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June 11, 2012

Sparse Crown Heights Crowd Hears D.A. Talk About Child Sexual Abuse; No Chabad Leaders Participate Or Attend

Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg protesting outside Crown Heights panel on child sexual abuse 6-10-2012Only a tiny number of Chabad hasidim attended a Crown Heights “town hall” meeting on child sexual abuse. Chabad rabbis and community leadership were AWOL. Several victims and activists from Williamsburg protested the D.A.

Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg protesting outside Crown Heights panel on child sexual abuse 6-10-2012
Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg outside the event

Last update 12:13 pm CDT

Sparse Crown Heights Crowd Hears D.A. Further Inflate His Claims Of Success
Only a tiny number of Chabad hasidim attend Crown Heights “town hall” meeting on child sexual abuse. Chabad rabbis, community leadership, AWOL.
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

Brooklyn’s ethically challenged District Attorney Charles Hynes now says his office has brought 130 haredi pedophiles to justice since he opened his special haredi hotline, Kol Tzedek, in 2009.

That figure is 34 pedophiles higher than it was May 19 when Hynes claimed the number was 96 and 31 higher than the 99 figure he used in during the past two weeks.

Moreover, Hynes claimed during that time span that the 99 cases were all prosecutions.

But The Jewish Week, The Guardian, the New York Post and the New York Times have all shown that close to half those cases have not been prosecuted and that many of the others were plea bargains made to very reduced charges.

Hynes’ claim of 130 haredi child sexual abusers being brought to justice, reported in today’s New York Daily News, was made at a sparsely attended town hall meeting Sunday in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn populated by Chabad hasidim.

Only about 70 people attended the event held in small a neighborhood synagogue, some of whom came from other communities.

The Crown Heights Chabad community numbers close to 20,000 people. Perhaps 60 of the attendees were Chabad affiliated.

No Chabad community leader or rabbi spoke, and none attended the event.

"There were no local rabbis present…," COLLive,  a major Chabad news site reported. "Organizers explained their absence by the limited time available for speeches by all 3 rabbis, and reminded [questioners] of the groundbreaking psak ruling of the Crown Heights Beis Din on the need to report abuses to the police."

The "ruling" is actually a letter signed last year by two of the three beit din judges. No formal beit din proceeding took place, and the third judge was not present when the letter – composed with the help of activists – was signed.

The letter says that there is no prohibition of mesirah, informing, when there is evidence that a child has been sexually abused, and goes on to say that the crime should be reported to police.

The letter does not say what should be done about suspicions of child sexual abuse even though legally mandated reporters under civil law have to immediately report suspicions of child sexual abuse to police or ACS.

Rabbi Yosef Braun and Rabbi Yaakov Schwei signed.

One of the two rabbis who signed, did so only after activists, including Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg from Williamsburg, spent time explaining child sexual abuse to him and cajoling him. Among other issues, Schwei did not understand what pedophiles actually do to children.

A third member of the beit din, Rabbi Osdoba, was not there and did not sign the letter, despite promises that he would.

Generally, a beit din cannot sit as a beit din or act as a beit din with less than three rabbinic judges present.

Despite that, the letter was widely seen as a breakthrough.

COLLive counted 80 attendees at yesterday's event and called the crowd "diverse."

Readers of a Chabad blog, CrownHeights.info, posted comments decrying the lack of support shown by the community.

“Wow, i see maximum 70 people out of a community of 15,000. I guess we really care…”, one reader wrote. Another, calling himself “WHERE ARE YOU CROWN HEIGHTS” wrote, “SHOCKED TO SEE SUCH DISINTEREST FROM THE REBBES SHECHUNEH [neighborhood]. DO YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN? IT SHOWS…”

But several other readers complained that the event had not been publicized.

“why did no one know about this?” one wrote, while another reader asked “how were we supposed to know about it if we were not notified?????”

“The big question is why were there none of our rebbeim or menahalim or rabbonim at this event? Why just outsiders to tell us about halocha??”, another, S. Simcha, wrote.

The event was organized by Eliyahu Federman, a Chabad follower who is a Crown Heights neighborhood activist and attorney. He worked in conjunction with the D.A.'s Jewish Liaison, Chabad follower Henna White, civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, and members of Crown Heights Community Watch, an anti-child sexual abuse group made up of several Crown Heights victims.

Siegel; Irwin Zalkin, a clergy sexual abuse attorney from California; Rabbi Yosef Blau of Yeshiva University; Rabbi Zvi Gluck, a haredi activist and “fixer” from Queens; and Mordechai Feinstein, a Crown Heights victim now living in Florida; were among the speakers.

Hynes was attacked by victims who decried the special treatment the D.A. gives to haredi suspects and defendants and his refusal to follow release the names of the now 130 haredi pedophiles he claims to have brought to justice. Many victims and advocates – along with former NYC Mayor Ed Koch and legal experts from across the country are also angered that Hynes has not prosecuted rabbis and haredi activists who threaten and harass victims and obstruct justice.

Hynes has claimed the intimidation and harassment of haredi victims of child sexual abuse is worse than what happens in Mafia prosecutions.

Joel Engelman, a 26-year-old victim and advocate who grew up in Williamsburg and who was abused there, reportedly screamed at Hynes, “Your policy is failing!”

“My policy is succeeding,” Hynes reportedly shot back. “Anyone who expresses outrage is not being practical,” the Daily News reported. But the New York Post noted some in the crowd found Hynes' response to Engelman to be unconvincing, with audience members murmuring as Hynes tried to defend himself.

In response to attacks from Siegel and others regarding his months long refusal to release the names of indicted or convicted haredi pedophiles, Hynes said he would release those names – if the victims of each pedophile request it.

“You give me a list and I’ll publish it,” the Wall Street Journal reports Hynes said in response to hearing  that some victims wanted those names publicized. “I don’t have a problem with that. The policy is to protect victims.”

A problem with Hynes' position is that many victims are being threatened by powerful rabbis and haredi community activists, and if Hynes releases the name of a specific victim's abuser, but not the names of other abusers, these rabbis and haredi activists will know this victim asked that the name be publicized. That will open the victim up to even more harassment – supposedly the exact scenario Hynes does not want to happen and that is the justification for his policy of secrecy that has been decried by legal experts and victims' advocates across the country.


Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, the Williamsburg activist long fed up with Hynes, refused to give legitimacy to the event and chose instead to protest just outside it, carrying a sign that read, “Mr. Charles Hynes why are all Jewish teachers and child molesters free with no jail?”

The orange sign with black lettering was covered with dollar signs, reflecting Rosenberg’s view that haredi money – and haredi bloc votes – had bought off the D.A.

Crown Heights 6-10-2012 1

Crown Heights 6-10-2012 2

Crown Heights 6-10-2012 3

More pictures are posted on CrownHeights.info.

Comments

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It looks like a small room - they obviously weren't expecting many.

I am not sure that it was a good idea for Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg to write Jewi$h as such. Nice of him to reinforce an antisemitic stereotype.

Childrens lives being at stake, no, not pleasant at all. Reminds me of the poor man knocking on the wealthy mans door, with his teeth chattering in the middle of a frosty winter, only to walk away saying, oy, I can't watch such pain.

very well said shmayra

1-no chabad rabbis attended including the bais din that ruled that one must go directly to the police

2-60 people showed up despite the das staff calling all thir friends and fixers
to come

3-almost half said the will attend the protest against hynes on june 20 in front of the das office

At this point I think Hynes has lied so much about his numbers and accomplishments that he cannot release the names because it will show that he is lying. I predict that if he changes it will only be going forward. He will claim that he cannot break promises he gave to victims in the past.

1) There wasn't several people protesting the event only 1 (Rosenberg) and even he wasn't really protesting he just didn't feel like going inside unless they would let him speak.

2) The even was held on the same day and time as 2 other BIG events for children so a lot of parents couldn't make it .

3) There was several reps from local Yeshiva's.

4)Hynes was invited for the single reason that he is still the DA and YES he did openly lie at the event but people in the crowd jumped up to scream at him.


Oh how do I know all of this, b/c I was there from start to finish.

Just go to Dovid Cohen from Gvul Yavetz he allows you to arrest any jew any time for whatever reason he believes the More Jews that sit in Jail the Less crime there will be

At this pace Charles Hynes's and Henna White's big lie will grow to a claim of 500 Orthodox child molesters "prosecuted" by the time he campaigns for re-election next year.

These two unethical and ruthless operators have outsmarted themselves. For the first time in their criminal careers the media is watching. And keeping count.

Who knows what else the newly attentive media will uncover in this house of ill repute otherwise known as the Brooklyn DA's Office.

Federal indictments to follow?

was rubashkin's son in law present to teach how wrong it is to play whith little boys private parts. I am told sholom boasts of his daughter's fine marriag to this young UPRIGHT jew mensh, to his new found friends.

Something to keep in mind-

Child predators are very cunning and manipulative. They know every trick on how to groom, threaten, lie, and put the fear of god into their victims and sometimes even their family members.

They also appear to do a lot of goods things, they can be very charismatic and you may think they would never harm a child. They have to be this way, in order to not get caught and to continue to abuse

Sexual predators are often powerful and well-loved. It would be comforting if those who preyed on the vulnerable were obvious social misfits whose appearance would somehow set off alarm bells and give us ‘the willies’ or ‘the creeps.’ They rarely do. Usually, predators are among the last people we would suspect of sexually violating others. At a party, the predator isn’t some oddball sitting alone in a corner because others feel uncomfortable with him. Most often, the predator is the guy throwing the party.

We must overcome the dangerous myth that because someone is successful or warm or caring, he or she “couldn’t have done that!
Also, we must stop thinking that because a man is old, that somehow he’s automatically “safe.” It’s just irresponsible to endanger kids by assuming an adult is “harmless” simply because he or she may be losing hair, wearing glasses, using hearing aids or walking with a cane. These can be signs of advancing age, but they are not signs that an individual is safe around kids.

It is extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim. Hopefully if anyone has knowledge or may have been harmed within the Jewish community, will contact the police.

Also keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511
snapjudy@gmail.com
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims.
SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org).

Since they are not part of the solution, then they must be part of the problem and have something to hide

If you know Crown Heights politics understand that Eli Federman is seen as a troublemaker. It would have been better had it been organised and backed by the Community council not htis individual

Judy Jones-You describe the molester perfectly, i wrote here many time as a 10 years old i was molested in our town mikva in europe by non other then our beloved shohet and moel that was over 50 years ago,he was looked up to sice he was also the oldest holocaust survivor he was over 60 this was in 1960 who can fathom or imagine him to be a molester not in a million years every word you wrote is the absolute truth thank you for the piece.

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