Letter To the Editor

The Jewish Star
March 19, 2010

Kudos on the editorial ("Score one for the good guys;" March 12, 2010) and the article ("Brooklyn man guilty of abuse: A wake-up call for survivors and activists," March 12, 2010) in last week's issue about the recent conviction of Baruch Lebovits for child molestation.

Based on the turnout during the trial, it is reasonable to expect that friends and relatives of the molester will come out to support him at sentencing, even though it is scheduled for Erev Pesach. We all remember the chilul Hashem (desecration of G-d's name) which occurred last fall when a Brooklyn judge was moved to comment about the large number of people who turned out to support a 'frum' child molester at his sentencing and the huge number of character letters sent, with virtually nobody mentioning the pain of the victims or showing them support. The potential for chilul Hashem this time around has been greatly exacerbated by serious allegations that are now coming to light about respected rabbis and community leaders obstructing justice and even bribing witnesses to protect Lebovits. This could only happen in our community whose leaders openly say that the district attorney should not "give the impression of making a power grab from rabbinic authority," and that Orthodox molesters should not have to go to jail due to "religious sensitivities." (Rabbi C.D. Zwiebel, N.Y. Times, Oct. 14, 2009).

If you are planning to attend, please be in court by 9:30 am on Monday, March 29th to make sure you get a seat, although the exact time of the sentencing is not determined. The court is located at 320 Jay Street, Brooklyn, Courtroom: Part 85, Room 28, 15th Floor, Hon. Patricia M. Di Mango, Justice, Supreme Court, State of New York.

It is also important that as many letters as possible reach the judge expressing solidarity with the victims, outrage with the horrible crime, and concern for the safety of the community. Please address letters to: Hon. Patricia M. Di Mango, Supreme Court, Kings County 320 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11201. The appropriate manner of address is "Dear Justice Di Mango." Letters should bear the reference line: "Re: Sentencing of Baruch Lebovits."

 

Sherree Belsky, director, Kids Count Foundation
Rabbi Yosef Blau, Rabbinic Committee, Jewish Board of Advocates for Children
Rabbi Mark Dratch, JSAFE; Rabbinic Committee, Jewish Board of Advocates for Children
Ben Hirsch, president, Survivors for Justice
Kal Holczer, executive director, Voices of Dignity
Asher Lipner, vice president, Jewish Board of Advocates for Children
Elliot B. Pasik, president, Jewish Board of Advocates for Children
Vicki Polin, founder and CEO, The Awareness Center, Inc.
Rabbi Nochum Rosenberg, International Advisory Board, The Awareness Center, Inc.
Vivian Skolnick, Executive Committee, Jewish Board of Advocates for Children; International Advisory Board, The Awareness Center, Inc.