Sunday, March 27, 2005

Message to Rabbi Dratch

Dear Rabbi Dratch,

I think I am expressing the feelings of many survivors with this post.
We are very glad that RMT was expelled from the RCA. Every small victory is a triumph.
BUT, If you truly care about survivors and want to help us then you need to do a few things to assure us that you are truly able and willing to help.
1. Publically appologize for what happened to the Tendler survivors.
2. Take responsibility for the and pain they are going through right now as a result of the mistake.
Explain how it happened.
3. Tell us how you will prevent the same thing from happening to the next survivor/s who come forward.
4. Tell us why you care. Often, the only people who seem to truly care about this issue are survivors and abusers, and those who have been directly involved with them. Transparency is very important. Many of us, for obvious reasons, have trust issues.
5. How have you educated yourself? Tell us what training you have and what books you have read on this subject.
6. The Awareness Center's "alleged abuser" page is the only thing that has worked thus far to help empower and protect survivors. It is not perfect. Nor is any judicial system in any country. We can not sit back and do nothing until we come up with the perfect system.
If the awareness center had more funds and manpower they could do better investigatory work. If you truly care about the truth then why not offer to help investigate and collect evidence on any case that you feel is questionable? Work together with Vicki instead of critisizing and removing yourself from the awareness center.
Please feel free to respond in the comment section.

Sincerely, Naomi


Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is great! I bet he won't respond though. Did you send him a link to this too?

March 27, 2005 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great letter Naomi!

March 27, 2005 9:41 AM  
Blogger Avi said...

as an orthodox Jewish male I am horrified at the wimpish "half response" from the RCA and Rabbi Dratch. We've learned time and time again that such limited responses do not go far enough. Mistakes happen, but there is no excuse for failing to take strong action and be honest when we've failed to handle a situation like this. We need to condemn the Mordecai Tendler's of the world. They cannot be allowed to represent orthodox Judaism and the RCA should be totally ashamed of their actions on several levels. Ladies please know that there are many of us guys who totally support your efforts. You are truly the Queen Esthers of today. Stay strong - we are right behind you and following your leadership...Avi...

March 27, 2005 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to address some of the Q's in the letter to R'Dratch.

RE: Q #4. Most professionals working for abuse awareness and resource organizations are not survivors or related to any.

Why care? Why do any of us humans care about anything? You don't have to experience starvation, abject squalor, torture chambers, ethnic cleansing, consumptive disease, or deadly poverty to commit to helping those that do. If everyone had to experience something personally to want to help we wouldn't have personal callings and people dedicating their lives to homeless shelters, feed the children projects, human rights organizations, hospices, the Peace Corps, etc.

RE: Q #5. Everyone willing can learn, and it's the willingness that makes the difference. Don't we want to encourage, not discourage, all our Rabbis to be interested in bringing local abuse education programs and counseling staff into our community? We need all the local education and safe places for women and children we can get.

No question The AC is unique and filling needs that no one else has or perhaps can fill. I don't think many people can do what The AC people do. On the other hand, JSafe is (will be) filling individual needs in segments of our community, STF is filling individual needs in segments of community, as are JWI, JCADA, and other similar resources.

It's not about one or the other, it's about as many as we can get for Jewish trauma victims of all ages, personalities, needs, and types of abuse.

True, R' Dratch is striving to do this carefully, tactfully, and progressively from the inside, as other posts noted. Well we need people on the inside who can work the politicized system to get abuse programs instated on the inside. The time is not later for this, it's long overdue.

I once had a work collegue I deeply admired, but due to our personality differences and personal beliefs about the way things should be done, we couldn't work together come hell or high water. Yet, we both filled our own niche. We ate lunch together, called each for moral support, referred clients to each other that we knew were better served by the other, picked each other's brains relentlessly, and never, ever agreed. People can be of service with different strengths, ways, and capacities, and there's benefit to respectfully agreeing to disagree and utilizing a mutual referral system based on individual strengths and needs to be filled.

I reiterate, The AC is unique and filling a need that no one else ever has or perhaps can fill, and countless people are helped and given hope by that capacity.

The AC needs to be there, but that doesn't mean disparage, slander, and defame others going at this from another direction. One does not preclude the other.

True, if R'Dratch was in a decision making role on the R' Tendler case he should publically apologize. But that doesn't mean he hasn't learned from his mistakes and those of the powers that be in the system, or take away the worthiness and good of the JSafe project.

It's our obligation as human beings and Jews to continually do and be better. That's what t'shuva is all about. I just can't see besmirching the reputation and credibility of anyone who IS trying and doing something and not just sitting on his or her thumbs.

April 01, 2005 3:05 PM  

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