Yanki Kanievsky, a grandson and top assistant to leading Haredi Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, joined a party last week in honor of Yisrael Draiman who is serving a prison sentence for the horrific rape and abuse of young girls.
Yisrael Draiman, of Beit Shemesh was recently convicted by an Israeli court of numerous sex crimes against four female minors. Those charges include tens of counts of molestation, indecent sexual acts, and sodomy of four girls each approximately 12 years old.
According to information provided to JCW by someone in attendance, during a break from prison (Israeli prisoners can earn “vacation” for good behavior) a festive party was held in his honor. The event took place at the Bnei Brak home of Tzvi Cohen, a businessman and owner of the Maafiat Hatzvi bakery. Those in attendance, including Yanki Kanievsky, presumably maintain Draiman’s innocence despite his trial and conviction.
Rav Chaim Kanievsky is considered one of the leading Haredi “gedolim” of this generation. Together with Rav Gershon Edelstein, they lead the massive “Litvish” (non-Hasidic/Lithuanian) segment of the Jewish community. Their directives on matters related to Halacha, politics, public policy and personal matters are considered authoritative and “Daas Torah”.
Rav Chaim Kanievsky who is 90-years-old and famously disengaged from all things not related to his Torah studies, relies on gabbais (assistants) to determine which policies to support, which books get his approbation and what causes he puts his name behind.
In his capacity as joint leader of the Litvish community, he also controls the Degel Hatorah party which currently has three seats in the Israeli Knesset and holds sway over a razor-thin ruling coalition.
Rav Chaim’s grandson Yanki is considered his most influential assistant and speaks for him in high-level meetings and negotiations.
“This event was a display of our community at it’s very worst and the definition of a chilul Hashem (desecration of God’s name),” said Meyer Seewald, founder and director of Jewish Community Watch. “Looking at these pictures, it’s impossible to be anything but enraged. To celebrate a man who was convicted in a court of doing unthinkable things helpless, innocent children… words escape me. The additional pain this public display must be causing the victims and their families is scarcely imaginable.”