Friday, January 2, 2009

Avrohom Mondrowitz: Extradite Him Now !!

Why is Avrohom Mondrowitz still in Israel, defiling the streets of the Holy City with his continued presence? It was back in the 80's that this man's carefully built facade crumbled. I remember listening to him back in the 1980's when he broadcasted "Life is For Living." It was a call in program in which people discussed family problems, problems with young children and teens. Mondrowitz billed himself as a psychologist. He sounded reassuringly Jewish. His yeshivish speech patterns and his purported credentials were an irresistible combination. He was very persuasive. I remember telling my wife that he seemed like the kind of person who you could go to with a problem.

The news hit all of Mondrowitz's listeners hard. One day it was announced that his program was off the air. The allegations were that Mondrowitz was a serial abuser of many, many boys.

So Modrowitz went to Israel not for the holiness of the land but the holes in America's extradition treaty with Israel. It is hard to believe that such crimes were not covered. Finally, last year the extradition treaty was changed to cover Mondrowitz. He was arrested in Israel after so many years. But Mondrowitz has hard nosed lawyers who are fighting his extradition. He wants to be tried in Israel, where he stands a better shot at leniency. According to Vos iz Neias,

While a Jerusalem court ruled Mondrowitz extraditable earlier this year, he appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, which heard his final appeal on Dec. 8.

At that hearing, the Justices asked the State’s attorneys to consider three issues: the propriety of retroactive application of extradition treaties; the prosecution’s decision to extradite Mondrowitz despite the many years that have passed since the commission of the alleged crimes; and whether Mondrowitz should be tried in Israel. The excerpt from the letter from the sex crimes bureau chief, Rhonnie Jaus, was part of a larger brief responding to those questions and filed with the high court on Dec. 23.

“Over the last twenty-two years, these victims have had to live with this childhood trauma. Knowing that the efforts they made to testify against Mondrowitz [have] not brought them any justice [has] made living with this nightmare that much more difficult,” Jaus wrote. She was referring to testimony given by the victims to a Brooklyn grand jury, which indicted Mondrowitz in absentia in 1985 on four counts of sodomy and eight counts of sexual abuse in the first degree against four children in Brooklyn.

“Over the years when these victims, now grown men, have been contacted by our office, they have maintained their interest in the prosecution of Mondrowitz,” Jaus’ letter continued. “They are concerned for their own privacy and safety, but willing to pursue the case.”

A spokesman for the Brooklyn DA confirmed that the letter had been submitted and that the victims “have a continued interest in the case and have expressed a willingness to testify.” He also noted that Jaus’ letter communicated the fact that these victims were “in terror of Mondrowitz” in 1985.

Jaus’ letter is significant, according to Michael Lesher, a journalist and attorney who has been deeply involved in this case. Lesher says it is “the first direct statement in an official forum that specifically tells us that the original complainants are in contact with the DA’s office and [that they] are prepared and do want to proceed with prosecution. That’s an important and encouraging sign.”

Here is a case where victims are willing to testify. There is no reason to waste time with technicalities.

Why are the Israelis wasting time with this chromosomal human? Why is there talk at all in the orthodox Jewish community of "not handing him over to non Jewish courts? Are Jewish courts able to try capital cases? We have our hands full with gittin, with Jewish divorces and with adjudicating property disputes. Child molestation and murder are over our heads. And what Mondrowitz is accused of is like murder. One of his alleged victims has already committed suicide.

If someone wants to piously say that we can't turn an abuser over, I would keep my kids away from such a person. At the very least, they lack the basic judgment that is a prerequisite to proper child care. There is the disturbing possibility that they may be biased against the victims.

I am very ignorant on matters of Jewish law. But I why cell phone minutes asking a rov for permission to turn in a child molester? If someone wants to second guess a parent's judgment, if they want to ask them why they didn't call a rov about a molester just say "Whoops!", "Oopsie!" or "Oy Gevalt!" Then slap your forehead and say "I forgot to call the rov! Silly me!." And put a penny in the pushke to say you are sorry.

It is sick and twisted to rail against all the evils of Lipa Shmeltzer's music, boys and girls flirting in the pizza shop and denim skirts and to then make books of excuses for child molester's. Offenses like this should be turned over to criminal authorities. Failure to do so is a crime and a disgrace to Torah Judaism. Mondrowitz should face justice in America. Israel should not waste another moment on Mondrowitz and his high priced lawyers. Put him on the next plane to New York.

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