Email to Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky

Please Send An Email to Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky

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Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky

Chabad.org: Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky is the director of the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries and Vice-Chairman of Merkos L’lnyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Rabbi Kotlarsky travels the globe establishing Jewish centers for the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, becoming known as “Judaism’s Globe Trotter”. In many countries he is the public face of Chabad, visiting heads of state and opening new Chabad centers worldwide.

Taken from Chabag.org: “Today 4,000 full-time emissary families apply 250-year-old principles and philosophy to direct more than 3,300 institutions (and a workforce that numbers in the tens of thousands) dedicated to the welfare of the Jewish people worldwide.

Please complete the form below and encourage as many people as you can to do the same.

Thank you.

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Please feel free to send your own email directly to Rabbi Kotlarsky at rmk@kinus.com or kinus@kinus.com if you wish

SUBJECT: Rabbi Kotlarsky - your help is urgently required

Dear Rabbi Kotlarsky Shlita,


It is with great reluctance that the step has been taken to approach you in this way. All other avenues to raise this matter to the highest echelons in Chabad have so far been fruitless which is why you are receiving this message.


I understand this is a busy time in your calendar, shortly before the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Shluchim (Kinus), when so many emissaries come to Crown Heights from all over the world. But it is precisely at this time, when such a pool of immense talent and global influence is concentrated in one place, that the biggest breakthroughs can be achieved.


In July 2011, 2 year-old twins Samuel and Benjamin Schlesinger, were ripped from their mother's arms and handed to their father, Mr Michael Schlesinger, on the immediate instructions of an Austrian court ruling. Their mother, Beth Schlesinger (nee Alexander), has been awarded pitiful visiting rights and hasn't seen her children on Shabbos or Yom Tov since this time (with the exception of one Shabbos in August 2014). The courts in Vienna have behaved extremely strangely in the father's favour throughout the proceedings by discounting important facts, twisting medical reports and other evidence of bias. The response has been a global campaign backed by a Beis Din, multiple Rabbis, British Politicians and many supporters globally. See helpbeth.org


An anonymous Chabad posek has stated that these children should be living under the custody of their mother on the basis of a handwritten note written by the Rebbe himself: http://helpbeth.org/schlesinger-twins-the-lubavitcher-rebbe-held-strongly-that-the-mother-should-get-custody/


In an unusual move, Rabbi Jacob Biderman, the head of Chabad in Austria, voluntarily involved himself in the court case some time ago. Unfortunately, the father still has sole custody of the twins and he regularly cancels the few visits awarded by the court to the mother. We urge the Chabad leadership and the greater Chabad movement to stand behind Rabbi Biderman and provide him with all the tools he needs to be able to contribute further to the court case such that the mother's plight is accurately presented and that the judge should revisit her custody and visitation rulings. In this way it is hoped the custody arrangement will be revised and the children can have a better childhood than the one they currently face.


Chabad do wonderful work in some of the most inaccessible places on earth and we hope they continue to have resounding success as they have done over so many years. I am sure I don't speak alone when I say I would like to see this success and fantastic reputation continue, without the distraction of the case of the Schlesinger twins in Austria.


For more information, please watch this short clip.


Wishing you and your Shluchim every Hazlacha.


Yours


your name and address



http://helpbeth.org

 

Here is a video of Rabbi Kotlarsky speaking at this annual conference in 2012. He quotes a previous Lubavitcher Rebbe in the his address saying “no matter how engrossed we may be, in whatever it may be, we may never fail to hear the cry of a child”. We can only hope he hears the cries of Samuel and Benjamin Schlesinger in Vienna.

Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky speaking at the conference in 2012

Schlesinger Twins: The Lubavitcher Rebbe held strongly that the mother should get custody

Schlesinger Twins: The Lubavitcher Rebbe held strongly that the mother should get custody

This post appeared on the Daas Torah blog: http://daattorah.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/schlesinger-twins-lubavitcher-rebbe.html

 

I just received the following letter from a well known Lubavitcher posek who wishes to remain anonymous. It is obviously very significant. I would suggest emailing this to Rabbi Biderman and other members of the Vienna Chabad community. Rabbi Jacob Bideman
BH
I am not getting involved in the details, but I think it would be appropriate to post the following, it’s an answer from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, where the Rebbe writes that the benefit of the child is that the child should stay with the mother […]

Handover today 25.8.2014

It’s hard enough having my boys taken away from me again and again by their father after our visits, each time re-awakening the past, the torment of that fateful day which never fades with time.

Watching a Filipino stranger walk away carrying my crying child is a whole other level of pain.

Benjamin, just a moment earlier a little monkey in my arms, hands and legs clinging to me desperately, holding on with all the might of a 5 year old, now transferred to ‘the other woman’ in my ex husband’s life; a Filipino helper, while Sammy, a lost little boy ambles alongside, a faraway look in his big beautiful eyes.

Who is this woman who spends all day with my twins? Is she a legal resident of Vienna? What kind of contract does she have to look after my children? What exactly are her qualifications?

While my parenting skills were endlessly questioned and undermined, this woman – who has replaced me as main carer, hasn’t even been identified!

How can any court in the world believe that the children’s best interests are better served in the care of this woman (who can’t speak either German or English properly) rather than their mother?

My overnight visit ended at 10am this morning but the father was working today so he decided this stranger must substitute. I have my boys again tomorrow – my weekly Tuesday visit – and would have given anything to have them another day and night. I even asked for 9.00 – 5pm tomorrow instead of 11.00- 5pm since the children are still off kindergarten but of course the father refused. The Filipino also brings the children on Tuesday mornings.

Where’s the grandmother? the aunt? the sister? all the family support the father assured the judge he would have before he was awarded custody. Instead, Sammy and Benji are dumped off with hired help while I am bled financially to pay for it.   

Yet the court refuses to see it, to hear it, to believe it because acknowledging this absurd reality would be an admission of guilt, wrongdoing and abuse.

The same can be said for the Jewish community of Vienna: Rav Biderman, Ariel Muzicant, Oskar Deutsch and Mr Pardess who remain silent because they would rather not confront the unpleasant realities on their doorstep. Far easier to slam the door on us and turn away.

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Sammy ill, denied his mother

There is only one thing worse than seeing your little boy ill and watching him suffer; that is not being able to see him and be there for him at a time he needs you most.

Today, the father chose to inflict that agony.

The lady who supervises the handover texted me at 10.30, half an hour before my visit to say the father had messaged her last night to say Sammy was ill and ‘there is a chance only Benji will be able to come.’

Just 2 minutes later she sent another sms that Sammy had fever and would ‘unfortunately not be joining.’

I immediately called her and told her that I would take care of Sammy, he could stay in bed and we would stay at home all day, just let him be with his mummy when he’s poorly. Of course the answer she got back from the father was an adamant ‘no.’ I then asked if we could go together to pick Benji up from the apartment and be able to see Sammy at the same time, just for a few minutes to kiss him and see how he is. Again, I was denied.

The father brought Benji down to the supermarket where he decided the handovers must take place while one of the Filipinos stayed with Sammy. He dropped Benji off without a word and turned to walk away.

‘Michael, how is Sammy? What’s wrong with him? I asked. He heard the worry and anxiety in my voice but just walked away, without even saying goodbye to Benji.

I later sent him an email:

‘I would really like to know how Sammy is. Please could you email me your mobile number.

He replied in German:

Er hat Fieber sonst geht’s ihm gut.  aber wie es ihm wirklich geht werde ich dann sowieso im Internet lesen……

‘He has a temperature, otherwise he is well but if I really want to know how he is, I can read it on the internet….’

At 5pm I asked the handover lady if I could speak to Sammy on the phone – just to hear his voice and know how he is. I don’t have the father’s mobile number. She asked the father but said the answer she got was ‘a very firm NO’.

This was a man who was awarded custody on the basis of his ‘bindungstoleranz’ – his supposed willingness to cooperate with me, the mother. This word has been used perversely throughout the proceedings to ‘justify’ the flawed psychologist’s and judges’ decisions. After all, the father is quoted as saying just how ‘kind’ and cooperative he would be should he be awarded custody:

He promised to:
– inform me about all matters concerning the children
– let me see the children ‘whenever I wanted’
– allow me to visit the children in his apartment (when I once tried to do so he called the police)
– take the children on holiday, including ‘extended holidays and trips to England’

From the day custody was transferred to the father, he has done everything possible to break the children’s contact with me, deny me access at every opportunity, not inform me about anything, including operations to remove their teeth when they were just 3 years old and be as hostile, uncooperative and antagonistic as possible.

Everyone who has studied our case knows that there was never any justification for awarding him custody. The children’s lack of development in his ‘care’ (for him, a ‘burden’ he has relegated to 2 Filipinos) as well as the father’s intolerable and pathological behaviour since then just serve to highlight the injustice of the original decision and prove why returning the children to their rightful home is the only realistic solution and one that is already long overdue.
Benji today missing his brother at his side

Benji today missing his brother at his side

Sammy & Benji together at Sunday's visit

Both together at Sunday’s visit

Cancelled visit – again

Sunday 10th August 2014

After the stress of a diverted tram and the additional cost of a taxi ride, I finally arrived at the visiting centre just in time to pick up my kids for my overnight visit.

I called to confirm last Thursday and the woman responsible confirmed the visit would take place However, Mr Schlesinger decided not to show. He had not bothered to inform anyone he wasn´t coming and inconvenienced not only me but also the woman in charge who had come especially for us.

She made me pay the 25 Euro charge anyway.

Today I got a phone call from the Tuesday handover lady to say Mr Schlesinger realised he had made a mistake. I had last weekend with the children but the judge had awarded that in addition to my Sunday overnight stays, not instead of. However much he hopes to hurt and disappoint me, when will he realise the effect his actions are having on the children?

What did he tell Sammy and Benji this time why they couldn´t see ´Mama?´

 

 

 

 

Jewish Chronicle 17.07.2014

Jewish Chronicle Article: http://www.thejc.com/node/120687

New hope for custody fight mum

By Charlotte Oliver, July 17, 2014
Follow Charlotte on Twitter

A mother whose access to her children has been limited to daytime visits has been told she can have them overnight once every two weeks.

Beth Alexander, of Manchester, has been fighting for custody of her sons Samuel and Benjamin, who now live near her new home in Vienna with her ex-husband Michael Schlesinger.

The daytime limitation was made by an Austrian court in January but amended on Sunday.

She said: “The judge made it clear I am on trial. If it all goes well, we can hopefully extend it further. But I haven’t been told anything else, apart from that I must co-operate. I’ve also been ordered not to talk to any staff from the boys’ kindergarten.”

Jewish Telegraph 18.07.2014

REKINDLING NOT-FORGOTTEN BEDTIME RITUALS WAS DREAM COME TRUE

After three years I’m allowed to spend a night with my twins

 

BETH Schlesinger with twins Benji and Sammy during a day out in Vienna on Sunday

BETH Schlesinger with twins Benji and Sammy during a day out in Vienna on Sunday

Mancunian Beth Schlesinger (Alexander), who was divorced from her Viennese husband last month and with whom she has endured a bitter tug-of-love battle, had been barred inexplicably by the Austrian courts from having her five-year-old twin sons spend a night with her . . . until Sunday. She describes her sheer joy

LAST night I was able to read my darling boys a bedtime story and tuck them into bed for the first time in three years! A massive chunk of their early years robbed from us: precious nurturing and bonding time which we can never get back.

Rekindling our not-forgotten bedtime rituals was a dream come true and the boys loved being here overnight, at home where they feel most safe and secure. Judge Susanne Göttlicher finally decided on my urgent application (from January!) for extended visitation. Although I applied for weekends, she has granted me every second Sunday from 9am until 8.30am Monday, when I must return them to kindergarten. I still have to pay the visiting centre on Sundays but at least this is now reduced by half to 25 Euros.

Although Göttlicher acknowledges my argument that the supervised handovers are “expensive and must stop” as “fully understandable”, she has done nothing to alter my Tuesday visits.

I must continue to pay 50 Euros for the handovers outside supermarkets (a private arrangement by the father) carried out by a former employee of the visiting centre. In the same court order, Judge Göttlicher denied my two-week holiday application but has granted ONE weekend at the end of August instead. The wording of the order is unequivocal: I am on trial:

“Through this temporary order the court is giving the mother a chance to prove that she is able to use the more flexible overnight visits in the interests of the children,” she states.

“The mother must prove by adhering strictly to the rules that she is a trustworthy partner capable of cooperation.” No mention is made of the father’s cancelled visits or lack of co-operation over the past three years.

I must do everything exactly as prescribed. I must come alone to the kindergarten, I mustn’t speak to the staff and I mustn’t expose the children to any journalists during my visits but “obviously the mother is entitled to have contact with journalists on her non-visiting days”, she writes. One of the grounds for granting me overnight access is so that I “no longer have to simulate bedtime rituals during the day! ’She then quotes the Sunday Telegraph article:

“Inside a first-floor flat in central Vienna, a mother is reading her twin boys a story. Snuggled together in their bedroom, the four-year-olds, skin still pink from a hot bath, cling to the woman as she points at pictures and puts on different characters’ voices . . . it’s the middle of the day.”

The woman at the visiting centre called me on Friday to say 9am wasn’t possible and she could only come at 10. When I protested about the lost hour, she replied: “What’s the problem? You’ve got them the whole day anyway!” When your children are not with you, I don’t think you can understand how precious and sacred each moment together becomes. I went there at 9am anyway and she arrived at 9.20. Somewhat uncomfortable at the situation, she said she didn’t know she would be able to be there earlier. The father and children arrived at 9.55. It was such a luxury to finally spend a whole day together, without the constant pressure of clock watching, fearful of being a second later than 5pm and the threat of court action against me.

Despite my disappointment at only one overnight per fortnight, I still consider the extension to overnight stays a very positive step closer which only strengthens my resolve to continue campaigning for justice to bring my little boys home.

I thank everyone who has helped me get this far. I could never have done it alone and am eternally grateful that you have enabled me to stay and do all I can until this point. It’s outrageously unjust that we’ve had to fight this hard this long to reach this juncture but justice and sanity must and eventually will prevail.

Jewish Telegraph Front Cover 18th July 2014

Jewish Telegraph Front Cover 18th July 2014

 

Jewish Telegraph Article 18th July 2014

Jewish Telegraph Article 18th July 2014

 

Overnight visits – AT LAST!!!

Last night I was able to read my darling boys a bedtime story and tuck them into bed for the first time in 3 years! A massive chunk of their early years robbed from us: precious nurturing and bonding time which we can never get back.

Rekindling our not forgotten bedtime rituals was a dream come true and the boys loved being here overnight, at home where they feel most safe and secure.

 Judge Susanne Goettlicher finally decided on my urgent application (from January!) for extended visitation. Although I applied for weekends, she has granted me every second Sunday from 9.00 until 8.30 Monday morning when I must return them to kindergarten.

I still have to pay the visiting centre on Sundays but at least this is now reduced by half to 25 Euros.

Although Goettlicher acknowledges my argument that the supervised handovers are ‘expensive and must stop’ as ‘fully understandable,’ she has done nothing to alter my Tuesday visits.

I must continue to pay 50 Euro for the handovers outside supermarkets (a private arrangement by the father) carried out by a former employee of the visiting centre.

In the same court order, Judge Goettlicher denied my 2 week holiday application but has granted ONE weekend at the end of August instead.

The wording of the order is unequivocal: I am on trial:

‘Through this temporary order the court is giving the mother a chance to prove that she is able to use the more flexible overnight visits in the interests of the children,’ she states.

‘The mother must prove by adhering strictly to the rules that she is a trustworthy partner capable of cooperation.’ No mention is made of the father’s cancelled visits or lack of cooperation over the past 3 years.

I must do everything exactly as prescribed. I must ‘come alone to the kindergarten,’ I musn’t ‘ask the staff any questions’ and I musn’t ‘expose the children to any journalists during my visits’ but ‘obviously the mother is entitled to have contact with journalists on her non-visiting days,’ she writes.

One of the grounds for granting me overnight access is so that I ‘no longer have to simulate bedtime rituals during the day!’She then quotes the Sunday Telegraph article:

“Inside a first-floor flat in central Vienna, a mother is reading her twin boys a story. Snuggled together in their bedroom, the four-year-olds, skin still pink from a hot bath, cling to the woman as she points at pictures and puts on different characters’ voices… it’s the middle of the day.”
 

The woman at the visiting centre called me on Friday to say 9.00 wasn’t possible and she could only come at 10.00. When I protested about the lost hour, she replied: ‘What’s the problem? You’ve got them the whole day anyway!’ 

When your children are not with you, I don’t think you can understand how precious and sacred each moment together becomes. I went there at 9.00 anyway and she arrived at 9.20. Somewhat uncomfortable at the situation, she said she didn’t know she would be able to be there earlier. The father and children arrived at 9.55. 

It was such a luxury to finally spend a whole day together, without the constant pressure of clock watching, fearful of being a second later than 5pm and the threat of court action against me.

Despite my disappointment at only one overnight per fortnight, I still consider the extension to overnight stays a very positive step closer which only strengthens my resolve to continue campaigning for justice to bring my little boys home.

I thank everyone who has helped me get this far. I could never have done it alone and am eternally grateful that you have enabled me to stay and do all I can until this point. It’s outrageously unjust that we’ve had to fight this hard this long to reach this juncture but justice and sanity must and eventually will prevail.

Yesterday's visit

Yesterday’s very special visit

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Open Letter From The Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, Rabbi Efraim Mirvis

ב״ה

ChiefRabbiLogo

 

 

305 Ballards Lane
London
N12 8GB
020 8343 6301
info@chiefrabbi.org
chiefrabbi.org

20th May 2014

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

I am concerned about the welfare of Samuel and Benjamin Schlesinger. The Austrian Courts have awarded the father of the twins, Dr Michael Schlesinger, full and final custody, with limited visiting rights to the British mother, Mrs Beth Schlesinger (nee Alexander).

The court’s unusual decision to deprive a mother of the right to raise her children, coupled with the limited access that she has to her children, which is sometimes denied to her, has placed a significant strain on Mrs Schlesinger.  More significantly, I am concerned about reports that suggest that the twins’ growth and development are suffering, while the mother is not included in any way in matters relating to her children’s health, welfare and education.

I would ask that all concerned should address the best interests of the children and consider ways to build a better future for the boys.

 

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

 

 

 

Open Letter from Chief Rabbi Mirvis

Open Letter from Chief Rabbi Mirvis

You can download this letter in PDF by clicking this icon:
pdf-icon

Video

Twins’ 5th Birthday

Sammy & Benji are 5 today!

Thank you to dear friend, Andrew, for reviving these precious memories to create such a wonderful celebration of my boys’ early life.

Hoping and praying that the twins will be home, long before their next birthday.

With all my love, my precious angels. You are never out of my thoughts.

Mummy xx