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Jun 20, 2012

CNN: Hasidic Child Sex Abuse Allegations (video)

CNN: Hasidic Child Sex Abuse Allegations

CNN ran this report on child abuse, sexual molestation, in the hassidic community of New York. The number they mention is 1 out of every 5 kids. I don't know if that number is the result of a scientific study or if it is just an estimate, or a guesstimate, but even if that number is wrong, the true number is too high, whatever it might be.

I am actually aware of a claim, by someone involved in the situation, that the number is more likely even higher, in the range of 1 out of 3. That sounds very high to me and is almost unbelievable, but he claims it to be so. You can read more about that at haemtza, here and here.

On to the report....

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  1. I think that CNN should come to Ramat Bet Shemesh as well.

    They should see that it isn't only "insular Hasidic rabbis" who protect pedophiles.

    There are more "enlightened", Anglo rabbis in our community who put the perps and the "good name" of Charedi Judaism before the welfare of children.

    The saddest part are the parents who continue to follow these dinosaurs, give them power and put all of our precious children at risk.

    Shame on all of you who continue to defend the actions of these so called "rabbonim".

  2. What I find interesting is that communities, cultures, and countries that focus on issues of modesty vis a vie sexuality have significantly higher incidences of pedophilia than those that espouse a liberal and free sexuality.

    The facts speak for themselves: an orthodox lifestyle endangers kids whereas free liberal societies keeps kids safer. This fact is in direct opposition to what orthodox people of all faiths claim. They rail against immorality and free sexuality because their beliefs or sensibilities inform them that covering skin, separating the sexes, limiting discussion of sex and sexuality is healthy. And perhaps, because the beliefs are based on lifestyles from thousands of years ago, when the punishment for sex crimes like rape and pedophilia were minimal at best and women had few rights is perhaps why these present day communities still believe that a chaste view of sexuality is healthy.

    Regardless of why this belief is so commonly held, it is wrong and proven wrong.

    You have a choice: to get over yourself and the way you've been formed and to try to raise your kids with a healthy and liberal view of sexuality, or rationalize why and how to maintain this lifestyle which has been shown over and over to warp and twist people's feelings, esp regarding sexuality and puts them and others at extreme risk for abuse.

  3. The legal authorities, such as the Brooklyn DA, have had a hard time gathering information related to this topic. I doubt CNN has even that much ability to get through the obstacles. I suspect CNN made its statistics up to suit an agenda. It wouldn't be their first time. Viewers disgusted with CNN's political-social outlook and fraudulent presentation of the news have been abandoning CNN in droves.

  4. The Way, I'm sorry to think that this is not the case at all. I think it has more to do with a population who is brought up naive and unprepared to overcome certain yetzarim/urges while they are being bombarded by more pictures and reality of scantily clad women which incite these urges.

    I also see doubt in this 1/3 or 1/4 ratio. BTW, what is the ration in the common population?

  5. For clarification, see:


    The exact ratio is not so critically important. That we have a horendous problem is important.

  6. It always amazes to see Rafi's site when issues such as these are posted.

    Many of the otherwise vocal people people become eerily silent when the complicity of their "star rabbonim" comes to light.

    The bottom line is that these "leaders" are not qualified to handle child abuse/molestation and should leave it to those who are.

    The wholesale endangerment of our children should cause people to wake up and take charge of their own lives.

    If they don't care for themselves they should at least care for their kids. G-d knows that the rabbonim don't.

  7. Josh,

    I'm sorry that this is the case and that it is so misunderstood.

    When a child is raised in a closed society that separates genders they do not learn proper interpersonal skills. They also learn that one group is dominant/better and the other is subservient/worse. You can SAY all you want about women being princesses, but actions, and a lifestyle of separation teaches both sexes otherwise.

    When people must be covered at all times you ingrain the understanding that skin and sexuality are bad. And the children grow up scared and ashamed of their bodies, their sexuality, and sexuality in general. Of course these kids don't speak out, their whole lives have formed them to not speak about sexual issues and to be ashamed and scared of these issues.

    And the idea that a child who has grown up quiet and ashamed and scared of sex and their bodies and sexuality will in their adulthood have a conversation with a rabbi and then find a healthy and normal sexual lifestyle is simply ludicrous.

    And the idea that mixing with other genders, or revealing skin equals prostitution and wanton promiscuity simply feeds into the concept that what should be normal is bad and evil.

    These kids have no chance.

    The statistics vary from country to country and region to region: However, those countries with a liberal view of sexuality, like throughout asia, and the scandinavian countries, have the lowest rates of sex crimes, both against adults and children.

    Orthodoxy and the millennia old version of chaste sexuality simply does not work. You cannot raise generation after generation of people to be scared, nervous, ashamed and afraid of their bodies and the human form and expect them to have healthy sexual relationships.

  8. Let's Stop This Now!June 21, 2012 10:24 AM

    Fellow BTYA members:

    Have you seen this email from the rav about Maaneh?

    Excuse me for saying but this is simply disingenuous. Maaneh was not begun "A few years ago". This organization is simply the result of certain Rabbonim seeing Magen do its work in an effective, professional and Halachicly guided manner.

    This is simply and disgustingly a swipe at Magen. and isn't ironic that many of the people behind this are involved in schools that are under investigation for inappropriate behavior?

    The foxes guarding the chicken coop.

    At a time when our shuls, organizations and schools are suffering financially it is inconceivable to begin collecting for yet another organization that is duplicating the work of Magen, which from what I understand, has been successful.

    Shame on the people behind Maaneh and their quest to compete with Magen.

    1. Yeah-we all got the email. Notice that, unlike Magen, which genuinely works with the authorities and has an office and staff, the BTYA email didn't bother to list a phone number, website, contacts or any other information about this "organization". I guess this means that anyone would have to go to Malinowitz. I will not even bother to mention what will happen after that!

  9. Hi Rafi

    The generally used statistics (not specific to Jewish communities) are:

    1. One in three girls have experienced sexual abuse by the age of 18.

    2. One in five boys have experienced sexual abuse by the age of 18.

    Aside from one survey several years ago, there are no publicly available statistics for Jewish or Orthodox Jewish populations.

    The one survey that was performed (using questionaires in women's mikves), concluded the Jewish community is no better/worse than the general population.

    Magen's statistics, mainly from Ramat Beit Shemesh, show that almost two thirds of victims who reported sexual abuse are boys.

    Conclusion: whereas there is no reason to believe orthodox Jewish children are more/less safe from sexual abuse than other populations, the orthodox BOYS appear to be at higher risk of being sexually abused than in the general population.

    In short - Rav Rosenberg is probably approximately on target with his one-in-five statistic.

  10. David,

    a few points:
    1)Your sentence should read, whereas there is no reason to believe orthodox Jewish Girls are more/less safe from sexual abuse than other populations, the orthodox BOYS appear to be at higher risk of being sexually abused than in the general population.
    2) The lack of publicly available data does in fact make it appear that orthodox children are at greater risk. Lack of data is a risk factor in abuse.
    3) 1 in 3 reported sexual abuse or 1 in 5, the question is, in a closed community, does the abuse last longer with a predator relatively safe within the community? Meaning, while statistically, the number of victims may be the same, the quantity of abuse a victim suffers may be greater in the orthodox community.
    4)Reporting of abuse, ties in with previous abuse... orthodox children are less likely to report abuse.
    5) predators are sheltered and protected and continue to reside in their communities.
    6)It is not unreasonable to assume that abuse is far higher in the Orthodox community than from the general public. The most minimal data shows that the orthodox community is at least as bad as the general community... but that's with almost no hard data... the logical inference is that as reporting increased, rates of abuse would rise as well.
    7) Compare the orthodox with the general population of a different culture entirely, not simply another version of an Israeli Jew with so many shared commonalities... compare the general population of Judeo/christian sexual ethics to those rates of abuse found in Japan or Norway.


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