Earlier today at the Chatham, Ontario courthouse, members of Lev Tahor filed their appeal of Judge Stephen Fuerth’s ruling that a Quebec court order to remove children from the community can be enforced in Ontario. At the same time, in front of the court house, a rally in support of Lev Tahor drew a crowd of supporters who view the actions of the Chatham-Kent Children’s Aid Society and the courts as harassment and discrimination from a human rights perspective.
The original court decision came down in Quebec last November and required 14 children to be placed in foster homes as a result of allegations that included abuse, poor hygiene, neglect, and poor educational standards. However, just before Quebec child welfare officials were to act, about 200 members of the sect fled their homes in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec in the middle of the night and moved to Chatham, Ontario. Lev Tahor may have taken this unprecedented move to avoid the implementation of the Quebec court order as indicated in Judge Fuerth’s decision.
What is interesting is that Lev Tahor may have also filed its appeal of the Quebec decision, as a result of Judge Fuerth’s subsequent and supporting decision in Ontario. Sensing that their flight from Quebec may have been moot, they may have reluctantly been forced to appeal the Quebec court decision. Luckily, Quebec Justice Luc Lefebvre ruled that the 30-day period to file an appeal had not been respected, and therefore the judgment rendered by the Quebec courts, could no longer be appealed under the province’s youth protection laws.
So now Lev Tahor may be attempting to implement “Plan B” which is to appeal the decision that the Ontario courts have the jurisdiction to implement a decision of the Quebec courts.
Lev Tahor is now continuing its strategy of attempting to gain public support through its own website, and “putting their spin” on what has been reported in the press.
I have had the opportunity to look at Lev Tahor’s website. What I found were numerous ambiguities, unanswered questions, questionable facts and comments, and only half of the story.
These comments include the following:
Global News, Canadian Jewish News, and other media outlets have observed, investigated, and dined with the community members and found what we were claiming all along. No signs of abuse or neglect. To the contrary, children were found to be happy, healthy, and generally well cared for…
Technically, from what I could see, Global Television, in their hour long program, never came out and stated that no signs of abuse or neglect were ever seen. They only discussed the allegations against the sect. In their interview, Denis Baraby of the province’s Child Protection Service, definitively stated that his agency did in fact find evidence of child abuse and neglect including children sleeping on urine stained mattresses. I have no doubt that when Baraby provided his department’s files to the courts, with their findings, they were probably augmented by sworn testimony. As such, these findings became legal findings of fact and therefore evidence to disprove Lev Tahor’s position.
An unsigned letter of support from Bernard Fryshman Ph.D., a physicist is included in the website. The accepted standard and convention within the public service is that all letters, especially complaints and positions taken by individuals and organizations, must be signed. Without a signature there is no accountability. Did Dr. Fryshman write the letter? Without a signature, letters such as these lack credibility.
The website also includes the corresponding response to the “Toronto Star” newspaper article “Lev Tahor” left unpaid bills in Quebec. This letter attempts to discuss and shed some light about what happened to the millions once held by Lev Tahor.
In 2012, the Society for Spiritual Development, one of Lev Tahor’s charities transferred $3.3 million to another Jewish charity in Quebec, the Canadian Friends of Holy Land Institutions. I have to point out that previously, when I attempted to investigate the Quebec charity called the Canadian Friends of Holy Land Institutions, I was unable to find very much about them. But I did find the revenues, expenditures, assets and liabilities reported by the Canadian Friends of Holy Land Institutions in 2012 which is illustrated in the following figure.
This was the same year that Lev Tahors’ Society for Spiritual Development transferred $3.3 million to this charity. I still cannot understand how the Canadian Friends of Holy Land Institutions can report revenues of $678,470 when it received a transfer of $3.3 million from Lev Tahor. I am also curious about the relationship between the Canadian Friends of Holy Land Institutions, and Lev Tahor and its Society for Spiritual Development.
Since I revealed this information, it has disappeared from the face of the internet. Convenient, isn’t it?
All in all, Lev Tahor is very adept in using the internet and media to get its position across and to seek public sympathy. However, it must be remembered that they have their own agenda, and as such will go to great lengths to manipulate the media and public opinion to achieve their own ends.