Friday, April 13, 2007

Letter from the Baltimore Vaad on Abuse

Greg has it. [UPDATE: David Zakar has a better scan, along with his own thoughts.]

It is excellent, covering all of the following:
  1. explaining what needs to be done,
  2. the need to educate children on the issue,
  3. what mistakes have been made in the past,
  4. encouraging and facilitating contacting the authorities "who are best equipped to handle this problem",
  5. establishing the danger these threats pose,
  6. explaining why naming names in public is important despite the effects this may have on their families,
  7. acknowledging that rabbonim are not trained in this area,
  8. discussing the problem of false accusations,
  9. and setting out a plan for monitoring those who are known or strongly suspected abusers to ensure that they cannot hurt any more.
B'hatzlacha to the Baltimore Va'ad, and may they be successful in their endeavors. May other cities follow in their footsteps.


  1. To be honest, I'd like to arrange a boycott of the frum community of ANY city or community that either refuses to issue a similar Rabbinic statement, or neglects to enforce any of its provisions. We should also force ALL of our schools to sign similar statements. If they refuse, withdraw your children and refuse to support them financially. The tide is turning. Lets keep it going in the right direction.

  2. DAG - That's a bit hard to enforce itself, but I agree that every community should be following suit.

  3. is impossible to enforce...but if the Jbloggers make a concerted effort..we could make a dent...or at least call attention to the fact that particular comm refuse to comply

  4. I think that as bloggers, our role would be as you say: Call attention.

  5. I think it's an important and very well-done statement. I do hope that other communities will follow suit. (And have to say that I think it takes a very special community such as Baltimore in order to address the issue in such a unified manner.)

  6. I think this is a very good first step, and as Shoshana said, Baltimore is known for its unity among the rabbis. Other communities would do well to follow the example it has set.

  7. If Jewish bloggers want to make waves as a group, this should start with removing expressions of kefira and mockery of Torah leaders from their blogs (I realize that not all blogs are guilty of harboring this stuff).

    Then their declarations about community matters might carry some weight.

  8. Dear Mr. Miller,

    Perhaps you are unfamiliar with term "making waves", it usually means to upset a perceived tranquility not to float along with it. In the process it can get a little bumby and you most probably will get a little wet, that is kind of the whole idea.

    Almost forgot, your comment (which has merit) and this post have very little to do with one another.

  9. bumby!? bumby!!

    why do I even bother.

  10. Hey, what's wrong with some irrelevance now and then?

    Anyway, what set me off was the idea that bloggers have some standing to sit in judgment on communities.