Child Abuse in the Community:
We have learned that a television program is to be broadcast next week which seeks to portray some elements in the Jewish community as not dealing appropriately with serious crimes against children.
For the sake of clarity, the London Beth Din is re-stating its position on how we address this matter.
We have an obligation to safeguard the children of our community and we have to accept that, even within our own communities, there are those who steal the innocence of our children through criminal activity.
We are acutely aware that sexual abuse can, (apart from being inherently abhorrent), destroy lives and cause a breakdown in relationships. At its worst it can be the cause of suicide, death from drug overdose and mental illness.
It is therefore essential that when abuse has occurred, the police must be informed without delay. Local communities should not attempt to deal with the situation internally. Delays in reporting abuse can cause vital evidence to be lost, allowing the abusers to continue violating our children. We must all ensure that the children of our communities will be protected by reporting abuse to the authorities wherever it takes place.
As you have previously been informed, the United Synagogue’s Child Protection Officer is David Frei. Should you encounter or be informed about any situations which raise concerns, please refer to him in the first instance for advice.
Rabbi Dr J Shindler
Office of the Chief Rabbi