Friday, September 4, 2015

A day in the life of the custodial parent - Dr. Michael Schlesinger

One of the more bizarre and irrational aspects of the Schlesinger case is why Beth lost custody. In what sense is the care provided by Michael to his sons superior to what Beth was providing. 

In this post I would like to describe what a day is like in Michael's home with the support of a non-Jewish woman who apparently is not fully fluent in German. [to be continued]

Thursday, September 3, 2015

"For her I weep" - mourning Shira Banki : A postscript

 Reb Daniel,

I am including this background note regarding my Jerusalem Post article about the murder of Shira Banki at the Gay Pride Parade. Please feel free to share it.

When Shira Banki was murdered by Yishai Schlissel I perceived an ambivalent response from the frum community here in ארץ ישראל and online. I was disturbed by an apparent lack of outrage, empathy, sadness or despair. While the frum community was not to blame for her murder - there was no incitement -  I believe we were at fault for our uncertain reaction. After numerous orthodox publications declined my oped, I decided to publish in the Jerusalem Post to express my sorrow and to encourage mourning her unjustified murder. After publication, a רבי I admire admonished me for publishing criticism of the frum community in a secular newspaper and I accept his rebuke. My intention was to inspire members of our broader community and not to disparage us on a public stage.

As a postscript to my article, when I went to be מנחם אבל her family, Shira's father was grateful for my consolation but adamant that his family wanted more than just my tears. In that context I could not share with him how I oppose the parade and at the same time mourn his daughter's horrific fate. To me, it is clear that one can be opposed to the parade and still horrified and saddened by her murder. I believe mourning Shira's death and visiting her family are natural responses to the tragedy and wonder why few in our community felt the same. As I heard afterward in the name of Rav Moshe Shapiro, "when one is killed שלא כדין it is רציחה and the דין of נחום אבלים applies." Hers was a remarkable murder under remarkable circumstances that should not have been met with silence.

To be clear, how to relate publicly to the LGBT community is a complex topic and I am in no position to endorse an opinion on the matter. Still, when an unjustified murder occurs publicly in the name of הלכה, I do believe that responding with compassion is appropriate, respectable and ultimately, a קדוש השם.

כתיבה וחתימה טובה,


For her I weep


The author is a rabbi and family therapist in Jerusalem, where he maintains a private practice working with adults and children.

There was no announcement about young Shira’s funeral in my neighborhood, no acknowledgment of her talents gone lost.

If a sixteen-year-old Jewish girl was murdered under any other circumstances than Shira Banki was in Jerusalem last week, our reaction as a community would have been different. That her ideological killing was met by ambivalence and not simply sorrow, so soon after Tisha Be’av, reflects how unfocused we have become. Shira’s unspeakable homicide should be met with tears and not with commentary. Her death should be mourned and not disregarded or explained.

There was no announcement about young Shira’s funeral in my neighborhood, no acknowledgment of her talents gone lost. At best I sensed disinterest. At worst I heard rationale. For some, the context of young Shira’s murder became cause for ignoring it. Others seized the opportunity to assign her community blame. Missing was our lamentation. Absent was our despair. There should be no uncertainty about young Shira’s assassination, no ambiguity about her Jewish blood spilled. “All her friends have betrayed her,” said Isaiah. Disregarding young Shira’s execution is akin to condoning her death.

As Jews we are accustomed to crying. The tragedies of history familiarize us all to pain. But there is more than oppression in our hardship, more than persecution in our fate. Survival has demanded our caution. Vigilance has contributed to our alarm. Exile, it seems, has looted our affections, robbed us of our sensibility and goodwill.

Alongside our grief lies confusion. Alongside our anguish looms mistrust. Not reacting to Shira’s murder indicates cowardice, not daring. Not recoiling from her death reveals weakness, not strength.

Satan must be laughing. In our zeal to uphold morals we have neglected ethics. In our defense of principles we have abandoned ideals. When a murdered Jew evokes anything but sadness we have strayed. When compassionate ones are apathetic we have blundered.

There is a time for debate and a time for weeping. A time for protest and a time for distress. Pretending Shira’s murder did not happen will not bring decency to Jerusalem. Dishonoring Shira’s slaughter with interpretation should not make anyone feel proud.

The scandal of Shira’s death is how predictably it exposed our vulnerability, how intolerably righteous was the indignation it, in some, aroused. Instead of human kindness, an unnatural detachment prevailed that was defensive and offensive both. Anticipating bigotry, some placed their self-justifying agenda first by insisting the community was not liable for a madman.

Others terribly suggested – with words or intentional silence – the anomalous evil was not worth bemoaning. While none proposed its permissibility, few people I know were outraged. Few unambiguously shed tears. Condolences were cursory and scarce.

The circumstances of Shira’s life need not be affirmed to justify bewailing her death. Her attitudes and behavior can be questioned. Her motives can be even denounced. Grieving, however, should be unfettered by opinion, unbound by the dispassion of thought.

Tears can fall with no reason. Sobbing can happen with no remark. The event behind her homicide may be regrettable but being numb to Shira’s slaying is something worse. A sister lay bloodied in our city. A daughter fell butchered in His name.

Tolerance is the call of our times and its demand is complicated to heed or to deny.

The divine image seems more varied than we knew.

Apologies may be gratuitous for what was said before her murder but introspection is needed for what came to mind after Shira died. To imagine Shira’s death was warranted is shameless. To ignore young Shira’s death is no less a sentiment of conceit. “Detestable are the proud of heart,” said Solomon. Exile is a time of reflection, humility, doubt. In our hurry to be right we may have wronged. In our rush to not condone we have condemned.

Like orphans without fathers we know how it feels to be frightened. Like widows without husbands we know how it feels to be alone. To be forsaken is to be endowed no security. To be rejected is to be afforded no hope. Banishment is cruel. With abandonment comes unrest and uncertainty. With confusion comes fear and disgust. Like countless victims before her Shira is a casualty of exile, of the disaster that arises from instability and hate. But not everything is controversial, not everything unclear. Shira deserves regard because she did not deserve her fortune. Shira deserves our notice, if not for how she lived then for how she died. As on Tisha Be’av our trust is in our yielding. As on Tisha Be’av our prayer is in our cry.

פעולת האדם הטבעי, הטכנולוגי וההלכתי - ד"ר דרור פיקסלר

Does Kim Davis, Kentucky Clerk Blocking Gay Marriages, Have Legal Grounds?

 The county official in rural Kentucky who has become the focal point for resistance to the U.S. Supreme Court's gay marriage decision will appear this morning before a federal judge to explain why she should not be held in contempt of court.

The judge ordered Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and all of her deputies to appear before him at 11 a.m. Lawyers for four couples who sought marriage licenses from her but were turned down urged the judge "to impose financial penalties sufficiently serious and increasingly onerous to compel Davis' immediate compliance without further delay."

 She stopped issuing marriage licenses a few hours after the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in June, saying that granting licenses to gay couples would violate her religious convictions.

Federal District Court Judge David Bunning last month ordered her to resume issuing the marriage licenses. She asked a federal appeals court and the US Supreme Court to lift his order, but both declined. Nonetheless, she has continued to defy it. [...]

 Lawyers for Davis said in court filings late Wednesday that she should not be held in contempt for disobeying the judge's August order, because she cannot obey it.

"Davis is unable to comply with the order," her lawyers say, "because it irreparably and irreversibly violates her conscience." They cite federal court decisions, including a U.S. Supreme Court case, holding that someone cannot be held in contempt when complying with an order is factually impossible.

 A question for the judge will be whether she is unable to comply or, instead, unwilling.
Her lawyers also say because the underlying issue — whether she has a constitutional right, on religious grounds, to refuse to issue marriage licenses — has yet to be decided, it's too soon to consider any question of contempt. 

Consequences of Rav Schachter's strong attack on the Krauss Beis Din for Agunos

In its first year, the New York-based International Beit Din (IBD), headed by Rabbi Simcha Krauss, a widely respected rabbi here and in Israel, has resolved nearly 20 cases of agunot, a chained women, freeing them from their loveless marriages.

In doing so, it has incurred the condemnation of some leading rabbinic authorities, most notably, and recently, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a leading rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva University’s rabbinical school, who last month penned a public letter of protest dismissing the court’s collective rulings and pronouncing Rabbi Krauss unfit to make complex decisions regarding agunot. [...]

“From start to finish, this is a mistake,” Rabbi Schachter wrote in a three-paragraph letter, posted on an anonymously sponsored Torah website. The letter, written in Hebrew, says that only “great scholars of the generation” should be dealing with these sensitive matters. Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, head of the Beit Din  of America,  (the largest rabbinical court), and three other prominent rabbis also signed the letter.

As a result, various elements of the centrist and Modern Orthodox community are caught up in this controversy, which threatens to further divide the movement. And as the IBD struggles for acceptance, the women who have already been freed may face a new kind of limbo, worried if a subsequent marriage will be accepted in the community. [...]

The ongoing controversy is engulfing Centrist Orthodoxy’s flagship institution, Yeshiva University, with which most of the rabbis involved are affiliated. And it mirrors a fight taking place in Israel today that pits a new, more liberal-minded conversion court — including Lincoln Square Synagogue founding rabbi and YU-ordained Shlomo Riskin and Rabbi David Stav — that is challenging the power of Israel’s charedi-dominated Chief Rabbinate on these issues.[...]

Rabbi Krauss, a longtime pulpit rabbi in Queens and the former president of Religious Zionistists of America, made aliyah several years ago but returned to New York for two years to launch the IBD. He declined to speak on the record, for the most part, but several prominent rabbis, including Rabbi Haskel Lookstein of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on the Upper East Side, Rabbi Yosef Adler of Congregation Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck, N.J., and Rabbi David Bigman, a prominent Rosh Yeshiva in Israel, have voiced support for his efforts. A petition is now circulating in support of Rabbi Krauss and has been signed by 100 rabbis, though the rabbi chose not to release the names at this time.

“I have tremendous respect for Rabbi Krauss as a first-rate Talmud chacham [scholar] and somebody upon whom I can rely to make good decisions grounded in authentic and reliable halachic sources,” Rabbi Lookstein told The Jewish Week. In the case of an agunah, “every leniency that the halacha allows should be used,” he said. He also said that Rabbi Krauss’ approach is “entirely different” than the approach used by Rabbi Rackman, though he declined to elaborate. [...]

The battle for the “soul of Orthodoxy” as one prominent rabbi termed it, is evident within Yeshiva University’s ranks. Two YU faculty members were pressured to disassociate from Rabbi Krauss’ beit din, despite strong personal convictions to support his mission.

Rabbi Yosef Blau, the spiritual adviser at Yeshiva University for nearly five decades and well-known for his advocacy confronting sexual abuse within the Orthodox community, has been a judge on the IBD since its founding. Every decision made by the court included Rabbi Blau, a well-known voice of authority within the community. Rabbi Yehuda Warburg, a dayan, or, religious judge, for the past 15 years, is the third judge on the court.

A few weeks ago Rabbi Blau was pressured to leave the court by colleagues within YU who disagreed with the court’s actions. Though Rabbi Blau declined to comment directly, a letter he submitted to Rabbi Krauss with his resignation cited a desire to “prevent controversy within YU” as his reason for departure.

According to a letter by Rabbi Krauss defending the IBD against Rabbi Schachter’s attack, Rabbi Blau agreed to resign in exchange for an agreement that Rabbi Schachter would not publicly attack the court. But according to the letter, Rabbi Schachter backtracked on the agreement within a few weeks and cited Rabbi’s Blau’s departure as evidence of the court’s questionable status. [...]

In the last two weeks, since this controversy erupted, two women seeking the aid of the IBD have backed away. Still, Rabbi Krauss is committed to continue. After Rabbi Kahn’s resignation last week, another rabbi has been selected as a judge, though Rabbi Krauss declined to share the name until the appointment is official. [...]

The recent suicide was not the result of discrimination against Sefardim


 While the father claimed that his daughter was being discriminated against by her rejection by the school - the fact was his daughter was in a special education class. The government education office investigated the claim that the girl was being discriminated against -and rejected it. The school that he had applied was viewed as having larger classes that were not appropriate for her. It was not because he was sefardi.

 במכתב בן שני עמודים מספר האב את שעבר עליו ומשפחתו בעקבות הדרישה לשיבוץ הילדה בבית ספר מסוים בניגוד לרצונה. "כבר התחלנו להרגיש את המגמה שכולם נגדנו ונגד הילדה. היא עצמה יודעת ומבינה את כל מה שאנו עוברים, תהליך משפיל ומבזה, ושואלת כל הזמן היכן היא תלמד ולמה לא מקבלים אותה. לא כך צריכה ילדה שעולה לכיתה א' ומתחילה את צעדיה הראשונים בבית הספר להרגיש ולחוות", האשים. במכתב מתייחס המנוח לטענה כאילו הוא ומשפחתו אינם תואמים את תקנון בית הספר שאליו לא התקבלה בתו, והגדיר זאת "עלילת דם מרושעת וחסרת בסיס".

משרד החינוך טענו אתמול כי "השיבוץ בבתי הספר מוצדק". המשרד השיבו לאב ביום חמישי שעבר ובו כתבו כי הם לא רואים סיבה מוצדקת להתערב בשיבוץ העירוני. "זה היה שלושה ימים לפני שהוא התאבד", אמר גורם ביישוב, "וזה השפיע עליו".

בתו הקטנה של המנוח הייתה אמורה לעלות בתחילת שנת הלימודים הנוכחית לכיתה א'. היא נרשמה לבית הספר היסודי לבנות "בית יעקב" ברכסים שבסמוך לחיפה, אך מנהלי המוסד הודיעו להוריה שהיא לא התקבלה. נ' ושאר בני המשפחה טוענים כי בהחלטה היו מניעים גזעניים, בשל היותם ספרדים, אך במועצה המקומית ובמשרד החינוך דחו את הטענות. 

בניסיון למצוא פתרון, מחלקת החינוך בעירייה שיבצה אותה לבית הספר "אור חדש". גורמים עירוניים ציינו כי השיבוץ נעשה לאחר שנטען כי היא תתאים לשם יותר בשל צרכיה. ההורים פנו למשרד החינוך וערערו על החלטת הוועדה, אך המשרד בחן את הטענות ומצא שהשיבוץ מוצדק, בין היתר בעקבות העובדה שהילדה התחנכה בגן של חינוך מיוחד והייתה זקוקה לכיתה קטנה, כפי שיש בבית הספר "אור חדש", ובניגוד למצב בבית הספר "בית יעקב". 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Evidence Supports Artificial Sweeteners Over Sugar

July 27, 2015
by Aaron E. Carroll -  a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine.

In the last few years, I’ve watched a continuing battle among my friends about which is worse for you: artificial sweeteners or sugar. Unless you want to forgo all beverages that are sweet, you’re going to run into one of these. Rather than rely on anecdote or myth, we can inform this debate with research.

The available evidence points to the fact that there appears to be a correlation between sugar consumption and health problems; none can be detected with artificial sweeteners.

Let’s start with artificial sweeteners. These have, for decades, been attacked as harmful chemicals. But everything is a “chemical,” and not all of them are bad for us. One of the oldest artificial sweeteners is saccharin. Starting in the 1980s, Congress mandated that any product containing it be accompanied by the following: “Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccharin, which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals.” [...]

Based on these newer studies, saccharin was removed from the carcinogen list in 2000. But by that time, opinions were set. It did little to make anyone feel safe. [...]

It is true that people with phenylketonuria, a rare genetic disorder, need to limit their consumption of aspartame, since phenylalanine is one of its components. But for most people, aspartame isn’t a concern, even outside of cancer. It’s also true that some of the sugar alcohol sweeteners, like sorbitol or mannitol, can have a laxative effect or cause bloating when eaten in large amounts by some people. In normal use by most people, though, all of the approved artificial sweeteners are safe.

But what about sugar? We should acknowledge that when I, and many others, address sugar in contexts like these, we are talking about added sugars, not the naturally occurring sugars or carbohydrates you find in things like fruit. Those are, for the most part, not the problem. Added sugars are. [...]

When I argue these facts with my friends, they want to know if I put my money where my mouth is. I do. My wife and I limit our children’s consumption of soda to around four to five times a week. When we let them have soda, it’s almost always caffeine-free, because we want them to sleep. It’s also almost always sugar-free. There’s a potential, and probably real, harm from consuming added sugars; there are most likely none from artificial sweeteners.

Rav Dovid Eidensohn Tel Conf #18 Wednesday Sept 2 9:30 PM - Older Singles and Marrying from Pressure

 call 605-562-3130 then code 411161#

The Shulchan Aruch beginning of Even Hoezer tells that in early generations a man past twenty who was not pursuing marriage properly was brought to Beth Din and instructed to get married. 

Now, this can make a lot of problems. Let us say that in a certain town an older man can only marry people he doesn’t want to marry. Can he be forced to marry someone against his will?

We had a case like this with the brother-in-law of the Baal Shem Tov. Reb Gershon Kitover. In his older years he went to live in Israel, in Jerusalem, where the Orach Chaim HaKodosh, considered the greatest saint of his time, was the Rov. The Orach Chaim honored him with being the Baal Tefila for Rosh HaShana. But then Reb Gershon was told that the rule in Jerusalem was that nobody was allowed to live there as a single. There are letters that Reb Gershon wrote about this, and he asked, How can I marry somebody from a different world? It is not known what happened. But this kind of a problem surely existed in earlier generations. And when people were forced to marry without wanting their partner, only problems could result. 

The problems were so strong that the Beth Dins eventually surrendered and did not force people to marry. Some offered proofs that today we don’t force marriages. But others disagreed and said we must have marriage. But if by so doing the Beth Din will create a constant ruckus that destroys the Honor of the Torah, it may be prudent to refrain from this forcing of marriages. Still others maintained that even today marriage should be coerced.

Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school

update - the school refutes the accusation of the Independent newspaper


London - Statement on behalf of the Beis Rochel D’Satmar School in response to The Independent, 2nd September 2015

The Independent newspaper has falsely accused the Beis Rochel D’Satmar Girls’ school in London, of teaching its students that “non-Jews are evil” in a recent report. When celebrating the 21st Kislev, the day that the Satmar community was saved from the horrors of the Holocaust as their founding Rabbi, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum escaped the Nazis, the students are reminded of their history by studying about that time period. The students were given a worksheet during lessons in the context of learning about the Nazis and their history and asked to answer questions based on what they had learned.

The worksheet referred to Nazis as ‘goyim’. The newspaper failed to understand the context and mischievously suggested that children were being taught that goyim rather than Nazis, were evil.

The Independent falsely accused the school of fearmongering, encouraging young children to believe that all non-Jews are evil. Although this is simply not the case, to avoid any confusion the school will explicitly refer to Nazis next year when teaching its students about the history of the 21st Kislev.

Speaking on behalf of the school Shimon Cohen said: “The leaflet that the Independent refers to was handed out on the 21st Kislev, when the Satmar community celebrates the rescue of their founding rabbi from horrors of the Holocaust. This was explained in detail to the Independent, but they chose to ignore the facts and pursue their mischievous story.”

“The questions were only talking about the specific event, but there is no Yiddish word for Nazis. The suggestion that children are being taught that non-Jews are evil is nonsense and simply false. They are being taught that Nazis are evil.”

“It is almost like, if you are sitting around a seder table and you say that the goyim made us build pyramids, you are obviously talking about the Egyptians. You’re not talking about the Welsh. It’s just daft.”

Mr Cohen said that, next year, the school would explicitly refer to Nazis to avoid any confusion. “We will be very clear to avoid any misunderstanding,” he said. “But then, for Yiddish speakers, it was clear. This is a storm in a tea-cup.”


Independent    British three-year-olds have been told "the non-Jews" are “evil” in a Kindergarten worksheet handed out at ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools in north London, it can be revealed.

Documents seen by The Independent show children are taught about the horrors of the Holocaust when they are still in kindergarten at the Beis Rochel boys’ school in north London.

A whistle-blower, who wished to remain anonymous, has shown The Independent a worksheet given to boys aged three and four at the school. In it, children were asked to complete questions related to the holiday of 21 Kislev, observed by Satmer Jews as the day its founder and holy Rebbe, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, escaped the Nazis.

The document refers to Nazis only as “goyim” – a term for non-Jews some people argue is offensive.

Emily Green, who used to teach at the same Beis Rochel girls’ secondary school, now chairs the Gesher EU organisation which supports ultra-Orthodox Jews who want to leave the community.

"It's not uncommon to be taught non-Jewish people are evil in ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools. It is part of the prayers, teaching, their whole ethos,” she said.

Describing it as a form of “indoctrination”, Ms Green added:  “Psychologically, you become so afraid of the world out there after being taught how dangerous and bad and evil non-Jews are, that it makes it harder to leave.” [..]

A spokesperson for Beis Rochel said that the worksheets would be amended and apologised for any offence. However they argued the phrase “goyim” was not offensive and accusations that they were indoctrinating children were “without basis”. “The language we used was not in any way intended to cause offence, now this has been brought to our attention, we will endeavour to use more precise language in the future.”

A personal Elul message for Dr. Schlesinger - "Have you no shame?"

A personal note to my obsessive reader Dr. Michael Schlesinger,

I want to note that your obsession with hurting your former wife and your children - is a disgrace not only for a human being and a father -  but especially as a Jew.  Our Sages say because mercy and kindness are inherently part of the nature of a Jew - that someone who lacks these qualities - is suspected of not being a Jew. Are you really Jewish?

As has been noted many times, divorce is painful and degrading - but that is no justification for your efforts to erase Beth contact with her children. It is clear from the police and court documents that despite Beth being an excellent mother - you and your associates have succeeded in taking custody away from her in a manner that would have brought shame and universal condemnation in any normal Western democracy. Unfortunately Vienna - especially the Jewish community - is an embarrassment to humanity and Torah values.

Your blocking of visitation as well as your attempt to punish Beth by arbitrarily cancelling court ordered visits is beyond disgusting. Your insistence on an arrangement that requires Beth to pay an unnecessary and burdensome transfer fee - can only be described as characteristic of Sedom - the most negative description given by our Sages for twisted, gratuitous behavior.
You have succeeded in not only severely disrupting Beth life - for no positive gain for your self - but your actions have the strong potential for causing your children permanent psychological damage. It is clear that they have already produced developmental delays.

I recently posted a number of comments by someone who signed herself "Beth". While I have no way of ascertaining the identity of the correspondent - I am sure that you either have or will be taking legal action against Beth because of it. You are one of my most devoted readers - because of your hatred and desire to destroy Beth. Sick!!!!

Our Sages talk about the dangers of "hatred in the heart" which poisons and rots all positive aspects of a person. That is what you are manifesting and you will reap the consequences if you don't wake up now to reality - including the psychological and spiritual

Michael - it is time for you to stop and think about what you are doing with your life. Do you have any concerns that are greater than hurting and showing hatred for Beth and your children? Do you really think that after 120 years your cathartic violence will be praised? Will your children thank you when they become adults - for hurting the one person that they love and crippling them psychologically? Or will you end up as a bitter old man who is shunned by everyone and dies without friends or family? Why is the purpose of your life to hate - and not to love?

We are in the month of Elul It is time for you to stop and reflect on who you are and where you are going in life. G-d put you here on Earth for something more praiseworthy than destroying the life and happiness of others. It is not too late to repent and start over with the sole guiding principle - "What is in the best interest of my children?"

 I would suggest that you and Beth go to an independent child psychologist and jointly work out a constructive program. I would also strongly recommend that you see an independent therapist and be evaluated as to how you can get your life together. The results should be shared with the court - which for some reason has failed to have you properly assessed.

I would also suggest strongly that you apologize to Beth and your children and devote your considerable talents to helping others - not hurting them. It is not too late - but at some point the damage you are causing will not be reversible. Wake up now!

Rav Ahron Schecter joins condemnation of takeover attempt of Bnei Brak Seminary Meir


 נמאבק על סמינר מאיר חוצה יבשות: "אנשי מרמה ודמים", כך מכנה הרה"צ רבי ישראל יצחק קלמנוביץ את הגורמים הפוליטיים המנסים להשתלט על סמינר מאיר בבני ברק. גם הגאון ‏רבי אהרן שכטר ראש ישיבת רבינו חיים ברלין, הצטרף למכתב.

לאחר עימות אלים אמש (ד'), בישיבת מורות עם המנהלת הרבנית רחל בורנשטיין-גפן מול בני משפחת המנהל הוותיק הרב שמואל מאיר, הגאון רבי ישראל יצחק קלמנוביץ והגאון ‏רבי אהרן שכטר ראש ישיבת רבינו חיים ברלין שיגרו מכתב חריף בנושא.

"כלימה תכסה פנינו", נאמר במכתב עליו חתום הרב קלמנוביץ, "בראותנו החמס והעוולה אשר נעשה לעין כל ובעזות מצח להשיג גבולו ולרדת לחייו של המחנך היקר שביקרים, רבי שמואל מאיר שליט"א, אשר נודע שמו כאיש אשר רוח בו' המוסר נפשו עשרות בשנים על חינוך בנות ישראל, וידע וטרח ועמל במו ידיו לקונן הסמינר החשוב עד אשר נחשב בסיעתא דשמיא כאחד ממבצרי החינוך הטהור בעירנו ובארץ הקודש כולה.

"ועתה קמו אנשי דמים ומרמה, לחמוס נחלתו ולהתערב ולשלוט בניהול המוסד בענייני החינוך והצוות החינוכי וכאילו באו לעזור לו, ומנצלים את מצב זמני זה שיש איזה חלישות בבריאותו לעשות כנגד רצונו הגמור שהביע כמה וכמה פעמים ולירד לחייו. [...]

למכתב הצטרף גם הגאון רבי אהרן שכטר שכתב: "מה טוב ומה נעים לשמוע קול תרועת שופר של יראת שמים התובע זעקת "די" להריסת כל גדרי הטוב והישר בישראל, בלב שבור, אהרן משה שכטר".