On August 10, 2007, and over the next week, I receive emails from Melvin in Brooklyn:
Because of the many accusations filed with CPS (Child Protection Services) by these people this woman [Rosa aka Rose] lost 10 of her 14 children to foster care and adoption to Ohel. Ohel is a Jewish adoption agency. Ohel is a very large money making organization selling Jewish babies to childless parents for large sums. Three of her children went up for adoption and are now adopted by Jewish families.
Rabbi [X] used his influence with the court (family court) to destroy her character. He went so far as to have Ohel’s doctor accuse her of being a drug addict. He did not stop at anything. He was merciless with this woman. He destroyed her entire life. She is now slowly recovering from the damage this inhuman creature imposed on her. The court stripped her from her parental rights. Four children the court couldn’t grab away from her was because two of her children were over 18 at the time and two weren’t born yet.
This horrible story has many twists. It reads like a science fiction horror novel.
Please give us a call. We would like to talk to you. You seem to be the only one who is not afraid of anyone.
…We live in Brooklyn, NY . This woman at one time was part of Rabbi…’s community. She went to him with her family for Jewish instruction to become a "Bal Teshuvah" She needs your help. She has no one to turn to. One of her daughters is now in a mental institution because the foster parent was sexually abusing her since she was 11. This young woman is now 17. Another son was sent to a foster care system for juvenile delinquency and is now a troubled adult with a shady past. Please contact us at your earliest convenience. She is going to a Permanency hearing Thursday the 16th of August to try to get her daughter out of the foster care system, This young woman’s doctor and therapist wish this young woman to be released to her mother. This woman has two remaining children that she is raising beautifully. Because this woman is taking action to get her daughter out of Rockland County’s system the social worker at Rockland’s CPS wants to investigate her and her two small children. This woman does not have a lawyer. She is frightened. This is not an isolated incident. Rabbi [X] and his wife have done this to many families. PLEASE HELP US expose him, his wife and his followers. Please be advised that this woman nor her grown children want to have anything to do with judaism because of what this Rabbi did to them.
…All her children bare witness to his atrocities against her. If Rosa and her kids could be given a polygraph test it would prove everything they are saying is saying the truth. Mr. Ford, she is not a liar. I swear on my soul Mr. Ford. She had been conspired against by this Rabbi. She has court papers that say her urine test was contaminated even with that result , they told her she is guilty of taking drugs. She needs help getting many of court papers. She does not have all of her court papers. Some were taken from her by people who betrayed her. Please start by calling her daughter Isadora. You have here a family that was destroyed by a very ruthless and cunning man. He used clinics as though they were his instruments. He would have them say what he wished. He had doctors refuse to treat her children because they were threatened by case workers.
….Did you see the checks her ex was earning? She is a well balanced woman. I am with her a year and met her kids. They all corroborate her story. I am surprised you asked people from Monsey who actually turned on her if she was Jewish. Her family is Jewish. They were going to be bal teshuvahs. How could you ask people who were part of a group who believed what that Rabbi said about her and her family? Rose is the most wonderful woman and mother you will ever meet. The people in school are amazed at how well balanced her children are. I swear on my entire life she is an incredible mother.
…I am upset. Does it really matter if someone was screwed if they are Jewish or not? Why should it matter if people are married? If you mmist know Rose’s daughter is buried right next to a rabbi? Why in the world would you believe people from a community of sickos? I swear look. This woman is not lying. Look at the court papers. They took her kids away because of her ex supposedly not working, her not having son number 7 picked up which [Rabbi X] had done. Drug addicts whospend time in jail get their kids back. Why did they descriminate against a Puerto Rican woman who was Jewish. Maybe Geraldo River is not Jewish either. He is a Puerto Rican who also claims to be a Jew.
…They were Rivera’s who came over to the Caribbean. They are not Latino. They are called Ladino’s. They are Jews who speak with hebrew words in their spanish. If you know anything about Hispanic people you will be aware that people who spell their name with a "z" at the end of their name is a Jew. Non Hispanic Jew’s spell their name with an "s".I have been with Rose a year and it has been a miracle that I have found a tzadik. I left orthodoxy because of the abuse I received from a Boro Park yeshiva. I was tortured by the assistant principal Rabbi Arnold Wolf. He used to pull my pants down and pattle me.It was called Mesifta Yeshivah Toras Emes, a highly regarded school. The principal, Rabbi Elizazar Schwatrtz was a cruel sadist. He used to pull my ears. I have more horror stories to tell but I will wait. I went to Mirrer Yeshivah on Oean Parkway in Brooklyn, a principal Rabbi Klein slapped me so hard for not wearing a yarmulke that was large I went deaf in my right ear. These people are vicious. I went to Rabbi Jacob Joseph High School too after I was not allowed to return to Mirrer Yeshivah . This school was in Manhattan on the lower east side.I even went to a schoool in Israel for a year after I was finished with my senior year. It was called Mesiftah Tefiras Yerushaliam in Jerusalem in 1969/1970. The rabbi there was nuts. He even sent a man to attack me. He actually attacked me because I was no longer interested in Judaism.
They tried 4 times in the past to take her last 2 chiuldren.That community turned their back on her. They accused her of not being jewish and took her childrern to Ohel to be adopted by Orthodox families. Her baby daughter was buried in a jewish cemetary. Orthodox jews think goyim are allowed to be used and swindled. I grew up in that enviroment.
…She has a permanency hearing this Thursday to get her daughter out. There is so much more corruption in that community you would not believe. It would make your hair stand on edge. You have jeapordized one of her grown daughters who was threatened with death. I wish you had not used her name. I am very worried for her. Rose’s daughter’s had friends who knew what was going on and thought it was wrong. Rose was going to give you information and now she fears for her kids. Why?
…this is a story that could change the way cps (child protection services) handles families that were called in by people who have vendetta’s.this is a story about a cult group who wanted to destroy the credibility of an entire family. remember luke, i am worried about rose and her 3 daughters. Luke if you want to help this woman help her find a lawyer who will be willing to break this case open pro bono. this is a landmark case that would change social services abuse across . let me tell you a little insight. [This Monsey] community had a drive to collect funds to help colon family. rose found out from a community member that a drive to raise money for legal defense was made and between 20 and 30 thousand something dollars were raised . rose and her ex never saw a dime from it. rose had heard a rumor that one of the outstanding community people used it for a trip to enjoy.the money disappeared. rose and her ex were told afterwards that there was no money for legal assistance.. rose and her ex were obligated to use a legal aid. during their hearings their legal aid insisted they sign confessions telling them that if they don’t they will lose all their children and go to jail. what would you do if someone will take your children away? I would cut my arms off if asked to save my children. she was pressured with the threat of going to jail and losing all her children if she doesn’t sign. this woman is the most remarkable woman I have ever met. her two youngest daughters are well adjusted well mannered sweet and adorable children. I am amazed that she didn’t lose her mind or worse. she is a strong woman and any man who finds a woman of her character is indeed blessed.
Two of rose’s son’s were seduced by their foster mother when they were young teenagers.
The yeshiva, is where rose sent him. family court took her kids away claiming she neglected to send J. to school. those papers sent by fax were to prove to you that she did in fact send him to schools. even though she did, the court said she didn’t and based on their family service opinion saying, this being her "third violation"stripped her of ever being a parent to her 10 children. The social service system systematically lied about her.
As I started investigating this story, I was repeatedly warned to check all my facts. Some sources (including from Monsey and Kehillath New Hempstead, formerly the shul of Mordecai Tendler) said that Rose (aka Rosa) Colon deserved to lose custody of her kids. That she and her family were not Jewish. That they were freeloaders from Puerto Rico looking for handouts. That the kids were wild and the parents irresponsible. That the father couldn’t keep a job and the mother couldn’t keep the kids fed and clothed. That Rabbi Mordecai Tendler and the New Hempsteadt community went above and beyond the call of duty for this family but there was no saving them. They were hopeless. That they used different names. That they were suspected of being on the run from the police. That they always freaked out when there was any mention of law enforcement. That they were gypsies.
Over the past week, I spent several hours on the phone with Melvin N. and Rosa Colon. I also talked for almost two hours with Rosa’s daughter Isadora. I also talked to people who knew the family. These sources were not favorably disposed towards Mordecai Tendler and Ohel. They had no axe to grind on this case.
Over the past few months, I’ve received a stream of emails complaining about Ohel. One person pushed me to talk to Dr. Joan Hertz, a social worker at Ohel.
I emailed Dr. Hertz. She did not reply.
My source emailed:
Tell her you are working on a story about how Ohel is breaking up Jewish families in Boro Park.
Ohel is receiving big money in grants for these programs.
Also contact David Mandel the ceo and tell him you are doing an article on how Ohel is tearing apart famlies in Boro Park by convincing woman that they are being abused. The more woman they can show they are supposedly helping the more grants they can apply or run charity functions to collect money and pay themselves very fat saleries. They will go to all lengths to convince a woman that comes to them for help that she is being abused and try to keep her coming back as long as possible so they can collect money for helping her. If they succeed in breaking up the family then they can realy rake in the funds because they can get all sorts of programs running for her. The Rabanim in Boro Park close their eyes to all this abuse and Ohel gets some Rabanim on their payroll to whitewash their activites. Its about time the Jewish community learns the truth so they can save these woman who are victims of Ohel. Check out what David Mandel makes a year for a charity exec.
The Rabbis in Brooklyn are afraid of Ohel. You are the only one that can put them on notice. Ohel is breaking up marrriages and families in Boro Park, Flatbush and Williamsburg with their domestic violence program. They have to show results to justify the huge amounts of money they get from the government after 9/11 they were able to get alot of funding and built themselves a beutifull building and pay themselves fat saleries.
I know of other cases at Ohel where they broke up famalies and faremd out the kids to their rich donors in the 5 towns. look at their golf outings and fundraising farming out kids is a huge buisness. Joan Hertz says on her website that she specializes in adoption. So first she breaks up the parents with here domestic abuse counseling then Ohel has the kids taken away and sent to some fostor family.
…None of the named defendants in the two lawsuits — Rabbi Kolko, Torah Temimah and Camp Agudah — have yet responded to the lawsuit. A lawyer for Torah Temimah previously denied the allegations.
In the wake of the charges, Torah Temimah invited Rabbi Aaron Twerski, dean of the Hofstra University Law School, and David Mandel, the executive director of Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services, a Jewish social service agency, to speak at the event on Monday night.
…Following Rabbi Twerski, Mandel spoke about ways to engage children in conversations about sex abuse. Mandel noted that it was up to the parents to engage their children because most victims do not come forward due to shame, fear of their abusers, a sense of loyalty to their abusers and/or concern about being stigmatized.
However, when an audience member asked whether sex education could help to strengthen children’s knowledge of inappropriate behaviors and empower them to come forward if someone violated them, Mandel responded that sex education was “not something realistic” in a community that stresses modesty.
He told parents that the overwhelming majority of children who have experienced “unwanted touch” would go on to live happy, healthy lives, while only a “small percentage” of individuals would be permanently harmed by the abuse
Mandel also said that abusers could be treated for their perversions.
“An individual who abuses children and who participates in treatment can lead a successful life and be believed that they would no longer hurt children,” Mandel said.
When asked, in an interview the following day, whether such people could work with children again, Mandel evaded the question.
Warning to men in BoroPark: Ohel Family Services has in the last few years been getting many government grants. One of them was for the purpose of opening a domestic violence center. In order to justify the money they receive Ohel must ensnare woman to come for counseling under the pretense that they are being abused. Ohel hires social workers and counselors and makes a nice fee off this. Once they sink their claws into the woman they don’t let go very easy because this is a major profit center for them. It can evolve into profit from divorce counseling, children counseling and the list goes on.
Here are the signs to look for if you suspect that your wife is getting involved with Ohel.
Modus operendi: The counselor will first try to get the woman to get her own cell phone so she can contact her discreetly. The counselor has the woman call Ohel at 718 851 6300 and leave a message for the counselor. The counselor will then call back with the appointment time probably when the husband is at work so he wont find out that they are sucking in his wife. Ohel will not come up on the caller id. The caller id will come up as 718646. If you see that your wife has called 718 851 6300 and then has a call back of 718646 you will know that she is in touch with Ohel and you better take action before its to late. Ohel will give her articles, books and lists of items to convince her that she is being abused. You will then hear her use words and talk in ways that she was not familiar with before. Watch out for these signs.
This is being published for the benefit of the Jewish Community by Ohel Insider. I hope to post more information about Ohel and names of its counselors in the future. Anyone else that has information should also share it for the benefit of the community. This is a major scandal ready to break open. The Rabanim are unfortunately all quit about this. Some are paid fat salaries by Ohel to condone what they do. Call Ohel to protest this behavior.
Here’s another post: "An investigative reporter that did abuse stories wanted to do a story on Ohel Family Services and how they run the domestic violence center but she couldn’t get any of the woman that were sucked in to be counseled to go on record so she put the story on hold. A state and federal investigation into Ohel’s counseling services would be appropiate when enough people will come forward. A list of the therapists, social workers and the clients that they suck in is being compiled."
I talk to Melvin and his partner Rosa on Sunday, August 12, 2007.
Luke to Rosa: "Why did you move to Rockland County?"
Rosa: "We were living in Florida. We were religious at the time. I was home-schooling. Rabbi Lazar Rifkin suggested that if we wanted to become more religious we move to New York to send our children to yeshiva. And that’s what we did. We spoke to Rabbi [Mordecai] Tendler. He promised to find yeshivas for the children. He said that while we waited for school, we should apply for [welfare] services."
"We rented a house full of toxic mold. We all got sick."
"An investigator from Rockland County came in and said that the air was contaminated and we needed to move immediately. The house was destroyed."
Luke: "Why didn’t you move into another home? Were you broke?"
Rosa: "We were sick. My ex wasn’t able to work. We were so sick that we couldn’t function."
When Rosa’s baby daughter was dying (from the mold?), Rosa and her husband left her kids with members of the New Hempsteadt community and rushed to the hospital. One of her kids was not picked up from school. Child Protection Services came investigating. Eventually 10 of her 14 kids were taken away. CPS accused Rosa and her husband Angel of neglect.
Rosa: "I was told by my lawyer that the best thing I could do was admit to it. You don’t want to lose your children. You’ll get a chance to get them back. You just have to do what the court asks.
"Yeah, right. The court asked for impossible things. They wanted me to visit them and go to therapy and to testing. They had my week and my ex’s week full. There was no way you could do all that and hold a job."
"They separated the children and did not let them see each other."
Rosa says one of her daughters was only fed peanut-butter sandwiches and was not allowed to eat with her foster family nor to raid the refrigerator.
"She was afraid to say anything. All the kids were because they were told that if they said anything, they’d end up in a worse place."
Luke: "Why would anyone want to hurt your family?"
Rosa: "I view Judaism in a different way than it is taught here. I view it as a way of life. I never thought there was so much corruption and immorality. I went over to Rockland County and saw what was really going on. How rabbis were cheating on wives and wives were being immoral. …I see Rabbi [X] coming out of her house at 3 a.m. He’d get women inside his office. They’d stay their for the longest time."
Luke: "Because of this information, Rabbi [X] wanted to get back at you?"
Rosa: "I believe so."
Luke: "Do you belong to a shul now?"
Rosa: "No. I am not religious."
"The Jewish people in New York are blind or want to be blind. Children in yeshivas are being seduced by rabbis. I know. My son was in school and wanted to get out because the rabbi-principal wanted to seduce him. My son had a mental breakdown a year after he complained to me. A year later, the school was closed because of drug dealing by the rabbis. I haven’t seen this on the news."
"The social workers said to me that if you say something, we will put your children so far away that you will never know where they are. You will never see them again. They all told all of my children that if they say anything about what is going on we will take care to put your brothers and sisters away so that you will never see them again.
"They had told me the same thing. This is a corrupt system and someone has to stop them."
"The psychiatrists said there is nothing wrong with these children. The reason they took them away was not because I abused my kids but because we were not in accord… Rabbi [x] determined that because my kids were smart and beautiful and well behaved, that they would be the perfect kids for anyone who had no children out there."
Rosa complains that one of her boys was introduced to drugs at a group home. "He was a good kid. He started to get into trouble. He was attacked three times in the group home. He ended up in the hospital unconscious. Right after that, they gave him back to me on the condition I get him into school and into therapy.
"By the time I got him back, he was trouble. The more I got him to school, the more he got thrown out. I’m looking at papers that say we did not make any effort. That we did not take him to therapy."
Melvin: "None of her kids want to have anything to do with Judaism after they saw how their mother was treated. One of them wears a cross on his chest."
"They said that Rosa’s husband [Angel Rios-Colon] couldn’t keep a job. Well, they split up his family and put them all over. They’d call his work every other day to say they were investigating him. How could he keep a job?"
"It’s impossible for everything to go wrong unless somebody’s behind the scenes manipulating it."
He was sexually molested by his foster parent (the foster mother) in Rockland County. Then he was placed with another foster family that beat him and verbally and mentally abused him. When "J" started to show signs that something was wrong, they (CPS) placed him in a group home where the other foster children where ex-cons, drug addicts and car thieves. Foster care exposed him (j) to bad elements. A child who was never exposed to anything was exposed to criminals. In this group home he was beaten three times. The third time was so severe that he was sent to the hospital unconscious. All of a sudden CPS decided to give my son back to me. The real reason I believe is they could not have him put up for adoption. He was no longer adoptable. He became a problem child. He refused any supervision. As soon as they gave him back to me they let us know that “my children’s return was dependent on us finding a school for him and a therapist and keeping him in school. J by this point was a complete different person from the child I knew. We registered him and he attended various yeshivas. He didn’t want to be a Jew anymore. He didn’t care about the Judaism. He saw what they had done to us. When I took him to therapy “he didn’t want to go to school. He was rebellious, a troubled child who just didn’t care. He was taunted about his Judaism, about his family and being a foster child. He fought everybody. He knew a lot of other Ohel kids that were being abused. He even became good friends of the grandson of the founder of Ohel. The founder of Ohel was a woman. The founder’s daughter of Ohel and the grandson were drug addicts. J knew this family very well and could not understand why they had not removed the grandson of the founder of Ohel. He said to me “why didn’t they take away this child whose mother was a drug addict and an abuser? He was crying to me one night “how come they don’t take this kid away from his mother who was a real abuser and a drug addict and yet they destroyed our family that loved each other? I said to him "the reason why, we couldn’t afford defending ourselves." "If we had the money I would have my children right now."
CPS and the people at social services created a problem child. They gave him back to us knowing very well that it was going to be almost impossible to help J in the little span of time allotted to comply with the court and that is exactly the reasoning for them giving him back to me so I would fail. That would be the way they would complain “I didn’t comply”. This opened the doors for them to say that this was the third violation and the reason for my parental rights to be taken away. This is the format they use with every other family with children at risk. They know they can’t afford to defend themselves in court. The family court system you are not allowed to know who your accuser is and face them in court. You have no rights to a jury. You are not allowed to bring witnesses and you are stripped of your constitutional rights. It is in their best interest to keep the child in foster care. They will pay a hundred thousand dollars per child per year for services to keep them in the system. My children, the ten of them were placed by CPS and Ohel, approximately a million dollars each year was spent while the court proceedings where on its way to keep them in the system, yet no help was offered to us but to demand from us to comply with visitations, testing, therapy, parenting classes and visiting our children. All along while trying to maintain a steady job. Not counting with court appearances and going for hearings. Many of the jobs that my ex was able to secure he lost because of the constant harassment of social workers calling his boss or employer. They wouldn’t help the family stay together or provide services.
The very lawyer that is appointed by the courts works for the state. They are paid by the government. So they constantly tell you to comply and they never tell you "what are your rights or how to protect them. "J" is now in his mid-twenties. To this day j still has major issues that need serious attention. Rose is still trying to get him to go for help. He refuses and lives a different life style… All of Rose’s children that have reached the age of legal consent, the age of 18 have reunited with her. All of Rose’s children despise CPS, Rabbi Mordecai Tendler, Michelle Tendler (his wife), Ohel and the people of social services and their system that ruined their lives by stealing their parents away from them by using lies and deception and are all willing to take a polygraph to prove who are the real culprits.
Rabbi Mordecai Tendler sent a letter September 21, 2001 to the Rockland County Family Court (to Judge Garvey): "Being that the Colons are Orthodox Jews, it would be prohibited for them to attend [court] on these dates. Please reschedule dates after the tom tovs."
CPS (?) presented this brief:
Rosa Rio-Colon and Angel Rios-Colon, Respondents
The Respondents failed to ameliorate the circumstances under which the children were removed, including, but not limited to, missing about thirteen visits in Brooklyn as well as thirteen visits in Rockland County; failure to feed the children on several occasions during the visits, arriving late for visits on numerous occasions and bringing the children back late on numerous occasions. The Respondents moved to five different apartments since July 1999; Respondents moved to an apartment in November 1999 but were evicted in July 2000, due to nonpayment from January 2000.
Furthermore, Respondents did not cooperate with the agency in that they have made no progress in planning for the return of the children and have failed to ameliorate the conditions which caused the removal of the children. Although Respondents want the children to be returned, they have failed to insure the child J.’s attendance in school and failed to obtain therapy for the child J., who was returned to the parents custody; Respondent has failed to maintain a steady job as well as being terminated from several jobs due to lack of regular attendance and failed to make efforts to secure a steady job. Respondent Father has failed to attend therapy and the Parenting Skills program. Respondent Mother has also failed to attend the Parenting Skills Program and drug treatment program.
Melvin: "Let me give you some background on Rosa. She’s a Puerto Rican Jew. She’s a Sephardic Jew. In a big Ashkenazi community, they were a minority. They moved to Rockland County because her ex-husband [Angel Rio-Colon] wanted to become Orthodox. They did a number with them. This whole thing started when Rosa told an associate of [Mordecai] Tendler about Tendler’s affairs.
"She saw him leaving a woman’s house at 3 a.m. He saw her. Her nightmare began. He destroyed her character so that nobody will ever believe anything she says. They’ll say she’s only getting back at him because her children were taken away."
I talk to Rosa’s daughter Isadora, 24, on Wednesday, August 15. "We moved to Rockland County, New York, in late 1995 [from Florida]. I was 12. Basically we wanted to be religious Jews. At the time, I didn’t see the point. My parents thought it would be good for me to go to yeshiva.
"We met Rabbi [Mordecai] Tendler. I don’t know how he was introduced to us. In Florida we knew a rabbi, [Rabbi Lazar Rifkin]. He was a sweet man. Lubavitch.
"The more I went to the [Kehillat New Hampstead] synagogue, the more I realized there was something off. It’s one of the weirdest places I’ve been to. It’s so emotionless and fake.
"I went to Ashar [a co-ed yeshiva].
"When things started happening, when we needed help, we’d call on our rabbi. He was always very nice. My mother always had her suspicions about him. That something was off. My dad would always say that is not true. He is a rabbi. It can’t be.
"One day there was a woman in the synagogue… She was divorced. Her ex was a lawyer. She had three kids there. For some reason, she’d dress inappropriately [leopard-skin outfits, short skirts, etc]. One day she showed up and they were in the middle of kiddush. She grabbed the cup from [Mordecai Tendler’s] hand instead of the rebbitzen drinking from it. Everyone witnessed it.
"One day she was looking into the men’s side. The rebbitzen told her she can’t do that. She said, ‘I don’t care. I’m pregnant with his baby.’
"You know the scenes in those corny movies where everyone stops and stares? That was the situation. Dead silence.
"The rebbitzen went nuts. Dragged her by the arm and pulled her out of the shul.
"The rabbi told her he’d excommunicate her from the community if she kept telling these lies."
"My family got sick. We’d moved into a house with toxic mold.
"My little sister, a baby, kept getting sicker and sicker. Someone placed a call to Child Protection Services and sent them to the house and found that we were all sick.
"I remember they told us we couldn’t live there anymore.
"The next year, we couldn’t find any yeshivas that would accept me because I wasn’t that religious. I don’t speak Hebrew. I don’t understand Hebrew. I’m Sephardic. I don’t know anything about Yiddish."
"I ended up going to public school [Pomona Junior High, the ghetto part of the neighborhood]. My last yeshiva said there was no record of me ever being in school, so I had to repeat eighth grade. Even though I had my diploma and I had my pictures with my classmates and I had my report cards."
"I was the only Jewish religious girl there. I was the only girl wearing skirts. I was a dork. I got picked on. My younger brothers got beat up. They had knives pulled on them."
"My little sister died…because the lung infection spread to her bloodstream."
"Rabbi Tendler was there for the funeral. Everyone from the community was there."
"Two days later, CPS came again. They said [to Rosa], ‘We have reason to believe that you are causing harm to your children.’
"You are coming to a house two days after her baby has died and telling her that she’s killing her own kids."
"My mom said, ‘How dare you! Get out of my house.’"
"They spoke to Rabbi Tendler and told him, ‘We’re going to take them away unless you send them to camp so she can have time to straighten herself out.’
"We were still mourning and they said it is better for us not to be home."
"At the end of camp, I was told, ‘You are going to meet your foster family tomorrow.’ Hold on. What?
"They sat me down and explained to me that they were going to place me in the care of another family. We (ten of the kids) were removed from my mother’s custody. It didn’t make any sense to me."
"I was placed with a family in Brooklyn.
"I graduated eighth grade twice and ninth grade once. The school couldn’t find my transcripts so I had to repeat eighth and ninth grade. ‘You know how your parents were,’ was the line they used."
"They were constantly talking to me about conversion. I told them, ‘I’m not converting to a religion that I’m already a part of, especially when I don’t want to be a part of it anymore.’
"They said, ‘You should think about it because we can’t accept you next year unless you convert.’"
Isadora tells me about her foster family: "They would send me constantly to the dentist. At least once a month. They said it was because my teeth were in such bad condition.
"Because of that dentist, and I’ve asked other dentists, because I had health insurance through medicaid because I was a foster child, he was milking the insurance for money. He gave me all root canals (except for four teeth on the bottom and four on the top).
"Now I’m 24. I’ve had to have all my teeth replaced because they’re falling to pieces.
"With that and school and keeping up with their religious standards which weren’t mine, their kids resented me…
"I only had supervised visits with my parents. An hour or two sit-down in a room. Cameras everywhere and a woman standing there. If I said anything too low, she’d say, ‘You have to speak up. You can’t say anything unless I can hear what you are saying.’
"I took the regent exams. I passed them with 80s and 90s. My foster sister got 60s and 70s.
"I had a lot of male friends. I was always around guys.
"I did not get my first kiss until I was 18.
"During the holidays like Passover, I would be sent to work at a hotel. After every summer after camp, they took my paycheck.
"I was supposed to receive a $1,000 a month for my expenses. I ended up getting $250 every three months.
"My younger brother got $1,000 every month.
"One day I found a note the foster mother had written to the office of my social worker in Rockland County. It said, ‘I do not believe her parents can take care of her. They’ve neglected her so severely we have to send her to the dentist constantly. They had to be completely restructered. She’s constantly in pain. She’s constantly sick.’
"I was constantly sick but it had nothing to do with my mother.
"It goes on. Please keep me by them because they are more suitable parents.
"That translated as, ‘You’re paying our mortgage. Please stay in our house.’
"I was paying for their older daughter to get brand new shoes every week. Go shopping every weekend…
"I kept the letter and didn’t tell them anything.
"I was good at keeping my emotions to myself. I had to. No one was interested in me.
"I would constantly go clubbing. I’d get drunk all the time.
"The family would always come up with something to get at me. They’d say I was dirty. That I didn’t take enough showers.
"By the end of the second year, the principal said, ‘We’re going to give you an ultimatum. You’ve got to convert to Judaism or you can’t come back here. You can go live with your parents.’
"During my second year with the family, they were sending me every week to a psychiatrist who would then tell my foster mother about our sessions. So when I found out, I only talked nonsense to my psychiatrist."
"I didn’t graduate [from high school Merkaz B’not, on West Sixth Avenue and O]. When I returned for my third year, I was 18, the principal pulled me into her office. She said, ‘You’re not accepted. When you signed the paperwork to be accepted into this school, there was a clause that if you do not stay with the [foster] family and convert to Judaism, you are not allowed back into this school.’
"I said, ‘Are you out of your mind? Are you people trying to destroy my life? Are you crazy?’ She said, ‘Leave the building right now.’
"I asked for my transcript so I could transfer to another school. She said I couldn’t get the paperwork until I paid for the school.
"It’s a small school. Nobody’s heard of it. If they have, it’s because the girls are troublemakers. It holds 100 students at most. The school was full of controversy. I felt like I was in the twilight zone. There was one teacher that was almost thrown out of school because, instead of teaching us biology, she’d talk about her sex life.
"I gave up on school and started working."
"A hearing was held where my mother was not present and she was declared an unfit mother.
"Ohel got involved. They messed everything up. They are one of the dirtiest, most disgusting organizations. I hope to God that they are shut down as quickly as possible before they destroy any more lives. I know people who were also taken away from their family and put in Ohel’s care. Their lives have been destroyed."
Melvin emails: "This man [New York assemblyman Ryan Karben] and his mother helped bury Rose. He is one of Rabbi Tendler’s congregants. The Buddhists have a saying " what goes around comes around". Yes, it’s a Buddhist saying."