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Montreal Rabbinical Court Advice on Sexual Abuse Falls Short | cialis online

Montreal Rabbinical Court Advice on Sexual Abuse Falls Short

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A rabbinical court in Montreal’s Orthodox Jewish community urges parents to educate their children on sexual abuse but fails to mention the importance of reporting an incident to the authorities. The Beit Din, a religious court, issued an advisory at the start of the summer-camp season saying parents should teach their children about inappropriate touching performed by another child, relative or an authority figure,
reported PostMedia News.

The religious court noted that parents should explain to their children that reporting
sexual abuse to a parent or rabbi is an obligation, but omitted any mention of making a report to police. Members of the Orthodox community consider this notice a sign of progress for a community that is accused of overlooking the topic of sexual abuse, but others feel it’s just more of the same.

An expert on sexual abuse in the Orthodox community criticized the Beit Din for not emphasizing the importance of reporting an incident to the police or youth-protection authorities.

“The Beit Din hijacks the criminal justice system because it supplants it and usurps the authority,” said Amy Neustein, editor of “Tempest in the Temple: Jewish Communities and Child Sex Scandals.”

Neustein believes the religious court is “proficient at obstructing justice.”
Supporters of the advisory believe the religious court should also urge people to contact the proper authorities.

However, the executive director of the rabbinical court, Rabbi Saul Emmanuel, defends the court’s suggestion saying, “The notice doesn’t discuss an incident. The notice talks about education.”

Emanuel believes advising the community on whether to report incidents of sexual abuse to the police is not within the court’s purview.

Since the recent brutal killing of eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky, the Orthodox community has faced national criticism of its position on reporting sexual abuse.

On July 12, Shmuel Kamenetsky, the vice president of Agudath Israel of America’s Supreme Council of Rabbinic Ages, addressed a crowd in Brooklyn and repeated the Agudath’s official policy which bans Jews from reporting sexual child abuse to police.

Now, Agudath is responding to the “misleading claims” saying, Kamenetsky’s statement “referred to rabbinic arguments that authorities should be notified when a certain threshold of evidence is met, but ‘where the circumstances of the case do not rise to threshold level…the matter should not be reported to authorities,’” reported the Jerusalem Post.

To determine if the threshold is met, Agudath advises that “the individual shouldn’t rely exclusively on their own judgment; rather, he should present the facts to a rabbi.”

Despite their clarification on the official law of reporting sexual abuse, some members of the Orthodox community are appalled by Kamenetsky’s comments and called on Agudath to issue a retraction.

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