Agudath Israel of America Says You Have to Ask a Rabbi Before You Can Call The Police on a Child Molester
by Failed Messiah Blog
May 18, 2011
Except in cases where the abuser is caught red handed, Agudah says you should ask a senior rabbi with experience in these issues and, even better, you should ask a full beit din (religious court) made up of senior rabbis with experience in these issues. This means Agudah is advocating for you to violate mandatory reporting laws in many states, and it is advocating turning over the lives of abused children to rabbis who have often covered up for abusers.
Agudath Israel of America (often called Agudah for short) is the umbrella organization of the vast majority of ultra-Orthodox Jews in the United States.
The summation of Agudah's position is given at approximately 1:02 of the recording, followed by some brief words from Rabbi David Zwiebel, Agudah's executive vice president. Zwiebel tries to say that there are different secular standards for reporting sexual abuse of minors, and implies that this somehow justifies Agudah's stand. But the law is clear and Agudah is advocating violating it.
Zwiebel is an attorney, so he can't claim to be unfamiliar with the implications of his words or the words that preceded his.
Just before Zwiebel speaks, Rabbi Gottesman takes several brief questions. The first questioner asks what should be done if a state's mandatory reporting law mandates reporting a particular case to police or child protection services but Jewish law (as understood by the rabbi asked or as explained by a published rabbinic ruling) does not. Rabbi Gottesman tells the questioner that a rabbi should be consulted to determine if the mandatory reporter must "expose yourself to possible legal ramifications under the Mandated Reporting Act."
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