Allegations have been made against Rabbi Tovia Singer of clergy sexual abuse against adult women. He has also been accused of cult like practices utilizing his knowledge of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). _________________________________________________________________________________
- Looking for Survivors of Rabbi Tovia Singer (10/18/2006)
- How a New York rabbi tried to remake the rules on converting to Judaism, until a sex tape—and a family feud between his wealthy backers—brought him down (01/13/2013)
- Rabbi Tovia Singer’s Attempt At Paying Off The Awareness Center (08/08/2013)
- Tovia Singer – The Rabbi Predator (04/12/2015)
- Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz (1996)
Tropper, at left, at a 2006 Eternal Jewish Family conference with Shlomo Amar, the Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel, and Nachum Eisenstein, a leading Jerusalem rabbi, in a photo on the EJF website. (EternalJewishFamily.org)
By Luke Ford
LukeFord.net - April 12 2015
Luke: “I’ve been tracking this guy for many years. He’s very slippery and often women don’t want to go on the record.”
Miriam: “They took away everything from me so I don’t have to fear anybody doing anything to me because they already wrecked my [Orthodox] conversion. I consider myself a Jew because I [went through the program and I] went to the mikveh but they [Manhattan Beit Din, run by R. Zvi Romm] never gave me my papers.”
“I’ve been divorced since 2010. Around 2008, I started looking into Judaism as an alternative to the religion I was raised in. I didn’t know what I believed. I went online and I started listening to Arutz Sheva which eventually brought me to his radio program. I would hear people calling in. I thought, ‘It seems like he talks to them pretty nice. Maybe I’ll call and ask a question.’
“So I started to do that once or twice a week. I called myself ‘Sarah.’ When I called, some time in 2009, he put it on his website, ‘Messianic calls in and leaves Christianity on air.’ He answered one of my questions.
“My husband at the time wasn’t really into it. After six months or so, it seemed like he was coming around. I emailed Rabbi [Tovia] at the address on his website to thank him and to tell him that my husband was also coming along with learning and all that stuff. He said, ‘That’s great. If you ever want to call, this is my phone number. Call with any questions.’
“Maybe a month later, my mother had a pastor call me. He said something and I didn’t know how to answer it. So I called up Rabbi Singer and asked him a question. It was very professional.
“My guess is that when I called him, my cell phone number came up on his phone or something, because at some point, he called me back. I was like, how did you have my number?
“I tell him I’m concerned about my husband. I’m concerned about this and that.
“I called Rabbi Singer and asked him about conversion and how do they do it in Israel. He didn’t know that much about it. He was like, why do you want to do that? Will your husband go along with it? I told him I didn’t know what was going to happen with my marriage. It was still very professional. He wasn’t in any way making it sound like he was interested in me.”
“In 2010, I couldn’t take any more. My marriage was really bad. My marriage was bad for ten years before any of this happened. My ex-husband was unfaithful over and over again. I took the kids. We were living in Maine at the time. There was an Orthodox rabbi out there we became friends with. I went to my mom’s house with the kids.
“Rabbi Singer called me up and asked me how I was doing. Maybe he saw something on Facebook that concerned him. I told him I was a mess. That I was having a hard time. That my ex-husband had been cheating on me and frightened me. I was in a really bad place. I was frightened. I had nowhere to turn. I had no one. That’s exactly the type of person that he targets — someone who has no one. I wasn’t Jewish. I wasn’t Christian.
“At that point, he started calling me all the time.”
“I lived with my mom for three weeks. Then I lived in a hotel until I got my apartment set up. This took about a month or two. I’m a nurse. I got a job in Allentown, Pennsylvania. I started working. He called me almost every night. I said to him, ‘Why are you calling me?’ He started telling me that he’s interested in me. He wants me to come to Israel. I said I can’t do that. This isn’t a good time. I’m not in a place to do that now. My life is a mess. You’re a rabbi. You’re a Cohen. You shouldn’t be interested in me to begin with. This is never going to to work out. I told him that from the beginning. He said, you could just come to Israel, for a week, and that’s it.
“I didn’t go. About a month later, he says, ‘I’m coming to the States and I want to come see you.’ Now we’re in May in 2010. He comes to see me. Of course we’re involved right away. He’s taking care of me mentally and emotionally. I was just a mess. It was a terrible time. I was very upset. He stayed a couple of weeks in my apartment and then he went back to Israel. He’s like, you should quit your job and just come here. I didn’t know what I wanted to do because I didn’t think it was a good idea because he was not really eligible to be with me. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I didn’t want to get messed up and attached to somebody and get hurt. I’m going through a divorce.
“I decided eventually, I’m just going to go. I’m just going to go to Israel. I just bought a ticket, and I quit my job, and I stayed there pretty much all summer. Almost as soon as I get there, it was OK for a few days, and then I saw how he lived and it didn’t make me happy. I didn’t like being hidden. I didn’t like having to walk ten steps behind him whenever he was on the street. So I told him I wanted to go home. He was very upset but my kids were going back to school. I wanted to be there for them. He’s like, ‘You lost your kids in the divorce. Don’t worry about it.’ I said, I have to go back and try. I was just a mess. I was really depressed.
“I went back to the United States. I basically broke it off with him. I got my old job back. My apartment. By October [of 2010], he started to contact me again. ‘I miss you. Blah, blah, blah. I’m coming to the States and I don’t have anywhere to live.’ I’m like, ‘You can’t stay here because I’m going through conversion. I’m officially in the process and I’m going to shul and you can’t stay here.’ And he said, ‘Why do you want to do that for? You don’t want those rabbis following you around. You don’t want them scrutinizing your every move.’ I said, ‘What are you talking about? What do you mean I don’t want to convert? This is all I’ve ever wanted. Of course I want to convert.’ This was a very confusing time for me. I had a lot of respect for him from the past when he was giving me all of that advice. Then I thought of him very highly. This was messing with my head. He was telling me to do all these things that didn’t seem right. He was always giving me a Talmudic reason why it was OK. And I didn’t know any better. I believed him. He said this is this and that is that and he seemed like a good person. He was the only one who seemed to care about me at the time. And so I let him in. I let him stay. And of course I was always struggling with it. He ended up staying a couple of years, from 2010 to May of 2013. Almost three years [in Allentown]. The whole time that he lived with me was not all good. It was a lot of me trying to break up with him. And me saying, ‘What’s going to happen to us in the future?’ I’m going through [Orthodox] conversion and I’m trying to hide him. This is not the life I want to have. I want a normal life where people can come over and be sociable. He didn’t want to marry me. He couldn’t marry me [according to Jewish law]. Or maybe he could. He was going to look into it. The years are going by. Nothing’s changing.
“He started acting very erratic. The whole time he’s on a ton of meds. He’s always up. He’s down. He’s awake all night, he sleeps all day. He leads a crazy life. There were times we were sort of at peace but most of the time I had this feeling, ‘This isn’t ever going to work out. I’m going to have to end it sooner or later.’ There were a couple of times I broke up with him. I took all of his things out of the apartment and put them in the hallway. He just wasn’t getting it. You have to go. He just never would. There were things he did that were very concerning. One time he started scraping his arms with the scissors when I told him we were going to break up. Things like that. Whoa, this is bad news here. He would always tell me, ‘Oh, you’re not well. I don’t know what you’re going to do without me.’ He was making feel like I was a head case. I have a friend, Vanessa, who worked with me and would be on call with me and she is my witness to some of the things that happened.
“Tovia was always threatening me that if I ever told anyone that he was there that he knew all these people. I’m just saying I have a lot of connections. He would say it in a joking way but there were times he said it in a non joking way. ‘I will stalk your ass if you ever break up with me until the day you die.'”
“Eventually we broke up because my daughter was living with me and she didn’t like him. He didn’t like her. She would mouth off to him. He didn’t like that. One night she was sleeping on the couch and she says he came out and was staring at her and it freaked her out. I asked him about it and he said, ‘Yeah, I was watching her. I was very upset. And she wasn’t really sleeping anyway.’ I said, ‘I don’t care. You don’t go out and watch my daughter. She’s 16 years old. You don’t go out and stare at her for two hours. That’s creepy. That’s it. You have to go. This is over between us. This is it.’ Of course he tried to talk me out of it but by that point I was grabbing all of his stuff and throwing it together. I said, ‘We’re done.’ He said, ‘I need time to find a place to live.’ I said, ‘Go stay in a hotel.’ And he wouldn’t. He would not leave. So I took my daughter and went and stayed in a hotel for three nights so he could get his s— out of my place. I didn’t want him near her anymore. He was losing it. When I told him that, he was punching himself in the face. I said, ‘Stop, stop, don’t hate yourself. What are you doing?’ He said, ‘This is what you do to me’ and he punches himself in the face. That’s when we broke up. And Vanessa was there for the whole thing. She saw the whole thing. She was with me because I was afraid to be alone.”
“She stayed with me for a few days. Once he was gone, it was instant relief. My life went back to normal. I had so much more peace. I was able to get back to normal. I met a nice man and we got married a few months ago. Things are good.”
“When Joe and I wanted to get marry, the rabbi here at the Aish Center, Aish Ha Torah of Washington D.C. where I live, we went to Aish for eight months. Joe didn’t go as much as me but he went sometime. We had to drive to shul because we didn’t live there. Joe’s not super observant but my conversion went to hell, so whatever. If I have to drive to shul, I drive.
“The rabbi wouldn’t marry us because he found out I was a convert and I never got my papers. He made me tell him the whole story. I told him all about Singer. He went to the Manhattan Beit Din. He spoke to Rabbi Romm who was head of the Manhattan Beit Din at the time [March]. And then he came back to me and said, ‘Rabbi Romm said that the reason you didn’t get your papers is because when they asked you if you lived with [Tovia Singer], you said no. I said, ‘That’s correct. He made me say no. He made me lie to these rabbis for three months and after they finally figured out that I was living with him, he accompanies me there. Tovia said, ‘I’m going to go with you because you’re just not strong enough to handle this.’ So he went and he did all the talking. And I didn’t know what happened. The rabbis said, ‘We’ll let you know. We don’t know when. It could be a week, it could be six weeks, it could be six months. We have to figure out what to do with you.’ I never heard from them again. They never answered my phone calls. I sent them certified letters, what’s going on? I paid all the fees for the conversion. Everything. Nothing. No response. To this day, I’ve gotten no response. The first inkling of information I got was two months ago when I went to get married, Rabbi Romm comes to my rabbi and says, ‘She can start the process all over again if she wants to, which would mean separating from this man she’s with, walking to shul, going through the whole thing again even though I have been living as a Jew for three years. I said, ‘I’ll think about. I’ll let you know.’ I gave them the same thing they gave me. And I never called them back.
“And there was a nice rabbi in New York who believed in me and said, ‘You’re Jewish, I don’t care what they say, because you went to the mikveh. You’re a Jew.’ So he agreed to marry us. He put it together and we got married in an Orthodox ceremony and that’s the last involvement I’ve wanted to have with these people ever again. It’s frustrating but I feel that now that I am married, it is not an issue any more. When I was single, it was a constant problem because you can’t date anyone. Rabbis won’t marry you. Everybody wants to know why you don’t have papers. ‘You can tell me! You can talk to me!’ When you tell them, they turn on you.”
“When Tovia went with me to the Beit Din, apparently Rabbi Romm said that Tovia’s father called and spoke to them and told them not to punish Tovia. They could do whatever they wanted with me, but please don’t hurt my son. Rabbi Romm told my rabbi at Aish that this is the reason they didn’t pursue to punish [Tovia Singer] in any way. He goes on teaching and whatever he does. I’m sure he’s screwing around with converts. I don’t think that’s right that people who are already vulnerable are being preyed on by this guy. He does what he can for as long as he can and then he moves on to the next victim, which is probably somebody else just like me who’s just as interested in Judaism and who you think is a big important person who’s interested in you and takes care of you supposedly, mentally talks to you, talks to you, counsels you, and then sucks you in like that. I just think it’s a shame that he has to prey on converts but it’s wrong.”
Luke: “Tell me again why you didn’t get your conversion papers?”
Miriam: “They [Manhattan Beit Din] asked me if I was involved with him and I said no.”
“A month after my conversion, the Beit Din sent me an email, saying, ‘We want to see how you are integrating into your community so come back and meet with us.’ So I go back there. They didn’t want to know how I was integrating into the community. They started right away questioning me — do you know Tovia Singer? How do you know Tovia Singer? Would you recognize Tovia Singer if you saw him on the street? It was all about him. So something tipped them off and I found out that what tipped them off was his father. The rabbis told me that it was the father who called them up and said this is a problem. Fix it so she can’t convert so that he’s free of her. Ruin it for them. He doesn’t want his son with someone like me.”
“I have a lot of pictures of us together. Us on cruises and places we went. I don’t have pictures of me and him in the apartment. He was very careful about having his picture taken [in Miriam’s apartment]. He’d say, ‘Today I don’t want my picture taken. I’m too fat.’ If we were out, it was OK. Now looking back, I realize it was very calculated. He’s good at this. He knows what he’s doing. He never sent any personal emails to me where he wrote anything down.
“I was friends with his whole family. I went to seders at his best friend’s house. I was close with his mom. I was close with his daughter. A couple of weeks ago, she sends me a message via Facebook, ‘Please don’t hurt my dad.’ Out of the blue, after two years, she sends me this message.”
Miriam: “According to Tovia, all these women are a nutcase. Shannon Orand is a nutcase. He was talking to her on the phone a lot when I was in Israel. This is May of 2010. It had just ended between them. She was still calling him all the time while she’s engage to this other guy. In the middle of the night, I’d come out and he’s on the phone with somebody. I’d say, ‘Who are you talking to?’ He’d go, ‘I know, sweetheart. I told her all about you. She’s so happy for me. She still calls me to ask me questions.’
“I said, ‘Do you really think that is appropriate? You want me to come here and live with you. And you’re still talking to your old girlfriend? And that wasn’t the only one. There were five or six a day texting him. They would come right up on his cell phone and say what you did to me. I was so in love with you. All these women. That was one thing that made me leave. I felt he wasn’t being straight with me. He’s just a player.
“He told me the whole story about Shannon [Orand]. I know everything that happened with her.”
Luke: “Did Tovia and Shannon have a romantic relationship? He denied that.”
Miriam: “Of course they did. He told me that they were together for a while. He never lived with her. She was in Texas and he would go there a lot. And they went on dive trips together. And then he said she was a little bit too crazy. When everything went down with Guma [Aguiar], she was afraid that Guma ratted her out and it just broke up their friendship. Guma didn’t like her, he said. Guma didn’t trust her. Guma ended up kicking him out of the Jerusalem apartment, which is why he had to come live with me that fall because Guma said he couldn’t pay for it anymore because he had that lawsuit.”
I wrote in 2009: “Rabbi Tovia Singer, 49, has been divorced twice. He lives in Jerusalem. His father, Shlomo Singer, has a yeshiva for older baalei teshuva (returnees to Orthodox Judaism) in New Jersey called Yeshiva Passaic Torah Institute. He has a cult following, much like his son.”
I see Tovia Singer showing up frequently for the past year on the Facebook page of a beautiful Jakarta woman named Elisheva Wiriaatmadja.
Elisheva Wiriaatmadja: Follow · January 18 · Edited ·
“An informal, friendly and brilliant discussion with Catholic, Jesuit-educated lecturer, Hindu businessman and Muslim academics at the interreligion event. — with Petrus Lakonawa, Tovia Singer and Tovia Singerat Ubud Bali, Indonesia.”
“With Francis Piron, a Tovia Singer listener residing in Malaysia. — with Abigail Wiriaatmadja and Tovia Singer.”
“Little Trixie in the arms of Mama Papua and Rabbi Tovia Singer.”
“Eits Chaim Radio featuring Rabbi Tovia Singer — with Yokhanan Eliyahu D and Abigail Wiriaatmadja in Jakarta.”
“On a hill overlooking the Sentani Lake, just by the monument of General MacArthur. The forefathers of the tribe living by the lake came around 500-600 years ago from Peru. They were told that they had to flee for their lives, because the king of Spain sent his men to chase them. In their journey they received a prophecy that God had prepared an empty land for them, a land with blue mountains. After many years they came to the empty land that is now known as Papua, and settled right here by the Lake. — with Elena Lesiuk and Tovia Singer.”
“Rabbi Tovia Singer before lecturing, with some of the Indonesian Jewish community in Jakarta, Indonesia. — with Yenmi Chaiya, Yokhanan Eliyahu D, Tovia Singer and Abigail Wiriaatmadja.”
Miriam: “I looked at her Facebook page because for a while it pissed me off that he was out there doing the same thing. I saw her wearing the same diving gear he used to make me wear. He had an extra set for whoever his girlfriend of the time was. I saw pictures of them diving together. She’s got him plastered all over her Facebook page.”
“I went to Indonesia with him on a diving trip in June of 2012. It was two or three months that things were peaceful between us. He was very dishonest. I felt he was a bullshi–er but I wasn’t really sure. I was very torn the whole time we were together. He would tell me, ‘All the things you do for me. How can you doubt me? You’re the one who breaks up with me all the time.’ He made me feel really guilty.”
“He seems to go back and forth between Indonesia and Texas.”
“This guy’s on seven or eight Ambien pills a night to go to sleep. Tons of xanax. He would stumble around every night. And then he would say, ‘I’m in this condition because of you. You don’t know what you want. You want to break up with me.’ He would blame it on me and made me feel like s— for a long time.”
Elisheva Wiriaatmadja posts April 8 on Facebook: “Wow… greatest Jesus statue in the world will be built on Celebes island of Indonesia. Rabbi Tovia Singer, we’ve got more work to do LOL.”
Another Jewish woman tells me:g to me since I’m embracing my Judaism and really trying to live a clean, orthodox life.
Tovia kept telling me what my biggest fear was…
It’s like…he knew already.
Then he booked. Like he didn’t even know me. 2 1/2 months of sex everyday and he dumps me after I get my walking papers.
I texted him on FB to convey my disdain. He ignored me until I said not to worry, I wasn’t after him for child support (joke).
He’s a sex addict. Yeah, he’s angry at his mother.
Orthodox Rabbi, no less. It should be Unorthodox Rabbi.
Luke: “How many rabbis have you had flings with?”
Woman: Tovia is the only one that interested me, but yeah, there are plenty that would.
I also know that studying Torah and connecting to something outside myself is really the way to go. Not just that, but I happen to love the Torah and all it’s hidden messages.
A somatic narc is one who engages in sexual activities to get his/her narcissistic supply.
He puts on a sincerity schtick. Very convincing.
Ah yes, conversational hypnosis. You can just ask questions that lead to the other person introspecting about themselves and feeling grateful to you for the trip.
Something strikingly similar about you and him…I was fucking him daily for a week … And realized he didn’t know my name.
When I think of how he just needed a place to flop and how I was caught up in the excitement of the oxytocin pursuit…it makes me outright pissed off that he’s doing the same thing again…shamelessly.
In my face(book).
We’re over here putting every effort known to mankind in locating our missing yeshiva boys and the Holy Rabbi is converting and cavorting his new babe all over MY facebook pages. Get me a rocket launcher.A third Jewish woman tells me:
He leads a secret private life of everything but an orthodox rabbi should.
Letting him be a semi secret public radio figure is just allowing him to have access of many poor souls. Yes he did [have a relationship with Shannon Orand]. but he had an affair with lots of people he counseled. he goes after married women who won’t tell.
And his women. wow. Married women he counseled. I would find so much he would leave on his computer screen when he would pass out from his over doses of Xanax extra. He is bipolar and quite sick. A master mind speaker through. What I want is for women to know what he does and stop him from his credability. Which is a totally sham. He is not an orthodox Jew. He seduces using his social work skills and charm he gets his victims when they have nothing and are looking for reason to live. They hear him on arutz sheveh. or a lecture he gives especially to teenagers through out all the jewish moments,
His number is on his website, and I think his facebook and he will talk to anyone that IM’s him.
Luke: “How does he get women to sleep with him?”
Woman: He… hypnotizes them and tells them he will love them and be there for them. He knows how to take someone anxiety in his hands and then he convinces them to learn to scuba dive and go on trips with him.”
“Xanax and ambien. I didn’t even know what this stuff was before him and his relationships have to always be secret.
Luke: “Because they are improper?”
Woman: yes and because he is public figure and he tells that he doesn’t want his name and theirs to be in a scandal. The Jewish world is small. A scandal would prevent the girl from ever getting remarried especially in the frum world.An Orthodox Jew who knows Tovia and Miriam emails me:
Luke- Thanks for your piece on Tovia Singer. For what it’s worth, my wife and I became friendly with her…
Years ago, I often helped a friend raise money… Tovia is a masterful speaker, and he got the job done with aplomb; but from the time I first met him, and onward, I always sensed a phoniness about him that belied…weirdness. Some close friends of min e- who were also close with his father – used to rave about Tovia’s abilities, kindness, and related qualities- all of which were complete and total bullshit in comparison to the sickness he demonstrated toward Miriam and apparently many others. Yet no one builds a rap sheet like Singer overnight; like a recidivist child molester, his bizarre characteristics and actions had to establish a track record of equally bizarre behavior- which simply could not remain concealed from those close to him. I’m sure they are guilty of willful ignorance with respect to what the real Tovia Singer was capable of.
I’ll close with a few quick comments:
1. Miriam’s description on your blog is virtually identical and consistent with the information she provided (voluntarily, with no cajoling on our part) to us during many Shabbos/Yom tov meals spent at our place. Not I’ve ever doubted her story, but certainly the story, indeed HER story, would lose potency if the facts, as she described them to different people over time, somehow changed from one time to the next. As far as I can tell – they did not.
2. Miriam’s story should be augmented by strong reference to none other than Rabbi Lieb Tropper. I’m sure you know much about him and his antics whilst head of Yeshiva Kol Yaakov, and a major bloodsucker who latched onto Guma, his uncle Tom Kaplan, and of course Sharon Orand (whose deft use of a cell phone helped bring the fat bastard down). There is also the fact – undeniable and tragic – that Tropper and Singer were (and perhaps still are) in cahoots with each other with respect to a) wealthy Jews and 2) converts – who are vulnerable.
3. The apotheosis of Tropper, and to a similar extent, Singer, is sadly also an indictment of the Orthodox world, whose leadership and laity are more concerned with the possibly of offending the accused than protecting the victim(s). If you divine a scumbag like Tovia or Tropper to be holier than the Pope, the person still remains a scumbag, at least in my book.
4. You may have seen the following post on examiner.com from one Vicki Polin, formerly of the Awareness Center. I was never too enthusiastic over her work, and she had plenty of critics who blasted her site for thriving on innuendo; nonetheless, I have no reservations about her description of Tovia trying to use payola to squash some bad press as being completely accurate.
There’s little doubt that Singer’s acolytes will jump to his defense and attempt to trashcan Miriam (again!), and probably you as well; such is the nature of the Orthodox world these days when you try to bring a “frum Jew” to justice. The posuk says: Zedek, Tzedek, tir-dof: Justice, justice you shall pursue – unless of course, the accused has Rabbinical ordination.