Religion & Beliefs

The Weekly Shonde: The National Society For Hebrew Day Schools Massive Fail For Abuse Victims

Apparently, a child being sexually abused should be a matter for rabbinical discussion, and not necessarily for the courts to decide. Read More

By / May 27, 2011
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Apparently, a child being sexually abused should be a matter for rabbinical discussion, and not necessarily for the courts to decide.

In a report from Survivors of Justice:

Following the lead of the Catholic Church’s failed policies on dealing with sexual abuse, lay leaders of Agudath Israel of America and Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, instructed Orthodox Jewish professionals not to report incidents of child sexual abuse perpetrated by Orthodox Jews directly to law enforcement. In a surprisingly frank challenge to an opinion issued by respected Jewish law decisor, Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv that directs Orthodox Jews in America to report incidents of sexual abuse directly to law enforcement, Ronald Gottesman, a board member of Torah Umesorah, and David Zwiebel, Executive Vice President of Agudath Israel of America, instructed Orthodox Jewish professionals that cases of sexual abuse perpetrated by Orthodox Jews may not be reported directly to law enforcement but instead must be reported to rabbis.

This translates to: Agudath Israel of America and Torah Umesorah believe that if the word got out (via a police investigation) it would be considered a Chillul HaShem, which is “a shaming of the name,” and thus bad for the whole Jewish community.  By keeping the matter quiet, these rabbis think they can avoid public scrutiny.  It’s pretty messed up.