Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky: Call Rabbis, Not Police, To Report Child Abuse

by Failed Messiah blog
July 17, 2011

Speaking Tuesday night in Flatbush in the Bostoner beit midrash at the Irgun Shiurei Torah conference as the search for Leiby Kletzky was in full frantic swing, the vice-president of Agudath Israel of America's Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah, Supreme Council of Rabbinic Sages, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky says child sexual abuse must be reported to rabbis, not police.

Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, the vice-president of Agudath Israel of America's Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah, Supreme Council of Rabbinic Sages, is considered to the the most favorable of all the senior Agudah rabbis to child sexual abuse victims. Kamenetsky (sometimes spelled Kamenetzky) is the rosh yeshiva of the Yeshiva Gedola of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He says child sexual abuse must be reported to a "rov" (rabbi) and the rabbi(s) will investigate and determine if police should be called. He said this as the search for Leiby Kletzky was in it's second day, with thousands of volunteers combing Borough Park and neighboring areas for the 8-year-old boy. But Leiby Kletzky had already been murdered and dismembered by Levi Aron, a known stalker of young boys, who abducted him off a Borough Park street corner late Monday afternoon.

Rabbi Kamenetsky was repeating Agudath Israel of America's official policy banning ultra-Orthodox Jews from reporting child sexual abuse to police.

On the bright side, Rabbi Kamenetsky, surprised that rabbis and community activists have allegedly threatened victims and witnesses forcing them to remain silent, agreed that these rabbis and activists would also be endangering children. But like his ruling regarding child sexual abusers, Rabbi Kamenetsky wants those threatened victims to report the threats to rabbis, not police.

Click the player below to listen. Playing time is around 4 minutes.