My spies have reported that the Goat did not have a minyan for the first days of Succah, or “Sucka” as the Goat’s attorney Willie the Dow referred to this holiday to the jurors who convicted the Goat of four felony counts of risk of injury to a minor. The Goat failed to get a minyan for Shemeni Atzeres and Simchas Torah. Nobody wanted to dance with the Goat on Simchas Torah. I wonder why? This past Shabbos it was reported to me that the Goat had a minyan with the help of Rabbi Notis, who sent young men from his cult located in Lancaster PA. The Notis men were assisted by a Jew man from Waterbury named Minsk, or Musk, or Mink. It doesn’t matter what his real name is. I only use nicknames on this website, it brings me back fond memories of Otisville prison. I will call him “Mink” in keeping with my tradition for using names of animals. We now have a Goat, an Ewe and a Mink. Mink is late on the scene to the compound. I guess Mink didn’t read the news about the Goat. I will have to educate the Mink. The New Haven Register recently interviewed me for an extensive article on the Goat. I cut and pasted the article below:
NEW HAVEN RABBI’S POWER WAS ABSOLUTE UNTIL STUDENT ABUSE CLAIMS AROSE By Ed Stannard October 16, 2019
Rabbi Daniel Greer was an imposing figure at the Yeshiva of New Haven, according to former students who described the severe discipline he exacted on young rabbinical students while grooming them for sexual abuse.
Greer was sued successfully by one of his students for that abuse, and then convicted on felony charges of risk of injury to a minor. This type of environment in which adults and students come in continuous, close contact within the confines of a boarding school has led to numerous cases of abuse across the nation, including at a number of prestigious prep schools in Connecticut.
“They’re in a very closed environment where the kids don’t have parents there and the teachers have authority not much different from churches or Boy Scouts,” said Paul Mones, a Los Angeles lawyer specializing in sexual abuse. He and attorney Paul A. Slager, of the Stamford firm Silver Golub & Teitell, have successfully sued private boarding schools, including Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford and Kent School.
“They’re in isolated areas where the kids don’t see their parents all the time,” Mones said.
Mones said the problem was especially prevalent in the decades before the 1990s, “before there were any real rules.” Residential schools have not had “the kind of rigorous supervision and rules that allow for oversight of interrelationships of teachers and students.”
Because victims may not come forward until years after the abuse occurred, cases from the 1970s and ’80s may not be revealed until years later. At St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H., alumni from the class of 1975 met at their 25th reunion in 2000 and “talked about various teachers who had crossed the line … and no one did anything after all these years,” Mones said.
Last week, St. Paul’s announced it would remove the names of two former rectors from school buildings for not acting on reports of sexual abuse. One, William Oates, led the school from 1970 to 1982. William Matthews was rector from 2005 to 2011.
Rather than protect students, reports are “pushed under the rug and subverted,” Mones said. “When the institution, which is meant to serve students, basically circles around and protects their own teachers and faculty members, the big thing is avoidance of scandal.”
Schools like Choate and St. Paul’s attract wealthy families seeking an exclusive education. “Even back in the ’60s and ’70s, they were spending big bucks” on tuition, room and board, Mones said.
Schools like Yeshiva of New Haven are exclusive in a different way, said Larry Dressler, a blogger who has written extensively about Greer and sent his son to Greer’s school for a year.
“The boys school was set up in order to attract boys with family problems, poor families, the perfect victims,” said Dressler, who got his nickname, Larry Noodles, when he served time for a mortgage fraud scheme. Greer unsuccessfully tried to bar him from the courtroom during the civil trial.
Eliyahu Mirlis of Edison, N.J., won $15 million from Greer in 2017 in his civil suit and was the key witness in the criminal trial. The New Haven Register, which does not normally identify sexual assault victims, named him because he asked that his name be revealed.
Dressler has written about other alleged victims of Greer’s, including one whom he claimed Greer would tutor privately and take for rides on Sunday afternoons. “Greer took him to the park, gave him peanuts, wine and tried to French kiss him,” Dressler said. The boy “spit out the peanuts.”
Another former student of Greer, identified only as R.S.A., testified during the criminal trial that Greer took him to Edgewood Park, gave him wine and nuts and then forcibly kissed him on the lips.
The judge in the criminal trial, Superior Court Judge Jon M. Alander, made clear to jurors that Greer had not been charged in connection with the alleged conduct in the park but said such allegations beyond those the state has lodged against Greer are admissible in the trial because prosecutors were trying to show Greer “had the propensity or the tendency to engage in such behavior.”
When asked by a prosecutor about his early impression of Greer, R.S.A. replied: “He was someone who commanded respect. He owned a chunk of New Haven properties. He walked into a room and everybody stood up.”
“These guys (students), they’re kind of living on the edge for the most part,” Dressler said. “Greer takes them in.”
Greer was convicted of four counts of risk of injury toward Mirlis, although Alander dropped the counts of sexual assault because the statute of limitations had elapsed.
Greer, 79, who was accused of abusing Mirlis in 2002-03, faces a maximum of 20 years on each of the four risk of injury reckless counts. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 20.
Dressler said Greer would “present himself as this Yale-educated lawyer, rabbi, stern, strict, very important guy, wealthy, came from New York. He presented himself as this strict Old World rabbi who was very smart, knew important people. Kids who would come in were very intimidated by him, so he used this to his advantage.
“He’d humiliate you in public, even his own kids,” Dressler continued. “He would punish you, put you in a room for days and then after that he’d play the good cop, he’d move in. ‘I can help your family members’ — this is what he did.” Dressler said he helped the father of one student get a job.
‘The word of God himself’
Cassie Sykora, who now lives on Staten Island, N.Y., was not sexually abused but experienced a harrowing time at Greer’s yeshiva, from being bullied by other students to being “locked into rooms for hours on end, separated from everybody for weeks,” she said.
“In religious circles they tend to put the rabbis that are in charge onto pedestals where it’s the word of God himself,” she said. “Power corrupts always. The thing is that it takes a certain type of — I don’t want to use the word ‘person’ — to be corrupted in that particular way.”
Asher Lovy is director of community organizing for ZA’AKAH (Hebrew for “Outcry”), which advocates for survivors of sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community. Some yeshivas, or rabbinical schools, in Orthodox areas of Brooklyn, N.Y., are residential, Lovy said, even though the students may come from nearby. But studies may last from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., so it’s easier to live at the school.
“One of the things that came up in one of the cases I looked into is that the dorm counselor is usually also a member of the faculty,” he said. “The dorm counselor position on its own comes with a lot of power. Your job is to monitor these kids.”
That power is amplified by knowing that “in general, expulsion from a yeshiva means you have a hard time getting into another school,” Lovy said. A student’s future may hang in the balance, making him more vulnerable to potential abuse. “Your standing in the community dictates everything,” from whom you can marry to which synagogue you can join, he said.
“All of that’s on top of the general reluctance to deal with sexual abuse in the Orthodox community,” Lovy said. He added that “in general, the rates of abuse in institutions are lower than the rates of abuse among families and friends.”
18 state boarding schools
According to a 2016 Boston Globe investigation, 17 boarding schools in Connecticut have had cases of sexual abuse brought to light. The suit against Kent School was filed in 2017, after the Globe’s story was published.
The Connecticut boarding schools are Assumption Catholic School and Notre Dame High School in Fairfield, St. Joseph School in Shelton, Brunswick School and Eagle Hill School in Greenwich, Choate Rosemary Hall, St. Stanislaus School in Meriden, Westover School in Middlebury, Indian Mountain School and the Hotchkiss School in Salisbury, the Glenholme School in Washington, Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, the Taft School in Watertown, the Academy at Mount St. John in Deep River, Pomfret School and St. Thomas More School in Montville.
Ron Meneo, a New Haven attorney who represents sexual abuse victims, said in an email, “From my perspective, most child sexual abuse crimes are crimes of opportunity and the predator-abusers seek out situations and environments that present those opportunities. Boarding schools, churches, scouting provide such opportunities.”
He said the power imbalance between abuser and victim “enables the abuse and keeps the young, vulnerable victim from reporting it. Coupling that with an environment that provides ample opportunity for private interactions between predator and victim presents opportunity for the predator to abuse.”
Meneo added that victims tend to be vulnerable because of circumstances in the family or their personality. “A predator will usually groom the vulnerable victim through various means — special attention and understanding, granting of privileges, gifts, and other means to build trust, paving the way for the eventual abuse. … In the boarding school environment, the imbalance of power can be even more pronounced since the predator may be (and often is) in a position to dramatically impact the victim’s future — be it through grading, recommendations and other influences that can impact victim’s future and opportunities — especially in pursuit of admission to college.”
Both Meneo and Mones said victims are more willing to come forward and that mandatory-reporting laws and rules such as not allowing one adult to be alone with minors are reducing the potential for abuse.
“The schools and other institutions were in a position of authority and control,” Mones said. “Now the tables are metaphorically being turned and students have a voice … and they’re being backed up by the changing of our laws.”
New York opens a window
In August, New York state passed the Child Victims Act, which lifted the statute of limitations for one year. The result was a lawsuit by 38 former students of Yeshiva University High School, also known as the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy. Mones is one of the lawyers representing the victims. A bill passed in Connecticut’s General Assembly did not provide such a window, but did extend the statute of limitations from age 48 to 51.
“In our case in New York we had a day school, but the Jewish institutions … are being held accountable now in the same way as the boarding school,” Mones said. “Insurance companies are saying, ‘You knew about this problem and you didn’t say anything,’” and so are not paying claims.
Boarding schools have become more responsible “because they were forced to do it … by changes in the law and lawsuits being brought by brave students,” Mones said.
Peter Upham, executive director of The Association of Boarding Schools, said in an email that his organization and the National Association of Independent Schools formed a task force that published a report in 2018, “Prevention and Response,” offering specific guidelines for schools and that training is offered to any school, whether a member of the association of not (the Yeshiva of New Haven is not a member).
Recommendations include making interactions “readily interruptible and observable,” setting rules of behavior for personal and electronic communication and better screening of new hires.
“I believe the practices and cultures at schools are changing for the better, but we certainly have more work to do as an organization and as a community of schools to stop sexual misconduct and to respond quickly, justly, and compassionately when reports surface — whether the events occurred last week or forty years ago,” Upham wrote. email@example.com; 203-680-9382
For G-d, For Yale, For Country, Moshiach Now!
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“The hand of HaShem lay heavy upon the goats, and he wrought havoc among them: He struck them with hemorrhoids.” I Samuel 5-6
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