Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Jewish Mother of 6 Thrown In Jail by Ohio Judge

An Orthodox Jewish 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.


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 

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 (, 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 

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 you     

By The Chesed Fund


Chafraud-Depravitch said...

Chabad loves their "fellow Jew"...

except when they need 10K to stay out of jail.

Stupid BT's don't get that kind of support, only those born into Chabad for whom the fundraising organizations are created in the first place.

Not so uncommon. BT guy falls on hard times after years helping Chabad. Chabad doesn't lift a finger to help unless a paid 'Chabad product' is the solution.

"Paul was very much involved in the growth of the Jewish community. He hosted meetings, and donated funds, to help establish a local Rabbinical school, a Jewish Discovery Center, etc. He even purchased a new home, just to be closer to the synagogue. In 2008, after losing his job with Bear Creek Capital, Paul started to drift away from his Jewish observance."

He drifted away? Nonsense, he was used by Chabad and realized that the "Judaism" he knew was a scam. No help for Paul when he lost his job that I saw. Chabad loves a donor, but a Jew in need is a pain in the butt to them. And Chabad will gladly watch the family of "lesser Jews" fall apart. The wife and children will go on to live a life of Lubavitch poverty, deluded into believing that it serves God.

If Chabad is the only Judaism Paul knows, he is perfectly correct to want none of it.

And if Julie were a born-into-Chabad criminal, like Rubashkin, or some of their child molesters, she'd be getting the financial help she needs from Chabad.

Jail and family destruction is her reward for involving herself with Chabad.

Steve Brown said...

Of course she took them to the hotbed of LUbab city Crown Heights
No wonder she lost custody

Ma Rabbi said...

Judge Jon Sieve is a Rosha.
His day of reckoning will come soon.

Chafraud-Depravitch said...

"Judge Jon Sieve is a Rosha."

Perhaps. But Chabad can't scrape up $10K to keep a non-criminal Jewess out of jail for the sake of her kids?! Seriously?

They had no problem pulling together $40K to pay for their stupid 3 Tamuz 'see if the Rebbe crawls out from his grave' event. In fact, they had it covered in a couple of days. But for this woman, nothing?

3 Tamuz dead Rebbe watch? $40K +
Jewish woman in jail, separated from her kids $0

Let's all cry for our Holy Temple back now.

God will always be great. Judaism, however, has become a joke religion, full of self-serving phonies, hacks, and corruption.

Don't hold your breath for Chabad to say: 'well, the Goffsteins were so willing to help us when they had what to offer. Now let's help the Goffsteins since they need us.'
I doesn't happen. I know from experience.

Pish on Chabad. And God help the Goffsteins, because non-Chabad outsiders shouldn't pay a nickle to clean up another mess after Chabad used them for their money.

"Paul was very much involved in the growth of the Jewish community. He hosted meetings, and donated funds, to help establish a local Rabbinical school, a Jewish Discovery Center, etc. He even purchased a new home, just to be closer to the synagogue. In 2008, after losing his job with Bear Creek Capital, Paul started to drift away from his Jewish observance."

Paul and Julie were suckers!
Now he loathes Judaism and she's in jail.

Another Chabad - use 'em and lose 'em - success story! Always a sad one for the victims of Chabad and their families.

AishKodesh said...

Chafraud; that isn't necessarily true. I know that there a lot of Chabad's that help people -- even when not being supported. You cannot just assume the worst about any Jew -- perhaps even if they are a Rosha.

And this is especially a good time to think about stuff like this: We have now headed into the time known as Bein HaMitzarim -- or The Three Weeks. I think we all know why it is sad.... But what is one of the reasons given for the Destruction of the Beis HaMikdash? Is it not that there was too much Sinas Chinam?!

Please; let us not prolong the final Geulah and the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash by detracting more from the Achdus...

May HaKadosh Baruch Hu indeed redeem us all very swiftly, Amein Vi'Amein.

Anonymous said...

Are the NY judges rishaim when they take away custodial rights from loving mothers who are no longer Frum or does it only sadden you when the mother who loses custody wears a wig?

Dannielle Blumenthal said...

Is it too late for someone to get involved behind the scenes and help these parents come to terms? Surely there is a modern Orthodox school that both parents can agree on, visitation and therapy so that neither parent is the bad guy. Why does this have to go nuclear and public like this? Not necessary!

chabadlife said...

I love how you come to conclusions based on your own hatred and prejudice that blinds then intelligent of whatever sechel u may have been born with;

A) she is not a chabad born person first of all which has nothing to do with anything sonyiir accusation is just a reflection of your own self hatred and anger
B) chabad has been fighting for her for years

Next time think before you spew
Brocha vhatzlacha

Anonymous said...

the town fool is still on the loose

Ma Rabbi said...

Julie Goffstein has just been released from jail.
!5,000. was raised in 2 days mainly from Chabad people.

Chafraud-Depravitch said...

AishKodesh said...

"Chafraud; that isn't necessarily true. I know that there a lot of Chabad's that help people"

There may be. Close friends have told me nearly the same (though adding they are few and far between).
But shluchim here are parasites. Sorry, there's no nice way to say it for these scum who work under the criminal Boruch Shlomo Cunin. And the worst of Chabad isn't limited to the west coast. We read that in the news all the time... almost daily. There's such a never ending stream of it that I've really tired of writing about it on my blog. The organization as it distributes and implants itself, exists primarily as a fundraiser for itself.

Fortunately, Julie is out of jail. But it wasn't the Chabad - 501(c)(3) "charity" - organization that helped her. It was The Women's Coalition along with the pockets of sympathetic social network readers. And of course plenty of Crown Heights Chabad nobodys (who themselves struggle) sent in their "$18.00 In honor of The Lubavitcher Rebbe KingMashiach " (yes, a brainwashed donor really wrote that dreck). Moral of the story: If you're nobody in Chabad, beg your way out of despair. If you're a Chabad rabbi, beg your way to success.

The job loss of the father hardly explains why he turned away from Judaism. He's a convert, and was a noted donor: "donated funds, to help establish a local Rabbinical school, a Jewish Discovery Center, etc." That means used by Chabad for his money. He's right to get far away from that scam. And if that scam is the only Judaism he knows, he's right to get away from that too.

He's accused of "allegedly chopping off one child’s payos, removing the boys’ yarmulkas and making them eat pork." That's a pretty dramatic about face. The yarmulkas are nothing, especially if yechii kipas. But the cutting peyos and feeding them pork is pretty horrible rotten stuff. I see him as a real jerk here. Sadly they can't work things out. He could just ditch his religion and leave without breaking up the family and preventing their recovery from his loss. But it's pretty obvious from the story that this guy is doing his best to be an a-hole, and the judge is helping him do it.

Chafraud-Depravitch said...


What a sad case:
BT woman and her husband, brainwashed by Chabad. In 2005 husband is told he's not Jewish. Goes through Jewish hazing process called conversion. Then bilked for money. Loses his job in 2008 (where was Chabad?). Family deteriorates (where was Chabad?) 2010 Divorce begins (where was Chabad clergy to help prevent it with kids est. age 2-11 there?) Father drifts from Judaism, apparently getting to the point of loathing it entirely (why?) And those kids have lived this horrible experience for the last 7-9 years. What good has Chabad accomplished in this saga at all? Apparently nothing. But you can bet they sure made a pretty penny. The father is screwed up over religion big time, the kids are experiencing their own hell, and she's fresh out of jail. The Women's Coalition, a non-Jewish organization rallied for her while in jail. Money came from the typical Crown Heights begging-to-the-little-guy-fest, and from generous casual readers almost certainly including non-religious, non-Chabad, and likely non-Jews too.

I feel bad for Julie Goffstein, but that's no reason to buy the "Chabad does so much good" lie. And if the Jewish world is willing to give Chabad lies a pass, they certainly don't deserve a Geulah, Beis HaMikdash, nor any of their other religious fantasies. We don't need anymore stupid dead messiahs either. Though, a Jewish organization with integrity would be a refreshing change.


"B) chabad has been fighting for her for years"

You may have stumbled on to a part of the problem there.

AishKodesh said...

Chafraud; C'mon. Again you are jumping to accuse. Don't you think that is a bad attitude to have? Does the Mishnah not say in Avos to judge every person favorably?


On the Simchadikke note of her being released, Baruch Hashem. That is just so great to hear!

Chafraud-Depravitch said...


Does the Mishna say bury your head in the sand? I gave the benefit of the doubt far too many times for far too long. That "benefit of doubt" kept us ignorant for far too long and ultimately my family was hurt. Does the Mishna give a damn about that?

Multiple shluchim here turned out to be nothing more than self-serving businessmen making a mockery of Torah and lining their pockets, while they claim to be a "charity." All the while I gave the benefit of doubt... it's called willful blindness.
If the Mishna is suggesting willful blindness to dishonesty, crime, people users, and sexual abusers, I'll be happy to chuck it. Because I don't need a crappy book like that, and I've had enough of turning a blind eye to a dishonest organization because it happens to be Jewish.
I must have missed the day in cheder when they taught being a stupid Jew is being a good Jew.

When I finally did my research (bothered to look on the Internet), I found Chabad attitudes and behaviors to be same or similar worldwide. They're a culture with a beggar "fundraiser" mentality. And they have expensive tastes. They are not the righteous people that their hasidic costumes suggest they are.

Just read the news today about Chabad's Yosef Feldman in Australia and his frivolous lawsuits. Par for the Chabad organization course.

AishKodesh said...


Obviously we should take necessary precautions and not be taken advantage of -- the Mishnah certainly wouldn't tell us not to do that, C"V. But I just feel like you are jumping on Chabad very quick each time they have anything to do with something bad. Remember, just as a side note, a lot of "Chabadniks" actually are not truly Chabad -- but merely ascosiated with it.

P.S. Please don't use such language.

Anonymous said...

Like calling you a putz?
You're an idiot and a putz

Anonymous said...

Like calling you a putz?
You're an idiot and a putz

Alex S. said...

I know her! I used to know all her kids! Her ex-husband was not so bad the way I remember him. Something made him leave yiddishkeit, just like that 60 year old sofer (see newest stories). Why don't we get his side what happened and why he now hates Chabad, frum people, and yiddishkeit. Don't put him down until you have walked in his shoes and listen to his complaints.