To Keep the Secret
Rabbi Y, Who Was Abused by AVROHOM Mondrowitz Himself, Thinks That One Should Not Expose Child Abuse in Public

December 25, 2007

ISRAEL — Rav Y, 39-years-old, reports on the negative consequences of children in treatment, voluntarily, for Haredi children who suffer the type of abuse that he did. His contact with Mondrowitz began when he was about 12. He was a neighbor, living on the same street, and he was friends with his (Mondrowitz's) children. "One day, When I came to his house, I wanted to play with his kids but found that they were not home. Mondrowitz was there, and he invited me into his office, and he give me money and all kinds of nice gifts. I never took anything from him, and he put his hands where it was inappropriate. After that, I did not want to go there anymore, but he spoke to my father why I did not come over to play with his kids anymore. So my father sent me there, and he did the same thing again. I felt that something was wrong, but I could not tell my father. So I went there, and again he was alone. I seem (to recall) that his family was away on vacation, I do not remember why or how, but I remained with him to sleep over, and I recall that in the middle of the night, I awoke, and he was touching me again. Perhaps, he had given me something so I would continue sleeping. In the morning I got up and went home."

After several times, he stopped going there, and he never told anyone. "Mondrowitz kept contact with my father, requesting that he send me to play with his kids, but I never went again and I stopped playing with his kids altogether. To this day, no one knew anything, not my parents, not my wife, not my kids, but when they started telling about Mondrowitz, I told Amy Neustein that I could believe every word.

Y, personally, did not dream at night about murder, but knew others that would. "I heard that there were many Italians, that were (treated) similar(ly) when they were children, that wanted to kill him." He says, Y, himself a Rabbi, is against publicly exposing atrocities committed by Rabbis, not to protect them, but to protect the children. "To open up to the police and the courts in the US, this is a long multi-year process, and meanwhile the exposure destroys the boy or girl who is an abuse victim even more. Mondrowitz is not forced to come to court, because now, all them are already grown."

Are children in the Haredi community more exposed to abuse? Y tells that 15 years ago, he knew of a pedophile in New Jersey who heard that the Haredi group were tolerant toward pedophiles. He bought an apartment in Brooklyn, grew a beard and payos, and began abusing children. When they caught him and detained him, Y activated his contacts with the police. "I spoke with many chevra who had contacts with the police, and when they brought him to jail, the police shouted out loud, so all the other prisoners would hear, that he was a pedophile and that they would be allowed to do anything to him. After 5 days in jail, he confessed everything. I had contacts with the Brooklyn prosecutor, and I influenced him to work out a deal. The deal stipulated that he cannot live in the city, but only an isolated area. He sold his apartment in Brooklyn, for virtually nothing, and he left there for some rural area. I did not want it to go to trial, so that the children he abused would not have to testify against him."

You helped to cover it up?? (Presumably this is the reporter's question)

"Only so that the children should not have to go through it again. But I advocate fighting from within. With us, if a child tells that someone did soemthing like this, we throw him out of school. They do not want that the school should get a bad reputation. But I advocate removing the stigma from children who are abused. The fault belongs to the schools and yeshivos. It is there, that they need to ...

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