Brooklyn, NY – OHEL Clarification To VIN News: Mondrowitz Never Employed By Us, We Don’t Oppose His Extradition, We Are Here To Help

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    Brooklyn, NY – Ohel has finally replied to VIN news long repeated effort to communicate with CEO David Mandel for clarification of the organization’s position on the Mondrowitz extradition. Ohel remained silent—until today.

    In a press release issued in response to VIN’s earlier report today, the respected social-services community mainstay takes VIN to task for claiming that Ohel “once used Mondrowitz as a therapist for troubled youth [but] has never publicly spoken about the Mondrowitz case.”

    Ohel correctly points out that “Mr. Abraham Mondrowitz was never an employee of OHEL.” VIN never said he was—we merely stated that Ohel “used” him, which is true: Ohel referred individuals to him as a non-employee independent consultant.

    VIN News stands by its original statement, and bears no ill will or malice towards Ohel in our ongoing reportage of the facts and Ohel’s laudable continued work towards helping sexual abuse victims in our community, a goal which we robustly support.

    See full text Ohel’s press release below:

    OHEL seeks to clarify the following which you have inaccurately reported: The Case of Mr. Mondrowitz

    Mr. Abraham Mondrowitz was never an employee of OHEL. OHEL has NEVER conveyed any comments or opinions in regards to this case. Your reports [which VIN has corrected] describing OHEL’s relationship with Abraham Mondrowitz and opposition to his extradition are completely false. OHEL has never opposed the extradition of Mr. Mondrowitz. Victim survivors of sexual abuse traverse a painful and arduous path and seek an acknowledgement of wrongdoing from the perpetrator. OHEL encourages actions that could lend support and credence to victim survivors.

    Proactively Providing Services and Raising Awareness OHEL is a pioneer in the prevention of sexual abuse and services to victims and perpetrators. OHEL has conducted many forums and professional training seminars nationwide to promote awareness and prevention within the community at large and
    train professionals to deal with the consequences of such horrific abuse. OHEL has provided training to thousands of students, parents and faculty nationwide through its numerous community forums, video and audio tapes, as well as newspaper articles and radio programs. OHEL has 1100 employees including trained and qualified mental health professionals in sexual abuse and related services.

    OHEL broadened its work through the RESPECT Program on Sexual Abuse with a series of high profile community seminars and lectures throughout the New York Metropolitan area, as well by responding to invitations to speak in Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Miami, Canada and Jerusalem amongst other communities.

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    44 COMMENTS

      • This is a response? They do not condemn Mondrowitz’s actions, do not apologize for sending kids to him, do not stand with his victims, and most importantly do not offer ANY cooperation with the D.A.’s investigation/prosecution. They certainly have information that could help the D.A., but have not been willing to publicly show the victims that they are helping out, because they are still covering up their mistakes. Why can’t people in our community ever get it that the cover-up is always much much worse than the mistake/crime. Come clean, do the right thing and people will forgive and forget. Otherwise it will get worse and worse for them.

        By the way, Dov Hikind shows a different approach to community social service. He is courageously reaching out publicly to victims to give them the help they need, has now joined forces with the D.A., has time and again called upon Rabbanim to support his task force, and is taking the bull by the horns. And he only took on this issue a few months ago. Ohel has supposedly been officially helping abuse survivors for years and years. They raise money from the community for this purpose. But in all these years, they have not accomplished a tenth of what Dov Hikind has done in a few weeks. Why? Because of politics. They are not leaders in helping victims. They are followers. If the community is “ready” to talk about sexual abuse, then they will talk about it. If it is not the right “climate” they won’t. What do the rabbis want them to do. Dov is like Nachshon ben Aminadav. He jumps in and then others follow.

        Watch for Ohel to start becoming proactive and more public about their efforts to help the community with sexual abuse. But it is just PR, and is too little too late. While people might forgive and forget, there is no reason that they should trust so easily again. That will take major changes to the whole system of Ohel, something that it is unlikely to happen under the current “regime”.

    1. Ohel is a great organization with many programs of assistance for our community . Only the terrorized victims and most likely not even thier parents back in the 80’s knew what Mondrowitz was. Ohel would never knowingly harbor a child molestor, give them the benefit of the doubt unless otherwise proven

      • I agree give them the benefit of the doubt. however rather safe then sorry. Why go backwards when we need to deal with now? Mondrowitz is part of now and who else is hiding behind the don’t tell or else is the question

    2. Ohel’s work in the family services arena is without peer in the frum world. The dedication of their staff and volunteers, is truly extraordinary. May Hadadosh Baruch Hu grant them much success in all their endeavors, and may we all be zochah not to need their services.

    3. This statement by Ohel is pathetic and provides further support for the view that Ohel has something to hide. The statement does not encourage extradition and does not apologize for the fact that it “used” Mondrowitz. Most importantly, the statement does not deny the reports that its employees and/or its Rabbi were aware of Mondrwotz’s actions before he fled and that Ohel did nothing to protect further victims or bring him to justice.

      • yes, perhaps they didn’t know, weren’t sure etc. However, now they should be coming out with a strong statement to demand extradition. And yes this organization does terrific things, however, with this issue it is time to step up to the plate.

    4. why is ohel only now responding, after a negative story is run against them??
      if they care so much about protecting children, they should be using their power to demand the extradition of mondrowitz and locking up all child molesters!! yet the most they can say is that they “don’t oppose” his extradition. if they cared about children they would fight day and night FOR his extradition, and for the locking up of every child molester!!!!!!

      • I couldn’t agree with you more.

        The same can also be said about all other so called leaders and Rabbis who are all silent about this until now.

        The children who are abused are all screaming in excruciating silent pain!

        Yet all of our organizations who are silent and all of our leadership who are silent and all our Rabbis who don’t actively pursue extradition and advocate local arrests of current molesters, their SILENCE IS DEAFENING and shows them to be complicit in the grand scale cover-up.

    5. Why are we always blaming the wrong people? Blame the perpetrator. Do not blame Ohel. Even If Ohel did employ this monster this means they knew something?

      The only time you can blame an employer is when an employer is aware and then does nothing about it. By you stating Ohel must have known something because they “used” him at one point or whatever, all it means is that they got rid of him for whatever reason or as soon as they did find out something they got rid of him so as not to be embarrased and ask themselves how didn’t they know!

      Do you know everything about your own neighbor? Ohel does wonders for the community and instead of blasting them you should see the good work they do with your own eyes. Call them up and they would be glad to show you around for free.

      • It seems to me the issue for most people is Ohel’s either inability or refusal to offer a simple apology.

        How much faith would you put in a doctor, a lawyer or an accountant if he was unable to accept that he can ever be wrong and will stick to his position at all costs?

      • This is not a “Blame Game”.

        You think that someone wants to Blame Ohel because we don’t know whom else to blame?

        And you argue to blame Mondrowitz instead?

        That’s not what the outrage against Ohel is all about.

        Even in a Car Accident, where it happened completely un-intended, you must still take responsibility for your direct or indirect involvement.

        The point is that if someone caused damage unknowingly even if by accident, they still have to apologize for the damage they caused unknowingly and they still have to pay damages and they still have to “Make It Right” by doing everything in their power to bring this monster to justice.

        Ohel has so far done none of the above.

        On the contrary, until now, and even right now too, all they have done is they have stonewalled it.

    6. If you people would realize how much David Mandel and his family give of themselves to help & give to others just for the sake of helping, NO ONE would utter one word except thanks & Brachos ad bli dai! If others in our community would be like them, we wouldnt have many of these or other problems our community faces. May hakadosh baruch hu grant them the koach & ability to carry on with their noble work & may people realize the emes & show the appreciation due to people like them.

      • It’s his job. He is the very well paid “CEO” of OHEL and the buck has to stop with him. You can’t only take all the accolades but you must take the heat as well. Cover up and pay up is something that is not new to him

      • If you paid me $6K a week I would also make myself available 24/7 (got a heter from a YU rabbi to answer the phone because of sofek pikuach nefesh) For 300K+ in compensation you better believe he’s responsible. The question is, if these people really believe that there worth the money, why don’t they go to the private sector where supply and demand will validate their worth and let another dedicated worker who would be happy making 120K have the job? When you go to the public with you hand out and ask guys that are making 35-70K to contribute to your moisod so you can pay the top 5 guys over 200K (4 grand a week for those that are mathematically impaired) and many others are well over 100K it takes a little chutzpah.

        All figures stated here are from OHEl’s 2006 IRS 990 avavilable on guidestar.org

        • These salaries are an outrage. A heimisha tzedaka has no business soliciting money from the public and at the same time paying such outragious compensation to its employees. Certainly a comfortable salary is justified but these salaries are just over the top. I feel as though a fraud has been perpetrated on the oylam all these years. Good by OHEL.

          • Are you suggesting that (1) in the private sector a CEO of company with 1100 employees would receive less than $300K, or (2) employees of non-for-profits should have to first take a position in the private sector so that we may determine their market value, and then and only then can they be paid by a non-for-profit?

            As it happens, I think David Mandel was previously in the private sector, and took a pay cut to join Ohel.

            • I think having 1100 employees is part of the problem. They have taken on too many jobs and aren’t that great at any of them. When an organization gets that big it is very often “out of control.” It is very hard to keep track of what is going on there.

          • You are right!
            OHEL should delay payment on all of thier staff. Fenegel with the electric and gas.Do a little cash checking (shhh) Pay high talent as little as possible and as late as possible. Have them on WIC and food stamps and get Tomche Shabbos packages like the rest of us .,,,Now that is a Heimish organization …I like it!!!

    7. The facts are that Ohel did refer young children in its foster care department to this monster. While it is obvious that they did not know that he would molest them, of course, they also neglected to do the most basic due diligence expected of an organization caring for Jewish children. Firstly that is, they neglected to check the qualifications of this “child psychologist.” They would have easily determined that he had none, was a phony, with a hidden agenda. Instead, as too often happens in our society, they trusted that someone with a beard and payos must be a fine jew.
      Secondly, and even more criminally negligent, if you check the dates when they STOPPED referring children to him, you will note that there was quite a time lapse between their finding out about his sickness and it becoming exposed BY NON-JEWISH parents when their kids were abused. OHEL, as so many other “leaders” in our community, arrogantly sat on this information, did not inform anyone else, protected their own, while neglecting everyobody else’s kids. This is not the way that a “chesed” organization should act.

      If a non-jewish agency had done this to Jewish kids, we would all be screaming “anti-semitism” and calling for a federal investigation.

      It is time for a complete probe into Ohel’s true activities, a demand for community transparency, and accountability, and a refund of mamon hekdesh to all the donors who were duped into supporting this fiasco.

      • I think most of you are right. Ohel seems to have lots to hide. No one is G-Dly enough that he is free of any questions to be asked of him. I’m sure Mr. Mandel is a wonderful person and I’m not even sure that he was the head of OHEL at that teribble time but scrutiny and transparency is always allowed.

      • They are still referring children to contracted staff with questionable criteria. Yet when Rabbonon and Rosh Hayeshivas and Askonim asked them to take some action to get the person in front of a panel of Rabbis they ignored the DAAS TORAH and continued to protect the wrongdoer. Why has Ohel a community organization ignored their communal responsibility just to protect their staff. Where is the Board of Directors and why don’t we hear from them.

    8. Anybody remember the radio station that mondrowitz had his show on? Do u remember the hours he was on air? And does anybody remember the phrase he used when signing off at the end of his show? This information is important to an investigator.

    9. There are serious allegations against OHEL (see comments on previous post and elsewhere). That does not mean that they have never done any good, that they are rotten from top to bottom, etc. Just like it is wrong for them to cover-up when they mess up, we should be careful not to make irresponsible charges against them. However, I know personally of serious malpractice on their part.

      They have 1100 employees now? Wow, that is a large number. I wonder how much they spend on PR and how many employees they have working on that.

      Thanks to OHEL for the good work, but that doesn’t mean that their record is perfect or that they are above criticism and perfect.

    10. At their public evenings on how to keep your children safe, they promote only teaching your children “good touch bad touch”. Never, ever do they mention calling the authorities. In Baltimore, when someone in the audience asked “What about calling the authorities, David Mandel would not answer her. According to the Baltimore Jewish Times, he also said that we should “not go peering into shadows in search of sexual abuse, and in an article in the Jewish Observer, he said that the vast majority of sexually molested children are not harmed. He calls himself an expert on sexual abuse, but has no credentials in the mental health field.

    11. Hasc is also a chesed org . But in case you dont remember a few years ago they had to get rid of some higher upper big shot for various reasons . . JUst because a peson or Org does nice things does not mean they are kosher all the time .If it means for ohel to fire some higher ups or clean house house then thats what will have to be . But what is interesting is that no one , not a single working soul of ohel said sorry for what happened. You want to say They, didnt know thats fine . But you can still apoligize for what happened ,.After all ,you guys from ohel did send many clients to mondrowitz

    12. OHEL apology??? That’s like asking the airlines to apologize for 9/11…in “retrospect” did they do something wrong? Sure — they allowed animals with box cutters onto their planes. Was that a know risk at that time?? No. Similarly, at the time Mondrowitz was recommended by OHEL (assuming that allegation is in fact true), his reputation was intact, and child molestation was not the pervasive problem that it is today. You folks asking for an apology are nothing more than a bunch of pre-school children. Not to mention that even if OHEL was inclined to issue an apology to pacify the infants amongst us, it could imply culpability on their part, and therefore open them up to liability (when they’ve in fact done nothing wrong).

    13. Anybody remember the radio station that mondrowitz had his show on? Do u remember the hours he was on air? And does anybody remember the phrase he used when signing off at the end of his show? This information is important to an investigator.

    14. Other person stated;
      Do you know everything about your own neighbor? Ohel does wonders for the community and instead of blasting them you should see the good work they do with your own eyes. Call them up and they would be glad to show you around for free.
      How much of their wonders are government funded, how much is chesed?
      You might be surprised to find that all these chesed organizations are just conduits for well paying, not show up often jobs.
      The crime is not taking a salary for your time. The crime is forgetting to put the client/child/patient first and the job second.

    15. Ohel is known to take the old approach of “let’s keep things quiet” they only like publicity when it comes to asking for money. And what is that for?? They get so much gov. Funding

    16. These salaries are obscene. These overpaid executives should immediately release their tax returns so we the community can see how much they donated to Ohel and to other Tzedokos and if they did not they should be fired or have their salaries reduced to what other community supported organizations are payying their staff.

    17. I was at an event in Passaic where Ohel sponsored a night to teach the community about “safety” from molesters. The event was precipitated by the moving into town of a knows molester from Brooklyn. All the Ohel speakers could say was to teach your kids about good touch and bad touch. The Rov was the only one who told the oylam to go to the police if they knew anything about the molester. Thank G-d he was arrested and is now on Riker’s Island awaiting trial. But if it were up to Ohel, he would be out there trying to find kids who didn’t learn their “good touch bad touch” lesson well or who he could manipulate into forgetting it. It’s as if Ohel feels that the responsiblity for protecting the children is on the children. How unprofessional can you get? And for this we pay them the big bucks?

    18. #37,
      “The Rov was the only one who told the oylam to go to the police if they knew anything about the molester. Thank G-d he was arrested and is now on Riker’s Island awaiting trial.”
      ——-
      The Rov? What for?

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