Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, head of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, was recorded by a community member using a hidden camera as part of a Channel 4 documentary on Haredi child abuse.
In a scene that will air Wednesday, the insider, who hails from the Haredi London neighborhood of Stamford Hill, tells Padwa, “Someone who you may know of . . . sexually abused me when I was younger, when I was a child,” and asks how to proceed.
After Padwa responds, “We are dealing with this,” the insider asks whether he should go to the police.
“Oh no,” Padwa answers, explaining that doing so would constitute “mesirah,” or turning a Jew over to secular authorities. He adds in Yiddish, “People mustn’t tell tales.”
Asked to comment by The Times of Israel, a spokesman for Padwa questioned the credibility of Channel 4’s undercover insider, saying the allegations had already been investigated and dismissed as “malicious” by social services in the borough of Hackney. They were investigated again in 2007.
Padwa’s on-camera advice about avoiding the police was made, the spokesman said, with that in mind.