Following Speech, Halachic Advisory Board Releases Statement

A scathing indictment of the ‘Halachic Advisory Board’ during a speech by Mrs. Sima Yarmush, a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of a Rabbi in her family’s Chabad House, has lead the board to release a statement explaining their policy regarding abuse.

This statement comes after a speech given by Mrs. Sima Yarmush before a crowd in Los Angeles, California in which she spoke about the abuse she suffered at the hands of a Rabbi in her family’s S. Monica Chabad House.

In her speech she accused the Halachic advisory board of what amounts to a “cover-up” which “allowed this predator to reestablish himself in another neighborhood and potentially prey on other victims.”

The board is made up of four rabbis including; Rabbi Avrohom Union, Dayan and Menahel of the Beth Din of the Rabbinical Council of California, Rabbi Gershon Bess, Rov of Congregation Kehilas Yaakov in Los Angeles, Rabbi Yosef Shusterman, Rov of Chabad of Beverly Hills, California, and Rabbi Berish Goldenberg, Chairman of Family Commission at Rabbinical Council of California and Principal at Yeshiva Rav Isacsohn Academy in Los Angeles.

The following is their statement:

We have reflected in recent days on the story of a brave and valiant young woman who has shared her story with the public.

What happened to her happens all too often. Sadly it will happen again. During the course of the dialogue surrounding her message, many questions have been raised. Because of legal restrictions and a code of conduct on disclosure practiced by the professionals involved in this area, we cannot discuss the particulars of this situation.

Nevertheless, as a community that cares deeply about taking action against sexual abuse and providing assistance and comfort to their victims, we believe it is useful to provide to the public an outline of our protocols and procedures that are now and have long been in place regarding this subject. We are in constant contact with local authorities and experts in the field and upgrade our protocols when necessary. A review of the attached flowchart will enlighten the public to the model we’ve developed and hopefully promote a thoughtful dialogue to improve the public’s awareness and assistance in tragic matters such as these.

Who is the Halachic Advisory Board?

In 2001, in response to three horrific instances of sexual abuse in our community, the Halachic Advisory Board (HAB), a group consisting of Rabbinic leaders representing the broader Orthodox Jewish community, made a groundbreaking decision. Since their inception, they have sensitively provided support, security and resources to victims of abuse. They have undergone numerous training sessions from experts in the field and have trained groups around the country. In situations where victims of abuse were unable to be protected by law enforcement, HAB continued its work to find ways to protect victims, families and communities.

HAB would quite literally go beyond the letter of the law, to protect victims, families and communities.

Why would a victim not be protected by law enforcement?

In many circumstances including where mandated by law, cases brought to the HAB are directed to legal authorities as appropriate and/or required by law. In order for authorities to protect a victim or prosecute an offender – charges must be filed.

If a family chooses not to file a police report, there is nothing law enforcement can do to help them.

If an act is not legally deemed criminal, there is nothing law enforcement can do to keep someone from causing more harm.

Is anything done to protect a victim who cannot or will not make a report?

HAB offers assistance and support in situations to people when law enforcement cannot. In these situations:

  • The Offender must agree to engage in a comprehensive sex offender evaluation from a credentialed agency.
  • The Offender must sign a release so sex offender evaluation and treatment recommendations of the experts are provided to the HAB Team.
  • Any recommendations provided by the experts involved are facilitated by HAB so that there is compliance and follow up with all treatment and other recommendations.

What are the legal issues involved?

In a nutshell, these cases involve various legal principles, some of which conflict:

Most States, and especially California, have detailed laws surrounding a privilege of confidentiality that arises out of the physician-patient, psychotherapist-patient, and rabbi-congregant relationship. In some situations, HIPAA rules apply. In addition, licensing Boards are very protective of patients. Interestingly, these protections not only obviously apply to abuse victims; they may also serve to protect abusers. Abusers may also insist on confidentiality as a condition to submitting to analysis and treatment.

In circumstances where the victim insists, for understandable reasons, on secrecy and identity protection, the Federal and State constitutions provide protection to Offenders (called the right of confrontation). This right effectively prevents the Police, Rabbonim and all others from accusing the alleged Offender. The Offender must have the right to face his/her accuser and the right to challenge the allegations.

  • State slander and libel laws make an accuser liable for compensatory claims if they cannot prove the truth of the accusation. Such proof of truth becomes impossible where the identity of the abused must be protected and not be disclosed or where the accuser does not know the identity of the abused.

HAB has achieved extraordinary success over the decades in combating abuse. Those of us who are and have been involved everyday with these significant, heart wrenching issues have devoted our lives to helping people rebuild after abuse occurs. Working together with authorities and experts of all segments of the community, as well as using our contacts nationally and internationally, we can prevent abuse and create a safer environment for all of us.

Testimonial from Police

“As the supervisor in charge of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Operation West Bureau Sexual Assault Detail, I have interacted with the rabbinical council on a number of occasions regarding allegations of sexual abuse brought to their attention by those they serve. I always found them to be anxious to seek proper guidance and willing to follow through on a discussed and suggested course of action. They were always open and concerned with doing the right thing, never holding back information or shying away from difficult situations, even if moving beyond their comfort zone in order to provide the best resolution to a situation. It is rare to find this kind of ongoing relationship of mutual trust and respect between law enforcement and a religious hierarchy. I was both personally honored and professionally privileged to work with these fine individuals.”

Paul Bishop, Supervisor (currently retired) LAPD West Bureau Sexual Assault Detail

[signed] Halachic Advisory Board


  • are you not mandated

    I am wondering what are the laws when it comes to you as a mandated reporter.

    Don’t you need to report what you hear regardless of if the victim wants or not?

    Also, when you encourage victims to go to the police do you also scare them? Tell them all the things that people may say and do?

    Do you encourage them to go and tell them not to be scarred and also tell them “we have your back”?

    If you are going to call yourself HAB and deal with abuse cases you need to have the courage to stay being a victim doing the due diligence.. which is to report.

    If you cant.. time to wrap up shop.

    • someone

      most of your questions are theoretical, and it seems from the way you ask, that you have made up your mind, before you asked.

  • Cma

    They completely miss the point! The entire article addresses their protocols in dealing with the abuser, but nothing about dealing with the victim!!

    This response just proves JCW’s point!!

  • in 2001

    In 2001 they set up the advisory board. So why can’t they tell us without using names, what they did in the past 14 years to help victims in their article?

  • I don't get it...

    Are they saying they encourage going to the police? That didn’t seem to be the case from this story.

    What do they do to help victims?

    What do they do to secure the world from the predator that has been brought to their attention?

    How did they let Simi’s predator move to another place without warning the community there?

    Don’t they have an obligation to ensure the doesn’t hurt others? What did they do in that regard?

    • someone

      yes mister, she was actually told to go to the police. just because she did nto say let you privy to that fact, does not mean it did not happen.

      in regards to some of your other questions: i suggest you reread all this, and you will see the answers to most of your questions.


      You have no idea!!!

      Clearly you are just talking without knowing your facts and trying to respond to every comment to mislead folks.

      What motive would Simi have in telling her story other than to change things for the better?

      What motive would she have to tell lies?

      Are you implying that she just has nothing better to do than to do this?

      Listen to her talk… Better yet, reach out to her and get your facts straight… And stop writing nonsense until you do!

  • ego

    Still no apology for what they put this girl through. Also, what about the part where they failed to inform two chabad houses that this abuser worked in? To me that is protecting the abuser as well as endangering more children. These Rabbis need to put their ego aside and apologize and promise to do the right thing if Gd forbid something like this happens again. Really, shame on them.

    • someone

      you missed the point.
      the point is: that the story is not as the lady said it was.

      everything that was done then, would be done again, because that is the only way, it can be done legally. get it or not?

      as they state right in the beginning, they can’t get into specifics in this case, because that itself is illegal.

      but it is clear that: they deal with every scenario.

    • to someone

      I wonder how your opinion would change if he came to your Chabad house and raped your children.

      STOP towing the official Chabad line!

      We are only hurting ourselves.

      Sima I heard you are getting calls from people who are abusing you.

      I want to apologise that Merkas has not taken a stand to support you.

      Merkas you should be ashamed. You are encouraging the vilification of a beautiful young woman.

      Realise that Rabbonim make mistakes. Shusterman should have come out and apologised instead of shushking and belittling Sima quietly. His SILENCE is DEAFENING!

      A Chabad Shlucha who can not disclose her name because she knows the repercussions….

  • Cycles repeat

    Unfortunately, a similar response of protecting the abuser and subjugating the victim to intense ostracism and community disparagement has been repeated recently by the same main player. The instituional abuse of the victims by our rabbonim goes beyond callousness. It is intentional and directed. I feel for Mrs Yarmush and understand a drop of how our rabonim dealt with her and her family.

    • someone

      can you please explain, where there is:

      1. protecting the abuser or 2. subjugating the victim to intense ostracism and community?

  • Shame on who?

    Shame on those who disrespect our rabbis that took a position of calling police in child molest station cases way before JCW has been in existence this organization is not here to help the victims it is here to crush the rabbis.
    And to answer those questions why the rabbis didn’t have this victim in this case go to the authorities I think this question needs to be answered by the victims parents. Especially being that there is a police report in this case. when in fact the rabbis did tell the family to go to the authorities.

  • Anonymous

    I blame the parents not the rabbis. Why were her parents letting their 14 year old daughter hang out alone with a rabbi?
    And why was it the rabbis fault about not going to the police what about her parents???
    Something isnt adding up here….

    • I can't believe the responses here

      Shame on you to even suggest they the parents outrightly allowed their daughter to “hang out” with a rabbi. Your comment makes me feel like you are trying to protect the abuser

  • LAPD

    So the commentators here have more knowledge then the LAPD.

    At this point it’s clear that the rabbis are not some ammature “cover ups” rather a professional team working closely with therapist and law enforcement.

    This is actually an impressive model that should be duplucated.

    • What you say is pretty sad...

      Are you saying the model of never changing even if your model doesn’t work is one to be duplicated?

      At this point we need to be disruptive to save our children!

      Status quo is clearly no longer working. But some seem to have their head in the sand and instead of trying to better themselves and the system, they dig their heals in and won’t admit that changes are necessary. Instead they rest on their laurels and just say that sadly this will happen again and again?!!?

      That is absolutely unacceptable, and for this reason, we need more and more of these events where the wrongs are outed!

  • Discouraged

    Very sad and it show that the halachic board doesn’t know a thing about abuse. The fact that they covered it up and sent the Rabbi to another area where he would be exposed to others shows this. The entire board should be fired. Rabbi Shusterman is supposed to be the Rav of Los Angeles where people look to for advise. I wonder if he would have behaved the same if it was his daughter. Regardless of whether or not they followed halachic law or not, they failed one of their kind.

    • someone

      yes if it would be his daughter, then yes he would go to the police, the same thing he suggests for anybody else.

      about knowing about abuse, it is clear that they know a thing or 2 more then you.

    • Take off your blinkers

      to # 18 The parents were told by the Rabbi that “they had no moral, legal, ethical or Halachik reason to say anything about the abuse to anybody”

  • To numbers 1 , 2, 3,4, and 5

    you guys are a bunch of losers. The rabbonim outlined what they do and all you can do is complain that they are not doing enough. Or that you could do it better. Hey guys get this right. The Rabbonim are not on your pay roll so stop telling them what to do.

    • Ha...

      And the point is what?

      Should we let Rabbis continue to misguide believers and move harm into others’ paths, just because we don’t pay their payroll?

      Some do care and want to protect the general public!

  • LA resident

    It was public knowledge in la that he was an abuser as his father a”h wrote a letter at the time to the community informing everyone of his sons behavior.

    So the reason for all of this hoopla is beacause … feels they didn’t do enough ? JCW is barking up the wrong tree.

    spoke to many people in la over yom tov – now that the emotional aspect of the speech is wearing off people are realizing tha this entire event was a Rabbonim bashing orchestrated by JCW – people are hurt – people are realizing that in the worst case scenario it wasn’t handled as good as it could have but that the Rabbonim made a genuine attempt to handle this properly and responsibly.

    … and JCW owe the Rabbonim a public apology.

  • Yiddish - Lover

    Quick question:

    What remedies are available to a “victim;”that is

    an accusation that a person committed acts of sexual abuse when in reality there was no perpetration of abuse by the accused person.

    Just wondering

  • Finally the truth!

    Finally we now see that the rabonim acted valiantly. If the victim did not want to press charges (perfectly understandable) since she was over 18 there really was nothing they could have legally done.

    • What are you implying here?

      Are you implying that Simi lied?

      What motive would she have to do that?

      You say that the Rabonim acted valiantly – what if that predator was moved to your community and did the same to your child?

      Don’t you think that Rabonim should be protecting others if they know about a predator in their midst? Isn’t that their responsibility?

      Would you change your mind if it was your daughter?

      I’m a shlucha and can’t sign my name as a result, but I fear for my community and others if this behavior continues!

  • Question

    when people told the father of the “victim” to get rid of the mishugener because he is a danger to kids etc
    And the Chabad house even lost a big supporter for that reason where is the perents responsibility ?

  • First hand experience

    From my first hand personal experience if you go to the Rabbonim
    They do not help, they just want you to go away and stop talking about it.
    Then if you go to the police the community and its Rabbonim come out against you and if and when the abuser is convicted and sent to prison the Rabbonim come out against the whole family of the victim and as I found that I have been put in an unofficial cherim.
    That is all fact, and while this is all going on the community and its Rabbonim do go full out in support of the abuser and help him and his family.
    So from experience most Rabbonim lie and can not be trusted.
    End off


    I think everyone will agree that the younger generation are losing regard for the rabbonim and its getting worse at a rapid pace instead of rabanim finding ways to connect to the next generation they are too busy coming out with letters why they need respect… IF THIS GROUP OF RABBIES WAS THERE FOR THE VICTIMS THEY WOULD HAVE SHOWED SUPPORT BY ATTENDING THE JCW EVENT . NO?

    • You don't know

      The rabies and selective members of the community were NOT invited or told about this event. It would have proven her story as a lie.

    • someone

      why do i have to support an jcw, to show i support the victims? you guys make no sense.

  • Finally

    This board ENCOURAGES victims to go to the police. Not everything Sima said is true – the abuse is true, but her recollections and responses to the board of rabbis is questionable. Let’s get this straight: victims need our support, but being a victim does not automatically mean that every single word out of their mouth is the absolute truth. So if you’re really interested in helping victims, take a bit of an intelligent stance . Realize that there are rabbis who stink and rabbis who are truly active to protect the Simas. She suffered, but she also maligned the wrong people. If all

    • Looks like some are missing the point...

      Why did the Rabbis allow him to move to another neighborhood and put other people at risk?

      Why don’t they admit that things need to change instead of saying “Sadly it will happen again.” Is that OK? Are they saying is status quo is good enough?

      It’s OK to make mistakes… Not OK to continue to defend past mistakes and put innocent people at risk.

      It’s a fact that sexual predators are not “healed” in therapy, and that they will always be a risk. It’s a fact that he abused multiple girls, more than a handful!

      So, how can Rabbis defend putting new people at risk by just having him move to a different community and not notifying authorities?!

  • To # 20

    I don’t think the rabbis were invited to a Rabbi bashing event I think if this was a legitimate event for stopping and helping victims of Melissa station shortly the rabbis would’ve been there

    • someone

      even if they were invited, i would not come, to such an event, where the point is to bash me..

  • Feigy Minkowicz



  • unbelievable

    Why are you attacking sima, just becoz she chose not to go to the police and ruin the rest of her life??? does that mean it didn’t happen?? From some of the comments I read here it sounds like some of you are glad she was abused, but there is one thing I will tell you unless it happened to you, shut your mouths coz you have no idea what it can do to a person more so if the abuser gets away with it.
    Sima I bow down and applaud your courage and strength and wish you only good from now on, Meyer continue your amazing work, there are always going to be those that are so self righteous that what you are doing is implorable, but that’s becoz they are probably scared of being found out that they are abusers so by shouting loudly and protesting strongly it takes the focus off them.

    • someone

      no one said ti never happened. and no one is blaiming her, or is happy it happened.

      you are beating on a straw man/ it proves you guys have nothing what to say,

  • Why not press charges today?

    Something is very fishy about this story. Why is Sima not pressing charges today? The statute of limitations in California is until the victim is 40 years old. Something does not smell right here.

    • Feigy Minkowicz

      i agree she went through a terrible experience….but what helps taking down the Rabbis, just because they wanted to take a proper way to deal with it, and the name of the abuser, is still NOT public!!!!! how do they expect to protect other people this way????

  • Voice of reason

    Seriously? Who didn’t they warn communities of the abuser?? Probably for the same reason sima did not and could not mention the guy’s name. Very simple. Because it is illegal to officialy announce an alleged abuser unless the victim pressed charges (as they should have) and the crime is verified.

  • dovid

    I’m not sure whose telling us the correct story but I can certainly tell you that Sima isn’t being honest in her description of the abuser. She portrays him as the average shliach which in effect casts a cloud of suspicion over every Rabbi (JCW’S goal). This is extremely misleading as the abuser is a first class idiot with a nasty character that’s obvious to all. in no way is this man average. JCW would like nothing more then to have us all suspicious of our Rabbis – it’s a shame that the victim and her family don’t realize that they’re being manipulated by JCW.

  • To 'someone wrote"

    What you say is untrue. She was told not to go to the police and her parents were told not to go to the police! They were told that the board would take care of the situation.

    Not sure where you are coming from in trying to answer every comment that doesn’t meet your approval. Clearly you have an ax to grind! Clearly you are not into helping victims and instead choose to side with the perpetrator and those that protect them…

    I wonder what you would say if one of your loved ones was at risk due to a predator in your midst… Would you want Rabbi’s who knew about the risk to hide it from you?

    • someone

      so it is going to go back and forth, to he says, she says.

      the fact is, she was told to go to the police, which is something she did not want to do (maybe for proper reasons, but it is something that may not be ignored.)

      as to my answering every comment: wow, if i do that it must mean i have an ax to grind!! right! or maybe just maybe, i hold of one side (just like you hold in the other one), and am coming to defend that side and attack the other one. just like those who believe in the other side, do in the reverse. so just deal with substance and facts, instead of inconsequential stuff.

      in addition please do not beat up on straw men (you could check up that term on google if you want). what do my comments have to do with victims???

      or is it this: in order to be on the side of victims, we just have to attack the rabbonim, and be on the side of vindictive people. if not? then well, what does it mean? i must be against victims. oh that really makes sense.

      actually i think that jcw in general is damaging to victims, and they have made things worse in this case. as 1. they lose credibility, and 2. they tell victims not to go to people who actually care about them, and who won;t go to the police for various reasons.

      oh and btw, if i were to put my trust in jcw (or you), or the LAPD, whether or not i should trust this rabinic advisory board, i think i might just stick with the LAPD.

      .btw i happen to know a victim, and care about that person, as much as you claim to care about victims.

    • think a bit!

      the Rabbis DID tell her to go to the police…..! SHE is the one that didn’t want!

  • In her own words

    Watch the video again in her own words the allege story with Rabbi shusterman took place in private with her parents and the rabbi alone, so are we supposed to rely on her parents?

  • Regarding notifying the police...

    Are they saying they will continue to do same and put our community at risk of predators? They failed to notify the Sherman Oaks community and will continue to do same in the future?!?!?

    • someone

      there laws to be dealt with here.

      do you have a way in dealing with things, without going to the police? if yes please share it.

      oh which laws? ah sorry, forgot to read their statement a bit thoroughly? well then try again.

  • Shimon Shak

    This comment section literally makes me nauseous. So instead of the pederast who molested a young girl you blame the girl her self?!? Her parents?!?! The Rabbi’s who took literally no actions to support or help the victim but instead shielded and supported the abuser..these are the people you are defending?!?!? Stop re-victimizing this girl…seeing the backlash here how could a victim possibly tell their story when they’ll know their community will ALWAYS doubt what they are saying.

    • someone

      where is anyone blaming the victim (besides for one comment about he being alone with the abuser)?

      or maybe: if you actually defend something normal, then you have to set up a straw man that someone is blaming the victim.

      the statement was about the abuser, because it is to explain, what the rabbis can or cannot do in the case of abuse.

    • someone

      where is anyone blaming the victim (besides for one comment about he being alone with the abuser)?

      or maybe: if you actually defend something normal, then you have to set up a straw man that someone is blaming the victim.

      the statement was about the abuser, because it is to explain, what the rabbis can or cannot do in the case of abuse.010

    • Citizen Berel

      Mr. Shimon Shak I award you chol-hamoed Citizen Berel points for ‘re-victimizing.’

      That is brilliant. You should run a school!

    • Shimon Shak

      If you read through the comments you will find a lot of this sentiment: “She lied”, “JCW wrote her speech”, “her parents didn’t do anything”, “something is fishy about her story”.

      When it comes to saving a life (or in a case of CSA many many lives) one does not have to follow these rules.

    • where you there???

      where you there by the meeting with the Rabbis? did you hear with your own ears???? i doubt it!!!!! then restrain of accusing………..! there is always a second side to a story

  • moshiach

    So dont smell. Just feel. Imagine your daughter standing in a front of hundreds people and tells THE TRUTH!!! Do you think sima is first or the last victim. Com on, G-d fearing jews. Even a father of this piece of nothing worned people that his son is not all there. I am pretty sure most of you knows more such a stories including myself. Yes we dont have to go crazy about every person around our kids but we Must be alert and educated. Whoever think its easy to go to the police with any kind report on YOUR FELLOW JEW is not a frum person. Its forbidden by halacha! Thats why.we need a higher jewish authorities who knows what to do and who cares!

    y to do so.

  • ?

    Why did the rabbis send him to another community to continue being a rabbi? I dont get it,

  • Anash Rabbonim

    Back in the day, the Rabbonim were leaders that took responsibility for the community that were engaging them with Shalos and they would follow up with their pupils on how things were coming along. Today the majority of Chabad Rabbonim are Poskim; meaning they would provide the community with the Das Torah on the question set forth and that is it, not taking responability for the issue at hand. We need to start calling our Rabbonim Posek/Poskim vs Rov Rabbonim, thus the expectation set forth would be correct.

    In this situation, it gets a bit murky being that the Poskim sat on a panel, now that creates the responsibility of the Poskim on the panel to follow up on the well-being of the victim.
    I would recommend the Poskim (Rabbonim) not to sit on a panel unless they are willing to take responsibility of the well-being of the victim, thus in this case they should have apologized to the victim for not following up, and it is not too late now, they should call the victim and her family to make sure they are OK, and provide them with the crucial support they need.

    It is unfortunate that we do not have the leadership in Anash with Poskim being also Rabbonim; taking responsibility of the issues/problems of our/their community.

    I challenge the Poskim/Rabbonim to take on 2-4 victims of abuse a year, this includes; women who have not received a Gett after 1 year of receiving their legal divorce, women in physical abusive marriages, men who are being physically abused by their spouses, children who are being physically or sexually abused, to support them and make them feel that you are with them in their pain, by calling them on a regular basis, and encouraging them to get proper help, and using their resources to help them as if it was their child being abused.

    I would just remind you that our Rebbe’s Koach, was not just the Miracles he performs for us, it is his taking responsibility for the challenges we face, many times the Rebbe followed up with the Schools, Rabbonim, & Mosdos who were not doing enough to stop the abuse from accruing. May the Rabbonim learn by example from our Rebbe how to be a Rov that cares and feels the pain of another Yid.

    May we Zocheh the Geulah Shleimo NOW!

  • Hah

    So the point is that the board is working the angles from the abusers side.

  • most rabbis today are corrupt

    Sima i hope u read this comment. sima I bow down and applaud your strength and wish you only good from now on, we are now right before moshiachs coming. things are realy upside down , the rabanim that are supposed to protect the victims protect the abusers. you have gone thru hell and survived, their day is coming. one of the foundations of judaism is law and order, there will be justice done, lets pray it is done very soon.sima hang tight all good and decent people are with u every minute every second of the day!!

    • think a bit!

      we still didn’t hear the name of the abuser!!!!! how do you expect to protect other people???? so far we only saw the Rabbis accused, because they wouldn’t agree to the way she wanted to proceed!!!!!

  • to Shimon Shak

    Shimon, you are unfortunately confusing the issues.
    No one is blaming Sima for coming forth and telling of her abuse.
    People are blaming JCW for bashing the Rabbonim. they did this in Australia and are now attempting to do the same in the USA.
    It does not take much intuition to figure out that Sima’s speech was written by staff of the JCW. In the speech they fail to mention the name of the abuser but are keen to mention the name of one or two Rabbis.
    Why did they mention the names of the Rabbonim? Their motives are clear and their cover of hiding behind a just cause of JCW is now uncovered. The staff of the JCW is no different than the “maskilim” of old. Their main agenda is to bash the Rabbonim and they are hiding behind a cause which no one can argue is a just cause.
    If the JCW was sincerely trying to help the victim, and only help the victim, without any other ulterior
    motive, such as bash the Rabbonim, they would be a lot more successful. If they continue to use the platform of the JCW in order to bash the
    Rabbonim, then one of two things will happen. Either they will become completely irrelevant or they will lose support of many righteous people who will see who they really are, and will become a secular , liberal left anti Jewish JStreet type of organization.

    • Citizen Berel

      You must stop.

      The victim has already been re-victimizied and you would re-vivicitmized the victim of re-vicitimization.

      When will this end!


    • Shimon Shak

      Sorry but I am not confusing anything. Rabonim are not beyond scrutiny. The fact that so many kids were abused and the abuses went unreported to the police or the community rests squarely on their shoulders. There is room for debate on whether this was due to a lack of knowledge of the severity of the pedophilia disorder but generally the Rabonim are first in line since they have been mishandling CSA cases for decades. I’m not lumping everyone together but it just seems to be a general trend:

      1. A kid gets abused.
      2. We hush the kid up.
      3 We send the pedophile to therapy (as if that helps).
      4. We don’t tell anyone including the police.

    • The point is sorely missed...

      The ONLY reason Rabbis were named was to bring about change.

      That change is necessary so that same doesn’t keep recurring!

      There were others abused and Simi wasn’t the only one….After her there were others because the Rabbis did not protect the public!


  • Objective

    I spoke to one of the Rabbis and he told me the following:

    1. The reason the victim was sitting behind the mechitza was at HER request so as not to be seen. The way she told it over was a gross misrepresentation of the facts.;

    2. The Rabbis actually introduced the family to the police. They were informed by the Rabbis and the police that without the police’s involvement there is little that can be done. They cannot name the accuser if the police are not involved.

    Again a gross misrepresentation of facts,

    • Mr.Shusterman

      There is a reason that Shusterman told her not to say the name. From the story he deducted who it was and he chose to protect the family. Shusterman has a very close relationship with the family.

    • Absolutely LIEs...

      None of the above is true!!!!

      And, I don’t believe that these Rabbis would like, so OBJECTIVE WROTE IS fabricating things.

  • someone

    i have a general question: since many people have already made up their mind, and do not want to be confused with the facts, more so they assume that the whole world is actually in agreement to their version of the events, then why even bother writing all those comments that are so poshut?

    btw most questions actually do avoid the issues described in the statement, just beat up on old points actually heard before countless times.

    why can’t they just deal with the substance of the statement?

  • Anonymous

    This is why we have halachos of yichud. It is horrible what happened to this person, but it seems it can be avoided in the future if people are more careful about situations they are in. Parents should teach their children that there are boundaries, and it is not ok to accompany the opposite sex alone, if they are not closely related.

  • JCW

    In my opinion, an organization such as JCW could only be regarded as a legitimate organization if those at its helm are not victims of abuse themselves.

    At this point, the tragic experiences of the directors of JCW (as well as the paths they have chosen to heal, to be discussed on another occasion) is what colors their approach to bringing greater awareness to the Jewish community about abuse. Their personal tension with Yiddishkeit, the established communal framework where Rabbonim and daas Torah reign supreme has morphed into a vicious vendetta against rabbonim in general and can and will only backfire.

  • declasse intellectual

    Reading the whole statement, especially from the Rabbinic board, reminds of the lines from a couple of old folk songs from the sixties protest era–“what have they ever understood and when will they ever lean–the answer my friend is that they are blowing in the wind to any controversal issue that confronts the Jewish community whether it is about child abuse or refusal to give getts or whatever
    I was thought that the ostrach was not kosher–but far too often it has become the representative symbol of Jewish community leadership.

  • Supporter of all survivors

    Let’s hear them actually publicly APOLOGIZE to Sima an her family for not doing the right thing, instead of excuses and finger pointing and flaming on the internet. Then, and only then, might I be interested in hearing about their policies and so on.

    • someone

      you only apologize, when you really did the wrong thing.
      they obviously do not think they did the wrong thing,

      and neither should you, unless you really know every detail in this case. since you do not, you should not really have an opinion (as you do not know what happened to have an opinion on)

    • They don't have the dignity to apologize...

      So they simply say they did nothing wrong and are happy with the fact that these things will continue to happen…

  • someone

    Im not sure why other chabad homes were not imformed. But i know better then you all. So back off

  • the parents knew he was an abuser

    The parents were warned that he was an abuser and didn’t do anything about it. Sima was too young to know at the time, but her parents knew who they hired. Why is no one blaming them for not warning their community? I agree the rabbonim hold some responsibility. But her parents are shluchim they should be held to the same level of blame if not more so. They welcomed an abuser into their community and silenced those who were against him. If the rabbinim are blamed for how they handled the case, simas parents are to blame for perpetuating their silence for abusers.

  • Ego

    “Someone” please answer why the rabbonim failed to inform the chabad houses this man was working for. This is protecting the abuser

  • dovid

    For all those complaining that the victim is being attacked you are ignoring how this began.

    The victim made a speech in front of 150 people that was viewed by tens of thousands where she gave a public tongue lashing to four of the most prominent Rabbonim in Los Angeles – even if everything she said was totaly true (a lot of what she said was purposely misleading) it is still wrong to bash Rabbonim the way she did ( I personally feel that without JCWs queuing she would have never done this- she is a good person being used as a pawn by JCW – talk about taking advantage of victims).

    As a community we have an obligation to stand behind our Rabbonim
    “Even if he tells you that right is left and left is right”

    • Who are you kidding????

      We know very well that Rabonim make mistakes as do all humans! Why can’t they admit err, apologize and change their ways?

      Instead they say that sadly this will occur again and again?

      That is what is sad. I wonder if they would change if it was their child, grandchild, or even themselves abused at the hand of a predator?!?!?

      What will it take to make changes to secure out community, our own children?

  • rabbi shusterman should answer

    and explain why he did not make sure that this abuser was not allowed to go into any community in any area for outreach

    there is a family history of him with his brothers case of cover up that was in the ny post years agfo and shusterman had no comment

  • Find out both sides

    first of all i have personally spoken to one of the rabbonim in this story who not only has said that you should go to the police in cases of abuse he and some of the others accused of not helping have testified in open court on behalf of those abused and to blame the rabbonim when you are listening to a speech that JCW wanted you to hear that they clearly wrote and did not give all the facts but all people want to do is blame the rabbonim who by the way were told by leading gedolim around the world to stay away from JCW find out both side before blaming people


    its so easy to make it look like everything is always their fault- stop being so close minded and looking who to point the finger at- they do what they can and are NOT responsible for every single thing that goes wrong in the world.
    your agendas are obvious when thats all you keep screaming

    • Why can't they admit that they ever make mistakes?

      Do they really think they gave the right guidance in this case? It’s human to err, it’s madness not to want to change, considering what we know now!

  • Allan Prival

    To Commenter # 55 aka “Think a Bit”!:

    He is named in Comment #30 and referred to (albeit unnamed herein) by reference to the warning of his holy father OBM in Comment #20.

    Again, Comment #30 herein above specifically names the subject.

    “The rest is commentary.”

  • Pikuach Nefesh

    If there was a suspect arson, call the fire department immediately and not a local Rabbi. Let the trained experts figure it out. Meanwhile, people will be alerted and safe.


    The article states “A review of the attached flowchart will enlighten the public to the model we’ve developed”. Am I missing something?

  • Yaakov Mark

    It has always been the case throughout Jewish history that when 2 litigants go before a Beis Din, that neither come out happy. It is the nature of Jewish law. Our law is not about revenge. It is about the Ratzon Hahsem which is often hard to understand.

    I do not understand why Simi is kvetching at the Rabbis. She did not get her revenge, I understand. That really sucks if your the victim. But truth be told, if revenge is what you seek, then do not go to a Beis Din. Got to the police, or go the Mafia, hire an assasin whatever you got to do. If I were to handle this the right way, personally, I think I would take the guy in a stairwell and break his legs with a bat. Then tell him why I did it, and if he wants, he can call the cops, or we can keep it quiet between us. I’d like to think I would of done that if I were the Father, and why the father did not do that, wether its sensible or not, is beyond me. In fact, I would like to think with such a crime, that I might have to go even further.

    If a room full of Rabbis told me to keep quiet under any kinds of threats, I would like to think it wouldn’t stop me.

    Its just hard for me to believe that the possibility of Rabbi threats would really stop a parent. If that is indeed what happened, then the parents owe an apology to the community and their daughter as well for being weak, and not just the Rabbis.

    As for Simi, I have nothing critical to say. Right or wrong, she is a victim. We must never forget that. She ought to be treated like one who survived the Holocaust.


    Quote from above “What happened to her happens all too often. Sadly it will happen again.”

    How is it ok for the Rabonim to simply say that it’ll happen again while they make no changes to try to better things?

    It’s appalling!