Rabbi Shraga Feivel Zimmerman, the Gateshead Rav Hair, recently spoke about “The Halachic Obligation of Reporting Abuse to the Authorities” in a telecast aimed at an Australian rabbinical audience. Continue reading
Migdal Emunah (Tower of Faith) is the United Kingdom’s main orthodox Jewish vehicle for fighting sex abuse and aiding victims and survivors. They have cause to celebrate right now during their national Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week. They got on some shows and did some good PR. The hashtag of the week is #ItsNotOK. At one point, it was most associated with Yehudis.
Rabbi Shraga Feivel Zimmerman, the community-wide rabbi of Gateshead, UK, an important ultra orthodox Jewish community, recently delivered a stinging rebuke to the community for its past handling of child sex abuse. Rabbi Zimmerman, broke with past community patterns in testifying for the prosecution in the recent trial in Manchester of Rabbi Todros Grynhaus on child sex abuse charges. Grynhaus, who was a student in Gateshead, was convicted and sentenced to thirteen years. Notes of Zimmerman’s weekly (7-11-15) Sabbath sermon were posted on the FaceBook page of Migdal Emunah, a British anti-abuse organization. (See image of full sermon below.) Rabbi Zimmerman’s rebuke included these words (emphasis added):
This week a judge passed sentence over a frum looking individual and sent him to jail for over 13 years for molesting children. … How did our society allow such a person to be in contact with children for so many years? How was such an individual allowed to coast from institution to institution despite his known background? His behaviour wasn’t a secret?!
Was he allowed to continue in his job because he came from a respected family? … Continue reading
The London Jewish Chronicle reports Mr Justice Timothy Holroyde’s explanation for the thirteen-year sentence he gave Todros Grynhaus
This was a refined degree of cruelty on your part. You knew what you were doing and you knew what harm you would cause. You are an utter hypocrite. You professed your religion whilst cynically condemning your victims to suffer and giving false evidence seeking to cast blame on them.
“I have no doubt that you felt able to rely on a prevailing attitude of insularity which you hoped would prevent these allegations from ever coming to the attention of the police. You hoped that, at worse, you might have to pay a form of financial penalty as directed at the Beth Din.
“You believed that the combination of the girls’ sexual ignorance and the attitudes of some within your community would make it even harder for your victims to complain about you, and you came close to getting away with it.
“Even when the allegations were reported to the police, I am afraid the evidence I have heard shows that many in your community were taken in by your lying protestations of innocence. Others will have to examine their own consciences, and should reflect that, but for the courage of your two victims, your serious crimes would have gone unpunished. Continue reading
British sources inform me that Grynhaus will be retried this coming Monday (4/27/15) in Manchester UK on charges of sexually assaulting girls between the ages of 13 and 15.
He was first tried in February but the jury was hung. Justice has been long-delayed because he fled the country when first indicted using a false passport and had to be extradited back from Israel. Continue reading