By Daniel K. Eisenbud (Jerusalem Post)
July 30, 2013
An ultra-Orthodox man – alleged to be a pedophile who fled New York in 1985 hours before being served an arrest warrant on numerous charges of child molestation and now living openly in Jerusalem – was attacked by an enraged vigilante in the capital, a video shows.
The accused pedophile, Avrohom Mondrowitz, 66, of Nahlaot, reportedly claims to be a PhD in clinical children’s psychology, as well as a rabbi.
However, according to 2007 records from the New York Police Department, his credentials are fraudulent.
The footage, released by The Algemeiner news site on Monday, captures Mondrowitz being accosted by an unknown man last week after he was identified as a child molester by the cameraman.
According to The Algemeiner, the video was recorded by a 22-year-old American studying in Jerusalem, who identified himself as “Isaac” and requested his last name not be published.
Isaac also digitally altered his voice in the approximately two-minute clip to maintain his anonymity.
He told the website that he recognized Mondrowitz from a New York Post article published last year, and after calling out his name, Mondrowitz stopped and acknowledged it was indeed him.
The video shows Mondrowitz walking in Jerusalem’s Nahlaot neighborhood as Isaac follows him at a close distance.
Shortly thereafter, Isaac says: “They call you Osama bin Laden,” referring to the Post article, in which one of his alleged victims described Mondrowitz as the “bin Laden of pedophiles.”
Mondrowitz remains silent, ignoring Isaac, and continues to walk ahead, at which time Isaac becomes more aggressive, yelling out: “Monster! Molester! Rapist! Rapist!”
At this point in the footage, an unknown man runs up to Mondrowitz, takes off his black hat and proceeds to beat him with it several times before walking away.
When a concerned bystander asks in Hebrew why Mondrowitz is being attacked, Isaac responds: “He’s a rapist. He raped 100 children in New York.”
“How do you know?” the bystander asks.
“How do I know?” Isaac responds. “Go to the New York Post. Look at the New York Post.”
“Are you sure about that?” asks the bystander.
“The man is a rapist. He raped over 100 children in New York, and probably still here also.”
“How do you know?” asks another bystander who witnessed the assault.
“Look in the newspaper,” says Isaac. “He’s charged with child molestation.”
“Are you sure?” she asks.
“Why are you hitting him?” At this point, the man who initially attacked Mondrowitz runs up to him again and throws him to the ground.
“Are you sure about this?” the second bystander continues.
“Rapist! The guy’s a rapist from New York. The guy’s a rapist from New York – they tried to extradite him. This guy has raped over 100 children in New York.”
“Call the police or something,” says the first bystander.
“Over 100 children,” Isaac replies. “This guy still lives with children here – he still works with children.”
A diminutive and meek-looking Mondrowitz then picks himself up and walks away as the video ends.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Tuesday afternoon that no complaint regarding the incident was filed, adding that the Justice Ministry is responsible for all extradition cases.
Mondrowitz was born in Tel Aviv in 1947 and later moved with his family to Chicago, then to Brooklyn in the late 1970s.
He subsequently presented himself to Orthodox educational institutions as a rabbi and clinical psychologist and worked as a child psychologist in the mixed Jewish-Italian Borough Park neighborhood.
Later, he opened a yeshiva for children with behavioral problems.
In 1985, a New York State court charged Mondrowitz with eight counts of child abuse in the first degree, endangering the welfare of a child and five counts of sodomy in the first degree.
Mondrowitz and his family fled to Israel 12 hours before the warrant was issued for his arrest, records state.
At the time of the indictment, sodomy of boys was not an extraditable crime, since it was not defined as “rape” under Israeli law. However, in 1988, the Knesset changed that law, apparently clearing the way for Mondrowitz’s extradition.
In 1993, Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes dropped the deportation effort, but in 2007 the extradition was reinstated after a search of Mondrowitz’s home in Jerusalem uncovered four child-pornography films, leading to his arrest.
Despite the compelling evidence, in 2010 Israel’s Supreme Court ruled Mondrowitz was exempt from the reinstated extradition order and allowed him to go free, records state.
Upon submitting the video to The Algemeiner, Isaac defended his incitement, the news source reported.
“It’s really upsetting to see this man living freely and openly in this community of Nahlaot, a tight-knit neighborhood – with children everywhere,” said Isaac. “And apparently he goes to a synagogue, where people need to know who he is and what he’s done.”
“It’s just outrageous that someone wanted for these crimes in the US – accused of raping and sodomizing hundreds of kids – has the opportunity to offend again, to commit these heinous acts here in Israel.”
Describing himself as a “non-confrontational kind of person,” Isaac said he felt compelled to intervene.
“I couldn’t just do nothing – I couldn’t just continue walking,” he said. “Someone has to do something. I had to speak up.”
Isaac said he hoped that by releasing the video, residents of the densely populated neighborhood will be able to easily identify Mondrowitz.
“His neighbors deserve to know the truth about this evil man – this pedophile – living in their midst,” Isaac said.