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Brooklyn DA Blames Israel for Mondrowitz Scandal


Avrohom Mondrowitz during his appearance before the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, January 14, 2010.

Avrohom Mondrowitz during his appearance before the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, January 14, 2010.
Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90

If there’s any story inside the Jewish community that closely parallels the sexual abuse cover-up inside the Catholic Church, it’s the story of Avrohom Mondrowitz. Posing as both a rabbi and a therapist, Mondrowitz was accused of molesting several boys in his Brooklyn neighborhood in the mid-1980’s. The listed victims were all non-Jewish, mostly because Mondrowitz’s alleged Jewish victims, estimated to be between 100-300 never came forward.

Mondrowitz was charged with eight counts of child abuse and five counts of sodomy. Hours before he was arrested he fled the country, first to Canada and then to Israel. He was rumored to have been tipped off about his pending arrests by local rabbis. He was not extradited since homosexual rape, strangely, was not an extraditable offense in Israel. When the extradition treaty was altered, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that too much time had elapsed for Mondrowitz to receive a fair trial.

The New York Times, in a series of articles on the Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes’ cozy relationship with the Haredi establishment in his district, last week published the results of a FOIL request by activist Michael Lesher. Lesher has been attempting to find out what happened in the intervening years and whether Hynes did everything in his power to bring Mondrowitz to justice. The answer, according to the Times, seems to be, No.

“There isn’t a single e-mail, a single letter, a single memo, either originating from the D.A.’s office or addressed to it, that so much as mentions any attempt by the D.A. to seek a change in the extradition treaty,” Lesher told the Times. “It’s just inconceivable that such important negotiation on such a detailed issue could have taken place and not left a trace in the documentary record.”

Jerry Schmetterer, a spokesperson for the Brooklyn DA, told the Jewish Press: “Over all these years, we worked tirelessly with the US Department of Justice and the Israeli Ministry of Justice to get Mondrowitz extradited back to Brooklyn. We were prepared to prosecute him and it was only a decision by the Israeli Supreme Court which ordered that he would not be extradited.”

Rhonnie Jaus, chief of the DA’s sex crime unit, claims that there are more documents that show the DA’s efforts, though the Times says that those were “mainly internal agency documents.”

Schmetterer also acknowledged the 300 documents that were not turned over to Lesher. “It was always in the front of our minds and we made many many phone calls to the State Department about it,” he told the Jewish Press. “A local prosecutor does not have the power to get a treaty changed.”

It is clear by now that Mondrowitz will not be brought to justice in the U.S. . In the last few years he was even involved in teaching children-at-risk. He lives in the Nachlaot neighborhood in Jerusalem and davens in a posh shul. Reportedly, his neighbors like him and are unaware or deny the allegations about his past.

Despite some up-coming high profile cases inside the Haredi community, such as the arrest of four Haredi menfor allegedly offering a $500,000 bribe to a sexually abused teenager to get her to drop charges against a popular community counselor, or the case of Nechemya Weberman, a Haredi rabbi charged with molesting a 12-year old girl over three years, the legacy of the 77-year-old Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes will be one of enabling the tendency of some Haredim to blame the victim in sexual abuse cases, and failing, in the end, to bring Avrohom Mondrowitz to justice.

About the Author: Michael Orbach is the Senior New York Correspondent for JewishPress.com. His work has appeared in the JTA, The Forward, The Jewish Week and Tablet. He was previously the editor-in-chief of the Jewish Star newspaper in Long Island. He is finishing up a novel.


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12 Responses to “Brooklyn DA Blames Israel for Mondrowitz Scandal”

  1. He doesn't daven at a "posh shul," it's well known he davens at the "shteiblach" in Nachlaot which is quite humble. He's a criminal and he deserves to be behind bars either in Israel or the US and he also was a suspect in the recent Nachlaot Pedophile scandal. Shame on everyone involved for letting this monster roam free.

  2. Arie Rosenrauch says:

    Curious when JP became an arm of the Anti-Jew Episcopalian owned NY Times? Israel has prosecuted many for child abuse – including Haredim! And with an ultra-left wing secular Supreme Court, extradition to other countries has been made significantly easier for hose charged with heinous crimes such as these. Regardless of where he "davens" if the US authorities followed proper procedures, he would be in the Brooklyn House of Detention awaiting trial. Put the blame where it belongs. But, like the Episcopalian NYT, the JP chooses to blame the Jewish State!

  3. Yehuda Alan says:

    It's not Israel's fault. He should have been caught and tried in the US. If the US wanted to deport him Israel would comply.

  4. Yehuda Alan says:

    He is a sick man. Israel is watching him. He will get what's coming to him. In the meantime, watch your children!

  5. Ruth Cohen says:

    mondrowitz has protection here in israel from powerful men who are protecting him. not the children of course. but him – many do know about him and are afraid to speak out. its a crime that this man is walking the streets of jerusalem and a danger to all children. and we see him and can do nothing. there must be a special punishment for those who cover up and aid and protect such evil men.

  6. Ruth Cohen says:

    arie, there was not even a law against pedophiles until recently because of mondrowitz, but he did not have to pay for his crimes. israel does a miserable job of going after perverts, and the punishment if any, is pathetic. most get let off. no this time a lot of the blame is really here with our legal system.

  7. Davide Shalome says:

    The State is not to blame, Deputy Minister of Health Yankel Litzman protects him on the orders of the Gerer Rebbe.

  8. Leah Amdur says:

    His punishment will be swift and harsh in this world and the next, as will be the punishment of all those who aid and shelter him. What about Matis Weinberg. Dreadful history of abusing yeshivaha students and boys. I thought he was living in the USA. No he is here. He was protected all the years because his sabas are Rabbi Noach Weinberg Zt"l and Rabbi Sheinberg Zt"l. This disease runs in the best of families. I would still like to know the identity of the Har Nof rapist also from one of the best families who is being sheltered by his Rabbi who is taking care of it. Like they took care of Mondrowitz. Mondrowitz in 2007 when the police looked at his computer was running a fake degree mill, he also had child pornography on the computer. This in itself is a jail offence. Those who are sheltering perverts are not doing them a favour, if they do not receive adequate punishment in this world their punishment in the next will be much worse. I think that Mondorowitz will be kidnapped and taken to the States

  9. Paul Ringo says:

    Those who are protecting him are denying him the opportunity for a functional repentance. It is enabling and helping him to avoid consequences that could affect him for eternity. The loving thing to do is to pray for conviction of his heart that he turn himself in voluntarily rather than covering up for him.

  10. He is working with children-at-risk! Oh my oath!

  11. Susan Shoshana Kesner says:

    Yes! And… what's worse is that people have been pointing out that the district attorney has been gong easy on the hareidi community. And they were correct.

  12. Look what Hynes is doing to Mr Shuchat. Its another scandal playing politics to get Blackvotes for his upcoming elections. Hynes is using Mr Shuchat as his poster child. Check out these 2 links and visit freeyitzi.org to see how Hynes is the most coruppted politican around Hyh nes should be prosecuted for lying under oath. PERJURY.http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Opinion/Article.aspx?id=275126&prmusr=LR65Ci%2bECEVFyFBj4urD6Fkso6W12VCX4Mpz86yQuIB61yDxKDP81hEYIUVQNh5D

    http://dacoruption.wordpress.com/

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