stand up and say the truth. Perhaps it’s obvious to you and other relatives that everything was done right back then but it wasn’t. Rabbi Levitansky senior was a very beloved man who was very ill at the time and so people were trying to protect him.

Sick N Tired
Guest
Sick N Tired

I am soo tired of this bashing of R Shusterman Chabad is so lucky that there is ONE and i repeat ONE Rabbi that is always willing to answer Halchos and cares every day about Lubavitch all over the world- that no one pays him for and I am sure he never gets the proper gratitude- SHAME ON YOU who passed judgement on this G-d fearing Rabbi – and are trying to continue to pull this on and shlep it forward.. Even if he was wrong ..which its clear he wasnt – why dont you incriminate every Dr who 15… Read more »

They told them NOT to go to police!
Guest
They told them NOT to go to police!

Call Simi or her parents and ask them! That was the way Rabbis operated in those days… Times have changed though. It’s time for them to simply apologize instead of digging in and emphatically defending their past behavior. If they don’t and nothing changes, then we are not progressing and learning and improving. Why don’t they just admit mistakes were made and things need to change?!?!

Objective
Guest
Objective

I actually spoke to one of the Rabbis. He told me:

1. The victim requested the mechitza so that she would not be recognized.

2. The Rabbis actually brought them to the police. However the family refused to press charges because of shiduchim. The Rabbis and police told them that it is difficult to help them without pressing charges.

They refused. So how does she say that the Rabbis told her not press charges when the opposite is true?

I am ashamed and saddened
Guest
I am ashamed and saddened

I am ashamed and saddened that I live in LA and that these four rabbis have let down sima and squashed her pleas. Hashem is the ultimate Judge. He will allocate judgements as fit.

Chabad Anash Rabbonim
Guest
Chabad Anash Rabbonim

Back in the day, the Rabbonim were leaders that took responsibility for the community that were engaging them with Shalos and they would follow up with their pupils on how things were coming along. Today the majority of Chabad Rabbonim are Poskim; meaning they would provide the community with the Das Torah on the question set forth and that is it, not taking responability for the issue at hand. We need to start calling our Rabbonim Posek/Poskim vs Rov Rabbonim, thus the expectation set forth would be correct. In this situation, it gets a bit murky being that the Poskim… Read more »

Rabbi shusterman has an unequivocally told many people to go to the police in cases of abuse
Guest
Rabbi shusterman has an unequivocally told many people to go to the police in cases of abuse

From first hand experience

Avrohom Yosef
Guest
Avrohom Yosef

1. The reason the victim was sitting behind the mechitza was at HER request so as not to be seen. The way she told it over was a gross misrepresentation of the facts.;

2. The Rabbis actually introduced the family to the police. They were informed by the Rabbis and the police that without the police’s involvement there is little that can be done. They cannot name the accuser if the police are not involved.

Again a gross misrepresentation of facts,

JCW vs Rabonim
Guest
JCW vs Rabonim

Saddest part to me is that JCW is affecting change more than our own Rabonim. M. Seewald is not a leader, yet when needed he stepped into a role much bigger than he can possibly be.

Why weren’t our Rabonim ahead of this and could’ve prevented so much damage. In the long run people lose respect for leaders who only go after areas that are easy do well paid. One would think when it comes to child safety in our own communities, our leaders would lead instead of a bunch of lay people fighting this battle.

To #65
Guest
To #65

JCW has a board made up of frum professionals who’ve been in this field for years. Who are YOU? Bashing JCW,doesn’t take away from the fact that a big name was protected and stop making it try to seem that Sima didn’t speak her OWN MIND.

although jcw makes mistakes it's still the rabbis fault!!!
Guest
although jcw makes mistakes it's still the rabbis fault!!!

Don’t blame meyer or sima, they are both young and healing from unspeakable trauma. I’m the first to say that jcw has made many mistakes. Even as an avid supporter, they definitely have had cringe worthy moments that might put them a few steps back. But don’t forget meyer has been the one. The only ONE who has taken action. I don’t see any other rabbi stepping in and taking over jcw. Better yet, let someone make their own organization. Unfortunately there’s plenty of cases to go around. If you don’t like how jcw operate. Please do us all a… Read more »

Truth
Guest
Truth

Anyone who can even think for a second that the Rabbis are to blame is definitely misinformed. How do you judge a Respected Rav who has put his heart and soul into helping anash worlswide? How do you believe these facts when you only hear one side? How do you respect what jcw says before a Rav who thousands to turn to and respect on every matter of life? Someone who can’t respect and trust a Rav, where is all of your yiddishkeit? How can you be a frum yid if you can’t trust one of our most respected Rabbonim.… Read more »

two points are being missed in the comments
Guest
two points are being missed in the comments

1. The rabbis told the family to go to the police, the family refused.

2. Several people accuse the rabbis of sending the perpetrator to another position, this was not the case. He did not get another job somewhere, he started his own mossad.

PSAK HALACHA
Guest
PSAK HALACHA

Police or not to go the police, that is the only question?

you are all missing the point
Guest
you are all missing the point

It doesnt matter if the rabbis told her to go to the police or not.
It all boils down to them not properly looking after him. He opened a shul with classes for children – easy access to many more children to abuse. The Rabbonim failed to notify communities of the child molestor in their midst. To all you defending the rabbis, think twice.

Heresay
Guest
Heresay

No one can say for sure what happened unless they were there. Those who know the parties involved can say for certain he was indeed sent to another community where there are children. His generous benefactors were not informed of his crimes until the very recently. When he did finally the leave that community for interpersonal issues he went to another community with children to start his own Mossad. This community closer to home he knew of his issues related to children but not of his specific crimes. The bottom line is that this response from that Los Angeles Rabbeim… Read more »

Rabbis for Rabbis
Guest
Rabbis for Rabbis

The Good O’l Boys have made their position loud and clear.
Vomit!
The parents were told by the Rabbi that “they had no moral, legal, ethical or Halachik reason to say anything about the abuse to anybody”

Load of hooey
Guest
Load of hooey

If chabad is still allowing this “rabbi” who molested girls to run a shul and work in the community – this halachic advisory is meaningless! This dude is still running free and probably abusing other girls right now! First things first – fire him from his role as a chabad rabbi!

nunu...
Guest
nunu...

It’s funny how people are still commenting and still not getting their facts straight.

The absuser was never given another community under chabad. he opened his own independent organization.

Why wasn’t the community notified? Because then he would sue the rabbis for defamation.

Still don’t get it??

To 85
Guest
To 85

He is not a official chabad rabbi, he opened his own organization.

Defamation
Guest
Defamation

That’s the same reason the victim and JCW didn’t mention his name…

I'm with Sima 100%
Guest
I'm with Sima 100%

She is so brave to come out with this not only about the rabbis but most importantly about the community response. They seem more interested in keeping up appearances (and donations) than protecting other possible victims – disgusting.

Many do not know there is no statute of limitations for child Molestation as per US Supreme Court
Guest
Many do not know there is no statute of limitations for child Molestation as per US Supreme Court

This means, if you have been injured and have been in a state of Injury for twenty years or so and the “Son-on-a-gun(s)” are still alive and kicking….you could address these who have enriched upon the misery of young person in this manner. Colour of Law Violations and the Federal Mandate System that continues to be disregarded because of lower authority prejudice and poor training: this means court personnel and civil servants and officers of the law who violate a person or child’s civil and federal rights. By blocking human beings from the Justice System endangers all communities and the… Read more »

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