Saturday, March 18, 2006

The mishandling of case of sexual abuse cases in Baltimore

I want to bring this to everyone's attention because I see a connection between the Shmuel Juravel case to a bigger problem in Baltimore. That is the power and control Ner Israel has on the frum community there. I know that Ner Israel has been protecting several alleged sex offenders including Rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau, Rabbi Ken Menken, and a few others.

I can't prove this, but I'm sure that Shmuel's past criminal sexual behavior was covered up by the same individuals who cover up everything else that happens in Baltimore.

There's something that's always bothered me about the case against Matis Weinberg and how it was covered up for years. It also bothers me that there is a link between the Tendler's and the Weinberg's that keeps getting ignored..

The first allegations of Matis Weinberg molesting anyone was back when he was a teenager, one of his victims was his own brother. His parents did what they could to hide these facts from the world, and sent him away. They were not unlike most parents who only wanted the best for their son, but I also wonder if their family name was more important to them, then protecting any potential future victims from being harmed?

In the 1980's, his parents helped Matis start his own Yeshiva in Santa Clara, CA. It was called Kerem. There were also sorts of rumors floating around regarding Matis's inappropriate behavior towards his staff and students. When the allegations broke of him being sexually inappropriate with boys and cult like behavior the yeshiva was shut down. An agreement was reached that he would NEVER teach again. But then back in 2003, he was involved with another yeshiva, and new allegations of sexual misconduct emerged.

Back in the 1980's when the allegations started circulating his father, Rabbi Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg got involved with Jews For Judaism (which is an anti-cult/countermissionary organization). For those of you know don't know, Yaakov Weinberg was a past Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Israel (Ner Israel is the same yeshiva where there was an alleged group of boys going around molesting other boys. It's the yeshiva where both Mordecai and Aron Tendler attended.)

If I remember correctly Tovia Singer and Tsvi "Harlan" Kilstein were both also involved with Jews for Judaism. First Kilstein was, and when he got in trouble with the FBI, he trained Tovia Singer to publicly replace him. Remember Tsvi Kilstein is very connected with the case of Mordecai Tendler. The Tendler's and the Weinbergs are related through a marriage. They are also very closely tied to each other through the administration of Ner Israel of Baltimore.

Around the same time that the case against Matis Weinberg broke, his mother Chana Weinberg got involved with an organization called "Chana" of Baltimore, which is a domestic violence hot line for frum women.

It just seemed very odd to me. Matis Weinberg's parents started volunteering time for organizations that dealt with cults and abuse of women at the same time their son was being accused of being a cult leader and abusing children. Was this for show? And also a way to deflect from the reality that their son was an alleged sex offender?

I know it's very hard to admit publicly that someone they loved and cared about had some serious problems. This is doubly true when your family can be seen as royalty. Unfortunately, I keep asking myself how many people would have been speared being abused by Matis Weinberg if they would have spoken out against his behavior and gotten him the help he needed?

Remember the quote by Vicki Polin "It takes a community to raise a sex offender." I think the case of Matis Weinberg, and also both Aron and Mordecai Tendler could be seen as an example of this. Let's not keep repeating history. Let's learn from it, and warn our communities.

No comments: