Our hearts ache for the brave victims of ultra-orthodox child molesters. And we extend our deepest sympathies to their suffering families, especially Mordechai Jungries and Pearl Engelman.
Our hearts also ache for those few who have publicly and privately supported those victims and sadly, often paid a high price for their courage and compassion. We are grateful to Justice Guston Reichbach of Brooklyn (who called out community members for supporting the criminals and not the victims), Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg of Williamsburg (who has set up a hotline to urge people to call police with information and provide victims and their families with advice), and Rabbi Tzvi Gluck (who helps victims bring abuse cases to the prosecutor in Queens NY).
At the same time, we hope that Yona Weinberg and Joseph Gelbman who have committed horrific crimes, someday face more serious consequences for their wrongdoing. And we hope that Meir Dascalowitz is convicted and kept away from children for a long time.
Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel is sorely misguided. Suspicions or knowledge of child sex crimes should virtually always be reported to the independent professionals in law enforcement and almost never to the biased and often self-serving amateurs in religious institutions.
False allegations can, in fact, be devastating. But they are rare. And heinous child sex crimes are always devastating, especially when reported to, but ignored by authorities – whether secular or religious. And an individual rarely makes a second false allegation, while individuals often repeat child sex crimes.
It is extremely disturbing that a man who was doing the right thing, both as far as his own son and all other children were concerned, was shunned for exposing child abuse. Whistleblowers often face negative backlash, but to be kicked out of their own apartment and ostracized on the street is extreme.
Shame on any adult who publicly backs proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesters instead of backing their victims or accusers
Again, we applaud Mr. Jungreis for his bravery and urge him to stay strong in the coming weeks and months. We hope that others in the Hasidic community in New York will support Mr. Jungreis and his loved ones during this difficult time so that justice can be done and children can be protected.
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