By Linda Stasi amd Susan Edelman (NY Post)
July 17, 2011
The close-knit Orthodox Jewish community insists that rabbis, not the NYPD, get the first phone call about a suspected child abuser.
"There are prohibitions and a psychological fear about saying bad things about people or talking about negative things that bring shame," said Long Island psychologist Michael Salamon, author of the upcoming book "Abuse in the Jewish Community. "
The taboo had tragic consequences for Motty Borger, 24, who leapt to his death from a Williamsburg hotel the night after his wedding in November 2009. He had confided to relatives that he'd been molested while attending a yeshiva, but they never went to the police.
Another old law forbids turning a Jew over to secular authorities, for fear of anti-Semitism.
"In the Orthodox community, absent a homicide or murder, the people are encouraged not to go to the police," said Michael Dowd, a lawyer who represents victims of clergy sex abuse.
The Post reported yesterday that Leiby Kletzky's accused killer, Levi Aron, had allegedly tried to snatch another young boy near his house but that it wasn't reported to the cops.
A leading ultra-Orthodox group, Agudath Israel of America, recently affirmed that someone who suspects sexual abuse by a community member must first consult a rabbi "with experience in these issues."