Those who isolate abducted children – The St. Petersburg Rabbi

UPDATE – 2 April 2012

The father reports having now met with the Yeshiva director, Rabbi Tolochinsky, who has promised to try to arrange visits with the children and to pass along messages from family and friends. He said the meeting seemed constructive, but family and friends are holding judgment until the children are in touch with their family and friends and so far this has not occurred. The community of Florence is praying that the director does this and puts an end to the inhuman terrible isolation of these children.

The concern is that the Yeshiva, having kept the children isolated from their lives for months, will now claim the children don’t want contact with family and friends, or simply that Marianne Grin refuses to collaborate with them. No one is so naive to accept such excuses. The Yeshiva created the problem. The Yeshiva is responsible for fixing it; they cannot now hide behind it, or behind Grin.


The Yeshiva where Marianne placed the boys after their abduction (Sam 14, Elliot 12, and Ezra 6) offers lodging for orphans and children from troubled families.

Adult inmates of modern prisons are allowed more communication with family and friends than these abducted children being guarded in the yeshiva.

The institute director is Rabbi Tolochinsky and it is under the authority of St Petersburg Rabbi Mendel Pewzner. They have taken no steps to put the children in touch with their family and have ignored pleas to permit them to contact the abducted children. Over the past months, family members and friends have repeatedly attempted to speak with the yeshiva’s director and have begged him to pass messages to the children and allow family to speak with them. The Yeshiva has refused to let the father see the children, although he has personally visited it on many occasions. Rabbi Pewzner, who has ultimate authority over the yeshiva, must explain why he allows this to occur.

The institute’s director has not answered e-mails, nor responded to telephone calls, not even from Marianne’s own mother who called repeatedly in Russian, and was not even allowed to convey happy birthday wishes.

Rabbi Pewzner simply says he does not want to get involved. Except he is involved, and he is responsible. He is illegally and immorally allowing this child abuse to occur.

Things are supposed to work the other way around. A good, decent person – and especially a devout religious man – would never have waited for family to get in touch with the children. He would have taken the initiative on his own to reach out to the family, and help the children communicate with their abruptly stolen lives. But not those responsible for the yeshiva of St Petersburg.

Below are just a few examples of many e-mails sent to the children, and which were not delivered.

We will publish more correspondence on this blog, because we believe there may also be decent human beings in these environments who care about the psychological well-being of children, and who will be deeply disturbed by the cruelty of keeping abducted children in deep isolation, and that Rabbi Pewzner is allowing this to take place.

We are hoping to find someone who can in secret provide the messages of family and friends to the children, so they know they are loved and missed. If the Rabbi of St Petersburg thinks children can be treated as prisoners, we’ll adopt prison tactics for communicating with them.

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Uncle Kevin” <;;;>;;;” <;;;>;;;
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 9:26 AM
Subject: Yeshiva (Sam and Eli)

Dear Mr. Tolochinsky,

I was hoping that you could give this note to both Sam and Eli.

Thank you,


Dear Sam, Eli and Ezra,

Just wanted to say hi to you guys and let you know that I am thinking of you. Today I am in Boise, Idaho working at a computer chip company. I have to give an hour presentation to a group of people and then tomorrow I work in the lab here. Should be fun! The weather her is about the same as in St.Petersburg but still it is a little cold but no snow so I should be happy.

Next week I have to attend a meeting in Boston and work at the Harvard Medical Center. Should be a long week.

Last weekend I got a new electric skateboard. This one is really fast and goes about 22mph which is a little over 35kph. Kinda scary but a lot of fun! I’m trying to have my older one fixed but won’t know until Friday if it can be fixed. I’ll have to let you guys ride it (it has a slower safe mode:>;;;) when you next come to visit California.

Well have to go but just wanted to send you a quick note saying hi.


Your uncle,


From: Edo
Sent: giovedì 22 marzo 2012 21.27
Subject: Re: Messages

these are some that I sent to mr.Tolochinsky….

Ciao Elliot qua sono successe davvero tantissime cose e te devi ASSOLUTAMENTE TORNARE!!!! sono state sospese molte persone (—-, —– ecc…) perchè la preside è veramente inca**ata x tutti questi rapporti….
Di rapporti di classe ne abbiamo 2, 1 perchè il—-, —-, e —– hanno urlato fuori dalla finestra alla gente offese….
Senza di te non è la stessa cosa, ma non ti abbbiamo dimenticato…
Appena torni in Italia sarai sicuramente in classe nostra, ti aspettiamo!!!
Tutti aspettano il tuo ritorno!!!!
La nostra classe non è completa senza di te!!!!
Spero tutte le nostre lettere x te dalla classe siano arrivate!!!!

Elliot non so se questa email ti è arrivata quindi te la rimando….

Ciao Elliot, come stai?
Ci manchi tantissimo e ci piacerebbe riaverti qua con noi….
ti è arrivata la lettera?
qua abbiamo cambiato tantissimi professori….alcuni meglio ed alcuni peggio…quello di arte ci fa ridere e con quello di lettere nn si fa mai nulla…
se puoi andare su internet scrivimi o pure telefonami dal telefono di casa o della scuola….
qui sono 3 ore indietro (qua sono le 22 là sono le 1…)
ti prego torna da noi ci manchi davvero tantissimo…
qua ci si diverte ma senza di te non è + la stessa cosa…

la classe nn è + la stessa…
neppure la mensa =P
mino probabilmente verrà sospeso x aver preso 3 rapporti….
ciao, Edo…
ps: e vai su un comp qualsiasi torna s&f cosi messaggiamo…. ho trovato un gioco bellissimoooo kiamato wizard101 ed ho soperto ke ci giocano emi, andrea e cosimo…
tanti saluti!

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Uncle Kevin” <;;;>;;;
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 8:33 PM
Subject: Для передачи Эллиоту МакИлрату

Hello Mr.Tolochinsky,

I am Eli’s Uncle from the USA/California and I would appreciate it if you can deliver this message to him.

Hi Eli,

I hope your doing well. Your father gave me an e-mail address that I could contact you at.

This is my personal e-mail address and you can write to it at any time.

I have just returned from a business trip to Boise, Idaho and am now I think home and not traveling for the rest of the year.

We painted my house and it looks great! We did it ourselves and it took only about 2 days but actually were still not finished (we still need to do the windows and the garage:<;;;(

Since I was not able to contact you since this summer and now that I have a way to contact you I thought I would write.

Lisa and Haley say hi and Haley can't wait to go to the waterslide park again with us if you can come to California next summer.

If you need anything please let me know.

I hope everything is well buddy.



———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Aunt Molly
Date: 2011/12/22
Subject: Re: Samuel and Elliot

Dear Dr. Tolochinsky,

Hello, my name is Molly and I am Samuel’s and Elliot’s aunt. As I’m sure you know, we have not had any contact with them in nearly 4 months and are very concerened about their well-being. I would like you to please give this message to them that their family is always thinking of them and especially during this time of Chanukka’. We hope to be able to see them soon. They have a 2 year old cousin, Zoe, who misses her cousins and asks for them all the time.

I look forward to your reply.

Thank you.


4 responses to “Those who isolate abducted children – The St. Petersburg Rabbi

  1. Rabbi Tolochinsky and Rabbi Mendel Pewzner,
    You should be ashamed of yourselves and your actions. Faithful jews will want to distance themselves from you and what you stand for. Instead of helping Marianne Grin get the psychiatric treatment she needs, you fed her delusions and have kept the children hidden from their father. What now? What if Grin harms her children? You will be responsible. What you are doing to recover from your mistakes; what are you doing to help the children come back home now??

  2. Dear Rabbi Tolochinsky,

    Do you feel any responsibility here? The children are in your care and have been in the last 7 months. You have to help save these children’s lives! These children have an entire family and community who want answers and want contact with them immediately! This is your responsibility. Don’t you agree?

    Molly (the children’s aunt)

  3. Cindy Basso Eaton

    Dear Rabbi Tolochinsky- As the father, Mike McIlwrath has sole legal custody of his children I cannot understand why you are not releasing the children to their father. These children need to return back home to their normal life in Italy with their father, family and friends. Why are you aiding a woman who kidnapped her children? Cindy Basso Eaton

  4. How sad. I hope the kids read those emails and know that their families in Italy and United States love them and miss them!

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