Rockland County, NY – An ultra-Orthodox teen from New Square has broken his silence, relating from beginning to end his ordeal as a sexual abuse victim within the tightly-knit ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
HUDSON VALLEY NEWS 12 (http://bit.ly/15lqvWH) reports that, in an exclusive interview, the New Square teen known only as, “Yossi,” tells his compelling story of escalating abuse at the hands of an ultra-Orthodox teacher, through the stonewalling and deception employed by ultra-Orthodox leaders, his ostracization, and ultimately his frustration with the legal system.
Throughout, Yossi insists that his reasons for speaking publicly stem solely from hopes that his broken silence will encourage other victims to come forward.
Yossi’s relates how his ordeal began innocently through teaching sessions with New Square ultra-Orthodox teacher, Herschel Taubenfeld, whose sessions with Yossi progressed from “palm reading” to full-blown sexual abuse over a four-month period.
Yossi relates how he entrusted his situation to ultra-Orthodox rabbis and their crimes unit, VAAD, who told him to seek therapy.
Frustrated, Yossi then went to the Ramapo police, who in turn obtained a confession from Herschel Taubenfeld.
Yossi says that after he went to the police, his friends stopped talking to him, treating him “like he didn’t exist.”
Shortly after Yossi went to police, ultra-Orthodox leaders saw fit to send Herschel Taubenfeld to Israel for his rabbinical ordination, while offering Yossi $100,000 for his silence, which Yossi refused.
Taubenfeld turned himself in upon his return from Israel, agreeing to a plea arrangement of six years of probation on 30 misdemeanor counts of forcible touching, endangering the welfare of a child, and third-degree sex abuse.
According to sources, Taubenfeld has been reinstated and is back teaching at the same New Square school.
While still confused, alienated, and frustrated, Yossi says that breaking his silence is worth it if it helps others come forward with their own stories of abuse.