We have previously followed complaints from families in the Jewish Orthodox community that pedophiles continue to receive protection from disclosure or prosecution — even as the Catholic Church is forced to deal with its own scandal. This has come to another flashpoint with the hunt for Brooklyn Rabbi Gershon Kranczer and his 21-year-old son Asher for the sexual abuse of four family relatives.
Two other sons of the Rabbi — Yechezkel, 24, and a 15-year-old who cannot be named — also turned themselves in to police.
Kranczer, 58, has 14 children. There have long been allegations of coverups of abuse in the Orthodox community. Last year, 25 Orthodox men were arrested on sex abuse charges. This year, 29 sex crime investigations were opened in the predominantly Orthodox community of Lakewood, New Jersey. Some families have accused rabbis of discouraging families from reporting such abuses to the police. They say that Rabbis have invoked such principles as mesirah (not informing on a fellow Jew to the secular authorities) and lashon hara (spreading gossip) to keep people quiet.
As the article below discusses, the death of Yehoshua Finkelstein, 20, by suicide put a spotlight on these problems. Finkelstein left a suicide note criticizing the Jewish community for not facing up to the problem of sexual abuse. The response? The grieving family’s house was destroyed in a suspected arson attack. This was not a unique act of retaliation. When another boy gave a statement alleging abuses by Yosef Kolko in Lakewood with the support of his father (who is also a Rabbi), locals distributed a flyer accusing the father of making “a mockery of the Torah” and of committing a chilul hashem.
Source: Religion Dispatches