A silver lining after Katzav

By Joe Millis
April 8, 2011

As Jenni Frazer and Simon Rocker pointed out, there was quite a bit of sympathy from Orthodox rabbis for ex-President and serial sex abuser Moshe Katzav, soon to be going to prison for seven years.
However, there is one silver lining after the Katzav affair - and that of the affair of Rabbi Mordechai (Motti ) Elon, who is being investigated on charges of allegedly molesting minors (a charge he denies) -- and that is that it has sparked awareness among Orthodox women of sexual abuse.
The deputy head of the Tehilla state religious School in Jerusalem, Tirza Frenkel - herself a victim of childhood sexual abuse -- said: "I used the case in civics classes to describe court proceedings, to explain what a plea bargain is and why Katsav turned it down - and to discuss sexual abuse. In Orthodox parlance, we talk about how every woman was created in the divine image, and therefore has a right to her body and must not be violated."
She told her students that "the personal message to all of you is that you has the right to safeguard your body and to do with it as you see fit, and nobody has the right to demand anything else."
This is progress.



Fri, 04/08/2011 - 12:42

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Your point being? That 60 years on israel finds itself no different from any other nation with it's fair share of sex offenders and various other criminal categories
At least the haters cannot level the tedious "chosen people" label as we are not without fault
Unfortunately I doubt whether that will stop them
Why not surprise us for once and focus on some of the many positives that israel has given to the world or is that beyond your remit

Joe Millis

Fri, 04/08/2011 - 12:51

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My point being, in case you missed it, Harvey, was not about the conviction of Katzav, but on the possitive affect this has had on the issue of sexual abuse against Orthodox women. This was previously a taboo subject and it is good that it is now out in the open and some Orthodox schools are willing to address it.


Fri, 04/08/2011 - 13:27

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This blog is well behind the times:

This was posted in 2006

See http://www.realjustice.org/articles.html?articleId=541

Restorative practices also can be found to a smaller degree among Ultra-Orthodox Jews. Rabbis judge, mediate and arbitrate in civil disputes, and to some degree in criminal cases. Today there are some new attempts for collaboration between rabbis, the police, child protection services and the attorney general. In one Orthodox Jewish city in Israel, rabbis have sex offenders sign a confession of their crimes, with the consent of the above services. As long as the offender goes to therapy and cooperates, the case is not reported to the police and criminal charges are not pressed against him. If the offender does not cooperate his signed confession is used against him. This method helps both to get the sex offender to therapy and to gain the consent of the victim’s parents to uncover the sexual abuse. Otherwise parents tend not to report the abuse for fear of hurting the chances of matchmaking for this child and his or her siblings.


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