The Good Guys Fight Back

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:

Bright Beginnings
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.

Yakov Horowitz

I recently spent a few minutes on the phone with Rabbi Horowitz. I found him to be credible. More than that, he seems to be a very good man. For those of you interested in funding haredi projects (against my often-stated advice), perhaps this project is worthy of your attention and support.

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5 Comments

Filed under Crime, Good News, Haredim, Mikva Abuse

5 responses to “The Good Guys Fight Back

  1. anon

    Dear Harry, Yaakov, Barry, Mendel & Michael:

    Congratulations on your new endeavor. It comes at an oddly opportune moment, a time when the entire world is watching us to observe how we react to the growing scandal of rabbinic abuse and cover-up within our ranks.

    While our community is sure to welcome yet another organization seeking our support and gaps in our social calendars cry out for the need of one more dinner, I question your need for funding.

    It is my understanding that calls to 911 are free and to the best of my knowledge the police and prosecutors do not charge for their services.

    What than is your raison d’être? Surely, you are not suggesting that victims of rabbinic sexual abuse bypass the authorities and contact your new organization. Why, that would be obstruction of justice. More importantly, that would suggest your intent is to provide cover for rabbinic molesters and the institutions they work in. Is this your purpose?

    Your call for “financial reporting and transparency” is laudable and something that is sorely lacking in many of our vital organizations. As there appears to be no need for your new entity, your offer of transparency seems pointless.

    May I suggest you consider cutting your losses and ending this spectacle before you embarrass yourself further? If there is one lesson to be learned from the Kolko/Margulies affair, it is that we are obligated to go directly to the authorities with allegations of rabbinic molestation. The police and the prosecutors have the training and resources to assess the veracity of claims and deal with the perpetrators. You and your buddies do not. Nor do even our most well meaning rabbis. (For an apt example, please research the evolution, geographic and otherwise, of the Mondrowitz case.)

    For the sake of our children, stop this nonsense before more innocents are pulled into this vortex of backward ignorance.

  2. Anonymous

    “Surely, you are not suggesting that victims of rabbinic sexual abuse bypass the authorities and contact your new organization. Why, that would be obstruction of justice.”

    No, it wouldn’t be you f-ing idiot. Stop trying to intimidate people that are interested in protecting children.

  3. BTA

    I hate to say it, but well-meaning as this guy may be, Project Yes is an Aguath clown program for “at risk” teens and the like.

    And for the younger kids, they don’t seem to be too in tune with the big issues, as this exceprt from their website will attest:

    “Perhaps the most important skill that our children need to succeed in school is kriah, Hebrew-reading skills, as boys and girls will need them throughout their life in school – and beyond.”

    http://www.rabbihorowitz.com/PYes/index.cfm

  4. Came here through DovBear.

    1. To the first Anon, the project is about producing materials Orthodox parents can use to educate their children about abuse, not about avoiding going to the authorities. Please re-read the proposal.

    2. BTA-Kriah is extremely important to succeed in Yeshiva schools. No different than a kid in public schools that is illiterate in English.

  5. eem

    One of the major factors for teens having problems in school (and out) is problems with skills, whether because of a learning disability that was not dealt with, or because the student was just skipped over and didn’t learn what he needed to. No one wants to stay in a system where he feels unsuccessful.
    I hope there will finally be some willingness to talk about abuse and other issues in the frum community. If someone is finally trying to facilitate that, please don’t knock it.

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