The Awareness Center closed. We operated from April 30, 1999 - April 30, 2014. This site is being provided for educational & historical purposes.
We were the international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault (JCASA); and were dedicated to ending sexual violence in Jewish communities globally. We did our best to operate as the make a wish foundation for Jewish survivors of sex crimes. In the past we offered a clearinghouse of information, resources, support and advocacy.
We Must Feel The Pain And Anguish - By A Member of the Baltimore Community
We Must Feel The Pain And Anguish By Member of the Baltimore Community (2008) The Awareness Center, Inc.
Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer
Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer of Baltimore writes in this week's shul bulletin for Parshas VaYikra: "We must feel the pain and anguish of the parents, siblings, families, and friends of these eight young Bnai Torah who were brutally murdered [in Eretz Yisroel]."
It is human to ask WHY and know that there is no ultimate answer in this world, but there are ways of analyzing world events to learn lessons.
These events unfortunately parallel the current community topic of sexual abuse and child molestation. We must connect to the pain and anguish of the parents, siblings, families, and friends of the many young B'nai Torah (both boys and girls) who have been sexually molested and are then coerced to keep silent.
The parallel continues: the perpetrators of murder in Eretz Yisroel are the Arabs. Yet the Israeli government leaders give the enemy Arabs political power, lethal weapons and international support. Our Rabbinic leaders enable the perpetrators and molesters to hide under the cover of victim silence. This cover up allows the perpetrators to continue their destruction of the physical, emotional and spiritual lives of more Jewish victims, families and future generations of Klal Yisroel.
So now we have a hint of one of the deep dark reasons WHY tragedy has hit our people at this time and this place. In the holy of holies, Yerushalayim, and with our holy kinderlach.
According to national statistics a child molester will criminally sexually violate between 117 - 120 times prior to law enforcement being notified.
Last month at a community meeting, David Mandel of Ohel Children Home (NYC) and Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer instructed community members not to report alleged sex crimes to the police. Instead to report the crimes to the rabbonim. Considering the fact that this policy has been endorsed by the president of the Vaad of Baltimore (Jewish Religious Court), one has to wonder if the number of victims left by a sexual predator within the Eruv would be double the national norm? -- Vicki Polin, Director - The Awareness Center
For more information on various alleged and convicted sex offenders living in the Baltimore orthodox community click below (alphabetical order):
Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor" (Leviticus 19:16).