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Jerusalem - Report: Child Molestation in Israel’s Chareidi Community Reaching Alarming Rate

Published on: February 19, 2012 07:59 PM
By: VIN News Staff
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Jerusalem - A conference on child welfare held last week at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva delved deeply into the issue of child molestation within Israel’s Chareidi community, which according to conference attendees has reached “alarming rates.”

Israeli news source Yedioth Ahronot reports  that according to Yishai Shalif, director of educational and psychological services in Modiin Ilit, investigations into incidents of child molestation were done with the full backing of R’ Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and that the problem is so widespread that “there is no day that goes by without an incident.”

The fact that the Chareidi community is so insulated from the outside world only compounds the problem, according to Batsheva Sheinin, director of B’libeinu, which deals with children and teens who have fallen prey to molesters.

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“A Chareidi child is taught from infancy to obey blindly without question,” explained Ms. Sheinin.  “Children would never tell anyone if someone behaved inappropriately because they have been taught from the youngest ages that repeating anything negative is lashon hara and is strictly forbidden.”

Approximately 2000 workshops were held last year to educate Chareidi children from ages three to eighteen on preventing sexual abuse, according to Debbie Gross, director of Jerusalem’s Crisis Center for Religious Women.

“The fact that this issue is even being addressed is a clear indicator that the Chareidi community has come a long way and authorities have to do their part by responding with great sensitivity to this community,” said Hannah Slutzky, national supervisor for child affairs at the Welfare and Social Services Ministry, who said that ten years ago a conference like this would never have taken place.

Dr. Yitzchak Kadman, executive director of the National Council for the Child, reported that while several hundred cases of child molestation were investigated last year, he suspects that the number was considerably higher, calling the reported number of cases “just the tip of the iceberg.”


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1

 Feb 19, 2012 at 08:28 PM MosheM Says:

A lot of this is exaggerated stuff. Yes, there is a problem, but nowhere near the amount that you would believe if you follow the media which seems to be obsessed with these stuff.

2

 Feb 19, 2012 at 08:26 PM ALTERG Says:

By the seculer people its much more just nobody reporting it & no medio coveridge

3

 Feb 19, 2012 at 08:17 PM jay Says:

Did they do a study about Child Molestation in Israel’s non Chareidi Community ?

Why should we believe any study that a non Chareidi professor Does about the Chareidi Community they have
Proven themselves before not to be reliable

4

 Feb 19, 2012 at 08:30 PM tom Says:

Were is the report about raping young ladies in Israel after your president was arrested and is serving time in prison
For rape ??

looks to me like a hate agenda rather then a honest study ?????

5

 Feb 19, 2012 at 08:41 PM clear-thinker Says:

Reply to #2  
ALTERG Says:

By the seculer people its much more just nobody reporting it & no medio coveridge

And you know this because of your? Your spelling is incomprehensible. Your sentences make little sense. Yet you know about "medio coveridge".
Let us say, for arguments sake, that the problem is more in secular communities. Does that mean that you don't care about a frum child who is molested? If so shame on you. If not, why did you bother to write?

6

 Feb 19, 2012 at 09:03 PM Anonymous Says:

Unfortunately, it's because of ppl like you that our children are in such a precarious situation. It"s time us frum ppl stop burying our heads in the sand and realize that there IS a big problem tht has been swept under the rug for way too long. I am not saying that this study is accurate or not, and I don't know where it's worse by the chareidim or the seculars. All I know is thqat children are innocent regardless of frum or not and should not be taken advantage of! That being said b"H for the organizition that is directected by Mrs. Fox called ALeinu which is teaching our children about personal safety

7

 Feb 19, 2012 at 08:55 PM shmendrik Says:

wow, sounds like #s 1, 2, 3, and 4 ...really care about the victims......

8

 Feb 19, 2012 at 09:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Sadly, among the chareidim, child abuse has become so routine this is no longer considered such a big thing. The expectation is that the perps won't get caught, and even if they do, they will be protected from the police by their own chevrah. Only after a few more of these creatures are put in jail for long terms will the message get out.

9

 Feb 19, 2012 at 09:10 PM DrDavid Says:

Please note that the Gedolim have given their haskamah to these people because they are aware that there is a serious problem that can no longer be swept under the rug. In fact, doing so for so long, has undoubtedly worsened the problem dramatically. The people involved have been chosen to do this work because they are respected by the Gedolim and Askanim. They are experts who are carefully treading as not to offend the frum community. It is a serious problem, whether it occurs more frequently or less frequently then among the chilonim and it MUST be addressed as it literally destroys the psyche and frumkite of each and every child that this happens to. It is mamash a spiritual retzichah and we need to thank and respect those that are trying to help us as we have 100% failed in managing this problem ourselves. In fact we have caused it to become much, much worse.

10

 Feb 19, 2012 at 09:19 PM Gevald Says:

Unfortunately the reality is that it DOES happen. Instead of blaming the revelations on the secular media, we have to fix the problem.
There is a reason why Great Rabbanim have written on this issue namely: HaRav Elyashav, Rav Sharga Faivel Cohen, Rav Moshe Halberstam, Rav Asher Zelig Weiss.
There is a reason why at the aguda convention they have a symposium specifically geared to this topic.
No, we are not at epidemic proportions, however WE are frum and we have a 0 tolerance level. Even 1 molestation is too much. They are right when the non-frum attack- We have an achrayis to our kids, to our community and to the world.
I'm sure we will be able to pull the abusers from out under the carpet, and eradicate them from the community.
It will only be then, that people are afraid of being of being revealed and their life potentially ruined, will people realize- there is no secrets, molesters will be revealed and no one will dear to hurt a kid.
We are getting there-- IYH we will soon be free of molesters, in a world where children and parents can live peacefully without the fair of monsters lurking around.

Remember the Yidden are strong, and will always be strong!

11

 Feb 19, 2012 at 09:25 PM RamapoJew Says:

Blame it on the smart phones.

12

 Feb 19, 2012 at 09:29 PM Aron1 Says:

So, molestation has reached an "alarming rateM. And what, pray tell. Is a rate that is NOT alarming?!! When the first child was molested it reached an alarming rate. This "alarming rate" attitude is the crux of the problem: It's only now, when we feel that the incidences of molestation have reached an "alarming rate" do we feel compelled to so something. So until now we let this fester and grow unabated.

13

 Feb 19, 2012 at 09:52 PM R Says:

Ridiculous just more media incitement from the left you can't believe a word they say.

14

 Feb 19, 2012 at 10:33 PM BP MOM Says:

To poster #1, 2, 3 and 4: why are you comparing the seculars to us? We are supposed to be shining examples and have a ZERO tolerance for abuse. ZERO! Even one Yiddish Neshama that gets abused is too much.

15

 Feb 19, 2012 at 10:55 PM Anonymous Says:

If ppl would show real love to there children and not being so strict and angry thhe kids would speak up to there their parents and alot of problems would be solved!!!!

16

 Feb 19, 2012 at 11:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Abuse and Molestation are 2 catagories and should not be considred in the same Level.
Many years ago Child Molestation was very rare in the Chareidishe Community. A slap on the face or even hit with a belt was more common, but that was a accepted way of punishment for children. and within the non Chareidy community it was 500 to 600 times worse. that is all about Abuse.
Today, Most charedi parents know that a stick or a belt is not the way of Education. So those who still use those old tactics are considered Child Abuser.
Now. Molestation is a shame to say that its more then in those old days. But not in such high percent as the Non orthodox therapist and medea blow ups.
it must be addressed and Askanim MUST get involved to protect children from both problems. Abuse and Mollestation are both spreading and needs help before it gets out of control. But this medea artical is way way not true.

17

 Feb 20, 2012 at 12:18 AM jay Says:

Reply to #14  
BP MOM Says:

To poster #1, 2, 3 and 4: why are you comparing the seculars to us? We are supposed to be shining examples and have a ZERO tolerance for abuse. ZERO! Even one Yiddish Neshama that gets abused is too much.

The point is we don’t need people like Israeli professors who ignore rape, child molestation In the scalar communities to do reports about Chareidi Community issues because they are not reliable and will only do Damage
Not help

18

 Feb 20, 2012 at 12:21 AM tom Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

Sadly, among the chareidim, child abuse has become so routine this is no longer considered such a big thing. The expectation is that the perps won't get caught, and even if they do, they will be protected from the police by their own chevrah. Only after a few more of these creatures are put in jail for long terms will the message get out.

Sadly, among the scalar communities , child abuse has become so routine this is no longer considered such a big thing. Therefore they don’t do study or reports The expectation is that the perps won't get caught, and even if they do, they will be protected from the police by their own chevrah. Only after a few more of these creatures are put in jail for long terms will the message get out

19

 Feb 20, 2012 at 12:25 AM rivke Says:

Reply to #7  
shmendrik Says:

wow, sounds like #s 1, 2, 3, and 4 ...really care about the victims......

Why are you only concerned about Chareidi victims there are every
day non Chareidi victims of rape child molestation, etc..
don’t they deserve justice as well where is your concern ?

20

 Feb 20, 2012 at 01:45 AM Greener Says:

Let's face reality; in the charedi community "yichus" counts big time. Therefore it is crucial for families to cover up molestation. On both sides, the molester and the molestee. The children of the molester will not get good shiduchim; also his relatives. Same for the molestee. So veryone covers up. Shshshsh ... And this aggrevates the problem.

21

 Feb 20, 2012 at 12:51 AM Anonymous Says:

Obviously number 17 and 18 are the same person. Writing Jay for one post and Tom for the next does not take away from the fact that you spelled secular wrong both times by writing "scalar".

22

 Feb 20, 2012 at 05:49 AM wollenberg Says:

Number 1-4 and 16 how exactly do you know these figures to be correct?
"THere is far less" "Not as bad as the media" blah blah blah. Do you think you would actually know how much abuse/molestation is occurring in a given community at any time? Stop being so naive. Much of it goes unreported.
Stop being defensive. One child molested is one too many. One life ruined. One chillul hashem. Often one cover up - all too many.
Of course this research is done by "seculars" because chareidim are not producing professors.
And there is definitely a MASSIVE issue with insularity. When the chareidi community does finally admit there is a problem no doubt they will blame TV, secular values, goyishe influences etc. Maybe the goyishe influences we need right now are to be MORE concerned about child welfare... why is it the baalei teshuva and "MO" who are concerned whilst many chareidim especially FFB buy into this whole conspiracy theory?

23

 Feb 20, 2012 at 06:43 AM Defensive Says:

We're winning!
We do it less than the chilonim, so who cares if a lot of our kids get messed up!
Nothing matters, as long as they're worse than we are.
That'll validate all my choices and all my personal insecurities.

24

 Feb 20, 2012 at 06:59 AM Phineas Says:

Reply to #2  
ALTERG Says:

By the seculer people its much more just nobody reporting it & no medio coveridge

First of all, you have no statistics to back up what you are saying. I doubt anyone has those statistics.

Second of all, if the problem exists in the Chareidi world but it is not as bad as in the secular world, that makes you feel better?

25

 Feb 20, 2012 at 07:00 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
jay Says:

The point is we don’t need people like Israeli professors who ignore rape, child molestation In the scalar communities to do reports about Chareidi Community issues because they are not reliable and will only do Damage
Not help

On what basis do you say they ignore rape in the secular communities? Are you familiar with their research? I doubt it.

26

 Feb 20, 2012 at 07:14 AM jackr Says:

Reply to #2  
ALTERG Says:

By the seculer people its much more just nobody reporting it & no medio coveridge

how do you know that and what are your sources?

27

 Feb 20, 2012 at 07:22 AM Butterfly Says:

To #20 You are 100% right!! However what are we going to do about the poor victims right now!! What about the molesters?? They will be free to molest some more if they are not treated properly, either medically or arrested and given medical treatment!! Chances are that they were molested as kids!! It is a vicious cycle!! It has to stop!!

28

 Feb 20, 2012 at 08:19 AM DB_from_LI Says:

Unfortunately in an interview with some chareidi men after the 8yr old girl incident in Beit Shemesh, one man said "I'm a healthy male" just like everyone else, which is why the little girls need to be taught to dress right.
Here in the States he would probably be searched for pedophilia. I don't know any "healthy male" who needs to prevent himself from being attracted to 8 yr olds.... When this mindset becomes commonplace, its no wonder the numbers on child molestation are high.

29

 Feb 20, 2012 at 08:22 AM cool masmid Says:

How comes no one can spell the word 'secular' right.
My advice to all those trying to make a point; no one is going to take your point of view seriously if you can't even spell. So first off teach yourself how to spell and then start blogging.

30

 Feb 20, 2012 at 08:52 AM verizdantata Says:

Reply to #2  
ALTERG Says:

By the seculer people its much more just nobody reporting it & no medio coveridge

it's not true evry day the media is busy with this things in not only by the secular people

31

 Feb 20, 2012 at 08:53 AM 5towns Says:

I feel that the over emphasis on chumros in tznuis, the overly strict separation between men and women, and the extreme sheltering have all led us here. When women are objectified - and make no bones about it when you try to erase their existence, make sure no one can even see them, they are objectified, they become less than a person, and there is no problem in treating them as such. And when separation is extreme, the excitement even thinking about it becomes extreme. Not to mention what goes in in boys dorms because there are no girls available. This has been going on for years. My husband is 50 years old and he had incidents in his yeshiva HS dorm. I am not sure at all that the incidence is higher among the secular, especially grown man to child. I have friends who were attempted rape by so called frum men as long as 25 years ago, some of which the community knew about. When they reported it to the Agudah guess who was protected and who was not?
Talk to your children openly. Many chareidi children aren't taught anything about sex until they are engaged!! An empowered child is much harder to vicitimize. My friends got away because they knew what was being tried.

32

 Feb 20, 2012 at 10:00 AM Normal Says:

Maybe there is so much because it is "legal" in the frum world.

If there are no consequences for a crime then technically that crime is not 'illegal'. If people know they can get away with it or the worst that can happen is that they are sent away somewhere else to continue, as in the catholic church a few decades ago, then it will never stop.

Imagine if you could steal as much jewellery as you like, and if you get caught you take the jewellery with you and you can continue in another city, then how prevalent would that be?

33

 Feb 20, 2012 at 10:11 AM PMOinFL Says:

Singling out chareidim is unfortunate and dishonest. We are people with a community like any other community. We have people with MS, cancer, autism, and even the inclination to rape children.

However, to me ONE victim is an "alarming rate". Saying that it has "reached" such a rate implies that there is an acceptable number, or a number that is "not so bad".

I see some people write that the problem in the secular community is worse than the chareidi community. I'm not so sure.

There are many animals who dress like us who commit these horrific acts knowing full-well that there will likely be no ramifications because victims will not go to the police. In the secular world, there is FEAR. Those who WANT to commit these acts are often deterred because there is a healthy fear of being caught and going to prison.

We all know what the problem is and we all know what the fix is. The Torah tells us how to deal with a rodef. We are in this situation because we ignore what H" told us to do. Period. We would not have a problem like this because the fear of being slaughtered in the street would prevent it.

34

 Feb 20, 2012 at 10:57 AM Love Davka Says:

Pedophilia (being attracted to children) is a disease. I have read that it affects as much as 5% of the male population in EVERY community. There is no reason to believe that the Chareidi community is any different. We are subject to the same mental and physical diseases as anyone else.

ACTS of pedophilia (molestation, rape, etc.) are probably MORE rampant among Chareidim because of the followng reasons (some have already been mentioned):
1. We refuse to belive that a "shomer mitzvos" would do such a thing.
2. We mistakenly think that it's lashon hara to report these crimes.
3.. We mistakenly think that there's an issur mesirah to report these crimes.
4. Our children are more obedient to adults than secular children are.
5. We have male-only yeshivos.
6. Given the high proportion of children in our community, there are relatively more opportunities.
7. Because of misguided notions of tznius, our children have not (yet) been educated as to what "wrongful touching" is.

I know that it's painful to fact up to these facts But we have to, or else the problem will continue.

35

 Feb 20, 2012 at 11:39 AM sechelyoshor Says:

For those of you who think this is a biased report and it's exaggerated, you should know that Yishai Shalif is frum as can be. He learned in Be'er Yaakov and is a true Yirei Shomayim. He can be trusted.

36

 Feb 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM PMOinFL Says:

Reply to #34  
Love Davka Says:

Pedophilia (being attracted to children) is a disease. I have read that it affects as much as 5% of the male population in EVERY community. There is no reason to believe that the Chareidi community is any different. We are subject to the same mental and physical diseases as anyone else.

ACTS of pedophilia (molestation, rape, etc.) are probably MORE rampant among Chareidim because of the followng reasons (some have already been mentioned):
1. We refuse to belive that a "shomer mitzvos" would do such a thing.
2. We mistakenly think that it's lashon hara to report these crimes.
3.. We mistakenly think that there's an issur mesirah to report these crimes.
4. Our children are more obedient to adults than secular children are.
5. We have male-only yeshivos.
6. Given the high proportion of children in our community, there are relatively more opportunities.
7. Because of misguided notions of tznius, our children have not (yet) been educated as to what "wrongful touching" is.

I know that it's painful to fact up to these facts But we have to, or else the problem will continue.

Cow chips!

Yes, those who are inclined to do such things have far less to fear in the chareidi community than they do in the secular community. That is true. *IF* they get caught, they will not go to prison. In fact, there will likely be no consequences whatsoever.

HOWEVER, the idea that we have "male only" yeshivos does not contribute ONE BIT and you know it. There is absolutely no evidece whatsoever to show this is true.

Stupid parents who don't talk to their children about predators and what is "private" on their body should have their kids taken away. They are setting their kids up to be victims.

A child rapist is a rodef. Period. H" gave us instructions on how to deal with a rodef, but in the US, we are not permitted to kill a rodef.

You are right, our only option under US law is to see a rodef imprisoned. Those who believe that there is an issur mesira to turn these animals in must then make a choice. If, even in a medina shel chessed, you believe that turning in a rodef is "mesira" then you must be willing to kill a rodef on-sight and do it... AND accept the consequences. It can't be one or the other.

FACT: Prison is the ONLY effective tool we have.

37

 Feb 20, 2012 at 02:00 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #29  
cool masmid Says:

How comes no one can spell the word 'secular' right.
My advice to all those trying to make a point; no one is going to take your point of view seriously if you can't even spell. So first off teach yourself how to spell and then start blogging.

Masmid, seems like a number of men posting here are from Eretz Yisroel, and their imperfect spelling notwithstanding, you have to admire how much of the English language they were able to muster. Ask yourself, on how many foreign language blogs would you be able to post and be understood. So just like you can tolerate any foreigner's accent in a face-to-face conversation, provided you are able to understand that foreigner, so should you try to look past foreign poster's imperfect writing style and/or spelling.

38

 Feb 20, 2012 at 03:06 PM Frum girl Says:

As a chasidesh Brooklyn girl who was molested, I can speak from perosonal experience. My molester was a close family friend who lived with us for a couple of months. I was 10 years old & 1 night he came to my room & molested me & on 3 other times. I didn't tell my parents because I didn't know what to tell, that he acted "piggish"? I didnt know how to put it into words & I was embarrassed that I allowed it to happen. Did it destroy my life? I did loose my faith, in people, adults, rabbunim.... Today speaking with other adults who were molested or abused, I'm amazed how many there are. Do we have a larger percent than the non frum world? I don't know and I don't care. My kids were taught from 2 years old about good touches & bad touches & as they got older they were better informed so that no one can take advantage of their innocents. I'm am very thankful that finally it is being talked about in public.

39

 Feb 20, 2012 at 02:11 PM ShmuelG Says:

Reply to #34  
Love Davka Says:

Pedophilia (being attracted to children) is a disease. I have read that it affects as much as 5% of the male population in EVERY community. There is no reason to believe that the Chareidi community is any different. We are subject to the same mental and physical diseases as anyone else.

ACTS of pedophilia (molestation, rape, etc.) are probably MORE rampant among Chareidim because of the followng reasons (some have already been mentioned):
1. We refuse to belive that a "shomer mitzvos" would do such a thing.
2. We mistakenly think that it's lashon hara to report these crimes.
3.. We mistakenly think that there's an issur mesirah to report these crimes.
4. Our children are more obedient to adults than secular children are.
5. We have male-only yeshivos.
6. Given the high proportion of children in our community, there are relatively more opportunities.
7. Because of misguided notions of tznius, our children have not (yet) been educated as to what "wrongful touching" is.

I know that it's painful to fact up to these facts But we have to, or else the problem will continue.

I could dispute some or many of your other points, but because I know so little on this issue, I can't do it intelligently.

However, I would like to ask with all respect, how is "5. We have male-only yeshivos" a problem? And how would this problem be helped by having mixed yeshivos, chv"s?

40

 Feb 20, 2012 at 03:58 PM Ben_Kol Says:

Reply to #39  
ShmuelG Says:

I could dispute some or many of your other points, but because I know so little on this issue, I can't do it intelligently.

However, I would like to ask with all respect, how is "5. We have male-only yeshivos" a problem? And how would this problem be helped by having mixed yeshivos, chv"s?

In an all-male environment, male/male action is far more likely to take place. But I thank you for your comment, because, on reflection, I concede that ths is not related to pedophilia. So I am retracting point 5.

As for your second question, I never suggested that we have mixed yeshivos. I was just pointing out some conditions found in the Chareidi community that contribute to child molestation. We have to work withing the existing Chareidi structure to wipe out the problem. I believe that it's possible, but the first step is for people to open their eyes and see that child molestation is a serious problem that exists in every community, including ours.

41

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