Saving Isaac Hersh?

Save Isaac emails:

Here is a letter publicized by Michael Hersh. The lines that start with FACT – are the counter claims to his propaganda.

It is also EXTREMELY important to let everyone know the sequence of events PRIOR to [Yeshiva University’s David] Pelcovitz interviewing my son in Jamaica. The fact that we asked him 3 days beforehand to travel to Jamaica on our behalf to do an independent evaluation of the boy AND the school – and he refused to go. Yet 3 days later he traveled there without our knowledge and without having ANY facts about Yitzchok Meir’s psychiatric history or behavior at home; he never even spoke to us or the prior mental health professionals even once.

FACT: Dr. Pelcovitz had no knowledge of this case prior to 5 hours before getting on the plane, there is talk that someone may have said he would be a good candidate to go, but was never approached himself by the family

FACT: We have a letter from Dr. Hizami, who only saw Isaac Hersh ONCE, and for a very short period of time, (10 – 15 minutes), but before speaking to Isaac, he spent over an hour with Michael Hersh, and said that based on his assessment, this child needs to be in a “special school” – even if this was true, which we know was not, Tranquility Bay was definitely not the right place” “Dr. Pelcovitz realized that the opinion of the parents and the “professionals” have been tainted, and wanted to hear first hand from Isaac about the allegations of abuse in tranquility bay and the allegations of abuse by his own father, Michael, both in Israel and NY.

However, he had spoken at length to Wolbe, Rivka Cohen, Yitzchok Meir’s twin brother, and everyone who had an agenda to distort the truth. Pelcovitz even traveled to Jamaica together with Arye Wolbe and his father, so he really just went there with a clear intention to confirm what he had been told. He even refused to look around the school at all.

FACT: What agenda? We have a letter from Rabbi Aryeh Wolbe, sent to Rabbi Aron Schecter dated Dec 2007, begging him to look into the case, and not to blindly believe all that Michael was telling him, and clearly stating that he wants to take him into his home once again.
Also, no mention was ever made that the parents were trying for 8 months to get a team of people from the community to travel to Jamaica and visit the school and their son to provide an objective report; no one was willing to go.

FACT: The above statement is an absolute LIE. The parents went so far that no one should even know that Isaac was there.

It should also be made clear that Arye Wolbe kicked Yitzchok Meir out of his house prior to his parents sending him to Tranquility Bay; Arye Wolbe’s statement was that he would “bring the kid to New York and leave him in the middle of the street if his parents are not willing to take him in” since he did not want to have him in his own house for even one more day.

FACT: Once again a lie. Aryeh Wolbe and his wife were expecting their fourth child, and did not have room in their home. They made arrangements to have the child near by, at another frum family, and Michael Hersh would not hear of it. They also made plans to send Isaac to Toronto, where he would have been warmly received by Rabbi Moishe Fuerst. Michael Hersh agreed, and this is the only reason why Isaac came back to NY, in order to get a passport so he can go to Toronto. No one ever thought that Michael would send his child to such a brutal facility in Jamaica.

The parents then called friends in Israel and England to look all over for a school that would accept Yitzchok Meir, but there was no school anywhere in the US, Israel, or England that was willing to accept Yitzchok Meir that he himself was willing to go to.

FACT: Once again, lies fabricated by the Hersh parents.
The embassy was in the process of interviewing Yitzchok Meir only because the parents gave full written permission for the US embassy (and any other 3rd party official) to interview their son in private any time they wanted to.

FACT: Somewhat True, the embassy told the facility to Bring Isaac there, and the facility called Michael to notify him. Michael then called the embassy, and FORBADE any outsiders (or what he calls 3rd party) from speaking to his son. It was only when Isaac saw the Wolbe’s at the entrance to the embassy, that Isaac requested to be able to see the visitors from the states, that the consular officials allowed them to enter.

Last but not least, we gave full permission for the New York ACS (Administrative Child Services) agency to speak directly to our son Yitzchok Meir on a private telephone call while he was in Tranquility Bay. They called him just about 2 weeks before this entire “rescue” happened and the ACS caseworker told me that it was clear from speaking to him that he was calm, relaxed, and not in any danger whatsoever. He wanted to get out of the school but said he was fine, had adequate clothing, food, and a place to sleep, and did not mention anything about abuse whatsoever.

FACT: Isaac was called by ACS, and during the entire interview, he was in front of two of the staffers and was not able to speak freely.

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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