On January 6, 2018 Manny Waks reported the details of a recent event at a Chabad synagogue in the UK at which another convicted Chabad child molester was celebrated with honors.

Manny Waks blog:  Another major Chabad injustice

6/1/2018

Convicted child sexual abuser Mendel Levy Mendel-Levy

​​Chabad, they’ve managed to do it again. After everything we’ve been exposed to in recent years. This time, it’s (again) Chabad Lubavitch UK. Some may recall the conviction and jailing of Chabadnik Mendel Levy for child sexual abuse. Mendel recently concluded his sentence, and was released. A few days ago, Mendel donated a Sefer Torah (bible scroll for synagogue) to Chabad. In turn, Mendel’s religious generosity was publicly celebrated.

What about Mendel’s courageous victim, Yehudis Goldsobel? Yehudis endured years of abuse, first by Mendel, and then by the local Chabad community in which she was raised. How about standing with her, rather than with her abuser? Why should Yehudis be exposed to more pain and suffering by the same leaders and community who have already hurt her so much? Also, what message does this send to other victims and survivors of child sexual abuse within the Chabad community?

This is just disgraceful on so many levels. At least someone had the decency to remove the articles from the Chabad websites.

Crownheights.info, a Chabad news website, removed (read covered-up, not updated) their post about the Torah scroll dedication event.  In that post they reported:
“well over 1,000 men, women and children” joined in with “joyous dancing and celebration which was heard several streets away. The new Torah made its way slowly to the local Lubavitch shul, Hechal Menachem, where it was greeted by the other existing Torah scrolls.”
Not likely “decency” Manny, but rather a case of public relations damage control.

The Jewish Chronicle reports a quick ‘change of heart’ by the Chabad rabbi, Rabbi Yossi Simon of Golders Green Chabad House:Golders Green Lubavitch rebuff offer of Sefer Torah donated by sex offender

In a statement, Rabbi Simon explained that “an individual” had approached his Chabad House “about a Sefer Torah he was completing and asked us if we would house it, as loan, for our use when we move into our premises. He then chose to turn the completion of the Sefer Torah into a public event, organising all the details, down to the production of the flyers and post-event publicity.”

He added, “In light of the public nature of this celebration, and how it has come to be perceived as a celebration of this individual, we have decided not to house this Sefer Torah. We have also asked news outlets that publicised the donor’s article to remove it from their. sites.”

The rabbi’s excuse appears quite feeble in light of the facts that:

1.

Last month flyers which mentioned the name of Chabad Lubavitch Golders Green advertised a procession to a local synagogue to welcome a new scroll donated by “Mendy and Yael Levy and family” in honour of relatives.
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The rabbi had advance notice of the event and the identity of the donor of the Torah scroll.  The announcement flyer also appears to contain the official Chabad (UK) logo (center).  Yet in his statement to the press he refers to convicted child molester Menachem Mendel Levy merely as “an individual.”
2.
As mentioned in a comment on FrumWatch about the event:
Here is a photograph of Golders Green’s chabad Rabbi Yossi Simon presenting a plaque to the convicted abuser who donated a sefer Torah to the Golders Green chabad synagogue last week. Surprisingly, Rabbi Simon told journalists he had no prior knowledge of the sefer Torah event, yet managed to prepare a plaque with appropriate wording at the event.
Mendel-Levey-Torah-event
3.
Further research through links at Facebook reveals the following article in JPost which states:

Shimon Cohen, a spokesman for Chabad Lubavitch UK, stressed that there are dozens of Chabad Houses in the UK that operate independently and that Chabad Lubavitch UK knew nothing of the event until it happened.

“Chabad Lubavitch UK has very strict and robust guidelines regarding safeguarding, and had this matter come to us, it would not have been welcomed.

He also noted that while Levy refers to himself as a rabbi, there is no record that he was ever ordained.

As noted in a Facebook comment:
Shimon Cohen runs a pr firm, so it is conceivable that chabad have actually enlisted professional pr help to mitigate the damage this scandal has done to their image. It is a sad situation when more effort is spent on protecting their image than on protecting victims of child sex abuse.
4.
Since the time of his trial and conviction (at least) Menachem Mendel Levy has been a resident of Golders Green, north London.  It appears unlikely that Rabbi Yossi Simon was not familiar with Levy nor the case against him for child sexual abuse.
5.
This is not the first time Menachem Mendel Levy donated a Torah scroll to Chabad.  In 2012 a Torah scroll dedication was celebrated at Chabad synagogue Heichal Menachem.  The scroll was apparently later sent to Ukraine.
(taken from comments on Facebook)
Menachem Gold

Below is an email I received after the last time Levy donated a safer Torah back in 2012

Some similarities.

“However, in the interim hours I have made various enquiries and also have read an email from Heichal Menachem. I learn, as you have said, that Mendy Levy has requested that it be publicised that a sefer torah will be in procession from R’ ML house to Lubavitch for celebrations to be followed by the transfer of the ST to Ukraine in about a week’s time”

“what must be stressed emphatically is that the hanhollo were not consulted and no decision was taken on this matter by the hanhollo who, in fact, have not met for several weeks to discuss this (and many other) matters”

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Pam Hopf

Pam Hopf Typical refusal to accept responsibility, the “I knew nothing” defence, which rings hollow. The reality is that they regarded Yehudis reporting the crime to the police as the offence of mesirah, so in their minds she was the guilty person, whereas the paedophile was the victim. Sick way of thinking..

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· Yesterday at 12:00pm

To recap the timeline here, the event was held on December 27, 2017.
One and a half weeks later, Manny Waks reported on the event on January 6, 2018.
JPost reported on Waks’ post on January 7, 2018 including a public relations statement from Shimon Cohen, a spokesman for Chabad Lubavitch UK claiming lack of knowledge about the event.
Chabad had ample time before and after the event to reconsider their position.  It was not until bad publicity from the publication of Manny Waks’ blog post, and subsequent mainstream media attention, did they attempt to take the ethically correct position.
Chabad news site, Chabadinfo.com, has also covered-up the story.  Below is the text and images from Google’s cached version:

London Welcomes New Torah

A joyous celebration was held in Golders Green, London, welcoming a brand new Sefer Torah. The new Torah was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Mendy Levy, and will eventually find its home in the Chabad House directed by local Shluchim, Rabbi and Mrs. Yossi Simon Full Story, Photos

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Photos by Avi Yodakin

A joyous celebration was held in Golders Green, London, welcoming a brand new Sefer Torah.

The new Torah was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Mendy Levy, and will eventually find its home in the Chabad House directed by local Shluchim, Rabbi and Mrs. Yossi Simon.

The celebrations began with the completion of the letters by the Sofer, Rabbi Moshe Levy, at the central Shul Beis Hamedrah Beis Shmuel – also known affectionately as “Reb Chunas” after the long serving Rov, who shared a close connection and affection for the Rebbe and local Chabad institutions.

After the last letter was written by Mr. Levy, Mr. Eli Sufrin was honored with Hagbah and Shmuly Levy, who chose the “770” cover was honored with Gelilah.

The procession left the Shul on to the main thoroughfare Golders Green Rd, with well over 1,000 men women and children joining in. Even with the difficulties the music van was experiencing, the Bochurim of Lubavitch Yeshiva Gedola and Ketana, made up for it with joyous dancing and celebration, which was heard several streets away.

With the help of Shomrim and local Police, the street remained closed for over 40 minutes as the new Torah made its way slowly to the local Lubavitch Shul, Heichal Menachem, where it was greeted by the other existing Torah Scrolls.

The dancing and celebration continued for over two hours with the traditional Hakafos led by the Rov of Anash and Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi YM Hertz.

Towards evening the Seuda washeld at the Levy home, where Rabbi Moshe Levy and his brothers spoke with admiration and respect about their parents, and in whose names the new Torah was dedicated.

Dayan LY Raskin, Rov of Stamford Hill Lubavitch, discussed a new revelation regarding a handwritten remark of the Rebbe in the Alter Rebbe’s Siddur, Rabbi G Lieberman, Rov of Heichal Menachem, gave new insight into some of the Halachos of writing a Sefer Torah and Rabbi Chaim Rappaport gave beautiful insight into Yaakov’s instruction to Yosef to bury him in Meoras Hamachpela.

Rabbi Yossi Simon presented Mr. Levy with a thank you from Chabad of Golders Green and musical entertainment was provided by Shaya Ostarlitz with local singers Yisroel Reisman and Avremi Rozenbaum.

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Tags: London, New Torah

Some history on convicted Chabad child molester Menachem Mendel Levy

Failed Messiah (archived):  June 28, 2013

Chabad Molester Gets 3-Year Sentence

Menachem Mendel Levy was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for repeatedly sexually assaulting a teenage hasidic girl under the age of 16

London Chabad Man Sentenced To Three Years For Sexual Assaults On Minor Girl
Shmarya Rosenberg • Failedmessiah.comA man from a prominent Chabad family in the Golders Green neighborhood of London has been sentenced to three years in prison for repeatedly sexually assaulting a teenage hasidic girl over a period of years, a local British newspaper, Ham&High, reported.The assaults began when the girl – who is now 27-years-old – was a young teenager in 1999.

Levy, who is now 41-years-old, was 27-years-old when the assaults began – 13 years older than the victim.

Levy repeatedly told the girl that she was at fault and threatened her that if she told anyone about the sexual abuse, she would be blamed.

Three years ago, the victim wrote a letter to Levy and asked him to admit to what he had done to her and apologize to her in front of a rabbi and her family.

Levy refused.

The victim reported the assaults to police in May 2011.

Police investigated her claims and arrested Levy in July 2011. In April 2012 he was formally charged with four counts of indecent assault of  a child under 16, two counts of rape, one count of sexual assault, and one count of attempted rape.

His first trial ended in a hung jury.

In his second trial in May of this year, Levy was convicted of two counts of indecent assault on a child under 16 but could not reach a decision on the other charges.

The prosecution is still deciding whether it wants to seek a retrial on the other charges – something allowed under British law but not under American law.

Daily Mail  Orthodox Jew jailed for sexually assaulting girl makes audacious attempt to be released early so he can attend his son’s Bar Mitzvah

  • Menachem Mendel Levy, 41 of Golders Green, north London is serving a three-year jail term after being convicted of two sexual assaults in 2013
  • Appeals against his conviction and sentence were thrown out by judges
  • His victim was aged between 14 and 15 when the attacks took place

 

In a Daily Mail report from February 2014:

Orthodox Jew jailed for sexually assaulting girl makes audacious attempt to be released early so he can attend his son’s Bar Mitzvah

  • Menachem Mendel Levy, 41 of Golders Green, north London is serving a three-year jail term after being convicted of two sexual assaults in 2013
  • Appeals against his conviction and sentence were thrown out by judges
  • His victim was aged between 14 and 15 when the attacks took place

[Ed. – bold]

‘The verdicts are safe and this appeal against conviction is dismissed’.

‘The judge was entitled to accept the victim’s evidence that the abuse began when she was 14.

‘The judge was fully entitled to reach the conclusion that no real remorse has been shown.’

At Levy’s trial, claims emerged that the girl had asked her abuser to come clean in front of a local Rabbi in 2010.

When he refused to do so she went to the police.

Levy, of Golders Green, north London, will serve out his three year jail sentence for two counts of sexual assault upon a girl under 16.

The Awareness Center

Monday, November 05, 2012

Case of Menachem Mendel Levy

The Jewish Chronicle July 18, 2013

This article highlights the abuse to Menachem Levy’s victim and the further abuse she took from the Chabad “community” after coming forward to expose the criminal:

She told the police she was abused. Her friends made her pay the price. 

Sex-crime victim tells how community snubbed her for taking case to court

“Since the sentencing the reaction from the community has been really upsetting. I’ve had people closing doors, I’ve had people stop talking to me.

“I think some people thought it was contagious, going to the police,” she said.

I’ve had people closing doors. My family has been asked not to go to shul

“Members of my family have been requested to not return to the synagogue, other members threatened to leave if we continued to attend. We have been asked not to enter certain shops for fear they might lose customers.

“Other members of the community have said the reaction is my punishment from God for being what they see as less

More on this event, the public relations fallout, and subsequent damage control at Jewish Community Watch

The Rabbis who are known to have been in attendance are:

Rabbi Y.M. Hertz, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva Gedolah Lubavitch London, Mara Deasra for Ana’sh in NW London
Rabbi Mendel Gordon: Mashpiah, Yeshiva Gedolah Lubavitch London
Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Raskin, Dayan Lubavitch London
Rabbi G Lieberman, Rov of Heichal Menachem
Rabbi Chaim Rappaport
Rabbi Dovid Katz, Chabad Lubavitch of West Hampstead

I’ve been learning about the Chabad organization for nearly 20 years.  And I see this as another case of Chabad’s backpedaling and public relations damage control.  They have a very reliable track record of embracing money and their own community criminals before considering the needs of Chabad victims or considering whether their behavior is representative of Torah values.  Par for the Chabad course.  They are a despicable, self-serving organization, worldwide.  Warn your family.  Warn your friends.

UPDATED:

This post was updated January 8, 2018 at 6:13 pm to include the list of rabbis involved in the celebration from Jewish Community Watch .  Also updated to include a note about the official Chabad logo on the announcement of the event.

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