In some circles Rabbi Dovid Twersky is considered to be a world renowned Torah scholar. According to Abe Weiss, along with several individuals who have left the New Square community, Rav Dovid Twersky is seen as being "nothing more then a cult like, mafioso who allegedly has been covering up sex crimes for decades”.
The Chicagoland Jewish community is known to be very kind when various people come to our community on fundraising expedition. In the orthodox Jewish world, rabbonim and community members have traveled long distances to receive advice, guidance and blessing from those who they believe to be pious. The question being asked, is Rabbi Dovid Twersky saintly enough for this type of honor?
Back in 2011, Aron Rottenberg was set on fire by Shau Spitzer who worked directly for Rabbi Twersky as his butler. Many individuals in the New Square community stated that they believe that Rav Twersky ordered that not only should the Rottenberg home be set on fire, yet so should Mr. Rottenberg. The rational for this attempt on Aron Rottenberg life, was because he chose not to pray in Rabbi Twersky’s synagogue anymore. Instead chose to pray three times a day at a chapel located inside a local nursing home.
In many ultra-orthodox and chassidic communities one is required to get permission from their rabbi, prior to making a police report when one suspects a child is being abused or neglected. This is also true in the Village of New Square, NY. The belief is that by doing this will prevent any false allegations being made, yet also to insure that things are done according to Jewish law. The problem is that not one rabbi has ever gone for forensic training, let alone educated in victim sensitive interviewing. What usually happens in these communities is that the survivor and his or her family are bullied into silence, leaving the alleged offender to continue on sexually assaulting more children.
Last August “Yossi”, who is a teenager, had the courage and tenacity to speak out publicly about being sexually abused when he was younger. He appeared on the Westchester News. “Yossi” was the first person in the history New Square, to ever file a police against a sex offender.
Yossi's offender, Rabbi Herschel Taubenfeld was found guilty. In exchange for his confession he received six years' probation on a misdemeanor charge handled in New Square Justice Court. Originally Taubenfeld had been charged with with 10 counts of forcible touching, 10 counts of endangering the welfare of a child and 10 counts of third-degree sex abuse, all misdemeanors. Several individuals close to this case believe that Rabbi Twersky pulled strings to get this confessed sex offender an extremely light sentence.
Back November, 2013, I was given a personal tour of the Village of New Square by a few individuals who wish to remain anonymous. My tour guides feared being retaliated against for showing an outsider this extremely insular community.
One of the first things that was pointed out to me was the fact that there is only one paved road in and out of this small American town.
At the corner of Main Street (Rt 45) and Washington Ave. lies the Monsey Tours bus company (which caters to the ultra orthodox Jewish world). According to my tour guides, there are times in which Rabbi Twersky orders that the road be blocked so no one came come in or leave. According to reports, when this occurs one or two of the "Monsey Tours" buses are moved across Washington Ave., to block this public street from the rest of the world.
Upon entering New Square, NY a sign is posted dictating how one must dress prior to entering the town. This sign along with several others within the boundaries of the community were mandated by Rabbi Twersky. This includes the posted signs in which mandate segregation of the sexes even on sidewalks.
During my short visit to New Square, we were being followed by a young man in a Honda Accord. When my escorts got out of our car and approached the other vehicle, he asked in Yiddish “what was going on?” The individual in the other car stated he was told to follow us –– because a man was taking pictures of a woman on a public street. This type of behavior was not considered to be “modest” (See video).
Rabbi Twersky is scheduled to arrive in Chicago on February 20th on a fundraising exposition. Rabbi Moshe Sheinberg is honoring Twersky by allowing him to giving a lecture during the Jewish sabbath at Agudas Yisroel of West Rogers Park, 2801 W. Pratt.
According to reports, the Skverere Rebbe will be accompanied by thousands of chassidim from the New York, Canada and other locations throughout the United States.
Rabbi Twersky’s trip is being sponsored by Dr. Alan Berk, David Friedman, Dr. Michael Friedman, Rabbi Sidney Glenner, Rabbi Moshe Katz and Avrum Weinfeld. According to reports he will be staying in the homes of Moshe Davis, David Friedman and Avrohom Weinfeld.
Several individuals who stated they were sexually abused by various people in the New Square community are asking that calls be made to Hachnosas Orchim and the Beit Din of Chicago (Chicago Jewish Religious Court), in hopes of stopping any honors being given to Rabbi Dovid Twersky also known as The Skvere Rebbe.