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Nachlaot is the Greenwich Village / Haight Ashbury of Jerusalem - rhymes with "rock the boat, skin the goat"


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Darkness At The Edge of Town

Shavua Tov ... we didn't get a chance to post about this last week, and it's not our "usual" subject matter, but it needs to be discussed and shared. The word "Nachlaot" is, unfortunately, not ONLY related to good and groovy things such as our radio station, but in fact has been in the news a lot lately because of the discovery of a Pedophile Ring that has been operating in the community here. Over 100 children (mostly in the Charedi sector) have been affected, families are traumatized, the community feels violated and vulnerable, and the police and social services have been remarkably inept. Last Thursday there was a public demonstration on Betzalel Street of some concerned citizens, demanding that the "authorities" step up and do something - become more proactive, do more to educate the community, address the particular needs of the Charedi community with cultural sensitivity, etc. We were there and recorded an interview with the protesters: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW AT THE PROTEST. 
For those who want to "do something themselves, a few different individuals have stepped up and initiated ideas that they've put into action. Chana Jenny Weisberg (www.jewishmom.com) is collecting donations to help pay for therapy for the children affected, and she's also trying to organize a field trip / tyule for these kids, all of whom are too traumatized to play outside anymore and basically stay inside all day. Rabbi Moshe Pesach Geller (rebmoish@gmail.com) is organizing a community watch and calling for volunteers to help "shadow" the 8 Pedophiles currently NOT in custody (four have been arrested and are still in jail, the other eight were arrested but released because of "tainted evidence" - mostly due to bungling by police and social services not correctly instructing the parents what to do when discovering their children had been molested). You can get in touch with either Jenny or Reb Moishe to help in those particular ways.
Most of all, we need help for the children of this community, and we need our streets to be safe from predators. The Charedi community is particularly vulnerable because of the gentle and trusting nature of the Charedi children (many/most of whom have never even seen television) and the reticence within the community to speak of things considered outside the bounds of "modesty," which would include anything sexual. Parents need to know in a practical way HOW to educate their children - without frightening them or exposing them to ideas that would upset them beyond their capacity to absorb - about the fact that there are bad people "out there," who might approach them, and what to do. This isn't easy - but it has to be done. We'll continue to report on the subject as news emerges - and now back to our regularly scheduled programming, folks!