David Zweibel of Agudah and Cardinal Dolan
"Our rabbis are as bad as your priests"

Vote to Protect Kids in NYS

New York State law does a lousy job of protecting children. NYS’s Statute of Limitations prevents lawsuits or criminal prosecution of child sex abuse if the victim does not file complaints before their 23rd birthday.

The state legislature and governor passed on a chance to fix these laws yet again as they have for almost a decade, all because of an unholy alliance with the Catholic Church and Agudath Israel of America. Governor Cuomo is in on the deal.

The short term solution is replacing obstructionist legislators. Protect New York Kids is an organization focused on this problem. They have identified candidates committed to reforming child sex abuse legislation, donated to their campaigns and organized on their behalf. Check out their recommendations when you go to the polls on Tuesday.

 

 

Using and Abusing Forgiveness: Dina Friedman’s Survivor Reflections

Teshuva, mechila, repentence and forgiveness are things in which Jews believe. But when it comes to sex abuse, their meaning and measure has been mutilated and disfigured into meaningless parodies. A superficial claim of repentance is proferred and the victim is pressured to graciously accept it and go on as if all has been remedied.

I want to thank Dina Friedman for her fine essay chronicling her reactions over the years to the fake apology farce. She recounts her enlightenment  with snapshots of her mindset over successive High Holy Days.

Check out her posting: I don’t forgive the man who raped me. scales of justice and child

Sauna Rabbi Rosenblatt Is Hung Out to Dry

Jonathan Rosenblatt

Jonathan Rosenblatt

Following his forced retirement from the Riverdale Jewish Center, sauna-boy-gawker Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt started advertising himself doing “spiritual and psychological counseling” at Scarsdale Integrative Medicine (SIM).

His reputation caught up with him and SIM dropped him unceremoniously, even claiming he was never part of their operation, but merely someone renting space from them according to the Forward.

But, as my readers know, he was listed on their website as one of their staff back in May, whatever the financial arrangements.

It would not be fair to criticize SIM too much for this lapse in vetting and judgment. They did manage to dump the chump in about two months. Continue reading

There Are No Warnings when Sex Offenders Move From Israel but We Can Fix That

scales of justice and childSex offenders, like smugglers, take advantage of borders to avoid paying for their crimes. Sometimes they hop borders one step ahead of the cops. Israel, unfortunately is a popular destination for our miscreants.

But there is also a reverse flow where Israel’s flotsam washes up on America’s shores. Local communities are often clueless. This is true, even if there was a conviction in Israel because Israel does not have a public sex offender registry.

Let’s say Shlomo Shimon Ben-David gets convicted for molesting a neighbor’s child in Israel. He serves his time and then heads off to the United States. For good measure he starts using his middle name, Shimon, or perhaps, Simon, and becomes an accepted member of his new community and volunteers with a youth group. No one is the wiser about his past history.

Don’t start saying there ought to be a law to deal with the problem. There is a law: the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). If offenders move, start work, or start school in a new state they have to register within three days or can be sentenced to a year. SORNA’s regulations also apply to foreign convictions (IV-B).

Mr. Ben-David should register himself within 3 days of arriving in the the US. But he probably won’t register, even if he knows the law. He has nothing to fear. After all, how will the local jurisdiction even know he has an Israeli conviction. As far as I can tell, local registry enforcers don’t even try to deal with this problem.

Six months ago, on Feb. 8, 2016, President Obama signed a law designed to deal with some of those problems. The bill requires child sex offenders to notify their registry office of their plans to travel abroad. The US government is supposed to transmit  this information to foreign countries and where appropriate, to  INTERPOL. The law also requires the US State Department to mark offender’s passports with indications of their child sex offender status.

Under the International Megan’s Law (HR 4573; 113th Congress, 2nd session) the US government should Continue reading

Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau

Chief Rabbi Lau’s Statement about Child Abuse

Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, David Lau issued a public statement about child abuse. As far as I know it is his first to date.

Below is a translation of its flowery language gracefully executed by *Danny Wool. An image of the original in Hebrew is at the end of the article.

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R. David Stav

It is addressed to religious educators. I suspect it was written in response the arrests of yeshiva teachers last week. See, 6 Alleged Offenders, 22 Children (Ages 2-10), Over 11 Years in Tel Aviv Belz School

It may have also been a response to a statement by Rabbi David Stav, head of Tzohar, that not reporting sexual abuse violates the Torah. Stav was Lau’s main competitor in the election for chief rabbi.

It is interesting that he managed not to make public statements about other sex abuse scandals involving prestigious religious teachers such as Motti Elon, Ezra Sheinberg, Naftali Maklev, Meir Pogrow, Elimelech Meisels, Eliezer Berland, Ben Tzion Sobel, and Matis Weinberg. Lau doubtlessly knows of many others who  escaped public exposure,  criminal prosecution, or any sort of consequences.

But he has finally spoken, so let’s read it and then evaluate it.


Tammuz 29, 5776

August 4, 2016

To All Who Work Educating the Children of Israel in Good Faith

Greetings,

Re: Awareness of Injuries Caused to Students

Much to my regret, terrible incidents occurring in our courtyards and domains have recently been made public. Cases in which boys and girls alike have been hurt in their homes or educational institutions have taken place recently, shocking anyone with a heart. How painful it is to hear that those very places, which should be a support, a stronghold, and a source of succor for our children and youth have turned into a nightmare and source of terror for them.

At this time, it is incumbent on parents, educators both male and female, family members, and anyone else involved in the sacred work of education to open their eyes and assist anyone who needs help insofar as possible. Turning away is not an answer to these difficult and painful issues, and everyone must know that they bear responsibility, even if the matter does not affect them directly. Continue reading