Fury Over Posters Advertising Fundraiser for Rabbi Accused of Molesting a Child

By Phil Vinter (Daily Mail)
May 15, 2012

A campaign to raise funds for a rabbi who has been charged with sexually abusing a teenage girl has sparked anger from the victim's family.

Posters promoting a fundraising event at Continental Caterers restaurant in Williamsburg for alleged child abuser Nechemya Weberman were put up at shopping areas in the city on Monday.

Written in a mix of Hebrew and Yiddish the signs show support for the Jewish clerical figure who has been charged with molesting a 12-year-old girl over a period of three years between 2007 and 2010.

Weberman pleaded innocent to the charges in February and the case is now going through the court process.

Police said the 53-year-old was charged with a criminal sex act, rape, endangering the welfare of a child and sexual abuse.

The alleged victim, now 16, reported that the rabbi had forced her to perform oral sex and other lewd acts during counselling sessions while acting as her therapist.

According to NYDailyNews the victim's mother described seeing the adverts supporting Weberman as 'very painful,' adding: 'The community has taken his side.'

One of the posters displays a cartoon of a missile falling on to a crowd of Orthodox Jewish men announcing a danger hitting the neighborhood.

It is against Jewish religious law to report a Jew to secular authorities without rabbinical oversight and the posters protest Weberman's innocence by dismissing the victim's story and questioning why she decided talk to the police.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has worked with religious leaders to ensure rabbis take responsibility for deciding which cases need to be passed on to police, but there is reported to be growing criticism of his methods as more rabbis are arrested for sexually abusing children.

Hershy Deutch is founder of the Kings County Safety Patrol, a civilian group in the Jewish section of Williamsburg.

He helped to organise a counter-protest against Wednesday's fund-raiser for Weberman.

According to the NYDailyNews he urged Weberman supporters not to cover up what is happening to children in the community.

He added: 'This has been happening for too many years. I want a lot of people out there for the family to show people that giving money to this perpetrator is wrong.'

Weberman's lawyer George Farkas defended the actions of Weberman's supporters insisting that his client is an innocent man whose reputation is forever ruined.

'He is an accused molester. The damage is done,' said Farkas who is aiming to take the case to trial instead of brokering a deal with prosecutors. 'There are many supporters who believe of his innocence.'