Saturday, February 14, 2009

Before Yom Kippur - I beg your forgivness!

Dear Editor:

I write this letter with mixed emotions.
A mixture of remorse, for spreading negative feelings about Telshe Yeshiva, to whom I should be grateful, for educating my son in the ways Torah - a feeling of pride, that I succeeded in ridding the Yeshiva of a young married man who was improperly engaging students and a threat to their emotional well being! (One must be careful of what one writes - so I will refer to him as the "PERSON"!) - while at the same time I also feel shame - shame, as it seems someone else took the blame for my actions. I am truly sorry for that!

Please allow me to explain. I am a mother of a young bachur, still in Telz. He was part of a chevra of boys some of whom (three of his close friends) are no longer in the Yeshiva. They just could not bear to stay there any longer.

The aforementioned "PERSON" was without question a danger and threat to be around young boys! He would speak to my son and his three friends and others, individually and alone about matters that only a boys father or mother should speak to him about. Their sexual feelings and stirrings of puberty, asking them to self stimulate in his presence so that he could assure them that their sexual organ and other body functions were working properly!

Many of the high school boys began referring to this "PERSON" half jokingly and half fearfully as the Yeshiva's Sex Education Instructor! The boys were scared to be alone with him! They didn't know what to do! The main problem as it turns out was . . . his father is a very close associate of Rabbi Levitansky the head of the High School.

When the stories of this "PERSON's" conduct reached Rabbi Levitansky - he duly investigated and interviewed all three boys - as he should have (although later, he would inform the Hanhala that there was only one boy reporting this abominable conduct!).

This was all before the 2007 summer camp season of the camp on the Telshe Yeshiva's grounds ("Kol Torah" - run by Rabbi Yonna Scheinbaum). Now here is a surprise for you. You go figure it out! Would you believe it . . . but somehow the camp that had been previously employing this "PERSON" for a many years, all of a sudden did not rehire him for the 2007 summer season! (Wonder why? Did Rabbi Levitansky perhaps inform them that he was a threat to young boys?!)

The camp season passes - the Yeshiva semester begins - and to my shock this "PERSON" is still around in the Yeshiva! My G-d, what is a mother to do? I knew (from my son) that Rabbi Levitansky knew full well about what this "PERSON" was doing - and yet the Rabbi did nothing to obviate the danger to his charges - the High School students - who were helpless against this potential threat! And Rabbi Levitansky also knew full well that this "PERSON" was using the Mikvah facility in the dormitory!! Need I explain more?!!

My son informed me that student contact with this "PERSON" was still sanctioned! Rabbi Levitansky and the Hanhala totally ignored what these boys shared with Rabbi Levitansky! You won't believe this next occurrence but I promise you it is absolutely true! To compound the danger a hundred fold, Rabbi Levitansky gave permission and approved this "PERSON" to have a private room in the dormitory for his own personal use!
My G-d! I could not believe it! Neither could my son or these boys - who had been interviewed by Rabbi Levitansky and now they felt betrayed!

It now appears in retrospect that aside from Rabbi Levitansky and Rabbi Yona Scheinbaum - no one else on the Hanhala, nor the dormitory supervisor, nor the Rosh Hayshiva had any idea that there was such a "PERSON" in their midst!
As a parent - I felt I needed to act. There clearly was a cover-up being perpetrated and I needed to save my son and perhaps your children too!
I took upon myself to contact the Yeshiva's attorney Mr. Harry Brown. I did this anonymously - to protect my son - who Rabbi Levitansky was as yet unaware that he had direct knowledge of the goings on with this "PERSON"!

Mr. Brown called an emergency meeting of the Hanahala. ONLY then did Rabbi Levitansky act. (Act is actually a very good word to describe his following actions!)
Rabbi Levitansky met with the members of the Hanhala just one day before Mr. Brown's arrival on campus and ONLY then informed them of the issues at hand. Rabbi Levitansky assured the Hanhala that it was nothing at all to be concerned anout! He assured his collieges that he had personally investigated the charges, Mr. Brown would bring up the next day, and he had spoken to the one and only boy who made any accusations and Rabbi Levitanky assured the members of the Hanhala that nothing really happened, the charges were just one boy and unfounded! Yes, a cover-up was under way!
The Yeshiva's attorney Mr. Harry Brown met with the Hanhala the very next day and was shocked and appaled to find that the Hanhala completely unresponsive! They ignored his advice, as their attorney looking out for their best interest and the best interest if the students, to immediately and with all possible haste dismiss this "THREAT" to their Yeshiva!

NOTHING HAPPENED! Rabbi Levitansky and the Hanhala refused to act upon his advice! I could not believe it! This "PERSON" was not even cautioned to refrain from further interaction with these or other young men. My son informed me that the highly charged conversations continued on as before!

I felt I had no choice! So I started a letter writing campaign in order to stop Rabbi Levitansky's cover-up for his friend's son! I must protect my child or I must remove him from the Yeshiva!
Tell me please . . . as a parent, what would you have done?
My only regret is that I feel bad someone else took the blame for my deeds - and for that I am sincerely sorry! I apologize to Rabbi Gifter as I now understand that he is being blamed! I hope that he will one day forgive me - as I honestly meant well!

Mrs. Concerned Mother

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