New York +Son Of Hatzalah CEO, Rescued From Notorious Abuse Boot Camp+


    Exclusive VIN News

    New York – VIN News reported a few days ago about Issac Hersh son of the CEO of Hatzalah in Brooklyn, New York, who was held since Jun 2007 in a Jamaican boot camp notorious for abuse and harsh conditions. the story enraged many yiddin around the world who offered their help, including 1000’s of our readers.

    We can now report that Isaac just landed this morning at 7:00 AM in N.Y. after a group of ‘choshvia askonim’ got involved to rescue him, and flew down to Jamaica to work out all details to get him out, and bring him back to be in the care of a foster family.

    VIN news has also confirmed, that Isaac was physically abused, and assaulted while staying in this gulag camp, his condition came to light only after another non Jewish boy that was released a few weeks ago from the same camp, contacted the twin brother of Isaac to beg him to rescue his brother, because he is being beaten in the camp, and his mantal health is deteriorating.

    The askonim involved in this big mitzvah are, Rabbi Aryeh Wolbe (executive director of the Torah Outreach Research Center of Houston), Rabbi Avraham Wolbe (Monsey, NY), Dr. David Pelcovitz (Yeshiva University) and Mr. Zvi Gluck (Hatzalah of NY).

    Isaac Klein [Far Rockaway NY] a political activist who was involved with Sen. Clinton and her staff to help in this major effort to go smooth.

    And a special recognition to R’ Yosef Shereshevsky from Norfolk Virgina, COO of Wextrust Capital, for financing this operation and providing the private Jet.

    And the Rabonim that need to be recognized are, Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky.

    U/D 9:00 AM
    VIN News has confirmed with an executive member of Hatzaloh,that due to the currant situation Mr. Hersh is on leave of absence from the their Organization.

    Follow VosIzNeias For Breaking News Updates is here to help you manage your home without the stress. Go to for recipes, menu planners, kids' activities, and more.


    1. there are 2 sides to this story—i know his parents they are very good people–they are chosing not to speak which is smart on their part- be dan lkav schus….

    2. I heard the OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY from a very reliable source! As follows: boy attempted suicide numerous times over the last 3 years. VERY DEDCATED PARENTS spent all their energy and resources to rehabilitate child. As a last attempt and under the auspices of R. shechter and other Rabonnim and professionals parents scrapped together all their resources $33,000 TO PREVENT THEIR SON FROM TAKING HIS OWN LIFE.

    3. The unsung hero in this rescue is Reb Moishe Rosenbaum of the Lower East Side and the Woodbourne seforim store.

      No one will ever know what this lamed vuv tzadik accomplished in just a few days. Boruch Hashem Klal Yisroel has people like Reb Moishe.

    4. Does anyone know the story? Maybe the parents had no choice? Maybe he was self destructive, abusive, to other people? Maybe not of course but why make them out to be such awful people. I’d like to think that most people wouldn’t send their child to a non-Jewish place unless there was a desperate need. Maybe the place itself was a bad choice but who says they weren’t going through Gehinnom from this child??????????

    5. Anonymous said…
      there are 2 sides to this story—i know his parents they are very good people–they are chosing not to speak which is smart on their part- be dan lkav schus….

      March 28, 2008 8:29 AM

      OK tzadekal, now that you told us all to be ‘dan l’kaf zechus’, because the parents are such wonderful people the kehilla should shut up and turn a blind eye – go ahead, tell us how to be ‘dan l’kaf zchus’.

      (Poisinally, folks, I can’t wait to hear this one. Forget a simple lumdisheh pilpul – this is going to be a double-loop, three-thumbs in the air, foward- and – under -twist – and tuck of the beard s’varah. Just watch. You think Lipa and the Ban(d) was good entertainment??? This is going to make Weekend Update look as dry as 60 Minutes.)

    6. Good. This is great news. Now lets judge the father l’caf zechut, and hope for the best. Prison, let alone an abuse camp, is no place for anybody, let alone a holy Jew.

    7. Anonymous said…
      Does anyone know the story? Maybe the parents had no choice? Maybe he was self destructive, abusive, to other people? Maybe not of course but why make them out to be such awful people. I’d like to think that most people wouldn’t send their child to a non-Jewish place unless there was a desperate need. Maybe the place itself was a bad choice but who says they weren’t going through Gehinnom from this child??????????

      March 28, 2008 9:19 AM

      There is a chazakah that all parents want to do only what is good for a child.

      There is on the other hand a chazakah that only resho’im g’murim would send their own child into a mini-Gitmo ruled by the just and pious laws of that bation of human rights, the nation-state of Jamaica.

      Legally, a parent is responsibilty to protect his/her children. If a minor child is found to have been abused in the parents custody there should therefore be a presumption of guilt until proven innocent. In other words, if a child were to be found dead or injured in the parent’s home any jury would have to convict the parents if they could not provide reasonable doubt that someone else committed the crime.

      So too, we should assume that any parents of any child found living in that hell-hole are guilty of at least neglect for allowing him/her to end up there, and lacking in kasher yiddisher yichus if he/she did not do everything in his/her power to rescue the child.

      Where the is smoke there is fire. My money is on a sewage line full of shmutz to come pouring out now that the young man has been released.

    8. A big yasher koach to all the messengers of HKB’H that didn’t just sit behind a computer screen but actually did a tremendeous Mitzvah and rescued the Jewish child, Isaac Hirsh.
      May HaShem always protect you and your families, amen.

      I envy the zechut HaShem gave you to rescue Isaac.
      מגלגלים זכות על ידי זכאי

      And a tremendeous yasher Koach to Rav Avi Wolbe. His father, Rav HaGaon Shlomo Wolbe, zs’l, was known for constantly rescuing children from Tachtit Shaol, on earth and from Shamayim.

    9. The public needs to know that many askanim, some who were named in the report and some not, were up and busy literally 24/7 to bring about this rescue. It is also critical to realize that there were major efforts by other parties to block rescue of this hostage. There is more to follow, and those interested in the story should know that it is not over yet. Stay tuned. I am one of those askanim, perfectly comfortable with remaining nameless.

    10. B’H.But we still don’t know the whole story and this is where dan lekav zechus kicks in. I went to yeshiva years ago with the father and “aidel” would be an understatement. If we heard the whole story or chas veshalom we were in the same situation our perspective would change. And most importantly the parents did not do this by themselves but with daas torah

    11. The only way you could be melamed zchus on the parents is by saying they made a mistake and didn’t know what kind of place Tranquilty Bay was. The problem with that theory is that might only explain why they sent him there in the first place. How do you explain the parents fighting to keep him there after hearing about all the abuse that goes on there. I don’t care how bad a child is. No normal yidishe parents would knowingly subject their child to such horrible, life-scarring, abuse.

    12. why is a problem the man has with his son related to his being in Hatzalah? they are not responsible for what goes on in members’ personal lives.
      plus, I’m sure there is a lot more to the story than what’s in the press. let’s see how this story ends and if all the askanim will take further responsibility for this kid. I am sure they did not make this decision lightly.

    13. anon 9:42 is so right. There were many askonim involved who are not named that helped. And though I probably should not do this, a certain tzadik from the East side who probably no one knows about, is the best. Am I right Tzvi Gluck?

    14. Baruch Hashem that you are out of that place Issac.
      I don’t know you personally – but while you are recovering from this terrible ordeal- remember that there are SO many of us that care about your health and well being.
      Welcome back.
      And yasher koach to all that helped get him out of there!!

    15. the parents and das torah sent him for rehab – needed help – i dont imagine that the parents or das torah had any idea that this place was a hell hole-
      i am sure they all wanted only good for the child-be dan lkav schus- the parents prob feel worse than any1 else

    16. Anonymous at 8:21am said:SO Many Questions….but I’m sure Hatzolah will leave him in place and sweep it under the rug

      You’re sure? Are you very very sure? Based on what info? Now look at the VIN update. Will you say I’m Sorry? hmm I am “sure” that not – prove me wrong

    17. How good to some good NEWS
      and thanks to VIN for Listing the names of the askonim involved
      so we can see for a chance
      that there are some good

      so we may turn to them when we have a problem

    18. Anonymous said…
      the parents and das torah sent him for rehab – needed help – i dont imagine that the parents or das torah had any idea that this place was a hell hole-
      i am sure they all wanted only good for the child-be dan lkav schus- the parents prob feel worse than any1 else

      March 28, 2008 10:28 AM

      Absolutly true, I agree with you 101%.

      Now that their laundry has been washed in public they are no doubt more charotah than anyone else.

    19. It’s nice to see all those who worked so hard to get the boy’s release are publicly acknowledged. But I don’t see any comments from Rav Schachter, whose name was brought into this sad story from the very beginning. What does he say about everything? What part, if any, did he play in Isaac’s release?

      What happens now? I’m sure he’s not been dumped somewhere & that Dr. Pelcovitz & others are working with the child, but why weren’t these experts called in years ago? Maybe they were, but again, speculation is rife when we don’t have the information.

      Obviously, some information should be private, but there are so many accusations flying around (I have them too) that maybe some disclosure is needed.

      I wish this child much Hatzlacha. He needs it.

    20. For all those who have asked…
      Isaac has no criminal record. He was not using drugs habitually. He was not a danger to himself or to others. (I am not saying that he was a saint or that he didn’t need some outpatient help – after all, there obviuosly were some unusual dynamics in his parents house)

      I hope as this story unfolds, the truth will become clear: Isaac, Isaac’s relatives, and Isaac’s friends are not crazy, bad, or dangerous.

    21. What does das torah mean?

      When something is obviously wrong, meaning everyone would see it that way, getting a Hetter from a Rabbi does not make right. If he is worth 250,000.00 per year to Hatzalah, then he should have some brains. Obviously he doesn’t.

    22. I do not believe that ANYONE SANE honestly thinks that Tranquility Bay is a place for a child who is suicidal or having mental and social problems.

      Abuse does not help a young person overcome these issues and with any treatment program, the more that the parents are involved the more successful the outcome.

      These parents CLEARLY do not wish to have any involvement with their children.

      I hope that there will be a thorough investigation into the possibilities of physical or sexual abuse of the children in the home.And I hope that BOTH parents will get the psychological help that they so obviously need.

      These are not normal parents and this is not a normal situation.

      I also hope that some of the leaders of our communinty will take a good hard look at the judgment of any Rav who recommended or supported the decision to treat a child in this way.

    23. Daas Torah!!!Daas Torah!!!Daas Torah!!! If a mistake was made it is between the parents , the poisek and the child. We are opining about things we dont know about and people whose “karsulayim” we dont reach.

    24. It was not a mistake, the parents and Aaron Shechter were repeatedly given information that they chose to ignore. They were repeatedly warned about the chillul Hashem that this would make and stood in the way of the numerous attempts that were made to handle this in a more dignified manner. “Oy lahem miyom hadin Oy lahem miyom hatochacha”

    25. I don’t think being dan l’caf zechus applies when there is a child in immediate physical (and other) danger. I think in a case like this people need to step up and take a chance that they are judging the parents wrong… if indeed they are, it will come out and the child will be ok and parents “benched”. If not, can you imagine where the fault would lay if something were chas v’shalom to happen to the child?

    26. To anon 11:54
      Your reference to one of the venerated gedolim of our dor by his first name reveals alot about your attitudes. Clap hard on Yom Kippur by Al Chet schechatanu al zilzul horim umorim

    27. The last chapter in this saga has not been written yet. I suspect that there are many facts and nuances that are not public knowledge. nevertheless, once again , it is those that are most ignorant of the facts that have the strongest opinions. I wonder if all of you on this blog that heve acted as Judge, Jury & executioner, will have the decency to appologize to those whom you have, in your ignorance. villified.
      I for one am not holding my breath

    28. Isaac, our hearts go out to you. We were all very pained to hear of what you were put through.

      We are also aware that circumstances that were not in your control caused you so much stress.

      May Hashem help you find a very loving family. You already are part of a loving family. K’lal Yisroel.

    29. To anon 11.35,
      Please explain to me, what you mean by “Daas Torah!!!Daas Torah!!!Daas Torah!!! “
      Shouldn’t one help out another Yid in Pain?
      PS I noticed that the other news site didn’t mention this terrible story, I wonder why not?

    30. And no one has thought to ask WHY a Yiddishe child would make “several suicide attempts”?!!!!! What kind of abuse/neglect did this dear neshoma suffer BEFORE being sent to this gehinnom? And what do we have to say about a child whose parents and daas Torah have sent him to a gehinnom named called shalvah?! I beg Hashem to help this boy

    31. Today is a gevaldige day for k’lal Yisroel.
      It’s the Yurtzeit of the Heilige R’ R’ Elimelech of Lizensk ZY”A.
      May all of us be zoicheh to yeshuos and refuos in his z’chus!!

    32. What I mean is our vision is cloudy and the gedolim not only have 20/20 but peripheral and more importantly futuristic vision. Maybe this mayseh happened and Issac sees the great outpouring of Ahavas Yisrael and this causes him to change his ways. I am not saying this was the kavana, but we are too small to make these judgement calls by ourselves. It has to be that all were mislead as to the conditions of this reformatory because if anyone for a second thinks that he was sent there with this knowledge is a downright meshugana.

    33. There is no excuse in the world no matter what, to send a yiddishe boy to a place where sh’miras Shabbos u’mitzvos is simply impossible!!

      And besides, before you make such a “harsh” (HIRSCH)decision, you pick yourself up and fly down to Jamaica to check it out.
      Give me a break!
      The ahavas Yisroel that this caused can definately not be added to the z’chus of those involved in getting him in there!!
      This is similar as giving credit to Haman for causing k’lal yisroel such a beautiful Yom Tov as Purim!

    34. One of the smarted people I’ve met used to be asked by taldim ‘what do the gedolim say?’ about many things.

      People stopped asking when he started answering that if the questioner will tell him who the gedolim are, he will tell what they say.

    35. Anonymous said…
      There is no excuse in the world no matter what, to send a yiddishe boy to a place where sh’miras Shabbos u’mitzvos is simply impossible!!

      And besides, before you make such a “harsh” (HIRSCH)decision, you pick yourself up and fly down to Jamaica to check it out.
      Give me a break!
      The ahavas Yisroel that this caused can definately not be added to the z’chus of those involved in getting him in there!!
      This is similar as giving credit to Haman for causing k’lal yisroel such a beautiful Yom Tov as Purim!

      March 28, 2008 12:43 PM

      Sounds more like cancer cures smoking.

    36. i am someone very familiar with suicide, and someone’s life doesn’t have to be that bad for him/her to have suicidal thoughts & act upon chas veshalom. unfortunately, a side affect (especially when coming down) of many drugs, legal or illegal, causes these thoughts to enter one’s mind.

    37. as another of the askonim involved who would like to remain nameless i say this

      it is unfortunate that hatzola is not being run properly
      that rabbis listen blindly to information that is not correct

      and this case proves that there are leaders in the jewish world who are not rabbis who can get this done

      i think we need to investigate the role of the yeshiva that this rabbi heads as well as hatzola hiring a man whio abuses kids who now is on a leave of absence

    38. We have to look at this situation from many different angles. First and most important is that Issac is home and safe.

      Secondly, a Rav can only pasken a shalya or give an eitza based on what the shoel presents him. If the info is not complete or deliberately hidden how can we possibly blame the Rav.

      Thirdly, the outpouring of Ahavas Yisroel should be a zechus for Klal Yisroel. L’ knows we need it.

      Fourth, we should have much more open forums for people to go and find help in mainland US and not have to go to some farvorfiner island. Stigmas have to be removed and we need to discuss openly problems that yes do exist even by the most chashuva mishpochos.

      And lastly,instead of lambasting this poor family, we should be mispalell for them to get thru these very hard times.

    39. So many of us are enraged at what happened! However, we need to focus on whats really important right now- and that is to educate ourselves about places like tb. It means educate ourselves in how to help children like Isaac. It means learning to recognize when parents are doing “their best” and its clearly not good enough for the child- and to help (educate)the parents.
      To talk about making sure jobs are lost is counterproductive- what will happen to the ones that are left home when tatty isn’t earning a livilhood?
      And although punishment is due, we need to focus on rehabilitation. By talking vilely it seems that we are lowering ourselves down to the level of the parents instead of trying to raise the parents to our level (let the courts decide the punishment- not us).

    40. B”H he has been rescued. Now there is a chance he can go on to have a normal life.

      Wondering how many more Isaac’s are out there who didn’t find the right people to help him, who don’t have dedicated freinds and family, who don’t get the publicty his father’s position with Hatzolah got for Isaac, wondering how many more horror stories in normal looking homes, how many more children have gone to the rabbaim they thought would help them only to be betrayed, it all leaves me horribly depressed.

      Why was there someone ready to run to every rav and rosh yeshiva to get a kol korai about Lipa and no one to get a kol korai signed against our continued practice of ignoring uncomfortable problems?

      How many more children must be destroyed before it becomse as important as publishing seforim for and against mezonos rolls and metzitzah b’peh?

    41. Anonymous @ 10:28 referred to Isaac being sent for rehab and mental health treatment. This cannot be true. Tranquility Bay is considered a “reform school”, and it does not purport to be a treatment program. The psychologist who works there lives in Utah, and visits there perhaps once a month. They do not otherwise have any qualified mental health professionals. You do not go to a barbershop for dental work. TB is not a hospital, clinic, or rehab. If parents sent anyone there for such purposes, it was a stupid, irresponsible, incompetent thing to do. Had they investigated it, they should have known that this is a torture camp. They never investigated options in USA, and this can be proven.

      I am also nauseated by the references here to daas Torah. There was nothing in this process that involved Schechter that can be framed as daas Torah, especially since there is no halachic parameter that would allow for this to have been done. If a gadol comes home and his wife asks him whether he wants to eat milchig or fleishig for supper, is the answer to be considered “daas Torah”? Baloney. (Sorry, that’s fleishig.) He will respond according to his whim of what he wants to eat, and that is perfectly normal. Daas Torah must exist in a condition where there are no other pniyos or negiyos. Any bias renders it personal opinion, and does not deserve the recognition as daas Torah.

      The distortion of dan lekaf zechus is another appetite suppressant. Please do not bend the holy words of our Chachomim. According to this interpretation, must one watch atrocities being committed, efforts to perpetuate them, and still be dan lekaf zechus? Can a beis din never pasken “chayav” because of the requirement of being dan lekaf zechus? I wish people would learn first and not shoot Chazal’s from the hip as if they know what they are talking about. The perpetrators of the incarceration and hostage taking of Isaac Hersh, those that tried desperately to stop his rescue, those who abused him, etc. are all deserving of the wrath of HKB”H and the entire frum community. There is no dan lekaf zechus for murderers or attempted murderers.

    42. As we head into Shabbos it would be nice if we all make a committment to cut down on the possible L”H that will be spoken in Shul. If someone sidles over to you to discuss this hot button topic, don’t cast any aspersions on any family, rav or organization connected to this story.

      Let this communal attempt at being careful go along away in bringing the ultimate geulah. Then all will be understood.

    43. Interesting how every other person here is an “askin” that was very instrumental in securing Isaac’s release yet they choose to join Askonim Anonymous at the most inopportune time.

    44. after all this what kind of a relationship would Isaac have with his parents after all what he went through??
      One can imagine all the hate and rage he must have for his parents and rabbis for putting him in such a place..

      In my line of work, i can honestly say that child are models of their parents. the apple doesnt fall to far away from the tree.

      all investigate never put 100% in anyone else. if they promise you 100 % change never believe them no such thing..

      I’ll daven for issac to have a speedy recover mentally and physically. people please daven for hashem to give him the power to over come what was done to him and for him to raise a bais neaman yisrael

    45. As some who never writes anything, I have to say home sad it is that you have 65 people adding their 2 cents,and don’t know any deatails. Its a very sad day… you know anything what happened,,,?? I foresure don’t,and ill bet noone here does either,so I can’t comment….before you all trash what I say……take 30 second,and think what I said.have a good shabbos

    46. Anon. 8:56AM …B”H Klal Yisroel has people like Reb Moshe…. …and many others, including VIN and their readers.
      All Besiyata D’Shmaya! With Hashem’s Help, our efforts were successful! Hashem Has Klal Yisroel!!!

    47. Anon. 9:19AM. You answered your own question, [yourself]!
      1) No one is judging the parents!
      2) they had no [other] choice! They [probably] tried everything else. They were at the end of their
      wits [and options]!

    48. Yasher koach, to all who actively helped. From all of us who davend. I am proud to be a part of this wonderfull tzibbur. Those who know Harav Dovid do not complain of the lack of Gedolim. Thank you Mr. Shereshevsky, I will ai”h (bl”n) try to work with your co.(Never knew your yichus)

    49. all i can say is that this is BEAUTIFUL news that i am so happy to have heard!!!
      baruch hashem people were able to work hard and take care of this.
      this has made me go into shabbos much more peaceful.
      if it was up to my parents, they would have thrown ME in there, just because i wasn’t exactly like them – i’m so glad this ended this way (thus far).
      thanks for sharing!!!

    50. There is a place Willkes barre PA. called Bais Menachem youth development programs taht deals with these types of Childrern they have had amazing success. It is under the auspices of caring loving Lubavitcher yungerleit that take a personel interest along with random urin testing and other things of that nature. They are amazing.. Google them.
      A former student.

    51. B”H he is out! But his ordeal is far from over – do you know how broken a person can get after being abused?? Not too many of you seem to grasp this, but that’s probably because B”H you were never abused.

      Sure, he’s out, but he’s probably scarred for life. It will take him ages to adjust to normal society. I hope that just as he got help to get out, he will continue to get help to recover.

      And I’m sorry, but there is NO WAY the parents were right in their decision. I don’t care what this boy did wrong, good Yiddishe parents DO NOT send their child to a place where it is impossible to even be Jewish, not to mention all the abuse that goes on there.

      The parents are clearly insane. And by the way, THEY KNEW he was being abused, and refused to take him out.

    52. Thank you to all those who helped rescue this young child- you went above and beyond.

      I dont know the parents nor am I defending them however, I cannot believe that they were aware of what goes on at this “boot camp” when they sent him there. Yes, it is possible they sent him there to teach him a few lessons in life the hard way, but I seriously doubt they knew what actually goes on.

      That being said, I dont think it is as important as what happened in the past to what can happen in the future- as hard as it might be, its time to move foward and make sure this boy is safe and grows properly in the right environment.

    53. This could work out for the best.

      When he recovers he might speak out. Since he wasn’t a druggie or criminal, the school can’t discredit his testimony by saying he’s a just a bitter druggie who shouldn’t be believed.

    54. Boruch Hashem he is out of there, the tears and tefillos of everyone certainly helped and, IY”H he will feel that care for him and it will help in his rehabilitation.

    55. I know a rosh yeshivha who had this boy in his yeshevha. I was told the boy was a good boy and all he needed was some love and that it was a big nebuch that they sent him to this boot camp
      Some people just shouldn’t have kids

      there are so many organizations out there that can deal with any problem in the jewish community there is no reason what so ever to take a yiddisha neshama and send it to goyim for this kind of help
      hashem yirachem

    56. Talking about “Daas Torah”, I have personally seen the letter from Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky (also credited in this article for being involved in the rescue), one of the undisputed gedolim of our generation. He writes and paskens that it is a matter of Pikuach Nefesh and Pidyon Shevuyim to save Isaac. He attempted a few times to discuss this tragedy with Rav Aron Shechter, and I’m told Rav Aron refused to listen to him.

      I’m sorry, but when you are dealing with even SAFEK pikuach nefesh, and Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky calls you to try to make you change your mind, I’m not sure how as a Rabbi you dig your heels in harder and block rescue attempts!!!!

      I know Isaac personally. He babysat fom my children many times. He is a perfectly innocent teenage boy who caused his father some embarrassment by struggling with his Yiddishkeit. This wicked imprisonment was the father’s reaction to that personal struggle Isaac was working hard to deal with. There is no excuse.

      I want you to also know that I’ve personally heard threats made by the father to destroy the lives of all the people who are attempting to rescue his son from Tranquility Bay. He called all these askonim who dedicated time and money for this Mitzvah- “Reshaim”! For the guy who posted before that called him “aidel”, that seems pretty interesting to me.

      I can’t wait to see Isaac again. His sense of humor, personality, and energy has been sorely missed. I can’t emphasize enough to those of you who havent ever met him what kind of wonderful neshama this kid is. Let’s daven that he is able to find some peace and a semblance of normalcy very soon!

    57. Making fun of gedolim in a public forum is a very serios aveira. Even if we were to have a serious grievance against a godol we shouldn’t air it in public. Oy lanu miyom hadim oy lanu miyom hatochacha. Let’s think about our neshomos after 120 years.


    59. I am preplexed at one thing. This story of Issac has been known to the public for many months almost a half year, at least thats how long I am aware of it. There was a site created by his brother I think it was called “freeissac”. so how is it , and why is it that only very recently have so many people been involved and have been able to free him, why not months ago?? Does it take so long for askanim to react or help someone?

    60. b”h isaac we are so happy that you are back just know that we were all thinking of you before we went to sleep at night praying that you would be ok

    61. I have a question that I’ve been wanting an answer to for a long time. Can someone define DAAS TORAH to me? Being a learned person is not enough–there are people who fall into this category that were reshaim. So who and what is the correct definition? Someone saying so isn’t either enough!

    62. wheather he was suicidel or not dose not give his parrents the right to send off there son in cuffs against his will to a place were they treat u like ur a nobody and toture u physicly and mentally..i know Isaac Hirsh and hes a sweet kid and i know he deffenitly did not deserve what he got, yea he had some isues with life at at times he may have thought it would be easyer if he just ended it all but thats because he was chalenged with a harder life then allot of us who are we to judge the poor kid…i stand very strong by my point of his parrents being extremely wrong by sending him to that boot camp lifes about tests and getting over them the right way not some torture camp to hope he dosnt come out 10 times worse than he went in…anyway thank god hes out and i hope the best to u iisac, good luck with all ur future endevures!

    63. Isaac Hersh, the 16-year-old Orthodox Brooklyn boy who was allegedly being “abused by the staff” of a school for troubled youths in Jamaica, is back in the U.S.

      He arrived at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey early Friday morning after his parents agreed to have him released to the custody of a New York psychologist.

      The psychologist, David Pelcovitz, a professor at Yeshiva University, examined Hersh for 90 minutes yesterday in Jamaica and concluded that he had been physically and mentally abused, according to Rabbi Aryeh Wolbe of Houston, TX, with whose family the teen had stayed for nine months before his parents spirited him away to the boarding school in June.

      Rabbi Wolpe said he and Pelcovitz and two other men flew to Jamaica

      in a private plane during the early morning hours Thursday. They had to rush, the rabbi said, because they had learned that American officials were going to interview Hersh at the American Embassy in Kingston at 9 a.m. Thursday in response to a federal lawsuit against the U.S. State Department alleging the boy was being abused at the school.

      “We were waiting at the gate of the Embassy so he could see us and request to meet with us,” Rabbi Wolbe said. “It was a miracle that we got there five minutes before he arrived.”
      The rabbi said U.S. consular officials were present when he asked Hersh to describe the treatment he received at the school, Tranquility Bay.

      “He said he was thrown on his face by the staff and that both hands were twisted up behind him while five people were on top of him, putting their fingernails into his ears,” Rabbi Wolbe said. “And he said he was punched in the stomach when he asked to borrow a pen from a counselor. … The vice consul with us was crying. She could not believe it.”

      After Pelcovitz interviewed the teen and made his assessment, Hersh was then returned to Tranquility Bay until his father, Michael Hersh, CEO of the Chevra Hatzalah Volunteer Ambulance Corps, agreed by phone to have his son released into Pelcovitz’ s custody. The boy was then flown back to New York where he is in an “undisclosed safe location,” according to Rabbi Wolbe.

      He noted that young Hersh is not with his father, who, according to the federal suit, had been charged by authorities in Israel with child abuse for giving his son medicine without a prescription. The suit said the medicine was to calm the boy down.

      Ken Kay, who said he was formerly associated with Tranquility Bay and that his son was its former director, asserts that the school is for troubled youths who need behavior modification. He denied that any abuse took place there.

    64. This is not necessarily a good thing.
      I know the family well and I know Isaac (Yitzchok meir) and his twin brother Shlomo Zalman well too.

      We’re talking about a wonderful family; parents who are intelligent, highly functioning, humble, truth-seeking people with two deeply disturbed boys. I know these boys well.
      They are brilliant, adorable boys with incredible personalities… but also quite disturbed. Isaac is a danger to himself and to those around him.
      Trust me, these parents tried everything under the sun to help these boys- they have stayed at my house, too. I like them A LOT. But, there are reasons that drastic measures needed to be taken.
      R’ Aharon Shechter trealizes this and therefore stands alone in his support of the parents decision.

      Had he graduated from there successfully there probly wouldve been a real positive outcome. now that he was taken from there prematurely, he’ll go back to square one.

      Now the boy cant even talk for himself- e/t he’s gonna say is gonna hafta be what his rescuers want him to say.
      No, my friends, this was not necessarily good news. Sorry.

    65. This is not necessarily good news.
      I know the Hersh’s very well. They are wonderful people; intelligent, high functioning, well meaning, humble people who only have their childrens best interest in mind. They were blessed with 8 children, two of whom are deeply disturbed.

      Isaac (Yitzchok Meir) and his twin, Shlomo Zalman are boys that I know well. They are brilliant, adorable kids with incredible personality… but they are also quite disturbed.
      Their parents tried everything under the sun to help them, spending every cent they dont have. These boys have been out of control since they were babies.
      Isaac is a danger to himself, as well as to those around him and for many reasons, something drastic hadda be done.
      R’ Aharon Shechter realizes this and therefore stands alone in his support of the parents decision.

      I know the boys well, and I like them A LOT. Theyve stayed at my house, too. I also know that they need a lot of help. Their parents are absolutely wonderful and the community should be ashamed of themselves for butting in now- when they can pat themselves on the back, instead of 10 years ago when it was more private but when they desparately needed help.
      Had he finished the program in TB and graduated successfully there probly wouldve been positive results. Now that he was pulled out prematurely he’ll be back at square one.
      No, my friends, this was not necessarily a good thing.

    66. To March 30, 2008 12:00 PM:

      Please accept the apology of klal yisroel for ruining your shabbos.

      Maybe some other kid will be victimized again soon so you’ll be able to truly enjoy your menuchas shabbos.

    67. Anonymous who knows the family well,
      a. why was he placed in a foster home?
      b. if that was due to his being out of control and to save the other family members, then what exactly was going wrong at that foster home that necessitated kidnapping him and shipping him off to a foreign country?
      c. if the foster home wasn’t working and other programs weren’t working, did they speak to Rabbi Abraham Twerski and others who know the American system well, or did they just do their own research?
      d. in the end, wasn’t there a way to find a strict residential program in the U.S.?

      Please answer.

    68. 2:43 PM

      The kid is too cunning to be kept in a US camp. He would of gotten away in days… But by sending him out of the US the father lost the discipline “chess game” with his son, because of the publics runaway negative perceptions. In a US camp it would of been a “hard sell” to convince the public that there exists “torture” camps.

      Anyways at age sixteen it’s too late to discipline. Life will discipline him the hard way. Let’s hope not too harshly.

      The earlier you start the better. With aggressive/go-getter natured children the time to start is latest at age 1. Then it’s still very easy to teach the childto overcome instinct/desire. Starting past age 3 for very aggressive children has a high rate of failure. Unless you resort to stronger discipline. The later you start the stronger the discipline needs to be.

      The latest you can start disciplining is age 8(which is extremely late and will probably fail), if the child doesn’t reach the tipping point of social subordination by 12 it’s probably too late.

      Past age 12 you can only do lighter disciplining and damage control. Strong disciplining past age 12 usually causes animosity and backfires.

    69. there are rabonim and askonim that specialize in at risk kids. Even if he was a druggie and nothing else works send him out of your house! torture only backfires. I believe this had more to do with hiding an embarrassment of the father and nothing to do with helping the son!

    70. Anonymous Anonymous said…

      This is not necessarily good news.
      I know the Hersh’s very well. They are wonderful people; intelligent, high functioning, well meaning, humble people who only have their childrens best interest in mind. They were blessed with 8 children, two of whom are deeply disturbed.

      You are one sick twisted and demented individual. I wonder if you are the despicable biological parent of this child. Maybe you would agree that the father remain in Hatzalah and he will reform all the patients. Who needs medication when you can just be physically violent.
      There is no excuse for doing this to your child, and anyone who feels this is acceptable should not have children.

    71. Only time will tell how this will effect the boy. When I was young I was sent to a simular place here in the USA. It was my faith in G-d that got me through all the abuse.
      Some day, he might be a great Human rights activist because of this awfull time in his youth. We can never speculate on G-d’s plan for us.

    72. To shrink 2:43pm- I don’t believe you are a real shrink, just like I don’t believe every hatzolah member is better than any goy ems.
      What do you mean by discipline- do you mean physical punishment? Is that what you believe works to change behavior. If you were real you would know about CBT. You can discipline anyone with CBT at any age and usually you will get behavior change. Wake up & die right!

    73. To anon 11:31 from March 30
      You really believe that the abuses at TB would have straightened the kid out?
      How do you discipline your kids?

      True- that there are children that need help but the key word is HELP not ABUSE. There are many programs in the US that he could have been sent to that are supervised properly and structured.

      Raising children isn’t easy and there are many challenges we as parents face. But to put the blame on a child is just plain WRONG. I have 8 children and each one had their specific needs so i know first hand that you must educate,and discipline each child according to his ways.These parents only know one way to raise children. Why can’t anyone admit that the parents did not have the proper tools in helping their child? It doesn’t make them evil, it makes them uneducated. They were doing their best and clearly it wasn’t good enough for Isaac. (and probably not good enough for many kids- surely not most of mine).
      What is evil, is the refusal to admit they are wrong and the refusal to accept help when it was offered.


    75. update on Itzchak Hirsch:

      בשביל להוציא את הילד לפני סיום “לימודיו” נדרש תשלום של 15000 דולר מההורים בלבד! כמובן שאביו של הנער לא רצה לשלם את הסכום המבוקש (אע”פ ש”שכר לימוד” שם הוא 25000 דולר בשנה.).
      עם הרבה לחץ על אביו מעסקנים שונים, ותרומות ממאות איש (ואני ביניהם), שוחרר הילד, עכשיו הוא בארץ אצל דודתו.


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