URGENT REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION OF THE SOS KINDERDORF
I. MY ORIGINAL
COMMUNICATION: URGENT REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION OF "NERADIM" IN
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan
To: Helmut Kutin, President of SOS Kinderdorf International
Dear Mr. Kutin:
assistance of colleagues in various countries in
information that I am receiving, and have been receiving for some years, about
"Kfar Neradim" in
the town of Arad is all the more inscrutable. I will
herein provide an overview of what I know about "Neradim",
having been a resident of
I lived at
the very end of
Recently, I have been receiving reports about "Neradim" that are anything but vague. They are so disturbing that I am beholden to report them and request an urgent inquiry.
I write you with the knowledge and permission of the parties mentioned herein. They do not communicate well enough in English to be able to provide this information themselves.
First, In August, 2008, "Neradim" was the subject of a most distressing televised news report on the "Mabat LaChadashot" (A Look at the News) program of Israeli Channel 1. The program discusses the fact that the child "L" says that they are not only hit by the house mother and counselors and that there is violence among the children, but far more distressing, is the report of the child that she was forced to witness sex being performed openly by the children interred in "Neradim" and that they were being filmed.
I've translated the script of the news clip and video into English below. This is the original news clip and video in Hebrew, for verification of my translation:
"MY FAMILY THOUGHTS
August 2008, Channel 1, "A Look at the News"
An 8-year-old girl was kidnapped from her parent by Social Services in the Emek Chefer area.
The Welfare authorities falsely accused the Mother of "hitting" her Daughter to the purpose of having an excuse to remove her from her home.
Why do Child Protection Officers make up stories and take children out of their homes?
The answer is at the end of the video clip.
Male Newscaster: What is going on in a boarding school in the South of the country? A child claims that she was forced to witness sexual activity while it was being filmed. The Welfare authorities claim this is false testimony on the part of the parents who want the child returned home.
Mother: They put a restraining order on me. I'm going to turn to the police in Be'er Sheva.
Female Newscaster voice-over: It's hard to know which version to believe. The parents claim that the child is undergoing abuse and the Welfare authorities claim this is a fabrication on the part of interested parties.
(in Be'er Sheva)
Mother: The girl is 9-years-old. She is coming home with stories of sexual activity and sexual relations involving a child of 8-years-old which is filmed and distributed.
Voice over: What do you have to say about the boarding school?
Girl: They have sex together
and they do things that aren't nice.
and they hit here.
Voiceover: They also hit?
Girl: Yes, the house mothers, the counselors, the children.
Voiceover: The story sounds horrendous but the Welfare authorities deny it emphatically. They say that the family is problematic. They just made it up to get their child back. Those who will determine who is right are the District Court in Be'er Sheva, who will consider the matter tomorrow.
Mother: We tried to visit her and they wouldn't let us in. The children are in the boarding school month after month and no one checks what's happening to them.
Voiceover: The family served a Complaint with the police asking them to investigate the Manager of the boarding school.
Child: It's not fun to be here.
I don't want to be in a boarding school.
Every child has only two parents.
Father: Every day that she spends in the boarding school is a pity. She's going lost there.
Voiceover: If the story is true, it's a very severe case. But only the authorities can reveal the truth.
This child was taken out of her family home by force, and against her will, by Social Workers.
During the course of a few months she was shifted around 4 boarding schools throughout the country.
Welfare Officer Michal Milstein even hit the girl
and pushed her in sight of security personnel in the Court house in Netanya.
Michal Milstein is Judge Shmuel Bukovsky's wife.
That judge put children up for adoption from normative families.
Notice how a Family Court Judge who is married to a Social Worker continues in his capacity and the Ombudsman does not open his mouth.
is held today as a hostage in the "Neradim"
The institution is surrounded by cameras that face outward, in the direction of those who might see into the institution
and warn the public not to photograph this closed institution.
So, why do Social Services make up fictitious stories about parents in order to remove children from the home?
A social worker is remunerated for every file that s/he opens at the Welfare authorities.
There are designated quotas of children to be removed from the home that the Child Protection Officers must fulfill.
Social Workers actually invent statistics, which are the basis of the according budgets they receive.
The Ministry of Welfare is even beholden to these orphanages to fulfill the quotas so that they, in turn, can fulfill the bids they put out to contractors.
Some 5% of Israeli children live outside their homes.
while the world average is 0.5%.
10 times that of the Western World!
We are hopeful that this time the Court will do justice
and, in contradistinction to other judges, won't be just the rubber stamp of Social Services.
and will return the child L. home.
Let it be said
that L's Mother was never charged with hitting her Daughter, the excuse of the
Social Workers to remove L from her home. Most parents whose children are
placed in institutions in
The District Court Judge in Be'er Sheva subsequently ordered an investigation of "Kfar Neradim". The order goes summarily ignored.
L. has, for some time now, been incontinent. She is a perfectly normal child. Yet she has lost control of her bladder and bowels. She says that there are other children in "Neradim" who likewise smell of urine at times.
A taped conversation between L and her mother reveals a loving relationship. The child desperately wants to go home. This remains true despite the fact that L has been in "Neradim" for two years and has not been allowed to see her parents for some thirteen months. When that phone call was taped they hadn't seen one another in 11 months. Their only contact is supervised minutes-long phone calls once a month.
L was subjected to a psychiatric evaluation without her parents' approval.
children in institutions in
L's Mother has a tape of the Director of "Neradim", Matti Rose, threatening her after she went on television. The term that he uses for what he can do to her in Hebrew can mean both destroy someone in various ways and it can even mean kill.
L's Mother is also in possession of a number of Court documents that lend credence to her claims, but nothing is done.
L reports that most of the children at "Neradim" want very much to leave that place.
As you can see in the video clip, L's Mother is a religious woman. She is most distressed by the fact that the girls at "Neradim", many of whom are just pubescent, routinely wear little tank tops and short shorts that do not entirely cover their posteriors.
In addition to what this woman claims: I am very closely associated with someone who spent much of her childhood in various institutions. Though she was not in "Kfar Neradim", she knows a number of young adults who were there as children. She has told me that they all say the same thing about "Neradim". The line they repeat is: "You know what goes on in "Neradim". When she tells them that she does not know what goes on in "Neradim", they refuse to answer.
Also, as I wrote above: some of the residents of the town of Arad who lived close to "Neradim" also got the impression that something is wrong there, as did some of the children who went to school with children from "Neradim".
In a separate e-mail I will send you a Report, Complaint and Petition that I sent to the UN and various personages in EU. It is to the purpose of giving you background so that you may understand in what context what is transpiring at "Neradim" is being tolerated by the Israeli authorities.
I am entirely certain that you will understand this matter as seriously as do concerned individuals in Israel, as well as in various countries in Europe, who have been made aware of this matter and will see to it that the goings on in "Neradim" are investigated immediately and, if the allegations of the Mother prove true, see to it that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.
II. FIRST RESPONSE FROM SOS KINDERDORF INTERNATIONAL
<Jeremy.Sandbrook@sos-kd.org>View contact detailsTo:
of President Kutin, I would like to acknowledge
receipt of your e-mails of
As soon as I have more information on this matter I will be on touch with you. In the meantime, should you have any concerns or queries on this, please do not hesitate in contacting me further.
Mr Jeremy Sandbrook
Deputy Continental Director
Continental Office W.Europe & N.America
A - 6010
III. MY FIRST RESPONSE TO MR. SANDBROOK'S FIRST RESPONSE
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this prompt response.
There are parents awaiting assistance on baited breath, who are suffering the emotional tortures of the damned, who are helpless to save their children, because they themselves have been accused, some rightly, some wrongly, of child abuse that does not begin to approach the level of abuse they are convinced their children are undergoing in "Neradim".
I am sending this message to those to whom you sent a Cc because I am not afraid to say this to anyone's face: Do not trust *anyone* who is working within the Israeli system. Even if they are basically well-meaning people, they are working in a system so crooked and so corrupt, at all levels, that they cannot possibly maintain the moral standards necessary to rehabilitate children at risk. In order to keep working within the Israeli system, and with Israeli colleagues; it is well-nigh impossible that they have not had to compromise the requisite standards of child care.
not rely solely on your representatives in
IV. MR. SANDBROOK'S SECOND RESPONSE TO ME
Allegations of Suspected Child Abuse - SOS CV Arad NeradimFriday,
<Jeremy.Sandbrook@sos-kd.org>View contact detailsTo:
my e-mail of 31 July, please find attached the detailed response from SOS
Children’s Villages Israel, regarding the allegations of child abuse alleged to
have taken place at SOS Children’s Village Arad Neradim. In addition
to the report itself, I have also had a number of conversations with Mr Ahituv Gershinsky
the National Director responsible for
As an organisation, allegations such as these are taken extremely
seriously, with clear processes and procedures put in place as to how they
should be dealt with. In this case, I am
pleased to confirm that the alleged allegations were investigated in accordance
with the SOS Child Protection Policy, and that no evidence was found to substantiate
them. Notwithstanding the comments made in your e-mail regarding the various
child protection services within
On this basis, SOS-Kinderdorf International is satisfied that the matter has been appropriately managed and investigated, and as such no further action is warranted by us. That being said, should you have any additional information supporting your claims, I would ask that you forward it direct to Mr Gershinsky, who will assess it further. His contact details are as follows:
Mr. Ahituv Gershinsky
Israeli Society for SOS Children's Villages
Tel +972/3/613 2438
Fax +972/3/575 4931
For sake of good order, Mr Kutin, the President of SOS-Kinderdorf International has also been advised of the outcome of this matter.
I hope that the above response addresses the concerns raised by you. If further details are required, I am sure that Mr Gershinsky would only be to happy to provide them to you, or even arrange a face-to-face meeting if need be. Once again thank you for bringing this to our attention. Should you feel that I can be of any more assistance, please do not hesitate in contacting me further-
Mr Jeremy Sandbrook
Deputy Continental Director
Continental Office W.Europe & N.America
A - 6010
AHITUV GERSHINSKY'S ATTACHED REPLY TO MY URGENT REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION OF
Israeli Society for SOS Children`s Villages
Directors Non-Profit Association, Society No. 3
–58-003-096 Member of SOS Kinderdorf
Dr. Ish-Shalom Alexander
Acct. Hornstein Eitan
Mr. Jeremy Sandbrook
Deputy Continental Director
Office W.Europe &
Hermann Gmeiner Strasse 51
A – 6010
Dear Mr. Sandbrook,
Allow me to thank you for the opportunity to respond to the disturbing communications received regarding CV Neradim,
from Ms. Bell-Dotan, who is unknown to us nationally and locally. I want to assure you that this response is being sent with the full support of my Board of Directors and Chairman.
well aware of a concerted campaign that has been going on for over a year, to
sully the name of CV Neradim, and SOS Israel by persons
who are motivated by their own personal pain and anger over their dealings with
the welfare authorities here in
Almost immediately after her
arrival, the attacks began, with small demonstrations, phone calls to the
village, to the NO and to the chairman regarding the "crime"
committed by accepting her into our care and other forms of harassment. With
the assistance of a Mr. Ben-Yissacher, who ran a
website called "The Movement to protect the children of Israel" the
internet began to be filled with hearsay, invented allegations and outright
lies regarding the so termed "Concentration Camp Neradim".
The stories were an attempt to destroy the good name of our staff, our village
director and eventually our organization. Mr. Ben-Yissacher
described himself as a victim of the welfare system and claims to be the savior
who will tear it down. We have sought legal and professional internet advice
regarding the best route of action to take. As much of the campaign is being
conducted in cyberspace, we are aware of the expenses and efforts that would
need to be invested without any guarantee that the courts here in
Our chairman was in contact with the Minister of Social Welfare in August 2008 regarding this campaign and its effect on the village staff and children. He contacted the Chief of Special investigations and the Director of the Southern District of the Israeli Police as well. In September 2008 he wrote to the Assistant Attorney General in regards to this campaign. All these letters are on record (in Hebrew) here in the NO. The general response was that this issue is in the realm of civil suits and not criminal. We have decided to ignore his attacks rather than respond and "fuel the fire". At the same time we are working on updating our local website to help counteract his campaign.
2008, the mother of "L" petitioned the Beer Sheba District Court with
a demand to rescind the order issued by the Ashdod Family Court to remove "L" from her
biological family and allow her to be placed at the discretion of the Child
Welfare Officer, in CV Neradim. Her complaints then
centered around two issues: acts of violence towards "L" and the
allegation of sexual activity that she had "witnessed". The judge heard statements from the legal
counsel of the Social Welfare Ministry and from the court appointed guardian of
"L" after Mr. Ben Yissacher was removed
from the court and the mother stormed out. The judge concluded that there were
no grounds for taking any action regarding the previously issued order or for
removing "L" from CV Neradim. The next day
Mr. Ben-Yissacher attacked the judge on his website
and suggested that she did not remove "L" from our village, as perhaps
in her home sexual activity between children was acceptable. During 2009 Mr.
Ben Yissacher was convicted in court of libel against
a civil servant (the National Child Welfare Officer) and fined 200,000
the allegations put forth in Ms. Bell - Dotan's two
letters of complaint, let me set the record straight. CV Neradim
does not accept violent behavior from any of the children nor staff. In spite
of this, there are cases of inappropriate behavior amongst the children and as the village is
home for all the children, we see such behavior as demanding treatment and
educational responses. We will not give up on any of our children without
making supreme efforts to change and improve their behavior. As per the
allegation regarding sexual activity our policy is clear. Sexual activity of
children in the village is not permissible and certainly not condoned. As per the report on
As per the allegations in her letter to the UN and her comments regarding the lack of trustworthiness of the staff of SOS Israel in the villages and the NO, I see no reason to respond. I believe that we do our best for the sake of our children and we are licensed, supervised and subsidized by the Social Welfare Ministry. All that speaks for itself.
I thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight.
I am at your service should there be any need for further information.
REQUEST THAT MR. GERSHINSKY PRODUCE WHAT HE CONSIDERS TO BE THE ORIGINAL
VERSION OF THE TELEVISION BROADCAST CONCERNING "NERADIM", IN
Mr. Gershinsky wrote:
"As per the report on
Please ask Mr. Gershinky to be so kind as to provide me with the orginal broadcast so that I might compare the version as it appears on the internet with what he claims is a divergent original script.