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August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
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Newsday And Abuse In The Jewish Community

As we noted several weeks ago, despite the continuing coverage of claims of abuse in our yeshivas, attesting to the significance we attach to the problem, we nonetheless expressed our serious reservations about how the issue was treated in The Jewish Week.

We concluded that as serious as the issue is, The Jewish Week’s effort was overblown and reeked of an effort to pursue its agenda of portraying Orthodoxy in a negative light. Sadly,
Newsday attempted the same thing last week, although the goal, and it went to extraordinary lengths to reach it, was to liken abuse in the Orthodox community to the plague engulfing the Catholic Church.

Thus, in a series of five articles last week, several either beginning or blurbed on the front page, Newsday purported to ventilate, as one headline put it, “A ‘Crisis’ For Jewish Leaders” with the explanatory subheading, “Struggling With Allegations Against Rabbis of Sex Abuse.”

In the course of the five article series, Newsday invoked the names of all of eight rabbis. However, while three were, in fact, convicted of abuse, two were acquitted of all charges, and
authorities declined to charge another because there was no evidence to do so. With respect to the other two, one has yet to be formally charged, and the other fled the relevant jurisdiction.

Is there a problem if even one child is abused? Of course. Is there a “crisis?” Newsday doesn’t know of one. It certainly didn’t document it.

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