"OUR CHILDREN DESERVE TO HAVE A FUTURE!"
A few months back, crown heights watch published my story without mentioning any names, since I thought it may have only been a one time thing, and also because crown heights watch said there has to be more evidence or more victims for any names to be put up. For a long time I pushed what happened to me out of my head.
My story was that while I was a camper in Gan Yisrael, I had approached my counselor about a cut I had in my private area and that he then touched me there inappropriately. As well he used to walk around the mikva with my bunkmates with an Erection. Many people claimed it was not molestation, but I can tell you for a fact that in that moment it destroyed my life in many ways until this day.
As I tried to dig for more information, I found out there were more victims out there. I had help from a few people that cared, and low and behold I found out he was trying to get voted in as the YOUTH DIRECTOR in the shul in Amsterdam where he would have access to many children.
Sunday night I decided I will call him to confront him about what he did to me. When I heard his voice after 11 years, it made me physically sick to my stomach. I did not tell him that I was referring to myself yet. At first he denied it, and then he admitted it but said he did not mean to hurt any children. I then asked him why he had touched kids in their private area, and he responded and I quote "that it was out of love. I had taivos".
As I got deeper into the conversation I learnt a lot about this man. He said he was going to therapy for this problem, but he was lying. He had never stopped the molestation, and he never even thought of stopping.
The worst part is that when I spoke to him, he did not have any remorse for what he did, he did not even apologize. Yes, he did say that he would be willing to pay for therapy for the kids he may have hurt and that he was even considering calling them up and apologizing, but this was only after I told him that his victims would come forward. When I finally told him I am a victim of his, he did not even say he was sorry. He did not cry on the phone, he did not beg for forgiveness, all he said was ill pay for therapy and let's not make this a big problem.
What happened to me at that moment ruined many aspects of my life, and now, after confronting the man who did it to me eleven years later, I feel sick to my stomach and feel as if I’m gonna throw up any minute. I now feel the pain of every kid that was abused in a harsher way. I feel the pain and suffering you guys go through on a daily basis. It’s complete hell. It’s beyond hell.
I have blocked it out of my memory and now I am facing it and living it and I am going to do it now and not later.
You affected my life Mendel Levine, and you molested many other boys. Yes you are reading the story now. Why? Because of what you did to me and to the other boys, because you did not feel remorse for doing it, and because you did not reach out to anyone of the boys you hurt over the years. And because you never stopped. This is why I have come forward. Yes, I feel terrible for your family and for all the pain that they’ll go through, but the pain that you put me and all the other boys through hurts more. So Mendel, I hope after this you will never get a job that puts you near children ever again, and parents and rabbis will know to keep you away from their children.
You should also be ashamed to call yourself a Chosid or a Rabbi after what you did.
If you are a victim of Mendel Levine please help put a stop to him, I beg you to please come forward and help press charges against this man.
My heart goes out to every victim of sexual abuse. I beg each and every one of you to get therapy; it’ll help you put your life back together. It’ll make you feel 100 times better about yourself. And if you want, you can contact CHW to help make sure that they get the person that abused you arrested and exposed, and to help make sure what happened to you doesn’t happen again to anyone else . Yes, coming forward can be painful. But don’t let what happened to you be in vain. He might have hurt you and what he did may still be hurting you, but as it says “God does not give us what we can't handle.” As survivors & victims we have a mission. We have to stand up and fight back once and for all, and make sure that no more children get hurt.
Please I beg of you, stand up and make a change. No longer will our voices sound on deaf ears! The tables have turned!