A group of London haredi rabbis are reportedly trying to get Rabbi Chaim Halpern to resign or to be removed from his synagogue. Halpern already resigned from several positions of community leadership at the order of leading haredi rabbis from Kedassia, after multiple, credible allegations of sexual abuse committed by Halpern against women he counseled surfaced and police began to investigate. But Halpern's synagogue was packed last Shabbat with his supporters, and rumors began to circulate that Haplern's resignations were only temporary, and that he would be back in his positions of authority in a few months after things calm down.
Originally posted on 12-1-2012 at 11:06 pm CST
I reported over a week ago that Rabbi Chaim Halpern's resignations were meant to stop the women he abused from cooperating with police – a clear, evident fact the JC and the Times of Israel missed in their breathless reports of the resignations, which relied heavily of work I'd done and that others, including the British haredi blog IfYouTickleus, did. But the Times of israel and the JC didn't cite any of us.
Now the Times of israel has another breathless report by the same journalist reporting that a group of London haredi rabbis are now trying to get Rabbi Chaim Halpern to resign or be removed from the last bastion of his power – the synagoge he owns and controls.
These haredi rabbis – most not part of Kedassia – just figured out that Halpern's other resignations were probably only temporary. They also panicked when so people turned out to support Halpern last Shabbos.
As I wrote previously, moving Halpern to another community or keeping him in place but out of leadership roles won't protect women.
Like other sexual abusers, Halpern will almost certainly re-offend. He needs to be arrested, prosecuted and, if guilty, convicted and imprisoned.
But moving him from community to community or "watching" him in place won't do the job. Just ask the hundreds of victims of other haredi sexual abusers who were banished from one community only to re-offend in another.
And that, by the way, is a clear, simple, proven fact that Times of Israel didn't know enough to report.