Weberman et al: Death-Throes of a Cover-Up Culture?

The culture of covering up child abuse is alive and well and right here in Beit Shemesh.

However, in the USA, UK, and Australia this culture has recently been dealt severe blows, which will hopefully speed up the process of ending these discredited "shittos" also here in Israel.

Rabbi Nechemia Weberman's conviction in the USA on 59 counts of sexual abuse against a minor, due to the astounding personal courage of an 18 year old female victim who came forward to testify against him, has received high-profile media coverage in the USA and internationally.

The winners in the Weberman case are the victim and her family, the child protection lobby in the Jewish community and the rule of Law.

The losers are Weberman, who will rot for many years in prison, the Satmar community who committed an outrageous chilul Hashem by very publicly throwing their support behind Weberman, and those in every community who opt to treat child abuse allegations as an "internal matter", intimidating or bribing victims into silence.
Across the pond in the UK, following the national exposure of Jimmy Savile, the popular children's entertainer of the 1970's and 80's; the resignation of George Entwhistle, Director General of the BBC; and now the exposure of Golders' Green London Rabbi Chaim Helpern, which has generated havoc in the orthodox community; the anti-abuse advocates are on-a-roll, and the position of abused children and abused women is immeasurably strengthened.  

In Australia, both the Catholic Church and the Jewish Community are in the midst of top-profile scandals involving child abuse cases. This has reached the highest echelons - Prime Minister Julia Gillard has ordered a Federal Investigation into child abuse in religious institutions. The suspicion is that religious institutions have systematically covered up crimes against children, treating these allegations as "internal matters" and failed to report them to the authorities.

Here in Beit Shemesh, we are the city with the lowest proportion of child abuse reports in the country. Just one third of the national average. Our rates are now even lower than Beitar and Bnie Braq (the next two lowest).

Unfortunately, there is no indication that these low rates of child abuse reporting is due to lower incidence of child abuse. But rather it is due to a culture of inimidating child abuse victims and their families from coming forward, and ostracising those who report. As in the Weberman case, bribery has also been used in Beit Shemesh to shut-up victims.

The good news is that there HAS been improvement in how the adults respond to child abuse allegations in Beit Shemesh over the past two years - particularly in the English speaking communities. This is largely thanks to results of the awareness campaigns of Magen, the child protection agency of Beit Shemesh, which was established in 2010.


  1. Who is the woman in the photo? I thought that Weberman is such a qadosh that he took his eyeglasses off when walking on the street and here he is standing next to a woman wearing a sleeveless dress.

  2. @Ben not that it's really germane to the issue at hand, but I believe that's his lawyer. (Or perhaps some other court official). You can see her in another image here:

  3. I really really hope you are right about this being the beginning of the end of the "cover-it-up" attitude, but I'm afraid it won't be. It's hard to get new ideas into the Satmar echo-chamber, and their leadership has no reason to change. They'll just use this as another example of how the "biased" courts will convict a "frum Jew" and will use it as a case study in mesirah. They'll just close ranks against "outside threats" as they've done before. I hope the turning point that this does signal is with the DAs office. Hynes needs to stop siding with corrupt leadership and start prosecuting more aggressively.

  4. The turning point will be when she sues UTA in civil court. They are the ones who forced her to see Weberman under threat of expulsion and they were paid directly for his "services" which makes them liable (it also makes them pimps). I hope she takes them for every penny they've got. When it comes to schools and organizations that cover up their molestation to CTA and the kids be damned, you gotta make it about money, speak to them in the language they understand and that's when you'll see a turning point.


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