Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Chaptzem! Blog in the news: Black Hat Meets Blog

Is computer technology shifting the balance of power in Brooklyn’s insular, fervently Orthodox community?

In the 1980s, two prominent Flatbush rabbis allegedly closed the door on a burgeoning sexual abuse scandal by preventing a rabbinical court proceeding from taking place. Now, two decades later, an Internet blog has reinvigorated the allegations, resulting in two multimillion-dollar lawsuits against a rabbi, a yeshiva and a summer camp for boys.

“Without the Internet, this story never would have been brought to light,” said Un-Orthodox Jew, the anonymous blogger who last year began posting angry diatribes about the alleged abuse and cover-up on www.theunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com.

On the blog, Un-Orthodox Jew, who also goes by UOJ and claims to have deep ties in the “black hat” world, stated that Rabbi Yehuda Kolko sexually abused a number of male students at Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Temimah in Flatbush and at Camp Agudah in Ferndale, N.Y., while Rabbi Lipa Margulies, the head of the school, allegedly helped to protect him at the expense of the victims. All told, three former students of Rabbi Kolko allege abuse against him in the two lawsuits.

While the blog has generated heaps of scorn among readers — some people have said UOJ’s Web posts were less acceptable than the alleged acts they were revealing — the Web site has also elicited support as well as a response from at least one alleged victim.

In the wake of the lawsuits and the New York magazine article, UOJ said he has received more than 400,000 hits to his site. Meanwhile, the alleged abuse has also become a hot topic on other Jewish blogs.

On the Chaptzem blog (http://chaptzem.blogspot.com/), which describes itself as “the one and only heimishe news center,” the host wrote:

“The whole Kolko-Margulies story has brought to light some very important questions regarding child abuse. How do we as a community deal with allegations of abuse? How do we decide if they are founded or fabricated? … Also, even if the allegations are founded how do we go about stopping it? How far do we go?”

According to UOJ, such questions have been a long time coming.


He is not an anonymous blogger - his name is Ben Hirsh and he has an ax to grind against Margulis. The law suits will be thrown out becuase it is past the statue and Ben and his ambulance chasing lawyer will have gotten some much neede publicity.


I agree that something doesn't add up with this whole alleged incident. He claims he's doing this out of concern for future victims. As of now Rabbi Kolko will never return to "chinuch" even if he's found innocent.
Explain to me why he's still doing whatever he can to bring down a yeshiva that has hundreds of students and making baseless accusations that this type of abuse is going on in all orthodox jewish schools?
If he were that sincere he would walk away, mission accomplished. But no, he wants to be "mechallel shem hashem" with the hopes that the yeshiva will close down, and to humiliate the families of those involved.
Granted that as of now there might be truth to the alleged abuse and time will tell. But in the meantime i'm finding it hard to believe some one who after thirty five years woke up one day at age 48 and suddenly grew the guts........... Time will tell.
In the meantime remember that both the jewish law and american law agree INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.


To the commentators above,
would you be writing what you wrote if it was you or your son that was Raped by this monster??
i highly doubt it.
Mission is far from accomplished with uoj for several reasons.
One reason is that he wants that all schools should adopt a system of finger printing on all teatchers and rebbes. etc which is a very good thing .


One thing I find interesting in the entire matter is that I've been monitoring UOJ for quite some time. He used to just post random rants against the community and the gedolim that were filled with mindless hatred. At one point he grabbed a hold of the Kolko controversy and ran with it. There is definitely more than meets the eye to UOJ and it's not good.


Innocent until proven guilty is a legal concept, not necessarily an accurate description of reality. Of course, it is important to wait for all the available facts before making a judgement. However, the idea that someone would put themselves through all of this for money or publicity seems a little silly, particularly because UOJ is anonymous and apparently already rich. Furthermore, for anyone not to understand why it could take many years for a victim to come forward, you are extremely ignorant and should educate yourself before opining on something you obviously know nothing about.


Victims of child sexual abuse takes years and even decades to come to grips with the event. In the secular world even a concern that a child might by abused gets an official report so a complete investigation can be done and therapy recommended. Unfortunately we feel so much more concerned for the potential abuser than an innocent child that the Observant community never calls. Just like this guy happened to say - he told his parents but they didn't (couldn't) believe it. If it gets taken to anyone it is brought up to a Rabbi. Rabbi's have no training whatsoever in investigating child sexual abuse. So then what happens? Nothing. It takes years for someone to fight back from that kind of apathy.


My children attended TT in the late 90's. They both know children who were abused by Kolko. Additionally, Fromowitz's allegations have what is known in legal circles as "having the ring of truth".


"UOJ is anonymous and apparently already rich"

UOJ is Ben Hirsch and he gives himself to much credit when he calls himself unorthodoxjew, he's unorthodox period.


"Additionally, Fromowitz's allegations have what is known in legal circles as "having the ring of truth".

Cynic make up your mind, cynic or lawyer? Where do u come up with this stuff? Does that include all the baseless hatefull rants on his blog, or only when it comes to Kolko do "the rings of truth" rule apply?


Any news about Kolko? Is he still part of the Yeshiva? What about Rabbi Margolis? Parents that have children in the school should not be left in the dark. We deserve to know !!!!


Guilty or innocent ?
Watch for the signs (not necessarily in this order)

1. Hire a PR firm
2. Hire the best lawyers money can buy
3. Get the backing of the establishment (look how they backed the now self-confessed pedophile Rabbi Gafni)
4. Search for the guilty (whistleblowers), start rumors, slander their names - hire character assassins
5. 'No Comment' responses on the part of TT
6. Transfer of money into accounts of potentially contentious witnesses
7. Transfer of ownership of major assets to different names
9. Movement of money and other assets out of US
10. A sudden flight to Israel


Rabbi Kolko at the end of the day will be vindicated...
he has 2 charges against him,
one who wont show his face the other who is in israel...
both cases are VERY old and more than likely untrue...
why after 30 yrs are these stories beinf brought up again??
is it possible that some1 wants to take him down for a different reason?
mabye they dont even want kolko???
mabye its margulis? mabye kolko is the way to margo?? mabye they dont care about either? mabye they want $? mabye its some sort of challenge or game for uoj?

no one knows...
the rebono shel olam does...

this case will go through rabonim and courts and i guess we will all know the outcome... but until then we should let those in charge make press releases NOT us..we dont know and are only spreading lashon hara, motzai shaim ra and stuppidity on these pages... as far as any of us know as a fact is that rabbi kolko has been a rebbe for 30 years with thousands and thousands of talmidim. many of his fellow rebbies and past talmidim only have positive to say,

there is more than meets the eye in this case, being that rabbi kolko served our community for 30+ yrs mabye give him the benifit of the doubt until the story is definitive...
right now i dont know and u dont know whats up, UOJ and others are posting "ifs" and "mabyes" as fact or as close to fact as possible...mabye every1 before hiding behind the web and posting lashan hara and crap should ask their rav if its ok to post negative stuff?
Remember the web offers a fake annomity, god knows what we all do.. Wether or not the accused is guilty or not we have no buisness hurting him..no one made us rabonim, no one made us judges.. Rabbi Yidi Kolko is a rav, and until proven otherwise should be treated as such.
Many people are afraid to write good because they simply dont know..i would bet that 99% of the ppl writing bad on these pages never met rabbi kolko and prob never heard his name b4 UOJ.

If everyone who really knew rabbi yehuda kolko would speak up and voice how they feel about him the positives would outway the negatives many times over...

Remember what goes around comes around... if u use the web to hurt some1 it will come back to hurt u.. if u use it to help some1 it will come back to help u..
u might be in ur bed on a laptop, or at work on ur bosses time reading this right now...but remember god is watching what u do... and speading loshan hara and motzai shaim ra, will come back to haunt you... Regardless of the outcome in this case, the web has so much good to give, but can hurt some1 so much faster... what u post can affect somesones life... remember a person can post as a ghost attacking rabbi kolko today...but tommrw he might be attacking you for something u r completly innocent of...

GOD IS ALWAYS WATCHING...dont write about some1 else what u wouldnt want done to u....


I don't know R. Kolko, Never met him. But, I can without a doubt in my mind believe the accusations against him. People with the attitude of "How is it possible? There are thousands of fine boys who've come out of TT w/out any such accusations" are just plain Ignorant, Naive, Blinded, Sticking their head in the sand, IDIOTS!
Nobody ever implied that Kolko molested EVERY boy in his care. Molesters choose their victims carefully in order to avoid getting outed & caught. They prey on kids who are least likely to tell anyone of the abuse, and who are most likely to believe threats of reprisals from their abuser.

I remember when I was in 5th grade in a different yeshiva in Brooklyn, a boy transferred to our class mid-year from YTT. This kid had some SERIOUS issues. I remember how during recess, or if the Rebbe stepped out for a few minutes, he would crawl under other boy's desks & just grab at their crotch without any warning or provocation. I firmly believe that this boy most likely was a Kolko victim.

As for the people who say "I find it hard to believe someone who after 35 years woke up one day at age 48 and suddenly grew the guts" or " the cases are VERY old and more than likely untrue..."

I've got news for you. There was another name mentioned in the NY mag article about a Menuval named Mondrowitz that I PERSONALLY was an abuse victim of. I was shocked to see his name there as I had NEVER told anyone of his abuse. I could not believe that there were others besides me. I had put it behind me & moved on with my life. 22 years later, & now I am forced to deal with this all over again in my own way. Kids generally block this stuff out. The passage of time does not in any way make the accusations less likely to be true or, more of a reason to believe that the accused is innocent.

People are saying "Go to the Rabbonim or a Din Torah with these accusations instead of the secular press"
It is my sincere hope that by focusing the spotlight on this extremely important issue, and not covering everything up, SERIOUS changes will take place in our very broken & very corrupt yeshiva system.
We need to put REAL systems in place that ensure that our kids are NEVER subjected to such abuse.


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