Community Alert


community-alert-warning1By Rabbi Yair Hoffman

The following is a grave warning to young women and their parents:

There is an individual loose in our community who presents himself as both a therapist and an activist fighting against the dangers of addiction to immorality on the internet. He gives public lectures and speeches in various venues presenting himself as an expert in the field. He has spoken in shuls, yeshivos, and Bais Yaakovs. He warns young men and young women to stay clear of potential sites and predators. This speaker is eloquent, articulate, and reassuring. He cites facts and figures authoritatively. Yet he has a pattern of eventually getting involved in Biblically forbidden ways with young ladies that reach out to him. These young ladies may be single or even married.

When he speaks at a shul, school or other event, contact with vulnerable young ladies can begin. The contact between the two begins innocently enough. At times, he presents himself as a type of therapist or counselor and promises confidentiality. At first the confidentially is maintained. When the young lady begins to delineate her problem, he explains that the problem is so severe that it must be either dealt with more directly or in person.

The patterns follow typical grooming techniques that are well-documented of others who attempt to develop inappropriate relationships with unsuspecting victims. They begin by complimenting them. The relationship quickly becomes inappropriate and professional boundaries are not maintained. This individual has an office where he sees people, or he may meet them on a more casual basis. He tells the individuals that they need to develop normal patterns of relationships and then he models that “normal” pattern of relationship r”l.

This particular individual makes sure that he does not get involved on a physical level with anyone under the age of eighteen. The individual treats his victims as “special” and may even say that this is the first time he has been so “taken” by a person.

The author of this article has met with a victim and has examined evidence corroborating the victim’s story. The author has no doubt whatsoever as to the veracity of the story.

The author has also reached out to five separate gedolei Torah. Each gadol has ruled that the information contained in this article must be disseminated to the public on the internet. It was at the behest of Rav Aharon Feldman, rosh yeshiva of Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, that this community alert has been issued.

If you feel that you or a family member has been victimized by this individual, email Your identity will be kept private and this will help prevent others from being victimized.

In addition, Rav Yisroel Harphenes is of the halachic opinion that all situations of a therapeutic nature should be strictly gender separated. Women must see women and men must see men, according to Rav Harphenes. Other poskim have said that ideally gender separation should be maintained, but if necessary and under strict observance of the laws of yichud, alternatives can be pursued. They further instructed that the following guidelines be implemented.

1] Anyone who is currently seeing a therapist or counselor should make sure that the therapist is truly licensed and undergoes regular supervision. It goes without saying that this should be verified independently.

2] All yichud situations of a male therapist alone with a woman must be avoided, notwithstanding any assurances of permissions granted by rabbis, etc.

This specific matter is being researched for any possible illegalities involving misrepresentations of a therapeutic nature, and whether there are any illegalities involved in physical involvement with someone in a therapeutic context, even if the therapist is not a licensed New York State therapist. At this point, the name of the individual in question is being omitted as research into the matter continues.

The author can be reached at

{ Newscenter}


  1. a few weeks ago there was a warning about a person who is running an ponzi scheme to help his gambling addiction. My question is if there are facts to prove in each case why are we not publishing these people names to prevent them from continuing what they are doing?

  2. Getting involved in a Ponzi scheme or becoming involved with a therapist is bad news, regardless of their names.

  3. What good is this alert if you don’t tell people who he is or where he is operating
    Other wise it’s a waste of time but more importantly if you have the goods and don’t say who it is you are destroying any good therapists reputation and good

  4. bs’d It is 100% permitted according to the laws of lashon hora to print the person’s name and city he is operating in. This article is worthless unless we know who he is and which city he is in.

  5. Go to the police. It’s allowed, and probably rquired. You are risking lives by letting this person run around loose and unidentified. If you have enough information to satisfy a gadol you certainly have enough information to initiate a police investigation.

  6. Those who need to find out, contact the author. Otherwise you have no need to know the name. What’s the point? Oy.

  7. What is the point of this article if you will not name the guilty party. All you are doing is casting aspersions on every therapist.

  8. Enough of the nitpicking. All that matters is, don’t seek out a charismatic orator to serve as your private therapist without a responsible referral.

    Why all the nitpicking?

  9. There are a disgusting amount of ads on this site. What’s the point?? My senses are being barraged from all sides and I don’t look at any one of them.

  10. With solid proof the name must be exposed. People are starting to theorize who it might be. If they’re wrong then we have serious issues of ????? ?? ??.

  11. Not only is this post not helpful it is perpetuating the crime. by not saying who this individual is we are puting many others at risk for a life time of pain suffering and disfunction. If we truly want to stop what is Biblically prohibited than we need to act as Pinchas did to stop the breach and not be frightened to do the what is right in the eyes of Hashem and man. We talk the talk but when action is called for we tend to throw up our hands and say what can I do it may be loshon hara. We tell the story but we do not dare say who the individual is. It is worth to feel the flames of gehenam in order to save just one person in Klal Yisroel from this danger. Our worries are misplaced just as we have a mitzva to remove the rah from amongst us and to learn from the errors of the past.

  12. I agree, this can be very injurious to legitimate therapists out there. Give us the name and be done with it.

    He sounds like a total creep, btw.

  13. There’s no point in this alert if the name of this individual is not released. People need to know from whom to stay away.

  14. Why hasn’t this been reported to the authorities who have the ability to fully investigate these criminal activities ?

  15. If Rabbi Hoffman and his ‘Gedolim’ knew somebody was selling treife meat and passing it off as glatt kosher, would he put out an alert about an unnamed butcher in our community (wherever that is), and let the oilam figure out themselves who it is. If the good rabbi alleges that issurei d’oraisa are involved, why does he differentiate between nevelos utreifos, and Gilui Arayos. Is he able to discern the difference between mitvos kalus vechamurois?

  16. I commend Rabbi Hoffman for his tremendous bravery in publicizing this information. It is not easy to do so as you are immediately looked upon as a Moser or worse.

    This is NOT mesira, nor is it loshon hora. This is mamash Pikuach Nefesh imho.

    We need more people like Rabbi Hoffman watching out for our children and our communities!

    While what this creep is doing may not be technically illegal since his victims are over 18, it is highly immoral and this man should not be representing himself in any sort of way as a G-d fearing man.

  17. “At this point, the name of the individual in question is being omitted as research into the matter continues”. I am sure that there are huge halachic ramifications and criteria before publicly defaming an individual by name. Of course, it is necessary in some instances, but not without the guidance of Gedolei Torah. The writer above is working with Gedolim and I’m sure the name will be publicized if further research deems it okay and necessary. It’s not so simple.

  18. to: #8 be careful
    Please enlighten us as to the difference between “public defamation’ in this case vs a butcher who is caught selling treife meat. Inquiring minds want to know.

  19. to # 7 bucky;
    It is not “tremendous bravery” to publish vague allegations against an unnamed perepetrator, especially without confronting him with these allegations, as would be required by a real Beis Dinor or a court of law in the US.
    I would instead label the good Rabbi’s actions as “tremendously irresponsible”.

  20. AWARENESS!!!This is a very important article, there may be therapists, life coaches, etc… with or without licenses and they practice with the frum population while being trusted by their community. Being trusted by ones community is very valuable, yet one can hide beneath it and abuse it. My concern is for the individuals that where affected so far and the damage it might do to future individuals that need help. My suggestion; use your senses and torah guidelines, since there are plenty of frum skilled therapists today from each gender, seek one from same gender. Period!

  21. this article reminds us of the importance of following a Rav, and the halachos of yichud. the systems that were put in place 1000s of years ago are still our best (only) defense.