Despite Nechemia Weberman's conviction, Mrs. Deutsch and her family continue to be harassed and intimidated by members of the religious community. In the most recent display of baseless hatred, she and her family were shamed during Rosh Hashanah davening and made to leave their shul. This event was chronicled in secular newspapers, such as the New York Post.
We, as the Orthodox community, cannot allow this Chillul Hashem to go unaddressed. This is not who we are, and we must publically condemn the shaming and bullying that many sexual-abuse victims experience following their ordeals. Victims of these horrific crimes are entitled to our communities' support and encouragement. In the alternative, victims will fear speaking out and we will be complicit in their suffering.
The specific Rabbonim asked to issue a statement are: the Agudas Yisroel (Chaim Dovid Zweibel,Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, Rabbi Shlomo Gertzulin,Rabbi Labish Becker); the Orthodox Union (Rabbi Simcha Katz,Rabbi Steven Weil); the Rabbinical Council of America (Rabbi Leonard Matanky, Rabbi Mark Dratch, Rabbi Basil Herring, Rabbi Barry Kornblau); National Council of Young Israel (Rabbi Perry Tirschwell, Rabbi Chaim Leibtag); Chabad- Lubavitch (Rabbi Osdoba, Rabbi Schwei, Rabbi Braun, Rabbi Heller); Satmar (Rabbis Aaron and Zalman Teitelbaum); and the Beis Din of America (Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz; Rabbi Mordechai Willig,Rabbi Yona Reiss,Rabbi Shlomo Weissmann).
Suggested statement text:
We, (name of organization), reiterate our support for victims of sexual abuse. Without reservation, we condemn any conduct intended to intimidate, harass, or bully these victims into silence or as punishment for any perceived violations of Torah law, such as mesira. Any individuals participating in such heinous conduct commit the gravest of sins and disregard the very foundations of Judaism. Victims of abuse deserve no less than our communities' full support and encouragement during the healing process.
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