Brooklyn, NY – A hard-hitting follow-up to the subject of sexual abuse and molestation in the Orthodox community was heard on Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s radio show this past Motzoei Shabbos.
Hikind opened the first of several sharply-worded salvos heard throughout the program against perpetrators in the frum world.
After expressing his admiration for cheder rebbis for making a difference, Hikind asserted that “My office is committed to doing something. I have actually assigned staff members to work on this. We are going to stick with this. Those who are abusing our children, doing inappropriate things, I’m coming after you in every single way. Quit before your name is released and your family is embarrassed! I will not be silent or shy away.
To listen to the entire show which lasts for about a full hour click below
Hikind then introduced a Williamburg mother whose son had been molested by his menahel at age 8.5 and left Yiddishkeit at 19 as a result. Most significantly, the mother related the years of devastation, isolation, shame and lack of trust in Torah authority figures. “It was a betrayal of his beliefs,” reports the mother.
After a lengthy discussion on how the victim’s family tried to get the menahel to treatment without embarrassing his own family, which didn’t work, the mother reported that even though the menahel failed a lie detector test and was temporarily removed from his position, he has been returned to teaching in summer school and will be returning to yeshivah in September.
Throughout the program, an audibly outraged Hikind raised his voice and said (among other things):
· “…How can one of the most prominent yeshivos, that educates tens of thousands of kids, know they have a molester destroying people’s lives! How can they continue with him? How’s that possible? … Well, we are going to stop him, okay? … We are going to stop that from happening. Period. But that’s not the point. The point is: What is their thinking? Where is their religiosity and their commitment?”
· “Is there anyone out there who accepts abuse of children? This mother tried to do things in a beautiful way, and they betrayed her son again. They just hoped she would go away. Her son felt, ‘Maybe I accomplished something, maybe I got rid of this skunk!’ Then he finds that a person who is sick and who should never be with children again is back on his job? How do you face G-d now? How do you pray in the morning?”
· “My office is devoted to this. We are asking people to come forward… We have staff working on this. We are building cases and cases and cases. The stories that I have heard this week, all from our communities from Lakewood to Monsey to Borough Park to Flatbush.”
· “You know, I gotta tell you. You ask me, ‘How are you?’ I must be honest. I have not been okay since last Shabbos night since doing this show. Because it affects me profoundly to listen, to listen and to listen. And you know what’s putting a dagger through my heart? It’s that people are more interested in protecting the perpetrator than dealing with the victim! That’s the part that’s putting a dagger through my heart and soul.”
The show concluded with the mention of Beth Israel’s new Sexual Abuse Hotline, 212-844-1495, and several calls from supportive and grateful abuse victims.
Of particularly notable mention was Hikind’s reaction to a caller named Yitz, who asked the mother, “Why don’t you go to the police? And why is this sub-human still on the streets?” Hikind replied: “In her case, they are trying to get him out of a classroom. It’s about getting him away from kids, and I have spoken to quite a few rabbonim and you have every right to do this legally. The first objective is to get this guy out of the classroom. If I have to go public, if I have to hold a press conference outside the yeshivah, I will do that! This guy is not going back to the classroom in September. We will make sure that will not happen.”
To Dov Hikind.
May G-d bless you.
Keep up the great work.
I like this man.
I was abused as a kid on numerous occasions by a teacher in my school. I pray that he lives hell on this world and in the world to come for eterity. I can not and will not forgive this animal. may he be cursed.
It’s about time someone does something about it. Why the heck can’t every school install cameras in every nook and cranny of the inside and outside of the buildings??
Dov for President!
Thank you Dov!!! you are a true leader1 a true tzaddik in our midst!!! May Hakadosh Baruch Hu shower upon you all his blessings in the merit of saving any future abuse!!
We need more people like dov and then surely mashiach will come!!! this is the true meaning of “Veahavta l’reicha kamocha”
Dov-Thank You and don’t get discouraged if people start bashing you…the right thing is always the hardest thing!! Hashem shiuld continue giving you koach as you protect his little and precious innocent children!!!
Hikind is the man.
good job dov!
Even if you get him out of the classroom, he still has neighbors, kids in shul, etc. that he can, chas v’Shalom, molest. If Hikind doesn’t want to lock him in a jail, he should have him committed to a mental institution.
Dov keep up the great work, you don’t understand how many jewish lives you will be saving. May GOD help you in all your endeavors.
A Tzadik in our time.
Dov is doing the right thing Now Yeshivas need to the right thing.
You are doing us a great service. A voice for all those who can’t speak up for whatever reason.
I never agree with Hikind…but this time..I support him fully.
My question and concern is as follows. While there may be cases of true molestation and they should be stopped at all cost. But truth be told there are cases of fraudulent accusations as well. Kids may not like a certain rebbe because he may be too harsh and they might make up stories about him and have his life ruined. What guarantees an honest investigation and who determines who is guilty and who is not?
Don’t know if this is the Torah way.
Remember, the Torah way is to decide by Haluche, not by Emotion!
How do you know for certain that this mother tells the truth? Maybe she does. But maybe not.
And if it did happen, was the menahel warn’d? And maybe he did teshuve, and he didn’t touch a boy since? And if he did it, and did teshuve, do you realy want to destroy his and his family’s life? is it revenge or haluche that we follow?!
The same goes to all cases.
Of course, if you deal with a proven repeat offender, that dosnt want to change, that a diddrant story!
Dov, please make you’r dicisions with you’r “Moech”! not with you’r heart!
And what about bochorim that molest other bochorim?
quation is how do we protect the innocent. there has to be a accpted policy that maybe dov nikinds office should write for all schools
and his office should force all schools to sign it as their policy
what to do when there is an accusation against a teacher.
there has to be steps taken to verify to corooborate
when one parent accuses do we throw a teacher out ?
a system should be installed by all yeshivas how to deal with this
and it should also be accpeted in all camps overnight and daycamp
there is more abuse in overnight camps then anywhere else
hashem yiracheim on all of us
I was a Rebbe, who after being a Rebbe for 15 years, was falsely accused by the son/wife of a school big shot, and was subsequently fired. At age 43 I had to find a career, and the sad part is, principal believed me, but there was too much money on the line.
My point is, people might take advantage of a chance to make noise and take nekama on a Rebbe they don’t like. Is Dov qualified to know them the other side is lying?
i obviously have no problem with what he is doing per se, but have to take issue with hikind personally and his being the self apointed leader in solving these problems
1- it seems hes a johnny come lately to this , and fear the politicization and hijacking for personal and political gain 2- i fear in a rush to solve this problem we risk throwing out the baby with the bath water. while no one can deny the serios nature of the accusations , i personally feel accusing people falsly and in a wanton manner is just as serious if not more, which is in many cases what politicians tend to do. so before the attacks on me start , as defender of child molesters , i ask that as frume people we step back and not allow our years of mismanagement to clous our judgement. and may hkb”h truly help all those who have been hurt
In most cases of Rebbes, more than one child is affected. So while sometimes the Rabbi will plead innocence, and claim the “family is out to get him” for one reason or another,in most cases that are true there is more than one victim.
As far as bochurim with bochurim, how can this be stopped? What about incest? How come no one has mentioned sister and brother, or other relatives in the family that no one wants to believe? Can we reach out to children, who will usually tell the truth, although no one wants to believe them? I personally know of plenty of first hand situations, and how messed up these people are for life! Thank you Dov for finally starting to do something about this!
You need to lay out the steps you will follow in determining the authenticity of each allegation.
Then you need to lay out how you intend to respond to each scenario and when you will deviate from the standard response.
This should not undertaken on a wing and a prayer. There are too many lives at stake.
I have a question. If you are shaming an individual out of a school you know a crime took place are you not then obligated to report this crime lest you become complicit in it?
In order to determine and investigate these incedents in the best possible manner and present it to the local rabbonim, it is essential that we research our information as best as possible and present the facts. Anyone with information concerning ‘alleged’ abusers should pls contact his office at 718.853.9616. Once information is presented it will be thoroughly investigated and then brought to the attention of the local rabbonim.
My hope is that just by the threat to expose these yeshivos, menahalim will take appropriate action on their own.
B’ezras HaShem, there will be no need for any public shaming. Truthfully, it is to the shame of all of us, that this disgusting problem has been allowed to exist for this long.
During Chodesh Menacham Av, may HaShem accept all of our Teshuva and bring us out of this golus, b’mheira v’yameinu.
We need a few more people like dov dov is a person who will jump to action with mesiras nefesh in a split second like nachshon ben aminodov, if saving yiddishkeit is the issue he will jump in & not think first what will i have from all this etc. hashem will bless you with kol tuv DOV !!
What Dov means to say, is that as long as he can generate press he will make noise. As soon as the noise dies down, he will find the next issue.
Dov: You knew the Kolko story where where you than?
I need a good answer
I admire him for his work and he should help solve this problem. For all those that are asking what about bochurim abusing bochurim etc let him take care of one problem at a time hopefully it will bring a stop to this completely. Also for that who said what about those that will be falsely accused there is a saying “innocent until proven guilty” and there will be a lot of information collected before someone is punished. All those that this applies to will think twice before doing and than not do they will need there respect.
Dov sits in the NY State Assembly where they have been sitting on a bill that was already passed in the Senate. This bill would give protection to our children from these molesters, by requiring every yeshiva to do background checks and fingerprinting and make them mandatory reporters. Why hasn’t this bill been voted upon yet? It’e been over a year now, Dov? Talk is cheap. We need action.
How can you really prove if a Rebbi molested someone? Like everything else in life – a man/woman is innocent untill PROVEN guilty. We must be extremely careful before we defame someones good name. We must investigate very very thoroughly BEFORE we accuse someone. Let’s not get caught up in a frenzy and start pointing fingers at anything that moves.
To important l: How do you know for sure the mother tells the truth? If you have doubts – did you forget the results of the lie detector test? Did the Menahel do tshuva? His first step to tshuva would have been to ask for forgiveness from his victim! And who is destroying his family’s life? He was given the chance to leave quietly and save his family from the shame and humiliation – he chose otherwise! If you listened to the show you should remember that revenge was not the motivating factor – it was getting him away from young boys. Repeat offender? You must have heard that there are other confirmed victims!
First of all finaly someones cry is being heard, Dov youre work your voice, youre heart full of listening storys, are finaly reaching the public ears. even if some crtitise is also a good sign it means message come thru now they can eccept or not but it hits everyones bones.
The message means that even those that where not caught they will stop now some of them will call the hotline for help sometimes the scare is enough to stop those sick people they have a last chance now to go for help NOW IS THE TIME FOR THEM TO ACT don’t destroy your life, your family and other precios lives, get help NOW.
for the diffenders: you might be right but a rebbe that has several accusations i dont think its just a nekumu lets get reallity rolling lets set 1 or 2 examples things will change in all yeshivos, shulls, Mikvos,tutters,bus drivers,ETC.
To the Parents: take out the real part from this show Talk to youre children tell them to tell you everything that happens in school everything that happens when they learn with thier tuttor tell them even they get a slap in cheider they should let you know and they will not be punished tell them especaily when someone tells them they cant tell anyone espessaily thier parents or they get threatened to be punished or they get to much petch from a rabbi or a principal, investigate youre child don’t allways think youre child is the problem if you feel the child is the problem then take them for an avaluation allways keep the cover ups in mind, youre child can be very innocent open them up to you so you may have a chance of finding out things sooner not when its too late.
The girls schools should be spoken to as well. There is abuse happening to innocent girls. You ask me how I know? Because I am a victim. A victim that tried to cry out for help, a victim who went to Rabunim for help and that was shut up. I healed by doing it on my own. Noone helped me. Even if Dov helps one survivor or scares off one offender, everything that he is doing is worth it.Gd bless you all.
THE REAL SOLUTION TO PUT CAMRAS ALL OVER THE PLACE IN ALL CLASS ROOMS IN BATHROOMS BY THE DOORS UNDERSTANDEBLE IN EVERY YESHIVA AND IT SHOULD BE THAT REBBIES SHOULD NOT WANT TO BE IN A YESHIVA THAT HE WILL NOT HAVE A WAY TO PROVE THAT HE IS INNCOCENT.
how can we contact Dov with a story of our own?
Regarding the false accusation issue, kids (especially in our community, or children of a young age) are not naturally intelligent enough to create a well planned false accusation-without help from an adult accomplice- that will prove credible to experienced investigators. This is a fact. They are not creative enough to construct an elaborate story which they will stick to when cross-examined.
Now, to prevent an accusation like this from taking place, Melamdim should be aware and smart enough to look out for themselves, and make sure that they never end up with any child, that is not there own, in a place where they will be obscured from everyone. This is called in non-ignorant terms “having an alibi”. Having an alibi is one of the strongest defenses in any criminal investigation. Think, is there any time or place a rebbi can or should possibly be with an underage student? no! This has to be a strict business-like approach. The rebbe teaches him, that’s ALL. No rebbi should get to close to a young student in any way, it’s not effective or necessary. Kids need to open up to parents, not rebbeyim. Their influence and authority are, or at least should be, very limited.
DOv is a tzadik – this is a very serious and tragic situation! It’s about time that someone stands up and does something about it!!
May HKB”H Give you the strength to continue in this avodas hakodesh, and don’t let anyone put you down! Chazak, chazak, venischazaik!
there are schools/yeshivas that have camras in every class room and all the halls and lunchroom….
Dov, again your the best
to all who is doing something about this problem… keep up the good work.
Dove Koi Lechai I will vote Dov Hikind for ever now..This is the most important issue that needs to be solved. We entrust our kids ,we pay top dollar, we deserve the best,,Melamdim who are dreks ,should plunge Toilets
10:46 said “Dov sits in the NY State Assembly where they have been sitting on a bill that was already passed in the Senate. This bill would give protection to our children from these molesters, by requiring every yeshiva to do background checks and fingerprinting and make them mandatory reporters. Why hasn’t this bill been voted upon yet?”
Now, really? If the yeshivas and Rabonim are covering for the offenders how would this applicant Rebbi have a record to be found in a bacground check..This law would only work if we all did the right thing and don’t cover for these sick individuals…DOV, CHAZAK V’AMATZ…
An allegation of abuse is so terrible, that we must err on the side of caution and suspend the rebbe from his position until it is fully investigated.
Before everyone starts howling at me – this is the standard with all proffessionals in position of authority. Policemen, doctors etc. are suspended (with or without pay – depending on the circumstance)as soon an allegation of serious misconduct is brought to light. Rebbe’s should be treated the same way!
I know all about the presumption of innocence, but the risk to the alleged victim and to other members of the public is too high.
When someone is arrested on an allegation of a serious felony (e.g. murder), often the accused will not be released on bail simply to protect the public.
Those who are granted bail, are bound by strict terms to protect the public and the alleged victim.
The safety of the public and the risk of re-offending trumps the presumption of innocence! You may not agree but that’s real life.
Hey If someone touches your child, have him arrested let the justice system take its course…GO DOV GO…
thats what i just wanted to say dido NR
DEAR DOV N”Y
i had the honor to meet you a few times at events in BP for community organzations, let me tell you even if i dont agree with you on all your SHITOS but you are a real ASKON LSHIM SHMOIM with a FIERDIGA YIDDISHE HARTZ.
you should have only lots of naches (of course by u thats means yiddishe)and health.
A RABBI IN BP
I agree with most of the suggestions Except-put cameras in the bathrooms??? This is probably technically molestation in and of itself, it makes no sense, and will backfire in that the wrong (sick) person will watch the tapes. I don’t get this at all.
loooooooooong overdue where were you 16 years ago?
While there may be problems in Yeshivos,we don’t need someone that seems intent on promoting himself politically to lead such a critical and important issue.
And by beginning a crusade without any backing from any Rabbi or mechanech is just shameless and and irresponsible.
To all you perverts out there, you think of touching my kids
I will take the law (Marshall Law) in my own hands……
and deal with the consequences later
Lock & Load….
All I can say when there is smoke there is fire.
On VIN recently we have had open talk of abuse; in one case in Torah Temmimah there were/are many defenders. When after many years of back and forth the person finally pleaded guilty. Did we learn anything from this case? Nothing happened to the yeshiva or the perp. No Rabbonim came out with any Kol Korays how to deal with such accusations. But they have a new Kol Koray out about certain electronic players. They claim many kids have gone off because of these devices,
I wonder whether more kids have gone off because of abuse than anything else?
dov keep up the good work, there might be some opposition but those are the ignorants of this community. keep up the good work! shayme dich nisht fahr keinim!
As a mother I am enlighted to hear that the community is waking up to this problem. My son was telling how his melamid is doing this and doing this to him. Kids are innocent, and being a mother to my child I knew what he refers too. Me and my husband went complaining to the menhal,,and after a while when I saw that nothing happens I demanded that my child be transfered out of this particular class, but this melamid stayed on and nothing was even done. I am glad to see that this is issue is on the front page..
how come mondrowitz is not back yet?