Some Thoughts on Purim Safety Guidelines

Sadly, Purim often leads to a spike in child sexual abuse. Alcohol is common factor in many incidents. Given to children it renders them more vulnerable. Consumed by adults, it disinhibits them. Worse, in the aftermath, the alcohol is used as an excuse and leads to the thinking that this is a one-time thing so it should not be prosecuted. Continue reading

Chabad Shliach in Salt Lake City Testifies in Court about Being Abused as a Child

The headline reads, “A Utah Orthodox rabbi said his childhood nanny sexually abused him for 10 years. Here’s why he decided to tell his story for the first time.” The story was published by the Mormon-owned Deseret News. This is also a problem for the Mormon community where similar modesty codes also inhibit acknowledgement of sex abuse. So the newspaper may be using Chabad as a stalking horse to promote change within the Mormon community.

This is a very valuable read, even if you think you have read enough cases. What stands out is that Rabbi Avremi Zippel, a Chabad shliach, raised by shluchim, is openly testifying in court about his being sexually abused as a child. He also gave a lot of info to the newspaper interviewers. The report really captures the ways in which the ignorance and guilt of the child victim keeps such abuse secret, even into adulthood. It is also the story of emancipation from the shroud of silence. Continue reading

Feds Charge Rabbi Aryeh Goodman with Sex Trafficking a Minor

In February, Rabbi Aryeh Goodman of East Brunswick, New Jersey,  was charged with using an underage prostitute. Earlier this week the US Department of Justice (NJ office) took over the case and charged Goodman with sex trafficking. The 35-year-old repeatedly transported the girl over state lines in 2015 for their encounters, making it a federal crime. Continue reading

Help Bring R. Yacov Simmonds to Justice in Winnipeg

LET’S FIND THIS GUY

Rabbi Yacov Simmonds is a fugitive charged with 8 counts of sexually abusing girls in Winnipeg between 1993 and 1999. He was supposed to turn himself in October, but instead fled.

Yacov Simmonds with students June 1 2011 Hamodia c8

Hamodia 6-1-11 c8

Forty-two-year-old Simmonds worked at Chabad’s Torah Center (CTC) from 2000 to 2016. He comes from a large local Chabad family and his father ran a kosher grocery/restaurant. While the CTC described Simmonds to the media as a fundraiser, a 2011 Hamodia interview with Simmonds (covered in ColLive.com) has narrative and pictures of him doing kiruv work.

The Chabad Torah Center says that when it became aware of the allegations in January 2016, it suspended him. According to the  Winnipeg Free Press, their August, 2016, newsletter announced: Continue reading

Why You Should Attend the Sunday Demonstration in Crown Heights against Abuse

The demonstration will happen Sunday, March 20th, 6 p.m. outside Yeshiva Oholei Torah, 667 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn 11213. For more information about the demonstration visit the FaceBook event page, “Protest against Oholei Torah’s Abuse of Students.” Continue reading