web analytics
March 7, 2015 / 16 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Jewish Rabbis Fail at Stopping Child Abuse

Good people cannot accept the evil and sick deeds that are done by some in our community.
Illustration

Illustration

A note from the Editor:

On Sunday we published an article by Rabbi William Handler, warning against automatically turning over cases of suspected child abuse to the authorities, where he argues that said authorities had been incompetent at handling these cases and, in fact, had a vested interest in spotting abuse where there may be none.

The discussion of that article has been exemplary in terms of the civility and seriousness of the comments. Not one reader agreed with the author’s opinion, and still the discussion was—and is—being conducted among adults, who are able to distinguish between message and messenger. It made me proud to serve our readers.

Since we encouraged response articles, we received a few, which we’re in the process of processing, so to speak (line editor, heal thyself?). The one you’ve clicked to, was submitted by Moshe Handler (no idea if the two authors are related) who hosts a weekly talk show at jewishtalkradio.com.

Interestingly, while this author rebukes the yeshiva system for shuffling their “perv” rebbes from one location to another, his recommendation is to improve and enhance the yeshivas’ ability to dig up their bad apples, rather than to turn abuse cases to the authorities. To be fair, he was focusing on the failures of the system, but it is interesting that calling in outside agencies is not part of his solution.

Your submitted articles are welcome, and I urge everyone to continue and maintain the civil conduct which have become synonymous with The Jewish Press online.

Too many Jewish Rabbis and institutions turn a blind eye towards child abuse even when it’s obvious that it’s occurred. I know this from experience not opinion.

When I was a young counselor working in Camp Kol Ree Nah (a great camp run by Rabbi Yaakov Greenwald), I was warned that on my days off, when I would visit another popular camp, I should stay away from its head counselor who was a known child abuser. Remarkably, even though it was virtually public knowledge that this man was a creep who should have never been allowed near children, he was not exposed until more than thirty years had passed and parents complained about his behavior around their children.

Just last week, that same Rabbi’s nephew admitted his guilt in court as a child molester in a Lakewood Yeshiva. The Sunday before his admission, a very prominent rabbi released a public letter declaring that he investigated the case and declared Rabbi Yosef Kolko to be 100% innocent. Even more, he accused the parents of the child of being the actual molesters and of trying to get Rabbi Kolko in trouble to cover up their misdeeds.

I understand how it is that good people cannot accept the evil and sick deeds that are done by some in our community. When you yourself are a good person you think of others as good. Unfortunately, in real life defending creeps without investigating the facts is a dangerous road to travel. When the creeps are not punished and are actually defended, you are not doing anyone a favor. Worse, these people will molest others and those victims may be damaged for life. For the sake of these victims, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Rabbi Kolko used to be a rebbe in a much respected Yeshiva in Brooklyn. When his true character came to light, they got rid of the problem by promising him a letter of recommendation if he would resign. That’s how he got to be a rebbe in Lakewood. This case is not an exception. I know of many yeshivot that shifted their problems this way.

It’s sort of like a game we used to play called “Bomb.” You would wind up a Plastic “bomb” and it would start ticking. The game players would stand in a circle and keep throwing the toy bomb to one another. If you dropped the bomb or if the bell would go off while it was in your hands, you lost the game. The yeshivot are, unfortunately, busy protecting their reputations by playing “bomb” with dangerous, live pervert rebbes who are destructive even when they are still ticking. But they quickly pass these rebbes around before it is revealed they have such a person on their staff.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

9 Responses to “Jewish Rabbis Fail at Stopping Child Abuse”

  1. Stan Silverman says:

    Excellent article. One wonders why an anecdotal basis there appears to be a higher incidence of abuse within certain segments of the haredi community than within other haredi communities and the non-haredi Jewish community. What is it about haredi cultural norms that causes this? It appears that protecting haredi cultural norms is more important than protecting their children.

  2. Stan Silverman says:

    Excellent article. One wonders why an anecdotal basis there appears to be a higher incidence of abuse within certain segments of the haredi community than within other haredi communities and the non-haredi Jewish community. What is it about haredi cultural norms that causes this? It appears that protecting haredi cultural norms is more important than protecting their children.

  3. David Willig says:

    Are there Non Jewisf Rabbis?

  4. The haredi community are far more aware of what's going on in their community. So finding out about abusers creates a great scandal. I believe that percentage wise we have far lower rates then the general population.Abusers are so exceptional to the rule that so many haredim do not have enough experience to handle the problem. Compared to the general population haredim will come out far better.

  5. Are there any Jewish Popes?

  6. Haredi rabbis have no interest in finding and stopping child molesters. It does them no good and may do them irreparable harm.

    It is as simple as that. Why would I work to find and solve a problem like child molestation , which makes Rabbis look bad.

    Answer please.

  7. Children are the world's most valuable resources and its best hope for the future. And as a mother I fear for the safety of my kids because I cannot be with them always. Fortunately, I found this service that caters a Panic Button installed in the subscriber's phone which he may press when she is in danger or an emergency. It uses GPS technology to keep track of the subscribers' location so if help is needed, it will surely come to you. By pressing the Panic Button, you can also notify your safety network that you need help. It doesn't guarantee that you will not be assaulted but it will enable you to be rescued. Here is the helpful link https://login.safekidzone.com/mobilesafety/?CampaignLandingPage=RelentlessProtectionSafeLink&refcode=relentlessprotection&amp%3Ba_aid=514ae2c64ba1d&amp%3Ba_bid=2b29a9fc#.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, calling for rejection of a bad nuclear deal with Iran, on March 03, 2015.
Post-Bibi Bipartisanship May Result in Congressional Ability to Review Iran Deal
Latest Indepth Stories
Ron Prosor

Values at the very heart of the UN are threatened by extremist ideologies targeting our way of life

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Anti-Semitism today focuses on Israel and the quest to delegitimize it.

Ballots for elections "made in Samaria."

Any Jew who ties his fate to Israel should be able to vote in Israel’s elections-even before aliyah

A young Moshe Meir Weiss introduces his mother, Mrs. Agnes Weiss Goldman, to Rav Moshe in 1979.

There were no airs about him. Rav Moshe was affectionately known as the Gaon of Normalcy.

Israel’s full sovereignty over a united Jerusalem is the only path for true peace in the region.

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

The president has made clear – I can’t state this more firmly – the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.

Obama has an apparent inability to understand Islam in particular and Mid-East culture in general

Pesach is a Torah-based holiday whose fundamental observances are rooted in Torah law; Purim is a rabbinic holiday whose laws and customs are grounded in the rabbinic tradition.

In honor of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s successful speech before Congress.

Mr. Spock conveys a message with painfully stark relevance to our world today, especially in the context of PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

Obama created the “partisan politics” by asking Dem. party members to avoid Bibi and his address

Enough is enough. The Jewish community has a big tent, but the NIF should have no place in it.

I vote for the right and get left-wing policy. Every. Frigging. Time.

More Articles from Moshe Handler
Illustration

Good people cannot accept the evil and sick deeds that are done by some in our community.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/jewish-rabbis-fail-at-stopping-child-abuse/2013/05/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: