The following came from the Awareness Center
Shmuel Juravel / Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro
Letter from a parent in Baltimore
Permission was granted to publish this letter
The case of Shmuel Zev Juravel is a perfect example of what happens when the rabbis in our community know about an active pedophile and cover up his crimes. Shmuel Juravel, now convicted and serving a sentence of 22 years, reportedly continued to victimize hundreds of boys first in Baltimore and later in Savannah, Georgia, after parents of victims repeatedly reported Juravel's crimes to Rabbis Yaakov Hopfer and Moshe Heinneman. We have learned the hard way that surveillance by rabbis is not a viable option.
It is incredibly sad that Shmuel Juravel's crimes were only stopped after decades of him sexually victimizing children, when he was finally caught in an FBI sting operation, after he answered an ad soliciting relations with boys in Alabama.
According to the Bureau of Missing and Exploited Children only three percent of pedophiles ever get caught. As parents and community members we all need to be concerned about all the other sex offenders who are protected by our rabbis and living under the radar in our community. At this time we cannot trust our rabbis to keep us safe.
Think about it, what kind of surveillance did the rabbis use years ago when Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro, past principal of TA, victimized hundreds of students for decades. Can we believe the rabbonim back then had no idea that Ephraim Shapiro was committing sex crimes against our children?
And more recently: Didn't the rabbis sign a letter last April (2007) stating that they had made mistakes in the past and that they were now encouraging victims to go to our public authorities? What happened to that stance? Why did they go against their own words at this community gathering last week? Didn't the letter state that the Gedolei Ha Dor encourage us to report these crimes to the police? Why the double-talk now?