We Shouldn’t Bury the Cover Up Scandal Just Because Walder Is Dead and Denounced

We know of over 20 survivors of Walder’s decades-long rampage of rape. With all the secrecy that surrounds abuse, that means there are probably hundreds of victims. There is no way it could have gone on for so long with so many victims without many others helping to suppress the truth. Even allowing for those survivors who never told anyone else, there will have been plenty of others who went to rabbonim, dayanim, therapists, relatives, and friends. The reporters at Haaretz were not the first to discover this scandal. They were just the first to publicly expose it. Calling Walder a rasha and removing his books does nothing to solve the problem of the cover up. 

About twenty years ago the Orhthodox Union (OU) was also hit with a newspaper (The NY Jewish Week) revealing serial sex abuse by Rabbi Boruch Lanner a leader in their NCSY youth movement. They responded by commissioning an outside investigation. They then released enough of the report to confirm that Lanner abused many children and that many complaints by victims were ignored by the leadership of NCSY. Some heads rolled. Not enough was revealed and not enough heads rolled. But still, this was a dramatic step forward for a frum organization. Nothing resembling this in the slightest is happening in the Haredi world. 

As sure as the sun rises in the east, we can all be sure that all the brouhaha and denunciations of Walder as a rasha will not cost anyone their position for covering up his abuse, though some may pay a price for inept PR execution.  And that means leaders can go on covering up with impunity. The only change is that they now know that if Haaretz catches wind of a scandal they have to make the offender walk the plank while the enablers can cruise on happily to yet another cover up. 

4 thoughts on “We Shouldn’t Bury the Cover Up Scandal Just Because Walder Is Dead and Denounced

  1. There is a big difference between covering up abuse and having a severe/drastic reaction which is what tabloid newspapers love. I feel people who have reacted to the Chaim Walder scandal are wanting a drastic change but fail to look at a simple question – did anyone facilitate the abuse and if yes, how? And 2nd, why did no one go to the police? Did they not trust the police? Did they feel they would lose all support from their families?

      • I am off the derech. But what is wrong with that there are consequences if you go to the police? The frum world is very different to the secular world. It is true that there’s nowhere near enough support for victims of abuse (sexual or otherwise) but they do not believe in going to the police or other authorities. The issue IS NOT defending abuse but the fact victims of abuse are not supported.

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