Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence and the Obligations of a Shadchan (Matchmaker)

The Obligations Of A Shadchan (matchmaker)
© (2007) The Awareness Center, Inc.

In the Jewish orthodox world it is not uncommon for young adults to use a shadchan (matchmaker) to help them find a mate.

A question was recently raised regarding the legal responsibilities of a shadchan (matchmaker) when they would introduce a man to a woman. It was asked was if a shadchan knew that either the man or the woman has a violent temper or a past history of any kind of sexual offenses would the shadchan be required to warn the other party? It was also asked if a shadchan could be held liable in a civil suit?

The answer can be different from state to state, yet in most states the victimized party would be allowed to have a negligence action made against the Shadchan.


§ 323. Negligent Performance Of Undertaking To Render Services

One who undertakes, gratuitously or for consideration, to render services to another which he should recognize as necessary for the protection of the other's person or things, is subject to liability to the other for physical harm resulting from his failure to exercise reasonable care to perform his undertaking, if

(a) his failure to exercise such care increases the risk of such harm, or

(b) the harm is suffered because of the other's reliance upon the undertaking.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mazel Tov To Orthomom - Lawsuit Victory!

Orthomom Reports - Freedom of Speech Prevails:
Orthomom Lawsuit: VICTORY!
Judge Marcy Friedman has handed down a decision in the Orthomom defamation lawsuit, and it has come back as a complete victory for myself as well as for the commenters on this site. More importantly, this is a huge victory for the First Amendment, and for the right of private citizens to express themselves freely.

I also view this as a personal victory, as the judge has flatly stated that none of the statements I or my commenters have made regarding Ms. Greenbaum were actionable - either due to the fact that they are statements of clear opinion, or due to their being true.

The judge upheld the assertions of my attorney, Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen, that the statements in which Ms. Greenbaum claimed I called her an "anti-semite" and a "bigot" were untrue - as only the statement of "bigot" was made in reference to Ms. Greenbaum, and was in actuality made by anonymous commenters to my blog. Further, Judge Friedman ruled that those statements, even as made by said anonymous commenters, are clearly statements of opinion, and thus not actionable as defamatory.

Significantly, also, Orthomom’s statements, as well as those of the anonymous
commentators, are protected opinion. Whether a statement expresses fact or opinion is a question of law for the court, to “be answered on the basis of what the average person hearing or reading the communication would take it to mean.”

...The statements of both Orthomom and the anonymous commentators are based on the single disclosed fact, the truth of which Greenbaum does not contest, that Greenbaum opposes the use of public school funds for programs for Yeshiva students and others who receive their full-time education at private schools. As such, the statements are readily identifiable as protected opinion.

Even more interesting is the fact that the judge dismissed Greenbaum's claims that I defamed her when I suggested that she perjured herself in signed court documents by falsely asserting that I had made certain statements. Though it seems that claims of perjury might not fall under the rubric of protected opinion, Judge Friedman failed to find for Greenbaum because my claim, that Greenbaum had made false claims under oath, are "incontrovertibly true". Which means, of course, that the judge found that Ms. Greenbaum actually did, as I assert in this post, make a false claim under oath:

A claim of defamation may be based on an accusation that a person has committed the crime of perjury. (See Immuno A.G., 77 NY2d at 244.) However, the statements in these postings about the allegations of the petition are incontrovertibly true, as Orthomom never defamed Greenbaum by stating or implying that she was a bigot or anti-semitic and, in fact, never used the words. This claim therefore is clearly not actionable.

The bottom line here is that this failed attempt to quell free speech has instead served to reaffirm the First Amendment right or each one of us to speak freely without fear of retribution or ramifications. The fact that a public official attempted to muzzle vocal critic of her policies by filing a meritless suit that included false claims and smears against my truthfulness is appalling - and the judge's decision clearly shows that the law is against such attempts. The fact that in the process, Ms. Greenbaum succeeded only in publicly smearing her own reputation and integrity is gravy.

I would like to thank my attorney, Paul Alan Levy, and his local counsel, Donald Rosenthal, for all their efforts on behalf of this cause. Their work has helped protect our constitutional rights as citizens of this country.

Public Citizen's press release can be found here. The PDF of the decision can be found here.

About Baltimore And The Number Of Cases

During an e-mail exchange with a friend the following topics came up. My friend gave me permission to share this edited version of the exchange. I thought it was interesting and wanted to share it with you.
I don't want to target Ner Israel or Baltimore, yet I know the most about them. What is going on in Baltimore can and is going on in many communities around the world. It's not just a Jewish problem. The same things happen in all faiths. I'm just focusing in on Baltimore because it's what I know or have heard.

I want to make it perfectly clear that we all know that the majority of sex offenders were abused as children, yet the vast majority of survivors of child sexual NEVER molest or turn into sex offenders. It's only a very tiny percentage that do.

One has to wonder how the sex abuse scandal in Baltimore got started? I'm not talking about how The Awareness Center started listening to the survivors, piecing the cases together and publishing them. I mean how did this all get started? Who was the first offender? Or could it be there were several offenders coming together in one community? You know the saying -- "birds of a feather flock together"?

How is it that all these families came together? One has to ask what was the outside influence? Did the abuses start when rabbi Ephraim Shapiro moved to Baltimore? We already know he was molesting boys at least 52 years ago? What we don't know is when did it all begin? Who was Ephraim's first victim? How old was Shapiro when he first started offending? Does anyone know if Shapiro was molested and if so, who was his offender? What we do know is that there have been allegations made against Ephraim's son Yisroel Shapiro. What we don't know is who abused Yisroel? Was it his father or someone else?

The sad part of this whole story is that there are rumors going around that one of the boys Yisroel Shaprio molested, has been identifying with his aggressor. He has followed in Yisroel's footsteps and has also become an alleged child molester.

For years there have been rumors going around that there was a cousin of rav Moshe Feinstein who was seen as the black sheep of the family. Some say this cousin molested the Schisgal twins and possibly also one if not both of the Tendler brothers. Other's say that Mordecai molested his younger brother and his twin cousins. Many say that the Schisgal twins and Mordecai are very close friends, yet no one else in the Feinstein/Tendler families speak to them. The rumor is that the Schisgal twins allegedly posed for Penthouse magazine back in the early 1960's. A family member was able to get the images pulled prior to the publication of the magazine. Again this is all hearsay information and rumor. According to statistics it's over 90% of those involved in prostitution and or pornography are survivors of child molestation.

What can I say about the case of rabbi Matis Weinberg besides the fact that the rumors of him of being an alleged sex offender have been floating around for decades. Many say one of his siblings confessed to being raped by Matis during his childhood. The allegations is that Matis was only 16 years old at the time. If all of this is true, one has to ask, who molested Matis Weinberg? Was it a case of incest or someone outside the family?

I heard that Matis spent part of his childhood in Canada. If he was abused, could his offender be Canadian? Or was there someone on the Ner Israel campus that could have been his offender? Could he have been abused by Ephraim Shapiro? There was rumors that back in the day there was a rav on the campus of Ner Israel that was problematic. Could that mysterious rav the culprit?

I also wonder how is it that Moshe Eisemann ended up in Baltimore? I mean the real reason? Again he's another individual who has an alleged history of offending boys and young adult men. Why is it that he is being protected by the administration at Ner Israel? Is it because he is related by marriage to those in power? I also wonder if he helped to bring rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau to Baltimore along with Aron Goldberger. Both Eisgrau's and Goldberger's wives are Eisemann's.

-- and then we have the case of Shmuel Juravel. Rumors are that rabbi Eliezer Eisgrau made Shmuel a special project. What we don't know is if Shmuel could have been molested by Eisgrau or someone else in his family or the community? The first allegations made against Shmuel was when he was around 15 years old. At that time several boys came forward to the rabbinical authorities in Baltimore. Nothing was done, except that Shmuel was sent away. That's the same thing that happened when the allegations first came up against Matis Weinberg.

We all have to ask if Shmuel was abused as a child? If he was did he have more then one offender? It's not that unusual for a child who was sexually victimized to have multiple perpetrators. I also heard rumors that at least one of Shmuel's victims has become an offender. It's so sad to hear this because this is one tradition that needs to end.

I also wonder about Ephraim Bryks? We all know his father committed suicide and that was part of the reason why he went to Ner Israel. What we don't know is if Bryks was an incest survivor, or could he have been abused outside the home? If it was outside the home, was he molested by Matis Weinberg when he was on the campus of Ner Israel? Could it have been that Bryks was part of the alleged gang of boys that were molesting boys on the campus. Rumors are that Matis was the ring leader of this gang. I also am interested in learning the names of the other boys that were apart of Matis's gang? Who were the victims of this alleged criminal behavior?

I also wonder if the boys who were a part of this gang, are now considered part of our rabbinical leadership of today? Could that part of the reason there is such a resistance in some communities to do the right thing?

I'm trying to remember if I'm leaving out any other alleged or convicted offenders connected to Baltimore?


Monday, October 29, 2007

Barbara's Tchatzkahs - Another Survivors Blog

I just wanted to make sure you are all aware of another surviovrs blog.
Barbara's Tchatzkahs.


Like all victims and survivors, I would be lying if I didn't say I have asked "why me?" many times in my life. I fail to see what I ever did to deserve the abuse, smears, lies and cruelty I have endured in my life. I have tried to live an upright life. Unfortunately I am vulnerable and have been coerced and manipulated, only seeing the truth when I took off the blinders.

I have had good things happen in my life. The biggest being my children, who are the light of my life. But my marriage failed, every relationship I had failed, a couple failed friendships, my health failed... so it is difficult not to see life as a failure.
click here to continue

That Room - by Batdina

I am a survivor of rabbinic sexual abuse. I wrote this poem with a certain room in mind, one where part of the abuse took place, and a certain time, a time when the abuse passed a certain threshold, the point of no return.

That Room
(c) (2007) by Batdina

Once you've entered that Room,
The one where you are helpless and
He is overwhelmingly strong
The one where you are vulnerable
and he tramples on your soul.

He tramples on your soul.

Once you've entered that Room,
Some fragile strand in your heart,
The last one holding on,

Snaps like a thread on a spider's web.

Once you've entered that Room
You are never the same.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Vanity Fair on the Case of Lou Pearlman

click here to watch video
The case of Lou Pearlman first broke in June when he was picked up by Indonesian police. He was originally wanted by the FBI on investment fraud. It also came out that Pearlman was preying on many of the young male rock stars he had mentored.

In a New York Post article "Sleazeball Behind boy Band" it was revealed that one singer joked about "Have you let Lou (fellate) you yet?"

Lou Pearlman's first cousin is singer "Art Garfunkel".

Vanity Fair has a 9 page expose on the case.

Click here to see The Awareness Center's page on him

MaleSurvivors Conference This Weekend

The MaleSurvivor Conference is being held this weekend in New York at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Both Dr. Michael J. Salamon and Vicki Polin, of The Awareness Center will be speaking on Sunday, October 28th at 11:00 am.

This international conference provides a unique opportunity for personal and professional growth, networking, and the dissemination of new knowledge in the area of sexually traumatized boys and men. This four-day event will feature numerous workshops for male survivors of sexual abuse, their loved ones/partners, and professionals who work with them.

To learn more about the organizations who are providing sponsorship and support for this conference, click here.

For a complete outline, including institute, workshop, plenary and featured speaker information, we invite you to review our detailed program here

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Out of Court Settlement - Rabbi Tobias Gabriel and Beth Tzedec Congregation

Settlement reached in case of alleged sexual misconduct
Canadian Jewish News
Thursday, 25 October 2007

TORONTO — Beth Tzedec Congregation and one of its rabbis have settled a lawsuit with two women who alleged improper sexual conduct on the part of the clergyman.

Details of the settlement were not released and neither Rabbi Tobias Gabriel nor the synagogue admitted fault or liability.

(NAME and Age Removed), had alleged that Rabbi Gabriel pressured her into a sexual relationship after participating in a program offered by the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly to train shamashim, synagogue beadles who serve as attendants, caretakers or custodians. The course was offered last summer at Beth Tzedec, and Rabbi Gabriel was one of the instructors. (NAME REMOVED) was the only woman in the program.

The second woman, who is unidentified, says she became sexually involved with Rabbi Gabriel while grieving the loss of one of her parents. She was mentioned, though not named, in Nadler’s statement of claim, which demanded $1.3 million from the rabbi and synagogue for breach of fiduciary duty and for pain and suffering.

In a letter to members distributed when the allegations were publicized, Beth Tzedec President Shep Gangbar referred to allegations of “impropriety and abuse” stemming from an “inappropriate relationship between Rabbi Gabriel and a married adult woman who is not a congregant… Unfortunately, there is little doubt that the impropriety occurred.”

The letter went on to distance the synagogue from the allegations, saying “it is not liable for the actions of Rabbi Gabriel” and it noted that the rabbi would no longer be involved with the synagogue in any capacity.

In New York, meanwhile, the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative rabbis, was considering disciplining Rabbi Gabriel.

Jerusalem Post: US Wants to Extradite Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz

Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz

US wants extradition of prominent Ger hassid accused of sodomy

Jerusalem Post
October 23, 2007

The Brooklyn District Attorney's office has requested the extradition of
Avrohom Mondrowitz, a resident of Jerusalem and a prominent member of the Ger Hassidic sect, on child molestation charges dating back over two decades involving four boys aged 11 to 16.

The extradition request was made in January, according to Brooklyn District Attorney's Office spokesman Jerry Schmetterer. "We know that the US Department of Justice and the State Department have begun the extradition process," said Schmetterer. "It is also our understanding that the Israeli Justice Ministry has been contacted as well."

The Justice Ministry declined to comment.

Mondrowitz, who was contacted by telephone by
The Jerusalem Post, hung up as soon as the reporter identified himself.

However, a prominent member of the Ger community in Jerusalem defended Mondrowitz.

"There are people who are trying to disparage Mondrowitz's name," said the source.

"Mondrowitz is a very intelligent, talented man and so are all of his children. His father is highly respected in the community. I can't believe these stories are true.

The source said Mondrowitz was in the computer business.

Mondrowitz worked for a short period at the Jerusalem College of Technology as a fund-raiser and at the Jerusalem College of Engineering as a lecturer.

Post has also learned that Dep.-Cmdr. Avi Aviv of the National Fraud Squad's Cyber Crimes Division is conducting an investigation against Mondrowitz.

Mondrowitz, who was born in Tel Aviv in 1947 and later moved with his family to Chicago, arrived in Brooklyn in the late 1970s and presented himself to Orthodox educational institutions as a rabbi and clinical psychologist.

He provided psychological treatment to children from the mixed Jewish-Italian Borough Park neighborhood where he lived. He also opened a yeshiva for children with behavioral problems.

Four children, all from Italian families and all neighbors of Mondrowitz, complained of sexual abuse perpetrated by Mondrowitz. Jewish victims also eventually testified against him, but only after the statute of limitations had expired.

In 1985, a New York State court charged Mondrowitz with eight counts of child abuse in the first degree, endangering the welfare of a child and five counts of sodomy in the first degree.

Mondrowitz and his family fled to Jerusalem after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

At the time of the indictment, sodomy of boys was not an extraditable crime, since it was not defined as rape under Israeli law. In 1988, the Knesset changed that law, apparently opening the way for Mondrowitz's extradition.

The Brooklyn DA's office said Mondrowitz could not be extradited until this year, when the Knesset approved a law removing the impediments to retroactively applying the 1988 law.

But Michael Lesher, an attorney representing six men who say they were molested by Mondrowitz in the early 1980s but who were not included in the original indictment, said the extradition was delayed due to officials, especially Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, dragging their feet.

Lesher claims that Hynes balked due to heavy pressure to drop the case from the Orthodox community in Brooklyn, which supported Mondrowitz despite the fact that Israel's Edah Haredit Rabbinic Court issued a ruling in 1988 in which unnamed "insidious acts" committed by Mondrowitz were mentioned, and warning him to stay away from children.

"Hynes was elected in 1989 with strong Orthodox support," Lesher said in an e-mailed message. "He appointed a virtually all-Orthodox Jewish Advisory Council after being elected, and he reversed the policy of his predecessor, Elizabeth Holtzman, and did not press for Mondrowitz's return to face trial.

In September 1993, Hynes instructed the federal government to close its file on Mondrowitz and said he would not pursue the case while Mondrowitz remained in Israel.

Lesher said he was "elated" to see the district attorney finally moving to extradite Mondrowitz. "All my clients hope that Mondrowitz will at last be brought to justice."

In response to Lesher's claims, Schmetterer said extradition was impossible until the Knesset acted this year.

But in past news reports on delays, Hynes's office was quoted as providing a different explanation. Sources were cited saying that despite the changes in Israeli law, the extradition request could not be made retroactively.

Monday, October 22, 2007

New Book on Sexual Violence In Jewish Communities - Stories Needed

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
New Book on Sexual Violence In Jewish Communities - Stories Needed

Author/Editor - Vicki Polin

Over the last few years I have been working on a book addressing sexual violence in Jewish communities around the globe. I'm finally at the place that I am looking for Jewish survivors stories about healing, what worked and what didn't.

Due to the fact that my work has focused more in the orthodox world over the last 7 years, there is more of a slant in that direction, yet the book is about sexual violence in movements of Judaism and also includes Jewish survivors who are unaffiliated.

The article should include experiences dealing with your community, rabbis and family members. Stories should be no longer then 2-3 pages long.

If you are interested in sending your story, send an e-mail stating you want your story to be considered for the book along with you piece.

Once your story has been selected and you agree to the editing I will send you a release granting permission for your article to be included in the book. I will need to know your real name for my files, yet you can use a pseudonym as the author of your story for the book.

Please understand that it may not be possible to include all stories and that your story may be edited. There are eight types of articles I am looking for, they are:
  1. Jewish survivors of incest
  2. Jewish survivors of child sexual abuse (by offenders outside the home)
  3. Jewish survivors of clergy sexual abuse (as an adult or child)
  4. Jewish survivors of a sexual assault as an adult
  5. Jewish survivors who became pregnant as a result of being sexually victimized.
  6. Parents of survivors
  7. Spouses and or family members of sex offenders
  8. Rabbis who have worked with survivors of sexual violence

Vicki Polin, MA, NCC, LCPC, ATR-BC

P.O. Box 65273
Baltimore, MD 21209

Vicki Polin is the founder and executive director of The Awareness Center, which is the international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault

Juvenile Sex Offenders and Sexually Reactive Youth

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
From The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter:

The Awareness Center's web page on
Juvenile Sex Offenders and Sexually Reactive Youth has just been updated. If you know of other information that you feel should be listed please forward it to VickiPolin@

There is a new newsletter being published by and for parents and caregivers of youth with sexual behavior problems. To download a copy go to:, Look on the left hand side in the purple column and click on where it says ParentTalk Fall Newsletter.

What is Sexually Reactive Youth behavior?
  1. When a child touches other children in a sexual way that is not age-appropriate. (download pdf Age Appropriate Sex Play)
  2. Shows excessive interest/curiosity in sex that overrides other activities.
  3. When a child continues to have sexual behaviors even after being re-directed by an adult.
  4. Talks excessively about sexuality, or has inappropriate knowledge of sexuality for their age.
  5. Harms or touches animals in a sexual way.
  6. Exchanges gifts or shows affection to others in order to have sexual contact, either to other children or adults.
  7. Touches a child 3 years younger or someone from a vulnerable population by displaying more power & control.
  8. Excessive masturbation.
Myths and Facts about Sexually Reactive Youth

  • Myth: Young kids are just curious. Fact: When children force or coerce others or are unable to stop sexual behaviors, this is a sign of a sexual behavior problem.
  • Myth: Children will grow out of it. Fact: Relying on this hope jeopardizes the safety of your child and others.
  • Myth: My child would never force another to do anything sexual. Fact: Force can include words, coercion, pressure, bribes, or tricks.
  • Myth: My child was not abused. Fact: Children can be exposed to sex without being sexually abused physically. Exposure to pornography or witnessing adult sexuality can affect a child's behavior.
  • Myth: My child does exactly what I say and this will never happen again. Fact: Parental control is important but is not the simple answer. Kids need to learn new beliefs and skills so they can cope when a parent is not available to guide them.
Reasons Kids Have Sexually Reactive Youth Behaviors:
Sexually Reactive Behaviors may occur when a child has been exposed to sexually explicit material, environments or has been victimized, and is attempting to cope with his or her own overwhelming feelings. This behavior can put the child and others at risk. Please read below to see examples of circumstances that may initiate or support reactive behavior.

The following are only a few examples:
  • Confusion based on what they see on TV, videos, video games, internet, or magazines.
  • Have been sexually abused by direct physical contact or subject to witnessing sexual abuse.
  • Live in sexually explicit environments in which sex has been witnessed and related in a negative manner.
  • Witness to Domestic Violence.
  • Exposure to pornography or being used by an older person for pornography.
Other Behaviors Your Child May Display:
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Problems following rules
  • Poor physical boundaries in general
  • Problems understanding the feeling of others or empathizing with them
  • Problems at school, home, or with friends.
Sexually Aggressive Behaviors may occur when a child begins to pair sexual behaviors with threats, coercion, or physical harm, he or she could be considered sexually aggressive.

Reasons to Get Help
  • If your child is a victim of child sexual abuse and is acting out sexually, he or she can learn new coping skills.
  • Some sexual exploration between same-age children is normal. If you are worried that your child has sexually reactive or sexually aggressive behaviors you can get help to determine whether the behaviors are within normal limits.
  • Children who have sexual behavior problems are not adult sex offenders. Early evaluation and treatment will help eliminate inappropriate sexual behaviors.
  • Sexually reactive children are often victims who need to learn new coping skills and behaviors.
  • Parents need support and help understanding what is happening with their child and/or in their family.
  • Sexually reactive children behaviors rarely happen only once.
  • Children who do not get help are at risk to be re-victimized and/or to re-offend.
  • Counseling increases the chances of having healthier happier adult relationships.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Child Abuse, Sexual Abuse, I need help

I was looking around to see if there were any video's created by Jewish survivors of sexual abuse. I couldn't find any. I found this video and thought perhaps it would inspire survivors, family members and or friends of survivors to create mini films that they can upload on to youtube. Doing this is NOT for everyone. You need to be sure you are in a place to do this. If you are thinking it's something you would like to do read the following article put together by The Awareness Center first. Once you go public you can't take it back.
"Questions to Ask Yourself Before Disclosing, Confronting or Going Public About Surviving Sexual Violence"

Regarding Yosef Meystel - Alleged Child Molester

From an Annoymous Poster

The Noviminsker Rebbe, Shlita will be in Chicago for the Shabbos Hachtara of Reb Pinchos Eichenstein, Shlita as Rav of K"K Ohr Yissochor (formerly Tifferes Yisroel). The Rebbe will daven in the shul and speak several times over Shabbos including an Oneg Shabbos Friday night and Shalosh Seudos.

Explain that Yossi Meystel has got to be terminated as Gabbai of the Chicago Center for Torah & Chessed. A molester belongs away from children, NOT as Gabbai, NOT under a tallis with kids for Kal Han'orim.

According to The Awareness Center's site on Yosef Meystel:

Yosef Meystel has been accused of child molestation during the time he was the adminstrator of the Rabbi Naftoli Riff Yeshiva in South Bend, IN.

He is currently employed by Morris Esformes who was at one time married to the wife of Mordecai Tendler nee Jofen's sister..

Esformes has a history with nursing home "deficiencies" including numerous heat related deaths at his homes.Yosef Meystel was the admistrator of the nursing home at the time. There was also allegations of an alleged sexual assault of a female resident in one of the nursing homes. Four days after asweep, another resident was found to be a sex offender and was arrested at a park where staff had taken him with other residents. As a result of that incident, home administrator Yosef Meystel was charged with reckless conduct, a misdemeanor.

Dangerous Message - Aish HaTorah: Date From Hell - By Vicki Polin

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Rabbi Yaakov Palatnik / Lori Palatnik / Vicki Polin

Dangerous Message - Aish HaTorah: Date From Hell
© (2007) Vicki Polin, MA, NCC, LCPC, ATR-BC
Download pdf

Click here to watch the video: Date From Hell

A few weeks ago a rabbi sent the following link out to his mailing list promoting an online video, "Date From Hell", which is produced by Aish HaTorah. I have to admit that I was appalled at the message that was being promoted by Rebbetzin Lori Palatnik.

The short film revolved around the fact that everyone has an opinion and how important it is to keep your opinion to yourself or that you need to be extremely careful before offering it.

Palatnik went on to say that: "You need to know the difference between fact and opinion". She goes on telling the story about a young male Baal Teshuva, who was learning with her husband, Rabbi Yaakov Palatnik.

As time progressed Rabbi Palatnik felt the man had "put his playboy lifestyle behind him." He wanted to know if Lori's knew any "girls" that she could fix him up with. Rabbi Palatnik said "the man wanted to get married."

Lori came up with a "great girl." After the date the woman called Lori and said "that was the date from hell." Later, Rabbi Palatnik asks Lori to fix the man up with another "girl." Once again after the second date the woman calls Lori saying "that was the date from hell." The same exact words as the first woman. Rabbi Palatnik once again requested that his wife fix the man up with a third woman -- this time Lori refused.

What is missing from the film is the reason why both women stated that "this was the date from hell." Was it because the man dressed funny or had a strange odor? Did the two women dating they think he was boring, rude, impolite, not gentlemanly enough, self-centered? Or could it be he was sexually inappropriate or had to do with some other issue regarding their safety? Without knowing this key information we cannot determine if dating this man was dangerous.

"Six months later the man got engaged to another great girl," stated Rebbetzin Palatnik. The woman was someone known to Lori. She continued by saying, "if this new woman was very lucky she never called her to find out about the man, because if she did -- she would have warned her to stay away."

Lori continued, "To this day the couple is happily married." She saw this as a life lesson and said "You can destroy things before they are started by giving your opinion...One woman's date from hell is somebody else's prince charming...You can stop things before they start by giving your opinion. You can destroy things once they are started by giving your opinion. Think before you speak. Keep your opinions to yourself"

There is some vital information missing from the Lori Palatnik film. She never let her viewers know why the two women called their experience with the man "the date from hell."

When I sent the video “Date From Hell” out to a few observant mental health professionals and survivors they made the following comments:

  • It appears that the fear is really about 'lashon hara.'
  • When two people had a terrible experience on a date with the same person the shadchan should be responsible enough to find out WHAT WAS WRONG before deciding to set up the man or woman again. The reality is that sometimes there is a serious problem. The person could be abusive towards women, for example. The clip gives the message that marriage is the priority above all else....Who cares what the issues are as long as they get married.
  • Getting people married seems to be the ONLY goal in life....what happens after... Who cares?
  • This is THE VIDEO FROM HELL. Another move toward the Taliban.
There are two very important books that everyone should read concerning dating in the orthodox world. They are “The Shidduch Crisis: Causes and Cures.” Urim Publishshing Co., and also another one that will come out next year: “Every Pot Has A Cover: A Proven Method for Finding and Enhancing Relationships. University Press of America.

Click here to watch the video: Date From Hell

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Looking For Information - Case of Rabbi Ze'ev Sultanovitch

Does anyone have any updated information on the case of Rabbi Ze'ev Sultanovitch, who was a teacher at Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusaem?

Ze'ev Sultanovitch was accused of sexually molesting a number of adult yeshiva students at the prestigious Merkaz Harav Yeshiva, which is considered the flagship of the national religious yeshivas (which is located at the Wohl Torah Center, and at the Orot yeshiva in Jerusalem and at the yeshiva in Har Bracha).

The police acted after receiving four complaints from yeshiva students between the ages of 20 and 30 who allegedly fell victim to Sultanovitch, a 40-year-old bachelor who teaches Jewish philosophy at Merkaz Harav.

According to their testimony, Sultanovitch would carry out his abuse in his apartment in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood, across the street from the yeshiva or in his office. Sultanovitch has apparently lived alone since his mother died two years ago.

The police estimate that 10 students suffered sexual abuse from the teacher, although some have not filed a complaint. The police are also investigating whether Sultanovitch abused students at other yeshivas too.

Regarding Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz

There have been rumors floating around the blogisphere that Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz was arrested yesterday in Israel. There have been no sources in Israel that were able to confirm this has happened.

There is a fear that he may be a flight risk considering it was made public that
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes finally signed papers requesting the U.S. Justice Department extradite Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz back to the United States.

If anyone has proof that Mondrowitz was arrested please post what you know.

(Catskills, NY) Possible child abductor sought

Possible child abductor sought
Mid Hudson News
September 27, 2007

Kiryas Joel – State Police at Monroe are looking for a man, possibly driving a red Chrysler PT Cruiser, who picked up a four-year-old girl from her family’s front porch in the Village of Kiryas Joel.

Police said the incident occurred around 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday, September 25. The white male in his 40s, wearing camouflage pants and hat, green shirt and white sneakers, picked the little girl up his arms, pulled up her dress and attempted to kiss her. The man was startled with the girl’s eight-year-old sister came out the front door.

The man put the child down and walked to his car and left.

Several neighbors confirmed seeing the man and the vehicle at the scene.

It is thought that the man is not Hasidic and investigators believe he was either passing through the village or was an outside working there.

Anyone with information on either the vehicle or the suspect is asked to call the state police at 845-782-8311.

Case of Rabbi David Alan Stein - American Hebrew Academy'

From The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter

School rabbi charged with sexual acts with student
By Jennifer Fernandez
News Record (NC)
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007 3:00 am

GREENSBORO — The American Hebrew Academy's former director of campus life is facing charges that he had sex with a student, police said.

Rabbi David Alan Stein, 35, is expected to turn himself in today, Greensboro police Sgt. A.T. McHenry said.

Stein left the school in the spring, shortly after police began their investigation, police Capt. Gary Hastings said.

Since then, Stein has been in San Clemente, Calif., living with his parents and working at an insurance company, McHenry said.

Stein is charged with eight counts of having sex with a student, McHenry said.

Police spent months investigating the complaint, seizing school computers to examine them for evidence, Hastings said. The order for Stein's arrest was issued last week, he said.

The incidents took place sometime during the 2006-07 school year on campus, Hastings said.

The student involved is a 16-year-old male, Hastings said. He did not know if the student was still enrolled at the school.

School officials alerted police after a student came forward with a complaint, Glenn Drew, executive director of the American Hebrew Academy, said Tuesday afternoon in a prepared statement. He said Stein was fired.

It was unclear Tuesday how long Stein had been working at the school.

"This has been a painful incident for the Academy community," Drew said, "but we remain committed to protecting our students and serving justice."

The co-ed boarding school serves 135 high school students and employs 80, school officials said.
Students come from all over the world to attend the Academy, which combines college preparatory and Jewish studies.

The school sits on a 100-acre wooded campus off Hobbs Road in northwest Guilford County.
McHenry would not comment on whether more students were involved or if further charges are pending. Hastings said the investigation is continuing.

"Of course," McHenry said about the student's family, "they want justice done."

Contact Jennifer Fernandez at 373-7064 or

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Out of Court Settlement - Rabbi Tobias Gabriel and Beth Tzedec Synagogue

Rabbi Tobias Gabriel
Why hasn't this happened already? It's a no brainer!
The Rabbinical Assembly (association of conservative rabbis), is expected to bar Gabriel from membership at a meeting later this month. How do we stop Gabriel from working as a rabbi or cantor anywhere in the world?

From The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter:
Synagogue settles sex lawsuits
Out-of-court deal follows allegations of misconduct by rabbi, who will resign at year's end

By Sandro Contenta
Torontoist - October 17, 2007

Two women accusing a rabbi of sexual misconduct have agreed to an out-of-court settlement with the rabbi and a prominent Toronto synagogue, their lawyer says.

The defendants in the case – Rabbi Tobias Gabriel and Beth Tzedec Synagogue – make no admission of fault or liability in the settlement, Simona Jellinek, the women's lawyer, said yesterday.

Negotiations began after Richmond Hill resident (NAME REMMOVED), 52, filed a statement of claim in Ontario Superior Court last July, alleging she was coerced into a sexual relationship by Gabriel a year earlier.

Her lawsuit demanded $1.3 million from Gabriel and Beth Tzedec for breach of fiduciary duty and the pain and suffering she claims the relationship caused her and her marriage. The rabbi was accused of abusing the trust of a deeply religious woman.

Gabriel, who spent 13 years working at the synagogue, was Beth Tzedec's cantor at the time of (NAME REMOVED)'s alleged incident. He has rejected her claims as "groundless," and his lawyer has defended his work as "exemplary." He was suspended with pay until the end of the year, when he'll officially resign.

The allegations rocked the congregation when the Bathurst St. synagogue sent a letter to its 6,000 members last August stating that "the impropriety (had) occurred."

A second woman came forward with allegations similar to (NAME REMOVED)'s after the
Star published a story about (NAME REMOVED)'s claim.

Jellinek said the second woman, who lives in Toronto and is in her early 50s, was mentioned but not named in (NAME REMOVED)'s statement of claim. The Toronto woman was married and became sexually involved with Gabriel "while she was grieving the loss of one of her parents," according to the statement.

Beth Tzedec officials knew of Gabriel's relationship with the Toronto woman before he became involved with (NAME REMOVED), the statement of claim says.

Asked if the women received financial compensation as part of the settlement, Jellinek said the agreement prevents her from revealing such details. "Everybody knows there's going to be money exchanged, but I can't tell you that that is in fact true," she said.

Beth Tzedec's lawyer, Michael Royce, told the
Star in August that the synagogue was prepared to compensate (NAME REMOVED) financially. Royce was not available for comment yesterday.

Jellinek described (NAME REMOVED) and her husband as somewhat relieved by the settlement, but added: "It's going to take them a while to rebuild their marriage."

The New York-based Rabbinical Assembly, a world-wide association of conservative rabbis, is expected to bar Gabriel from membership at a meeting later this month, Jellinek said. That would make it difficult for him to get a job as a rabbi or cantor in North America, she added.

(NAME REMOVED) alleged she was pressured into a sexual relationship with Gabriel while she was the only female student in his class for cantors at the synagogue in July 2006.

Beth Tzedec recently said it would implement a code of conduct for its clergy, Jellinek said.

Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz Arrested In Israel?

According to UOJ (Unorthodox Jew Blogger) Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz was arrested in Israel today. There is no word on how long it will take for him to be extradited back to the US.

According to The Awareness Center's web page on Mondrowitz:

December 3, 1984 -- Brooklyn District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman's office said Mondrowitz was named in an arrest warrant charging him with two counts of sex abuse". At the time, Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz worked in special education school for boys in Brooklyn, that had connections with Ohel Children and Family Services in Brooklyn, New York. He was responsible for about 20-25 young children who already had either emotional problems and/or learning disabilities.

October 11, 2007 -- Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes finally signed papers requesting the U.S. Justice Department extradite Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz back to the United States. Fled to Israel months after charges were first brought up against him twenty-three years ago.

Avrohom Mondrowitz is originally from Chicago, the son of a highly respected rabbi. He is about 56 years old, and currently resides in Jerusalem, Israel.

Abuse victims hope healing begins with rabbi's arrest
Wednesday, October 17th 2007, 4:00 AM

For too long, an alleged Brooklyn pedophile rabbi's victims have waited for their silencing to end. Now, they hope his prosecution will push their closed community to out child molesters.

Twenty-three years after
Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz fled to Jerusalem to evade charges of molesting four boys, Israel's ministry of justice now has an extradition request from Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, his spokesman said.

"It's a shame it took so long. People committed suicide over him," said a 44-year-old man who says the popular rabbi abused him and his friends in the 1970s.

"If they did this a lot earlier, there would have been a lot more people saved because other child molesters would get the message. This will send the message."

In the hush-hush Orthodox Jewish community, victims say Mondrowitz left a trail of destroyed lives during his tenure as a rabbi/psychologist and headmaster in Brooklyn during the 1970s and early 1980s.

Former District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman tried to get him extradited in the 1980s, but a U.S. Justice Department official said the extradition treaty with Israel made it hard - until changes last January - to forward the request to Jerusalem.

Hynes, who took office in 1989, had been slammed for failing to go after Mondrowitz. Critics charged he feared losing the powerful Orthodox Jewish vote. But his spokesman denied the allegations, saying Hynes moved swiftly once a treaty change allowed Israel to recognize the 1985 sodomy counts.

An Israeli Justice official declined comment, as did Mondrowitz, contacted at his Jerusalem home.

One alleged victim was only 11 when he described Mondrowitz, who headed his alternative Jewish boys' school, as befriending him, giving him money and taking him to movies and his mountain cabin.
Soon, he began taking friends, he said.

"He used to talk us all up. He did a lot of things to entice kids," he said. "I used to bring kids to his house. He'd grab kids in front of me, in his office.

"It affected me a long time," he said. "I felt I was taken."

The victim, not named in the indictment, said he believed hundreds of boys were fondled by Mondrowitz, and saw dozens himself.

A 39-year-old rabbi filed a complaint last year, accusing Mondrowitz of abusing him when he was 11. He charged that pedophiles are still free to ruin lives in the closed Orthodox community, where leaders routinely silence victims to avoid scandal.

"There are probably more kids harmed in this community than any other because everything is placed under the rug," he said. "They throw a kid out of school if he complains. "This will send a message: You can run away and hide and you can think it is forgotten, but eventually it will hunt you down and get you. That is very important. It is a deterrent we never had."

Monday, October 15, 2007

Male Survivor Conference This Month in New York

REMEMBER: It's all about Healing!!!

It's not to late to register for a conference geared for male survivors of sexual abuse.

October 24-28, 2007

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Present the...

MaleSurvivor 2007 International Conference

"Relief, Recovery and Restoration:
Helping Men Heal from Sexual Abuse"

This international conference provides a unique opportunity for personal and professional growth, networking, and the dissemination of new knowledge in the area of sexually traumatized boys and men. This four-day event will feature numerous workshops for male survivors of sexual abuse, their loved ones/partners, and professionals who work with them.

To learn more about the organizations who are providing sponsorship and support for this conference, click here.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice
899 Tenth Avenue
New York, New York

For a complete outline, including institute, workshop, plenary and featured speaker information, we invite you to review our detailed program here

Click Here to Register Online for the 2007 Conference


Click below for the registration form with complete conference schedule, including pre-conference institutes, major addresses, and workshop choices.

Click here for more information on CE's.

Click here to view information regarding conference fees.

To learn more about special rates that have been arranged with NYC Hotels, click here.

2007 MaleSurvivor Conference Exhibits and Advertising - If you are interested in Conference Exhibit or Advertising Information, please contact MaleSurvivor at 800-738-4181, send us an email at or click here.

For additional information about the MaleSurvivor Conference, please contact us at:

5505 Connecticut Avenue, NW #103
Washington, DC 20015 - 2601

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Back to the future - The Awareness Center's first web page

Note from Vicki Polin - Founder of The Awareness Center:

I was just playing around on a web page that pulls up archived web pages. I was looking for some old links that I misplaced. I was looking for The Awareness Center's original web page.

The history of The Awareness Center is that it started off as the name of a holistic counseling cooperative that focused on sexual trauma in Chicago. The original web page was for that center. If I remember correctly the first pages I put was back in 1997 or 1998.

The web page always had information about clergy sexual abuse of various faiths. It wasn't until late in 1999 that I started transforming The Awareness Center's web page into an organization that focused on sexual violence in Jewish communities.

In 2001 The Awareness Center started to become an organization. 2003 was the year that The Awareness Center was incorporated as a non-profit organization.

From what's been archived the following link is the first page I can find that talks about clergy sexual abuse. It's from 2001.

Here's the first archived page on sexual abuse in Jewish communities from back in 2001.

Originally when I googled the terms "incest", "sexual abuse" or "rape" and Jewish all that came up was porn sites and anti-Semetic sites. When I googled "clergy sexual abuse" and Jewish, nothing came up.

All I can say is that we have come a long way from our early years.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Update: Case of Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz

Brooklyn D.A. wants alleged molestor extradited

By Nancie L. Katz
New York Daily News
October 11, 2007

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes wants a rabbi who fled to Israel 23 years ago after allegedly molesting four boys, extradited back to New York.

Hynes' request to the U.S. Justice Department that Rabbi Avrohom Mondrowitz face justice has been forwarded to the Israeli Ministry of Justice. Mondrowitz, a onetime popular child psychologist in Brooklyn's Borough Park, was indicted in February 1985 on charges of sexually abusing four boys, months after he fled.

Former Brooklyn District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman tried for years to extradite Mondrowitz, but Hynes had resisted. Critics charged Hynes was afraid of offending the powerful Orthodox Jewish voting bloc and only changed his mind because of a change in the community's attitude toward pedophilia. His spokesman, Jerry Schmetterer, denied the allegation.

"That had no impact on our decision at all," he said, saying an amendment to the extradition treaty allowed Hynes to act.

Hynes' decision has brought some relief to the alleged victims, including a rabbi who told Hynes that Mondrowitz, a neighbor and father of his friends, had molested him at the age of 11 in the late 1970s.

Mondrowitz declined comment when reached by telephone in Israel.

Rebbitzen Shifra Tendler A”H - Mother of Aron and Mordecai Tendler

Rebbitzen Shifra Tendler A”H
Yeshiva World
October 11, 2007

The Levaya of Rebetzin Shifra Tendler A"H, wife of Rabbi Dr. Moshe Dovid Tendler Shlita, daughter of Hagoen Hagodol Harav Moshe Feinstein ZATZAL, and sister to Rav Dovid and Rav Reuven Feinstein Shlita will take place today in Monsey at 3:00PM at the Community Synagogue of Monsey. (Corner of Maple and Cloverdale.) Boruch Dayan Emmes......

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chicago Viewing of "Narrow Bridge"

Vicki Polin, Executive Director, The Awareness Center, Inc. said:
Here's your chance to see the acclaimed controversial film - "Narrow Bridge". It's the first film to address clergy sexual abuse in a Jewish community. A must see film!

A therapist who viewed the film said:
Narrow Bridge is a harrowing retelling of a situation that occurs much too frequently in our schools. As a mental health professional who treats sexually abused individuals I can state that while the film is not a big budget production, it goes directly to the issues that survivors must deal with as they approach the developmental milestones of their lives. I recommend the film for training, education and treatment purposes and hope that we all learn to deal with this crisis in our midst.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

7:00pm - 10:00pm

UIC Hillel Levine Center
924 S. Morgan
Chicago, IL

Phone: 312.357.6923

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Child Molestation - David Mandel and Ohel Children's Home and Family Services

[DavidMandel.jpg]The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. David Mandel / Vicki Polin

From: Vicki Polin - Executive Director, The Awareness Center

October 9, 2007

Dear Friends,
I am still on a medical leave and not sure when I'll be returning to work. I am told that my healing process from the car accident will take much longer then I expected. We have a few volunteers who are stepping in to help, yet we are far behind. Please be patient with us.

Today a friend dropped off a copy of David Mandel's article "Child Molestation in the Jewish community - Overblown or Understated?", which was published in the Jewish Journal. I haven't had a chance to read the entire article, yet I glanced at the first paragraph and found several errors (see below). David Mandel is the CEO of
Ohel, which is an ultra-orthodox, mental health center in New York City.

I'm sure Mr. Mandel's goal is to make a difference in hopes of protecting our children. The problem is that his expertise is not in child molestation. It's obvious that Mandel and those at Ohel are lacking the specialized training and education in the field of sexual victimization and working with offenders.

David Mandel is correct "we need a more open dialogue on the issue of child molestation", that the majority of cases do not involve strangers and that as a people we need to remove the shame, blame and stigma associated with sexual victimization from those who have been violated and place it on the offender(s) and those who cover up these criminal offenses. The goal is not only to teach prevention, yet also to help those who have already been victimized.

It is also vitally important for all parents, schools and youth groups to teach children about "good touch, bad touch." The reason why I also say schools and youth groups is due to the fact that majority of cases of child molestation occurs in the home.

46 percent of cases of child molestation are committed in the home -- most often by a parent, stepparent and or sibling. One cannot expect a parent who molests to teach their own child about prevention.

When one suspects a child is at risk of being abused or neglected we are all mandated reporters. This does not mean reporting our fears to our rabbonim. It means picking up the telephone and calling the secular authorities (child protection services) in your community. The responsibility of investigating suspicions is that of the professional agency. They have the education and training. It's important to remember their goal is not to break up families or remove children from the home. The goal is to offer services to families in need and most importantly to help children to grow up in safe, healthy environments.

David Mandel also made a mistake by stating that "
Perpetrators (sex offenders) may be less likely to offend children, knowing their community will not tolerate their behavior."

The problem is that as of now there is no known treatment that works for sex offenders. Many look at sex offenders as being mentally ill, unable to control their criminal behavior. They are a time bomb waiting to go off. It's sad and scary to say that we need to look at sex offender's as having an incurable disease. Only 16.3 percent of known sex offenders will end up in prison. We also have to remember the fact that 61 percent of sex crimes are never reported to law enforcement. Meaning, the majority of those who sexually victimized children are unknown. Their names are kept secret by those who are or have been victimized.

We all have to know that times that a sex offender's disease may go Into remission, yet according to the US Dept. of Justice, over a 25 year period 52% of convicted sex offenders will re-offend. A typical child sex offender molests an average of 117 children (National Institute of Mental Health)

Given this information and the article that was written, I want to suggest that everyone call Mr. David Mandel. Let him know of the errors I pointed out, suggest to him that he and his entire clinical staff go through The Awareness Center's certification program. Our goal is not to attack, our goal is to educate. To make sure all care providers have the basic information that they are lacking and also learn how to work with survivors, family members and offenders. I think it's time we all work together to end sex crimes in Jewish communities.

Contact Information:
David Mandel
Phone: 718-851-6300

David Mandel states:

"A more open dialogue on the issue of child molestation is key to prevention. It is not "stranger danger", child molestation most commonly is perpetrated by a person known to the child. By having a dialogue with your children on personal safety, we can help prevent the victimization of children. By removing the shame and stigma associated with victimization, children, adolescents and adults will not be as fearful to report incidents of molestation and to seek support. Perpetrators may be less likely to offend children, knowing their community will not tolerate their behavior."


Kids carry scars of abuse into adulthood

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Kids carry scars of abuse into adulthood

By Barbara La Wall
Tucson Citizen
October 3, 2007

Domestic violence is the most common cause of injury to women and children, with 13,483 such crimes reported to local law enforcement last year.

But that figure doesn't even begin to tell the story because domestic violence is one of the most seriously underreported crimes we have.

Children carry the physical and emotional scars of violence long after victim witness advocates seek to alleviate their initial trauma at a crime scene.

The long-term effect of early childhood violence is astounding.

A study of more than 17,000 adult volunteers was published in 1998 by medical doctors Vincent Felitti and Robert Anda, clearly linking childhood maltreatment and later life health and well-being.

Adults were asked if they had grown up experiencing any emotional or physical neglect, recurrent physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, substance abuse, a mother who was treated violently or a household member who had been incarcerated.

The more of these traumas the participant had experienced, the higher the likelihood for criminal activity and self-harming behaviors in adulthood, such as drug use, violent behavior and prostitution.

Such trauma also led to higher incidence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease and morbid obesity.

The doctors' striking finding after their massive number of interviews: Adverse childhood experiences and maltreatment are vastly more common than previously recognized or acknowledged.

As Pima County attorney, I am committed to decreasing domestic violence in our community.
My office works with law enforcement to ensure that cases are appropriately investigated to enhance the preservation of evidence.

We work vigorously, aggressively and in a timely manner to prosecute domestic violence to ensure that the offenders are held accountable and to protect the victim and the community.
A recently begun Domestic Violence Court significantly enhances the process.

In our multidisciplinary approach, the consolidated court system, adult probation, Sheriff's Office and my office all work together to hold offenders accountable and to provide the best service possible to victims.

Domestic Violence Court ensures that violent, serious and repeat offenders do not slip through the cracks.

All the cases are first reviewed by one judge, one prosecutor and one victim advocate. The worst offenders are kept in DV Court and their cases are tried by a judge and prosecutor specially trained in the complexities of these cases.

We also continue to work to ensure that victims and their children receive specialized crisis services from our victim witness program, with follow-up services from community organizations that enhance victim safety and ease victim trauma.

We continue to hold offenders accountable and, when appropriate, see that they are afforded rehabilitation and treatment.

Our victim witness program also collaborates with Jewish Family and Children's Services and other social service agencies to serve children and families exposed to domestic violence, sexual and physical abuse and community violence.

A Community Domestic Violence Task Force recently was formed to deal with inter-agency collaboration, training, resources and victim services.

Programs such as these should lead to even more collaboration and partnership, providing opportunities for non-traditional, creative and innovative strategies to further decrease effects of this insidious crime.

From the medical, social, economic and criminal justice perspective, domestic violence affects all of us.

This crime puts our safety, possibly our health, our health- care system and our criminal justice system at risk. Medical findings alone strongly document the need for communities to act with more intensive prevention and intervention.

As you read this, think of what our community could accomplish if we could raise just one generation of children without domestic violence.
Just one generation.

Think of the possibilities.