The role played by Jacob Biderman head of the Lauder school in the cover up of the abuse of Sammy and Benji Schlesinger who have been held captive in his school since they were 2 years old is no secret. At Beth’s pleas for the children to be assessed, Judge Gottclicher visited the kindergarten herself in November 2012. Despite her recording that Benji was “deliberately ramming himself against the wall” in an act of self-harm, Biderman testified to the Court 5 months earlier that the children were “thriving with their father”.
I, Rabbi Jacob Biderman, born on 28.11.1957 declare the following in testimony to the court:
In the last few days I was contacted by a Rabbinic colleague in England who informed me that an acquaintance of Beth Schlesinger has initiated a media campaign which is about to be publicised. The media campaign claims that this is a ‘horror story,’ that the twins Samuel and Benjamin Schlesinger are in a very bad state with their father and that their father is endangering them. They further claim that this is demonstrated by the fact that Samuel needed a number of teeth removed. I refuted these claims and told this Rabbi that the director of the Lauder Chabad Kindergarten, which is under my authority, has told me not only about how well the children have settled into kindergarten since Autumn but also how much they have developed psychologically. I also told my English colleague that these false and one-sided claims illustrate amateur journalism and above all, harm the children Furthermore, I am being harassed by different Rabbonim from England, Israel and Australia who have contacted me to ask me to help the mother because – according to her – the children are in a terrible state.
Rabbi Jacob Biderman
When Rabbis around the world called Rabbi Biderman to ask him to intervene, he told them that Beth was “mentally ill”.
The director of the Lauder Chabad school is Mrs Rivka Mendelsohn. On Sunday 24th February 2013, Beth bumped into her daughter Batya Mendelsohn who reported to Beth as follows:
Batya had seen the twins in the Chabad shul the day before (shabbat) and one of the twins had been crying continuously the entire time. She said the crying was so bad that Mr Schlesinger had to leave with the children. She further told Beth that her mother, the director of Lauder Chabad had been “terrrorised and reduced to tears by Mr Schlesinger’s lawyer, Marina Breitenecker as well as by a judge” (presumably Konstanze Thau) who had threatened her.
Batya said her mother very much wanted to talk to me about the children as she was very concerned for the twins who were clearly in a bad state. However, since her mother Rivka Mendelsohn was “constantly receiving threatening telephone calls and letters (from the father’s side) she was too afraid.
Beth’s lawyer applied for both Batya and Rivka Mendelsohn to come to Court as witnesses to testify about what had happened. When they came before the Judge as witnesses, however, both denied having been threatened and denied that the conversations with Beth had ever taken place.
Below is the email from Biderman evidencing the father and his lawyer’s intimidation tactics to the school.
Date: Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Subject: AW: visit today
Dear Rabbi Kennard and Mrs. Schlesinger,
I have learned that it is impossible for me to mediate in this case, it is beyond my capacity. I hear all the time from both sides a complete different narrative about every single detail, who is willing/not willing, doing/not doing, what has happened/not happened etc. and above all what is good/bad for the children.
In addition I regret to have to share with you that Dr. Schlesinger’s lawyer wrote this afternoon, in contradiction to my previous email, that the kindergarten may not give the mother any information about the children without the permission of the father which has the custody right over the children by the verdict of the court.
I really believe that in this case only someone that has the needed education, experience and time to get involved and follow consistently the case from the near can be of help and mediate. I plea for understanding and ask you to approach other Rabbis or/and the ESRA association for the benefit of the situation.
With best wishes for an easy fast
Rabbi Jacob Biderman
The above statement is a blatant lie. At no time was there a court order preventing the school from speaking to Beth or providing her with welfare reports. Despite Beth’s repeated requests for Biderman to show her any such Court order, Biderman was unable to produce one. Nevertheless, he and his school blocked all of Beth’s access to the children who were under his control. Beth was excluded from all parent meetings, parties and events.
Ronald Lauder’s personal reputation is being damaged by the cover up of child abuse in an institution bearing his name. Sammy and Benji Schlesinger have been victim to a massive miscarriage of justice and denied their mother’s love over a decade. The above actions demonstrate that not only were Chabad complicit in the abuse but actively colluded in destroying 2 children’s lives.