Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Purim Shpiel: A Jewish Girl Goes On A Mission To Buy A Talmud

Genre: Sci-fi thriller.
Actors: Surie Berkovic plays the role of A Jewish girl named Deborah Feldman; An older man who shall remain nameless plays the role of a frail bookstore owner.
Setting: A Jewish bookstore store in midst of dangerous world of the Hasids, where parents slaughter their boys as a punishment for masturbating and girls get thrown into jail for going out after dark.
Plot: Deborah Feldman forms a secret plan to sneak into a Judaica store, buy a Talmud, and hopefully make it out of there alive. Deborah comes up with a cover story that she is buying the Talmud for her cousin. Problem is that her nervousness betrays her and she is nearly caught by the religious police. Miraculously she escapes uninjured but now comes the most dangerous part of her mission: getting back home safely through the streets filled with black-clad men and kershief-wrapped women who would who would shoot her point-blank without a trial, if they would find out what she is carrying in that suspicious-looking package. But even after arriving home danger still lurks, and...

OK. It's too much for me. If I don't stop now I will throw up. Read for yourself. Page 26 of Unorthodox:

Explosive: Court Documents Undercut Core of New Best Selling Book

By: Yossi Gestetner

Court documents dated late 2003 which followed a custody request, challenge the authenticity of the recently best-selling memoir, “Unorthodox,” which was authored by Ms. Deborah Feldman.

In the book, the author fails to mention that her mother, who according to the book left the Hasidic Community latest 1990, actually gave birth to another girl in November 1994. When challenged as to why she omitted the existence of a younger sister that was born to the same set of parents five years after the mother ‘abandoned’ the family, the author responded (in a March 2nd blog post) that her sister is still a minor and therefore she did not mention her.

This feeble answer left many people wondering why the author didn’t allude to this fact by simply stating in the book, “I have a younger sister that (until several months ago) lived with my mother.”

Well, the reasons for this omission are surprising:

1)    The author notes (pg. 4) that before writing the book, she asked her mother why she did not take her to live with her after she left. The author laments that the mother said “she had no money [to fight] and my father’s family threatened to make her life miserable if she tried to take me away.” This is contrary to what happened with the author’s younger sister who did live with her mother until late 2011. Had readers been aware of this little fact, they would wonder how Deborah’s mother had money to fight for her younger sister and not for Deborah and why the father’s family “threatened to make her mother’s life miserable” only if she fights for Deborah and not her younger sibling. By avoiding to mention a sister, Deborah paved the way to create falsehoods as to why she did not leave to live with her mother and to paint her family as radically anti-women; who suppressed a lesbian-woman who chose to leave for freedom.

2)    By omitting the existence of a younger sister that was born in late 1994, Deborah can perpetuate the all important component of a drama story: The mother ‘abandoned’ the family when Deborah was a mere toddler, which is to say latest 1990. But of course, with a sister born when Deborah was seven-eight, the falsehood flies out the window. Besides, Deborah’s mother attests in an internet post in the summer of 2010 that she left the family “seven years ago,” which is to say in late 2003 when Deborah was sixteen. Finally, how did Deborah show up in this photo at age seven standing in front of smiling parents if her mother had “abandoned” her a few years earlier?

3)    Most explosive of all are court papers dating back to late 2003, signed by now-former Judge the Honorable Paul Grosvenor. It shows clearly that the mother who – according to Feldman ‘had no money to fight’ – actually dragged the father to court asking for custody of BOTH children! This means, she had money to fight; and to fight for both, and was not an ‘abandoning’ person to begin with. After back-and-forth proceedings, both sides came to a court-approved agreement which stipulates that the Zaidy and his son, the father of Feldman, got the two things they wanted: a) The younger sister, then only nine years old, should continue attending a Jewish school and b) that the father should have visiting rights. The mother as part of the willful deal agreed to both, but as for the latter, she wanted a third party to supervise the visitations. The third party was to be… The Zaidy! Apparently, the mother had no issue that the Zaidy, this supposed abuser who ‘threatened to make life miserable,’ should be the one overseeing the visits.

The likely reason why Deborah’s mother did not put up much of a fight for Deborah is she was sixteen-seventeen at time of the court proceeding with a mind of her own. But more importantly is an event which dates back to the second half of the 1990s when Deborah was 10 or 11: Her mother hit her so severely that she ran down the flight of stairs to Bubby and Zaidy’s who lived on flight below. Deborah resolutely stated that she does not want to go back to her mother. Her extended family, which was always there for her, took her in to live with them. From then on, Deborah did not have much to do with her mother except for when her mother came down from the above apartment to check on Deborah and to visit the husband’s extended family.

This undisclosed fact of Deborah life at age ten likely also explains why Feldman conspicuously starts detailing her memoir only from when she was age eleven: It a) permits her to omit the real reason why the family got involved in her life and how she landed up in the care of Bubby and Zaidy, and b) by omitting life before sixth grade the author can sell a narrative of being raised in an extreme Satmar family who wanted to control her and thus the aunt placed her into Satmar school to ‘keep tabs’ on her.

However, as class photos prove, the author actually attended two different schools before her aunt took her into Satmer. She attended Adas Yereim, the most liberal Hasidic school in Williamsburg, and then, until age ten, she attended Bais Yakov of Lower East side, a non-Hasidic Orthodox Jewish school outside of Williamsburg. No extreme Hasidic family sends their kids to either of these schools. Deborah landed up in there because her family is of the most liberal in Williamsburg, and the only reason she ended up in Satmar is because she was likely expelled from both schools. As a result, Satmar the school where her the ‘bad’ aunt was the long-time principal, was the only school willing to accept this troubled girl into their system under the wings of the aunt.

By omitting these important details, Deborah successfully distorted history to suit her needs. Indeed, no good deed goes unpunished.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Peek Into Deborah Feldman's School Records

We were given the opportunity to see Deborah Feldman's school records from the years that she spent in Satmar. This is what we saw:

She came into Satmar for school year 1998.

Her first tuition payment was made 10/9/97.

Her name: Surie Berkovic.

Surie was, apparently, a bright student. She was considered a good writer and she was a very happy girl.

She was a troublemaker though and was fighting with teachers. Eventually she had to change class during secular studies. (Yes, she did get a secular education as well, as opposed to her blatant lies.)

On the intervention of her aunt, the principal, she became a teacher in Satmer Williamsburg on 9/1/03.
She left her teching job 4/15/05.

The evidence that Deborah Feldman didn't attend Satmar

We were the first to reveal to you, our dear readers, that Deborah Feldman, didn't attend Satmar for most of her childhood. Now Shmarya brings you the evidence that "she attended a much less strict haredi school," before she went to Satmar.

Here is a picture of Surie (AKA Deborah) Feldman in 3d grade, at the Bais Yaakov school:

Shmarya also has the proof that "she may have been happier at home and in school than she wrote in her book."

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Flashback: Barbara Walters and her Co-hosts Engage in Antisemitism

The entire Jewish world reacted with shock, disappointment and anger after the hosts of the view gave Deborah Feldman a platform from which to spew her anti-Semitic poison, without challenging her on her outright lies and contradictions.

But this was not the first time that this ABC daytime talk show has engaged in open anti-Semitism. On January 21 these same co-hosts laughed and made fun of Jewish woman on a level unheard of. Barabra Walters and the other ladies were laughing their guts out while discussing Jewish ladies.

For more read this story:

On today’s edition of the anti-male hag-fest, “The View,” Barbara Walters and her fellow co-hostesses engaged in a vile, anti-Semitic discussion with actress/comedienne Susie Essman. The stuff they said about Chassidic Jews–calling the women ugly, saying they have bad taste in clothing, have “weird,” “bizarre” customs–would never be tolerated if they substituted the word “Muslim” or “Black” for “Chassidic Jew.” I am not a Chassidic Jew–but since most Chassidic Jews do not own TVs and don’t waste their time watching this mindless garbage, I am the only one who noticed apparently.
The discussion took place in a segment featuring unfunny comedienne and actress Susie Essman, who appears in HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” She was on the show to promote her appearance in an upcoming CBS movie, “Loving Leah,” about a Lubavitch Chassidic Jewish woman who marries her late husband’s brother, a handsome cardiologist. (It stars Ricki Lake, so you know it’s gonna be awful.)
Essman–who is nominally Jewish, like Sarah Silverman–began the discussion by saying that being in the movie she learned that Chassidic Jewish women have terrible taste in clothing, that they’re “weird” and practice “bizarre” old religious customs, and that they cover up and they’re ugly. “Have you seen what these women look like?”
... Barbra Walters said, “The way they dress, that’s related to Islam, right?” Hilarious. Um, the Jewish religion was around for centuries before Islam ripped off its rules from Judaism and Christianity. I suppose we got the Bible from the Koran, too. What a dummy. Remember this, the next time she does another one of her cockamamie religion specials (in which she sympathizes with HAMAS homicide bombers).
Sherri Shepherd, Whoopi Goldberg, and ... Elisabeth Hasselbeck laughed at her comments and agreed with them, saying nothing like, “Hey, stop your bigotry.” Walters didn’t object either.
To her credit, the only one who kinda sorta defended Chassidic Jewish women was Joy Behar, though she calls them “wacky.” “Well, they’re just like every other group of women–some aren’t pretty and some are.” To this, Susie Essman responded with a face and a noise indicating she thought they were all ugly.
It's no wonder that The View had the honor to be the first TV show to interview Deborah Feldman.

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Deborah Feldman With a Brand New Murder Fantasy

Her crazy mind works wonders. She has difficulty distinguishing what she dreams at night from what's actually happening. Not that she imagines things, no, she just can't remember which was which....

Here is her most recent murder story:
"Rumors emerge of life-insurance murder in Satmar Williamsburg that implicate Hershel Klar. Hope someone gets to the bottom of this soon."
Simon and Schuster, eat it. You fell for this craziness. Now you are going to have to deal with this embarrassment daily until you pull the books off the shelves.

The NY Daily News: Unorthodox is a Novel and not a Memoir

I told you a couple of days ago that Deborah Feldman definitely didn't have the last laugh, and I'm happy to report that another respected newspaper, the NY Daily News, runs an article today, suggesting that Deborah Feldman is a liar and a fraud.

It's even more interesting that the News compares Deborah Feldman to James Frey, an American writer who was the subject of a big scandal when it was discovered that major elements of his so-called memoir were fabrications and lies.

In that case Oprah Winfrey, who at first believed that liar, invited him back to her show and confronted him why he had lied to her and her viewers. Oprah had the courage to admit that she was fooled by that person, who mostly lied about himself, not about other people.

For some reason I don't expect that the anti-religious Barbara Walters will do the same and publicly admit that she was duped by Deborah Feldman. I hope I'm wrong.

From the News article:

Most aspiring writers would murder to publish with the kind of publicity Feldman has received.

The problem is that much of her memoir may not be true, according to ardent critics. These include family members, neighbors and even New York State authorities.
In the book, Feldman charges her mother – who was apparently burdened by the pressures of Satmar life – with a “mysterious disappearance” when Feldman was a toddler.
In fact, it takes about 30 seconds to find Shoshana Berkovic on both Twitter and Facebook. She is a science teacher at New Utrecht High School and does not appear to have ever left Brooklyn. She did divorce her husband, as court records indicate. But that was in 2003, more than a decade after Feldman accuses her mother with leaving her behind. (Shoshana Berkovic / Facebook)

Feldman leaves out another relevant fact about her family – that she has a sister, now 17 and living with her mother. For reasons I cannot quite fathom, she entirely deletes her sister’s existence from what is supposed to be a truthful account of her life.

And while Feldman waxes poetic about how she had to sneak  secular literature (“Reading an English book is…a welcome mat put out for the devil”), neighbor Pearl Engleman distinctly remembers Berkovic taking both of her daughters to the public library on Fridays. “Flat-out lies” is what Engleman calls  Feldman’s description of her family life.

Feldman writes in great detail about her strict religious education in Williamsburg. But she fails to mention that she only attended the supposedly restrictive UTA for four years – and that only after being kicked out of a much more lax yeshiva in Manhattan, Bas Yaakov of the lower East Side. A cousin says that Feldman was expelled for making comments about sex.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Have You No Sense of Decency, Ma'am?!

What a terrible and horrible person Deborah Feldman is to do this to another human being.

Her husband is the kindest person on earth. He treated her like a princess. I spoke to many of their neighbors and friends. Everyone confirms that he was taking her abuse like a gentleman. She was never happy, always complained, made up stories. He always did whatever he could to satisfy her, even though she was never satisfied.

In her book she claims that when her husband invited his brothers for Shabbos she was like the slave of the house; She would do all the cooking and cleaning, but was disregarded and made to feel invisible, because she is a woman. (But of course she contradicts herself in other sections of the book where she describes vividly her conversations with her brothers-in-law. She even served the role of a mental health counselor with one brother-in-law who was very depressed after being rejected by a girl he proposed - which itself contradicts other parts of her fairy tale.) This is the woman Deborah was (and probably still is) always complaining about something and never happy. Her husband had a difficult job to deal with her but he wanted to make their marriage work.

One of their mutual friends told me that her husband actually,
"...left her during their marriage at one point because he couldn't take her behavior anymore. Whatever that behavior was - no, its not limited to religious matters but rather for her human behavings or lack of. ... Devorah - on her own will and choice - has called and begged - to the point of harrasment and stalking - her then husband to return to her and give her one more chance to which he obliged."
Her accusations that her husband was a sexual freak sound preposterous to all her old friends who were privy to her gossiping. One neighbor from Airmont writes to us,
"Deborah once shared with me that in the beginning of her marriage she had a hard time with sex because she was molested as a child. She said she was in therapy for several years dealing with her issues. She mentioned that her husband was extremely understanding, never forcing her to have sex, always waiting for her to be in the mood. This is not the way she portrays it in the book."
The relatives that I'm speaking to, including but not limited to her own family members, confirm this to me.
"At one point, as her problems with intimacy were at their lowest point, Deborah had announced to certain family members that she and her husband will no longer be husband and wife but remain two good friends living together. She did not have a child at the time, she had given up on her being able to go to bed with her husband, but she was still holding on to to this man as a friend! This confirms what we all know: her husband is a charming, fun-loving and gentle man. And Deborah knew it then as she knows it now."
(By the way, here's another of her contradictions; She also claims that her husband was ultra-ultra-ultra orthodox and followed some very strict rules when having intimate relationships with her. So Deborah, make up your mind, which of your versions are true. Was it a pitch-dark-and-no-looking kind of relationship or was it before-going-to-work-to-make-him-feel-good relationship?)

Now here is a fact that pains me to the core of my heart and this is the reason for writing this post:

Deborah's husband was a GREAT father to his child. That boy meant everything in the world for him. The bond between father and son was especially close. He played with that boy. He was never too busy to spend time with his boy. The husband was made to babysit the boy every other night when she went out partying with friends and did who knows what. She dumped her son on her husband for two months when she traveled to California. She trusted her "abusive" husband with her son for two months!

For her to take away the boy from his father is bad enough, but to destroy the reputation of  this gentle soul with such a viciousness is unfathomable.

Just read what a person who was close to the family writes:
In this article: "Feldman left the marriage with her infant son in tow [...] who she says never even asks about his father."
Knowing Yitzy (not anymore an infant son, now the yummiest little fella) and his doting father, having watched this father care for his son through our million playdates, through the entire summer (entirely on his own -- with a broken arm), through hell and high waters... when I read quotes like the one in this article my heart breaks. This misrepresentation of a father is a tragedy not only for [the husband] who has been very wronged, but for every woman who really does deal with an abusive/neglectful husband and whose own stories will never be believed in the same way again.
How a person can be so cruel to do this to another human being is just beyond me.

Many reporters can attest to the fact that they tried to reach out to the husband in order to sensationalize the story even further, but he rejected every single opportunity, so far, to talk to the media, even though he was victimized by her, time and again, and she is still treating him with an enourmous amount of viciousness. The only reason he refrains from talking to the media is because he loves his son, and does not want to hurt this little boy any more.

I would like to end this post with a famous quote.

Dear Deborah Feldman,

"Let us not assassinate this lad further, ... You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency ... at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

Do People in Williamsburg Even Know Who Deborah Feldman Is?

Of course, now everyone does, but before she came out with her controversial book of lies, how many  in Williamsburg knew her?

Ms. Feldman claimed endlessly in recent weeks that everyone in Williamsburg spoke of the issues she had after the wedding. The only way to prove it wrong is to put thousands of Hasidim through a lie detector test.

However, the following video seems to show that Feldman has delusions of people’s interest in her.

Background: Back in 2011, a German TV station did a report of Hasidic Williamsburg. Earlier in the seven-minute clip, Ms. Feldman is seen driving around in her car to show the reporter how life is in Williamsburg. For typical media shtick, the reporter at minute mark 4:55, recorded Feldman walking down a street.

Now, of course, Feldman knew the camera filming was meant for her and thus she is seen looking around thinking that others notice that a TV crew is filming her. However, note how no-one around her gives a crap; No one even spits in her direction because no one knew nor cared of her personal issues. NOTE: You will likely get distracted by the German language used in the film coupled with seeing Rabbi Niederman on the split side of the screen. However, focus on Feldman’s delusions.


Deborah... If You Know Something Say Something

Deborah Feldman knows information that we are not privy to. She knows about some horrible crimes that are going on within the Jewish community - that no one in the world knows about - but she chose to not go public, or to go to the district attorney with the information. She knows about rapes and murders but she is not telling anyone.

Deborah, to hold back such information makes you an accomplice in the crime. Please read the following statement from a reader:
Feldman states that she is aware of a gruesome murder... there is no statute of limitations on murder and unless she has called the police and reported said murder she is NOT a productive member of ANY society Satmar of Seccular!!
I will not even bother to comment on the acts of pedophilia, of which she again, claims to be aware, and upon which she also remains silent. Sickening and Sad. 

Another reader, eleni_aus has the following observation:
We have not read the full coroner's report and such decisions are not reached lightly. IF, as indicated, he attacked himself with a chainsaw, it may indicate intense self-loathing, deep depression, and/or an episode of mental illness.

For the poor family to have to be so publicly reminded of this tragedy (and even accused however obliquely of being perpetrators) is so very, very sad.

The use of a chainsaw, though unusual, is not altogether unknown: An elderly man known to me attempted suicide by attackng his own person with a chainsaw. He survived due to rapid medical attention. He had been extremely depressed by his increasing level of illness and disability with age (he died within 18 months of natural causes).

People's memories of their childhood can be distorted and inaccurate even when they are not intending them to be so ... we remember through our own individual lenses and in a way 'create' our own childhood and adolescence.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Satmar Woman's Response To Deborah Feldman

From an article in the Jewish Press.

Deception: Suri lays it on thick when asked to describe a bathing suit worn in summer camp: “Picture this really shiny nylon fabric and thick, floppy, long sleeves, and pants covered with an extra layer of material to make it look like a skirt.” The real thing: At most, a “chassidish” bathing suit is a short-sleeve dress reaching mid-thigh, made of thin spandex fabric; quite comfortable, in fact, as well as modest.

Fiction: The subject of (sex) relations was a total mystery to Suri and her husband, she alleges. A bright, open-minded and inquisitive girl who managed to hide books under her bed, Suri would have us believe that she skipped the library’s reading material on anatomy and sex? Even the most na├»ve of Satmar girls are pretty much aware of what awaits them on their wedding night, so spare us the dramatics Suri.

Falsehood: As a longtime Williamsburg resident and a mother myself, I can attest that children transported in cars are properly buckled into their safety seats and that all mothers take their children for regular visits (and then some) to their pediatricians. If Suri was ever seated in the front of a car without a seatbelt and was never taken to a doctor (both of which she asserts), it could well have been the direct result of her dysfunctional home environment (what with a mentally unstable father and an absentee mother).

Distortion: Contrary to her assertion that at seventeen she was deemed to be on the old end of marriageable age, seventeen is, in point of fact, regarded as being on the young end, the norm being eighteen to twenty-one.

Invention 1: “Deborah” divulges that chassidish women are not allowed to eat out. Huh? I challenge anyone to walk down Lee Avenue in Williamsburg at any given time of day or night where eateries are packed with chassidish women. We may not be eating pork or crab cake sandwiches, but we are certainly enjoying the finest in heimishe food and delicacies. (You’ll find many of us eating out at kosher food establishments outside of Williamsburg as well.)

Invention 2: Curfew for women? That’s news to me. In my Satmar Williamsburg world, my friends and I have frequently returned home after midnight (unescorted by our men), and we have yet to be stopped or told that this is inappropriate.

A transcript of an ABC review of Deborah Feldman’s book has just diminished Suri’s credibility to zero in my book. Her claim of being “subtly molested during a cleansing bath – a mikvah – to ensure her purity” is utterly preposterous. No one gets into the mikvah water with a woman during her ritual cleansing. As for “the entire community” being in on her virginal status after failure to consummate her marriage, well, Suri, that sure is news to me. I had no idea!

Read More.

You Are Welcome Deborah...

Last week we raised the question how Deborah Feldman was even admitted into Sarah Lawrence college without a high school diploma? The claims she made on The View and during other interviews did not make sense at all.

Now, there is a new report that she was only "admitted to a writing program through the Continuing Education division of Sarah Lawrence. It does not require transcripts or even a high school diploma."

Technically she was not a college student, and contrary to what she claims she has not been at Sarah Lawrence since 2010.

Now, about her claim that she has received a scholarship to study at Sarah Lawrence, we can now confirm that she did not receive any financial aid from nobody, besides of her loyal husband who did pay for all her bills at Sarah Lawrence.

Deborah, your ex doesn't want his money back, but a thank you would have been nice. Instead you returned his kindness by putting a knife into his heart.

And of course, she didn't have to hide the fact that she is going (or not going) to college. Many non-Hasidic and Hasidic women in Airmont/Ramapo are college graduates.

Bad Editing

Here is one of the many silly mistakes, confusions, lies and contradictions in Unorthodox.

Is Rabbi Zalmen Leib, the third son of the Satmar rabbi?

Or is he the youngest son?

I don't blame Deborah for this mistake. She spent most of her youth outside of Satmar. But it's very clear that the editors of this book did a terrible job. Simon and Schuster's goal was not perfection but sensation.

Talking about ignorance, here Deborah claims, strangely, that she identified her husband as an "Aroiny" by the hat he was wearing:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Investigative Journalism by Shmarya Rosenberg Reveals Major Lie in "Unorthodox"

I was about to start working on exposing this lie, but Shmarya Rosenberg was not sitting idle, and here is a great piece of investigative journalism, that might force Simon and Schuster to pull the books. It's one of the most devastating exposes to this date, but I suspect that we've only seen the tip of the iceberg.

Feldman claims her mother left home when she was a small child. But is it true? She also claims her mother "abandoned" her family without ever saying that Feldman's mother left with Feldman's younger sister – a sibling Feldman pretends does not exist.

Feldman writes:

And when my mother left my father for good, Chaya took control of me too. She decided that I would live with my grandparents, that I would go to Satmar school, that I would marry a good Satmar boy from a religious family. It was Chaya who, in the end, taught me to take control of my own life, to become iron-fisted like she was, and not let anyone else force me to be unhappy.
So when did Feldman's mother leave Feldman's father "for good"? On July 30, 2010, when Feldman was about 23 years old, her mother Shoshana Berkovic posted a review of her divorce lawyer on Citysearch.

Note what she wrote:

I had been afraid to start applying for a divorce because I thought it'd be incredibly stressful and expensive. Seven years after I left my ex-husband I finally got the courage to go to a lawyer. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the cost was actually pretty affordable, and that it was a relatively quick and easy procedure. Mr. Perskin explained what had to be done, and gave me what I needed to fulfill the requirements to apply for my divorce. I didn't have to wait as long as expected for the divorce to go through either; I was expecting to get the divorce document at the end of August, and here it is only the end of July! I would definitely recommend Brian Perskin to any of my friends here in the city.
 Feldman claims to be 25 years old. Her mother wrote that when Deborah was 23, meaning her mother left "for good" when Deborah was 16. If you add one year for what her mother describes as a "relatively quick" divorce instead of what would appear to be a process that took several weeks, Feldman was 15 when her mother left.

What's the age Feldman tells her readers she was when her mother left?

The copy on the flap of her book says Feldman's mother "abandoned" the community when Feldman was a toddler. This is is supposedly why Feldman had to live with her grandparents.

Someone here is lying – Feldman or her mother.

Except her mother wrote her review long before the book was written, and she had no motivation to lie. And several people claiming to have known Feldman as a child support Feldman's mother's timeline.

Then we come to Feldman's claim that her mother abandoned the family. Shoshana Berkovic left, to be sure, but she did not leave alone. She left with Feldman's younger sister – a sibling Feldman does not admit exists.

Read More.

Follow-up in the New York Post on Deborah Feldman

A tiny follow-up article in the New York Post, after that vicious article this month in the same paper.

 Some quotes from that article:

A gal who ditched her hubby and ultra-Orthodox Satmar community in Brooklyn left behind a trail of broken hearts and hurt feelings to pen a controversial yarn.
Deborah Feldman, 25, says she was choked by an antiquated religion and trapped in a loveless marriage — but that's news to her husband, Joel Feldman, who friends and family say is “shattered” by the damning memoir.
“She was crazy about this boy,” Feldman's uncle, Izzy Berkowitz, 58, told The Post. “She was dying to get married.
“He did everything and anything for her, but she never appreciated anything no matter what he did,” Berkowitz insisted. “She lacked happiness. Nothing was good enough for her.”
“He feels betrayed," said an old friend of the jilted pop. “She wasn't forced to marry him. They were madly in love.”
Pearl Engelman, 64, a neighbor of Feldman's when she lived in Williamsburg, blasted the author.
“It paints the whole community in a bad light,” Engelman said. “We¶re in an uproar. We feel insulted. I think she's a lost soul.
I have to underscore that this article is fair, as it also has Deborah's side of the story... (#gallowshumor.)

I commend this honest reporter, Gary Buiso. He did his job as a reporter with the limited space that his editors made available for this story.

Sunday Reading

Ignoring the basic rules of journalism, newspapers and other media gave Deborah Feldman a free ride. They happily provided her with a platform from which to attack a whole religion, without offering the other side a chance to respond. Her controversial, senseless accusations went completely unchallenged. (Someone would expect that a reporter would at least sneak into Williamsburg with a hidden camera to investigate if, for instance, girls are not allowed into restaurants or if a curfew-for-girls is in effect during night hours.) Some of her claims would have been exposed as false with a simple Google search, but the drive-by media, driven by an anti-religious agenda, didn't do this either. (We have to point out that there were some exceptions, though, and we are waiting for the results.)

Luckily, we didn't sit still. Some great Jewish writers came out to defend their religion against the onslaught of attacks. We are proud to present you the list of articles, collected from around the web:

1. A Vindication Of Chassidim With Conviction Of Eternal Judaism
VIN News op-ed by Hasidic attorney Ruchie (Rachel) Freier

As I watched in disbelief, as Feldman disparaged Torah observance on the Barbara Walters Show, and observed her interact artificially with people at the bookstore, I was convinced that not only did she have literary aptitude but that she had theatrical skill as well.  How else could she deceive so many people by distorting our values and making a mockery of us?  In her book she writes of an incident when she feigned seeing a mouse in class, causing her classmates to shriek in horror.  She writes “What an actress I am.  A white face and trembling hands to go with my scream.  To think what I can do with a skill such as this – the ability to convince others of emotions I don’t really feel! It is a thrilling thought.” (pg 23). 

Read more

2. “Unorthodox” Belongs in the Fiction Section
Algemeiner op-ed By Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg 

Who would have guessed that Anti-Semitism could lurk in the allegedly autobiographical words of a young Jewish woman? But they have, in ‘Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots’, the memoir of Deborah Feldman, with stories she tells about growing up as a Satmar Hasid.
I don’t think that Feldman meant to create this monster, yet the intentions, for good or bad cannot stop the destruction this creation is causing. Many in our community say we should let it slide, to ignore it because it will go away in a few weeks and is not worth giving a platform to. I vehemently disagree. I think if we don’t address this lie we are no better than Ms. Feldman because we are allowing the lie to spread.
If we allow a New York Times bestseller filled with half-truths, untruths and outright lies to be the uncontested representation of the truth of our lifestyle and a butchery of Halacha (Jewish law), we are doing ourselves a disservice of the highest proportions. Joseph Goebbels, The Nazi minister of propaganda, used to repeat Hitler’s “Big Lie,” which paraphrased over time simply says, “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.”

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3. Dear Deborah Feldman . . .
By Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt

I have read more profound books by women who rejected secular culture, seeing its lifestyle as hedonistic, Godless, and disrespectful of their feminine dignity. They saw in secular culture a society that defines the perfect body as the perfect virtue, the undress of female as art, the augmented female figure as the appropriate trophy on the arm of the rich and famous. They chose Chassidic Judaism instead.
But their books weren't featured on The View. Their stories weren't penned in newspapers across the globe. They didn't receive a call back from Simon and Schuster. I wonder why you think that might be.

Read More

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Is CNN Holding Back on a Deborah Feldman Interview?

Yossi Gestetner of gestetnerupdates.com emailed us the following interesting observation:

Why Isn't CNN Airing the Feldman Interview?
On Thursday, Feb. 16, Feldman tweeted that Soledad O'brien from CNN will air a recorded interview the next day, Friday, of O'brian and Feldman. Later, Feldman tweeted that no, it will be aired on Monday. Then Monday Feldman tweeted that CNN can't run it yet since her book was sold out.
But... Now that Feldman tweeted that her book is back on the shelf, we should expect CNN to run the interview. No? But for now I didn't see it on CNN nor did we get updated from Feldman when it will run. Is it possible CNN pulled the plug on this interview after noticing how much bull the author is selling? Is it possible that the interview is not being aired for the same reason Unorthodox dropped on Amazon from #5 to #54 #46 in less than a week while most other "top 100" on Amazon stay on the list for dozens and sometimes 100s of days? 
Maybe CNN will run the interview after all but for now it's noticeable that more than a week after taping, it was still not aired.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Deborah's Uncle Painfully Cries Out

After long and hard thinking I have decided to expose Deborah Feldman. No one knows her the way I know her, as that I am her uncle. My name is Izzy Berkowitz. I am proud to say her father is my brother. His name is Eugene. I am not ashamed of my brother; to the contrary I am proud of him.  I also have some of her emails which I will post and make available to the public which will give you an idea who this women is and what she is about.  Yes the emails have her address on them so she can’t lie.  This is what she does, lie and lie again, a bunch of pathetic lies.

I am not going to comment on her so called writings. Yes, I call them writing and not a book. It’s nothing more than a bunch of lies and trash. My only purpose and goal is to expose this vicious, selfish, self-centered woman and prove what a liar she is.

First and foremost her parents did not abandon her. She got into an argument and left. Her parents are both working class people; they have no mental issues at all.

Her mother is a teacher in the public school system and has a college degree. Her father does deliveries and supports himself independently.

At the time my parents took her into their home they were both in their seventies. They took her in and turned their house into her home. She lived as if in a hotel, coming and going at will. She liked the freedom.   My mother cooked her meals, washed her laundry and took her shopping. The list goes on and on. My father took care of her schooling and financial needs, to make sure she was happy and like any other child in our community.

Now let me talk about her aunt. Yes, I am going to give her real name as there is nothing to hide. Shaindy is employed by UTA, at the girls-school of the Satmar community. Needless to say it’s one of the finest Hassidic schools over the globe. Girls are taught values, as that is first and of utmost importance in our religion. Yes, I am very proud to say there is NO body piercing,  tattoos, alcohol, or sex prior to marriage.  There are no wild parties, drunkenness, or related social ills. Parents don’t have to worry where their children are; they always know their whereabouts. They don’t have to worry what the next phone call is going to be. This is our community and we are proud of it. 

This is the school that Deborah attended. Credit should be given to my wonderful sister-in-law Shaindy. She made sure Deborah had friends, attended school get-togethers and went on outings with other girls. Shaindy was constantly busy making sure everything went smoothly, that Deborah would not feel different than any other child, despite her family situation.

Now let’s move on to her getting married. Contrary to what she now says, she wanted to get married to this boy. It was her wish, not her grandparents, that forced her into this marriage. They only helped her and guided her through. Her former husband is a doll of a person . He did everything and anything for her but she never appreciated anything no matter what he did. She lacked happiness. Nothing was good enough for her, whether it was going on vacation or buying her a piece of jewelry. Nothing mattered to her; she was always moody.

Now let’s talk a bit about the money. Who paid for this wedding? My brother Walter and I paid $50,000 for her wedding expenses. My father has the checks and the bills to prove this. She went shopping day in and day out without hesitation or restriction. That being said, I am still waiting for the thank you card. But I know better, now, to not expect anything from her at all.

Deborah let me also remind you. We cared for you as our own. The very first year after you were married you joined our Chanukah party. I gave you a check just like I gave to my own children so that you didn’t feel left out.

Our family did everything and anything we could and we supported you above and beyond the call of duty.   My brother and I did not have to pay for your wedding, my parents did not have to sacrifice for you; They could  have sent you to a foster home. You have the nerve to get on The View, sitting with the “wise elders” Whoopee, Joy, and Barbara. Is there any wisdom coming out of The View, any knowledge, any value?  And you use that platform to make fun of the people who cared for you and paid for your upbringing at their old age? My mother survived Auschwitz, all alone at the age of 18. After the war she was floating between life and death, finally coming to this country all alone and raised a beautiful family. She was never on unemployment or welfare. To this day, each and every day she goes to a nursing home in the neighborhood in which she lives to help feed a sick and helpless human being. Shame on you for making fun of my elderly parents.

Now let me say in closing: Our community is thriving by leaps and bounds, our morals date back over three thousand years. You will not destroy this or any other religious community. Your writings will long be forgotten and the orthodox movement will still be going on.

There will be a day that you will have to answer for all the lies and for poking fun at my parents. I can assure that when that day comes, my parents are going to be there for you and will help you out in any way or fashion. We don’t retaliate. Just remember: Don’t you bite the hand that has fed you, the hand that will feed you.

From: Deborah Feldman [mailto:                       ]
Sent: Monday, August 08, 2011 8:31 AM
To: Izzy Berkowitz
Subject: Re: California

No I came back to NY because I got offered a job here. I start in two weeks. Until I get my first paycheck I don't have any money to move my stuff back or buy groceries or anything. I'm sleeping on a friend's couch now in Brooklyn. I don't expect you to help but I thought I would ask.

Hope you have fun in LA.

On Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 5:03 PM, Izzy Berkowitz <IZY                    > wrote:
We will be going I”YH to LA at the end of August,  R U Going to be there. ??

Op Ed: My Indian Prayer

Indian Prayer: Grant that I may not criticize my neighbor without walking a mile in his moccasin.

Having read all web content relating to this story, and having analyzed all sides and angles of this debate, I find myself feeling quite despondent. There seems to be no middle ground and no consensus or understanding on either side of the isle.

On the one hand there is the issue of many of her claims as being fabricated or at least highly exaggerated. There is also the issue of disclosing highly personal information about her ex and close family members. While both of these may be infuriating to people who know the facts to be otherwise, personally I concur with the viewpoint that Deborah Feldman has written a Memoir, and as such she is describing her personal experience. Whether it is exaggerated or not does not detract from the way she perceived events.

Granted.  I will not judge Deborah Feldman. Thank God I belong to a very cohesive ultra-orthodox Chassidic family and as such have never experienced the neglect, abuse, and confinement that Deborah claims was her unjust allotment in life. Hopefully she will create for herself a life of happiness and fulfillment for both herself and her child.

But here’s my beef. It may be true that once someone leaves our communities , perceptually, they aren’t bound to its rules and mores.  They may even choose to express the pain they experienced while in it. However, no man or woman who boldly assert to have found the forbidden nectar of enlightenment, will spout prejudice as a virtue, and racism as an achievement. I find paradoxical Deborah’s claim of freedom and enlightenment when the direct effect of her memoir is one of communal damnation. 

Even a cursory perusal of the reviews and comments on Amazon and the likes will tell you a sad tale. Basically every negative review is automatically viewed as “one of those Hasids sitting in a room with an alert on Deborah Feldmans name with an axe to grind”. The conspiracy has even been captured on screen shots from Face Book.  Ironically it is many in the ex-hasidic community who have expressed their pain at the consequences of this stabbing memoir. However the bill has already been passed. “No credibility is to be granted to any dissenting voice”.  Hasids, yes its those hasids at it again, trying to tear down poor Deborah”.

My message to Deborah: Don’t perpetuate your sojourn of suffering and misery by delivering even more people into the vices of prejudice. Yes Deborah, stereotyping hurts.  Do not do to others what you didn’t want done to yourself.

“If you give me that licorice I’ll be your friend” works only for children; for cognitive comprehensions that haven’t developed enough to differentiate past black and white. For adults though, relationships become complicated. There are too many details involved to sum it up in a piece of licorice. People foreign to a culture, and in this case Hasidism, view it with childish perceptions of  black and white. And how can they not. Did they walk a mile in the Hasidic moccasin? Of course not.  Is it fathomable for someone who didn’t grow up in a Mennonite community to comprehend their inner system of logic? Perceptions of right versus wrong? Their spiritual experiences?

When Humans meet Martians from zones yonder they ask but one question. “Do these otherly beings  give us our licorice? Do they agree with our  concept of right and wrong?”  No. They dont. Period. End of discussion. Hasids, yes its those hasids at it again, trying to cover up their oppressions”.

There are those bloggers and commenters who are saying “They haven’t even read the book, this is a book about coming of age and the people Deborah knew in her life, not an indictment on religion or Satmar”. And that’s where it hurts. Western life is all about marketing and perceptions. What counts is not what you said or wrote, what matters is how people will perceive you. The buck stops at the window of perception. And this time Simon and Schuster zoomed their peeping-tom cameras in lewdly.

The perception out there, from uptown Bloggersville downtown to Orthodoxsville, is that a fading stereotype has once again been resurrected. Oh Lord.

It is to the eternal credit of great men and women of spirit that racism and prejudice have been greatly contained in the 20th century. It still exists, however, albeit in different formats. We can’t call you the N word so we find other creative ways. We say “they are all hasids trying to protect their oppressive lifestyle, hey, look at their writings, it IS full of spelling mistakes and errors.”

For shame. The great legacies of Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr, and Rabbi Abraham J Heschel have been dealt a blow.

Objectively speaking are bloggers and commenters doing something wrong? I think not; you cannot expect people to be super human, neither secular people nor Hasidim. People are people. Most of us aren’t philosophers or saints, we are just average Joes, Deborahs and  Joels trying to be as good as humanly possible. Power however comes with a price; power corrupts.

My message to Simon and Schuster:  Are you a beacon of justice for the oppressed, or have you become so high and mighty that you have evolved into the new aggressor? You milked an ex-Hasids past for publicity and a few bucks. For shame.

I’ve self-righteously condemned and blamed everyone else, now let me take myself and my fellow Chassidic brothers and sisters to task. Yes it hurts when we feel that the criticism leveled at us is not intended to be constructive. We do ourselves no favor, however, when in our battle for self-defense, we deny that there is much to be improved in our communities. Times are changing and what has worked in the past does not carry an infinite pass of effectiveness. Many obstacles lie before us in adapting our Chassidic lifestyle to a modern age, so that we maintain its vast benefits, without losing our spiritual message.

My prayer. l pray that we will carry an iconic vision of “Deborah” with us and never underestimate what emotional issues and neglect can drive a person to do. There are many, many of us who lead fulfilling lives, have pursued an education, and have found ways to deal with disturbing cultural habits. It is our obligation to share wisdom, warmth and compassion to those struggling amongst us.  And for those waiting to pounce on me that “you see, all they want is to keep their own locked in”. You are correct; we believe that we have the most chances of leading successful lives under the Torahs guidelines, somewhere relatively close to the family structures we have been raised in. Yes, you may disagree, but please be so respectful as to not write a book glorifying those that  escape this 'evil mindset'. That having been said, “The Torah” is vast indeed; there are many options available for those seeking to educate themselves and to help themselves overcome emotional traumas and difficulties. The cries of our anguished brethren behoove us to grow and share together.

And that my friends, is my take, on the takeway.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

We are making progress

When I started this blog, people told me it's a lost cause. We are too powerless to defend ourselves against the mighty media, against a such a powerful publisher as Simon & Schuster. But guess what, we are not winning yet, but we are making a lot of progress. We managed to force Deborah to admit publicly that she actually lived in "liberal" Airmont and not in "oppressive" Williamsburg, many esteemed writers jumped on the bandwagon and are now doing something no one did a 10 days ago -- they are doing some research.

People ask me, how come a big publisher like Simon & Schuster lent its name to such a  book? How come their editors didn't fact-check some of her idiotic fabrications? How come they sunk to such a low level? At first I believed that they were blinded by their hatred to religion. Now I suspect that there is another reason as well; a lack of professionalism at Simon and Schuster. Don't expect heads to roll though, they will probably try to sweep this scandal under the rug.

Most emails I get are very positive, although a few people felt that I am actually doing Deborah a favor by giving her publicity. Anyone who believes this should please Google search "Deborah Feldman". I don't believe that there is anything anyone can do to give her more media attention. (We definitely can't compete with Simon and Schuster for attention.) Now is the time to fight the lies and smears, and this is what we are doing here.

Moreover, the fact the they had to bring down my domains twice proved that they are not at all happy with this blog.

In any case the chapter is not closed yet. Deborah definitely didn't have the last laugh. That's for sure.

Open Thread: Deborah's Car Accident

Deborah Feldman says that she left her husband and Judaism after a car accident.

Some people wonder, what's the connection? Others know very well what the connection is.

Let's discuss this topic in the comments section.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Murder Accusation in Deborah's Book

After Deborah's fantastic boy-killed-by-his-own-father-for-masturbating story was proven bogus (as if it even had to be proven) some of her defenders said, OK that was one "little lie"...

But it turns out that she has another crazy murder story in her book. This one is even crazier and dopier. On page 86 she claims that the Rabbi's "only daughter" was pushed down some stairs to her death while she the rabbi's daughter was pregnant with the Rabbi's successor. She was killed, Deborah claims, because some other people had their eyes on this position. She claims that this incident took place in the Satmar Shul (located on 152 Rodney St. in Brooklyn.)

I know what you are thinking. This is such a crazy story that it doesn't even deserve mention. But we are on a mission here, to prove Deborah a liar and a fraud, so we will give this silly story a platform and then debunk it.

The Satmar Rabbi Joel had "three daughters from his first marriage: Esther, Rachel and Roysele. They all died in his lifetime: Esther died during childhood; Rachel died 6 months after she married ... and Roysele (the only of his children to survive the holocaust) died in 1953."

Since Roysele was the only one to survive the holocaust Deborah obviously refers to her. Now, here is the problem: Roysele passed away in 1953, while 152 Rodney St. was not in Satmar's possession until February 20, 1967. (As a search on NYC's "Acris" system shows.)

There is another problem with Deborah's story, namely, Roysele was infertile for 47 years and here Deborah brings us this fantastic revelation that Roysele was actually expecting a child (A boy or a girl?) before she was "killed" in a synagogue that didn't even exist at that time.

For those who don't know: Rabbi Joel's first wife and three daughters suffered from hereditary cardiac disease, and as mentioned, all of them passed away at a young age. None of the daughters were ever pregnant. Only newlywed Rachel was pregnant.

A pity on Deborah for all the nightmares that she suffered because of "those" stairs, as per her fairy tale...

Deborah Feldman's Non-Satmar Upbringing Take Two

OK, a lot of people, including myself, had it wrong. Deborah Feldman didn't go to public school for a significant amount of time. (Some more information was completely deleted, because it might hurt an innocent person not directly involved in the story -- RS)

Sury or Surala Berkowitz AKA Deborah Feldman went to Vien school in Williamsburg which was originally created as a non-Hasidic school (although today it's Hasidic-esque). Numerous witnesses confirmed to us that her name spelled trouble. The school couldn't handle her. Surprisingly, her biggest offense was her potty mouth. Her teachers and school staff became alarmed and disturbed when little Surala spoke to other little kids about intercourse, sex etc. (using much stronger and offensive words). She even explained to them what a "vagina" is and what purpose it serves. (No, I'm not making this up. We heard this information from many  reliable sources.) At that time her mother was pregnant with her little sister and someone was clearly teaching this little girl some very inappropriate stuff, even for a secular environment.

And so, this is how Surala managed to get thrown out of school at such a young age. Her mother couldn't find a school for her, and seriously considered sending her to public school. (According to some sources she actually went to public school for a while, although I can't confirm this with certainty.) Eventually some good hearted Jews found a Jewish school that agreed taking her in. This was the Bais Yakov of Lower East Side, which was obviously far far from a Hasidic school. Still, she was kicked out a couple of times until they finally kicked her out for good at the 7th grade. "She was extremely defiant, with a terrible attitude of understanding better than everyone and not listening to any of her teachers," according to one source.

Now this unfortunate girl was out on the street again.

From numerous schools availabe in Williamsburg, Boro Park and Flatbush, no Hasidic, Litvish or modern school wanted to accept her due to her terrible reputation. The only school that took pity on her and accepted her is the same Satmar school she bashes. Guess why they did it: "Aunt Chaya" whom she calls in her book, strict and cold, among other "compliments", was the one who pulled all the strings to get her in.

Her teacher in Satmar was a loving, caring woman by the name RLS. Her heart went out for this teenager and she invited her over to her house many times and gave her gifts and did everything she could to make her happy.

So, Surala spent four years at Satmar and then this aforementioned aunt lobbied hard to get her a teaching job in Satmar. She kept her teaching job for a while. Deborah mentions this fact in her book, but does not mention that after her wedding she got another job as a teacher in Kiryas Joel. She was obviously very comfortable with the Satmar education system and way of life.

So this is her "thank you" for an institution that was nice to her when others threw her out on the street...

Moreover, when she came into Satmar she already had a seventh grade education... (although frankly, we never saw her grades.) But, in her defense, she actually spent only four years in Satmar. So this might be what she was referring to in her "fourth grade education" accusation.

Much more to come...

Update: A staff member from Bais Yaakov of the East Side sent us this email. Thank you very much:

I knew sarale berkovic when she was in bais yaakov of the east side aka BYLES.
Her grandparents paid tuition for her schooling, she never went to ps.
She went to byles from grades 4-7. Then she was asked to leave cuz she talked too much about christianity and sex.
She lied a lot, told her mom she's travelling to and from williamsburg with a teacher and she told the teacher that she is allowed to take the B39 by herself.
She grew up going to the brooklyn public library on division and marcy ave by herself borrowing whichever book she wanted to totally without parental supervision. Thus the vast knowledge of christianity and sex.
Her grandmother was very good to her, attended all the assemblies and performances. Mother hardly ever showed up. Father would come to PTA. Mother was at that time attending Touro college, she was majoring in psyche. While in college, mrs berkovic published an article in the touro times bashig chassidim and the dating system. She blamed the chassidim for her misery etc.
Sarale got this anti-judaism from her mom from a very young age, prior to her coming to byles.
She spent a beautiful 4 years in byles, but sadly, to protect the rest of our childrens yiddishkeit, we felt she had to leave!

Let's Be Respectful And We'll Win The Debate

I'm asking everyone to please be respectful to each other and not sink to the same lows as Deborah Feldman and Simon and Schuster. Our only goal here is: Let the truth be heard.

I apologize to anyone who inevitably became offended by some of my postings. I did not bash the Airmont residents or the OTD community, or anyone else. I love and respect each and everyone of you. From now on I will be more careful not to make personal attacks against descend into name-calling against Deborah Feldman because it defeats the purpose and because the truth speaks for itself.

I will freely admit when I'm wrong and I will gladly correct errors in reporting. This is a work in progress. We're working togather to expose a liar and a fraud and we depend on everyone's help.

Feel free to contribute information by shooting us an email. Our email address is info@deborahfeldmanexposed.com. We're sorting the information to eliminate confusion, and we try to clarify all the information, so please be patient if I don't respond or follow up on your information immediately.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thank you!

Thanks for all the very interesting emails I received today. I will get to each and every email within the next 24 hours. I apologize for the delay.

Keep reading the blog. I will update it constantly with new information.

Another Omission: Deborah's Teaching Career in Satmar

Deborah Feldman is making up some facts and omitting others. She wants people to believe that her upbringing was strictly Satmar, when in fact she spent roughly four years in a Satmar School.

Ironically though she doesn't talk about her other Satmar experience; She doesn't mention anywhere in her book that she held a teaching job in Satmar/Kiryas Joel after getting married. There are two obvious reasons why she is hiding it.

1. It refutes her claims that she was not accepted by the community and was treated like an outcast

2. It proves that she actually felt comfortable with Satmar and their way of life.

What's worse, it's hypocritical to teach Satmar girls if you don't believe in their education system.

Spread The Word

To help us spread the truth about Deborah Feldman's untruths, please forward the web address to all your contacts www.deborahfeldmanexposed.com.

Anyone who sent an email to us please send it again to info@deborahfeldmanexposed.com. Our account was brought down twice by the people who can't handle the truth (because the truth could hurt them in the pocket.)

If you find any of the information posted here objectionable please send an email to info@deborahfeldmanexposed.com.

Also, if you want to contribute information send it to the same email address info@deborahfeldmanexposed.com.

Follow us on Twitter @DeborahFeldman1 to get the most recent updates on Deborah Feldman.

The Book of Lies

On Amazon I found this interesting review from someone who read Unorthodox. This fellow found numerous falsifications. Not all of them are significant but "they will help you understand the author and her book." (To read the full list click here.)

"I know women are not allowed to sing" p.12 l.268. Women are not allowed to sing in the presences of men, except between immediate family. Sounds different than "women are not allowed to sing" Uh??
"A girl can't be on her own in a room with a man, even if there are other women there too. She can be on her own with two or more men" p.65. l.1202 That is simply not true. ... The 'Rama' ... writes on the Halacha in his commentary, that ... one woman may be on her own with many men. And one man may be on his own with many women.
"I am waiting for the Satmar rebbe to make his entrance 'fifty' feet below me" p.83. Wow! The gallery of the shul she is talking is probably like 15 feet high.
"Thousands of men lift their hands to the heavens and stamp their feet rhythmically on the stone" p.85 .l. 1524. Up.. Again! The synagogue has old brown parquet. Never had stone:)
"holding a folded newspaper in his hand. Zeidy never brings secular newspapers into his home, but sometimes he goes across Broadway to the Mexican bodega to read the business section of The Wall Street Journal, if he needs to know something about the stock market. I wonder why he's bringing it into the house". p. 103. 
Now read what she writes on page 149. l. 2683. "When Zeidy brings home The Wall Street Journal the next morning". Here it seems like her zeidy comes home daily every morning with the "The Wall Street Journal". Kind of confusing.
"Eli is his name, I know, same name as all the other boys his age, the name of the first and most glorious Satmar Rebbe, now deceased, his throne quarreled over by a family divided in lust and greed". p.128 l. 2315. This one is unbelievable! The satmar rabbi's name was "yoel". Eli and yoely two entirely different names! (Both biblical names Joel and Elijah). Wake up a Satmar girl in her grave and ask her satmar rabbis name! It's more likely she has forgotten her one name than the rabbi's :) I emailed her about this one; She didn't reply. Now I think that Eli is not his real name, and his real name is yoel, But she wrote the book with real names. Then, they were replaced by the editor and this is what happened:) what kind of an editor.
"He breaks the silence finally, shifting first in his seat and readjusting his coat. "So my sister tells me you're a teacher?" I nod my head yes. "Very nice, very nice." "What about you?" I ask, having been given the smallest of go-aheads. "You're still in yeshiva? What's it like at twenty-two? Are there people there who are you rage?" I know that will hit a sore point". p.129/. l. 2366. Please view this video on YouTube. "The View, Rejection of Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn.Deborah Feldman Book". 3:15. "you met you future husband just once before your wedding day.... is that correct? Yes.. Can you take us back to that day? i can only tell you that I was absolutely terrified ... and I don't remember... I couldn't remember a word!" How wonderful that is from her to make that effort, special for us, and write a few pages from a conversation she didn't remember a word! :)

A Modern Orthodox View on Deborah Feldman

The entire Jewish world is incensed, on a scale unheard of in the past. Deborah's fabrications hit a nerve within world Jewry and made even a lot of non-Hasidic Jews very angry and for very obvious reasons. She sold her soul for a little fame and money, like those Kapos who sold their souls to the Nazi devil.

What follows are the best quotes from an article written by a modern-Orthodox Jew:

Deborah Feldman is a media whore who lied about something so gruesome as a litle kid being murdered  and she deserves to be taken down and run out of town...
Deborah Feldman really shot herself in the foot, in a similar way that Sara Hurwitz did. Sara Hurwitz was the first orthodox woman rabbi, yet she failed to fully cover her hair and that’s where she went wrong...
Feldman could have a bestseller on her hands, yes it will influence those who hate us (if they hated us already, it probably doesn’t take much to incite them) but prior to learning of her stupid recklessness by proposing asinine conspiracy theories about someone who shouldn’t be talked about in such ways, she has ruined it for everyone...
One of the mistakes many people who are calling “all” the chassidim ignorant or closed minded are making is that many of these people have it way better off than we do. They don’t live a life of sex, drugs and money or materialism, stress over college, good careers or whatever else we “modern orthodox” Jews do. Ignorance may be too strong a word, but it truly can be bliss. You have this tight knit community that takes care of its own, as long as they stay within the realm of their religiosity – there is no more abuse or scandal than any other tight knit fundamentalist community. The same people whop lump all Chassidim and Charedim into groups of people they hate are just as ignorant as racists, homophobes and anti-Semites. Neither I nor anyone who didn’t grow up Chassidish can ever truly know what it was like...

Deborah Feldman Doesn't Have Many Friends in the OTD Community

One interesting outcome of Deborah Feldman's fiction book is that the so-called "off the derech" community is up in arms against her. It speaks volumes about her character when the same people who are supposed to be on her side are the most outraged by her behavior. They believe that she is doing a disservice to them by making them all look like liars, fools and sour losers. The following is part of a longer article on Jewcy:

Feldman wrote her memoir in the immediate wake of tearing away from Satmar, and because of that, the choice to publish this book strikes me as choice in the infancy to childhood stage of religious transition. It feels as if Feldman forgot not to send that angry letter we write, and then put in our desk drawer, and wait a week to send until our anger abates. The end of her book displays a picture of her, sitting on a bench, looking flirtatious, in pants, while smoking a cigarette….Freedom! Albeit, an empty looking one.
Besides the book itself, the publicity surrounding of the memoir is the type that makes me sad the way the insistence of a GoDaddy.com commercial makes me sad. Some of the publicity stunts, and some of what she says in interviews sound downright sensationalist and self aggrandizing. For example, the hyper-sexualized NY Post spread reeks somewhat of an antiquated idea that the antidote to the obsession with modesty displayed by Hasidic sects lies in the opposite choice of focusing even more on sexuality, which in the end of the day, still treats women as an objects. I feel no need to defend the Satmar community, and I don’t believe, necessarily, in the worry of airing dirty laundry. However, I feel that this book deserved a greater gestation period to mature. It bespeaks little understanding of the conceptual background from which she came, or of the life she chose as a replacement. Feldman writes from the early stage of religious transformations, a world in which her personal wisdom is something taken for granted, not earned.
For the most part I choose to assume that her publicist desired to create a public persona of Feldman as some kind of forward thinking, independent woman/sex symbol because otherwise, I don’t know how to spin a desire to see oneself as Kardashian-esque as sophisticated, or forward thinking. In fact some of the NY Post interview smacks of a certain kind of childish understanding of freedom as the freedom to do whatever you want as opposed to the freedom to search for your own version of the good life.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Deborah Feldman's Public School Education

Once upon a time a Hasidic father couldn't afford to pay tuition, so he did what he thought was right and he sent his daughter to public school.

That's right, Devoiry Berkowitz AKA Deborah Feldman went to public school because her father couldn't pay for Satmar to educate her.

Many people in Williamsburg were saddened when Mr. Berkowitz sent his daughter to public school and they tried to raise the funds to get her out of the non-Jewish school system.

Now, this con-artist Deborah claims that she went to Satmar schools, didn't know who Barbara Walters is, didn't get more than a 4th grade education and wants us to believe that she was accepted to Sarah Lawrence College without a GDP GED. (Oops, an embarrassing typo.)

Insulting intelligence at its worst!

Update: I'm trying to find out more details who was responsible for sending Deborah to public school.

Update II: We were able to confirm that Deborah spent most of her youth outside of Satmar Schools. She went to public school for a couple of years and went to the less-strict Vien school for some other years.

Update III: A reader comments:
Stating a fact. Suri Berkowitz ( Deborah Feldmam) went to vein school up until the third grade. She came into satmar school in the seventh or eighth grade........ Rumor has it tha between these two schools she went to a school in manhattan where her mom sent her
Update IV: Confirmed through many sources: Deborah Feldman came into Satmar only in September 1997 when she was already 12 or 13 years of age. She spent not more than four years of her youth in a Satmar school. She omitted this information from her book. This is a very serious issue, taking in consideration that she is making outrageous claims about how ignorant she was because of her Satmar education.

Another reader comments:
I used to live on The Lower East Side where my daughter's attended Bais Yaakov there. I remember Sarah'la Berkowitz aka Deborah Feldman also went to that school. I remember seeing her mother bring there on several occasions as well.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Breaking News: Jewish Week Debunks another Deborah Fabrication

Do you remember the name Hella Winston?

Well, she is the anti-Chareidy author of "Unchosen." You'd think that she would be sympathetic to Deborah? but, SURPRISE SURPRISE! Ms. Winston had just written a very strong article in the Jewish Week against Deborah Feldman. She debunks another of Deborah's crazy lies and tears her apart.

It's about that Jewish boy who was supposedly murdered by his own father for masturbating. (It's 2012, we're in the social media era and a publisher like Simon & Schuster doesn't have the slightest problem to publish such a crazy blood libel.) Well, here comes Hella Winston with the true story.

The story, recounted by Deborah Feldman in “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots” (Simon and Schuster), involves the alleged mutilation and murder of a boy by his own father — supposedly for masturbating — and the subsequent cover-up of the crime by Hatzolah, the community’s volunteer ambulance service.
The only problem, however, is that based on information obtained by The Jewish Week, the story seems not be true.

Feldman claims she first learned of the grisly crime from her husband who had, in turn, heard about it from his brother, allegedly a member of Hatzolah at the time, who had been called to the blood-soaked scene. Apparently, the boy’s “penis was cut off with a jig saw and his throat was slit too,” Feldman writes.
In a pre-publication interview with Julie Wiener in The Jewish Week, Feldman was questioned about the veracity of the story. Feldman not only insisted that she was not lying, but asserted that the father was known to be mentally ill and implied that he had escaped justice for his crime.
This is not the first time Feldman has made this allegation. Indeed, in December of 2008 it appeared on her then anonymous blog, Hasidic-Feminist, where it was described as a “Class A secret.” In the blog post, Feldman recounted the story of a “thirteen year-old boy [who] had been castrated with a jig saw and bled to death.”
The incident, according to Feldman, took place “two years ago on an Erev Shabbos in [Kiryas Joel].” She goes on to elaborate that when Hatzolah arrived at the crime scene (a basement) and tried to question the father, “he refused to cooperate, saying only that his son deserved it and that he was a chazar, a pig, because he touched himself.” Feldman then notes that no police report was ever filed and the boy was “under ground” in 30 minutes. “People of KJ,” she warned, “a murderer walks in your midst.”
However, The Jewish Week confirmed that the state police do in fact have a record of the incident and its office provided the paper with the names of two of its investigators called to the scene, John Van Der Molen and Michael Colern. Calls to the two officers were not returned Thursday.
Further, a death certificate obtained by The Jewish Week indicates that the death — which it noted occurred in a “storeroom” on a Friday afternoon in Kiryas Joel around the approximate date Feldman’s blog alleged — was ruled a suicide by coroner Thomas A. Murray, and lists the cause of death as “partial decapitation, severed carotid arteries due to circular saw.” The deceased’s age was listed as 20.  
Several e-mails to Feldman and her publisher, Simon and Schuster, seeking comment did not receive a response.
Will this story undermine her credibility and make it clear once and for all that she is a fraud? Oh, I wish. In such a case I would delete my blog in a jiffy, but for some reason I suspect that the anti-religious media will continue to give this lying and cunning woman a platform to disseminate her poison.

A Reader has an Idea

One reader sent the following email to info@deborahfeldman.org

I think you should post on your blog a link for people to leave reviews on amazonIt's much more important on amazon then on you tube.

Why we are Mad?

The outside world will never understand why we are so angry, why we feel so betrayed. Besmirching and belittling our community is one thing. Lying her way into a Simon & Schuster deal is also pretty bad. But nothing comes close to her betrayal of every Jewish woman in the whole world by taking our family values, that are so dear to us, and turning it into a joke.

Taharahs Hamishpacha is not a Satmar thing, it is not a Hasidic thing, it's not even a Modern Orthodox thing. It's not a rule that crazy fanatics came up with. It's something that comes straight from the Torah, our holy bible. The Bible prohibits sex between a man and a menstruating woman. Jews had been following this rule for thousands of years even before G-D gave them the Torah. Violating this rule is one of the worst things that a Jew can do. Even many Jews who don't keep Shabbos will not dare violating this rule.

Ironically it's one of the things in Judaism that makes being Jewish so great, especially for Jewish women. Tyra Banks, Oprah and many other non-Jewish celebrities reacted with so much respect and even a little jealousy when this custom was revealed to them.

Taharahs Hamishpacha protects us. This is why there is such a low divorce rate among Jews. (I will elaborate on this another time.) This is how we survived so much hardship, pain and suffering during our 2,000 years in exile.

Deborah, I'm offering you a deal. Admit in public that you lied, that you were money- and fame-driven and Klal Yisroel, the Jewish nation will, forgive you, and I will immediately delete this blog. (You will still have to deal with G-D almighty, but that's between you and Him.)

Deborah, I know that you are working tirelessly to sabotage this blog with the help of your powerful friends at Simon & Schuster and you might succeed, or not, but if you want my cooperation in this matter, repent, stop your vile and repulsive attacks against your brothers and sisters and admit that you were wrong.

As long as you continue basing us falsely you are fair game.

A letter to Barbara Walters and ABC

Thank you so so much to the author of this letter. Send us articles, comments, letters, complaints, etc: info@DeborahFeldman.org.

To the Hosts of The View,

I am shocked and appalled that you would host Devora Feldman on your show when I think that you know, and if not I am here to tell you that most of the things in her book are blatant lies. You took one "Jewish" woman and let her air her dirty lying laundry on national t.v., a sure sign of "Jewish" anti-semitism.

I grew up in the same hasidic neighborhood of Williamsburg and also moved out to Monsey. I am a hasidic woman who does drive a car and I do attend college online and know lots of other Jewish men and women who attend colleges whether online or on campus and none of us are shunned by our community. I am currently going for an associates degree in court reporting with my Satmar education being more than sufficient in as much as I even made the Dean's list last semester.

As to the driving fact, I would invite you to come to Boro Park, Monsey, Flatbush, Queens or Lakewood on any given day and check how many Jewish women are driving. We are all part of the community and our kids attend Jewish schools. At the same time, you can come into any Jewish community after 7 p.m. and you will see lots of women and girls on the street. We are not locked in our houses after 7 p.m. We attend weddings, parties, go shopping and meet up with our friends.

Devora, I can tell you one thing. I really feel bad for all that you went through in your childhood, however there comes a time when you have to let go. Blaming it on Jewish laws and customs will not make it easier on anyone.

As to not knowing who Barbara Walters is, compare the success rates in the Jewish community to any other community in the world. Our children grow up with a fine education, not on a fourth grade reading level and they feel very secure when they get out in the real world. They have plenty of other things to entertain them besides watching all the violence and garbage on t.v. and on video games. They read books, play board games, interact with their family and siblings and so on. While I am not saying that there are no problems in the Jewish community, it is much less than in the outside world.

I am personally very happy that Oprah's interview aired before yours so that hopefully the world will get to see how nice it is to be a Jew and not the dark side that Devora is trying to persuade everyone about.