July 11, 2017 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #1315438
Does anyone know any information about this story? It’s from COL:
A frum mother of 6, who has been battling her ex-husband to allow her to raise her children in an Orthodox Jewish home, has been thrown in jail by an Ohio Judge.
An Orthodox Jewish mother of six who was barred from speaking with her own children because she insisted on raising them in a religious home has been thrown in jail because she lacked the financial means to reimburse her wealthy ex-husband $10,000 in court costs as order by an Ohio judge.
Julie Goffstein and her husband Peter Goffstein had been raising their boys as members of the Chabad community in Cincinnati when Peter Goffstein decided that he no longer wanted to live a religious lifestyle. Given an ultimatum of choosing between her religion and her marriage, Julie chose to continue living her life as a Jew and the Goffstein’s bitter divorce began to unfold in 2010. After hearing the testimony of 11 character witnesses and two court ordered evaluations, Judge Jon Sieve of the Hamilton County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas awarded full custody of all of the Goffstein children to their mother, specifically noting the importance of continuity for the boys who had been raised in an Orthodox home.
Nine months later, Peter filed for a reallocation of custody and within weeks Judge Sieve had reversed his decision, awarding Peter full custody of the four younger children, observing that Julie’s insistence on sending the children to yeshiva was not in their best interest. While Judge Sieve’s ruling allowed the children to remain in yeshiva, Julie was held responsible for paying their tuition, with Peter given the authority to make all of the children’s educational decisions. Over time, the situation continued to deteriorate, with Peter filing multiple lawsuits against his former wife and Julie moved with the two older boys to Crown Heights where they continued in yeshiva, while the four younger boys were sent to public school against their will by their father.
As the court battles continued, Peter Goffstein continued to keep the younger children shielded from both their mother and their Jewish heritage, allegedly chopping off one child’s payos, removing the boys’ yarmulkas and making them eat pork. Friends of Julie’s also reported that he smeared urine on one child’s face as a punishment for a religious observance and that Peter repeatedly bullied anyone who supported Julie’s mission of raising her sons in an observant home. Eventually the court forbade Julie from discussing any religious matters with her sons, and she was found in contempt of court for telling one son of her efforts to get him back into yeshiva.
While Peter is extremely wealthy, Julie’s financial situation is very bleak, having been stripped of all marital assets by Judge Sieve. His latest decision, holding Julie in contempt of court for being unable to reimburse her ex-husbands court costs and sending her to jail, seems to be the latest obstacle thrown at Julie simply because she has chosen to raise her sons as practicing members of the Jewish faith. Julie’s sons, ranging in age from nine to eighteen are living a life of turmoil, with the younger boys facing their father’s reported harassment and the two older boys now living alone in Crown Heights because of Julie’s imprisonment.
5 WAYS TO HELP
1. A Chesed Fund campaign has been set up to help raise money for Julie and help with all legal fees and to gain her immediate release. She has been unable to pay her attorney full due to financial challenges.
Click here to help. To donate via paypal: email@example.com.
Moderator’s note: This does not appear to be a verified appeal.
2. A grassroots efforts on Facebook by The Women’s Coalition has been organizing a call in and email campaign asking Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor to disqualify Judge Sieve for discrimination and to demand Julie’s release.
3. Other ways to help include pressuring Cincinnati media outlets to cover the story.
4. For Ohio residents to reach out to their elected officials and ask them to advocate for Julie’s release and Judge Sieve’s censure.
5. Those wishing to further help Julie can email Stuart Lichter (firstname.lastname@example.org), president of Industrial Retail Group, where Peter serves as a senior vice president in the Cincinnati office and ask for Peter Goffstein’s removal because of his unacceptable behavior.
Judge O’Connor can be reached at 614-387-9250 or at email@example.com
Sample text to send the judge:
Dear Judge O’Connor,
I am contacting you today to protest the discriminatory treatment of Julie Goffstein by Judge Jon Sieve, an extremely biased judge who threw Julie in jail on July 11th.
Julie has been found in contempt for not paying her ex’s attorney’s fees and for contacting her children and is being forced to pay $10,000 for her wealthy ex’s attorney’s fees, which she does not have because Judge Sieve deprived her of her rightful marital assets. She is also being found in contempt for contacting her children, who he unjustly took away from her, ostensibly due to her religious beliefs—which is unconstitutional. Tellingly, he only took the four youngest boys because the father did not want the two oldest, proving that it is not really about religion; it is about empowering the father. He also ordered Julie to pay $500 to a fathers’ rights group before he was rightfully admonished by you.
Judge Sieve claims that the children have experienced emotional distress due to their mother contacting them, but the real harm to the children was caused by him taking four young boys away from their mother, their primary bond, who was a loving, stay-at-home mom.
There are many other things which confirm Judge Sieve’s bias. Please stop the injustice against Julie by disqualifying him and send a message to other judges and the public that discrimination against women in family courts will not be tolerated.
Thank youJuly 11, 2017 3:25 pm at 3:25 pm #1315442
There are 3 sides to every story
and the truth.
We do not know specific details of this case , especially a domestic disputeJuly 11, 2017 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #1315453
Well, before writing off the story as “I don’t know the truth so I don’t want to get involved” one should consider the halacha of judging favorably.
One needn’t pass a negative judgement on the husband based on news reports. However, more than enough info is there to support being dan l’chaf zechus towards helping the poor woman get out of jail! There’s also the mitzvah of redeeming captives. It’s a worthy cause, think of how the kids feel with their mother in jail.July 11, 2017 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #1315463
A613: Not that ZD needs my help, but he is repeating an old adage. He did not say don’t help just that this is a domestic dispute and in those types of situations listening to one side does not give he full picture.
As for whether this falls under PIDYON SHVUIM, only Daas Torah/Poseik can make that determination. There is no mention of any Rabbonim or organizations one can go to to get information.July 11, 2017 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #1315468
The fact that she’s frum and he’s frei is in itself more than sufficient for the entire frum community to throw our full, unthrottled, support for her. Financially, morally, physically and emotionally.July 11, 2017 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #1315466
More than once I have seen these sort of domestic disputes play itself out over the internet and more than once it turned out it was more nunanced than first appearedJuly 11, 2017 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #1315473
He wants to bring the children up as goyim whereas she wants to bring the children up as Yidden.July 11, 2017 5:30 pm at 5:30 pm #1315491
you only have her say so. Why would the judge order her to pay husbands court costs? Why were her marital assets stripped away? Too many unanswered questions/July 11, 2017 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #1315509
Joseph and A613: Trying to understand this article and why I should as Joseph said “throw our full, unthrottled, support for her”. It seems that the divorce happened or was supposed to happen in 2010 and between 2010 and 2011 the judge awarded the children to the husband. Now if this protracted legal battle has been going on for 6 or 7 years why is it only now that someone is asking us to get involved? It is possible that the judge may have made some bad decisions but IMHO there is much here that we aren’t being told.July 11, 2017 5:48 pm at 5:48 pm #1315508
The court documents, as written by the judge(s), make clear she’s frum and he became frei. And the court penalized her for trying to stop him from teaching the children to dislike Judaism, go to public school instead of Yeshiva and feed them treif.July 11, 2017 6:22 pm at 6:22 pm #1315520
There are 3 sides to every story
and the truth.
We do not know specific details of this case , especially a domestic dispute.
More than once I have seen this sort of domestic disputes play itself out over the internet and more than once it turned out it was more nuanced than first appeared.
Not looking to have zdad sue me for plagiarism.
Just saying I wholeheartedly agree with what he said, and wanted his posts looked at again by all of us.
I would be interested to hear from Rabbonim who have personal involvement with the family, or from licensed therapists who have same.July 11, 2017 6:44 pm at 6:44 pm #1315513
According to one website the judge found her in contempt….in 2013. It seems that this whole thing happened 4 years ago. I suggest googling Julie Goffstein.
BTW, according to that website, the father was not born jewish, converted, and in 2012 the Chicago Rabbinical Council invalidated his conversion.
In addition, Julie Goffstein sued the judge in Federal Court and lost.July 11, 2017 6:44 pm at 6:44 pm #1315512
Without knowing all the details of the case from both sides it’s impossible to pick a side. Domestic disputes are always more complicated than they seem on the surface. As a divorce lawyer I can tell you that being frum is never a reason in secular Court for a mother to lose a custody case. There are probably other issues involved here that we don’t know about. Therefore I am hesitant to give a hasty judgmentJuly 11, 2017 7:22 pm at 7:22 pm #1315546
According to the court documents , the mother violated the fathers visitation rights. In addition to ruling got the father, the judge ordered her to reimburse him for the legal costs of restoring visitation, and it was $2400, not $10000July 11, 2017 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #1315545
The fact that she’s frum and wants to bring up her children frum while he’s not frum (and possibly not Jewish) and wants to bring up the children as goyim, is in itself more than sufficient reason to fully support the mother.July 11, 2017 9:10 pm at 9:10 pm #1315590
Family court records are not public records, Its probable someone leaked some of the documents, but not all of them. They must have released ones sympathetic to their sidesJuly 11, 2017 9:10 pm at 9:10 pm #1315591
Um, Yeshiva World: You’re a news website. Can’t you try to track down the facts of this case and report on it?
And while we’re on the topic, I’ve always resented that quip about ‘Three sides to every story’. It’s just so mean-spirited to accuse everybody of lying.July 11, 2017 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #1315597
3 sides doesnt mean everyone is lying, but it means people are giving their biased side of the story.
Especially in a family dispute where the 2 litigants may hate each other, they will do whatever it takes to put the other side in a negative lightJuly 11, 2017 9:56 pm at 9:56 pm #1315599
Joseph’s mindless repetition is that simply because she claims to be frum we should unconditionally support her regardless of the merits and w/o any further factfinding or input from a knowledgeable rov or posek. Says more about Joseph than anyting we could say about either of the two parties in this domestic disputre.July 12, 2017 1:24 am at 1:24 am #1315623
I can’t believe some of the comments on here. First of all, with regard to Pidyon Shvuyim, Shulchan Aruch is very clear (Yoreh Deah 252:3) that every second one delays is the same as murdering the person. So no, you don’t need a posek on this any more than you need one to know what to do if you see someone drowning, G-d forbid.
As to the poster who spoke about sensational divorce cases, yes, good morning. I usually end up being an advocate for men, because it’s more often they who are left without the kids, etc. But anyone can see the difference in this case.
(An abductor who yells “aguna,” or someone who wanted a get without a proper reflective waiting period finds money hungry activists is not the same as a mother who is trying to save her kids from someone who admitted in open court that he forced them to eat pork against their will.) Pictures of a distraught kid whose paiyos were just lobbed off and more are readily available at removed
Julie Goffstein did nothing. She was sentenced to prison because she cannot pay her multi-millionaire ex-husband’s legal fees and has indeed filed many times to regain custody of the 4 youngest. The husband told the wife that he could “bribe any judge.”
But there’s a BIGGER ISSUE. There are four Jewish children who want to keep Torah, were raised in Torah and who’ve been ripped away from their heritage because of the whims of the father. Forget about how he’s refused to let them see the mother and part of his contempt motion involved her remarks to the oldest of the 4 when the boy contacted his mother to console him. Forget even about the urine that was allegedly smeared on this kid’s face (a previously neutral friend reported it to the mother and the kid confirmed it). What kind of community would let 4 kids be ripped from their heritage and sit back with “oh, maybe we need to ask a question” when the answer is found in every sefer you look in? The answer is that every second we don’t do something here we’re committing a sin equivalent to murder against the mother and spiritual murder against the 4 boys.July 12, 2017 8:20 am at 8:20 am #1315625
Btw, just to answer another “point” (any reason not to help a jailed mother whose only “sin” was to never give up and keep filing and 4 kids torn from the faith that maybe only Joseph cares about), Jdg. Sieve impoverished her. The marital estate was worth millions. Even before the ex-husband petitioned for custody, the wife walked away with 6 kids and not a penny. That’s one reason why every action was and should have been taken against this “judge,” who still shockingly refused to remove himself from the case, despite his bias being clear (and even human nature after the lawsuit against him, one that was recommended by attorneys who an incredulous at how he’s handled the case – but while his bias may now be human nature, it doesn’t mean that he should be allowed to act as a judge in spite of it).July 12, 2017 8:22 am at 8:22 am #1315673
You know what I heard on a shir?? Check this one out:
When a tzedakka collector comes to the door, and you ask to see his papers that certify he isn’t a fraud a making up a story….the SAME thing is happening to you at that moment in Heaven.
They take out your file and say, “ok, he’s so suspicious of the collector? Let’s examine his record and see if he’s entitled to everything that’s being dolled out to him!”
Which of us wants that to happen? Why can’t we just judge this frum woman favorably and help her get out of jail?
Do you really want Hashem to deliberate like this over your case next time you are seriously davening for something you want very much?
THe Baal Shem Tov comments about the passuk in Tehillim, “Hashem is your Shadow, at your right hand”. He says just as your shadow mimics your actions, Hashem responds to you the same way you respond to others. You reach out your hand and give unconditionally, Hashem will do the same without looking to see if you deserve it.July 12, 2017 8:55 am at 8:55 am #1315705
The husband’s employer donates thousands to Ohio politicians, including this judge. This judge is corrupt and the mother doesn’t stand a chance!!
The youngest 4 are being raised by the father’s GIRLFRIEND!! The father smeared urine on the face of one of the boys for wanting to do mitzvos!! Where is your rachmanus, people??July 12, 2017 9:06 am at 9:06 am #1315707
If it’s true that the father is abusive, the short term solution is to put the kids in temporary foster care.July 12, 2017 9:33 am at 9:33 am #1315726
All of the allegations posted here are heresay. Nobody knows any of the facts. In fact the only thing we know for sure is a couple divorced and likely the couple hates each other and its also very likely the couple are using the kids as pawns in the divorce.July 12, 2017 10:03 am at 10:03 am #1315764
The father admitted in open court to force feeding them pork (or boasted in court that he was working “so hard” to “retrain” them against their will). The urine smearing was confirmed by a formerly neutral friend and the kid himself. The “judge” impoverished her, leaving with nothing from a multi-million dollar marital estate, even when she had all 6 kids with her (before Peter decided he wanted them). And no, the answer isn’t foster care. The answer is their loving mother.July 12, 2017 11:27 am at 11:27 am #1315839
YPostelnik and others: According to what I read she was sentenced to serve 9 days in 2013 on a contempt charge. So far, I cannot find anything that states she is currently incarcerated.
In 2016 she sued the judge in Federal Court and the court found for the judge. All of this can easily be found online (unless the moderator will allow the URL’s linking the court documents).
The father was not jewish, converted, and had the conversion invalidated by the CRC.July 12, 2017 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm #1315885
YPostelnik, foster care is not a long term solution, but if the father is abusive, it is more important for the kids to be away from their father than to be given to their mother, which will take longer.July 12, 2017 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #1315912
But it’s not the Halacha
The halacha actually puts the obligation on you to make sure that the money goes to a legitimate source
I lived in Baltimore for years and the psak from the bais din was to not give anyone who came collecting without a note from the bais din. I have seen fraud on more then one occasion. Perhaps the real story is that if we arent careful with who we give our tzedakah money to not only does Hashem not count it as a mitzvah but He holds us responsible for wasting tzedakah moneyJuly 12, 2017 2:03 pm at 2:03 pm #1315918
It’s baffling that in any situation where a Jew and a gentile (goy is a derogatory term and shouldn’t be uttered) are on opposing sides, we automatically side with the former because we share common religious beliefs. I hate to break this earth-shattering news, but not all Jews are diamonds simply due to the fact they are Jewish.
Let all verified facts be released before issuing a judgment for either side.July 12, 2017 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #1316101
Yeshivabochur -“As a divorce lawyer I can tell you that being frum is never a reason in secular Court for a mother to lose a custody case. ”
I don’t know about this case, but I can tell you about my case.
The courts are very much anti-religion. She is not Frum and I am. She gets away with breaking the agreement & I was put in jail for a day. This is Jersey.
All those Jews that voted DemonCrat – this is the outcome!
Trump is right, the country is very much anti-religion.July 12, 2017 3:32 pm at 3:32 pm #1316284
Mentsch1, when you are uncertain, you give your spending money, not your tzedaka money.July 12, 2017 3:36 pm at 3:36 pm #1316307
when you are uncertain, you give your spending money, not your tzedaka money.
But why not give that spending money to a verified tzedakah instead? Especially in a case like this where they should have no problem getting a Rov to back it.July 12, 2017 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #1316444
The halacha is that if someone tells you that he is starving, you are obligated to give for food without checking. Short of that you are obligated to check.
That said, I agree. I give to many of the collectors in shul my spending money.
My Maasar goes to institutions that I not only check into, but also that I check into their fundraising practices to make sure that 1/3 isn’t going to some fundraising agency.July 16, 2017 7:43 am at 7:43 am #1318083
ColumbiaGrad, “gentile” is simply the English translation of “goy”. Pejoratives tend to change with the time and place. At one time “Jew” was a pejorative. The polite words were “Hebrew” and “Israelite”. “Zhid” is a pejorative in Russian but not in Polish. BTW, someone once told me that he was reprimanded for saying “non-Jew”. His interlocutor resented being described according to what she is not. How about the academic “Noahide”? People will be too busy looking it up to be insulted. However, “shaigetz” and “shiksa”are pejoratives no matter how you slice it as they come from “shaketz”.
Wrong, Mentsch. There is an obligation to give food. One can give the person food from one’s refrigerator or take him to a restaurant. BTW, my grandfather a”h once made the latter offer and was told that the person davka wanted money. Draw your own conclusion.July 17, 2017 6:26 am at 6:26 am #1318460
my own kind of jewParticipant
Avi, as you say, pejorative tend to change with time. And in this time, “goy” is very often used as a pejorative. the vast majority of the times I’ve heard it used, are as a pejorative, and/or with derogatory intent.July 17, 2017 8:02 am at 8:02 am #1318479
The Mormons call non-mormons “Gentiles”
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