Feminist campaigner claims child abuse is rampant in strictly Orthodox community

The JC

By Rosa Doherty, December 27, 2015

The Jewish community is experiencing a “rampant epidemic” of rabbis who sexually abuse, according to an American educator and activist.

Elana Sztokman said public cases such as the conviction of Todros Grynhaus, who was jailed for 13 years for abusing two teenage girls, were the tip of the iceberg.

“We have a epidemic of abuse and it is rampant in the Jewish community,” she said.

“A disproportionate number of abusers seem to be rabbis or quasi rabbis.”

Speaking at a session at the Limmud conference in Birmingham, Ms Sztokman, who writes on the subject of Orthodox Jewish feminism, highlighted reasons why abusers were often able to escape punishment.

Ms Sztokman, a former executive director of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, said victims who reported abuse were made to feel like outcasts.

She said: “We have seen it time and time again a victim comes forward and the community shuns them.

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