There’s Got To Be A Story Here

Case Type: Civil Petition – Change of Name (General Jurisdiction)
Case#: BS157102
CASE NAME: IN THE MATTER OF NECHAMA DINA RATNER-STAUBER ET AL
Parties: RATNER-STAUBER ESTHER – Minor,RATNER-STAUBER MIRIAM – Minor,RATNER-STAUBER NECHAMA DINA – PL/PET,STAUBER MENACHEM MENDEL – Minor
Attorneys: MEYERS AMI – Attorney for PL/PET
Date Filed: 08/04/2015

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Serious Modern Orthodox Learning In Los Angeles

From LINK: YESHIVA MORNING LEARNING PROGRAM LINK flyer bachelor degree

Why the need for this program?

Los Angeles has the second largest observant Jewish community in the United States. While there are more than 10 boys’ high schools to serve this community, there is NOT ONE post-high school yeshiva in Los Angeles where these students can continue to learn after they graduate. As a result, most men who want to continue in their Torah learning leave Los Angeles. They move to the east coast or Israel where yeshiva choices are plentiful.
It is time that we offer a Post High School Yeshiva in the thriving Orthodox Los Angeles community. We must consider some of the following reasons why this is an urgent need:

First:
Not all high school graduates are ready or want to leave the comfort and support of their home communities. While many of our boys are eager to spread their wings and go elsewhere, some students would really rather stay in Los Angeles, and perhaps live at home while they are learning. Right now there is no viable option for these young men.

Second:
Living out of town is expensive! Families need to pay not only for yeshiva tuition, but room, board, expenses, plus travel back and forth for bein hazmanim. These costs become a burden, if not unaffordable for many. Consider how many families have more than one child who require this kind of support!

Third:
Our young, talented homegrown L.A.”Bochurs” begin to date when they are in yeshiva out of state. When they do get married, they often stay in that state, or move to another yeshiva and don’t return to Los Angeles. It is well known that many of our marriageable girls often need to endure the cost financially and emotionally of leaving Los Angeles to date. Though most would rather stay in Los Angeles near their own families and communities, they often do not return to our community when starting their own families. We are now in a cycle of exporting our yeshiva bochurim. We need to start investing in them HERE to create and build an infrastructure of support for them so they can stay and thrive in Los Angeles.

Fourth:
Let’s be honest: Not all our young men have the motivation or ability to learn all day long. Many are highly motivated to learn on a part-time basis. Perhaps they need to work part-time to help out financially or they want to start a career or college courses. We need to remember the Torah’s commandment to educate our children “al pi darco” and make other options available so they CAN continue learning in a way that works for them. How many men have we lost because there has been no option locally for part-time learning in a chevra with their peers? They go off to work or college and begin to lose their precious connection to Torah and even to Yiddishkeit.
Another talmid …off the derech!

WE NOW HAVE A PROGRAM TO KEEP OUR YOUNG MEN LEARNING IN LOS ANGELES!

AN EXCITING NEW
POST HIGH SCHOOL YESHIVA MORNING LEARNING PROGRAM
IN LOS ANGELES!

Starting in the Fall of 2015, The LA Yeshiva Morning Program will launch an invigorating, meaningful learning program for men ages 18-22. Under the leadership of Rabbi Asher Brander, this yeshiva program will be housed in the esteemed LINK Kollel.

Dynamic, skilled, warm Rabbeim will work with each student to help him reach his potential and imbue him with an ahava for learning. These Rabbeim are not only teachers, they become mentors and friends, opening their hearts and their homes to their students.

Students will be part of a learning chevra in a warm and caring atmosphere. They will participate in out-of-town and in-town Shabbatons and special trips.

Our goal is to keep students more connected and growing in their learning each morning, while enabling them to stay in Los Angeles as they pursue a college education or career.

SAMPLE MORNING SCHEDULE

8:15 Morning minyan

9:15 Breakfast

9:30 Halachah/Mishna Brura

10:00 Gemara Chavrusa w/ supervision

10:45 Shiur

11:15 10 minute break

11:25 Chumash/Mishna/Ramban (to be decided)

12:15 End of morning program

Posted in Torah | Comments Off on Serious Modern Orthodox Learning In Los Angeles

Glatt Mart Sued

Case Type: Intentional PI/PD/WD (eg. assault) (General Jurisdiction)
Case#: BC588668
CASE NAME: ISRAEL BAROUK VS CA GLATT MART
Parties: BAROUK ISRAEL – PL/PET,CA GLATT MART – Def/Res,DOES 1-100 – Def/Res
Attorneys: KAHN ROVEN LLP – Attorney for PL/PET
Date Filed: 07/20/2015
Case Summary: http://superiorcourtregister.lacba.org/

Darren Melamed: I was there when this happened. The customer went ballistic. Then he ran out of the store without paying. A few employees chased him, and started beating on him a little.
Luke Ford: High IQ Mexican employees?
Darren Melamed: No, Guatemalan, you fool!

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Stay Classy 90035!

Crest just south of Pico Blvd:

11701199_10153491871901255_2146282719347037291_n

11050700_10153491862551255_5333742375433251574_n

Miriam: I think that is all one man’s “mansion”. He was moved from a few blocks over to Crest and has major mental issues. The restaurants in the area enables him.

Darren: You have no idea. This one homeless guy [Yoel, an Ashkenazi Jew] created a shanty village. And some “compassionate” neighbors are enabling him. Authorities have come in to “fix” the situation, and neighbors interfere.

Chaim Amalek: Good for him! Were not we once a nation of homesteaders, poor white folk who were trying to make it on their own in a hostile world? That’s what these people are doing. Not mooching off some shelter system, but trying to build the best life for themselves that they can.

Michoel Bloom: Thank the ACLU for suing the city of LA. The city can’t do anything about the homeless anymore.
Then there’s the community who enable them (this one especially)
His name is Joel. While I was there with LAPD, City Council office, and city attorney, we asked him why he won’t live in a shelter or in a different Neighborhood. He said “why would I? They feed me, & clothe me right here.

Right after he said that, a car pulled up and delivered him food.

Daniel: He’s mentally disturbed and yells disgusting things at girls who pass by. He said horrible to my mother right after my grandmother passed away. He used to hang out in the alley behind my grandmother’s house and knew when she died.

His very presence brings diseases to the area. After being away for a while, he came back. Shortly afterward, I saw rats running around, which I had never seen there before. The do-gooders that enable him don’t have to live with him in their backyard. They come from other areas to eat at the restaurants, give him their leftovers, then go back to their homes feeling like saints, while we have to deal with his filth and high-pitched screeches.

The city doesn’t do a damn thing either, despite numerous complaints from both residents and business owners. Apparently, his rights are more important than those of us who pay high taxes and rent to live in a decent neighborhood.

He should be in an institution. Not on a residential street with women and children who have to cross the street when they walk by out of fear and disgust.

I can’t stand to see the neighborhood my family has lived in for more than 60 years turn into Skid Row.

Posted in Homeless | Comments Off on Stay Classy 90035!

How Loud Is 90035?

According to Howloud.net, 90035 is relatively quiet: Soundscore™:
72
Light

Vehicle noise: Light
Airport noise: Quiet
No airport within 6 mi.
Local Commercial Noise: Heavy
Local noise sources:
BEST & FAST AUTOMOTIVE
SHELL
LIVONIA GLATT MARKET

Noise in Los Angeles correlates with race. White people live in relatively quiet areas, blacks live in the loudest areas.

Ron Guhname writes: WASPs rule! I wrote in a recent post that I was getting the sense that Americans with Protestant European backgrounds were the best behaved. So I decided to sum all my prior post numbers that dealt with ethnicity and moral behavior to assess this idea systematically. I followed the simple strategy of assigning a rank for each behavior for each of the 8 ethnic groups with sufficiently large sample sizes. Jews were often ignored in previous posts since one must turn to the religion rather than the ethnicity variable to get estimates, but I wanted to include them, so I calculated numbers and then ranks for them.

I included all variables that I have posted on–here’s a list of them: okay to cheat on taxes; drinks too much; ethnocentric; dirty house; frequents prostitutes; promiscuous men over 30; feel that infidelity is not wrong; gay; lesbian; husbands and wives who cheat; fathers divorcing mom; women arrested; and promiscuity for men and women and under. I realized that I had not posted on drug abuse so I added that to the rest. I ranked group so high numbers indicate more bad behavior, then I simply summed the 16 rankings for each ethnic group. Here are the totals:

Bad Behavior Index

Blacks 106
Mexicans 85
American Indians 85
Italians 70
Irish 67
Jews 64
Germans 56
English/Welsh 47

My hunch was correct. This pattern coincides with that feeling that goes way back among nativists that the moral quality of the country was slipping with the mass immigration from Catholic, southern and eastern European countries, and more recently in concern over immigration from Mexico.

Posted in Race, Traffic | Comments Off on How Loud Is 90035?

The RCC Vs Schwartz Bakery

The RCC has sued Schwartz’s Bakery (SchwartzBakeryLA.com) in U.S. District Court. The RCC alleges that Schwartz’s Bakery has fraudulently put RCC hashgacha (kosher) stickers on its product since 2013.

“That’s a blatant fraud on the community,” says one macher. “This is the new face of the RCC. They’re taking their position seriously.”

The RCC is going after all of Schwartz Bakery profits since 2013 based on the illegal trademark infringement.

Trademark infringements are the exclusive domain of U.S. District courts.

Schwartz Bakery
Look who’s got Schwartz’s Cookies for Shabbos!

According to SchwartzBakeryLA.com: “We are currently certified under Kehilla Kosher, any publication or marketing materials with RCC logo is a mistake and/or misrepresentation. We can now cater in both Shaarei Tefila and Beth Jacob”

Here is a copy of the Complaint with Exhibits.

RCClawsuit

RCCExhibit

schwartz1

Plaintiff Rabbinical Council of California (“RCC”) brings this complaint against defendants Jakma, Inc., dba Schwartz Bakery, Elizabeth Hecht dba Schwartz Bakery and Mark Hecht dba Schwartz Bakery (collectively, “Schwartz”) based on Schwartz’s ongoing willful and fraudulent efforts to profit from the use of RCC’s logo by placing its logo on Schwartz’s food packaging and advertisements without RCC’s permission…

11. RCC is the largest body of Orthodox Rabbis in the Western
United States. Its seventy members serve as pulpit Rabbis ministering to congregations and heads of educational institutions. These Rabbis directly serve an estimated six thousand families, and network with a far greater population in both the Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jewish communities.

12. RCC has expended considerable time and effort to build its
reputation for endorsing and certifying certain Kosher products and
purveyors. In order to receive this endorsement and certification, a company must enter into a contract with RCC whereby RCC monitors and inspects the company’s manufacturing facilities for strict compliance with all Kashrus and Halachic regulations. These regulations determine the ingredients and manufacturing processes used in food production to ensure they comply with Jewish religious dietary law, known as Kashrus (Kosher) or Halacha.

RCC also analyzes all records pertaining to the sources of the company’s supplies. A company may not substitute any ingredients without the specific written approval of RCC. All ready-made products sold or used at the company’s place of business must be acceptable as Kosher under reliable supervision as decided upon by the RCC. Finally, the company must observe all Jewish law in its operation.

13. As a food supervisory organization, RCC has created a logo to
signify its efforts and brand (“RCC Logo”)…

14. On or about January 3, 2007, RCC and Schwartz entered into a
contract (“Contract”) for food supervision services. Attached hereto as
Exhibit 2 is a true and correct copy of the Contract… among other things, that RCC would supervise the Kashrus of Schwartz’s products in exchange for a quarterly certification fee. Additionally, the Contract provided that all “food prepared for outside use shall be packaged
in a matter guaranteeing [its] Kashrus and shall bear an insignia of The RCC.” (Contract, ¶ 14.) In the event of termination of the Contract, Schwartz was required to immediately cease using any form of RCC endorsement and either destroy any packaging bearing the RCC Logo or remove the RCC Logo from said packaging. (Contract, ¶ 27.)

15. After January 3, 2007, RCC and Schwartz entered into oral
agreements (“Oral Agreements”) for RCC’s supervision of the “Kashrus” of Schwartz’s other establishments located at 1730 Cordova Street, Los Angeles, California 90007; 7113 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90036; 12430 Montague Street, Suite 230, Pacoima, California 91331; 12519 Burbank Boulevard, Valley Village, California 91607 and; 433 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90036 (collectively, the “Establishments”).

16. In May 2013, Schwartz terminated the Contract and Oral
Agreements and refused to pay to RCC $825.00 that Schwartz owed from
Invoice Nos. 17306, 17318, 17404, 17416, 17420 and 17663 (“Invoices”) for RCC’s past services rendered.

In May 2013, July 2013 and October 2013, the RCC’s Rabbi Nissim
Davidi repeatedly admonished Schwartz to stop using the RCC Logo;
however, Schwartz failed to comply.

18. On February 13, 2014, RCC demanded that Schwartz cease and
desist Schwartz’s illegal use of the RCC Logo on Schwartz’s products,
advertisements, website and on property signage.

19. On April 7, 2014, RCC for the second time demanded that
Schwartz cease and desist Schwartz’s illegal uses of the RCC Logo on
Schwartz’s products, advertisements, website and on property signage.

On February 12, 2015, RCC again demanded that Schwartz
discontinue any use of the RCC Logo or name on Schwartz’s property, food packaging and advertisements, but Schwartz has refused to comply.
21. Schwartz continues to use the RCC logo on its food packaging
and advertisements and on its property at multiple of its establishments. A true and correct copy of such illegal uses is attached hereto as Exhibit 3…

26. Schwartz continues to reproduce and use the RCC Logo on its
property and as part of its food packaging.

27. Schwartz’s conduct is deceitful, has caused confusion and
continues to pose a likelihood of causing mistake among a substantial
segment of the public because consumers have believed and continue to
believe that Schwartz’s food products are sponsored or approved by RCC.
28. Schwartz’s deception is material, because whether Schwartz’s
food products complied with RCC standards and Kashrus regulations would
be a fact of consequence to consumers.

29. Schwartz caused its false representations about the quality of its
foods to enter commerce through its use of the RCC Logo on its food
packaging and on its property.

30. RCC has been and is likely to be injured as a result of Schwartz’s
false representations by a direct diversion of RCC’s ability to commercially exploit its exclusive trademark in the RCC Logo. RCC’s reputation and goodwill have been compromised by Schwartz’s illegal use of the RCC Logo as it is likely to mislead the public into believing Schwartz’s products are endorsed by the RCC.

31. Schwartz had full knowledge that its uses of the RCC Logo were
illegal and unauthorized, yet proceeded despite several warnings to cease and desist. Schwartz obtained substantial profits through the sales of food products by falsely advertising that RCC endorsed and supervised Schwartz’s products.

32. Accordingly, Schwartz has engaged in trademark infringement in
violation of Section 32 of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1114, and is liable to RCC for all damages related thereto, including but not limited to actual damages, infringing profits and/or statutory damages, as well as costs and attorney’s fees.

33. Schwartz’s egregious conduct in its illegal use of the RCC Logo
was willful and intentional, and this constitutes an exceptional case. Under 15 U.S.C. § 1117, RCC is entitled to its attorney’s fees.

34. RCC has been, and unless enjoined by this Court will continue to
be, damaged and irreparably harmed by Schwartz’s acts of trademark
infringement.

LA’s Orthodox Jewish community has a lot of tolerance for misbehavior, incuding by its rabbis, but it is very strict with its kosher food.

Are there a significant number of Jews in LA who hold by RCC kosher but not by Kehilla Kosher?

Link: Defendant: Does, Elizabeth Hecht, Mark Hecht and Jakma, Inc.
Plaintiff: Rabbinical Council of California
Case Number: 2:2015cv04620
Filed: June 18, 2015
Court: California Central District Court
Presiding Judge: Manuel L. Real
Referring Judge: Alka Sagar
Nature of Suit: Trademark

The judge in this case, Manuel L. Real, has a bad reputation.

Posted in Kosher | Comments Off on The RCC Vs Schwartz Bakery

Noise Blasting From St Mary Magdalen School 90035

http://holyspiritstmarymagdalen.org/ This school has massive contempt for its neighbors, blasting noise through its speakers and disturbing the neighborhood.

Every year, America becomes trashier and more obnoxious.

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Yeshiva Yavneh Shuvuot Schedule

Seven classes by R. Shlomo Einhorn.

torahsimulations

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Massage 90035

There seem to be more massage places than ever in 90035. How can we get rid of this plague?

Farrell posts: Luke, talk to your neighborhood council. There’s a woman who has gotten several closed down in your neighborhood. It takes a ton of work, police co-operation, and community involvement. Or talk to guys who live in other neighborhoods to answer the “quality of service” questions. Because nobody goes to the places NEAR their home.

Links:
Xin Xin Health Center
310-652-8808
8642 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90035
26 reviews
$ 50
Asian massage
1 week ago
Cherry Spa
Cherry Spa
424-204-9645
1535 S La Cienega Blvd #A
Los Angeles, CA, 90035
9 reviews
$ 60
Asian massage
2 weeks ago
CPF Spa
CPF Spa
213-909-6980
1111 S Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90035
20 reviews
$ 80
Asian, Caucasian, Latina massage
3 weeks ago
China Doll Massage
China Doll Massage
310-657-8076
1436 S La Cienega Blvd #203
Los Angeles, CA, 90035
54 reviews
$ 60
Chinese massage
4 weeks ago
TJ Healthy Massage
TJ Healthy Massage
818-281-5089
6116 Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90035
1 review
$ 40
Chinese massage
1 month ago
Forever Body Massage
Forever Body Massage
310-786-9926
1101 S. Robertson Blvd Ste.202
Los Angeles, CA, 90035
1 review
$ 60
Asian massage
1 month ago
Dynasty Wellness Center
Dynasty Wellness Center
310-248-3886
9540 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90035
16 reviews
$ 50
Asian massage
2 months ago
Asian Massage
Asian Massage
310-905-3037
8624 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90035
6 reviews
$ 50
Asian massage
9 months ago
K L Health Center
K L Health Center
424-288-4763
8624 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90035
$ 60
Chinese massage
Touch Massage
Touch Massage
310-659-8559
822 S Robertson Blvd, Ste 106
Los Angeles, CA, 90035
$ 75
Asian massage

Posted in Sex | Comments Off on Massage 90035

Orthodox 27yo Sima Yarmush Testifies About Child Sexual Abuse And How Four Orthodox Rabbis Protected The Abuser

Jewish Community Watch (JCW) names the abuser as Rabbi Sholom Dovber Levitansky:

Sholom (Dovber) Levitansky has been added to the Wall of Shame due to his alleged sexual abuse of a number of female minors.

Multiple victims came forward and revealed to JCW that they had been abused by Levitansky. After an investigation by JCW’s investigative team that spanned 18 months and following a review by JCW’s board, it was determined that public exposure was warranted and necessary.

Levitansky, aged 38, lives in Sherman Oaks, California and is the director of Jewish Hospitality/Congregation Bais Avraham.

levitansky

SB

levitansky

levitansky1

levitansky2

Who helped cover up for the abuser in the following story? According to 27yo Sima Yumash, it was Rabbi Avraham Union, Rabbi Gershon Bess, R. Berish Goldenberg (all of the RCC), R. Yosef Shusterman, and social worker Debbie Fox.

Please see my related story on R. Aron Tendler for another example of how the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC) handles rabbinic sex abuse. See also my story on R. Abner Weiss.

Sima Yarmush is the daughter of Rabbi Boruch Rabinowitz, a Chabad shaliach (emissary of the rebbe) at the Living Torah Center at 1130 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Rabbi Sholom Dovber Levitansky (I don’t think Sholom Dovber is actually a rabbi, I believe he flunked out of yeshiva, but in deference to his prominent Levitansky family, people called him “rabbi”) worked as an assistant at the center. When Sima Yarmush told her father about what Sholom Levitansky had done to her, Rabbi Rabinowitz asked Sholom who admitted what he had done. Rabbi Rabinowitz immediately fired him and told the wider Los Angeles community about the predator.

KosherDelight.com contains this decade out of date information about the Living Torah Center:

Living Torah Center
1130 Wilshire Boulavard
S. Monica, CA 90401 USA
Tel: 310-394-5699
Fax: 310-453-1936
Email:
Website:
Rabbi Boruch Rabinowitz, Director
Rabbi Sholom Levitansky, Associate Director

Apparently, Sima was not the only girl that Sholom Levitansky abused. After he was fired from working in Santa Monica, Sholom Dovbear Levitansky went to work in a rabbinic capacity in Florida, then Palm Springs before ending up in Sherman Oaks.

Here are some highlights from Sima Yarmush’s talk about her childhood in the Santa Monica Chabad community of the Living Torah Center and how Rabbi Sholom Dovber Levitansky, the son of Rabbi Levitansky of the Chabad in Simcha Monica at 1428 17th St
Santa Monica, CA, groomed her and then abused her, starting at age 14 and ending when she was 17 and able to get away:

My parents [Chabad shluchim aka emissaries] were told about a social worker [Debbie Fox] who at the time was working at Aleinu Family Services at the Jewish Federation building on Wilshire Blvd. I met with the social worker Debbie and told her everything. She promised me and my parents that she would help us and she would get four rabbis from the halachic [Jewish law] advisory board involved. Four Los Angeles rabbis were assigned to my case. Rabbi Yosef Shusterman of Chabad of North Beverly Hills, Rabbi Berish Goldenberg of Toras Emes, rabbis Gershon Bess and Avrohom Union of the RCC. A hearing was scheduled.
You might be wondering why I didn’t go to the police and press charges. I didn’t go for many reasons. I’ll share a few. I was 18, unmarried, and terrified of the public finding out I was sexually abused. The idea of fighting a legal battle with a man who repulsed me was terrifying. For some reason, I had this very strong… faith that these prestigious Los Angeles rabbis would certainly help me notify the public about the dangerous man. Wrong.
The meeting with the rabbis was very emotional for me. It was the first time I was openly talking about the sexual abuse I had endured. The social worker, Debbie, and I sat down with the rabbis. There was a mehitza between us and the rabbis… I told them everything…
The rabbis then told my family that everything will be taken care of and that we should not mix in. That we should leave all matters of the story of my abuse to them. They will take care of everything.
To make a long story short, my family got absolutely no backing nor support to show our community that the allegations were true. I was not offered any help or support. Until this day, not one of those rabbis has called me to ask me how I am doing. They simply sent me off that night with random blessings that I should heal and be well…
At one point after the meeting, being that we were shluchim, my parents had a private meeting with the Chabad rabbi who was at the meeting [R. Yosef Shusterman]. We had this huge community that was about to fall apart. He told my parents that they had absolutely no moral, legal, ethical or halachic reason to say anything about the abuse to anybody. He also told my parents numerous times to tell our community that this rabbi would be leaving for personal reasons and not to disclose the real reason.
I later learned that my abuser was sent to therapy by the rabbis, and that one rabbi in particular [R. Berish Goldenberg] took him under his wing to guide him. My abuser told everybody he is resigning from his position at our shul and went on to live in a different community, becoming a serious danger to the people around him there. The community that he moved to was not informed and had no idea about any of this. The rabbis who knew about the abuse did not warn the community…
My parents began telling my beloved shul members that my abuser was indeed fired and had to go because serious allegations of sexual abuse had come to their attention. They told everyone the truth — that the rabbi molested girls. Yes, we found out it was not only me.
My family got a whole variety of reactions from my community. Some families didn’t believe my parents. Some families blamed my parents… Some families boycotted our shul. Some families even went to the California Chabad headquarters to try to get my parents fired as Chabad shluchim [emissaries].
Meanwhile, as soon as my molester’s family heard that my parents were telling people that their son was fired from our shul because serious allegations of child sexual abuse had come to their attention, they called my parents liars.
One of the other shluchos called my mother to tell her that she is no longer welcome to bring other women to the only women’s mikveh in Santa Monica.
It was my parents who were warning others about a sexual predator who people were getting upset at…
I don’t cry because I was sexually abused. I cry because the people from my childhood who I cherished the most were not there to support me. I cry because important rabbis did not support me. I cry because I stood up for the truth and all I received in return, for the most part, was ambiguity and silence. So almost ten years have passed since I came forward to the rabbis, and I refuse to remain silent any longer.
After my abuser moved to another city, he opened up an organization and a website, offering a whole variety of rabbinic services including tutoring, counseling, Shabbat dinners, holiday parties, which provided him with access to children and teens. He recreated the perfect environment for himself to continue [molesting].
Meyer Seewald called my abuser asking him about the allegations. Meyer asked him if he ever apologized to any of his victims. The conversation was short. He denied everything. My abuser called [R. Berish Goldenberg], the one who took him under his wing, who in turn called Meyer, perturbed at the possibility of JCW exposing my abuser. For a short while, my abuser’s website was down and when it was back up again, it was updated with the word ‘Adult’ strewn all over the place.

Sholom Levitansky’s family’s Santa Monica Chabad (1428 17th) was the site of many child molestations. An older kid would recruit younger vulnerable kids into playing what he called “the privacy game.”

This older kid was never charged with any crime and he’s now an adult and still at large in the Los Angeles Jewish community (though not a rabbi and not in any position of authority).

A. asks: “Why is Debbie Fox still allowed to practice as a social worker? She’s a mandated reporter.”

Comment: “Because the victim is above 18. Legally, the adult is on her own. A mandated reporter is for children. There is nothing anyone can do if the victims themselves don’t come forward. The social worker has her hands tied in the back.”

Here is a common reaction I hear around Orthodox Los Angeles: “So angry that after so many years, the same people continue to victimize people in the community they allegedly lead.”

In the past, I often burned out covering these rabbinic sex abuse stories.

A Jew tells me: “I completely understand. I hate to think about the bad guys anymore at this point. I spoke with someone very involved in this case, though. And I basically realized that this issue – sexual abuse of children – is the tipping point. Screwing over righteous (would be) converts and agunot is upsetting, but has never been quite enough to get people to revolt. This, though, this is bad. It’s time for some change, in my opinion. Or as Meyer Seewald so eloquently pointed out, it is appalling that people here have shown more outrage at the prospect that they were given some questionable / not kosher meat (allusion to Doheny Meats) than that their own children are being molested and abused.”

A Youtube comment:

I was present at this event but just re-watched it here. What an incredibly intelligent, articulate, communicative and strong young woman Sema is.

Question: what’s the statute of limitations on pressing charges against the perpetrator and holding Chabad of Southern California–who obliterated your parents sole vocation, life’s purpose and source of income–not to mention turning the other cheek & destroying lives; and to Toras Emes whose head mentored, enabled and reassigned the abuser to a mere 18 miles away to an unsuspecting Sherman Oaks public, accountable?

The Catholic Church sold a LOT of property to pay for reparations to the children its priests sexually abused. Isn’t it time Cunin’s SoCalChabad Empire does same? There’s a Jewish boys school on 3rd street West of LaBrea that used to belong to the Catholic Church. It’s one of the properties they sold to free up cash for reparations. Every time I drive past it I think, “this Cheder made possible by the Catholic Diocese; this is the Cheder that Catholic Abuse Built”.

Another Youtube comment: “I have no words to describe my feelings after watching this lady’s amazing story, I am just so heartbroken that she was made to suffer so much. And I am angered. I am even more angered at the rabbis who chose not to do anything but sweep this under the rug. I really wish the molester Sholom Dovber Levitansky answer for what he has done. A a big apology from the community is owed to this courageous woman. I am shocked that rabbis who are involved in and head the RCC, regarded with an obligatory prestige in their Kashrus certification and which seems to have a monopoly on Gerus in LA was able to just sit by and do nothing upon hearing the name of the accuser.”

Melanie posts to Youtube: “I feel such pain and anguish listening to Sima, your courage is a blessing. Boruch Hashem you have a wonderful supporting family who have stood up for you. The Rabbis who were involved should be totally ashamed, they should resign or be fired from their positions as they have NO credibility or moral ethics. People who shamed your parents or shunned any of you should hold their heads in shame. I wish I had your courage to tell my story that I have lived with for over a decade. May Hashem Bless you your family and all who have supported you.”

Andrew posts to Youtube: “I am very moved and grateful to Sima for her determination to prevent further abuse. It is, unfortunately, very typical of our communities that victims and whistle-blowers are punished. Although the conduct of this ‘beis-din’ is reprehensible, it is unfortunately not surprising. Sima is blessed that her family supports her. There are many other victims who are shunned by their families. It also sounds like her family and their Chabad House will be ok. I suggest it would be worthwhile for criminal charges to be pressed against the perpetrator. I think that would make it less likely for him to ever be in a position to have access to more potential victims. There is certainly a mitzva to report him to the authorities, as the prohibition of mesira does not apply here in any manner.”

Chayale Mendy posts to FB: “Silence only creates a thicker smokescreen for abusers to find new victims and to evade the consequences for their crimes. This woman is a true hero. May all the bent and broken be lifted upright and be placed among the leaders of our nation.”

Chaya Esther Ort posts to FB: “I am so impressed and moved by the courage, bravery, and honesty of this beautiful young woman. I am likewise impressed by the successful efforts of JWC in supporting and encouraging victims of sexual abuse, and providing a forum for them to share their experiences. I am utterly mystified that rabbis, community leaders, friends and neighbors would protect and support perpetrators of sexual abuse. Anyone complicit in covering up abuse, enabling abusers to escape being exposed or moving to other communities, intimidating and ostracizing people who report abuse is as bad as or worse than the actual abuser, since it can be argued that the abuser is sick. May Hashem bless Ms Yarmush, and all the victims of sexual and physical abuse with safety from harm, and healing from trauma. And thank you to Meyer Seewald and JWC for bringing this issue out into the open.”

Miriam Hendeles posts to FB: “Unbelievable. What a brave and courageous woman. So sad that she suffered so much. She has such presence in the way she delivered her message. Clear. Direct. So important. Wow.”

A post to Youtube:

I see what she means. The abuser’s picture or name does not appear on his website, he added the word adult to all of the services said to be offered, and only uses his first name in a reference to himself (“Ask the Rabbi”) http://jewishhospitality.org/home.html
G-d bless this woman and give her and her family health, long life and all kinds of brachos and protection. She looks like she indeed has inherited her grandmother’s DNA including the courage and strength.

Benny Forer posts: “Thank you for your amazing courage and bravery. Shame on those that committed the crime, covered up the crime, and passively encouraged crime. Those Rabbis should be deeply ashamed of their actions.”

Here is video from Sunday night’s Jewish Community Watch event.

Heidi posts:

I am so impressed and moved by the courage, bravery, and honesty of this beautiful young woman. I am likewise impressed by the successful efforts of JWC in supporting and encouraging victims of sexual abuse, and providing a forum for them to share their experiences. I am utterly mystified that rabbis, community leaders, friends and neighbors would protect and support perpetrators of sexual abuse. Anyone complicit in covering up abuse, enabling abusers to escape being exposed or moving to other communities, intimidating and ostracizing people who report abuse is as bad as or worse than the actual abuser, since it can be argued that the abuser is sick.

After highlighting so effectively the importance of outing abusers, it was surprising that Ms Yarmush did not mention the name of her abuser, or his website. If anyone knows of any rationale for failing to mention these things, i would be interested in hearing it.

May Hashem bless Ms Yarmush, and all the victims of sexual and physical abuse with safety from harm, and healing from trauma. And thank you to Meyer Seewald and JWC for bringing this issue out into the open.

NHMusic posts to Youtube:

What an amazing & courageous woman!
It is extremely sad & scary how many survivors have been and are currently being shunned by those they have turned to for support/help – as well as those who have had their experiences ignored/belittled.

As someone who grew up & currently live in a religious community in NJ it scares me how sexual abuse is ignored/ barely acknowledged as something that occurs on a daily basis -let alone exists. I can only hope that the JCW-JCW events makes its way down to NJ to raise awareness and tell survivors the importance of coming forward and telling their stories as well as, not to be ashamed for they are the true heroes/heroines.

Shlomo posts: “Unfortunately I can relate to every word you are saying. Your pain, your feelings of abandonment by the “Rabbis” and friends you grew up with, your hesitation to come out in public for many reasons you mention and more. The incredible indifference of our “Rabbis” is inexplicable or defensible at any level. Do not stop now or ever. You are courageous beyond belief. You must continue. This is just a beginning for you. Chazak Chazak Venischazaik. And thank G-d for the courageous people behind this organization.”

The Jewish Journal does not name any of the rabbis in its story:

The Journal is not printing the rabbi’s name because he has not been charged with these allegations in court, but among the Los Angeles audience during Seewald’s recent visit, the rabbi’s name was well known — so it goes in the close-knit Los Angeles Orthodox community.
Sima Yarmush, now 27, gave her own testimony to the community at the event, accusing this rabbi of numerous acts of molestation. She was 14 at the time.
Yarmush began by telling her story about growing up in Chabad, her bubbe (an Auschwitz survivor), her stifling shyness as a little girl and then about that aforementioned rabbi — how he took her under his wing, charming her and the whole community before, she alleged, abusing her sexually.
When she was 18, after coming home from a year in Israel to attend seminary, she said she decided to speak out and take action. Yarmush was assigned four rabbis who conducted a beit din (rabbinical court) and, for the first time in her life, she recounted the events in explicit detail; the rabbis, separated by a mechitzah, listened to her story with clasped hands. Finally, one of the rabbis asked her, “Who did this to you?”
That incriminating question with only one answer.
Finally, she thought to herself, after four years, the moment has come. And as she opened her mouth to answer the question, a Chabad rabbi interjected, “Let’s hold off on saying the name.” Furious and voiceless — yet again — Yarmush said she disobeyed the rabbi and spoke up.
“They simply sent me off that night,” she recalled. Her alleged molester got off scot-free, was sent to therapy and relocated to a nearby Chabad community in the Los Angeles area, she said…
Although JCW has not been sued for libel or defamation, it isn’t without flaw. In August 2012, Seewald immediately responded to an allegation made by an autistic boy, who falsely accused a Crown Heights special education teacher of sexual abuse. As a result of his entry into the JCW database, the man lost his job and was publicly shunned — before Seewald repealed the entry. But by then, the damage had been done and JCW’s integrity was compromised.

How did this event damage JCW’s integrity? How does the Jewish Journal know that the allegation was false? The Jewish Journal sides with the powers that be.

As for not naming Rabbi Sholom Dovber Levitansky because he has not been charged in court, the Jewish Journal has no problem publishing all sorts of negative things about people who are not charged in court. One example, Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz in 2008.

Sholom Dovbear Levitansky is the son of the pioneering Chabad shalich Avraham Levitansky, who died in May of 2007:

Jewish Journal: Rabbi Avraham Levitansky, one of Chabad’s first West Coast shlichim, or emissaries, died in his home on May 27, following a long, undisclosed illness. He was 67.

Levitansky headed Santa Monica’s Chabad for 23 years. He was the first shliach brought to the West Coast in the mid-1960s by Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin. Cunin, the director of Chabad on the West Coast, was the first person the Lubavitcher Rebbe selected to appoint other emissaries.

Levitansky was originally brought to California to help launch Chabad’s Talmud Torah. He also helped launch Chabad’s first Gan Israel day camp and helped establish a program to help children in public school receive a Jewish education.

In 1970, when Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson asked for 70 new Chabad centers to be built for his birthday, Cunin committed to opening 12. He appointed Levitansky to open one in Santa Monica, or “Simcha Monica,” using the Hebrew word for happiness instead of the Spanish word for saint.

“Rabbi Avraham Levitansky was a dear, personal friend of mine for more than 50 years. He was my schoolmate, my comrade in arms, and more than anything else, he was a real brother to me,” Rabbi Cunin wrote in a statement to The Journal.

Levitansky’s synagogue was the first Chabad in Santa Monica and he later brought in Rabbi Boruch Rabinowitz to help. Fifteen years ago Rabinowitz opened another center, The Living Torah Center, which now operates a pre-school.

On February 7, 2007, I blogged:

Rav Adlerstein said that about a decade ago in Fairfax, an Orthodox woman repeatedly left and returned to her abusive non-observant husband. Finally, he murdered her.

Rav Adlerstein did not mention any names or further details, but I will.

The Jewish Journal published on January 30, 1998:

Six years ago, the Orthodox Counseling Program (OCP) of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles began a hot line to help women such as Ilana. But at the time, OCP’s Dr. Michael Held staunchly refused to talk about the hot line. “If something is difficult to accept and you splash it all over the front page,” he said, “people will clam up, and you’ll find yourself farther away from the people you want to help.”

Instead, Held and his staff quietly worked behind the scenes, meeting with many of the more than 100 practicing Orthodox rabbis in Los Angeles, and their efforts have paid off.

…What opened the community’s eyes, sources say, was the 1993 murder of Rita Parizer, 36, an Orthodox wife and motherwhose strangled body was found wrapped in a sleeping bag in a garageowned by her husband, Shalom, at 325 N. Orange Grove Ave. Rita previously had reported a marital rape but refused to press charges, LAPD Det. David Lambkin said. In August 1994, her husband was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to lifein prison.

“More than anything, the Parizer case brokethrough the community’s denial,” said Shirley Lebovics, a licensed clinical social worker who is observant and a domestic-violence expert. “It made rabbis stop and say, ‘This can happen. This is frightening. This is real.’”

Rabbi Aron Tendler of Shaarey Zedek, however, said, “Abuse has nothing to do with one’s moral upbringing, but with the [generational] cycle of violence.” Tendler speaks about the phenomenon in a new videotape produced for the Jewish community by the National Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence.

“When I counsel couples, I tell the woman, in front of her intended husband, that if he ever raises a hand to her, she should pick herself up and leave until the problem is resolved,” Tendler said. “And if a woman is unsafe, it is incumbent upon every rabbi to pull out all the stops, including saying from the bimah that a man is not welcome in the community, because he abuses his wife.”

Rita Parizer went for help to the Orthodox Hotline and was seen by Dr. Michael Held and Mrs. Shirley Lebovic who did not report to the authorities the abuse Rita suffered at her husband’s hands.

Dr. Held worked as a psychologist at YULA. Later he was hired by Shirley’s husband as the director of a home for orthodox children with developmental problems called Etta Israel. As for Shirley Lebovic, she’s in social work.

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