In an exclusive TV News 12 by
Tara Rosenblum, Yossi tells how he was sexually abused by Rabbi Herschel
Taubenfeld, a teacher in New York's Rockland County Hasidic community of New
Square (home of the Skver sect).
Yossi asked for help from the head rabbis
of New Square who maintain their own communal sex crimes unit called the VAAD.
The agency told him to see a therapist. Two months later, Yossi reported the abuse to the
Ramapo police. Yossi recounts how he was offered $100,000 to keep quiet
about the situation, which he refused. Taubenfeld admitted to the crimes, but religious leaders in the
community sent Taubenfeld to Israel to obtain an honorary rabbinical
Taubenfeld was charged with 30 counts of
forcible touching, endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree sex abuse
yet avoided jail time in exchange for six years probation.
In the words of
Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis "Publicity is justly commended as a
remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of
disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman."
Established halacha (Jewish Law) places a child molester in the category of
rodef (an imminent threat), in part due to a recidivism rate well in
excess of 50-percent. In his 2004 psak (ruling) on this issue, the late
Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv writes that one should report those who sexually abuse
children directly to the police and that doing so is of benefit to
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