I have to admit that I'm skeptical about this new organization being formed by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz. All one has to do is "google" his name to find out that he has very close ties with Agudath Israel of America.
From what I've seen those connected Agudath Israel have worked very hard to protect their assets and protect offenders at the risk of our children. Just look at the cases of Rabbi Avrahom Leizerowitz, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko and Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz to name a few.
I know that times are changing and perhaps so is Agudath Israel is now trying to do the right thing. I'll remain skeptical as long as the charedi community continues using the "lashon hara" rhetoric as an excuse to silence survivors.
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz writes:
Since my “Keeping Our Children Safe From Sexual Abuse” column was posted, I received many emails from compassionate people looking to become part of the solution and help fund the abuse-prevention booklet that I wrote about at the end of my column. In fact, an editor who works in graphic design even offered his services to this project pro bono.
Quite a number of people requested that I create a venue for those who wish to make donations to this particular project (the abuse-prevention booklet) and/or for those who wish to fund some of the projects that I have been writing about in my columns over the past months and years.
To honor these requests and to help actualize many of my dreams for the enhancement of educational and social opportunities for Jewish children around the world, I am pleased to inform my readers that I am initiating the "Bright Beginnings Program." (Within 30 days, I hope to post a mission statement for Bright Beginnings on my website and list details regarding some of the programs that I would like to move from concept to reality.)
In order to provide prudent financial management and oversight, I asked two highly respected askanim (lay leaders), Mr. Barry Ray (Chicago) and Mr. Mendel Zilberberg, (Brooklyn), to serve as trustees and Co-Chairman of the Bright Beginnings Program. Michael Stein, CPA, a partner at the accounting firm of Brand Sonnenschine LLP, (New York, New York) has graciously volunteered his services pro bono and will be serving as Treasurer of Bright Beginnings.
In order to provide financial reporting and transparency to current and prospective donors, Mr. Stein will be posting interim quarterly financial statements of Bright Beginnings on my website, and will be engaging the services of an outside accounting firm to conduct an annual, year-end audit, which will also be posted on my website.
Bright Beginnings will be a division of The Center for Jewish Family Life, a 501-c3 that I founded several years ago to support Jewish families in the quest to raise self-confident, well-adjusted children. Bright Beginnings will operate as a separate entity and 100% of your donation will go to funding its programs.
We welcome those who wish to contribute to the publication and (free) dissemination of the sexual abuse prevention booklet to send their contributions to:
c/o Mr. Michael Stein
377 Broadway, 9th floor
N.Y., N.Y. 10013
Please make checks payable to Bright Beginnings and indicate on the stub that the funds are dedicated for the abuse prevention booklet, should you wish them to be designated for that purpose.
Thank you for your interest and may Hashem grant us our most fervent wish - that all His children realize their fullest potential.