Saturday, December 09, 2006

We Need To Be Honoring The Survivors of Rabbi Joel Kolko As Heros!

Rabbi Joel Kolko Rabbi Yehuda Kolko (aka: Joel Kolko)

We Need To Be Honoring The Survivors of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko As Heros!
By Vicki Polin
The Awareness Center
December 9, 2006

I know I shouldn't have been shocked when I read the following quote in the New York Times regarding Rabbi Joel Kolko (AKA: Yehuda Kolko).
The rabbi’s lawyer, Scott Tulman, declined to comment on the charges after the hearing, but said, “My client will be fine when he’s able to celebrate Shabbat with his family.”
I don't quite understand. Keep in mind that Tulman's "holy" client is an alleged serial sex offender. Why should anyone care about Kolko being "fine". What about the thirty to forty years of survivors of sex crimes Rabbi Kolko left behind?

We can't forget the newest hero/survivors who came forward. The first was only six years old at the time he became a victim of criminal sexual behavior. Remember, Kolko did not limit his violence to just children. The second hero/survivor who came forward was in his early thirties at the time of the molestation:
During the arraignment, an assistant district attorney, Marc Fliedner, said Rabbi Kolko placed his hand on a 6-year-old student’s penis during school hours in October 2003. In January 2005, Mr. Fliedner said, Rabbi Kolko forced an adult to place his hand on the rabbi’s penis, also inside the school. Neither of the complainants was named in court papers because of the nature of the allegations.
According to the New York Daily News a third hero/survivor said:
He personally knows of another 15 victims, and that he believes more than 100 other boys were molested by the rabbi.
It saddens me a great deal when naive individuals make supportive statements defending alleged sex offenders and attack those who have been victimized. As a society we need to be educated. Those who have been victimized did nothing wrong! One would never treat someone robbed on the street as a villian. Survivors of sex crimes need to be seen as hero's and respected.

Each time a survivor comes out, discloses their victimization, works with law enforcement -- they are helping to prevent another unsuspecting individual (adult and or child) from becoming the next victim. The attacks against Survivors often becomes more intense when the alleged offender is arrested.

Part of the problem is a lack of education in communities, the other issue has to do the process one goes through when learning that someone they loved, honored and respected might have sexually violate another. This is a major loss -- it is a major betrayal of trust! It's natural defense mechanism to be in denial. It's much easier then facing the truth.
"I think a bunch of people are out to get him," said Aaron Tarnes, 30, a student at the yeshiva for 15 years. "I'm disturbed to hear such things against such a wonderful man."
The same sort of statements have been made about alleged sex offender Rabbi Ephraim Bryks, Rabbi Moshe Eisemann and Rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau. At least in the case of Yudi Kolko the survivors had the courage to come forward and law enforcement was able to do something with the statements and evidence. In the case of Moshe Eisemann the survivors chose to work things out quietly within the Ner Israel system. The agreement was that Eisemann would be retired, yet unfortunately still lives on their campus. In the case of Eisgrau, the police detective was allegedly stonewalled by individuals in Baltimore. Meaning law enforcement was unable to do their job.

Former Yeshiva-Mesivta Torah Temimah student, Aaron Tarnes was in a state of shock when he made his comments. It's also obvious he knows very little about sex offenders and the grooming process. Schools like Yeshiva-Mesivta Torah Temimah need to hire organizations like The Awareness Center to come in to provide workshops on awareness and prevention for its parents, students and staff. Education is the key!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

New developments reported all the time in the comments section. The most up to date site now that UOJ is in semi-retirement.

December 09, 2006 7:58 PM  

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