Monday, January 01, 2001

Legal Issues On Sex Crimes and Halacha (Jewish Law)

Legal Issues On Sex Crimes and Halacha (Jewish Law)
(childhood sexual abuse, incest, sexual assault, rape, clergy sexual abuse, professional sexual misconduct)

The typical child sex offender molests an average of 117 children, most of who do not report the offense. Source: National Institute of Mental Health, 1988.


One of the goals of The Awareness Center, Inc. is to insure that when allegations of sex crimes are made regarding a rabbi, cantor or any other individual that police reports are filed immediately by the survivors. It is highly recommended that the survivor to contact their local rape crisis center to go with them to insure that their rights are protected.  Most rape crisis centers have trained volunteers who do this free of charge. 

The Awareness Center, Inc. also suggests that if any organization wants to conduct an investigation that they consult with the following individuals first. This includes all rabbinical/cantorial organizations, schools, synagogue, agencies, etc.


Disclaimer: Inclusion in this website does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement. Individuals must decide for themselves if the resources meet their own personal needs.

Table of Contents:

Jewish Resources

  1. Halacha and Mandated Reporting
  2. Lawyers Experienced with Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence
  3. Letter from The Vaad Harabbonim - Rabbinical Council of Greater Baltimore (04/11/2007)
  4. Jewish Sex Offender's Registry of Alleged and Convicted Offenders

Articles from a Jewish Perspective on child abuse
  1. Background Information and The History of Rabbinical Ordinations (07/19/2007)
  2. A Sin By Dereliction
  3. Confronting Abuse In The Orthodox Community (07/2003)
  4. Marrying a Kohen: Jewish Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault
  5. Proposed law may force rabbis to report suspected sexual abuse (03/06/1997)
  6. Rabbis Must Report Acts of Child Abuse: Local Leaders Agree Upon an Amendment to the Abuse Reporting Bill (05/09/2002)

Legislative Testimony Provided

  1. Clergy as Mandated Reporters - Testimony Provided on Maryland Senate Bill 412 (SB 412)   (02/25/2003)
  2. Child Sexual Abuse: Statute of Limitations Civil Actions - Testimony Provided on Maryland Senate Bill 575 (SB 575). (03/01/2007)
  3. Childhood Sexual Abuse Prevention Act of 2007.  Testimony Provided to The Council of the District of Columbia Committee on Public Safety Bill B17-146.   (06/01/2007)
  4. "When You're An Incest Survivor and the Windows Legislation" - Presented at a News Media Event - Calling for State and National Laws Lifting Statute of Limitations of Survivor Lawsuits at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law - Yeshiva University   (09/25/2007)

Halacha (Jewish Law) - Child Abuse

  1. Jewish laws governing reporting to the authorities in cases of child abuse (Hebrew)   (2007)
  2. Resolution Regarding Members Accused of Improprieties Adopted by the Rabbinical Council of America (05/28/2003)

Ask A Rabbi

  1. Doesn't Halacha care about abused children? (2001)
  2. How does one honor a father who allowed sexual abuse? (1999)
  3. Incest and Gods Justice/Forgiveness (1998)
  4. Pedophilia and the Orthodox community (1998)
  5. Recovering from sexual abuse (1997)
  6. Should I sit shiva for abusive parents (who are still alive)? (2000)

Rabbinical Organizations Guidelines - Dealing with Clergy Sexual Abuse

  1. Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative)
  2. Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform)
  3. Rabbinical Council of America (Modern Orthodox)
  4. Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (Reconstructionist) - Now being revised, the guidelines are not yet available electronically.  For a hard-copy verison, contact:
  5. Chabad-Lubavitch - The guidelines are not available electronically.  For a hard-copy verision contact 718-771-3930
  6. Agudath Israel - Contact rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs. (212) 797-9000

Orthodox Rabbinical Groups
  1. Resolution Regarding Members Accused of Improprieties (05/28/2003)
  2. Orthodox Rabbinical Group Issues Halachic Proposal on Child Abuse (05/29/1992)
  3. Informing on Others for Violating American Laws: A Jewish Law Review

  1. The Physical, Sexual and Emotional Abuse of Children (1991)
  2. Child Punishment in Halacha  (03/30/1995)
  3. Suing Your Rabbi: Clergy Malpractice in Jewish Law
  4. Informing on Fellow Jews who Commit Crimes: Mesira in Modern Times (10/19/2001)
  1. The Awareness Center, Inc.

Secular Resources


  1. Testifying as an Expert Witness in Child Abuse Cases  
  2. Interviewing the Child Molester: Ten Tips for Eliciting Incriminating Statements  (11/02/1998)
  3. Child protection law signed by President  (03/28/2003)
  4. Court Adopts Legal Test for Therapeutic Hypnosis
  5. Rape Victim's Right to Confidentiality

Audio Tapes

  1. Abused Children/Abusive Government Our Challenge - By Judge Charles B. Schudson (06/16/1995)
  2. Making Courts Safe For Children - By Judge Charles B. Schudson (06/16/1995)

  1. Criminal Statutes of Limitation - Statutes of limitation for prosecuting rape and/or sexual assault Compiled by RAINN
  2. State-by-State Survey of Statutes of Limitation Applicable to Civil Claims of Childhood Sexual Abuse 
  3. Mandated Reporting Laws for Clergy
  4. Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
  5. An Act Requiring Certain Religious Officials To Report Abuse Of Children (05/03/2002) 
  6. Special Notice: The New Massachusetts Mandated Reporting Bill (05/16/2002)
  7. Civil Remedies for Victims of Sexual Abuse by Susan K. Smith, Attorney.
  8. Federal law states that a child who is sexually abused has until their death to make a claim 
  9. Supreme Court takes on California's molestation law  (03/29/2003)
  10. Illinois Stalking Law - Amended 2002
  11. Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect
  12. Reporting Laws: Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect (USA)
  13. Orders of Protection - What You Should Know
  14. United States House of Representatives
  15. Find out who your State Representative

Educational Resources


  1. CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocates
  2. Legal Age of Consent  - Also called legal age of sexual consent
  3. Witness Justice

Political Resources

  1. Write Your Representative - Lookup Representation
  2. Political Issues and Resources Relating to Childhood Sexual Abuse

  1. How to Find a Victims' Lawyer in Your Area  

Also See:

  1. Rabbinical Resources
  2. Jewish Sex Offender Registry
  3. Recidivism of Sex Offenders  (U.S. Department of Justice: Center for Sex Offender Management)

Mandated Reporting and Jewish Law 
  • Clergy as Mandated Reporters - By Vicki Polin
  • Crime Victims Compensation
  • How to Report Child Abuse: A Guide for the Practicing Mental Health Care Provider, Educators . . . - by Vicki Polin
  • Political Issues and Resources Relating to Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Sex Offender Registry (Various States and Countries)
  • Testifying as an Expert Witness in Child Abuse Cases - By Ann Jones

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