November 28, 2012
The Union for Progressive Judaism (UPJ) strongly supports the establishment of the Royal Commission into Child Abuse and has commended the government for setting up a body that will review past crimes, provide an opportunity for victims to have their voices heard and make recommendations to ensure that institutions and individuals not be able to commit such acts and will be accountable for such crimes in the future.
In a statement released yesterday, Executive Director Steve Denenberg said:
“The UPJ recognises that child abuse, just like other crimes and abhorrent social behaviour, are not found exclusively in any particular social or religious group and that all parts of society should be subject to review, including the religious community.
The UPJ has been shocked and saddened by examples of abuse within Jewish institutions. Even more, we have been outraged by the unacceptable behaviour of people in positions of authority who chose to “turn a blind eye” rather than report the perpetrator to the appropriate authorities. This is completely contrary to the Jewish imperative of pikuah nefesh (protecting the soul), particularly of those in danger or at risk of harm.
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