Friday, 25 April 2014

So who’s a ‘mooser’, Pinter?

yhs mooser

Click to enlarge

The email you see above (read it slowly and savour the chill as it courses up your spine) appeared in the inbox of a parent trying to get his child into Yesodey Hatorah School. After getting nowhere with the school’s admissions supremo, namely one Abraham/Avrohom/Avraham/Avrumi Pinter, the parent chanced upon the idea of raising his case with The Learning Trust and other public bodies who might be able to assist. The parent had exhausted his efforts with communal bodies and rabbonim but with little to show for it, which will come as no surprise to us locals. And so he started badgering outside bodies in the hope that they can wield the stick that gets our bigwigs quaking in their oversized trousers. This, it appears, earned him the honour to be at the receiving end of the above email.

I should add that without an apparent provenance (though do note the sender's ever so clever address) the email may be a mere coincidence with no connection to YHS and its content entirely unrelated to the dealings that the parent was having at the time with our dear friend Pinter. It would be a strange coincidence, especially as similar letters have been sent to parents at a similar juncture in their dealings with the very same person and some even referring to the addressee's skirmishes with Yesodey Hatorah, but then strange things do happen.

In yet another instance concerning YHS admissions, the case went to the UOHC Beth Din which issued a ruling unfavourable to the school. So what did wily Pinter do? To frustrate the Beth Din decision he immediately set about changing the school's constitution. And when he was caught and warned that his efforts would be brought to the attention of the Charity Commission Pinter reverted to form: 'Mooser' he cried.

But change the constitution he did anyway. Or to be more precise, he closed down the charity altogether and started a new outfit with a very different constitution. For a start, he purged the school of the pesky rabbinical committee and so leaving it with no formal rabbinical oversight. (This has its perks too especially if you wish to invite a pornographer to the opening of a chareidi girls' school.) Besides for the rabbis, a large board of trustees was also disposed of and instead a few stooges were installed to act as Pinter's front. This grants him de facto internal control of the school with any outside challenge instantly repelled with the 'M' word, or the deed, depending on the expediency of the moment.

Whatever the case, Pinter is no stranger to mesirah whether accusing others or allegedly engaging in it himself. Some years ago there were pashkeviln denouncing him for having allegedly reported a local family to some official body or other. For far as Pinter is concerned 'M' is where the alphabet ends if not begins.

And why am I telling you all of this, you may be wondering? Well, if you've been following the local rumour mill you will probably have heard that of late few things can go wrong in town without this blog and its alleged author being somewhat implicated. It must be only a matter of time before the Keddasia Pesach-non-Kosher-LePesach meat nets and the curious case of the local shul injuncting its rabbi are somehow found to bear this blog's imprimatur. Specifically, first-hand reports suggest that Pinter has been claiming that blame for the failure of his cack-handed attempt to redact GCSE exam questions and the recent Ofsted inspections of local yeshives may be laid at the door of the alleged yours truly. As they say, it takes one to know one.

So before I go on let me set the record straight on this rather important point:

No one associated with this blog, allegedly or otherwise, has made any report or provided any information to Ofsted in respect of boys' education, be they yeshives or talmud torahs based in Stamford Hill or elsewhere. Similarly, no one associated with this blog has made any complaint or provided any information to Ofsted, Ofqual, the British Humanist Association or the National Secular Society in respect of the redacting of exam questions or the content of GCSE curricula.

I hope this is clear enough though it would be too much to expect from those desperate to deflect attention from themselves to let the matter rest at this. Indeed, one would expect nothing less from so fine a practitioner of the dark arts of dirty tricks and smears as Pinter, honed to perfection over decades in the tzniusdike salons of kiddush-wine socialists and fellow supporters of the party of chareidi stalwarts like Peter Mandelson and Damian McBride. Heimish to a tee.

However, given Pinter's unrivalled media and networking skills, his chairmanships, principalships, spokesmanships and not to mention his photogenicity (or should that be photogeniality?) you might think that when cornered this brave and heroic man would don some pugilistic handgear, figuratively of course, and strike back. Or at least defend himself.

Unfortunately, it falls to me to disabuse you of any such notion. It appears that at the time or place Pinter took his media course, crisis management was not a module on offer. They may have managed their budget the way Yesodey Hatorah does (25% unspent) and restricted their curriculum to the minimum they could get away with. Very difficult to know in the secretive world of some institutions.

The net result, however, is that we have ended up with a run-of-the-mill playground bully who doesn't just cower in a corner when under attack but makes himself invisible altogether . Whether it be allegations of child abuse in the community for which he has appointed himself spokesman and a lot more, rabbinic abuse within the communal body where he acts as a trustee, school 'admissions', unqualified teenage teachers for GCSE subjects, redaction of exam questions, a wedding hall extortion racket, even a school complaint directed at him or indeed the email above, whatever the case Pinter, like McCavity, is nowhere to be seen.

And stupid me had been thinking that 'bullies are cowards' is just not a toiredike concept.


stamford hiller said...

I personally had a p'sak from HaRav Henoch Padwa zt"l that if one feels one has been, under the law of the land, "wrongly" treated by another yid it is NOT messirah to report it to the police or relevant authority.

grandmas best grandson said...

To quote Grandma of blessed memory: 'If it looks like a smear campaign, walks like a smear campaign and quacks like a smear campaign - it probably is a smear campaign'.

Tickle, either move on or seek urgent help.

Anonymous said...

I had a p'sak from Rav Padwa zt"l that if a person was doing something to a party wall without informing the district surveyor, I was allowed to do that on condition I would tell him in advance.

Alan said...

Grandson - I get it. Pinter is allowed to terrorise people, conjure up allegations of the most heinous sort in an pathetic attempt to discredit his critics and run a state-funded school as his own fiefdom but when someone calls him out on it, it's a smear campaign.

Anonymous said...

Anyone could release something like this. How would even the recipient know it was from the school?


Afn ganef brent dos hitl said...

You know full well that he didn't and wouldn't send the above email. Anyone who knows him knows this is silly. Same with other stuff you post.

You post because you hope someone uninitiated will fall for this and that is what makes you so despicable.

G said...

Has it ever occurred to you guys to just set up your own free school, where you can have whatever balance you want between secular and Jewish studies and set the admissions policy? Or home school? Or send your kids to the local comp? Or just about anything that might be more dignified than this hate campaign against the headmaster of an over-subscribed school that you think belongs to you in some metaphysical way, who is still mourning his wife?

IfYouTickleUs said...

G, why don't you get your facts right? Yesodey Hatorah Seniors is heavily undersubscribed. They ensure it remains this way by failing to advertise the school, by not holding an advertised open day and by misleading potential applicants who are not at YH primary school.

The school would be even more undersubscribed but to resolve the 'problem' (their word not mine) Pinter set up a fee-paying 6th form, Be'er Miriam seminary, on the premises of the voluntary aided school with the income seemingly undeclared. Needless to say admissions is heavily restricted. Hilariously, he also appointed himself 'Dean'.

Pinter is the school principal not the headmaster. Although he draws a salary, he rarely enters a classroom or addresses the girls unless a VIP is in sight. As well as a principal the school has an additional head teacher to fulfil that role.

If Pinter wishes to run a school in this way let him and his cronies give up their public funding and start a private school and let the publicly funded school be run for the benefit of the entire community.

Proud YHS Parent said...

It is incredible how self-centred you are.

Who built this school? Who raised the millions of pounds for it? Who do you have to thank that you don't pay a penny school fees?

It is unbelievable that you have a child in the school and are so ungrateful.

I have no idea what Rabbi Pinter could have possibly done to deserve your abuse, and please don't regurgitate all your manipulations. It is clear that all you are trying to do is discredit Rabbi Pinter due to some warped personal vendetta.

This school was built for the frum community. If you don't like it then that is your full right. No one is forcing you to send but stop being so selfish trying to ruin it for everyone.

Yes he is not God and I am sure he has made mistakes through the years, but nothing he has done warrants your behaviour.

I would like to show public support and thank him in the name of all the many hundreds of delighted parents for giving us this brilliant educational institution and all the other community projects he is involved in.

By the way, anyone genuinely interested in the goings on in Stamford Hill can contact any random parent or community member and you will hear the truth.

stamford hiller said...

Your problem is that most of what Mr. Tickle says is true. Not only here but in most of his posts.

He has allowed himself a bit of journalistic licence but no worse than Hamodia or Tribune or Hakohol etc.

Anonymous said...

interesting how some posts are not allowed on. Must be because Mr Tickle believes in freedom of speech.

G said...

Every teacher and staff member of YHS with whom I have discussed this says the same thing: there are already too many pupils per teacher/classroom and this get worse every year. I simply do not understand by what measure the school can be called undersubscribed.

Again, if you don't like YHS, the present government not only allows you to set up your own school with government monies, but actually has a specially tailored programme to encourage this. If there are enough other parents with similar views to yourself, you can have your own school in a year. I suspect there are not enough interested parents to start such a project and this is the reason for your anger: you live in a Haredi community, known to be one of the most extreme in the world, and you are not an Haredi extremist. Well, bad luck: demography is destiny. On the other hand, if you own a house, it's worth a tonne.

And again, the man is mourning his wife, an extraordinarily hard working woman who fought many of the more distasteful and illiterate aspects of Stamford Hill life almost literally to the grave.

I personally would never send my children to YHS. I certainly wouldn't send my children to YHS and then have a decade long fit about how Haredi the school is.

porridge said...

I agree with proud YHS parent..
Rabbi Avrohom Pinter is today probably the greatest and most trustworthy genuine askan in the UK with no renumeration.
The school is the result of his hard toil and hishtadlus over many years..Contrary to what people in this blog write,the admmissions policy is fairly clear to anyone who is wearing the right spectacles to ensure the fine line of a healthy Charedi school without compromises.

Plan B said...


The school is under-subscribed because it was built for many more pupils than it currently accommodates. Additional staff might be hired where there are staff shortages. Teachers is one thing SH is not short of.

I do think RAP has done a good job even though standards have fallen at YHS recently if GCSE results are anything to go by.

I also think there is no need to vilify critics of the school by calling them mosrim if this post is true. Tickle for all his sins and obsessions is no liar. I believe him when he says he isn't the informer if there is in fact one.

IfYouTickleUs said...

G, why don't you check out last year's Learning Trust brochure, which you can download here, on page 27 where you will see that they have an intake number of 80 and they received only 59 applications. For the school year beginning September 2014 they have had 68 applications for 80 places. This is called undersubscribed.

The school was built to have an annual intake of 90 and over the years the school has at times reduced it to as low as 60. As I said, the 'problem' of too many places has been partially solved by the fee-paying seminary on the school premises. The school is not interested in anyone other than YHS primary girls and does all it can to keep it that way by keeping everyone else in the dark.

I am glad you mentioned that there are too many pupils per classroom. So why does the school spend only about 75% of its declared budget? And why does Be'er Miriam occupy valuable space? And why when they do spend money is it on doing up the hall and the kitchen and building offices for the principal but very little on the children? And that's without the massive income from the wedding hall which was totally undeclared last year. Check out the figures for yourself here.

It is Pinter who chose to set up a voluntary aided school and he signed up to certain commitments. If it was never his intention to abide by those commitments let him step aside. And it is definitely no excuse to rip off the community in the hire of the wedding hall.

IfYouTickleUs said...

Proud, in case you are not aware the bulk of the money for the school was provided by the government and he had to raise only a fraction of it. It is a condition of a voluntary aided school that parents cannot be made to pay any fees and it is not thanks to Pinter.

Eliezer Pearl has set up numerous school in the time that Pinter set up 1 single school where Hackney were desperate to have a chareidi school. Yet Eliezer Pearl runs none of the schools like his own family principality and nor is he a 'Principal' at any of the schools.

I am not at all grateful for the hordes of teenagers teaching GCSE subjects to pupils barely 2 years younger than themselves, some of them who are totally incompetent. I am also not grateful for the minimal number of GCSE subjects offered. They don't even hold a curriculum evening and don't offer basic subjects like physics or chemistry and the like.

Pinter puts himself out as defender of the poor but 'his' school breaks the law by not offering any school dinners without consulting about it. This is despite the massive undeclared income from the school hall which was built and renovated at public expense and the very modern kitchen on the premises.

I am not ruining anything for anyone. All I am saying is that it should be run by the community for the community and its children and not by an individual through a group of puppet trustees and governors while providing a minimal amount of education almost as a sideline.

Porridge, Pinter is remunerated from the school budget as Principal and he and his family have done very nicely from the school.

This is a school that was indeed built for the frum community but unfortunately serves only a very small part of that community during the daytime and scandalously rips off that same community in the evening.

Fiddling the roof? said...


Whilst technically true that the self funded element was only a fraction of the full price, I recall this was around the £3mil mark. Do you think this was fairly presented to your readers?

When you say you would like the school to be run 'by the community for the community'. I find that very agreeable, but surely it needs to be run by the community who set it up and for the community for which it was intended. Although you are entitled to your views, they clearly do not represent the community the school was setup for.

You write that the school provides minimal amount of education as a side line. Is this an honest representation?

There is a lot more to write on your sensational manipulation of facts/figures.

In closing, you are either severely misinformed or dishonest. I do not believe you are misinformed.

Bob said...

Fiddling - if it's hyperbole you're opposed to, there are a few "official" Charedi publications you'd do well to direct your ire towards before pointing the finger in Tickle's direction.

IfYouTickleUs said...

Fiddling, once again I will provide the facts with links for you to check them out for yourself. Here is the JC article where as you will see the government provided £9.7m and the school had to find £1.7m and this was for a 3 form entry. So where are the 3 forms?

What do you mean the community that set it up? Pinter constantly purports to speak for the chareidi community and that is the community that the school was made for not for the small hand-picked community that manages to get into the primary school.

If you think I have manipulated the figures then say how. I have provided the links and I stand by every word I've written (and a lot more).

Instead of making vague accusations against me answer the questions:
Why are school dinners not provided and why does the school break the law by not consulting?

Why are the teachers unqualified teenagers on the lowest wage the school can get away with?

Why is the curriculum so limited with many 100% 'kosher' subjects not on offer and why must paretns pay for modern hebrew classes?

Why is almost 25% of the budget not spent?

Why is the school hall hire contracted out to an 'agent' and why does it cost significantly more than other voluntary-aided school halls (and payable by cash and 3rd party cheque only)?

Why is the school not advertised and why are parents not at YHS primary regularly lied to and misled?

Answer these questions and tell me how the community 'for which it was intended' benefits from all of this.

I constantly speak to people about the school. Some agree with me but believe nothing can be done about it. Others think it's the least worst option while many, perhaps most, simply don't care and are happy with what is on offer especially as they know no better. I have yet to meet anyone who will defend the current set up. Even the school couldn't do so when it received a formal complaint.

Fiddling the Roof? said...

The facts are clear, the question is how one interprets or presents them.

25% budget surplus can be framed as gross negligence, or as a harmless consequence of a mid year change in budgetary structure or over zealous spending control.

Same with the teachers and curriculum. The school was rated outstanding by Ofsted.

£1.7mil is still a large sum to have raised - it is disgraceful and deeply ungrateful of you to try to belittle that fact.

Every institution has room for improvement, but surely the way you are going about it is more than slightly suspect and unlikely to change anything.

As a parent I am delighted with the setup and share no concern in any of the points you raise. This is also the feeling I have got from other parents.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tickle
Where are you?
Come back. Your country needs you.