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New York - Agudath Israel: We Strongly Support Bill Requiring Employee Background Check In Yeshivas, Reports To The Contrary False

Published on: September 13, 2008 08:50 PM
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 New York - An article that appears in the current issue  (September 12) of the New York Jewish Week contains the following sentence, referring to bills aimed at preventing child abuse in Jewish schools.

“Agudath Israel, an umbrella group of ultra-traditional Orthodox organizations, is opposed to both the mandated reporting and finger printing, and background check legislation.”

An official spokesman for the Agudath Israel Of America Rabbi Avi Shafran told this past Friday in late afternoon exclusively to VIN news after we inquired about it : “The sentence is false” in fact In a memorandum dated June 20, 2006, Agudath Israel representatives expressed “strong support” for legislation allowing nonpublic schools to fingerprint prospective employees for the purpose of conducting mandated background checks. said Rabbi Shafran.

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“The memo also states clearly that Agudath Israel does not oppose mandatory reporting”. “Agudath Israel took no position on a more recent bill would have made fingerprinting of prospective nonpublic school employees mandatory.” said Rabbi shafran.

According to the Jewish Week, Legislation requiring fingerprinting and background checks for prospective non-public school faculty was defeated in the Assembly last year but reintroduced this year by Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. The legislation does not, however, have the support of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Lower East Side).



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Read Comments (57)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 13, 2008 at 09:16 PM VIN FAN Says:

Mazel Tov VIN.. you're making progress!!!

2

 Sep 13, 2008 at 08:56 PM willy choosid Says:

THE AUDACITY PEOPLE HAVE TO LIE SO OPENLY? WITH NO HEART, WHAT A HUGE CHITZPA!!!! THEY SHOULD PUT HIM IN CHEIRIM WHOEVER HAD THE NERVE!!!!!

3

 Sep 13, 2008 at 08:56 PM MARK Says:

aguda changed their position as they are running scared mark mayer appel

4

 Sep 13, 2008 at 08:53 PM Anonymous Says:

let the aguda prove this by actively supporting the bill and pushing silver to let the bill get a vote - until then teir statements to the press are useless.

5

 Sep 13, 2008 at 09:21 PM MARK Says:

its heart breaking that aguda is not their in full force protecting our children from abuse

6

 Sep 13, 2008 at 09:32 PM Dag Says:

I think Shafran is trying to say that they aren't opposed to Private schools having the right to fingerprint if they wish.

What he doesn't say is that they ARE opposed to the Government mandating fingerprinting and background checks.

This is all spin. Perhaps they didn't oppose the mandated reporter part of the bill, BUT THEY DID opposes required fingerprinting and background checks

7

 Sep 13, 2008 at 09:46 PM ano Says:

the simple answer is aguda is getting hit in the pocket book
people realize that they are part of the problem and with their moetzes preventing and helping molesters get off people are not taking it any longer and no longer giving money

tell abvi shafran to write an article about molesters and call your state representitive and tell them aguda doesnt represent you
thats how you make aguda work to fight molesters

8

 Sep 13, 2008 at 09:37 PM David Says:

Liar, Liar, Pants on fire!

9

 Sep 13, 2008 at 09:36 PM Yonason Says:

This issue is painful for me, as I am a member of Agudath, and daven in and am at home in an Agudath shul. May this article reflect a sincere move on the part of Agudath Israel finally to come to grips with a heart-rending serious problem

10

 Sep 13, 2008 at 09:59 PM Vin FAN Says:

Readers! If you want to do something about this Call Dov's office to support or propose such a bill!! He is there to represent our community and has well but has a stronger case when he is responding to an outcry!! We always ask what is the job of an assemblyman.. Here’s your answer.

11

 Sep 13, 2008 at 09:58 PM Yonason Says:

ano 9:46 - Well said . . still, sad.

12

 Sep 13, 2008 at 09:59 PM Dag Says:

So as I see it, Agudah secured bussing to bring the kids TO the molestoors

13

 Sep 13, 2008 at 10:24 PM political analyst Says:

won't make much of a difference anyway & the agudah knows it. since most frum pedophiles don't go reported 95% of the time anyway, it won't come up on the background check.
I want to see the agudah take action on the current crisis, then we'll take them seriously on this half-assed preventative action.

14

 Sep 13, 2008 at 10:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Agudah is irrelevant and has been so for many years. This sham organization represents 400 jews at most and is run amuck by fiends and coonivers like Avi Shafran and Zwiebel. It is an old Big Boys Club that was is and always be a Chilul hashem

15

 Sep 13, 2008 at 10:46 PM formely frum Says:

from his own words he is lying
“The sentence is false” in fact In a memorandum dated June 20, 2006, Agudath Israel representatives expressed “strong support” for legislation allowing nonpublic schools to fingerprint prospective employees for the purpose of conducting mandated background checks. said Rabbi Shafran.

and the Jewish week said they where opposed to mandatory fingerprinting which it seems they are

The key word in the memo is allowing in the memo
not mandatory

16

 Sep 13, 2008 at 11:23 PM Anonymous Says:

How many people today call themselves an agudaist? Just wait till the politicians get wind of the fact that agudah represents no constituancy whatsoever and kill all the porkbarrel funding for these fat cats. Agudah=The big lie. Call your politicians and tell them Agudah is all wind and speak only for themselves. They are directly responsible for the molestation coverups since they acredit these schools as colleges thru the ARTS program. They could have threatened the schools with losing accreditation but chose to ignore it because it wouldn't look good. Avi Shafran and Libinsky tie for the biggest boldest liar award.

17

 Sep 13, 2008 at 11:06 PM Anonymous Says:

AA talks the talk, but can they walk the walk?

Let them convince their boy Shelly Silver to get the bill out for vote.

18

 Sep 13, 2008 at 11:50 PM Iviarta Hara Mikirbecha Says:

What a disgrace. With all that the Orthodox needs to grapple with right now in the way of abuse, the Agudah took a good opportunity to be a venue for real prevention of abuse and flushed it right down the toilet. Typical. And where are the Agudah Rabbonim? Avi Shafran is an even bigger part of this issue since he glosses everything over rather than answering to the point. What a way to make the non Orthodox love us.

19

 Sep 14, 2008 at 12:42 AM Anonymous Says:

As per agudah, felder removed their money from the budget, that for itself deserved our vote for felder.

20

 Sep 14, 2008 at 12:21 AM Anonymous Says:

THE aguda is against internet. Halevay it would be because of the potential shmutz that can be found go-d fornid. But the real reason why the Aguda is against internet is for the BLOGS LIKE VOS IS NEIAS!

Vos IzNeias cares about the yiddishe neshoma and actually gets CHANGE done by mentioning these articles. The Aguda does not like when we know the facts and write opinions. This is the biggest threat to them. If the Aguda took care of seriuos problems facing yiddishkeit they would not have to worry about what people think on these blogs.

(this message was not approved by "daas torah")

21

 Sep 14, 2008 at 12:16 AM Anonymous Says:

won't make much of a difference anyway & the agudah knows it. since most frum pedophiles don't go reported 95% of the time anyway, it won't come up on the background check. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The person that wrote the above statement is meshugah! At least it's a start. What would you rather have in 25 years from now? Molestors not having a record? A record has to start somewhere.

NYC was able to reduce major crime because of data and stats.

As far as the Aguda organization is concerened they are a big joke and not respected anymore. If there was ever a time we wished Rabbi Moshe Sherer was alive it would be now. Under the previuos gedolim and Rabbi Sherer leading the organization stuff like this would never have happened.

When Malcolm Honelein was able to get thousands of yidden to go to Washington a few years ago, the Aguda was embarrassed that they sat by telling everyone NOT TO GO and they just happened to make thier own little tehillim "rally" in Manhattan! Agudah is always trying to play catch up and see what the "others" are doing.


It would be nice if the Aguda did what was right and stop worrying about the political ramifications.


And the Aguda wonders why they just lost 12 million dollars in funds and lost thousands of old time members? THIS IS WHY.

We are sick and tired of the hypocrites running the show instead of real leaders like Rabbi Moshe Sherer Zt"L

22

 Sep 14, 2008 at 12:15 AM ano Says:

HERE IS WHAT DAVID ZWEIBEL SAID IN 2006:



This would be an “unconstitutional” law, said David Zwiebel, the Agudah’s executive vice president for government and public affairs. The group is working behind the scenes in Albany to defeat it.

“It is a sensitive issue now especially with some of the attention that’s been focused on allegations within our own community,” he said. “The last thing we want to be seen as is obstructing whatever legitimate inquiries may be made among our own rabbinate.

“At the same time,” said Zwiebel, ”it would be unfortunate if the stories that have made their way into the papers and TV programs were to cause the kind of overreaction that this represents by perpetuating the notion that clergy, of all people, are more suspect than any other profession or group in society.”

23

 Sep 14, 2008 at 01:06 AM Lock & Load Says:

Who is this Organization...
Agudath Israel of America
Lock & Load

24

 Sep 14, 2008 at 01:34 AM Anonymous Says:

Whoever protects molesters should be checked out..

25

 Sep 14, 2008 at 03:21 AM open your eyes Says:

Gut Voch,
I wish someone will calmly explain why anyone (including rabbonim, gedolim, rebbes, etc) would be opposed to fingerprinting and background checks. Where I live, every employee in the schools including maintenance workers must be fingerprinted. Would u want to send your son to a school where the janitor has convictions for molestation (it happened in NJ last yr at a frum school). I sincerely want an explanation why anyone would be against mandatory fingerprinting.

26

 Sep 14, 2008 at 08:44 AM non chabadska Says:

one more point....the agudah was implicit with mondrowitz by its in action. if not for r' d cohen he would still be in our midst..r' cohen was the one to get authorities involved...i.e. mandated reporting...we have in cases of spouse/child abuse, have many suffered?.

27

 Sep 14, 2008 at 08:40 AM non chabadska Says:

this is fact..
let him deny it and in a public forum I can call him a liar..the agudah is anti mandate reporting...and that is the root of the problem

28

 Sep 14, 2008 at 09:42 AM Yonason Says:

Hey - I'm a classic Truman Liberal, often get trashed by you know-nothings out there, and sometimes am bewildered by the policies of Agudath - I am also a member . . . and emes is emes . . . thousands show up every year at the Agudath convention, and almost as many at their annual dinner. They are probably the formost legislative lobby for frum Yidden, at both the State and Federal level; they are the true inheritors of the Polish/European Agudath, and they deserve more respect than you young ungrateful pups are affording them.

29

 Sep 14, 2008 at 09:41 AM MARK Says:

monday sept 15 2008 evreyone should call assemblyman Dov Hikind a great and gutsy leader at 718 853 9616 ...and tell him to oppose the agudas position of non mandtory reporting.

30

 Sep 14, 2008 at 10:39 AM Anonymous Says:

Ha ha ha -aguda is finally realizing that us orthodox jews, especially the "black hatted yeshiva ppl," realize what a joke the aguda has become and that we dont give a damn about them anymore. Hopefully before the aguda fades int irrellevance, they might just get this bill passed. but any ways R Chaim Brisker was right that the aguda is just about bale batim decidnig who the gedolim are.

Anyways, at least i never wasted any money/time by actually joining the aguda.

31

 Sep 14, 2008 at 10:28 AM truth about Agudah Says:

Agudah likes its name in news but does nothing. Chasidic groups get things done and take a stand. They are not always right but they stand up for what they believe in -- not just make hollow statements. Agudah should be disbanded. They don't represent k'lal and they let on to the poublic that they do.

32

 Sep 14, 2008 at 10:23 AM ano Says:

r/cohen was involved from the beggining of the mondorowitz dituation and assisted him in leaving the country and not to report to the authorities


anyone that tries to cover that up is wrong he is guilty like all the other rabbis of a coverup

33

 Sep 14, 2008 at 10:20 AM Anonymous Says:

Hey Trumanesgue Lib,

Typical of an agudist to skirt the issue. You never addressed that Shafran & Tzibele openly oppose legal recourse for victims of abuse. Aguda and its loser grandstanding "rabbis" (an oxymoron if ever one existed) are irrelevant and will be delagated to the trash heap of jewishamerican history within 2 years. This is not a prediction, this is a promise!

34

 Sep 14, 2008 at 11:03 AM MARK Says:

most heimsha people know and beleive the aguda is irrelevant .the only thing that kept them alive was the p.r. loving and showman rabbi sherer Z:tl

35

 Sep 14, 2008 at 11:11 AM Anonymous Says:

oh is this the daf yomi group? i know an aguda organization that created the daf yomi. is this the same agooda?

37

 Sep 14, 2008 at 11:39 AM SHAKRANIM! Says:

REALLY NOW?

Nursery School Permit Plan Draws Outcry

By ELIZABETH SOLOMONT, Special to the Sun
April 25, 2007

http://www.nysun.com/new-york/nursery-school-permit-plan-draws-outcry/53196/

Several religious groups are fighting a health department proposal that for the first time would require permits for some faith-based nursery schools.

Representatives of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York and Agudath Israel of America, among others, voiced their concerns at a public hearing April 19 on the health department's proposed amendments to article 47 of the city's health code, which regulates child care services.

The measures, which officials said were designed to improve child safety, would require about 500 nursery programs to obtain city permits, meet certain education standards among teachers, and conduct criminal background checks on their employees for the first time. Currently, religious preschool programs that are attached to elementary schools are exempt from permit requirements, thanks to their longstanding "No Permit Required" status.

Advocates have said the proposals are in line with efforts the past few years to improve safety at child care centers. Opponents have said the changes would place undue financial burden on them and possibly force some of them to close.

"The concept of permitting is offensive to us because the permit process encompasses many things that relate to what actually takes place in the religious classroom," an executive vice president of Agudath Israel, David Zweibel, said. "Who is fit to be a teacher? How many students can there be in the classroom? Things that go to the autonomy of the educational experience, which to us in the religious community is a matter of religious freedom."

Acknowledging the opposition, the health department a day before the public hearing announced an extension of the public comment period through July 30 in an effort to work with the community, officials said. "We are considering all comments very carefully and think important points have been made. This is precisely what the comment period is for," a spokesman for the department, Andrew Tucker, said.

At last week's hearing, City Council Member David Yassky, who represents parts of Brooklyn, joined religious advocates in voicing concern over the proposed changes. "The First Amendment protects religious institutions against overregulation by the government. The Department of Health simply should not be regulating religious education," he said.

38

 Sep 14, 2008 at 11:48 AM snubbed student Says:

are the Mexicans and other illegals working in every yeshiva also not required to be figerprinted and have a background check?
its bad enough that most of the illegals working at the wedding halls are straight out of prison.
just to let everyone know that hundreds of parents are forced to become Agudah members if not their kids can't get into Camp Agudah, Camp bnos, Camp Chayil. take away those members and see how many they actually still have. maybe a minyan of diehards that still are trying to hold on to the new Agudah building on 50th St. & 16th ave.Like everything else Agudah has done in the last 20 years 'Un Kine Seichel"

39

 Sep 14, 2008 at 11:59 AM Anonymous Says:

Wasn't rabbi D cohen the one to recommend to dr. mondrovitz to flee to israel and avoid prosecution? BTW, rumor has it that of the few kids who pressed charges years ago and therefore no statute of limitations can save the molester, ARE ACTUALY JEWISH GUYS WHO WILL TESTIFY WHEN HE GETS BACK.

40

 Sep 14, 2008 at 12:13 PM talmid Says:

sick sick sick
agudah has lost all credibility

41

 Sep 14, 2008 at 12:33 PM Anonymous Says:

Mondrowitz molested gerrer kids while working in Yeshiva Yagdi Torah! And according to a Haaretz article of last year, he sodomized at least 1 bochur in the gerrer mesivta Bais Yisroel on multiple occasions while the menahel was aware of his actions!!!!!!!!!

42

 Sep 14, 2008 at 12:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Soif Ganev L'Tleyo!

43

 Sep 14, 2008 at 12:40 PM formely frum Says:

Anonymous Says:
comments - arrow THE aguda is against internet. Halevay it would be because of the potential shmutz that can be found go-d fornid. But the real reason why the Aguda is against internet is for the BLOGS LIKE VOS IS NEIAS!

Vos IzNeias cares about the yiddishe neshoma and actually gets CHANGE done by mentioning these articles. The Aguda does not like when we know the facts and write opinions. This is the biggest threat to them. If the Aguda took care of seriuos problems facing yiddishkeit they would not have to worry about what people think on these blogs.

(this message was not approved by "daas torah")

_________________________________________________


very true information lessen the power or the powerful that is why when the printing press came out there was the same outcry from the religious people in power as now with the internet

44

 Sep 14, 2008 at 01:22 PM Anonymous Says:

maybe agudah should support hechsher tzeddek? that should pander to the right clientele and help boost membership.

45

 Sep 14, 2008 at 01:20 PM Anonymous Says:

My stomach feels queasy everytime i hear the word agudah. why?

46

 Sep 14, 2008 at 01:39 PM Anonymous Says:

I am not an sgudah member but I would rather support them than the modern orthodox open minded bafoons who support gay rights and radical feminism. You guys dont have a clue about politics. Did you know that the modern orthodox feminist group known as JOFA jewish orthodox femminist alliasnce had a workshop at its recent feminist convention featuring the yu gay rabbit. The entire modern orthodox heavyweights from steven riskin to klal founder greenberg were present. I walked into the workshop of 50 or so homos and when they asked me where I am from and what my comments on this event were, I told them Im from Boro park and Im here to tell them that all the homosexuals deserve the death penalty. Agudah is no so bad as they at least stood up against gay rights against The 3 toilet paper organizations the bnai brith,Aj congress and Aj commitee each time at the city hall hearings. Where was all the yu modern orthodox types. You guys are dead wrong and how many of you would have guts to protest at the yearly gay parade here or in Israel. Your all talk.

47

 Sep 14, 2008 at 02:05 PM Joe Says:

Oh really! What has the Agudah done to stop the Gay agenda? Answer: Absolutly NOTHING! They haven't even sent a letter to Governer Patterson protesting his position! They are still waiting for the perfect timing!

48

 Sep 14, 2008 at 02:34 PM ano Says:

so here is something about aguda and gay rights
shloime dachs who got attacked for hosting an event in his home for crissy quinn the gay city council speaker
the people who paid to host the event was the aguda and ohel dachs had nothing except held the event in his house

49

 Sep 14, 2008 at 02:39 PM Anonymous Says:

hogwash.
what a bunch of liars.
they are flip fliopping. the jewish week, hikind and twerski are doing a great service. these aguda bozos need to shape up or no one will ever take them seriously anymore. they have eated their own words and are fighting with the jewish week now over semantics.
the real important issue is to weed out the abusers and the protectors and the intidmidators.

50

 Sep 14, 2008 at 04:39 PM Moshe Says:

After reading all the comments it doesnt surprise me how almost everyone is disgusted by the Agudah. Lets forget specifics lets talk general the Agudah is supposed to be representing protecting and advicating on our behalf instead they use the orginazation to employ overpaid saleries and magnify underqualified rabbanim. R Moshe Sherer would turn over in his grave if he saw what was going on. Enough is enough we should take a stand and support the real rabanim and rosh yeshivas not just some twisted people with a frak and a beard. IF YOU ARE READY I AM TO FINALLY STOP THE INSANITY.

51

 Sep 14, 2008 at 05:37 PM bigwheeel Says:

From all the evidence so far, (venting and hearsay are no substitute for solid evidence) it's not apparent that "Agudath Israel" is opposed to legislation that would mandate background checks of ALL employees (on all levels) that come into contact with children. For Agudah, (or any other major organization with a say in Education) to oppose an effective screening policy would not make any sense!!!

52

 Sep 14, 2008 at 06:19 PM gevalt Says:

they lie so blatanly

53

 Sep 14, 2008 at 07:12 PM Yonason Says:

To those who vehemently oppose Agudath: Are there Yiddishe organizations that any of you support?

54

 Sep 14, 2008 at 07:13 PM MARK Says:

WHY ARE WE EVEN BOTHERING TO DISCUSS THUS ISSUE.IT IS CLEAR THAT AGUDAS POLICIES ARE GIVING SEX MOLESTORS A CHANCE TO WORK AT OUR YESHIVAS THEY ARE RESHOIM,AND HAVE NO PART OF OUR COMMUNITY SHAME ON YOU AGUDA MARK MAYER APPEL

55

 Sep 14, 2008 at 06:18 PM Sara Says:

It's a shame that the Agudah turned into just another cult

56

 Sep 14, 2008 at 06:13 PM ano Says:

HERE IS WHAT DAVID ZWEIBEL SAID IN 2006:

here is your evidence mr 5 37
aguda is a joke

This would be an “unconstitutional” law, said David Zwiebel, the Agudah’s executive vice president for government and public affairs. The group is working behind the scenes in Albany to defeat it.

“It is a sensitive issue now especially with some of the attention that’s been focused on allegations within our own community,” he said. “The last thing we want to be seen as is obstructing whatever legitimate inquiries may be made among our own rabbinate.

“At the same time,” said Zwiebel, ”it would be unfortunate if the stories that have made their way into the papers and TV programs were to cause the kind of overreaction that this represents by perpetuating the notion that clergy, of all people, are more suspect than any other profession or group in society.”

57

 Sep 15, 2008 at 03:57 AM Anonymous Says:

Aguda should listen and learn what is needed by the jewish community. and this is the most important one, to protect our children, let them step out of their mode of the takonas with the weddings that is printed all the time and really represent us as they are supposed to be doing anyway.

58

 Sep 15, 2008 at 03:48 AM Anonymous Says:

I believe the reform conservative and those modern orthodox who sit with these traitors are the culprits.

59

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