CA--Abusive rabbi gets no prison; Victims respond
For immediate release: Friday, Oct. 28, 2016
We are appalled that a child molesting rabbi is will not be jailed and will instead be sent to a Jewish treatment center. At the same time, we admire and appreciate the courage of one of his ictims.
Rabbi Sholom Doyber Levitansky is getting “one year of counseling and residential treatment at Beit T’Shuvah, an addiction treatment center near Culver City, after pleading no contest to two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object of a minor,” according to a news source.
That’s pathetic. We advocate prison not because we’re punitive but because it’s a sure-fire way to safeguard kids. And we’re very skeptical, based on nearly 30 years of experience, when judges let religious offenders special privileges by attending religiously-based or religiously-affiliated “treatment centers.’
We applaud Sima Yarmush, the courageous and compassionate young woman who was assaulted by Levitansky as a young teenager. It saddens and sickens us that she reports getting “zero, zero community support, aside from JCW [Jewish Community Watch] and, of course, my family.” Every person or official who sided with her perpetrator should be ashamed and should take active steps now to ameliorate the harm they caused Sima and other victims of sexual violence.
No matter what courts or Jewish officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Jewish institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Rabbi charged with sex abuse to get 1 year of counseling, no prison
by Eitan Arom - Posted on Oct. 27, 2016
Rabbi Sholom D. Levitansky has agreed to one year of counseling and residential treatment at Beit T’Shuvah, an addiction treatment center near Culver City, after pleading no contest to two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object of a minor.
At the Oct. 27 hearing at the Airport Courthouse on La Cienega Boulevard, his lawyer, Vicki Podberesky, told Judge Yvette Verastegui he had checked into Beit T’Shuvah the day before.
Levitansky won’t be officially sentenced until he . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.