Sitting in a Park Avenue hotel coffee shop Tuesday, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen speaks rapidly and passionately about his latest controversial enterprise.
The 43-year-old Boston native, clad in a black sports jacket and black knit sports shirt, wants nothing less than the Roman Catholic Church to finally and fully acknowledge its crimes towards Jews during the Holocaust and effect a lasting moral restitution — including dealing with anti-Semitic passages in the New Testament and liturgy.
The recent rash of cases in which rabbis have allegedly molested young children going back decades has moved one group that usually bristles at government involvement in Orthodox schools to envision shifting its stance.
Two major haredi organizations came out Tuesday against a bill pending in the New York State legislature that would extend the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse and create a one-year window during which alleged victims could file civil claims, regardless of when the abuse took place.
The legislative effort to help victims of child sexual abuse in New York State got much more complicated this week as two competing bills have now been cleared to go to a vote on the Assembly floor.
The bills are sponsored by Margaret Markey (D-Queens) and Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) respectively, and have already set up a showdown, pitting survivors of abuse and their advocates — who support the Markey bill — against major Catholic and Jewish institutions, which are backing the Lopez version.
A bill in the New York State legislature to extend the criminal and civil statutes of limitations on child sexual abuse, and to open a one-year window for victims to file civil suits regardless of when the alleged abuse took place, appears to be splitting the Orthodox community. And it is revealing what may be a growing gap between some of the established communal organizations and the people they claim to represent.
Survivors for Justice, a support and advocacy organization formed by victims of child sexual abuse in the fervently Orthodox world, traveled to Albany this week to educate legislators about the problem of child sexual abuse in their communities and to discuss legislative efforts to help curb it and aid victims in seeking redress.
A Brooklyn rabbi charged with having sexually molested his students has collected almost $70,000 from Yeshiva Torah Temimah and entities linked to it since the school put him on administrative leave 22 months ago.
Rabbi Yehuda Kolko received payments ranging from $3,000 to $9,000 per month between May 2006 and December 2007, according to court records obtained by The Jewish Week.
The court records also suggest that before Rabbi Kolko left the school, he received tens of thousands of dollars above his reported yearly income at the school’s direction.
If answers aren’t exactly forthcoming from Postville, well then, people are going to Postville to try and seek them out.
A veritable parade of Jews — busloads from the Midwest last Sunday for a rally on behalf of immigrant rights, and this week a group of Orthodox rabbis traveling at Agriprocessors’s expense on what is being called “a fact-finding mission” — went looking for answers about the conditions in which their kosher meat is produced.
In a Trenton, N.J., courtroom last week, Rabbi Juda Mintz, a charismatic Orthodox champion of Jewish pluralism, stood before a federal judge, his fate in the balance. He faced Federal District Court Judge Mary Cooper, charged with downloading child pornography onto his synagogue computer. The rabbi and his followers hoped the judge would allow him to serve his time at the Los Angeles residential Jewish addiction center he moved to a year ago.