There’s A Jewish Press/YULA Connection To Israel’s Worst Child Abuse Case Ever

Here’s the case. Here’s YULA’s website. Here’s Failed Messiah.

Here’s a picture of the Jerusalem woman (Michal Schwartz Shenbaum) accused of abusing her kids:


According to two independent sources, the mother of the daughter with the abused children is Naomi Klass Mauer, the founder of The Jewish Press — Rabbi Shalom Klass. Naomi had the bitterest of divorces from her husband Yehuda Schwartz. It was written up in New York magazine (circa 1990) where it strongly hinted she had played around.

Naomi Klass was an agunah — a chained woman because he would not give her a divorce. She says he tried to extort vast amounts of money from her in exchange for a divorce.

She became a champion of the agunot in The Jewish Press, which features a seruv section for men who won’t listen to a Beit Din and won’t give their wives gittim (Jewish divorces).

Moshe Dovid Tendler was the lead rabbi and guru for Rabbi Shalom Klass when he was fighting for his daughter’s Get without offering a significant financial settlement to Yehuda Schwartz. Older Tendler and, yes, Mordechai Tendler, took her and her father in and became near-family for years. Michal and Naomi were constant in both Tendler homes for years. That is a reason why many bloggers complained that the Jewish Press was not only whitewashing the Mordechai Tendler affair but defending him to the bitter end.

A source writes:

Naomi’s claim about her ex husbands abuse and turning her into an agunah is a lot of one-sided bs. Her husband Judah demanded a share for his building up of the newspaper which he did a great job of. She had use of the newspaper to badmouth him. Also many of her so called agunah cases are stories of women who don’t want to take a get because they are trying to get money out of their husbands and will only take a get on their terms. Basically financial disputes. When you turn these cases into ‘Agunah’ cases you cheapen the real chained women.

Btw, apparently her ex husband Judah had sympathy for Dr Ivan Mauer who was a widower at the time and allowed him and his kids to move in with his family, unfortunately his wife went with the Doctor and he got the boot. I don’t think there was infidelity involved and you never know the real story, but it was a pretty strange story.

I am not connected to the Jewish Press in any way shape or form, but admit to being very biased  against it.It is just so dumb and silly and so freakin’ rightwing especially when it comes to many people I personally disagree with vehemently such as the rightwing settlers who are stirring up trouble all the time and one of the few newspapers to allow moronic ads about the Lubavitcher Rebbe being alive and the Messiah, when he was alive AND when he passed away! They also lack any real spine, for example years ago when Meir Kahane was banned from the Knesset they stopped his weakly column! Now I think that Kahane was a crazy nut, but if you allowed his rantings before have the balls to print them afterwords too!

Here’s a law review article that mentions Schwartz vs. Schwartz.

Naomi eventually married Dr. Ivan Mauer. They lived in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn. Michal went to the Shulamit yeshiva.

Michal and her future husband David Shenbaum (a Beth Jacob boy with the nicest parents) moved to Israel and became West Bank Gush Kutif type frum (I am not saying they lived there but that type) and then they moved to the old city of Jerusalem and became Breslaver Hasidim. They were introduced to some characters among the Breslavers who do drugs. These guys got nvolved in their marriage and some of them moved into the home.

YULA graduate (1986?) David Shenbaum (made aliyah in 1993) claims that once these guys moved in, he couldn’t see his children. So why didn’t he go see the police?

Anyone have any information on why these Modern Orthodox types would go on such a dark and deviant path?

How could their kids be so severely abused in the Old City of Jerusalem where everybody lives on top of each other?

Here are excerpts from The Jerusalem Report:

According to the charge sheet, the woman’s relationship with her husband broke down last year, and she expressed her desire to divorce her husband, who subsequently left their Jerusalem home, leaving his eight children in the care of his wife and two men who were charged with educating her children.
The men, who allegedly carried out the abuse with the mother, received instruction from Chen on how to "fix" the children’s behavior, and "cleanse" them of their Satanic possession, the indictment says.
…During a search of Chen’s Betar Illit home, police found evidence that appears to link the rabbi to the abuse, including notebooks that document the violence, police said.
"Put stones on a [Shabbat] hot plate . . . when they are boiling, put them on the bodies of the children and then they will be cleansed," the instructions read.
Chen also instructs his followers how to tie up the children, and to prepare alcoholic drinks made of salt water and turpentine, which, he writes, should be given to the children in order to "vomit out the devil from themselves." Among the items police discovered at Chen’s home were hammers, iron bars, turpentine, sticks, and handcuffs.

…One of the woman’s eight children identified him as taking part in the abuse as well, the police representative testified in court.
The charge sheet in the gruesome child abuse case recounts that the mother allegedly forced her children to eat feces, locked them in a suitcase for three days – letting them out only for brief periods of time – repeatedly beat, whipped, and shook them, burned their hands with a lighter and a heater, and gave them freezing showers.
The abusive mother and "educators" are also suspected of pouring salt on the burn wounds of the child, stuffing his mouth with a skullcap and sealing his mouth with masking tape, and giving the children alcoholic drinks until they vomited.
The woman remains in police custody.
Since her arrest last month, the mother was repeatedly shown pictures of her children’s injuries, but on most of the days she was in remand, she did not inquire about the children nor did she ask who was taking care of them, the police said.

The King’s County District Attorney’s office honored Naomi Klass as one of Brooklyn’s "Extraordinary Women" in 2007:

Naomi Klass Mauer is associate editor of The Jewish Press and editor of the “Family Issues” section of the newspaper. She is also a frequent contributor of articles to the paper.

Aside from her work at The Jewish Press, Mrs. Mauer spends countless hours helping abused women throughout Brooklyn’s many communities. She also assists women who are denied a religious Jewish divorce from their husbands.

Mrs. Mauer is married to Dr. Ivan Mauer, and is a proud mother and grandmother of a large family, who mostly reside in Israel. Mrs. Mauer is also the daughter of the late Rabbi Sholom Klass and of Mrs. Irene Klass, founders of The Jewish Press.

Naomi Klass is one of the scheduled speakers for this 2008 Pesach event in Arizona (along with Malcolm Hoenlein, Rebbitzen Esther Jungreis etc):

Naomi Klass Mauer: In her role as Associate Publisher of the Jewish Press–the voice of America’s Jewish community for almost half a century, Naomi Mauer has kept this publication true to the principles of its founder-her father, Rabbi Sholom Klass., ZT’L.More than ‘required reading” for thousands of Jews coast to coast and abroad, it is also an undisputed destination for countless political hopefuls and activists seeking a meaningful forum with the Jewish community. The fact that they are judged by performances rather than mere promises, is testimony to Naomi and her family’s unwavering adherence to Rabbi Klass’s original vision Despite the demands of this ever expanding publication, Naomi still finds time to involve herself with countless groups and organizations.

Naomi is scheduled to speak May 7th for the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. She published an article in FrontPageMag.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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