Jun 8, 2009

Haredim and Molestation in the Courts

An Anonymous Guest Post

The recent article in the Jerusalem Post has caused much controversy in Ramat Bet Shemesh. One of the claims thrown around -- apparently even by rabbinical figures -- is that most of the abuse allegations are false. This post is a response to that claim.

I worked for a period as a clerk for a judge in the Jerusalem area (that is, the area that encompasses Jerusalem and its suburbs, Bet Shemesh, the Gush Etzion area, and Beitar Ilit). The judge for whom I clerked sat on major felonies, which included rape and molestation cases.

I remember, after working for about two weeks, how shocked I was when I noticed the demographic breakdown of the defendants in cases of child abuse. I would say that about 10 percent were Arab, 20 percent were Dati, and 70 percent were Haredi. When I first "discovered" this, I shared my amazement with the other clerks, who told me that it's no secret. A noted legal scholar in scholar once stated, at a panel on child abuse, that 90 percent of the cases are charedim. From my experience, this was not the case. Whether the percentage is 70 percent or 90 percent, that is irrelevant, in either case, the numbers are completely out of proportion to the actual percentage of charedim in the Jerusalem area. (As an aside, I believe that cases of Arab on Arab molestation are underreported; nearly all of the Arab defendants were charged with abusing Jews).

I should also add that -- from as much as I could garner from reading the cases and testimony -- the defendants had, in fact, perpetrated the crimes that they were accused of. Rape cases are a more complicated matter, as the question often revolved around consent. In the molestation cases, the facts were overwhelming and the defense attorneys usually had to resort to technical arguments to invalidate evidence or testimony.

The breakdown of the Haredi abuse cases was also interesting: a very large number were Sefardim and a similarly large number were Baalei Teshuva. I am moving now from observation to conjecture, but I think that the reason this is so less to do with the actually percentages of crimes committed and more to do other societal factors. Unlike born Haredim, Baalei Teshuva are unprotected. If a Haredi person molests a child, there are a number of factors that will prevent the case from coming to trial: a natural fear of reporting, lest the family get a bad name; pressure put on the part of local activists and rabbis not to report, to protect the perpetrator; even if a complaint is filed, pressure may be put on the family and on the police to withdraw it; and finally, legal help will be paid for by the community, thus stalling the progress of the case. On the other hand, a perpetrator who is a Baal Teshuva will seldom benefit from the communal support and pressure.

As for Sefardim, I believe that there is a whole other dynamic going on. Families are less afraid to report and there is less communal pressure to not report or withdraw a complaint.

How do I know that the underrepresentation of Ashkenazi Haredim is due to societal factors and not simply the fact that it occurs less?

Other clerks in the court told me of cases where the charges were filed, but later withdrawn by the DA's office, do to a lack of cooperation, as a result of pressure placed on the abused's family. In my own experience, I have head of many, many credible reports of molestation that went unreported. I have no doubt that if all cases of child sexual abuse in the Haredi world were reported, we would be shocked by the numbers. We might also be shocked at how far up the abuse goes.


  1. Absurd ConjectureJune 08, 2009 12:34 PM

    Maybe the reason you saw 70% of the cases were Haredi is because ONLY the Hardeim actually report the crimes, whereas the Arab, "Dati" and secular groups do not...
    Rafi - your standards of "journalism" have become laughable at best.

  2. absurd:
    1. journalist and blogger are two different things.
    2. this is a guest post by somebody. see the first line. I know him, but he wanted it posted anonymously.

  3. Here is the original JPost article.

    I heard that one Charedi Rabbi took umbrage to something David Morris said in that article, and is threatening to call for a boycott of Lemaan Achai.

    I know who the Rabbi was, and I'm not saying (for now) - but any idea what David said there that was so deeply offensive?

  4. Shaul - you gotta be kidding, right? you have not seen the post with 170+ comments from the end of last week that is still going on?

  5. ahh.. no... must have been hiding under a rock... will take a look there...

  6. I can't believe it. Not a single chiloni?

  7. While this is important information (from an anonymous source), it only reflects the number of cases that make it to court. It doesn't tell you how many false (or true) accusations are made but never reported to the police, or never make it to court.
    So, it doesn't prove that MOST accusations are true.
    Also, this may be a bit of a straw man.
    The author of the post is attacking the assertion that most accusations are false.
    We haven't heard anyone say that.
    The author gives us no idea how many cases total (10, 100, 500?) and over what period of time he is talking about

    Putting that aside, it does seem that there is a serious problem, perhaps much more so in the charedi community.

    Perhaps we could ask, "is it a siman or a siba?". In other words, are these criminals expressions of extreme religiosity just another symptom of their mental instability OR is it something in the culture of the community which somehow causes or allows them to commit the crime?

  8. he is anonymous to you, but not to me. His point was the level is higher in haredi community than others, and it is way out of proportion.
    Absurd made a good point though, even though the suggestion does not really make sense - that perhaps other communities are not reporting it... Why would they not report? A parent who suspects something, who would he/she turn to other than the police or the welfare dept? But the suggestion is still possible..

    another issue is that the author says the high percentage does not even take into account the regular haredi community - he says his numbers are mostly sefardim and baalei teshuva, both for sociological reasons have higher percentages reporting such incidents.

  9. Thanks for the post Rafi. This discussion is interesting.

  10. HaEressyisraeliJune 08, 2009 2:59 PM

    A mode of Judaism which clings to the galus must inevitably breed not only halachic distortions but behavioral ones as well.

    HaRav David Bar-Hayim articulates this idea eloquently.

  11. This is not neccesarily connected to the issue of the previous post and the jpost article.
    how many of these cases that Mr. Anonymous (To us LOL) involved people that were in chinuch? that was the article's claim - the molestation in the chareidi schools (particularly in RBS)is rampant.
    Cases involving non educators is a very difficult thing to prevent. everybody has neighbors and molesters don't wear specific labels.
    The accusations of Rabbanim covering up has mostly been when educator's were involved. (as far as I have seen)

  12. anon - I actually asked him something similar when we talked about it on the phone yesterday. his numbers and observations are almost completely about cases that were within the family. He told me there were some cases of educators, but almost all was family or neighbors perpetrating the crime.

  13. I'd like to point to 2 causes, IMO:

    1. The moral breakdown of secular society.

    2. The extremes taken by the communities, such as Hareidim, to insulate themselves from general society.

    Groundbreaking, no?

  14. faigie rosensteinJune 08, 2009 3:09 PM

    This post began with the statement that people have reacted to abuse stories by saying they are false.
    NOBODY said that. Just that in specific cases (like in my daughter's gan) the story has flimsy evidence and is statistically unlikely to boot (ask guest poster how many mothers of young children were accused of abusing unrelated female children in school - if he saw THAT more than once, I'll eat my hat.
    That said, WOW! There is a lot of abuse - mostly in the family, as you said. We need to examine what elements int he culture are contributing.
    But if it is mostly among sefardim and BTs, why do we assume only they report it, while ashkenazic FFBs don't. Shouldn't we ask if they are just doing it more?

  15. HaEressyisraeli,

    Is posting a comment completely unrelated to the original post or ensuing discussion an example of a behavioral distortion?

  16. No that I am denying the prevalence of charedi abuse, but I wonder whether these numbers are skewed by anohter cultural factor:

    1)Most abusers are males.

    2)Most abusers (who get charged) are teachers.

    3)Very few secular teachers (of young children, especially) are male.

  17. Yeah, but most of the cases this poster mentioned were family cases.
    The poster seems to claim that not a SINGLE chiloni case made it to his court.
    Sounds a bit fishy. Maybe it was a court for only religous and Arab people.
    Or maybe the best way to protect your children is to send them to chiloni schools and live in a chiloni neighborhood, but somehow I doubt it.

  18. HaEressYisraeliJune 08, 2009 4:18 PM

    If it is true (and it seems to be) that molestation occurs disproportionately within the haredi community, then I do identify a slight connection between this phenomenon and galuti hashkafot.

  19. Faigy Rosenstein said,

    You think there is flimsy evidence- Did you read the psycologist's report which states clearly the ganenet's name who sexually abused the child. This is a Psycologist with 30 years experience. Do you think he would send this report stating that what happened is true all the way to the police and the State Prosecutor if he doubted that this happened by this particular ganenet? Since your child is in the Gan, Did you ever ask the Principal if she ever saw the report? Guess what, she never even read the report.

  20. Here is an interesting article about dealing with sexual abuse in the charedi community:


  21. HaRav Malinowitz, Expel Predators From The ClassroomsJune 08, 2009 4:53 PM

    One thing is for sure-if HaRav Malinowitz's public statements in the coming weeks merely refer to the need for "raising awareness" and not also to the pressing need to get child predators out of the classrooms, then this will be a tremendous tragedy.

  22. Mehadrin BlogsJune 08, 2009 4:59 PM

    No one seems to be stating the obvious her:

    The more "frum" we get, the more mehadrin our busses become, the more separate our simchaos are the more abuse becomes rampant.

    Perhaps this unhealthy obsession with these matters is causing the yetzer hara to work overtime.

  23. Faigie..a teacher CAN AbuseJune 08, 2009 5:02 PM

    "and is statistically unlikely to boot"

    Most of these cases don't go to trial since the victims are unable to speak for themselves in court (and by the time it would go to trial the defence argues that too much time has passed).

    Does this mean they are not guilty?
    Of course not. It just means that our already overburdened justice system (as well as that of other countries) don't know how to handle this.

  24. I hope you meant buses and not busses.

  25. To Rafi and comments:
    I find it surprising and possibly hypocritical that no one has mentioned the names of schools and/or teachers - so the community is aware. rafi - will you allow this? If not, why not?

  26. It could be every school. The question is less where it happened and more what is the schools policy.
    We can look at how a school handled a particular situation. At what point did they or didn't they remove a teacher?
    What kind of background check do they do before hiring? What precautions do they take to protect the children? What is their response to an accusation?

  27. The people at beis tefilla are ready to jump off of a cliff!

    This was sent out on the btya list.

    Looking for a few fellow adventurous souls to join a small group - including
    several BTYA members - for a...

    * Beginner's Rappelling ("Snappelling") Course this week

  28. One possible explanation: Hilonim don't have many children. I wouldn't be surprised if 70% of the Jewish children in Jerusalem are Hareidi.

    Although it seems to me that Hareidi society is both a fertile breeding ground and an ideal territory for child molesters, I agree with the skepticism expressed in some comments here. There were no cases of molestation in the secular community? Also, as others have pointed out, this post provides no evidence for the low percentage of false accusations, since he is only looking at those which ended up in court.

  29. The Anonymous Author of the PostJune 08, 2009 7:12 PM

    I never wrote that there were no chiloni cases (although, now that I am racking my brains, I can't think of one of the top of my head). There might have been one or two.

    Some more background information. I am referring to cases that I saw over a period of a year. I do not remember a case of a teacher being convicted, even though I know of such cases from a few years ago. It was mostly family members or people outside of the framework of a school, such as neighbors, security guards, etc.

    Teachers in the charedi world are highly protected. At the most, the teacher will move from one school to another (cf. the girls high school principle in Australia).

  30. A couple of people emailed me this point, thinking it was me who wrote the post, so I wanted to add it here as a comment:

    The recent article in the Jerusalem Post has caused much controversy in Ramat Bet Shemesh. One of the claims thrown around -- apparently even by rabbinical figures -- is that most of the abuse allegations are false.

    No one is saying that.
    Get that through your head.

  31. Anon - you said:
    "The question is less where it happened and more what is the schools policy."
    MANY OF US KNOW WHICH SCHOOLS. Some even know which teachers. Why aren't you all actively removing these people from the neighborhood? It is not history. The teachers are moved to different schools within RBS. We all know this. Why are we talking about it and not acting? Why are we criticizing R' Malinowitz, when we are not better?

  32. re false accusationsJune 08, 2009 7:26 PM

    There is an official procedure that must be followed in order to file an official complaint against someone for molestation. It includes going to one specific agency in J-m (mercaz hagana) where the child is carefully interviewed by specially-trained professionals. This is done ON CAMERA so that the interviews can be reviewed by, say, the police department, state prosecutor, judge, etc. to make sure there was no leading the child on or putting words or ideas in his mouth. If a child is seen by a private professional before mercaz hagana, most often the police will decline to open a file b/c there are none of these safeguards against frivolous accusations in place with a private professional.

    In the case currently pending, we are talking about 2 official complaints, which means 2 children who have gone through this process. A case at this stage has already been vetted by the mercaz hagana, the police deparment and child welfare department, who do not waste their time and money on persuing cases that aren't solid enough to result in a conviction.

    We are not talking about an empty accusation with no substance.

  33. If no one is saying that the allegations are false then what, exactly, is the official justification for doing nothing about them?

  34. they are sayign they are dealing with it quietly, they are dealing with it in their approach, etc. not that they are false. They are being dealt with in other ways.

  35. I think that if Rav Malinowitz really was interested in doing
    something about the child molestation problem he would have
    called David Morris to see what
    he could do to help the situation.
    Instead he claimed the article was
    a lot of lies. I think the Rav
    protests to much. Was he one of those involved in getting the accused molester (he has not been
    found innocent) hired by another
    school and attacking the victims

  36. Super. So they are not saying the allegations are false. If they are not false, then what is the official justification for LEAVING THESE PEOPLE IN POSITIONS THROUGH WHICH THEY HAVE CONTINUED ACCESS TO CHILDREN?!

  37. to - you would have to ask him. he obviously does not read/comment here.

  38. faigie rosenstein said... if he saw THAT more than once, I'll eat my hat.

    Sam Says...I sure hope your'e hungy lady!!
    If you're daughter is in that Gan -get her out - Hat and All!
    The woman is sick and the cases against her (2 and counting) are REAL and unfortunately VERY TRUE.
    I know it's hard to face when your kid is in the class, I could understand that but, please get into reality and help you child.
    Pull out now!

  39. faigie rosensteinJune 09, 2009 9:21 AM

    Sam - are you saying the guest poster said that there was more than one case seen in court of a female teacher with young children of her own who was accused of molesting female children in her classroom? Because the guest poster hasn't come out and said that he has seen that, as I predicted, because those cases almost never happen. You have a right to express your opinion, but don't lie.
    The case against this teacher may be true, nobody ever said it is impossible, just that it is unlikley to be true.
    At this point, the teacher has been suspended, has been crying and distressed, and is never alone with the children. Do you think under these conditions - where she knows she was accused in public (every mother in the gan was informed, there was no cover-up, and any further accusations will certainly be treated seriously), and now that she is never left alone with children, do you think even if she did something (what is it she did?), she would do it again?
    The chance that she would do it again under these circumstances seems very tiny, though again, anything is possible...

  40. faigie rosenstein said...

    The chance that she would do it again under these circumstances seems very tiny, though again, anything is possible...

    You are thinking like a rational person. Do you realize that molesters cannot control themselves. Putting a molester in proximity of children is like putting alcohol in front of an alcoholic and saying - Don't drink. And yes, just like this woman who everyone says is sooo amazing with children and is soo charismatic - why not take a look at the Rabbeim who are molesting. They are also soo amazing with children and soo charismatic. You cannot tell by looking and observing them that they are so unwell. These people need more help than we can imagine and even with all the help they are still considered a danger to children. Of course the teacher/Rabbeim being accused are denying all of this. Their entire life is at stake. But it is what happened and I'm sorry that it is so difficult to face.

    You need to realize that the families dealing with all these situations did not wake up one morning and decide to ruin someone's life. They have seen horrible trauma happening to their children. They have spent thousands of dollars on therapy to help their children. The have gone to professionals to evaluate everything. They have spent hours at the police station and in Mercaz Hagana. This is all during normal life. Parents are missing work, their other children are being taken care of by others etc..........Its also very difficult for the parents to come to terms with what happened. As parents we only want to protect our children. And as much as the teacher/Rabbeim are distressed, can you just imagine for one minute the distress of the children who are forced by the molesters to be violated.

    In most of the cases that happen there are only a very small number of families that have the strength to stand up to the truth. If you would speak to professionals in this area you would find out that after most of the families who speak out are threatened, harrassed, ostracized, etc..they no longer have strength to get their own family through the crisis and try to make the public aware of the dangers. And that is the main reason why there is so much molestation continuing in this town, because the perpetrators know it will take super-human strength to fight for the truth and only a very small number of individuals will be given the Siyatta Dishmaya to really stand up for the safety of children.

  41. Fagie -
    If I was child services...I would take your child away.
    You have no right to be a parent and place your child in UNNECESSARY risk. I am sure that you are more strict with shabbos laws than you children's lives and therefore your children should be taken from you. And that goes for all parents that send to schools where you KNOW that there are serious allegations.
    You are all sick.

  42. To Slingshot:

    I strongly disagree with Faige's views but you are way over the line.

    Faige, we don't have access to the complaint and can't be informed of exactly what it is the ganenet has been accused of, but the legal parameters of child sex abuse are very clearly defined. I suggest you call the revacha, the police department, or a lawyer to find out what they are. Then you will at least know the parameters of what she has been accused of doing. It would certainly seem the resonsible thing to get as much accurate general information as possible before deciding that she poses no risk to your child, rather than relying on conjecture. There is real information to be had.

  43. 5starmom & faigie -
    If i was your child and knew that you know there was a KNOWN risk and you did not take me out of that place IMMEDIATELY...and would NEVER forgive you. Even if nothing happened to me. you should be ashamed

  44. take a look at the NY state sex offenders registry and put in any zip code in the frum neighborhoods. You will be sad to see how many beards and peyos are shown (along with a brief description of the crimes they have committed).

    It is truly shocking.

  45. faigie rosenstein againJune 09, 2009 9:25 PM

    I am very concerned about the situation in town and obviously, in my child's school in particular. I appreciate everyone who is giving their advice, opinions and information (and whoever is writing things like that my children should be removed from my care, you prove my point: you LACK the ability to reason and judge things appropriately, and prove that nobody should listen to your advice on any matter of importance. If on the basis of my reasonable comments and views you think my kids should be taken away by social services, then I am not surprised that in the case where there is only an unreliable report of abuse, you would take away custody from a parent or fire a teacher, both wrong actions.
    What is the point of investigations, let's just hang any adult ever accused of abuse, right?
    My best friend is a speech therapist. She works with children. She is happy she is not a gannenet - at least if someone accuses her falsely of abuse, she can go work with adults...
    I don't think the principal lied to me - I was told that there was one complaint, made by a five year old, that this happened two years before. I was also told that a second person who knew about the first complaint made a report, but then retracted it and said she jumped to the conclusion that there was abuse on the basis of knowing the history, which makes the second complaint a non-issue.
    This leaves us with one complaint which ANYONE with any knowledge of children will tell you is not reliable (but just for the record, I checked with TWO clinical psychologists who agreed). A child of five reporting on events from two years before is NOT reliable. That doesn't mean it is false, just that it is (99% of the time) impossible for anyone to judge whether the statements are true or false if there is no other evidence to prove it (and no, behavioral problems or distress isn't proof).
    If there is more on this teacher, then I would think differently - and again, for those of you who know so much about this case that you are saying it is dangerous for children to be around this woman, what did she do? Can you spell it out without being graphic? Someone told me she is accused of being too intimate - kissing kids too much. That isn't something to dismiss, but it isn't as dangerous as a violent predator, and perhaps the teacher could benefit from therapy. Those in the know, how many complaints are there, what is the nature of them, and please, do not yet again write comments saying that the five year old with the two-year-old complaint is to be believed. I agree it may be true, but without physical evidence to prove it - nobody can tell for sure. Are there other complaints?
    Don't tell me to go call this place or that place - if you know, I'd believe you, so why are you keeping it a secret, you all who detest cover-ups and lies?

  46. friend of FaigieJune 09, 2009 9:31 PM

    Dear Mrs RBS,
    I HAVE checked out those sites and seen the beards and payos and names like Avram Yeshaya Goldshmidt accused of raping little girls.
    Too sad.
    How many Rochel Bailas were listed as predators in NY? I didn't see any frum women on those lists, did you? If you did, please post the link to prove it, I want to check out that web page, not rely on anyone's hearsay.
    Doesn't that prove the point that was made about frum women being unlikley perps?

  47. Faigie,
    When in doubt...
    How can we take a chance?
    But then again, those of you who disagree with Faigie, do you think the other gannenet in the classroom is in on it and wouldn't report her?
    Is that a reasonable fear?

  48. faigie rosensteinJune 09, 2009 9:46 PM

    I take your point, the person doing these things is not of sound mind and can't be counted on to act rational. How about the other teacher who is watching her, if the accused is never alone with children? Can we count on her?
    And yes, I think it takes a lot of work and strength for parents to report abuse. I think parents should report suspected abuse, even when they can't be sure it happened. I never suggested that people reporting abuse are liars, and anyone who thinks I said that due to their hysteria, please find a quote and paste it in. I simply said there are some cases of false reports (and I don't pretend to have numbers and won't make up statistics based on my knowledge of a few cases, but I am sure it is a VERY small percentage) and I still maintain that anyone who refuses to acknowledge that truth - that molestation allegations CAN be false in a few cases, even though made by an "innocent" child - is just proving that they are not able to deal with reality in their pursuit of justice.

  49. Those who worry about the child who made the accusation, how about those who are accused falsely?
    A few weeks ago my neighbor came to my home and demanded to look through my children's books. It turned out that his daughter was discussing inappropriate topics in school and the school called in a psychologist who talked to the child. The child was repeatedly pressed to disclose who told her all these words and explained male-female relations to her. Well, they wore the poor kid down, and I guess she was afraid to say the truth - so she said she read all this in a book in...my house. Well, the father couldn't find any book that raised any flags, so he apologized and went home. I am sure the parents suspect that she heard all this stuff from me...I promise she didn't! or that I had some dirty book I take out when kids come visiting...I don't!
    Now that kid never comes over (not that I care) and who knows what the parents told everyone in town...
    And there's no way I can prove that all I did was give the kid milk and cookies.
    I can't prove something DIDN'T happen.
    What if the child had said I not only showed her a dirty book, but molested her? Would you say I should lose my teaching job?

  50. let's be rationalJune 09, 2009 9:58 PM

    Freind of Faigy -
    As 5Star mom explained, there IS NO PROFILE. Anyone can abuse - women are just as likely to abuse as men are...
    And Jews are just as likely to be suicide bombers as Muslims are...
    Don't sterotype.

  51. RBS man on the streetJune 09, 2009 9:59 PM

    Let's be Rational,
    Please don't make jokes.
    5Star mom means well, she's just probably a bit ignorant of the facts.

  52. friend of Faigie said...
    Dear Mrs RBS,
    I HAVE checked out those sites and seen the beards and payos and names like Avram Yeshaya Goldshmidt accused of raping little girls.
    Too sad.
    How many Rochel Bailas were listed as predators in NY? I didn't see any frum women on those lists, did you? If you did, please post the link to prove it, I want to check out that web page, not rely on anyone's hearsay.
    Doesn't that prove the point that was made about frum women being unlikley perps?

    can anyone figure out what friend of Faigy is accusing me of? I am having a hard time trying to understand her point.

    p.s. it is common knowledge that most perpetrators are male. what does that have to do with my statement? and how does that make it highly unlikely that a female could have committed this heinous crime? OF COURSE a female could have committed this crime. Just because statistically it is more likely for a male to engage in this activity, by no means does that mean that females NEVER do it.

    Seriously, friend of Faigy...

  53. Faigie Rosenstein Said again,

    Someone told me she is accused of being too intimate - kissing kids too much

    The accusations against the Gannenet have nothing to do with kissing. They are serious crimes. Without going into detail - this ganenet is really sick and not only performed acts on the child but did worse than that. If you speak to experts in sexual abuse you will find out that the type of stuff that was done is very common Predator stuff. The way that the child was able to describe and the wording that the teacher used to her and other proofs and things that the parent witnessed all are proof that this did indeed happen. There were many different things that happened here that all the parents of the Gan are not aware of. It was not just a one time accusation. If you would understand all the details and there are many, you would realize that this woman is a predator. And yes, please realize that it was the main ganenet's first year in the Gan and Predators are very good at what they do. I'm sure she had her co-teacher fooled. The children were taken many times to
    Ayalon park with the main Ganenet. Of course she is going to say that noone was left back. Well guess what, some children were. I know that for a fact. I'm sorry that you are having such a hard time facing this reality but it is 100% true. No this is not the only complaint. In a few more days there will be public knowledge of another complaint filed against this teacher.

    Just another point. There is another child that was held back also by the predator. Why is she not being questioned? Doesn't she have a right to get the proper help? The school is aware of this and they refuse to question this child- Why? If they are so sure that the teacher is innocent what are they afraid of?

  54. Sam,
    Please, elaborate. What is she accused of? When did she allegedly do it?
    Which gan?
    What did the school do?
    What did the parents of the victim do?
    What is the school doing now?
    What are the police doing now?
    What are the other parents in the gan doing?
    Is she still teaching there?
    How are you involved? Are you a parent in the gan? Did you speak to the parents in the gan? of the victim? Did you speak to the principal?

  55. Sam- your statement "please realize that it was the main ganenet's first year in the Gan and Predators are very good at what they do. I'm sure she had her co-teacher fooled" is a complete an utter LIE. The main ganenet is about to complete her third year at Magen Avot (possibly more, but I know she was there when my older daughter had her almost three years ago.) That is a known fact, and perhaps she taught more years before that. Why do you feel the need to lie and present yourself as an expert, particularly about something so easily disproven? All you accomplish is that you make us think you're lying about lots of other things you claim to know as facts. So when you claim to know for a fact that the accused was left in the gan with children, we all need to remember that you like to make up things and are not a reliable person to believe.
    Potential abuse is a serious problem. If you know something about it, by all means share it with others, but don't lie just to support your opinion. My daughter is in the gan and I don't appreciate your lying in order to try and manipulate us into believing what you feel we should.

  56. Mother,
    Hey you actually mentioned the name of the school!
    Maybe you even know some details about the accusation and how it was handled by the school, the therapist, the police, the rabbi and the parents.
    Care to share?
    Perhaps, you would like to make people feel better about how the school handled it.

  57. As a parent in the gan, but not Baruch Hashem one of those involved in the accusation against the ganenet, I can only address the way the school is handling the situation. Unlike Sam, I do not wish to state as fact information which I heard second or third hand, so I will limit my comments to what I actually heard and saw with regard to this situation.

    The principal called an emergency meeting of all the mothers in the gan and explained to us that the ganenet was being accused of sexual abuse by a three year old child in the gan. She also informed us that previous to this current case, a child who currently is five years old had claimed that two years prior, she too had been abused by this ganenet at the age of three. She said that due to the fact that there was now this second claim, she was removing the teacher from the class on paid leave. An expert in the area of molestation and abuse was also present at the meeting to answer questions parents had.

    Many mothers in the gan spoke to the ganenet accused, as well as the main ganenet and felt uncomfortable with that decision. Subsequently, the teacher stated that she planned to sue the school. It turns out that it is illegal to act upon an accusation in this way. The correct procedure is to keep the teacher in the class with someone observing at all times. When the school was made aware that this is the law according to Misrad Hachinuch, they allowed the teacher to return to the class after calling each parent to inform them of this. The parents were offered alternatives such as having parents take turns coming to the gan, or placing their daughters in the four year old gan for the remainder of the year. Most of the parents in the class are comfortable with the decision to have the teacher return to the class as evidenced by the fact that almost all continue to attend gan each day.

    In my opinion, the school has handled this well overall. They have demonstrated concern and are being very open and communicative with the parents.

  58. Just to back up the mother in the gan, my niece was in gan with the main gannenet two years ago, so this business about her being a new teacher - total lie.

    Let's assume mother in gan knows what she is talking about. Didn't someone also say that the second report of abuse by a current girl in gan was retracted when the mother realized that she got scared by a neutral thing the kid said, because she KNEW about the first story (the five year old who said it happened two years ago? That's what I heard...and that would make a big difference.

  59. mrs rbs, you said that we shouldn't think frum people can't be abusers, because we have proof online with pictures of men convicted with long white beard sand payos.
    Friend of Faigie pointed out that those profiles of molesters you mentioned prove Faigie's point that if a frum person does this, it is 99.9% of the time a man, because those websites show men names Moshe Chaim but not women named Leah Malka.
    I didn't think she "accused" you of anything...just said your comment supported her friend's point.

  60. Last Post By SamJune 11, 2009 9:55 PM

    Your'e free to believe what you wish. May Hashem grant you the Chochmah to look deeper into what you are seeing. I don't blame you for not being experienced in recognizing/dealing with a perpetrator. (By the way the two Rabbeim who are being accused with more police reports than this are also claiming their "innocence"- I know for a fact that they are not innocent). No crimes go unpunished - whether it be in this world or the next. Those that have hurt the innocent children WILL pay the price. May we be zocheh to see the coming of Moshiach very soon.

  61. Sam- not so fast. Before you disappear, please explain yourself. Did you deliberately try to mislead all of us or did someone else mislead you and you mistakenly repeated that information as fact? If the latter is the case, have you confronted your source? Did any of the other information in your previous post come from this same source?

    You made a lot of wild statements in your previous post, now that we know that part of it is false, it's only right that you should please clarify what is 100% true and what is based on conjecture or third hand information.

    As a concerned parent I feel it is my right to know the facts. People on this blog have been very offensive toward us mothers (including Faigie) who are keeping our daughters in gan, but as you can all now see, just because people post something doesn't make it true.

  62. In my opinion, The most important aspect of these blogs is that the facts are coming out. Thank you, Rafi.

    To the mother in gan who wrote how the school handled it well.

    1.The school was aware of the allegations for several months before the meeting was held. The school ‘dealt’ with the situation by going to rabbonim in the Kiryah. The school claims that they were following these rabbonim. The parents were not originally informed of anything. The meeting was held only after tremendous pressure was put on by parents.

    2.At the meeting, the school said she was suspended with pay. Then a few days later she was later back at gan. Not all of the parents were informed before she was allowed back at gan. Only when confronted, then the school claimed that this was being ‘forced’ upon them by the misrad hachinuch. She has to be allowed to teach with a shadow. The school never gave the name of who at the misrad hachinuch was involved and exactly how the decision was reached. So there is no way to verify this claim. What exactly was the misrad hachinuch told? Has it seen the report? Is the misrad aware of point 6?

    3.The report is (unfortunately r”l) very explicit. It does not talk about ‘(inappropriate) kissing and hugging’. The school saw the report. I don’t know what has happened since then about the report itself. Parents in the gan should demand to hear from the school what it knows from the report.

    ‘Sam’ is wrong when he claims that the main ganenet was new and inexperienced. But that is irrelevant. The fact is that the assistant was left behind with children alone on at least several, if not many, occasions. The school does not deny this (as far as I know).

  63. continued
    5.A few days later, THIS TEACHER WAS BACK TEACHING WITHOUT A SHADOW. SEVERAL PARENTS NOTICED THIS WHEN THEY CAME TO PICK UP THEIR KIDS OR STOPPED BY DURING THE DAY. THE PARENTS WERE NOT PREVIOUSLY INFORMED. When confronted, the school claimed that the ‘bdatz beis din in Yerushalayim poskened that she had to be allowed back without a shadow.’ (The assistant (sayat) and her husand have responded to the claims against her (which obviously they have every right to do) by taking the school to beis din.) So the school claims it ‘was forced’ by the interim directive of the beis din to let her back for a while without a shadow. AGAIN, THE PARENTS WERE NOT INFORMED OF THIS. (I am not sure of the present status of the beis din case or of the ganenet needing a shadow. Parents should ask about this question.) But it is a fact that there were several days she was allowed to do her normal job without a shadow. Does anyone think it is responsible of the school to allow this without informing the parents??

    To all parents in the gan, please when (if) you drop your kids off, ASK directly whether she will be working that day without a shadow.

    6.It has come to light that this assistant (sayat) has in the past invited children (3 and 4 year olds) over for shabbos. Some children went. This is very uncommon. (My guess is that less (way less) than 3% of teachers of 3 year olds invite them to sleep over.) When parents heard this, they were surprised and concerned. The school has known about this at least for several months (maybe longer) but never informed the parents.

    7.Some parents know the points being raised here and some don’t. I would encourage all of the parents to try to get as much info as possible from the other parents.

    8.The school (as far as I know) has not asked for or followed the directives of the local RBS rabbonim who have congregants with children in the school. (Rabbis- Kornfeld, Malinowitz, Meyers, Soloveitchik, Zechariyash,or any others). Rather the school claims to have spoken to rabbonim from the Kiryah in Bet Shemesh ansd Rav Goldstein. Parents, based on the points above (which can all be confirmed without too much difficulty), I encourage you to ASK YOUR LOCAL RAV FOR ADVICE AND/OR A PSAK WHAT TO DO.

    9. Faigie R is correct that based on the statistics, then the likelihood in this case is low. But she is making one fundamental mistake. If someone said 'they think there might be a concern and they want to know what to do', and they describe a case like this, and no one has yet made a formal complaint and no report has been written, etc.... Rather, a parent has a concern, then the percentages are low. However, in this particular case, given that the child and parents have gone through the professional process, and given that the report is there, and given that the school admits to the possibility of a second situation as well, and given that the parents certainly had no agenda to start with (everyone knows it's damaging to put kids through this even if it's true), and given that many people (including professionals) who are aware of the particulars (and are not hysterical people) in the case are VERY concerned, then in THIS CASE the percentages are not 'very unlikely' as Faigie R has been repeatedly saying. Obviously it is not definite, but it is certainly not very unlikely.

    10. Again, demand answers from the school, talk to your rabbonim, get and share info, ask professionals (like Faigie R and others have done). Please share this info with others.


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