Welcome advance

January 3, 2013

Sometimes we have to report allegations of abuse in our community. One of the many important changes in recent years has been a greater willingness to accept that Jews are no more and no less likely to commit abuse than anyone else - and to have it dealt with properly by the authorities.

We have also, however, had to report attempts in the strictly Orthodox community to close ranks and brush such allegations under the carpet. So although it is difficult to see anything positive in the current imbroglio within the Charedi community over allegations against Rabbi Chaim Halpern, there is nonetheless one very significant development.

The withdrawal of North Hendon Adath Yisroel from the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, in protest at the umbrella body's inaction, is a very welcome sign that some Charedim have had enough of such an attitude and want to see a change.

It may well be that the actions of North Hendon Adath Yisroel starts a domino effect and others follow suit - and the consequences of that could be transformative. Whatever the truth of the allegations, it can only be for the best if our various communities are united in at least one respect - zero tolerance for abuse in any form.

Last updated: 5:45pm, January 3 2013