The New York Jewish Week tells the story of another alleged victim of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko and Yeshiva Torah Temimah:
… However, by the time he was a teenager, Tsatskis’ behavior was getting more out of control, so much so that a psychologist recommended that the teen undergo intensive therapy. While Tsatskis was in treatment, the truth of the abuse emerged, he said.
Although he felt a sense of relief, Tsatskis said he never fully recovered from the damage of having been abused by a figure of communal authority and personal importance.
“Once I realized that what he did was wrong, my whole life came tumbling down,” said Tsatskis, noting that his parents had a hard time knowing how to deal with their son’s situation.
Because of behavioral problems, Tsatskis bounced around five high schools in four years. Throughout his teen years, he began hanging out with the wrong crowd. His faith in Judaism was shattered.
“If this guy would do this to me and he represents Judaism, then something was really wrong,” said Tsatskis, who is no longer observant.…
In fact, Tsatskis said that he has never felt as good as he did when Rabbi Kolko was showering attention on him. “It was the ultimate high,” Tsatskis said. “I felt important, distinguished from the class.”
He said his pull to Rabbi Kolko has remained so great over the years that he has gone back to Brooklyn on several occasions to try and visit him in an effort to recapture that feeling of importance. However, Tsatskis said that Rabbi Kolko always seems distracted and uninterested in speaking with him.
“I would continuously go back to him and he would reject me,” Tsatskis said. “It’s sort of like a woman in an abusive relationship. Why does she go back? Because she feels special. I long for that special feeling.”
Over the years, Tsatskis said he tried to recapture the feeling through other relationships, but nothing came close to the feeling Rabbi Kolko gave him.
“Throughout my life I needed attention and he filled the gap,” Tsatskis said.
To this day, Tsatskis says he is still confused by what happened and why it made him feel the way he did. If he had the chance, he said he would like to ask Rabbi Kolko, “Why me? What was it about me? Why not any of the other 60 kids?”
The Jewish Week also notes that Kolko was recently seen escorting young boys from Camp Silver Lake (a haredi summer camp). The reaction of the camp’s lawyer, Avi Moscowitz, is important:
Reached for comment Moscowitz told The Jewish Week that “[Rabbi Kolko] did not come on [the camp’s] behalf and wasn’t invited by us.”
Moscowitz maintained that the allegations against the yeshiva are “simply not true.” He added that he believes that the statute of limitations is such that the case should be dismissed.
Despite three alleged victims who have come forward on the record, and dozens more who have not yet publicly stepped forward but are known to attorneys and abuse advocates, haredi leadership is still claiming Kolko is innocent.
Note the claim is not that the allegations must be properly investigated and that the alleged victims must share the same presumption of truth or falsehood as Rabbi Kolko. The claim haredim are making is that Kolko is innocent. The alleged victims? The implication is they are lying or mentally ill.
Your response to this irresponsible behavior should be to immediately stop funding haredi institutions and rabbis. That is the only way to get these people to take abuse and other crimes seriously.
Starve the beast.
[Hat tip: JWB.]