Lev Tahor Shuffling Off to Buffalo for the Last Time


Several days ago I wrote about the saga of the two girls, a 15 and a 17 year old, the two remaining Lev Tahor ​members in Canada​ who were ordered into foster care by the courts. They recently escaped from their foster home and allegedly fled by taxi and then bus to the U.S. border crossing at either Niagara Falls or Buffalo, New York.

​They were ordered into foster care as they defied a court order not to leave the Chatham area. Instead, while en route to Guatemala, they were apprehended in Trinidad and returned to Canada. Once in Canada, the courts had no other option but to place them in foster care because their parents were in Guatemala.

​​I`ve received some flak from individuals – no thought, no content, no facts, just criticism combined with insults and innuendo. In contrast to them, I become involved, research and gather facts.

Comments such as: “mmuahahahaha?!!” are not arguments; nor are they facts or substance. It just shows that they are incoherent morons or a babbling idiots. In this case the person making the comment is a home grown Canadian moron. There is an old West Virginian saying that you waste your time when you argue with assholes and idiots.

On that note, if anyone wishes to debate the facts about what really happened, show yourself. Just changing your Twitter handle and not identifying yourself, indicates that you are merely a subversive or devious moron and have nothing to contribute to finding the truth. All you are doing is criticizing; not providing evidence and fact. When one argues without facts or evidence all they are doing is criticizing me and wasting the public’s time. It`s nothing that I can`t handle. Your arguments ring hollow. This applies to whether they are on another planet such as Venus, or right here on earth.

Both the Montreal Gazette and my last post raised some interesting questions about the girls` escape from their foster home. As I set forth in more detail, it can be questioned whether these girls had sufficient knowledge of how to use Toronto’s public transportation system, and Ontario’s intercity transportation system to do this on their own and evade authorities.

I visited the home. I know where the home was located. I was there once. It was on an out-of-the-way street on which taxis never cruise to pick up fares. To have a taxi on that street, one must either be dropped off, or request one for a passenger pick-up. So arrangements for a taxi to pick up the girls had to be made.

The house is a fairly large home surrounded by high fences. It would be impossible to hop the fence and escape from the property. Also a security guard was located outside the home and questioned anyone that ventured onto the property.

These girls were not worldly at all. They were born into and raised within the cult. They rarely ventured into any kind of store. According to their grandmother, they never went to any stores, except the local grocery store. Anytime they left their environs, they were always chaperoned by at least one male member of the cult. This is also true for any visit to a dentist or doctor as well.

Initially the girls were placed in two separate foster homes. As a result of the grandmother and I advocating on behalf of the girls for the sake of their emotional wellbeing, and the foster family agreeing to house both girls, both were housed in one foster home.

Joseph Solimani & Nachman Helbrans

Father of the Two Girls (left) with Nachman Helbrans (right), a son of Lev Tahor Leader Shlomo Helbrans

The first argument that has been hurled at me is that in this modern age with the use of computers and the internet it is very easy to acquire that information. The argument does not hold water since members of the cult are banned from using the internet. According to the grandmother, the two girls have never even turned on a computer.

They had no comprehension of where they were located in that strange and large city called Toronto. They had no idea of where the bus terminal was located. They had no money to take a taxi. They probably didn`t even know where the closest border crossing was located.

Based on that, I can only surmise that they must have received assistance from someone. There were numerous reports that the father was lurking around Toronto’s Ultra Orthodox Jewish community along with Nachman Helbrans, one of the cult leader`s sons. They were spotted in the Bathurst-Lawrence area which is within 15 square blocks of the foster home.

How could the father and Nachman Helbrans get past the security guard who was guarding the home? Who arranged for that taxi? As for the foster family assisting them, I know that they are prominent and wealthy members of Toronto’s Orthodox Jewish community, and the issue of a payoff to the family is ludicrous. I can only speculate that someone was bought, sold and paid for? Was it was an employee of the security company or was it an employee of the social service agency? I don’t know.

I do know that after I heard about the possibility of a kidnapping, on the Monday morning I contacted Chatham-Kent Children’s Services (​CKCS)​ and was told that the girls were safe. I was also assured that the girls were still in Canada.

​Since CKCS did not have direct contact with the girls, I can only assume they were relying on information from Jewish Family & Child Service of Greater Toronto (JF&CS), to whom the care of the girls had been entrusted.​

The next day, with the rumour still flying around, I called JF&CS. The supervisor in charge refused to tell me anything citing privacy regulations even though I told him that I represented the girls’ grandmother, and they had a letter of authorization confirming this on file with the agency.

​​In a very officious​ manner the agency’s manager who I had spoken with to arrange visits between the grandmother and the two girls said that he couldn’t tell me anything due to privacy considerations, and denied any responsibility by the agency for the care provided by their agency. All I wanted to know was whether or not the children were still in Canada and they were safe. I told him that his agency was responsible since they placed the children in the foster home and that they were charged with the girls’ supervision. He argued with that concept.

The next day, I again contacted CKCS and that they advised me that the two girls were no longer in Canada. CKCS also apologized to me by saying “that if you felt that you were told two days ago that the girls were in Canada an apology would be in order”.

To me this means that CKCS was unaware of the girls status 2 days before, as they were not informed by JF&CS until several days after the event occurred.

Once again, the day-to-day shots about the foster care and supervision of the two girls were being called by JF&CS who​ were also responsible for their care and supervision. They probably blew it.

Undoubtedly there may have been a breach of confidentiality by this Toronto agency.

 

 

Advertisements

Final Lev Tahor Members Leave Canada Through Deceit


As you know, I have been following the Lev Tahor controversy with more than just keen interest. Lev Tahor has been aptly called a cult by many within and outside the Jewish community as a result of the allegations and evidence of child abuse, poor hygiene, forced marriages of 13 year olds, drugging members, human traficking and many other allegations.

Members of Lev Tahor Outside Typhus Infested Abandoned Office Building in Guatemala City

Lev Tahor has now completely fled Canada, and the country’s laws and courts, to establish what they want to call a paradise in Guatemala. No doubt they chose Guatemala in keeping with their questionable customs as the legal age for the marriage of girls is 13 years.

I have been advocating for the rights of these families which have suffered and continue to suffer the loss of their children, brothers and sisters to this cult. Earlier this year the exodus of members to Guatemala began. Two families fled in defiance of a court order that they remain in the Chatham area. Two minors, at the time,  a 14 and a 16 year old girl were apprehended in Trinidad while en route to Guatemala, and returned to Canada. Once they were returned, they were ordered to be placed in foster care by Chatham-Kent Children’s Services (CKCS). Because suitable facilities were not available in or near Chatham, Toronto’s Jewish Family & Child Services (JF&CS) would oversee the day-to-day care of the two girls.

Since the cult first surfaced to attention, I have been involved “through thick and thin”. I hosted the grandmother and a family friend when they visited the girls in foster care. I negotiated visits with the girls for them, and arranged for them to spend the Sabbath together.

In Guatemala, the cult has already experienced expulsion from the town of San Juan de Laguna where they were accused of arrogance, intimidating local residents and other matters. Moving from a dirt floor house, they are now living in an abandoned office building in the country’s capital where they lack sanitary facilities, and all of the other necessities for a reasonable existence. It is no wonder that an outbreak of typhus has occurred. So much for their paradise!

Apparently, last weekend, the two remaining girls in foster care escaped from their foster home and took a taxi to the Toronto bus terminal, and then a bus to Niagara Falls where they met their father. Apparently Nachman Helbrans, a cult leader, and the girls’ father aided and possibly arranged their escape.

Joseph Solimani & Nachman Helbrans

Father of the Two Girls (left) with Lev Tahor Henchman, Nachman Helbrans (right)

According to media reports, they were stopped by U.S. authorities where they were placed in the care of Children’s Services of Niagara County, New York. Their case quickly came before the U.S. courts, but the children were both returned to the father who more than likely assisted them in evading Canada’s court and justice system. This was reported in the Montreal Gazette.

CKCS may be unjustly accused of allowing the girls to escape and evade the Ontario courts. Although they may be the responsible agency, it must be understood that JF&CS was involved in supervising the day-day-day and overall care being provided to the girls. These arrangements were made to ensure that the needs of the girls were met with respect to kosher food and to ensure their comfort from a orthodox perspective. Let’s face it, there are few if any Jewish families in Chatham where the girls could be placed, and kosher food is not readily, if at all available.

Therefore JF&CS were given the job and authority of responsibility to supervise the day-to-day foster care, safety and security of the two girls. In fact, it was JF&CS that arranged for foster care and placed them into the foster home.

Based on what has been written and reported in the media, there are many questions that have to be answered by JF&CS:

  1. How did the two girls manage to leave their foster home without being detected?
  2. Who had access to the foster home? When I went to pick up the grandmother who visited them for the Sabbath, I was subjected to a very thorough questioning by the security guard at the home.
  3. As they took a taxi to the bus terminal, and then a bus to Niagara Falls, who assisted them and how were they able to contact the girls?
  4. As the girls did not have any money, where did they get the money for the taxi and bus fare?
  5. Knowing that they were not allowed to go anywhere without a male escort, how did the two girls know to go to the bus station? Who assisted them to break the law?
  6. The foster home was located on an “out of the way street”. No taxi would venture on that street unless it was to pick-up or drop off a fare. Who arranged for the taxi?
  7. How did the girls get the money to take a taxi and bus?
  8. How did a foster family in Montreal know before anyone else that the girls had fled? Why did the foster family in Toronto allegedly contact the foster family in Montreal?

But the most important question of all was: did JF&CS did breach confidentiality? On a personal note, I know of two occasions in the past where the agency had breached confidentiality. If true why were these two foster homes allowed to have contact with each other?

As a representative of the grandmother, I immediately called JF&CS. The supervisor denied any knowledge of the incident nor any responsibility for what occurred even though they placed the girls in the foster home or were responsible for their supervision – a totally disturbing and reprehensible attitude on their part.

There are other issues that have to be considered. Why did Lev Tahor’s lawyer allow, and not counsel the father to refrain from aiding and abetting the escape of the girls from foster care against the court order that they remain in care? According to him, he only found out about the girls once they reached the border. But he should have counselled the father to return the girls to Canada.

The two girls were the last members of the cult to leave Canada. A week before the incident occurred, the Hayon family which were the sole remaining family in Chatham made arrangements to leave and return to Israel with their six children. According to the family, Nachman Helbrans, the son of the devious, deceptive and dangerous cult leader, Shlomo Helbrans paid them a visit and kidnapped two of the children – a girl aged 15 years, and a boy aged 18 years.

Once they returned to Israel, the remaining members of the family were honoured with a party. The following photograph shows the uncle of the two girls that escaped from the foster home with Esther Hayon and two of her children. It’s unfortunate that all 6 children could not be reunited in Israel, together.

10502525_653096428130635_4711227249276978713_n

This is the kind of criminal behavour which is par for course for Lev Tahor.

Lev Tahor – Proof of Their Lies, Deceit and Treachery


10296397_576386119135000_6431954161159065191_o

Photo Taken by Oded Twik

In my last post, I wrote about Oded Twik, and his trip to Guatemala, to find his sister and hopefully convince her to leave the cult.

In reading Oded’s report, the first thing that one realizes is that the move to Guatemala may have been planned for some time. Apparently, Helbrans was able to establish a foothold in Guatemala from what I was told. It was through a religious intermediary living in Monsey, New York.

Helbrans was able to gain the confidence of a Guatemalan Mayan, who was being taken through the process of conversion by Helbrans himself. He, in turn, was able to gain the confidence of other Mayan families. This Mayan has since become a caretaker of the original 9 members of Lev Tahor who fled Chatham, Ontario, and reached Guatemala.

893089_576387699134842_4589901398486306090_o

San Juan de Laguna (Photo Taken by Oded Twik)

Over the past few days, the media has reported that the original 9 members have been joined by up to another 50 members from Chatham and elsewhere. Included are the senior members of the cult: Avraham Dinkel, Yosef Bibi, Abraham Kashani, Yoel Helbrans, Yosef and Sima Sulemani and their six younger children, Uriel Goldman, Meir Rosner, Michael Goldman, Yochanan Laver and Yoel Weingarten. As the days go on, the trickle of members of the cult leaving Canada for Guatemala may become a flood.

I happen to believe Oded and what he saw.

The reason for this is because his mother, the grandmother of two of the children placed in foster homes, along with a close family friend were guests in my home for 10 days, around the time of the festival of Purim. These two grandchildren were apprehended in Trinidad, and then returned to Toronto to be placed in foster homes.

I heard the stories by the grandmother, about how she was treated by the cult when she visited her daughter in the past. I also heard of how her daughter’s children were forcibly taken away from her by the cult for months at a time because they felt that she was unholy and unfit. I heard the story that when she was talking to her daughter on the telephone, she would say my children are passing my house, I wish that I could speak to them. Imagine not being able to speak to your children for months at a time. If this isn’t sadistic cruelty, I don’t know what is. Continue reading

Lev Tahor in Guatemala – A Story of Squalor, Mental Anquish and the Separation of Families


In the last 2 weeks there have been several significant developments concerning Lev Tahor.

As you know, members of Lev Tahor in defiance of a court order fled Canada to Guatemala. Two months ago, 12 members including 6 children were successful in reaching Guatemala, while 9 members, including 4 children, on route to this destination were apprehended in Trinidad, and returned to Canada at the request of the Canadian government. On return to Canada, these children were placed in foster care.

An infant child and her 17 year old mother were apprehended at Calgary International Airport. The child was released to her teenage mother last week. Now another four Lev Tahor children are being returned to their parents.

A ruling concerning the remaining two children will be made on May 29th.

Throughout this, Lev Tahor continues to maintain its innocence and deny the allegations of forced marriages of 14 year olds, beatings, children being forced to wear small shoes as a form of punishment, and other forms of abuse and neglect. Lev Tahor’s cries of its innocence continue even with the concerns expressed by the courts, and evidence, both proven and unproven, of their abusive behaviour toward their members and particularly, their children.

The cult is being controlled by their leader, self proclaimed Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans who entered Canada illegally, and has been found guilty of child abduction in the State of New York.

Throughout these difficult times, there has been one constant – the unwavering concern of Oded Twik and his diligence in trying to help his sister and her 8 children who are members and victims of Lev Tahor. His sister and her children are victims of the abuse, manipulation and the mind control of Shlomo Helbrans and his henchmen. Oded was interviewed several times in the print media and on television, including the CBC’s Fifth Estate.

guatemala

San Juan de Laguna, Guatemala

As was initially reported by Hannah Katsman in her blog, Oded spent the period from March 27, 2014, – April 30, 2014 in San Juan de Laguna, Guatemala on a fact finding journey first trying to locate his sister, and then trying to establish contact with her. He prepared a brief report describing his observations, findings and feelings, and trying to assess the situation of his sister and her family. His report is found by clicking the link at the end of this post.

Since the arrival of Oded’s sister and the other members, others have followed, leaving Chatham and arriving in Guatemala. They have included senior members of the cult, including Yoel Weingarten (who may have stood by while his father repeatedly sexually abused his sister), Uriel Goldman, Meir Rosner, and Helbrans’ son, Yoel.

From what I understand there are now upwards of 30 members who have left Canada, virtually unobstructed, for Guatemala. Most of these children are Canadian citizens.

Oded Twik goes on to describe his observations, and what he found.

According to his report, when he reached the sect, Raisa Rosner Goldman, a 15-year-old, was about to give birth. The baby was delivered without any professional assistance, while she lay on the dirt floor. A half an hour before Oded arrived, the members of Lev Tahor went to the tiny Chabad centre for tourists in order to request a basin to use during the birth. The center gave them the bowl used to make a Yemenite pastry served by the Chabad centre on the Sabbath.

Raisa Rosner Goldman is the daughter of Rosner and the daughter-in-law of Yoel Goldman, 2 leaders of the cult. Can you imagine 2 senior members allowing their daughter and daughter-in-law to deliver a baby on a dirt floor? I hope that those who have been critical of my portrayal of the behaviour of the leaders of this cult stop for a minute and think strongly about this! Would you allow your child to give birth in this environment?

Oded and Nephew

Oded Twik and Nephew in Guatemala

He then found his year old nephew dirty, hungry and covered with insect bites. There was little he could do; except cry. Oded continues to cry to this day.

The group slept on the bare ground. Only after he arrived, did the members acquire 15 dirty mattresses. The members were sent to Guatemala with little money, so they were forced to beg from tourists on the street. Just remember, Lev Tahor is a cult that has reportedly amassed millions of dollars.

Oded finally was able to meet with his sister. Initially she refused to meet with him, fearing for her brother’s safety. Only after Oded threatened to break into their home, did she agree to meet with him.

Oded found her to be confused, scared, weak and no doubt mentally fragile. It was difficult for her to talk. She appeared to be without any desire or will to live, and worried about the future. The cult was applying pressure on her, so she begged him to leave. He, in turn, begged her to leave with him, and all she could do was say the “situation is not simple!”

So there you have it, a heart wrenching story of mental anguish, abuse, the separation of families, the manipulation of the innocent, and the inability of its victims to escape the clutches of this cult.

To read Oded Twik’s observations of his trip to Guatemala, please click on the following link:  Statement by Oded Twik

Lev Tahor: Child Protection or Human Rights


Ontario court Justice Stephen Fuerth said that he will decide on Februrary 3rd. whether he has the jurisdiction to enforce a Quebec ruling that the Lev Tahor children be taken from their parents’ care.

The Lev Tahor community was located in Ste.-Agathe, Quebec and were the subject of Provincial child protection orders on complaints that included inadequate education, physical abuse and inadequate health care and hygiene. Faced with the prospect of 14 of its children being removed and placed in the care of Quebec child care authorities, the community whisked three busloads of families out of Quebec to Chatham, Ontario in the middle of the night last November.

imagesYSVI0ALF

Child welfare authorities in Chatham are now asking the court to enforce a Quebec order that would see 14 children placed in foster care in Quebec. The order is also being appealed in Quebec.

Lev Tahor through its lawyer, insists the Ontario court does not have the right to rule on this matter and that the Children’s Aid Society in Chatham has no legal jurisdiction to ask the court to enforce the Quebec court order. He is also arguing that the families’ Constitutional mobility rights and religious freedoms are being violated with the implementation of the proposed Charter of Values of Quebec which would restrict the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols such as turbans and hijabs. Chris Knowles, the lawyer acting on behalf of Lev Tahor further commented:

“When we’re talking about religious rights what you’re being asked to do is to send these children back to a province which I submit has chosen to place religious rights beneath other rights,” … “So I do think it’s relevant to your determination of what is in these children’s best interests.”

First of all I emphatically oppose Quebec’s Charter of Values. But using the same Charter of Values, one can easily shoot down Knowles’ assertion. The proposed Quebec Charter of Values would restrict the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols by public employees. How many public employees are members of Lev Tahor? If members are required to personally interact or conduct business with any Quebec public sector employee, who is not allowed to wear any conspicuous religious symbol, how can this intimidate a member of the sect? Wouldn’t they feel less intimidated, if anything?

Knowles and Lev Tahor are playing the human rights card; while the Chatham-Kent Children’s Services’ is playing its child protection card.

I hope that Lev Tahor knows that the Ontario Human Rights Code is primarily applicable to persons over the age of 18 years, unless they are 16 or 17 years of age, and have withdrawn from parental control. How can the Human Rights Code be applied to an 8 year old who suffers from poor hygiene and health as a result of the actions of the sect?

I commend the local Children’s Aid Society’s position on this matter. They are playing a tough game. They agree that there is no specific avenue under the Child and Family Services Act for the Ontario court to enforce Quebec’s order, but have pointed to other legislation under which the Ontario court could make an order.

Allegations of child abuse and mistreatment against Lev Tahor include:

– Fungal foot infections because women are not allowed to remove their socks.

– Girls as young as 14 married off to older men.

– Reports of some bruises on one child.

– Administering melatonin to kids to calm them.

– Isolation, children not allowed outdoor play.

– Concern about a possible collective suicide pact.

– Night-time exodus reports of crying, screaming, throwing belongings into garbage bags,

– Women and children being physically and emotionally abused.

– Frightened children being sedated for the 14-hour trip.

images8ZRGI9LJ

As a society, we have an obligation to protect the vulnerable. In this case the vulnerable are the children of Lev Tahor. This obligation should supersede any claims of discrimination and human rights which are made on the basis of convenience.

Chatham-Kent Children’s Services’ lawyer Loree Hodgson-Harris went on to correctly describe the situation as that:

“We can’t allow in this country people to just pick up and leave because they don’t like the process or they don’t want to comply and it was pretty clear from the evidence that they weren’t going to comply.”

Clearly, they did not intend to comply with Quebec child welfare authorities, and intended to thumb their noses at them by making a run for it at the last minute. It was a planned move, to skirt the authority of Quebec officials and move at the last possible moment before Quebec child services authorities would take action. They even left jewelry and credit cards behind, and one coffee maker was left on, which indicates that they stole off into the night to avoid prosecution and escape the jurisdiction of the Quebec’s courts.