Stamford Hill rabbis back fund-raiser for ‘child abuse’ group
By Josh Jackman, July 14, 2015
Leading Charedi rabbis have supported a fundraising event for Shlomo Helbrans, whose strictly Orthodox group has previously been investigated for child abuse.
The event in Stamford Hill, north London, on Monday night was aimed at raising money to support Helbrans’s group, and was backed by Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, head of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC).
In a flyer which was distributed in synagogues throughout the Stamford Hill area, Rabbi Padwa told community members to donate to the group.
He wrote: “The congregation ‘Lev Tahor’, whose dwelling was in the land of Canada, and suddenly the anger of the local government fell upon them, with the aid of informers ("mosrim"), and they began to interfere and make decrees, and to interfere with matters of educating boys and girls, so that they were forced to uproot from their dwelling and they went to the state of Guatemala, fleeing.
“And there in their new place they are in a dire situation and have almost nothing.”
The other leading rabbis who made appeals on behalf of Lev Tahor - which means ‘pure heart’ in Hebrew - were Elyokim Schlesinger, Yochanan Wosner, Yosef Binyomin Wosner, Eliezer Dovid Freidman, Azriel Schechter and Dovid Halpern.
Known as ‘The Jewish Taliban’ because of the head-to-toe black garments its women wear, Lev Tahor allegedly forced children into marriages and trapped them in basements, beating them when they misbehaved.
Chanoch Kesselman, UOHC executive coordinator, said he had no knowledge of the event. He added: “I am unable to comment.”
Another UOHC senior figure, who asked not to be named, said: “The Union have not made any stance. The Union has no comment on it. Rabbi Padwa has endorsed it.”
He said the fundraising campaign was the responsibility of Rabbi Padwa, but was separate from the organisation.
“It wasn’t discussed by the Union. He’s not required to get executive permission for something like this from the Union. The feeling in the Union is that you can’t let people starve. Some of them know about the cult, and in no way does the union endorse the activities.
“People don’t always do due diligence themselves and will rely on whoever else has endorsed it. The people who’ve endorsed it are respected rabbis.”
Posted by Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg at 7/14/2015
Padwa is a Child Abuse ENABLER. He Belongs in JAIL
Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg