New York – Appeals Court Prioritizes Alternative Lifestyle Over Religious Rights, Awarding Ex-Chasidic Gay Mom Custody Of Kids


    New York – In a surprising ruling, a Brooklyn appeals court struck down an earlier ruling that had awarded a Chasidic man sole custody of his children after his openly gay ex-wife violated the religious upbringing clause spelled out in their divorce agreement.

    The Daily News reported ( that Naftali Weisberger won a three year legal battle with his wife Chavie who abandoned her Chasidic lifestyle after the couple’s marriage disintegrated in 2009.

    Weisberger sued for full custody of the couple’s children, then ages five, six and eight in 2012, arguing that his ex-wife had violated the terms of their divorce which stipulated that Chavie Weisberger give her children a strict religious upbringing.

    Weisberger said that this wife cut off her son’s payos, forced their children to watch a movie about alternative lifestyles, was living with a transgender man and had told their oldest child that she was attracted to women.

    Chavie Weisberger, who serves on the board of an organization that supports gay rights in the Jewish community and is a staff member with Footsteps, appealed that decision and had custody restored last month.

    According to the terms of the decision, Chavie Weisberger is required to continue sending her children to Chasidic schools and to allow them to practice their religion freely when visiting with their father on weekends and Jewish holidays.

    The three judge appeals court wrote in its decision that the religious upbringing clause should not interfere with a parent’s right “to express oneself freely.”

    “The nature of the evidence does not support the conclusion that it is in the children’s best interest to have their mother categorically conceal the true nature of her feelings and beliefs from them at all time and in all respects,” wrote the judges.

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    1. This case does not “prioritizes alternative lifestyle over religious rights;” As uncomfortable as it is, we need to assess it accurately. What it does is prioritize a mother’s rights, making all other issues secondary.

      At the same time, the Court is requiring the mother not to interfere with the boy’s practices and yeshiva education.

      None of this should surprise anyone. We live in a secular society that on balance greatly benefits religious minorities

      Personally, I’d be surprised if this works…and I bet the case isn’t over.

      • In a nutshell this is the sad outcome of voting in Liberal judges. This is why we need to vote republican. Traditionally democartes were helpful toward Jewish causes however, nowadays that’s no longer the case. Its the democrats, that choose LGBT rights over religon. Now just wait till Ateres Avrham is sued for not allowing an LGBT wedding and some liberal judge will deliver a guilty verdict.

        Sad day for jews. And the fact that chavie’s zaidy is one of the greatest elder tzadkim of our dor makes it even sadder. May he merit seeing his grandchild return to the right path bkorov.

        • A few yidin won’t make a difference If you vote republican just move to n Dakota Nebraska Iowa louisiana Wyoming. Etc you will get all the republican votes and benefits. No abortion. A lot of Nazis just like the late hime

        • You don’t understanding of the legal issues. So, when you do not like the results of the case (I don’t like the results either), than ipso facto you believe that it’s a problem caused by liberals.

          Rather, it’s a result of a legal and Constitutional system that, while protecting individual religious expression, does not permit religious dictates to overrule other significant freedoms and protections. The starkest example are the cases ordering medical procedures for children of J—– Witnesses, overruling their religious objections to the procedures.

          You need to understand this…not like it…through the prism of American jurisprudence, and not only Torah. And you need to appreciate that prism, which is what protects us from ever having to conform to a system constructed in conformance with the dictates of Protestantism.

          Remember the Salem witch trials? Our founders did, and constructed a Constitutional system of protections so that parochial religious interests could not be adopted as official government policy.

          • “And you need to appreciate that prism, which is what protects us from ever having to conform to a system constructed in conformance with the dictates of Protestantism”

            Sure our constitutions has tremendous benefits in terms of freedom to practice religion but it has many pitfalls as well. In particular it has gone to the other extreme lately where its beginning to erode and unprotect our religous rights. Some examples are, technically ateres avraham can be sued for denying a gay wedding, schools may be soon forced to provide an LGBT education, children (as in this case) will be allowed to stay with LGBT moms, metziza bepeh and even bris mila can be outlawed. The list goes on but the point is that our constitution has brought us to the other extreme. And at these extremes I do not appreciate the prism of it.

            Now re the legal issues and whether its politcal. The constitution is very narrow and is totally interpreted by political views. That’s why the supreme court is such a fight. Its clearly not a linear straight line interpretation. And so yeah I do blame liberal judges.

            • Your definition of “extreme” in the context of Constitutional law seems to be anything that offends (your) Torah sensibilities.

              Discussing law with you is as substantive and meaningful as would be a Rabbi discussing Shabbos observance to a wisenheimer am haaretz who thinks he knows Torah. The am haaretz has no respect for a yeshiva education and acts as if Rabbis know nothing…you treat issues of law the same way…asking nothing…and knowing it all.

              One question, oh educated one. Give me a reason in law distinguishing the owner of a shop serving the public (a) not baking a cake for a gay couple because their union offends his religious principles; and (b) an owner refusing to serve a frum customer because he deeply and sincerely believes Jews are responsible for the murder of his savior and are evil. A reason in law.

            • there’s a difference between not baking a cake for a gay wedding than not serving someone because of their religion
              they’re not refusing to serve gays because of their religious convictions they will gladly sell cakes to gays just that they’re refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding

            • Legally, a distinction without a difference. The issue is allowing a vendor’s personal moral convictions (which, by the way, I share with most of you) to determine if he can refuse to serve a customer.

              This issue has surfaced recently in connection with social media sites wanting to kick off white supremacists…as with issues of free speech for reprehensible people (like the KKK or Nazis), it really is a slippery slope…for who is to determine who gets to define what is “reprehensible?” We are all best protected if everyone is protected…even rashoim.

            • in our torah , not yours as prooven by your posts all over, its called ‘lifney ivayr lo sitain michshol’, do not make a stumbling block before a blind…’ The riboni shel oilom does not care what the constitution says……Proof.. Harvey, Irma, Jose etc!!!

          • “while protecting individual religious expression, does not permit religious dictates to overrule other significant freedoms and protections. “

            Of course you can find me stark examples where the constitution and law was helpful. But this little concept of yours while very scholarly and nice sounding is a very sliperry slope. A t the end of the day sechel and common sense has to proceed these scholarly letter of the law stuff. In this case , when chavie married weisberger and had kids its obvious that they both did it with the intention of rasing them completely frum and with frum parents. Once a child is brought to the world you can’t all of a sudden change . Its too late then.

            And frankly that notion that this is “other significant freedoms and protections.” and not part of the religoulsy based is malarky. You know that when a mom shows off to her kid that she is gay and when she the cheif of footsteps LGBT community, that she is not just practcing her freedoms She wants her kids to be not religous and you know that. And so she is imposing a different religon upon them than agreed upon

          • Last point, spare me all your scholarly wording . But let me be honest I don’t believe the constitution and the law is always the best thing. I am against

            1) The second amendment. We don’t need guns. I am not sure if it prevents or increases murders overall (so On that debate the jury is out there. Although Adam Lamza without his moms guns would have never did Newtown.) However, I don’t like the America tough guy, shooting violent nature that comes with guns
            2) I am against free speech. It enables nazis, Antifa and BLM’s to march in the street violently. It also enables the media to print lies and vital secrets needed to keep or country safe.
            3) Its our laws that enable mass incarceration. Yes I disagree with Sessions on that. I like tough law enforcement but locking up a black at age 17 for life because he sold pot is nuts. Its a waste of tax payer dollars, in effective and cruel. And they should let rubashkin go to
            4) It was our laws that allowed slavery for years
            5) I am against legalized gay marriage also protected by the heilga constitution. Gays should be afforded rights but not marriage.

            Basiclly, the constitution is not heilg and should be changed when needed.

            • Educated Archy – This is classic. I am saving this post.
              Anything else you don’t like about the constitution that you would like to change ?
              Have you really thought deeply into the consequences of throwing out the first and second amendment ?
              How about the fourth ? Maybe the fifth and sixth too ?
              The reason the US is what it is today despite all the racism, hatred and megalomaniacs in this country is because of the constitution.

      • Your comment just shows how crazy you really are!
        You views are so radical, you’re a typical leftist liberal who is anti everything your grandparents held dear. Your an embarrassment, shame on you!

      • I thought that family courts are supposed to decide in favor of “best interests of the children”, and not prioritize “mother’s rights”. In other words, the court must strive to maintain the moral environment for kids to which THEY (the kids) are accustomed. Not to obligate children to live in the middle of mother’s craziness… If mom went insane – it’s her issue, why put kids in this situation? Just more selfish liberal craziness…

    2. Which chassidic schools should accept the children? I would not want these children in a classroom with my children, and I do try to be open minded. These children are dealing with too much craziness!

      • I can forsee a situation where some schools may choose not to have these kids enrolled.
        I feel that any parent that states, as above in #3
        “I would not want these children in a classroom with my children, and I do try to be open minded.” is being cruel. To state that shows a person that lacks menchlechkeit to other people. I truly doubt anything the affected kids say or do will affect the other kids.

      • How can you be so cruel to these already tortured kids. I assume the kids are and have been enrolled in school for a number of years already. They have friends in school, the school knows them. What if your child is friendly with one of these kids. Wouldn’t you like to try to help these kids by leaving them some semblance of normalcy in their upside down world, to let them continue to stay in the same school with the same friends? Perhaps their friends can invite them over and show them some real chassidishe varm family yiddishkeit.

          • Please tell us the schools your children attend, so we can be sure these victims don’t have to interact with bigots & heartless classmates & their mother. And you think your kids are better than these 3? Don’t kid yourself, they have you for a mother – how could they be compassionate Jews who understand Ahavas Yisrael? You should be ashamed, but you’re not & that’s an even worse situation.

            #17, very well said.

      • Yeah, who cares about Yiddishe neshamos, my precious child can’t be in the same class as a child going through craziness. It might be contagious. No Torah for them.

        Thankfully, Yitzchak didn’t feel that Rivkah had too much craziness in Besuel’s household to disqualify her. Can’t believe Korach’s descendants were allowed to serve in the Bais HaMikdah and compose Tehillim with parents like that. Should never have been allowed into Yeshiva.

        Same with all the descendants of converts like Rabbi Akiva and Rav Meir. Too many issues. And that Hillel hiding on the roof listening to shiur to avoid tuition. Definitely not a suitable classmate for my children.

        • Bravo! perfect answer

          to Ina:
          prayerfully, you are not in chinuch. your close mindedness for innocent children caught in the crosshairs of a troubled background that they have no control over and have a troubled mother (who lives with a transgender male) makes me wonder if your children are as callous as you. my guess is they are bigger nebs than you. seek help, practice ahavas yisroel on a random individual. elul is the perfect month to do so, nut job

      • don’t get scared off by anyone who disagrees with you! whoever doesn’t mind having their kids mingle, either has no kids or doesn’t give much of a hoot how their kids grow up. we keep our kids in a religious school and we want to shelter them from the social rotten world.

        we don’t give them sex education and don’t teach them to understand alternative lifestyles. when they grow up they will get exposed to the trash that goes on, it’s enough if they have to challenge it then.

        the notion of “yidisha neshumes” is out of place. I wouldn’t want a yiddisha neshuma that is watching porn to be with my kids. is this like porn? no, but everyone has guidelines where they suddenly don’t get bought by the Yidisha Neshume nonsense, and I draw the line here.

      • I would not want my children in a classroom with your children, and I do try to be open-minded. But your children are being raised by a very intolerant and merciless man.

        How can you make a remark like this a few weeks before Rosh Hashanah? These are innocent children, they have done nothing wrong. The frum community is loaded with problems these days – ugly divorces, parents going to jail for fraud and embezzlement, drugs and Hashem knows what else. Things go on in other people’s houses that you know nothing about. Its entirely possible that your children are attending classes right now with children whose parents are going through an ugly divorce, or has at least one parents under arrest or in jail, or one parent who is a drug addict. Are you going to check the backgrounds of each child who is friends with your children?

        Maybe you should homeschool them.

    3. For too long our communities have cynically abused the family courts system to enslave people and dictate their behaviors.

      This ruling hopefully marks a turning point for the countless fathers and mothers in the frum community who are cruelly denied the right to have genuine relationships with their children.

    4. Forget religion, what sane parent discusses their own personal sexuality with their eight year old child? This woman is either crazy or a sicko lowlife and unbefitting for parenthood under any standard.

    5. the real story;
      1. this mother is a bas kedoshim, who the satan has really got hold of
      2. numerous negotionas and compromises were offered to spare the kids ….and avoid a fight
      3. the husband is remaaried and trying his best
      4. the kehila has put in hundreds of thousands to provide these innocent neshomos with chinuch, housing, therapy….
      5. bh they are in good mosdos
      6 the avi hayesomim will have rachmonus…they are his children
      7. the court decision is bad and sets a precedent..but there are a number of clauses that limit the damage bottom line is this judge erred in the sense that the court strongly considers the ” religious upbringing to be paramount.. the question is not how the mother should live and even under the old agreement she had visitation….

    6. > Weisberger said that this wife cut off her son’s payos, …

      The court document is on the web. The list is a lot longer – feeding non-kosher food, movies about Christmas, chillul shabbos, etc.

    7. Do you know Chavie? Do you have any idea what an amazing mother/friend/human being she is? How dare you call a total stranger insane? Loshon hora and rechilus isn’t in your shilchun aruch?

      The courts (with the guidance of psychological experts) have determined that her being genuine about herself with her children cannot possibly harm them. Please think before you speak.

      • I’m sorry but no one smart, and sane who is genuinely frum could say that uts not detrimental for her to tell her kids About her lifestyle, and even worse expose them to are they expected to make proper decisions with their own frumkeit.?

    8. As a child there wasn’t any Jewish school in my town so I had to attend public school. One day a little girl joined us, very quiet & scruffy, she was living in a children’s home. I felt sorry for her so we became friends and one day she told me she couldn’t live with her mother because her mother was in jail for shooting her sister’s boyfriend.

      My father was a very frum man but he encouraged me to bring this little shiksa home so she could have a decent meal, play with my toys and have some sort of reprieve from her miserable life.One day she wasn’t in school and I never saw her again.

      “Ina” – to be so cruel to yiddishe kinder is just horrible. If my parents could allow me to bring a non-Jewish child into a frum home to help her get through the trauma (this was way before therapy was popular) how come you can’t find it inside your heart to want to help these children.

      • A little nebby shiksa do b nice to is absolutely what we shld all do. Public school differs as opposed to a reg Jewish school cuz we know were diffrnt! These unfortunate kids need to attend a yiddish school but their poisened minds are likely to spread wings. Theyre exposd to the worst and lowliness of the world. Do we need to put our childrns chinuch in jeopardy? Of course they cant b shunned but theres no definitive answer as how we can be in their surroundings being that theyre sadly knee deep in a filthy world. Hashem shld be merachem on them.

      • This is undoubtedly so, now that their mother will have a shared custody arrangement wherein she will teach them about every deviance ever known to man. But, oh yes, I forget, let them go to school with your children so they can indoctrinate everyone else with everything we don’t ever want them to know.

        • Well said! What happens when those poor kids what to invite classmates to their mom’s house for play dates??? How will they explain her lady friend??? I wouldn’t want my kids exposed to them, and I have plenty of ahavas Yisroel but my first obligation is to protect my own!

          • Thank you for being brave enough to stick up for me, after all those awful people hurled vile invectives at me for speaking the truth. This is not about a nasty divorce or any other unfortunate situation which occurs in many homes. This is about a mother who lives a deviant lifestyle who will have shared custody of these poor children. I would not want my children exposed to what these children will be living with. In fact, most of us would be very unsettled to know that our children will be introduced to lifestyles we do not wish them to be exposed to. Further, the very same situation occurred in a local school and the mother was asked to remove her child from the school!

    9. So I have to be a “nice” Jew and accept kids in my innocent childrens class that theyre mom is openly despicable and has a filthy no person for a friend. I hear. This is NOT ahavas yisroel. The world is filthy as it is& we can never b sure enuf that our kids dont have interaction w terrible views these kids are privy of. Ahavas yisroel means to befriend unfortunate erlicha kids. Pf course these kids need compassion but Il tell u about a girl in my kids class in a similiar situation that got compassion yet brought filthy pcs of reading material to school and all the works and the tragic end was that she turned against society and were still all suffering from her. This wicked mom shld suffer and see meet hell. Nobody shld say shes a bas yisroel w a big heart. Shes a filthy individual unworthy of any compassion. Poor father and kids and shame to our disgusting legal system.

    10. Perhaps the ex husband should claim to be a transgendered female to male or a gay man. Maybe than the court will have to decide between Lesbian rights versus Male Homo rights. If he can somehow pose as a black female transgendered Lesbian that would probably sway the judges in his favor. Trying to be a Frum Jew in a Sodomite court system is a lost cause.

      • Definitely she’s rebelling against frumkeit and trying to stick it to her Parents/ex husband/community. There’s no other reason she feels the need to flaunt all this and put them all in the media!

    11. ‘reshoim afili al pischay gehenom einom choizrim’. We see whats going on with these devastating hurricanes 3 in one shot, flooding just like the mabil, and the rashoim over here are still defending these who bring a mabil al hauretz!!!!


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