Mother of autistic children talks about chassidic suicide epidemic in heart-wrenching video

This mother’s day, make a difference by sharing this video with every news outlet in your area.
Watch. Listen. Learn. Share.
*WARNING: Suicide Content*

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Huge Billboard Targets Failings of Orthodox Jewish Schools

DNAinfo new York – Education advocates fed up with a lack of English, math and science in some Jewish parochial schools have taken their frustration to the street — or, more accurately, to a huge billboard overhanging the BQE.

billboardActivists from New York’s Orthodox Jewish community say the Department of Education is failing to enforce legal minimum standards for basic education in some yeshivas.

The activists said that when they tried to buy ads in the city’s prominent Yiddish-language newspapers to bring attention to the shortfall in instruction, they were refused space. So they bought the billboard.

“It’s your mitzvah,” their message read on Prospect Avenue Tuesday. “It’s the law.”

A DNAinfo New York investigation earlier this year uncovered huge scholastic gaps at many of Brooklyn’s most prominent yeshivas — schools that serve more than 84,000 students, a third as many as attend the borough’s public schools.

Educators continue to flout that law, and officials continue to ignore it, the investigation found.

The billboard includes a quote in Hebrew from Talmud, which says a person must teach his son a trade, said activist Naftuli Moster, whose organization YAFFED (Young Advocates for Fair Education) has spent more than a year lobbying city and state education officials to enforce “equivalency of instruction” rules in the city’s crowded Jewish schools.

“Obviously, nowadays yeshivas should take on that role as messengers of the parents,” Moster said.

At Williamsburg’s enormous United Talmudical Academy, male students receive fewer than six hours of general instruction a week for four years, while Crown Heights’ Oholei Torah doesn’t teach English or math at all, the investigation found.

“Our strategy has always been to get people from within the community to speak up and demand a change in the current education system, where 14-year-olds spend 14 hours a day without learning a single word of English, math, science, history or geography,” Moster said.

“All are subjects that schools are required to provide by law, and the government is required to ensure that schools do.”

Instead, the city DOE has ignored schools under its supervision that graduate students without Regents diplomas — many of them functionally illiterate in English, DNAinfo New York found.

The DOE did not immediately return calls for comment.

In parts of Borough Park and Williamsburg, it’s common to find young men who were born in New York, educated all their lives in Brooklyn and yet struggle to hold a simple conversation in English.

“Just a few weeks ago I tried putting ads in a few Jewish newspapers. They were rejected,” Moster said.

“It had some different wording, more text. It said, ‘Your son deserves better.'”

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Satmar Chassidic Rabbi Nechemya Weberman gets 103 years for sexually abusing teen girl

webermanSatmar Chassidic Rabbi Nechemya Weberman is finally in Rikers for his next life too. This is the same pervert that the Satmar Chassici community in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn NY put up two fundraising events to support his legal fees. This is the same Weberman who masterminded the continued torture of the victim and her family.  This is the same Weberman who has so many blind followers, that he made sure that famed victim’s advocate Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg was attacked on the streets with bleach thrown into his eyes!

Read: Weberman’s Victim Speaks Out 

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NY DAILY NEWS: A prominent Satmar Hasidic counselor was sentenced Tuesday to 103 years in prison for his repeated sexual abuse of a teenage girl during a three-year stretch of depravity.

Nechemya Weberman, 54, said nothing as the stunning jail term was handed down after his victim delivered a heart-wrenching statement inside a Brooklyn courtroom.

“I remember how I would look in the mirror,” the victim recounted. “I saw a girl who didn’t want to live in her own skin. A girl whose innocence was shattered at age 12.

“A sad girl who wanted to live a normal life, but instead was being victimized by a 50-year-old man who forced her to perform sickening acts again and again.”

Weberman, who served as a counselor for members of the ultra-Orthodox Satmar sect, was convicted last month on 59 counts of abuse for the repeated attacks that occurred from 2007 to 2010.
The victim said she was forced to perform oral sex and act out scenes from pornographic movies up to four times a week when she met with Weberman for counseling.

The victim, now 18, went to authorities in February 2011 to detail the abuse that began when she was just 12 years old.
Weberman, who did not speak at the sentencing, was sent to Rikers Island without bail after his conviction. He faced a maximum sentence of 117 years behind bars.

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Indictment of Rivka Baror and husband Avraham Baror for fraudulently collecting $108,715.57 in Medicaid and food-stamp benefits

Brooklyn DA: KINGS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY CHARLES J. HYNES AND NYC HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATION COMMISSIONER ROBERT DOAR ANNOUNCE THE INDICTMENT OF A HUSBAND AND WIFE WHO STOLE OVER $100,000 IN FOOD STAMPS AND MEDICAID BENEFITS OVER SIX YEARS

COUPLE USED ALIASES TO HIDE PROPERTY, JEWELRY AND LUXURY CARS

Brooklyn, July 23, 2012 – Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes and Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar today announced the indictment of Rivka Baror, 51, and her husband Avraham Baror, 64, for fraudulently collecting $108,715.57 in Medicaid and food-stamp benefits, from January 1, 2006 through June 30, 2012.

Charges against Mr. and Mrs. Baror include Welfare Fraud in the Second Degree, Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. If convicted of the top count, the defendants face a maximum of 15 years in prison.

According to the defendants’ welfare application forms filed under the names Avraham Baror and Rivka Baror, during this period, the couple had minimal income and no assets, making them eligible to receive Medicaid and food-stamp benefits. Investigators from HRA and the District Attorney’s office uncovered documents showing the defendants used aliases to maintain bank accounts and purchase property, cars, and vacations.

District Attorney Hynes said, “These defendants carried out an elaborate scheme using aliases to buy property, travel, and live the high life for years, while stealing benefits designed to help truly needy and deserving individuals. Anyone who intentionally conceals information to obtain illegal benefits will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I would like to thank Commissioner Doar and HRA for their assistance in this investigation.”

According to the indictment, the couple claimed that they rented their home at 1349 East 2nd Street in Brooklyn from the landlord, Avraham Bachbuth for $1,100 a month. Avraham Bachbuth was the alleged alias used by Avraham Baror. According to property documents, Avraham Bachbuth purchased the property in April 2004, along with Rivka Yedidia. Yedidia is Mrs. Baror’s maiden name. Like her husband, Mrs. Baror allegedly used the name as an alias.

The indictment also alleges the defendants had several bank accounts under the names of Rivka Yedidia and Avraham Bachbuth and made average monthly cash deposits of $4,400. The couple had two safe deposit boxes at two separate banks. One contained $72,700 and €1,500. The other had jewelry and a foreign passport in Avraham Baror’s name.

Credit card account statements showed purchases at restaurants, movie theaters and stores including The Home Depot, Ikea and Victoria’s Secret. The investigation also uncovered NYS Department of Motor Vehicle records for a 2006, 2007 and 2008 BMW as well as a 2007 Lexus registered to Rivka Yedidia.

“This case is an egregious example of individuals who abuse New York City’s public benefit programs. It also represents a good instance in which our Finger Imaging System photos helped us weed out Food Stamp fraud,” said HRA Commissioner Robert Doar. “Every fraudulent dollar spent in this case, was a dollar taken away from New Yorkers truly in need of Food Stamps and Medicaid and it will not be tolerated. I would like to thank District Attorney Hynes and his team for their continuing support in the fight against public benefit fraud.”
HRA investigator Thomas Toth said he uncovered the couple’s fraud after he met Rivka Yedidia at the agency’s Manhattan office in 2010. He learned she had been coming to the office since 2009, working on behalf of individuals seeking HRA benefits. Yedidia would help them with paperwork, interviews and eligibility issues. After they met, Toth said Yedidia told him that she had paid off the mortgage on her home with the proceeds she received from a lawsuit.

Toth suspected Rivka Yedidia’s knowledge of the Medicaid program could be based on her own receipt of benefits. Toth found no records for welfare benefit recipients named Rivka Yedidia. A subsequent search of the records using the home address that Yedidia had given him revealed that an individual by the name of Rivka Baror lived there and had the same date of birth as Rivka Yedidia. Investigator Toth confirmed that Rivka Yedidia was a food-stamp and Medicaid benefit recipient under the name of Rivka Baror. Photos confirmed that the two individuals were in fact the same person.

The defendants are expected to be arraigned today at Kings County Supreme Court, Part 10, at 320 Jay Street.

An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

The case was investigated by Investigator Thomas Toth, of the Human Resources Administration Bureau of Fraud Investigations, Supervising Detective Investigator Clyde Augustine, and Detective Investigator Efrain Alvarado, both from the District Attorney’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Joel Greenwald of the Public Assistance Crimes Unit. Lauren Mack is the Chief of the Public Assistance Crimes Unit.

Contact: Mia Goldberg
(718) 250-2300

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Child Molester Andrew Goodman – OHEL Social Worker Gets Only 2 Years

 

NY DAILY NEWS: Andrew Goodman, 27, pleaded guilty to 48 counts of sexual abuse.

NY DAILY NEWS – Confessed pervert tells stunned Brooklyn courtroom he loves his victim.

An admitted child molester stared at his teenage victim and professed his unending love for him Thursday in front of a shocked Brooklyn courtroom — but still got only two years behind bars.

******** CALA NOTE: Andrew Goodman is a former social worker and OHEL employee!  ***********

The sickening display by Andrew Goodman, 27, came after one of his two victims begged Supreme Court Justice Martin Murphy not to go so easy on the serial pedophile, who’ll be back on the streets in two months after time served. Prosecutors also strongly objected to the plea agreement.

“Letting this man go is a very grave mistake,” the boy, now 17, said as his body trembled. “I have no doubt he’ll try to do the same thing to other children once he gets out.”

Goodman admitted to sexually abusing the youth and his brother for four years, starting when they were 12 and 13.

The victim described how his handsome neighbor earned his trust by buying him gifts, taking him to restaurants and alienating him from his parents before pressuring him into having sex.

“You are the worst thing that ever happened to me,” he told the defendant. “You are the devil disguised as a human.”

When it was Goodman’s turn to speak, he turned to the traumatized victim and told him “I love you” as the packed courtroom gasped and grunted in disbelief.

“I did and still do to this day love (you),” the predator added. “I fell in love with you and I wish I never allowed my sexual desires to get in the way of what I valued more, which is your friendship.”

None of that — or pleas by the boys’ mother and prosecutor Elizabeth Doerfler, who called the sentence “woefully low” — swayed the judge.

“You caused a lot of pain to all the complainants,” Judge Murphy told Goodman. “The statements that you made today are ill-advised to say the least.”

But without giving an explanation, he meted out the minimum allowable sentence that was agreed to after the former social worker pleaded to the entire 48-count indictment.

Prosecutors were seeking seven years in prison on each count, which would have added up to a de facto life sentence.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said the sentence “defies logic and is frankly inexplicable.”

Goodman will likely also have to register as a sex offender for life.

When he made bail after his 2010 arrest, concerned community members surreptitiously filmed numerous other boys leaving his Flatbush home in the early morning hours.

No additional cases emerged, but, after hearing about the surveillance, a different judge locked Goodman up in lieu of $1 million bail, meaning he’s already served almost his entire sentence.

The boy described in court “four long and torturous years” in which Goodman groomed him then made him feel “bad and unappreciative” if he didn’t succumb to the sexual come-ons.

As a result of the abuse, the teen said, he quit school, has no friends and is struggling to cope in social situations.

“This is a very dangerous man,” he told the judge. “Not only because of the crimes he committed, but also because he has no remorse.”

The victims’ mother and other advocates warned that the lenient penalty will discourage others from going through the hardship of filing complaints. Brooklyn prosecutors have railed against intimidation some accusers face when bringing abuse allegations in the Jewish community.

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Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes Brings Longtime Critics Into Fold

The Forward:  After years criticizing Brooklyn’s district attorney, a group of advocates for victims of childhood sexual abuse has joined a new committee set up by Charles Hynes to collaborate on combating such abuse in the ultra-Orthodox community.

The advocates, who include longtime community activists Asher Lipner, Mark Appel and Joel Engelman, met with Hynes and several of his colleagues for about two hours on July 9.

Rhonnie Jaus, the head of Hynes’s sex crimes division, said the meeting was designed to open up lines of communication between the D.A.’s office and some of his staunchest critics.

“It was very positive,” Jaus said. “Everybody felt we made progress.”

Hynes has been assailed from all sides in recent months for his handling of abuse cases in the ultra-Orthodox community.

He has publicly distanced himself from the ultra-Orthodox umbrella organization Agudath Israel of America in the wake of claims that he tacitly accepted the group’s policy that members of the Orthodox community must first get permission from a rabbi before taking a suspected case of sexual abuse to secular authorities for investigation. In May, Hynes set up a task force to combat witness intimidation, which is said to be widespread in sexual abuse cases within some Brooklyn Orthodox communities.

Nevertheless, many observers still question several of Hynes’s policies, particularly his insistence on maintaining the anonymity of ultra-Orthodox perpetrators of abuse.

Engelman said the July 9 meeting focused not on policy but on working together to better serve victims and their families. “We haven’t had this opportunity before and we hope something can come of it,” he said.

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Disgraced Family Court Judge Bernard Graham Transferred to Marry the Gays

Not that there is anything wrong with his civil work now, marrying the gays, but at least he is no longer making traumatic and tragic decisions impacting children’s lives through his stint in family court.  Thank you to parents and advocates who worked tirelessly to sue this judge and file appeals until he was finally removed from family courts in Staten Island and Brooklyn.

Also See: Breaking News: Brooklyn Judge Bernard J. Graham Gives to Custody to Homeless Father

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NY DAILY NEWS: Rapist Continues to Work with Teens After Plea Deal

NY DAILY NEWS: Man accused of raping a teen has been working at a Brooklyn yeshiva.  A Borough Park man accused of raping a young boy has been working at a Brooklyn yeshiva for troubled teens – and the city’s Probation Dept. never barred him from contact with minors.

NY DAILY NEWS: Moshe Pinter accused of raping a young boy has been working at a Brooklyn yeshiva for troubled teens.

Moshe Pinter, 28, was arrested and charged with a trying to molest a 13-year old boy in 2007, but pled down the top felony charge to a misdemeanor child endangerment offense after the victim declined to testify against him, according to court records and sources.

Pinter was sentenced to three years of probation, but was not barred from working with minors.

For the past year Pinter has been working at Ohr Hameir Yeshiva in Borough Park chaperoning Hasidic teens on weekend getaways while parents had no idea of his criminal past – which also includes two theft convictions.

“It’s scary. My parents fell for it. They had no idea. He should be a million miles away from kids,” said the brother of a former student at the Tenth Ave. school. “They put him right back in the community.”

After an inquiry from the Daily News, a Probation Dept. spokesman said the agency is “investigating” Pinter’s role at the school.

“It is within the Department of Probation’s authority to determine whether Mr. Pinter is engaged in suitable employment and we have informed him that he is not permitted to have any contact with minors at [the yeshiva] while we investigate the situation,” department spokesman Ryan Dodge said.

Pinter did not respond to calls seeking comment. His lawyer, Kenneth Gribetz said Pinter “was never an employee of the school. He volunteered there.” Parents say he repeatedly identified himself as an “administrator.”

Child victim advocates said the case highlights the need for private schools to be legally obligated to run fingerprint and background checks on employees and for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes to publicize the names of convicted perpetrators in the Jewish community.

Hynes has repeatedly refused to list the names of Jewish sex crime offenders, arguing it would lead to the underage victims being outed in the tight knit Orthodox community.

Victim advocates counter that past cases have shown the kids names are known in the community regardless, while their molesters and the details of the charges often stay secret.

Ohr Hameir touts itself as a haven for troubled Hasidic teens who have been tossed from mainstream religious schools, a group particularly vulnerable to sexual predators.

“It’s beyond sickening. You take a guy with a criminal background and put him in touch with the most vulnerable kids,” said Mark Meyer Appel, founder of Voice of Justice, a child advocacy group.

Pinter pled guilty to grand larceny charges last March and faces up to 15 years in prison at his October sentencing.

Important Message from Rabbi Nochem Rosenberg: This gangster used to be one of the Bouncers for Rabbi M.D. Unger of Crotchin, at the time that his father-in-law, Reb Naftuli zt”l of Bobov was on his deathbed. At that time, “pashkevillin” were distributed that he runs a brothel It is alleged that he sexually abused boys and girls of all ages He allegedly entered Camp Shalva in the middle of the night and sexually molested a number of boys. If you know any of his victims that did not reach age 23, or rape victims of any age, please contact Rabbi Rosenberg.

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4 Chassidim Arrested for Witness Intimidation in Sex Case

BROOKLYN — Four men were arrested Thursday morning for allegedly offering a $500,000 bribe to a sexually abused teenager to get her to drop charges against a popular Orthodox community counselor who is presently on trial in Brooklyn, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.

The four suspects — Jacob, Joseph and Hertzka Berger and Abraham Rubin — allegedly offered the hush money to the boyfriend of the victim, who accused Nechemya Weberman, 53, an unlicensed therapist, of molesting her. They were brought into the Brooklyn DA’s office at dawn.

She claimed Weberman had been abusing her for three years, starting when she was 12 and began receiving counseling from him. She is now 17.

Weberman’s arrest created a firestorm of controvery within the Orthodox community as factions took sides, with one group holding fundraisers for the accused — they raised more than $500,000 for his defense — while others vociferously protested the perceived attempt to protect a possible child abuser rather than his victim.

The two groups nearly came to blows during protests following a recent appearance by Weberman in a packed courtroom. His supporters insist he is incapable of a crime and accused the girl of lying. Her supporters stood firmly behind her and said she was being victimized twice.

According to sources, the four suspects reached out to the victim’s 22-year-old boyfriend.

“They contacted the boyfriend because they thought they could get to her through him,” a source said.

The men, speaking in Yiddish to the boyfriend, offered to pay $500,000 and insisted that he, his girlfriend, Weberman and the community as a whole would be better off if she took the bribe and the case went away, sources said. They suggested she could even move to Israel and start a new life.

The defendants also allegedly threatened to ruin the boyfriend’s business. He owns a Kosher restaurant, and they warned him they would rip down the sign on his store if his girlfriend did not go along with their plan. One afternoon, in fact, they allegedly tore down the sign to show they meant business.

The four suspects were rousted out of their homes around early Thursday morning, handcuffed and taken to the Brooklyn DA’s office on Jay Street shortly after 5 a.m.

They are scheduled to be arraigned later this afternoon, sources said.

Since 2009, DA Charles Hynes’ office has arrested more than 100 sex offenders within the ultra-Orthodox community after launching an outreach program called “Voice of Justice,” or Kol Tzedeck in Hebrew, to get victims to come directly to his office with complaints.
The arrests again focus attention on suspected widespread intimidation of victims of pedophilia and sex assaults within the ultra-Orthodox community, which has a historical cultural ban on cooperating with authorities and insists victims bring their complaints only to local rabbis.

In the past, victims who went to police were subjected to harsh harassment, ostracized, kicked out of synagogues, thrown out of schools and even tossed out of their homes.

The DA recently created the joint task force with the NYPD’s Special Victims Squad after Hynes was criticized for not doing more to crack down on victim intimidation within the community.

In a recent interview with “On The Inside,” Hynes said he hoped any future arrests for coercion or bribery would send a powerful message that might break the community’s traditional code of silence, known as “Messira,” a Hebrew epithet for “informant.”

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CNN’s Gary Tuchman Interviews Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg and DA Charles Hynes

CNN Hasidic child sex abuse allegations – Child sex abuse scandals have been making headlines for years and bringing unwanted attention to a group bent on privacy. For Hasidim, every waking act is defined by the laws of the Torah; they depend on the teachings of rabbis to guide them in all parts of their day. Influence from the secular world threatens to invade their insular community.

Now revered leaders of the community are accused of protecting child predators and punishing the victims who dare to speak out about what was done to them, all to avoid outside involvement.

CNN’s Gary Tuchman talked with Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg who is trying to change that attitude. He has created a hotline for victims and their families. As a result, he received death threats. He told Tuchman, “The rabbis feel very hurt that this is what’s happening in the community so they want to push it under the cover, so that it shouldn’t come out.”

Crimes against children by adults who claim to live the word of God are not new. Many religions have demons, and the ultra-Orthodox Jews are no exception. Most deny it could happen in their midst. Child rape and molestation don’t fit their pious image.

In Brooklyn, there are allegations of abuse in schools, homes and religious settings. Several boys say they were assaulted in a ritual bath called a mikvah. For all branches of Judaism, the mikvah is the ultimate symbol of purity. Some Orthodox men go there before each Sabbath. Under the guise of observance, the accused find their victims where they are most vulnerable and trusting – a heinous strategy.

Still some victims and their families choose to bury the assaults or seek redress in a rabbinic court to avoid the alternative: Rabbis losing authority, bringing disgrace to the community, and suffering the backlash of friends and neighbors.

Pearl Engelman says her son was repeatedly molested by a school official as a young boy 20 years ago. After she found out about the abuse, she reported it to religious leaders but there was little sympathy for her family. “We stand for truth, for justice. And the cover-up is deeply painful to me,” she told Tuchman. The statute of limitations has now expired.

The Hasidim in Brooklyn are a powerful voting block. That’s why District Attorney Charles Hynes is accused by victims’ rights advocates of going easy on alleged Hasidic child molesters and rapists. He’s been elected six times, and is accused of appeasing the rabbis in order to get their support and keep his position.
Hynes strongly denies the allegations. In 2009, he established a program and a hotline to help victims called Kol Tzedek (“Voice of Justice” in Hebrew). But critics are outraged because he refuses to disclose the names of the men arrested through the initiative. The Jewish Daily Forward’s request for the records filed under the state’s Freedom of Information Law was denied.

Hynes claims that revealing the names of the suspects could lead to the community identifying the victims and intimidating them. That decision raises concerns about the rights of the public, the legality of shielding the men, and the DA’s motives.

Tuchman asked Hynes how he reconciles instituting a policy for the Hassidim, but no other groups, like the Roman Catholic Church. He says because “there’s never been any intimidation by priests.”

In a May 16 op-ed, Hynes wrote:

Since the inception of Kol Tzedek, we have made 95 arrests; 53 cases have been adjudicated, with a conviction rate of 72%.
I stand by these numbers.

The statistics show how absurd it is to suggest that we cover up, downplay or in any way “give a break” to sex offenders in the Orthodox Jewish community. Like any other defendants, they are often arrested in public by the police, and their court appearances are open and available to the public as part of the public record. I welcome scrutiny of these cases.

The suggestion that I have ever condoned the practice of first seeking a rabbi’s advice before an Orthodox Jewish community member reports sexual abuse is a distortion of my record. I have never suggested that someone seeking the advice of a rabbi is then relieved of the obligation of reporting sexual abuse to the appropriate authorities.

While some may persist in protecting the community ahead of justice for the young victims, there are signs of progress. On June 10, a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews held a meeting in Crown Heights to talk about combating child sex abuse. Hynes was on the panel. Some rabbinic leaders have said anyone with knowledge of abuse should go to the police and do not need to talk first with a rabbi. It will take the courage of the victims and the compassion of the community to make lasting change.

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