Shafran Must Resign

In a scathing post, DovBear calls for the resignation of Agudath Israel’s top man, Rabbi David Zwiebel, and it’s mouthpiece, Rabbi Avi Shafran. Here’s why. When asked by email to comment on the arrest of rabbi-on-boy sex abuser Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, Avi Shafran wrote:

Why would we have comment about the arrest of an individual? Because he was an employee, more than 30 years ago, of one of the camps we run (that have had thousands of employees over the years)? I don’t think that requires comment on our part. We are not even a party anymore to any lawsuit filed against the accused, as I understand it. The suit of the accuser who included Camp Agudah in his action (John Doe #1) has been dismissed (without prejudice, I believe, so it can still be refiled, but hasn’t been)."

DoveBear responds:

Let’s help Avi out. He asks: "Why would we have comment about the arrest of an individual?"

1 – Because he was an employee, more than 30 years ago, of one of the camps you run! (Credit Avi Shafran himself for that one)

2 – Because men closely associated with your organization have been running interference for him for 25 years.…

DovBear goes on to note that Agudah comments on many issues, from Conservative Judaism’s grappling with halakha to the latest in Intelligent Design. Why shouldn’t they comment on 40 years of rabbi-on-boy sex abuse within their own community?

The answer is obvious. Many leading Agudah rabbis covered for Kolko. Some of them may be sued. Others may be open for criminal prosecution.

But DovBear raises a good point. Zwiebel and Shafran should both be forced to resign, Shafran for his smug dismissals of abuse and Zwiebel for working against mandatory reporting laws and against a centralized system within haredi schools to track abusers.

If you agree with DovBear’s call, please post it on your blogs and shout it from your rooftops. I have.


Filed under Crime, Haredim, Mikva Abuse

15 responses to “Shafran Must Resign

  1. The Agudah is an organizational tool that the holy-old-fucks use to perpetuate their corrupt power and control, which they refer to as “Torah authority.”
    Being a B’nei Korach type, I take DovBear’s call one step further. I call for the immediate dissolution of the Agudah, in a very efficient manner. Anybody who is upset about the Agudah’s actions in regards to the Kolko incident, and Avi Shafran’s shitty response, should just stop supporting the Agudah.
    That’s all there is to it. It’s that fucking simple. No more financial support, no more looking to them for advice or guidance, no more anything.
    For all practical intents and purposes, they have lost any legitimacy that they may have once held. Their actions clearly demonstrate that cronyism is far more important to them than any sort of Jewish ideals, whatever those may be.
    Down with the Agudah! Down with all forms of authority!
    כל העדה כולם קדושים ובתוכם יהוה ומדוע תתנשאו

  2. Ahavah bat Sarah

    Ok, it’s done – this article and my own comments about it are on my page, too, with links to the awareness center and to footsteps. I’m not part of the problem, I’m part of the solution and I urge you all to do the same.

  3. Joseph

    Ok DovBear called him to resign. How enormous. Agudah will REALLY pay attention. In fact he’s out. Bye-bye.

    Get serious guys, your calls for anything will have virtually no practical effect on Agudah.

    You might make a good speech topic at the convention, but your rants don’t have ears that matter.

  4. Aharon Varady

    Not to take anything away from your point Shlomoanarchy but I think you mean to say that you’re a “follower of Korach type” and not a Bnei Korach type. The latter were not considered rebellious and are credited with authoring a number of tehillim.

  5. shmuel

    Shafran’s “Who me?” response, and Zweibel’s silly speech, are precisely why those boys are the Agudah’s mouthpieces, and will never be fired. Like the song goes, “you have to be carefully taught” to be apathetic, to be hostile to the most vulnerable in our midst –our children– and to do it all with a straight face and hold it out as a “Torah” ideal. The sheer craziness of Agudah knows no bounds and it is beginning to approximate a situation comedy: clergy cover up for another clergyman, then send lapdogs out to make speeches to brainwash the masses, who never rebel. If it wasn’t so repulsive and real it would be hilarious.

  6. shmuel

    And why in the world was the Aguda released from this case? I’m furious. I was looking forward to seeing it bankrupted. Who has the scoop on that?

  7. dovid

    You might want to mention that DB cribbed the points in his post from the place he first found it. Just as a full-disclosure type of thing.

  8. Rabbi Yisroel Belsky

    My Response, by Rabbi Yisroel Belsky

    As the accepted possek of this generation, I fell the olam needs to know my daas on this matter. Yidi Kolko should never have been arrested. A child, whether he is six years or nine years of age should not be assumed to be telling the truth accurately. And even if it were true that the child was touched inappropriately, its not enough of a reason to label the man a pedophile and danger to society. In the early 70’s,Yidi and I were together in Camp Agudah. I heard occasionally complaints from young campers that they had been fondled by Yidi Kolko. Always I suggested that they allow me to go public with their accusation. It was my way of testing them for the truth. Each and every time, I heard the accusing child refuse. It was then clear to me that they were lying. To this day Yidi Kolko was never found to be dangerous to any children. To the contrary, Rav Pinchas Scheinberg Shlita and Rabbi Lipa Margolis Shlita, after carefully investigating many of the accusers, made a very clear determination that Yidi Kolko was innocent of mishkav zachar, and that the claims of inappropriate touching was nothing more than his showing of affection. That was their psak many years ago, and the olam remains obligated to accept it without any question. We therefore must give no credence to the shouting voices of Yidi’s most recent accusers. These are people seeking to make an easy buck off the back of a Yeshiva which in reality they should be very grateful to. I therefore, as always continue to stand behind Yidi Kolko and give him my fullest support. I am very certain that at the end he will be acquitted of all the false charges.

  9. Noclue

    Does anybody know if the above comment was posted by Rav Yisroel Belsky or by somebody using his name without authorization?

    Plaese provide your reason either way.

  10. Noclue

    Does anybody know if the above comment was posted by Rav Yisroel Belsky or by somebody using his name without authorization?

    Plaese provide your reason either way.

  11. Must be an impersonator. It’s not Rabbi Belsky’s style at all.

  12. Must be an impersonator. It’s not Rabbi Belsky’s style at all.

  13. torah vodaath student

    Rabbi Belsky Shlita stated during one of his shiurim this past week that he had posted the above opinion. He feels he is correct on everything he wrote “despite what the olam golem secular am haarazim think”.
    Maybe we should try to properly read what Rav Belsky wrote and understand his logic before we ignorantly condemn this great scholar who has of himself often stated in a very humbly fashion that he is a greater chacham then Harav Elyashiv and knows more Torah and secular knowledge then any of the gedolim of the last eighty years.

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