Message from Elliot Pasik to David Zwiebel:
"Resign From the New York State Bar"
Reacts to Zwiebel's Directive that Mandated Reporters Defy Law and Not Report Abuse to Authorities
Attorney and advocate Elliot Pasik writes that David Zwiebel, a licensed attorney who is Agudath Israel of America's Executive VP, should resign from the New York State Bar. Pasik makes the point that while Zwiebel may have every right to practice "his extreme form of religion" he has no right to give others "patently illegal advice." Read Elliot Pasik's full letter here.
Pasik's statement is in response to Zwiebel publicly instructing Orthodox Jewish professionals at an Agudath Israel CLE conference to not report child sexual abuse to the authorities. Instead, they were directed to report child sexual abuse to a rabbi. Click here to listen to a recording of the Agudath Israel CLE conference.
As reported by the Jewish Forward, Zwiebel told the conference that even mandated reporters - teachers, social workers and people in certain other professions who are required by law to promptly report any suspected cases of sexual abuse - should seek permission from a rabbi before going to the authorities. Read the full Forward article here.
Agudath Israel provided Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credits for attendance at a conference where Zwiebel instructed participants to defy the law. What does this say about the integrity of Agudath Israel's leadership?
In the words of Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants."
Established halacha (Jewish Law) places a pedophile in the category of rodef (an imminent threat), in part due to a recidivism rate well in excess of 50-percent. In his 2004 psak (ruling) on this issue, Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv writes that one should report those who sexually abuse children directly to the police and that doing so is of benefit to society. Click here to read a partial translation of this ruling.