Monday, March 7, 2011

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz’s Campaign – And Why We Ought To Support It

Cross Currents - Rabbi Adlerstein

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz announced a new weapon in the struggle against abuse. For most people, the obvious reason to support him will be sufficient. It might be worthwhile to consider some of the other reasons as well.

Rabbi Horowitz is a trusted name in the world of chinuch. He has earned a justified reputation for speaking his mind, particularly about topics that generate lockjaw (in the closed position) for others. He has demonstrated enormous concern and sensitivity for the victims of abuse, and holds it responsible for producing a great part of the off-the-derech population. In a high-profile case now in progress, he anticipates a large showing in court from members of a closed community – on behalf of the accused. Understanding the impact that this will have on the victims (and victims in unrelated cases!), he urges at least a parallel show of support and concern for them. Whatever one believes regarding offering assistance to accused (but untried and unconvicted) felons, such assistance should not give the impression that accused criminals are more important to us than real victims. (At a conference for rabbanim in LA last week, Dr. David Pelcowitz shared a chilling finding. He related that child welfare personnel in community after community all ask him the same question: "Why is your community more concerned with protecting its image than protecting children?) [....]

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