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March 14, 2013

Senior YU Rabbi Says He Didn't Try To Stop Child Sex Abuse At YU's High School Because He Could Not Be Sure Allegations Met Halakhic Threshold For Truth

Rabbi Hershal SchachterSpeaking at a rabbinical conference in London, England, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, the rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva University's rabbinical school, says every community should have a board of Jewish yeshiva scholars who are also psychologists. That board should screen allegation of child sexual abuse and other forms of child abuse to determine if the child [or, by extension] making the claim is lying or not. That board should decide whether or not the allegations or suspicions should be reported to police or child services. And he made a stunning admission about the child sex abuse scandal that rocked YU's affiliated high school.

Rabbi Hershal Schachter
Rabbi Hershel Schachter

Rabbi Schachter also talks about mesirah, informing, and rules that there is no violation of the halakha, Jewish law, forbidding mesirah when reporting child sexual abuse and most other crimes to police or child services.

Schachter, who is clearly very bright, is also clearly very emotionally immature, and you can hear that immaturity on this audio as Schachter in essence makes ridicules a child sexual abuse survivor who came to him for help. Schachter shows no grasp of the psychology of child sexual abuse and shows no empathy whatsoever for the survivor.

His behavior toward that survivor also explains why the Yeshiva University child sexual abuse scandal went on for decades rather than stopping when the survivor told Schachter about the abuse.

In essence, Schachter says he was unable to determine whether the survivor's claims had merit or not (had raglayim l'davar or not), and therefore Schachter did not report the abuse to police or do anything to remove the alleged abuser through internal Yeshiva University channels. Truly appalling. 

The audio runs 10 minutes and five seconds. Please click the gray bar to listen: 

Rabbi Hershel Schachter Child Sexual Abuse mesira or not raglayim l'davar YU London Rabbis Conference 2-20-2013

 

 

Comments

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To be fair, Rabbi Schachter did speak to the school psychologist and told the student that he should as well.

Here you have a Rabbi who admits that he is not qualified to handle these matters. He reffers it to the mental health professional, as you insist he should; and yet your find fault in his tone???

He is one of the few Rabbis handling this as you would want.

His main point was to limit the scope of mesira.

Give him a little credit.

>>"To be fair, Rabbi Schachter did speak to the school psychologist and told the student that he should as well.

Posted by: AB | March 14, 2013 at 11:51 AM "<<

Please.

RHS went to the school psychologist to determine if it was raglayim l'davar or not. The psychologist didn't know and wanted to interview the victim. The victim didn't want to go to the psychologist because it would shame his family (a very real concern in the frum community).

So both RHS and the psychologist did NOTHING, when both should have reported the alleged abuse to police.

Please.

Rabbi Schachter comes across as being 100% in favor of bring things to the police.

He says there is no such thing as mesirah.

When the abuse came to him, he as a rabbi was not a mandated reporter so he turned to Dr. Menachem Brayer who was.

Brayer asked for the young man to visit him. He couldn't force him to.

For the record, Brayer was a brilliant psychologist who personally studied with Jung.

I went to him for help on an abuse case and he was very helpful and had keen insights. With his help, the situation was resolved.

Great interview.

>>"Here you have a Rabbi who admits that he is not qualified to handle these matters. He reffers it to the mental health professional, as you insist he should; and yet your find fault in his tone???

He is one of the few Rabbis handling this as you would want.

His main point was to limit the scope of mesira.

Give him a little credit.

Posted by: EC | March 14, 2013 at 11:58 AM"<<

Oh please. WTF is wrong with you?

1. I have never said rabbis should consult with psychologists or anyone else before reporting suspected or alleged child sexual abuse. Quite the contrary. What I've said is that victims should so immediately to police and report the crime, and if the victim is too young to be able to that, an adult should do it.

2. There should be no rabbinic screening panel of any kind, even if it is made up of rabbis who are psychologists.

Either you have a very poor grasp of years of my reporting and years of my writing, or you're a liar.

Either way, your BS stops now. Got that?

FM Fan- what do you mean he's not a mandated reporter? He works in a school. That makes him a mandated reporter by law.

From the New York State Office of Children & Family Services, here is a small subset of mandated reporters:

School official, including (but not limited to):

school teacher
school guidance counselor
school psychologist
school social worker
school nurse
school administrator or other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate

and so are all licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers.

So big FAIL to Yeshiva.

The mandated reporting law in New York only governs parent/guardian child abuse, not teacher/student abuse.

YU was under no legal obligation to report, to the police, the abuse committed by Finkelstein and Macy.

Indeed, if YU had reported to the police, they would have been violating the privacy rights of the victims.

Only the victims had the legal right to file a police complaint.

In all of the Forward and Jewish Week stories, none of the articles suggest that YU broke any laws.

After 2001, public schools in New York were legally required to report teacher/student abuse to the police, but that law exempted nonpublic schools.

Sarek –

It didn't apply to private religious schools at the time.

FM Fan –

>>"When the abuse came to him, he as a rabbi was not a mandated reporter so he turned to Dr. Menachem Brayer who was.

Brayer asked for the young man to visit him. He couldn't force him to."<<

What utter BS.

Schachter said nothing about mandatory reporting.

He went to Brayer to try to determine if the kid was believable enough for Schachter to "make a tumult" about the abuse.

Brayer couldn't diagnose the victim from afar and asked to have the victim come see him. The victim refused.

Neither Schachter or Brayer "made a tumult" or called police or called child services or investigated further.

They were both wrong, and Brayer probably violated the law.

Sarek -

R Schachter was not a mandated reporter.

He was not a YU High School official.

And, even if he was, as I wrote above, the information told to him did not trigger a mandated report. This was not parent/child abuse.

>>"Indeed, if YU had reported to the police, they would have been violating the privacy rights of the victims.

Only the victims had the legal right to file a police complaint."<<

Reader –

That is completely false.

You may have a law degree. You may think you're smart. But you don't know the law and you're extremely foolish

Tell us your real name so we can ask your bar association about your opinion.

From the web site of the NYS Education Department, Office of Nonpublic Services:

"Q. Does Section 413 of the SSL require the listed mandated reporters to report abuse or maltreatment inflicted on a child that actually has occurred on the premises of a nonpublic school, inflicted by another nonpublic school employee?

A. In most cases, it would not."

EC-To me this whole idea of the rabbi himself standing by and letting this go stinks to high heavens,shmarya is 100 per cent right, that this rabbi shachter just let this go shows his true character, that he is unable to grasp the severity of such things, its obvious to me he was protecting the teacher he shachter didnt want to stir up a hornest nest for that he is guilty as hell.

"Either you have a very poor grasp of years of my reporting and years of my writing, or you're a liar.

Either way, your BS stops now. Got that?"

do you get, how emotionally immature "you" sound?

and that is in all 3 points, your many years f 1. reporting, 2. writing 3. and telling someone he has to stop writing? hehehe.

you could not have sounded more dumb, i actually gave you once more credit then that.

>>"Posted by: j | March 14, 2013 at 12:34 PM"<<

I realize this is far beyond your feeble ability to grasp, but when someone completely misrepresents another's positions, even though those positions are clear, the basic choices are that the person is lying or mentally ill or damaged in some other way.

It is clear in this case that the person is intentionally misstating my positions to make RHS look less foolish.

The proper response to that is to a) call it out, and b) make sure the person knows that this type of misrepresentation and lying will not be tolerated.

Now toddle off, little man.

This seems very similar to the Penn State scandal. In both cases we have a high officials of both schools, neither of whom were legally required to report the abuse, completely confused as to their responsibility and passing the buck to higher authority. In my opinion these were not so much moral lapses as lapses in judgment. I believe that Joe Pa was treated abysmally. They should have let him retire and die in peace, but it appears that RHS will skate.

"Reader – That is completely false.You may have a law degree. You may think you're smart. But you don't know the law and you're extremely foolish. Tell us your real name so we can ask your bar association about your opinion."

If you have contrary legal authority, now is the time to cite it.

Keep listening until ca. the 8:00 mark. RHS says that state prisons are "mamash hefker" -- because "they can put you in a cell together with a schwartzer."

He continues, "if you ma'aser on someone and you know that they are going to put them into state prison, that could takeh be mesirah."

Takeaway: If you must rat on a Jew, make sure it's for an offense that will land him in the federal system. According to RHS, in the federal system, "you have Daf Yomi, Glatt Kosher, Mehadrin -- that's not really mesirah."

Posted by: Nigritude Ultramarine | March 14, 2013 at 02:42 PM

Yeah, I was blown away that a centrist -- a moderate -- calls blacks "schvatzers" and that he was stupid enough to do it on tape.

Mandated reporter or not, if you have evidence that a crime is being committed you are required to tell the police.

"Mandated reporter or not, if you have evidence that a crime is being committed you are required to tell the police."

No, only mandated reporters are required to report crimes in the U.S. The 13th Amendment generally frowns on slavery these days. On the other hand, if you are talking about an ethical or religious obligation, that's another matter.

Even without reporting, he could have pushed the teacher out of the school. He did nothing. Inexcusable.

Posted by: A. Nuran
Mandated reporter or not, if you have evidence that a crime is being committed you are required to tell the police.

I'm not familiar with the law, but if that's the case then what's the purpose of a 'mandated reporter'?

Posted by: Nigritude Ultramarine
Keep listening until ca. the 8:00 mark. RHS says that state prisons are "mamash hefker" -- because "they can put you in a cell together with a schwartzer."

I'm not defending the use of the term, but if you had a shred of intellectual honesty you would cite the whole sentence, which from the rest of his thought you can clarly hear that he's fumbling for the words to describe a nation of islam follower ...

BTW
Outside of this website, I have NEVER heard ANYONE ever use the word Toddle - here, you get it all the time... (maybe its a Midwestern thing)

Brayer violated the law?

How pathetic.

By inviting a student to come talk to him?

Brayer was a loveable teacher at YU.

His favorite expression was to tell the story of a father who came to the Besht with a complaint about his son. He asked the Besht for a idea. The Besht said, Love Him More.

Rabbi Brayer is no longer among us. To call him criminal is disgusting.

>>"If you have contrary legal authority, now is the time to cite it.

Posted by: Reader | March 14, 2013 at 01:33 PM<<

Idiot.

I didn't think you'd have the guts to post your real name. You don't want us to know your affiliations, now do you?

To answer your asinine question, hundreds of reports to law enforcement and to child protection are made every year by people in the exact same situation Brayer and Schachter were in.

Those reports were the right thing to do, and they are encouraged and were encouraged by police, child protection services and prosecutors.

As for you, give us your legal name. Reporting you to the bar association's ethics committee would be an absolute pleasure.

>>"Brayer violated the law?

How pathetic.

By inviting a student to come talk to him?

Brayer was a loveable teacher at YU.

His favorite expression was to tell the story of a father who came to the Besht with a complaint about his son. He asked the Besht for a idea. The Besht said, Love Him More.

Rabbi Brayer is no longer among us. To call him criminal is disgusting.

Posted by: FM Fan | March 14, 2013 at 05:11 PM "<<

Idiot.

Brayer violated the law by not reporting.

And what is disgusting is that more children were sexually abused because the great asshole you call a great man did not call police.

"I'm not defending the use of the term, but if you had a shred of intellectual honesty you would cite the whole sentence."

That was the entire sentence. Then he begins another sentence: "In a cell with a Muslim, with a black Muslim [...]"

"[...] you can clarly (sic) hear that he's fumbling for the words to describe a nation of islam (sic) follower."

He did not say anything about the Nation of Islam. The term "black Muslim" may describe people who are black people who are Muslims or members of African-American Black nationalist organizations. These organizations include:

* Nation of Islam
* Moorish Science Temple of America
* United Nation of Islam
* The Nation of Gods and Earths
* Nuwaubianism
* American Society of Muslims

The term "black Muslim" may also describe:

* Islam in the African diaspora
* African American Muslims

By any chance, did you take someone else's medication today? You may think you can read people's minds, but you can't. When RHS was talking about being place in a cell with a "schwartzer" in the state prison system, at no time did he use the phrase: "Nation of Islam" -- he might have been thinking of it, but unlike you, I cannot read people's minds.

To Nigritude Ultramarin

what is stuck so far up your rear that you feel the need to edit a dumb comment on a blog, perhaps you too can benefit from other people's medication ...

And perhaps you can edit RHS sentence as well - who starts a sentence "in a cell with a muslim?"

And why can't it be my medication? this obsession with medication on this site is somewhat disturbing

Oh, and just for your amusment, I sprinkled some more random typos through out - I wouldn't want to deprive you of your jollies.

"[...] who starts a sentence "in a cell with a muslim (sic)?""

My writers starts sentences with prepositions or prepositional phrases and many college professors have no problem with it. I know; I escaped college with a Bachelor of Science degree.

"Oh, and just for your amusment (sic), I sprinkled some more random typos through out - I wouldn't want to deprive you of your jollies."

Thanks for taking the extra time to do that, but aren't other people in the day room complaining that you are taking too much using the computer?

Oops! Many writers ...

Oops! Many writers start ...

"what is stuck so far up your rear that you feel the need to edit a dumb comment on a blog [...]"

I did not edit your comment -- I can't even edit my own comment (supra.) If anyone is going to have any capability to edit another person's comment on this site, it's going to be Shmarya.

Speaking of which:

"Oh, and just for your amusment (sic), I sprinkled some more random typos through out (sic) - I wouldn't want to deprive you of your jollies."

Amended version:

Thanks for taking the extra time to do that, but aren't other people in the day room complaining that you are taking too much time using the computer?

"And perhaps you can edit RHS sentence as well [...]"

And after your long rant-cum-red-herring, you failed to show that RHS was referring to a follower of the Nation of Islam.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan

Shmarya | March 14, 2013 at 12:00 PM
You just assume that the reason that the victim didn't go to the psychologists is b/c he's from frum community. .... Maybe he didn't go for other reasons.
Even if RHS and psychologist would report it to the police, this victim might not want to cooperated with them.

Idiot.

Brayer violated the law by not reporting.

And what is disgusting is that more children were sexually abused because the great asshole you call a great man did not call police.

I realize now Shmarya that you have a real hatred and an illness.

Refuah shleima.

>>"You just assume that the reason that the victim didn't go to the psychologists is b/c he's from frum community. .... Maybe he didn't go for other reasons.
Even if RHS and psychologist would report it to the police, this victim might not want to cooperated with them.

Posted by: yp | March 14, 2013 at 08:05 PM"<<

No, idiot, I don't "assume" it – RHS explains why the victim refused to go to the psychologist.

Perhaps if you would listen to the recording, you'd actually learn something.

Fuck off u fat oaf in the basement
Everyone is an idiot besides u,?

"I realize now Shmarya that you have a real hatred and an illness.
Refuah shleima."
Posted by: FM Fan @ 08:07 PM

FM Fan, you posted that as a response to what Shmarya said here:

"Idiot.

Brayer violated the law by not reporting.

And what is disgusting is that more children were sexually abused because the great asshole you call a great man did not call police."

Now, FM Fan, let me ask you a question. Are you wasted? Anyone that can pull that out of what Shmarya said is a few synapses short of a coherent thought. Of course he has a real hatred. He rolls around in the slop of evil to pluck out some stuff that we count on him to deliver, all for the greater good. He is noted internationally with utmost respect by ppl with whom you could not pass gas, let alone a thought.

And yes, he has a real illness (possibly Plague) that he only has the time to treat with leeches. Leeches like you.

"Fuck off u fat oaf in the basement
Everyone is an idiot besides u,?"

Posted by: charles | March 14, 2013 at 09:06 PM

No, you moronicous. Everyone is an idiot except him.

>>"Fuck off u fat oaf in the basement
Everyone is an idiot besides u,?

Posted by: charles | March 14, 2013 at 09:06 PM"<<

I don't think everyone is, but I'm absolutely certain that you are.

Reader, you are under the impression that a "non-public" school is a private school. It is not.

Further, if YU had reported to the police, they would NOT have been violating the privacy rights of the minor students. Minor students don't generally have privacy rights in the US. Some are afforded through HIPAA. As to schools, FERPA kicks in. Do you know if that applies to non-licensed private (that's private, not "non-public") schools? No. I didn't think so.

This is an interesting statement: "Only the victims had the legal right to file a police complaint." Everyone has the right to complain to law enforcement. Yoo-hoo, this is America. You know, "Oh say can you see..." and stuff.

In a non-public, private religious school in the great state of New York, young children are prime cuts of meat and unless you live in the same house, are parent, guardian etc. New York is not interested in protecting the children in unlicensed religious schools. They have no apparatus to investigate, serve or protect them in that environment. Anyone can report it. But if the parents don't want to get their child involved and they forebear from serving up the child to the same abusers, your guys in blue would rather throw cigarette butts in the street than make sure kids' butts don't have their teachers sticking out of them.

Last paragraph, first line, strike "non-public."

"Fuck off u fat oaf in the basement
Everyone is an idiot besides u,?

Posted by: charles | March 14, 2013 at 09:06 PM"<<

I don't think everyone is, but I'm absolutely certain that you are.

Posted by: Shmarya | March 14, 2013 at 09:40 PM


ROFL

Please note that Finkelstein started his abusing before he was a Rabbi while working at MTA.

I was abused by Finkelstein between September 1969 and June 1971.

We referred to him at the time as Mr Finkelstein and behind his back as gorgeous George.

During that period I was also abused by a phd math student and also a possible smicha student by the name of Lee Michelson or H. Lee Michelson.

He completed his Phd in 1971. I transferred out of MTA in June 1971.

Please spread the word around about this man.

If anyone has any information about this man or was abused by him please contact me via e-mail at YuAbuse@gmail.com.

I do not get it. You say the victim did want to go the psychologist because he was afraid of shame which was a concern in the frum community. But is not reporting this to the police for the matter to be publicized an even more embarrassing situation ? Please explain. Thank you.

Sorry - in prior post meant to say that you claim the victim did NOT want to go to the psychologist due to shame etc.

I do not get it. You say the victim did want to go the psychologist because he was afraid of shame which was a concern in the frum community. But is not reporting this to the police for the matter to be publicized an even more embarrassing situation ? Please explain. Thank you.

Anon –

This isnt a difficult idea to grasp. The student had his own worries and his own fears. But RHS had his own responsibility. Reporting the alleged abuser to police would have possible saved dozens of boys from being sexually abused. But RHS failed.

This blog manages to put a hateful slant on the most devout service minded people and actions. Every kindness is inspected for a grain of fault, every charity for it's flaw. My prayers for your hate filled soul. May you find some love in your life

"This isnt a difficult idea to grasp. The student had his own worries and his own fears. But RHS had his own responsibility."

"I should make a whole טומעל?" - RHS

My wife is a social worker -- a LCSW, who works in the medical field. Yesterday, this thread prompted me to ask her this question:

"Why did the state, in your opinion, make social workers mandated reporters?"

Her response, in a nutshell:

People like social workers, doctors, nurses and others (in Illinois it includes the personnel of institutions of higher education) who work with the public have more opportunities to encounter and gain the trust of vulnerable populations. Ideally, these people, guided by the training and ethics of their respective professions, will be better situated than the public at large to not only recognize abuse and neglect, but to take the necessary steps to help (viz. maltreatment is reported immediately when "they have reasonable cause to believe" that abuse or neglect has occurred to someone known to them in their professional or official capacity).
- - - - -

Does anyone really think RHS met this standard in the story he related in the audio posted here?

As everyone is probably aware, there is no mandated reporter requirement for administrators or professors of institutions of higher education in New York.

The entire list of mandated reporters in New York can be found in this section of the New York Social Services Law: http://bit.ly/ZFdqhG

As everyone is probably aware, there is no mandated reporter requirement for administrators or professors of institutions of higher education in New York.

The entire list of mandated reporters in New York can be found in this section of the New York Social Services Law: http://bit.ly/ZFdqhG


Please don't confuse Shmarya's hateful vendetta with facts.

"Please don't confuse Shmarya's hateful vendetta with facts."

Yes, let's have rabbis who will do the bare minimum and nothing more. Let's have rabbis who will look to the New York State legislature to set the standard of morality instead of the Torah.

כִּי-תִרְאֶה חֲמוֹר שֹׂנַאֲךָ, רֹבֵץ תַּחַת מַשָּׂאוֹ, וְחָדַלְתָּ, מֵעֲזֹב לוֹ--עָזֹב תַּעֲזֹב, עִמּוֹ.

עִמּוֹ -- with him. Be with the person. Show some empathy!

RHS saw someone struggling and he just abandoned him. That's the kind of leader he is.

"I should make a whole טומעל?" - RHS

anyone who apologizes for the acts and/or statements of this alleged rav, is as evil as he is and should share his fate in hell

hey fmfan,

are you illiterate, or just a child hating douchebag?

chool official, which includes but is not limited
to school teacher, school guidance counselor, school psychologist,
school social worker, school nurse, school administrator or other school
personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or
certificate;

he was a mandated reporter

Posted by: just saying: "[...] you can clarly (sic) hear that he's fumbling for the words to describe a nation of islam (sic) follower ... "

Thu. March 14, 2013, The Jewish Daily Forward reported (Failed Messiah credited):

"Schachter Claims Student Rumors Lead to Jail With 'Schvartze'"

and

"He used a derogatory word to claim that false claims could lead to Jews being jailed with black inmates."

A spokesman for YU said: "As with all universities, our faculty members are afforded freedom of speech and expression. Not all statements made by faculty members are consistent with the views of the University.

"Any offensive or derogatory comments about any people or groups are inconsistent with the values or mission of Yeshiva University."

sorry, the above comment was directed at Nigritude Ultramarine

and it doesnt matter what the child wants, a mandated reporter must report to the police...not a psychologist

Uncle Joe @ 11:23: " required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate;"

That's the problem. Private religious schools are not required. That's why NYS cannot police them.

@uncle joe mccarthy "are you illiterate, or just a child hating douchebag?"

False dilemma much?

"he was a mandated reporter"

Pray tell me, what professional or official capacity at YU made him a mandated reporter?

Was it in his official capacity as a college professor? Or was it in his official capacity as an administrator?

You might want to tell New York Assemblyman William Barclay that he has no understanding of the law:

College Coaches, Professors Also Should Be Mandated Reporters
December 12, 2011
http://bit.ly/Xdavwk

From Assemblyman Barclay's website:

"I recently became a co-sponsor of legislation called the College Coaches and Professionals Reporting Act. This bill, if passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor, will add college coaches, athletic directors, professors, graduate assistants, administrators and college presidents to the list of mandated reporters of child abuse. These are professionals who often work and manage youth programs through their respective colleges and universities. Currently, they are not defined as mandated reporters under New York State Law."

For those of us who can read, this proposed legislation is still a bill in the New York State Senate: http://bit.ly/10XSwQW

For the literati:

"Current law does not specify that faculty of colleges and universities are mandated reporters."

http://bit.ly/10XSwQW

@uncle joe mccarthy "and it doesnt matter what the child wants, a mandated reporter must report to the police...not a psychologist"

Worst. Advice. Ever.

In New York State, mandated reporters (e.g. police officers) are required by law to report suspected child abuse or maltreatment to the New York State Central Register (SCR) of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.

The SCR accepts calls from persons (e.g. psychologists) who are required by law, or mandated, to report suspected cases of child abuse and maltreatment; and calls from non-mandated reporters, including the public.

The Statewide Toll Free Telephone Number:
1-800-342-3720

If you believe that a child is in IMMEDIATE DANGER, call 911 or your local police department.

I think u once mentioned that u don't regularly check VIN.This may interest you.


http://www.vosizneias.com/126447/2013/03/17/new-york-yus-rav-caught-on-tape-using-derogatory-language-in-meeting-with-london-rabbis

"Schachter also cautioned that children lie and “it could be that the whole thing is a bubbe-mayse [tall-tale],” according to a report in the Forward (http://bit.ly/XSkYRv). The tape was originally posted by controversial blogger failedmessiah.com"

Oy, This is all very sad. Very sad indeed. Have we totally lost our ability to disagree and still be respectful to one another?

Sexual abuse and abuse of any kind is a crime and should be reported. Perpetrators should be taken off the street, prosecuted and victims must be protected. The Jewish community has done a poor job with this mandate. Jews are not a bad as the Church but might be well on the way. It’s not just YU and OU. The Reform and Conservative movements have had their fare share of abusers. Their stories however, do not seem to be as newsworthy to The Jewish Week the Forward…and maybe this blog as well.

We live in challenging times when officials have no filters of differentiation, discretion no longer exists and political correctness dominates over truth. It seems to me that RHS caution only against calling the police when accusation cannot be verified. How to verify is the challenge. There is always a risk that a rabbi/therapist can blow it and invalidate and truthful accusation. This is bad. Many times the rabbi/therapist gets it right and authorities are notified! That is good. Some accusations are falsified and innocent people are arrested and charged. This is bad. When someone is falsely accused, the accusations are front-page news. This is also bad. Vindications rarely make even the back page. It is clear to me that RHS supports meseria, encourages prudence, due diligence and cautions against knee jerk reactions.

Concerning is “Schvartzeh” comment, it certainly was a poor choice of wording and should not be condoned. Excuse the sarcasm but RHS may have been translating the yidish word for black! And I wonder if RHS would have been given a pass if he said, persons “of color” make up 40.1% of the US prison population and there is a strong probability that you’ll be sharing your cell with someone who may be endeared to little Jewish men accused of abusing children?”

The Reform and Conservative movements have had their fare share of abusers. Their stories however, do not seem to be as newsworthy to The Jewish Week the Forward…and maybe this blog as well.

Bernie –

Those movements have long-standing policies mandating reporting child sexual abuse to police or child protection services, and their rabbinic ethics committee regularly hear cases of rabbis who misbehave in various ways, including sexually. And while not perfect, they have a good track record of removing many of these rabbis from rabbinic positions.

Orthodoxy and haredism have no such committees that work and have a terrible track record in dealing with child sexual abuse and other crimes.

All of this information is readily available and easy to find on my blog here or on the wider web by Googling. Quite obviously, you not bother to look or to learn.

"It seems to me that RHS caution only against calling the police when accusation cannot be verified."

The truth of the matter is, when it comes to affairs related to child abuse and maltreatment, RHS doesn't have a grasp of the issues.

1. In suspected cases of child abuse or maltreatment the police are not called -- the New York SCR is called -- even police officers are mandated by law to call the SCR.

2. In suspected cases of child abuse or maltreatment, there is no such requirement to assess the veracity of a putative child victim's statement before calling the SCR. Not only is it against the law for a mandated reporter to do this, but it is unrealistic and irresponsible to expect a child under eight years of age through adolescence -- especially after enduring some sort of trauma -- to articulate exactly what has happen to him before agreeing to help him.

3. Adults with professional roles and official capacities that involve children are expected to be on the alert for signs, symptoms, and behaviors that are indicative of physical abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect, and sexual abuse. Adults who ignore such "signs and symptoms" are irresponsible and can be culpable civilly and legally.

"Concerning is “Schvartzeh” comment, it certainly was a poor choice of wording and should not be condoned. Excuse the sarcasm but RHS may have been translating the yidish [sic] word for black!"

If he used the word "schvartzeh" to describe a black man, then he's speaking Yiddish incorrectly. He really should just stick to English. Why be illiterate in two languages when one will suffice?

@Bernie Flanner: "And I wonder if RHS would have been given a pass if he said, persons "of color" make up 40.1% of the US prison population and there is a strong probability that you’ll be sharing your cell with someone who may be endeared to little Jewish men accused of abusing children?"

Probably not, because one's skin color has no bearing on whether or not one finds a child abuser loathsome.

Thank you Shmarya Rosenberg for the enlightening answer, only a tad insulting. I do find it intriguing that for the other movements a committee to hear cases of abuse is acceptable. It seems that RHS has suggested this, yet he is being taken to task for it. And it's not that I don't care to learn, I just don't regularly read this blog.

And Nigritude your grasp of NY law is quite impressive. But to suggest that RHS is illiterate....well, to me it undermines the veracity of your other credible comments.

Good Day

Bernie –

I suggest that you re-read what I wrote. Both movements have guidelines that require reporting to police and/or child protective services. What those committees do is hear non-criminal complaints and rule on criminal cases. So if a rabbi is reported to police for allegedly abusing a child, and is found not guilty or not brought to trial, the movement still evaluates the case and if enough evidence of misbehavior exists, suspends or removes the rabbi.

Trying to understand what others write is always a good idea to do, Bernie – especially if you intend to attack them for it.

@Bernie Flanner - "And Nigritude your grasp of NY law is quite impressive. But to suggest that RHS is illiterate"

Perhaps I should have said, "RHS is illiterate in Yiddish, but inarticulate in English."

"....well, to me it undermines the veracity of your other credible comments."

And that would be emblematic of fallacious reasoning. The scenic route to a sound conclusion. Happy trails.

Still and all, your complaints are academic. Here is what is important: RHS does not a basic understanding of reporting requirements for suspected cases of child abuse and maltreatment.

Let's judge the Founding Fathers based on today's standards and call them slave-holding racists. Let's judge RHS's case from 40 years ago by today's standards and send him to prison for neglecting the welfare of a child.

Are you kidding? Before you ruin someone's life (ie the accused), there needs to be a case! 40 years ago these kinds of stories were hardly ever viewed as credible because people couldn't believe an educator would do this. (though !shockingly! noone has accused GF of taking clothes off)

Look at the morally superior Al Sharpton who has backed false accusers multiple times in the pursuit of justice - rushing to ruin the lives of those who were innocent without considering that the accuser may have been making things up.

So, Shmarya, call me whatever you want. But you are so wrong on this one. RHS clearly said that a guilty abuser should be handed over to the authorities. False accusations can ruin a person's life.

You can certainly disagree with RHS's idea of a rabbinic panel. But calling him whatever you call him because you disagree about how the evidence should first be processed (schools have taken cases like this and determined internally that the accusations were false) - who is failing now? Disagree with the idea. Don't say RHS is defending abusers.

Your ignorance shows.

Hershey Bar –

Please.

RHS disparaged and insulted the VICTIM and BLAMED the VICTIM without any qualification for what happened.

He also insists on there moronic rabbinic panels when he knows they are in some cases illegal and in almost very case where they have been tried have failed miserably – including in YU itself when, youll remember, Mordechai Willig, Baruch Lanners enabler, headed one of them.

Willig should have been fired and sent off campus in disgrace. Instead, under great duress he issued a pathetic apology, and has spent most of the past decade avoiding any comment on sexual abuse – even when that comment could help known victims of child rape.

Do you have any idea how many hundreds of kids were raped because Schachters panels and beits dins failed?

Lets be clear.

Schachter iis wrong.

That you cant understand this? That you refuse to process it?

Even YU has its cultists.

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