Jewish Theological Seminary of America


“I don’t pray because I don’t want to bore God.” Orson Welles

Looking back, I see that my enrollment at JTS was not about obtaining a Jewish education, but rather about destabilizing me. I was not ready to go to New York, any more than I had been ready to go to Antioch.

What I needed more than anything in the world was to be near my parents and my brothers. From today’s perspective, I see how many people came along to distract me from my real needs.

Sadly, I listened to the wrong voices. I chose to listen to the wrong people.

The Aquinas Wege Influx

Rabbi Philip Sigal

For example, I listened to Rabbi Philip Sigal, who pressed me to go to JTS. He died at age 57, after writing my letter of recommendation for JTS.

That should have been sufficient warning. I mean when your support team can’t survive the application process: not good.

Sadly, with a childhood like mine, I learned to ignore warning signs in favor of theoretical things: like how the world should be, instead of how it is.

Since JTS refuses to provide my student files, I imagine Sigal’s letter was one in a long chain of what I’ll call “disability letters”. Letters and testimony by professionals used to explain away the illegal guardianships of my childhood.

Rabbi Sigal did not visit me at Pinerest, nor see me before I moved to New York. His widow, Lillian Sigal, is a dishonest person who has literally violated my civil rights while waving signs about her progressive and humane politics.

My mother questioned Lillian’s integrity early on. I needed to listen to my mother.

Dual What?

I first met Philip Sigal at Ahavas Israel in Grand Rapids, where he was employed as rabbi. This was the synagogue where I had been raised as a child, before our cataclysmic break with the organized Jewish community.

I went to Sigal for help, and asked him to visit my father who was alone at our home in Ada due to actions the guardians had manipulated me into taking.

Sigal refused.

He made up some lie about why he would not reach out to my father. Now I understand that he had more important work to do. To help Ahavas Israel continue the course of fraud commenced when I was too young to walk, or even crawl. Oh, yeah, there’s a chapter for Carol Heller in here.

Instead of helping, Sigal engaged me in conversation about “Dual Covenant Theology” related to his PhD dissertation, “The Halakhic Practices of Jesus of Nazareth According to the Book of Matthew”.

It wasn’t lost on Sigal that I wandered into his office wearing a 3” long crucifix made of actual nails, given to me by Lorenzo Schiavoni, who claimed to be studying to be a Camboni Missionari. I may have said that these were “just like the nails used to crucify Jesus”. Hell, I might have said these were the nails use to crucify Jesus.

For the record, dual-covenant theology is bullshit.

If lackluster non-Jews want in on a good thing, they have, from a Biblical perspective, these options: a) Be happy the Noahide clause is appended to the only valid covenant and observe those seven laws, if you dare, b) Convert to Judaism (a.k.a., the Full Monty), c) Fuck off.

Speaking of which (the latter, that is), Lillian Sigal has carried on her husband’s work after his death, and I’m not talking about publishing his books.

She came to see me in California, en route to Ziegler and after I had applied to the RRC. Among our escapades, Lillian and I visited Tassajara ( and Richard Silver, at his home in Santa Barbara.

George L. Ginsberg MD

A more likely reason Rabbi Sigal sent me to New York would have been to meet my cousin: George L. Ginsberg, the psychiatrist.

George initiated contact with me, as if to reach out as family. However, instead of inviting me to his home, we met at his office, with his son(s). Perhaps his wife was there too.

Looking back, I see this was not a family gathering. We only met once. I presume some type of mental evaluation resulted from that meeting.

Who knows how many evaluations of my mental state have been made without my knowledge or consent.

There’s always some subterfuge. In this case, Subterfuge in G Minor.

Anyway, George was president of the New York Psychiatric Association when he died in 1991, at age 56. He was also a clinical professor of psychiatry and director of graduate education in psychiatry at New York Medical Center.

Kathleen Mc Millian

Kathleen McMillian went to NYC to attend Cooper Union at the same time I went to JTS. Without Kathleen I would not have stayed in New York.

I met Kathleen at Aquinas College. A connection she shares with the Sigals. Lillian earns most of her teaching income by working for Catholic schools.

Too bad for me that Kathleen was in New York, as it was in my interest to be near my parents, and my brothers. As related, Kathleen came to Jerusalem for one month, and stayed with Francesco and me.

Kathleen directed me to the New York Art Student’s League, whose corrupt leader --  Ira Goldberg -- is screwing around, in lieu of updating my membership info. Probably because he’d rather help out with whatever identity theft is obviously going on, so to speak.

Fake friendship. I couldn’t see these things then. Now: I am awake.


The destabilization program would be important, related to cashing out Prudential Life insurance policy no. 2865‐4702, where I apparently became the insured party  when I was nine months old, written by insurance salesman and relative, Alex Dolinka.

Related Prudential polices include: No. 2860‐3736 for Roger Allen Plafkin; No. 2829‐0326 for Jeffrey Lynn Plafkin; No. 2836‐0434 for Ronald Plafkin; and No. 2851‐6338 for Phillip Plafkin.

As shared, the Prudential policy was cashed out proximate to the unexplained death of my Uncle Edward Plafkin -- and the illegal sale of my parents’ company, Grand Rapids Bolt & Nut Co. Inc., to Steelcase employee, Gustav Vander Meulen.

Destabilization included encouraging me to take on student loan debt with no hope of paying it off. The “no hope” part relates to Jewish institutions purposely preventing me from doing my job or completing programs, by harassing me based on known vulnerabilities. So much for chesed.

And, when I developed something worthwhile (ART AS RESPONSA), destabilization would mean taking that away from me, so I couldn’t benefit financially, socially, personally, or in any of the ways a successful person benefits.

The Harvard Disease

As suggested above, destabilization entails sending an unending parade of pretend friends, like a line of worms working their way toward the hiding log.

Like Rona Shapiro.

As with Kathleen McMillian, Rona’s role was to help me stick it out in New York, and later to help Michigan DHS pad fraudulent abuse files, to justify fraudulent guardianships, to justify court-sponsored theft.

The way to justify a guardianship is to prove that the person is mentally incapable of self-management. If you beat someone up enough, even a very strong someone, he or she will eventually become incapable.

“Make for yourself a teacher;

acquire for yourself a friend.”

Pirkei Avot, Ch. 1, Mishna 6

I credit Rona with teaching me to use the word Fuck, on a daily basis, and for all parts of speech: verb (Let’s fuck), noun (You are a fuck), adverb (Let’s fucking run that marathon), conjunction (I love popcorn, but fucking Moshe doesn’t), adjective (She is fucking beautiful), Interjection (Born of a virgin, fucking miraculous!!), and so on.

I met Rona during my first day at JTS, in the cafeteria, when she fucking came up to me. She asked if she could join me for lunch. While eating she said, “I scanned the room looking for an interesting face, and saw you. Your earrings, the way you looked...”. Yada. Yada.

Flattery works. I felt wanted. Rona told me she was a Harvard grad. Being a simple girl from small town Michigan, I was impressed.

Not anymore.

We’ll explore the Harvard connection later: Harry Rhett Pinsky, Shaye Cohen, Anne Lapidus Lerner, Brad Artson, Marty Malin (Janowsky), Nick Wolterstorff, Mark Roosevelt, et al.

Anyway, where were we?...oh right, Rona’s flattery. And she enveloped me in her family. I was distracted from what I needed. I needed my own mother, and my own father, the two most trustworthy people I know, and the two people everyone worked to make me distrust.

I feel really bad about this. No, not what others did, though it was bad. But what I allowed them to do to me. I did not have the boundary that I needed.

As related, we’ll have a discussion about therapy with Rona, the two times she asked me to engage in this, one following the rock through my window in Davis California. And we’ll explore the role of Rona’s sister Emma in adoption fraud, including Emma’s visit to Portland in 2010.

Chaverim (“Friends”)

The power of having close friends harm you is that it takes longer to identify the source of your pain. To unearth a frienemy requires deep excavation, not facts, or information, which are easy enough to recall.

The hardest layer of dirt to break through is the most tender: the unspoken layer of kindness and good will normally protecting and nurturing true friendship.

You have to dynamite through disbelief, not just the earth’s entire outer crust, but deep into the mantle. To excavate intimate deceit means to forfeit something cherished, that happy faith we place, and must place, in those closest to us.

When someone says “I love you”, or gives you a hug, you don’t expect her to be secretly harming you.

Fake friendship. I couldn’t see these things then. Now: I am awake.

May 1-5, 2013


Rabbi Rona Shapiro

27900 Gates Mills Road

Pepper Pike, OH 44124

Phone: 216-292-2931

Fax: 216-292-2968

April 11, 2011

Dear Rona:

It is with the most profound sadness that I advise you of an FTC complaint no. 30033976, as follows:

1) I met Rabbi Rona Shapiro in 1985, when I attended graduate school at the Jewish Theological Seminary. I was close with Rona’s family, including her sister, Emma.

Emma disclosed to me that her father molested repeatedly, as a child. Emma said the molestation caused her profound problems as an adult. Emma’s father is Donald Shapiro, a prominent board member and past president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

2) At the end of 2004 Rona advised me that her father, Donald Shapiro, had sexually molested Rona’s four-year old daughter. I was very upset, given what I knew about Emma and shared this information with my therapist (La Piana). My therapist advised me that she was a mandated reporter, and requested information about Rona in order to file a report regarding sexual abuse of a minor. I cooperated and provided information as requested.

3) Rona told me that the New York Department of Child Welfare contacted her. Rona was in a rage. She said this should have been “kept off the record”. Rona told me I was “evil” and that she never wanted to speak with me again. She said, “You have ruined my life.”

4) I have experienced relentless retaliation within the Jewish community, which I attribute both to former sexual harassment litigation against Daniel Gordis and to the New York DHS child abuse case involving Donald Shapiro and Rona Shapiro.

5) This retaliation has harmed my health and my business. I am the founder and sole proprietor for ART AS RESPONSA.*


Marsha Plafkin Hurwitz

Cc: Gersham Goldstein (Stoel Rives); Arnold Eisen (JTS); Richard Siegel (HUC); Dan Ehrenkrantz (RRC)

  1. *When I first filed this FTC complaint, both Gersham Goldstein and John Moss called my husband Dan, saying there were “litigation threats” being “called in” from the “East coast”.