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London - Chief Of Police Confirms Arrests In Jewish Community In Ongoing Abuse Investigaton

Published on: February 20, 2013 06:58 PM
By: Jerusalem Post
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 Chief Superintendent Adrian Usher Chief Superintendent Adrian Usher

London - Metropolitan police arrested a London rabbi on Wednesday on suspicion of sexually assaulting women who came to him for marriage counseling and spiritual guidance.

As part of their investigation into the sexual abuse and into three suspects for perverting the course of justice, four men were arrested in the north London borough of Barnet on Wednesday. Police have not named the men, but they are believed to be part of the Orthodox Jewish community in Golders Green, London.

According to The Jewish Chronicle, one of them is Rabbi Chaim Halpern, 54, of the Beis Hamedrash Divrei Chaim synagogue.

The rabbi has been at the center of an alleged sexual abuse scandal that has shocked London’s haredi community.

In November, Rabbi Ephraim Padaw, head of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, received a complaint about inappropriate behavior by Halpern toward about 30 women who had sought marriage guidance from him.

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Halpern stood down as a religious judge but continued to serve as rabbi of his own synagogue.

In December, a group of senior London rabbis issued a public statement declaring him “not fit and proper to act in any rabbinic capacity” and called for him to resign his post as rabbi.

In response to the call, Halpern sent a letter his community professing his innocence.

“I proclaim I am innocent of all allegations. Furthermore, all investigations carried up until this point have been carried out in an incorrect manner,” he said.

A special rabbinical court was set up to look at the accusations that Halpern, a member of a prominent London haredi family, had been involved in inappropriate sexual activity in marriage guidance sessions.

Police confirmed that four men were in custody in a north London police station in relation to an investigation of sexual assault. The three other men, aged 62, 64 and 25 – one of who is reportedly Halpern’s brother – were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in relation to the rabbi’s arrest. Under police powers, the men can be held for questioning for up to 48 hours without being charged.

Ch.-Supt. Adrian Usher, borough commander of the Barnet Police, issued a statement called for those involved in the allegations to come forward.

“In Barnet, we are currently working with members of all our communities to ensure the voices of victims of abuse are heard,” he said. “My message to those victims is simple: come forward and we will listen to, support and believe you.

Content provided by The Jerusalem Post


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Read Comments (24)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Feb 20, 2013 at 07:04 PM uncommon-cents Says:

its about time

2

 Feb 20, 2013 at 07:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Here we go...... Let all commentators, gossipers, chasidem lovers, investigators,........start writing

3

 Feb 20, 2013 at 07:29 PM Reb Yid Says:

The last two words in the article are why going to the police is the last resort. "Believe you"? He's automatically going to believe anyone who makes a complaint?

4

 Feb 20, 2013 at 07:41 PM bewhiskered Says:

"Metropolitan police arrested a London rabbi on on suspicion of sexually assaulting women who came to him for marriage counseling and spiritual guidance."

It's getting so that you can't swing a dead cat around by its tail anymore, without hitting some חרדי sexual abuser! Of course, abusing these women under the pretext of marriage counseling and spiritual guidance, is an especially repugnant level of being a מנובל.

5

 Feb 20, 2013 at 08:18 PM shocked Says:

I never thought I'd be one of the people who post & say the family is wonderful, chosheve etc. Well, I am now. I can't believe this (as in, I'm in a state of shock.) I have no idea if these allegations are true but now I understand how people post as I just did. I truly ask mechila if I ever scoffed at anyone who posted similar comments. Now I understand.

6

 Feb 20, 2013 at 08:28 PM ChareidiMan Says:

I think it is time for a real reality check!

the jig is up and this is a problem that has to be discussed in the open and the time is now. Enough with the "Its not true" or "Its overblown" this is getting out of hand and something has to be done.

Why is there not one Rabbi that has the guts and does something about it? Come on! every day a new story its unbearable! Nuchem Rosenberg (wether eyou like him or not) comes across like a hero while the rest of the community is paying a terrible price.
Furthermore, our children are not safe! Look how they tried to whitewash this story and he fought with everything he got and now the government stepped in. Why dont we face the facts and tackle it?

Admit that there is a problem and do something about it. And dont do it quietly, do it with fanfare so everyone knows that you are dealing with it. this is very painful.

7

 Feb 20, 2013 at 09:31 PM Anonymous Says:

I have one question to these ex orthodox bloggers who try to besmirch the orthodox community. Non of you oppose gay lifestyles and yet are obsessed with blowing stories out of porportion. The orthodox community is booming and growing all over the world. Yes there are some rotten apples but that's because the secular society has been corrupted by the liberals. Of course I hate molesters like every orthodox Jew does but lets call a spade a spade. It is only since gay marriage and it's spread the last few years in america and Europe and unfortunately eretz yisroel that molestations have increased. Stop the gay marriage and molestation of children will be cut drasticly

8

 Feb 20, 2013 at 09:52 PM False Target Says:

If there are more molesters in the Frum communtiry than anywhere else (like the recent claims about unmarried priests) - then there may be place to target us.

If we have the same amount of molestation victims (or less - in my opinion) than why are they trageting our communities?

Our Rabbonim and justice systems work much better than theirs -
We have much less than average:
-homocides
-thefts
-drugs
-violent crimes


Why are they targeting our community?
Either target ALL child molestors regarless of religion or leave us alone.

9

 Feb 20, 2013 at 10:41 PM EX-Boro Parker Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

I have one question to these ex orthodox bloggers who try to besmirch the orthodox community. Non of you oppose gay lifestyles and yet are obsessed with blowing stories out of porportion. The orthodox community is booming and growing all over the world. Yes there are some rotten apples but that's because the secular society has been corrupted by the liberals. Of course I hate molesters like every orthodox Jew does but lets call a spade a spade. It is only since gay marriage and it's spread the last few years in america and Europe and unfortunately eretz yisroel that molestations have increased. Stop the gay marriage and molestation of children will be cut drasticly

You're simply off base! 50 years ago, when I was growing up, we ALL knew who was out there molesting kids and there was NO gay marriage. I don't see what one ha to with the other.

Yes, molestation is finally coming into the spotlight but it has NOTHING to do with gay marriage.

10

 Feb 20, 2013 at 10:59 PM rate the same, publicity is up Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

I have one question to these ex orthodox bloggers who try to besmirch the orthodox community. Non of you oppose gay lifestyles and yet are obsessed with blowing stories out of porportion. The orthodox community is booming and growing all over the world. Yes there are some rotten apples but that's because the secular society has been corrupted by the liberals. Of course I hate molesters like every orthodox Jew does but lets call a spade a spade. It is only since gay marriage and it's spread the last few years in america and Europe and unfortunately eretz yisroel that molestations have increased. Stop the gay marriage and molestation of children will be cut drasticly

Reply to #7
Wrong on many issues!
1, This has nothing to do with whether a blogger opposes gays or not. These are perverts operating on their own agenda.
2, this has nothing to do with gay marriage. How do I know? Simple. Most of these incidents happened years ago, like Kolko. The only thing new is the publicity.
Stop blaming the bloggers and blame the "Rabbi types" that are doing these acts.

11

 Feb 21, 2013 at 12:46 AM Barzilai Says:

Reply to #3  
Reb Yid Says:

The last two words in the article are why going to the police is the last resort. "Believe you"? He's automatically going to believe anyone who makes a complaint?

No, what he said is that if you are a victim- someone that has been abused- we will believe you. They've been trained to discern the true victims from the mentally unstable and attention seekers and people who enjoy causing pain by accusing the innocent. Humans are imperfect, but with training and empathy and seichel you can develop a feel for the ones that are telling the truth- the victims.

12

 Feb 21, 2013 at 01:18 AM Chaim Eliezer Says:

Reply to #8  
False Target Says:

If there are more molesters in the Frum communtiry than anywhere else (like the recent claims about unmarried priests) - then there may be place to target us.

If we have the same amount of molestation victims (or less - in my opinion) than why are they trageting our communities?

Our Rabbonim and justice systems work much better than theirs -
We have much less than average:
-homocides
-thefts
-drugs
-violent crimes


Why are they targeting our community?
Either target ALL child molestors regarless of religion or leave us alone.

Why are the police and prosecutors "targeting" our community? Better you should ask, why are the molestors targeting our community? Because B'nai Brak and Williamsburg are paradises for perverts. They contain tens of thousands of parents and children all trained to blindly trust anyone with the proper "levush".

On the contrary, until recently the authorities stayed away from prosecuting in our communities because they could never get anyone to testify or even cooperate.

13

 Feb 21, 2013 at 01:42 AM The_Beadle Says:

Reply to #3  
Reb Yid Says:

The last two words in the article are why going to the police is the last resort. "Believe you"? He's automatically going to believe anyone who makes a complaint?

No.

But one of the biggest reasons that stops people who have been abused from reporting it is that they are scared that they won't be believed.

14

 Feb 21, 2013 at 01:44 AM The_Beadle Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

I have one question to these ex orthodox bloggers who try to besmirch the orthodox community. Non of you oppose gay lifestyles and yet are obsessed with blowing stories out of porportion. The orthodox community is booming and growing all over the world. Yes there are some rotten apples but that's because the secular society has been corrupted by the liberals. Of course I hate molesters like every orthodox Jew does but lets call a spade a spade. It is only since gay marriage and it's spread the last few years in america and Europe and unfortunately eretz yisroel that molestations have increased. Stop the gay marriage and molestation of children will be cut drasticly

This has nothing to do with gays or gays marriage. Stop trying to obfuscate the matter.

15

 Feb 21, 2013 at 01:47 AM The_Beadle Says:

Reply to #8  
False Target Says:

If there are more molesters in the Frum communtiry than anywhere else (like the recent claims about unmarried priests) - then there may be place to target us.

If we have the same amount of molestation victims (or less - in my opinion) than why are they trageting our communities?

Our Rabbonim and justice systems work much better than theirs -
We have much less than average:
-homocides
-thefts
-drugs
-violent crimes


Why are they targeting our community?
Either target ALL child molestors regarless of religion or leave us alone.

Sexual Abuse is no less a crime than the other issues you mention. There is no reason not to prosecute someone for that because they haven't killed anyone!

The police do target sex abusers just a much in other communities when they hear about it. Stop trying to make this an anti-Semitic issue. There is absolutely no such angle here.

16

 Feb 21, 2013 at 03:08 AM moti Says:

#8 nobody is "TARGETING" anybody, the police are trying to help genuine victims. This has dragged out for months and the intimidation of victims, violence, bullying, lack of action by top rabbonim... all proves that we CANNOT handle these things "in house". If someone entered your home with a gun in his hand and a yarmulke on his head I'd hope you would call the police. You'd probably call the police if someone stole from you. Why is molestation so different?
Reading these comments it is staggering how dumb they are. We clearly need more education in our communities about the nature of molestation, the molester, repeat offending, psychology etc. so people stop trotting out such garbage.
Not one comment mentions the victims by the way. As much as you may hate the "anti orthodox" bloggers they come across as a lot more compassionate to the victim.

17

 Feb 21, 2013 at 06:24 AM Yerachmiel Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

I have one question to these ex orthodox bloggers who try to besmirch the orthodox community. Non of you oppose gay lifestyles and yet are obsessed with blowing stories out of porportion. The orthodox community is booming and growing all over the world. Yes there are some rotten apples but that's because the secular society has been corrupted by the liberals. Of course I hate molesters like every orthodox Jew does but lets call a spade a spade. It is only since gay marriage and it's spread the last few years in america and Europe and unfortunately eretz yisroel that molestations have increased. Stop the gay marriage and molestation of children will be cut drasticly

Enough with blaming OTDs and gays. Halpern was as Heimish as they come and all the allegations against him involved heterosexual exploitation.

18

 Feb 21, 2013 at 06:30 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
False Target Says:

If there are more molesters in the Frum communtiry than anywhere else (like the recent claims about unmarried priests) - then there may be place to target us.

If we have the same amount of molestation victims (or less - in my opinion) than why are they trageting our communities?

Our Rabbonim and justice systems work much better than theirs -
We have much less than average:
-homocides
-thefts
-drugs
-violent crimes


Why are they targeting our community?
Either target ALL child molestors regarless of religion or leave us alone.

What makes you so sure the molesting rates are lower in the heimish world? Nobody knows the exact rate but we do know that there are many cover-ups.

According to Hatzoloh in Australia there are many suicide attempts related to abuse of children. So maybe murder Haredi style is by induced suicide. Hatzoloh and those who work with "children at risk" will tell you that there is a lot of drug abuse and drug abuse related overdose deaths.

The heimish wing of Otisville is full Haredi fraudsters. Why do you say there fewer thefts in the heimish world.

Wake up! A system that denies people an education for livelihood and denies crime inside the community is in crisis.

19

 Feb 21, 2013 at 08:07 AM bewhiskered Says:

Reply to #8  
False Target Says:

If there are more molesters in the Frum communtiry than anywhere else (like the recent claims about unmarried priests) - then there may be place to target us.

If we have the same amount of molestation victims (or less - in my opinion) than why are they trageting our communities?

Our Rabbonim and justice systems work much better than theirs -
We have much less than average:
-homocides
-thefts
-drugs
-violent crimes


Why are they targeting our community?
Either target ALL child molestors regarless of religion or leave us alone.

"f there are more molesters in the Frum communtiry than anywhere else (like the recent claims about unmarried priests) - then there may be place to target us."

Here we go again with the denial! No one ever made the statement that there are more molesters in the Frum community than anywhere else. But, however you look at it, the Frum community is loaded with molesters, a fact which you want concealed, and therefore, are part of the problem. The Frum community for the better part, has kept this dark secret hidden from the public for years, protecting and enabling these perverts whenever and wherever they take advantage of children or traumatized adults. We're not talking homicides, thefts, drugs, or violent crimes- instead, we're talking about dozens of Frum ערלעכער היימישע אידין with long beards and פיאות, who, at the drop of a hat, will take sexual advantage of the vulnerable. The חשובער רבנים who want to keep it all under the carpet, do nothing more than put other victims ח"ו, at risk. Get something straight! Media warnings about these perverts cause parents and others to be wary of the sexual predators among us, no matter how much you hate the publicity!

20

 Feb 21, 2013 at 09:01 AM bewhiskered Says:

Reply to #18  
Anonymous Says:

What makes you so sure the molesting rates are lower in the heimish world? Nobody knows the exact rate but we do know that there are many cover-ups.

According to Hatzoloh in Australia there are many suicide attempts related to abuse of children. So maybe murder Haredi style is by induced suicide. Hatzoloh and those who work with "children at risk" will tell you that there is a lot of drug abuse and drug abuse related overdose deaths.

The heimish wing of Otisville is full Haredi fraudsters. Why do you say there fewer thefts in the heimish world.

Wake up! A system that denies people an education for livelihood and denies crime inside the community is in crisis.

"A system that denies people an education for livelihood and denies crime inside the community is in crisis."

קידושין ל' ע"ב

רבי יהודה אומר כל שאינו מלמדו אומנות מלמדו ליסטות

21

 Feb 21, 2013 at 11:10 AM BuckyinWisconsin Says:

Reply to #20  
bewhiskered Says:

"A system that denies people an education for livelihood and denies crime inside the community is in crisis."

קידושין ל' ע"ב

רבי יהודה אומר כל שאינו מלמדו אומנות מלמדו ליסטות

So true. How is it that women are allowed to get master's degrees and go out in to the work force and yet our precious men are not able to handle working amongst the masses? All it does is lead to a severe inferiority complex for men and leads to anti social behavior as they have never been acclimated to function in society. I see it all the time. The women have their acts together, dressed beautifully, professional jobs, and the men are schleppers and dress and look like they are one step from homeless. Why? Why? Why?

22

 Feb 21, 2013 at 01:54 PM jack-l Says:

stop the nonsense that we are picked on. Because most of us are decent moral G-D fearing jews who are like me, shocked then horrified. and we live in cliques in our self imposed gettos the news gets out. and we have something to talk about.
my question is where is the empathy and rachmonus for the victims.
i like the example if a guy in a kippa brandishing a gun came to your home wouldnt u call the cops? so whats the difference. The difference is this is a horrifying and repulsive act . usually committed by men (people ) held in high esteem and below the radar which assits deniability . we all think " No way could he do such a thing " In the past the rabbonim who meant well .....didnt and now we have too many victims untreated, and the odds that they will become abusers, we have way too many perps still at large, still abusing . For lack of more colourful language...ONE HUGE MESS . its time to change our attitude. if we dont a child or loved chas visholem could be the next victim.
And guaranteed it will be the talk of our community seems to be that way in my shul. in my town and yours isnt any different

23

 Feb 21, 2013 at 04:05 PM DavidCohen Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

I have one question to these ex orthodox bloggers who try to besmirch the orthodox community. Non of you oppose gay lifestyles and yet are obsessed with blowing stories out of porportion. The orthodox community is booming and growing all over the world. Yes there are some rotten apples but that's because the secular society has been corrupted by the liberals. Of course I hate molesters like every orthodox Jew does but lets call a spade a spade. It is only since gay marriage and it's spread the last few years in america and Europe and unfortunately eretz yisroel that molestations have increased. Stop the gay marriage and molestation of children will be cut drasticly

What an utterly absurd comment. You sir, take the prize for obfuscation. So, some facts for you ...

* Molesters have been around for as long as humans have existed. The fact that you hear more about it now is thanks to a gradual but long overdue change in perception that has made discussing these issues somewhat more acceptable. We've got a long way to go, but we are making progress.

* No one is blowing anything out of proportion, and no one is suggesting that somehow the frum community is worse than society at large But, that said, there is no reason to believe that we are better either. Molestation and abuse are a reality, and it is wise to assume that it plagues us at the same rates that it does the outside world. Failing to acknowledge that is what allows abuse to continue.

* There is no credible evidence linking homosexuality with abuse or molestation. Sorry, your homophobia is showing, get over it.

* The ONLY thing that will cut molestation drastically is to stop denying that the problem exists, empowering victims to speak out and to get help, and making it acceptable to name and punish abusers. Abuse thrives on secrecy and fear of recrimination.

24

 Feb 22, 2013 at 08:15 AM Sherlock-Holmes Says:

Reply to #6  
ChareidiMan Says:

I think it is time for a real reality check!

the jig is up and this is a problem that has to be discussed in the open and the time is now. Enough with the "Its not true" or "Its overblown" this is getting out of hand and something has to be done.

Why is there not one Rabbi that has the guts and does something about it? Come on! every day a new story its unbearable! Nuchem Rosenberg (wether eyou like him or not) comes across like a hero while the rest of the community is paying a terrible price.
Furthermore, our children are not safe! Look how they tried to whitewash this story and he fought with everything he got and now the government stepped in. Why dont we face the facts and tackle it?

Admit that there is a problem and do something about it. And dont do it quietly, do it with fanfare so everyone knows that you are dealing with it. this is very painful.

The issue has been very open for months. Dayan Ehrentreu, Av Beis Din London, Dayan Lichtenstein, Av Beis Din Federation of Synagogues, Dayan Gelley and Dayan Abraham, London Beis Din, Rabbis Weingarten, Knopfler, Cohn, Friedman [Sadigur Rebbe], Hager and others publicly called on Rabbi Halpern to step down from his rabbinical role, which he did aside from keeping his own shul in his home. The only Golders Green Rav or Dayan who supported Reb Chaim has been his father Reb Chuna, who would not be the most impartial of people. The Rabbonim have supported the women who claim they were treated inappropriately.

25

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