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Rabbinical Court Brings Orthodox Jewish Sexual Abuse Into The Open

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The Beit Din in Montreal, a religious court, has issued an advisory telling parents to educate their children about inappropriate touching, and to explain that it is an obligation, not a sin, to tell a parent or rabbi if an incident occurs, The Montreal Gazette reported.

The notice comes with a serious debate about whether the court was wrong for not telling parents to contact the authorities if an incident of sexual abuse happens. Howard Nadler, a liaison manager at Batshaw Youth and Family Centres said the notice was welcome, but should have told people to contact the authorities. “I’m impressed they’re informing their community in this way,” Nadler said. “But they should be reporting it to Youth Protection.”

Rabbi Saul Emanuel, executive director of the rabbinical court said it was up to people to make their own decision about who to tell if an incident arises.

Michael Whitman, senior rabbi of Adath Israel Poale Zedek Congregation in Hampstead, Que., agreed, and said that Rabbis lack the training of dealing with abuse issues.

It has been reported that members of the Hasidic community where 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky was abducted while walking home from a Jewish day camp and then killed, has a list of alleged child molesters that it had not turned over to police.

The Montreal Gazette reports that the Rabbinical Council of America stated that “[f]alse accusations are harmful to those falsely accused — but unreported abuse or endangerment can be life-threatening, as we have recently been tragically reminded,” and that those with reasonable suspicion or first hand knowledge of abuse or endangerment have a “religious obligation to report that abuse to the secular legal authorities without delay.” disclaimer: This article: Rabbinical Court Brings Orthodox Jewish Sexual Abuse Into The Open was posted on Thursday, July 28th, 2011 at 8:10 pm at and is filed under Personal Injury Lawsuits.

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