Why? Because of the campaign funds he receives from the community leaders of communities like New Square. Last week “Yossi”, who was sexually abused by Rabbi Herschel Taubenfeld spoke out publicly about the ramifications Zugible’s actions have had on his community.
Rabbi Herschel Taubenfeld, received a sweetheart deal of six years of probation after confessing to sexually abusing a minor in exchange of a plea bargain. Instead of receiving jail time, Tabenfeld was sent by the rabbis of New Square to Israel so that he could receive rabbinic ordination and then received six years probation on the original charges of 10 counts of forcible touching, 10 counts of endangering the welfare of a child and ten counts of third-degree sexual abuse. Several community members believe that high ranking leaders of their community pulled strings to get this confessed sex offender an extremely light sentence.
“Yossi”, an extremely brave and heroic teenager from New Square, made history when he found the courage to speak out publicly about his abuse. “Yossi” was also the first survivor of child sexual abuse from New Square, NY to ever seek justice from the secular courts. By over stepping the Jewish legal system established in New Square, Yossi put himself and his family at great risk –– yet his desire to help other survivors of sex crimes from his community to come forward was much greater then his fear of retaliation by community leaders.
Yossi’s concerns include the fact that Taubenfeld is still teaching at a local boys school along with the fact that Rabbi Taubenfeld owns the playgroup that was once located nearby, at 31 Rita Ave. in Monsey.
The town of New Square, NY has always been shrouded in secrecy. A community in which children do not learn how to read and write in English, and are not taught general secular studies. It is also a town that regularly violates all sorts of civil rights of American citizens. A few examples include the fact that back in 2005, the New Square rabbinical courts ruled that women were not allowed to drive cars, nor could they even walk on the same sidewalk as a man. Back in 2011, New Square became known internationally as the town in which Aaron Rotenberg was set on fire –– because he and his family chose not to pray in the communities main synagogue, which is a part of the Skverer Hasidic movement.
New Square was originally established back in 1954 when the Zemach David Corporation, representing the Skverer Rebbe, Yaakov Yosef Twersky, purchased a 130-acre dairy farm near Spring Valley, NY. Twersky was a decedent of the Chernobyl dynasty.
At the time, the town of Rampo’s zoning regulations forbade the construction of multi-family houses and the use of basements for shops and stores, yet this did not stop the Zemach David Corporation from violating the law.
In 1961, when the community asked for a building permit to expand its synagogue which was located in the basement of a private home, the town’s attorney requested the condemnation of the entire New Square community –– citing that it threatened sewage lines.
In response, back in July 1961, New Square incorporated as their own village. After it incorporated, New Square set its own zoning and building code legalizing the existing houses. The businesses in basements could sell openly, and new businesses were founded.
Every time a survivor of child sexual abuse comes forward to share their story, the world should stand up and salute them for their courage and bravery. Instead in the small country town of New Square judges sent out a message to individuals who have been assaulted that if you decide to go up against the establishment and risk everything you have, we will not back you.