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September 06, 2011

New Haredi Book On Child Safety Debuts

Haredi kids cropped Top ultra-Orthodox rabbis have endorsed a new children's book teaching haredi kids about kidnapping and molestation - a historical first for the sheltered community.

Haredi kids cropped

Writing new chapter in kid safety: Spotlight on molesters in new book geared for Orthodox Jews
BY Simone Weichselbaum • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Top rabbis have endorsed a new children's book teaching Orthodox Jewish kids about kidnapping and molestation - a historical first for the sheltered community.

"Let's Stay Safe" is backed by Torah Umesorah, a rabbinical authority, and ArtScroll, the maker of religious prayer books.

The glossy pages show a stranger sporting a yarmulke and a boy asking for help finding his mom - eerie reminders of the murder of Leiby Kletzky, 8, killed in July after being kidnapped in Borough Park.

"It is important for parents to understand that the Kletzky tragedy was an exception to the rule, and that the vast majority of predators are people the children know," said Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, who oversaw the book's creation.

Torah Umesorah started distributing the books last month to Jewish bookstores and its 700 affiliated schools across the country.

"As a result of the Kletzky case, there is a greater need for parents to be aware of safety issues," said Rabbi Shmuel Klein, director of publications for Torah Umesorah.

An earlier book, Rabbi Yehoshua Danese's "Yoni Ploni never talks to STRANGERS!" was self-published, but didn't have enough rabbinical support to be a hit.

Last month, Danese added two pages titled "What Should I Do If I Get Lost?"

Brooklyn Jewish bookstores now sell the new edition.

"I got a chill up my spine when I heard about the Kletzky case," Danese said. "The challenge is how do you meet the balance of alerting the community without terrifying them?"

The Kletzky family knows of the books, a relative said.

"It's a sad time we live in," said a teary-eyed Malky Bodenstein, a Kletzky cousin, thumbing through the books at Eichlers Bookstore in Borough Park. "I want to cry. It's sad you have to tell your kids about these things."

When these haredi rabbis who profess to care so much for children allow and endorse the publication of a book like this that has a haredi rabbi teacher as a molester, an attempted molestation happening in a mikva, and a predator dressed as and represented as a full member of the haredi community, we'll know real progress has been made.

As it is, it took a horrific murder and dismemberment of an 8-year-old hasidic child that was front page news for weeks to get these paragons of child safety to finally endorse a book on child safety for kids that has the criminal dressed as an Orthodox Jew.

These haredi rabbis, simply because of their years of refusal to allow the education of haredi children about child sex abuse and other anti-child crimes committed by fellow haredim (let alone these rabbis' decades long coverups of child molestation cases, their harassment of victims, and their demonization of child safety activists), are complicit in and bear partial responsibility for thousands of these crimes – including the murder and dismemberment of Leiby Kletzky earlier this summer.

They should not be congratulated for endorsing this book – they should be called out for their continued refusal to thoroughly educate haredi kids about the real dangers those kids face, especially the dangers from predators who work as and who look like haredi rabbis.

There are haredi criminals and haredi sexual predators. Some of these criminals are rabbis and teachers. Others are parents, siblings and cousins.

The continued denial of this fact by leading haredi rabbis and organizations, shown again today by the release of this book, must not be allowed to stand.

Comments

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Nothing is good enough for FM

Nothing is good enough for FM

Posted by: clapclap | September 06, 2011 at 06:11 PM

... They should not be congratulated for endorsing this book ...

As the saying goes:

Never let a good deed go unpunished!

Shmarya

I have to disagree with you on this one because

"It is important for parents to understand that the Kletzky tragedy was an exception to the rule, and that the vast majority of predators are people the children know," said Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, who oversaw the book's creation.'

I think he is saying the molesters are frum people and people from the community

and i think Rabbi Yakov Horowitz is trying his best under the confinement that he is in.

for those who claim I never stick up for a black hat dud

i just did

happy now

Hey Shmarya,

Pretty good post here. Couple of thoughts:

How do you know the extent, size and scope of abuse education in the Orthodox community? Do you personally know every haredi rabbi and what level of abuse education he does or doesn’t espouse? Maybe there are schools and rabbis who have been teaching this stuff for years.

I think you're generalizing here with such phrases as "haredi rabbis," "these haredi rabbis," and the ultimate one-size-fits-all generalization: "they."

As if _all_ rabbis are automatically knee-jerk fearful of progress just by virtue of being rabbis.

Not all rabbis are anti-education of the type you're espousing and not all anti-education types are rabbis.

You seem to have a beef with "haredi rabbis" without specifying _which_ rabbis.

At the end of your post, you write, “They should not be congratulated for endorsing this book,” the “they” referring to rabbis who deny, defend or cover up abuse.

Yes: those they. But how about the other “they”?

How about the ones who wrote this book? How about the ones who do not espouse a “continued refusal to thoroughly educate haredi kids about the real dangers those kids face, especially the dangers from predators who work as and who look like haredi rabbis”?

Also, taken out of the context of the Orthodox community, Rabbi Danese is correct in pointing out that you have to strike a balance between educating and empowering your kids and not terrifying them.

Case in point: the examples you mention as needed for real progress. But here's the thing: If your point is that the book is lacking because it doesn't provide instruction for "real-life" situations like the teacher/molester, the mikvah scenario, the respected community member/abuser and the like, then why stop there? Is that it? Why not a book that contains lurid scenarios of incest, of parental sexual abuse of their own kids, of torture and mutilation?

Hey, these things happen and to not educate our kids about them is denial, right?

See, you can't get into too much detail simply because you don't want to scare the crap out of your kids, haredi or whatever. And it's inappropriate to give kids an anatomical education they don't quite need just yet. And that holds true whether you're Jewish, Christian, Muslim or whatever.

So what do you do? You do what this book says: You teach your kids that strangers are not allowed to touch you, and no one is allowed to touch you "in any way that makes you uncomfortable."

You draw a line outside the entire body, without specifying specific parts of the body (at least in a book—the specifics you reserve for a private chat with your son or daughter).

And by the way, kids who read this book with their parents will likely hear from their parents what that touching specifically refers to. It's information meant for parents to give kids, not put in a book.

Kids are innocent and if you give them too much information on this, they'll be afraid of anyone with a beard. Or of anyone, for that matter.

So deriding this book of progress as not enough progress, or not specific enough, is unfair, in my opinion.

"It's a sad time we live in," said a teary-eyed Malky Bodenstein, a Kletzky cousin, thumbing through the books at Eichlers Bookstore in Borough Park. "I want to cry. It's sad you have to tell your kids about these things."

we live in a great time in a great country

what happened was a anomaly and should not put a dark cloud on our whole existence and time and space
we have if better here than maybe anytime in the Jewish history lets not forget that

Once again I support Shmarya man for the simple reason of "Endorsing a childrenss book and not taking the proper steps to ensure this never happens again is worth Shit!"
Why?
Because this is not a solution but a cop out! Now that we endorsed this book that means we really care and we are your leaders. Bull shit!
What needs to be done?
1) Educate the Jewish people that their first stop upon suspicion is the police!

2) There should be awareness to children from Rabbis Teachers and Parents on a constant basis and not only for 3 weeks after a child gets butchered.

3)There should be a zero tolerance attitude from our leaders and communities alike on anything that has to do with something like this.

Thank you Shmarya for seeing through their sneaky tactics! It aint good enogh - we want to see much more then just a comic book!

Posted by: hershman | September 06, 2011 at 07:01 PM

it is a start

it got to start somewhere

Yes it is quite unfair. Shmarya's hallmark is a take no prisoners approach. It is all or nothing. If he were truly interested in reforming the ultra-orthodox he would operate according to the principle of getting more flies with honey than vinegar.

Thus his affect is strident, intolerant, and inflexible. Sadly, he presents as a pathetic Don Quixote figure tilting at windmills and acting foolishly.

It is better to meet a she bear robbed of her cubs than a fool in his folly as Proverbs teaches.

Such people fill their empty lives with bashing the ogres of the world while they remain righteous and spotless in their own minds. They are bereft of humility as reflected by the bombast of their rhetoric.

They see the splinter in the eye of their foes but not the log in their own. Even in statements of truth such people need to be subjected to inquiry and cross-examination.


Mordechai - your name does not fit your words. Mordechai put his life on the line to save the entire Jewish people. He did not just try to save the gedolim or certain yeshivos. Little improvement after decades of neglect just aint gonna cut it! Thats what happened by ww2. Some jews were rescued and they give the impression that nu-nu we did our best. Baloney!
We want real action from our leaders and until we get it FM will hunt you down and expose your shananigins and damn laziness!!

Mendel,
what the hell are you talking about? This post is about molesters in the community - not homos.

did a quirk check

not sure any cheredie or ultra orthodox sign this

Hershman,
not all Molesters are homos,but according to statistics the proportion of molesters who are homos is at least three times the size of those who are hetero. That is to say in relative not absolute numbers. Also, other than in the "gay pride parades in N.Y. and elsewhere, can anyone name another group who "proudly" marches with self-professed child molesters such as NAMBLA?
BTW, don't forget that the "pedophile priests" were actually homosexual pederasts who went after "post-pubescent" youths.

Mendel

not all Molesters are homos,but according to statistics the proportion of molesters who are homos is at least three times the size of those who are hetero.

link to study please as far as I know what you say is simply not true

Seymour,
www.mega.nu/ampp/baldwin_pedophilia_homosexuality.pdf

In a 1992 study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital
Therapy, sex researchers K. Freud and R. I. Watson found that
homosexual males are three times more likely than straight men to
engage in pedophilia and that the average pedophile victimizes between
20 and 150 boys before being arrested.

Mendel - even if your study was universally accepted (I doubt it, maybe someone here knows the topic better than I though) - so what? Homosexuals are about 5% of the general population. If Homosexuals were three times more likely than straight men to engage in pedophilia, that would mean about 15% of pedophiles were homosexuals. That would leave 85% of pedophiles who are heterosexual. So even if a homosexual was three times more likely to be a pedophile, a pedophile would be about five times more likely to be a heterosexual than a homosexual...

Posted by: Mendel | September 06, 2011 at 09:05 PM

Steven Baldwin is not an expert on pedophilia or sexual matters; he is a far right conservative, with a degree in communications. The report he put together is reeking with biased. There are a dime a dozen, who don’t know the real facts.

interesting that noone was willing to claim authorship of this book.

1. Mendel's comment is completely off topic.

2. In his comment instead of a blurb and a link, he cuts and posts the entire article in two languages, which is obviously poor blog edicate.

3. You have to wonder my Mendel is so worked up about sexuality. Is he not secure with his own sexuality?

4. Even if the study he cites were correct, it doesn't prove anything about being gay. There could be many factors that account for the study. One of which is that there are studies that show many gay men were molested as children. There are also studies that people who are molested as children are more likely to be predators as adults. If that is true, the supposed statistic that gay people are more likely to molest would be skewed. It could be that people abused as children are more likely to molest as adults and are more likely to be members of the gay community. So being gay has nothing to do with molesting. That is only one varaible, and, even if that isn't true, there are many other possibilities.

5. Last but not least, Mendel's vitriol against homosexuals goes against the spirit of the very articles that Mendel cites. So Mendel is just a jerk, period.

Because of the above Mendel should not be taken seriously and if I had a vote, I would vote to ban him.

As to the main article, I think this book is a welcome step in the right direction.

But when they endorse this book, it can't really be called a "continued refusal to thoroughly educate."

I understand all the blame when they don't do anything, and it's justified, but why blame when they do something? Because of hatred?

I understand all the blame when they don't do anything, and it's justified, but why blame when they do something? Because of hatred?

Posted by: nobody | September 07, 2011 at 06:41 AM

No.

Because of intelligence.

And because this isn't a partial step, progress.

It is a continued refusal to do what is necessary to protect children.

If this is confusing for you, go back to my first answer, and then ask someone for help.

Next Up: Safety Book For Jewish Parents, “LET’S PARENT SAFELY”

The system does not work. You have lost.

The thing I am wondering about is that in the non-Jewish, non-frum world, the vast majority of child sexual molestation cases that are reported seem to be heterosexual, that is, adult men abusing young girls. Yet in the frum community, the majority of cases that I read about seem to be homosexual, adult men abusing little boys. Does anyone know of any reliable studies that have been done on it?
Regarding this book, does this book address only the safety of boys, or does it include girls? Furthermore,since most molesters, both homosexual and heterosexual, tend to be individuals who are known to the children, does the book warn girls and boys about their own teachers, rebbes, and parents, or does it wrongly imply that strangers are the greatest threat?

Mordecai - you might catch more flies with honey, but shit catches even more.

Mendel - you're an idiot.

Anyone looking for real info about how many paedophiles are homosexual needs to first know one thing - actual true paedophiles do not have adult sexual orientations. They are only sexually attracted to children. Rather than being attracted to only girls or only boys they often have an age range instead.

I've mentioned the difference between paedophiles and child molesters before. Paedophiles are solely attracted to children but might never touch one. Child molesters are rarely true paedophiles. Molestation is a crime of power, opportunity, and regularity of contact. That's why most abuse is committed by parents, they have the most power over their children, spend more time with them, and have more chances to abuse without being noticed.

The best research about sexual orientation and child molestation is by two researchers called Groth and Birnbaum. Here's a link to an explanation of some of their research: psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

Essentially no connection between homosexuality and molestation has been found.

Gershon - like I said above, power+frequency of access+opportunity is the main formula for molestation. In the orthodox world yichud laws prevent males from spending time alone with females. If someone is going to molest a child, and only has access to a boy, then he'll do it. These are almost always heterosexual men, usually married ones. It's not about repressed homosexuality. Think about it, if you're attracted to women, would a little girl do if you couldn't get a woman? No. Little children do not possess secondary sexual characteristics like breasts, hips, body hair etc. If a man is gay then he wants another man, not an undeveloped little boy, just as you want/have an adult woman, and not a girl child.

I hope this clears up some things.

The thing I am wondering about is that in the non-Jewish, non-frum world, the vast majority of child sexual molestation cases that are reported seem to be heterosexual, that is, adult men abusing young girls.

That is absolutely false.

Mordecai - you might catch more flies with honey, but shit catches even more.

Posted by: No Light | September 07, 2011 at 10:28 AM

That is actually quite good.

Let me try and knock some sense into the idiots who profess and claim to care for the well being of the children.
1) You are NOT ultra haredi; go help the secular community; we don't need your input.
2) A book with pictures of bearded rabbis abusing a child, as you suggest, is the begining of the end for our educational system. Now every rebbi and teacher will no longer have the respect they should get from their students. Instead we will have the teachers under constant scrutiny by their students. All that is needed in this poor generation is for children to be preoccupied with their educators' sexual orientation.
3) The world is not a perfect place, to put it mildly. However, there is only that much that is required to protect ourselves from dangers; you drive safely, wear your seatbelt and stay focused while driving. No one suggests staying indoors...
4) Most of you resent the community that carried you until you decided that religion is no longer for you. Bashing us, is only an excuse for your new way of life. You are far from sincerely caring about our wellbeing. That is the truth.
5) The book is material for parents to initiate a conversation with their children. It should be taken further by oral conversation.
6) Those of you who are husying yourself with these matters, should be the first to be analysed.... Just a hunch.

Ah Yechiel, as stupid as ever.

Your whole post reeks of "Oh no, they're onto us!"

Got some secrets of your own there?

This is Yehoshua Danese, author of Yoni Ploni, Never Talks to Strangers.

In the originial post there is a criticism that it took a tragedy to get frum people to do something about this. My book Yoni Ploni was first published in 1998 many years before the Klezky boy was even born.

A second criticism is that we are not saying that the perpetrator could be a frum Jew. However, Yoni Ploni does say, that a Stranger could even be Jewish, which in a frum child's mind means a frum Jew.

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