In a scathing post, DovBear calls for the resignation of Agudath Israel’s top man, Rabbi David Zwiebel, and it’s mouthpiece, Rabbi Avi Shafran. Here’s why. When asked by email to comment on the arrest of rabbi-on-boy sex abuser Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, Avi Shafran wrote:
Why would we have comment about the arrest of an individual? Because he was an employee, more than 30 years ago, of one of the camps we run (that have had thousands of employees over the years)? I don’t think that requires comment on our part. We are not even a party anymore to any lawsuit filed against the accused, as I understand it. The suit of the accuser who included Camp Agudah in his action (John Doe #1) has been dismissed (without prejudice, I believe, so it can still be refiled, but hasn’t been)."
Let’s help Avi out. He asks: "Why would we have comment about the arrest of an individual?"
1 – Because he was an employee, more than 30 years ago, of one of the camps you run! (Credit Avi Shafran himself for that one)
2 – Because men closely associated with your organization have been running interference for him for 25 years.…
DovBear goes on to note that Agudah comments on many issues, from Conservative Judaism’s grappling with halakha to the latest in Intelligent Design. Why shouldn’t they comment on 40 years of rabbi-on-boy sex abuse within their own community?
The answer is obvious. Many leading Agudah rabbis covered for Kolko. Some of them may be sued. Others may be open for criminal prosecution.
But DovBear raises a good point. Zwiebel and Shafran should both be forced to resign, Shafran for his smug dismissals of abuse and Zwiebel for working against mandatory reporting laws and against a centralized system within haredi schools to track abusers.
If you agree with DovBear’s call, please post it on your blogs and shout it from your rooftops. I have.